Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Friday, May 04 2012)

  • [New York Times] Playoffs: Conference Quarterfinals | Game 3: Heat 87, Knicks 70: Knicks Are Off and Almost Out (Fri, 04 May 2012 05:37:20 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony shot 7 for 23 from the field as the Knicks, who set an N.B.A. record by losing their 13th straight playoff game, fell to 0-3 in their series against the Heat.

  • [New York Times] Heat’s Chris Bosh, a New Dad, in Lineup Against Knicks in Game 3 (Fri, 04 May 2012 05:37:24 GMT)
    Heat forward Chris Bosh was in Miami early Thursday for his son Jackson’s birth, and in the starting lineup later in New York against the Knicks.

  • [New York Times] Fuzzy Levane, Fixture of New York City Basketball, Dies at 92 (Fri, 04 May 2012 05:07:23 GMT)
    Mr. Levane was head coach of the Knicks during the 1958-59 season, leading them to a 40-32 record, a second-place finish in the N.B.A.’s Eastern Division and a playoff appearance.

  • [New York Times] LeBron James Ends Foul Night With Flourish (Fri, 04 May 2012 05:37:40 GMT)
    LeBron James seemed to alternate fouls and fumbles, but he heated up in the fourth quarter and wound up with a game-high 32 points.

  • [New York Times] Game 3: Thunder 95, Mavericks 79: Thunder Run Past Mavericks, Take 3-0 Series Lead (Fri, 04 May 2012 07:39:07 GMT)
    Kevin Durant scored 31 points as Oklahoma City rolled to a victory in Dallas. The Thunder lead the series, three games to none.

  • [New York Times] James, Heat Pull Away to 3-0 Lead Over Knicks (Fri, 04 May 2012 08:25:30 GMT)
    LeBron James had more turnovers and fouls than baskets, and still the Miami Heat were ahead.

  • [New York Times] LeBron Wakes Up to Push Knicks Closer to Exit Door (Fri, 04 May 2012 06:21:39 GMT)
    LeBron James woke from a third-quarter slumber to lead the visiting Miami Heat to an 87-70 thumping of the New York Knicks on Thursday and a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Lead 3-0 After 95-79 Win in Dallas (Fri, 04 May 2012 08:58:27 GMT)
    Dirk Nowitzki leaned back in the chair at the podium, trying to explain what went wrong for the Dallas Mavericks once they got home for the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] New Dad Bosh Tops Off ‘Finest Day Ever’ With Win (Fri, 04 May 2012 07:30:37 GMT)
    Miami center Chris Bosh capped off the “finest day ever” by rushing back to New York to help his team wallop the Knicks 87-70 on Thursday in a game the Heat dedicated to his newborn son Jackson.

  • [New York Times] James, Heat Pull Away to 3-0 Lead Over Knicks (Fri, 04 May 2012 02:57:54 GMT)
    Frustrated and foul-prone for three quarters, LeBron James finally did what he usually does at Madison Square Garden.

  • [New York Times] LeBron Wakes Up to Push Knicks Closer to Exit Door (Fri, 04 May 2012 03:37:03 GMT)
    LeBron James woke from a third-quarter slumber to lead the visiting Miami Heat to an 87-70 thumping of the New York Knicks on Thursday and a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series.

  • [New York Times] Video: Off the Dribble: The Drama King (Fri, 04 May 2012 00:37:11 GMT)
    William C. Rhoden says LeBron James is a hard-working stage performer on the basketball court, playing to the crowd and often overacting.

  • [New York Times] Knicks-Heat Replay: Game 3 (Fri, 04 May 2012 05:22:40 GMT)
    Action from Madison Square Garden, as Miami defeated New York, 87-70, to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Friendly calls, lagging LeBron fail to save Knicks (Fri, 04 May 2012 07:33:33 GMT)
    Everywhere they turned Thursday night at the Garden, the Knicks had people trying to hand them a playoff game. The list started with LeBron James, continued with the Heat, and even included the refs, primarily Eddie F. Rush.

  • [New York Daily News] Heat is on: Knicks face elimination after 17-point loss (Fri, 04 May 2012 07:32:32 GMT)
    With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade coming to life after intermission, Miami shutdown Carmelo Anthony and cruised to an 87-70 Game 3 victory. The Heat is one win away from advancing to the second round. Game 4 is Sunday.

  • [New York Daily News] Lupica: LBJ & Co. show Knicks can’t compete (Fri, 04 May 2012 07:30:58 GMT)
    Mike Woodson’s Knicks couldn’t beat the Heat on a night when LeBron James struggled. When Miami gave you its “Câ? game at the Madison Square Garden

  • [New York Daily News] Woodson unsure of Amar’e return (Fri, 04 May 2012 05:22:49 GMT)
    If Amar’e Stoudemire is playing in Game 4, that’s news to Mike Woodson. Stoudemire, who missed Game 3 with a lacerated left hand, had said on Wednesday that there was a “greatâ? chance he’d be ready to rejoin the Knicks on Sunday.

  • 223 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Friday, May 04 2012)

    1. ess-dog

      The fact that Novak took 2 shots is indefensible. Buh-bye Woodson.
      And Melo just looks flat out of shape. He could not hang with Battier much less Lebron. We shoulda just kept last years team – same results anyway.

    2. SeeWhyDee77

      Besides the fact that Anderson boards better, is there any real difference between he and Novak? Same measurables..same deadly jumper…well scratch that- Ryan Anderson’s a lil more versatile offensively. I guess I’m asking that because I’m wondering why we keep trotting Novak out there as a 3 instead of a 4. But then again I guess it doesn’t matter because coaches arent dumb enough to let their 4’s guard a one trick pony out on the perimeter. They are gonna stick wings on him and let someone stronger check Melo most nights. If Novak can come back next season, I sincerely hope he comes back with a more Ryan Anderson like game as a guy like Anderson is a perfect fit between Chandler and Melo when Stat isn’t playing. That said..I really wish Melo would trust his teammates more. That way he wouldn’t force so much on offense like he did last nite. I know he was pretty much our only viable offensive weapon last nite, but a weapon becomes offensive (pun intended) when you don’t use your teammates more. They can only help at this point. But it’s not entirely his fault. Woody didn’t run anything for Novak. The P&R was horrible. Earl shot 6 for one million..awesome dunk tho. If we were gonna run Melo iso in the high post all day, i’d have had Fields and Novak runnin behind screens and curls until Miami found a way to stopop both options. I don’t wanna make excuses, but we really ran into a chainsaw/woodchipper/meat grinder thingy. Not that we’re not good enuf, but we’re not healthy..and in a playoff series (especially against a team as talented as Miami) running an iso heavy offense with only one real offensive weapon is not the best strategy. Unless that one weapon is Lebron. His game is meant for a series like this..meaning if he were in Melo’s shoes. I can live with Melo being our top gun..I just can’t deal with the lack of use of his teammates.

    3. Bison

      I’ve been thinking why Carmelo keeps failing in the playoffs and may have identified an important reason for it.

      Ball hogging can win championships, but if you’re the hogger, you had better be a superior passer too. The reason is simple: at some point in the playoffs, you are likely to meet defenses you can’t handle, and at that point, if you can’t use your teammates, you lose.

      Take Michael Jordan for example. In his 6 championships, he averaged 5.3 assists per game in the playoffs; his best in these years was 6.7 in 1992-1993.

      Or take Kobe Bryant. In his 5 championships, he averaged 5.2 apg in the playoffs; his best in these years was 6.1 in 2000-2001.

      In contrast, Melo has no championships. But he has averaged 3.1 assists per game in the playoffs, significantly worse than the famous ball hogs above. This is likely a major reason he keeps losing in the playoffs every year — and so will the Knicks as long as he dominates the offense, unless his playmaking seriously improves, or he stops hogging the ball.

    4. Brian Cronin

      The Rivera injury really puts the Knick loss into perspective. Yeah, the loss sucked, but Mo Rivera might never pitch again. That’s so much bigger than this, I can’t even feel too bad about the Knicks.

    5. d-mar

      As I was leaving MSG last night with all the other depressed fans, I was thinking 2 things:

      1) Why,oh why, did we lose to fucking Cleveland?

      2) Was Linsanity really only a few months ago? Back then, it felt soooo good to be a Knick fan (and as a season ticket holder, being finally able to sell tickets (-:) Two straight SI covers, the national media talking about nothing else, 7 game winning streak, just a wonderful ride.

      And now our season ends with one of our max guys sitting on the bench with his arm in a stupid sling, our other max guy coming up small when we needed him most, and the Knicks setting the record for playoff futility.

      Being a Knicks fan is a roller coaster ride, but the ride always ends with nausea and vomit.

    6. Brian Cronin

      The playoff loss record is a bit misleading, since it was only within the last decade that the first round became a best of seven. It is a lot harder losing 13 straight games when you’re doing them in batches of three.

    7. Owen

      “Back then, it felt soooo good to be a Knick fan”

      It’s been a crazy season. That is for sure.

    8. Z

      Brian Cronin:
      The playoff loss record is a bit misleading, since it was only within the last decade that the first round became a best of seven. It is a lot harder losing 13 straight games when you’re doing them in batches of three.

      The fact that the streak stretches all the way back to the bygone “best of 5″ era shows just how far back the futility goes… Not only have we lost 13 in a row, but it’s taken us almost 13 years to lose them too!

    9. Brian Cronin

      The fact that the streak stretches all the way back to the bygone “best of 5? era shows just how far back the futility goes… Not only have we lost 13 in a row, but it’s taken us almost 13 years to lose them too!

      Yeah, the stretch with no playoffs was brutal. A lot more brutal than this, I must say.

    10. Brian Cronin

      The playoff-less stretch actually does kind of make this even more irritating, though. We had this long stretch where the Knicks just ruined their roster by poorly constructing the roster. Then they finally got out from under their screw-ups, hire a guy who actually knows how to build a team…and then undercut him and end up with a poorly constructed roster…again. Thank goodness it is a poorly constructed roster with a lot of talent at least. So they’ll at least continue to make the playoffs and (depending on how they do with veteran free agents) possibly challenge for the #3 seed.

    11. er

      Listen I’m as big a melo fan as there is and believe me he sucked but would it have made it better if melo went for 42 again and the knicks still lost?….this was just a nightmare matchup point blank

    12. Z

      Brian Cronin:
      So they’ll at least continue to make the playoffs and (depending on how they do with veteran free agents) possibly challenge for the #3 seed…

      …or keep “the streak” alive for the next 5 years.

    13. Brian Cronin

      Listen I’m as big a melo fan as there is and believe me he sucked but would it have made it better if melo went for 42 again and the knicks still lost?

      I believe the issue is that if he went for 42 with this particular Knick squad, they would have won.

    14. Caleb

      It’s a pretty frustrating series – playing like crap, a really tough matchup and not even the fun of being a measuring stick for next year, because so many guys are hurt.

      Silver linings – it’s a reality check for some things. Where are all those people who think Novak will be swimming in offers for the mid-level? And J.R….

      The coaching situation will be interesting.

      But first – let’s get one Sunday!

    15. Owen

      Yeah, what Brian said….

      Although, it would have made it better regardless if the Garden wasn’t empty when the game ended. Carmelo scoring 42 would have helped….

      Brian Cronin: I believe the issue is that if he went for 42 with this particular Knick squad, they would have won.

    16. Doug

      Brian Cronin:
      The Rivera injury really puts the Knick loss into perspective. Yeah, the loss sucked, but Mo Rivera might never pitch again. That’s so much bigger than this, I can’t even feel too bad about the Knicks.

      I think I’m still in a stage of denial on this. I’m trying to convince myself that Mo wouldn’t want to leave the field for the last time on a cart. He’ll come back so he can end it on his own terms.

      Right?

      Right??

      :'((((

    17. d-mar

      Caleb:
      It’s a pretty frustrating series – playing like crap, a really tough matchup and not even the fun of being a measuring stick for next year, because so many guys are hurt.

      Silver linings – it’s a reality check for some things. Where are all those people who think Novak will be swimming in offers for the mid-level? And J.R….

      The coaching situation will be interesting.

      But first – let’s get one Sunday!

      Good points re: Novak and JR. I know among many of the reasons listed on prior threads why we’re a doomed franchise (stuck with Amare, Shump’s knee, Lin’s knee, etc. etc.) was that we couldn’t re-sign those guys, but I really believe they’re replaceable. And as much as I love Novakaine, his value (or lack thereof) in playoff basketball was on full display in these 3 games.

    18. ess-dog

      At least the defense has been fairly impressive. Woodson has helped there. I’m still not sure why D’Antoni had to go. I guess he “lost” the players, but he could’ve been an x factor in this series (maybe.)
      It’s funny how Chalmers has killed us these last few games. Maybe if we have Shump last night, things look a little different?
      It will be interesting to see how we try to improve next year. The “Amare” issue is very real and our bench should be depleted once JR and Novak sign elsewhere.
      Lin/Melo/Chandler isn’t a bad core. Maybe Amare can return to form and we’ll find an athletic 2 guard (unless we get a miracle from Shump.)

    19. Doug

      SeeWhyDee77: Besides the fact that Anderson boards better, is there any real difference between he and Novak?

      Ryan Anderson: Rich man’s Novak?

    20. Caleb

      Yeah, I’m not slagging Novak – and I don’t think it’s fair to blame Woodson for not “getting” him shots. He’s a great shooter, but he’s a spot-up shooter who needs other players to set him up, and if a team decides to focus on denying him the ball, with more athletic players, there’s not much you can do.

      With a full-strength team, they can’t do that because it opens up the inside for Melo, Amare and Lin.

      Novak’s a great shooter and seems like a good guy but you can find someone nearly as good to play the same role, for pretty cheap.

      J.R. is a tougher call – he’s shot like crap all year, but he’s only 26 and he’s had years as a really efficient scorer. I could see him playing 30 mpg as a combo guard on a great team, but if he can’t get his shot back, he’s not worth the mid-level, to be a backup.

    21. Caleb

      @21 Very rich. Anderson is a decent NBA athlete, can put the ball on the floor and is actually a good rebounder. He led the team in scoring the other night, in a playoff win. Can you remotely imagine Novak leading the Knicks in scoring, in the playoffs?

    22. Doug

      d-mar: And as much as I love Novakaine, his value (or lack thereof) in playoff basketball was on full display in these 3 games.

      yeah it has become clear that a lot of creativity is required on the offensive x’s and o’s to get him the ball against a team that takes him seriously as an offensive threat.

    23. ess-dog

      Also, I hope we can see Lin one last time tomorrow, even if he sucks balls out there. Just to keep it interesting.

    24. er

      I agree with you on that…but you know how it goes for the Bockers

      Brian Cronin: I believe the issue is that if he went for 42 with this particular Knick squad, they would have won.

    25. JC Knickfan

      Brian Cronin:
      Question: Has anyone asked Woodson why he was so willing to go for a matchup with the Heat instead of the Bulls?

      Come on you can’t tell players throw a game. Once we lost Cav game we pretty toss our changes to get 6th seed. So only chance avoid the heat was to lose our last 2 after knew results magic/bobcats game. Melo/TC sat in Bobcat game and Melo in 4QT LAC game.

    26. JC Knickfan

      I do blame woodson on not having balls put Amare on bench for Cavs game let work with 2nd until.

    27. hoolahoop

      Caleb: Silver linings – it’s a reality check for some things. Where are all those people who think Novak will be swimming in offers for the mid-level? And J.R….

      You think because Novak throws up a goose egg no coach is going to want him?
      He’s going to get a lot of offers.

    28. JC Knickfan

      er:
      The key going forward is getting a top 3 seed every yr from now on

      If want remotes making final – we need to be a top seed. 3-seed and below have to play 1 and 2 seed baring upset.

      Having to beat both Miami and Chicago is going to be daunting task. Plus consistently playing them in 2nd will probably more pain and sorrow. Best thing force them play each other and meet them in conference final.

    29. Brian Cronin

      Come on you can’t tell players throw a game. Once we lost Cav game we pretty toss our changes to get 6th seed. So only chance avoid the heat was to lose our last 2 after knew results magic/bobcats game. Melo/TC sat in Bobcat game and Melo in 4QT LAC game.

      He put Chandler back into the game into the fourth quarter. If he didn’t, they lose that Clippers game.

    30. Peter87

      ruruland seems to have disappeared…I guess he is like Melo’s shooting touch, comes and goes ;-)

    31. TelegraphedPass

      Peter87: ruruland seems to have disappeared…I guess he is like Melo’s shooting touch, comes and goes ;-)

      Or maybe he has a life and/or job and stuff

    32. PC

      Woodson should at least get a chance to coach a healthy roster. If we suck at the all-star break next year, cut him.

      We have to keep guys motivated on defense to have a chance because we don’t have any knock down shooters next year (no Novak, no JR, Shump, Lin and Fields can’t shoot it with any consistency yet). So, we’re going to go stretches where we can’t score the ball. Some other coach will likely be offense oriented likely at the cost of defensive focus.

    33. Doug

      Peter87:
      ruruland seems to have disappeared…I guess he is like Melo’s shooting touch, comes and goes ;-)

      Why, are you happy he’s not here?

    34. New Guy

      Peter87:
      ruruland seems to have disappeared…I guess he is like Melo’s shooting touch, comes and goes ;-)

      RuRu = Mariano Rivera. It all makes sense now.

      Get better, buddy.

    35. TelegraphedPass

      Playing as a star athlete for the Knicks must suck. We’re all so thirsty for playoff success and a championship that anything less causes us to rip our guys apart. When they play well it doesn’t excuse their previous failures. When they play poorly they become the symbol of everything wrong with the city.

      Honestly, that’s part of the reason I’ve been supportive of Melo. I never loved him as a player. But I can only imagine what it’s like to play for a city that will never love you without a Finals appearance.

    36. JK47

      Let’s not overreact over yesterday’s loss, and to this impending sweep in general. We were missing 60% of the starting lineup. We had Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith and an assortment of second-round picks, washed up point guards and minimum salary roster filler trying to beat the team that is probably going to win its first of multiple NBA titles. This wasn’t a winnable game, and it wasn’t a winnable series.

      Depending on the moves the Knicks make in the offseason, they should be a 3 or 4 seed in the Eastern Conference next year. All is not lost. The way this team played at the end of the regular season is encouraging and should give us some hope that there will be some fun times in the future.

    37. PC

      JK47: Let’s not overreact over yesterday’s loss, and to this impending sweep in general. We were missing 60% of the starting lineup. We had Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith and an assortment of second-round picks, washed up point guards and minimum salary roster filler trying to beat the team that is probably going to win its first of multiple NBA titles. This wasn’t a winnable game, and it wasn’t a winnable series. Depending on the moves the Knicks make in the offseason, they should be a 3 or 4 seed in the Eastern Conference next year. All is not lost. The way this team played at the end of the regular season is encouraging and should give us some hope that there will be some fun times in the future.

      Amen. The way we played down the stretch without Lin was encouraging. Lin will be a huge help. And, I am praying Fields will return with his old three ball from what seems to be eons ago.

    38. New Guy

      People keep blaming this on injuries and missing 3/5 of the lineup, but we play better when we’re missing players in the lineup than when we have them.

      This is the team, minus Shump, that played the best portion of our season. And it’s getting creamed.

    39. Doug

      New Guy:
      People keep blaming this on injuries and missing 3/5 of the lineup, but we play better when we’re missing players in the lineup than when we have them.

      This is the team, minus Shump, that played the best portion of our season.And it’s getting creamed.

      The Ewing Theory is bullshit. By your logic, the more players we lose, the better we are.

    40. KnickfaninNJ

      Hulahoop:

      I agree about Novak. Any NBA player that requires Shaun Battier full playoff intensity defense to keep him from scoring has value in the NBA. It means someone else isn’t being defended by Battier and coaches are going to want that. He wil definitely get offers.

    41. TelegraphedPass

      KnickfaninNJ: Hulahoop:I agree about Novak. Any NBA player that requires Shaun Battier full playoff intensity defense to keep him from scoring has value in the NBA. It means someone else isn’t being defended by Battier and coaches are going to want that. He wil definitely get offers.

      He doesn’t need Shane’s “full playoff intensity defense” to keep him from scoring. Just a tall forward who can fight through screens will do. It isn’t as if Battier manhandled him. You just have to stay home on him.

    42. New Guy

      Doug: The Ewing Theory is bullshit. By your logic, the more players we lose, the better we are.

      The Ewing Theory is bullshit, not to mention a misnomer.

      But I’m not espousing it. This is not about Ewing Theory. I believe it was Max who laid out the numbers last night. We don’t play our best basketball when we have 5/5 of our starting lineup, so it’s a stretch to blame our complete annihilation on not having players who don’t make us better when they’re on the court with the other players.

    43. er

      Yea cause shump is worthless

      New Guy:
      People keep blaming this on injuries and missing 3/5 of the lineup, but we play better when we’re missing players in the lineup than when we have them.

      This is the team, minus Shump, that played the best portion of our season.And it’s getting creamed.

    44. Doug

      New Guy: The Ewing Theory is bullshit, not to mention a misnomer.

      But I’m not espousing it.This is not about Ewing Theory.I believe it was Max who laid out the numbers last night.We don’t play our best basketball when we have 5/5 of our starting lineup, so it’s a stretch to blame our complete annihilation on not having players who don’t make us better when they’re on the court with the other players.

      I’d argue we were playing our best basketball with 5/5 of our starting lineup. The Portland blowout? The Sixers game? The Indiana back-to-back?

      The only thing missing was good shooting by Melo, but he was rebounding, playing defense, and sharing the ball so it didn’t really matter.

    45. New Guy

      er:
      Yea cause shump is worthless

      Either stop being a troll, or make a compelling case that Shumpert would have swung the game last night.

    46. JC Knickfan

      Brian Cronin: He put Chandler back into the game into the fourth quarter. If he didn’t, they lose that Clippers game.

      That only puts in the tie with 76’er which we own tiebreaker. How do we lose the bobcat game? Mike Bibby started, play 37 minutes and had 12 assist. 12 assist!! TD was sick probably gave TC the flu so we even couldn’t stick him in there. JJ play 24 minutes and 6-11 shooting. What are do – tell laundry you shoot 3-ball 20 time this game – get some practice buddy? Bobcat where so futile you have actually have ask your players throw the game.

    47. Kikuchiyo

      I don’t remember who said it, but everything boils down to the decision to begin the season without a point guard. These Miami games look a lot like the early part of the season, when TD and committee tried to play point. Ugly, awful. Some energized play in the Woodson era papered over this, but Miami (and Boston and probably Indiana) exposes this weakness too easily. It’s a bitter pill, but at least Lin and PG to be named later should help a great deal next year. There are some good things to look forward to. We knew that dumping Chauncey (who, by the way, is injured too, of course) could mean a shaky year. And that’s what happened.

      I don’t see the point of crucifying Melo. He’s either a fantastic scorer with no help who is wilting a bit under intense pressure or he’s an overrated talent with a lower ceiling than we hoped for. In either case, he’s a KNICK for the foreseeable future. We’d best hope that decisions about personnel and coach and system can help this flawed team (and all teams are flawed) compete.

    48. er

      A troll? Ok then ….I never said anything about swinging all I’m saying is this team now is mighty flawed

      New Guy: Either stop being a troll, or make a compelling case that Shumpert would have swung the game last night.

    49. New Guy

      Doug: I’d argue we were playing our best basketball with 5/5 of our starting lineup. The Portland blowout? The Sixers game? The Indiana back-to-back?

      Fair point.

      But the team that took the court last night is pretty darn close to the team that finished the season strong. Rather than argue, I’ll just ask you:

      Do you think our abject failure in this series is simply a result of shit luck and injuries, and in no way reveals potential design flaws that are not easily correctable during the life of the Melo-Amar’e partnerships?

      I enjoy your posts, you’re one of the smarter optimists on here and you don’t lose your head after losses like I do. I have been through too much with this team. When I said last night (much your chagrin, it seemed) that this team reminded me of 2004, I meant in the sense that the systematic destruction of that team and Marbury’s futile response in its face rang the bell loud and clear that we backed the wrong horse. It may be a stretch, but I think this year and last year are sending me the same signal.

    50. KnickfaninNJ

      TelegraphedPass: He doesn’t need Shane’s “full playoff intensity defense” to keep him from scoring. Just a tall forward who can fight through screens will do. It isn’t as if Battier manhandled him. You just have to stay home on him.

      I watched the interaction of the two carefully and I don’t agree. Battier didn’t manhandle him, true; but he closed very quickly and stayed up very close. Novak doesn’t drive much and score so this prevented him from taking shots. But I think Novak would have gotten shots if a lesser defender than Battier had tried to do this. Battier is known for his defense It’s true if you had a tall forward who fought through screens and defended tightly and closed quickly that person could stop Novak. But just by that very description, that person would be a good defender like Battier is and that means that a team was dedicating a good defender to stopping Novak.

      I am not saying Novak’s a star that you can build an offense around. What I am saying is that just because he can be stopped by someone like Battier doesn’t mean he has no value. I think teams will still be willing to hire him and will bid significant money to do so.

    51. JC Knickfan

      Doug: I’d argue we were playing our best basketball with 5/5 of our starting lineup. The Portland blowout? The Sixers game? The Indiana back-to-back?

      The only thing missing was good shooting by Melo, but he was rebounding, playing defense, and sharing the ball so it didn’t really matter.

      I totally agree with you. 6-1 stretch is best I think we look all year. Beating Indy away was the first time we beat playoff team on the road. Everyone was playing defense and rebounding was all sudden much better. Scoring was nicely spread out.
      But only 7 games and we’ll never know if that team would have post even better record then Melo-iso 12-5 team.

    52. New Guy

      er:
      A troll? Ok then ….I never said anything about swinging all I’m saying is this team now is mighty flawed

      I said losing Shump shouldn’t lead to what’s happening. Your response was “because Shump is worthless.”

      Of course he isn’t worthless.

    53. JK47

      The team’s theoretical best lineup– Lin, Shump, Melo, Stat, Chandler– barely played together this season. There was a very, very small window when all the guys in that lineup were healthy.

    54. Eternal OptiKnist

      I just lament that we didn’t have a 100% healthy roster in this series from the beginning…I really think we could have competed. Lin (especially) and Jeffries were critical soft spots before opening tip of game 1. Then we had Tyson with the flu hindering him in the 1st two games, followed by Amare and extinguisher-gate. The biggest loss though, and moreso for the future than the series was Shumpert. When you consider our short window of opportunity with Stat, Melo and arguably Tyson..him not having the offseason to develop is really, really bad. If he could’ve worked on his shot this summer, we’d have the starting 2-guard spot in really good shape to start ’12/’13. A starting 5 of Lin, Shump, Melo, Stat and Chandler is pretty goddamn good. I think Lin should have a great offseason. Stat seems to me to be very coachable and if he could spend the summer focusing on defense and bounding, he could really be something next year (assuming he doesnt need surgery). I dont think he’s as physically diminished as we constantly hear about…i think he’s just been wiped from our playbook. The question is who the hell comes off the bench???? We’ve got Josh Harrelson, JJ and DWTDD….

    55. formido

      What? The Knicks played their best stretch when they had everyone healthy, going 6-1, winning three games against playoff teams, and having a huge point differential. Moreover, according to the graph a week or two ago, the two longest stretches of above trend play were with Lin in the lineup, so please don’t say that missing players doesn’t matter.

      New Guy: But I’m not espousing it. This is not about Ewing Theory. I believe it was Max who laid out the numbers last night. We don’t play our best basketball when we have 5/5 of our starting lineup, so it’s a stretch to blame our complete annihilation on not having players who don’t make us better when they’re on the court with the other players.

    56. hoolahoop

      Doug:
      The only thing missing was good shooting by Melo, but he was rebounding, playing defense, and sharing the ball so it didn’t really matter.

      I wonder what it’s like living on your planet.

    57. TelegraphedPass

      hoolahoop: I wonder what it’s like living on your planet.

      You only pop up to complain about Melo. Unlike guys like Owen, who have actual basis for their claims, you keep spewing nonsense about how selfish Melo is and he’s such a primadonna and other snoozefest narratives. When confronted with evidence to the contrary you disappear, only to pop up a few threads later to be a pessimistic troll.

      It’s irritating. It doesn’t really contribute too much. Then you compound it by condescending to others on the board. Stop it.

    58. New Guy

      formido:
      so please don’t say that missing players doesn’t matter.

      Not saying this. Not saying this at all.

      Simply saying the missing players doesn’t excuse the performance of the ones who are playing.

    59. Juany8

      JK47:
      The team’s theoretical best lineup– Lin, Shump, Melo, Stat, Chandler– barely played together this season.There was a very, very small window when all the guys in that lineup were healthy.

      That small window was one of the most dominant stretches by any team this eason period. We massacred Indiana back to back and destroyed Portland so badly they gave up on their season. And Melo couldn’t hit an open jumper to save his life, he was actually getting pretty good looks within the flow of the offense when Lin and Amar’e were playing. Can anyone say a team of Melo, a sick Tyson Chandler and…. Jr Smith?… should be competing against Miami?

    60. Juany8

      KnickfaninNJ: I watched the interaction of the two carefully and I don’t agree.Battier didn’t manhandle him, true; but he closed very quickly and stayed up very close. Novak doesn’t drive much and score so this prevented him from taking shots. But I think Novak would have gotten shots if a lesser defender than Battier had tried to do this.Battier is known for his defenseIt’s true if you had a tall forward who fought through screens and defended tightly and closed quickly that person could stop Novak.But just by that very description, that person would be a good defender like Battier is and that means that a team was dedicating a good defender to stopping Novak.

      I am not saying Novak’s a star that you can build an offense around.What I am saying is that just because he can be stopped by someone like Battier doesn’t mean he has no value. I think teams will still be willing to hire him and will bid significant money to do so.

      Matt Bonner and Kyle Korver are the realistic ceilings for Novak’s salary next year, and both are noticeably better players than him. Novak’s a great shooter, but that’s literally all he can do, he doesn’t move off the ball/off screens particularly well, can’t dribble, and isn’t very good at simply passing the ball around on the perimeter. Wouldn’t be totally unrealistic to keep him for the bi-annual exception depending on how much he likes it here, no one is giving him the full mid level. I know I shouldn’t say this, but it’s almost a shame it was Shump and not JR that got injured, he would definitely pick up his option for next year lol (I don’t really wish this happened, injuries suck)

    61. Z

      Doug: yeah it has become clear that a lot of creativity is required on the offensive x’s and o’s to get him the ball against a team that takes him seriously as an offensive threat.

      Yeah, but the thing about a shooter like Novak is that if he’s not shooting, it means that the defense isn’t collapsing off of him on other people’s penetration, which is still a good thing. By not shooting, he is helping the team (unlike guys who don’t pass up contested shots:)

    62. johnlocke

      Rumors out there that Amare will play on Sunday…. and attempt to salvage ‘Fire extinguisher-Gate’ — Howard Beck

    63. Doug

      New Guy: Do you think our abject failure in this series is simply a result of shit luck and injuries, and in no way reveals potential design flaws that are not easily correctable during the life of the Melo-Amar’e partnerships?
      I enjoy your posts, you’re one of the smarter optimists on here and you don’t lose your head after losses like I do.

      Thanks, that’s very kind of you to say!

      To answer your question, I believe shit luck and injuries were the biggest reason but not the only reason. If everyone is healthy and we put Lin/Shumpert/Melo/Amare/Tyson on the floor against Miami with JR/Novak/Landry/Jeffries/A Baron That Is Limited To 15-20 MPG, we’d have a damned good chance of winning the series. I’d feel great about going to war with that lineup.

      Now take away Lin, Shump, Amare, give Tyson a nasty case of the flu, and replace the holes with the 2nd unit guys. Make Baron play starter’s minutes at the point even though his body clearly can’t handle it. Then promote the end-of-the-bench guys and give them crucial reserve minutes. The Knicks! I don’t think this depleted lineup can win a game against the Sixers, let alone the Heat.

      I zeroed in on the phrase “potential design flaws that are not easily correctable.” I don’t think they’re flaws so much as inefficiencies. There’s no reason why they can’t be corrected after one full offseason and one full training camp. However, it’ll take a lot of offensive acumen to make it work, and I’m not sure if Woodson has it in him. I almost want to give D’Antoni a wheelbarrow of “We’re Sorry” money and hire him to design an offense. Pop, Carlisle, and Adelman probably all could make it work.

      I see it as a puzzle to be solved, not an irrevocable mistake of roster construction. Whoever can figure out how to play Lin, Melo, Amare, and Chandler together in harmony is the Knicks’ coach of the future.

    64. Doug

      wow, New Guy’s question made me hit the character limit. That doesn’t happen often.

      I’ll end by saying that I think the roster can largely motivate themselves to play defense. If you have Tyson setting an example and keep stressing accountability like Woody has been, the Knicks are a top 10 defensive team. So it’s imperative that the coach needs to develop an offensive system to fit the roster. It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, the chances of anyone getting traded for complementary pieces is hell of low.

    65. Caleb

      We were hitting on all cylinders against Indy, but we’re only talking about a few games. Portland had already tanked the season so it doesn’t mean much of anything if we beat them by 50.

      About Novak, I’m not saying he’s worthless at all, just that let’s not get carried away. I’m not sure what other teams will be willing to give. The track record on guys like that is mixed… I think most good teams would be glad to have Kyle Korver with his $5m salary, but Jason Kapono was one of the biggest mid-level mistakes ever.

      Novak is a fantastic shooter, but if anything he’s more one-dimensional and has a shorter track record than Korver. This kind of player is prety dependent, IMO, on being with a pretty good team. Otherwise the defense gangs up and you look like Novak has against Miami. Unlike David Lee in the old days, this is not the kind of efficient scorer who can ramp up and shoot 15 times a game and be the focus of an offense.

      A team good enough that Novak (or Korver) can flourish, will also also help lesser shooters. If someone offers $5 million, I won’t be shocked, and then we won’t have the #1 3-point shooter in the league, but we can have #2 or #5 at a much cheaper price.

      It’s basically out of the Knicks’ hands – they’re giving the mid-level to Lin.

    66. PC

      Since it is such a hot topic, I have a suggestion for the amazing people who run this site. We should have an offseason Novak thread where the rules are: every poster posts one post with Novak’s 2013 team and 2013 salary. Someone will nail it. And it will be fun. I’m a loster for thinking this will be fun.

    67. ephus

      Novak had a bad game last night and part of the blame falls on him for a slow trigger. He passed up at least 4 3-point attempts because of a fast close out. Novak has to launch immediately and without conscience.

      On the other hand, the Knicks have not done a good job of getting Novak open looks. Some have suggested running him off of curls, but he has not shown much ability to keep his accuracy when shooting on the move. It makes more sense to use Novak on the pick and pop, or to have Jeffries or Chandler set screens for Novak on the perimeter. Finally, given Miami’s rotations, when Chandler catches the ball on the PnR just below the foul line, Novak should be free for the corner 3.

    68. Cousyfan

      I fault the Coach for not sending in Jeremy Lin with his glasses, coat and tie, and black Oxfords.
      At least send him into a phone booth to change. :-)
      Cheers!

    69. PC

      Ouch.

      http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2012/05/04/carmelo-anthony-isnt-overrated-but-he-is-overvalued/

      Article is pretty spot on. I see one distinction not recognized. Certain superstars like Kobe and Paul have taken bad teams to the playoffs and competed in a series or two. But the distinction is that Melo has never played on a bad knick team all season. Injuries have turned his teams into teams just trying new players and new rosters. Losing Billups and Amare for the playoffs. Then this year every week was a new lineup. Kobe and Paul had a whole season with their guys. But, its a small distinction, I recognize that and agree with this article that Melo is not in the upper tier. Anyone who disagrees has direct familial ties to RURU.

    70. TelegraphedPass

      PC: Ouch.http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2012/05/04/carmelo-anthony-isnt-overrated-but-he-is-overvalued/Article is pretty spot on. I see one distinction not recognized. Certain superstars like Kobe and Paul have taken bad teams to the playoffs and competed in a series or two. But the distinction is that Melo has never played on a bad knick team all season. Injuries have turned his teams into teams just trying new players and new rosters. Losing Billups and Amare for the playoffs. Then this year every week was a new lineup. Kobe and Paul had a whole season with their guys. But, its a small distinction, I recognize that and agree with this article that Melo is not in the upper tier. Anyone who disagrees has direct familial ties to RURU.

      God, this is lazy #analysis.

    71. New Guy

      THe style we played in that 6-1 stretch, though, was completely different from the Melo-centric style that followed the injuries to Lin & Amar’e. It’s that Melo-centric style that had people running to this board to say “I told you so” and “where are all the Melo-haters now?” We brought that style to the playoffs INTACT. And it was absolutely, completely, and utterly dismantled. Because, as most of us knew at the time (even when Melo was pouring in 40), it would never work against a championship level defense.

      So you can blame injuries for our failure as a team, and point to that 6-1 stretch as hope for things to get better. But if you bought into Melo-ball and thought he could actually take us anywhere playing his ball-dominating high usage style, this series crushed that idea.

      So now we have to figure out a way to play the way we played for those 7 games for an entire season, but that requires Melo to play different the way he wants, which will lead to what we saw in the middle of the season when he got MDA fired…..

      It’s a god damn circle.

    72. ruruland

      Peter87: ruruland seems to have disappeared…I guess he is like Melo’s shooting touch, comes and goes ;-)

      I keep seeing my name being brought up.

      I have plenty of thoughts but was hoping things would settle down a bit before I shared them.

      Melo deserves criticism just as he did in game 1 for missing shots. He’s going to get buried after this series, as Robert mentioned. It’s going to be a long 12-13 months before Melo’s redeems himself in the eyes of Knicks fans. And that’s fine, but he will. He will be great again in the playoffs. And the Knicks will make it out of the first round of the playoffs and beyond.

      I know most of you don’t want to hear that or even believe it right now and I already now how many of you will respond to this post.

      Every time Melo and Amar’e have been knocked down in thier careers they’ve come back stronger. They may never be quite as good as the Heat with everyone back, but it’d be a lot closer than it is now.

    73. TelegraphedPass

      Sheridan Hoops is really an awful blog. It’s I liked it at first because it was cool seeing Chris revolt against ESPN, but the writers are really bad. Like, not just poor basketball analysts but bad writers. At least Grantland has some really phenomenal writers on board.

    74. New Guy

      I suppose it’s my fault for not keeping track of who said what. It’s probably different voices. But for weeks all I heard on here was: “we’re better without Amar’e”, “we need Melo at the 4″, “Novak and Smith are better than Lin”; now it’s “how is Melo supposed to win without Lin and Amar’e?”!!!!!!

    75. New Guy

      ruruland: I keep seeing my name being brought up.

      I have plenty of thoughts but was hoping things would settle down a bit before I shared them.

      Melo deserves criticism just as he did in game 1 for missing shots. He’s going to get buried after this series, as Robert mentioned. It’s going to be a long 12-13 months before Melo’s redeems himself in the eyes of Knicks fans.And that’s fine, but he will. He will be great again in the playoffs. And the Knicks will make it out of the first round of the playoffs and beyond.

      I know most of you don’t want to hear that or even believe it right now and I already now how many of you will respond to this post.

      Every time Melo and Amar’e have been knocked down in thier careers they’ve come back stronger. They may never be quite as good as the Heat with everyone back, but it’d be a lot closer than it is now.

      That’s a tremendous post. You are far from the one-note Melo defender I previously thought you were.

    76. art vandelay

      Brian Cronin:
      The playoff loss record is a bit misleading, since it was only within the last decade that the first round became a best of seven. It is a lot harder losing 13 straight games when you’re doing them in batches of three.

      I also think it is misleading since 6 of the losses occurred in 2001 and 2004….we are talking about losses from 2001, 2004, 2011 and 2012….with 11 years separating the first batch of losses from the current ones….these were completely different teams, head coaches, management (unfortunately, same ownership, though)….I know technically they have the record, but I think the real losing streak is more like 7 (last year and this one) for the current regime, which is still pretty bad given the talent on board.

    77. Owen

      “He’s going to get buried after this series, as Robert mentioned. It’s going to be a long 12-13 months before Melo’s redeems himself in the eyes of Knicks fans. And that’s fine, but he will. He will be great again in the playoffs. And the Knicks will make it out of the first round of the playoffs and beyond.”

      I sure hope so.

    78. d-mar

      The media is driving me nuts today with their feeding frenzy on the Knicks.

      Theme #1 – “LeBron has never lost in the 1st round, even with a bunch of scrubs in Cleveland, and Melo we all know about”. Well, who on this planet is comparing Melo to LeBron? LeBron may end his career as possibly the greatest player in NBA history, he’s an otherworldly, once in a lifetime talent.

      Theme #2 – “How on earth are the Knicks ever going to get past the Heat with this current roster? The Knicks are totally screwed.” Well, who exactly in the East has a chance of getting past the Heat in the next few years? The Bulls, maybe, if Rose ever stays healthy. Everyone else, little to no chance.

      I guess I should expect this kind of piling on, but it just gets tiresome after a while.

    79. ruruland

      d-mar: The media is driving me nuts today with their feeding frenzy on the Knicks. Theme #1 – “LeBron has never lost in the 1st round, even with a bunch of scrubs in Cleveland, and Melo we all know about”. Well, who on this planet is comparing Melo to LeBron? LeBron may end his career as possibly the greatest player in NBA history, he’s an otherworldly, once in a lifetime talent. Theme #2 – “How on earth are the Knicks ever going to get past the Heat with this current roster? The Knicks are totally screwed.” Well, who exactly in the East has a chance of getting past the Heat in the next few years? The Bulls, maybe, if Rose ever stays healthy. Everyone else, little to no chance.I guess I should expect this kind of piling on, but it just gets tiresome after a while.

      It’s only begun.

      You can beat the Heat. You have to have offensive diversity. The Bulls don’t have enough of it as currently constructed.Maybe they make a move.

      The Knicks have a chance to really improve their diversity.

    80. ruruland

      New Guy: That’s a tremendous post. You are far from the one-note Melo defender I previously thought you were.

      ?

    81. Brian Cronin

      I also think it is misleading since 6 of the losses occurred in 2001 and 2004….we are talking about losses from 2001, 2004, 2011 and 2012….with 11 years separating the first batch of losses from the current ones….these were completely different teams, head coaches, management (unfortunately, same ownership, though)….I know technically they have the record, but I think the real losing streak is more like 7 (last year and this one) for the current regime, which is still pretty bad given the talent on board.

      Agreed all around. Seven in a row is bad, in and of itself.

    82. ruruland

      Owen: “He’s going to get buried after this series, as Robert mentioned. It’s going to be a long 12-13 months before Melo’s redeems himself in the eyes of Knicks fans. And that’s fine, but he will. He will be great again in the playoffs. And the Knicks will make it out of the first round of the playoffs and beyond.”I sure hope so.

      This was the talk in 2008 with Melo.. That was really the one series where I think significant criticism of him was warranted because he was not mentally prepared for the Lakers.

      Things changed after that in Melo’s career after that.

      Amar’e has been left for dead quite a few times as well.

      I get how Knicks fans are feeling about this and I can’t blame you one bit. But things will get better.

    83. JC Knickfan

      Given our Salary cap issue – I think stuck behind a Miami for next 3 years.

      But I am looking forward to winning ATLANTIC division for next 3 years. As long we top 4 seed I think get 2nd rd of playoff for next 3 years.

    84. New Guy

      ruruland: ?

      I was being serious. I was afraid you were going to come on here defending Melo arduously and after last night that would have made me want to kill the internet.

    85. ruruland

      JC Knickfan: Given our Salary cap issue – I think stuck behind a Miami for next 3 years. But I am looking forward to winning ATLANTIC division for next 3 years. As long we top 4 seed I think get 2nd rd of playoff for next 3 years.

      There isn’t a team in the NBA that’s going to build a roster that’s better than the Heat. It’s not possible. That doesn’t mean they can’t be beaten and taken advantage of in a lot of different ways.

      But like with Rose in last year’s playoffs, you see how bad it can get when your offense is one-dimensional.

      Rose’s numbers are virtually identical to Melo’s against the Heat—and obviously Rose is arguably the quickest most athletic player in the NBA (in terms of his ability to create shots).

    86. ruruland

      New Guy: I was being serious. I was afraid you were going to come on here defending Melo arduously and after last night that would have made me want to kill the internet.

      When Melo was going through the worst slump of his career earlier in the year I thought he should be taken to task. When the defensive effort wasn’t there I was in full support of him being lambasted.

      He deserved criticism in game 1, too.

    87. New Guy

      ruruland: It’s only begun.

      You can beat the Heat. You have to have offensive diversity.

      And this is why it’s a circle.

      To get offensive diversity, you have to minimize Melo. Minimize Melo, and we know what happens. Let Melo have his way, a month later we’re talking about offensive diversity.

    88. Caleb

      Dwyane Wade is 30, all their big 3 have peaked and will start declining (not fast, mind you!) and they don’t have a good track record with the mid-level deals and cheap guys.. so it’s not like Miami is invinceable the next few years.

      I’m not even sure they should be favored over the Spurs this year, or over the Bulls, with Rose. Probably yes, but it’s mighty close.

    89. johnlocke

      I think OKC and the Spurs have better rosters. I think we made the Heat look better than they are. Lakers should also match up decently in the playoffs with their advantage inside. I look forward to rooting against one of those teams against the Heat in the Finals. They have the best roster in the East though.

      ruruland: There isn’t a team in the NBA that’s going to build a roster that’s better than the Heat. It’s not possible. That doesn’t mean they can’t be beaten and taken advantage of in a lot of different ways.

      But like with Rose in last year’s playoffs, you see how bad it can get when your offense is one-dimensional.

      Rose’s numbers are virtually identical to Melo’s against the Heat—and obviously Rose is arguably the quickest most athletic player in the NBA (in terms of his ability to create shots).

    90. johnlocke

      By the way, regarding those anti-melo articles: He is keeping some poor company in playoff wins/losses…the worst playoff record in 20 years (16-36).
      This ties to the post I had yesterday regarding his shooting % in the regular season versus the playoffs…that’s really the most disconcerting thing about him for me…his game to game inconsistency in the playoffs

      http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2012/05/carmelo-anthonys-playoff-record-is-nbas-worst-in-20-years/1#.T6Qekeg3sn0

    91. Owen

      I just rewind in my head to the Stat signing, which to me is the original sin. Yeah, he did a great job as the franchise savior for half a year. Yes, he made the Knicks watchable again. He definitely delivered what we expected from him.

      But it’s very easy for me to visualize a scenario where we don’t sign Stat and Melo and are watching Paul and Howard right now, or next year.

      Maybe Dolan doesn’t sell all his luxury boxes out, but that was the path forward…..

    92. New Guy

      I’m more disappointed with us than I am impressed with the Heat. I haven’t been that impressed at all, frankly. If they played this way against San Antonio they’d be down 2-1. Their weaknesses are glaring.

    93. Ben R

      Why is Woodson getting a free pass here. His offensive sets were terrible. Melo was just running the offense that Woodson gameplanned. We would walk the ball up the court spend ten seconds getting the ball to either Melo, Smith or Davis and then let them iso for the last 8 seconds and chuck up a shot. There was no ball movement, no movement away from the ball it was some of the worst offense sets I’ve ever seen.

      I don’t like Melo, I would love to see him on a different team next year but this wasn’t his fault. He was not given the tools to succeed. Woodson just threw Melo out there and said go. No player can have success when every play starts 20 feet from the basket double teamed with 8 seconds on the shot clock.

    94. Brian Cronin

      Razza frazza. Stupid Lin injury robbing him of the Most Improved Player Award. Razza frazza.

      Ah well, it is probably a fair result. Ryan Anderson did turn it on this year. And he played a lot more games than Lin.

      Still…annoying.

    95. Z

      d-mar:
      The media is driving me nuts today with their feeding frenzy on the Knicks… who on this planet is comparing Melo to LeBron? LeBron may end his career as possibly the greatest player in NBA history…”

      Fair or not, people get compared to other people in their pay grade. Melo makes more $ than LeBron, therefore he is compared to him. (and if it bothers Anthony, maybe he should have taken that haircut too…)

    96. johnlocke

      Interestingly, Amare has been much more consistent in his regular season and playoffs, shooting 48% at his lowest in the playoffs, not including the Boston series when he manhandled Garnett before getting injured and trying to come back those couple games. He shot the ball at 50% in the Heat series before punching the extinguisher.

    97. johnlocke

      He isn’t…there are articles everywhere about why the Knicks need to pay Phil Jackson a billion dollars to rescue the team. His offensive sets and adjustments have been non-existent. Some of that is personnel, but a good chunk of that is on him, you can’t be a one-trick pony in the playoffs

      Ben R:
      Why is Woodson getting a free pass here. His offensive sets were terrible. Melo was just running the offense that Woodson gameplanned. We would walk the ball up the court spend ten seconds getting the ball to either Melo, Smith or Davis and then let them iso for the last 8 seconds and chuck up a shot. There was no ball movement, no movement away from the ball it was some of the worst offense sets I’ve ever seen.

      I don’t like Melo, I would love to see him on a different team next year but this wasn’t his fault. He was not given the tools to succeed. Woodson just threw Melo out there and said go. No player can have success when every play starts 20 feet from the basket double teamed with 8 seconds on the shot clock.

    98. New Guy

      Ben R:
      Why is Woodson getting a free pass here.

      I think he’s getting glossed over here because we collectively assume he’s going to get fired.

    99. Owen

      “No player can have success when every play starts 20 feet from the basket double teamed with 8 seconds on the shot clock.”

      I mean, I don’t blame Melo for the loss, or for playing horribly. It’s the playoffs and the Heat are tough. But I can’t blame Woodson either. This is who he is. He used Joe Johnson in exactly the same way as he used Melo.

      Frankly, I don’t know what else you do with Melo. It’s not like you are going to run a Princeton offense with him. Giving him the ball with 15 seconds and 10 feet of space is pretty much the only way I can see how to use him, kind of like Joe Johnson.

      I will say, that block Lebron had on him, and the way Lebron ran the break last night, it kind of crystallized something I really have been realizing all year.

      Melo just isn’t a great athlete. He’s an amazing technician with the ball in his hands. He is enormously skilled in many respects. And he can be a great midrange shooter, though it’s a bad shot generally. But, and Ruruland you can tell me if he has been injured or what not this year, I just don’t see anything close to elite lift or speed down the floor. What has become clear to me is that Melo has a really low center of gravity and enormous strength rather than quickness. He is closer to Clydesdale than a thoroughbred.

      Watching Wade and Lebron, it’s quite simply their athleticism and talents that turns a rebound into a fast break. It’s nothing else. It’s not a coincidence they are getting all those opportunities. And they are going to get them throughout the playoffs.

      I wish Melo had that ability to just grab the outlet and go. It would make a huge difference.

    100. Owen

      I will say, i will be totally shocked in Phil Jackson signs on for this. I just don’t see that happening.

    101. Doug

      Owen:
      I just rewind in my head to the Stat signing, which to me is the original sin. Yeah, he did a great job as the franchise savior for half a year. Yes, he made the Knicks watchable again.He definitely delivered what we expected from him.

      But it’s very easy for me to visualize a scenario where we don’t sign Stat and Melo and are watching Paul and Howard right now, or next year.

      Maybe Dolan doesn’t sell all his luxury boxes out, but that was the path forward…..

      I… really don’t think burning another one of D’Antoni’s contract years with a second straight rebuilding season would have been a popular decision.

      Don’t trouble yourself with counterfactuals, Owen. They’re quite possibly the least objective mode of thinking there is. ;)

    102. Owen

      Right, right. We should strive to make the popular decision.

      It’s not a counterfactual, I argued against both those trades on this blog.

      And I don’t think it’s a stretch to think we could have two better players than Melo on the team right now if Dolan hadn’t sabotaged everything.

      I do sometimes wonder if the constant pressure to succeed in NYC is really a curse. It’s very difficult to build a winner while always being focused on short term expectations.

      Very interesting article on Bynum on True Hoop today…

      http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/41901/the-exasperation-of-andrew-bynum

      Doug: I… really don’t think burning another one of D’Antoni’s contract years with a second straight rebuilding season would have been a popular decision.

      Don’t trouble yourself with counterfactuals, Owen. They’re quite possibly the least objective mode of thinking there is. ;)

    103. TelegraphedPass

      Yeah, Owen, I’ve noticed the same thing.

      Strangely, Melo had a couple really strong throwdowns this series. He doesn’t normally play above the rim, but the dunk over Joel Anthony and the two handed one in game 2 were both really sick.

      He’s got a great first step, probably helped by the fact that his triple threat from midrange is among the most dangerous among wing players, but he isn’t particularly fast either.

      On the bright side, his game should age well. I think.

    104. Doug

      Owen:
      Right, right. We should strive to make the popular decision.

      It’s not a counterfactual, I argued against both those trades on this blog.

      And I don’t think it’s a stretch to think we could have two better players than Melo on the team right now if Dolan hadn’t sabotaged everything.

      I do sometimes wonder if the constant pressure to succeed in NYC is really a curse. It’s very difficult to build a winner while always being focused on short term expectations.

      Very interesting article on Bynum on True Hoop today…

      http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/41901/the-exasperation-of-andrew-bynum

      Owen if you were in Donnie Walsh’s position before the 2010 season you wouldn’t be so brave. You even said it yourself – New York has no patience for a rebuilding process. Not for the Yankees, not for the Knicks.

      I’d love to hear how you would sell another season of sucking to your bosses and to the fans. If we didn’t sign Amare, we would have gone into the season with a starting 5 of Felton, Fields, Gallo, Chandler, and… Turiaf, I guess. Good luck trying to convince New York to hold out hope for CP3 and Dwight far off in the distance!

    105. d-mar

      Z: Fair or not, people get compared to other people in their pay grade. Melo makes more $ than LeBron, therefore he is compared to him. (and if it bothers Anthony, maybe he should have taken that haircut too…)

      Well, comparing players based on salaries never makes any sense, otherwise we’d be throwing Rashard Lewis ($22MM) and Gilbert Arenas ($19MM) into the discussion

    106. bobneptune

      ess-dog:
      At least the defense has been fairly impressive.Woodson has helped there.I’m still not sure why D’Antoni had to go.

      cause he walked into dolan’s office and said trade melo. when confronted with the him or me ultimatum, dolan chose the ball hog who laid down on the team over the coach who refused to hold his players accountable on the defensive end.

      he chose the emotional cripple (like jimmy d himself) who put fannies in the seats.

    107. Doug

      bobneptune: he chose the emotional cripple (like jimmy d himself) who put fannies in the seats.

      “Emotional cripple?”

      That’s one of the most hilariously petulant cases of projecting I’ve ever seen. I’m embarrassed for you.

    108. Owen

      “I’d love to hear how you would sell another season of sucking to your bosses and to the fans. If we didn’t sign Amare, we would have gone into the season with a starting 5 of Felton, Fields, Gallo, Chandler, and… Turiaf, I guess. Good luck trying to convince New York to hold out hope for CP3 and Dwight far off in the distance!”

      I think if you had said to your season ticketholders, this year will be tough but next year we are going to add two superstars and roll for five years, they would have been more than fine with it.

      That’s the kind of smart decision the Knicks never make.

      Dolan pushed a lot of these moves on Walsh so he would have some marketable stars to sell the Garden expansion with.

      it was pretty dumb. But what can you expect from Dolan….

    109. Doug

      Owen: I think if you had said to your season ticketholders, this year will be tough but next year we are going to add two superstars and roll for five years, they would have been more than fine with it.
      That’s the kind of smart decision the Knicks never make.

      You have a lot more faith in the rationality and levelheadedness of the New York media than I do, I guess.

    110. Owen

      Look, if we could have shoehorned Paul under the cap, i wouldn’t be complaining right now. And obviously the CBA and lockout through a wrench in the process.

      But New York fans are both smarter and more capable of delaying gratification than you are giving them credit for….

    111. TelegraphedPass

      I was a big proponent of trading Melo for Chris Paul before the season started. I thought it made all the sense in the world. Sigh.

    112. ruruland

      Owen:
      Yeah, it began in about 2001 actually…

      I’ll always be around, but I might not be back until the sun pierces through again — which it will.

    113. Doug

      Owen:
      Look, if we could have shoehorned Paul under the cap, i wouldn’t be complaining right now. And obviously the CBA and lockout through a wrench in the process.

      But New York fans are both smarter and more capable of delaying gratification than you are giving them credit for….

      You and me, the KB crowd, the savvy internet fan, sure. I mean shifting the goalposts to 2012 for the next marquee FA class would have been the most rational move. I would have been fine with that.

      It’s the NY Post/WFAN crowd that I fear and distrust. And they outnumber us.

    114. bobneptune

      Caleb:
      Yeah, I’m not slagging Novak – and I don’t think it’s fair to blame Woodson for not “getting” him shots. He’s a great shooter, but he’s a spot-up shooter who needs other players to set him up, and if a team decides to focus on denying him the ball, with more athletic players, there’s not much you can do.

      there are plenty of things a coach can do. he can run novak off a few screens, but that actually entails having an offense installed other than throw the ball to melo and get out of the way behind the arc.

      at the very least running an actual play like that forces the opposition to switch on the screens creating mismatches for chandler, et all. but then chandler can’t do anything with the ball near the block if he gets it 6 feet from the basket with wade guarding him :-)

      another huge weakness in the offense that allows miami to overplay the only reliable perimeter shooter , novak. very difficult to play offense 4 against 5. its is like the defense is on a power play every minute chandler is on the floor.

      when was the last time anyone saw ray allen get his own shot without either running through a half dozen staggered screens or as a result of a drive and kick by rondo/pierce?

    115. Doug

      ruruland: I’ll always be around, but I might not be back until the sun pierces through again — which it will.

      (ruruland died on his way back to his home planet)

      ;)

    116. Doug

      bobneptune: when was the last time anyone saw ray allen get his own shot without either running through a half dozen staggered screens

      I don’t think Novak can do that all game.

    117. ruruland

      bobneptune: there are plenty of things a coach can do. he can run novak off a few screens, but that actually entails having an offense installed other than throw the ball to melo and get out of the way behind the arc.

      at the very least running an actual play like that forces the opposition to switch on the screens creating mismatches for chandler, et all. but then chandler can’t do anything with the ball near the block if he gets it 6 feet from the basket with wade guarding him :-)

      another huge weakness in the offense that allows miami to overplay the only reliable perimeter shooter , novak. very difficult to play offense 4 against 5. its is like the defense is on a power play every minute chandler is on the floor.

      when was the last time anyone saw ray allen get his own shot without either running through a half dozen staggered screensor as a result of a drive and kick by rondo/pierce?

      Right. There’s only so much offense you can run with this personnel.

      Novak doesn’t appear particularly adept at running through screens — that’s a very specialized skill, btw. Takes great agility and body control to do it effectively. Plus, you have to have the endurance to make the shot at the end.

      Miami can basically overplay everything because there is such little threat of penetration.

    118. Frank O.

      You know, Owen’s description of Melo’s athleticism is pretty close to spot on.
      But I don’t think that is a criticism.
      I think Melo’s quickness and power, coupled with a great shooting touch and good hands, make him a formidable player.
      True, he isn’t as explosive as Wade and Lebron in terms of leaping ability and speed. But his skills are pretty damn amazing.
      The difference for me is that there is something lacking in his mental approach to the game.
      He’s got the playing skills that make you want him to be a leader. But I don’t see that mental focus.
      He shows up to the season out of shape. He’s prone to backing off during the season. But you can see fire and leadership from Lebron, and to a lesser degree Wade. Lebron is a pure leader, a point guard in a power forward’s body. But Wade is the killer. Each in their own way, lead and they are mentally formidable.
      I have a feeling that is the issue with Melo: this duality of being a guy that should lead, but, perhaps, doesn’t have the mental toughness to be a leader.
      Sometimes when I see him pounding the glass following his own miss, his power and persistence, his tendency sometimes to take bad shots, he makes me think of Moses Malone. Moses was 2 inches bigger and played a different position, I know. But he keeps popping into my head when I watch Melo.
      In some ways, Malone wasn’t as skilled as Carmelo, but Moses also was a leader, and he was great.

    119. ruruland

      Frank O.:
      You know, Owen’s description of Melo’s athleticism is pretty close to spot on.
      But I don’t think that is a criticism.
      I think Melo’s quickness and power, coupled with a great shooting touch and good hands, make him a formidable player.
      True, he isn’t as explosive as Wade and Lebron in terms of leaping ability and speed. But his skills are pretty damn amazing.
      The difference for me is that there is something lacking in his mental approach to the game.
      He’s got the playing skills that make you want him to be a leader. But I don’t see that mental focus.
      He shows up to the season out of shape. He’s prone to backing off during the season. But you can see fire and leadership from Lebron, and to a lesser degree Wade. Lebron is a pure leader, a point guard in a power forward’s body. But Wade is the killer. Each in their own way, lead and they are mentally formidable.
      I have a feeling that is the issue with Melo: this duality of being a guy that should lead, but, perhaps, doesn’t have the mental toughness to be a leader.
      Sometimes when I see him pounding the glass following his own miss, his power and persistence, his tendency sometimes to take bad shots, he makes me think of Moses Malone. Moses was 2 inches bigger and played a different position, I know. But he keeps popping into my head when I watch Melo.
      In some ways, Malone wasn’t as skilled as Carmelo, but Moses also was a leader, and he was great.

      This is all true. Melo’s athleticism is his first step quickness, quick-twitch shot release, second hops. He’s an average athlete outside of that.

      What I didn’t like about Melo last night was his attitude in terms of reacting vs attacking.

    120. Doug

      Reading through Alan Hahn’s twitter, I completely forgot that this is an Olympic year.

      Olympics Melo is the best Melo, correct? Hopefully he’ll carry over the good habits of playing a summer of unselfish team ball under Coach K and… uh… D’Antoni. awwwwkward.

    121. New Guy

      Doug:

      It’s the NY Post/WFAN crowd that I fear and distrust. And they outnumber us.

      It’s leadership, really. That’s the same crowd that wanted Eli gone in 2006, Coughlin fired last year, and free agents signed just because the Eagles were. They wanted to trade Gaborik after last season, and give up Kreider and McDonagh for Nash.

      Someone needs to tell Dolan that you CAN ignore them.

    122. Frank O.

      ruruland: This is all true. Melo’s athleticism is his first step quickness, quick-twitch shot release, second hops. He’s an average athlete outside of that.

      What I didn’t like about Melo last night was his attitude in terms of reacting vs attacking.

      Yeah, he looked intimidated. He even kind of alluded to it during the presser after the game when he noted that the Heat bench was shouting to keep beating on him.
      He allowed the heat to physically dominate him, and with his power and skill that shouldn’t happen…unless he let’s it.
      As gifted as Wade and Lebron are athletically, Melo has enough power and skill to keep them at bay. But his failure was mental.

    123. Frank O.

      I sometimes wonder if not playing in college longer hurt Melo’s development of the mental side of the game.

    124. ruruland

      New Guy: It’s leadership, really.That’s the same crowd that wanted Eli gone in 2006, Coughlin fired last year, and free agents signed just because the Eagles were.They wanted to trade Gaborik after last season, and give up Kreider and McDonagh for Nash.

      Someone needs to tell Dolan that you CAN ignore them.

      I wonder how Knicks fans feel about Eli Manning. I feel like that he’s a great Melo comparison.

    125. johnlocke

      Our plan was to get Lebron and Wade, or Lebron and Joe Johnson or Lebron and Chris Bosh…. that was plan a, b, and c. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. We didn’t know if Dwight Howard or Chris Paul would a) want to b/c free agents and not re-sign with their beloved cities or b) want to play for a crappy team in their primes. You could argue that once we got Stoudemire, we should have held out on Melo — still not close to a sure thing that we get Paul or Howard though if we did that

      Owen:
      Right, right. We should strive to make the popular decision.

      It’s not a counterfactual, I argued against both those trades on this blog.

      And I don’t think it’s a stretch to think we could have two better players than Melo on the team right now if Dolan hadn’t sabotaged everything.

      I do sometimes wonder if the constant pressure to succeed in NYC is really a curse. It’s very difficult to build a winner while always being focused on short term expectations.

      Very interesting article on Bynum on True Hoop today…

      http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/41901/the-exasperation-of-andrew-bynum

    126. Owen

      I don know the temper of the crowd I guess. Only my spreadsheets to talk to. But I can’t imagine 2011, if we added a few one year stopgaps, could have been anywhere near as bad as some of the years that came before it…

      New Guy: It’s leadership, really.That’s the same crowd that wanted Eli gone in 2006, Coughlin fired last year, and free agents signed just because the Eagles were.They wanted to trade Gaborik after last season, and give up Kreider and McDonagh for Nash.

      Someone needs to tell Dolan that you CAN ignore them.

    127. Doug

      Trying to find articles about Melo’s performance in Beijing has led me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole on USA Basketball. I don’t even remember the 2010 World Championships team.

    128. Frank O.

      ruruland: I wonder how Knicks fans feel about Eli Manning. I feel like that he’s a great Melo comparison.

      Well, I think that’s actually a little unfair to Eli, who has now won two super bowls…

    129. johnlocke

      It’s more than a little unfair to Eli. He’s the anti-Melo. They both wanted to play in NY –that’s about it. Eli was drafted by the Giants he wasn’t traded in his prime. Both times we won the Super Bowl we won every game on the road (except one)…beat teams much better than the Miami Heat–i.e., all time record setting teams… (New England Patriots and Packers) …and dude is absolutely clutch in must-win situations in the playoffs. Melo to me is kinda like the guy we passed up to get Eli — Phillip Rivers — excellent quarterback, but not a superstar. Outrageous regular season numbers, but then consistently doesn’t deliver in the post season, except one time they made it to the conference finals….

      Frank O.: Well, I think that’s actually a little unfair to Eli, who has now won two super bowls…

    130. ruruland

      Frank O.: Yeah, he looked intimidated. He even kind of alluded to it during the presser after the game when he noted that the Heat bench was shouting to keep beating on him.
      He allowed the heat to physically dominate him, and with his power and skill that shouldn’t happen…unless he let’s it.
      As gifted as Wade and Lebron are athletically, Melo has enough power and skill to keep them at bay. But his failure was mental.

      I just feel like he never got to the point where he was the one attacking and getting defenders on their heels. he drove but he didn’t drive with the same confidence and self-assuredness he does when he’s right mentally.

      I thought he overcame the intimidation with his drives to the basket, but they weren’t going in. And I think as the game wore on, as he had to go back and guard Lebron every possession and watch as the offense was handicapped without his involvement, I think it really began to wear on him.

      Look, it happened to Rose last year. It’s happened to Wade in the playoffs. It’s happened to Lebron in the playoffs on more than a few occasions. Lebron has had plenty of playoff games where he was awful…. almost all of them occured when teams could load up on him, bang and bang on him — when he didn’t have a second guy to beat the defense or ideal floor spacing.

    131. ruruland

      Frank O.: Well, I think that’s actually a little unfair to Eli, who has now won two super bowls…

      Right, I don’t mean now. I mean a guy who doesn’t always play well during the regular season — who isn’t quite as talented as Rodgers or whoever— but has put together two great playoff runs.

      Melo has always been clutch. I think NFL playoff games and NBA playoff games are really different, but I think they both have the clutch gene.

    132. bobneptune

      ruruland: I wonder how Knicks fans feel about Eli Manning. I feel like that he’s a great Melo comparison.

      please show us a single similarity between eli manning and melo.

      eli never shows up to work out of shape.

      eli always supported coughlin to the max.

      eli never laid down on his coach or team mates.

      win or lose, eli was never questioned for lack of effort either in his preparation or on the field.

      eli took 2 huge under dog groups to the world championships.

      on the field, eli doesn’t need to get his to be happy.

      eli has improved in a linear fashion every season in the nfl.

      eli is part of the solution…. not part of the problem.

    133. New Guy

      ruruland: I wonder how Knicks fans feel about Eli Manning. I feel like that he’s a great Melo comparison.

      It will please you to know that for a solid 3+ years “The Giants gave up too much for Eli” was considered gospel, and no one thought anyone would ever get over it.

      Eli did force his team to trade him, and tell them he would only go to NY, so the similarities are there. I think the level of vitriol at times was pretty equal, too

      But he won. And that’s what Melo has to do. Everyone wants to love Carmelo Anthony, I assure you.

    134. ruruland

      You know Melo really outplayed Lebron when the two met the Spurs in the playoffs in ’07. My only point is that the Nuggets had a second way of getting penetration and attacking the defense (Iverson was awful shooting but he was a huge threat) while Cleveland didn’t.

      Lebron had a supporting case pretty similar to Melo’s right now (with Bruce Bowen guarding him).

      Melo vs Spurs ’07 (with Iverson): 26.8/8.6 .582 true shooting (against Bowen and Finley and a team utilizing the same overload, front and off-ball doubles the Heat have used — the difference was backside penetration)

      Lebron vs Spurs ’07 Finals: 22.8, 5.7, 6.8 .428 true shooting

    135. Owen

      Not going to go there. Done my share of melo bashing. But I do think the analogy to football is inaccurate. The playoffs are a huge crapshoot in the nfl. Regular season record means much less than it does In basketball. More akin to hockey and baseball.

      In basketball, the best regular season teams advance and win a huge percentage of the time. I think it’s like 80% of titles won by top three teams by efficiency differential, something like that.

      Melo leading a playoff charge without a high quality team is a bit of a pipe dream, mavericks and heat teams notwithstanding….

      At least compared to Eli…

      bobneptune: please show us a single similarity between eli manning and melo.

      eli never shows up to work out of shape.

      eli always supported coughlin to the max.

      eli never laid down on his coach or team mates.

      win or lose, eli was never questioned for lack of effort either in his preparation or on the field.

      eli took 2 huge under dog groups to the world championships.

      on the field, eli doesn’t need to get his to be happy.

      eli has improved in a linear fashion every season in the nfl.

      eli is part of the solution…. not part of the problem.

    136. bobneptune

      Doug: I don’t think Novak can do that all game.

      i don’t think anyone is asking him to play 42 minutes. but does this guy have bell’s palsy or something? does he have some disability that i’m not aware of…. or is it just the soft bigotry of low expectations cause he’s of the caucasian persuasion?

      i mean he is unable to run through screens in 5 minute bursts? really?

    137. ruruland

      New Guy: It will please you to know that for a solid 3+ years “The Giants gave up too much for Eli” was considered gospel, and no one thought anyone would ever get over it.

      Eli did force his team to trade him, and tell them he would only go to NY, so the similarities are there.I think the level of vitriol at times was pretty equal, too

      But he won.And that’s what Melo has to do.Everyone wants to love Carmelo Anthony, I assure you.

      And don’t think he doesn’t understand how deeply these losses affect his legacy — and don’t think his legacy isn’t the most important thing to him (ignoring the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid)

    138. Frank

      Owen:

      I think if you had said to your season ticketholders, this year will be tough but next year we are going to add two superstars and roll for five years, they would have been more than fine with it.
      That’s the kind of smart decision the Knicks never make.

      I would remind Owen that that’s exactly what we did in 2008-9 and 2009-10. And the superstars didn’t come (or at least not the ones we wanted). I’m not saying I agree with the Melo trade – but I’m not sure the fans would have bought the same line of BS that don’t worry, 2 superstars will come next year.

      Re: this series – I’m a little perturbed that we haven’t even really been competitive (ie. within 2 possessions in the last few minutes of the games), but in hindsight, it’s not at all surprising. This team hasn’t played together at all in the combinations that were used. The coach/system is new. Even at FULL strength we were the less talented team, and by game 3 we had removed Lin, Amare, Shump (probably numbers 3, 4, and 5 in no particular order in terms of talent after TC and Melo) and were running a 63 year old Baron Davis and an immortal (not in a good way) Mike Bibby out there as our “point guards”. And all against a team that has had 2 straight years with the same core, coach, and offensive/defensive principles.

      I thought we had a small (~30%) chance of winning this series when it started, but in retrospect, we needed Shump at full strength, and for Melo to play like he did in April to have a chance.

      The non-competitive nature of this series does give me pause about rehiring Woodson though. Just not sure who is better than him for this crew, and not sure that Phil wants this job. Would JVG do a better job? Not sure.

    139. ephus

      After the 2008 Olympics, the basketball press was full of stories saying that ‘Melo had finally reached his breakout point, learned what it meant to be committed on defense and was in the best shape of his life. His 2008-09 season started out great and the Nuggets made it to the WCF, where they had the Lakers 2-2 before bowing out.

      If that Carmelo Anthony walks into training camp in the fall, the Knicks (even as they are currently constituted) are a very dangerous team. But ‘Melo has to (1) report in shape, (2) bring defensive intensity, (3) run the court in both directions and (4) use all of his skills on the offensive end, including passing and offensive rebounding.

    140. Z

      Owen:
      I don know the temper of the crowd I guess. Only my spreadsheets to talk to. But I can’t imagine 2011, if we added a few one year stopgaps, could have been anywhere near as bad as some of the years that came before it…

      Yeah, hindsight is 20/20, blahblahblah… The fact is, IF the Knicks had ignored the LeBronathon of 2010 and focused on 2011, they would have a much much better team. That is the only “selling” point of any significance. You do what you need to do, take your lumps, then, when you’re winning, no one remembers how you got there. The problem is that all too often you haven’t lived long enough to still be around when the losing is over, but in the case of Dolan, who can’t be fired, he had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

      If GM Owen had set 2011 as the win date instead of 2010 the Knicks wouldn’t have had to have paid top dollar to get rid of Jared Jeffries. They’d have their ’09 pick and their ’12 pick.

      Similarly, if they’d bought a bunch of serviceable players that expired in 2011, they could have stockpiled a lot of additional picks.

      And to top it all off, they’d have lots of assets to offer NO or ORL.

      Oh, and they’d probably have won just as many playoff games in the process.

      (And, just to be clear here, the person who “sold” his boss and the public on the 2010 win date got fired in 2011.)

    141. 2FOR18

      The reason I don’t like blaming the injuries for this mess is that we got humiliated in games 1 and 2 with the exact line-up the powers that be planned for when the season started.

      Baron, Fields, melo, Amare, Chandler – that was the plan going in. plus add JR smith to the mix as a bonus.

      So we’re saying that without 2 of our lowest paid players, basically 2 rookies who came out of nowhere, we can’t compete? What does that say about how this team was constructed? Doesn’t this result justify everything the anti-melo trade people have said all along?

      I know the Heat are very good, but they’re not some all time great juggernaut that should embarrass us when we have our 3 highest paid players in the lineup.

    142. ruruland

      Leadership.

      Amar’e: “I told the guys in the second half … Some guys came off the court pretty upset and I was like don’t hit anything. Keep your hands closed and don’t hit anything because we don’t need that type of injury again.”

      Making a poster of this.

    143. ephus

      bobneptune: i don’t think anyone is asking him to play 42 minutes. but does this guy have bell’s palsy or something? does he have some disability that i’m not aware of…. or is it just the soft bigotry of low expectations cause he’s of the caucasian persuasion?
      i mean he is unable to run through screens in 5 minute bursts? really?

      Don’t think race has anything to do with this one, since Novak’s most frequent comps are Ryan Anderson and Kyle Korver. The real question is whether Novak has the ability to keep his center of gravity low, effectively cut off of screens and jump stop into accurate 3 point shots.

      Until this year, Novak was largely ignored — although one of Bill Simmon’s classic anti-Dunleavy rants (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090311&sportCat=nba) centered on his putting an ice-cold Novak into the final seconds of an epic collapse against the Cavaliers. This year, the Knicks proved that Steve Novak was a dangerous offensive weapon, if used as a stationary 3 point shooter. If teams are going to key on stopping Novak, a well-designed offense shoud still be able to get him good looks, even if he is not quick or nimble enough to effectively run curl plays. Pick-n-pops, side screens and pin-down screens should all be utilized.

      Novak also proved this year that he can play defense effectively enough to stay on the floor. He had a couple of bad lapses yesterday in the third quarter, but his defensive rotations have improved tremendously .

      In short, Novak could bring a lot to the Knicks if they can get him to re-sign for the BIE. My fear is that the Lakers or the Hawks will use the mini-MLE to nab him.

    144. jon abbey

      yes, it being an Olympic year is an early reason to dread next season, as neither Melo nor Chandler will get much offseason rest.

      on the bright side, I have no new reasons to dread 2013-2014 yet, just that our main three guys don’t fit together. :(

    145. Frank

      jon abbey:
      yes, it being an Olympic year is an early reason to dread next season, as neither Melo nor Chandler will get much offseason rest.

      on the bright side, I have no new reasons to dread 2013-2014 yet, just that our main three guys don’t fit together. :(

      I have a little bit of optimism.
      #1 – No one had any idea Chandler was coming in free agency.
      #2 – Amare didn’t play basketball over the offseason because of his back
      #3 – short training camp
      #4 – very little practice time during the year
      #5 – previous coach had trouble adapting to new personnel (and vice versa).

      This was perhaps the worst possible year to have everything that happened to us happen. I think a full training camp, a full offseason during which guys like Amare (probably the guy that has to change his game the most) can work on things specific to what we’ll be asking him to do – mid-range jumpers, basket cuts, defense/rebounding (as opposed to “ball handling” which was what he did the previous offseason – who gave him that idea?).

      We’ll have more Jeremy Lin, who knows he needs to work on his left hand, getting over screens on D, and will continue to work on his shot.

      We’ll have Landry, who better be shooting 1000 jumpers a day with a personal shot coach during the offseason.

      And we’ll have a training camp. And practice. And hopefully some continuity.

    146. ephus

      Frank: We’ll have Landry, who better be shooting 1000 jumpers a day with a personal shot coach during the offseason.

      Isn’t that how he got into his current predicament. I would rather he camps out near whatever gym is going to house Allan Houston for the summer, so they can work together on resurrecting his shot (which has shown faint pulses of life over the last three weeks).

    147. bobneptune

      Owen:
      Not going to go there. Done my share of melo bashing. But I do think the analogy to football is inaccurate.

      the sports don’t matter, it is the fact that there aren’t 2 more different humans than eli and melo:

      melo is me, me, me, me, me…. all the time and never gets it done in the big spot with a the heart of bert lahar in the wizard of oz while eli is opie taylor, keeps his head down, supports his coaches and teammates while having ice water in his veins in the big spot.

      the alpha and the omega, imo……

    148. nicos

      If I have a criticism of Melo’s game it’s that it’s absolutely dependent on getting the ball at the elbow. Get him off his spot- as the Heat have done without having to double- and he doesn’t have any answers. He’s not a great three point shooter, he’s not a catch and shoot guy you can run off screens- the fact that he stops and holds the ball on the catch has absolutely killed him against the Heat as they just close whatever space he gets when he hesitates- and he hasn’t embraced playing either role in the pnr even though he was really good as the ball handler this season.
      Also, I disappointed in the third where I think his personal struggles led him to forget that the Knicks were very much in the game- his body language said the game was over and as one of the leaders of the team that shouldn’t happen.
      And he didn’t guard LBJ the whole game- he was on Battier a lot as well. If he had gotten off to good starts in the first and third when he should have been fresh and then started missing I’d forgive him but that wasn’t the case. Battier and LBJ just shut him down (with help of course but it was mostly with great ball denial).
      If he’s going to be first option on a championship team he’s got to add something to his game- I get that he was playing against the best wing defender in the game (and the one wing defender who can push Melo around) and another guy who’s still a top ten defender and that the Knicks didn’t have a second option to take some pressure off of him. Yes, if Davis or Bibby could have penetrated they could have made the Heat pay for fronting but Melo also hasn’t been able to seal the fronter to establish inside position either- he’s been outworked the whole series- not just late in games when it’s excusable.

    149. nicos

      I’d add that I do think he can be a first option guy on a championship teams if a. he starts hitting threes consistently b. embraces the pnr. He needs to be able to initiate his offense from somewhere besides the mid-post, at least on occasion, to keep teams honest.

    150. max fisher-cohen

      Ben R: Melo was just running the offense that Woodson gameplanned. We would walk the ball up the court spend ten seconds getting the ball to either Melo, Smith or Davis and then let them iso for the last 8 seconds and chuck up a shot.

      Woodson seems like a guy trying to get a job rather than a guy trying to win. He is following conventional wisdom & not taking any risks with rotations or game plan. If he doesn’t deviate from this, the blame will fall more on the team than him, whereas if he did and they failed, people would blame that change.

      My major concern about retaining Woodson. He’s disposable. He’s a built in excuse if the team struggles again next year, preventing us from addressing the serious chemistry issues.

      @Doug

      In Woodson’s first 5 games, we

      outrebounded teams by an average of 10.6 (1st in the NBA is the Bulls, who are +6.7).

      We forced an average of 17.6 turnovers (1st in the league is Memphis, who avg 17.1 forced TOs)

      We held teams to 40.6% FGs (1st in the league is Boston at 41.9%)

      We held teams to 31.7% 3PT shooting (which would be second best in the league)

      Our offense was good too, but defense leads to offense. O-Rebounds and turnovers create easy opportunities.

      I don’t buy that that kind of defense is sustainable. We are not the Bulls, let alone a better defensive team than the Bulls.

      Moreover, those #s pretty consistently declined from the Portland game onward, again leading me to believe that it was an adrenaline high due to MDA resigning and not anything to trust. Before MDA was fired, that same lineup that went 6-1 was 2-8.

    151. 2FOR18

      Mariano tweeted that he’s coming back, that he’s not going out like that.
      Finally some good news

    152. bobneptune

      ephus:
      Well written article from Jonathan Abrams on Grantland comparing and contrasting the development of Tyson Chandler (our current hero) and Eddy Curry (too pitiful to hate anymore) http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7887970/the-divergent-careers-miami-heat-eddy-curry-new-york-knicks-tyson-chandler

      2 interesting points in that piece:

      eddy curry wanted to be a gymnast, which kind of explains a lot ,and:

      The trade is more lopsided today. The Knicks received Curry and Antonio Davis from the Bulls. Davis’s most noteworthy moment as a Knick came when he went into the stands in Chicago to confront a fan he alleged had harassed his wife. The fan turned out to be Michael Axelrod, the son of Barack Obama’s future campaign adviser.

    153. Owen

      I actually don’t think Eli Manning is an elite quarterback. I don’t think he ever has been. Just a good to very good quarterback. Which is enough to win in the NFL, as Trent Dilfer and others have shown.

      I think the Giants success is a lot about luck and a lot about intelligent drafting and player acquisition, across the board, and not that much to do with Eli Manning, as talented as he is.

      I think a Knicks championship with Melo would look similar. He would play an important role but probably get more credit than he deserved.

      On the character side, I have my issues also, but it gets ugly fast. And I do think Melo wants to win.

      The Curry Chandler piece was interesting. It brought up a lot of raw emotions I had buried down deep. Don’t hate Curry, he was just a really bad player with one good tool (although the turnovers blunted even his scoring ability.)

      They honestly should put a statue of Eddy Curry up at the Garden to remind us every time we walk in about the perils of quick fixes…

      bobneptune: the sports don’t matter, it is the fact that there aren’t 2 more different humans than eli and melo:

      melo is me, me, me, me, me…. all the time and never gets it done in the big spot with a the heart of bert lahar in the wizard of ozwhile eli is opie taylor, keeps his head down, supports his coaches and teammates while having ice water in his veins in the big spot.

      the alpha and the omega, imo……

    154. New Guy

      I’m going to stop myself from becoming the RuRu to your anti Eli campaign.

      But seriously, how many Trent Dilfers have won a SB since Trent Dilfer? It’s always an elite QB now, especially since the rules changed in 02 or

      Eli
      Rodgers
      Brees
      Roethlisberger
      Eli
      Peyton
      Roethlisberger
      Brady
      Brady
      >>Johnson<>Dilfer<<
      Warner
      Elway
      Elway
      Aikman
      Young
      Aikman

    155. New Guy

      Hit submit by accident, but you get the point. Last 20 QB’s to win SB, just two are not elite, and each had a historially great defense. I didn’t know people still made the Trent Dilfer argument. Don’t make me become Eli’s RuRu, Owen.

    156. Bison

      er:
      Those guys [MJ and Kobe] also had pretty good teams.. Just sayin

      Melo’s Nuggets, pre-Billups, were also pretty good — they weren’t championship level, but they should have been more than good enough to win a playoff series. But they didn’t.

      Why couldn’t Melo win a series in 2004, 2005, and 2006 with a future DPOY in Marcus Camby and a point guard in Andre Miller who was probably better than any PG that MJ and Kobe ever had?

      Or in 2007 and 2008 with Camby, Iverson, and JR Smith?

      Remember, we’re talking now about winning just a playoff series, not a championship. Why couldn’t Melo do that?

      My suspicion is that Melo the ballhog was unable to pass his way out of trouble frequently enough, unlike MJ and Kobe.

    157. New Guy

      New Guy:

      Eli
      Rodgers
      Brees
      Roethlisberger
      Eli
      Peyton
      Roethlisberger
      Brady
      Brady
      Johnson*
      Brady
      Dilfer*
      Warner
      Elway
      Elway
      Favre
      Aikman
      Young
      Aikman
      Aikman

      Fixed.

      But let’s not make this a QB debate.

      Point is I think there was more doubt about Eli’s ability than Melo’s. Eli has a strong organization tho. Melo never will

    158. Doug

      2FOR18:
      Mariano tweeted that he’s coming back, that he’s not going out like that.
      Finally some good news

      GIANT sigh of relief.

    159. Owen

      Lol, i am a contrary cuss. Not saying he isn’t very good. Just saying I don’t think he has ever been a top 3 qb in the league, per football outsiders, or anywhere close. Same thing can be said about Roethlisberger also. Neither of them were really the defining thing on their team like say Manning and Brees were.

      I also don’t know t what degree winning a super bowl confirms you as great when you don’t really deserve it.

      But to my point, Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien, Jeff Hostetler, Jim Mcmahon, Phil Simms, Doug Williams.all have rings. And I don’t think anyone would say they were great qb’s, although I think Williams was pretty underrated as I remember from an article on race and qb’s.

      And a ton of really mediocre guys have lost in the Super Bowl.

      But I really don’t disagree with you, and not an argument worth having….

      Eli has definitely shown his worth to New Yorkers, not once but twice. He will never buy a drink again in this town. I hope Melo earns his free drinks too some day….

    160. nicos

      ruruland:
      You know Melo really outplayed Lebron when the two met the Spurs in the playoffs in ’07. My only point is that the Nuggets had a second way of getting penetration and attacking the defense (Iverson was awful shooting but he was a huge threat) while Cleveland didn’t.

      Lebron had a supporting case pretty similar to Melo’s right now (with Bruce Bowen guarding him).

      Melo vs Spurs ’07 (with Iverson): 26.8/8.6 .582 true shooting (against Bowen and Finley and a team utilizing the same overload, front and off-ball doubles the Heat have used — the difference was backside penetration)

      Lebron vs Spurs ’07 Finals: 22.8, 5.7, 6.8 .428 true shooting

      One thing that really helped Melo’s numbers in that series was that he shot 9-18 from three. He also shot pretty well from three when Denver got to the conference finals- 22-64. The one good game he’s had as a Knick in playoffs? 4-8 from three. He needs that second option when teams take away his mid-post catches as most good defensive teams can do.

    161. ruruland

      Bison: Melo’s

      Remember, we’re talking now about winning just a playoff series, not a championship.Why couldn’t Melo do that?

      Nah, it was much like this year and last year — either no one to pass to or no space to pass to them.

      Andre Miller is more of a transition player. His inability to shoot made it extremely difficult to create space on offense. He was an average penetrator/ pick and roll guy but he actually scored similarly to Melo.

      Camby was a stats-stuffing defender but really overrated and pretty horrible offensively — none of the team he’s played on have had success in the playoffs outside of the Knicks (when he was a different player).

      Those Nuggets teams were consistently among the worst shooting teams in the NBA– Greg Buckner, Earl Boykins, Demarr Johnson, Byron Russel — these guys weren’t any good.

      Secondly, those Denver teams had significant mismatches and were often missing one of its top 3 players. In ’05 it was Kenyon Martin (max contract) and NENE– In ’06 it was Nene, In ’07 it was Martin…….

      The Nuggets played the world champion Spurs extremely well in ’07. That team was actually built to beat the Spurs, even without Martin’s defense. They at least had some shooting (Blake and Klieza), Melo was very ,very efficient, dominant at times — the problem was that Iverson missed 15-20 shots around the rim (.447 TS on 30% usage).

      He got great penetration but just could not finish in that series or it would have been a different story. The Spurs players talked about Denver being the best team they played in the postseason that year.

      Melo’s always played against great teams in the playoffs… often without very important defensive players. Most of those Nuggets teams were constructed very poorly for the playoffs.

      ’08, as I’ve said before, was the year it was really on Melo. Sure they lost to…

    162. Bison

      Ben R:
      Why is Woodson getting a free pass here. His offensive sets were terrible. Melo was just running the offense that Woodson gameplanned. We would walk the ball up the court spend ten seconds getting the ball to either Melo, Smith or Davis and then let them iso for the last 8 seconds and chuck up a shot. There was no ball movement, no movement away from the ball it was some of the worst offense sets I’ve ever seen.

      After watching Melo kill off the previous head coach, I think Woodson knows exactly what he’s doing.

    163. Owen

      Nicos – I agree. If Melo could hit the three more consistently it would make a huge difference. It definitely did during the stretch after he arrived.

      If he could add that to his game it would make a big difference.

    164. ruruland

      nicos: One thing that really helped Melo’s numbers in that series was that he shot 9-18 from three.He also shot pretty well from three when Denver got to the conference finals- 22-64.The one good game he’s had as a Knick in playoffs? 4-8 from three.He needs that second option when teams take away his mid-post catches as most good defensive teams can do.

      Right, but how was he getting those 3’s?

      Dribble penetration, transition/semi-transition and ball reversals — none of which the Knicks can currently create against the HEat.
      Durant gets a ton of those looks, Dirk gets those looks, even Kobe gets those looks.

      That year hE had Blake and Iverson– even though they really struggled to score they dribbled the ball into the paint to create easy shots on occasion.

      Most of Melo’s 3pt attempts have come off the dribble late in the clock…..Most of his 2pt jumpers shots have come there,too. He has scored off curls, on the pick and roll either as ballhandler and screener.

      And he’s missed shots he needs to make, too, when he’s gotten to the basket off penetration — all of those on him.

      But he’s tried to score in variety of ways, the problem is that the Heat are blitzing him every possession — and really why shouldn’t they?

      When Melo swung the ball to the weakside last night nothing happened. They just can’t beat Miami for overloading Melo, and so it ends up being Melo forcing offense into the teeth of a great defense.

    165. ruruland

      AS a matter of comparison look at what Mario Chalmers does as a weakside attack player for Miami — he’s not a super talented offensive player but he’s an extremely efficient guy when the ball reverses to him from Wade or Lebron.

      Makes open 3s and can really get the basket against rotation.

      Lin can do that. And when he does it, gets int other paint and the Heat defense converge — that’s when you get Novak and Smith open shots.

      Melo is getting the defenses attention– you want someone to do that, but it’s often the second penetration or the weakside ball reversal attack that breaks down a great defense. Terry and Barea were the guys who did it last year.

      You can’t beat a that good of a defense on an initial attack.

    166. nicos

      ruruland: Right, but how was he getting those 3?s?

      Dribble penetration, transition/semi-transition and ball reversals — none of which the Knicks can currently create against the HEat.
      Durant gets a ton of those looks, Dirk gets those looks, even Kobe gets those looks.

      That year hE had Blake and Iverson– even though they really struggled to score they dribbled the ball into the paint to create easy shots on occasion.

      Most of Melo’s 3pt attempts have come off the dribble late in the clock…..Most of his 2pt jumpers shots have come there,too. He has scored off curls, on the pick and roll either as ballhandler and screener.

      And he’s missed shots he needs to make, too, when he’s gotten to the basket off penetration — all of those on him.

      But he’s tried to score in variety of ways, the problem is that the Heat are blitzing him every possession — and really why shouldn’t they?

      I think he could get step back threes off of the high screen and roll with Chandler- he shot 8-14 on threes as the ball handler in the pnr this year- at least something to try to get him a little space. I agree that he’s tried other stuff, curls, etc… but it’s usually a last resort. Right now Battier or LBJ just sprint down court, get to where Melo wants to set up, then it’s five seconds of trying to get him the ball there followed by a belated attempt to do something else. I think for Melo to make that jump he’s got to mix up where he’s starting his offense- if Battier’s standing in the mid-post, sprint to the opposite corner for a three and get their whole defense scrambling (obviously he’s got to hit that shot consistently). Let him bring up the ball and run that high screen with Chandler early in the clock, etc… I don’t take this series as a referendum on Melo- Miami’s defense has been amazing and he’s gotten no help but I do think it has shown that…

    167. nicos

      Some of what I just posted about Melo is obviously on Woodson as well- he hasn’t made any effort to change things up at all. It’s really head-scratching at this point. One irony is that I think D’A really did try to diversify how Melo got his shots- the problem was that he refused to put Melo in the post (no excuse for that) and Melo’s injury problems, absolutely no outside shooting pre-Novak, poor point play, etc… didn’t really give it a chance to succeed.

    168. ruruland

      The Heat aren’t going to give up open 3s. The way you get the Heat to stop fronting and zoning him is to get penetration — it’s that simple.

      In the NFL if you have a great running back you want to have the threat of being able to “take the top off the defense.”

      The Heat’s defense is essentially playing a 9-man front with press coverage on the outside.

    169. ruruland

      nicos:
      Some of what I just posted about Melo is obviously on Woodson as well- he hasn’t made any effort to change things up at all.It’s really head-scratching at this point.One irony is that I think D’A really did try to diversify how Melo got his shots- the problem was that he refused to put Melo in the post (no excuse for that) and Melo’s injury problems, absolutely no outside shooting pre-Novak, poor point play, etc… didn’t really give it a chance to succeed.

      I agree. The Knicks were trying to get Melo some looks out of the pick and roll where they had him in the “pocket” area, hoping Lebron would help on the Chandler roll.

      Look at where he gets his shots against the Lakers back in ’08: note the difference in how LA is able to defend him because of the other threats on the floor

      Melo doesn’t just do work from his office when the proper pieces are around him….

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2bYXQj3hU4

    170. Bison

      ruruland: Nah, it was much like this year and last year — either no one to pass to or no space to pass to them.

      Allen Iverson and Andre Miller were such “nobodies” that Melo couldn’t find them? MJ and Kobe had no trouble passing to their much less competent point guards, yet your hero couldn’t do the same for his?

      Let’s face it, Melo is mediocre as a playmaker at 3.1 assists per game versus 5.3 for MJ and 5.2 for Kobe in their championship seasons. That is why Carmelo tends to force up so many bad jumpers so late in the shot clock: he’s a ballhog who can’t pass out of trouble. And that is why he keeps losing in the playoffs.

    171. ruruland

      You’ll notice on that clip that not a single Melo basket in that game came on an elbow isolation.

      But you should also notice that the lakers defended the Melo mid-post catch exactly how the Heat are in this series (see 4:27)

      It opened up a lot of weakside attack opportunities….Ufortunately in that clip you saw a wide open jumper from Anthony Carter.

      The Knicks were trying to put Melo on the weakside of the pnr last night… but do you see the difference in how the pick and roll is defended with Davis and Chandler compared to Billups/ Nene…..

      The latter were threats.

      That can be Lin and Amar’e/Chandler with Melo on the weakside.

      As the series progressed the Lakers didn’t ove-zone the pick and roll — it lead to some great performances by Andersen, Nene, Kenyon Martin, Klieza and Smith…..

      The Lakers made sure that Melo would not be allowed to operate on the weakside — so when Denver started to falter they put him back onto the mid-post where LAL once against fronted and zoned him.

      That’s why the playoffs are so much about pounding teams into submission until they are forced to change. The problem is that the Knicks cannot change —it takes an incredible shot-making performance to beat them without the requisite pieces.

    172. ruruland

      Bison: Allen Iverson and Andre Miller were such “nobodies” that Melo couldn’t find them?MJ and Kobe had no trouble passing to their much less competent point guards, yet your hero couldn’t do the same for his?

      Let’s face it, Melo is mediocre as a playmaker at 3.1 assists per game versus 5.3 for MJ and 5.2 for Kobe in their championship seasons.That is why Carmelo tends to force up so many bad jumpers so late in the shot clock: he’s a ballhog who can’t pass out of trouble.And that is why he keeps losing in the playoffs.

      do i really need to respond to this? Melo is not as good of a playmaker as Michael Jordan, but thanks for pointing that out.

      He’s had the third highest assist rate among forwards this year— on one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA. Historically speaking, 90+% of the players Melo has played with have seen efficiency increases playing alongside him. He creates attention, which throughout his career has made offense easier for his teammates.

      Allen Iverson was one of the players who had his most efficient seasons with Melo. Unfortunately, in the ’07 playoffs he could not get his shots at the rim to go down — posting a .450 TS.

      He was, however, able to penetrate to the basket from the weakside — he posted a 30 usage.

      So far with the Knicks ,Melo has led the team in assists in 5 of the 7 games.

      That’s not really what you want — and points to the injuries.

      Andre Miller, however is one of the least efficient point guards in the nBA off the catch….

      So, I don’t see how that bolsters your point at all. Andre Miller thrives in transition and semi-transition and is actually a better fit for Denver’s running style than Lawson. But half court offense in the playoffs? Miller is predominately a post-up scorer in that scenario.

    173. Juany8

      Part of the problem with this current team is not just the lack of shooters but the lack of players able to really even pass. Once the ball is kicked out to Jeffries, Fields or Novak, if their defender closes well the team basically wastes half the shot clock just getting the ball out of their hands and totally resetting the offense, and Bibby is just totally washed up at this point. The team basically has 3 players able to set up an easy shot for someone else (Baron, Melo, and JR) and none of those guys are quick penetrators who will force rotations. Even Shumpert would be a serious offensive help at this point, Miami’s defense does not get beat by a one man offense period. They destroyed Rose last year (while Boozer and Noah watched from the bench and Luol Deng was shut down by Mike Miller late in games) and have the luxury of playing games like yesterday, where they play great defense until they get a bunch of terrible shots to fall all at once, like Lebron taking 3 heat check 3’s in a row and making 2 at the start of the fourth.

    174. ruruland

      Juany8:
      Part of the problem with this current team is not just the lack of shooters but the lack of players able to really even pass. Once the ball is kicked out to Jeffries, Fields or Novak, if their defender closes well the team basically wastes half the shot clock just getting the ball out of their hands and totally resetting the offense, and Bibby is just totally washed up at this point. The team basically has 3 players able to set up an easy shot for someone else (Baron, Melo, and JR) and none of those guys are quick penetrators who will force rotations. Even Shumpert would be a serious offensive help at this point, Miami’s defense does not get beat by a one man offense period. They destroyed Rose last year (while Boozer and Noah watched from the bench and Luol Deng was shut down by Mike Miller late in games) and have the luxury of playing games like yesterday, where they play great defense until they get a bunch of terrible shots to fall all at once, like Lebron taking 3 heat check 3?s in a row and making 2 at the start of the fourth.

      Right and silly turnovers killed us, too. Quite a few 4-5 point swings on inexcusable turnovers.

      let’s remember with Lebron, he was 7-19 for 25 points and 8 turnovers until garbage time……

      7 of his points came off stupid turnovers where he had free lanes to the basket.

      It’s funny, when you actually break down Lebron and Melo’s game in the half court in this series — there hasn’t been a huge difference. When the Knicks force Lebron into the heart of the defense,force him into contested jumpers, he’s been terribly inefficient.

    175. nicos

      Juany8:
      Once the ball is kicked out to Jeffries, Fields or Novak, if their defender closes well the team basically wastes half the shot clock just getting the ball out of their hands and totally resetting the offense, and Bibby is just totally washed up at this point. The team basically has 3 players able to set up an easy shot for someone else (Baron, Melo, and JR) and none of those guys are quick penetrators who will force rotations.

      It really doesn’t help that two of those creators- Melo and JR.- rarely do so quickly. They both like to catch, square up and survey the defense, and then make their move. And Davis hasn’t been much quicker. Give Miami a ton of credit- they’re swarming everywhere and while only quick decisions can beat them, quick decisions also lead to turnovers which they convert better than anybody but I think you have to live with the risk to have a chance. Lin would certainly help but he can be fairly deliberate himself. Shumpert’s actually been pretty adept at quick passes on the perimeter- he’s gotten Novak a lot of good looks. But going forward the Knicks could really use a guy like Terry who catches the ball on rotations and makes quick- and usually very good- decisions.

    176. nicos

      ruruland: Right and silly turnovers killed us, too.Quite a few 4-5 point swings on inexcusable turnovers.

      Some of passes in transition have been unbelievable- Fields basically threw the ball into the backs of not one but two Miami defenders on the play where Melo wound up getting the tech.

    177. johnlocke

      Melo’s issue is inconsistent shot making in the playoffs. He has a great game, but then has trouble having multiple great games consecutively. And usually has a few stinkers throw in.

      In the WCF against the Lakers, with the other threats on the floor in the same series:
      Game 1: 14-20 (field); 4-5 (3p); 7-8 (FT) — Superstar!
      Game 2: 12-29 (field); 0-6 (3p); 10-14 (FT) – Good game
      Game 3: 4-13 (field); 1-7(3p); 12-14 (FT) — average/sub-par
      Game 4: 3-16; (field); 0-3 (3p); 9-11 (FT) — poor
      Game 5: 9-23 (field); 1-4 (3p); 12-13 (FT) — sub par
      Game 6: 6-17 (field); 1-3 (3p); 12-15 (FT) – sub-par

      That whole series he had a great game 1. A decent game 2. And then some really bad shooting in Games 3 -6. He got to the line and made FTs which mitigated some of the disaster shooting %s, but Melo in the playoffs is not clutch. He performs worse in the playoffs across his entire career. We are seeing the same thing in NY, with one great game – Boston in game 2, surrounded by mediocre or really poor games. So far in the Heat series, he’s had one good, but not great game (Game 2) surrounded by terrible games in Game 1 and 3. He’s still due for a great game I guess, but his inconsistency from game to game and his overall playoff statistics are really concerning going forward. Everyone plays tough defensive teams in the playoffs — that defense just isn’t that convincing to me.

      ruruland: roll.

      Look at where he gets his shots against the Lakers back in ’08: note the difference in how LA is able to defend him because of the other threats on the floor

      Melo doesn’t just do work from his office when the proper pieces are around him….

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2bYXQj3hU4

    178. Bison

      ruruland: do i really need to respond to this? Melo is not as good of a playmaker as Michael Jordan, but thanks for pointing that out.

      Melo is not even as good a passer as Rick Barry was, not even close: 3.1 assists per playoff game for Melo versus 6.1 apg in Barry’s championship year. Perhaps that is why Barry has a title and your hero does not.

      He’s had the third highest assist rate among forwards this year— on one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA.

      “Assist rate” is a bogus stat, which is why there are so many different formulas for computing it. The Pomeroy assist rate, which you are probably referencing, values Brian Scalabrine over Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. It doesn’t even pass the giggle test.

      Historically speaking, 90+% of the players Melo has played with have seen efficiency increases playing alongside him. He creates attention, which throughout his career has made offense easier for his teammates.

      More bogosity. Define “efficiency increase”. And how do you know the increases were due to Melo and not to somebody else on the team, such as Andre Miller, Allen Iverson, or Chauncy Billups?

      Do you actually have some good arguments, as opposed to misdirection?

      [the rest snipped; as it's just more excuses for Melo]

      Melo has had plenty of years, surrounded by plenty of very good players. Yet his teams keep falling in the first round. The one year when this didn’t happen, when the Nuggets actually won a round, was probably due to Billups.

      I notice that you avoided addressing my last paragraph: “Let’s face it, Melo is mediocre as a playmaker …. That is why Carmelo tends to force up so many bad jumpers so late in the shot clock: he’s a ballhog who can’t pass out of trouble. And that is why he keeps losing in the playoffs.”

    179. SeeWhyDee77

      like I alluded to earlier. Melo is a fantastic player and at least a top 3 scorer if not the best in the league. But…..even great players have their flaws. Shaq, who I believe to be the most dominant player ever especially during his LA years, had ft’s and no game outside of 10 feet as his weakness. Jordan wasn’t really a great shooter. Kobe takes god awful shots (but they go in mostly). Magic was as unathletic as he could be. Bird was dammit slow….etc. Melo’s problem is he doesn’t use his team mates. He doesn’t hafta be Lebron assist-wise..but 5 apg should be easy money for a guy with his skills. Regardless, I still have NO problem with him as our top gun. Unfortunately..with all the injuries..we can’t really expect Melo to lead us past Miami by himself like a truly trancendent PG would. I believe those are the only players who can do that like CP3 almost took Nawlins past LA in last year’s playoffs. Why? Because a great PG has the ball most of the game and a PG is taught more than any position on the floor to control the game and get his teammates involved. As far as Melo goes..even Jordan had to learn to trust what he had on the floor and he had to show them that faith as well. Let’s hope Melo’s not too old to learn that lesson.

    180. ruruland

      Ok, if just want to talk stats, take a look at the opponents Melo’s played over the course of his career in the playoffs

      2004 (Melo 19-years old) vs Minnesota Defensive rating: 6th Melo .412 TS
      2005 San Antonio Spurs Defensive rating: 1st
      Melo .494 TS
      2006 Clippers Defensive rating: 8th Melo .431 TS
      2007 San Antonio Spurs Defensive Rating: 2nd Melo 582 TS
      2008 LA Lakers Defensive Rating: 5th .447 TS
      2009 New Orleans (9th), Dallas (17th), Lakers (6th) 564 TS
      2010 Utah (10th) 564 TS
      2011 Boston (2nd) 505 TS
      2012 Miami (4th) .425 TS

      That’s not to get into the discussion of injuries, how Melo was defended or roster construction.

    181. johnlocke

      Melo is not the point guard…we are paying him to score and yes to be a playmaker to the extent he can. His issue per my note above is that he scores inefficiently and inconsistently in the playoffs across his career and it’s a meaningful drop-off from the regular season. The swings from one game to the next within a series are troubling, and his lower efficiency in the playoffs versus the regular season are what are concerning, not his inability to rack up assists.

      SeeWhyDee77:
      like I alluded to earlier. Melo is a fantastic player and at least a top 3 scorer if not the best in the league. But…..even great players have their flaws. Shaq, who I believe to be the most dominant player ever especially during his LA years, had ft’s and no game outside of 10 feet as his weakness. Jordan wasn’t really a great shooter. Kobe takes god awful shots (but they go in mostly). Magic was as unathletic as he could be. Bird was dammit slow….etc. Melo’s problem is he doesn’t use his team mates. He doesn’t hafta be Lebron assist-wise..but 5 apg should be easy money for a guy with his skills. Regardless, I still have NO problem with him as our top gun. Unfortunately..with all the injuries..we can’t really expect Melo to lead us past Miami by himself like a truly trancendent PG would. I believe those are the only players who can do that like CP3 almost took Nawlins past LA in last year’s playoffs. Why? Because a great PG has the ball most of the game and a PG is taught more than any position on the floor to control the game and get his teammates involved. As far as Melo goes..even Jordan had to learn to trust what he had on the floor and he had to show them that faith as well. Let’s hope Melo’s not too old to learn that lesson.

    182. ruruland

      Bison: Melo is not even as good a passer as Rick Barry was, not even close: 3.1 assists per playoff game for Melo versus 6.1apg in Barry’s championship year.Perhaps that is why Barry has a title and your hero does not.

      “Assist rate” is a bogus stat, which is why there are so many different formulas for computing it.The Pomeroy assist rate, which you are probably referencing, values Brian Scalabrine over Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.It doesn’t even pass the giggle test.

      More bogosity.Define “efficiency increase”.And how do you know the increases were due to Melo and not to somebody else on the team, such as Andre Miller, Allen Iverson, or Chauncy Billups?

      Do you actually have some good arguments, as opposed to misdirection?

      Melo has had plenty of years, surrounded by plenty of very good players.Yet his teams keep falling in the first round. The one year when this didn’t happen, when the Nuggets actually won a round, was probably due to Billups.

      I notice that you avoided addressing my last paragraph: “Let’s face it, Melo is mediocre as a playmaker …. That is why Carmelo tends to force up so many bad jumpers so late in the shot clock: he’s a ballhog who can’t pass out of trouble. And that is why he keeps losing in the playoffs.”

      I’ve already addressed all these things plenty of times. I’m not going to bang my head on the wall for you right now.

      You’re right. Melo sucks and if he wasn’t such a ball-hog the Knicks would be winning this series. Guys like Durant and Dirk are much better passers which is why their teams are great.

      The Nuggets advanced in spite of Melo, and he is a despicable human being with a painting in his house.

    183. BigBlueAL

      I like to stay out of these constant Melo debates but one thing I have to say is using the tough opposing defenses as an excuse for Melo struggling is really soft because its the freaking playoffs of course he is going to be facing good defenses. Thats the whole point of having someone as good as Melo is supposed to be, the fact that he should be able to score on tough defenses which is what you face in the playoffs.

      OK I said my piece on that part, carry on lol

    184. max fisher-cohen

      @John Locke, Melo is not the point guard — this is true — but offenses that are built around isolation play mean that isolation player has to be able to counter with smart passing when he gets doubled. This was Eddy Curry’s fatal flaw. Curry could dominate 1 on 1, but when you doubled him, he made the wrong play 90% of the time. It’s also why IMO D’Antoni and Nash were such an excellent combination. Nash is one of the greatest decision-makers every, and D’Antoni offense in combination with Amar’e’s play as a roll man, put him in a position where if he made the right play, his team would ALWAYS get a good shot.

      The reason post players like Nowitzki or Shaq never averaged 8 assists a game is because they get hockey assists. You pass out of the post, it generally takes 2+ passes to find the open man.

      Isolation play is more reliable because it only really requires one special player to be effective (all you need besides an ISO player who can score in any 1 on 1 matchup and knows when to pass out) whereas high pick and roll, spread offense of D’Antoni, while it requires two guys with special talents (visionary PG with ability to shoot and drive and roll man who can destroy rotating defenders), it is also more elegant in that far more often it finds the open man with one pass, meaning the defense has less time to recover.

      I’m not saying Melo is Eddy Curry in terms of his passing, but not only is he not as dominant 1 on 1 as Shaq, he’s also not the passer.

    185. johnlocke

      What’s your take-away from the data below? It looks somewhat inconclusive..he’s struggled against bad defensive teams and good defensive teams and played well against bad defensive teams and good defensive teams. Were the 2007 San Antonio Spurs that much better defensively than the 2005 San Antonio Spurs? Every team that advances in the playoffs has to play tough defensive teams at some point. In either case, my main point, which is hidden by averages…is the inconsistency in swings from one game to the next against the same team. To win a series your star player needs to play consistently well without the crazy swings in game-to-game performance we see from Melo (Lakers WCF, Boston last year, Miami this year, etc)

      ruruland:
      Ok, if just want to talk stats, take a look at the opponents Melo’s played over the course of his career in the playoffs

      2004 (Melo 19-years old) vs Minnesota Defensive rating: 6th Melo .412 TS
      2005 San Antonio Spurs Defensive rating: 1st
      Melo .494 TS
      2006 ClippersDefensive rating: 8thMelo .431 TS
      2007 San Antonio Spurs Defensive Rating: 2nd Melo 582 TS
      2008 LA Lakers Defensive Rating: 5th.447 TS
      2009 New Orleans (9th), Dallas (17th), Lakers (6th) 564 TS
      2010 Utah (10th) 564 TS
      2011 Boston (2nd) 505 TS
      2012 Miami (4th).425 TS

      That’s not to get into the discussion of injuries, how Melo was defended or roster construction.

    186. ruruland

      max fisher-cohen:
      @John Locke, Melo is not the point guard — this is true — but offenses that are built around isolation play mean that isolation player has to be able to counter with smart passing when he gets doubled. This was Eddy Curry’s fatal flaw. Curry could dominate 1 on 1, but when you doubled him, he made the wrong play 90% of the time. It’s also why IMO D’Antoni and Nash were such an excellent combination. Nash is one of the greatest decision-makers every, and D’Antoni offense in combination with Amar’e’s play as a roll man, put him in a position where if he made the right play, his team would ALWAYS get a good shot.

      The reason post players like Nowitzki or Shaq never averaged 8 assists a game is because they get hockey assists. You pass out of the post, it generally takes 2+ passes to find the open man.

      Isolation play is more reliable because it only really requires one special player to be effective (all you need besides an ISO player who can score in any 1 on 1 matchup and knows when to pass out) whereas high pick and roll, spread offense of D’Antoni, while it requires two guys with special talents (visionary PG with ability to shoot and drive and roll man who can destroy rotating defenders), it is also more elegant in that far more often it finds the open man with one pass, meaning the defense has less time to recover.

      I’m not saying Melo is Eddy Curry in terms of his passing, but not only is he not as dominant 1 on 1 as Shaq, he’s also not the passer.

      You think Melo is a bad passer?

    187. ruruland

      johnlocke:
      What’s your take-away from the data below? It looks somewhat inconclusive..he’s struggled against bad defensive teams and good defensive teams and played well against bad defensive teams and good defensive teams. Were the 2007 San Antonio Spurs that much better defensively than the 2005 San Antonio Spurs? Every team that advances in the playoffs has to play tough defensive teams at some point. In either case, my main point, which is hidden by averages…is the inconsistency in swings from one game to the next against the same team. To win a series your star player needs to play consistently well without the crazy swings in game-to-game performance we see from Melo (Lakers WCF, Boston last year, Miami this year, etc)

      I could apply context to each of these series. Melo, to me, was at fault in ’08.

    188. nicos

      ruruland: I agree. The Knicks were trying to get Melo some looks out of the pick and roll where they hadhim in the “pocket” area, hoping Lebron would help on the Chandler roll.

      Look at where he gets his shots against the Lakers back in ’08: note the difference in how LA is able to defend him because of the other threats on the floor

      Melo doesn’t just do work from his office when the proper pieces are around him….

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2bYXQj3hU4

      But even here- it’s the three point shot that allows him to get generate his offense outside of the mid-post. He gets a three on a secondary break, a three off of penetration and everything starts flowing. He’s in rhythm and he’s either shooting or driving immediately on the catch (he’s not going to get all the way to the rim from behind the line like you see him do here unless he’s going immediately). He’s not drifting down into the post (leaving more room for his guards to penetrate) because he’s confident shooting the three- it adds so much to his game. He’s not going to get great looks in this series- between Lin and Amar’e being out that ship has sailed- but going forward it’d be a huge boost if he could consistently hit it in the 37-38% range.

    189. ruruland

      nicos: But even here- it’s the three point shot that allows him to get generate his offense outside of the mid-post.He gets a three on a secondary break, a three off of penetration and everything starts flowing.He’s in rhythm and he’s either shooting or driving immediately on the catch (he’s not going to get all the way to the rim from behind the line like you see him do here unless he’s going immediately).He’s not drifting down into the post (leaving more room for his guards to penetrate) because he’s confident shooting the three- it adds so much to his game.He’s not going to get great looks in this series- between Lin and Amar’e being out that ship has sailed- but going forward it’d be a huge boost if he could consistently hit it in the 37-38% range.

      The whole point of that video was to show the significant difference in the looks.

      AS you can see he’s often playing on the weakside away from the CHauncey/Nene pnr — giving him some space to attack or shoot.

      We haven’t seen those looks in this series, and it has a lot to do with the fact that when the ball isn’t in Melo’s hands, the strong side attack is not being honored by the Heat as much as it should be from an average offense.

      So, the 3pt looks are going to come off the dribble. Off-dribble 3pters are always much lower percentage than catch-shoot 3pters. Melo is a good catch and shoot 3pt shooter as you saw last year and as he’s been the last 5 years or so.

    190. max fisher-cohen

      ruruland: You think Melo is a bad passer?

      No, I think Melo is a good passer sometimes and and a dominant scorer sometimes. Other times, I think he’s a subpar passer and a decent scorer. Sometimes that has to do with his teammates, sometimes it has more to do with a lack of focus or a flaw in his own approach. This averages out to a guy who needs a number of great complementary players — great spot up shooters so that he won’t feel inclined to try to do it himself, and defenders so when he does make mistakes, so when that inevitable series of “decent scoring” comes, you can make up for it with team defense.

    191. Bison

      ruruland: I’ve already addressed all these things plenty of times. I’m not going to bang my head on the wall for you right now.

      You’re right. Melo sucks and if he wasn’t such a ball-hog the Knicks would be winning this series. Guys like Durant and Dirk are much better passers which is why their teams are great.

      The Nuggets advanced in spite of Melo, and he is a despicable human being with a painting in his house.

      However sarcastic you try to be, you can’t avoid the following fact: that in the last four championship teams dominated by swingmen (Rick Barry, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant), these swingmen were all vastly better passers than is Melo.

      If you continue to assert that your hero can ballhog his way to a title without becoming a better passer, you are fighting almost 40 years of continuous experience to the contrary.

    192. hoolahoop

      Ruru and disciples, your defense of Melo has reached the level of pathetic, which is appropriate because that’s what Melo is – pathetic. Melo has the worst playoff record in NBA history of guys who played more than fifty playoff games. He’s been swept in the playoffs four times! Lost in five, two times. Once in six games. Only went to the conference finals once.

      Melo plays to score, not win. He is the biggest ball hog in the NBA. Watch how he runs up to players on his own team and demands the ball, then drives into traffic, guys all over him, and chucks up garbage. Jon Barry called his shot selection atrocious.
      Melo is a selfish, me-first, iso, hero baller.

      Him and Dolan deserve each other. Us knicks fans, don’t.
      Unfortunately, he’s going to be here for a while.

    193. ruruland

      Bison: However sarcastic you try to be, you can’t avoid the following fact: that in the last four championship teams dominated by swingmen (Rick Barry, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant), these swingmen were all vastly better passers than is Melo.

      If you continue to assert that your hero can ballhog his way to a title without becoming a better passer, you are fighting almost 40 years of continuous experience to the contrary.

      Translation: It’s impossible for Kevin Durant to win an NBA championship.

    194. hoolahoop

      Ruru, I don’t know how much you get paid to defend Melo, but for have some dignity, brother. He’s a loser.

    195. ruruland

      hoolahoop:
      Ruru and disciples, your defense of Melo has reached the level of pathetic, which is appropriate because that’s what Melo is – pathetic. Melo has the worst playoff record in NBA history of guys who played more than fifty playoff games. He’s been swept in the playoffs four times! Lost in five, two times. Once in six games. Only went to the conference finals once.

      Melo plays to score, not win. He is the biggest ball hog in the NBA. Watch how he runs up to players on his own team and demands the ball, then drives into traffic, guys all over him, and chucks up garbage. Jon Barry called his shot selection atrocious.
      Melo is a selfish, me-first, iso, hero baller.

      Him and Dolan deserve each other. Us knicks fans, don’t.
      Unfortunately, he’s going to be here for a while.

      word up

    196. hoolahoop

      ruruland: Translation: It’s impossible for Kevin Durant to win an NBA championship.

      Keven Durant is a much much much better player than Melo.
      Kevin Durant passes more than Melo. There’s no bigger ball hog in the league than Melo. So selfish.
      MELO, PASS THE FUCKING BALL.
      Unfortunaely, no one stands up to him. Dantoni tried and got run out of town. Woodson tried, but now succumbs to him.

    197. ephus

      At his best, Melo reminds me of Bernard King — and that is highest praise I can give. Unfortunately, Melo is frequently not at his best. Sub-par Melo (1) takes too long to set up his offense, (2) plays below the rim instead of finishing effectively, (3) dawdles to get back on defense and (4) pouts on bad calls instead of keeping his head in the game.

      If Melo dedicates himself to getting into LeBron-level fitness and playing hard on both ends of the court at all times, he can be the best player on a championship level team. As a long-suffering Knick fan, that is all I can hope for.

    198. hoolahoop

      ephus: If Melo dedicates himself to getting into LeBron-level fitness and playing hard on both ends of the court at all times, he can be the best player on a championship level team. As a long-suffering Knick fan, that is all I can hope for.

      If if if
      If I was 6’10 and twenty years younger, if I could shoot 50% from midcourt, it I . . .
      He’s been here two years. No more excuses.

    199. nicos

      ruruland: The whole point of that video was to show the significant difference in the looks.

      AS you can see he’s often playing on the weakside away from the CHauncey/Nene pnr — giving him some space to attack or shoot.

      We haven’t seen those looks in this series, and it has a lot to do with the fact that when the ball isn’t in Melo’s hands, the strong side attack is not being honored by the Heat as much as it should be from an average offense.

      So, the 3pt looks are going to come off the dribble. Off-dribble 3pters are always much lower percentage than catch-shoot 3pters. Melo is a good catch and shoot 3pt shooter as you saw last year and as he’s been the last 5 years or so.

      I thought he got some pretty good looks from three at times this year, he just didn’t knock them down- he didn’t shoot well from 17 feet either so I’m guessing it was the wrist. Of course when they did have a pnr game working with Lin and D’A put him out behind the line, he clearly wasn’t happy- I think he would have been much more amenable to what D’A wanted to do if he was knocking down the shots that he normally hits. I’m also sure he’d have been okay (if not super enthusiastic) with it if they’d have been winning. That Laker game was exactly what D’A wanted out of Melo, the fact that they weren’t getting the point guard play and Melo being out of sorts caused everything to blow up.

    200. Bison

      ruruland: Translation: It’s impossible for Kevin Durant to win an NBA championship.

      That may well be true, if he refuses to improve his passing. However, it’s a fair question whether Oklahoma is dominated by Durant or by Westbrook. If the latter, then the swingman rule does not apply.

    201. ruruland

      Bison: That may well be true, if he refuses to improve his passing.However, it’s a fair question whether Oklahoma is dominated by Durant or by Westbrook.If the latter, then the swingman rule does not apply.

      lmao

    202. Bison

      ruruland

      Bison: That may well be true, if he refuses to improve his passing.However, it’s a fair question whether Oklahoma is dominated by Durant or by Westbrook.If the latter, then the swingman rule does not apply.

      lmao

      I’m serious. Westbrook’s usage rate in the playoffs is higher than Durant’s. Look it up.

      Westbrook is not a swingman, but if he were, he would satisfy the rule: he’s a ballhog, but he can pass far better than Melo (he just chooses not to this year).

    203. max fisher-cohen

      Westbrook is the Melo proxy on OKC — he’s the one who makes the initial forays into the defense — and he’s probably equal to if not slightly inferior to Melo (albeit at a younger age). He just has enormously talented teammates. Durant is perhaps the ideal second option in that he can shoot from anywhere, is a strong driver if you give him a step, and knows how to draw fouls. Then you have two great defensive bigs and an awesome sixth man.

    204. Bison

      2FOR18: So we’re saying that without 2 of our lowest paid players, basically 2 rookies who came out of nowhere, we can’t compete? What does that say about how this team was constructed? Doesn’t this result justify everything the anti-melo trade people have said all along?

      It was a very bad trade. Beyond the obvious chemistry issues are the hits to the franchise: the Knicks now have no cap space and no draft picks for years to come. Improving the team will be extremely difficult — so we are stuck, like a dinosaur in a tar pit.

      Ruruland, of course, is delighted. Melo has now extricated himself out of Toxic Situation #1, and it will be years before Toxic Situation #2 becomes obvious to the general population of Knicks fans.

    205. Bison

      max fisher-cohen: Melo is not the point guard — this is true — but offenses that are built around isolation play mean that isolation player has to be able to counter with smart passing when he gets doubled.

      Exactly. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    206. sidestep

      I think Howard Beck’s reliance on the Melo is a ball hog talking point is rather lazy, and the ‘Melo does not pass’ comments are overstated. During the regular season, Melo has shown he can pass very well — pinpoint and well-timed. In general, he has great hand-eye coordination. There were even recent examples from late in the regular season of him passing the ball out of double teams, the ball rotating to the open man, and teammates being able to finish.

      But in this series, the Heat have relied on their athleticism to avoid having to double Melo in a way that leaves teammates open. And, with this depleted roster, who exactly, really, was he supposed to pass to? Chandler was out of it in the first two games with the flu, and failed to finish even when he was fed the ball near the rim. Novak can’t get open by himself to save his life. Now and then Fields does a great cut in the lane, but he’s a non-threat on the perimeter with his shitty shot and even more useless pump fake. Baron and Bibby, god help us. With the depleted roster against the Heat, only Melo and JR are offensive threats.

      I fault Melo for his inconsistency and just plain shooting poorly in this series, but the idea that he does not pass or cannot pass conveniently ignores games that prove otherwise and extrapolates from just 3 games with a depleted roster.

    Comments are closed.