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Friday, October 31, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.07.31)

  • [New York Post] Hardaway Jr. explains how US Select Team’s helping his game (Thu, 31 Jul 2014 03:22:05 -0400)
    Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., coming off his First-Team All-Rookie season, is writing a periodic diary from Las Vegas this week as a member of the U.S. Select Team,…

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: Stixx Williams, a Summer League Basketball Star, Is Mourned (Thu, 31 Jul 2014 03:45:18 GMT)
    Stixx Williams, who died last week while playing in a summer league basketball game at Baruch College, was known as a friend to both professional players and troubled teenagers in New York.

  • [New York Times] A Rookie as Feisty as She Is Steady (Thu, 31 Jul 2014 03:38:12 GMT)
    Anna Cruz, a 27-year-old rookie for the Liberty, has become the team’s starting point guard while embodying the team’s defensive-minded focus under Coach Bill Laimbeer.

  • 31 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.07.31)

    1. hoolahoop

      The fundamental problem with basketball as a sport is that a foul can be called on every single possession and it is up to the ref’s discretion what gets called and what doesn’t. It takes the sport out of the game. Fans are basically watching the refs play without even realizing it.

      Sometimes when watching games, my brother and I (half) joke about who the refs have decided to make win. They can control the outcome of just about every game. And former ref Tim Donaghy documented in his book that he actually did that, and how teams of refs singled out individual players they didn’t like.
      No more?

    2. Hubert

      I think you can do that with most NBA games, even series. In the 2011 NBA Finals, for instance, it was very clear that the refs had decided it wasn’t Durant’s time yet, it was LeBron’s. And they made it so.

      A properly officiated finals could have swung that series.

    3. dtrickey

      I think the reffing tends to get over analysed, and the ones who cry corruption are usually the ones whose team has been at the short end of the stick, which is probably understandable. I am a big proponent that an official can never really decided a game (except for maybe that Laker v Kings series), and think it’s a pretty weak excuse to blame a loss on officiating. Refs don’t miss wide open buckets or are late on a defensive rotation. I think you tend to make your own luck. Play well, and you’ll probably notice you’re getting better calls. Much like players are capable of brain fades and errors on the court, refs are capable of mistakes or misjudgment. I think getting 100% consistency will never be achieved, given a lot of calls require a personal judgment by the ref, each who are going to have varying degrees of discretion.

      In short, all the NBA can really do is provide clear direction at the start of each season as to what violation is what and provide clear examples, and hope that when push comes to shove they use good judgment.

    4. Brian Cronin

      I dunno, reffing is a huge part of the game of the best players in the league (Lebron and Durant). Lebron essentially barrels through defenders and not only gets to shoot free throws but puts his opponents into foul trouble. So that’s less a question of individual refs so much as it is a question about the league’s overall policies regarding what is considered a foul. James Harden and Gallo both changed their games for the better by taking advantage of the way the league calls fouls. Harden dramatically so.

    5. Kahnzy

      Harden dramatically so.

      And much to the detriment of aesthetics. Which I realize is a pretty silly reason not to like the guy, but I for one am glad the rumored Melo for Harden deal never happened, if for no other reason than I don’t think I could stomach watching him flail and flop around for 82 games; even if it does make him incredibly efficient on offense.

    6. hoolahoop

      I am a big proponent that an official can never really decided a game (except for maybe that Laker v Kings series), and think it’s a pretty weak excuse to blame a loss on officiating.

      That’s a big coaching mantra, but flat out wrong.
      Refs have control over which team wins in a majority of games.
      – They can reward points to a team with discretionary calls and technical fouls.
      – They can take away points from a team with discretionary calls.
      – They can stop runs and change momentum.
      – They can remove key players from the game.

      In the Eastern conference last season, Miami had the highest average point differential of all playoff teams at 4.8, and you’re saying “an official can never really decide a game”.

    7. stratomatic

      There are web sites that provide stats on refs that gamblers use to help make accurate odds lines. Some refs have patterns between home and away teams. Some call more or fewer fouls. That can impact the pace which in turn can give one team an edge. It can also favor the team that is better from the FT line. There is an endless number of ways refs can impact games and many of them are so subtle there’s almost no way you can tell if it was intentional or not.

    8. Donnie Walsh

      Basketball was originally created as a “non-contact” sport. It would be interesting to see that still be the case. If any contact resulted in a foul (either offensive or defensive), the game scores would be 200-198 and, possibly, a lot more entertaining…

    9. Donnie Walsh

      Dr Neismith also didn’t allow dribbling in his original rules. It was all about passing and moving without the ball. Dribbling was established sixty years later (in the 1950s). Not sure who the dribbler was, but he’s directly responsible for the 2014 New York Knicks!

    10. Kahnzy

      and, possibly, a lot more entertaining…

      Not sure if I could disagree anymore with that statement. I know this is a very subjective argument, but for me at least more foul calls=less entertaining and fewer foul calls=more entertaining.

      Usually.

    11. d-mar

      I guess I started the whole refereeing discussion with my post about the Kane Fitzgerald workshop I attended. I think it’s incredibly difficult to officiate high level basketball, you have to make split second decisions on plays that develop really quickly (the block/charge call may be the most difficult one in all of sports), and in the NBA and Division 1 college, you’re going to have TV guys running replays over and over to second guess those decisions.

      The guys who become NBA refs do hundreds and hundreds of high school and college games to get to that level, and it is truly an elite group. Yes, they’re not infallible, and there may be league directives to favor one team or another, but I have tremendous respect for any ref who makes it to that level.

    12. lavor postell

      Not sure if I could disagree anymore with that statement. I know this is a very subjective argument, but for me at least more foul calls=less entertaining and fewer foul calls=more entertaining.

      Usually.

      Agree completely. I’d much rather watch a hard fought game with few whistles rather than a free throw shooting marathon. There’s a balance between the late 90’s Knicks-Heat series that I watched purely for rooting interests and not for any kind of aesthetic satisfaction and the parade to the foul line that often occurs in the league today.

    13. Donnie Walsh

      Not sure if I could disagree anymore with that statement.

      Well, keep in mind that if No Contact was an actual and enforced rule, players would go out of their way to avoid it, rather than create it. There would be less foul calls (and more defenses forcing players to take shots based on percentages, not offenses looking for refs to bail them out on every forced drive into the paint)

    14. dtrickey

      That’s a big coaching mantra, but flat out wrong.
      Refs have control over which team wins in a majority of games.
      – They can reward points to a team with discretionary calls and technical fouls.
      – They can take away points from a team with discretionary calls.
      – They can stop runs and change momentum.
      – They can remove key players from the game.

      In the Eastern conference last season, Miami had the highest average point differential of all playoff teams at 4.8, and you’re saying “an official can never really decide a game”

      Teams put themselves in a position to win. Granted refs can have an influence on the game, but can you honestly say that the Spurs won this years Finals because of referee influence? Absolutely not, especially considering the played the Heat who you’ve used as an example. Melo is notorious for getting no calls when driving to the basket that other “superstars” get all the time, however, I think you would struggle to find anyone on this site who would be willing to use biased officiating as a factor for the Knicks shitty play this season.

      I’ll concede that in close games, a refs call can have an impact, but I am not 100% convinced that the reffing is that bad, that a whole seasons worth of outcomes are pre-determined……unless the whole thing really is crooked ha ha

    15. Donnie Walsh

      For as boring as baseball is, the umping is objective: it can be done by 1 guy in a booth with a computer and a few cameras. Same with tennis. And golf requires barely any officiating at all. Same with soccer, for the most part. (I have no idea about football– that sport has 100 flaws as far as I can see, so I don’t bother paying a lick of attention to it). Basketball is a simple and beautiful game, save for it’s one fundamental flaw… The refs own it.

    16. dtrickey

      I dunno, reffing is a huge part of the game of the best players in the league (Lebron and Durant). Lebron essentially barrels through defenders and not only gets to shoot free throws but puts his opponents into foul trouble.

      I see your point, however, the refs effectively have to call that if the contact is there. I realise that sometimes the contact is a bit iffy, but there is nothing so controversial about those calls. Those guys are playing to what the rules say you can do. I was always taught when playing basketball that when you drive to the basket, don’t shy away from making contact as you are likely to be fouled and go to the line. I can appreciate that sometimes there are consistency issues with the calling of blocks and charges (maybe there’s scope for review on the line ball calls, although I would prefer not to see that for the sake of keeping the game moving.

      least more foul calls=less entertaining and fewer foul calls=more entertaining

      I would tend to agree. Call the obvious and blatant stuff, put the whistle away for the ticky-touch contact.

    17. Kahnzy

      The NBA’s continued march towards more and more use of the replay, I believe, lends itself to the argument that the game is not inherently rigged. Can bad officiating determine the outcome of a game, or even a playoff series? Absolutely. Is it by some conspiratorial design? I have my doubts. Else, why bother making it harder for refs to get away with? With the ever increasing reliance on replays, the league is at least trying to minimize the impact refs can have when it matters most. The fact that they insist on moving forward with expanded use of the replay despite the fact that it can be so boring and tempt many a fan to change that proverbial dial tells me that they are at least interested in getting it right. Whether they do or not, though, is a different argument.

      It’s far from perfect though; however I must admit I do get a good laugh from JVG everytime it happens in a game he’s working.

    18. lavor postell

      Plumlee over Cousins? Jerry Colangelo must be smoking the finest herb from JR’s stash.

    19. Brian Cronin

      Plumlee over Cousins? Jerry Colangelo must be smoking the finest herb from JR’s stash.

      Since it is a Duke guy, it was likely a Coach K call. Also it was probably “Either guy wasn’t likely to play much anyways, so I’d rather a guy who doesn’t mind that he won’t play at all and is a better teammate in general.” Of course, who Coach K think is is a better teammate is likely biased by his personal experiences with each player, but still…

    20. lavor postell

      Either way it’s an unbelievably stupid decision. Watching Plumlee attempt to protect the rim in international ball or try to finish around the rim when teams can play an actual zone should be amusing if nothing else. I actually feel bad for Cousins who I think has some maturity issues, but really showed a lot of growth in that regard last year and was also extremely productive on the floor. It really seems petty especially after Colangelo called him out last summer for no particular reason.

    21. Brian Cronin

      I see your point, however, the refs effectively have to call that if the contact is there. I realise that sometimes the contact is a bit iffy, but there is nothing so controversial about those calls. Those guys are playing to what the rules say you can do.

      It’s only not controversial because the refs have long since decided that Lebron (or whoever the Lebron of his time was – Jordan, I guess?) barreling into guys is a defensive foul. The rules don’t say that you can barrel into defenders and get the foul called on them.

      Here’s the rule:

      a. A player shall not hold, push, charge into, impede the progress of an oppo-nent by extending a hand, forearm, leg or knee or by bending the body into a posi-tion that is not normal. Contact that results in the re-routing of an opponent is a foul which must be called immediately.
      b. Contact initiated by the defensive player guarding a player with the ball is not legal. This contact includes, but is not limited to, forearm, hands, or body check.

      The league has determined that “reacting when a player drives directly into them” counts as “impeding the progress of an opponent” instead of the offensive player “charging into” the defender, which is what it should be (and if not should, certainly could).

      That’s just how the league has decided to call those types of plays. They could do it the other way and Lebron would have to find other ways to score (same with Harden and Durant).

      I’m not even saying that it is a bad thing (I personally don’t have a big problem with it, although I regularly debate my brother about it as he hates it), just that it is something the refs and/or the league had control over and they’ve decided to call it this way and that decision has a huge impact on how the game is played.

    22. dtrickey

      Plumlee over Cousins? Jerry Colangelo must be smoking the finest herb from JR’s stash.

      All I can say as an Australian preparing to go to the World Championships without Patty Mills is f#$^ you guys and your first world problems ha ha.

      I’m not even saying that it is a bad thing (I personally don’t have a big problem with it, although I regularly debate my brother about it as he hates it), just that it is something the refs and/or the league had control over and they’ve decided to call it this way and that decision has a huge impact on how the game is played.

      I think what probably irks people is when players drop their shoulder on the drive. That to me is an offensive foul and can fully appreciate that when players exploit that the refs do have an influence given they could use their discretion and either let it go or call a charge.

    23. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, the lowered shoulder move is the most infuriating one. And that’s the move that players like Lebron and Durant and Wade have mastered. And I don’t blame them, since they’d be fools not to do it if they get the foul called on it with regularity (which they do).

    24. Kahnzy

      I find Durant’s sweep through move where he swings his arms through the outstretched arm of a defender and gets the foul to be the most infuriating. Even though the league changed it to never be in the act of shooting (though it can still mean instant free throws if the other team is in the penalty), it’s gaining popularity and I see it more and more. Make it an offensive foul or a no-call.

    25. lavor postell

      I find Durant’s sweep through move where he swings his arms through the outstretched arm of a defender and gets the foul to be the most infuriating. Even though the league changed it to never be in the act of shooting (though it can still mean instant free throws if the other team is in the penalty), it’s gaining popularity and I see it more and more. Make it an offensive foul or a no-call.

      I’ve actually seen a couple of guys make a shot after contact on this move and get an and-1 after this rule was put in place. Last season I saw Durant and Brook Lopez get this call in their favor. This move, the lowered shoulder and the jump into a guy and flail your arms when you have nowhere to go or have a guy up in the air next to you are the most infuriating ones.

    26. Brian Cronin

      I don’t mind the “get the guy up in the air” one, since you should never leave your feet like that as a defender, so I think you sort of “deserve” to get a foul called on you if you do that as a defender.

      I hate the lowered shoulder one the most because it is the simplest one not to call. The others, while obviously annoying, are also at least somewhat difficult to call as a ref. When a guy lowers his shoulder and then barrels into defenders – hey ref, guess what, he’s “charging into” the defenders!!

    27. Nick C.

      Yeah especially when he is cradling the ball in the crook of his elbow like a running back. For me it ceases to even be basketball.

    28. Hubert

      I can’t wait til Coach K is nowhere near our national basketball program again. For all the respect he deserves as a college coach, he has shown himself to be Woodson-like when it comes to international tactics, especially compared to the seasoned coaches we compete against.

      Of course, even Woodson could walk to a gold medal with our current crop of players.

      By the way, I love this upcoming tournament. International basketball is the shit. Can’t wait til they ditch the olympics and start making this the premier international basketball tournament. Would love a real basketball world cup.

    29. DRed

      Coach K is preposterously overrated because he’s the sport’s writers platonic ideal of a coach. But nobody outside of America can even hope to contain Mason Plumlee, so this gold is in the bag.

    30. Hubert

      I hate the lowered shoulder one the most because it is the simplest one not to call. The others, while obviously annoying, are also at least somewhat difficult to call as a ref. When a guy lowers his shoulder and then barrels into defenders – hey ref, guess what, he’s “charging into” the defenders!!

      The thing that really bugs me is they do a GREAT job of not calling it when Carmelo Anthony does it.

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