Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.03.22)

  • [New York Post] Melo borrows headband for last-minute Knicks push (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 03:45:20 -0400)
    PHILADELPHIA — Carmelo Anthony owes Toure' Murry a headband. With Friday's game against the 76ers safely in hand, or so he thought, Anthony ditched his own headband on the bench….

  • [New York Post] Woody almost lets 76ers hijack win from Knicks (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 02:07:21 -0400)
    PHILADLEPHIA — Phil Jackson was 3,000 miles away from the Liberty Bell Friday night as the streaking Knicks continued their playoff quest that seems like an afterthought to their fans…

  • [New York Times] Wizards End 2-Game Stumble With Win Over Lakers (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 05:20:55 GMT)
    John Wall had 28 points and 14 assists, leading the Washington Wizards to a heated 117-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Bledsoe’s Big 4th Quarter Leads Suns Past Pistons (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 05:02:52 GMT)
    Eric Bledsoe scored 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Phoenix Suns pulled out a 98-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beat Kings 99-79 for 12th Straight Win (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 04:39:02 GMT)
    Marco Belinelli scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, Kawhi Leonard had 15 points and seven rebounds and the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs eased past the Sacramento Kings 99-79 on Friday night for their 12th straight win.    

  • [New York Times] Knicks 93, 76ers 92: Knicks Survive Late Run by Sixers (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 04:00:16 GMT)
    The Knicks almost blew a big lead against the dreadful 76ers, who lost their 23rd game in a row.    

  • [New York Times] Durant Scores 51; Thunder Top Raptors in 2 OTs (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 03:59:52 GMT)
    Kevin Durant has played in plenty of exciting, amazing and memorable games.    

  • [New York Times] Ellis, Mavs Put Away Nuggets in 4th, Win 122-106 (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 03:44:49 GMT)
    Monta Ellis scored 26 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 21 and the Dallas Mavericks pulled away from the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of a 122-106 victory Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Nets 114, Celtics 98: Lopez Still in Plans; Nets Stay on Roll (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 03:06:16 GMT)
    Brook Lopez, the oft-injured center, could be a key cog in the Nets’ revamped style, which depends on ball movement and a fluid defense, General Manager Billy King said.    

  • [New York Times] 76ers Lose 23rd Straight Game, 93-92 to Knicks (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 03:02:55 GMT)
    James Anderson had the ball in his hands and a rare Philadelphia win within reach.    

  • [New York Times] Allen Scores 18 as Heat Top Grizzlies 91-86 (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 02:42:02 GMT)
    Ray Allen scored 18 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 91-86 comeback victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Davis, Pelicans Finish Strong, Beat Hawks 111-105 (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 02:23:55 GMT)
    Anthony Davis had 34 points and 11 rebounds, New Orleans took the lead with a 12-0 run that began at the end of the third quarter and the Pelicans beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-105 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Johnson Leads Nets to 114-98 Win Over Celtics (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 02:18:02 GMT)
    Joe Johnson hit six 3-pointers in his 27 points, Mason Plumlee added 18 points, and the Brooklyn Nets won their 11th straight at home, beating the Boston Celtics 114-98 Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Scola Lifts Pacers Past Bulls 91-79 (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 01:44:55 GMT)
    Luis Scola had 19 points and Lance Stephenson finished with 15 to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 91-79 win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.    

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks survive close call with putrid Sixers for eighth straight win (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 06:39:07 GMT)
    Mike Woodson had cleared the bench. Carmelo Anthony already had discarded his headband. J.R. Smith wore a T-shirt over his Knicks jersey. And Tyson Chandler simply was hoping that he and the other starters wouldn’t have to go back in the game.    

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks hold on for eighth straight win, hand 76ers 23rd straight loss, 93-92 (Sat, 22 Mar 2014 00:05:52 EDT)
    Fresh off their dramatic upset of the Pacers on Phil Jackson Homecoming Night, the Knicks returned Friday night to their ongoing tour of NBA draft lottery candidates.

  • 40 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.03.22)

    1. Cock Jowles Has Predicted the Last Three Knicks Seasons

      Lance for Westbrook straight-up would be a coup for the Thunder. But given Westbrook’s perceived value, they could probably get a pick or two as well. The Thunder would be scary good with a guy who wins games through things other than volume scoring. It was no surprise to me that the Thunder did not improve when Westbrook returned. He’s a redundant and overrated piece, and every other shot he takes would be better off coming off of Durant’s fingertips.

      My only question is whether the Knicks are going to come dangerously close to my preseason win prediction. I thought I had severely overestimated them, but it looks like once Bargnani and World Peace got axed, they, as I expected, improved. We might have a #8 seed, guys! Even if it is 5 games under .500!

      And to the new guy who said that Durant is by far the MVP: LeBron has .650 TS% on 30 USG%. Does that make him MVP? No, because Durant has .640 on 32% USG. They are neck-and-neck this year. A coin flip. And that’s no disrespect to either of them. This is Bird vs. Magic territory.

    2. lavor postell

      The Nets don’t have Bird Rights on Shaun Livingston, which means the most they can offer him is the full mini-MLE. Not that I care too much about such misfortune, but that does suck for them as he’s been a key cog in their revival this season. He’s been huge for them and ultimately they may still be able to bring him back for that amount, but like Copeland nobody can blame him if he leaves for more money. I think the Suns could be a team that would be interested in Livingston’s services as a versatile backup to both Dragic and Bledsoe.

    3. Zanzibar

      @Jowles Once again you may be right for the wrong reason. We lost 9 of 10 after Bargs/MWP were gone. Our win streak has coincided with Amare’s much improved play. Missing the playoffs would be excruciating if Amare continues to play this way. However, eking into the playoffs would almost be too good to be true: we make the playoffs, Amare is playing well, Phil Jackson is the new GM. That’s better than even a repeat of last season! All will have worked out for the best..Except…Woody would still be coaching against the Pacers in the playoffs. Hmm Phil has him wear an earpiece and tells him what to do. Now Woody, PnR Melo/Amare…2 for 1..call a damn timeout…

      I’ve been thinking about Paul George’s comment on how Knicks constant switching is so different from other teams that it kind of messes up the Pacers flow (they’re not used to it). Remember how Cuban credited mixing in some zone as the key to the winning the chip? Maybe the best solution for our defensively challenged team is a hybrid where we sometimes switch everything and other times don’t switch.

    4. iserp

      @Jowles

      A question: Derrick Rose numbers (before the injury) were incredibly similar to Russell Westbrooks’s (54%TS 30%USG 38%AST 13%TOV). Why has Chicago went down from a top contender to a middling playoff team since his injury?

      Is DR a superior player than RS? Or is there a different explanations for chicago’s downfall?

    5. Cock Jowles Has Predicted the Last Three Knicks Seasons

      Basketball is not a game of pure sums, it’s a game of opportunity costs in that it has just as much to do with who replaces you. Chris Paul replaced by ’06 Steve Nash would probably be a push on the Clippers (although Paul is one of the best net-possession PGs of all-time). You’d have to take a look at who the Bulls are playing in his place.

      My point about Bargnani and World Peace is that it gave Woodson the impetus to play Amar’e. Surely we can agree that he would be playing less if The Worst Basketball Player in the NBA and Ron Artest were not cutting into his minutes.

    6. Frank O.

      Small point.
      During the Knicks’ near collapse, the 76ers went on a 16-1 run with 5 minutes left.
      Woodson not once called time out until the end of that run. Not once.
      You have some of your youngest subs out there. They gave up 9 unanswered points. Call a time out then, calm the kids down and see what happens.
      I don’t believe he had only one timeout left, but if he did, he needed to put a couple quality players back then, while they remained warm, and before the opponent felt the confidence and excitement that comes from a big run.
      Poor coaching and game management. Woodson continues to show us he’s not up to the job.

    7. johnlocke

      Uhhh so watched the Knicks game last night, saw we were up by 17 w 5 mins left and ran out Zen-like to make dinner res on time…. Checked score casually at restaurant to see what was happening w the ATL game and saw that the Knicks might lose… Wtf, wow. Have this on DVR so need to see what the hell happened

    8. johnlocke

      Wow Woody and Murry are knuckleheads. Even Melo on the bench was doing more coaching and showing more concern than Woody. “Steve Kerr, how would you like my job?”

    9. d-mar

      We could hypothetically be 1 1/2 games out of the 8 spot and 2 1/2 out of the 7 by Monday night if:

      Charlotte loses to Portland and Houston at home
      Atlanta loses at Toronto and home against Phoenix
      We beat Cleveland tomorrow

      I have a hunch the Cats will win one of those 2, so the key “up for grabs” game will be the Suns-Hawks. Then it’s up to us, can we somehow win 4 out of 5 on the Western trip? If so, this will get very interesting.

    10. lavor postell

      Holy shit just watched the end of last night’s game. Even if somehow the Knicks were to get in the playoffs, make a miracle run and win the title he should be fired. I caught it on the Sixers feed and the entire last 5 minutes of the game they were puzzled as to why Woodson put the bench guys in so early and why he left them in as the situation continued to crumble and become more tenuous. What a joke that guy is.

    11. flossy

      Amar’e as a reserve:
      (39 games) 20 mpg, 10.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg… Knicks -5.0 pts/100 possessions*

      Amar’e as a starter:
      (9 games**) 27 mpg, 17.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg… Knicks +8.9 pts/100 possessions

      *I assume it’s per 100, but NBA doesn’t specify

      **8-1 in those games, woooo!

    12. flossy

      Holy shit just watched the end of last night’s game. Even if somehow the Knicks were to get in the playoffs, make a miracle run and win the title he should be fired. I caught it on the Sixers feed and the entire last 5 minutes of the game they were puzzled as to why Woodson put the bench guys in so early and why he left them in as the situation continued to crumble and become more tenuous. What a joke that guy is.

      Seriously. Total pants-shitting on Woodson’s part for like, the 27th time this season. Watching the bench during that stretch you could tell that any one of the Knicks players would have called a timeout from the sideline if that were allowed. No idea WTF Woodson was thinking.

    13. flossy

      Oh yeah and then with the Knicks up 3 and the Sixers with the ball on the final possession, they DON’T FOUL and allow MCW a clean look at 3 that juuuust rattles out. What an idiot.

    14. lavor postell

      @ Flossy

      Those Amar’e stats are crazy. Granted the starters number are in a small sample size against some weak opposition, but I thought he did a great job of making West and Hibbert his bitch on several occasions on Wednesday. I honestly forgot how devastating of an offensive player STAT can be, but when he is healthy and looking like this there isn’t a better scoring natural 4 in the league.

    15. nicos

      As much as I love Amar’e I’d say the fact that Felton, JR, Shump and THJ have all shot fairly well (all with TS above .550) during this stretch has made the biggest difference. Amar’e's shot pretty well since December and the added minutes have certainly helped but the fact that Felton, Shump, and JR have played like reasonable facsimiles of NBA players rather than giant piles of suck has been huge.

    16. Owen

      I like Westbrook a lot better than Jackson, when healthy. But I think the Thunder could get a lot back in trade for him. But I do agree, every time I see Westbrook take a shot instead of Durant I wince.

      I love Montrezl Harrell. I love the game, love the look, love the name. Wish he could be a Knick. Seems his stock is only rising….

    17. Brian Cronin

      Oh yeah, Westbrook is definitely better than Jackson, I just think (as I’m sure you do, as well) that they’d probably be better off with Jackson making, say, $8-10 million and whatever they can get for Westbrook than Westbrook at $17 million and losing Jackson without getting anything noteworthy back.

      But again, that’s not a problem until after next season, so they should just be currently happy to have a very good backup to their very good starter.

    18. swiftandabundant

      So last night’s game was ridiculous. I’ve thought all season that Woodson would be gone after the season ended, never thought he’d get fired mid season cause Dolan didn’t want a repeat of Dantoni leaving mid season.

      Then when Phil came, I thought Woodson is definitely gone after the season ends but maybe if they got into the playoffs and went to say the ECF, he might keep his job. If they somehow got to The Finals (and lost) you’d kinda have to give him another year.

      So up until last night my most recent “prediction” regarding Woodson was that he would “quit” after the season ended, maybe move into another position and Jackson would replace Woodson with Kerr most likely.

      After last night, I could see a scenario where Woodson gets canned before this season ends. What if we lose a game here against The Cavs or Lakers and its because of another egregious error by Woodson. What if he was fired and then Phil took over the rest of the season and led us into the playoffs. We win a first round or at least field a competitive series, Phil gets a chance to coach the team for a bit and evaluate them more. Then off season he hires Kerr as the full time coach.

    19. Owen

      Wish I had seen the game….

      I think Ibaka is majorly underrated, something I am sure Presti is happy about….

    20. Zanzibar

      As much as I love Amar’e I’d say the fact that Felton, JR, Shump and THJ have all shot fairly well (all with TS above .550) during this stretch has made the biggest difference. Amar’e’s shot pretty well since December and the added minutes have certainly helped but the fact that Felton, Shump, and JR have played like reasonable facsimiles of NBA players rather than giant piles of suck has been huge.

      You’re probably right though I wonder how much of Felton’s and JR’s improved TS% is a byproduct of Amare’s performance. Amare taking more shots means fewer “bad” shots for Felton and JR (though I haven’t checked their FGA); the TS% of those two should rise if they are taking fewer shots and the shots they do take are better looks. But they were so terrible in that 9 of 10 losing streak that it also stands to reason their shooting would have improved regardless of Amare’s minutes/FGA and opponents.

    21. hoolahoop

      As horrible as Woodson is, I’m afraid he may be around next season. His biggest strength is cajoling (bullshitting) people how sincere, humble and determined he is to win – and that it’s not his own fault that the knicks are losing. “It’s all the injuries, or Beno, or some other bullshit.”

      If the knicks make the playoffs, which means they’re closing the season with possibly the best record for the last quarter of the season, I expect him to stick around.
      And that would suck.

    22. Z-man

      Looks like Portland decided not to show up for this game, Charlotte up 22 and scored 50 pts with 7 minutes remaining in 2nd q.

    23. BigBlueAL

      Yeah, as much as I was hoping Charlotte was within reach too the only realistic scenario is passing Atlanta.

    24. JK47

      As horrible as Woodson is, I’m afraid he may be around next season.

      Nah, Woodson is done. I mean, the guy doesn’t know how to properly execute a two-for-one– you think he’s going to be able to grasp the nuances of the Triangle Offense? Phil Jackson is no dummy; he’s not likely to be fooled by Woodson’s fake nice-guy act.

    25. danielbubbs1

      “As horrible as Woodson is, I’m afraid he may be around next season”

      that won’t happen. Phil’s only job here really is to create his own show, and his first step is bringing in his own guy, something that was part of agreement with Dolan. Woodson’s been obviously flawed all year, Jackson in interviews seemed highly knowledgeable about the Knicks woes, and he’ll know Woodson not only is a bad game runner, but as a coach who failed to get the players to be professional and “winning.”

      Also , this idea that Knicks will make the playoffs seems like a pretty solid bet on these boards and other media. To me that’s like an old school non saber-metric way of , well, looking at standings and schedules.

      The Knicks can realistically lose perhaps two games the rest of the way, which still wouldn’t guarantee it, but make it around 50/50.

      Atlanta has a ton of winnable games the rest of the way, as does Charlotte after a tough little stretch the next 4 or so (they’re easily gonna win the first won of that stretch tonight up 30 against portland in the fourth)

      So everyone here thinks the Knicks lose only 1 or 2 of these 8 toughest games of the next 13:

      at Phoenix
      at Golden State
      at Miami
      Toronto home and away
      Brooklyn home and away
      Chicago home

      going 3- 5 in those games would be fine for a good team, let alone a team with a 29-40 record.
      It would be a shock if the Knicks make the playoffs, but we’ll certainly have a new coach and a new vibe.

    26. lavor postell

      Dude I don’t think anybody here thinks the Knicks have even a 50% chance of making the playoffs. That being said this team is fucking bizarre and has a history over the last 3 seasons since Melo has arrived of closing with a flourish. Melo is almost a lock to go bonkers once it hits April. So while none of the scheduling and probabilities are in their favor, I do think they have a chance.

    27. danielbubbs1

      I agree that Melo could go off and the team could continue on a run, but finishing the season 22-1 to make the eight spot against tough competition would be historically unheard of, and I find it hard to believe this Knick team could do it. I’m hoping they do pull off a miracle, and maybe my cynicism is part of that process; but it just seems so stacked against the Knicks; the most realistic trajectory is they play really well the rest of the way, maybe even go 10-3; and miss the playoffs by a game or two, and that will be just another blow to us Knicks fans if we really think the possibility of making it is better than like a 10 percent chance.

    28. hoolahoop

      “As horrible as Woodson is, I’m afraid he may be around next season”

      Phil Jackson is no dummy; he’s not likely to be fooled by Woodson’s fake nice-guy act.

      that won’t happen. Phil’s only job here really is to create his own show, and his first step is bringing in his own guy, something that was part of agreement with Dolan.

      Common sense dictates you’re right.

      I feel that no one dislikes Woodson more than me. Then, I’ll hear him in an interview and I start to fall for his fake nice-guy act. Of course, only until I watch another game filled with idiotic antics.

      There’s a disarming quality to him that takes a little time to see through. And we’ve seen how Dolan reacts when the team goes on a tear. It woudn’t have been out of character to have offered Woodson an extension after the Indiana game.

      Remember, these are the knicks. Don’t underestimate the strength of a losing culture.

    29. Kahnzy

      I start to fall for his fake nice-guy act

      Don’t get me wrong, Woodson is a terrible head coach in the NBA and we can do much better. I also agree he should be fired on day 1 of the off-season.

      But when did the idea start rolling around about this “fake nice guy act?” What’s fake about it? The guy’s a terrible coach to be sure, but where does the insinuation that he’s some sort of manipulative mastermind come in? Seems to me the two ideas are almost mutually exclusive.

    30. Donnie Walsh

      Walsh took over around this time back in 2008. He let Isiah coach out the season, then quietly “reassigned” him.

      Woodson and Grunwald will soon be sharing a desk.

    31. Brian Cronin

      But when did the idea start rolling around about this “fake nice guy act?”

      Probably when he fired his longtime agent because the Knicks told him they’d only give him an extension if he signed with CAA (which, really, when you think about it, is an outrageously absurd request to make of a coach by an organization – “You have to hire this specific agency”?! Fuck the heck?).

    32. lavor postell

      I agree Brian, but you also have to look at the perspective of it. I think at the time we were a few games out of the 8 seed and our team was actually completely healthy.

      So the request was certainly absurd, but it probably was hard for him when the offer was “get us into the playoffs with a team consisting of Melo, STAT, Chandler, Lin, JR, Shump, Novak, etc. and we’ll appoint you as head coach for at least the following season as long as you hire CAA. Also this summer we’re going to max out all remaining assets to try and go for a ring next season. Maybe you can take us there.”

      None of this is a sound plan, which we can expect from the Knicks, but I don’t know how many coaches in Woodson’s position are going to say no. That position is not being a very good coach, but being gifted two scoring superstars (STAT was healthy at the time + rounding into form) and a DPOY with a decent supporting cast and an emerging young point guard.

    33. Brian Cronin

      They didn’t tell Woody to fire his agent until they were already in the playoffs (he let him got a couple of days after the Knicks were eliminated).

    34. Brian Cronin

      By the way, regarding the earlier conversation, I think we’re all realistic about the long odds the Knicks face. But a 10% chance is a hell of a lot better than any team in their situation should have at this point and I am enjoying the hell out of the fact that they still have a real shot.

    35. Kahnzy

      Probably when he fired his longtime agent because the Knicks told him they’d only give him an extension if he signed with CAA (which, really, when you think about it, is an outrageously absurd request to make of a coach by an organization – “You have to hire this specific agency”?! Fuck the heck?).

      Absurd, to be sure. But agents are part of the business, and Woodson made a business decision. Stay loyal to a guy for…why would one stay loyal to an agent? Got me. Or abide by some tyrannical decree for lots of money. I consider myself to be a genuinely good person, but even I would have done exactly the same thing given the circumstances. Unless this agent did something remarkably above and beyond, I just don’t think Woodson making a business decision means the man should be vilified. He’s clearly unqualified to coach at the NBA level, but to dehumanize the man is a bit too far imho.

    36. Brian Cronin

      I’ll give Woody credit for being a good politician. He’s a much better politician than he is a coach, and the whole “Mr. Nice Guy” routine is a big part of his political skills.

    37. hoolahoop

      But when did the idea start rolling around about this “fake nice guy act?” What’s fake about it? The guy’s a terrible coach to be sure, but where does the insinuation that he’s some sort of manipulative mastermind come in?

      How about Woodson’s contention of holding “everyone” equally accountable. – We know that’s BS.
      Or, his commitment to being a defensive coach. – More BS.
      Or, that he cares so much about all the players on the team. – Total BS.
      Or, the BS that the season was bad because of injuries.
      Or, that he can’t worry about the past because as far as he’s concerned the knicks still have a shot at the playoffs. That BS lasted all season.
      How about his subtlety veiled undercutting of PJ while at the same time kowtowing to him. Listen closely.
      What about his great alliance with Melo at the same time Dantoni was warring with him? . . . leading to his getting Dantoni’s job.
      OR HOW ABOUT HIS REFUSAL TO TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS COMPLETE WASTE OF A SEASON !

    38. Kahnzy

      @ #39

      All of what you said speaks to his inability as a coach, and there’s no argument here on that front. However, none of that really has much to do with him being some dastardly double-talking “fake nice guy.”

      Like this:

      Or, his commitment to being a defensive coach.

      What in the world does that have to do with him being this “fake nice guy?” It means he’s a bad defensive coach, not that he’s some manipulative con artist. Pretty much everything you listed is what most of the other coaches do in this League anyway. It’s part of the game, and part of the business. The man’s an imbecile when it comes to coaching in this League, not some evil force hellbent on ruining your life.

      Personally, I think you’re giving the guy too much credit. If the guy were half as intelligent as he’d have to be to pull off this “fake nice guy” con, he’d actually make for a pretty damn good coach because then it implies he’d be able to out think other people. I just think the man is in way over his head and needs to be replaced ASAP. If you think that warrants demonizing the man, then well just have to agree to disagree.

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