Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Knicks-Raptors Preview: ACCIDENTALLY GOOD VERSUS ACCIDENTALLY BAD

The New York Knickerbockers look to wash the bad taste of Christmas out of their mouth with a home-and-home against the Toronto Raptors this Friday and Saturday. The Raptors don’t seem particularly interested in winning games this year, but the joke’s on them because they’re winning games anyway – they’re 5-3 since trading Rudy Gay at the beginning of December.

To prepare for two games in such short proximity, I enlisted the help of Blake Murphy – resident Canadian, Editor at TheScore, and a contributor to Raptors Republic, our TrueHoop sister site. The two of us exchanged a few emails Monday and Thursday, discussing all things Raptors and Knicks.

Jeremy Conlin (jeremy_conlin): Well, let’s start off by wishing all of our fine readers a Merry Christmas – they have Christmas in Canada, right?

The Schedule Gods have given the Knicks and Raptors a rather interesting slate this year – a back-to-back home-and-home Friday and Saturday, and then the two teams won’t meet again until April, where they play twice in five days, including the last day of the season.

But for now, let’s focus on the two games this weekend, and this new-look Toronto team. Blake, is there anything drastically different about the team over the last eight games since Rudy Gay got shipped out?

Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC): We do have Christmas in Canada. Presently, Toronto is a giant sheet of ice, and rumor has it that Santa’s reindeer don’t have Blizzak hoofs, so it is in some peril.

In any case, we’ll all be treated to a late Christmas present in the form of Raptors/Knicks and Knicks/Raptors, #knickstape against #tanktape.

But the “tank” is failing spectacularly since the Rudy Gay trade, because the Raptors offense suddenly no longer looks like me playing NBA Live 2004 as the Cavaliers and just going ISO after ISO with Ricky Davis and Darius Miles. Here’s basically what you need to know: the Raptors team assist rate with Gay on the floor this year was 46.7%, with him on the bench or traded, it’s been 55.3%. The pieces just fit way better, even if the talent level is lower.

Now, let me ask you a Knicks question…LOL?

Conlin: That’s a strong question that I really have no answer to. All non-Knicks fans seem to be taking unbridled joy out of their failures, Knicks fans seem to be ready to jump of the Triborough Bridge, and I’m just sitting in the middle of my two groups of internet friends trying to get along with everyone. I’m telling you, it’s been weird.

The frustrating thing about this matchup from the Knicks end is that the Raptors aren’t even trying to win and yet here they are, less than a week removed from wins over Dallas and Oklahoma City, both on the road. The Raptors are an NBA team, and as such should be favored heavily over these Knicks, but I ask, what exactly have the Raptors figured out that the Knicks haven’t yet? How do teams just stumble into wins like this?

Murphy: The Raptors are really hard to figure out, man. Probably as hard as the Knicks, but in different ways. They don’t have great defenders (Amir Johnson and Kyle Lowry are probably the only guys you’d classify as above-average) but are roughly average on that end because they work hard (usually). They move the ball now but can’t hit threes, and as such they’re roughly average on offense, too. And that might be it…they are a very average team (even their point differential is essentially zero), average teams tend to play more close games, and close games leave a bit more up to randomness.

The reason the Raptors don’t get blown out, I would guess, is an incentive issue (“Issue” if you’re pro-tank). There are six players on this team with guaranteed contracts for next season and the coach is a lame duck; every single one of these guys wants to win, wants to get numbers, wants to show something. There’s also probably somewhat of a “house money” looseness and/or “we’ll show them” attitude given where expectations are and the constant questions about tanking.

That is all really rambly and all over the place. So I’ve basically become the Raptors.

Conlin: And what about going forward? On some level, yes, it seems like right now the team is “accidentally” winning, but at what point do you think the team shifts focus and decides they want to win on purpose?

Basically, I’m curious about the fate of two Raptors who might be following Rudy Gay with a one-way ticket back to the U.S. – DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry (the latter of which has been rumored to have drawn interest from these New York Knicks). Do you think the front office is totally committed to a full-scale tear-down and re-build? What are the odds that either of those guys finish the season still wearing Purple and Black?

Murphy: The odds of them wearing purple-and-black this year are roughly zero. Finishing as Raptors, however, is different. I’d say Lowry is gone no matter what if they can get any sort of future first for him. DeRozan is a tougher question because he has value beyond this year – he’s young, he’s become an almost-efficient scorer, he likes the city and works his ass off, and you can afford to have one overpaid wing now that you’ve gotten rid of the other. They “need” to trade him to totally bottom out but they don’t “need” to trade him in a macro rebuilding sense.

Basically, I think nobody is nailed down, but Masai Ujiri’s plan is fluid based on the market and he won’t deal just for the sake of dealing. I do believe that the plan is a tear-down (and this is what comes out from “sources” whenever anyone cites them), but I’m not of the belief that it’s “finish dead last or bust.” In fact, I have a theory that Ujiri is asset collecting (future firsts) to potentially make a Ricky Williams offer for a top pick, realizing it’s unlikely the team will get it on their own “merit.”

Conlin: Do the Raptors not have Purple alternates anymore? Shoot, I’m too far out of the jersey loop, I guess.

I like your idea about the Ricky Williams offer (what would be the NBA equivalent, Chris Webber?), but maybe we’re getting too far ahead of ourselves. What about THIS weekend? These teams have two games over the span of maybe 28 hours, what should we expect to see? Is there anything specifically the Raptors do that will give New York fits (other than, you know, play NBA-caliber basketball – the Knicks can’t seem to figure that one out)?

Murphy: No, not particularly. There’s nothing tough to scout about the offense or the defense. Dwane Casey has flat out told me “we don’t run a lot of plays” and it looks as such. They’re moving the ball more and doing a better job spreading the floor horizontally, and they’ll definitely take threes, but they run a pretty vanilla offense.

Defensively, it will be interesting to see what they do against Carmelo Anthony, and that will really be the key. The Raptors have the guard advantage, and Tyson Chandler’s defense is somewhat less important against a team that shoots a below-average numbers of shots in the restricted area (with lower-usage bigs, though that’s changing), so a lot of the ‘edge’ could come down to how much damage Anthony can do. Terrence Ross and DeRozan are both far too weak if Anthony goes on the block, and while he’s a good defender, I’d be hesitant having Johnson try to hang.

I’ll ask you the same tactical question, but I’m also curious if you trust the Knicks on a back-to-back and whether that’s been something they’ve struggled with this year?

Conlin: Well, the Toronto matchup presents a bit of a problem for the Knicks in that the Raptors will spend most of their time with two traditional bigs on the floor. This isn’t to say that the Knicks aren’t equipped to defend (or score against) such a lineup, but it presents a problem in as much as it will bait Mike Woodson into playing his traditional “big” lineups, which have been an absolute train wreck this season. If Rudy Gay were still in town and playing as a small-ball four occasionally, that might actually be to the Knicks’ advantage (even though that’s where Rudy is most effective) because New York’s small lineups are much more effective than Toronto’s. But as long as Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas are on the floor, and the Knicks are mirroring with Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani/Amar’e Stoudemire, the Raptors should have the upper hand.

The back-to-back doesn’t seem much of an issue for the Knicks. They’re 3-3 on the second end of back-to-backs this year (3-3 on the front ends, too), which might actually be an upgrade over their 2-12 record on games not part of a back-to-back, but the sample size is obviously too small to say anything for sure. Luckily the team is traveling Friday night, which means there won’t be any issue with the team partying too late the night before (which has cropped up twice this season and became such an issue that Woodson kept the team in a hotel last Friday night before their game against Memphis Saturday afternoon).

One last question before we sign off – because it’s a home-and-home, on back-to-back nights, do we think the coaching staffs are invested and committed enough to making large-scale changes from one game to the next based on what happens Friday night? Or do we think because it’s the regular season with a short turnaround, the coaches will be content to put one gameplan in place and hope it works two days in a row?

Murphy: I would guess that they’ll roll with similar game plans, but that’s partly a function of Casey not being a coach that rolls out vastly different coverages game to game. On a similar note, contrary to your thought about the Raptors rolling two bigs – while they’re not less well-equipped to go with a small-ball four (they can run two point-guards), Casey has been far more reactive than proactive with his lineups. That is, if Woodson goes small, Casey will likely match rather than exploit the size advantage. This actually has the making of a hilarious coaching battle where two otherwise-decent coaches just wait for the other to make a move.

124 comments on “Knicks-Raptors Preview: ACCIDENTALLY GOOD VERSUS ACCIDENTALLY BAD

  1. BigBlueAL

    Melo is out tonight and most likely tomorrow night too. Shump is a game-time decision due to a thigh contusion and if he is out Woodson said Kmart will start in his place which would mean a starting frontcourt of KMart-Bargs-Chandler. LMFAO at that starting lineup.

  2. BigBlueAL

    Getting swept in this back-to-back vs the Raptors (which right now looks like a strong possibility with Melo out and especially if Shump is out too) would really make Woodson’s arrogance about stating he still expects to win the division look even more silly considering the next 3 games after this back-to-back vs Toronto are in Texas. 9-24 is a strong possibility. I really hate this season lol.

  3. coyle022

    I really hope that they lose every game between now and Jan 6th vs Miami. And if all goes well there will be several 20+ point blowouts to mediocre competition in there. How many losses in a row will it take for Dolan to reverse course and say screw it, goodbye Woodson. 9, 10 maybe? if they went on a nice 0-10 streak I think it would still only be a 50/50 shot that Woodson gets fired

  4. Brian Cronin

    I really hope that they lose every game between now and Jan 6th vs Miami. And if all goes well there will be several 20+ point blowouts to mediocre competition in there. How many losses in a row will it take for Dolan to reverse course and say screw it, goodbye Woodson. 9, 10 maybe? if they went on a nice 0-10 streak I think it would still only be a 50/50 shot that Woodson gets fired

    Pretty much, which is why it doesn’t really make sense to root for losses, no matter how tempting. It just won’t matter. They can win six straight and Woody can give him some lip and he’ll fire him. There’s no reasoning with Dolan. So we might as well root for the Knicks to win the division.

  5. ephus

    it doesn’t really make sense to root for losses, no matter how tempting. It just won’t matter. They can win six straight and Woody can give him some lip and he’ll fire him. There’s no reasoning with Dolan. So we might as well root for the Knicks to win the division.

    +1.

    If Dolan really just put himself on the line with his players saying that there will be no coaching change, I expect that Dolan cares more about keeping that word than any result this season (so long as Woodson does not embarass him by going outside the cone of silence).

    We all need to have a healthy skepticism about how much we know. First, our information is imperfect because Dolan really is good at shutting down idle chatter. Second, even if we had perfect information on the state of play today, events quickly overtake plans. Westbrook gets injured and the Thunder have to re-evaluate all of their plans (even if they stick with them). Horford tears his pectoral muscle (again) and the Hawks no longer look like a favorite for the three seed. Who knows the next injury? So, who knows what tomorrow or next summer will bring?

  6. Kahnzy

    The Knicks fast break certainly is a work in progress. 0-3 with two offensive fouls.

    That’s putting it kindly.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Bargs has ten points and is 4-7 with 2-2 from three against his old team. Don’t you take that away from him!

  8. ephus

    Knicks spent most of the first quarter in a zone, which neither Breen nor Clyde decided to mention. Outside of one breakdown by STAT, it was really effective.

  9. ephus

    Wow, the Knicks actually made the 2 for 1 work.

    Penetration by Murry.
    Defensive stop.
    STAT gets to the foul line with .4 left.

  10. Kahnzy

    I’ve always been bothered by Hansbrough’s very tiny head in relation to the rest of his body. Just looks…weird. Also, he’s an asshole. Wish he was a Knick, at least he looks like he generally gives a damn most of the time I watch him.

  11. Brian Cronin

    I like Toure’. He at least has upside. I also like that the Knicks have two guys on their team with apostrophes in their first names.

  12. ephus

    Knicks did not recognize that the Raptors are playing a zone.

    1. Get the ball to the foul line by either penetration or pass.
    2. Diaganol passes to open perimeter shooters.
    3. If the defense closes out hard, take the ball to the rim.

  13. Nick C.

    THJ is the one bright spot of this disappointing season. Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of other rookies that looked good early like Fields, Frye and poor lost Shumpert.

  14. ephus

    Toronto is blitzing JR Smith anytime he is the ball handler in a PnR. Back the ball out quick and pass to the roll man flashing to the foul line. Should be a 4 on 3 leading to an open 3 or dunk.

  15. ephus

    Shumpert took a really stupid foul. Off the ball, 23 feet from the basket. Sitting for the rest of the half.

  16. Kahnzy

    Why are we double-teaming Derozan? Is he some sort of automatic post-scoring champion that I’m just not aware of?

  17. BigBlueAL

    So much for that 10pt lead. Woodson’s quick multiple timeouts seemed to have only helped the Raptors lol.

  18. Kahnzy

    So much for that 10pt lead. Woodson’s quick multiple timeouts seemed to have only helped the Raptors lol.

    Woodson learned that hard way that you’ve gotta use ‘em or lose ‘em.

  19. BigBlueAL

    Great response by the Knicks after the Raptors tied the game, especially from JR. 9pt lead at the half is pretty nice.

  20. Kahnzy

    I think the only thing this game is going to prove is that when a bad team plays another bad team, even a bad team can win a game.

  21. ephus

    Gotta disagree on the Knick zone. They held Toronto to 40 points in the first half on 37.8% shooting with 30% shooting from 3. The defensive rebounding has not been great, but I would take this level of defense in every game.

  22. Brian Cronin

    If Andrea Bargnani plays with this much intensity every night, he is a strong contributor.

    Miami Heat fans on December 13, 1993 “If Willie Burton plays like this every night, he is a strong contributor.”

  23. BigBlueAL

    The Knicks played zone twice from what I could tell. It lead to an and1 layup by Valencunious and then an offensive rebound off an open missed 3pter which lead to an open jumper for made basket. The regular man D has been very good tonight, active with alot of deflections and forced turnovers. But the couple of times I noticed an obvious zone D it was awful.

  24. Brian Cronin

    That said, I am enjoying the hell out of this half by Bargs. I just don’t think we should expect anything based on it besides enjoying it as it comes.

  25. Kahnzy

    Udrih can throw some blame on Woodson all he wants (Lord knows he deserves it), but those hit-the-side-of-the-backboard-jumpers of his are embarrassing just to watch, can’t imagine what it feels like to actually be the guy doing that in front of a crowd of thousands.

  26. ephus

    The zone was mostly in the first quarter and it was effective.

    The difference between Bargnani and most players who are having an atypical game is that Bargnani is not hitting lucky shots or getting rebounds on weird bounces. He brought more intensity tonight, and it has led to results. He should be to bring intensity every night.

  27. maxwell_3g

    sans melo (and with JR playing within himself), the ball movement is there tonight. what is so difficult for woodson and/or the players to understand about ball movement= better shots

  28. d-mar

    That sequence with the stupid Hansbrough foul, followed by 2 missed FT’s by STAT, followed by another stupid Hansbrough foul, followed by 2 missed FT’s by JR, followed by a stupid foul by STAT should be called “Dumb, Dumber, Dumberest”

  29. BigBlueAL

    At least the team is secure in knowing losing tonight and presumably the next 4 games wont lead to any trades or coaching change.

  30. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Drive, kick, swing around the perimeter, find the open man…

    Is it really that easy to score on us in the clutch???

  31. maxwell_3g

    I was kind of rooting for the knicks without melo, but im fine with the raptors winning. operation blow it up

  32. BigBlueAL

    9-24. By the end of next week this team is going to be 9-24. What a fucking joke. But hey dont worry Mike Woodson, your job is safe!!

  33. The Infamous Cdiggy

    This movie looks familiar.

    With no Melo. And Tyson is on the floor during this version.

    It’s like teams know we’ll clam up execution as the game gets into its late stages.

  34. d-mar

    Can someone please press the fast forward button on this season please? I can’t take watching this team any more.

  35. BigBlueAL

    This is great stuff though. Dolan probably thinks he is a genius by giving his little speech to the team yesterday thinking they will rally around their idiot head coach. Instead they do the same shit they always do the next night and choke away another game at home in the 4th quarter and now go on the road for an inevitable 0-4 road trip.

  36. Kahnzy

    Can someone please press the fast forward button on this season please? I can’t take watching this team any more.

    So, see you tomorrow? Maybe we should form a Knicksaholic anonymous group to kick this masochistic addiction we all share.

  37. kronicfatigue

    I’m hoping the Knicks cut into the lead just to see which one “Chris Webber’s” a phantom time out

  38. The Infamous Cdiggy

    I’m watching this game, and, I mean, they just took a dump mentally.

    There was NO reason for them to lose this game. None. At. All.

  39. Thomas B.

    Brian,

    I know it’s a long season. I know the division is horrible. But seriously, is there a point where we call the coroner on this team? Personally I’m ready to purchase stock in body-bags.

  40. Kahnzy

    As bad as this team is, I’m still shocked that they lost this game.

    Really? At this point, I’m more surprised when they win.

  41. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Personally I’m ready to purchase stock in body-bags.

    They were indeed zombied in the 4th quarter. I mean, did the Raps do anything special in that 4th quarter??? If they did, I missed it. They played basic NBA basketball, and the Knicks melted.

    You could hear the stark disappointment in Breen’s voice.

  42. coyle022

    1 down , 9 to go. It still might take a 15-20 game losing streak for Woodson to get the boot…Whatever it takes, I’m all for it. The man cannot coach this team anymore. It’s painfully obvious.

  43. hoolahoop

    Guaranteeing Woodstupid will be around for the rest of the season makes it easier to tune out.
    I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a knicks coach as much as him.

    I think Dolan likes him because he comes across as sweet an humble.

  44. BigBlueAL

    Only drama Im interested in now over the next month is hoping the Yankees sign Tanaka. Then I will really be excited for Spring Training and the Yankees season to start which would mean finally being able to completely ignore this awful Knicks season.

  45. hoolahoop

    The knicks are seriously one of the worst teams in the NBA.
    I think the only was this changes – BOYCOTT MSG.
    If no one shows up, Dolan may get the message.

  46. BigBlueAL

    Im looking forward to basically a week off from the Knicks. After tomorrow night they dont play until Thursday then play 3 of 4 days in Texas which probably means 3 blowouts which make it easier to turn off the games quickly and not really pay much attention to them.

    At this point the only interesting stuff left in this season is seeing what if any stupid trades the Knicks make before the deadline.

  47. The Infamous Cdiggy

    “The Knick players are gonna try to explain this one, but I don’t think there’s any way to explain this… Happy New Year.” -Al Trautwig

    LMAO (smh) -Al’s a smart-ass for that one.

  48. Hubert

    How has Dolan been spared the sound of 19,000 Knicks fans screaming “fire Dolan” every night? He’s been at this for over a decade. He should be afraid to bring friends there.

  49. The Infamous Cdiggy

    How about Hahn calling out the team’s conditioning? Wally disagrees, but I think it might explain some things. What do you guys think? One way or another, that’s pretty damming.

    So opposite of the Riley Knicks who were known as (one of) the best conditioned team(s) in the league. In fact, it was pointed out that they beat the Mourning/LJ Hornets in a playoffs series one year in part because the Hornets looked gassed by time the 4th quarters came around while the Knicks were still strong in their execution.

  50. ephus

    In favor of “Fire Dolan”. Only thing that might work to get him to sell the team.

    It should become as ubiquitous as “Potvin Sucks!”

  51. BigBlueAL

    Herring tweeted this from Chandler: Chandler has interesting point abt fatigue. Says “when you’re constantly in rotations/getting mismatched on defense” it takes a greater toll

    He also tweeted saying JR blamed the bad 4th quarter defense on too much switching. Yet Woodson said recently he doesnt want the team switching on D so much. These guys honestly have no freaking clue what they are doing. Again such a poorly coached team its embarrassing.

  52. coyle022

    Now the NBA TV guys bashing Woodson for mentioning fatigue. Saying they’ve had more than enough time off. and I tend to agree….Woodson can’t manage minutes, can’t call plays in the clutch, can’t even call timeouts correctly….goddamit just fire him already and bring in somebody who has a clue

  53. maxwell_3g

    er…. im not blaming melo. he is a very good player and our best player. but even with him, we suck and he is a trade asset. I just want to blow it up. nothing personal against melo or his fan boys

  54. JK47

    MeloDrama II is rapidly approaching, and it seems like he has four less than desirable options:

    1. Play out the string and become a free agent at the end of the season, then sign elsewhere
    2. Inform the Knicks he is not going to re-sign here and give them an opportunity to trade him
    3. Re-sign with the Knicks for the big whopper max contract
    4. Re-sign with the Knicks for some sort of hometown discount

    So, 1 and 3 are the worst case scenarios, and 2 and 4 are the best case scenarios. I can’t see #4 happening; the guy would have to be a fool to take less money so James Dolan can have more to invest in the terrible contracts of tomorrow. So that leaves 1, 2 or 3. All three of those are really sort of legacy-tarnishing options if you think about it; if #1 happens he will have utterly screwed the Knicks over, if #2 happens it’s a repeat of the original MeloDrama and if #3 happens it should be pretty obvious to everybody that Melo’s “I just want to win” words ring hollow. He’d be re-signing with a team that’s going to win about 30 games with very little chance of improving the following season.

    I’m guessing #3 is the end result.

  55. hoolahoop

    Melo is not without blame in the current fiasco. He put a lot of pressure on the knicks to get a deal done or he was going to sign with Denver or Brooklyn.
    When he arrived, it was all iso all the time, wasting no time doing his ball stopping, hero ball routine, basically emasculating Amare and forcing an offensive style that was all about himself.
    This season he started to get it. The iso thing isn’t working. He plays stretches of team ball, slips into hero-ball mode, back into team ball and then some more hero-ball. When he plays smart, he’s off the charts fantastic, but, he can’t sustain playing that way.
    It’s hard for teammates to suddenly play cohesively when Melo decides he going to play good team ball. There’s no chemistry. There’s no identity. There’s only confusion.

    Add Woodson to the concoction and you got the NY Knicks.

  56. Donnie Walsh

    Knicks are bad without Melo, they’re bad with him. Knicks are bad without Chandler, they’re bad with him. Knicks are bad without a serviceable PG, their bad with one.

    The only constant so far is that the Knicks are bad with Woodson, and that’s only because they haven’t had the chance to be bad without him.

  57. Brian Cronin

    Horford now apparently out for the rest of the season. Man, that sucks.

    And now Bradley Beal might have torn something in his knee, too! Geez, NBA, what the fuck?

  58. Jack Bauer

    The Knicks have been losing even to the below average teams , they are going to lose Big in all 3 games on the Texas road trip.

    Dolan with the dreaded Vote of Confidence : You know the firing and trades are coming soon…..

  59. er

    The horford and beal injuries make this more maddening. As long as the Knicks can finish top 6 in the east they can make a run in the playoffs smh. This has to be the weakest conference in decades

  60. coyle022

    Honestly, at this point, I would like to see some Chris Smith action. Murry is more of a 2/3 but mini-pipe could very well be the answer. He’s probably a better defender than Beno, and quicker/more elusive. Certainly a better athlete. Obviously, he sucks, but he might play better and more inspired than the other options. (Which goes to show how pathetic the backcourt players have been thus far)

  61. Brian Cronin

    Honestly, at this point, I would like to see some Chris Smith action. Murry is more of a 2/3 but mini-pipe could very well be the answer. He’s probably a better defender than Beno, and quicker/more elusive. Certainly a better athlete. Obviously, he sucks, but he might play better and more inspired than the other options. (Which goes to show how pathetic the backcourt players have been thus far)

    And, of course, the maddening thing is that there likely is some undiscovered D-Leaguer out there that might shine if given a shot at the point but the Knicks can’t even try to find him because they’re stuck with Chris freakin’ Smith.

  62. Brian Cronin

    The horford and beal injuries make this more maddening. As long as the Knicks can finish top 6 in the east they can make a run in the playoffs smh. This has to be the weakest conference in decades

    Yeah, it really is crazy. They have to be better than the Raptors at the very least! They should be good enough to win this division and at least avoid the Heat and Pacers in the first round.

  63. DRed

    Hardaway had been so much better than I ever thought he’d be, but how do you play 37 minutes and not get one rebound? Even Tyson got 6.

  64. coyle022

    And, of course, the maddening thing is that there likely is some undiscovered D-Leaguer out there that might shine if given a shot at the point but the Knicks can’t even try to find him because they’re stuck with Chris freakin’ Smith.

    Exactly. Seth Curry could be the answer.

    But no, we have Chris Smith instead.

    Knicks.

  65. Frank O.

    It was fairly predictable the Knicks would crash in the end. You could see it.
    Bargs disappeared, dumb shots abound, and the defense was breaking down. Too many switches leaving guys wide open.

    There’s a inertia to losing and for the team playing a weak squad a momentum.
    You can just feel the opposition’s confidence that they’re just going to beat the Knicks.
    Guards that play the Knicks ooze a sense of confidence that they are going to have a big night. We’ve seen this before during the Marbury years.
    The Knicks collapse in these games because they simply have no confidence down the stretch and the other team simply knows they will win or the Knicks will lose.

    You could see the Knicks played the fourth not to lose, while the Raps played to win.

  66. Kahnzy

    Honestly, at this point, I would like to see some Chris Smith action. Murry is more of a 2/3 but mini-pipe could very well be the answer.

    Have we truly sunk so low?

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