Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.01.16)

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Opening Tip: Will J.R. impact Melo's future? (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 06:00:50 EDT)
    These days, it seems everyone has an opinion on J.R. Smith. Some say he’s foolish for pulling those shoelace stunts. Others say he shouldn’t be angry at the team for cutting his brother. Still, there are those who say the Knicks should only blame themselves for J.R.’s behavior because they’ve enabled it for so long before taking a stand in recent days. Really, though, the most important opinion on this matter is the one that belongs to Carmelo Anthony.

  • [New York Daily News] Source: J.R. upset about sitting out OT vs. Suns (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:44:42 GMT)
    J.R. Smith’s benching in Charlotte Tuesday night may have been a direct result of Smith sitting most of the overtime in Monday’s win over Phoenix. According to a source, Smith was vocal with coach Mike Woodson about not starting the extra session against Phoenix after missing what would have been a game-winning shot at the end of regulation.    

  • [New York Daily News] Woody gets tough, makes J.R. and Knicks accountable for acts (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:41:53 GMT)
    J.R. Smith is in many ways a charter member of Mike Woodson’s “accountability club,” a new initiative the head coach started in 2014 at the request of upper management. According to a team source, Garden chairman James Dolan and team president Steve Mills felt that Woodson wasn’t holding his players accountable amid the Knicks’ slow start, when they went 9-21.    

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Lotsa luck finding a taker as J.R. continues to dog Knicks (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:23:07 GMT)
    Good luck trying to move a certified head case with two years to run on an $18 million contract, a damaged knee, an attitude problem, a penchant for getting into off-court trouble, and — how is this for the cherry on top? — he’s in the midst of a terrible season.    

  • [New York Daily News] Woodson says Melo with stick with Knicks (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:45:43 GMT)
    Mike Woodson believes that Carmelo Anthony, who intends to explore free agency this summer, will “retire” a Knick. Woodson addressed Anthony’s future in a radio interview Wednesday while expressing concern for the current state of the club.    

  • [New York Times] Oden, Heat Ready for Next Step in Comeback Plan (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 08:18:16 GMT)
    Many details about how Greg Oden has been rehabilitating his body in an effort to resuscitate his career with the Miami Heat remain a mystery, even to his teammates.    

  • [New York Times] Clippers Rally From 17 Down Late, Top Mavs 129-127 (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 07:30:15 GMT)
    The Los Angeles Clippers had every reason to quit down 17 points with 4 ½ minutes to go. They had already blown a double-digit lead, fans were hitting the exits, and a long seven-game road trip waited at the end.    

  • [New York Times] Nate Robinson Leads Nuggets Past Warriors 123-116 (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 06:39:23 GMT)
    Nate Robinson scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, J.J. Hickson grabbed a season-high 24 rebounds and the streaky Denver Nuggets outlasted the Golden State Warriors 123-116 on Wednesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Blazers Best Cavaliers, 108-96 for 3rd Straight (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 05:51:07 GMT)
    LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 18 rebounds, scoring nine straight points that pulled Portland in front in the final four minutes, and the Trail Blazers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-96 on Wednesday night.    

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Wizards Hold Off Surge by Heat as Oden Returns (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 05:04:29 GMT)
    Washington’s 34-point lead over Miami shrank to single digits Wednesday night, but the Wizards held on for a 114-97 victory at home as the Heat’s Greg Oden played in his first game in more than four years.    

  • [New York Times] Green Leads Suns Past Struggling Lakers, 121-114 (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 05:00:11 GMT)
    Gerald Green had a strong second half to finish with a season high 28 points and lead the Phoenix Suns in a 121-114 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Harden Lifts Rockets Over Pelicans, 103-100 (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:51:28 GMT)
    James Harden capped a 26-point performance with a tiebreaking jumper with 28 seconds left, and the Houston Rockets held on for their third straight victory, 103-100 over the reeling New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Bulls Hold Off Magic 128-125 in Triple Overtime (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:45:09 GMT)
    It’s no secret that the Chicago Bulls gave up a lot of talent when they decided to trade away Luol Deng last week.    

  • [New York Times] Celtics Top Raptors 88-83, End 9-Game Skid (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:27:19 GMT)
    Jared Sullinger was piling up the rebounds and needed an assist from sidelined guard Rajon Rondo to realize what was happening.    

  • [New York Times] Wizards Hand Heat 3rd Straight Loss, 114-97 (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:21:08 GMT)
    Raise your hand if you had Greg Oden as the Miami Heat MVP. Or if you had any inkling the Washington Wizards were capable of taking a 34-point lead against the two-time defending champs.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs’ Win Streak to 6 With 109-105 Win Over Jazz (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:15:10 GMT)
    Tony Parker had 25 points and nine assists and the San Antonio Spurs escaped a late rally to beat the Utah Jazz 109-105 on Wednesday night, extending their winning streak to six games.    

  • [New York Times] Gay Leads Kings to 4th Win in 5 Games (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:48:41 GMT)
    Rudy Gay had 33 points, five rebounds and six assists, and Isaiah Thomas had 26 points and seven assists to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 111-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies Win 4th Straight, Get Back to .500 (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:42:26 GMT)
    Mike Conley and James Johnson each scored 15 points and the Memphis Grizzlies won their season-high fourth straight game, 82-77 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Warriors Acquire Crawford, Brooks in 3-Team Trade (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:24:17 GMT)
    The Golden State Warriors have been searching for a suitable backup to point guard Stephen Curry since veteran Jarrett Jack signed with Cleveland as a free agent last summer.    

  • [New York Times] The Basketball Player’s Guide to the (European) Galaxy (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 02:55:07 GMT)
    After competing for 25 years in Europe, changing clubs 15 times and living in five countries, Darryl Middleton has advice, a lot of it, to pass along to American players considering a tour abroad.    

  • [New York Times] Young’s Late 3 Lifts 76ers Past Bobcats, 95-92 (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 02:48:28 GMT)
    Thaddeus Young made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 95-92 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Rondo Nears Celtics Return 1 Year After ACL Injury (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 01:03:17 GMT)
    Rajon Rondo moved closer to returning to the court almost a year after injuring his right knee, going through a test workout at the team’s practice facility in the afternoon and then joining his Celtics teammates for warmups before Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors.    

  • [New York Post] Knicks eager to bury memories of playoff demise in Indy (Thu, 16 Jan 2014 04:31:58 -0500)
    INDIANAPOLIS — Carmelo Anthony remembers the feeling last May, walking off the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse after a Roy Hibbert block, after the Pacers had knocked the Knicks into…

  • 119 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.01.16)

    1. slovene knick

      Interested in Bargniani / Hibbert match up….If this goes well for Bargniani and the Knicks win, Vogel might go in panic mode again. Then all kinds of trades are possible. I hope it comes to the match up. Pacers are the only team I would start with Bargniani over Tyson. Save Tyson for Clips.

      And MWP is my dark horse for the playoffs(if Knicks get there and he’s back of course)….he could play against West, Stephenson even George. The Knicks are Big man:))
      Knicks are going to fight tonight….might be the first game I’ll watch live this season.

      And no stupid fouling please for 50 foul shots and late 3′s.

    2. Owen

      Saw this on TH this morning, amazing how players analyze basketball….

      “Look at Kawhi’s numbers at the three spot.” Jefferson’s point? The same numbers that made his stint with the Spurs seem a disappointment — 11.2 points and four rebounds rebounds in 203 games before being traded to the Warriors for Stephen Jackson in March 2012 — are awfully similar to the numbers that have earned Leonard billing as a star in the making. Through the first 159 games of his NBA career, Leonard is averaging 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals. Jefferson’s 3-point percentage in Spurs uniform (40.1 percent) is higher than Leonard’s (36.2 percent).”

      Kawhi WS/48 on rookie scale contract = .171, .168, .169
      Jefferson in San Antonio = .113, .115

      Big game tonight, actually excited. Feels like a potential turning point….

    3. Hubert

      Just saw this in Isola’s article:

      According to a team source, Garden chairman James Dolan and team president Steve Mills felt that Woodson wasn’t holding his players accountable amid the Knicks’ slow start, when they went 9-21.

      But Woodson and the Knicks have changed course in 2014, winning six of eight heading into Thursday’s nationally televised game against the Indiana Pacers (30-7), the team with the NBA’s best record.

      And I’m trying to get my head around the possibility that Dolan, Mills, and Woodson all actually worked together to identify a problem and correct it to benefit of the team.

      We’ve all sat around theorizing that it’s about Chris Smith, shoelaces, whatever.

      What if it was just a smart basketball decision by people we never expect smart decisions from?

    4. lavor postell

      The good news about playing the Pacers is that they aren’t particularly great at making the Knicks pay for our biggest weakness defensively in allowing point guards to penetrate into the lane at will and shooting the three. The bad news is they have a pretty good defense, we know that they will receive the benefit of the doubt on virtually every call and JR Smith is still a Knick.

    5. Hubert

      If this goes well for Bargniani and the Knicks win, Vogel might go in panic mode again. Then all kinds of trades are possible.

      I like Vogel a lot (his foolish decision to remove Hibbert against the Heat notwithstanding) and can’t see him overreacting if he loses to us.

      I’m curious, what do you consider the first instance of him going into panic mode?

    6. Garson

      Intresting to see how Melo plays tonight…

      Pacers in the past have NOT double teamed Carmelo and George plays him straight up.

      When our offense is at its peak, Melo gets doubled, swings the ball out and it usually leads to points and a good vibe on offense from the rest of the team.

      If Melo can get to George early and score some points, maybe itll lead Vogel to send some help.

    7. DRed

      And I’m trying to get my head around the possibility that Dolan, Mills, and Woodson all actually worked together to identify a problem and correct it to benefit of the team.

      The problem wasn’t that we weren’t holding JR accountable for his klownin around, it’s that we weren’t holding him accountable for his terrible basketball. We’re definitely playing better than we were earlier in the year, but I’m not sure the worm has turned just yet.

    8. ephus

      When Carmelo plays the Pacers, the Knicks feed him in isolation because he gets single coverage. Very often, he catches the ball 20 feet from the basket.

      It would be a better idea to run sets that allow him to get the ball OPEN. (1) Double PnR, (2) Cross-screens, (3) Down screens.

    9. Hubert

      The problem wasn’t that we weren’t holding JR accountable for his klownin around, it’s that we weren’t holding him accountable for his terrible basketball.

      I understand completely.

      That article, however, made it seem like they were talking about holding JR accountable for his terrible basketball.

      That’s why I’m having a hard time getting my head around it.

    10. Hubert

      Pacers in the past have NOT double teamed Carmelo and George plays him straight up.

      Technically speaking, yes.

      But Hibbert is essentially double teaming Melo every time George guards him “straight up”. George overplays, Hibbert covers.

      And Melo plays right into it by not passing.

      Without Hibbert covering behind him, George’s style of defense would essentially lead to a lay up line a la LeBron in the final seconds of game 1. This is not meant to be pedantic, I just feel George is overrated as a one-on-one defender because people ignore the team defense concepts that make it look like he’s playing someone straight up when in reality there are 5 guys guarding Melo when he goes ISO.

    11. DRed

      That article, however, made it seem like they were talking about holding JR accountable for his terrible basketball.

      The simpler explanation is that Dolan threw a hissy fit when JR started tweeting about being betrayed. Since then we’ve benched JR for Shoeghazi and for pouting, neither of which have anything to do with his on court production or lack thereof.

    12. Hubert

      When Carmelo plays the Pacers, the Knicks feed him in isolation because he gets single coverage. Very often, he catches the ball 20 feet from the basket.

      It would be a better idea to run sets that allow him to get the ball OPEN. (1) Double PnR, (2) Cross-screens, (3) Down screens.

      Absolutely. They WANT you to feed someone in isolation. And they eat that shit up. But not, IMO, because George is so great at one-on-one defending. The team defense schemes are brilliant, and what looks like one-on-one is really one-on-three or one-on-five.

    13. Hubert

      The simpler explanation is that Dolan threw a hissy fit when JR started tweeting about being betrayed. Since then we’ve benched JR for Shoeghazi and for pouting, neither of which have anything to do with his on court production or lack thereof.

      It’s simpler because, like I said, we can’t get our heads around the possibility that our mgmt team did something good.

      But if it was really the betrayal thing, why not just bench him then? Why wait two weeks or whatever it was until he untied someone’s shoes?

      What if they actually realized JR was killing them on the court and did something about it?

    14. ephus

      But Hibbert is essentially double teaming Melo every time George guards him “straight up”. George overplays, Hibbert covers.

      Someone made the crazy suggestion yesterday that Bargnani get the bulk of the minutes against Hibbert. IF Bargnani shows up to play hard, he can provide offensive help that Chandler cannot. The Pacers do not send Hibbert to the perimeter. Either Bargnani would have an open shot just about every possession, or Melo would have a true one-on-one against Paul George.

      Bargnani is going to get burned on the defensive end sometimes. But, if he boxes out on defensive rebounds, he can hold his own on Hibbert post-up possessions.

    15. DRed

      But if it was really the betrayal thing, why not just bench him then? Why wait two weeks or whatever it was until he untied someone’s shoes?

      The benching wasn’t punishment for the betrayal. (in my admittedly worthless reading into the mind of Dolan) The betrayal just removed the protective cover from JR. Now it’s possible to punish him for his klownin.

    16. Sweetney Ate Curry

      It would be a better idea to run sets that allow him to get the ball OPEN. (1) Double PnR, (2) Cross-screens, (3) Down screens.

      Amazing how obvious this is to even casual fans of the game yet Woody can’t seem to figure it out.

      I’m not a fan of iso-ball at all but it does have it’s merits if used properly. Someone on another thread recently used a great baseball analogy to describe this. It’s akin to being a fastball pitcher with no secondary pitches. It’s great if you can throw a 104mph fastball but if you have no secondary stuff to keep hitters honest, they will eventually tee off on that fastball because they know EXACTLY what’s coming.

      Even the teams that tend to double Melo for most of the game have been letting him operate one-on-one on crunch time because they know what’s coming and they’d rather risk Melo hitting a tough shot in isolation than risk an open 3 or cutter to the rim born from crisp ball movement that causes over-rotations after passing out of the double. The high PnR works so well for us, did last year too, yet we abandon our most successful offensive sets when it matters most. It’s mind-bogglingly counter-intuitive.

    17. Hubert

      I don’t know the numbers exactly, and I know it was a very small sample size, but we killed Indiana last year in that last regular season game when we had Copeland at the 5. I’m still bitter we never tried it in the playoffs. I will never waiver in my belief that we win that series in 6 games if Copeland at the 5 got the playing time that went to those god-awful “big” lineups.

      Unfortunately Bargnani just isn’t as good a shooter as Cope.

    18. Hubert

      All I’m saying, DRed, is that I’m open to the possibility that this team actually course corrected something, and did so for the right reason. Between this JR benching, using the foul to give, and fouling up 3, I’ve seen three instances in 2014 of us correcting long-standing errors in thought process. I want to believe.

    19. lavor postell

      Technically speaking, yes.

      But Hibbert is essentially double teaming Melo every time George guards him “straight up”. George overplays, Hibbert covers.

      And Melo plays right into it by not passing.

      Without Hibbert covering behind him, George’s style of defense would essentially lead to a lay up line a la LeBron in the final seconds of game 1. This is not meant to be pedantic, I just feel George is overrated as a one-on-one defender because people ignore the team defense concepts that make it look like he’s playing someone straight up when in reality there are 5 guys guarding Melo when he goes ISO.

      I agree with this completely. George is a great young player and still has a lot of room to grow, but his defense is extremely overrated. He really isn’t capable of locking up elite wing scorers without Hibbert’s presence behind him allowing him to be extremely aggressive in pressuring the ball.

      Our biggest weakness when we play Indiana is that Shumpert never takes advantage of the fact that he is being defended by David West on the perimeter more than half the time. Woodson obviously never runs plays for him, but even when he has a chance to attack Shump is far too hesitant and usually just makes a useless pass along the perimeter rather than exploiting this obvious mismatch.

    20. Nick C.

      Someone made the crazy suggestion yesterday that Bargnani get the bulk of the minutes against Hibbert. IF Bargnani shows up to play hard, he can provide offensive help that Chandler cannot. The Pacers do not send Hibbert to the perimeter. Either Bargnani would have an open shot just about every possession, or Melo would have a true one-on-one against Paul George.

      Bargnani is going to get burned on the defensive end sometimes. But, if he boxes out on defensive rebounds, he can hold his own on Hibbert post-up possessions.

      The thing is from what I have noticed Bargs gets a ton of wide open shots as it is. If it wasn’t for his penchant for taking one dribble or some ridiculous fake they would almost all be open looks. He just clanks most of them. It sounded nice when the trade was made but the reality ifs he is pretty lightly guarded and to date shoots at a below average rate from almost everywhere on the court

    21. Hubert

      Our biggest weakness when we play Indiana is that Shumpert never takes advantage of the fact that he is being defended by David West on the perimeter more than half the time.

      Amazing that we never switched JR & Shump’s minutes because we were beholden to a “one guy is the starter and one guy is the 6th man” dogma.

      If you started JR, Stephenson probably has to guard him because JR has the one-on-one game to make West pay, and then you’d have had West trying to guard one of the two PG’s.

      But no. Gotta throw rock. Good ol’ rock never fails.

    22. DRed

      Bargs was 4-16 against Indiana in our first meeting. Obviously getting him shots was not our problem in that game. He did a good job against Hibbert but gave it all away by playing like dogshit on offense.

    23. ephus

      I attended Game 1 at MSG last year with the spectacular 10-year old daughter. She witnessed me going crazy over the Hibbert non-calls.

      If Chandler is being guarded by Hibbert, he needs to dive to the front of the rim whenever Hibbert leaves to help on Melo.

      Knicks also need for Melo to spin to the rim when he is being fronted in the post. Kmart and Melo have developed a nice rhythm on this play. The guards have to follow suit. Eventually, Pacers will stop overplaying Melo in the post and he will clean catches.

    24. lavor postell

      Bargs was 4-16 against Indiana in our first meeting. Obviously getting him shots was not our problem in that game. He did a good job against Hibbert but gave it all away by playing like dogshit on offense.

      Exactly and if I remember correctly many of those were wide open looks from the top of the key area that he favors so much. I wonder what his numbers would look like if he just eliminated the three from his arsenal completely and instead took a step inside the arc where he shoots a much better percentage. It’s annoying because of the vast difference in the value of the shots, but he actually makes the long two at a good clip and it might make teams actually respect his shot from outside rather than when he’s chucking up threes and missing a foot wide.

    25. ephus

      So here is Woodson’s pre-game comment on Chandler/Bargnani and drawing Hibbert away from the rim:

      Woodson believes Tyson can pull Hibbert from the basket in screen & roll situations. Doesn't think Bargnani has to play C to accomplish that— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) January 16, 2014

      This does not make sense to me. If the Knicks have Melo/Bargnani/Chandler, I expect that Hibbert would stay camped in the lane when Chandler sets the pick on the PnR. Chandler has often gotten open catches at the foul line on the dive, only to pick up the offensive foul by crashing into Hibbert. Chandler’s arsenal does not include a jump stop at 10′ followed by a floater. Maybe look for Chandler to make a second pass to a cutting Melo/Shumpert/Smith once Hibbert has committed to trying to take the charge.

    26. ephus

      Bargs was 4-16 against Indiana in our first meeting. Obviously getting him shots was not our problem in that game. He did a good job against Hibbert but gave it all away by playing like dogshit on offense.

      Exactly and if I remember correctly many of those were wide open looks from the top of the key area that he favors so much.

      You are right. Here is a link to the shot chart from the first Knicks/Pacers game. Bargnani did not hit from distance.

    27. yellowboy90

      My biggest concern is if Tyson will swallow some pride and let Bargs defend Hibbert and Ty guard West. Bargs did a great job on Dwight but that second game Tyson had to guard Howard. Maybe it was Woody’s coaching to ignore what Bargs did, who knows. Anyway, I think Hibbert plays into Bargs hand because his lack of quickness and speed, so Bargs can recover in PnR then hold his own in the post. Let Tyson use his length against West although he seems to struggle with shorter players too. Not to jump on Chandler but if he struggles against big physical types and small powerful/quick types who can he defend? Tyson “Goldilocks” Chandler.

      Also, lavor @ 20, I agree with you about Shump versus West. How do the knicks not have a 2/3 that can take advantage of West and even Boozer last year.

    28. Hubert

      If Chandler is being guarded by Hibbert, he needs to dive to the front of the rim whenever Hibbert leaves to help on Melo.

      It’s hard because Hibbert is really good at taking the lob away, too, and he positions himself in a way that even makes the bounce pass geometrically impossible.

      He’s just really f’n good, as is their team defense as a whole. But we know that.

      Their only glaring weakness is a 5 who can really shoot (which we had in Cope), but we chose not to exploit it. Because we were dumb.

    29. Frank

      I say this in all seriousness – if we play the Pacers in the playoffs, the series will probably be won or lost on Bargnani’s 3 point shooting. They will DEFINITELY let him shoot as much as he wants with his 30% 3 point percentage. If he plays the 5 and proves he can hit those shots, then Vogel will probably take Hibbert out like he did against Miami and Bosh last year. At his core he’s a defensive coach and he protects that side of the court first.

      Figuring out Bargnani’s weird dropoff in 3 point shooting should be job #1 for Dave Hopla.

    30. Crumple

      Absolutely. They WANT you to feed someone in isolation. And they eat that shit up. But not, IMO, because George is so great at one-on-one defending. The team defense schemes are brilliant, and what looks like one-on-one is really one-on-three or one-on-five.

      I think sometimes folks complicate things too much. They play good one on one defense against Melo, with help once he beats that. That’s it. It isn’t brilliant, IMO, it’s basic basketball.

    31. yellowboy90

      One thing I would like to see is the weakside post player flash to the foul line when players try to front Melo in the post. It’ll usually get them an open shot because their man helps on Melo or would create a better passing lane.

    32. er

      Melo has shown the willingness to pass out of the iso this season. The other players and woodson should make an effort to have more movement

    33. flossy

      Interesting piece from Goldsbury:

      http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-rudy-gay-principle/

      He’s definitely going to regret calling it “the Rudy Gay principle” once Gay inevitably slides back down toward his career averages, but I think there is some merit to the argument and it has implications for Melo. People have discussed the predictability of an ISO-Melo offense to end the game, but beyond being predictable, it raises Melo’s individual usage during those crunch time moments to some astronomical level, one that seems more and more to be his own personal “level of incompetence.”

    34. ruruland

      Crumple, it’s not simply man and help defense. George’s strategy on Melo is to front and overplay, as Greg Popovich has done against Melo for close to a decade now. He uses his long arms to defend Melo from behind when Melo beats him, which he consistently does.

      The approach is entirely dependent on great rim protection.

      Defensively, George is much more Trevor Ariza than the shut down guys Melo has faced in years past like Artest in his prime, a young Trenton Hassel, Bruce Bowen, etc.

      He’s long, but he’s working with advantages no one else in the game has, and he often gets far too much credit for the Pacers defensive success.

    35. ruruland

      Thanks for posting that Flossy. I asked Dean Oliver about the skill curve and Melo isolations: http://knickerblogger.net/an-interview-with-dean-oliver/

      Are the Knicks reliant on isolations or do they choose to run them over more favorable shot types?

      It is more of the latter to me.

      Right now, the Knicks two other primary modes of shot creation are Amar’e post-ups and pg pnr.

      Since the Miami game, teams have gone back to going under Felton screens, which if ran consistently, would turn the Knicks into a Raymond Felton jump-shooting team or a give the ball to Melo 30 feet out with 7 seconds left team.

      Again, you can’t just look at isolations in a vacuum. They lead to spot-ups.

      The better question is why does Melo settle for bad isolations down the stretch of games? IMO, he’s tired and overused.

      In two years, if the Knicks can build an offense around Melo where they don’t have to rely on him all game, he’ll have his legs to attack in those situations.

      In terms of the skill curve, I would imagine Melo at 27-28 usage would see his efficiency go up quite a bit. More importantly, it would be an indication that he’s playing on a team with some offensive balance.

    36. Hubert

      There’s a reason we remember so many instances of Hibbert blocking Melo, or body checking him, or fouling him, or jumping straight up and making a good play on him: Melo was getting by George pretty easily.

    37. ruruland

      “Melo has shown the willingness to pass out of the iso this season. The other players and woodson should make an effort to have more movement.”

      Back when Melo played on horrible shooting teams in Denver, he got most of his assists finding cutters in the middle of the floor. I’ve never seen the Knicks run someone into the middle of the floor on a Melo isolation.

    38. Nick C.

      Back when Melo played on horrible shooting teams in Denver, he got most of his assists finding cutters in the middle of the floor. I’ve never seen the Knicks run someone into the middle of the floor on a Melo isolation.

      The Knicks are about as noone moves without the ball as any team I can remember. I think that is part of what makes them so painful or clunky to watch from time to time.

    39. Nick C.

      Speaking of Denver what do you make of Aaron Afflalo, Ruru? He’s at (or was a week or two age) a career high TS and 3pt percentage on career high usage. Did anyone see that coming after he dipped in Denver when Melo first left?

    40. Frank O.

      Knicks are a much improved team and then they tend to play up to whoever they are playing.
      I think this will be a very physical, close and emotional game.
      George is going to be a problem on offense.
      But watch Lance Stephenson and George Hill. We don’t match up well with their guards typically.
      Melo and Amare will need to bring the A game; Felton will have to play and excellent game, and someone needs to get hot from 3.
      And our bigs need to counter the Pacers’ work on the boards.
      Pretty much the Knicks need to play a near perfect game to beat Indiana at home.

    41. lavor postell

      Shumpert is the key to this team. More specifically, Shumpert being a difference on defense and contributing offensively is the biggest difference between us playing middling basketball and hovering around .500 or being able to play on the level of the elite teams in the league. Games against the better teams in the league this year seem to have brought out the best in Shump so I’m hoping he can take advantage of the mismatch he will have on offense, slow George down and not get called for gently massaging George at the end of a tight game.

    42. Frank

      Re: Paul George, Hibbert, and Melo — Chris Herring did his usual great job on the Pacers strategy–

      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304419104579322573520112020?KEYWORDS=Chris+herring&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304419104579322573520112020.html%3FKEYWORDS%3DChris%2Bherring&fpid=2,7,121,122,201,401,641,1009

      So it’s what you guys are saying – Melo’s beating George but partially by design. As far as I can tell, the only way to beat this is to get Hibbert out of the middle either with a stretch 5 or with foul trouble, or to have a PNR ball handler that can hit the midrange pull-up with regularity when the defender either goes under the pick or trails from behind. We have the personnel that can do this to some extent — Bargnani is basically a stretch 5 if he can hit his shots, and Beno Udrih is one of the best pull-up mid-range jump shooters in the league. I guess a reasonable plan of attack is for us to go at Hibbert initially and see what sort of mood the officials are in in terms of his “verticality”. If they’re going to officiate like they did in the playoffs last year, then we probably need more Bargnani and Beno on the floor. That’ll be awful for the defense but Indy’s not really a good offense anyway.

    43. lavor postell

      Pretty frustrating that Woodson has given Bargnani such a heavy minutes load in the hope that he can stretch the floor for the Knicks, but didn’t even give Copeland the time of day in the playoffs last year when we desperately needed his scoring punch. I also fucking hate the Pacers with a passion for signing Cope (among many other reasons) and letting him wither away on the bench on a steady diet of DNP-CD’s.

    44. Frank

      I can’t really remember that series that well — but did we run Melo/Chandler PNRs at all? Melo also seems like a good idea as a ball handler with the way they cover PNRs. I’m perfectly fine with Melo turning the corner and taking a wide open 18 foot pull-up as Hibbert retreats to the restricted area. Better than getting into foul trouble and getting blocked at the rim.

      Bargnani pick and pop might also be pretty nice. Even if it ends up with Bargs shooting an uncontested long 2, he’s been really really good from there this year.
      http://stats.nba.com/playerShotchart.html?PlayerID=200745

    45. Brian Cronin

      It is really weird to see how the Nets and Knicks have both seemingly just flipped the switch from playing like shit to playing really well.

    46. stratomatic

      I happen to think Melo is having the best all around year of his career, but I don’t buy into any strategic or team construction ideas that would change the way he plays down the stretch. Melo is an “alpha”. He’s believes it’s his job to take the tough shots down the stretch even when there are other scoring options on the court or simple ball movement might create a good look for someone else. He almost always THINKS he’s the best option. Sure, there are times he passes etc.. But his gut instinct is to hold the ball, create off the dribble, and unfortunately often take a low percentage shot (and I believe he’s better at those bad shots than the vast majority of other players, but they are still bad). IMO, it’s going to take a “light bulb” going off in his head or eventually he’ll get older and fall in the pecking order on some team with a young hotshot and defer, but it’s hard to change instinct coupled with a lack of understanding that he would often be better off passing. He doesn’t get it the way James gets it. He’s more in the Kobe frame of mind.

    47. lavor postell

      @ stratomatic – 49
      Which is why it’s even more frustrating that Woodson never calls an actual play down the stretch that would take the ball out of his hands. It’s incredibly stupid that us as fans can identify this problem and the man being paid a 7 figure salary, is around these guys the majority of time and probably watches hours upon hours of film cannot or will not change.

    48. er

      –It is really weird to see how the Nets and Knicks have both seemingly just flipped the switch from playing like shit to playing really well.

      Dwill and Chandler also cant stay on the court smh

    49. flossy

      Interesting tweets from Chris Herring:

      Knicks have been dominant w/ Melo-Bargnani lineups in past 10 gms: 122 pts per 100 plays on O; allowing 87 pts per 100 plays on D in 30 mins

      Knicks are shooting 84.6% (22-of-26) at the rim w/ Melo-Bargnani at the 4/5 over the past 10 games. Getting higher % of looks from rim, too.

      I’m not much of a Bargnani fan, to say the least, but it would be nice if this is a sign that he’s learning how to earn his keep.

    50. flossy

      IMO, it’s going to take a “light bulb” going off in his head or eventually he’ll get older and fall in the pecking order on some team with a young hotshot and defer, but it’s hard to change instinct coupled with a lack of understanding that he would often be better off passing. He doesn’t get it the way James gets it. He’s more in the Kobe frame of mind.

      To be fair, he did drive and kick to Felton in the corner for a huge 3 pointer late in regulation against Phoenix. Frankly, if I were him and I saw Raymond Felton open, I’d probably force one up…

    51. DRed

      So how many minutes in the last 10 games have Melo and Bargs played the 4/5 together? Its not clear from those tweets

    52. Brian Cronin

      I really like their chances tonight against the Pacers. I think this could be a big statement game for the Knicks.

    53. stratomatic

      “To be fair, he did drive and kick to Felton in the corner for a huge 3 pointer late in regulation against Phoenix. Frankly, if I were him and I saw Raymond Felton open, I’d probably force one up…”

      Yep. I had that exact play in mind when I made my post. He sometimes does make the pass, but it’s not his instinct to look for others.

    54. yellowboy90

      @ 59 the whole Texas trip he made those late game passes too. The light might not be on but its flickering. Lol.

    55. lavor postell

      I like that the Pacers act as if any time Melo gets a fairly obvious foul call the refs have committed some crime against humanity.

    56. Kahnzy

      As bad as Reggie can be, Reggie>Chris Webber.

      I lived in Sacramento when he was with the Kings and they were good for like once in their history. So I appreciate him as a player and the fun he brought that town, but he has got to be hands down the worst announcer in the game. He’s always talking about nothing, or just repeating back whatever was last said.

    57. BigBlueAL

      I dunno what to think about that 1st quarter. Im amazed at both how great Melo played and how god awful the Knicks continue to be on defense.

    58. d-mar

      Stephenson may be the most annoying player in the NBA, he gesticulates and trash talks after every single basket. Sort of a poor man’s Kevin Garnett.

    59. maxwell_3g

      disagree d-mar. i love lance. i still like how he took that heat benchwarmer’s cheapshot and kept his feet, and then the heat player acted like he did something

    60. lavor postell

      This officiating is so bad. Scola just drew a foul for being off balance and STAT can’t get an obvious basket interference call.

    61. yellowboy90

      Why bargs don’t play hibbert and Tyson play the 4s is beyond me. It would stop the need for doubling.

    62. Kahnzy

      No K-Mart and Chandler’s looking like Andrea Bargnani on help defense. Melo needs to stay hot for us to have a shot at just not getting blown out.

    63. lavor postell

      Why bargs don’t play hibbert and Tyson play the 4s is beyond me. It would stop the need for doubling.

      Because Woodson

    64. d-mar

      Bargnani does not belong on the same court as the Pacers, he’s the opposite of everything they represent. In other words, a big pussy.

    65. ruruland

      DeAndre Jordan blocks shots and rebounds better than Chandler.

      Blame it on sickness, but this is how Tyson has played defensively for most of the last two seasons. I’m sure he’ll blame the loss on Melo.

    66. BigBlueAL

      108 pts allowed to the Bobcats, now 63 pts in the 1st half for the Pacers. The Clippers tomorrow might score 150.

    67. lavor postell

      I think it’s pretty telling and disturbing our defense has gotten significantly worse since Chandler has returned from injur.

    68. Business Socks

      This first half is a classic example of STAT killing us with his terrible team defense. And can’t do anything on offense to make up for it.

    69. BigBlueAL

      Also honestly, if the Knicks dont get this game to single digits by middle of 3rd quarter just sit Melo and rest him for tomorrow night. Last thing we need is for Melo to play 40 mins in a game that is not even close in the end.

    70. er

      Boy every time Melo beats george like a drum hibbert is there. Must be nice. Also you should play bargs at 5 and have him just shoot uncontested 3s

    71. d-mar

      Out of the 23 FG’s (2 pointers) the Pacers made, how many would you estimate were layups? I would guess 15 or 16. Some of the worst interior defense I have ever seen in my life.

    72. cgreene

      Melo is all alone on this team. The drop off from him to our next best player is massive. Who is even our next best player? Tyson hasn’t played well since before the 2012 playoffs. If he has value he should be traded ASAP.

    73. Will the Thrill

      Did people really expect this game to be close? We played out of our minds in Texas and followed that up with 2 sub-par wins against the Pistons and Suns. The team we really are is in between the beginning of the season and the Texas road-trip, not at a team equal to the Pacers.

    74. Owen

      No game thread? Don’t deserve it….

      Mike Breen got pretty excited by that block. Little too excited if you ask me….

    75. Kahnzy

      Also honestly, if the Knicks dont get this game to single digits by middle of 3rd quarter just sit Melo and rest him for tomorrow night. Last thing we need is for Melo to play 40 mins in a game that is not even close in the end.

      Don’t get your hopes up BBA, Woodson still coaches this team. The Knicks could be down 30 midway through the 3rd, and all that means is Melo won’t get his 5 minutes of rest to start the 4th and instead play the entire 2nd half.

    76. maxwell_3g

      These guys annoy me. Can’t wait to see Oden smash Hibbert in the conference finals.

      right. hold your breath on that one. not to mention the obvious difference of these two players now, hibbert also owned Oden when the met in the NCAA tourney

    77. Will the Thrill

      Out of the 23 FG’s (2 pointers) the Pacers made, how many would you estimate were layups? I would guess 15 or 16. Some of the worst interior defense I have ever seen in my life.

      Well they have 26 points in the paint so no more than 13! That Bargnani/Stoudemire lineup at the end was brutal.

    78. Will the Thrill

      Also you should play bargs at 5 and have him just shoot uncontested 3s

      You realize that Bargs has shot nothing but uncontested 3′s all season and still shoots badly from that range, right? Maybe that’s the only chance we have though.

    79. Will the Thrill

      If they Pacers simply call a play it is an automatic layup/dunk lol our guards can’t stick with anyone and nobody knows where they should be to help.

    80. Kikuchiyo

      It’s bad losing this way.
      It’s worse with Reggie doing play by play and Charles at the half.
      What’s left, a Tommy Heinsohn rant about how bad the Knicks are?

    81. ephus

      Earlier today I wrote about what could happen IF Bargnani showed up.

      Bargnani, once again, failed to show.

      I would rest him until the All Star Game. That’s how disgusted I am.

    82. maxwell_3g

      if you want to win, bargs sucks…… but if your team sucks anyways and you enjoy the unintentional comedy, Bargs is your man

    83. maxwell_3g

      soooooooooo. kenyon and mare both injured and bargs is struggling. time for BIG COUNTRY COLE!!!!!!!! also, can toure get a chance, pretty please???

    84. ephus

      Robin Williams will be meeting Carmelo Anthony at the airport tonight. “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.”

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