Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Knicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miami Heat 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 41 MIN | 15-29 FG | 10-14 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 41 PTS | +13

Much ink has been spilled over the efficacy and wisdom of “hero ball” — and rightly so. Here’s the thing doe: When your team’s secondary scoring threat is one bad hit away from spilling pints of blood all over the court, and options three-through-five are streakier than a goth chick’s hair, you’re probably in your right to see to it the offense runs through you most of the time. Despite a cold-shooting start, Melo’s tin-focused aggressiveness served notice that he didn’t intend to make 18-foot jumpers the day’s order. He’d eventually find his groove and — peppered with a handful of gorgeously prescient passes — will the Knicks to their first Playoff win since the waning days of the Clinton Administration. His defense was engaged, his spirit and confidence — rarely at a loss anyway — contagious.

After three straight games of watching his ’03 classmates reinforce what has to be a gnawing inferiority complex, Melo’s Olympian effort served notice — a notice that’s been sporadic as it is brilliant — that he’s still a bad, bad boy.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 34 MIN | 8-13 FG | 4-7 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +7

Risky move by Garden personnel to not outfit everyone in the first 10 rows with Gallagher-style ponchos, in the off chance that Stat’s hand just exploded, shooting blood everywhere. As it was, his 7-layer bean dip of bandages held strong, and Stat – a prideful man if there ever was one – got off to a tremendous, enthused start. Foul trouble limited his court time in the second and third quarters, but he would return to offer up a handful of timely, aggressive, heart-sleeved contributions late, and on both ends of the floor. As more than a few Twitterati pointed out, on a certain level, Stat not being able to use his left hand to dribble can actually be a good thing; it forced him to be more decisive with his moves, and exert more effort on rebounds, which entailed bigger bounce and more effort than we’re accustomed to seeing.

If you’d told me after his man-on-glass violence that Stat would a) return, and b) return with a vintage performance capable of erasing any and all resentment from the ‘Bocker faithful, I’d told you to pass that shit over. Melo’s sheer prolific prowess will no doubt dominate the headlines – as they should. But Stat’s 20-10, balls-to-wall performance deserves its own ink above the fold.

Tyson Chandler, C 33 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | +9

With a handful of obvious exceptions, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any Knick come as close to breaking a referee over his knee as Chandler looked by the second quarter. Truth told, Tyson’s foul woes – like Amar’e, he racked up his third by midway through the second quarter – should spelled doom for the already D-depleted ‘Bockers. Ditto when Chandler picked up his 5th – a ridiculous come-from-behind rejection of Joel Anthony more violent than most Mortal Kombat fatalities – at the end of the third quarter, when “we’re fucked,” or riffs thereon, became Twitter commonplace. This will by no means go down as Chandler’s most graceful performance, but it’s impossible to deny that his intensity, energy, and sheer vitriolic hatred for the Heat, helped keep the ‘Bocker candles lit.

Baron Davis, PG 25 MIN | 0-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | +5

Anyone who saw the replay of Dizzle’s horrific knee injury (I’d rather link to a German snuff film than give the basketball gods’ wrath the satisfaction of advertising their evil) was – as I was – immediately consumed by a sweeping, Catholic forgiveness. I don’t care who you are or what your basketball creed, you never want to see a player end a season – much less a career – like that. Kudos to the Garden crowd for lending their yawp chants to Baron in his time of need. While fleeting, his smile, cracked while being wheeled out stretcher-bound, spoke volumes. Get better, Baron. Honorary A+ for you.

Landry Fields, G 19 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +3

This whole “play really well in the first half before completely disappearing in the second” thing is getting a little old. Even more distressing is the idea that Landry’s last shot – an airballed corner three that looked wrong before it even left his fingers – might very well have been his last as a Knick. I’ll certainly be sad to see him go (if in fact he goes), if only because his positional rebounding, passable defense (which was borderline great in spurts against Wade tonight), and high court IQ (most of the time) are still valuable commodities, even if we’d all prefer them wielded in spot minutes.

Mike Bibby, PG 23 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | -3

In the wake of the third installment of “Crippling Knick Guard Knee Injuries,” It’ll likely be Bibby’s ship to steer hereon forward. Which sounds terrifying, until you consider that Bibbs has been by far the most rocksteady – if not the most spectacular or creative – Knick point in the series thus far. It goes beyond his “knowing Mike Woodson’s system”(Candyland is more complex); Bibby’s legitimate experience and calm, even-keeled demeanor can be valuable assets. When he’s boarding, taking care of the ball, and knocking down open shots, he’s still more than serviceable. Problem is, he’ll likely have to be more than that if the orange and blue intend to return home.

Jared Jeffries, PF 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -10

I guess going to the same school as your coach is only worth so much. Jared’s clearly not at 100%, so any time he’s able to give is found money as far as the Knicks are concerned.

Steve Novak, SF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -10

Few hoists were more well-timed – or more cathartic – than Novak’s corner trey during the Knicks’ key third quarter run. Woodson still refuses to run anything resembling a creative play to get Novak open, and hindsight will be full of second-guessing on this front. But it’s good to see Novak isn’t completely blinded by the Playoff spotlight, even if boarding, playing solid D, and not turning the ball over – three areas where Novak was noticeably better today – shouldn’t be affected by said light in the first place.

J.R. Smith, SG 36 MIN | 3-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | -2

Make no mistake: If the Knicks had somehow managed to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, J.R.’s orgy of boneheaded plays would’ve garnered just as many headlines as Melo and Stat’s free throw chokes. We’ll applaud the effort — particularly on defense, where Earl’s in-your-face pressure hounded LeBron into a few of his five turnovers — but the brain remains a puzzling creature.

Josh Harrellson, F 10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -2

Is it hyperbolic to suggest Jorts’ garbage running jumper – made after the Knicks had gone 5 million minutes without scoring – was a game-changer? Probably. Is it hyperbolic to suggest that Jorts could very well carve out a consistent, more regular niche next year? Maybe. Is it hyperbolic to suggest Jorts is currently mid-way through a Karaoke run-through of “Friends in Low Places”? Not at all.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Early on, the Heat had their best “we got back to the hotel at 7am” look about them. A similar lackadaisical start to Game 3 had given Knicks hope of keeping home court locked down. The difference being that, this time, the Heat’s inconsistent, often sloppy play continued rearing its well-timed head throughout the game. Unlike in Game 3, the Knicks capitalized on enough Miami blunders, racking up 24 points off turnovers. If the Knicks have any prayer of bringing the series back to the Mecca, they’ll need a similar fortune to befall them in Game 5. Ditto the D, which, despite the best efforts of the Zebra’d, was spectacular in stretches.
  2. For a game that started off with all the beauty of a Cleveland smokestack, it sure finished with a furious flurry. But 64 free throws? Really? I’ll be the first to admit that the refs — finally — called this one somewhat even. But “evenly awful” isn’t helping anyone. There’s something to be said about very good NBA players — and very good NBA teams — being able to adjust to the often schizophrenic fluctuations of referee approaches. But really all a game like this serves to prove is that our beloved Association is seen in not much more flattering a light than professional wrestling.
  3. As if the Knicks breaking the NBA record for consecutive Playoff losses (13) wasn’t enough to fill the “dubious achievement” category, the Knicks and Heat teamed up to throttle another mark of futility by missing a combined 21 consecutive three pointers. That’s it. That’s the joke.
  4. It only took a thousand games, but Stat and Melo seemed to have something of a symbiotic groove going down the stretch. They were both aggressively paint-bound without getting in one another’s way, and Melo’s nice cut-rewarding passes gave us glimpses of what could be. Given a full training camp, I refuse to believe these two world-class athletes can’t figure out a way to co-exist.
  5. I cried a little bit. I really did. I couldn’t help myself. I got up from the couch, paced around the living room a few times, and – with my wife looking at me with a cocktail of confusion and worry – walked outside in my Knicks hoodie and Clyde jersey and slippers (yes, I own a pair of Knicks slippers – Christmas gift from the inlaws, and a great one at that), sat on my backyard picnic table, and welled up like a high school breakup victim. Of course it’s ridiculous. Of course it’s irrational. Of course there are far more important things over which to get welled and worked up. That’s part of the rapturous nature of sports: We take narratives nascent and obvious and wave them into tapestries we convince ourselves have meaning. Hence the betraying legs of guards young and old becoming the tragic; the flawed gunner willing wins the heroic; the last gasp of a potentially fatal shot falling an inch short, the gloriously dramatic. I thought of all these things, and how seriously fucked up and weird this whole season has been, and I just couldn’t help it. And you know what? As with being a Knick fan at all, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone.

92 comments on “Knicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Kikuchiyo

    Anyone can PLAY Candyland; it’s winning in Candyland that takes years of careful preparation.

    Great writeup. I didn’t cry, but I almost did when I thought about how much younger and more handsome I was the last time the Knicks won a playoff game.

    Here’s a Bonus Bibby joke:

    23 minutes for Bibby? His legs must be dead.
    (And his arms, and his torso, and….)

  2. maxwell_3g

    this sets up a very interesting game 5. i know i shouldnt root for injuries, but we have suffered 3. if there is a teamn who cannot afford to suffer one to one of their stars, its the Heat. We stayed in the game tonight, and as the sixers can tell you, anything is possible. im interested if we see Linsanity reemerge at this point or if we dare go into an elimination game with The Corpse and Chucky Douglas. Im also interested if Amare will maintain the intensity and continue to at least try (although not necessarily succeed) to protect the rim. Thanks to this win, we will get some answers.

  3. jon abbey

    Bibby/Fields as bad a starting guard combo as we’ll have had all year, the front line will deliver, we will need a huge game from JR to have a shot. he certainly is due…

  4. Nick C.

    Great stuff. Such a fun game finally. I’m pretty the neighbors were wondering “why does that man keep hooting and screaming “

  5. ess-dog

    Here’s my Bibby joke:

    Great night for Bibby. He unburied himself and then buried a big corner three. Ba dum tss.

    JR Smith is confounding. After watching him this year, I’m not really sure if all the stuff that he does comes out as a net positive for the team. He’s such a mishmash of athleticism/boneheadedness/sweetshooting/badselecting that I’m just going to say I don’t think he’s worth bringing back – it’s too frustrating.

  6. jon abbey

    also the big loss with Baron (in this series) is he took some of the pressure off Melo to guard LeBron, not sure who can do that now. Jeffries is probably the next due to go down in a frightening way (again, Dolan, Indian burial grounds, Antichrist, you know the drill), let’s run him out there against LeBron until he breaks too.

  7. Z-man

    If Lin can come back and give us just a little glimpse of Linsanity, even in a hard fought loss, I can live with it and have hope for next year.

    On the other hand, the way the season has gone, Lin comes back too early and … (I can’t even write it!)

  8. Gamecockerbocker

    If we send this to game six, I might just laugh/cry so hard my lungs will burst into flames.

  9. daJudge

    Jim Cavan–Great, great write up. Loved it. Go Knicks. Rock on. Melo and Stat really did seem to play together a bit better. To me, that issue transcended the game. And Lordy, Lordy, wow, did JR suck. BTW, how many times have the Mets won a game the same day that the Knicks won a playoff game? I don’t know, but not a lot. Hey, New Hampshire Jim, “live free or die, baby”. Let’s steal game 5.

  10. ephus

    Great write-up. Here are a couple of additional thoughts:

    1. Part of the praise for Amar’e has to be his defense on Wade after the switch on the last possession. He got down into a stance and forced Wade into a bobble, which led to the wild fling from the corner (covered by Fields at that point).

    2. Speaking of Fields, I do not understand the sudden belief that he is likely to depart. Knicks would not give up any salary cap room by making a qualifying offer, and if any other team makes an offer, the Knicks hold early Bird rights. Unless some team makes an offer that is longer than 3 years, the Knicks will not be giving up salary cap room in matching.

    3. The offensive fouls that Melo and JR Smith drew on LeBron in the fourth quarter were incredibly important. They may not have been as emotionally satisfying as Jeffries drawing a charge, but they were equally the product of hard-nosed defense.

    4. If Lin can give 15 minutes of hard run, the Knicks have a puncher’s chance to extend this series back to MSG next weekend.

    5. Outside of two easy lay-ups, the Heat were not able to take advantage of Chandler’s extended stretch on the bench in the first six minutes of the 4th quarter.

  11. maxwell_3g

    ess-dog:
    Here’s my Bibby joke:

    Great night for Bibby.He unburied himself and then buried a big corner three.Ba dum tss.

    JR Smith is confounding.After watching him this year, I’m not really sure if all the stuff that he does comes out as a net positive for the team.He’s such a mishmash of athleticism/boneheadedness/sweetshooting/badselecting that I’m just going to say I don’t think he’s worth bringing back – it’s too frustrating.

    I hear ya about JR, but I watched the Knicks in grade school during the riley/JVG years and have watched them since. As I have learned about athletic competitiveness and became willing to lay it on the line in my own meaningless athletic battles, my team lost any sort of competitive spirit. We lost 12 straight playoff games because we really didnt compete. Well, you can say what you want about JR, but he wont be scared and he will compete on both ends of the court, even wheh matched up against thwe best player in the league. we have gone from a team without any of those guys to a team with 3 (JR, Shump, and Tyson, with the jury still out on Melo and Lin). For his fearlessness alone, i say we try to brig him back. hes frustratig, but you know he will brig the fearlessness and effort come playoff time

  12. ruruland

    Judging by the ways guys have reacted about this win; not just the win but how they won, I have a really weird feeling this isn’t over.

    Some kind of weight was lifted of these guys shoulders that you don’t typically see when a team is down like this.

    They’re in perfect position to pull something crazy. There is absolutely no pressure.

    Now, Lebron and Wade can came out and score 70 on Wednesday, but I get the sense that the longer the Knicks can prolong this series the worse those two will play— and the easier the offense will come.

  13. d-mar

    Jim, I loved the “Gallagher style ponchos” reference. Priceless.

    I thought it was interesting that Bibby never really handled the ball in the 2nd half, he was just hanging out on the perimeter. Probably a smart strategy; when he has the ball at the top of the circle, the Heat look like coyotes circling a wounded faun.

  14. maxwell_3g

    Gamecockerbocker:
    If we send this to game six, I might just laugh/cry so hard my lungs will burst into flames.

    Hello friend ad fellow Gamecock. Im assuming the Real Carolina. Im class of 1999.

  15. ruruland

    Jim, incredible write-up. That ending was amazing. I think that might be the best I’ve seen here.

  16. Bruno Almeida

    man, thank god we won one, it was long overdue…

    Carmelo and STAT were really good, but Chandler definitely has to play better to extend this series further along.

    if only Amare had his two hands available for game 3…

  17. max fisher-cohen

    Nice write-up Jim. It was nice to see this win. I wish it had come last game or game 2 so we could have had some hope of winning the series for a little bit longer. This feels more like a “salvage our pride before we go on vacay” game than an indication that this series is anything but over. If they win on Wednesday, I might have to dust off the tear ducts.

    jon abbey:
    also the big loss with Baron (in this series) is he took some of the pressure off Melo to guard LeBron, not sure who can do that now. Jeffries is probably the next due to go down in a frightening way (again, Dolan, Indian burial grounds, Antichrist, you know the drill), let’s run him out there against LeBron until he breaks too.

    Great point. I suppose they could give Fields a chance at Lebron… I’d even give Walker a chance if we hadn’t waived him for the washed-up never-was Dan Gadzuric.

  18. jon abbey

    yeah, Gadzuric for Walker looks bad now. Walker hadn’t shown signs of life in a long time, but he did hit eight threes in the first meeting with Miami this season. I don’t know if he’d hit them, but he’d have to have a better chance of getting open more than Novak has been.

  19. ess-dog

    Yeah, Novak is showing how important athleticism is in the playoffs.
    And even though Fields has become the worst shooter in the NBA, I still think he’d be fine for 15 minutes as the back up SF. And and if we could get JR for the mini-mid as a back up combo guard, then sign me up, but he’ll probably get more from someone, right?

    If we can start a healthy Lin and Shump as our back court next year, then I”m ok with that. Otherwise, we need to get creative…

  20. Z-man

    Novak is more dependent on PG penetration than others, so it is not surprising he is having trouble getting open. He’s still stretching the defense, though, and it’s up to others to hit open looks.

  21. Z-man

    Oh, forgot, great write-up, Jim, I look forward to these like ice cream after dinner!

  22. art vandelay

    Gamecockerbocker:
    If we send this to game six, I might just laugh/cry so hard my lungs will burst into flames.

    I have nearly no faith we win a game 5 on the road, but if somehow we do pull it out with or without Lin, there is nearly NO DOUBT in my mind this series would go 7….that 6th game @ MSG would be about as raucous as any game experience imaginable and Lin would have extra time to get back in game condition.

  23. Matt Smith

    Great write up. I was a the game, here’s all I have to add:

    -The officiating was atrocious. Not in the sense that it was one sided, but in the sense that they never let them play the game. Ticky-tack fouls were called left and right, and it just becomes less and less fun to watch. Also, the Heat seem to flop a LOT more than us. Maybe that’s a homer observation, but that’s sure what it seems like (and I’ve got a Mark Cuban tweet to back me up!).

    -If The Big Wood can’t draw up plays to get Novak shots, he shouldn’t be out there. He’s just useless on offense when we can’t get him open looks.

    -As much as people are saying this shows Amare can coexist with Melo, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have absolutely no creators on our second unit right now, as was painfully obvious when our lineup was Harrellson, Novak, Bibby, Fields and JR. No seriously, look at that lineup again. Amare and Melo do NOT create for each other, so they can do exactly what they did tonight while the other is sitting. It would cause matchup problems and solve our second unit issue… STAT needs to come off the bench.

  24. art vandelay

    art vandelay: I have nearly no faith we win a game 5 on the road, but if somehow we do pull it out with or without Lin, there is nearly NO DOUBT in my mind this series would go 7….that 6th game @ MSG would be about as raucous as any game experience imaginable and Lin would have extra time to get back in game condition.

    btw, was at the game today and it was a truly phenomenal atmosphere considering they were down 0-3 facing elimination.

  25. BigBlueAL

    There is no reason whatsoever for the Knicks to not re-sign Fields. Obviously not to some crazy deal but the Knicks need players to fill out their roster next season and I have faith in Fields fixing his jumper during the off-season. Might not get back to his shooting numbers from last season but I would hope he can fix his stroke to at least become an average 3pt shooter at least which would be pretty big.

  26. d-mar

    Tough road for Boston to the ECF, Atlanta then Philly. And I’m sure Iguodola or some other key player will be injured just in time for game 1 vs. Boston.

    Oh, and Pierce went down during the game clutching his knee, but of course returned to play later in the game.

    God, I hate the Celtics!

  27. ruruland

    Matt Smith: Great write up. I was a the game, here’s all I have to add:-The officiating was atrocious. Not in the sense that it was one sided, but in the sense that they never let them play the game. Ticky-tack fouls were called left and right, and it just becomes less and less fun to watch. Also, the Heat seem to flop a LOT more than us. Maybe that’s a homer observation, but that’s sure what it seems like (and I’ve got a Mark Cuban tweet to back me up!).-If The Big Wood can’t draw up plays to get Novak shots, he shouldn’t be out there. He’s just useless on offense when we can’t get him open looks.-As much as people are saying this shows Amare can coexist with Melo, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have absolutely no creators on our second unit right now, as was painfully obvious when our lineup was Harrellson, Novak, Bibby, Fields and JR. No seriously, look at that lineup again. Amare and Melo do NOT create for each other, so they can do exactly what they did tonight while the other is sitting. It would cause matchup problems and solve our second unit issue… STAT needs to come off the bench.

    Happy you got to see that firsthand. Melo and Amar’e actually got each other looks today.

    If Lin can be the offenses’s fulcrum, they’ll can be absolutely devastating.

    Chandler will have a lot of passing opportunities off Melo/Amar’e action now that he’s finally being used in the flash post. If Chandler can be used more in the offense as a high-low guy, they can function at a very high level together.

    I’m surprised it took Woodson so long to figure out. But you’re right, absolutely no excuse to not have one of them in the game at all times.

  28. Bruno Almeida

    man, how good is Andre Miller, he and Lawson are looking great together right now, LA has no answer to them both together on the court.

  29. Z

    Bibby’s 2 threes and 5 rebounds were huge, stepping into Baron’s shoes (ER, knee pads?). Give the man an A!

    Also, I totally missed Jeffries’ cameo. I thought he was a DNP.

    Finally, the way this ridiculous season has gone, I don’t think I’d even be surprised if the Knicks won this series in 7… (just to get swept by the Hawks in the 2nd round :)

  30. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: man, how good is Andre Miller, he and Lawson are looking great together right now, LA has no answer to them both together on the court.

    He’s the most unique pg in the game. Excellent post-up player.

  31. Jim Cavan Post author

    Thanks you guys.

    I’m just looking forward to that moment when I wake up and realize it wasn’t a dream.

    All this for one win in the first round of the Playoffs. Long-suffering, anyone?

  32. massive

    You know, at least we got one win up on the Heat. If we can win another one or two, I’d be the happiest I’ve been about a sports team since the Jets beat the Pats 28-21. Like Tyson said, we just have to take this series one game at a time.

  33. johnlocke

    Man…Simmons had mentioned the comparison btw Jordan vs Clyde Drexler and Lebron vs Melo. Clyde was mentioned by some as being in Jordan’s class…then Jordan destroyed him in the series, made it abundantly clear that he was the man, and Drexler apparently was never the same. Glad to see Melo not go out on a whimper and fight back with a great game. By the way, a big storyline seems to be that Spoelstra should have had more Lebron on Melo in the 4th and not Battier – stats back it up this series. Expect to see Lebron on Melo for most if not all of Game 5 and in the 4th quarter if close, I think.

  34. ruruland

    This post is for Bison from the previous thread:

    Bison, you were talking about Melo’s relatively low assist numbers (compared to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant but not Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Durant)

    I told you that Melo’s played on some of the worst jump shooting teams in the NBA over the course of his playoff career. His teams have ranked 21st, 28th, 30th, 26th, 21st, 13th, 10th, 8th in 3pt percentage.

    If you’re going to build a team around a mid-post wing, you better have shooting — and Melo’s rarely had it. Certainly not in comparison to other great wings like Lebron (and no, Melo is not as good as Lebron obviously, but there is 1 correlation between Lebron’s TS% and his surrounding 3pt %) It wasn’t just the 3pt shooting that was bad, but any kind of spot-up shooting from his guards or fellow frontcourtmen — Marcus Camby, Kenyon Martin, Allen Iverson, Anthony Carter, Andre Miller were all well below average shooters)

    Not coincidentally, Melo’s team made a deep playoff run when they shot 38% from 3 (not counting Melo’s 3pt attempts). That was far and away the best shooting he’s been surrounded with in the postseason. And, again, not coincidentally, he averaged over 4 assists per game during that postseason. And again, let’s remember that Melo won 75% of his career games with Chauncey Billups.

    Here are the year by year post-season 3pt shooting numbers for Melo’s teammates and Melo’s assist

    2004: 33% 2.8 apg
    2005: 27% 2.0 apg
    2006: 23% 2.8 apg
    2007: 28% 1.2 apg
    2008: 25% 2.0 apg
    2009: 38% 4.1 apg
    2010: 32% 3.3 apg
    2011: 32% 4.8 apg

  35. johnlocke

    JR may start…woody went with it in the 2nd half. He also better not throw that awful lineup with no Stat or Melo in the 2nd quarter.

    jon abbey:
    Bibby/Fields as bad a starting guard combo as we’ll have had all year, the front line will deliver, we will need a huge game from JR to have a shot. he certainly is due…

  36. mj1

    You think your’re crying now. Imagine this..The NYK somehow manage to win game 5. Game 6 back in the garden. They announce the starting lineups and out comes….LINSANITY!!! The garden goes WILD!!! Starting at the point, he sparks the NYK to a game 6 victory, forcing a game 7 in Miami, who when all is on the line and the NYK are no longer a toy for them to play with, succumb to the pressure, choke it up, and lose game 7, going down as the biggest chokers in NBA history!!! I dream, but would not that make you cry or what?

  37. JR Sec 112

    mj1:
    You think your’re crying now. Imagine this..The NYK somehow manage to win game 5. Game 6 back in the garden. They announce the starting lineups and out comes….LINSANITY!!! The garden goes WILD!!! Starting at the point, he sparks the NYK to a game 6 victory, forcing a game 7 in Miami, who when all is on the line and the NYK are no longer a toy for them to play with, succumb tothe pressure, choke it up, and lose game 7, going down as the biggest chokers in NBA history!!! I dream, but would not that make you cry or what?

    Yeah, although it feels like the chances are 1 in 20 we make it back to MSG, that would be special. I was at the Bernard King comeback game in ’87 and can still remember the chills during the 7 minute standing ovation. And I was at the Allan Houston game against Indiana in 2000 – the crowd didnt sit down for the entire 4th quarter and I barely remember any actual plays, all I remember is how awesome it was. Game 6 could top those.

    Also, shout out to Amare. We all (including me) say you are washed up, an albatross of a contract, cant play D, and the media (and my wife) crucified you for doing something stupid last week. But you didnt have to come back for a game in a series we are almost definitely going to lose. You couldnt even hold the ball with your left hand. But you have serious heart. As a passionate fan of your team, all I ask for is that you care as much as I do. And its pretty clear you do.

  38. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: nice, the refs just gave the game to LA…

    What?

    That’s the kind of play that turns off so many people from the NBA. I wish Gallo had just continued to play defense instead of flopping and faking injury ala Lebron.

  39. Kikuchiyo

    ruruland: What?

    That’s the kind of play that turns off so many people from the NBA. I wish Gallo had just continued to play defense instead of flopping and faking injury ala Lebron.

    Totally. I still root for Gallo, but his flopping is so bad that even Varejao blushes.

  40. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: What?

    That’s the kind of play that turns off so many people from the NBA. I wish Gallo had just continued to play defense instead of flopping and faking injury ala Lebron.

    lol I knew you would respond to that.

    Gasol obviously moves and shoulders Gallinari on the play, that’s an obvious moving screen.

    the same way they called the offensive interference right at the other end (a play they never call on close games down the stretch), they should have called that.

    Gallinari probably exaggerated it, but it was a blatant illegal screen.

    oh, but I forgot, it was on Gallinari, so nothing short of a punch would get you to agree with me.

  41. ruruland

    Wait, can someone repeat to me what Steve Kerr just said about shot-creation and double teams at the end of games?

  42. llcoolbp

    I’m going to get a little emotional line some of you have already. But this win meant so mch to me. Never thought it would, I never thought I would feel like this again about sports. I remember when I was a kid and I lived and died with each knick win and loss. As an adult I didn’t think I caredas much anymore. I thought I’d lost the passion. Well the last year has been tough for me on a personal level. Birth of a child, marital issues, moving from my beloved ny to new Orleans. Through it all I had my flawed Knicks. They brought me real joy today. I too shed some tears. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Thank you fellow knickerbloggers

  43. Bruno Almeida

    the Lakers won on two 3-balls by Sessions and Blake, one because Gallinari was down on the court… yeah, it was definitely shot-creation and double teams the difference.

  44. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: lol I knew you would respond to that.Gasol obviously moves and shoulders Gallinari on the play, that’s an obvious moving screen.the same way they called the offensive interference right at the other end (a play they never call on close games down the stretch), they should have called that.Gallinari probably exaggerated it, but it was a blatant illegal screen.oh, but I forgot, it was on Gallinari, so nothing short of a punch would get you to agree with me.

    No, they’re not going to call illegal screens in the final moments of a playoff game — at least they shouldn’t unless it’s totally egregious — and that didn’t fit the bill.

    Just play defense. Him collapsing to the ground allowed for easier penetration and a wide-open 3.

  45. llcoolbp

    Sorry for all the spelling errors but I typed my previous posts on my iPad. Go Knicks, let’s bring this shit home for game 6!

  46. Bruno Almeida

    those last two Laker possessions were actually a pretty good lesson on how to move the ball, instead of getting it to the “premier” scorer (Bryant, in this case) and letting him work.

  47. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: No, they’re not going to call illegal screens in the final moments of a playoff game — at least they shouldn’t unless it’s totally egregious — and that didn’t fit the bill.

    Just play defense. Him collapsing to the ground allowed for easier penetration and a wide-open 3.

    they never call offensive interference either and they just did it.

    the fact that the refs never do it doesn’t mean it’s right.

  48. JR Sec 112

    Despite that obvious flop, Gallo (and McGee to a lesser extent) was Nuggets best player in the game. But yeah, if you watched the 4th quarter and didnt think, man the Nuggets need a go-to-guy, NOT Al Harrington, who can create his shot and score down the stretch, a guy like……well, you know….if you didnt think that then you’re lying.

  49. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: …the Lakers won on two 3-balls by Sessions and Blake, one because Gallinari was down on the court… yeah, it was definitely shot-creation and double teams the difference.

    Right, Kobe and Gasol assisted on the two final baskets. They tend to create defensive attention with the ball, even if the final play was aided by Gallo’s flop.

    Denver has been putrid in the half-court in this series…

  50. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: they never call offensive interference either and they just did it.the fact that the refs never do it doesn’t mean it’s right.

    The intereference was a bad call.

  51. Bruno Almeida

    and yeah, having a “closer” is obviously the difference, see for an example Bryant’s awesome 4th quarter:

    7:28 Kobe Bryant bad pass (Andre Miller steals)
    6:22 Kobe Bryant misses 28-foot three pointer
    6:03 Kobe Bryant misses 11-foot jumper
    5:07 Kobe Bryant misses 6-foot two point shot
    4:31 Kobe Bryant lost ball (Al Harrington steals)
    3:59 Andrew Bynum makes jumper (Kobe Bryant assists)
    3:17 Kobe Bryant makes jumper
    2:41 Kobe Bryant misses 27-foot three point jumper
    0:18 Steve Blake makes 23-foot three point jumper (Kobe Bryant assists)

    1-4 with 2 assists and 2 turnovers, having a closer is definitely the difference between the Nuggets and the Lakers!

  52. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: The intereference was a bad call.

    the ball was at the rim when Miller touched it, the over the basket replay clearly showed it.

  53. BigBlueAL

    Sorry, Gallo’s flopping on D on those final couple 3pters cost the Nuggets the game. Gasol’s pick was pretty clean then Gallo flops to try to draw a charge on Kobe allowing him to make the easy pass to Blake for his 3pter since his man had to help on Kobe after Gallo fell.

  54. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: those last two Laker possessions were actually a pretty good lesson on how to move the ball, instead of getting it to the “premier” scorer (Bryant, in this case) and letting him work.

    Right, but without one centerpiece to your half-court offense you may not have tendencies but you also don’t have decoys, and you don’t get tilts.

    Kerr was referencing shot creation as it applies to defensive attention. He said double teams, but he may as well have been talking about tilts and the difference in how defenders react to a Kobe and a Harrington, for example.

    Kobe and Gasol pressure the opponents defense — merely by their prescence — that no one on Denver’s roster comes close to in the half court.

  55. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: and yeah, having a “closer” is obviously the difference, see for an example Bryant’s awesome 4th quarter:7:28 Kobe Bryant bad pass (Andre Miller steals)6:22 Kobe Bryant misses 28-foot three pointer6:03 Kobe Bryant misses 11-foot jumper5:07 Kobe Bryant misses 6-foot two point shot4:31 Kobe Bryant lost ball (Al Harrington steals)3:59 Andrew Bynum makes jumper (Kobe Bryant assists)3:17 Kobe Bryant makes jumper2:41 Kobe Bryant misses 27-foot three point jumper0:18 Steve Blake makes 23-foot three point jumper (Kobe Bryant assists)1-4 with 2 assists and 2 turnovers, having a closer is definitely the difference between the Nuggets and the Lakers!

    You don’t get it.

  56. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: the ball was at the rim when Miller touched it, the over the basket replay clearly showed it.

    They shouldn’t have called something that close at the endof the game….

    It’s a long-standing unwritten rule that the players decide the game in the final few minutes –especially the playoffs. Officials are there to make obvious calls down the stretch. The game is best that way.

  57. Bruno Almeida

    the fact that Gallo didn’t get up was what allowed the basket, that was pathetic… but I still think it was a moving screen.

    actually, it was much more of an illegal screen than a lot of the calls that went against the Knicks even today.

    ruruland: Right, but without one centerpiece to your half-court offense you may not have tendencies but you also don’t have decoys, and you don’t get tilts.

    Kerr was referencing shot creation as it applies to defensive attention. He said double teams, but he may as well have been talking about tilts and the difference in how defenders react to a Kobe and a Harrington, for example.

    Kobe and Gasol pressure the opponents defense — merely by their prescence — that no one on Denver’s roster comes close to in the half court.

    it definitely happens, defenses react to “superstars”, I agree, but in my opinion this is more a result of bad defense than actual play.

    the “Kobe as a closer” thing is supremely overrated as his own numbers suggest, so why change your whole defensive scheme to stop him, when he clearly isn’t shooting well lately?

    I’d take my chances guarding Kobe 1-1 and asking for him to try a stupid fade-away 360 18-footer than commiting a second defender to him and freeing someone else.

  58. Brian Cronin

    best player in the game. But yeah, if you watched the 4th quarter and didnt think, man the Nuggets need a go-to-guy, NOT Al Harrington, who can create his shot and score down the stretch, a guy like……well, you know….if you didnt think that then you’re lying.

    In this game, at least, it looked like what the Nuggets needed was for the other players to let Gallo shoot. I mean, Karl even drew up a play specifically to get Gallo a shot and Lawson took the shot instead (it was an open look, but it was not like it was a shot you “had” to take).

    But yeah, a few terrible decisions by the Nuggets. One, Gallo not making sure his foot was over the line (how anyone doesn’t check that is beyond me). Two, Miller even more foolishly interfering with a shot that a high school student would know not to touch. And three, Gallo’s last flop. I don’t blame him for the Gasol play, though, as that was a legitimate moving screen. You could argue that Gallo’s history led to him not getting the call, but that was not a flop. He was legitimately hit there.

  59. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: You don’t get it.

    oh, here comes mr. pretentious again.

    I understand perfectly what you said and agree that defenses do change to guard “superstars”, I just think it’s plain stupid defense.

    Bryant has a .526 TS% on the series so far and was shooting like crap at the end of the game, why the hell would you commit an extra defender to him, when history shows that he has a big tendency of going for the ultra-tough shot, the fade-aways, turn around 18-footers and stuff like that?

    many people have shown that his rep as a closer is vastly overrated, take your chances on him instead of leaving somebody else who’s probably an even better shooter open.

  60. Bruno Almeida

    all that said, Gallo’s flop on the Blake 3 was, in fact, pathetic.

    if it wasn’t for the moving screen and that, the game could have definitely went Denver’s way, closer or not.

  61. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: the fact that Gallo didn’t get up was what allowed the basket, that was pathetic… but I still think it was a moving screen.actually, it was much more of an illegal screen than a lot of the calls that went against the Knicks even today.it definitely happens, defenses react to “superstars”, I agree, but in my opinion this is more a result of bad defense than actual play.the “Kobe as a closer” thing is supremely overrated as his own numbers suggest, so why change your whole defensive scheme to stop him, when he clearly isn’t shooting well lately?I’d take my chances guarding Kobe 1-1 and asking for him to try a stupid fade-away 360 18-footer than commiting a second defender to him and freeing someone else.

    You’ve got things in reverse order.

    If Kobe is allowed to play 1-1 with poor help he will single-handily kill you.

    That’s the whole point. The reason his efficiency goes so far down is because he faces tons of defensive attention — sometimes he shoots way too much. There’s no doubt about that. But he makes his teammates a lot better, and it’s not just the assists.

    If Kobe was defended the same way a Harrington his numbers would be of the charts. You may not believe these but players spend hours and hours learning the schemes their coaches devise to slow down great offensive players — it always involved help and it typically involves that help trying to funnel said player into certain areas. Moreover, great players always increase the help urgency and awarness of the defense.

    If you just looked at Kobe from a shooting efficiency perspective you’d conclude he’s an atrocious offensive player.

  62. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: You’ve got things in reverse order.

    If Kobe is allowed to play 1-1 with poor help he will single-handily kill you.

    That’s the whole point. The reason his efficiency goes so far down is because he faces tons of defensive attention — sometimes he shoots way too much. There’s no doubt about that. But he makes his teammates a lot better, and it’s not just the assists.

    If Kobe was defended the same way a Harrington his numbers would be of the charts. You may not believe these but players spend hours and hours learning the schemes their coaches devise to slow down great offensive players — it always involved help and it typically involves that help tryingto funnel said player into certain areas. Moreover, great players always increase the help urgency and awarness of the defense.

    If you just looked at Kobe from a shooting efficiency perspective you’d conclude he’s an atrocious offensive player.

    that’s not the point.

    I’m not saying a defense should leave Kobe Bryant 1-1 with a defender for the entire game.

    I’m saying that, on crunch time, when everybody knows Kobe LOVES to shoot (and does it at a very poor rate), why not guard him 1-1 and take your chances?

    if he drives, there’s help inside the paint… if he stops the ball and goes for a mid-range jumper or 3-pointer, guard him 1-1 and live with the results.

    what would you rather have, Kobe shooting an 18-footer covered by a defender or someone else taking a wide open shot?

  63. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: oh, here comes mr. pretentious again.I understand perfectly what you said and agree that defenses do change to guard “superstars”, I just think it’s plain stupid defense.Bryant has a .526 TS% on the series so far and was shooting like crap at the end of the game, why the hell would you commit an extra defender to him, when history shows that he has a big tendency of going for the ultra-tough shot, the fade-aways, turn around 18-footers and stuff like that?many people have shown that his rep as a closer is vastly overrated, take your chances on him instead of leaving somebody else who’s probably an even better shooter open.

    This is really frustrating.

    Kobe doesn’t take these difficult shots because he prefers them over layups, because they look fancy. He takes them because that’s often the best shot he can get against the defense he faces.

    You look at the high-efficiency wings — so much of Lebron and Wade’s great efficiency is due to their transition abilities. They’re also more passive in the half-court than Kobe is, which helps their efficiency but doesn’t always help their team (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t)

    When you watch Wade and Lebron — two incredible athletes with great skill who love to pass– even they are left to take a lot of difficult shots in the half-court. That’s not because they prefer them over lay-ups, though they are both better at getting layups in the half-court than Kobe, layups are extremely hard to get in shot-creation situations.

    Guys like Durant are high-usage off-ball players. So it’s a different story there.

  64. Bruno Almeida

    and everything about how Kobe’s efficiency numbers are down because of the defensive attention he gets… I don’t get it, seriously.

    then why is Durant so efficient?

    they both shoot a lot of jumpers, they both get the opponent’s best defender and a lot of doubles / defensive attention, and they both have at least one superstar teammate to help (Gasol / Westbrook).

    Kobe’s efficiency numbers are so down because he’s an overrated scorer who takes bad shots consistently.

  65. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: that’s not the point.I’m not saying a defense should leave Kobe Bryant 1-1 with a defender for the entire game.I’m saying that, on crunch time, when everybody knows Kobe LOVES to shoot (and does it at a very poor rate), why not guard him 1-1 and take your chances?if he drives, there’s help inside the paint… if he stops the ball and goes for a mid-range jumper or 3-pointer, guard him 1-1 and live with the results.what would you rather have, Kobe shooting an 18-footer covered by a defender or someone else taking a wide open shot?

    Oneday the stats will capute the difference in shot difficult and contests.

    So many of Kobe’s late game shots are incredibily difficult shots because of he generates significant help defense (clogging his driving lanes), that’s why his efficiency is so low in those situations. It’s a valid argument to say he should pass more in those situations, especially with perimeter shooters.

    But to say that the defense shouldn’t be as help-aware on Kobe is never a good idea. Teams that do that (never on purpose) are the teams he kills.

  66. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: Oneday the stats will capute the difference in shot difficult and contests.

    So many of Kobe’s late game shots are incredibily difficult shots because of he generates significant help defense (clogging his driving lanes), that’s why his efficiency is so low in those situations. It’s a valid argument to say he should pass more in those situations, especially with perimeter shooters.

    But to say that the defense shouldn’t be as help-aware on Kobe is never a good idea. Teams that do that (never on purpose) are the teams he kills.

    well, being help-aware on Kobe hasn’t helped, so why shouldn’t teams try the opposite?

  67. Bruno Almeida

    and Kobe has routinely throughout his career ignored open teammates to go for the toughest possible shots, so yes, I’d say he’d rather take a contested 18-footer than a layup many times.

  68. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: and everything about how Kobe’s efficiency numbers are down because of the defensive attention he gets… I don’t get it, seriously.then why is Durant so efficient?they both shoot a lot of jumpers, they both get the opponent’s best defender and a lot of doubles / defensive attention, and they both have at least one superstar teammate to help (Gasol / Westbrook).Kobe’s efficiency numbers are so down because he’s an overrated scorer who takes bad shots consistently.

    A much higher percentage of Durant’s baskets are assisted –a much higher percent of them are easier looks. Kobe is not a great 3pt shooter, but he’s a much better shot creator.

    Durant is also a lot better in transition.

    They function much differently. I think Kobe should play more off-ball and allow Gasol and Bynum to create the attention so he can attack. In those situations he’s been much more efficient.

    That’s certainly a major flaw of his — he’s a megalomaniac who shot-creats a lot more often than he needs to. But at the end of the day his true shooting percentage does not reflect his impact on offense.

  69. Bruno Almeida

    but you’ve just described the problem: if he wasn’t a megalomaniac that many times seems more interested in his reputation than on helping his team, he would play more off the ball, let Gasol and Bynum be the focal points, let Sessions handle it and he would have much better scoring opportunities.

    the fact that he plays the way he does is more detrimental to his team than helpful, compared to what it could be if he did it the “right” way.

    Bryant’s game is different than Durant’s because he FORCES the shot-creating, when Durant is perfectly fine with moving around screens and shooting whenever he’s open.

  70. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: well, being help-aware on Kobe hasn’t helped, so why shouldn’t teams try the opposite?

    I think you need to unserstand that coaches know player’s statistics in every scenario imaginable and track the efficiency of shots vs the kindof contests…..I don’t know how accurate those stats are, but NBA coaches and their assistants aren’t stupid.

    They don’t respect Kobe because he makes a lot of money or because he’s popular. They respect him because they know that without a gameplan designed to slow him down he will eat you alive — they know that because he’s done it to all of them…

    They will live with Ramon Sessions or Steve Blake beating them. That doesn’t mean they double, but they are going to collapse on every Kobe drive down the stretch.

  71. Bruno Almeida

    wait, weren’t you the one saying that Gregg Popovich, the best coach in the business right now, doesn’t give a shit to efficiency stats?

    I do believe that the coaches who game plan that way do it far more because of reputations than because of actual shooting stats, imo.

    Sessions has shot 48% on 3s this season, even at a small rate, does he sound like a guy you would want to leave wide open at the end of a game?

  72. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: but you’ve just described the problem: if he wasn’t a megalomaniac that many times seems more interested in his reputation than on helping his team, he would play more off the ball, let Gasol and Bynum be the focal points, let Sessions handle it and he would have much better scoring opportunities.the fact that he plays the way he does is more detrimental to his team than helpful, compared to what it could be if he did it the “right” way.Bryant’s game is different than Durant’s because he FORCES the shot-creating, when Durant is perfectly fine with moving around screens and shooting whenever he’s open.

    Right, and sometimes the Lakers need that low-efficiency shot creation because it eventually creates open shots…. Sometimes Gasol and Bynum don’t get post-position and it can be difficult to always start your offense on the inside — as we’ve seen with Melo this series. But, everyone knows Kobe shoots too much with theose kind of weapons inside.

    Durant functions that way because he plays alongside one of the game’s best offense initiatiors, and with Harden, always has a player capable of creating the initial penetration in the offense to get teams into rotation.

    Sometimes Durant does that himself, but he doesn’t need to with his teammates. That allows Durant to be very judicious with his shots. When he can;t get a decent one off. He swings back to the weakside where one of his buddies can create something. That’s why dual penetrators or initiators should increase the efficiency of all.

    I think Westbrook would be a lot better if he played alongside a guy who created more double teams and allowed him to drive against hte rotation. Durant doesn’t do a lot of that.

  73. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: wait, weren’t you the one saying that Gregg Popovich, the best coach in the business right now, doesn’t give a shit to efficiency stats?I do believe that the coaches who game plan that way do it far more because of reputations than because of actual shooting stats, imo.Sessions has shot 48% on 3s this season, even at a small rate, does he sound like a guy you would want to leave wide open at the end of a game?

    The goal isn’t to leave anyone wide open. It’s to make sure Kobe’s penetration gets clogged up allowing the man defending him to contest his shots — you still want to be in position to help on the shooters but that’s the kind of pressure Bryant puts on a defense.

    Popovich probably doesn’t care about the zero context Pro basketball Reference stats — those are the virtually useless ones.

  74. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: Right, and sometimes the Lakers need that low-efficiency shot creation because it eventually creates open shots…. Sometimes Gasol and Bynum don’t get post-position and it can be difficult to always start your offense on the inside — as we’ve seen with Melo this series. But, everyone knows Kobe shoots too much with theose kind of weapons inside.

    Durant functions that way because he plays alongside one of the game’s best offense initiatiors, and with Harden, always has a player capable of creating the initial penetration in the offense to get teams into rotation.

    Sometimes Durant does that himself, but he doesn’t need to with his teammates. That allows Durant to be very judicious with his shots. When he can;t get a decent one off. He swings back to the weakside where one of his buddies can create something. That’s why dual penetrators or initiators should increase the efficiency of all.

    I think Westbrook would be a lot better if he played alongside a guy who created more double teams and allowed him to drive against hte rotation. Durant doesn’t do a lot of that.

    I agree with this, but I think Sessions is a very underrated player on this situation.

    he can really run the pick and roll with either Gasol and Bynum, and that’s an extremely good play, that opens up 1 million possibilities on the offensive end, and is not nearly used enough.

    I think that the Lakers would be much better suited leaving the “Kobe creates whatever he can” thing to the really necessary situations.

  75. Bruno Almeida

    ruruland: The goal isn’t to leave anyone wide open. It’s to make sure Kobe’s penetration gets clogged up allowing the man defending him to contest his shots — you still want to be in position to help on the shooters but that’s the kind of pressure Bryant puts on a defense.

    Popovich probably doesn’t care about the zero context Pro basketball Reference stats — those are the virtually useless ones.

    well, unless you’re familiar with the Spurs coaching staff, I don’t know how you can say that for sure.

  76. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: I agree with this, but I think Sessions is a very underrated player on this situation.he can really run the pick and roll with either Gasol and Bynum, and that’s an extremely good play, that opens up 1 million possibilities on the offensive end, and is not nearly used enough.I think that the Lakers would be much better suited leaving the “Kobe creates whatever he can” thing to the really necessary situations.

    Well that is definitely true. However, understand that in close games down the stretch big men aren’t often great decision-makers and defenders are more physical — you see more turnovers and defnesive pressure on the inside at the end of games….

    When people talk about needing a perimeter threat that can create shots/attention to complement a big man inside they aren’t just saying that because ti sounds good.

  77. ruruland

    Bruno Almeida: well, unless you’re familiar with the Spurs coaching staff, I don’t know how you can say that for sure.

    You should see the kinds of stats coaching staffs track. I don’t know how far up it goes in terms of the analysis, but I think Doug is right that most teams have their own proprietary stats and analysis, and it’s up to the coach — ultimately— on how to utilize it.

  78. max fisher-cohen

    ruruland: Here are the year by year post-season 3pt shooting numbers for Melo’s teammates and Melo’s assist

    2004: 33% 2.8 apg
    2005: 27% 2.0 apg
    2006: 23% 2.8 apg
    2007: 28% 1.2 apg
    2008: 25% 2.0 apg
    2009: 38% 4.1 apg
    2010: 32% 3.3 apg
    2011: 32% 4.8 apg

    As you say though it’s a symbiotic relationship. Perhaps the 3pt shooters struggled because Melo’s passes were off the mark or because, against better defenses, he wasn’t able to draw as much attention and thus shooters had less space. For example, Dwight Howard has a bunch of very good 3pt shooters around him, but when he goes up against bigs who can guard him one on one, those one dimensional players (as you’ve pointed out regarding Ryan Anderson) struggle.

    You can see the difference on the Knicks. Chandler’s ability to guard the post one on one has allowed the Knicks to do really well against teams that run their offense through low post centers — Detroit, Orlando, Indiana, LAL. Combined, we were 8-3 against those teams with an average margin of victory of 10.2 points. That’s pretty impressive considering 3 of the 4 are quality teams.

  79. ruruland

    Max, excellent post and I see your point. You’re right about Chandler (though the Knicks doubled Dwight in the first match-up)

    One of the things that’s fundamentally different about this series from past series is that when Melo is able to catch the ball we see very few double teams. The Heat essentially provide off ball double teams with their fronting as the Spurs did in ’07….but have rarely sent a second defender.

    I wish I could show you the video of how the Clippers in ’06 double-teamed Melo relentlessly because of the injury situation and floor spacing problems.
    Teams doubled Melo a lot in the ’07, ’08 and ’09 playoffs, last year the Celtics employed doubles at times.

    The series Melo wasn’t doubled occurred before his game really blossomed — Trenton Hassel single covered him with Minnesota, Bruce Bowen with San Antonio in ’05.

    These relationships are symbiotic, but he was surrounded by some really bad shooters the first 5-6 years of his career.

    Greg Buckner, a career 33% 3pt shooter, had far and away his two best seasons shooting the 3 when sharing the floor with Melo (.405%, .354%)

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/buckngr01.html

    He got great looks but couldn’t sink them in the Clippers series. he was atrocious. (10-32)

    Same thing happened with Demarr Johnson (1-10) to a lesser extent — but one of the biggest issues is that the poor 3pt shooters, like Earl Boykins, Linas Klieza and Andre Miller, had to take a lot more 3pt shots because the lane was clogged.

    Those teams were poor shooting teams to begin with, but as the pressure to make shots increased because the rest of the offense was paralyzed, and because more players were forced into those shots — the overall percentage went way down. I think the assist correlation shows that Melo was making the same passes — it’s just that they actually made them in ’09 and some in ’10.

    Last year a lot of Melo’s assists against Boston came after the…

  80. ruruland

    Doug: That courtside view gives you an idea of how quick Melo’s release is. Half the time even Lebron can’t get a hand up fast enough to contest the shot.

    Right and everything appears to move faster from a closer perspective. Amar’e’s quick-twitch movements really stand out when you view the game at eye level.

  81. er

    yea that shit looks nuts…nba players are so gifted and talented, but we take theirs and probably all the pros athleticism for granted

    ruruland: Right and everything appears to move faster from a closer perspective. Amar’e’s quick-twitch movements really stand out when you view the game at eye level.

  82. Frank

    ruruland: You should see the kinds of stats coaching staffs track. I don’t know how far up it goes in terms of the analysis, but I think Doug is right that most teams have their own proprietary stats and analysis, and it’s up to the coach — ultimately— on how to utilize it.

    +10000000

    I’ve written this before and it’s not exactly a revelation-level thought — but the NBA is a multi-billion dollar business and each team has a budget of >$100M. To think they’re spending their time and making decisions based on TS% and WS/48 on Basketball-Reference.com is laughable. Each team has a head coach, 4-5 assistant coaches, and video personnel (Spoelstra was one of these guys), each of whom probably work 80+ hours/week – so we’re talking more than 500 man-hours/week. The team only practices maybe 2-3x/week during playoff time, probably for 3-4 hours. What do people think the coaches are doing the other 490 hours? Perusing B-R? Hitting the refresh button 50x/min hoping 82games.com finally updates their stats? Like I said, it’s laughable.

    I have no inside knowledge of this whatsoever, but my strong belief is that what the coaches actually do in the other 490 hours/week are tracking every last bit of data that might benefit their team. Shot charts, FG% off 1 dribble, 2 dribbles, going left, going right, when shaded to the right by the defender, when the defense tilts towards them, lineup combinations etc. etc.

    Like Shane Battier said about TC winning DPOY – “The old guard just thinks about blocks and steals, the prehistoric stats.”

    I didn’t see ruruland’s comment about Popovitch, but I’m guessing that’s what he meant. TS% etc might give you some sort of general idea, but he’s probably not concerned with stats that derived from the “prehistoric stats”.

  83. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank:
    I have no inside knowledge of this whatsoever, but my strong belief is that what the coaches actually do in the other 490 hours/week are tracking every last bit of data that might benefit their team. Shot charts, FG% off 1 dribble, 2 dribbles, going left, going right, when shaded to the right by the defender, when the defense tilts towards them, lineup combinations etc. etc.

    You are almost certainly wrong in this presumption. Here’s a paper by none other than Dave Berri who finds that the most important statistic in determining player salary is, you guessed it, points per game.

    http://www.suu.edu/faculty/berri/ScoretoScoreIJSF.pdf

    You have way too much faith in “basketball people.”

  84. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: You are almost certainly wrong in this presumption. Here’s a paper by none other than Dave Berri who finds that the most important statistic in determining player salary is, you guessed it, points per game.

    http://www.suu.edu/faculty/berri/ScoretoScoreIJSF.pdf

    You have way too much faith in “basketball people.”

    This paper was written in 2007 – ages ago in terms of basketball stats. I don’t think it is AS relevant anymore. Certainly true for some teams/GMs, but I’m pretty sure San Antonio/RC Buford/Pops are not one of them.

    Just look at the “lay” press now – SI has Zach Lowe, ESPN has Hollinger/Haberstroh/Truehoop etc. The level of discourse has been raised. It’s not an Isiah Thomas GM league anymore. Roland Beech works for the Mavs. Dean Oliver works for the Nuggets. Rich Cho, RC Buford, the Thunder GM whose name escapes me at the moment. It’s a different world now.

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