Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Knicks (plus one Yahweh) 100, Bulls 99

Chicago Bulls 99 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 47 MIN | 16-31 FG | 7-9 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 43 PTS | +5

RESURRECTION NARRATIVE #1: Wherein a much maligned franchise cornerstone slogging through the worst statistical season of his career – and struggling to endear himself to a fan base lusting for tough ciphers – rises to the mammoth occasion. After banging home his first five shots, you just had the feeling that it was going to be one of those games for Carmelo Anthony. He’d hit something of a dry spell for most of the next three quarters, but with the game on the line – and the seasons’ chips pushed to the table’s shaky center – Melo straight up heroed the shit out of the joint down the stretch, a sequence punctuated by a pair of stupid 25-foot threes from the right wing (both of which, it should be noted, he got fouled on).

The way things were going, this could have easily been the point at which the Knicks’ season lost its momentum and sputtered to a Playoff-less stop. Instead, the ‘Bockers could very well look back at Easter Sunday as the moment where an entire franchise found itself risen.

Landry Fields, G 29 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +11

It must be a hell of a thing to be having what amounts to a solid, well-rounded game — no issue-forcing, relatively few mistakes, a couple of timely buckets — only to be forced to watch as J.R. Smith goes into full on sabotage mode for a large portion of the second half. Maybe Woodson doesn’t get Landry’s jokes. Maybe Landry’s been courting Woody’s daughters. Whatever the reason, Stanford’s sparse crunch time minutes of late (Woodson even claimed to have “forgotten” about him during the game in Indiana), are a little strange, given his recent streak of clearly sucking far less than J.R. Smith.

Tyson Chandler, C 44 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +15

RESURRECTION NARRATIVE #2: Wherein a people’s spiritual leader is felled, the people fear their demise, and their anchor returns, hobbled but happy. Be honest. When Chandler left the game in the second quarter with what looked like a separated shoulder – why with his cable-like arm in a dead dangle – you thought about walking very briskly towards the nearest ten-story building. Mercifully, it was only an elbow contusion, hich apparently doesn’t register high enough on the pain-o-meter to stop a dude from snagging 10 offensive rebounds, diving to the floor twice in a 15-second sequence, and saving enough possessions to single-handedly keep his team in the game. It’s gotten to the point where even my wife is considering naming our firstborn Tyson. Yes, even if it’s a girl.

Baron Davis, PG 21 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | -6

RESURRECTION NARRATIVE #3: Wherein the risen tries to leave the cave, only to have the entrance-sealing boulder roll on top of him, crushing him for all eternity. Look, just because you’re not turning the ball over like a third grader doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t crippling your team. Davis continued his season of awfulness – he’s scored in double digits twice this year, folks…. TWICE! – by piecing together another shit mosaic of off-balance jumpers, clanks, air balls, and papier mache D. Unfortunately, with Jeremy Lin likely out for the first round of the Playoffs, we’re left to sink or swim with a point guard who makes me — not even 30 — feel older than dirt.

Iman Shumpert, G 45 MIN | 5-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 15 PTS | +9

Today and tomorrow, the focus and the accolades will fall on Carmelo Anthony — and rightly so. But Shumpert’s performance — most chiefly his amazing clampdown of Derrick Rose on a number of key possessions — was just as much of a catalyst. The fact that this guy wasn’t even invited to the Rookie-Sophs game goes down, in my mind anyway, as one of the most criminal of anti-Knick hatchet jobs. But if that meant the kind of shoulder chip capable of driving our rapacious rook to higher and higher levels of rage-fueled production, then so be it. He got burned a couple of times navigating screens, and his foul on Rose’s near-dagger of a four-point play could very well have been the Knicks’ knell of death, but on the whole this was something of a coming out party for Shump. Just so long as he never passes up a wide open three to make the extra pass to a 3-15 J.R. Smith, we cool.

Jared Jeffries, PF 11 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -13

RESURRECTION NARRATIVE #4, Wherein a once-vilified, suddenly indispensable misfit returns to prevent total destruction. If 2012 Jim were to Marty McFly his way to 2011 Jim, just to warn him that there would come a point in the following season where the loss of Jared Jeffries would put the team’s Playoff hopes in serious jeopardy, 2011 Jim would probably have stopped doing recreational drugs. JJ’s knee and calf looked pretty alright to me, which bodes well for a team that’s struggled lately to keep the board-beasting Bulls off the glass.

Steve Novak, SF 22 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -8

Hey, sometimes even a toothless frog can break the lamp. It’s an old Irish proverb. Look it up.

At least Novak didn’t let a bad target practice get in the way of some pretty serviceable D. Besides, it’s pretty hard to argue against a fickle Fortuna when your potential game-tying three rolls all the way around the rim — twice — before inexplicably popping out.

J.R. Smith, SG 37 MIN | 6-22 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | -6

The only thing worse than reliving this performance would be if it came to light that an upright, human-sized rabbit didn’t actually deliver this basket full of sugar and money. Make no mistake: If they Knicks had lost — and they probably should have — Earl of Brickton would’ve had to dig a tunnel through the locker room and out of the Garden using nothing but his own teeth. It wasn’t the first time we’ve seen Smith succumb to the double-edged shooter’s sword; but it certainly was the most jarring. I’m told the United Nations was seriously considering declaring a cease fire and sending in a peacekeeping mission (the U.S. vetoed the measure,) as Smith missed seven consecutive shots during one particularly craptastic stretch in the second half. In short, if I ever see this J.R. Smith again, it’d better be at Rucker or on my rec league team, where he’d still be besting the next best field goal percentage by a couple thousand points.

Toney Douglas, PG 9 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2

For someone who’s made shooting a pillar of his game, Toney’s mechanics are about as bent as you can get – his elbow has a tendency to pop out, his release point is too high, and he almost never sticks his hand in the cookie jar (tee-hee!). We’re happy he’s back getting burn, and his defense – something that’s more a matter of will than skill anyway – remains staunch. But there are plenty of skull cobwebs that still need to be vacuumed out.

Mike Bibby, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

Hey, God’s magic is only so powerful.

Five Things We Saw

  1. If we are indeed destined to meet Los Bulls in round 1, someone’s gonna have to do something about the rebounding “issue.” Once again the Bulls rooted out and jumped over, through, and around the Knicks en route to a 59-47 edge on the boards.
  2. It seems as though Derrick Rose has recovered nicely from his injuries. But while the reigning MVP certainly came close to making his one of the more devastating — and crippling, as far as the Knicks’ momentum is concerned — injury returns in recent memory, the efforts of Shumpert et. al forced D-Rose to really work to get his. I’ll take 29 Derrick Rose points every game, so long as it’s taking him 26 shots to get there.
  3. Once again, the Knicks managed to take pretty good care of the ball, committing but a dozen turnovers and keeping the cute passes and awful gambits squarely in their back pockets. Against the league’s number one defense, that ain’t half bad, and serves as further proof that the Bulls likely want nothing to do with a seven game series against these 90′s harkening ‘Bockers.
  4. Joakim Noah is a mooncalf.
  5. RESURRECTION NARRATIVE #5: Wherein a people long mired in the mud of history’s disappointment take divine countenance as glimpse into their fortune’s future. Not only did the Knicks come out on the high side of far and away the best NBA game of the year; they did so in a way that suggested they — everyone, from Melo on down — truly understood the gravity of the moment, and the sense of urgency inherent therein. From Shumpert’s inspiring D to Melo finally — even if it’s fleeting — winning over the Garden crowd, it was the kind of game that made me truly proud to be a Knicks fan.

111 comments on “Knicks (plus one Yahweh) 100, Bulls 99

  1. Steve Carmichael

    Great work as always, Jim.

    I was driving back to school listening to MSG Radio, and just about dumped my car in a ditch when Carmelo hit the game winning three.

  2. Thomas B.

    And a D- for Smith. Sure he couldn’t hit much of anything for 3.85 quarters, but he played pretty active defense and managed to finally hit some shots down the stretch. I hate to complain but I don’t understand the grading here at all.

  3. Thomas B.

    Thomas B.:
    And why did Davis get an A+?

    Well you fixed that, great. Now just bump JR up a grade because he played better than Baron Davis.

  4. ephus

    The Knicks have turned my daughter into a fan. Today was the final touch. I do not know if this makes me a good father or I have set her up for a lifetime of disappointment.

    Today, at least, was sweet.

  5. Jim Cavan Post author

    Thomas B.:
    And a D- for Smith.Sure he couldn’t hit much of anything for 3.85 quarters, but he played pretty active defense and managed to finally hit some shots down the stretch.I hate to complain but I don’t understand the grading here at all.

    Just callin’ ‘em how I see ‘em. A lot of it is contextual for me. Smith very nearly shot the Knicks out of this game. Some good D isn’t going to cover that up.

  6. cgreene

    Agreed the Smith grade is off. More like a C or C-. He played good D, grabbed 5 boards including a big one after Rose bricked is 2nd FT and the ball bounced long. He also hit 2 huge shots in OT. Cmon. (:

  7. Jim Cavan Post author

    cgreene:
    Agreed the Smith grade is off.More like a C or C-.He played good D, grabbed 5 boards including a big one after Rose bricked is 2nd FT and the ball bounced long.He also hit 2 huge shots in OT.Cmon. (:

    I give up. C- it is.

  8. JLam

    Jim
    Enjoy the witty evaluation as always
    Watching JR shot is much like opening a box of chocolates….you never know what you going to get.

  9. Z-man

    Nice recap, Jim. I would respectfully disagree with the grade for Fields. Have expectations gotten so low for him that a mediocre game (.46 TS%, 0 FT, terrible sequence in the 3rd q, etc.) earns him a B+?

  10. ephus

    One of the keys in the first nine minutes of the first quarter was that the Knicks were sending five men to the defensive glass. They were able to do this because the defense was so stifling that they were not having to switch or double often. Once Chicago began breaking down the Knicks, they were getting easy second chance opportunities because TC (and others) were forced to abandon their men when shots went up.

    Little noticed play near the end of regulation. Rose waived off the screen, wanting to show that he could break down Shumpert off the dribble without help. Shump shut him down, and Melo came back the other way with a layup and one.

    Shumpert is better on defense than any rookie I have seen since Latrell Spreewell.

  11. JC Knickfan

    Just suggestion – you could include a Coaching rating every game also. I give credit to Woodson on not playing one designated PG for 18 minutes and in overtime. Our PG play is just dreadful. Melo offense and our defense will need to continue to carry the Knicks until Amare comes back.

  12. Jim Cavan Post author

    Z-man:
    Nice recap, Jim.I would respectfully disagree with the grade for Fields.Have expectations gotten so low for him that a mediocre game (.46 TS%, 0 FT, terrible sequence in the 3rd q, etc.) earns him a B+?

    Thanks guys. And I legit screwed up that one — thought I checked C+.

  13. Thomas B.

    Jim Cavan: Just callin’ ‘em how I see ‘em. A lot of it is contextual for me. Smith very nearly shot the Knicks out of this game. Some good D isn’t going to cover that up.

    I’m sure you are calling it like you saw it, but I have to question what you saw.

    Smith helped keep the team in it in overtime with 2 consecutive buckets in OT. He also secured some key defensive rebounds in the 4th, one leading to Anthony’s 3 to tie the game. He had a steal and 0 turnovers. On a night where few Knicks outside of Anthony shot well (Novak 0-4, Davis 1-7, Douglas 1-4, Shumpert 5-14) it is hard to see you so willing to ignore the things Smith did well. I am in no way excusing the poor shooting, but there is a big difference between poor shooting and bad shot selection.

    You could give Novak a pass because most of his shots were good looks that did not go down. If you are saying Smith took bad shots–and there were a few (Melo took a few bad ones too, five happened to go in)–then fine. But it isnt fair to throw out the defense, the rebounding, and the overtime buckets (2-4) for one–glaring I give you that–aspect of his game. He is basically graded slightly better than the guy whose box score should be written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Seriously?

  14. d-mar

    This afternoon I experienced the most excruciating way to watch a Knicks game: via the ESPN crawl on board a Jet Blue flight (Jet Blue televisions for some bizarre reason have every channel imaginable except ABC) So I would stare at MLB scores, Masters updates, etc. and wait for the latest Knicks updates and hold my breath. When they went down ten near the end I almost pounded the seat in front of me but thought better of it. When they went up 1 in OT, I stared at the little screen waiting for an eternity for the “Final” to be posted. Then I high fived my seatmates and ran up the aisle to high five my son. Excruciating way to watch, but the result made it worth it!

    And the great thing about K-Blogger is I just got done reliving the game through the hysterical posts: “We suck, we’re not making the playoffs” “We have a chance” “I don’t fucking believe it”

    You guys are the best!

  15. Jim Cavan Post author

    Thomas B.: He is basically graded slightly better than the guy whose box score should be written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Seriously?

    Sorry, but five rebounds in 37 minutes isn’t exactly grounds for fawning, in my opinion. I adjusted the grade because yes, he did have a handful of key contributions down the stretch. But I’d contend that, if he hadn’t hoisted 7 or 8 of those 22 shots (which, I mean, wow), many of which were EARLY in the shot clock, maybe the Knicks aren’t put in that position at all. To my mind, he “almost killed us” much more than he “helped save us.”

  16. ephus

    JC Knickfan:
    Just suggestion – you could include a Coaching rating every game also.I give credit to Woodson on not playing one designated PG for 18 minutes and in overtime.Our PG play is just dreadful. Melo offense and our defense will need to continue to carry the Knicks until Amare comes back.

    I believe the template comes from ESPN, and they do not have space for coaching analysis.

  17. JC Knickfan

    7th seed doesn’t mean we would play Miami.
    Miami and Chi-town still play 2 more times after splitting first 2 games. It’s still coin toss who end up the first seed.

  18. BigBlueAL

    JC Knickfan:
    7th seed doesn’t mean we would play Miami.
    Miami and Chi-town still play 2 more times after splitting first 2 games. It’s still coin toss who end up the first seed.

    Knicks need to just win as many games as possible the rest of this season and not worry about who their potential playoff opponent would be.

  19. Z-man

    Jim, I’m with you on the JR score. He was a Starksian 3-18 at one point, and only Melo’s heroics and 4 missed FTs by the Bulls 2 best players kept him from being dartboard fodder for me and my son. I will say that he does play extremely hard and is being forced to play some kind of PG-hybrid shit, and that he was HUGE in OT, but a C- is more than generous.

  20. Matt Smith

    Great stuff Jim. Thought you were right with your first grade for Smith – just abysmal. But I think some of that might have to do with coaching – you know JR is going to shoot, so only put him in when your resting Melo or other scorers.

    That aside, I think this was a complete uphill battle for the Knicks – it had some of the worst refereeing I have seen in a long, long time. They almost single-handedly manufactured the Bull’s comeback and did us no favors down the stretch. Ticky-tack calls on us gave the Bulls so many undeserved points, and the make-up calls for us were completely inconsequential. I still don’t have my voice from that sequence at the end where Melo and Tyson got fouled at least twice each on the same possession with no calls whatsoever.

  21. Thomas B.

    Jim Cavan: Sorry, but five rebounds in 37 minutes isn’t exactly grounds for fawning, in my opinion. I adjusted the grade because yes, he did have a handful of key contributions down the stretch. But I’d contend that, if he hadn’t hoisted 7 or 8 of those 22 shots (which, I mean, wow), many of which were EARLY in the shot clock, maybe the Knicks aren’t put in that position at all. To my mind, he “almost killed us” much more than he “helped save us.”

    Then ditto Steve Novak (0-4) no clutch shots. Compared to JR Smith (6-22) at least 2 clutch shots, 2 clutch rebounds, and solid D. Remember Novak’s turnover when he just let himself fall out of bounds. Smith had no turnovers.

  22. Thomas B.

    Z-man:
    Jim, I’m with you on the JR score.He was a Starksian 3-18 at one point, and only Melo’s heroics and 4 missed FTs by the Bulls 2 best players kept him from being dartboard fodder for me and my son. I will say that he does play extremely hard and is being forced to play some kind of PG-hybrid shit, and that he was HUGE in OT, but a C- is more than generous.

    Melo got his shot thanks to Smith’s rebounds. Novak bricked the other potential game tying three that Smith rebounded.

  23. d-mar

    Just noticed in the box score that the Knicks committed only 9 turnovers, and no player had more than 2. Impressive against a superior defensive team like the Bulls, and hopefully a trend, as it’s normally a real problem for this team.

  24. Matt Smith

    + To my last post. Apparently they shot 11 more FTs than us. But I’m fairly sure we shot a disproportionate number of ours when the Bulls looked AWFUL at the beginning of the game.

  25. Kikuchiyo

    Knickerblogger posters are so funny. Spent the game thread moaning about how everything has collapsed, spent the post-game thread lamenting various sins of Knicks players (and other KB posters), and now quibbling about the damn grades.

    I swear the “Knicks win the Championship” thread will be full of battles over how wrong the MVP choice was.

    But I love it. Keep clawing, Knickerbloggers. We’re almost to the postseason.

  26. BigBlueAL

    “I swear the “Knicks win the Championship” thread will be full of battles over how wrong the MVP choice was. ”

    How many of us will still be alive when this thread is posted?? lol

  27. Bruno Almeida

    Landry deserves some love, he was probably a B-… not that it matters.

    awesome effort by Melo, and by Shumpert and Chandler on D, let’s hope we keep this energy level every game down the stretch… if we do it, we’ll make the playoffs and we might even avoid Chicago / Miami on the first round.

    also, I loved the Jeffries part, this guy deserves a lot of credit and a lot of love.

  28. Z-man

    I still think we have to gear up for Milwaukee on Wednesday. If we burn ourselves out in a close loss to the Bulls On Tuesday and have nothing left, we could be on the outside looking in again. Sixers and Bucks both have creampuff schedules compared to us, we need that tiebreaker vs. Milwaukee just in case. I know we can’t actually “tank” the Bulls game, but hope that Coach gives TD, Novak, and Jorts ample minutes.

  29. Z-man

    PS Jeffries had 2 very big baskets on a strong drive and a follow. Not what I have come to expect from Jeffrightened.

  30. JC Knickfan

    Z-man:
    PS Jeffries had 2 very big baskets on a strong drive and a follow. Not what I have come to expect from Jeffrightened.

    JJ defense look very good in first game back. 11 minutes I presume Woodson just being careful him, but his play justified for more extended playing time especially since we lost rebound war.

  31. JR Sec 112

    d-mar, I’m had the same experience today. even worse, I was on a plane outside of the TV reception area so I had to wait until we got back over the US to find out the final score. My last update was knicks down 81-77, then i find out they win by 1 in OT. Relived the game through KB posts, which was hysterical. Funny thing is, felt like i actually watched the game.

    Question for those who did – were the bulls doubling Melo? Was Deng on him? Or Noah? On a couple highlights, looked like he went past Noah on drives. He had 16 FGs – 4 were 3s. What about the rest? I saw 3 layups on highlights.

    Shout out to ruru – lets face it, he’s been saying this was coming for a while. Even though I didnt see it, to put up 43 against one of the top defenses in the league when you are the only guy on the floor who can create your own shot….i guess the only word that comes to mind is Jordanesque

  32. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I don’t get why Woody still doesn’t give Fields more minutes when Fields is playing well. I’m totally cool with him burying him when he is having a bad game, but he played well today. He has a bad stretch in the third and gets banished from the game until they’re down 9 in the fourth. Luckily, unlike the Indiana game, he at least did put FIelds in and perhaps not so coincidentally (okay, it was almost certainly a coincidence) the Knicks came back to tie it.

  33. d-mar

    Just looking at the Magic’s schedule, they’re the only East playoff contender that has a West trip left. Their last 5 games of the season are @Boston, @Utah, @Denver, home vs. Charlotte and @Memphis. Our last 5 are @NJ, @Cleveland, @Atlanta, home vs. Clippers, @Charlotte. The point being if we can get within a couple of games of Orlando towards the end of April, we could make a serious run at that 6th seed.

    I know our primary concern should be staying ahead of the Bucks, but I agree with some who say the Sixers are free falling their way out of the playoffs. We need to be greedy and do whatever it takes to get out of the 7 or 8 spot

  34. JC Knickfan

    BigBlueAL: Knicks need to just win as many games as possible the rest of this season and not worry about who their potential playoff opponent would be.

    Of course I agree with statments, but you know there ton argument on who Knicks would matchup better with for potential first round upset.

  35. Z-man

    That is very typical for Fields, he piles up stats in the first q and is useless in the rest of the game. Woodson has caught on. It is tough to play a guy in crunch time that has absolutely not a single “plus” SG-SF skill on either end.

  36. daJudge

    Z-man–IMO, I don’t think we should call him “Jeffrightened” anymore. What do you think? He’s kind of regal in his own way. Also, I had to record the game because I had family all day long. Wow, what a game. I can’t think of much else to say right now, but I also recorded the Mets.

  37. jon abbey

    who gets credit for Deng’s 4-16, maybe Fields and Smith in roughly equal parts?

    and this is insane, the Revis comparisons I’m starting to hear may not be so ludicrous after all:

    “Per NBA TV, when Shumpert was on Rose he held him to 2 of 10 shooting with an eFG percentage of 30% + 7 turnovers.”

    I’m not sure who gets blamed for all those long 3s, but Shump played amazing today. also he seems to be in better shape now than he was in January when he used to cramp after 30 minutes playing at his manic pace. now he’s playing 40+ when necessary and still going strong at the end.

  38. jon abbey

    there are reasons to be OK with both the Chicago and Miami matchups if that’s where they end up, you probably have to go through them anyway at some point. the D’Antoni era almost certainly buried us too deep to move above 7th, but if we stay healthy from here and get an effective Amare back (pun intended), maybe we can scare one of the big boys.

    by the way, the Bulls signed Mike James for the rest of the season on Thursday, very bad move for NY not to cut Bibby and sign him.

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/story/_/id/7778609/chicago-bulls-sign-mike-james-derrick-rose-not-play-vs-boston-celtics

  39. Z-man

    Deng seemed to miss some open looks, so I’m not sure anyone gets the credit for shutting him down. Fields generally plays decent team defense, and he was in during the sensational first q defensive effort. JR played some excellent D late. I recall one posession where he denied Rose the ball with a vengeance.

  40. art vandelay

    cgreene:
    Agreed the Smith grade is off.More like a C or C-.He played good D, grabbed 5 boards including a big one after Rose bricked is 2nd FT and the ball bounced long.He also hit 2 huge shots in OT.Cmon. (:

    He also made the key strip of Rose that set up Melo’s final 3 that won the game!

  41. Brian Cronin

    By the way, how shitty was the last shot attempt by Rose? Dude looked like he just flipped it toward the basket, hoping it would miraculously go in!

  42. danvt

    Chandler should get rebounds for his tap outs. Either way when you combine them with his already gaudy #’s it’s just amazing.

    If we beat the Bulls at home, we give them and the rest of the league something to seriously think about.

  43. chrisk06811

    JR Smith shoots just like i would, if I got in the car and went over to the park right now. Of course, I’m 42, extra-caucasion, 20 lbs over weight, it’s dark out, and I’ve been eating easter candy all day.

  44. jon abbey

    Z-man:
    I wonder if the James signing was preordained, given his connection to the Bulls….

    no, he was eager to come to NY at one point and quoted as such, he’d definitely have gotten more of a chance here, as there he’ll presumably be fourth string behind Rose, Watson and Lucas.

  45. Jake S.

    Still think the Knicks need to address their point guard woes, whether that means (gulp) handing the ball to JR Smith, or giving Melo more looks as a distributor (obviously neither scenario is ideal). Baron Davis’ corpse is rotting only marginally slower than Bibby’s and Douglas, bless his noble heart, isn’t the answer. Is there no one on the waiver wire that could sop up 12 minutes a night?

  46. jon abbey

    chrisk06811:
    JR Smith shoots just like i would, if I got in the car and went over to the park right now.Of course, I’m 42, extra-caucasion, 20 lbs over weight, it’s dark out, and I’ve been eating easter candy all day.

    yeah, Melo was shooting like that too until he wasn’t. I’m not saying JR is on that level, but he’s not too far off when he gets it going.

  47. Jake S.

    Jake S.: Excellent thought.

    Even if, in the wise words of The Pharcyde, he’s “older than dirt and got hair on his tongue.”

  48. BigBlueAL

    Problem is I believe anybody signed right now wont be eligible for the playoffs correct??

  49. Jake S.

    BigBlueAL:
    Problem is I believe anybody signed right now wont be eligible for the playoffs correct??

    You’re probably right. Maybe they should give Jeffries a look at the point.

  50. ruruland

    Jake S.:
    Still think the Knicks need to address their point guard woes, whether that means (gulp) handing the ball to JR Smith, or giving Melo more looks as a distributor (obviously neither scenario is ideal). Baron Davis’ corpse is rotting only marginally slower than Bibby’s and Douglas, bless his noble heart, isn’t the answer. Is there no one on the waiver wire that could sop up 12 minutes a night?

    I think you need to rest Baron until Amar’e comes back. They’ll both need each other to be effective. Get them healthy enough.

    Shump, junior, Melo and Douglas can pull it off for the next week or so.

  51. ruruland

    Jake S.: Excellent thought.

    it really is a great thought. The guy should never be out of a job in this league. Despite all of his issues plays with great energy, very good defense, can penetrate off a rotation and is a very underrated passer.

    On the nights he can get a shot or two to go down, he’s quality.

  52. Brian Cronin

    Problem is I believe anybody signed right now wont be eligible for the playoffs correct??

    It used to be March 1st, so yeah, I imagine whatever the deadline was changed to for the shortened season, it has passed. But still worth picking him up for the rest of the season.

  53. ruruland

    jon abbey: yeah, Melo was shooting like that too until he wasn’t. I’m not saying JR is on that level, but he’s not too far off when he gets it going.

    Purely from a shooting perspective, JR can get it rolling better than Melo and anyone else I’ve seen outside of the occasional Lebron/Kobe eruption (in terms of range and average period of time between makes)

    most 6+ 3-pt make games in the NBA since ’06.

  54. Bruno Almeida

    Carter was actually waived by the Raptors in the middle of last month, I’m surprised nobody gave him a chance by now.

  55. Jake S.

    ruruland: it really is a great thought. The guy should never be out of a job in this league. Despite all of his issues plays with great energy, very good defense, can penetrate off a rotation and is a very underrated passer.

    On the nights he can get a shot or two to go down, he’s quality.

    Yeah, in this system, he’d be perfect for 15-20 minutes.

    I’d like to agree with you on Baron, but I fear he’s got a giant fork sticking out of his back. If it was just the hammy, OK, but he still hasn’t fully recovered from his herniated disc and I’m not sure he can hack it anymore. Maybe he’d look slightly better if he only had to play a dozen or so minutes a night.

  56. jon abbey

    Carter is actually a great idea since he has experience getting the ball to both Melo and JR already. he is 37 in a few months, but he has to an upgrade on Bibby.

  57. ruruland

    Jake S.: Yeah, in this system, he’d be perfect for 15-20 minutes.

    I’d like to agree with you on Baron, but I fear he’s got a giant fork sticking out of his back. If it was just the hammy, OK, but he still hasn’t fully recovered from his herniated disc and I’m not sure he can hack it anymore. Maybe he’d look slightly better if he only had to play a dozen or so minutes a night.

    Yeah but let’s recal what he looked like when he first returned. He was moving a LOT better,was living in the lane and his assist rate was in the 40s……

    We don’t need him to score at all when Amar’e comes back.

    When he’s able to move and think pass-first, he’s actually a really good fit. he just needs to sit awhile.

  58. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    Carter is actually a great idea since he has experience getting the ball to both Melo and JR already. he is 37 in a few months, but he has to an upgrade on Bibby.

    Frankly, at this point, he’d probably even shoot better than any of the guys we have.

    You put him on the floor with JR and Shump and you can lock the perimeter down.

    His tempo and playmaking are highly underrated and he was a big part of the Nuggets WCF run.

  59. Bruno Almeida

    regardless of whether we go for Carter or not, we should waive Bibby, he’s useless right now, we don’t need the “experience”.

    it’s impossible that with all the D-League teams there isn’t one PG capable of doing more than Bibby (which could be nothing more than being alive, for all we know).

  60. ruruland

    Outside of Melo, Knicks made 23 of 71 shots overall, 4 of 29 from three, and just 7-11 from the line. That’s insane.

  61. art vandelay

    ruruland: Frankly, at this point, he’d probably even shoot better than any of the guys we have.

    You put him on the floor with JR and Shump and you can lock the perimeter down.

    His tempo and playmaking are highly underrated and he was a big part of the Nuggets WCF run.

    He also singlehandedly got us back into game 4 of the playoffs last year against Boston with shotmaking and defense…guy is gritty (though I still kinda hate him a bit for that shot he hit off the top of the backboard that beat us in 2000 when he was on Miami).

  62. Juany8

    Well, Amar’e and Melo seemed to recover their strokes, if JR can find his and Amar’e is reasonably healthy for the playoffs, this team is capable of beating Miami and Chicago (though not likely). Lebron isn’t as big an advantage against a team with Melo and Chandler, just as Rose isn’t as effective against Shump and Chandler. All 3 team’s have offensively oriented power forwards, but I think a healthy Amar’e is still the best power forward of the 3. Having the biggest team won’t hurt either, big men simply win playoff games and Chandler, Amar’e, and Melo are the best front court in the east. If only this team had a healthy point guard they might even be favored…

  63. ruruland

    art vandelay: He also singlehandedly got us back into game 4 of the playoffs last year against Boston with shotmaking and defense…guy is gritty (though I still kinda hate him a bit for that shot he hit off the top of the backboard that beat us in 2000 when he was on Miami).

    Yeah, big AC fan.

  64. ruruland

    Juany8:
    Well, Amar’e and Melo seemed to recover their strokes, if JR can find his and Amar’e is reasonably healthy for the playoffs, this team is capable of beating Miami and Chicago (though not likely). Lebron isn’t as big an advantage against a team with Melo and Chandler, just as Rose isn’t as effective against Shump and Chandler. All 3 team’s have offensively oriented power forwards, but I think a healthy Amar’e is still the best power forward of the 3. Having the biggest team won’t hurt either, big men simply win playoff games and Chandler, Amar’e, and Melo are the best front court in the east. If only this team had a healthy point guard they might even be favored…

    What do you (and others) think about bringing Stat off the bench when he comes back (to see how he fits)?

    I don’t think you can mess with Melo at the 4. This is where he was always supposed to be……

    Even when they bring Deng to him you’ve got Fields, Shump or JR being guarded by Boozer. The Knicks didn’t take advantage of that as much as they will in the playoffs.

    Melo is tough enough inside to make it work; I think you’ve all seen that by now.

    Obviously you’re going to finish with Amar’e in the game, and you’re going to have 20+ minutes of overlap between TC,Melo and Stat. But I think it will take time to get Melo and Amar’e functioning together in a non-MDA offense. THere’s a ton of potential there given Amar’e ability to make jumpers, but it will take time for him to figure out his spots……

    I’d like to see Amar’e at the 5 when he cames back, with JJ, Shump, JR, and whoever filling out the rest of the unit.

  65. Jake S.

    ruruland: What do you (and others) think about bringing Stat off the bench when he comes back (to see how he fits)?

    I don’t think you can mess with Melo at the 4. This is where he was always supposed to be……

    Even when they bring Deng to him you’ve got Fields, Shump or JR being guarded by Boozer. The Knicks didn’t take advantage of that as much as they will in the playoffs.

    Melo is tough enough inside to make it work; I think you’ve all seen that by now.

    Obviously you’re going to finish with Amar’e in the game, and you’re going to have 20+ minutes of overlap between TC,Melo and Stat. But I think it will take time to get Melo and Amar’e functioning together in a non-MDA offense. THere’s a ton of potential there given Amar’e ability to make jumpers, but it will take time for him to figure out his spots……

    I’d like to see Amar’e at the 5 when he cames back, with JJ, Shump, JR, and whoever filling out the rest of the unit.

    I’m with you on this idea. Just as Amar’e was a huge mismatch at center, Melo can really carve teams up at the 4 and he’s a good enough rebounder to off-set what they might lose from starting STAT. Bringing the latter off the bench for 35 minutes a night as Melo and Chandler’s respective back-ups (I’m factoring in a few minutes when all three are on the court at the same time) seems like a clever idea on paper, but I’m not sure Amar’e could handle it. His ego already took a big hit when he had to surrender the team last year.

  66. Z

    Amar’e off the bench would have been preferable, even before the injury. Maybe the injury is an “excuse” to make the move, so he can save his ego and we can best utilize the roster.

  67. jon abbey

    Steve Smith on the NBA-TV recap show: “guys like Shumpert and LeBron can bother Rose.”

    GUYS LIKE SHUMPERT AND LEBRON

    :)

  68. Gomzd

    So it seems like the Knicks are at their best when Melo is the sole leader, sole creator, and sole scorer for the team. If this is true then the return of Amare and Lin will be either insignificant and bad, if this is true my question is; Can we be better or accomplish more than the 08-09 Nuggets or the 00-01 76ers becuase I see those teams as perhaps the best comparisons to the current Knicks

  69. Tony Pena

    Jon abbey: Lol. It’s scary man. He was anticipating Rose’s moves. I think it’s also why he might get burned once or twice on screens- he’s playing defense with his head as well as his 7 foot wings and herculean physique. In his rookie year…

    The Novak and Fields minutes thing is debateable, but it’s the team needing another playmaker besides Melo, especially tonight when Melo was the team offense and the opposing D began to key in on that. Even bad JR gets more respect than Fields at this point, a few feet of space that melo can use. I did like the Novak screening Melo idea by Woody when the Bulls began to double everytime.

  70. Doug

    ruruland: Yeah but let’s recal what he looked like when he first returned. He was moving a LOT better,was living in the lane and his assist rate was in the 40s……

    We don’t need him to score at all when Amar’e comes back.

    When he’s able to move and think pass-first, he’s actually a really good fit. he just needs to sit awhile.

    I’ll remember that game where he asked to guard Wade and shut Wade completely down forever.

    But I don’t remember him scoring at all last year with the Knicks, aside from the odd layup off a cut to the basket. I thought his shot was toast.

  71. ruruland

    So it seems like the Knicks are at their best when Melo is the sole leader, sole creator, and sole scorer for the team.

    That Nuggets team had nothing close to Chandler/Shump defensively. Martin is a strong individual defender and extremely versatile, and Jones was ok, but this team defends much better than that team ever could. Nene and Martin were not rim protectors, and Andersen was a shot blocker not an intimidator (and there’s a huge difference…. Jeffries and ANdersen are very close impact-wise.. Andersen is going to look a lot better statistically, clearly a better finisher, but Jeffries is far superior in terms of extra possession plays, and defending pick and rolls and smaller players. Also, if they ever counted charges as blocks he’d be considered elite.

    Nene was a really good complementary piece to Melo. great weakside attack player, had rapport in pick and roll, never took a low percentage shot (which hurt at times), excellent medium range shooter, and could occasionally be a low-post option. Very good passer. Nene was an average defender and below average rebounder.

    Nene’s usage was around 19% or so. I think Amar’e can be an incredibly efficient player at around 20-22 usage if he embraces weakside opportunities to go along with pick and roll stuff.

    Chandler>>>>Martin
    Amar’e>>>>Nene
    Shumpert>>>Jones
    Fields=Klieza

    Leaves you with Billups and Lin. Billups was not a natural point guard, and had low assist numbers — a lot of his usage was tied up in creating his own shot… He was around 22 percent.

    I think Lin should live around 22-24 percent, with more of it passing and creating. I’m not sure Lin will ever produce a .250 WS, but I don’t think it would mean he can’t be as good or better than Chauncey. A lot to observe first, however.

    Melo will have his most efficient years with these pieces, I see his usage dropping to the 28-29 range moving forward.

  72. Tony Pena

    Gomzd, I think the team has been winning since Dantoni resigned, not since Melo started going off for 30+, but prob not a coincidence. Speaking of MDA, totally disrespected Anthony Carter last year in the Boston series. Only put him in at the end of that game four. Sad thing is, unlike Lin, he had already proved himself, with the knicks.

  73. ruruland

    To answer your question, Gomzd, this is far and away the most talented team Melo’s ever played on. Same with Amar’e (perhaps you can make an argument for ’05 Suns)

    Unfortunately, we haven’t seen this team stay healthy and share a few thousand reps together in a varied offense yet,and I don’t think we’ve come close to witnessing it’s ceiling (even with the caveat of only being able to sign either Novak or Smith)

  74. ruruland

    Tony Pena:
    Gomzd, I think the team has been winning since Dantoni resigned, not since Melo started going off for 30+, but prob not a coincidence. Speaking of MDA, totally disrespected Anthony Carter last year in the Boston series. Only put him in at the end of that game four. Sad thing is, unlike Lin, he had already proved himself, with the knicks.

    Good point on AC.

    I honestly believe that if you can sign either Novak or Smith, and stay relative healthy, this team could have the best record in the NBA next year. Now, of course, it will depend on a lot of things going the Knicks way, and a lot of these guys have established injury histories. But maybe 4 teams have a chance for 60 wins any given season, the Knicks will surely be one of those.

    But it will mean that Douglas and Fields progress to their respective means, and that Shumpert and Lin continue to improve offensively — none of those are givens, but I do think most of them occurring is likely.

  75. ruruland

    Doug: I’ll remember that game where he asked to guard Wade and shut Wade completely down forever.

    But I don’t remember him scoring at all last year with the Knicks, aside from the odd layup off a cut to the basket. I thought his shot was toast.

    He can defend at a pretty high level.

    You can see his assist to minutes played when he was healthy was Nash-like. And it wasn’t an MDA thing because it was all freestyle. When he is able to move he still has it.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/davisba01/gamelog/2012/

  76. jon abbey

    ruruland:
    To answer your question, Gomzd, this is far and away the most talented team Melo’s ever played on. Same with Amar’e (perhaps you can make an argument for ’05 Suns)

    Unfortunately, we haven’t seen this team stay healthy and share a few thousand reps together in a varied offense yet,and I don’t think we’ve come close to witnessing it’s ceiling (even with the caveat of only being able to sign either Novak or Smith)

    apples and oranges a little bit (offense/defense), but that Suns team went 62-20 and was maybe the best offensive team the league has ever seen. Joe Johnson was their fourth best player and about to play in six straight All-Star games, Q was their fifth best player and led the league in made threes.

    this team seems to oddly be at its best when it’s missing guys, I don’t think we have much of an idea yet how the pieces would all fit if we were ever at full strength.

  77. ruruland

    Tony Pena:
    Jon abbey: Lol. It’s scary man. He was anticipating Rose’s moves. I think it’s also why he might get burned once or twice on screens- he’s playing defense with his head as well as his 7 foot wings and herculean physique. In his rookie year…

    The Novak and Fields minutes thing is debateable, but it’s the team needing another playmaker besides Melo, especially tonight when Melo was the team offense and the opposing D began to key in on that. Even bad JR gets more respect than Fields at this point, a few feet of space that melo can use. I did like the Novak screening Melo idea by Woody when the Bulls began to double everytime.

    His pick and roll defense is still soft. He might be the best on-ball defender in the game RIGHT NOW, considering his steals and turnovers created, but he is a subpar pnr defender.

    I think Fields gets a little bit of bad rap. Berri guys will have you believe Novak is the second best player on the team, but his inability to even dribble the ball out to reset the offense really constrains your attack.

    He simply can’t move and dribble at the same time, and it cost us late in the game. It means that any time you get him the ball and he can’t get a shot up, someone has to rescue him — that destroys the floor balance and puts the honus on whoever bails him out to figure it out.

    At least Fields is a decent creator for a 3 and can create second chance opportunities off the drive. of course, he’s barely a third of the player Novak is (and Shump isn’t even league replacement)

  78. ruruland

    jon abbey: I think he’s talking about Anthony Carter and you’re talking about Baron.

    You’re right. I really wasn’t sure what he was talking about I just started riffing. But yeah, Carter takes on the premier guards….. My bad Doug.

  79. ruruland

    jon abbey: apples and oranges a little bit (offense/defense), but that Suns team went 62-20 and was maybe the best offensive team the league has ever seen. Joe Johnson was their fourth best player and about to play in six straight All-Star games, Q was their fifth best player and led the league in made threes.

    this team seems to oddly be at its best when it’s missing guys, I don’t think we have much of an idea yet how the pieces would all fit if we were ever at full strength.

    I think it’s at it’s best with guys because the game becomes much simpler. Maybe that’s an obvious statement, but incorporating 3 high quality/high usage scorers is going to take a long time — the payoff is much bigger.

    It means a little less from everybody, a little more passing from everyone, and most importantly, a point guard who’s primary concern is to get Amar’e going.

    It all hinges on Lin, IMO. If he can’t develop the habit, skills, and mindset of a pass-first guy with these weapons, he’s going to turn into another scoring combo guard like Arenas or Ellis or you name ‘em, guys who really shouldn’t be handling the ball and initiating offense 70 percent of the time.

    That Suns team was really good, probably better on paper offensively, but they couldn’t defend and had a paper thin bench.

  80. ruruland

    “Carmelo Anthony tied the game with a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation and then put the Knicks up for good with a 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining in overtime. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Anthony has gone 24-52 from the field in game-tying or go-ahead situations in the last 15 seconds of 4th quarter/OT over the last 10 seasons. Among players that have taken at least 20 field goal attempts over that span, Anthony ranks first in field goal percentage (46.2). His 24 field goals are second to Kobe Bryant’s 26.

    The table included listed the Top 4 in FG% in the last 15 seconds:

    Carmelo Anthony :::: 46.2 :::: 24-52
    Pau Gasol :::: 43.5 :::: 10-23
    Rudy Gay :::: 41.9 :::: 13-31
    Chris Bosh :::: 41.7 :::: 10-24″

  81. Tony Pena

    ruru, my point was exactly that, bad JR is more versatile than novak/fields, two-way.

    Shump, I think hes choosing to go soft on the screens, banking on his athleticisism to recover… Not a bad idea if you ask Toney D’s bum shoulder.

  82. jon abbey

    ruruland: of course, he’s barely a third of the player Novak is (and Shump isn’t even league replacement)

    is this a WOW mock? I’m all for that, just checking.

  83. ruruland

    jon abbey: is this a WOW mock? I’m all for that, just checking.

    Of course ;)

    Maybe Owen and THCJ can chime in on the exact cut-off for replacement level, but Shump’s .063 WS/48 is dreadful.

  84. Tony Pena

    I think it’s Melo’s Mellow, which is prob what rubs people the wrong way for starters, that lets him be unconscious like that. I mean those are COLD hearted shots.

  85. jon abbey

    ruruland:
    Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but I don’t think there’s any doubt Shump is the third best player on this team, not fourth to last as the numbers would suggest:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NYK/2012.html

    he’s got his endurance up from the start of the season too, somehow he can play 40 minutes now at that manic pace if necessary (ah, to be 21 again). all of the rookie raters also have him way undervalued, it’s pretty comical. maybe that national TV showcase today will wake some people up, because dude is killing it.

  86. jon abbey

    man, we really are still in the dark ages of basketball stats. Bill Walker’s WS/48 is higher than Shump Shump’s, too funny.

  87. BigBlueAL

    ruruland: Good point on AC.

    I honestly believe that if you can sign either Novak or Smith, and stay relative healthy, this team could have the best record in the NBA next year. Now, of course, it will depend on a lot of things going the Knicks way, and a lot of these guys have established injury histories. But maybe 4 teams have a chance for 60 wins any given season, the Knicks will surely be one of those.

    But it will mean that Douglas and Fields progress to their respective means, and that Shumpert and Lin continue to improve offensively — none of those are givens, but I do think most of them occurring is likely.

    Yeah, I’ll be thrilled with 50 wins and a Top 3 seed next season. Chill out a bit with the 60 wins lol.

    Interestingly only 2 Knick teams have ever won 60 in a season, the 1970 champions and the 1993 Knicks. Hell only 12 teams in franchise history have won 50 games in a season and 6 of those teams were coached by either Riley or JVG. I say best case scenario if everything goes perfect this off-season and next season is a mid-50′s win season which would be beyond awesome to me.

    For now though lets just hope the current team can stay over .500 this season and make the playoffs :-)

  88. Robtachi

    Bleh. Have to root for the Heat tomorrow night. Distasteful.

    Apropos of nothing, Joakim Noah starred on my high school’s basketball team (until he was forced to… ahem… transfer). He has not changed a bit.

  89. lfreundlich

    “shaky middle of the table.” This allusion strains physical reality without imaginative reward. Centers of tables are the most stable points. Please re-write and see me after class.

  90. johnno

    I think that the Melo that we’ve seen in the last 2 weeks or so is the guy we saw last year and the guy we’ve been waiting for this year. We can argue all day about systems, effort, iso-Melo, etc., etc., but I think that it boils down to one thing and one thing only — he is now healthy and in shape (neither of which he was for the first 40 games of the season) and we are starting to see once again that he can be an unstoppable offensive force. And he’s really putting in an effort on defense and on the boards. Yesterday’s game was a FUN game to watch. By the way, for all of the talk about how Melo, Amare, Lin, Fields, Davis, Smith and Bibby can’t play a lick of defense, the Knicks are fifth in the league in defensive efficiency. SOMEBODY besides Chandler and Shump must be doing SOMETHING on defense…

  91. Frank

    I think what was most impressive about the win yesterday is how we managed it without any real kind of inside scorer and without any ridiculous shooting performance from deep (8/34 as a team). Amare had killed Chicago this year in the 2 previous games (averaging 26 points/36 on a TS of 61.6), and even without him we took 32 shots at the rim. This was a good old-fashioned effort win. Yes, they missed 4 FTs in the clutch, but we also got called for 2 ridiculous technical fouls (seriously – Mutombo would have been sitting out games by the 2nd week of the season if what Shumpert did yesterday warranted a tech, and Garnett stares down every player all the time).

  92. Frank

    One more thing – I know it will never happen but shouldn’t Tyson get some consideration not just for DPOY but also for MVP? Lebron has obviously had an amazing year, but don’t you sort of get the feeling the Heat would be the 2nd seed even if Lebron missed 1/2 the season? The Heat are also 10-1 without Wade this year. Kevin Love is getting some talk because of his #s, but he might not even be the most valuable player on his own team (they’ve fallen apart without Rubio). Durant has been great also and is definitely deserving of consideration. But games like yesterday underscore just how VALUABLE TC is to this team.

  93. cypes

    hey guys ive been following this knickerblogger all season after a game like yesterday ive never joined a blog before but this game was awesome ive been a knick fan since 1980 it seems like we have a very special team here all heart go knicks bring on the bulls the heat whoever

  94. WeirdJohn

    Love this win. Great gut check by the team to pull this one out. I’m still thinking the Knicks have a chance to catch Boston and grab the 4 seed.

    Really enjoying watching the Knicks right now. Very impressed with the hard work they seem to put in each night and how they seem to have each other’s backs. A team in every sense of the word. To bounce back from that Indiana loss and win the next two says a lot.

    That said, these next few games are huge. Let’s keep it up. Go Knicks!

  95. david

    Completely agree, JohnNo — the quality of the defense isn’t just Chandler and Shump (although those two are awesome). I think both Fields and Smith are plus defenders at this point, depending on the opponent (Fields can bother guards with his size, Smith with his quickness). JJ is obviously a great defender too. And although I’m a MDA fan, it’s pretty clear that the defensive strategies have improvemed post-MDA — the switching every ball screen strategy and trying to speed up the game was designed for a bad defensive team, which we’re decidedly not.

  96. jon abbey

    Frank:
    I think what was most impressive about the win yesterday is how we managed it without any real kind of inside scorer and without any ridiculous shooting performance from deep (8/34 as a team).

    and without a PG on offense!!

  97. jon abbey

    Frank:
    But games like yesterday underscore just how VALUABLE TC is to this team.

    not really disagreeing with you, but it took possibly Melo’s single best regular season performance ever to pull it out. Melo played great on D yesterday too, pretty obvious to me he’d get the MVP of that game for us, even if Chandler and Shumpie weren’t far behind.

  98. jon abbey

    david:
    Completely agree, JohnNo — the quality of the defense isn’t just Chandler and Shump (although those two are awesome).I think both Fields and Smith are plus defenders at this point, depending on the opponent (Fields can bother guards with his size, Smith with his quickness).JJ is obviously a great defender too.And although I’m a MDA fan, it’s pretty clear that the defensive strategies have improvemed post-MDA — the switching every ball screen strategy and trying to speed up the game was designed for a bad defensive team, which we’re decidedly not.

    Melo has been pretty fantastic too, I still think Fields has his issues and is a big step down from the others (including JR Smith).

  99. Doug

    jon abbey:
    man, we really are still in the dark ages of basketball stats. Bill Walker’s WS/48 is higher than Shump Shump’s, too funny.

    Yeah we’re still using OPS and VORP, it seems. Maybe not even that.

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