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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Sunday, May 20 2012)

  • [New York Times] Spurs 96, Clippers 86: Spurs Storm Back to Take 3-0 Series Lead on Clippers (Sun, 20 May 2012 06:09:07 GMT)
    Tim Duncan helped engineer a defining 24-0 run in the third quarter as the Spurs took a commanding lead over the Clippers in their second-round playoff series.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Playoffs: For Derek Fisher and Lakers, Role Reversal (Sun, 20 May 2012 06:09:07 GMT)
    Derek Fisher, now with the Thunder after helping Los Angeles win five titles and being traded, is trying to deny his friend Kobe Bryant a sixth championship.

  • [New York Times] Sun 78, Liberty 73: Liberty Fall to Sun in Season Opener at Madison Square Garden (Sun, 20 May 2012 06:09:07 GMT)
    In a return to Madison Square Garden, the Liberty dropped their season opener to the Connecticut Sun in front of a crowd of 8,112.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Magic Johnson Continues to Build His Legacy (Sun, 20 May 2012 06:09:07 GMT)
    Magic Johnson has transcended N.B.A. stardom as the face of H.I.V. and as a thriving businessman, and his social impact has been immeasurable.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Silence Lakers to Take 3-1 Series Lead (Sun, 20 May 2012 07:13:26 GMT)
    A late three-pointer by Kevin Durant capped a dramatic fightback by the Oklahoma City Thunder as they left the Los Angeles Lakers on the verge of playoff elimination with a 103-100 win in Game Four on Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Rally Past Lakers, Take 3-1 Series Lead (Sun, 20 May 2012 09:30:07 GMT)
    Kevin Durant stood above the 3-point line and watched the shot clock dwindle in the final seconds of Game 4. When Metta World Peace backed up slightly on defense, Durant hesitated only an instant before launching a 26-footer.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beat Clippers 96-86 to Take 3-0 Series Lead (Sun, 20 May 2012 00:02:35 GMT)
    Nothing was going to rattle the calm, cool and collected Spurs. Not even a 24-point deficit.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: The Annotated N.B.A. Playoff Leader Board (Sun, 20 May 2012 01:55:24 GMT)
    Taking a look at the playoff leaders in various categories gives a glimpse at which players are thriving.

  • [New York Post] Hibbert overshadowing star-crossed Miami (Sun, 20 May 2012 01:07:57 -0500)
    LOS ANGELES â?? Think there are enough storylines going into this afternoon’s pivoting Game 4 pressure cooker at the former Jose Conseco Fieldhouse?
    Sure, champions-to-be-crowned and eventual pretenders to the throne have laid the sort of eggs benedict the heavenly Heat did in the second half of Game 3 against…

  • 73 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Sunday, May 20 2012)

    1. massive

      There’s an insider article on ESPN about the Big 3 model being a busted one. I’m not sure about anybody else on this site, but I thought this was very obvious. When Boston started the Big 3 craze, their Big 3 a) complemented each other very well, and b) had Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins as the team’s other starters. The Lakers’ Big 3 had Odom and Artest/Ariza when they won, and our Big 3 has Lin and Shumpert (even though that article was very quick in mentioning how badly the Knicks did without speaking of our injuries).

      Yes, it’s great having Wade, LeBron, and Bosh on the same roster. But outside of that, you have Chalmers, Miller, Jones, Haslem, and Anthony, all of which are average to below average. The Heat need their Big 3 to combine for 70-80 a night in order for them to win games. Also, Miami will soon be lamenting the signing of Wade. He’ll be a 31 year old shooting guard who can’t shoot, and is losing his athleticism.

      Somehow, through all of this, I pity LeBron. The man may never win a championship.

    2. JK47

      The Pacers are like the anti-Heat, a deep team full of solid rotation players, none of whom are megastars but most of whom are good two-way players. I really hope they take this next game and cause the Heat to start sweating major bullets.

    3. d-mar

      @1 I read that article, he lumps together the Lakers, Heat and Knicks as being overly reliant on their “Big 3″ and highly susceptible to an injury derailing their title hopes. Not sure I’m buying this, Chicago has a “Big One” surrounded by role players, and when he goes down, it’s over. If OKC lost Durant they’d be done, also. Injuries to key players hurt every team, whether they’re deep or not.

      @2 Indy has a nice team, but would have had zero chance of beating a healthy Heat team. And will never win a championship without adding a star.

    4. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      massive:
      There’s an insider article on ESPN about the Big 3 model being a busted one. I’m not sure about anybody else on this site, but I thought this was very obvious. When Boston started the Big 3 craze, their Big 3 a) complemented each other very well, and b) had Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins as the team’s other starters. The Lakers’ Big 3 had Odom and Artest/Ariza when they won, and our Big 3 has Lin and Shumpert (even though that article was very quick in mentioning how badly the Knicks did without speaking of our injuries).

      Yes, it’s great having Wade, LeBron, and Bosh on the same roster. But outside of that, you have Chalmers, Miller, Jones, Haslem, and Anthony, all of which are average to below average. The Heat need their Big 3 to combine for 70-80 a night in order for them to win games. Also, Miami will soon be lamenting the signing of Wade. He’ll be a 31 year old shooting guard who can’t shoot, and is losing his athleticism.

      Somehow, through all of this, I pity LeBron. The man may never win a championship.

      I don’t think the model is broken at all. They have excellent role players, all within the constrains of the cap system.

      What has sunk the Heat this series is their historically bad three-point shooting. I don’t care about how much of a “mismatch” the confirmation-biased pundits claim this series to be. There’s no way that an NBA “matchup” between two high-seeded playoff teams can result in sustainable 12% three-point shooting. If this were the Bobcats-Pacers, we might conceive of the Bobcats shooting 30% from deep over 330 minutes. But 12%? It’s a statistical aberration.

      This team is losing because of one injury, bad bounces and the consequent overcompensation. It has nothing to do with the way the team is built.

    5. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      JK47:
      The Pacers are like the anti-Heat, a deep team full of solid rotation players, none of whom are megastars but most of whom are good two-way players. I really hope they take this next game and cause the Heat to start sweating major bullets.

      And the Spurs are like the uber-Pacers. I cannot see a scenario in which they lose four games out of seven. The team is ridiculously deep.

    6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      KnickfaninNJ:
      HCJ,

      I am not sure I can see the spurs beating OKC

      They’ve won 17 games in a row. Every one of their players is playing excellently right now. Even Boris Diaw! I’m not saying that OKC won’t be a challenge (compared to the blowouts they’ve been handing their opponents), but I can’t see a team good enough to win 17 straight games at this time of year dropping 4 of 7.

    7. d-mar

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: They’ve won 17 games in a row. Every one of their players is playing excellently right now. Even Boris Diaw! I’m not saying that OKC won’t be a challenge (compared to the blowouts they’ve been handing their opponents), but I can’t see a team good enough to win 17 straight games at this time of year dropping 4 of 7.

      David Stern must be crapping his adult diaper that the Spurs don’t make it to the Finals, they are ratings killers of the highest order

    8. KnickfaninNJ

      I know what you mean. The spurs have consistently over achieved this year my expectations this year and seem to have peaked. But I stand by my opinion. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    9. Z

      d-mar: David Stern must be crapping his adult diaper that the Spurs don’t make it to the Finals, they are ratings killers of the highest order

      The league is realistic about the Spurs’ marketability that they scheduled the game for 10:30 pm on a Sunday night. Even the good folks of San Antonio itself won’t even be up for their elimination celebration…

    10. cgreene

      THCJ, as it relates to the Heat you are looking at historical statistics to make your point that they are a well constructed team.

      1) Udonis Haslem who was supposed to be a major role contributor is has a WS/48 of .106 this year vs .120 career and he barely played last year. He’s effectively done.

      2) Mike Miller who was supposed to be the 4th best player on the team is a career slightly above average player who was supposed to improve dramatically when defenses couldn’t pay attention to him. Career WS/48 of .107 (this year he is slightly higher at .113)

      3) Dwayne Wade is on the decline and his skill set duplicates Lebron’s.

      So as the idea of a Big 3 is not flawed this team is flawed and does not have the right mix of stars and role players.

    11. johnlocke

      I’ll read the article but the notion that the Big 3 model is busted is silly. The real issue is whether you have a Big 3 of 2 way players and at least one of the Big 3 that is a true HOF caliber player. Another issue is that since 1980 looking at the Finals MVPs over the last 30 years, only 2 were not drafted by their teams. This is most likely tied to the salary cap restrictions, where home grown talent is usually cheaper to acquire in their prime. Miami has a real big 3 – they made the finals in their first year together, they have homegrown talent – Wade and transcendental talent – Lebron. W/out Bosh they could easily win today. The Spurs have an aging Big 3, built around a great cast and Toney Parker was one of the best 2 point guards in the NBA this year. All 3 are homegrown, without outrageous salaries. Thunder – built through the draft. Knicks – built through acquisition with expensive contracts and one-way players. If you don’t have complementary talent, they better be 2 way players and we don’t have that. Main reason Amare needs to go if we can get cap space in 2013, when Lin and Shump will be really ready to contribute.

      massive:
      There’s an insider article on ESPN about the Big 3 model being a busted one. I’m not sure about anybody else on this site, but I thought this was very obvious. When Boston started the Big 3 craze, their Big 3 a) complemented each other very well, and b) had Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins as the team’s other starters. The Lakers’ Big 3 had Odom and Artest/Ariza when they won, and our Big 3 has Lin and Shumpert (even though that article was very quick in mentioning how badly the Knicks did without speaking of our injuries).

      </blockquote

    12. johnlocke

      It is extremely rare for an NBA team w/o a true MVP candidate / HOF caliber player to win the NBA finals. The most marginal final MVPs, from that perspective, in the last 30 years were Dumars and Billups. The Pacers and Spurs are both deep teams and that’s where the similarities end. The Spurs are a deep team with a big three…they are like some crazy combo of the Pacers and Spurs. Even if the Pacers beat Miami (still doubtful) there is NO way, they beat OKC or the Spurs. Teams like the Sixers and Pacers have nice seasons but don’t win championships.

    13. johnlocke

      Isn’t it a bit early to make this prediction? If their Big 3 is flawed, ours is completely broken. The Heat made it to the Finals last year, had the 2nd best record in the East and are only down 2-1, while missing Chris Bosh, the player with the least replaceable skill-sets (floor spacing big and solid D) and third best player on their team. And they could very well tie the series today. If they win this series, they have the Celtics standing in their way, who are fighting it out with the Sixers(??). I really hate Miami, but let’s not count them out just yet. How are injuries relevant for us, but not the Heat?

      cgreene:
      THCJ, as it relates to the Heat you are looking at historical statistics to make your point that they are a well constructed team.

      1) Udonis Haslem who was supposed to be a major role contributor is has a WS/48 of .106 this year vs .120 career and he barely played last year.He’s effectively done.

      2) Mike Miller who was supposed to be the 4th best player on the team is a career slightly above average player who was supposed to improve dramatically when defenses couldn’t pay attention to him.Career WS/48 of .107 (this year he is slightly higher at .113)

      3) Dwayne Wade is on the decline and his skill set duplicates Lebron’s.

      So as the idea of a Big 3 is not flawed this team is flawed and does not have the right mix of stars and role players.

    14. cgreene

      johnlocke:
      Isn’t it a bit early to make this prediction? If their Big 3 is flawed, ours is completely broken. The Heat made it to the Finals last year, had the 2nd best record in the East and are only down 2-1, while missing Chris Bosh, the player with the least replaceable skill-sets (floor spacing big and solid D) and third best player on their team. And they could very well tie the series today. If they win this series, they have the Celtics standing in their way, who are fighting it out with the Sixers(??).I really hate Miami, but let’s not count them out just yet. How are injuries relevant for us, but not the Heat?

      I didn’t say that injuries weren’t relevant for them at all. I think they are flawed with Bosh. I think Lebron’s and Wade’s skill sets are duplicative to the point of diminishing returns especially if Wade’s skills are in decline. Might they just have the overwhelming athleticism to get through that and win the EC? Sure. Frankly, I think you are looking at a very weak EC w no Rose and the Knicks missing 3 of their starting 5. But look we all thought the Knicks were better than Indiana as currently constructed. Boston has managed to win a round with Ray Allen as a non contributor. Bottom line is the Heat is a flawed roster and far far from a great team and lightyears away from some kind of dynasty as predicted. Doesn’t mean all big 3s are flawed but this one is.

    15. ephus

      To me, it all depends on what you think of Wade going forward. If he is going to be the second or third best shooting guard in the NBA for the next three years, then Miami is a title contender. If he really is, in today’s words of Peter Vecsey “like an aging Sidney Moncrief”, then Miami is tied to a losing roster.

      If Miami gets eliminated by the Pacers, one of Spoelstra or the Big 3 will not be back next season.

    16. johnlocke

      I really hate to defend Miami, but what facts do you have to support any of the claims you make? In their first year together they reached the NBA finals and finished with the 2nd best record in the East. Wade’s skills are on the decline? He’s a virtual lock for all NBA second team. In game 1 he and Lebron outscored the entire Pacers team in the fourth quarter. Guys don’t just completely drop off a cliff like that. He had a bad game and is most likely fighting some kind of injury. I don’t see how you reach the conclusion that they are flawed based on the facts of the team’s production, other than the fact that Wade played a shitty game 3 and they got blown out.

      cgreene: I didn’t say that injuries weren’t relevant for them at all.I think they are flawed with Bosh.I think Lebron’s and Wade’s skill sets are duplicative to the point of diminishing returns especially if Wade’s skills are in decline.Might they just have the overwhelming athleticism to get through that and win the EC?Sure.Frankly, I think you are looking at a very weak EC w no Rose and the Knicks missing 3 of their starting 5.But look we all thought the Knicks were better than Indiana as currently constructed.Boston has managed to win a round with Ray Allen as a non contributor.Bottom line is the Heat is a flawed roster and far far from a great team and lightyears away from some kind of dynasty as predicted.Doesn’t mean all big 3s are flawed but this one is.

    17. johnlocke

      Peter Vecsey is an idiot. You don’t make assessments based on one game. I guess based on Carmelo’s inefficient 11 point game 1, he was going the way of the dodo bird. I don’t think Wade’s game will age well b/c of his poor jump shooting and over-reliance on athleticism but to think the 2nd best shooting guard in the league is on the decline b/c of one bad game is really just ridiculous. Chances are he has a monster game today and stops all this nonsense….but I hope he doesn’t cuz I hate the Heat, but let’s not get too crazy with dissing the Heat’s big three, when ours is much, much, much worse.

      ephus:
      To me, it all depends on what you think of Wade going forward.If he isgoing to be the second or third best shooting guard in the NBA for the next three years, then Miami is a title contender.If he really is, in today’s words of Peter Vecsey “like an aging Sidney Moncrief”, then Miami is tied to a losing roster.

      If Miami gets eliminated by the Pacers, one of Spoelstra or the Big 3 will not be back next season.

    18. ephus

      Peter Vecsey has forgotten more basketball than anyone on this board will ever know. Of course, the question is how much he has left in the tank. I doubt that Wade is washed up, but when Vecsey says it, i do not dismiss it out of hand.

    19. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t think the model is broken at all. They have excellent role players, all within the constrains of the cap system.

      What has sunk the Heat this series is their historically bad three-point shooting. I don’t care about how much of a “mismatch” the confirmation-biased pundits claim this series to be. There’s no way that an NBA “matchup” between two high-seeded playoff teams can result in sustainable 12% three-point shooting. If this were the Bobcats-Pacers, we might conceive of the Bobcats shooting 30% from deep over 330 minutes. But 12%? It’s a statistical aberration.

      This team is losing because of one injury, bad bounces and the consequent overcompensation. It has nothing to do with the way the team is built.

      sub-30% 3pt shooting really isn’t all that rare in the post-season. Carmelo’s teams have shot under 30 percent from 3 in 7 of the 9 years in the playoffs.

      Bosh is the most important piece of the big 3 in the playoffs. Model is not broken and they’re a great team even with average role players.

    20. formido

      This Pacers team that’s handling Miami right now was demolished by the Knick’s best lineup. I’m so looking forward to next year.

    21. massive

      The problem with the Heat’s big three has been Wade’s atrocious play in this series. Last year, Wade had the luxury of playing like trash against the Bulls because Bosh and Wade picked up the slack. With Bosh out with an injury, Wade can’t afford to play like trash.

      If the Heat win today, it’s because LeBron went back into his Cleveland mode. I do think the Heat will win the next three, though.

    22. ruruland

      formido:
      This Pacers team that’s handling Miami right now was demolished by the Knick’s best lineup. I’m so looking forward to next year.

      this

    23. cgreene

      Jon Barry finally said something I agree with at halftime. Why is the Heat’s defense all of a sudden so ordinary? Is that because of Bosh? Hardly. Both Haslem and Anthony are better defenders (at least Haslem by rep maybe not fact) and better rebounders. The Heat as a team have major holes especially at the 5 and with depth. Period.

      Johnlocke, they beat an aging and injured Celtics team and a Bulls team that caught the NBA by surprise last year and then lost to a team that most people thought was quite inferior in the Finals. (ps I am not sold frankly that the Bulls are a contender level team WITH Rose.) Bottom line is that the EC still sucks. The most complete teams in the conference are the Celtics who are old and the Pacers who lack the elite level player that 95% of championship teams of the last 30 years have had. The Spurs, Thunder and maybe even Lakers would be the favorites in any Finals. And so we can be on exactly the same page I believe this to be the case with a healthy Bosh and a healthy Wade. I am not saying this under the caveat that Wade fell off a cliff. I would actually have wagered a lot of money that he would have gone on a tear today… and I would’ve lost…

    24. cgreene

      formido:
      This Pacers team that’s handling Miami right now was demolished by the Knick’s best lineup. I’m so looking forward to next year.

      Because we can shut down Hibbert. Such a better matchup for Chandler than Bosh 15′ away.

    25. ruruland

      cgreene: Because we can shut down Hibbert.Such a better matchup for Chandler than Bosh 15? away.

      Hibbert scored 24 in the Knicks 15 point win in Indiana.

    26. Doug

      ephus:
      Peter Vecsey has forgotten more basketball than anyone on this board will ever know.Of course, the question is how much he has left in the tank.I doubt that Wade is washed up, but when Vecsey says it, i do not dismiss it out of hand.

      Vecsey isn’t a beat reporter, doesn’t have anymore relevant sources within the league, and can’t break down the x’s and o’s of basketball strategy. The only thing he’s good at is writing the kind of yellow sports journalism that sells papers. He is of virtually no relevance in today’s NBA.

      The pinnacle of his sportswriting career was “EpiDemic,” and that’s not even sports-related, just a clever personal attack on a player.

    27. cgreene

      ruruland: Hibbert scored 24 in the Knicks 15 point win in Indiana.

      I know but in the other 2 he had 5 and 10. So he averaged 12.6. So sure he’ll have a good game or 2 in a full series but i’d expect Chandler to outplay him.

    28. massive

      Does anybody see the look in LeBron’s eyes today? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that determination in him before, nor have I seen it in any player besides Kobe and CP3.

    29. ruruland

      massive:
      Does anybody see the look in LeBron’s eyes today? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that determination in him before, nor have I seen it in any player besides Kobe and CP3.

      They’ve been incredible in this third quarter.

    30. d-mar

      If the Heat win this game, I can’t wait to see the media 360:

      “Did anyone really expect a team with Dwayne Wade and Lebron James to go down without a fight? You’re talking about 2 lock Hall of Famers here!”

      And all the raving about the deep, athletic Pacers will come to a screeching halt as well.

    31. johnlocke

      Looks like he has a lot in the tank today…. writers just love to pounce on headlines w/o facts…

      ephus:
      Peter Vecsey has forgotten more basketball than anyone on this board will ever know.Of course, the question is how much he has left in the tank.I doubt that Wade is washed up, but when Vecsey says it, i do not dismiss it out of hand.

    32. johnlocke

      It wasn’t the playoffs…and we won’t be the same team next year. I’m looking forward to next year too, but for different reasons….hopefully Amare learns a couple low post moves from Olajuwon and Woody can teach him defense, Shump heals quickly and Lin turns out to be legit and durable over an 82 game season.

      formido:
      This Pacers team that’s handling Miami right now was demolished by the Knick’s best lineup. I’m so looking forward to next year.

    33. johnlocke

      Per my above post, they could still beat the Pacers b/c the Heat don’t have Bosh…but per my above post, deep teams w/o true superstars like the Pacers (and Atlanta) win lots of regular season games but don’t win championships.

      d-mar:
      If the Heat win this game, I can’t wait to see the media 360:

      “Did anyone really expect a team with Dwayne Wade and Lebron James to go down without a fight? You’re talking about 2 lock Hall of Famers here!”

      And all the raving about the deep, athletic Pacers will come to a screeching halt as well.

    34. johnlocke

      No, you would have won your wager – 30pts, 13-23 shooting, . It’s revisionist history to say that the Heat got ‘lucky’ by playing crappy teams in the playoffs. Anyway, I really hate arguing on behalf of a team I hate so much. I do agree that OKC and the Spurs are better than a healthy Miami team. I do think, they are still the team to beat in the East, that we will have to be able to beat to sniff an ECF or the championship.

      cgreene:

      Johnlocke, they beat an aging and injured Celtics team and a Bulls team that caught the NBA by surprise last year and then lost to a team that most people thought was quite inferior in the Finals.(ps I am not sold frankly that the Bulls are a contender level team WITH Rose.)Bottom line is that the EC still sucks.The most complete teams in the conference are the Celtics who are old and the Pacers who lack the elite level player that 95% of championship teams of the last 30 years have had.The Spurs, Thunder and maybe even Lakers would be the favorites in any Finals.And so we can be on exactly the same page I believe this to be the case with a healthy Bosh and a healthy Wade.I am not saying this under the caveat that Wade fell off a cliff.I would actually have wagered a lot of money that he would have gone on a tear today… and I would’ve lost…

    35. cgreene

      johnlocke:
      No, you would have won your wager – 30pts, 13-23 shooting, . It’s revisionist history to say that the Heat got ‘lucky’ by playing crappy teams in the playoffs.Anyway, I really hate arguing on behalf of a team I hate so much. Ido agree that OKC and the Spurs are better than a healthy Miami team. I do think, they are still the team to beat in the East, that we will have to be able to beat to sniff an ECF or the championship.

      I never said they got “lucky”. I said the East is weak. Boston was part its prime as a contender and the Bulls are a sieve on offense. If this year’s Bulls at full strength won a title it would be the worst NBA championship team in my memory. Worse than Detroit. I agree that they are the team to beat and my opinion has nothing to do with whether I think the Knicks can compete with them. That remains to be seen by a long shot.

    36. massive

      LeBron James has to be the only NBA basketball player who can finish with 40 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks and not impress a soul.

    37. johnlocke

      Why would the Bulls be the worst championship team in memory?
      The regular season doesn’t count? They were tied with the Spurs for the best record in the NBA this season, playing a good chunk of it without the prior season’s MVP. They lost their 2 most important players to injury – Rose and Noah. That’s like if we had lost Carmelo and Tyson. If your point is that the Heat are maybe the third best team behind OKC and the Spurs we agree…that doesn’t make their team flawed, or not a title contender.

      cgreene: I never said they got “lucky”.I said the East is weak.Boston was part its prime as a contender and the Bulls are a sieve on offense.If this year’s Bulls at full strength won a title it would be the worst NBA championship team in my memory.Worse than Detroit.I agree that they are the team to beat and my opinion has nothing to do with whether I think the Knicks can compete with them.That remains to be seen by a long shot.

    38. ephus

      Let’s give LBJ, Spoelstra and Wade (in that order) credit for this win. LBJ played a great game from the opening tip. Spoelstra made all of the right adjustments at halftime. And Wade played as well in the second half as he did in 2006.

      ruruland: Hibbert scored 24 in the Knicks 15 point win in Indiana.

      The Knicks were up over 30 in this game, and then the Pacers made it look close in the fourth quarter. When it counted, Chandler had Hibbert pawned.

      If the current Knicks lineup ever gets to play the Pacers in a meaningful game, it is a seriously favorable series of matchups. Hibbert does not have the upper body strength to deal with Chandler. Amar’e (bizarrely) has the ability to shut down West defensively, but West does not have the speed to keep up with Amar’e's slip screens. ‘Melo dominates Granger. Lin and Shumpert have the speed and penetrating ability to handle the Pacers backcourt.

    39. johnlocke

      He impressed me … his passing in particular was ridiculous, just some crazy passes to get Wade going. Clearly, the best finisher in the league by a wide margin also.

      massive:
      LeBron James has to be the only NBA basketball player who can finish with 40 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks and not impress a soul.

    40. ruruland

      ephus: Let’s give LBJ, Spoelstra and Wade (in that order) credit for this win. LBJ played a great game from the opening tip. Spoelstra made all of the right adjustments at halftime. And Wade played as well in the second half as he did in 2006. The Knicks were up over 30 in this game, and then the Pacers made it look close in the fourth quarter. When it counted, Chandler had Hibbert pawned. If the current Knicks lineup ever gets to play the Pacers in a meaningful game, it is a seriously favorable series of matchups. Hibbert does not have the upper body strength to deal with Chandler. Amar’e (bizarrely) has the ability to shut down West defensively, but West does not have the speed to keep up with Amar’e’s slip screens. ‘Melo dominates Granger. Lin and Shumpert have the speed and penetrating ability to handle the Pacers backcourt.

      I agree with the sentiment. The Pacers are a very good team and I don’t think we outright dominate them, but I think we’re better than them and at full health would win in 5-6 games. To be accurate though Hibbert played pretty well in the competitive stages of the second game. Chandler is obviously a good match on him though.

    41. ruruland

      johnlocke: He impressed me … his passing in particular was ridiculous, just some crazy passes to get Wade going. Clearly, the best finisher in the league by a wide margin also.

      I’d enjoy watching a Heat v OKC/Spurs finals but I say this objectively, assuming Boston is healthy next round I think they’re a touch better overall.

    42. jon abbey

      massive:
      Does anybody see the look in LeBron’s eyes today? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that determination in him before, nor have I seen it in any player besides Kobe and CP3.

      he’s actually had that look for almost his entire postseason career, but a few dud games against Boston and Dallas seem to overshadow that for everyone. not sure why no one remembers this game, which has to be the supreme single game performance of the last ten years:

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200705310DET.html

    43. jon abbey

      he had 29 points from the middle of the 4th quarter on in that game, against one of the best defenses of our era.

    44. jon abbey

      or his entire 2008-2009 postseason, where he averaged a ridiculous .399 WS/48 over 14 games.

    45. jon abbey

      or even last year, where he cut the hearts out of Boston and Chicago before running out of energy and seemingly mental toughness in the Finals.

    46. jon abbey

      that Orlando series in 2009 might have been his best playoff series ever even though they lost. he was the most talented player in the series, but Orlando had something like 4 or 5 players better than anyone else on his team (talent level at that point, not specifically performance in that series).

      he averaged just under 42 points for the first 5 games of the series before putting up a relative dud (for him!) of 25/7/7 in game 6, and that was with Dwight Howard underneath, not Roy Hibbert (who is pretty good, but is far from Howard at his peak).

    47. massive

      Jon, you don’t have to convince me of LeBron’s clutch gene or the fact that he is the NBA’s best player by quite a large margin. LeBron was my favorite basketball player in the league before he sigend with the Heat, and even now, I still like him as a player. I’m just saying, LeBron’s eyes carried a serious fire tonight. The “get the f**k outta my way, #3. I’m gonna win this game if you step it up or not” kind of look. Usually, he’s trying to rally his teammates and be the most likeable and dominant player on court. But today, he really looked like he lost all faith in his teammates and started playing like we were accustom to seeing him play back in Cleveland.

      Honestly, the last time I saw him play with that kinda fire was against Boston in the close-out game last year. Before that, against Boston in 2008 when he threw a big one down against KG….I guess the man really hates Boston, which gives me reason to like him even though he plays in Miami.

    48. johnlocke

      Let’s bring up the playoff performance of one of our own: 22 yr old Amare Stoudemire versus Tim Duncan. Pre-injuries this guy was on course to be a monster on offense… and with the right coach perhaps defense and rebounding too. Oh well…

      Stoudemire in Game 1; 41 points on 61% shooting.
      Stoudemire in Game 2; 37 points on 60% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 3; 34 points on 50% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 4; 31 points on 56% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 5; 42 points on 50% shooting.

    49. d-mar

      BTW, when did Danny Grainger become such a punk? 3 techs in 3 games, and the one today was just stupid, running up and talking smack to Wade on a play he wasn’t even involved in.

    50. massive

      johnlocke:
      Let’s bring up the playoff performance of one of our own: 22 yr old Amare Stoudemire versus Tim Duncan. Pre-injuries this guy was on course to be a monster on offense… and with the right coach perhaps defense and rebounding too. Oh well…

      Stoudemire in Game 1; 41 points on 61% shooting.
      Stoudemire in Game 2; 37 points on 60% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 3; 34 points on 50% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 4; 31 points on 56% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 5; 42 points on 50% shooting.

      My goodness…if those Spurs couldn’t stop him, he would have likely won a championship in Phoenix if he never got injured.

    51. jon abbey

      massive:
      Jon, you don’t have to convince me of LeBron’s clutch gene or the fact that he is the NBA’s best player by quite a large margin. LeBron was my favorite basketball player in the league before he sigend with the Heat, and even now, I still like him as a player. I’m just saying, LeBron’s eyes carried a serious fire tonight. The “get the f**k outta my way, #3. I’m gonna win this game if you step it up or not” kind of look. Usually, he’s trying to rally his teammates and be the most likeable and dominant player on court. But today, he really looked like he lost all faith in his teammates and started playing like we were accustom to seeing him play back in Cleveland.

      Honestly, the last time I saw him play with that kinda fire was against Boston in the close-out game last year. Before that, against Boston in 2008 when he threw a big one down against KG….I guess the man really hates Boston, which gives me reason to like him even though he plays in Miami.

      he also took on D-Rose head to head last year and demolished him, maybe his most impressive series-long defensive effort in the postseason thus far.

    52. d-mar

      In some alternate universe, we lose a few more games in the regular season, get the 8th seed, beat a crippled Chicago, beat Boston in an epic 7 game series (with a healthy Lin) and then we take on Miami in the ECF with no Bosh.

      Oh well….

    53. johnlocke

      Haha..bizarro Knicks. That kind of stuff happens to the NYGiants …not our beloved Knicks…

      If we beat the Bulls and played the Celtics ..in Game 7, Garnett would have set an illegal pick on Lin, causing signficant knee reinjury for the rest of his career, while Rondo passed to Allen for an open 3, with us up 2 points on the road — miss it with 5 seconds left, only for Pierce to get the offensive rebound over Stoudemire, dribble behind the 3pt line with Carmelo trailing and drill the shot at the buzzer, except the referees rule it no good…but then confirm upon replay it was in fact a good shot, causing Woodson to do a reverse Sprewell and choke out Amare for giving up the offensive rebound.

      d-mar:
      In some alternate universe, we lose a few more games in the regular season, get the 8th seed, beat a crippled Chicago, beat Boston in an epic 7 game series (with a healthy Lin) and then we take on Miami in the ECF with no Bosh.

      Oh well….

    54. massive

      According to Chris Broussard, Stat and Chandler will be working with Olajuwon this summer. But Amar’e is gonna be in Miami for the summer taking classes, and Tyson is playing in the Olympics. I’m not sure what to make of this.

    55. massive

      johnlocke:
      Haha..bizarro Knicks. That kind of stuff happens to the NYGiants …not our beloved Knicks…

      If we beat the Bulls and played the Celtics ..in Game 7, Garnett would have set an illegal pick on Lin, causing signficant knee reinjury for the rest of his career, while Rondo passed to Allen for an open 3, with us up 2 points on the road — miss it with 5 seconds left, only for Pierce to get the offensive rebound over Stoudemire, dribble behind the 3pt line with Carmelo trailing and drill the shot at the buzzer, except the referees rule it no good…but then confirm upon replay it was in fact a good shot, causing Woodson to do a reverse Sprewell and choke out Amare for giving up the offensive rebound.

      The first half of this (Garnett illegal screen, Ray Allen 3) happened to us last year, only Toney Douglas didn’t get injured.

    56. massive

      jon abbey: he also took on D-Rose head to head last year and demolished him, maybe his most impressive series-long defensive effort in the postseason thus far.

      Yeah, Derrick Rose shot 6% when LeBron was guarding him. Derrick Rose was even missing free throws due to LeBron’s defensive pressure destroying his confidence lol.

    57. sidestep

      The “Wade must be injured” story completely went away today. Funny how narratives change so quickly.

    58. Owen

      Lol, very true.

      massive:
      Does anybody see the look in LeBron’s eyes today? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that determination in him before, nor have I seen it in any player besides Kobe and CP3.

    59. Owen

      Woops. Meant to quote that comment about Lebron having the quietest 40 point near triple double in history. He earned all the crap he gets, but he is awesome…

      Owen:
      Lol, very true.

    60. ruruland

      Owen: Woops. Meant to quote that comment about Lebron having the quietest 40 point near triple double in history. He earned all the crap he gets, but he is awesome…

      To me he is still the greatest athlete I’ve ever witnessed in any sport… But what do you think happened in last year’s finals??

    61. johnlocke

      Yes, he is…maybe a couple NFL guys can rival his athleticism, but elite. Lebron is more Magic, than Kobe or Jordan – he lacks a certain selfish, on-court arrogance you need to have. He seems to take over the game as a last alternative, but it’s not a priority. He was passing up shots way too often and settling for jumpers last year. It has to be a psychology issue…b/c it’s not talent or athleticism.

      ruruland: To me he is still the greatest athlete I’ve ever witnessed in any sport… But what do you think happened in last year’s finals??

    62. Owen

      There have been.a lot of great athletes. IBut Lebron is pretty amazing.

      I dont really know what happened last year. The Mavericks were a good team and they pulled off an upset. Lebron played badly. Don’t know why but the guy is too good not to get over the hump sometime soon.

      To me all the talk about him not being a winner is silly. But there is only one way to shut people up….

    63. MJG1789

      This is a little misleading if you actually saw the games. The Spurs made the decision to stay home on the shooters and let Amare go off one on one. Phoenix went down in five games and never threatened.

      If there is one aspect that might help the Knicks, it’s the idea that there are obviously players in the D League – guys we never heard of – that can help. Danny Green and Gary Neal came out of nowhere. If two equivalent guys could be dug up by the Knicks next year, hello floor spacing and suddenly things look a lot better.

      johnlocke:
      Let’s bring up the playoff performance of one of our own: 22 yr old Amare Stoudemire versus Tim Duncan. Pre-injuries this guy was on course to be a monster on offense… and with the right coach perhaps defense and rebounding too. Oh well…

      Stoudemire in Game 1; 41 points on 61% shooting.
      Stoudemire in Game 2; 37 points on 60% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 3; 34 points on 50% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 4; 31 points on 56% shooting.
      Stoudemire in game 5; 42 points on 50% shooting.

    64. JC Knickfan

      johnlocke:
      It is extremely rare for an NBA team w/o a true MVP candidate / HOF caliber player to win the NBA finals. The most marginal final MVPs, from that perspective, in the last 30 years were Dumars and Billups. The Pacers and Spurs are both deep teams and that’s where the similarities end. The Spurs are a deep team with a big three…they are like some crazy combo of the Pacers and Spurs. Even if the Pacers beat Miami (still doubtful) there is NO way, they beat OKC or the Spurs. Teams like the Sixers and Pacers have nice seasons but don’t win championships.

      I’ve stated this before.
      In last 30 years only Piston have won championship w/o current or future MVP. Durant going to win MVP someday so OKC only team that has good chance to win all w/o one.

    65. jon abbey

      ruruland: To me he is still the greatest athlete I’ve ever witnessed in any sport… But what do you think happened in last year’s finals??

      he loses confidence sometimes when he runs into a tough situation, the only other top basketball player I can remember it happening to in a comparable way was Pippen. during that series against the Knicks that Kukoc got the final shot instead of him, I’m pretty sure he averaged less than one FG made per fourth quarter, and that was with no Jordan around to take many of the shots.

      also I think he gets asked to do so much (and does so much on his own) and plays so many minutes (I think 43 per game in last year’s playoffs) that he occasionally hits a wall deep in the playoffs, that was a definite factor against Dallas IMO.

    66. bobneptune

      massive:
      According to Chris Broussard, Stat and Chandler will be working with Olajuwon this summer. But Amar’e is gonna be in Miami for the summer taking classes, and Tyson is playing in the Olympics. I’m not sure what to make of this.

      ain’t it grand when guys who are 30ish now decide to expand their games……

    67. sidestep

      I took what Chandler said as leading-by-example: it signalls to his teammates to also improve their game during the off season. I’ll believe it when I see it, but I think it’s a nice message to send.

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