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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Knicks Morning News (Thursday, Mar 22 2012)

  • [New York Times] Knicks 82, 76ers 79: Knicks Beat 76ers for 5th Straight Win (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 06:00:10 GMT)
    The Knicks, led by Amar’e Stoudemire’s 21 points, improved to 23-24, only three games behind the 76ers for the division lead.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Lakers Find Way to End Dallas’s Winning Streak (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 06:00:09 GMT)
    Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, and Pau Gasol added 27 points as the Los Angeles Lakers stopped the host Dallas Mavericks’ four-game winning streak with a 109-93 victory Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Beat 76ers 82-79 for 5th Straight Win (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:25:15 GMT)
    As Amare Stoudemire walked into the New York locker room with a towel over his shoulders, the coaching staff followed. When the door closed, one jubilant voice inside screamed: “How ‘Bout Those Knicks!”

  • [New York Times] Bryant, Gasol Lead Lakers Over Mavericks (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:22:35 GMT)
    Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol added 27 points and nine rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers stopped the Dallas Mavericks’ four-game winning streak with a 109-93 victory on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] McGee’s Dunk Lifts Nuggets Past Pistons 116-115 (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:01:16 GMT)
    JaVale McGee rebounded a missed free throw following a basket with five seconds remaining and dunked to give the Nuggets a 116-115 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beat Wolves Despite Parker’s Injury (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 03:07:43 GMT)
    Tim Duncan had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-100 on Wednesday night despite playing most of the game without All-Star guard Tony Parker.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Shut Down Griffin, Thump Clippers 114-91 (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 02:46:11 GMT)
    Kevin Durant had 32 points and nine rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 19 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder shut down Blake Griffin and beat the Los Angeles Clippers 114-91 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Johnson Leads Hawks Over Cavs 103-102 in OT (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 02:52:07 GMT)
    Joe Johnson hit a tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation and knocked down a baseline jumper with 10 seconds left in overtime, giving the Atlanta Hawks a 103-102 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Beat Hornets 101-92 to End Slide at 4 (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 02:37:14 GMT)
    Rookie Klay Thompson scored a career-high 27 points, David Lee added 25 and the Golden State Warriors ended a four-game losing streak with a 101-92 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Nene Has Strong Debut, Leading Wizards Over Nets (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 03:31:15 GMT)
    Nene had 22 points and 10 rebounds in his Washington debut, and the Wizards defeated New Jersey 108-89 Wednesday night in a game marred by the third-quarter ejections of Nets’ All-Star point guard Deron Williams and head coach Avery Johnson.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Beat 76ers 82-79 for 5th Straight Win (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 02:08:15 GMT)
    Amare Stoudemire had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the New York Knicks to their fifth straight victory, 82-79 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Magic Find Offense and Roll Past Suns, 103-93 (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 01:49:25 GMT)
    Ryan Anderson hit seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points, Dwight Howard added 28 points and 16 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic held off the Phoenix Suns 103-93 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] Lucas Spurs Rally as Bulls Beat Raptors 94-82 (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 01:28:13 GMT)
    John Lucas scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 94-82 on Wednesday night.

  • [New York Times] James Says He’ll ‘Be Ready’ for Next Heat Game (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 01:19:46 GMT)
    LeBron James plans to play Friday night when Miami visits Detroit, even though the Heat star is continuing to deal with the effects of a scary collision with Phoenix’s Grant Hill.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: Mike Woodson Can’t Explain Carmelo Anthony (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 06:00:09 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony’s recent statement about having “an energy that I haven’t had so far this season” under the Knicks’ interim coach Mike Woodson has raised eyebrows and questions.

  • [New York Times] Derek Fisher Signs With Oklahoma City Thunder (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:49:08 GMT)
    After winning five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, Derek Fisher chose the West-leading Oklahoma City Thunder as the team where he wants to go for No. 6.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Jeffries out Friday vs. Toronto (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 01:41:55 EDT)
    Jared Jeffries will sit out of the Knicks game in Toronto on Friday because of a sore right knee.
    Jeffries aggravated his knee in the third quarter on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
    He will get treatment on the injury over the next two days and plans to get an MRI on Saturday or Monday. He said after the game that his knee is so swollen that ‘it’s hard for me to have control of what happens.’
    Jeffries did not rule out the possibility of playing on Saturday against Detroit.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Lin finishes strong in Philly (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 01:07:27 EDT)
    Jeremy Lin went to the bench midway through the third quarter on Wednesday with a terrible stat line: 1-for-11 from the field, two points, two assists and a turnover.
    One veteran Knick had a simple message for him as he sat down.
    “This is when you have to prove that everything you’ve done up to this point is legit, [prove] what you’re made of,” Jared Jeffries told Lin.

    Howard Smith/US PresswireJeremy Lin shook off his struggles and pointed the Knicks to victory in the fourth quarter.

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ win streak continues under new head coach Mike Woodson (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 05:03:16 -0500)
    PHILADELPHIA â?? There comes a point when you wish you could spike the players’ Gatorade with sodium pentathol, let the truth serum take a tour through their bloodstream and their consciences, loosen their lips and unlock their most honest opinions.
    Instead, all we have are our eyes.
    Instead, all we have…

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ Lin can’t wait for Tim (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 03:48:50 -0500)
    PHILADELPHIA â??Jeremy Lin is thrilled that fellow sensation Tim Tebow is now a Jet.
    “It’s awesome. I’m just excited for him and to see what he does,â? Lin said after delivering a huge fourth quarter in the Knicks’ 82-79 win over the 76ers last night. “We’ll see…

  • [New York Post] Knicks topple division-leading 76ers for fifth straight win (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 03:28:27 -0500)
    PHILADELPHIA â?? The Knicks owned the crowd, owned the Sixers and soon may own their first Atlantic Division title in 18 years. It’s a reality now as Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson is alive for five.
    The Knicks’ voracious defense forced the division-leading 76ers to miss their first 14 shots…

  • [New York Post] MSG keeps capitalizing on Linsanity (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 02:27:33 -0500)
    PHILADELPHIA â?? Linsanity II continues to gain speed on every level.
    The Garden will soon have Cocaâ?”Cola courtside signs in Chinese by next week, according to team officials. The Garden approached Coca-Cola on the matter and an agreement has been reached.
    While Lin is keying the current five-game winning streak…

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks’ sheer dynamism on defense stalls Sixers (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 06:35:05 GMT)
    The new Knicks scare Doug Collins with their sheer dynamism on defense, which is not something he saw from them early in the season. They trap now at halfcourt. They front the ball. They force turnovers.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks thrive as win streak hits five (Thu, 22 Mar 2012 06:34:44 GMT)
    With Jeremy Lin scoring 16 fourth quarter points, including eight free throws in the last 63 seconds to salvage an awful shooting night, the Knicks defeated the Sixers 82-79 to move to within three games of first-place Philadelphia with 19 games left.

  • 272 comments on “Knicks Morning News (Thursday, Mar 22 2012)

    1. Matt Smith

      One thing I noticed from last night is that Novak’s defense isn’t as shoddy as I (and I think several others) first thought it would be. I think it’s because I automatically believe three-point specialization and defense are inversely proportional. However, I’ve been noticing his effort lately – he’s got all the things I look for in defense. He isn’t afraid to body up his man in the post; he’s very vocal about switches and off-ball screens; he is intense with his effort.

      Much like STAT, he clearly doesn’t have the body or athleticism to be a low-post banger, but, unlike STAT, I can forgive him because of his hustle. Oh, and I’ve been impressed with a few of his boards so far this season (“NOVAK got that?!”)

    2. maudlin17

      I think one of the reasons why it appears as though Novak is doing a better job defensively is because all 5 guys are actually playing…you know..team defense. Even if 1 guy is half-assing it, someone is going to get exposed..often badly.

      Melo has gone on record saying that he wasn’t giving a full effort(as if no one noticed). As a result of him being lazy, guys were getting exposed pretty badly, esp interior defenders like Novak

      Novak isn’t Tyson Chandler, but he’s also not a chair. I’ve watched him hustle and actually try on defense. The only difference now is that Melo is actually trying on D, so there are less breakdowns, thus a lot less embarrassing moments on D.

      It’s really sad that a max cat needs to be properly motivated into giving a full effort. Melo isn’t worth a max contract for that reason alone in my book.

    3. Frank

      FWIW – Hollinger’s playoff odds calculator now thinks we will be the 7 seed, Milwaukee the 8th seed, and Boston dropping out.

    4. Frank

      Also – props to Shumpert for absolutely administering the lockdown on Lou Williams. 4 of 11, zero impact. What Shump does is very difficult to quantify on any individual stat line.

    5. jon abbey

      Frank:
      FWIW – Hollinger’s playoff odds calculator now thinks we will be the 7 seed, Milwaukee the 8th seed, and Boston dropping out.

      but all three at a 34-32 record, still no margin for error and no room for even one bad loss. 35-31 (12-7 from here) needs to be the goal at a minimum.

    6. jon abbey

      Frank:
      Also – props to Shumpert for absolutely administering the lockdown on Lou Williams. 4 of 11, zero impact.What Shump does is very difficult to quantify on any individual stat line.

      2-8 when he misses the game or plays under 19 minutes, 21-16 when he gets at least 19 minutes.

    7. jon abbey

      new season high in boards for Shumpert last night also with 8, previously he had 6 a couple of times.

    8. Gideon Zaga

      The only cat worth a max contract in your book is teen wolf.

      maudlin17:

      It’s really sad that a max cat needs to be properly motivated into giving a full effort. Melo isn’t worth a max contract for that reason alone in my book.

    9. Gideon Zaga

      +1

      Frank:
      Also – props to Shumpert for absolutely administering the lockdown on Lou Williams. 4 of 11, zero impact.What Shump does is very difficult to quantify on any individual stat line.

    10. garfangle

      Lin’s turnover record

      Three turnovers or less per game:

      Feb (since Linsanity): 4 times in 13 games played

      Mar: 7 times in 12 games played.

    11. art vandelay

      Besides playing each other tonight, Boston and Milwaukee play each other in Boston the final game of the season – that could be a HUGE game for them (and for us)….fortunately, we are @ Charlotte to end the regular season.

    12. garfangle

      garfangle:
      Lin’s turnover record

      Three turnovers or less per game:

      Feb (since Linsanity): 4 times in 13 games played

      Mar: 7 times in 12 games played.

      correction Mar: 6 times in 11 games played.

    13. d-mar

      All excited to listen to sports radio this morning on the way to work after our huge win last night, and it was Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. Most attention ever given to a backup in the history of sports.

    14. art vandelay

      Would someone please tell me what the second tie-breaker is for division winner (after head-to-head record). I am not sure if it is overall division record or conference record; I assume the former. I am imagining the scenario in which we tie Boston for the division lead at end of season…we could possibly beat them in division record but they have such a large lead in conference record over us it seems almost insurmountable at this point.

    15. art vandelay

      d-mar: All excited to listen to sports radio this morning on the way to work after our huge win last night, and it was Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. Most attention ever given to a backup in the history of sports.

      +1

      I know exactly how you feel…VERY frustrating…(I wonder if this is how the Giants fans felt after winning the Super Bowl and during Linsanity).
      I wonder if this maybe is better, though…we don´t really need the exposure right now…better to fly under the radar and keep focused like the Heat were during Linsanity run…let the controversy-seeking NY media pick apart the Jets rather than looking for ways to foretell the imminent doom of Linsanity II. I think the exposure and “Melo will kill Linsanity when he returns” predictions and coverage weighed on the team.

    16. johnlocke

      I think we’d rather be 8th seed and face Chicago…than 7th and face Miami..no?

      Frank:
      FWIW – Hollinger’s playoff odds calculator now thinks we will be the 7 seed, Milwaukee the 8th seed, and Boston dropping out.

    17. villainx

      d-mar:
      All excited to listen to sports radio this morning on the way to work after our huge win last night, and it was Tebow, Tebow, Tebow. Most attention ever given to a backup in the history of sports.

      What we need is more fanfare for a D-leaguer.

    18. johnlocke

      Too much attention given to number of turnovers…it’s the type of turnover that really matters. Being aggressive and getting a charge called against you or dribbling to the hole and getting ball swiped…is much less harmful than carelessly throwing ball out to the wings and getting it stolen or being swiped before getting to half court because those are easily turned into transition buckets. It’s not only the # of turnovers that is going down, but more importantly the quality of turnover that Lin has been and needs to keep improving

      garfangle:
      Lin’s turnover record

      Three turnovers or less per game:

      Feb (since Linsanity): 4 times in 13 games played

      Mar: 7 times in 12 games played.

    19. Frank

      Nothing really to do with our team, but of general interest, from Twitter:

      @Rohan_Cruyff: offensive ranks of steve nash teams from 2001-2010: #1, #1, #1, #1, #2, #1, #2, #2, #1.

    20. Owen

      Gideon, uh, yeah….

      Klay Thompson suddenly scoring a lot of points in Golden State….

      It’s amazing how they lost 70% of their backcourt scoring and then miraculously replaced it…..

      Who would have thunk it…..

    21. Frank

      Owen:
      Meanwhile, Melo’s ts% has now fallen below 50%….

      zzzzz. Nonstory considering we have won 5 in a row in convincing fashion while he has decreased his usage and improved his defensive effort. His per-36 numbers in the last 5 games:

      17.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.3 TOs.
      TS obviously sucks at 46%

      But other than scoring, his other per-36 stats have improved from his season averages, some dramatically – 6.2–> 6.5 rebounds, 4.1–>5.5 assists, 1.1–>1.5 steals, 2.8 –> 2.3 TOs.

      I thought that’s what we all wanted — for him to do the OTHER things well especially if his shot wasn’t falling. BTW he is also taking 2 fewer shots per 36 than he was before.

    22. massive

      I hope these guys are serious about winning the division. We’ve beaten Philly and Indy twice this season, so playing them in the first round would be ideal. We want to get a team that doesn’t employ a top 10 basketball player in the first round, so getting the Atlantic division would be our best shot at the EC Semis, where we can make some noise if we Chicago.

    23. massive

      Owen:
      Gideon, uh, yeah….

      Klay Thompson suddenly scoring a lot of points in Golden State….

      It’s amazing how they lost 70% of their backcourt scoring and then miraculously replaced it…..

      Who would have thunk it…..

      GS drafting Klay Thompson made Monta Ellis’ days in GS numbered. All they need is a real coach and for Bogut and Curry to be healthy, and GS fans will forget about the chucker they once had in Ellis.

    24. d-mar

      massive:
      I hope these guys are serious about winning the division. We’ve beaten Philly and Indy twice this season, so playing them in the first round would be ideal. We want to get a team that doesn’t employ a top 10 basketball player in the first round, so getting the Atlantic division would be our best shot at the EC Semis, where we can make some noise if we Chicago.

      Somehow Atlanta has managed to tread water and is still 4 games up on us, but if we can’t catch Philly, Plan B would be to catch the Hawks and move up to 6. But I don’t think their schedule is that tough, unfortunately.

    25. Doug

      maudlin17: It’s really sad that a max cat needs to be properly motivated into giving a full effort. Melo isn’t worth a max contract for that reason alone in my book.

      It’s not that Melo isn’t worth a max contract, it’s that the true superstars are underpaid under the max. James/Wade/Howard/CP3 should actually be getting $40-50 million a year if they were properly valued.

    26. max fisher-cohen

      yeah, you want the 8th seed much more than the 7 seed given the matchups v. chicago and D. Rose’s shaky health.

      The most likely way to move above the 7 seed is to pass philly, so 4 seed would obviously be great!

    27. jon abbey

      Owen:
      Massive – Yeah, I agree. That’s the thing about scorers. They are replaceable. There is always some guy who put up 23 per in college waiting in the wings.

      and usually they can’t cut it in the pros. this is one of the biggest flaws in Berri-esque analysis, points per game may be overrated as a measuring stick but thinking that scorers are a dime a dozen is also mistaken, especially as a season progresses and defenses get tougher (Dec defense<March defense<<<playoff defense).

    28. jon abbey

      Owen:

      That Harvey Araton piece was FANTASTIC. Thanks for the rec….

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/sports/basketball/mike-dantonis-resignation-tied-to-james-l-dolan.html?ref=sports

      not sure what was fantastic about that, and I’d really like just one article to really analyze D’Antoni’s stay here and all of his numerous shortcomings.

      it’s easy to blame Dolan for anything and everything, since he is pretty much the Antichrist, but Grunwald and Woodson both seem to be nice upgrades on their higher paid and more media-friendly predecessors.

    29. Z-man

      Another contra-D’Antoni aspect of last night’s game was that we won even though we hit only 2 treys, and where nearly every possession (especially in the 4th) was a deep-in-the-shot-clock halfcourt drama BY DESIGN! Melo was often consciously slowing down the pace in the 4th even though we had only a slight lead. Not sure if that was coming from Woodson, but certainly not what I would think of as a D’Antoni strategy. We’ve seen so many styles of play by the Knicks in these 5 games that have just flowed naturally with the type of game situation, which is in contrast to the slow-down, grind-it-out, 94 feet of defense style being a last resort kind of thing it was under D’Antoni. ESPECIALLY because we essentially were playing hard core slow-ball at the end with more of a small, quick unit (Lin, Amare, JR, Shump, Melo) and Chandler on the bench!

    30. Owen

      Jon – I love the article. I love the Holzman quote. And I love this.

      “Anthony, meanwhile, should be happy now and is skilled enough to go on a tear that might even elevate the Knicks into a more secure playoff standing. But such genuflections by management seldom work out in the long run, at least with players of questionable leadership skills. They ultimately lose the trust of their less-talented teammates, especially when they are not among the hardest workers on the team.”

      I understand your argument that D’Antoni was the problem. That this is a really good team that he was too stubborn to let go to work. Take him out of the picture and suddenly we are a contender etc etc…

      But i am not buying. I just don’t think this will end well, no matter who is coaching. Carmelo isn’t that good. He is about to enter his decline phase. And has shown no qualms about sabotaging the team.

      I do love that D’Antoni had a better record without Melo than he had with him.

    31. jon abbey

      “He is about to enter his decline phase.”

      he’s 27! I don’t know what the hell is wrong with him this year, and I’ve never been much of a fan of his, but if he is healthy, I absolutely don’t buy the decline phase thing (I do agree with you to an extent that he has always been overrated).

      the thing is with players, there are always possible physical and/or mental reasons that they struggle, and occasionally it’s the system/their teammates. maybe a good chunk of Melo’s current problems are because his wrist isn’t right, who knows.

      but with coaches, it’s much simpler, either they’re good at their jobs (with the personnel on their current team) or they’re not. D’Antoni got no favors in terms of personnel for most of his NY stay, but he did have a loaded roster by the end, and there were many fundamental aspects of coaching that he was either just not good at or was too inflexible about.

    32. JLam

      I’m pleasantly surprised at the Knicks performance. After Linsanity died down, I said I wouldnt watch unless MDA gets fired…done. Wouldnt watch unless Melo and Stats plays D…done.
      This team has amazing talent and I agree with a poster yesterday that in close game like on Phily last night the ball should be in Lin hand’s. Im not saying he should take the last shot but it shouldnt automatically go to Melo until he shows some clutch scoring he’s capable of.
      Lately I’ve been really happy with the play of all the players. However with Baron and JR I be watching closely, they are the newest members who at times seem to play brilliant, other times not too smooth. Maybe need more minutes to integrate with new teammates.

    33. Nick C.

      Interestign question when is the NBA decline phase. Baseball always has 27-32 as the prime (except for the PED blip). RBs are usually considered past it by 30 if not before. Basketball I’ve never seen, or paid attention, to what the prime etc. would be. Talking out of my *** I would think since it is a jumping, running sport as much as a finesse or hand-eye coordination sport those aspects of one’s game may decline much younger than the early 30s past ones prime we associate with baseball.

    34. ruruland

      Owen:
      Jon – I love the article. I love the Holzman quote. And I love this.

      I understand your argument that D’Antoni was the problem. That this is a really good team that he was too stubborn to let go to work. Take him out of the picture and suddenly we are a contender etc etc…

      But i am not buying. I just don’t think this will end well, no matter who is coaching. Carmelo isn’t that good. He is about to enter his decline phase. And has shown no qualms about sabotaging the team.

      I do love that D’Antoni had a better record without Melo than he had with him.

      In fairness, what you’re really saying is you hope it doesn’t end well and you hope Melo continues to play as poorly as he has offensively, because being “right” is most important to you. Clearly, you’re much more a fan of MDA than you are of the current team.

      Your assertions are not guided by any statistically-based projection, those which you feign your identity as a “fan”, with Melo we’re looking at a 37 game sample similar to the one Amar’e previous struggled to get through (for a player, Melo, who’s had struggles like this before over long stretches only to bounce back in a major way each and every time)

      Obviously, this notion that the team is bound to fall apart at the seams again because Melo will sabotage it flies in the face of the facts: Denver won 75% of its games with Melo and Chauncey Billups in the lineup, Melo has never missed the playoffs in his career, the Nuggets won 61% of their games with him in the lineup (compared to 50% with him out of it)…Melo’s been perhaps the most critical piece on really good teams that played really good defense, and played for very long stretches.

      You’ve gone beyond the line of jaded cynic into non-fan. I will treat you as such moving forward, which is a pretty sad state of affairs considering my relatively new fanhood of…

    35. jon abbey

      Nick C.:
      Interestign question when is the NBA decline phase. Baseball always has 27-32 as the prime (except for the PED blip). RBs are usually considered past it by 30 if not before.Basketball I’ve never seen, or paid attention, to what the prime etc. would be.Talking out of my *** I would think since it is a jumping, running sport as much as a finesse or hand-eye coordination sport those aspects of one’s game may decline much younger than the early 30s past ones prime we associate with baseball.

      well, watch out Dwayne Wade then, since he’s 2 1/2 years older than Melo. :)

    36. Frank O.

      The difference between the big wins of the past decade and last night was that last night did not seem anomalous.
      They executed their d. The coach made sound substitutions (keeping Novak in would have been tantamount to throwing your archers into close combat). Key players made big plays, and your team leader, Amare, was the best player on the court.
      Not sure anyone wants to see this team in the playoffs. And there is still plenty of room for improvement.

    37. d-mar

      Frank O.:
      The difference between the big wins of the past decade and last night was that last night did not seem anomalous.
      They executed their d. The coach made sound substitutions (keeping Novak in would have been tantamount to throwing your archers into close combat). Key players made big plays, and your team leader, Amare, was the best player on the court.
      Not sure anyone wants to see this team in the playoffs. And there is still plenty of room for improvement.

      Good point. As much fun as Linsanity was, I think we all knew that his stats would return to the norm and teams would start to be prepared for him more. No one on this team is playing out of their mind right now (and Melo, as we all know, can’t shoot the ball in the ocean) so it’s all based on fundamentals and execution.

      And Woodson substituted brilliantly, as many have pointed out.

    38. New Guy

      ruruland:

      Obviously, this notion that the team is bound to fall apart at the seams again because Melo will sabotage it flies in the face of the facts: Denver won 75% of its games with Melo and Chauncey Billups in the lineup, Melo has never missed the playoffs in his career, the Nuggets won 61% of their games with him in the lineup (compared to 50% with him out of it)…Melo’s been perhaps the most critical piece on really good teams that played really good defense, and played for very long stretches.

      RuRu, Melo was always the #1 option on those Denver teams, though.

      Now, we’re having success w him as a tertiary option. Yes, he is doing all the other things we need him to do and it’s contributing mightily to the wins. I give him credit for that (though, I think it’s fair to chide him for not doing it from the start of the season, but whatever). You know him better than us, is he going to be happy with that for long?

      One of the benefits of his crap shooting right now is that it allows Amar’e to be the #1 unencumbered at precisely the time he’s rounding into shape. Isn’t Melo going to “want his” eventually?” He seems willing to play along now bc he doesn’t have his stroke. What happens when he gets it? Do we have to scrap Amar’e and go to him? Is he going to start hoisting up shots like the Garden is his own Rucker Park, to the detriment of every teammate he has like he did last year? What if we want to keep up this winning formula we developed? Will he still play hard on defense if he feels he has his stroke but Woodson wants to go to Amar’e?

      You can’t sh** on Owen for fearing this. Melo has done nothing, while here, to suggest that if the team is having success and he’s not getting his touches, he’ll remain happy. We’re all scared to death of his prima donna act and the influence he holds with his owner.

    39. ruruland

      Frank O.:
      The difference between the big wins of the past decade and last night was that last night did not seem anomalous.
      They executed their d. The coach made sound substitutions (keeping Novak in would have been tantamount to throwing your archers into close combat). Key players made big plays, and your team leader, Amare, was the best player on the court.
      Not sure anyone wants to see this team in the playoffs. And there is still plenty of room for improvement.

      A b2b on the road against a rested division rival…Your highest usage guys and bench combine to go for 17-58…You go 2-13 from 3, give up 6-9 from 3 in the second half, and commit two more turnovers than the opp…You close it out with your best defensive player on the bench, your second best interior defender injured and out of the game in the critical 4th quarter.

      If the Knicks can win a game like that, yes, they can win any of the remaining games on their schedule. These are the kinds of victories that give rise to really long runs.

    40. Frank O.

      ruruland: In fairness, what you’re really saying is you hope it doesn’t end well and you hope Melo continues to play as poorly as he has offensively, because being “right” is most important to you. Clearly, you’re much more a fan of MDA than you are of the current team.

      Your assertions are not guided by any statistically-based projection, those which you feign your identity as a “fan”, with Melo we’re looking at a 37 game sample similar to the one Amar’e previous struggled to get through (for a player, Melo, who’s had struggles like this before over long stretches only to bounce back in a major way each and every time)

      You’ve gone beyond the line of jaded cynic into non-fan. I will treat you as such moving forward, which is a pretty sad state of affairs considering my relatively new fanhood of…

      Due respect, you take this too far. I’ve been reading Owen for four years at least. He’s a Knicks fan. He thinks Melo is overrated, and Melo since coming to the Knicks has done nothing to dissuade him from that thinking.
      His offensive play to date, the main reason he receives max pay, has been largely putrid. I suspect his biggest issue is fitness right now. He doesn’t yet have the fitness to put 100 percent into offense and defense. Right now, he’s giving it to the defensive end, and for that I am thankful.
      But his explosiveness is not there. He doesn’t move much away from the ball on offense. He’s getting shots blocked.
      I keep hoping his shot will get right, that his efficiency will improve, and that he’ll be as dangerous as he can be.
      But with Melo not playing well all season, with it becoming quite clear Melo, by his own admission, wasn’t putting in effort to the point when D’Antoni walked, I think there is evidence to support what Owen had to say without questioning his motive.

    41. The Infamous Cdiggy

      art vandelay: +1

      I know exactly how you feel…VERY frustrating…(I wonder if this is how the Giants fans felt after winning the Super Bowl and during Linsanity).
      I wonder if this maybe is better, though…we don´t really need the exposure right now…better to fly under the radar and keep focused like the Heat were during Linsanity run…let the controversy-seeking NY media pick apart the Jets rather than looking for ways to foretell the imminent doom of Linsanity II. I think the exposure and “Melo will kill Linsanity when he returns” predictions and coverage weighed on the team.

      Actually, Linsanity was born days after the Giants won. It actually was perfect timing: The GMen’s SuperBowl conquest and subsequent parade took the Knicks’ poor play off the city’s radar. Once that excitement died down, we turn the page and WHO IS THIS LIN KID BALLIN HIS @SS OFF???

      If anything, it was superb timing for the Knicks.

    42. Knicks4Eva

      Any word on how long JJ will be out?
      I read it was a right knee tweak again, will he play tomorrow?

    43. ruruland

      New Guy:

      Now, we’re having success w him as a tertiary option.Yes, he is doing all the other things we need him to do and it’s contributing mightily to the wins.I give him credit for that (though, I think it’s fair to chide him for not doing it from the start of the season, but whatever).You know him better than us, is he going to be happy with that for long?

      One of the benefits of his crap shooting right now is that it allows Amar’e to be the #1 unencumbered at precisely the time he’s rounding into shape.Isn’t Melo going to “want his” eventually?”He seems willing to play along now bc he doesn’t have his stroke.What happens when he gets it?Do we have to scrap Amar’e and go to him?Is he going to start hoisting up shots like the Garden is his own Rucker Park, to the detriment of every teammate he has like he did last year?What if we want to keep up this winning formula we developed?Will he still play hard on defense if he feels he has his stroke but Woodson wants to go to Amar’e?

      You can’t sh** on Owen for fearing this.Melo has done nothing, while here, to suggest that if the team is having success and he’s not getting his touches, he’ll remain happy.We’re all scared to death of his prima donna act and the influence he holds with his owner.

      if you’ve seen nothing then you’ve not seen the last 5 games.

      You act as though Melo was the only guy playing when he was a consistent winner in Denver. No, everyone got their looks. Chauncey was a 24% usage guy in Denver, similar to what Lin has been since guys have returned. He won 63% of his games with Iverson, one of the highest usage guys in NBA history.

      When Melo gets right on offense it will be every bit the spark Amar’e’s been since he rediscovered his game.

      And Melo won’t need 25 shots for his team to win most nights….He’s always welcomed that.

    44. Frank O.

      ruruland: A b2b on the road against a rested division rival…Your highest usage guys and bench combine to go for 17-58…You go 2-13 from 3, give up 6-9 from 3 in the second half, and commit two more turnovers than the opp…You close it out with your best defensive player on the bench, your second best interior defender injured and out of the game in the critical 4th quarter.

      If the Knicks can win a game like that, yes, they can win any of the remaining games on their schedule. These are the kinds of victories that give rise to really long runs.

      Agreed. I said it last night, they won the game on the O board in the second half and FTs.
      But it was the tenacious D that was so amazing, from all players.

    45. ruruland

      Frank O.: Due respect, you take this too far. I’ve been reading Owen for four years at least. He’s a Knicks fan. He thinks Melo is overrated, and Melo since coming to the Knicks has done nothing to dissuade him from that thinking.
      His offensive play to date, the main reason he receives max pay, has been largely putrid. I suspect his biggest issue is fitness right now. He doesn’t yet have the fitness to put 100 percent into offense and defense. Right now, he’s giving it to the defensive end, and for that I am thankful.
      But his explosiveness is not there. He doesn’t move much away from the ball on offense. He’s getting shots blocked.
      I keep hoping his shot will get right, that his efficiency will improve, and that he’ll be as dangerous as he can be.
      But with Melo not playing well all season, with it becoming quite clear Melo, by his own admission, wasn’t putting in effort to the point when D’Antoni walked, I think there is evidence to support what Owen had to say without questioning his motive.

      Neither Owen’s tone nor message has been commensurate with that of a fan, in fact it’s quite the opposite. That’s simply my perspective. It’s really not a big deal and I don’t dispute the fact that he’s been a great supporter of this team for years.

      Let me ask you this: was it only Melo who wasn’t putting in the effort with MDA players are putting in now, or was Melo the only one willing to admit it?

      If Melo was the only player not playing with the same effort level, then how can we avoid not giving him ALL the credit for the turnaround?

      If Melo was merely the only one willing to admit he wasn’t playing as hard. and many others weren’t, does that say something about the collective motives of the team, or is it much more complex than that?

    46. jon abbey

      Frank O.: They were executing down the stretch so well to close the gap with the knicks. The failure to foul was mystifying.

      only in the last 30 seconds once NY started to basically let them score, they had some dreadful shots before then. but Hollinger puts the blame on their late-game D more than their O, that’s the interesting part.

    47. ruruland

      Thirdly, if you make the argument that Melo’s effort dictates the effort of those around him, turning the Knicks into the most efficient defense since MDA was fired, then how can you make the argument that’s his presence is not essential to the Knicks defensive prowess?

    48. cgreene

      New Guy: RuRu, Melo was always the #1 option on those Denver teams, though.

      He seems willing to play along now bc he doesn’t have his stroke.What happens when he gets it?

      I’d say when/if he DOES get his stroke then lookout bc this team is going to be scary. Are you hoping he doesn’t get it? Let’s see what happens when he starts going 8-16 or so from the field and it’s all working. Who woudn’t want to see that? Weird comment.

    49. art vandelay

      Frank O.: Due respect, you take this too far. I’ve been reading Owen for four years at least. He’s a Knicks fan. He thinks Melo is overrated, and Melo since coming to the Knicks has done nothing to dissuade him from that thinking.His offensive play to date, the main reason he receives max pay, has been largely putrid. I suspect his biggest issue is fitness right now. He doesn’t yet have the fitness to put 100 percent into offense and defense. Right now, he’s giving it to the defensive end, and for that I am thankful.But his explosiveness is not there. He doesn’t move much away from the ball on offense. He’s getting shots blocked.I keep hoping his shot will get right, that his efficiency will improve, and that he’ll be as dangerous as he can be.But with Melo not playing well all season, with it becoming quite clear Melo, by his own admission, wasn’t putting in effort to the point when D’Antoni walked, I think there is evidence to support what Owen had to say without questioning his motive.

      If Melo´s fitness is the primary cause for his shooting and offensive struggles, then how can his overall excellent play during first 10 or so games of the season prior to the wrist and other assorted injuries be explained? Wouldn´t we expect him to be more out of shape at the start of the season and after a long lockout than now?

    50. GoKnicksGo

      I think you guys are looking at points and not possessions, and that’s why you’ll think if Melo is not getting his 30 points, hes going to be unsatisfied. As long as Lin, Melo, Stat each get about 15 touches a game and depending on who has the hot hand (including the bench), it might fluctuate, he’s not not going to care. From the Philly game, that was such a tough defensive grind out game, but he was still getting his iso plays. Sure he wasn’t making them and that’s why he point total is low, but credit Philly’s D. You think if Woodson tells the team, that everyone is getting an equal amount of plays, Melo is going to respond with, “No, give me more shots, so I can get my 30?” During the losing the streak the shot distributions were making people unhappy, now throughout the winning streak, it’s much more deliberate. You know who’s going to get what shots, and how many.

    51. New Guy

      ruruland:
      When Melo gets right on offense it will be every bit the spark Amar’e’s been since he rediscovered his game.

      And Melo won’t need 25 shots for his team to win most nights….He’s always welcomed that.

      But Melo does need a lot of shots to “get right” on offense. Historically, it’s been about 20 shots a game. We’re doing well with him at the 15 shot limit. And given what he’s doing with those 15 shots, no one (including his coach and his teammates) is clamoring for him to get 5 more shots a game!

    52. Frank

      Re: the Owen/Ruru ongoing feud – what I will say about this is that THCJ, and to a much lesser extent Owen, do sometimes love to be the contrarian and the buzzkill, and sometimes that love feels a little like they are having some schadenfreude when the Knicks stink. I do think Owen at least is truly a Knicks fan – not sure about THCJ. Regardless, I think both bring a lot to the board.

      Re: Melo – he needs to get a PR guy to sit down and tell him what to say and what not to say. Everyone in the world knows he was the main reason D’Antoni was fired, either because he pushed him out, or didn’t get in the way when someone else wanted to push him out. The best thing to do in that situation is to either say nothing or to go Derek Jeter and say the most boring thing possible. Since the NYC press was already poisoned against him even before he got here, his best strategy should be to be boring. Just say the right thing all the time. The best thing his handlers could do with him (if they havent already) is arrange a meeting with Jeter and have Jeter just give him his playbook for dealing with the press.

      jon abbey: well, watch out Dwayne Wade then, since he’s 2 1/2 years older than Melo. :)

      I guess you were joking but I would have serious concerns about Wade going forward – he’s one guy that really relies on his ridiculous athleticism to succeed, and he gets hurt all the time.

    53. Juany8

      Am I and Ruruland the only ones that notice that even though Melo can’t shoot, he still draws more defensive attention than anyone else on the floor? Owen is right, simply putting up points is overrated, guys like Ben Gordon and Jamal Crawford are worth mid level contracts at best. Carmelo’s main skill isn’t actually being able to put up a lot of points, it’s being able to score against any kind of defense or defender at a reasonable efficiency, which means he cannot be simply left alone, no matter who in the league is guarding him. Only Dirk, Kobe, and Pierce have anywhere near the offensive versatility of Carmelo, and all of them are much older. All of those players have defenses always tilted towards them, regardless of what they’re shooting, because it is almost impossible for one guy to guard them properly, and that makes it a lot easier for everyone else on the team to operate. It’s bad that he’s shooting this terribly, but it’s not like he doesn’t have a positive impact on the offense regardless.

      Speaking of Monta Ellis, he isn’t quite there because of his size, he’s a point guard who tries to play like Dwyane Wade, and it makes it hard to fit him on a team. He’d be the ideal 6th man in a Jason Terry style role in my opinion, but he’s too flawed to be the main scoring option.

    54. ruruland

      cgreene: I’d say when/if he DOES get his stroke then lookout bc this team is going to be scary.Are you hoping he doesn’t get it?Let’s see what happens when he starts going 8-16 or so from the field and it’s all working.Who woudn’t want to see that?Weird comment.

      Exactly…. it WILL be scary, exactly what some percentage of Knicks fans envisioned at some point.

      His passing hasn’t changed much since his Denver days. He’s got better inside finishers now, he’s getting about as much defensive attention as ever despite his horrible offense.

      There have been a couple of times where teams have let him go to work with one guy, but for the most part you still see the defense tilt hard when he has the ball, zoning up an extra man to his side, committing to him on the pick and roll giving Lin penetration opportunities, not helping off him on penetration and traps, which opens up driving lanes for Fields when the ball reverses out of a trapped pick and roll.

      Those are all the little ways Melo positively impacts the offense despite his absolutely atrocious scoring attempts. That 4-7 point positive offensive point differential per game in his career is not just attributable to his .540-.565 TS% on high usage, but by the fear he strikes in defenses that creates easy scoring opportunities for his teammates.

    55. ruruland

      art vandelay: If Melo´s fitness is the primary cause for his shooting and offensive struggles, then how can his overall excellent play during first 10 or so games of the season prior to the wrist and other assorted injuries be explained? Wouldn´t we expect him to be more out of shape at the start of the season and after a long lockout than now?

      Who knows. He was off his feet a few weeks there…..and outside of games he hasn’t had much time to get his endurance back due to non-practice days. he wasn’t getting his endurance back in games with MDA for a variety of reasons.

      It’s psychological to me, and it’s not a first. He’s needs to bust his nut at some point and he will (insert joke about me and Melo).. That will get him going again.

    56. Frank O.

      ruruland:

      Let me ask you this: was it only Melo who wasn’t putting in the effort with MDA players are putting in now, or was Melo the only one willing to admit it?

      If Melo was the only player not playing with the same effort level, then how can we avoid not giving him ALL the credit for the turnaround?

      If Melo was merely the only one willing to admit he wasn’t playing as hard. and many others weren’t, does that say something about the collective motives of the team, or is it much more complex than that?

      I think if one of your most important players is kind of tanking, it can take a team down. And if he admits it, it means probably everyone knew he was tanking it.
      It is not a logical leap to say he deserves credit for the turnaround, just like people don’t get credit for not committing a crime.
      That his effort is there, tho, certainly helps others because he’s no longer as big a drag.
      But his play speaks for itself. He’s putting together one of his worst shooting seasons he’s ever had.
      What he is doing, tho, are little things. He’s playing the board, he’s passing and he’s defending. A good player knows to do what he can when he can’t do well what he’s best at.
      You are a self-declared Melo partisan. I’m cool with that.
      I like what Melo is doing now.
      But some things are clear:
      He is a max player who tanked the season until D’Antoni was let go.
      His offense before and since is no where near his career levels.
      His fitness is not where it needs to be.
      His defensive effort has greatly improved since the coaching change.
      Three of those four points reflect poorly on him, and the fourth underscores the first point.
      One good thing, sports is all about new beginnings. Let’s hope this is a trend that continues and that Melo’s behavior through the first 40 or so games was anomalous. I know you believe it is. I hope you are right.

    57. New Guy

      cgreene: I’d say when/if he DOES get his stroke then lookout bc this team is going to be scary.Are you hoping he doesn’t get it?Let’s see what happens when he starts going 8-16 or so from the field and it’s all working.Who woudn’t want to see that?Weird comment.

      Not a weird comment. It’s a zero-sum game. What will be affected when his shot attempts goes from 15 to 25? You think Amar’e is still going to be the force he was last night with Melo taking 10 extra shots?

    58. New Guy

      GoKnicksGo:
      You think if Woodson tells the team, that everyone is getting an equal amount of plays, Melo is going to respond with, “No, give me more shots, so I can get my 30?”

      No, I expect him to have his cronies leek false stories to the press and get his coach fired. Duh!

    59. ruruland

      Juany8:
      Am I and Ruruland the only ones that notice that even though Melo can’t shoot, he still draws more defensive attention than anyone else on the floor? Owen is right, simply putting up points is overrated, guys like Ben Gordon and Jamal Crawford are worth mid level contracts at best. Carmelo’s main skill isn’t actually being able to put up a lot of points, it’s being able to score against any kind of defense or defender at a reasonable efficiency, which means he cannot be simply left alone, no matter who in the league is guarding him. Only Dirk, Kobe, and Pierce have anywhere near the offensive versatility of Carmelo, and all of them are much older. All of those players have defenses always tilted towards them, regardless of what they’re shooting, because it is almost impossible for one guy to guard them properly, and that makes it a lot easier for everyone else on the team to operate. It’s bad that he’s shooting this terribly, but it’s not like he doesn’t have a positive impact on the offense regardless.

      Great minds………

      Versatility is the key. In some ways Melo is like a receiver who can take the top off a defense, or a running back who demands 9 defenders in the box. That’s what great low/mid-post/wing “iso” guys do for you.

      It’s about how you can move the defense around when you’re on the floor. Durant helps extend the defense with his ability to shoot over the top of it from anywhere on the floor, but he doesn’t isolate, pick and roll or post-up nearly as well (historically)…. That kind of game is less conducive to creating spacing opportunities because it’s catch and shoot.

      Durant’s career offensive +/- profile is less impressive than Melo’s despite the more efficient scoring, for just that reason.

    60. Juany8

      To be a little fair to Melo, he was asked to totally change his game to be a point-forward at the beginning of the season and he made a legitimate effort to go along with it and started passing more than ever in his career. All of the sudden the team gets a point guard, and instead of letting Melo go back to his old scoring role or letting him mix in some time at point forward, D’Antoni decides that what Anthony does is bad for his offense and tries to turn him into a Shawn Marion type player on offense, mostly slashing and spotting up. Melo should have definitely handled it better, but it had to be insulting to be demoted in favor of a system that mostly involved letting Lin do whatever he felt like (or Nash before him).

      Woodson isn’t running the offense around any one player, but he is running specific plays to get each player good looks. Melo’s gotten some post up actions, Amar’e has been allowed to drive and shoot on people with legitimate spacing options, Lin is still running the pick and roll to his heart’s content, and even JR is getting to jack up awesome/terrifying jumpers. Also let’s not forget that Amar’e was either dogging it, out of shape, or injured earlier in this season as well. One of our max players is starting to play like he’s capable of, let’s be optimistic about the other doing the same, he is at least making all the right decisions on the court right now.

    61. Juany8

      ruruland: Great minds………

      Versatility is the key. In some ways Melo is like a receiver who can take the top off a defense, or a running back who demands 9 defenders in the box. That’s what great low/mid-post/wing “iso” guys do for you.

      It’s about how you can move the defense around when you’re on the floor. Durant helps extend the defense with his ability to shoot over the top of it from anywhere on the floor, but he doesn’t isolate, pick and roll or post-up nearly as well (historically)…. That kind of game is less conducive to creating spacing opportunities because it’s catch and shoot.

      Durant’s career offensive +/- profile is less impressive than Melo’s despite the more efficient scoring, for just that reason.

      In Durant’s defense he’s young and already starting to develop some Dirk-like mid-range moves, which could make him unstoppable. Also, he’s a much bigger spacing threat for his shot in a Ray Allen kind of way, in that you’re terrified of leaving him open for a shot, whereas with Melo you’re scared he’ll make his own space no matter what you do.

    62. ruruland

      Frank O.: I think if one of your most important players is kind of tanking, it can take a team down. And if he admits it, it means probably everyone knew he was tanking it.
      It is not a logical leap to say he deserves credit for the turnaround, just like people don’t get credit for not committing a crime.
      That his effort is there, tho, certainly helps others because he’s no longer as big a drag.
      But his play speaks for itself. He’s putting together one of his worst shooting seasons he’s ever had.
      What he is doing, tho, are little things. He’s playing the board, he’s passing and he’s defending. A good player knows to do what he can when he can’t do well what he’s best at.
      You are a self-declared Melo partisan. I’m cool with that.
      I like what Melo is doing now.
      But some things are clear:
      He is a max player who tanked the season until D’Antoni was let go.
      His offense before and since is no where near his career levels.
      His fitness is not where it needs to be.
      His defensive effort has greatly improved since the coaching change.
      Three of those four points reflect poorly on him, and the fourth underscores the first point.
      One good thing, sports is all about new beginnings. Let’s hope this is a trend that continues and that Melo’s behavior through the first 40 or so games was anomalous. I know you believe it is. I hope you are right.

      Was Melo tanking before the injury? Was he tanking when he first came back? Was he really tanking during the losing streak? Or, has he just taken his defensive intensity and energy to a new level? Why does it have to be: great effort or tanking, there’s an in-between there, and it would be foolish to not attribute some of that to the frustration and an inability to fit in with his coach, and losing. Some of it to a coaching style that vibes and resonates much better with Melo’s personality.

      You didn’t answer…

    63. ruruland

      Juany8:
      To be a little fair to Melo, he was asked to totally change his game to be a point-forward at the beginning of the season and he made a legitimate effort to go along with it and started passing more than ever in his career. All of the sudden the team gets a point guard, and instead of letting Melo go back to his old scoring role or letting him mix in some time at point forward, D’Antoni decides that what Anthony does is bad for his offense and tries to turn him into a Shawn Marion type player on offense, mostly slashing and spotting up. Melo should have definitely handled it better, but it had to be insulting to be demoted in favor of a system that mostly involved letting Lin do whatever he felt like (or Nash before him).

      Woodson isn’t running the offense around any one player, but he is running specific plays to get each player good looks. Melo’s gotten some post up actions, Amar’e has been allowed to drive and shoot on people with legitimate spacing options, Lin is still running the pick and roll to his heart’s content, and even JR is getting to jack up awesome/terrifying jumpers. Also let’s not forget that Amar’e was either dogging it, out of shape, or injured earlier in this season as well. One of our max players is starting to play like he’s capable of, let’s be optimistic about the other doing the same, he is at least making all the right decisions on the court right now.

      Melo was made to a feel an integral part of the team again with , not just an undesirable accessory. Given what was being said about Melo through the press, that he would destroy Linsanity, did anyone else get the impression that MDA was trying to protect Melo or pour gasoline on the fire by going out of his way to praise and defend Lin, and taking subtle jabs at Melo?

      If you choose the latter, do you feel like that would provide a clue as to their non-press…

    64. Owen

      “In fairness, what you’re really saying is you hope it doesn’t end well and you hope Melo continues to play as poorly as he has offensively, because being “right” is most important to you.”

      Ruruland – Are you actually a Knicks fan? Because I don’t remember seeing you post here before the Melo trade. You really seem like a Melo fan and that’s about it.

      Look, I wish Carmelo were off this team. I make no bones about it. If that’s me not supporting the team, whatever.

      My loyalty isn’t to the players on the court or god knows to the guys in the executive suite. My loyalty is to a process, to a way of thinking about basketball, that could eventually result in a championship team playing at Madison Square Garden.

      Your loyalty really seems to mostly be to Carmelo getting his touches.

      I can tell you, no team with Carmelo Anthony on a max contract will ever contend for an NBA title. It’s as simple as that.

      Sure, it will take another three years to bear that fact out. Just like it took two years to show Eddy Curry wasn’t actually a starting caliber NBA center. Or that Stephon Marbury wasn’t much more than an average NBA point on a max contract. Or that Jamal Crawford wasn’t much more than Jason Terry lite. But it’s going to happen.

      After a lifetime of being a Knicks fan, with all that entails, I would much rather be right than blindly optimistic. There is at least championship upside in being right over the long haul. While with Melo, our upside is 50 wins and a second round exit. That’s just not success to me.

      Melo is a dead end. And the truth is the absolute best thing for this franchise, and for our hopes of building a real championship team, would have been him being moved at the deadline.

      I wonder, if that had happened, would you still be on here posting? Or would you have moved over to the most sabermetrically inclined message board of his new team to defend him from critics just like me?

    65. ruruland

      relationship?

      And if the nature of their relationship could be defined in that way, do you honestly believe that other players in Melo’s position wouldn’t get frustrated and lose some of that spark?

      How would Kobe Bryant handle it? You do recall he quit on his team in the playoffs when he was called a ballhog by the media and his coach, all just to prove his teammates couldn’t get the job done.

      You do understand one of the fiercest competitors the game ever saw, Scottie Pippen, refused to come into a game 7 when his number wasn’t called for a final play…..

      Moreover, Melo was not the first star player to “sabotage” his coach when the situation wasn’t working, only for that situation to significantly improve in the new situation created by the star player.

    66. Frank O.

      art vandelay: If Melo´s fitness is the primary cause for his shooting and offensive struggles, then how can his overall excellent play during first 10 or so games of the season prior to the wrist and other assorted injuries be explained? Wouldn´t we expect him to be more out of shape at the start of the season and after a long lockout than now?

      “His overall excellent play” is a bit of an overstatement.
      The Knicks went 6-4 during that stretch.
      Melo’s TS% was .548, slightly better than his career .543.
      His eFG% was .467, below his career .476.
      His shooting percentage was .425, off his career of 45%.
      His usage was well over his career at 34.6.
      He had a couple games where he got to the line a ton, which helped boost his numbers a bit, but his foul shots spiked in only 3 of the 10 games.

      My point is, his play was still not up to his career standards and his usage showed he was dominating the ball. When your best scorer is taking 20 shots a game on average during that stretch and he’s hitting only 8.5 of them, you’re not going to be very good in the long run.
      And during that stretch, the Knicks played three quality teams, Boston, the Lakers and Philly. The rest were average to poor teams, including the Bobcats twice, and they split.
      His play takes a pretty big nose dive after the 10th game, btw.

    67. ruruland

      “I can tell you, no team with Carmelo Anthony on a max contract will ever contend for an NBA title. It’s as simple as that. ”

      That’s to deny reality. Melo’s team (with Melo on a max deal) has already contended for an NBA title…

      Now that I know were you stand, maybe we should avoid convos for awhile, what do you say?

    68. Brian Cronin

      I don’t think that’s a fair criticism, Owen. I don’t see the problem with anyone coming here for pretty much any reason they like (well, unless their reason is to consistently complain about how Walt Frazier is ruining the Knicks via the broadcast booth). If you’re here for a certain player, fine by me. If you’re here just for the team (like me), also fine by me. It’s all good.

      Of course, I also think it is fair for you to not want Melo on the team. It doesn’t make you any less of a Knick fan. We’ve all seen plenty of Knicks we would prefer not to be Knicks over the years.

    69. Frank O.

      New Guy: No, I expect him to have his cronies leek false stories to the press and get his coach fired.Duh!

      Personally, I like my leeks sauteed in a little butter and just a touch of heavy cream. A little salt. Delicious. Spread over a steak or some chicken, even better. Lol

    70. Brian Cronin

      And yeah, a team with Rashard Lewis on a MAX contract had a real shot at winning an NBA title, so I don’t think you can ever rule out any team based on a single player being a MAX guy. It all depends on the guys around said player.

    71. marxster

      Not sure who to root for tonight, Bucks or Celtics? For some reason the Bucks scare me more than the Celtics.

    72. Frank O.

      Ruru: If Melo was merely the only one willing to admit he wasn’t playing as hard. and many others weren’t, does that say something about the collective motives of the team, or is it much more complex than that?

      Hard to know what others were doing. Amare clearly was recovering from his back and came back 15 lbs heavier, muscle, but heavier.
      We also had piss poor point play from piss poor players.
      But I can’t say anything about anyone else’s motives. I can say something about Melo’s motives.

    73. Brian Cronin

      Not sure who to root for tonight, Bucks or Celtics? For some reason the Bucks scare me more than the Celtics.

      Yeah, I’m rooting for the Celtics.

      Well….I guess I should say I’m rooting more against the Bucks than I am against the Celtics. That’s more accurate.

    74. villainx

      Not to say anything too bad about anyone, but some basketball fans just can’t get beyond the salary of certain players. I know players want more money, but those are management decisions.

    75. ruruland

      Frank O.:
      Ruru: If Melo was merely the only one willing to admit he wasn’t playing as hard. and many others weren’t, does that say something about the collective motives of the team, or is it much more complex than that?

      Hard to know what others were doing. Amare clearly was recovering from his back and came back 15 lbs heavier, muscle, but heavier.
      We also had piss poor point play from piss poor players.
      But I can’t say anything about anyone else’s motives. I can say something about Melo’s motives.

      How was it hard to know what others were doing? Do you only base your judgements on how hard players play by what they say?

    76. Brian Cronin

      Not to say anything too bad about anyone, but some basketball fans just can’t get beyond the salary of certain players. I know players want more money, but those are management decisions.

      But salaries of players are very important when you’re working with a salary cap system. Heck, we just saw the importance of it when Amar’e and Melo’s desires to make the most money they could possibly make resulted in the Knicks not having enough room to have Chris Paul be willing to wait for the Knicks.

    77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Juany8:
      Am I and Ruruland the only ones that notice that even though Melo can’t shoot, he still draws more defensive attention than anyone else on the floor?

      The same faculty that leads you to this conclusion is the same faculty that led jon abbey to think that the Knicks ran a slow-paced offense. (It’s second-fastest in the league.)

      You might be right, but it’s still conjecture.

    78. Brian Cronin

      Simmons was tweeting that Del Negro might get fired soon. Is that true? When is the last time a playoff team fired their coach this late in the season?

    79. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey: 2-8 when he misses the game or plays under 19 minutes, 21-16 when he gets at least 19 minutes.

      Why pick 19 minutes as the over/under? It’s arbitrary.

    80. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: The same faculty that leads you to this conclusion is the same faculty that led jon abbey to think that the Knicks ran a slow-paced offense. (It’s second-fastest in the league.

      since you bring this up again, what I was actually questioning was whether we were running SSOL, and there is no way in hell we were shooting the ball within 7 seconds, as we almost never get the ball over half court in less than 5 or 6 seconds.

    81. Brian Cronin

      The same faculty that leads you to this conclusion is the same faculty that led jon abbey to think that the Knicks ran a slow-paced offense. (It’s second-fastest in the league.)

      You might be right, but it’s still conjecture.

      We have the games to go by, so we can see if he gets more defensive attention, right? So there’s enough information available that it wouldn’t be conjecture, no?

    82. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Why pick 19 minutes as the over/under? It’s arbitrary.

      why not? why is 20 or 25 any less arbitrary? I did pick that number to best emphasize my point, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.

    83. Frank O.

      Brian Cronin: Yeah, I’m rooting for the Celtics.

      Well….I guess I should say I’m rooting more against the Bucks than I am against the Celtics. That’s more accurate.

      Celtics seem not to have it

    84. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Brian Cronin:
      Simmons was tweeting that Del Negro might get fired soon. Is that true? When is the last time a playoff team fired their coach this late in the season?

      D’antoni.

      ruruland: the Nuggets won 61% of their games with him in the lineup (compared to 50% with him out of it)

      This is a meaningless statistic. If Andrew Bynum was Dwight Howard’s backup, and Howard went down with an injury, The difference between their team’s win percentage would be minimal. Does that mean that Howard is a bad player? Of course not.

      It is because they had Melo at a near-max salary that they did not have another high-priced, hopefully efficient SF to play when he sat. If anything, that statistic shows the Nuggets’ depth at SF was not very good.

    85. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      jon abbey: why not? why is 20 or 25 any less arbitrary? I did pick that number to best emphasize my point, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.

      lol u serious

    86. jon abbey

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:

      You might be right, but it’s still conjecture.

      do you really not realize how stupid a sentence this is on a sports discussion board?

      and just so you know, the numbers that you like to cite aren’t science, my man. even the building block numbers for “advanced stats” (ha!) like rebounds and assists and blocks and steals and turnovers aren’t carved in stone, they’re often mistakenly assigned to the wrong person or not credited at all.

    87. Frank O.

      ruruland: How was it hard to know what others were doing? Do you only base your judgements on how hard players play by what they say?

      No. But when they do say, I take them at their word.

    88. BigBlueAL

      Brian Cronin:
      Simmons was tweeting that Del Negro might get fired soon. Is that true? When is the last time a playoff team fired their coach this late in the season?

      The 1996 Knicks lol

      59 games into an 82 game season is pretty damn late into the season no??

    89. johnlocke

      +1

      Frank O.: I think if one of your most important players is kind of tanking, it can take a team down. And if he admits it, it means probably everyone knew he was tanking it.
      It is not a logical leap to say he deserves credit for the turnaround, just like people don’t get credit for not committing a crime.
      That his effort is there, tho, certainly helps others because he’s no longer as big a drag.
      But his play speaks for itself. He’s putting together one of his worst shooting seasons he’s ever had.
      What he is doing, tho, are little things. He’s playing the board, he’s passing and he’s defending. A good player knows to do what he can when he can’t do well what he’s best at.
      You are a self-declared Melo partisan. I’m cool with that.
      I like what Melo is doing now.
      But some things are clear:
      He is a max player who tanked the season until D’Antoni was let go.
      His offense before and since is no where near his career levels.
      His fitness is not where it needs to be.
      His defensive effort has greatly improved since the coaching change.
      Three of those four points reflect poorly on him, and the fourth underscores the first point.
      One good thing, sports is all about new beginnings. Let’s hope this is a trend that continues and that Melo’s behavior through the first 40 or so games was anomalous. I know you believe it is. I hope you are right.

    90. Count de Pennies

      Owen: I can tell you, no team with Carmelo Anthony on a max contract will ever contend for an NBA title. It’s as simple as that.

      You might as well just take that thought to its logical extension and say that no team with James Dolan as its owner will ever contend for an NBA title.

      As Max so brilliantly pointed out in his article of a few days back, history teaches us that Dolan’s business model (such as it is) largely consists of giving max deals to flashy Sportscenter staples, most of whom are detested by the advanced stats guys.

      And, yes, you can number me among the many who contend that the Knicks will never sniff an O’Brien Trophy on Dolan’s watch. Masochist that I am, I shall persevere nonetheless, hoping against hope that I am somehow mistaken in my beliefs.

    91. villainx

      Brian Cronin: But salaries of players are very important when you’re working with a salary cap system.

      But those are again management decisions, so instead of viewing it as Melo’s fault, it’s whoever the owner/FO person giving out bad contracts as the reason for not winning.

      Besides, if not the max, how much less should Melo be getting, it would still be pretty close.

      Not saying it’s not unfair to criticize Melo, or to criticize the contract, but sometimes the criticism is blurred by the contract.

    92. art vandelay

      Frank O.: “His overall excellent play” is a bit of an overstatement.The Knicks went 6-4 during that stretch.Melo’s TS% was .548, slightly better than his career .543.His eFG% was .467, below his career .476.His shooting percentage was .425, off his career of 45%.His usage was well over his career at 34.6.He had a couple games where he got to the line a ton, which helped boost his numbers a bit, but his foul shots spiked in only 3 of the 10 games.My point is, his play was still not up to his career standards and his usage showed he was dominating the ball. When your best scorer is taking 20 shots a game on average during that stretch and he’s hitting only 8.5 of them, you’re not going to be very good in the long run.And during that stretch, the Knicks played three quality teams, Boston, the Lakers and Philly. The rest were average to poor teams, including the Bobcats twice, and they split.His play takes a pretty big nose dive after the 10th game, btw.

      Well, I guess “excellent” for Melo this season is a relative term for sure….my point basically was that he was A LOT better then than he has been since THIS season, and he should be in better shape now than he was at that point during the season…that was basically all I was trying to convey.

    93. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Brian Cronin: We have the games to go by, so we can see if he gets more defensive attention, right? So there’s enough information available that it wouldn’t be conjecture, no?

      But how do we quantify the defensive pressure alleviated by his presence?

      Not a single person on this board could tell the difference between a team with an eFG% of .50 and one with .45, yet the difference between those teams (all else being equal) in the NBA would be a top-playoff seed and a lottery team. We can watch the games, but the availability heuristic fucks up any chance we have of making an accurate judgment.

    94. Frank

      @84 – Totally right – I love Owen but making categorical statements like that is just dumb.

      This is what I don’t like about statements like that, and in general, statements of “this team will never win a championship”:

      1) what does “contention” mean? If you lose in a 6 or 7 game series to the #1 seed, were you close? Or do you have to make the NBA finals?

      2) only 1 team out of probably 8 serious “contenders” wins the championship every year. If you don’t win a championship does that mean the season was a failure and you never had a chance? See- being endlessly pessimistic has a hidden benefits for those that want to be “right” — the odds are endlessly in your favor. Even really good teams don’t win championships sometimes. Even great teams sometimes don’t win championships. The Knicks from the 90s were a really really good team, but even they only made it to the NBA finals twice. It’s like calling yourself smart for saying lottery tickets are a bad investment, just on a less extreme scale.

      3) More specifically to this team- do you think the pre-Melo Knicks had a chance at a roster better than this one? If we did not make that trade – this is what our salary situation would have been assuming we re-signed the RFAs:
      Amare – 21.7M
      TD -3 M
      Gallo – prob 10M
      WChandler – 8M
      Fields QO

      So roughly 43-44M in commitments, $59M cap, so not enough to give a max to CP3/DH12 (who wouldn’t have been available this summer anyway) without further gutting the team in S&T, with huge holes at C and PG.

      I know Owen and THCJ don’t like Carmelo, and he’s not my favorite either – but you know what? This team is deep, talented, and can play any style you want. I actually think we have a real chance against Chicago or Miami (CHI more so than MIA), and I think we can hold our own against any team in the West. I’ll probably be wrong just based on the math of winning a title, but that’s ok with me as long as the team keeps playing hard.

    95. Ben R

      A team can compete with Melo or Amare as max players but only if there are one or two other players on the team that are clearly better. Right now even during this win streak Melo and Amare are not the most important Knicks on the floor. I would argue that both Lin and Chandler are more essential to the Knicks success than Melo and Amare.

      Amare has been doing really well on offense and better on defense so, for the first time all year, he is a net positive but I still question how much better he is than a solid 2-way PF would be. If Amare keeps up his stellar play then he is not hurting us on the court and since we’d be capped out anyway he’s not really hurting us with his contract.

      As for Melo I will say that over this win streak he has been a net positive as well. He is working hard, playing within the system and defering to his teammates, for the most part, when they have better shots. I will say that I have still seen multiple times when Lin drives to the basket or waves off Melo to pass to Amare, when Melo has looked annoyed. But as long as we keep winning and Melo is under the microscope he is under now, especially with him struggling with his shot, he will keep playing along. My worry is what happens when lose a couple in a row. As long as this isn’t “Melo’s team” then we are one slump away from losing him like D’Antoni did after Linsanity.

      In Denver there was no question even during the Iverson years, or his early years who was the “man” in Denver. In NY it’s not so clear, with Amare doing well (and coming here first) and Lin one good full season away from being a bigger star than Melo ever was, Melo is in real danger of not being the “man”. Melo is not going to like living in others’ shadows for very long unless we are winning and winning easily.

    96. Brian Cronin

      Here’s my problem with your Shumpert point, Jon.

      There are only four games where Shumpert played less than 19 minutes. The Knicks went 1-3 in those four games. Does that really tell you anything? The sample size is awfully small.

    97. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: D’antoni.

      This is a meaningless statistic. If Andrew Bynum was Dwight Howard’s backup, and Howard went down with an injury, The difference between their team’s win percentage would be minimal. Does that mean that Howard is a bad player? Of course not.

      It is because they had Melo at a near-max salary that they did not have another high-priced, hopefully efficient SF to play when he sat. If anything, that statistic shows the Nuggets’ depth at SF was not very good.

      Wuh. Melo’s backups at SF were often more efficient shooters than Melo in Denver. When you make things up, it’s hard to buy your shtick.

      Moreover, often, two of Denver’s most efficient offensive players — JR Smith and Chris Andersen, played the majority of their minutes with Melo on the bench, while Melo was left to play with the likes of less efficient offensive guys like Anthony Carter and Marcus Camby.

      The measure of a player’s impact is driven by how much their back-up is paid?

    98. Frank O.

      Count de Pennies: You might as well just take that thought to its logical extension and say that no team with James Dolan as its owner will ever contend for an NBA title.

      This sentiment haunts me.
      Haunts is too strong for sports, but you get what I mean. lol

    99. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I want them to play the style where they win basketball games. Unfortunately, Dave Berri’s predictions seem to be right, regardless of whether his math is all fucked up.

    100. Brian Cronin

      But those are again management decisions, so instead of viewing it as Melo’s fault, it’s whoever the owner/FO person giving out bad contracts as the reason for not winning.

      Oh yeah, totally. I don’t blame Melo for his contract or for the way he “forced” the Knicks to overspend to acquire him. It is all on Dolan.

    101. Brian Cronin

      More specifically to this team- do you think the pre-Melo Knicks had a chance at a roster better than this one? If we did not make that trade – this is what our salary situation would have been assuming we re-signed the RFAs:

      They would have been able to sign Tyson Chandler before re-signing their own free agents (and that’s not even getting into the whole “would they have been able to acquire either D-Will or Paul if they had not made the trade” issue).

    102. ruruland

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: But how do we quantify the defensive pressure alleviated by his presence?

      Not a single person on this board could tell the difference between a team with an eFG% of .50 and one with .45, yet the difference between those teams (all else being equal) in the NBA would be a top-playoff seed and a lottery team. We can watch the games, but the availability heuristic fucks up any chance we have of making an accurate judgment.

      “Not a single person on this board could tell the difference between a team with an eFG% of .50 and one with .45″

      Bullshit.

    103. jon abbey

      Ben R:
      A team can compete with Melo or Amare as max players but only if there are one or two other players on the team that are clearly better. Right now even during this win streak Melo and Amare are not the most important Knicks on the floor. I would argue that both Lin and Chandler are more essential to the Knicks success than Melo and Amare.

      and this is why the position that THCJ and Owen have been taking for a year-plus is wrong: in less than a season, we were able to surround those two with a ton of talent, to the point where we’re probably one of the five deepest teams in the league and Doug Collins is talking about how he is sure Miami and Chicago don’t want to see NY in the first round (before last night’s game).

    104. jon abbey

      Brian Cronin:
      Here’s my problem with your Shumpert point, Jon.

      There are only four games where Shumpert played less than 19 minutes. The Knicks went 1-3 in those four games. Does that really tell you anything? The sample size is awfully small.

      right, plus 1-5 in the games he didn’t play at all, so 2-8 total.

      what it tells you is they have a hard time winning games without him, we all remember the Deron Williams game he missed.

    105. Frank O.

      art vandelay: Well, I guess “excellent” for Melo this season is a relative term for sure….my point basically was that he was A LOT better then than he has been since THIS season, and he should be in better shape now than he was at that point during the season…that was basically all I was trying to convey.

      Actually, on this point ruru and I agree:
      he got hurt and wasn’t playing much for a week or so.
      If you show up not being in tip top shape, and you are playing a truncated season with few practices, you are forced to get in game shape in games. If you’re not playing games, you’re getting in worse shape.
      And when you come back, playing game after game, with no practice to help you gradually build, and little rest between, you’re more likely to break down than build up.
      So, I’m not sure this is going to get better for him. He took a pounding last night from Iggy. He dished out a pounding, too. If he can keep from getting hurt, he could play back into shape.
      It is my hope that is what he is doing.
      But right now, on the back end of a back to back, his explosiveness was not there. He was gritty, but he wasn’t explosive.
      I love that he is finding a way to contribute, tho. I hope he keeps that up. He’s learning how to be a veteran player.

    106. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      I want them to play the style where they win basketball games. Unfortunately, Dave Berri’s predictions seem to be right, regardless of whether his math is all fucked up.

      That’s exactly what I mean when I say that people make predictions that mathematically have a higher chance of being right than wrong, then call themselves smart when they occur.

      Current odds on winning the title per bankroll sports (I don’t bet on sports, I just googled championship odds):

      Miami Heat 1.35 to 1
      Oklahoma City Thunder 4.50 to 1
      Chicago Bulls 5 to 1
      Los Angeles Lakers 14 to 1
      Los Angeles Clippers 16 to 1
      Dallas Mavericks 18 to 1
      San Antonio Spurs 18 to 1
      New York Knicks 25 to 1

      Even the elite teams in the league aren’t even money to win the title. You could say “no team with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade have any chance of winning a title” and have a better chance of being right than wrong. And you would’ve already been right once before (last year).

    107. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      ruruland:
      Moreover, often, two of Denver’s most efficient offensive players — JR Smith and Chris Andersen, played the majority of their minutes with Melo on the bench, while Melo was left to play with the likes of less efficient offensive guys like Anthony Carter and Marcus Camby.

      http://www.82games.com/0910/09DEN5.HTM#5man

      No?

    108. Ben R

      jon abbey: and this is why the position that THCJ and Owen have been taking for a year-plus is wrong: in less than a season, we were able to surround those two with a ton of talent, to the point where we’re probably one of the five deepest teams in the league and Doug Collins is talking about how he is sure Miami and Chicago don’t want to see NY in the first round (before last night’s game).

      They’re wrong because their statements are too strong not because the logic behind them are flawed. Signing either Melo or Amare to max contracts is a mistake but the difference is like many mistakes they can be overcome with luck and smart decisions down the road. If you signed Jerome James and Mardy Collins to max contracts and then drafted LeBron James and Dwight Howard you would have a pretty great team but doesn’t mean that signing Jerome James and Mardy Collins to max contracts wasn’t a mistake.

    109. Brian Cronin

      Not a single person on this board could tell the difference between a team with an eFG% of .50 and one with .45, yet the difference between those teams (all else being equal) in the NBA would be a top-playoff seed and a lottery team. We can watch the games, but the availability heuristic fucks up any chance we have of making an accurate judgment.

      You and I have debated this specific point before, and I continue to dispute the idea that you can’t tell the difference between a .50 team and a .45 team. The difference is too significant to not notice. Only one NBA team is sub .45 this season, for instance.

      The importance of stats comes from the degree between teams. If I watch enough Rockets game, I will be able to tell that Kevin Martin makes a good percentage of his shots. I just need the stats to tell me exactly how good he is at shooting, compared to other players.

    110. jon abbey

      Frank: That’s exactly what I mean when I say that people make predictions that mathematically have a higher chance of being rightthan wrong, then call themselves smart when they occur.

      Current odds on winning the title per bankroll sports (I don’t bet on sports, I just googled championship odds):

      Miami Heat 1.35 to 1
      Oklahoma City Thunder 4.50 to 1
      Chicago Bulls 5 to 1
      Los Angeles Lakers 14 to 1
      Los Angeles Clippers 16 to 1
      Dallas Mavericks 18 to 1
      San Antonio Spurs 18 to 1
      New York Knicks 25 to 1

      Even the elite teams in the league aren’t even money to win the title. You could say “no team with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade have any chance of winning a title” and have a better chance of being right than wrong. And you would’ve already been right once before (last year).

      THANK YOU, so nice to read some common sense sometimes. if THCJ was a Heat “fan”, he probably would have trolled that board after the Finals last year. :)

    111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank: That’s exactly what I mean when I say that people make predictions that mathematically have a higher chance of being rightthan wrong, then call themselves smart when they occur.

      Current odds on winning the title per bankroll sports (I don’t bet on sports, I just googled championship odds):

      Miami Heat 1.35 to 1
      Oklahoma City Thunder 4.50 to 1
      Chicago Bulls 5 to 1
      Los Angeles Lakers 14 to 1
      Los Angeles Clippers 16 to 1
      Dallas Mavericks 18 to 1
      San Antonio Spurs 18 to 1
      New York Knicks 25 to 1

      Even the elite teams in the league aren’t even money to win the title. You could say “no team with Lebron James and Dwyane Wade have any chance of winning a title” and have a better chance of being right than wrong. And you would’ve already been right once before (last year).

      But the Knicks aren’t even contenders and they have TWO max players and another player making $15M. They’re what, eighth in the East?

      It’s not about saying, “Hey, I bet the Knicks won’t win a title this year.” It’s that people were calling them a powerhouse and a lock to win the Atlantic, a lock for the third seed in the East, and they’ve sucked. Like, really badly. If Lin hadn’t had his miraculous gift of playing time, this team would probably be much worse than it is now.

      I’m not dumb, Frank. I know that the Knicks, even if they were the league’s best team on paper, would not have a probably chance at the title. But they’ve been really fucking bad, and when you have no picks nor cap flexibility, that’s a real problem.

    112. jon abbey

      Ben R: They’re wrong because their statements are too strong not because the logic behind them are flawed. Signing either Melo or Amare to max contracts is a mistake but the difference is like many mistakes they can be overcome with luck and smart decisions down the road. If you signed Jerome James and Mardy Collins to max contracts and then drafted LeBron James and Dwight Howard you would have a pretty great team but doesn’t mean that signing Jerome James and Mardy Collins to max contracts wasn’t a mistake.

      but that was never their thesis, their thesis was always that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to buiid a contending team around those two at max contracts. Owen (who I like) even basically reiterated that in this very thread.

    113. Ben R

      jon abbey: but that was never their thesis, their thesis was always that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to buiid a contending team around those two at max contracts. Owen (who I like) even basically reiterated that in this very thread.

      That was just hyperbole which I’m pretty sure all of us has been guilty of on this board on more than one occasion.

    114. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Ben R: like many mistakes they can be overcome with luck and smart decisions down the road

      Go give your money to an investor who tells you this and see how quickly you lose it.

    115. Frank O.

      If there is a word for this Knicks team, it’s Clyde’s favorite: Serendipity.
      Every bad thing that has happened to this team has led to a new discovery, a new found asset or capability.

      TD and Bibby suck.
      We get Lin.
      Amare and Melo are out, we find Lin leads, and the Knicks bench has jewels we didn’t know they had.
      if Amare and Melo don’t struggle offensively, this team may have focused less on D or sought scoring from other players as they have.
      If Harrelson doesn’t get hurt, Jeffries loses minutes and the Knicks don’t realize him to the degree they have.
      Without all that, Novak doesn’t get a shot.
      With TD completely falling off the earth, the Knicks decided to chase Smith.
      Also, with Lin, we see how effective Shump is as a 2.
      If Melo doesn’t tank, we don’t lose D’Antoni.
      If we don’t lose D’Antoni, we don’t realize that Woodson is as effective a tactician as he turns out to be.
      Go back further. If the Knicks don’t force Woodson on Mike D., the Knicks D isn’t what it was and has become.

      It really is fascinating. Serendipity.

    116. jon abbey

      nice to see that we’re 8th on that list, by the way, 3rd out of Eastern Conference teams. I know that just reflects how people are betting, but still.

    117. Frank

      Brian Cronin: They would have been able to sign Tyson Chandler before re-signing their own free agents (and that’s not even getting into the whole “would they have been able to acquire either D-Will or Paul if they had not made the trade” issue).

      Right – but can you REALLY say that a team of:
      Unnamed PG
      Landry Fields
      Gallo
      Chandler
      Amare
      Chandler

      is definitely better than this one? Regardless of whether it was dumb luck, Jeremy Lin’s rebirth here was the direct consequence of the Melo/Billups trade.

      Maybe it’s better, maybe it’s not. But it’s not a slam dunk.

    118. jon abbey

      Ben R: That was just hyperbole which I’m pretty sure all of us has been guilty of on this board on more than one occasion.

      no, it’s what they still believe, they have both now said it again IN THIS VERY THREAD, and have both been repeatedly saying it for a year-plus.

    119. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Brian Cronin: You and I have debated this specific point before, and I continue to dispute the idea that you can’t tell the difference between a .50 team and a .45 team. The difference is too significant to not notice.

      If we ever meet, I want to flip a coin 100 times and see if you can tell me whether it hit 50-50 or if it’s somewhere around that. I’ll buy you a drink if you can.

    120. Brian Cronin

      Right – but can you REALLY say that a team of:
      Unnamed PG
      Landry Fields
      Gallo
      Chandler
      Amare
      Chandler

      is definitely better than this one? Regardless of whether it was dumb luck, Jeremy Lin’s rebirth here was the direct consequence of the Melo/Billups trade.

      Maybe it’s better, maybe it’s not. But it’s not a slam dunk.

      It wouldn’t be unnamed, it’d be Felton, right?

      And the only reason it wouldn’t be a slam dunk as better is because of Lin, which we can’t logically credit to the trade, right? I can say that that team would definitely have a better record than this one (but yes, because of Lin, I certainly cannot say it would definitely be better).

    121. Brian Cronin

      If we ever meet, I want to flip a coin 100 times and see if you can tell me whether it hit 50-50 or if it’s somewhere around that. I’ll buy you a drink if you can.

      But shooting a basket isn’t a 50/50 probability.

    122. Frank

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Go give your money to an investor who tells you this and see how quickly you lose it.

      Ummm.. that’s exactly what all investors tell you. Diversify and even if one investment goes bad, you can make it up with other good ones. I mean all investors that aren’t Goldman Sachs and betting against you behind your back.

    123. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Brian Cronin: But shooting a basket isn’t a 50/50 probability.

      So what? NBA players are all ridiculous athletic (minus Eddy Curry). All of them could single-handedly crush a WNBA team. All of them will make a lot of tough shots and miss some easy ones. The difference is two or three shots out of fifty. That is REALLY hard to assess with your eyes and without a pen and paper.

    124. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Frank: Ummm.. that’s exactly what all investors tell you. Diversify and even if one investment goes bad, you can make it up with other good ones.I mean all investors that aren’t Goldman Sachs and betting against you behind your back.

      My point is that the attitude, “Let’s make a bad decision and then recoup with better if not lucky ones later” is a terrible strategy.

    125. Juany8

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      I want them to play the style where they win basketball games. Unfortunately, Dave Berri’s predictions seem to be right, regardless of whether his math is all fucked up.

      I love this, Berri also wrote an article that the Mavericks would have been better off if they let go of Dirk instead of Humpries in free agency last year. It’s weird how professional basketball teams don’t take him seriously…

    126. Brian Cronin

      So what? NBA players are all ridiculous athletic (minus Eddy Curry). All of them could single-handedly crush a WNBA team. All of them will make a lot of tough shots and miss some easy ones. The difference is two or three shots out of fifty. That is REALLY hard to assess with your eyes and without a pen and paper.

      Oh, you’re just talking a single game?

      Oh yeah, then fair enough, that I agree with. I thought you meant overall over a season. Over a season we can see what teams are good shooters and what teams are awful. But yeah, for one single game, I wouldn’t be able to tell you eFG% for any team based on just watching a game.

    127. PC

      I went to the game last night. Good times. A few things stood out:

      (1) Lots of the Knicks fans

      (2) the 400 pound guys love handles that sat next to me

      (3) Baron Davis is bad. The female Knick fans were screaming at the top of their lungs, “pass the ball!” I was shocked at how little he passed. He ran the pick and roll, then ignored it, then dribbled like teen wolf, then did something stupid. His crazy turnovers were the reason Philly stayed in the game. What’s the point of playing Novak with him if Baron doesn’t swing the ball to anyone?

      (4) It felt like the shot clock was winding down on every possession. Took Lin forever to get it up court; he made Holliday’s pressure look better than it was by jogging with him instead of sprinting into the half court and then getting into a set.

      (5) Amare looked like he had some hops.

      (6) Shump put on a dunk contest during warmup – highlighted by his off the bounce alley-oop he put through his legs for a one handed slam – crowd oohed and aawed during the warmups – pretty cool.

      (7) Melo is struggling to finish because he is playing below the rim. He is about 5 inches off the ground when he is attacking – it’s not cool.

      (8) I spotted a lot of concerned fathers covering their children’s eyes when Landry shot a jumper. Can’t let your kids see that shit.

      (9) Our guards don’t box out like our bigs do. Makes it hard for Amare to pull a board with more than 2 in the lane. Amare now relies on boxing out and having the board come to him. I don’t mind that idea, IF, the others box out too.

      (10) I like when we full-court press a bit man-to-man. Love applying pressure. Shump stood out (partly because of his kicks) as the best defender on the floor.

    128. Frank

      You know – in light of this whole (very spirited) thread – should we have some sort of prediction thread again? Like predicting our regular season record going forward? How far we get in the playoffs?

      Here are mine:
      Record for rest of year: 13-6 –> final record of 36-30
      I think there’s a good chance we jump Atlanta for the 6th seed.
      If we do, we will likely play Orlando in the first round, and I think we win that series. We will probably lose in 5-6 games to Miami.

      I actually think Miami might be the only team I am scared of – would it be better just to be the 8th seed to avoid them until the ECFs?

    129. jon abbey

      PC:

      (4) It felt like the shot clock was winding down on every possession. Took Lin forever to get it up court; he made Holliday’s pressure look better than it was by jogging with him instead of sprinting into the half court and then getting into a set.

      I think this was a plan for once, NY was expending so much energy on D that they wanted to hold the ball on offense some in between.

    130. johnlocke

      Like this …also if we didn’t have the toughest stretch of our schedule later than we did (Boston, Dallas, SA, etc)…we probably don’t lose 6 straight…but just continue in mediocrity

      Frank O.:
      If there is a word for this Knicks team, it’s Clyde’s favorite: Serendipity.
      Every bad thing that has happened to this team has led to a new discovery, a new found asset or capability.

    131. art vandelay

      Knicks are 8-0 in games in which Jared Jeffries has played at least 26 minutes…he really is the team´s glue guy (unreal that he has become so useful to us…I wasn´t even that high on re-signing him after last year´s playoffs)…but it is true…

      I hope he is not out an extended period of time! We need him!

    132. jon abbey

      Frank:
      You know – in light of this whole (very spirited) thread – should we have some sort of prediction thread again?Like predicting our regular season record going forward? How far we get in the playoffs?

      Here are mine:
      Record for rest of year: 13-6 –> final record of 36-30
      I think there’s a good chance we jump Atlanta for the 6th seed.
      If we do, we will likely play Orlando in the first round, and I think we win that series.We will probably lose in 5-6 games to Miami.

      I actually think Miami might be the only team I am scared of – would it be better just to be the 8th seed to avoid them until the ECFs?

      Chicago is good, so many big men to match up with. I do think that Shumpie can bother Rose as much as anyone can, but I’d still love to get above 7 and have a better shot at winning a round before playing the big boys. I also think this team will get better the more games they play together, so an extra series before MIA or CHI will be nice, plus there’s always a small chance someone else will knock off one of them for us.

      I’m not making a prediction, I think that will jinx things, but 36-30 after 18-24 would be awesome, that would be 18-6 under Woodson.

    133. Juany8

      Frank:
      You know – in light of this whole (very spirited) thread – should we have some sort of prediction thread again?Like predicting our regular season record going forward? How far we get in the playoffs?

      Here are mine:
      Record for rest of year: 13-6 –> final record of 36-30
      I think there’s a good chance we jump Atlanta for the 6th seed.
      If we do, we will likely play Orlando in the first round, and I think we win that series.We will probably lose in 5-6 games to Miami.

      I actually think Miami might be the only team I am scared of – would it be better just to be the 8th seed to avoid them until the ECFs?

      I have to ask, does anyone on this board consistently watch Miami? I know they’ve been good and all, but their half court offense basically involves watching Lebron and Wade jack up off balance jumpers. They beat teams by smothering them on D and getting out in transition, but that has literally never won anything late in the playoffs, it’s one of the big reasons why Lebron’s teams seem to underperform their regular season expectations in the playoffs every year. Chicago isn’t any better because of their lack of offensive talent, but I’d be a lot more scared of what Rose can do to Lin than by what Lebron can do to Anthony. Hopefully Fields will be on the bench, because placing him anywhere near Wade will lead to blowouts…

    134. Juany8

      art vandelay:
      Knicks are 8-0 in games in which Jared Jeffries has played at least 26 minutes…he really is the team´s glue guy (unreal that he has become so useful to us…I wasn´t even that high on re-signing him after last year´s playoffs)…but it is true…

      I hope he is not out an extended period of time! We need him!

      Shumpert and Jeffries are amazing defenders, this team’s main strength has been it’s defense all year long. Look who replaces Jeffries and Shumpert and you can see why they’ve been so useful

    135. johnlocke

      Not worth facing Chicago in the 1st round…we could potentially beat Chicago…but that’s a damn good team!

      Frank:
      You know – in light of this whole (very spirited) thread – should we have some sort of prediction thread again?Like predicting our regular season record going forward? How far we get in the playoffs?

      Here are mine:
      Record for rest of year: 13-6 –> final record of 36-30
      I think there’s a good chance we jump Atlanta for the 6th seed.
      If we do, we will likely play Orlando in the first round, and I think we win that series.We will probably lose in 5-6 games to Miami.

      I actually think Miami might be the only team I am scared of – would it be better just to be the 8th seed to avoid them until the ECFs?

    136. Frank O.

      PC
      (6) Shump put on a dunk contest during warmup – highlighted by his off the bounce alley-oop he put through his legs for a one handed slam – crowd oohed and aawed during the warmups – pretty cool.

      If he injures himself doing this shit, I’m going to be pissed…lol

      (7) Melo is struggling to finish because he is playing below the rim. He is about 5 inches off the ground when he is attacking – it’s not cool.

      This is so obvious. He just seems like his legs are flat. kind of like Amare was before he lost 15 pounds…

    137. Owen

      “I don’t think that’s a fair criticism, Owen. I don’t see the problem with anyone coming here for pretty much any reason they like (well, unless their reason is to consistently complain about how Walt Frazier is ruining the Knicks via the broadcast booth). If you’re here for a certain player, fine by me. If you’re here just for the team (like me), also fine by me. It’s all good.”

      Look, I am not saying he shouldn’t post here. Come one, come all. It’s not like Ruru is a troll. (God knows we have had some on this board.)

      I just think it’s a little strange to be accused of being a bad Knicks fan by a guy who isn’t even a Knicks fan. Honestly, it would be strange to be accused of that by someone who was a Knicks fan.

      Ruru – His teams have been out of the first round of the playoffs once. His teams have never been in the top 6 in the league by efficiency differential. And you can make an argument that he has never been the best player on his team.

      And those were his best years. This should have been his best year. Maybe next year will be. But the bottom line is that you can’t really project him improving from here.

      Signing guys like Melo to max contracts is what the Knicks have done for the last 10 years. It doesn’t work.

    138. Frank O.

      jon abbey: Chicago is good, so many big men to match up with. I do think that Shumpie can bother Rose as much as anyone can, but I’d still love to get above 7 and have a better shot at winning a round before playing the big boys. I also think this team will get better the more games they play together, so an extra series before MIA or CHI will be nice, plus there’s always a small chance someone else will knock off one of them for us.

      I’m not making a prediction, I think that will jinx things, but 36-30 after 18-24 would be awesome, that would be 18-6 under Woodson.

      I think there is the Heat and then everyone else is pretty closely matched. Agreed about getting more games together.
      This is a team that could peak at the right time.

    139. Brian Cronin

      I’m telling you, the playoff seeding needs to shake out like this:

      1 Miami
      2 Chicago
      3 Orlando
      4 Sixers
      5 Hawks
      6 Pacers
      7 Celtics (or Bucks, whichever)
      8 Knicks

      Then the Knicks beat the Heat in the first round. Bulls beat Celtics, Hawks beat Sixers and Pacers beat Magic.
      Then the Knicks beat the Hawks in the second round. The Pacers upset the Bulls.
      Then the Knicks beat the Pacers in the conference finals.
      Then the Knicks face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
      And lose in 5 games.

      It is destined to happen!

    140. ruruland

      Frank O.:
      PC
      (6) Shump put on a dunk contest during warmup – highlighted by his off the bounce alley-oop he put through his legs for a one handed slam – crowd oohed and aawed during the warmups – pretty cool.

      If he injures himself doing this shit, I’m going to be pissed…lol

      (7) Melo is struggling to finish because he is playing below the rim. He is about 5 inches off the ground when he is attacking – it’s not cool.

      This is so obvious. He just seems like his legs are flat. kind of like Amare was before he lost 15 pounds…

      Right, his old explosiveness is missing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhwqkxzX5hI

    141. johnlocke

      18-6 would be on par with what only Chicago and Miami have done this season and with a much tougher schedule…..dunno about that ….15-9 would be really good and probably more realistic. That should get us 7th maybe 6th seed. ….having said that hoping for 24-0.

      jon abbey: Chicago is good, so many big men to match up with. I do think that Shumpie can bother Rose as much as anyone can, but I’d still love to get above 7 and have a better shot at winning a round before playing the big boys. I also think this team will get better the more games they play together, so an extra series before MIA or CHI will be nice, plus there’s always a small chance someone else will knock off one of them for us.

      I’m not making a prediction, I think that will jinx things, but 36-30 after 18-24 would be awesome, that would be 18-6 under Woodson.

    142. BigBlueAL

      I know Im in the minority but I think the Knicks have a better chance of having a real competitive series vs the Heat than the Bulls.

    143. ruruland

      Owen:
      “I don’t think that’s a fair criticism, Owen. I don’t see the problem with anyone coming here for pretty much any reason they like (well, unless their reason is to consistently complain about how Walt Frazier is ruining the Knicks via the broadcast booth). If you’re here for a certain player, fine by me. If you’re here just for the team (like me), also fine by me. It’s all good.”

      Look, I am not saying he shouldn’t post here. Come one, come all. It’s not like Ruru is a troll. (God knows we have had some on this board.)

      I just think it’s a little strange to be accused of being a bad Knicks fan by a guy who isn’t even a Knicks fan. Honestly, it would be strange to be accused of that by someone who was a Knicks fan.

      Ruru – His teams have been out of the first round of the playoffs once. His teams have never been in the top 6 in the league by efficiency differential. And you can make an argument that he has never been the best player on his team.

      And those were his best years. This should have been his best year. Maybe next year will be. But the bottom line is that you can’t really project him improving from here.

      Signing guys like Melo to max contracts is what the Knicks have done for the last 10 years. It doesn’t work.

      I clarified my accusation. Just admit how you sounded.

    144. art vandelay

      Brian Cronin: I’m telling you, the playoff seeding needs to shake out like this:1 Miami2 Chicago3 Orlando4 Sixers5 Hawks6 Pacers7 Celtics (or Bucks, whichever)8 KnicksThen the Knicks beat the Heat in the first round. Bulls beat Celtics, Hawks beat Sixers and Pacers beat Magic.Then the Knicks beat the Hawks in the second round. The Pacers upset the Bulls.Then the Knicks beat the Pacers in the conference finals.Then the Knicks face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.And lose in 5 games.It is destined to happen!

      hmmm….looks vaguely familiar!!!

    145. art vandelay

      Knicks have never faced Orlando in the postseason….that would be an interesting series….

    146. Bruno Almeida

      Owen:
      “I don’t think that’s a fair criticism, Owen. I don’t see the problem with anyone coming here for pretty much any reason they like (well, unless their reason is to consistently complain about how Walt Frazier is ruining the Knicks via the broadcast booth). If you’re here for a certain player, fine by me. If you’re here just for the team (like me), also fine by me. It’s all good.”

      Look, I am not saying he shouldn’t post here. Come one, come all. It’s not like Ruru is a troll. (God knows we have had some on this board.)

      I just think it’s a little strange to be accused of being a bad Knicks fan by a guy who isn’t even a Knicks fan. Honestly, it would be strange to be accused of that by someone who was a Knicks fan.

      Ruru – His teams have been out of the first round of the playoffs once. His teams have never been in the top 6 in the league by efficiency differential. And you can make an argument that he has never been the best player on his team.

      And those were his best years. This should have been his best year. Maybe next year will be. But the bottom line is that you can’t really project him improving from here.

      Signing guys like Melo to max contracts is what the Knicks have done for the last 10 years. It doesn’t work.

      at least Melo had more talent than the previous busts we signed, so he was a “safer” bet, so to say… but nonetheless, that’s where I’m still at, I haven’t seen anything from Melo that makes me change my opinion.

      oh, he’s playing unselfish basketball and he seems to care about winning!

      come on, he gets paid to do it, the very least he could do.

      I have no sympathy whatsoever with the so-called “mercurial” stars, if you’re a player who’s only going to try hard for a small percentage of time based on 1 billion conditions, you’re not a star and never should be called one.

    147. thenamestsam

      Juany8: I have to ask, does anyone on this board consistently watch Miami? I know they’ve been good and all, but their half court offense basically involves watching Lebron and Wade jack up off balance jumpers. They beat teams by smothering them on D and getting out in transition, but that has literally never won anything late in the playoffs, it’s one of the big reasons why Lebron’s teams seem to underperform their regular season expectations in the playoffs every year. Chicago isn’t any better because of their lack of offensive talent, but I’d be a lot more scared of what Rose can do to Lin than by what Lebron can do to Anthony. Hopefully Fields will be on the bench, because placing him anywhere near Wade will lead to blowouts…

      I watch them a lot and I couldn’t agree with you more. I think Chicago will likely beat them if it comes to that, and I think we’d have a much better chance against Miami than the Bulls. Miami’s half court offense is still extremely flawed, especially against teams that can protect the rim effectively. Everyone is giving them a big edge against Chicago primarily because they beat Chicago in 5 pretty evenly played games last year, but Lebron couldn’t miss on jumpers in that series, otherwise they would have been in some serious trouble. The way we’re protecting the rim right now we can give them a hellacious series assuming 1)Neither Lebron or Wade gets crazy hot shooting jumpers and 2)Lin is able to avoid a lot of costly turnovers.

      Chicago on the other hand would be a defensive war, but I’m not sure we can beat them at that game unless Melo starts going off. I just don’t think we can score enough.

    148. Owen

      We did have a prediction thread at the beginning of the year didn’t we? And I remember filling out a questionnaire at some point. Would be interesting to find out what I said….

      “and this is why the position that THCJ and Owen have been taking for a year-plus is wrong: in less than a season, we were able to surround those two with a ton of talent, to the point where we’re probably one of the five deepest teams in the league and Doug Collins is talking about how he is sure Miami and Chicago don’t want to see NY in the first round (before last night’s game).”

      My argument has never been that the cap space Melo consumes precludes finding enough bench players to compete. My argument is that he isn’t good enough to be the centerpiece of a real contender. If he ever gets traded to a team with two stud guys on rookie scale contracts, sure it could happen.

      And the Knicks are better than their record. They could easily finish in the 6-10 range in the next two years. But more likely they will settle in 10-15. I would just be really really shocked if they were ever top 5 team in the NBA while Melo is here. And that’s because, beyond the max contract, he just isn’t a great basketball player, no matter what his hype machine says.

      I would take Paul Millsap in a hot second over Carmelo for any conceivable team and time frame….

    149. Juany8

      thenamestsam: I watch them a lot and I couldn’t agree with you more. I think Chicago will likely beat them if it comes to that, and I think we’d have a much better chance against Miami than the Bulls. Miami’s half court offense is still extremely flawed, especially against teams that can protect the rim effectively. Everyone is giving them a big edge against Chicago primarily because they beat Chicago in 5 pretty evenly played games last year, but Lebron couldn’t miss on jumpers in that series, otherwise they would have been in some serious trouble. The way we’re protecting the rim right now we can give them a hellacious series assuming 1)Neither Lebron or Wade gets crazy hot shooting jumpers and 2)Lin is able to avoid a lot of costly turnovers.

      Chicago on the other hand would be a defensive war, but I’m not sure we can beat them at that game unless Melo starts going off. I just don’t think we can score enough.

      Wow, you are the first person I’ve seen admit that Miami was almost lucky to beat Chicago, Lebron started jacking up terrible shots and happened to make a fair amount, he couldn’t make the same jumpers against Dallas and sucked. The only thing surprising about the Finals is that it took Dallas so long to start hitting their 3’s (benching Peja helped a lot too)

    150. Z-man

      jon abbey: I think that will jinx things, but 36-30 after 18-24 would be awesome, that would be 18-6 under Woodson.

      I love when jon and THCJ go at it, keep it up, guys. Funny thing is, jon, that if you look back, Jowles predicted that the Knicks would finish 36-30. (This may have been during his “the suprisingly yet cautiously optimistic” cameo.) So you are kindred spirits after all.

    151. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida: at least Melo had more talent than the previous busts we signed, so he was a “safer” bet, so to say… but nonetheless, that’s where I’m still at, I haven’t seen anything from Melo that makes me change my opinion.

      oh, he’s playing unselfish basketball and he seems to care about winning!

      come on, he gets paid to do it, the very least he could do.

      I have no sympathy whatsoever with the so-called “mercurial” stars, if you’re a player who’s only going to try hard for a small percentage of time based on 1 billion conditions, you’re not a star and never should be called one.

      Hyperbole much?

    152. Bruno Almeida

      Juany8: Wow, you are the first person I’ve seen admit that Miami was almost lucky to beat Chicago, Lebron started jacking up terrible shots and happened to make a fair amount, he couldn’t make the same jumpers against Dallas and sucked. The only thing surprising about the Finals is that it took Dallas so long to start hitting their 3?s (benching Peja helped a lot too)

      but that’s exactly the argument against Carmelo shooting.

      when he does make them, he’s an excellent shooter… but there’s enough evidence right now in the league that shows that good players can make bad shots, but it’s not susteinable and won’t lead to winning championships.

      one day those terrible shots will go in, one day they won’t, it’s totally unreliable.

    153. ruruland

      Owen:
      We did have a prediction thread at the beginning of the year didn’t we? And I remember filling out a questionnaire at some point. Would be interesting to find out what I said….

      “and this is why the position that THCJ and Owen have been taking for a year-plus is wrong: in less than a season, we were able to surround those two with a ton of talent, to the point where we’re probably one of the five deepest teams in the league and Doug Collins is talking about how he is sure Miami and Chicago don’t want to see NY in the first round (before last night’s game).”

      My argument has never been that the cap space Melo consumes precludes finding enough bench players to compete. My argument is that he isn’t good enough to be the centerpiece of a real contender. If he ever gets traded to a team with two stud guys on rookie scale contracts, sure it could happen.

      And the Knicks are better than their record. They could easily finish in the 6-10 range in the next two years. But more likely they will settle in 10-15.I would just be really really shocked if they were ever top 5 team in the NBA while Melo is here. And that’s because, beyond the max contract, he just isn’t a great basketball player, no matter what his hype machine says.

      I would take Paul Millsap in a hot second over Carmelo for any conceivable team and time frame….

      If you combine Melo’s defense and floor play with his normal level of offense from the previous 5 years he’s easily as good or better than Paul Pierce, arguably the best player on a championship team…

      And by your standards, Ryan Anderson would be the player to build a championship team around, so obviously Milsap is obviously a core championship piece, just as he’s been most of his career, leading really awful JAzz teams deep into the playoffs every year.

    154. ephus

      If even Ruru is admitting that ‘Melo does not have his usual leaping ability right now, he is not the player that we saw in Game 2 against Bostong last year:

      ruruland: Right, his old explosiveness is missing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhwqkxzX5hI

      The Game 2 Boston ‘Melo was an offensive machine worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Bernard King. The ‘Melo playing for the Knicks right now is Knics-era Xavier McDaniel. Yes, that is a nice player, but definitely not a superstar.

      If ‘Melo has no hops because of the lingering effects of his groin pull, you have to hope that he can fully recover during the playoffs. This year, the teams will have much more rest between playoff games than they had during the regular season.

      If ‘Melo has no lift because he is out of shape, that is going to have to weight until next year.

      If ‘Melo has no lift because he has gotten old, then he has to change his game to become a taller Adrian Dantley during the offseason.

    155. Juany8

      Just wondering, if Melo got his hops and jumper back and basically started playing like Paul Pierce for the Knicks (which is exactly what’s he’s doing right now in terms of decision making, he’s been missing good looks), where would he be worth a max contract? I seem to remember a lot of the same criticisms being made about Paul Pierce before he won a ring, seems silly to pretend Melo can’t at least be that good, and he has shown stretches of being better throughout his career. Keeping Pierce through the bad years worked out for them pretty well, Melo wouldn’t be the first person to mature as a person as he went through his twenties.

    156. thenamestsam

      Juany8: Wow, you are the first person I’ve seen admit that Miami was almost lucky to beat Chicago, Lebron started jacking up terrible shots and happened to make a fair amount, he couldn’t make the same jumpers against Dallas and sucked. The only thing surprising about the Finals is that it took Dallas so long to start hitting their 3?s (benching Peja helped a lot too)

      I think the reason that noone wants to talk about it is because the narrative is all about how unclutch Lebron is, and that series he was extremely clutch (even if most of it was just being a little lucky on 3s for 5 straight games). The thing is I actually like Lebron a lot (I know, I know, it’s hard to believe) so I haven’t forced that series out of my brain the way a lot of people seem to.

      In the playoffs they’re going to need to make 3s to win because smart teams know to bunker down the paint against them. If they’re hot from 3 they’re unstoppable, we all know that and the Bulls series last year was a good example of that at times. You can’t deny them 3s with how well they can get it to the rim. But if they’re missing 3s (and long jumpers) they haven’t shown that they have much of a plan B. They certainly didn’t have one against Dallas last year. E

      arly in the year it looked like Lebron posting up more was that plan, but they’ve gone away from that as the season has gone along (probably to keep him healthy). Maybe they’ll go back there in the playoffs and that will cure their ills. But Melo is one of the few guys who can effectively guard him down there, and without that I’m not sure what they have left. The more I think about it the more I like that matchup for us.

    157. villainx

      So nice that Knicks have a competent PG. Ramon brings that to Lakers. Glad the Knicks are on the plus side of the rotation.

    158. Z

      Frank:
      @84 – Totally right – I love Owen but making categorical statements like that is just dumb.

      Yesterday you called me stupid, which I can totally get down with, but Owen?! Come on. He (and Caleb) has been the smartest guy in the room here since the Moochie Norris era!

    159. Z

      Brian Cronin:
      I’m telling you, the playoff seeding needs to shake out like this:

      1 Miami
      2 Chicago
      3 Orlando
      4 Sixers
      5 Hawks
      6 Pacers
      7 Celtics (or Bucks, whichever)
      8 Knicks

      Then the Knicks beat the Heat in the first round. Bulls beat Celtics, Hawks beat Sixers and Pacers beat Magic.
      Then the Knicks beat the Hawks in the second round. The Pacers upset the Bulls.
      Then the Knicks beat the Pacers in the conference finals.
      Then the Knicks face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
      And lose in 5 games.

      It is destined to happen!

      This is awesome.

    160. Juany8

      Bruno Almeida: but that’s exactly the argument against Carmelo shooting.

      when he does make them, he’s an excellent shooter… but there’s enough evidence right now in the league that shows that good players can make bad shots, but it’s not susteinable and won’t lead to winning championships.

      one day those terrible shots will go in, one day they won’t, it’s totally unreliable.

      Carmelo has been able to score in more ways than Lebron has historically, Lebron was consistently making fadeaway 3’s against Chicago. It’s a little different when Carmelo/Kobe/Dirk/Pierce is working his man in the post/elbow to create space for a good shot or a possible double team. Lebron would just dribble aimlessly and jack up contested 3’s in 4th quarters, it was totally dumb to watch except he kept making them. Suddenly he didn’t against Dallas (or Boston the year before) and he stopped shooting period.

      Either way, if Carmelo keeps shooting like this he isn’t worth a max contract, but he is starting to do literally everything else at a pretty high level over these past few games. Believe it or not, this 5 game stretch is probably as impressive as any team has had this year, it’s not hard to envision him playing exactly the same except making more of his jumpers and free throws at least. Amar’e came back strong didn’t he?

    161. ruruland

      Z: Yesterday you called me stupid, which I can totally get down with, but Owen?! Come on. He (and Caleb) has been the smartest guy in the room here since the Moochie Norris era!

      Enron?

    162. Bruno Almeida

      Juany8: Carmelo has been able to score in more ways than Lebron has historically, Lebron was consistently making fadeaway 3?s against Chicago. It’s a little different when Carmelo/Kobe/Dirk/Pierce is working his man in the post/elbow to create space for a good shot or a possible double team. Lebron would just dribble aimlessly and jack up contested 3?s in 4th quarters, it was totally dumb to watch except he kept making them. Suddenly he didn’t against Dallas (or Boston the year before) and he stopped shooting period.

      Either way, if Carmelo keeps shooting like this he isn’t worth a max contract, but he is starting to do literally everything else at a pretty high level over these past few games. Believe it or not, this 5 game stretch is probably as impressive as any team has had this year, it’s not hard to envision him playing exactly the same except making more of his jumpers and free throws at least. Amar’e came back strong didn’t he?

      man, LeBron shot terribly on the Chicago series too, he was never “consistently making fadeaway 3’s” his percentages were terrible, he got lucky on a couple of long 3s and that’s it… he had like a .420 fg% for the Chicago series.

      but James contributes to a team on a much higher level on every other aspect of the game, compared to Carmelo… he’s a much better handler, passer, creator, rebounder, defender, and it’s not even close (except rebounding).

      if Melo ever averaged 29 ppg, 9 rpg and almost 8 apg during a playoff run (LeBron’s numbers for the 2009-2010 playoffs, when he supposedly “gave up” against Boston), or the absolutely insane 35.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg and 7.3 apg on .618 TS% and .399 WS48 (!) I would LOVE him.

      but he never did it, and never will.

      and even if he does become Paul Pierce 2.0, who’s our 2007-08 Garnett, Amare? no way.

    163. Brian Cronin

      Just wondering, if Melo got his hops and jumper back and basically started playing like Paul Pierce for the Knicks (which is exactly what’s he’s doing right now in terms of decision making, he’s been missing good looks), where would he be worth a max contract? I seem to remember a lot of the same criticisms being made about Paul Pierce before he won a ring, seems silly to pretend Melo can’t at least be that good, and he has shown stretches of being better throughout his career. Keeping Pierce through the bad years worked out for them pretty well, Melo wouldn’t be the first person to mature as a person as he went through his twenties.

      Paul Pierce’s “bad years” were really good (well, okay, he did have one really bad season, but otherwise we’re talking 8 very good seasons before the Big Three happened, with 5 of those 8 being legitimately great seasons). He just got even better when Garnett and Allen joined him. He was already a MAX contract player. A good defender who shot a high percentage and had great assist rates. Melo would have to improve to be at the level Paul Pierce was before KG and Allen showed up.

    164. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida: but that’s exactly the argument against Carmelo shooting.

      when he does make them, he’s an excellent shooter… but there’s enough evidence right now in the league that shows that good players can make bad shots, but it’s not susteinable and won’t lead to winning championships.

      one day those terrible shots will go in, one day they won’t, it’s totally unreliable.

      Kobe Bean Bryant, dude. Michael Jordan. Isiah Thomas. Chauncey Billups. Manu Ginobli, Tim Duncan.. etc al…. All “poor” shot takers at times, either contested shots, shots for fouls in traffic, or contested jump shots.
      Moreover, because so many shots in the playoffs are tough, the value of a guy who can make them without the need for any other play action increases dramatically.

    165. Z

      ephus:

      The Game 2 Boston ‘Melo was an offensive machine worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Bernard King.The ‘Melo playing for the Knicks right now is Knics-era Xavier McDaniel.Yes, that is a nice player, but definitely not a superstar.

      That is actually a great reference.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=anthoca01&y1=2012&p2=mcdanxa01&y2=1992

      And X-Man was not a nice player that year. He was terrible. Completely not living up to the hype he arrived with. And the team was mediocre. And X turned it on a bit at the end of the year and made a little noise in the playoffs. But the team wasn’t very good and he was a major reason why. So Checkets and Grunfeld let him go to their division rival because they didn’t want to pay him a whopping $1.7 million to stay in NY.

      I hadn’t thought about it, but this isn’t 1999 all over again. It’s 1992! (I now predict we make it to the 2nd round and lose a decently fought series to the eventual champion Miami Heat).

    166. thenamestsam

      Juany8:
      Just wondering, if Melo got his hops and jumper back and basically started playing like Paul Pierce for the Knicks (which is exactly what’s he’s doing right now in terms of decision making, he’s been missing good looks), where would he be worth a max contract? I seem to remember a lot of the same criticisms being made about Paul Pierce before he won a ring, seems silly to pretend Melo can’t at least be that good, and he has shown stretches of being better throughout his career. Keeping Pierce through the bad years worked out for them pretty well, Melo wouldn’t be the first person to mature as a person as he went through his twenties.

      Honestly if Melo consistently played the way he has been playing the last few games and was able to make some shots I think he’d be one of the very best players in the league. But he still has a ton to prove in that respect to my eyes. There’s a huge difference between bringing it 100% (not just effort but focus as well) on both ends for 5 straight games under these strange circumstances (important stretch for the team, brand new coach, lots of media scrutiny) and doing it every single night.

      I always knew Melo had the talent, and he has shown in the last 5 games that he knows how to put it to use if he wants to, the question is if he really wants to on a consistent basis. Next year, when the Knicks are on a 3 game losing streak, and Woodson (or whoever) gets on him a little in practice, and its the 2nd game of a back to back, are you confident he’s going to bring this type of energy? I don’t see how you could be after everything he has shown us.

    167. Owen

      “If you combine Melo’s defense and floor play with his normal level of offense from the previous 5 years he’s easily as good or better than Paul Pierce, arguably the best player on a championship team…”

      Ok, we agree on something. If we could find a threesome the caliber of Allen, Rondo, and Garnett to pair with Carmelo, then yes. they absolutely could be a contender.

      I do think Melo and Pierce are somewhat similar players, but right now I think the ceiling for Melo is Paul Pierce in his prime. Pierce could (can) actually shoot the ball from three. Which is why his TS% is so much higher than Melo’s over his career, including several 60% season.

      Again, Melo can play a lot better than he is playing right now. The question is what is his peak performance worth. And we can’t argue about that because we haven’t seen it.

      I do think it’s difficult to make an argument that anyone other Garnett was the best player on those teams. Garnett is a legitimate all time great and he wasn’t that far off his peak when he joined the Celts. Rondo, Pierce, and Allen probably all have a similar claim to second banana status, setting reputation aside. Pierce the first year, Rondo the second I would say, with Allen bringing more d than generally recognized and of course his excellent shooting.

    168. d-mar

      I think you guys are crazy if you would rather face the Heat than the Bulls. Too much focus on Miami’s half court offense, when what really makes them go is their ridiculously suffocating, harassing defense. Think about the last time we played them; when they turn up the D they are like some sort of 5 headed monster that makes it impossible to breathe (and remember how they terrorized Lin?) The other night they were getting manhandled by the Suns (yes, I know it’s the Suns) and they turned a switch and went from down 10 to up 5 in about 3 minutes.

      I don’t want any part of them.

    169. Bruno Almeida

      ruruland: Kobe Bean Bryant, dude. Michael Jordan. Isiah Thomas. Chauncey Billups. Manu Ginobli, Tim Duncan.. etc al…. All “poor” shot takers at times, either contested shots, shots for fouls in traffic, or contested jump shots.
      Moreover, because so many shots in the playoffs are tough, the value of a guy who can make them without the need for any other play action increases dramatically.

      I mean, have you seriously used Tim Duncan as a comparison to Carmelo Anthony?

      that’s all I need to know.

      all those players you cited, except Manu and Billups (and this is arguable), contribute much more and in many other ways to a basketball team than Carmelo does or have played with incredible teams (like Kobe).

      if Melo had Shaq on his prime besides him, of course he could win a championship.

      but please, don’t even start comparing him to Isiah, Jordan or Duncan, that’s just offensive.

    170. Juany8

      Brian Cronin: Paul Pierce’s “bad years” were really good (well, okay, he did have one really bad season, but otherwise we’re talking 8 very good seasons before the Big Three happened, with 5 of those 8 being legitimately great seasons). He just got even better when Garnett and Allen joined him. He was already a MAX contract player. A good defender who shot a high percentage and had great assist rates. Melo would have to improve to be at the level Paul Pierce was before KG and Allen showed up.

      I meant bad years in terms of winning, those Celtics teams were never going anywhere, and although I don’t totally buy into WS or TS%, he only became elite when he got older, his career average (after 4 seasons of .600 TS% since Garnett and Allen) is a .568, not exactly far above Melo’s, and he’s never put up more than 25 PPG. Except maybe consistent defense, there really isn’t that much to distinguish Pierce’s first 7 years from Melo’s, yes I would take Pierce right now but I think that’s an extremely attainable ceiling for Melo. Regardless, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Pierce got significantly better as he got older and had a good team around him, and he’s arrogant and a bit of an ass too. I’d rather bet on a guy maturing (which Chandler did too by the way) as he got older than on finding anyone remotely as talented as Melo in the next 5 years.

    171. ephus

      I take a backseat to no one in my love for Bernard King, and through their first eight seasons, ‘Melo and Bernard have very similar numbers:

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=kingbe01&y1=1985&p2=anthoca01&y2=2011

      Of course, that includes a few years by Bernard where he did not have his off-the-court issues under control.

      My fear is that something has happened to ‘Melo that has made him lose his explosiveness, just as Bernard lost his explosiveness after his knee surgery. Post-surgery Bernard was a very nice player (and even made the ASG) but he was not the cornerstone for a playoff threat.

    172. DRed

      If Carmelo Anthony was only better at playing basketball, he’d be a better basketball player.

    173. Juany8

      d-mar:
      I think you guys are crazy if you would rather face the Heat than the Bulls. Too much focus on Miami’s half court offense, when what really makes them go is their ridiculously suffocating, harassing defense. Think about the last time we played them; when they turn up the D they are like some sort of 5 headed monster that makes it impossible to breathe (and remember how they terrorized Lin?)The other night they were getting manhandled by the Suns (yes, I know it’s the Suns) and they turned a switch and went from down 10 to up 5 in about 3 minutes.

      I don’t want any part of them.

      Chicago is even better on D when they put in Gibson and Asik. There is no defense in the league that comes close to matching what a Rose-Brewer-Deng-Gibson-Asik lineup can do defensively. If that’s all there is to worry about, I’d rather face Miami than Chicago, although both are a nightmare. Besides we have a massive size advantage over Miami, the biggest constant in all of NBA history has been that size wins in the playoffs (unless you have the best player of all time playing in a somewhat diluted league). Chandler will feast inside on Miami and prevent Lebron and Wade’s penetration. He was the second best player on the team that beat them last year, it’s a decided matchup advantage in our favor.

    174. Brian Cronin

      I meant bad years in terms of winning, those Celtics teams were never going anywhere

      His Celtics got as far as Melo’s Nuggets ever did. They made it to Game 6 of the Conference Finals.

      And look at how shitty that team was! His teammates were:

      Antoine Walker
      Kenny Anderson (at age 31)
      Eric Williams
      Tony Battie
      Rodney Rogers
      Tony Delk

      with Walter McCarty and Erick Strickland seeing some minutes.

      Holy crap, is that an odd team or what?

    175. ruruland

      Bruno Almeida: I mean, have you seriously used Tim Duncan as a comparison to Carmelo Anthony?

      that’s all I need to know.

      Bruno, The context of my comparison was lost on you, clearly. There is value in difficult shot takers in the playoffs, regardless of their ability to provide value elsewhere. Moreover, the value of this version of Melo,in addition to normal scoring efficiency, while not on the level of those aforementioned legends, is comparable to many great players.

    176. BigBlueAL

      Z: That is actually a great reference.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=anthoca01&y1=2012&p2=mcdanxa01&y2=1992

      And X-Man was not a nice player that year. He was terrible. Completely not living up to the hype he arrived with. And the team was mediocre. And X turned it on a bit at the end of the year and made a little noise in the playoffs. But the team wasn’t very good and he was a major reason why. So Checkets and Grunfeld let him go to their division rival because they didn’t want to pay him a whopping $1.7 million to stay in NY.

      I hadn’t thought about it, but this isn’t 1999 all over again. It’s 1992! (I now predict we make it to the 2nd round and lose a decently fought series to the eventual champion Miami Heat).

      That team wasnt very good??? They won 51 games, had a pt differential of a 52 win team and their SRS was 6th best in the NBA. They beat the Bad Boy Pistons in the 1st round and took the Bulls to 7 games in the 2nd round (they actually outscored the Bulls in that series thru the first 6 games so it wasnt a fluke that they sent the series to 7 games).

      X did have a pretty bad season before waking up come playoff time so you are absolutely correct about that but shit if winning 51 games and taking the defending/eventual champs to 7 games in the 2nd round of the playoffs makes you a mediocre/not very good team than damn you got some high standards.

    177. max fisher-cohen

      Juany8: I have to ask, does anyone on this board consistently watch Miami? I know they’ve been good and all, but their half court offense basically involves watching Lebron and Wade jack up off balance jumpers. They beat teams by smothering them on D and getting out in transition, but that has literally never won anything late in the playoffs, it’s one of the big reasons why Lebron’s teams seem to underperform their regular season expectations in the playoffs every year. Chicago isn’t any better because of their lack of offensive talent, but I’d be a lot more scared of what Rose can do to Lin than by what Lebron can do to Anthony.

      The major difference for the Heat between this year and last is that Lebron James is making 3s (39%). This allows him to play off the ball more and lets the Heat run a more traditional half-court offense. The Bulls struggle in the playoffs (the Hawks took them to 6 games) because their offense is just as predictable as the Heat’s, but their lead scorer is not as good. They make up for that with better rebounding, but those effort players aren’t as effective when the other teams dudes are motivated and playing at 100%.

      The Knicks’ offense, which although it’s not SSOL anymore, is still a spread the floor, pick and roll offense, has had success against the bulls in the last 1.5 years. Excluding game 81 last year, a game in which we rested our starters, the Knicks are 1-3 v. the Bulls with an average margin of victory for NY of -1.75 pts.

      By contrast, vs. the Heat we may be 2-4, but the margin is really bad. We have lost by an average of 7.3 points. Amar’e has a lot of trouble against Joel Anthony 1 on 1, and the overall speed of the Heat makes it much easier for them to trap and clog up the pick and roll.

    178. Juany8

      Brian Cronin: His Celtics got as far as Melo’s Nuggets ever did.

      That’s kind of my point. Basically I’m hoping Melo will follow Pierce’s career arc. If the Celtics had given up on Pierce because he was a .560 TS% volume scorer around his 7th year in the league they’d look pretty bad right now. Melo’s Nuggets weren’t going anywhere either, they had no hope of contending with the Lakers or Mavericks with Nene and Kenyon Martin as their front court, regardless of what Melo and Billups did. As long as Amar’e continues to defend and rebound decently well, the Knicks have the size to matchup with anyone, it really is on Anthony to carry them to contention though.

    179. jon abbey

      Brian Cronin: His Celtics got as far as Melo’s Nuggets ever did. They made it to Game 6 of the Conference Finals.

      And look at how shitty that team was! His teammates were:

      Holy crap, is that an odd team or what?

      they traded Joe Johnson as a rookie for Delk and Rogers, hehe.

    180. Ben R

      I agree that Melo and Pierce are similar players but I think Melo’s inability to consistantly hit from 3 is a much bigger shortcoming than people realize. In Boston with a big 4 that is all of similar skill level, Pierce can be effective as both the focus of the offense in iso/post-up situations and as a third or fourth option stretching the floor behind the arc.

      Melo with our poor-mans big 4 (Amare, Melo, Lin, Chandler), is only effective as the focus in iso/post-up situations, so when the ball does not travel through him on offense he is largely ineffective. This is not a small difference. Pierce’s ability to hit the 3 is what let him transition from primary focus of the offense to one of many options on a much better team.

    181. jon abbey

      I don’t think previous results for this team matter much before the last seven or eight games, honestly. we didn’t have Chandler last season (and as someone already pointed out, he was a huge reason DAL beat MIA last year), we didn’t have Lin until even later, and we haven’t had the whole team together until a couple of weeks ago. I think you can take some individual results out (Amare likes playing against Boozer, Melo generally plays well against LeBron, Lin got abused by MIA in his first game against them), but overall, not really.

    182. Brian Cronin

      That’s kind of my point. Basically I’m hoping Melo will follow Pierce’s career arc. If the Celtics had given up on Pierce because he was a .560 TS% volume scorer around his 7th year in the league they’d look pretty bad right now. Melo’s Nuggets weren’t going anywhere either, they had no hope of contending with the Lakers or Mavericks with Nene and Kenyon Martin as their front court, regardless of what Melo and Billups did. As long as Amar’e continues to defend and rebound decently well, the Knicks have the size to matchup with anyone, it really is on Anthony to carry them to contention though.

      My point is that he is not yet at the point, career path-wise, where Pierce was before the Big Three got there, let alone getting to the point where Pierce was after the Big Three got there.

      But yeah, I absolutely concede that he could theoretically make a leap. Of course it is possible. Hell, I certainly am hoping it will happen. I would be thrilled, as obviously the Knicks would be even better than they are now. I’d just expect that there would be some signs of it happening by now.

    183. johnlocke

      Not so sure about Chandler “feasting” inside…Joel Anthony is a good defender…two times we played them this year Chandler had no more than 10 pts in either game… 9 or 10 boards and a total of 1 blocked shot. We do not want to face a motivated D-Wade (who usually kills us), Lebron and Chris Bosh (who neither Stat or Chandler seem to be able to guard) in the playoffs

      Juany8: Chicago is even better on D when they put in Gibson and Asik. There is no defense in the league that comes close to matching what a Rose-Brewer-Deng-Gibson-Asik lineup can do defensively. If that’s all there is to worry about, I’d rather face Miami than Chicago, although both are a nightmare. Besides we have a massive size advantage over Miami, the biggest constant in all of NBA history has been that size wins in the playoffs (unless you have the best player of all time playing in a somewhat diluted league). Chandler will feast inside on Miami and prevent Lebron and Wade’s penetration. He was the second best player on the team that beat them last year, it’s a decided matchup advantage in our favor.

    184. limpidgimp

      Juany8: I have to ask, does anyone on this board consistently watch Miami? I know they’ve been good and all, but their half court offense basically involves watching Lebron and Wade jack up off balance jumpers. They beat teams by smothering them on D and getting out in transition, but that has literally never won anything late in the playoffs, it’s one of the big reasons why Lebron’s teams seem to underperform their regular season expectations in the playoffs every year. Chicago isn’t any better because of their lack of offensive talent, but I’d be a lot more scared of what Rose can do to Lin than by what Lebron can do to Anthony. Hopefully Fields will be on the bench, because placing him anywhere near Wade will lead to blowouts…

      I watched the last Miami-Atlanta game. Atlanta slowed the game down a lot, making Miami look not so strong. Having to play the half-court game, it often just results in either LBJ or Wade chucking it up (often with ISOs on the wing). Miami is beatable if you make them play half-court all game and don’t commit the kind of turnovers that lead to fast-break baskets.
      In the last Knicks-Heats game, Lin didn’t handle the trapping pressure well, but D’Antoni was still dogmatic/stubborn about the PG bringing the ball up the floor, so bad shit kept happening. In yesterday’s game against Philly, after Lin got hounded taking the ball up at the beginning of the 1st quarter, other players such as Melo were taking the ball up the floor, which made the pressure go away, and more importantly minimized the kind of high court turnovers that lead to fast-break baskets.
      As an aside, I think Melo also likes taking the ball up himself bc it satisfies the need to get touches on the ball, and feel like he’s part of the playmaking even if he’s not the one who takes the shot in the end. Melo’s passing is more precise than Lin’s in hitting the right angle and spot.

    185. Bruno Almeida

      ruruland: Bruno, The context of my comparison was lost on you, clearly. There is value in difficult shot takers in the playoffs, regardless of their ability to provide value elsewhere. Moreover, the value of this version of Melo,in addition to normal scoring efficiency, while not on the level of those aforementioned legends, is comparable to many great players.

      now I agree with you… I agree that it’s valuable to have a guy who can, if that’s all that the defense allows, take “bad” shots and make them at a good rate.

      but much like Kobe and Billups, Melo seems to take them even when they’re not necessary, every game, no matter if we’re winning well or losing badly, he seems to need to take a certain amount of shots simply because he’s the star.

      my opinion is that surely, Carmelo could win a title much like Pierce did, but if he has a similarly talented squad alongside him.

      and we’re very, very far away from that Boston team simply because Garnett was transcendental that season, and we can’t possibly think Amare will be able to replicate that.

      Allen, Rondo, Perkins, we can manage to match their production with the pieces we have… but Garnett’s production and overall defensive play? no way.

    186. thenamestsam

      Ben R:
      I agree that Melo and Pierce are similar players but I think Melo’s inability to consistantly hit from 3 is a much bigger shortcoming than people realize. In Boston with a big 4 that is all of similar skill level, Pierce can be effective as both the focus of the offense in iso/post-up situations and as a third or fourth option stretching the floor behind the arc.

      Melo with our poor-mans big 4 (Amare, Melo, Lin, Chandler), is only effective as the focus in iso/post-up situations, so when the ball does not travel through him on offense he is largely ineffective. This is not a small difference. Pierce’s ability to hit the 3 is what let him transition from primary focus of the offense to one of many options on a much better team.

      +1. Excellent point.

    187. Z

      Brian Cronin:
      Yeah, I really liked that 1992 squad.

      Admittedly, I was isolated at boarding school that year with no TV and a no-radio-during-studyhall policy, so I followed the team mostly through the newspapers. But my family still had season tickets, and I’d go to all the games over break, and it was pretty apparent that X-man was not the beast we imagined. He was largely invisible in the regular season, and the team had typical Riley-era heart in the playoffs, but it wasn’t like we, or anybody else, was really going to beat Michael Jordan, ya know. (And X’s stats that season are eerily similar to Camelo’s this year!)

    188. Z

      (X was also relegated to 3rd option on that team by Ewing and the emergence of Starks, which, as stated earlier in this thread, is probably where Carmelo is best served too. We’ll see.)

    189. d-mar

      Juany8: Chicago is even better on D when they put in Gibson and Asik. There is no defense in the league that comes close to matching what a Rose-Brewer-Deng-Gibson-Asik lineup can do defensively.

      Sorry, LBJ and Wade with any 3 better than average defenders is still superior to that group.

    190. ruruland

      Brian Cronin: My point is that he is not yet at the point, career path-wise, where Pierce was before the Big Three got there, let alone getting to the point where Pierce was after the Big Three got there.

      But yeah, I absolutely concede that he could theoretically make a leap. Of course it is possible. Hell, I certainly am hoping it will happen. I would be thrilled, as obviously the Knicks would be even better than they are now. I’d just expect that there would be some signs of it happening by now.

      Clear signs of that. Trajectory similar from my perspective, even if the stats don’t truly tell that story. You’d have to understand the many nuanced dynamics that have shaped his career.

    191. ephus

      Switching topics slightly, this analysis on basketball prospectus shows that the Knicks are 98.7% likely to be sending their first round pick to Houston this year. In 50% of the simulations, the Knicks make the playoffs, 48.7% of the simulations, the Knicks miss the playoffs but the pick is not top 5, and in 1.3% of the simulations, the Knicks miss the playoffs but win a top 3 pick in the lottery.

      http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2168

    192. JLam

      Remember a quote by Melo last month saying that he wanted the Knicks to prepare like the Heat? The team is more prepared both physically and mentally, playing strong defense and Amare lost some weight and looks really explosive especially last night
      Melo (to his credit )is playing both sides and passing but it’s ironic that he looks most out of shape compared to his teammates. The Carmelo playing for the Nuggest was leaner. He just looks fatter and needs some conditioning IMO

    193. Robert Silverman

      Not sure this has been posted, but our Beloved-Dictator-For-Life, Mike K., went and wrote something about this Tebow kid (you may have heard of him) who plays for another doomed franchise. I personally haven’t thought much about it, as the Tebow plays some kind of foot-based ballgame. Though the ball isn’t round and even though it’s called “foot-ball” they don’t use their feet to propel the ball very often, which is super-weird.

      http://www.thejetsblog.com/2012/03/22/oped-why-tim-tebow-is-good-for-the-jets/

    194. Spree8nyk8

      johnlocke:
      I think we’d rather be 8th seed and face Chicago…than 7th and face Miami..no?

      I’d rather us just go ahead and win the division.

    195. Z-man

      Brian Cronin: Indiana down 16 in the first against Washington. It would be nice if Indiana fell apart.

      I predicted they would after watching them crumble against us, but then they go out and kick ass the very next game.

    196. massive

      Iman Shumpert to Darelle Revis on Twitter:

      @Revis24 u got #RevisIsland and I got #21ShumpSt I park ninjas!!!

      21 Shump St? I really like that. The Knicks “park defenders in front of 21 Shump St, where they stay for the game.” It’s a lot like Revis Island. Could Shumpert develop into a Revis-like defender? That’s sort of impossible, but I still like the nickname.

    197. Brian Cronin

      I predicted they would after watching them crumble against us, but then they go out and kick ass the very next game.

      They’re down 20 to Wasthington at the half! There’s time still yet!

    198. Robert Silverman

      massive:
      Iman Shumpert to Darelle Revis on Twitter:

      @Revis24 u got #RevisIsland and I got #21ShumpSt I park ninjas!!!

      21 Shump St? I really like that. The Knicks “park defenders in front of 21 Shump St, where they stay for the game.” It’s a lot like Revis Island. Could Shumpert develop into a Revis-like defender? That’s sort of impossible, but I still like the nickname.

      Check out the KB store. We’ve been on the 21 Shump Street beat for awhile

    199. Unreason

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: We can watch the games, but the availability heuristic fucks up any chance we have of making an accurate judgment.

      Not so, actually, but it’s cool that you brought the idea into the conversation. The availability heuristic has a detectable biasing effect on some kinds of judgments but isn’t anywhere close to being powerful enough to prevent the possibility of making accurate judgments. It’s detectable under carefully controlled circumstances in average performance of populations.

      And its probably not relevant to judgments about advanced hoops stats. Evidence for it and other “heuristics and biases” come from judgments that are very different in important ways from judging a .05% difference in eFG after watching lots of basketball games. The evidence for it shows up when you describe things to people and then ask them to make judgments. Different, sometimes opposite effects show up when people have experienced something over and over and are then asked to make judgments. The effects are also different in naive vs expert judges.

      Even more relevent to this board, there are judgments that seem to be better when guided by the availability heuristic than by complex predictive models. E.g., portfolios of stocks picked by average Joe’s going by whether they’ve heard of a company or not have performed as well or better then those of top portfolio managers who use state of the art prediction models.

    200. Unreason

      Silly of me not to define the availablity heuristic before posting that.
      It’s the tendency to judge something as more likely to happen or more important than something else because it comes to mind more easily.

    201. Z-man

      Brian Cronin: Paul Pierce’s “bad years” were really good (well, okay, he did have one really bad season, but otherwise we’re talking 8 very good seasons before the Big Three happened, with 5 of those 8 being legitimately great seasons). He just got even better when Garnett and Allen joined him. He was already a MAX contract player. A good defender who shot a high percentage and had great assist rates. Melo would have to improve to be at the level Paul Pierce was before KG and Allen showed up.

      Actually they were more similar than you suggest. The diff in TS% is pretty minimal (less than 1%) up until age 27. Most of the difference in WS48 is due to similar slight edges in rebounding, assists. That said, Pierce has more of a mean streak type of edge to his game, like Bernard King. Melo is more goofy and immature, and less of a pro in that he doesn’t play hard all the time. That is what separates them, IMO, not talent.

    202. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Unreason: Not so, actually, but it’s cool that you brought the idea into the conversation. The availability heuristic has a detectable biasing effect on some kinds of judgments but isn’t anywhere close to being powerful enough to prevent the possibility of making accurate judgments. It’s detectable under carefully controlled circumstances in average performance of populations.

      I’m referring to our tendency to think that Carmelo Anthony is a better shooting basketball player than, say, Andre Iguodala because we have years of examples of Carmelo Anthony being “the Man”: at Syracuse, in the NBA, in the Olympics, etc. Because of our seemingly incessant exposure to Carmelo Anthony making circus shots (and never missing, because highlight reels don’t show misses), we believe that he is a superior basketball specimen.

      My point is that people will believe they can predict the frequency of a particular player scoring on a particular play because they have access to memories of that player making a similar type of play. Thus we might think that Derrick Rose is more efficient than he actually is because of our associations with his ability, which may or may not be in line with what the data suggest. The .50 vs .45 example might not be an example of that cognitive bias directly, but our ability to assess a player’s shooting percentage would certainly be affected by the availability heuristic.

    203. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Unreason:
      Even more relevent to this board, there are judgments that seem to be better when guided by the availability heuristic than by complex predictive models. E.g., portfolios of stocks picked by average Joe’s going by whether they’ve heard of a company or not have performed as well or better then those of top portfolio managers who use state of the art prediction models.

      Oh, that’s for sure. Still, if the average fan ran an NBA team, you’d have a lot of high volume scorers who may or may not be efficient.

      Essentially, you’d have an Isiah Thomas- or Joe Dumars-run team, and that team would suck for years.

    204. Owen

      “I agree that Melo and Pierce are similar players but I think Melo’s inability to consistantly hit from 3 is a much bigger shortcoming than people realize.”

      Yeah, which is also why I was so excited last year when Melo got hot shooting from three. Against all my principles I dared to believe that Melo, playing in D’Antoni’s system, could become something different and better. And you could argue he was, posting a 58%. Unofortunately, that Melo hasn’t returned….

      “Even more relevent to this board, there are judgments that seem to be better when guided by the availability heuristic than by complex predictive models. E.g., portfolios of stocks picked by average Joe’s going by whether they’ve heard of a company or not have performed as well or better then those of top portfolio managers who use state of the art prediction models.”

      That’s an interesting post Unreason and I think an interesting topic possibly for a KB post. Ever since I read Heuristics and Biases I have filtered my basketball analysis through it somewhat. I definitely think of “points” as being a kind of heuristic, although that’s not quite an accurate use of the word. And I do think, perhaps differently than you, that a lot of prospect theory bears on how we experience and evaluate sports.

      I am curious about studies showing that average joes outperforming high tech quantitative models. I don’t think I have ever read a study showing that an intuitive approach to buying stocks works better.

    205. Z-man

      jon abbey: go Bucks!

      I can’t root for the Celts EVER, but would probably be better for us if the Bucks lost tonight: they’d be out of the playoff picture and we’d be in; plus they have a back-to-back-to-back. On the other hand, the Celts play the Sixers tomorrow. Guess I’m rooting for quadruple-overtime!

    206. Z-man

      Wasn’t Drew Gooden a total stiff just recently? He’s playing pretty f’n good right now!

    207. d-mar

      Z-man: I can’t root for the Celts EVER, but would probably be better for us if the Bucks lost tonight: they’d be out of the playoff picture and we’d be in; plus they have a back-to-back-to-back.On the other hand, the Celts play the Sixers tomorrow.Guess I’m rooting for quadruple-overtime!

      I couldn’t root for the Celtics if they were playing Al Qaeda’s club team. My fantasy is that they get eaten alive by that brutal schedule in April and fail to make the playoffs, then we can watch the fire sale as they try to unload the big 3.

    208. Unreason

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: our ability to assess a player’s shooting percentage would certainly be affected by the availability heuristic.

      I get what you’re saying, but I doubt it affects everyone the same way. Generally speaking expertise is not an illusion. With practice, most people get better at making judgments based on several partially correlated cues in a dynamic environment. The major heuristic I’d expect to be at work on discussion boards and certainly in my own flawed brain is the affect heuristic especially during and after games, (“I just know he’s gonna miss this f*&#ing free throw”) with dread or overconfidence making us downplay what we’ve learned by watching and studying stats of past performance. But emotion isn’t always a poor guide to decisions and some important part of expertise in lots of areas might be knowing when to trust your emotions. Anyhow I think your points about the effects of reputation and the influence of media hype are well taken. My guess it that they will influence more naive fans like myself more than most posters here.

    209. Unreason

      Owen: I do think, perhaps differently than you, that a lot of prospect theory bears on how we experience and evaluate sports.

      I’m sure it does. My guess is that it bears more on how a naive person would evaluates sports. E.g. my wife would probably pick the Bull in a forced choice prediction between them and any other team because she only paid any attention to hoops when Jordan was playing. Right now the bias from that availability heuristic would serve her pretty well. You’d probably be interested in fairly new set of findings over the past 6 years or so showing that Prospect Theory doesn’t predict behavior well when outcomes have been experienced rather than merely described. If you read scientific journal articles, this gives a great overview http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bdm.v23:1/issuetoc

      Owen:
      I am curious about studies showing that average joes outperforming high tech quantitative models. I don’t think I have ever read a study showing that an intuitive approach to buying stocks works better.

      There’s a whole competing school of researchers who emphasize the value of “fast and frugal heuristics” in accurately guiding judgments and decisions. I don’t think they’ve done multiple studies like the one I mentioned, but the main guy, Gigerenzer, has done at least one. It was notable, because he put a nontrivial amount of his own cash on the line. But there have been a whole bunch of a similar type showing when and in whom less knowledge or less time to make decisions does better than expected and often as well or better than mathematically optimized models. They aren’t the last word either, but its interesting stuff.

    210. Owen

      Ok thanks. I do think that the starting point for prospect theory is the “naive person.” Although expert judgment plays in as well.

      Thanks for the link, will take a look…

    211. Unreason

      d-mar: I couldn’t root for the Celtics if they were playing Al Qaeda’s club team. My fantasy is that they get eaten alive by that brutal schedule in April and fail to make the playoffs, then we can watch the fire sale as they try to unload the big 3.

      My fantasy is that they make the playoffs, beat the Heat in the first round, and beat Orlando in the second only to be brutally crushed by Knicks in the ECF. That’s entertainment. Especially after beating the Pats in the Superbowl, the rest my whole year would be bathed in warmth and love for humanity.

    212. Z-man

      Nightmare scenario: Boston clinches playoff berth, Knicks need Bucks to lose last game, Celts rest starters and roll over, eliminating Knicks.

    213. jon abbey

      d-mar: I couldn’t root for the Celtics if they were playing Al Qaeda’s club team. My fantasy is that they get eaten alive by that brutal schedule in April and fail to make the playoffs, then we can watch the fire sale as they try to unload the big 3.

      yes, this, although I can’t imagine that core would actually go out like that.

      keeping Boston out of the playoffs and essentially snuffing their run together would be a nice achievement in and of itself, the only thing short of a playoff series win I could be happy with.

      big win for them tonight, though, unfortunately, the game we couldn’t get a couple of weeks ago. they win the season series over MIL now, 2-0 with one left on the final day.

    214. Mulligan

      Still think Boston could fade out of the playoff race. Can’t say it enough – their remaining schedule is brutal.
      Dream scenario is Boston falling out, us taking the atlantic and the 76ers falling into 8th with the bucks in 7th so that they can give Miami fits in the 1st round. 76ers – Bulls could be some rough basketball to watch though. Doubt they’d break 80.

    215. Unreason

      Owen: Although expert judgment plays in as well.

      It does but only to show that experts aren’t immune to the biases they identified. Others have studied how experts are able to make good decisions in difficult changing circumstances with lots at stake, little time and not much information: firefighting captains, submarine commanders etc. That kind of focus on expertise was never Tversky and Kahneman’s thing. Prospect theory is a huge achievement though, and Kahneman’s recent book, Thinking Fast and Slow, updating and summarizing his views of human cognition in general is quite brilliant and a fun read.

    216. d-mar

      jon abbey: yes, this, although I can’t imagine that core would actually go out like that.

      keeping Boston out of the playoffs and essentially snuffing their run together would be a nice achievement in and of itself, the only thing short of a playoff series win I could be happy with.

      big win for them tonight, though, unfortunately, the game we couldn’t get a couple of weeks ago. they win the season series over MIL now, 2-0 with one left on the final day.

      If the Knicks have truly turned the corner, they will come out and spank the Bucks on Monday (I know, I know looking too far ahead) The Bucks have absolutely owned us the last few years, and if I have to watch Chucker Jennings light us up one more time I think I’ll puke.

    217. art vandelay

      daJudge:
      Anything current on JJ?

      Evidently, Landry Fields tweeted the following: “When asked how Jarred’s knee is doing, his response, ‘prayers.'”

      That doesn’t sound so promising to me.

    218. limpidgimp

      art vandelay: Evidently, Landry Fields tweeted the following: “When asked how Jarred’s knee is doing, his response, ‘prayers.’”

      That doesn’t sound so promising to me.

      Howard Beck’s article says “Jared Jeffries injured his right knee early in the fourth quarter and did not return. He will be miss Friday’s game in Toronto and plans to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging examination this weekend. Jeffries said it was the same injury that led him to miss four games recently. He had the knee drained two weeks ago.”
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/sports/basketball/knicks-beat-76ers-for-5th-straight-win.html?ref=basketball

    219. Owen

      “That kind of focus on expertise was never Tversky and Kahneman’s thing. Prospect theory is a huge achievement though, and Kahneman’s recent book, Thinking Fast and Slow, updating and summarizing his views of human cognition in general is quite brilliant and a fun read.”

      Yeah, agreed on all that.

      I don’t really think of the typical sports fan as System 2 thinkers, although reading this board might give you that impression, most of the time….

    220. 2FOR18

      Juany8: I have to ask, does anyone on this board consistently watch Miami? I know they’ve been good and all, but their half court offense basically involves watching Lebron and Wade jack up off balance jumpers. They beat teams by smothering them on D and getting out in transition, but that has literally never won anything late in the playoffs, it’s one of the big reasons why Lebron’s teams seem to underperform their regular season expectations in the playoffs every year. Chicago isn’t any better because of their lack of offensive talent, but I’d be a lot more scared of what Rose can do to Lin than by what Lebron can do to Anthony. Hopefully Fields will be on the bench, because placing him anywhere near Wade will lead to blowouts…

      I completely agree, though if Bosh gets hot they are pretty much unbeatable. And we know who will be guarding Bosh, so that’s not a good sign.

    221. Unreason

      d-mar: The Bucks have absolutely owned us the last few years, and if I have to watch Chucker Jennings light us up one more time I think I’ll puke.

      I agree. Their power over the Knicks is mysterious and disturbing. I’m more worried about Ellis going off than Jennings. I hope Shump gets 30+ min and schools him in the finer points of asphyxiation all night.

    222. Unreason

      limpidgimp: Howard Beck’s article says “Jared Jeffries injured his right knee early in the fourth quarter and did not return. He will be miss Friday’s game in Toronto and plans to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging examination this weekend. Jeffries said it was the same injury that led him to miss four games recently. He had the knee drained two weeks ago.”http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/sports/basketball/knicks-beat-76ers-for-5th-straight-win.html?ref=basketball

      That sucks.

    223. JK47

      Monta Ellis had 13 points on 18 FGA attempts tonight. Just as I hoped, he is taking shots away from the Bucks’ more efficient scorers. I think that Jennings/Ellis backcourt is going to suck and the Bucks are going to start falling out of the hunt.

    224. jock cowles

      Not for nothing, but for some reason I have a really, really hard time reading posts that are over 6 lines long with no paragraph breaks.

      I appreciate the amount of effort you guys are putting into your comments, but you’d get at least one more reader (me) if you hit enter about halfway through.

    225. 2FOR18

      JK47: Monta Ellis had 13 points on 18 FGA attempts tonight. Just as I hoped, he is taking shots away from the Bucks’ more efficient scorers. I think that Jennings/Ellis backcourt is going to suck and the Bucks are going to start falling out of the hunt.

      that was a classic isiah trade.

      Can anyone find the clip where melo punched the knick and ran away like a punk? I can’t find it on youtube for some reason. maybe ruru deleted it?

    226. 2FOR18

      ruruland: ????

      I was arguing with somone about his TSP% (True Sucker Punch %) of 100%, and could not find the video for this.
      I wish he could run forward now as fast he backbedaled in that clip.

    227. iserp

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: Essentially, you’d have an Isiah Thomas- or Joe Dumars-run team, and that team would suck for years.

      Well, i wouldn’t mind be like the pistons that went 6 straight times to the ECF (with one title)

      He has dealt very bad with an aging group (squandering the cap space to keep the group rolling and resigning his own old players), but i don’t think you can judge Dumars only on that.

    228. Brian Cronin

      Man, I haven’t thought about that fight in some time. I totally forgot that it was JR Smith who got fouled to start the whole thing. It is funny that the Knicks have three of the five main participants from that fight now on the team (and interestingly enough, only Mardy Collins is no longer in the league). I remembered Nate and Melo, though. I can’t get down on Melo too much for that fight. He admitted it was a terrible decision on his part and he was still a pretty young guy (he was like 22 or something, right?) so I don’t think it has any bearing on him as a person today.

    229. Brian Cronin

      So I guess we root for the Celtics to beat the 76ers tonight??

      Hmmm…if the Celtics and the Knicks tie for the division lead, though, the Knicks lose the tie-breaker while the Knicks win the tie-breaker against Philly, so I dunno. I guess it depends on how little faith you have in Boston going forward. If you are confident that they will fall apart, then yeah, we should hope that Philly loses tonight.

    230. SSS

      Brian Cronin: Hmmm…if the Celtics and the Knicks tie for the division lead, though, the Knicks lose the tie-breaker while the Knicks win the tie-breaker against Philly, so I dunno. I guess it depends on how little faith you have in Boston going forward. If you are confident that they will fall apart, then yeah, we should hope that Philly loses tonight.

      Another way to approach it is that the Knicks best chance to win a playoff series is to overtake the 76ers, and that upside is worth the potential downside of missing the playoffs altogether. I’m torn.

    231. ruruland

      2FOR18: I was arguing with somone about his TSP% (True Sucker Punch %) of 100%, and could not find the video for this.I wish he could run forward now as fast he backbedaled in that clip.

      This reminds me of my time on the Mickey boards over at ESPN. For awhile there I didn’t think anyone had transplanted.

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