Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Knicks >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Heatles

Miami Heat 84 Final
Recap | Box Score
104 New York Knicks

DISCLAIMER: There seems to be a glitch in the recap generator’s HTML code, something I stayed up until 3am trying to fix, so sincere apologies for this looking and reading like total garbage. The lesson here: Being computer stupid and playing with code is worse than a monkey playing with fire. Anyway, the issue should be fixed in time for Sunday’s soire with the Sixers. Then and only then will true recap justice be served. In the mean time, if you’re having trouble reading the newfangled bold font, call Robert Silverman and he’ll read each section to you with the cooing cadence and care that only a man of the stage can summon.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 39 MIN | 10-28 FG | 6-7 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 30 PTS | +24

The Heat outscored Melo 17-16 in the first quarter, so obviously he’s a complete failure…. Hey! Did you guys hear? Melo’s not LeBron! No, really! He’s, like, not nearly as good! Like five writers in the last two days broke the news – they used numbers and eyeballs and everything. Sarcasm aside, I think I speak for most everyone in Knick Knation in saying WE GET IT, DUDE! Comparing Melo — really anyone, for that matter — to LeBron is like comparing your toothbrush to your car: totally different spheres of ability, totally different worlds.

But holy hell can that Melo Anthony put his hand in the cookie jar. Two early misses were followed up by 11 consecutive makes or something, and it looked for a time like #7 was rarin’ to drop a fiddy spot on the defending champs. A slight detour to Chucksville soon followed, but Melo was able to balance out the poor shooting with engaged defense and tremendous rebounding. The game squarely in hand — much as it was through most of Olympic play — the mid-range jumpers fell with a little more consistency late in the game. To what extent Melo ends up playing at the four-spot remains to be seen. But if his Class of ’03 standard-bearer is any litmus test, last season’s home stretch, coupled with tonight’s performance, should bode well going forward.

Tyson Chandler, C 25 MIN | 5-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +14

Perhaps it’s a sign of a truly indispensable ingredient when split-second cuts and desperation helps go almost totally unnoticed. And that would make sense, considering Ty-Chan put up such a silent near double-double — minus the pair of Felton-borne oops, that is. As is so often the case with a player of Tyson’s unique caliber, how well he played only makes sense when you consider what would’ve happened had he not been in there — a lot of LeBron hanging on the rim and sitting on Kurt Thomas’ face.

Jason Kidd, PG 23 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +20

I’m not exactly sure what it says when your first bucket in a Knick uniform comes off a defensive tip into your own basket, but whatever. It might not’ve been the stat line we’d have seen a dozen or so years ago, but the balance and the smarts were both there in spades; no drive was conducted without purpose, no pass flung with out the proper, accurate zip. Teams will no doubt seek to exploit Kidd’s atrophying D, but his ability to hawk passing lanes should make it measures easier for the other wings to commit to face-up stands. Bonus points for being the all time NBA leader in three pointers with a Hickory High set shot.

Yes, I called him a cab.

Raymond Felton, PG 33 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 14 PTS | +19

There’s something about the Garden’s fat-free lights that just seem to spark Felton, and tonight was no exception – a rocketing early transition flick over a LeBron limb and a couple timely threes tempered at least for a second our still waning Linxiety. He got a little overzealous with the dribble at times, pounding the rock hesitantly in the paint half afraid of the gatekeepers around him, but for the most part stayed in his lane, and even dished a handful of pretty remarkable pinpoint passes off penetration. Jeremy Lin might’ve gotten within a couple assists of a triple double SOMETHING I’M IN NO WAY BITTER ABOUT AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH If Felton can keep on this kind of clip – on defense especially – he won’t have much trouble re-endearing himself to the faithful.

Ronnie Brewer, SG 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 7 PTS | +8

As evidenced by his leaving a lung at half court on a fast break that ended with a missed layup, Brewer’s conditioning still has a ways go to. But the in-your-face defensive presence is there, as were a few lucky-ass buckets from outside the requisite 5-feet-and-in comfort zone. Speaking as someone whose wife had basically the same surgery as Brewer, there’s a big difference between “feeling fine” and “performing”…

She does yoga, guys! Sickos.

Kurt Thomas, PF 16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1

I’m just gonna work straight off the Word notes here: *serviceable but slowqz2
*Talks, communicates
*Just smacked Bosh in the face with an open hand and nothing was called
*”Uhh… which one of us are you talking to, Kurt?”

Rasheed Wallace, PF 3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +1

I seriously went completely berserk when this happened, as did most of the Garden crowd, by the sound of it. Ten years ago, the jury was still out on whether Rasheed Wallace could stay in the league and not get arrested ever two years. Now, dude holds the ring Barkley and Ewing and Malone so many others don’t, having scored his anchoring a team near perfect in grit-forged success. He is, miraculously, at 38 years old, an assumed plus on any team that signs him. I like to think we’ll hold up enough to where “Garbage Time Sheed” becomes something of a celebratory fixture, but I think it’s safe to say last night’s spot duty is just the first step towards a more regular role. Which is simultaneously beautiful and utterly terrifying.

Steve Novak, SF 26 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +9

“I get so upset when Novak misses because it’s the only thing he does.” – My beautiful wife.

Being completely shut down by the Heat during last year’s Playoffs had to give most Knick fans at least a cursory moment of pause when Novak signed his mid-level deal a few months later. And that’s exactly what makes tonight’s performance so encouraging: Novakaine’s mechanics are so good, so impossibly quick and effortless, they can only help to reveal a mind adept at forgetting bad shots and bad nights. He still can’t defend a compost pile, but the spacing and the instant-comeback potential and the completely undefined forearms he provides make it all a net positive.

Chris Copeland, SF 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

I heard you smiled on your way out the Garden tunnel. I like that. Not sure I’ve ever known anyone who’s enjoyed the smell of elephant shit, but maybe that’s a thing in Belgium. Either way, welcome to The Show, Cope.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 16 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | -3

Nothing says “Hello, New York” like a behind-the-back pass two minutes into your first game. Prigs’ preseason rally certainly carried over in terms of exuberance, energy, a complete disinterest in shooting a basketball, and [mostly] mistake-free ball, but so to did the inability to prevent certain wing players (Rory Sparrow and Kevin Edwards mostly) from getting to the tin.

James White, SG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

“Coach, I think they’re chanting for me.”

“They’re definitely chanting ‘RASHEED WALLACE.’”

“No man, they’re chanting “WE WANT JAMES WHITE IN THE GAME NOW.”

“…….”

“Can I go in anyway?”

“No.”

“…. How ’bout now?”

“Fine, just give the ball to Sheed.”
. J.R. Smith, SG 34 MIN | 3-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | +13

Putting aside pre-game reports that Earl was suiting up totally healthy, it looked like the old-new normal was gonna be 22-foot jumpers with enough time on the shot clock to flash-fry an egg . NBA timing can atrophy quickly, and J.R. — who missed pretty much all of preseason with leg boo-boos — needs to rediscover his. Still, he seemed at least half-way committed to moving the ball quickly and decisively, made a couple of nice stands guarding LeBron, and eschewed fall-away 22-footers for fall-away 21-footers. Progress.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Early on the Knick offense couldn’t help but invite flashbacks of the flesh-bearing teams of yore – the days of Clyde and Cap and Dollar Bill and spacing and movement and spacing and movement and the ball never touched the ground. Forces of habit – i.e. Melo hoisting up regular nonsense – would carry the day for much of the middle part of the game, but the quick switches and consistent stops on D afforded the offense with some semblance of freelancing. All in all it looked as if hopes that a full training camp would help get everyone in sync were more than well-warranted.
  2. It’d be interesting to see the metrics for the Knicks’ offensive efficiency on possessions where that goddam organ is playing.
  3. Even for game one — and granting the adrenaline boost wrought by the still somber circumstances omnipresent throughout the five boroughs — the defensive communication and rotations seemed logarithmically improved. The way I see it, our only chance of making it out of the East rests upon three, equally crucial pillars: Health; beast mode Melo; and forcing Miami to settle for jump-shots late in the shot clock. Concerning the latter, holding the Heat to 17 paint attempts is a good start. I in no way expect that to be sustained, but at least there are the rudiments of a defensive template there for the sifting through.
  4. Look, I complain about foul calls all the time — Knicks games, Old Man League games, whatever. But I do so believing that a line like tonight’s (15-13FTs — and 41-41 on rebounds, for good measure) goes to show what can happen when the refs aren’t trying to blatantly screw your team. The zeebs let ‘em play, and considering the taut emotional circumstances, that was probably a good move.
  5. Not sure how many folks expected “Melo Anthony” — christened thus live for the first time I can remember — to take the mic and hit that crucial cultural note. But he did. He talked about Superstorm Sandy and its many victims and reminded New Yorkers that basketball could be counted upon to bring people together. That said, there are still far too many for whom tragic circumstances have meant untold burdens, and our thoughts and our prayers and our good vibes should find them and aid them still.

41 comments on “Knicks >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Heatles

  1. jon abbey

    haha, JR Smith “eschewed fall-away 22-footers for fall-away 21-footers”, nice!!

    how hard is it to have at least slightly better shot selection if you’re Smith or Melo, I’ll never understand this. just because you can make any shot doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to take better ones.

  2. Gideon Zaga

    Did anyone else notice Melo at the 5 in thr 4th q with Novak, Smith, Felton and Jason Kidd. And we seriously need a PRIGIONI DOING WHAT PRIGIONI DOES.

  3. d-mar

    If anyone ever says to you “Hey, I don’t follow the NBA much, what’s up with this JR Smith dude?” show them the sequence from last night’s game where he commits a horrible turnover on one end, hustles his ass off to get back on D and make a sensational block on LeBron on the other, and then on a 2 on 1 fast break pushes Chalmers in the back for no apparent reason. JR in a nutshell, love him or hate him.

  4. Gideon Zaga

    Or just call him P DD or P Diddy. Whatever ill take both. He’s almost like Rubio even better. And he has no interest in scoring the basketball.

  5. Gideon Zaga

    Like they say there is nothing he can’t do and there is also nothing he wont do. So there u go. He is a net positive at the end of the day and that counts for something. Plus his bromance with Novak is refreshing, kind of a white men cant jump thing lmao

    d-mar:
    If anyone ever says to you “Hey, I don’t follow the NBA much, what’s up with this JR Smith dude?” show them the sequence from last night’s game where he commits a horrible turnover on one end, hustles his ass off to get back on D and make a sensational block on LeBron on the other, and then on a 2 on 1 fast break pushes Chalmers in the back for no apparent reason. JR in a nutshell, love him or hate him.

  6. Bruno Almeida

    jon abbey:
    haha, JR Smith “eschewed fall-away 22-footers for fall-away 21-footers”, nice!!

    how hard is it to have at least slightly better shot selection if you’re Smith or Melo, I’ll never understand this. just because you can make any shot doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try to take better ones.

    yeah, that’s irritating, they could be so much better.

  7. Peter87

    ” the defensive communication and rotations seemed logarithmically improved.”

    This would be a very small improvement…’exponentially improved’ would be a large one. Not sure if you were being ironic or if it was just an error.

  8. Frank

    Wow – just read that Bill Pennington article in the Times – what a depressing piece. Someone should go check on that guy and make sure he’s not on a ledge somewhere.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/sports/basketball/knicks-begin-season-devoid-of-jeremy-lin-and-youth.html?_r=0

    I wonder what he thinks today after the thrashing we just gave to the Heat.

    The great thing (and hopefully not eventually divisive thing) about this team is its depth. We had 7 guys play 20+ minutes and 2 other guys play 15+ min, and all those are real NBA rotation players (Kurt Thomas +/- I guess). And that’s with Amare, Camby, and Shumpert all not playing. We literally have 12 or 13 guys on this team that would be a solid part of ANY team’s 8 or 9 man rotation, including Miami, OKC, etc. I know people are worried about the age of the older guys on the team, but I feel pretty comfortable that all of them can play 15-20 min at a high level without falling apart.

  9. Robtachi

    Bruno Almeida:
    a nice article on Carmelo is up at Grantland:

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/41776/courtvision-is-this-what-carmelo-anthonys-prime-looks-like

    That article just further illustrates that, for the good of all parties involved and the Knicks as a whole, STAT’s role needs to be drastically altered so that he is no longer preventing Melo from operating in the spots he is most efficient and dangerous. Melo is simply a greater asset than Amare in that facet of the offense.

  10. d-mar

    Frank:
    Wow – just read that Bill Pennington article in the Times – what a depressing piece. Someone should go check on that guy and make sure he’s not on a ledge somewhere.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/sports/basketball/knicks-begin-season-devoid-of-jeremy-lin-and-youth.html?_r=0

    I wonder what he thinks today after the thrashing we just gave to the Heat.

    The great thing (and hopefully not eventually divisive thing) about this team is its depth. We had 7 guys play 20+ minutes and 2 other guys play 15+ min, and all those are real NBA rotation players (Kurt Thomas +/- I guess).And that’s with Amare, Camby, and Shumpert all not playing.We literally have 12 or 13 guys on this team that would be a solid part of ANY team’s 8 or 9 man rotation, including Miami, OKC, etc. I know people are worried about the age of the older guys on the team, but I feel pretty comfortable that all of them can play 15-20 min at a high level without falling apart.

    i read that article also, pure gloom and doom and acting like we were on our way to a championship with Jeremy Lin and Josh Harrelson. Someone from the Knicks front office must be screwing the wife of a NY Times exec, because their coverage so far this season has been so pro-Brooklyn anti-Knicks that’s it’s almost a joke. Even the main piece on the Heat game had to use the phrase “at least for one night” to qualify any positive statements.

  11. Robtachi

    d-mar: i read that article also, pure gloom and doom and acting like we were on our way to a championship with Jeremy Lin and Josh Harrelson. Someone from the Knicks front office must be screwing the wife of a NY Times exec, because their coverage so far this season has been so pro-Brooklyn anti-Knicks that’s it’s almost a joke. Even the main piece on the Heat game had to use the phrase “at least for one night” to qualify any positive statements.

    Sounds like run-of-the-mill Knicks fatalism to me, really.

  12. Bruno Almeida

    Robtachi: That article just further illustrates that, for the good of all parties involved and the Knicks as a whole, STAT’s role needs to be drastically altered so that he is no longer preventing Melo from operating in the spots he is most efficient and dangerous.Melo is simply a greater asset than Amare in that facet of the offense.

    yeah… Grunwald’s best job ever would be finding a suitor for Amare on a trade, but that’s not happening unfortunately.

  13. mokers

    d-mar: i read that article also, pure gloom and doom and acting like we were on our way to a championship with Jeremy Lin and Josh Harrelson. Someone from the Knicks front office must be screwing the wife of a NY Times exec, because their coverage so far this season has been so pro-Brooklyn anti-Knicks that’s it’s almost a joke. Even the main piece on the Heat game had to use the phrase “at least for one night” to qualify any positive statements.

    Forest City Ranter, principal developer of the Atlantic Rail yards and Barclay center, whose CEO is also minority owner of the Nets just happened to be the co-developer and is co-owner of the NY Times Building. It’s not exactly MSG Network and James Dolan type of thing, but I don’t think you can call them a disinterested 3rd party.

  14. mokers

    Bruno Almeida: yeah… Grunwald’s best job ever would be finding a suitor for Amare on a trade, but that’s not happening unfortunately.

    If there was a player with a sufficiently terrible contract, it could be done. It would probably be somebody who was old or injured so the real problem is if it would actually be a net plus. It would be much easier to get Amare to buy-in to the second unit. At this point, it’s a necessity for his health as much as it is for overall team make-up.

  15. johnlocke

    Re-watched the game and some quick observations:
    JR: As much as JR makes boneheaded plays — he was a GREAT passer last night. And he loves looking for our most efficient three point shooter.

    Prigioni: This dude is a smart basketball player. Loved the play where he tells Novakaine…JJ style…that he’s about to set a screen and that he should curl off it for a three.

    Kidd: The guy is an excellent defensive player. Don’t know if he’ll shoot the three like he did, but he is a smart passer. There was one sequence where both Novak and Chandler were open. He faked the pass to Novak, Miami bit and that left Chandler open for an alley-oop. Pick your poison.

    Brew: Dude can play D. Moves very well of the ball. Nice to see him hit a few jumpers.

    Melo: Amazing first quarter. Fell into Melo habits of long mid-range jump shots after the first quarter. Take the ball to the basket and/or shoot threes Melo!!!

    Felton: Quick, good dribbler and didn’t force it. Very good game!

    Overall: We won’t shoot the three the way we did last night, but what should/will/I hope– carry over is the aggressive defense and the ball movement/passing. We still need a post-presence and Melo should play out of there more often.

  16. ruruland

    Most important takeaways from last night.

    Offensively: The difference Raymond Felton makes on this team compared to the one that played the Heat last year is hard to quantify. All the difference in the world might not suffice as a strong enough description. The Knicks ran high pnr with more wrinkles and motion than MDA’s systems. Those who followed the off-season and pre-season knew this would be the case.

    Felton is one of the best penetrators in the game of basketball. I’d argue he’s a better pure penetrator than Lin. When he got inside the free throw line, the Heat’s excellent help defense recovered, but there isn’t a defense fast enough to help the helper on 3 3pt shooters when the help defense starts below the 3pt line. Raymond Felton is the reason the Knicks carved up the Heat defense. Because the Heat could not contain his penetration in the first half, they started trapping the high pnr in the second. The Knicks have the personnel to defeat that approach just the same.

    Why do the Knicks have a chance to be an elite offensive team?
    they have a great pick and roll penetrator, a great roller (and potentially three great rollers), the best spot up shooting duo in the NBA, and at least four other average to good spot-up shooters.

    Spot-up shots are among the most efficient in the game, and are a byproduct of penetration just as cuts are (the most efficient half-court shot).

    But it’s not just the shooting surrounding Felton’s penetration that will make the Knicks offense great. Kidd is a perfect complement to Felton’s penetration. We talked about this months ago when regulars scoffed at his signing, but people whom I respect believe Kidd is the best swing passer they’ve ever seen. That may not sound like much, but the speed and precision with which Kidd makes the pass off penetration, which includes the ability to drive 5-10 feet and create another rotation, nearly always exploit s the holes in the defense a guy like Felton creates…

  17. ruruland

    So you have a great penetrator, a great roller, a passer like Kidd, you also have what is likely to be the best spot-up shooting duo in the game (Smith/Novak).

    But it gets much better. The reason Brewer works in a lineup with kidd and Felton is not because he’s even a mediocre spot-up shooter. But he’s a GREAT cutter (and as we saw last night, Kidd knows how to find cutters against rotation) and a very good passer.

    Penetration in the middle of the court opens up Brewer’s skill sets — limited but proficient.
    Then there is Melo. Man is Melo going to put up great numbers in this situation.

    Of Melo’s 31 total shot attempts (28 shots, 3 drives that resulted in free throws) 15 were of the spot up variety. It’s safe to say Melo has never had 15 spot-up shots in one NBA game in his career.

    As I’ve talked about the last two years here, the biggest reason Melo’s efficiency has been middling much of his career is because of the proportion of isolation and post-up shots he takes. It’s typically higher than anyone else in the league not named Kobe. Last year he had a higher proportion of those shots than Kobe.

    Now, he’s an elite player in both respects, but both shot types are considerably less efficient than off-ball shots. Even the greatest isolation players are less efficient than average spot-up shooters. ((You run isolation to get double teams and penetration, which can’t be created unless you are a threat to score. And to be a threat to score, you must score)

    Melo took such a high percentage of these shots because the team surrounding him lacked the dribble penetration to get him into off-ball situations.

    Melo was also put into the pick and roll and off-screens last night. He was extremely efficient the last two season and the Olympics in the former.

    Even if Melo puts up the relatively poor numbers in these situations (he won’t), his efficiency will increase simply by the virtue of decreasing post-ups and isolations……

  18. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland’s arguments do make a lot of sense, I agree with everything you said about Melo and his efficiency, but will he actually do what you’re saying and for a full season?

    I really hope so, specially if it’s true that his conditioning is better and he’s actually showing up early and working out a lot.

  19. ruruland

    Here is what’s so beautiful about how Melo fits into the offense.

    He’s not only going to get a lot more open shots, a lot more 3s, but a lot more driving opportunities against rotation. He blew by Lebron quite a few times last night, and Lebron might be the best close and recover defender in the game.

    The officials were not blowing their whistles last night. On most nights, at least four of Melo’s drives would have resulted in a foul call.

    that was a 15-18 ft kind of game for Melo last night, which would have put him around 40 pts and 65TS, even if you count all of the easy non-foul misses he had at the rim (and let’s remember he was facing Lebron and Battier)

    Expect those kinds of numbers from Melo. Huge, very efficient.

    But more importantly, because there was such diversity in attack created by the high pnr, (which set up JR’s passing), it will allow Melo to post-up and isolate when he has a mismatch.

    Melo had 9 post-ups/isolations last night. The vast majority of them were against Lewis or Wade. Mismatches, in other words. Now, Melo scored 40 points twice last year against Miami primarily using those two methods. He’s put up multiple games of 40+ pts against Battier in isolation.

    But as we know, scoring at a high rate on those plays over the course of the season is not possible. it’s too difficult, and takes too much energy.

    By changing the offense, changing the shot distribution and putting Melo into a lot more open spot-ups, you are not only allowing him to save energy for defense, but you’re allowing him to pick and choose when to isolate — which will make him even more efficient in those situations.

  20. jon abbey

    I still think the offense is going to struggle many nights, but I think that might be OK with the D we should have night in and night out.

  21. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: ruruland’s arguments do make a lot of sense, I agree with everything you said about Melo and his efficiency, but will he actually do what you’re saying and for a full season?I really hope so, specially if it’s true that his conditioning is better and he’s actually showing up early and working out a lot.

    There will be times when the offense gets bogged down, guys get tired legs, and Melo will be asked to isolate more.

    But this offense is set up to feature him as a weakside attack player much of the time. Karl tried to get play Melo in that role when he could, the problem was that he never had the guard who was good enough in pnr (Iverson never wanted to be)

    Melo scored 39 against in the first game against the Lakers in the WCF, coming off the weakside. Because Billups is a poor pnr player, the Lakers adjusted quickly.

    When Melo played alongside Lin last year, as I spent hours documenting this off-season, his shot distribution changed entirely.

    Woodson is a smart guy. And he’s not a stubborn. We haven’t even seen the sets that get Melo quick-post-ups that are cleared out. Woodson will use those with Melo, Amar’e and even Chandler when those guys have a distinct advantage, which will be somewhat frequently (but not against Lebron, and not when the high pnr isn;t being defended)

  22. ruruland

    jon abbey: I still think the offense is going to struggle many nights, but I think that might be OK with the D we should have night in and night out.

    That is the conventional wisdom I think because last year was so ugly prior to Lin in 4 out, prior to Woodson. But for all the reasons above, the Knicks offense is entirely different from last season.

    It’s much closer to the MDA offense from two years ago, the best in the NBA post-Melo. And that offense didn’t have two 650-700 TS guys, either.

    the Knicks should significantly reduce their turnovers, improve their shooting efficiency and get more offensive rebounds from last season.

    If they stay healthy it’s very difficult to imagine them being outside the top 10.

    Last night was the second most efficient offensive game of the season so far. I think they’ll be top 5-7 with an outside chance at top 3.

    And Cavan is a wonderful writer who knows basketball, but Kidd is a darn good defender at the 2-guard. He’s an excellent team defender, and go back and watch each possession he had with Wade. Kidd is a HOFer who still does a lot of HOF things. With the right players around him, he’s an incredible role player. The Knicks have those players.

  23. Bruno Almeida

    I would like to see Melo much closer to the paint this season, and we really have a chance to work it out… a Felton / J.R / Novak / Melo / Chandler lineup could be deadly on the right team…

    the thing that excites me the most is the possibility to run out a reserve lineup with Kidd, Shumpert, Brewer, Amare and Camby… that would be the best defensive lineup among reserves in the entire NBA, I’m really excited at having Brewer and Shumpert on this team.

  24. Bruno Almeida

    by the way, Daryl Morey really shut me up with this last batch of moves… Asik had 19 rebounds and he’s an incredible pick setter, a must have on a team with Lin and Harden…

    if he can manage to package some of their young assets to a team for someone like Paul Millsap or Anderson Varejão, for example, they will be scary.

  25. yellowboy90

    I haven’t re-watched the game yet but it looked like a lot of sets was initiated by the wings instead of the pg.

    Also, what will Brewer be when he is fit and healthy and although he is not a good shooter he is still looking to attack on offense and that will help as the season goes on when he is matched up against other teams 4s.

  26. AvonBarksdale

    I strongly share your enthusiasm. Also believe it will help him with his perimeter defense, significantly altering shots due to :

    1. pure distraction
    2. inability to see the basket
    3. constant reminder of “new jack swing” joints
    4. fear of nino brown retaliation for made shot
    5. baby birds that possibly live inside it
    6. set the “afro” pick jokes
    7. jealousy cause lebron is going bald
    8. wind resistance
    9. pity?
    10. def. increased swagger.

    Robtachi:
    I am really, really excited for where Shump is going with that hi-top fade.

  27. jon abbey

    Robtachi:
    I am really, really excited for where Shump is going with that hi-top fade.

    so ruling, and the two outfits I’ve seen with it have also been awesome. I have never been attracted to a man in my life, but SHUMP SHUMP is just constant gold in terms of entertainment value.

  28. maxwell_3g

    the dream senarion is that we get off to an amazing start in the next 6-8 weeks before amare comes back. if we are playing great, there may be enough mainstream public sentiment and upper management awareness to demand that amare comes off the bench, whether he likes it or not. i like amare playing with jr, kidd, shump, novak, camby, etc a lot better than him getting in melo’s way and allowing first team bigs to torch him. and maybe being sent to the bench will finally ignite the fire that convince him to play d. i love a win for the sake of a win, but these early season wins, expecially against the heat, serve 2 purposes. one is the standings and the second, i pray, is to send amare to the 6-7th man role that he deserves at this point

  29. johnlocke

    Just. Won’t. Happen.

    maxwell_3g:
    the dream senarion is that we get off to an amazing start in the next 6-8 weeks before amare comes back.if we are playing great, there may be enough mainstream public sentiment and upper management awareness to demand that amare comes off the bench, whether he likes it or not.i like amare playing with jr, kidd, shump, novak, camby, etc a lot better than him getting in melo’s way and allowing first team bigs to torch him.and maybe being sent to the bench will finally ignite the fire that convince him to play d.i love a win for the sake of a win, but these early season wins, expecially against the heat, serve 2 purposes.one is the standings and the second, i pray, is to send amare to the 6-7th man role that he deserves at this point

  30. chrisk06811

    was i the only one a little surprised in garbage time that Jorts didn’t punch Mike Miller in the face, steal the ball and pass it to Prignoni?

  31. ruruland

    Here we go: At Woodson’s pregame news conference Friday, he addressed the Knicks’ puzzling situation at off guard by saying he had three point guards (Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni). Woodson started Felton and Kidd together in the season opener, and all three facilitated crisp ball movement that consistently left Heat defenders appearing a step or two slow.

    “Offensively, the ball flowed,” Woodson said after the win. “It moved side to side, and guys were making the plays. I thought Jason and Raymond were great early for us in terms of getting the ball moved.”

    Kidd, who is in his 19th N.B.A. season, said: “Sometimes, it’s all right to make an extra pass. If you get criticized for passing the ball too much, it’s not a bad thing in this league.”

    Anthony said he did not think there was a smarter player in the league than Kidd, and Woodson praised Kidd by saying: “I’m glad that he’s on our ball club. And a lot of our players are going to benefit when he’s on the floor.”

    Woodson added: “He’s unique. I wouldn’t call him a freak, but he is unique in his own way. He’s one of those players that comes along in a lifetime and can play forever, and he can walk away on his own terms.”

    The Heat’s Shane Battier may have offered the Knicks the most lavish praise of all by saying: “They’re doing things very similar to what we’re doing. We’re trying to create space on the floor. And when you have shooters and really good attackers, that’s the best way to play basketball.”

    Battier said Tyson Chandler (the one Knicks starter who did not hit a 3-pointer) was a huge key to their success.

    “That’s what you try to do,” Battier said. “Chandler’s a key to open 3-point shooting because when he rolls to the basket, he really draws attention. Because when he rolls to the basket, you have to put a body on him. And if you’re not precise in your defensive spacing, you’re going to give up open looks.”

  32. Kurt

    I agree with all of the above observations. Just a few additions:
    1. COACHING! You can tell from watching the game that the Knicks were well coached. Best example of this was a coach who actually made adjustments. in. the. game. When Miami started trapping the pick and roll, the Knicks adjusted, leading to 4-3 situations. For those of you who have better memory than I do, did D’Antoni ever make similar adjustments within a game when the pick and roll was trapped? For the most part, everyone seemed to be running actual plays and staying with the program, another sign of good coaching. Even on a bad night, the Heat has athletic defenders who trap well, so to make them look slow like that requires great ball movement and coaching. During D’Antoni’s tenure, I can’t think of any clicking on all cylinders games against good defenses other than the two years ago home game with Boston and one game against Chicago. Am I missing any others?

    2. Novak doing some pick and pop and moving without the ball. There was one time when he did a pick for Melo when Lewis was covering him. This led to a switch of Lewis onto Melo, leading to a mismatch. If this is used in the future, it’s a good antidote to a defense parking their worst defender onto Novak and just having him stay there. There was another beautiful play in which Novak passed on one corner, and a pick and roll on the same side made his man lose track of him. Novak went to the opposite corner and drained the corner 3.

    3. Melo as the roll man. This was another antidote to trapping the ball, since he’s a better handler and passer than Chandler. I remember one side pick and roll with Melo as the roll man and Novak in the corner. Novak’s man had to leave him to help on Anthony, leading to a corner 3 for Novak.

    If this level of ball movement keeps up, they’ll be really efficient even on a less stellar shooting night.

  33. ruruland

    Nice post. Going back and watching the game again, I would give less credit to Felton, not quite as effusive in my praise in terms of his overall penetration, only because as Kurt mentioned, the Heat blitzed virtually all pnrs.

    Felton split that trap at least 6 times by my count, which stood out ot me because last year’s pgs simply weren’t capable of making it. HE also probed quite a bit in semi-transition, and consistently made smart passes against the trap.

    It’ll be interesting to see if teams start playing under screens with Felton and Chandler pnr, not so much because Felton is a poor shooter, but because the Knicks offense is virtually unstoppable in said 4-3 against recovering rotation.

    While the Knicks shot a high percentage on 3s, theymissed a ton of close shots, and I thought Miami was playing its standard high-energy defense once the ball got past the half-court line (transition was another story).

  34. Z-man

    Just got power back! Truly enjoyed the game, had a good feeling about it beforehand. The key for me was that late in the game when I was getting nervous, I suddenly realized that we had JKidd on the team and he would not let us blow this game.

    This team can be a monstrous defensive menace. I loved when JR barrelled through a screen (Haslem?) chasing Allen, Van Gundy noted it as well, saying that even though it was a foul, you like to see that as a coach. Also saw JR and Melo took hard swipes at LeBron and Wade when they cradled the ball on drives. Felton and Prigs went hard over screens as well. Even Novak looked engaged on D. Damn, how long has it been since we had an intimidating defensive team? That shit is awesome!

  35. d-mar

    Stuck in a hotel room in NJ with no MSG, still don’t have power at home.

    Any suggestions for watching online?

    Thanks all, go NY go!

  36. Juany8

    d-mar:
    Stuck in a hotel room in NJ with no MSG, still don’t have power at home.

    Any suggestions for watching online?

    Thanks all, go NY go!

    nba league pass has a free online trial going, don’t even need credit card info

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