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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Monday, Dec 10 2012)

  • [New York Post] Melo scores 34 in return to Knicks (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 05:32:01 -0500)
    By the fourth quarter, the rust was off. When Carmelo Anthony reentered with 7:38 left and the Knicks up three, he closed in a big way and secured a gratifying 112-106 victory on George Karl’s Nuggets at the Garden.
    Returning from a two-game absence with a cut middle…

  • [New York Post] Karl: Anthony will win a title one day (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 04:20:26 -0500)
    Nobody would know better than Nuggets coach George Karl whether Carmelo Anthony is different than he was in Denver.
    Karl said Anthony is growing and maturing, but gave most of the credit on his transformation to champion teammates Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler.
    Karl said before facing Anthony and the…

  • [New York Post] Karl rues Felton’s rocky Denver exit (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 04:17:34 -0500)
    George Karl was convinced it could work. The Denver coach saw a talented, deep combo for his point-guard spot with Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton. The problem for Felton was Karl saw Lawson as the starter.
    And so it ultimately didn’t work for the Nuggets, who shipped Felton to…

  • [New York Post] Savvy Kidd handles bump & grind in 4th (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 04:17:34 -0500)
    Jason Kidd brings to any team something Nuggets coach George Karl, for lack of a better term, called “veteran-ness.â? Call it savvy, smarts, IQ, whatever you want. It was on display throughout the Knicks’ victory over Denver last night.
    And it even landed Kidd in a hockey helmet after he…

  • [New York Times] Knicks 112, Nuggets 106: Anthony Helps Knicks Stay Perfect at Home (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 07:40:06 GMT)
    Buoyed by the return of Carmelo Anthony after two games with a hand injury, the Knicks came back from a fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Denver.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Halftime Talk On Defense Lifts Thunder Past Pacers (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 07:39:10 GMT)
    The Pacers shot 60 percent in the first half before Thunder Coach Scott Brooks delivered a message to his team at halftime. His players responded by limiting Indiana to 33 percent in the second half.

  • [New York Times] Bucks 97, Nets 88: Bucks Send Nets to Fourth Straight Loss (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 07:39:04 GMT)
    The Nets were well on their way to their worst loss of the season, and a late rally made it only slightly more palatable as they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center.

  • [New York Times] Jazz Beat Lakers 117-110 for 3rd Straight Victory (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 05:20:49 GMT)
    Paul Millsap scored 24 points, Mo Williams added 22 and the Utah Jazz defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 117-110 on Sunday night for their third straight victory.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Power Past Pacers to Eighth Straight Win (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 04:50:34 GMT)
    Oklahoma City’s high-octane offense has powered the team to the best record in the NBA, but it was defense that got the job done on Sunday as the Thunder rolled to their eighth straight win, a 104-93 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Nets’ Evans, Knowing Focus Is on Him, Tries to Stay on His Feet (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 04:05:23 GMT)
    A top rebounder, Reggie Evans is also viewed as one of the most shameless floppers. It’s a reputation he somewhat embraces, even as he tries to evade scrutiny in this new era of flopping prohibition.

  • [New York Times] Magic Hand Suns 7th Straight Loss, 98-90 (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 03:47:40 GMT)
    Rookie Andrew Nicholson scored nine of his career-high 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Orlando Magic pulled away to hand the Phoenix Suns their seventh loss in a row, 98-90 on Sunday night.

  • [New York Times] Karl Praises Change in Carmelo Anthony’s Game (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 03:45:09 GMT)
    George Karl, who coached and tried to reason with Carmelo Anthony for five and a half years in Denver, said he was pleased to see Anthony playing at such a high level.

  • [New York Times] Anthony Returns With 34, Knicks Beat Nuggets (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 03:32:49 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony returned from a two-game absence with 34 points against his former team, and the New York Knicks beat the Denver Nuggets 112-106 on Sunday night to remain the NBA’s lone unbeaten team at home.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Offense Too Much for Pacers’ D, 104-93 (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 02:42:13 GMT)
    Kevin Durant scored 27 points, Kevin Martin added 24 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Indiana Pacers 104-93 on Sunday night for their eighth straight win.

  • [New York Times] Jennings, Ellis Lead Bucks in 97-88 Win Over Nets (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 02:20:51 GMT)
    Brandon Jennings scored 26 points, Monta Ellis had 24 points and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood Brooklyn’s fourth-quarter rally in a 97-88 victory over the Nets on Sunday night.

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Karl tweaks while Melo peaks with Knicks (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 07:25:28 GMT)
    George Karl found a way to tweak Carmelo Anthony with kindness. In six months, Melo’s old coach and toughest critic went from saying he thinks Anthony can win a title to saying Anthony will raise a championship banner, presumably at Madison Square Garden.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: Jason Lives! Kidd dons hockey helmet (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 06:48:54 GMT)
    Jason Kidd’s contribution to the Knicks’ impressive closing stretch against Denver on Sunday night was not limited to the key three-pointers and trademark floor leadership he provided in their 112-106 victory. The veteran point guard also offered a dose of comic relief at halftime.

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: No chance for Nets without Lopez (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 06:35:36 GMT)
    It’s never an encouraging omen when the coach begins talking about his starting center in the past tense. Or, when a basketball team returns to its roots and remembers how to string together demoralizing defeats.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks beat Nuggets in Melo’s return (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 06:34:29 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony returned in time to show his injured middle finger to his former team Sunday night at the Garden. Anthony was back in the Knicks’ lineup after missing two games with a stitched-up middle finger on his left hand, and he poured in a game-high 34 points in a rousing 112-106 win over Denver to keep the first-place Knicks perfect (8-0) at home this season.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Woody: No question Melo is MVP candidate (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 00:58:35 EDT)
    Carmelo Anthony was in the Knicks starting lineup for the first time in four days on Sunday night.
    But, truth be told, he wasn’t really back for the Knicks until the fourth quarter on Sunday.
    In the final 12 minutes, he was the Carmelo the Knicks had grown accustomed to this season.
    He scored 11 key fourth quarter points to help the Knicks hold off the Nuggets — his former team — and win their eighth straight home game to open the season.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Kidd's heady play lifts Knicks (Mon, 10 Dec 2012 00:34:20 EDT)
    NEW YORK — Jason Kidd gave the sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night perhaps the closest thing to hockey they’re going to see over the next few months.

    After sustaining a blow to the head following a collision with Ty Lawson in the first half, the veteran emerged for the warmups prior to the second half wearing a Rangers helmet.
    “I got creative,” Kidd said. “They’re not using them right now so I thought we would put that on for compression purposes.

  • 50 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Monday, Dec 10 2012)

    1. Frank O.

      Watched NBA TV commentators talk about Woody and I think Barry made a solid point: Woody has his defensive-minded focus, while continuing to run much of D’Antoni’s sets, only less dogmatically, if that makes any sense.
      This team still spreads the floor, moves the ball, does the PnR and looks for the three. The difference is this team doesn’t place an over-emphasis on pace, and it is shooting lights-out from 3.
      This just happens to fit well also with having an alpha like Melo, who benefits from a spread floor and who you can rely on to get a basket, or draw doubles and triples so some one else has an open jay, when needed.

    2. d-mar

      I think Z-man made this point before, but if there’s one player that we should worry about when playoff time comes it’s JR. He is just as likely to lose a game for us as win one, and this current cold stretch, which seems months old, is concerning. I do think that when Amare comes back and plays on the 2nd unit (which I think he will be fine with) it’ll enable us to go away from who shot JR a little more and not rely on him to create crazy shots for offense.

    3. Thomas B.

      Thinking about the upcoming games against the Nets got me thinking about how nice it was that we didn’t make a move to get Joe Johnson. I know some folks were talking about pairing him with LBJ here in NYC two years ago. I am glad that did not happen.

      Johnson has not looked good this year. He loks slow to me. He isn’t defending well. He seems to have trouble scoring when defended by anyone who he isn’t bigger than (luck for him he is bigger than most). But the decline has me wondering if we dodged a bullet. Maybe this is a product of the new system, he was solid last year. But this year his PER is 12.9. His WS/48 is .70. He has 3 years left on that deal. Nearly 25 Million in the final year.

    4. Garson

      Thomas B.:
      Thinking about the upcoming games against the Nets got me thinking about how nice it was that we didn’t make a move to get Joe Johnson.I know some folks were talking about pairing him with LBJ here in NYC two years ago.I am glad that did not happen.

      Johnson has not looked good this year.He loks slow to me.He isn’t defending well.He seems to have trouble scoring when defended by anyone who he isn’t bigger than (luck for him he is bigger than most). But the decline has me wondering if we dodged a bullet.Maybe this is a product of the new system, he was solid last year.But this year his PER is 12.9. His WS/48 is .70.He has 3 years left on that deal.Nearly 25 Million in the final year.

      Unfortunatly for us, We did sign the other Free Agent that was signed to lure Lebron. He also looks old, doesn’t defend, has trouble scoring (when not being spoon-fed) and doesnt fit our team. Plus, hes oft-injured. other then that, i agree with your post

    5. Owen

      Not sure what Johnson would have brought that we didnt have in spades already. That was a ridiculous signing and I am glad that we didn’t bite. Not sure the cap money would have worked anyway….

    6. Z-man

      I’m a believer in the Amar’e got the process started theory. Ultimately, once LeBron went elsewhere (and there was no way to keep that from happening) there were very few scenarios anyone envisioned that would have led us to where we are right now–a contending team two years removed from that fateful summer.

      The only move Dolan/Walsh/GG made in the past two years that I believe is subject to hindsight is the decision to amnesty Billups instead of Amare. Once Amare hurt his back, it could be argued that his contract was screaming to be ditched, since we wuld never, ever be able to trade him for fair value; whereas Billups was an expiring at a position at which we had a dire need. I didn’t have a problem with not doing that to Amar’e after he energized the franchise, but in a cold-hearted, purely objective sense, I have always felt that using the amnesty provision on Amare would have been the prudent thing to do.

      My hope is that Amar’e comes back with a vengeance and plays like the all-star he once was and is still being paid to be. But I would have done his deal 1000 times over before lunging for one of the other big name FAs of that summer, like Johnson or Boozer. I still think Amar’e will at least be a very good offensive weapon for us and will prove his most ardent detractors wrong. And like d-mar pointed out in @3, I’d rather rely on him than JR.

    7. Z-man

      DRed: That was interesting. I would have thought we’d have more assisted baskets.

      It’s funny, but despite what the numbers say, the team is definitely more pleasing to my eye than it was last year, not just because we’re winning but because of the team chemistry, confidence, and energy level. Lant night’s win was u-u-ugly, but having that extra gear in the 4th and a calming influence like Kidd on the floor was something we haven’t seen in a long, long time. Several times this year I have found myself thinking “if we can get a 7-8 pt lead with less than 3 minutes to go, Kidd is not gonna let us lose this game.” I’ve always appreciated those things the most, and finally we have a team that is BOTH very good, very together, and capable of being very smart when it counts. The optimist in me expects things to get even better when Amar’e, Camby and Shump work their way back in, so long as JKidd is alive and well.

    8. Frank

      I think Amare will come back and be either very good, or at least good enough to make a very positive impact. We don’t need him to score 25pts/36min anymore. BUT — I think we all saw what happened yesterday when Chandler went out at his usual time in the 3rd quarter:

      We were actually winning 75-74 when Chandler sat. Our offensive possessions going forward to the end of the quarter:
      - Felton layup
      - Felton blocked
      - Novak 3pointer miss
      - JR long 2 miss
      - Melo blocked
      - Melo FTs
      - JR long 2
      - Melo missed 3
      - JR missed 3
      - Brewer tip-in at buzzer

      Then in 4th quarter –
      - Novak missed contested jumper
      - score 88-80, Chandler comes back in, and we go on a 32-18 run the rest of the way, and rest of scoring goes layup, dunk, 3 pointer etc.

      That 2nd unit is BADLY missing some inside scoring. As soon as we have to go away from the high PNR, we struggle, which is why Tyson’s +/- on the offensive end is +19.4 (!) per 100poss.

      When Tyson rests, Amare should come in and be the primary roll man, either with Prigs or Felton. Our whole PNR offense is predicated on the threat of Chandler’s dive. Amazingly, according to Synergy, Amare was better than Chandler as the PNR roll man last year with 1.22 PPP (vs 1.18). Put Rasheed in to space the floor, and maybe Tyson’s offensive +/- won’t have to be quite so high anymore.

      When he’s in the game with Chandler, he has to play the role that Kurt is playing now. Sorry Amare – that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

      Like others have said, I don’t really think the big problem with the Amare/Melo combo — it’s the Amare/Chandler combo. That combo turns Amare into a (probably worse jump- shooting) Kurt Thomas who doesn’t give you Kurt’s defensive prowess/toughness.

    9. Garson

      Z-man:

      The only move Dolan/Walsh/GG made in the past two years that I believe is subject to hindsight is the decision to amnesty Billups instead of Amare. Once Amare hurt his back, it could be argued that his contract was screaming to be ditched, since we wuld never, ever be able to trade him for fair value; whereas Billups was an expiring at a position at which we had a dire need. I didn’t have a problem with not doing that to Amar’e after he energized the franchise, but in a cold-hearted, purely objective sense, I have always felt that using the amnesty provision on Amare would have been the prudent thing to do.

      Didnt we amnesty Billups to sign Chandler?? I wouldnt call that a failure.

    10. Juany8

      Garson: Didnt we amnesty Billups to sign Chandler?? I wouldnt call that a failure.

      Instead of Amar’e he said, which I think you would agree with. Even though Billups got injured, I have to think that overall this team would have been better off with Billups instead of Amar’e, although maybe Billups means no Kidd so there’s that

    11. Garson

      Juany8: Instead of Amar’e he said, which I think you would agree with. Even though Billups got injured, I have to think that overall this team would have been better off with Billups instead of Amar’e, although maybe Billups means no Kidd so there’s that

      At the time, I dont think Amnestying Amare was even discussed as there was nothing wrong with him at that point.

    12. Thomas B.

      Garson:

      Unfortunatly for us, We did sign the other Free Agent that was signed to lure Lebron. He also looks old, doesn’t defend, has trouble scoring (when not being spoon-fed) and doesnt fit our team. Plus, hes oft-injured. other then that, i agree with your post

      Exactly! Why double down? I will point out that STAT is younger. I think it is unlikely that STAT’s numbers will be as bad through 20 games as Joe Johnson’s are. But 20 games after 12/25/12 we’ll know.

      What if the Mayans made a mistake? What if 12/25/12 is the day it’ll all come crumbling down?

    13. lavor postell

      Garson: Didnt we amnesty Billups to sign Chandler?? I wouldnt call that a failure.

      I’m assuming we could have made that move with Amar’e, signed Chandler and had room to add a max player this past summer like a Deron Williams. It doesn’t matter though because like z-man stated it just would have been a horrible thing to do to Amar’e after he came here and really invigorated the franchise.

    14. daJudge

      I’m extremely excited about Amare returning and optimistic. This is why: 1. I assume he will be healthy, but not like the younger stud version. 2. This is fine as he will still beast on the PNR, particularly on a second unit. 3. Our overall defense is much better and his deficiency will not be as pronounced. 4. We can use his shot blocking ability. 5. I see no reason why his 16 footer will not be operational. 6. He is a real dude and has an excellent work ethic. 7. we need his scoring and leadership. 8. He’s a decent free throw shooter 9. He gives us some more rebounding & on the tenth day of Christmas…. We got a coach who will NO DOUBT hold Amare accountable.

    15. Frank

      Btw does the amazing comeback by Adrian Peterson make anyone else unbelievably excited for Shump’s return? I think he’s going to be great. He’s had to do rehab, sure, but hopefully he has learned a bunch of stuff while he didn’t have his athleticism (shooting, team defense concepts, etc) that will carry over. Crazy- two weeks or so until Amare is back, then Shumpert hopefully a couple weeks after that.

      Feels good to be a Knicks fan.

    16. yellowboy90

      Frank:
      Btw does the amazing comeback by Adrian Peterson make anyone else unbelievably excited for Shump’s return?I think he’s going to be great. He’s had to do rehab, sure, but hopefully he has learned a bunch of stuff while he didn’t have his athleticism (shooting, team defense concepts, etc) that will carry over. Crazy- two weeks or so until Amare is back, then Shumpert hopefully a couple weeks after that.

      Feels good to be a Knicks fan.

      Yeah I have had those thoughts too but AP is a freak of nature and the cut he made yesterday was amazing for any back let alone someone coming off knee surgery. AP’s display of lateral quickness gives me hope for Shump’s defensive prowess to back to where it was before injury.

    17. d-mar

      yellowboy90: Yeah I have had those thoughts too but AP is a freak of nature and the cut he made yesterday was amazing for any back let alone someone coming off knee surgery. AP’s display of lateral quickness gives me hope for Shump’s defensive prowess to back to where it was before injury.

      I’m worried that his new hairdo will make him less aerodynamic, although it will help cushion any nasty falls or blows to the head.
      Maybe Kidd should consider it.

    18. Z-man

      Yeah, a full recovery for Shump would be awesome. I rooted hard for picking him on draft night, and was crushed when I thought his ACL went in game 1 vs. the Celts last year. Was really happy that we got to see him play and show what he can do, even with the unhappy ending to his season. Hopefully the best is yet to come. Either way, nice to have Brewer aboard, his D has been pretty Shump-tastic!

    19. yellowboy90

      d-mar: I’m worried that his new hairdo will make him less aerodynamic, although it will help cushion any nasty falls or blows to the head.
      Maybe Kidd should consider it.

      What some don’t realize is that he picked that hairdo to help his man to man D by affecting opposing players’ ability to see over him when he is in a defensive stance.

    20. Z-man

      yellowboy90: What some don’t realize is that he picked that hairdo to help his man to man D by affecting opposing players’ ability to see over him when he is in a defensive stance.

      Then he should go with the Oscar Gamble

      http://www.google.com/imgres?num=10&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1423&bih=656&tbm=isch&tbnid=puy6PdXQ3PMU8M:&imgrefurl=http://thepaintedbaseball.blogspot.com/2011/08/oscar-gamble-dick-allen-thurman-munson.html&docid=0yHsQ5D_RS7rsM&imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-U7npNI4AXqg/TjouytGrXDI/AAAAAAAAAsE/O3xVi1Gp_U0/s1600/012OscarGamble.jpg&w=366&h=400&ei=iJTGUOeAMKT10gHSjICIDA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=1055&vpy=296&dur=5429&hovh=235&hovw=215&tx=76&ty=262&sig=111144461947934946162&page=1&tbnh=141&tbnw=132&start=0&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:19,s:0,i:196

    21. matte sideburns

      Z-man:

      The only move Dolan/Walsh/GG made in the past two years that I believe is subject to hindsight is the decision to amnesty Billups instead of Amare.

      If we’re talking hindsight then we could have just not picked up Billups’ option that summer. If we don’t pick up his option then there’s no need to amnesty him to make space for Chandler and we get to keep our amnesty to use later, as required.
      But, looking at the team we have now, there’s no way I go back and tamper with anything to alter the course of Knicks history.

    22. Z-man

      That deal had to be made then and there…GS and others were making offers to Chandler. The only options we had were either Amare or Billups. At least, that’s my recollection.

      Garson: At the time, I dont think Amnestying Amare was even discussed as there was nothing wrong with him at that point.

      Yes there was, this happened after Amar’e hurt his back. Between that and his knee and eye issues, there was plenty of reasons to opt out.

      Of course, you’d still be paying him the $80 mill, not to mention that he would be free to sign with a rival team like Boston, the Heat, the Nets, etc. on the cheap.

    23. Z-man

      Of course, I’m perfectly happy we kept Amar’e, I like him and like rooting for him. Just pointing out that there was a ballsy and probably prudent option that was not considered. Hard to be upset about any recent moves right now.

      And there is actually hope for the future. One or both of Chandler and Melo can be re-signed, Shump, Brewer, Novak, Felton (and possibly JR, although I’m not a big fan) are young enough to be part of a future rotation, and we have a #1 pick this year. Plus with GG’s wizardry at the helm, and Isiah’s continued sequestration, maybe this is not just a 1-2 year window.

    24. johnno

      matte sideburns: If we’re talking hindsight then we could have just not picked up Billups’ option that summer.

      I can’t remember the exact explanation why, but I think that, if the Knicks didn’t pick up Billups’ option, they would have only had about $8 million in cap space.

      Owen: I am glad that we didn’t bite.

      Actually, I’m pretty sure the Knicks DID bite and he turned them down!

    25. johnno

      Juany8: Even though Billups got injured, I have to think that overall this team would have been better off with Billups instead of Amar’e, although maybe Billups means no Kidd so there’s that

      How would they have been better with Billups?? He only managed to play 20 games last year before tearing his achilles and he was dreadful in those games, shooting 36% from the field. He’s managed to play 3 games this year and he’s been terrible.

    26. Z-man

      johnno: How would they have been better with Billups??He only managed to play 20 games last year before tearing his achilles and he was dreadful in those games, shooting 36% from the field.He’s managed to play 3 games this year and he’s been terrible.

      His contract expired at the end of last year vs. 3 more years of Amar’e.

    27. nicos

      Well, Amar’e's first half of his first season here he put up pretty much the exact same numbers as Melo is putting now- 26.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.7 apg, .570 TS%, 31.9 usage (not saying he played better than Melo has played this year as his defense was awful just saying that that’s not a guy you give away lightly). After the trade his numbers went down but the Knicks offense got much better- tops in the league as I recall- so it’s not like there was a ton of evidence that the two couldn’t function together offensively. I think the idea was that Chandler’s defense would cover up for Amar’e's deficiencies and wouldn’t hurt the offense. Also, Billups can’t run the pnr at all so he wasn’t going to be able to really run D’A's offense. Once Chandler got here and Amar’e was reduced to taking 16 footers it looked like a horrible decision not to amnesty him but at the time I think it was still a defensible position. And if Amar’e actually starts hitting those jumpers at nearer his career rate and has two point guards on the floor who can run the side pnr and/or actually see him waving his hands under the basket on cuts, he might wind up fitting with Chandler just fine.

    28. nicos

      I’d add that D’A was counting on Melo really embracing the role of point forward and that Douglas would take a step forward instead of completely shitting the bed. Obviously neither of those things happened and even if they had, Amar’e's contract would probably still look bad- just not the complete hideous unmovable nightmare it looks like now.

    29. johnno

      nicos: After the trade his numbers went down but the Knicks offense got much better- tops in the league as I recall- so it’s not like there was a ton of evidence that the two couldn’t function together offensively.

      One myth that gets repeated by everyone is that Amare’s numbers went down after the trade. They didn’t drop off AT ALL. His numbers for the 25 games before the trade were almost identical to his numbers for the rest of the season — 24.5 points on 52% shooting. You are right — their offense was great after the trade, yet the conventional wisdom is that they can’t coexist of offense. Weird.

    30. JK47

      James Harden sits out and Jeremy Lin goes off for 38 points on 21 FGA with 7 assists and 2 turnovers.

      Interaction effects.

    31. d-mar

      JK47:
      James Harden sits out and Jeremy Lin goes off for 38 points on 21 FGA with 7 assists and 2 turnovers.

      Interaction effects.

      Yeah, and notice that the Spurs scored 134 points and Neal and Parker combined for 58.

    32. JK47

      d-mar: Yeah, and notice that the Spurs scored 134 points and Neal and Parker combined for 58.

      True enough but Lin has been playing like one of the worst PGs in the league all season with Harden dominating the ball. It’s interesting that he has a breakout game– at least on the offensive end– when Harden misses a game.

    33. ruruland

      Actually, he shot about 49% after the trade and close to 51% prior to it.

      I’ve spent a lot of time looking at this, and it’s pretty clear that the only thing that really matters to Amar’e in an offense is whether there is a point guard who can either drive or make a timely pass when he slips a screen.

      There are a handful of lineups where Amar’e has done well the last 4 years without that piece, but it hasn’t mattered if there was another big man or relatively poor spacing around him so long as he could get the ball on the move or there was penetration prior to him getting it.

      Even without a penetration or quality passing pg play, there were times two years ago where both Melo and Amar’e were totally dominant at the same time.

      There are a variety of reasons that didn’t happen much last year, save for that Atlanta game late in the year where they were both basically unstoppable.

      The Felton/Kidd backcourt is perfect combo for a Chandler/Melo/Amare frontcourt. Sure, that frontcourt is going staggered with rotations to maximize Amar’e in pnr with either Melo at the 4 or Wallace at the 5.

      Those 6 minutes in the second and 4th quarters has killed the Knicks all year, but Amar’e will change that.

      But the main point is that with Felton Kidd you get everything you could ask for with ther Melo/Amar’e/Chandler frontcourt — spacing, penetration and high pnr, side pnr skills and a true fulcrum for the offense in Kidd.

      Is there a better passing backourt combo that combines with a better, more efficient scoring frontcourt? I don’t think so.

      Let’s all remember how the Hornets functioned with Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler and David West, the latter of whom does basically all the same things on offense Amar’e does but is significantly less talented at everything.

      West got wide open jumpers all game long, which Amar’e prior to last year, knocked down at a very high rate.

      ………

    34. ruruland

      But the other stuff West would get were a lot of 1-1s when his defender had to crash down on the pick and roll, Amar’e should feast on those weakside plays.

      Also….

      Let’s all remember that when Amar’e played with Melo, Chandler and either Davis or Lin as the starting pg, he had a ts% of .594 (Atlanta game at home and after) in the regular season, and a .631 TS% in the playoffs.

      You throw in a player like Amar’e in place of Brewer, while you certainly lose on individual defense and rotation, you gain defensive rebounding, offensive rebounding, and extremely efficient scoring, which, imo, will have a positive effect on Melo and Felton by reducing their usage and tough shots.

      All of a sudden, the best offensive lineup in the NBA gets a lot better. it should be good enough on defense, and when you can bring Smith, Shump, Brewer and Wallace off the bench starting at that 6 min mark, you’re in pretty damn fine shape on that end, too.

    35. ruruland

      JK47: True enough but Lin has been playing like one of the worst PGs in the league all season with Harden dominating the ball. It’s interesting that he has a breakout game– at least on the offensive end– when Harden misses a game.

      You know, without stooping to Owen’s level and making a remark about Harden holding Lin back, if you actually watch the rockets play with both guys Lin has the ball in his hands quite a bit is often really passive.

      If it’s true that Lin needs the ball in his hands every play to be effective, good luck building a succesfull team around him.

      I just think he needed an every-possession-touch game to get his rhythm back, but I still think a lot of the shots he made tonight were the same he has struggled with all year. They are incredibly diffiuclt looks to live on, and when you can’t shoot, that’s a problem.

    36. Brian Cronin

      True enough but Lin has been playing like one of the worst PGs in the league all season with Harden dominating the ball. It’s interesting that he has a breakout game– at least on the offensive end– when Harden misses a game.

      Yeah, but what are the Rockets supposed to do? Not have Harden dominate the ball? Come on. Yes, this is clearly not the role best suited for Lin (it is essentially the same role he was bad at in Golden State – the TS% are eerily similar), but if you’re the Rockets, how can you really care? If it is one or the other, you have to go with Harden every day of the week and twice on Sundays. It’s just slightly tough luck for Lin that he went to the Rockets right before they acquired a guy who is also best when he dominates the ball but is also a lot better overall. I say “slightly” because he is still making a ton of money and is a starter, so can he really complain that his role is not ideal? Screw that. He should count his blessings along with his millions.

    37. Owen

      Would love to know what Chandler Parsons did to be -27 in an overtime game. Must be some sort of record.

      Happy for Lin. He has a very strange looking skill curve….

    38. jon abbey

      Nash says he’ll be out at least two more weeks, so he’ll miss this week’s game at MSG and hopefully the Christmas Day game in LA too. take your time, Steve!

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