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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Jan 28 2012)

  • [New York Newsday] LeBron, Wade too much for Knicks (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 00:22:40 EST)
    The Knicks were missing their best player, and their second best was invisible most of the night. It was too much for them to overcome against the Heat, which welcomed back one of its top guys.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Knicks' season-high in 3s nearly cool Heat (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 01:15:57 EDT)
    MIAMI — For three quarters, the Knicks made Heat coach Erik Spoelstra look smart yet stonewalled at the same time.
    During Friday morning’s shootaround at the American Airlines Arena, Spoelstra said that because Carmelo Anthony was out of the lineup due to injuries, the Knicks would run more “spread pick-and-rolls” and speed up the halfcourt pace to free their 3-point shooters.
    The Knicks did just that for most of the game, knocking down three after three, before succumbing to defeat.

  • [New York Post] Sitting out vs. Miami not move of a leader (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 04:26:54 -0500)
    MIAMI â?? Carmelo Anthony has a sore wrist, ankle and thumb, and yesterday morning he came down with a case of The LeBron Flu.
    With the Knicks’ nationally televised game against LeBron James and the Heat looming last night, with the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Isiah Thomas in front-row seats…

  • [New York Post] Baron’s debut delayed again (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 04:11:10 -0500)
    MIAMI â?? The Knicks had hoped to get Baron Davis on the court on their current four-game road trip. But he hasn’t looked good enough during scrimmages for that to happen.Coach Mike D’Antoni, whose team lost to the Heat 99-89 last night, said it was unlikely Davis will…

  • [New York Post] Long-range shooting not enough for Knicks vs. Heat (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:53:05 -0500)
    MIAMI â?? It was Bill Walker mano-a-mano against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
    It wasn’t a fair fight, but it turned out closer than anyone could have expected.
    With Carmelo Anthony bailing out last night to rest, the Knicks went into Miami feeling their only chance of survival was to…

  • [New York Times] Heat 99, Knicks 89: With Anthony on Sideline, Knicks Bow to the Heat (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 07:39:08 GMT)
    The injured Carmelo Anthony watched the Knicks keep it close before they succumbed against the Heat.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Nets Top Cavaliers for Second Consecutive Win (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 05:24:07 GMT)
    Deron Williams scored 27 points and the Nets won consecutive games for the first time this season with a victory in Cleveland.

  • [New York Times] Heat Missed Me, Says High-Flying Wade (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 06:14:10 GMT)
    The Miami Heat have won eight of their nine games without Dwyane Wade but after he returned with 28 points in Friday’s victory over the New York Knicks, the face of the franchise laughed off the idea the team could get by without him.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Top Warriors 120-109 to Start Road Trip (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 06:16:09 GMT)
    Kevin Durant had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Russell Westbrook dazzled with 28 points and 11 assists and the NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder started a critical road stretch with a 120-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Wade Returns to Fire Heat to Knicks Win (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 05:44:03 GMT)
    By Simon Evans

  • [New York Times] Aldridge Leads Blazers Past Suns 109-71 (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 05:51:58 GMT)
    LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and seven rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers blew out the Phoenix Suns 109-71 Friday night for their sixth straight win at home.

  • [New York Times] Streaking Nuggets Roll Over Raptors (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 08:11:26 GMT)
    The streaking Denver Nuggets capitalized on a slow start by the visiting Toronto Raptors to complete a wire-to-wire 96-81 win at the Pepsi Center on Friday in a contest between teams heading in opposite directions.

  • [New York Times] Nuggets Win 6th Straight, 96-81 Over Toronto (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 04:43:03 GMT)
    Rudy Fernandez scored a season-high 23 in his return from a sore Achilles as the Denver Nuggets beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 96-81 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Wade Returns to Lead Heat to Win Over Knicks (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 04:17:21 GMT)
    All Star guard Dwyane Wade returned from a six-game injury absence with 28 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 99-89 win over the New York Knicks on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Beaubois, Odom Lead Mavs Past Jazz (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 04:04:10 GMT)
    Roddy Beaubois had a season-high 22 points and Lamar Odom added 19 points, his most since joining the Mavericks at the start of the season, to lead Dallas to a 116-101 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] James, Wade Lead Heat Over Knicks, 99-89 (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 04:01:22 GMT)
    LeBron James scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade scored 28 in his return from a sprained right ankle, and the Miami Heat beat the 3-point-obsessed New York Knicks 99-89 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Rose Has Season-High 34, Bulls Beat Bucks 107-100 (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:49:35 GMT)
    Derrick Rose scored a season-high 34 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 107-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Budinger, Scola Lead Rockets Past Wizards (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:55:08 GMT)
    Chase Budinger scored a season-high 21 points and Luis Scola added 19 points to help the Houston Rockets blow out Washington 103-76 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: A Slimmer Curry Aims to Regain Relevance (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:08:08 GMT)
    Now with the Miami Heat, Eddy Curry is said to have lost about 100 pounds since his departure from the Knicks.

  • [New York Times] Hornets End 9-Game Skid With 93-67 Win Over Magic (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 04:09:58 GMT)
    Carl Landry scored 17 points and the New Orleans Hornets snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 93-67 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Stun Pistons 107-101 in OT (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:31:23 GMT)
    Joe Johnson scored 28 of his 30 points after halftime, including a tying 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in regulation, and the Atlanta Hawks stunned the Detroit Pistons 107-101 in overtime Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Demps: Hornets Looking to Trade C Kaman (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:31:04 GMT)
    The Hornets have decided to trade Chris Kaman, who won’t be playing while the club looks for teams interested in making a deal for the veteran 7-foot center, general manager Dell Demps said.

  • [New York Times] Rubio Lifts Timberwolves to 87-79 Win Over Spurs (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 03:25:09 GMT)
    Ricky Rubio scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and dished out 10 assists to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to an 87-79 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

  • [New York Daily News] Carmelo to miss Saturday’s game vs. Houston (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 08:41:15 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony has settled on a radical approach toward improving his shooting percentage, something even more drastic than to simply stop shooting; stop playing. Anthony and the Knicks medical staff have decided to shut down the small forward for at least two games in order for Anthony to rest his sore body.

  • [New York Daily News] Without Melo, Amar’e lacks sizzle vs. Heat (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 06:32:43 GMT)
    Here were the Knicks without Carmelo Anthony against the mighty Miami Heat Friday night, and you just know that Amar’e Stoudemire had to love it.

  • [New York Daily News] Melo-less Knicks flame-out vs. Heat (Sat, 28 Jan 2012 06:07:27 GMT)
    It was unconventional, risky and just about the only chance the Knicks, minus Carmelo Anthony, had against the Miami Heat. It was also classic Mike D’Antoni circa 2005. And it almost worked.

  • 29 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Jan 28 2012)

    1. Eternal OptiKnist

      Well, we didn’t win…but did anyone expect a win? Few thoughts: 1) are the Heat that good in transition defense, or do we just not know how to run the fast break? 2) Chris Bosh looks like a raptor 3) Despite the dunk-a-thon, we held them to 5 pts below their average and almost 300 basis points below their FG%…not too shabby 4) Eddy Curry’s number was called, but he was on Collins street eating a Cuban sandwich 5) Turnovers killed us 6) They shut STAT down and made the rest of the team beat them… i dont put too much on STAT..he tried to 1-on-1 a few times with poor results so he stopped..which is a good thing.

      For all you people that want D’antoni gone, this team is not even close to quitting. I don’t care what the sports cliches say to the contrary, this was a moral victory; but i get it…we do need wins. Melo should have sat down two weeks ago. We would have either proved the ball-movement theory by winning or we could have had an excuse for all the losing; in either case he would have been getting healthy while we played crappy teams. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and we’re getting killed in the papers and the pressure is mounting which is NOT GOOD for a team already lacking confidence. A healthy Melo would have helped tonight.

    2. dogrufus

      1) Yes to both
      2) Yes he does
      3) Frankly our defense is the only reason I’m still watching, because if we can maintain this defense while getting the offense near as good as last season, we’re a 55-60 win team.
      4) Yes he was, and it was delicious
      5) They’ll be a problem all season, and D’Antoni teams usually trade ball security for better ball security. With Davis we might actually start getting returns on that trade.
      6) Remember last season, when he used to be able to 1 on 1 some times and score at the basket? This year he can’t do that at all with or without Melo. I’m sad now.

      You’re right that Melo should have sat- when healthy he has played great. I hate the NY media at times like this. I groaned with every ill advised 3pt make because I knew result-oriented New Yorkers would see that as us having better offense and ball movement without Melo and kill him for it.

      We are 8.5 pts/100 pos better on offense with Melo on the court, and 5.8 pts/100 better on defense. That’s one of the best on/off impacts in the game. We suck because our roster sucks. Shump has potential but he’s not a PG. Amar’e, TD, and Fields have played horrendously all year (Fields has played well recently but Melo has been injured so we haven’t seen much benefit).

    3. Eternal OptiKnist

      Agree, stat does not yet have last year’s pop, but at least he didn’t force it. The floor was spaced as they sagged on him and we did what we did last year….made them pay. I think he needs to go to last year’s goggles. These new ones are clearly impeding his performance.

    4. danvt

      It’s ironic right now all the beta dog comments regarding Lebron. I couldn’t believe how much he gave up the ball and let his teammates take the shots in watching his playoff performances over the last few years. Now, I realize that it’s part of his brilliance. The Heat bench was 10 for 19 and the Team shot 46% despite Bosh’s 4 for 18.

      Amar’e just seems confused out there. He seems to think that he should attack the basket no matter what and, instead of taking his elbow jumper, he tries a series of fakes and misses or simply runs over his defender for an offensive foul. Just keep it simple big guy!

      The NYK roster was put together with the idea that Chandler, Stat, and Melo would never miss a game. Sad that we’re completely out of options for improving this roster but I’ll leave it for others to bemoan lost opportunities (like the possibility that we could have simply added Tyson Chandler to last years pre trade team). I’ll just offer a “Fuk You Dolan” and move on.

      Do any of the smarter bloggers than me see any way we make the playoffs this year? It just kills me to see us so far behind Philadelphia and Indiana.

    5. danvt

      danvt: The Heat bench was 10 for 19 and the Team shot 46% despite Bosh’s 4 for 18.

      Compare that to our 35% horror show. That team manufactures good shots. If we had done the same we could have taken advantage of Bosh’s poor night and their 20% form three point range. We only lost by 10. This had me feeling better because I was prepared for an old school Waterloo, except that I realize that if we had played a little better, we might have won and, if they had played a little better, we might have gotten trounced.

    6. xduckshoex

      dogrufus:

      We are 8.5 pts/100 pos better on offense with Melo on the court, and 5.8 pts/100 better on defense.That’s one of the best on/off impacts in the game.We suck because our roster sucks.Shump has potential but he’s not a PG.Amar’e, TD, and Fields have played horrendously all year (Fields has played well recently but Melo has been injured so we haven’t seen much benefit).

      You can’t cite +/- to prove the importance of Melo while saying Fields has played horrible all year. He’s been the +/- leader from day one and holds a sizeable lead over Melo.

    7. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      dogrufus,

      As people have pointed out, +/- is more an indication of position depth than anything. It does not correlate with wins, and doesn’t really tell us anything aside from “how bad is our backup SF?”

      If you trade the depth of your team for one player, and then you notice that your team is much worse when he’s off the court, should you be happy that you gave up your depth for that one player? Or should you consider him as part of the cause of your team being so bad when he’s not playing?

      Do you see what I’m saying here?

      Carmelo is not a terrible player. He’s above-average, even when he’s ridiculously selfish and plays in isos half the time. It’s the combination of 1) not being terribly efficient, 2) commanding a max salary, and 3) having traded a budding superstar and several other important pieces to get him a few months before it was likely that he would come to NY anyways. It was a terrible trade.

      Maybe he makes the team better than the average SF, but the cost of getting him here has sunk the team for the foreseeable future.

    8. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Also, I’m starting to believe that George Karl is a professional troll.

      Faried has been ridiculously good in his limited minutes, yet in a blowout win last night, he gets zero minutes. He must be terrible in practice — in a season like this, there’s no reason you should be playing your starting five 36 minutes apiece in a blowout win.

    9. dogrufus

      Cock,

      Can I call you Cock? I hope so. Yes, +/- is a highly imperfect measure. Yes, our backup SF, Bill Walker, is pretty bad (though he looked like our best player last night). He’s also probably our best bench player. At what bench position are we really solid? We are bringing in D-league caliber play at most positions- our next best bench player has probably been Jeffries or Jorts.

      You mistake my intent when you attack the Carmelo Anthony trade. I agree that it was terrible, we paid an astronomical price even in a normal trade for Melo, let alone for it being a situation where we should have had substantial leverage. It was a perfect storm of Melo being overrated by conventional measures, our owner’s shortsightedness and hubris, and the uncertainty of the looming CBA situation. We got raped- not only in players, but in picks, the effects of which we will be feeling until 2016. I’ve caught myself musing that it unless BD has a flashback to ’07, we’re best tanking aggressively and praying we hit a top 5 pick, which would be protected from HOU this yr.

      That is a different question from whether Carmelo Anthony is to blame for our struggles, however. Other than this stretch of games where he’s played through a bunch of injuries, his efficiency as a Knick has been his career best, and he’s gamely tried to play a role he’s ill suited for at point forward. He’s no LBJ but he did increase his AST% without a substantial increase in Tov%, and I think his defense has been a little better than his reputation.

      It’s our management that sunk us. The core of the issue is Dolan- with him we will never have a top 3 pick that we draft, we will always make short term moves designed to keep us in the playoffs, and we will always buy high and sell low. And because Dolan has shown that he’ll take over negotiations when it comes to the biggest deals, it doesn’t really matter who our GM is- Walsh was wise and competent, and when it really…

    10. njasdjdh

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Also, I’m starting to believe that George Karl is a professional troll.

      Faried has been ridiculously good in his limited minutes, yet in a blowout win last night, he gets zero minutes. He must be terrible in practice — in a season like this, there’s no reason you should be playing your starting five 36 minutes apiece in a blowout win.

      Not sure if you watched the game, but while it started as a blowout and ended as one, the Raptors actually made a pretty decent run late and cut it to single digits, forcing Karl to keep his starters in and make sure the Raps were really done.

    11. dogrufus

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Also, I’m starting to believe that George Karl is a professional troll.

      Faried has been ridiculously good in his limited minutes, yet in a blowout win last night, he gets zero minutes. He must be terrible in practice — in a season like this, there’s no reason you should be playing your starting five 36 minutes apiece in a blowout win.

      Maybe he belongs to the same “Evidently Talented, But Probably Smokes a Ton of Weed” category as our own team cannabis connoisseur.

    12. Z-man

      Speaking of trolls, we should be trolling for PGs, and one just became available, should we have any interest?

      http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/218635/Clippers_Waive_Courtney_Fortson

      Re: last night, we were a few 3-pt misses and wide-open Bosh makes away from a blowout. Still, there were some positives: Bill Walker looked like a rotation player on both ends for a change, Shump looked better on his wide open looks in the 4th, Amare’s jumpers are starting to look better.

      Re: THJC @8, I posted at the time that the Knicks gave up 2 pieces too many for Melo, but still think that it was a good gamble, and last night showed why. Save injury, we had zero chance of getting by the Heat with Gallo as our go-to guy. I loved him here and thought we should keep him over Fields if possible, but he’s not Dirk. Denver reminds me of Phx from the Amare-Nash years, good regular season team, but bound to fall short in the playoffs. I had high hopes for this year after the Chandler trade, but it was clear that we did not have an answer at PG and lost depth in acquiring our starting front line. I think the real test is yet to come. Can we use the mid-level process to build some depth for next year? Melo, Amare and Chandler are all still relatively young, and will be here for the next 4 years barring a trade. No sense in being pessimistic, is there?

    13. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      Save injury, we had zero chance of getting by the Heat with Gallo as our go-to guy.

      They went 1-2 against the Heat last season before the Melo trade, with Gallo winning one of the games with a late three (they got blown out once and lost a close one – the one where Fields missed all three free throws late in the game). They were definitely competitive with the Heat. And, again, that team could have added Tyson Chandler to it this season. Also, Amar’e would be their go-to guy. So I am not buying that argument.

    14. njasdjdh

      Z-man:
      Speaking of trolls, we should be trolling for PGs, and one just became available, should we have any interest?

      http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/218635/Clippers_Waive_Courtney_Fortson

      Re: THJC @8, I posted at the time that the Knicks gave up 2 pieces too many for Melo, but still think that it was a good gamble, and last night showed why. Save injury, we had zero chance of getting by the Heat with Gallo as our go-to guy.I loved him here and thought we should keep him over Fields if possible, but he’s not Dirk. Denver reminds me of Phx from the Amare-Nash years, good regular season team, but bound to fall short in the playoffs.

      Fans of teams who’ve been to the postseason once in the last decade and were swept in that one appearance and are now going to have to fight and scratch to even make the playoffs probably shouldn’t throw stones.

    15. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      I also call BS on the “destined to lose” argument for Denver and Phoenix. If you’re good enough to make the Conference Finals, you’re good enough to win. Think about Dallas last year. They got all the same “destined to lose” stuff…and then they didn’t.

    16. JK47

      The front office better trade Amar’e at the first opportunity they get, before he becomes a completely unmovable albatross.

      The guy had a month and a half stretch last season in which he played good basketball. The rest of his time here he has been truly bad. He hasn’t shown me anything at all this season. The Melo trade was bad, but we were already headed in a bad direction the day Donnie, in a failed attempt to lure LeBron, signed Amar’e. The LeBron James fiasco raped this franchise in so many different ways it hurts to even think about it.

      I would LOVE to see Amar’e moved for a package of decent, defensive-oriented, low-salaried role players.

    17. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      It is not that I want to keep Amare at all costs or anything like that, but his trade value is sooooo low right now that it’d be a waste. You wouldn’t get the players your want, you’d get other teams’ garbage.

    18. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

      Eternal OptiKnist:
      Well, we didn’t win…but did anyone expect a win?Few thoughts: 1) are the Heat that good in transition defense, or do we just not know how to run the fast break? 2) Chris Bosh looks like a raptor 3) Despite the dunk-a-thon, we held them to 5 pts below their average and almost 300 basis points below their FG%…not too shabby 4) Eddy Curry’s number was called, but he was on Collins street eating a Cuban sandwich 5) Turnovers killed us 6) They shut STAT down and made the rest of the team beat them… i dont put too much on STAT..he tried to 1-on-1 a few times with poor results so he stopped..which is a good thing.

      For all you people that want D’antoni gone, this team is not even close to quitting.I don’t care what the sports cliches say to the contrary, this was a moral victory; but i get it…we do need wins.Melo should have sat down two weeks ago.We would have either proved the ball-movement theory by winning or we could have had an excuse for all the losing; in either case he would have been getting healthy while we played crappy teams.Unfortunately that didn’t happen and we’re getting killed in the papers and the pressure is mounting which is NOT GOOD for a team already lacking confidence.A healthy Melo would have helped tonight.

      i totally agree with you check out my blog which i pretty much said the same thing but added some helpful hints for the coaching staff

      http://my.nba.com/go/thread/view/80733/28879627/What_do_you_think_the_Knicks_need_to_do_with_current_roster_and_coaches.

    19. max fisher-cohen

      If you were to choose to give up right now on this Melo/Amaré experiment and rebuild the team (which I don’t think the Knicks are ready to do just yet, and not necessarily because I’m an optimist but because we’d be selling low no matter what, I would advise against), the best option would be to trade Melo for the best young point guard available. Maybe, just maybe, you could get Rubio and junk contracts for Melo.

      Maybe you could get Stephen Curry.

      Maybe you could get Jeff Teague and Josh Smith.

      I play SSOL ball with this team up until the trade deadline. If I can find a good offer for Amaré, I take it. If not, I move Chandler for the best stretch four I can get. If Howard has been traded by then, maybe we could get Ryan Anderson and contracts for Chandler.

      Now you have a team that is built to play around Amaré. He will put up numbers, and the Knicks will be a decent team.

      Play like this through the end of the season. Amaré will be much better. THEN you trade Amaré for more young assets. Between those three trades, the Knicks could get a few solid picks in the next few drafts (at least enough to make up for the ones they gave away). They would look a bit like the 2010 Knicks without Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries’ bad contracts. That’d actually have a shot of being a very good team 2-3 years down the line.

    20. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

      JK47 thats nuts he played really well last year he was hitting more than 50% of his shots scoring 25 was blocking about 1.5 shots a game. Amare was not himself once his role players were gone.Tthen this season was even worse for him cause all of the true role players were gone and the ones that stayed have been playing worse (with the lone exception of j Jeffries) we lost Billups, Shawne Williams, anthony carter a oldie but goodie back up pg, and Roney Turiaf (who took off the pressure of Amare buy having an inside outside presence). What we received in return was a probable all star center a semi ok rookie playing out position, a dip in T Douglas play because of making him play to many minutes in the beging of the season at pg when he really is a two guard. I am just saying give him time and you will see the real amare the one that everybody was chanting MVP last year the one that when he made those fakes finished with a great shot or a thunderous dunk and sometimes losing the ball. have faith and you will see his worth.

    21. BigBlueAL

      Im pretty sure if the Knicks are going to make any drastic roster or coaching changes (aside from a miracle trade for Dwight Howard) it will happen in the off-season. The team they have now will probably be the team they have for the rest of this season except for maybe adding a K-Mart or JR Smith once they are eligible to come back to the NBA toward the end of February.

    22. jon abbey

      Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
      I also call BS on the “destined to lose” argument for Denver and Phoenix. If you’re good enough to make the Conference Finals, you’re good enough to win. Think about Dallas last year. They got all the same “destined to lose” stuff…and then they didn’t.

      I call BS on your BS, it’s a question of percentages. you could extend the same argument to say “If you’re good enough to make the playoffs, you’re good enough to win the title”, when probably 10-12 of the teams that make the playoffs have a close to zero chance of winning it all. yes, the 2011 Mavericks managed to win three straight series where they were underdogs, but besides them and the 2004 Pistons, that virtually never happens in the NBA.

      (and even Dallas was really lucky to get out of the first round against Portland, some stunningly unfair officiating handed them game 1, 19-2 FTs for Dallas in the fourth quarter despite Portland dominating points in the paint. if that game is called fairly, there’s a very good chance Dallas is out in the first round.)

    23. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

      (and even Dallas was really lucky to get out of the first round against Portland, some stunningly unfair officiating handed them game 1, 19-2 FTs for Dallas in the fourth quarter despite Portland dominating points in the paint. if that game is called fairly, there’s a very good chance Dallas is out in the first round.)

      Exactly! Dallas, the eventual champion, almost lost in the first round. Therefore, there is no such thing as “destined to lose.” Some teams get lucky, some teams don’t. If you’re good enough to get to the Conference Finals, you’re good enough to win the Finals. You just need luck to go your way. You just need two of your four best players not to get suspended for leaving the bench when a player on the other team clotheslines your best player. You just need your #3 scorer not to get clotheslined and taken out just in time for the Conference Finals. You just need Kevin Garnett not to get hurt right before the playoffs (Boston in 200…9?). You just need the refs not to give the seventh game of the Conference Finals to the other team (like the Kings in 200…2?).

      Obviously it is not “just getting to the playoffs” – but if you’re one of the best teams in the Conference going into the Playoffs – you have a real chance to win it all. If you’re not, then yeah, just making the playoffs is not enough.

    24. jon abbey

      almost no one gets lucky and wins a series where they’re decided underdogs to a genuine title threat, it happens in maybe one series every 2-3 years, if that.

      and there is certainly such a thing as “destined to lose”, see NY or CLE in the Finals against the Spurs for two perfect examples.

      the sad thing is that this ‘luck’ path is our only chance of contending at this point, unless somehow a better ‘superstar’ shows up miraculously. get two guards who are at least league average starters, get a few solid bench players, get to the playoffs and hope to get exceedingly lucky.

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