Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Knicks MIKE D’ANTONI, Blazers 79

Portland Trail Blazers 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
121 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 25 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 16 PTS | +15

Well, he didn’t have to wear a poncho. Or a bullet proof vest. Or sunglasses. Fans didn’t take to tossing buffalo nickels or grips of pigeon shit at him. He wasn’t taken out by a CIA agent doubling as a City Dancer, nor fitted with a pair of cement shoes and sent for a swim off the Tappan Zee. Chalk it up to law of averages, rage, or guilt, but Melo came out a man with a purpose, hitting from distance, willingly dishing, and seeming at least peripherally engaged on defense. Like most of his fellow starters, the minutes weren’t much, but the effort and engagement — minus the lack of bounds — were decidedly so.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 25 MIN | 8-10 FG | 1-3 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +13

For a guy clearly still reeling from the tragic and untimely passing of his older brother, you know D’Antoni’s departure hit Stat – who spent the majority of his formative years under the coach’s Phoenix tutelage – harder than anyone else. Truth told, part of me wants to believe Stat held his teammates close in the pregame huddle, and – a tear or two to match the one mournfully tatted to his cheek – implored the guys to win this one for Mike. He certainly played like it.

Tyson Chandler, C 26 MIN | 4-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +27

After letting LaMarcus Aldridge beat him to the boards for a put-back dunk early in the first, Chandler reacted as if LAA had stolen his vintage Schwinn, locking down like a broke prison thereafter. Going forward, it’s hard to imagine Chandler being anything less than a proxy skipper; the go-between for a coach who will need all the help he can get rallying the troops.

Landry Fields, G 22 MIN | 0-6 FG | 1-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | +14

Things were already going pretty poorly for Fields when, on a late third quarter sprint to the tin, Marcus Camby tomahawk chopped him in mid air. At that moment, I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if one of the cameramen just rolled Landry’s severed head back onto the court. As it turns out, Fields was OK, even if his stat line ended up decidedly less so. Most alarming was his inability to connect on his usually-reliable-jump-stop-to-one-hander-mid-lane; in fact, he even air-balled one. You have to think D’Antoni’s abrupt departure hit Fields – a guy humble in roots, words, and actions – pretty close to home.

Jeremy Lin, PG 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 6 PTS | +16

Next to Fields, Lin’s dearth of playing time was the most obvious guard-changing move made by the newly minted Woodson. Maybe the two-headed point guard idea really was a card Woody took to holding in his back pocket. Maybe it’s good to give Lin – clearly drained in the wake of Linsanity’s torrid wave – a little bit of rest, even if the team’s lead is precariously early. As for his more robust statistical contributions (points, assists, turnovers) coming out to 6-6-6? Well, That’s why Jesus ain’t my co-avatar.

Mike Bibby, PG 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 PTS | +13

Modern science never ceases to amaze me.

Baron Davis, PG 18 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 10 AST | 4 PTS | +13

By a show of hands, who thinks D’Antoni’s ouster owes its seeds to a coup spearheaded by Woodson and Boom Dizzle? My goodness that’s a lot of digits! The shot is still crooked, but 10 dimes in 15 minutes? It’s hard to knock that – particularly given their laser-guided accuracy. Give Davis credit for going from “will never walk again” to “serviceable NBA point guard” in a little over a month.

Jared Jeffries, PF 14 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +4

Missing Jared Jeffries is a little like missing that ex-girlfriend who was never really that good in the sack, but who constantly made you delicious dinners and scrubbed your bathtub, even if you didn’t know the bathtub needed scrubbing. For the record, in this equation the charge-take is the really good %@#!$&*@!$%.

Steve Novak, SF 20 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +24

I’m assuming that – despite their weed laws and homeless camps and general communistic behavior – Portland does in fact have access to electricity, and can therefore view scouting reports on a giant screen. As such, I’m fairly certain the Blazers understood the bright red, 72-point font bullet point that read DO NOT LET STEVE NOVAK HAVE CLEAN LOOKS ANYWHERE BEYOND 18 FEET! So you can probably go ahead and mark Novakaine’s Alfordian display up as exhibit 93-Q for why the Blazers have basically mailed Nate McMillan’s job in on his behalf.

J.R. Smith, SG 23 MIN | 8-18 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 23 PTS | +27

Seeing the box score prior to penning this writeup was, honest to Lin, my first introduction to the fact that the guy who for almost two weeks now couldn’t throw his own puke onto a floor actually led our team in scoring — and came within three makes from distance of breaking the Knicks’ single-game three-point shooting record. Who knew that all it would take was planting a gigantic, body-less ass in J.R.’s apartment to get him out of his recent, anvil-shot funk.

Jerome Jordan, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +3

Jordan’s most crucial contribution? Giving Carmelo Anthony a better view of the game, when the letter booted the former — like literally made him move — to the end of the bench in the second quarter.

Iman Shumpert, G 26 MIN | 4-7 FG | 6-10 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +28

Like more than a few of his ‘Bocker brethren, Shump appeared out for blood – and blood vengeance – in the firing’s fallout. Based on some of his pre-game interviews, you can tell the rook truly admired D’Antoni, and appreciated how far the old coach had brought him since being booed at the Prude on Draft Night. And while his late game antics – SUCH NASTY DUNKZ! – could be perceived by many to be “unsportsmanlike,” I prefer to give Shump the benefit of the doubt in calling it a true tribute.

Josh Harrellson, F 7 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +13

Given the “show” put on by Luke Babbitt (his dad may or may not let him drive slow on the driveway on Saturdays), I thought for sure Woody would send in Jorts for a little bit of the Ultra Violence. Harrellson stopped just short of turning Babbitt’s hair into a trophy, but he did hit a straight-away three, which by my count earns him a free plate of hushpuppies at INSERT NEW YORK DINER HERE.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Alright, I’m just gonna come out and say it: Portland is clearly in full-on sabotage / tank / mutiny mode. It goes beyond the careless pass that’s just a little too careless, or pulling a shot’s string so hard one of the rafter lights goes off. Speaking as someone who’s seen that movie before, Portland’s utter lack of urgency, hustle, or court awareness was so egregious as to be staged. Which we can read one of two ways: 1) Nate McMillan invested all of his team’s pension money in M.F. Global, or 2) The Knicks lucked into the best practice session in the history of basketball.
  2. Right, who misses Raymond Felton again?
  3. Yes, it was a blowout. Yes, the Knicks smelled hippie blood dripping about a Blazers squad that had lost 8 of its last 11 heading into tonight’s lame duck coach showdown, and exploited it. But something about Mike Woodson’s rotations — playing Boom Dizzle a few more minutes, sitting the stars when appropriate — just seemed, well, different. It’s far too early to say whether this kind of shuffling will be come a trend, but you have to wonder how long Woodson’s had this kind of unique rotational philosophy tucked in his just-a-little-too-perfect goatee.
  4. Look, count me in the camp of those who thought D’Antoni’s firing / resignation / mutually-decided-upon departure was way too premature. But something about the way Mike Woodson ran across the court to check on Landry Fields after he’d nearly had his head caved in by Marcus Camby’s steel cable arm, well, it said something. I’m not entirely sure what, exactly, except to say that it was moving, in a weird way. Yes, if Fields had laid there and bled for, say, another minute, I’m sure D’Antoni would’ve marched over, arms folded and mustache dancing to the rhythm of the gum, to make sure he was OK. But Woodson seemed genuinely concerned — scared, even. Take it for what it’s worth, but that really got me.
  5. The “honeymoon” effect is a well-known one in sports. But little has been done in the way of research to show what truly — at the psychological, even physiological level — motivates players to come cold-blooded into battle in the immediate wake of a coach’s firing. Whatever the true impetus, I’ll be honest: I’ve spent the last 90 minutes trying to convince myself that the Knicks , led by Stat, spent the pre-game huddle imploring one another to win this one for Mike, to play the way he always wanted them to play — the way they, in their hear of hearts, truly wanted to play — but, because of the eyes and the expectations and the lights, or for whatever reason, simply couldn’t.

71 comments on “Knicks MIKE D’ANTONI, Blazers 79

  1. ROUGH

    We need no dithyrambs; this is just one game against a non-NBA team that the “Portland Fail Blazers” are at this point. Let’s only hope that the coach change, independently of the reasons and dirty games behind it, will lead to some steady progress.

  2. A Voice of Reason

    The Blazers are an NBA team. Sure they have stunk for a bit, but they have NBA players and were capable of a better effort tonight. The Bobcats beat the Thunder this year, so I really don’t care about them being bad right now. We were great, and made things very difficult for them. They will win more games this year. We won this game, they didn’t lose it. We blitzed them from the tip. After six straight losses, the propensity to be negative is truly non fan-like.

  3. TheXman

    Looking at the Bucks schedule, I can’t see how we can keep pace with them. It would hurt to finish 9th and no lottery pick, unless by some miracle we land in the top 4.

  4. bluemax

    Just for the hell of it took a look at the buckc schedule for the remainder of the season. hate to say this, but it looks twice as easy as ours.

    Just don’t see how we can make the playoffs unless we really start kicking ass, especially after that monta Ellis trade they just made.

    It looks like we will need something like a 14-9 record at least. and that is playing the likes of orlando, Chi, Indy….good luck witht that!

  5. hoolahoop

    Feels like a death in the family and everybody’s out celebrating…and the guy who committed the killing is throwing the party.

    So, as it turns out Melo can play Dantoni style, unselfishly . . . but only when it selfishly serves him to do so. Imagine if the ball stopper was all about ME-lo tonight. Booooo.

  6. KnicksFanInVA

    From Stephen A. Smith’s column on ESPN:
    “In coaches’ system, the point guard is the man,” one Knicks player told me. “He runs the show. So long as coach is happy with him, the point guard can do whatever the hell he wants, when he wants, to whomever he wants, including the stars. Even if the dude was just in the D-League around Christmas time.”

    Wonder who “the player” was?

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/7688873/new-york-knicks-mike-dantoni-was-victim-own-stubbornness

  7. Jim Cavan Post author

    KnicksFanInVA: Wonder who “the player” was?

    Are you suggesting it was Melo? If so, that’s fine, but there are also reports suggesting Anthony said Lin was his “favorite player to play with” in terms of what they might accomplish given time to mesh. I’m not saying it’s one or the other, but I’m wondering in all seriousness who Smith’s source really was.

  8. limpidgimp

    hoolahoop:
    Feels like a death in the family and everybody’s out celebrating…and the guy who committed the killing is throwing the party.

    So, as it turns out Melo can play Dantoni style, unselfishly . . . but only when it selfishly serves him to do so. Imagine if the ball stopper was all about ME-lo tonight. Booooo.

    Tonight’s game was like post-argument sex to bang out tensions.
    They’re smiling and having fun but the day after, it’s still the same people in the relationship. Albeit with some new positions to try together.

  9. Uptown Ny knicks fan

    Mr.primrose gone we win by 42 …. Thanks for leaving u knew nobody had respect for u 8op

  10. limpidgimp

    Stephen A. Smith’s article is yet another example of why he’s an obnoxious bastard. He reads between the lines and does “he said, she said” ventriloquism journalism to channel his preachy drivel.

  11. TheRant

    I’m starting to respect James Dolan a bit more.

    I hadn’t realized this, but here is a guy who has lived in the New York City area for the bulk of his life and yet has never been stabbed, clubbed to death, or has had the crap beaten out of him as far as I can tell.

    That’s impressive.

  12. Juany8

    Only on KB could people feel bad about a 40 pt win after 6 straight losses lol. Portland isn’t good, but they still managed to blow out both New Orleans and Washington in the past 5 games, something we’ve struggled with this year. Beating just about any team by 40 is an accomplishment, even Heat-Bobcats at Miami would not be expected to be half that lopsided. Also calling Melo selfish because he played well after D’antoni left is (to me) indisputable proof that you have a personal problem with Melo, which is ridiculous considering you’ve never met or talked to the guy. He’s even had a couple of former teammates stand up for him when he’s been attacked lately, I don’t get why everyone assumes he’s some asshole. It is entirely possible he’s just not as good as basketball as you’d like him to be, you don’t have to make personal attacks against the man’s character to prove a point.

  13. bobneptune

    KnicksFanInVA:
    From Stephen A. Smith’s column on ESPN:
    “In coaches’ system, the point guard is the man,” one Knicks player told me. “He runs the show. So long as coach is happy with him, the point guard can do whatever the hell he wants, when he wants, to whomever he wants, including the stars. Even if the dude was just in the D-League around Christmas time.”

    Wonder who “the player” was?

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/7688873/new-york-knicks-mike-dantoni-was-victim-own-stubbornness

    boy , reading that article steven a. smith comes awfully close to crossing the racist line:

    “…D’Antoni never believed Jeremy Lin shooting the ball more than Stoudemire was a problem. He never fathomed how insulting it was to Anthony for Lin to literally turn away from the Knicks’ $85 million forward, refusing at times to give him the ball.”

    let me get this straight…. lin’s TS% and eFG% are superior to both carmelo and amar’e, but it is supposed to be some sort of crime against humanity for him to take shots?

    that line reads to me like, ‘ what a pair of balls that little chinaman has to ‘dis our “STARRRRRRRRRRRS” like that’.

  14. max fisher-cohen

    Don’t worry, bob, Stephen A. will be proven a fool again, and again he will scream really loud and write nonsensical articles until people are so irritated and confused that they lose the will to challenge him. It’s one of those things you can count on, sort of like the Energizer Bunny.

  15. bobneptune

    Juany8: I don’t get why everyone assumes he’s some asshole.

    how about these 2 reasons:

    1… last year while under contract to denver, he shot his way out of dodge city sabotaging the nuggets for 50 or so games while happily accepting their checks every other week.

    2… according to multiple sources today, he intentional sabotaged the knick offense he was supposed to run to kneecap his coach and lin.

    that’s sort of the quintessential definition of a self absorbed asshat to me.

  16. Z

    jon abbey:
    biggest margin of victory by a coach in his debut with a team in NBA history.

    Didn’t Van Gundy beat the ’96 Bulls by 30 points in his debut. (I know that’s less than 40, but since the subject of impressive coaching debuts came up– the ’96 Bulls! (nothing against the ’12 Trailblazers)

  17. BigBlueAL

    I finally totally agree with a Frank Isola tweet:

    “Hope this works out for Mike Woodson. But if Knicks make a change the man for job – I know it, u know it, Knicks know it – is Jeff Van Gundy”

    I know some here dont like JVG but if he somehow gets re-hired in the summer (Hahn surprisingly mentioned him as a candidate too) to me it would be the best day in this franchise’s history since June 11, 1999 (the day the Knicks eliminated the Pacers to reach the NBA Finals). I would say the same if Phil Jackson was hired too but to me he would be a short-term fix while JVG I would hope would be the coach for a long time.

    But for now I hope Woodson gets the team to the playoffs and if neither Phil Jackson or JVG are hired in the summer than by all means keep Woodson if he can at the least get this team to the playoffs this season.

  18. BigBlueAL

    Z: Didn’t Van Gundy beat the ’96 Bulls by 30 points in his debut. (I know that’s less than 40, but since the subject of impressive coaching debuts came up– the ’96 Bulls! (nothing against the ’12 Trailblazers)

    He actually lost his debut, believe it was in Philly. That was his 1st win as Knicks head coach and it came in his 2nd game.

  19. Ben R

    That was the least satisfying Knick blowout ever. Frustrating to see the Knicks buy into D’Antoni’s offense the day he gets fired. I wonder if Woodson will stick with this offense or go back to the iso-based slow the ball down offense he had in Atlanta. I hope he keeps D’Antoni’s offense at least to some extent.

    I’m still holding out hope that we trade Melo tomorrow. Even Dolan would move Melo for Howard, he is the 2nd best player in the NBA. I know there is more chance I find a winning lottery ticket on the way to work tomorrow but I still have to hold out hope.

  20. 2FOR18

    Well, it’s all on Melo’s shoulders now, so hopefully he can carry the weight. It’s a shame it had to take a coup for him to play hard and unselfish, but that’s the world we live in. They have the talent to do some damage in the playoffs if they can avoid Miami in the 1st round. Maybe Woodson will take more advantage of their depth and they can wear teams down.
    Time to move on. Remember, we root for the uniform, not the players.

  21. Z

    BigBlueAL: He actually lost his debut, believe it was in Philly.That was his 1st win as Knicks head coach and it came in his 2nd game.

    Oh, right. It was his MSG debut. I remember going to that game with very low expectations (I was really just going so that I could say I saw the greatest team of all-time play). It was mind-boggling seeing Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman all sat out the 4th quarter while the crowd chanted “Jeff Van Gundy!” (Ah, the mediocre ‘ol days…)

  22. Z

    2FOR18:
    Remember, we root for the uniform, not the players.

    I figure I’m in the minority on this, but I really don’t get this. Maybe in football, where there’s tons of people on a team and they all wear helmets and go by numbers, but that’s why I hate football and love basketball. To me it does matter who is wearing the uniform. They don’t have to be people I’d like to be friends with, but they do have to be people that I feel some kind of connection with. People I want to see succeed.

    That said, just 2 weeks ago I wrote here about how this had suddenly become the most rootable Knick team I could remember: Lin, Baron, Shump, Fields, Tyson, Amar’e, Novak, (even Jeffries, after all these years). Then today comes, and just as suddenly I feel like telling the franchise to go fuck itself. And I didn’t even like D’Antoni.

    I just hate the people that own the uniform so much, I don’t want to root for it. (I’d much rather root for the players).

  23. Juany8

    bobneptune: how about these 2 reasons:

    1… last year while under contract to denver, he shot his way out of dodge city sabotaging the nuggets for 50 or so games while happily accepting their checks every other week.

    2… according to multiple sources today, he intentional sabotaged the knick offense he was supposed to run to kneecap his coach and lin.

    that’s sort of the quintessential definition of a self absorbed asshat to me.

    Thanks for proving my point, it’s good to know you have a bigger problem with Melo wanting to get out of Denver than his former teammates did, and they were kind of in the locker room so I feel they have a slightly better idea of what happened than you did. Lebron is probably the most self absorbed asshole in the league, yet I bet that would never get mentioned if he was on the Knicks. Both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul did the exact same thing Melo did, so either every star in this league is an asshole (so it doesn’t matter). Again, it’s perfectly possible to dislike Carmelo as a basketball player without making unfounded accusations against his character.

  24. Tony Pena

    bobneptune, you need to sleep it off man. Everyone knows SAS is a sensationalist loudmouth. I don’t bother reading any of his stuff, it’s like, watching Indy 500: cars going fast, in circles. I didn’t read that excerpt as the racist comment you’re making it out to be.

  25. ruruland

    2FOR18: Well, it’s all on Melo’s shoulders now, so hopefully he can carry the weight. \ Maybe Woodson will take more advantage of their depth and they can wear teams down.Time to move on. Remember, we root for the uniform, not the players.

    Melo was not averaging a career high in assist percentage prior to the game, nor was he averaging a career low in fga before the game.

    Melo tried to fit in. At times he did. And, so long as he feels accepted and respected by his coach and his team, he will continue to fit into plays that don’t involve him as a first, second, third or even fourth option (as I told you weeks ago, and as he’s done throughout his career). And it’s not as though he wasn’t fitting in before, outside of a few unreturned calls for the ball.

    But when you’re team is in the midst of a losing streak, and he’s been the horse teams have ridden to get out of slumps, and he’s not being allowed to at least try to help his team when they have so much invested in him, helplessly watching as the D-League point guard, the guy Melo helped convinced his coach to play, the guy who that same coach is now using as a wedge to try to move Melo off the team, all because of an unwilligness to integrate Melo into the offense, is throwing the ball into the stands on key possessions down the stretch…..

    Well, maybe there are examples of other players handling that situation better, and there’s never an excuse to not play hard…. but at some point you need to acknowledge that this isn’t black and white. There is another side to this and Melo is not the only one to “blame.”

    Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t just Melo not giving forth his best effort for sake the team, but D’Antonio, too.

    D’Antoni, as it turns out, was the one who quit on his team when they needed him most.

  26. 2FOR18

    Z: I figure I’m in the minority on this, but I really don’t get this. Maybe in football, where there’s tons of people on a team and they all wear helmets and go by numbers, but that’s why I hate football and love basketball. To me it does matter who is wearing the uniform. They don’t have to be people I’d like to be friends with, but they do have to be people that I feel some kind of connection with. People I want to see succeed. That said, just 2 weeks ago I wrote here about how this had suddenly become the most rootable Knick team I could remember: Lin, Baron, Shump, Fields, Tyson, Amar’e, Novak, (even Jeffries, after all these years). Then today comes, and just as suddenly I feel like telling the franchise to go fuck itself. And I didn’t even like D’Antoni. I just hate the people that own the uniform so much, I don’t want to root for it. (I’d much rather root for the players).

    I hear you. The 7 Games of Linsanity was probably the most fun I ever had as a Knicks fan. And the Melo trade blew up a team I enjoyed watching.
    clichefest to follow…..That being said, at the end of the day, it is what it is, so my takeaway is that most of these guys are just large, pampered children (some with better PR people than others), who live in a different universe from us, so what are you gonna do?
    Go team.

  27. Juany8

    Well said ruru, there’s plenty to criticize about Melo’s current play without devolving into senseless bashing of the guy’s character. There were also quite a few other issues with the team, not the least of which was that D’Antoni apparently thought Lin was Steve Nash. This was also a guy who decided he couldn’t find a place for Corey Brewer on a team that played Bill Walker heavy minutes in the playoffs. I’m starting to think it’s possible the front office never got players that fit D’Antoni’s style because D’Antoni himself is a shit evaluator of what he needs. Look how long it took him to give Lin a chance, and this was while he was playing the two worst players in the league at PG. Other than doing well with a core that did just as well without him, it’s starting to become really hard to see what makes D’Antoni an above average coach.

  28. BigBlueAL

    Just saw Woodson’s post-game press conference. Liked what I heard, will be rooting for him to do well.

  29. 2FOR18

    ruruland: Melo was not averaging a career high in assist percentage prior to the game, nor was he averaging a career low in fga before the game. Melo tried to fit in. At times he did. And, so long as he feels accepted and respected by his coach and his team, he will continue to fit into plays that don’t involve him as a first, second, third or even fourth option (as I told you weeks ago, and as he’s done throughout his career). And it’s not as though he wasn’t fitting in before, outside of a few unreturned calls for the ball.But when you’re team is in the midst of a losing streak, and he’s been the horse teams have ridden to get out of slumps, and he’s not being allowed to at least try to help his team when they have so much invested in him, helplessly watching as the D-League point guard, the guy Melo helped convinced his coach to play, the guy who that same coach is now using as a wedge to try to move Melo off the team, all because of an unwilligness to integrate Melo into the offense, is throwing the ball into the stands on key possessions down the stretch…..Well, maybe there are examples of other players handling that situation better, and there’s never an excuse to not play hard…. but at some point you need to acknowledge that this isn’t black and white. There is another side to this and Melo is not the only one to “blame.”Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t just Melo not giving forth his best effort for sake the team, but D’Antonio, too. D’Antoni, as it turns out, was the one who quit on his team when they needed him most.

    Why are you even here? You’re not a Knicks fan, so I don’t get it. Melo played like garbage so he took abuse from Knicks fans. We don’t care about Joey Graham’s TS% when he played in Denver with Melo. We care about his play as a Knick and the team’s won-loss record. He’s been an utter failure…

  30. 2FOR18

    Tony Pena: bobneptune, you need to sleep it off man. Everyone knows SAS is a sensationalist loudmouth. I don’t bother reading any of his stuff, it’s like, watching Indy 500: cars going fast, in circles. I didn’t read that excerpt as the racist comment you’re making it out to be.

    I’m surprised anyone on here even reads ESPN. I haven’t clicked on their site since Simmons left.

  31. 2FOR18

    BigBlueAL: Just saw Woodson’s post-game press conference. Liked what I heard, will be rooting for him to do well.

    Taking Dolan into account, this was for the best. MDA and Dolan could not co-exist. I’m optimistic that they will play hard for Woodson – how many times had you seen Woodson running a timeout while MDA stood off to the side?

  32. Juany8

    2FOR18: Why are you even here?You’re not a Knicks fan, so I don’t get it.Melo played like garbage so he took abuse from Knicks fans.We don’t care about Joey Graham’s TS% when he played in Denver with Melo.We care about his play as a Knick and the team’s won-loss record.He’s been an utter failure…

    I’m not a Knicks fan either (although I’m a lot more depressed about the Rockets than I would be about the Knicks) Why are YOU here if you’re going to try to kick off posters who have every right to be here and who add a different perspective to the general discourse on this site. He makes credible arguments and tries to back it up with hard data, but of course he’s not always right about his conclusions, who is?

  33. ruruland

    Juany8: Well said ruru, there’s plenty to criticize about Melo’s current play without devolving into senseless bashing of the guy’s character. There were also quite a few other issues with the team, not the least of which was that D’Antoni apparently thought Lin was Steve Nash. This was also a guy who decided he couldn’t find a place for Corey Brewer on a team that played Bill Walker heavy minutes in the playoffs. I’m starting to think it’s possible the front office never got players that fit D’Antoni’s style because D’Antoni himself is a shit evaluator of what he needs. Look how long it took him to give Lin a chance, and this was while he was playing the two worst players in the league at PG. Other than doing well with a core that did just as well without him, it’s starting to become really hard to see what makes D’Antoni an above average coach.

    Refusal to play Novak when the Knicks biggest problem in their first 23 games was an inability to make open jump shots.

    Lin doesn’t have anywhere near the kind of success during his 7-1 run if he doesn’t have Novak, a guy Melo was never allowed to play alongside.

    Countless examples of his stubborness, his need to win his way with his rigid system with his chosen favorites….

    I have no ill will towards D’Antoni. His strengths and weaknesses are ubiquitiously acknowledged. He’s a good man. But just as it’s a players responsiblity to always give his best effort regardless of circumstances, a standard Melo failed to uphold to recently, it’s a coach’s responsibility to try to get the most out of his players– and not just some of them.

    In that regard, perhaps the most important, D’Antoni failed big time.

  34. BigBlueAL

    Yeah I mean this is a Knicks blog meant basically for you know actual Knick fans. Not saying non-Knick fans shouldnt post here but its annoying when admitted non-Knick fans begin to dominate the site with a bunch of posts trying to tell actual passionate (if not irrational) Knick fans who have lived thru hell since 2002 what they should think about their team.

    I enjoy reading everyone’s opinion and the vastly different takes is what makes this site great but shit if you are not a real Knick fan especially not a life-long fan like many of us are dont be trying to tell us who we should blame or how we should root for our team.

  35. ruruland

    BigBlueAL: Yeah I mean this is a Knicks blog meant basically for you know actual Knick fans. Not saying non-Knick fans shouldnt post here but its annoying when admitted non-Knick fans begin to dominate the site with a bunch of posts trying to tell actual passionate (if not irrational) Knick fans who have lived thru hell since 2002 what they should think about their team.I enjoy reading everyone’s opinion and the vastly different takes is what makes this site great but shit if you are not a real Knick fan especially not a life-long fan like many of us are dont be trying to tell us who we should blame or how we should root for our team.

    Does it bother you to have to think about the downfall of this team beyond a single scapegoat?

  36. Juany8

    BigBlueAL:
    Yeah I mean this is a Knicks blog meant basically for you know actual Knick fans.Not saying non-Knick fans shouldnt post here but its annoying when admitted non-Knick fans begin to dominate the site with a bunch of posts trying to tell actual passionate (if not irrational) Knick fans who have lived thru hell since 2002 what they should think about their team.

    I enjoy reading everyone’s opinion and the vastly different takes is what makes this site great but shit if you are not a real Knick fan especially not a life-long fan like many of us are dont be trying to tell us who we should blame or how we should root for our team.

    Well it had been fun posting here, but if I’m starting to get personal attacks against me for not agreeing with the consensus on this board, nor for overreacting to every single thing that happens in a freak season, I think I might be done. I know pretty much nobody will care, I only liked posting here because the general level of discussion seemed pretty high for a message board, but it seems only a few people even care to make intellectually honest points anymore. Big props to all the moderators, you run an excellent site which I might still visit for Knicks news and analysis, I’m just sick of dealing with crap because I tend to have different, and yes even wrong, opinions.

  37. BigBlueAL

    ruruland: Does it bother you to have to think about the downfall of this team beyond a single scapegoat?

    I havent said shit about Melo. Hell I defended him and the trade like crazy last year, during the off-season and at the beginning of this season. Of course its not all his fault and D’Antoni has some blame but to just basically ignore the winning streak during Linsanity because it goes against your love for Melo is insane. The fact is many people speculated once Melo returned he would hurt the team and while I disagreed with that opinion it was 150% right on the money.

    But seriously you and Juanny8 are admitted non-Knick fans who have come to this site just to defend Melo at all costs and you have to understand how annoying that can be at times especially with how fuckin horrible he has been since his return from injury.

  38. BigBlueAL

    Having said all that I really hope Melo plays like he did after the trade last season and helps the Knicks make the playoffs. If that Melo returns for the rest of this season I will be thrilled.

  39. BigBlueAL

    Linking an article by Stephen A Smith to prove your point?? I definitely have lost all respect for you now lol

  40. ww007

    I said this on a previous post, but I’m sad to see D’Antoni go. He might not have been the best coach but I really didn’t think he was the problem either. And it is very sad that they finally start playing the way he wanted them to play the second he leaves, especially Melo.

    I think the biggest failing of D’Antoni was that he never held his players (especially the superstars) accountable for their actions. He could have just offered Melo an ultimatum to play his style or else he’d bench him. Funny how he didn’t have any qualms about benching Starbury before even giving him a chance, yet he did not bench Melo when Melo strayed from the offense.

    Perhaps part of the reason they played so well tonight was that they know Woodson will hold them accountable? Of course it’s just one game and it’s still too early to tell if they will continue playing like this on a consistent basis.

    But it’s definitely all on Melo now. Fair or not, the perception is that he ousted D’Antoni. It will be interesting to see how he responds.

    BTW, there seems to be a general consensus on this board that Woodson is not a very good coach. Why is that? It seems he did pretty well as the Atlanta head coach previously. I’m not saying he is a good head coach but just wondering why so many people think he’s not…

  41. Tony Pena

    I’m not a contributor, writer or have much clout here but as a reader I can say that many appreciate when whatever topic is on to be argued from both sides… But yes, you gotta expect some heat if you’re an admitted non-fan. Shit, you gotta expect heat if you’re posting here regardless.
    Idk if people talk about it, but this site is very much like the knicks. Like someone posted earlier, “just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in”. ha!

  42. ruruland

    BigBlueAL: I havent said shit about Melo. Hell I defended him and the trade like crazy last year, during the off-season and at the beginning of this season. Of course its not all his fault and D’Antoni has some blame but to just basically ignore the winning streak during Linsanity because it goes against your love for Melo is insane. The fact is many people speculated once Melo returned he would hurt the team and while I disagreed with that opinion it was 150% right on the money.But seriously you and Juanny8 are admitted non-Knick fans who have come to this site just to defend Melo at all costs and you have to understand how annoying that can be at times especially with how fuckin horrible he has been since his return from injury.

    I get that.

  43. nicos

    ruruland: Melo was not averaging a career high in assist percentage prior to the game, nor was he averaging a career low in fga before the game.

    Melo tried to fit in. At times he did. And, so long as he feels accepted and respectedby his coach and his team, he will continue to fit into plays that don’t involve him as a first, second, third or even fourth option (as I told you weeks ago, and as he’s done throughout his career). And it’s not as though he wasn’t fitting in before, outside of a few unreturned calls for the ball.

    But when you’re team is in the midst of a losing streak, and he’s been the horse teams have ridden to get out of slumps, and he’s not being allowed to at least try to help his team when they have so much invested in him, helplessly watching as the D-League point guard, the guy Melo helped convinced his coach to play, the guy who that same coach is now using as a wedge to try to move Melo off the team, all because of an unwilligness to integrate Melo into the offense, is throwing the ball into the stands on key possessions down the stretch…..

    But your talking about ten games. The Knicks absolutely ran the offense through Melo up until Linsanity hit. His usage is 31 which when you consider his TS% is .500 is about twice what it should be. Melo’s assist % is high because he handled the ball so much, his assist rate didn’t go up much at all. Within three or four games where he didn’t get he usual touches, he checked out- that’s inexcusable. ANd the stuff with the press is just as bad. D’A’s out because he didn’t win, not because Melo sabotaged him, but Melo’s behavior made it impossible for me to root for him- I’ll still root for the team and hope he succeeds for the teams sake but he’s become my least favorite Knick in recent memory and that’s saying something.

  44. nicos

    I should say in Melo’s defense that he did play hurt and certainly went out of his comfort zone to try to play semi-point forward but his behavior over the last couple of weeks has been awful. And then tonight he plays exactly the game D’A was asking him to play all along. I’d agree that D’A dug his own grave but Melo’s had better play flat out (and well) the rest of the way or his reputation is shot.

  45. 2FOR18

    Tony Pena: I’m not a contributor, writer or have much clout here but as a reader I can say that many appreciate when whatever topic is on to be argued from both sides… But yes, you gotta expect some heat if you’re an admitted non-fan. Shit, you gotta expect heat if you’re posting here regardless.Idk if people talk about it, but this site is very much like the knicks. Like someone posted earlier, “just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in”. ha!

    I’m a nobody – just a New Yorker who’s been a Knicks fan since the early 80’s.
    Everyone has a “right” to post here as long as the moderators are OK with it, but I can express my opinion that I don’t care for condescending, repetitive to the point of headache-inducing, boilerplate, one note posts from non-Knicks fans.
    It would be like being in a bar talking about the Knicks, and some guy from Tempe strolls in with a pile of spreadsheets ripping on everything people are saying.

    – Joey from Brooklyn: “Melo is killing them with these constant 20 foot iso fade-aways!”
    – Biff from Tempe: “Well, if you actually knewwwwww anything about basketball, you’d recognize melo’s greatness, as Joey Graham had a career high TS% of .541 when playing with Melo in Denver 5 years ago.”

    Biff has the right to say it, but he should expect to get smacked around for his troubles.

  46. limpidgimp

    bobneptune: boy , reading that article steven a. smith comes awfully close to crossing the racist line:

    “…D’Antoni never believed Jeremy Lin shooting the ball more than Stoudemire was a problem. He never fathomed how insulting it was to Anthony for Lin to literally turn away from the Knicks’ $85 million forward, refusing at times to give him the ball.”

    let me get this straight…. lin’s TS% and eFG% are superior to both carmelo and amar’e, but it is supposed to be some sort of crime against humanity for him to take shots?

    that line reads to me like, ‘ what a pair of balls that little chinaman has to ‘dis our “STARRRRRRRRRRRS” like that’.

    It’s not obvious to me that that comment by Stephen A. Smith’s comment was racist. But he has gone on the air to say that the “fortune cookie” references to Lin should not be considered offensive because the people who made the comments were not aware that they were offensive, and that indeed fortune cookies are associated with Chinese people. Racist? Not maliciously so perhaps, but he’s definitely an ignorant buffoon.

  47. jon abbey

    1) no one should read or listen to or talk about Stephen A Smith. once you do, he’s won.

    2) D’Antoni was not doing his job well, which is to try to maximize the potential of the players on your roster, not try to cram them into some “system”, which as best I can tell is just “let the point guard do whatever he wants”. again, that works a lot better if it’s Steve Nash. he needed to go, Woodson looks decidedly more engaged already.

    3) how anyone could not enjoy that game as a Knicks fan is beyond me. FWIW, Portland was 12th in the league in Hollinger’s team ratings coming in.

    4) if you’re disguated and sick of this Knicks regime, join up at http://www.facebook.com/OccupyMSG, 35 people now and counting.

  48. ruruland

    2FOR18: I’m a nobody – just a New Yorker who’s been a Knicks fan since the early 80?s.Everyone has a “right” to post here as long as the moderators are OK with it, but I can express my opinion that I don’t care for condescending, repetitive to the point of headache-inducing, boilerplate, one note posts from non-Knicks fans.It would be like being in a bar talking about the Knicks, and some guy from Tempe strolls in with a pile of spreadsheets ripping on everything people are saying. – Joey from Brooklyn: “Melo is killing them with these constant 20 foot iso fade-aways!”- Biff from Tempe: “Well, if you actually knewwwwww anything about basketball, you’d recognize melo’s greatness, as Joey Graham had a career high TS% of .541 when playing with Melo in Denver 5 years ago.” Biff has the right to say it, but he should expect to get smacked around for his troubles.

    Fuuny, McFly….

    No problem taking heat… Wouldn’t be so redundant if y’all weren’t.

  49. Nick C.

    It was great that they won, but I had to double take when I saw Melo take one or two corner threes early. Wasn’t this supposed to be the much maligned postioning … anyway I digress. I was watching DVR’d so can’t I ff’d thru much of the late game stuff. If it happened it’s pretty lame but its not like this is a MENSA meeting we’re talking about. I do feel like a fool for ever speaking positively about Felton but then again so should the guys that talked about Crawford prospering when he left the Knicks. But it is the internet and people only admit errors (with a few exceptions) in the abstract long after the ship has sailed. That is all for my early morning discombobulated ramble.

  50. PC

    This thread has been primarily about who is to blame. And, Stoudemire’s name hasn’t come up. That’s a problem.

    Amare stinks and that’s the elephant in the room with this team. Everyone on the roster has to be thinking it. Melo has been shooting poorly but everyone seems in somewhat of an accord that his FG percentage will get back to normal. If Amare makes a few more shots per game, so what?

    Obviously, I am so down on Amare – but he’s playing like a MLE player and there has been no indication it will change. How many times did Hubie Brown say the other night, “Noah knows he can blow right past Amare.” Hubie Brown only knows how to do one thing: rattle of a guy’s FG%, FT% and 3PT%. And even he knows Amare is a matador on D.

  51. daJudge

    Plenty of folks who are not Knick fans probably read this site. I don’t know about posting, but that’s up to the individual. Humor, insight and good writing draws readers here. That’s really good IMO. Hell, I even read the Times daily and post once in a while. Doesn’t really matter that I’m not a fan of the paper’s leanings.

  52. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    jon abbey:
    1) no one should read or listen to or talk about Stephen A Smith. once you do, he’s won.

    2) D’Antoni was not doing his job well, which is to try to maximize the potential of the players on your roster, not try to cram them into some “system”, which as best I can tell is just “let the point guard do whatever he wants”. again, that works a lot better if it’s Steve Nash. he needed to go, Woodson looks decidedly more engaged already.

    3) how anyone could not enjoy that game as a Knicks fan is beyond me. FWIW, Portland was 12th in the league in Hollinger’s team ratings coming in.

    4) if you’re disguated and sick of this Knicks regime, join up at http://www.facebook.com/OccupyMSG, 35 people now and counting.

    abbey i hate that we disagree so much but i must admit you have some good points.

    first smith is all about controversy but this article was on point everything he said was true in my eyes. he even validated your second point.

    second even though i was first disgruntled about mda going the real reason i was pissed was cause Anthony got his way not cause MDA deserved to keep his job. the truth is MDA was not coaching was stubborn like his players and didn’t take charge. while i do agree his system can work even with these pieces, they can only work if you have the back bone to use them. MDA tried to take charge to late.

    But i will always say that the way melo handled the situation sucked even if it was the only way to get those results.

    i like woodson. love that he went over to fields right away when he got close lined. shows he cares. love that hes not afraid to call the players out just all hope this lasts.

  53. Frank

    1. I have no problem with non-Knick fans posting here as long as they’re not here just to troll the board. I’m pretty sure juany and ruruland do NOT fall under that category.

    2. I have been a Melo defender since the trade (hated the trade itself but thought he could be good for us), but it sure felt dirty last night to see Melo obviously trying harder than usual on defense, moving the ball like crazy, and hitting his shots. If I were a conspiracy theorist (which I am not), it also looks mighty convenient that Melo’s buddy JR Smith starts shooting like his old self on the day MDA leaves. But I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

    3. I was shocked at MDA’d departure and the way in which Melo basically made it happen, but even before the blowout last night, I was already coming around to the idea. Like Gentry did, Woodson can incorporate a lot of the MDA offensive elements if he wants, while changing some stuff around to maximize the talents of the team. The improvement of the Hawks under him is certainly promising, and if his in-game management is better than MDA, then maybe this whole circus is not such a terrible thing.

    4. I would never have believed it possible, but if Alan Hahn thinks JVG is a possibility, then maybe it is, especially since Hahn is now speaking from the world of MSG. I totally agree with BigBlueAl – that would be an amazing day – JVG would get a standing O for 10 minutes at his first home game.

  54. JABBER2142

    Am I the only one who thinks JR shouldn’t be taking 18 shots in 23min or is that just a consequence of him being open a lot?

  55. 2FOR18

    ruruland: Fuuny, McFly….No problem taking heat… Wouldn’t be so redundant if y’all weren’t.

    Just to be clear, I’m not saying you shouldn’t post here. There are political sites that ban opposing points of view and I wouldn’t want that here or anywhere. It was a genuine, curiosity based question. It seems strange that you signed up when Melo came over and post almost exclusively about him. I know I wouldn’t go to a Nuggets site to write 50 posts a day talking up Gallo.

  56. Brian Cronin

    Am I the only one who thinks JR shouldn’t be taking 18 shots in 23min or is that just a consequence of him being open a lot?

    It was a blowout. You can pretty much disregard all the numbers Smith and Novak put up (except in a general sense of “thank goodness Smith actually made some shots”). They were just chucking in a blowout.

  57. hoolahoop

    BigBlueAL: I havent said shit about Melo.Hell I defended him and the trade like crazy last year, during the off-season and at the beginning of this season.Of course its not all his fault and D’Antoni has some blame but to just basically ignore the winning streak during Linsanity because it goes against your love for Melo is insane.The fact is many people speculated once Melo returned he would hurt the team and while I disagreed with that opinion it was 150% right on the money.

    But seriously you and Juanny8 are admitted non-Knick fans who have come to this site just to defend Melo at all costs and you have to understand how annoying that can be at times especially with how fuckin horrible he has been since his return from injury.

    +1

  58. hoolahoop

    ruruland: Fuuny, McFly….

    No problem taking heat… Wouldn’t be so redundant if y’all weren’t.

    Don’t you get? You’re one note is grating!

  59. johnlocke

    +1000.

    Also, being a fan of a team is in and of itself often an exercise in irrationality…that’s why we come to post on here. To vent our frustration or yell our excitement (both of which oftentimes makes us look like lunatics to our significant others)…It’s nice to have differing views and informed insights which guys like ruruland definitely provided….but to hear the same point in varying statistical forms (Melo was great with Denver…and was good last year – on offense) …can get tired. The reason you here the same refrain…man, melo sucks…is b/c he has had probably his worst season as a pro this year

    2FOR18: Just to be clear, I’m not saying you shouldn’t post here.There are political sites that ban opposing points of view and I wouldn’t want that here or anywhere.It was a genuine, curiosity based question.It seems strange that you signed up when Melo came over and post almost exclusively about him.I know I wouldn’t go to a Nuggets site to write 50 posts a day talking up Gallo.

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