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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Knicks/Hawks Preview and Game Thread

“Nothing changes on New Year’s Day”

-U2

Every Knicks fan has had 2010 marked on his or her calendar for a long time now, and it may well be that this is the year that brings hope and excitement back to the Garden.  But while the summer could bring a LeBron, a Wade, or a Bosh, January 1st is, as Bono and Co. tell us, no different than December 31st.  Or at least I think that’s what that song was about.

Anyway, Knicks/Hawks tonight.  Watch and discuss here, or follow me and post questions on ESPN.com’s Live Dime — short slate of games this evening so I’d enjoy the company.  I’ll have more to say after the game.

212 comments on “Knicks/Hawks Preview and Game Thread

  1. Robert Silverman

    Um, the officiating in this game is downright awful. What’s w/the Hawks getting touch fouls when they’re allowed to hack the Nix at will?

  2. rohank

    Lee will come around. Hustle –> points.

    Guess Coach IS willing to change the rotation in light of our 1-3 stretch to end december. Nice to see Nate contributing well. I guess he’s taken Hughes’ spot basically?

  3. David Crockett

    Holy crap. I turn in from the Rose Bowl and see Nate Robinson in the game?

    Was Larry Hughes murdered?

  4. Frank O.

    Bender also 0 minutes.
    Could hit be that his injury also was not fully healed? I mean, he played well, got hurt, returned and seemed different…

  5. BigBlueAL

    Yeah but 3 times he kicked out to an open player who made an extra pass for the bucket so Nate has been driving and dishing a bit.

  6. BigBlueAL

    Problem is Nate is finally playing and playing well but the Knicks are getting whooped.

    Also for the love of GOD give Gallo the freakin ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Frank O.

    No continuity. One guy plays. Everyone stands around.
    The passing suffers.
    No crashing the boards.
    They’re not playing together.
    It looks like the old pre-December Knicks…

  8. BigBlueAL

    So what can all the D’Antoni haters scream about tonight????? Tonight was proof that its not D’Antoni’s coaching on most nights they lose, its the fact that the other team is just that much more talented.

  9. David Crockett

    Atlanta can get on your nerves. Their offense features next to no ball movement but they have a bunch of decent one-on-one players.

  10. David Crockett

    BBL – the Knicks aren’t going to win many games where Lee, Harrington, and Gallo are all pretty much no shows.

  11. Travis Knight Rider

    The Hawks are simply bigger, stronger, faster and better shooters than the Knicks.

  12. BigBlueAL

    Gallo a no-show?? It aint his fault their New Year’s resolution is apparently not pass him the ball. He is 3 for 5 on the night, 2 for 2 from the FT line for 10 pts.

  13. Frank O.

    Can you guys believe the story about Arenas and Crittenton drawing handguns on each other after a practice…?
    The NBA cares…
    :)

  14. BigBlueAL

    “the Knicks aren’t going to win many games where Lee, Harrington, and Gallo are all pretty much no shows.”

    Obviously, but some here would blame D’Antoni for that. His rotation tonight has been what all his haters have asked for so if they lose its on the players and the fact the Hawks are just a better team and are at home.

  15. BigBlueAL

    There were a few times in the 1st half where he was actually clapping his hands asking for the ball and he didnt get it.

  16. David Crockett

    BBL – we agree on that.

    ATL just killing us on the boards PLUS nobody in the NBA calls over the back.

  17. Frank O.

    Where is Gallo again?
    If the guy is killing from three, why do they take so long to find him again?

  18. Frank O.

    This is where I complain about Nate wanting to get his own, rather than making the best team move…

  19. BigBlueAL

    Yeah Nate has been passing the ball tonight I just meant on that last sequence but I have no problems at all with the way he has played tonight.

  20. David Crockett

    This off-season Gallo must develop a little Alan Houston-like post game. He’s such a good passer you could put him in the high post and we wouldn’t have this problem.

    Right now he’s a slave to the rotation. D’Antoni’s offense doesn’t run guys off the Reggie Miller style staggered screens. Sometimes he’s not gonna get it if he’s camped out in the corner.

  21. Frank O.

    To comment 70:

    LOr he’s making d’antoni look like a genius. One of Nate’s more complete games I’ve seen.

  22. Frank O.

    Nate great shot.

    but now I’m remembering him missing the and one foul shot a minute ago,.
    they would be up…
    :(

  23. Frank O.

    Bibby?
    or Horford?

    Horford has been absent for this quarter.
    Bibby is the guy, I’m guessing.

  24. BigBlueAL

    Oh yeah Johnson’s shot was sick, Jeffries played excellent D there just saying the great players will always overcome great D.

    Not that Johnson is a great player, but he is a pretty damn good one.

  25. David Crockett

    I feel bad for David because Horford just brings out the absolute worst in him.

    He just owns Lee.

    Anything from Lee and we’re winning by 5 or 6.

  26. Brian Cronin

    The notion that Nate’s play tonight is a positive for D’Antoni is the sort of spin I thought I wouldn’t hear once Bush was out of the White House.

  27. Travis Knight Rider

    Benching Nate for a month is going to turn out to be a brilliant coaching move, hahaha

  28. Frank O.

    Gus:
    “Nate was not just in the dog house. He was buried in it.\
    And he learned something!!!”

  29. Brian Cronin

    Brian, you don’t believe benching the dude lit a fire?

    Nope.

    And even if I believed it had some sort of effect, not fourteen games off (with many games in there that seemed like they were tailor-made for Nate), especially as he came back playing the same way he did before he was benched.

  30. cbrooklyn

    say what you want..NATE is the friggin man tonight!! Please Dantoni..find a way to work him in the system!! He is HOT tonight!!

  31. David Crockett

    The “lit a fire” line is convenient in that it eliminates the very possibility that the coach could have been wrong.

  32. Owen

    The pro-nate camp is going to feel good about this one. Of course, the anti-nate camp will just say he needed to sit and think about things to play this well.

    Either way, I love it…

    Go Knicks, they own the Hawks these days… :-)

  33. David Crockett

    Let’s not forget the game Wilson Chandler had. He was big.

    Even though the media is going to *way* overplay the game Nate just had given the benching, D’Antoni deserves every bit of the flack he’s about to catch. The way he handles it will say a LOT to me about who he is.

    He doesn’t owe any mea culpas. But if he’s a jerk about it I’ll lose a lot of respect (well, more respect).

  34. Frank O.

    David, agreed.
    The fact that D’An was calling for Nate isolations spoke volumes about him already.
    It’s not personal; it’s about winning.

  35. KnickFan4Life

    Happy New Yeark everybody. Wow I am speechless. What a way to start the new frigging year!!

    Perhaps Dantoni knew what he was doing all along. Maybe he managed to motivate Nate to play to his absolute highest potential. It that is the case Nate will thank him, not hate him. Of course it also doesn’t hurt Atlanta has some backcourt defensive issues. Incredible. What a game.

  36. David Crockett

    Frank – Nate’s been injured, and had admittedly started slow. Lots of guys have had bouts of poor play on both ends of the floor without necessitating the “message” that is being sent to Nate.

  37. Frank O.

    Chandler just said that on the radio. D’An was calling for isolations “because he knows Nate is as great player.”

  38. greatscott

    The “coach was wrong” line is also convenient as it eliminates the possibility that discipline works. People who believed in the benching said he would come back a better player because of it. And he has. Discipline works.

  39. Frank O.

    Well, D’an made the decision and the Knicks went on one of the most successful runs they’ve had in years.
    Then when D’An’s 7 and 8 guys stopped be productive. He adjusted and Nate got back in, and he played probably the most complete game of his career.
    He swished and dished.

    What was striking to me was Nate dishing to Gallo and Gallo missing the ball late in the game. Nate was crazy hot, but tried to find the other hot hand.

    That spoke to Nate offering a complete effort.
    He gets the credit for putting up this performance, a career performance really because it led to a win.

  40. jon abbey

    benching Nate was the right thing to do, he just did it for too many games. amazing performance tonight, though, wow. and great to see D’Antoni actually being flexible mid-game, benching Lee and Duhon when they weren’t doing much. I’ll never understand how Gallo doesn’t get more shots, but amazing comeback win.

    NATE!

  41. BigBlueAL

    I know Nate had 41 pts, but the 8 assists, 6 rebs and 1 steal are huge as well. 4 to’s not so much but still helluva game.

  42. Mike Kurylo

    “The “coach was wrong” line is also convenient as it eliminates the possibility that discipline works. People who believed in the benching said he would come back a better player because of it. And he has. Discipline works.”

    We can account for this. If we compare this year (post “discipline”) to last, and if discipline has made Nate a better player, then we’ll see an improvement in his stats. If his stats are the same, then I would think D’Antoni’s “discipline” was a non-factor.

  43. Frank O.

    Of course, time will tell more than this one win.
    But this was huge.
    It was an elite team they beat, and they have beaten them twice in Atlanta.
    Knicks made a statement to the rest of the east, after a weird loss to the Nets/

  44. Z-man

    This was an amazing, HOF caliber performance by Nate. I was courtside when Nate put up 45 vs. Blazers in an OT loss. He is the only Knick that can take over a game like that. To do it after sitting for a month is mind-boggling.

    I don’t think we win any more games than we did in December without the benching, so I totally think D’Antoni did the right thing. Maybe a couple of games less might have been better, but Nate needed something to wake him up.

  45. Frank O.

    Nate says “it was a humbling experience for me.”
    He thanks D’an for making it a humbling experience for him.

    Classy

  46. Frank O.

    He says I was at home thinking about allthe things I have done, shooting on my own basket…
    I want to thank my coaching staff and my team for cheering.

  47. Frank O.

    I was trying to get everyone else involved.
    The more aggressive yo9u are to score, the more you are in a position to get assists.
    I just took what they gave me,

  48. Frank O.

    Hahn:
    MDA clearly making regular references to “focus on winning” and “staying on task” in the wake of Nate’s performance. Obvious concerns.

  49. Frank O.

    Sounds like message sent by D’An was received…
    But D’An reminding all that he needs to remain consistent

  50. d-mar

    That postgame interview with Nate sounded like an Oscar acceptance speech – “and I’d like to thank my agent, and my strength coach Greg Brittenham…” I expected to hear music come up and Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep start walking on the court!

    Give all the credit to Nate for staying in shape and working hard during his benching. What a win!

  51. Brian Cronin

    Wait, you mean Nate didn’t publicly call out his Coach right after the Coach finally let him play after benching him for a month?

    Oh, then never mind, clearly D’Antoni made the right decision!

  52. Sandy

    Nate played a great game. But what was lost was how well Mike D’Antoni coached in the 4th quarter and overtime.

    1. In the 4th quarter with the Knicks down 4, the Mike Woodson called a timeout to design a play to counteract on the Knicks effective zone defense. In that timeout D’Antoni switched the defense back to man defense that confused the Hawks and forced a tough shot. From that point on they went back and forth with man and zone.

    2. Mike D’Antoni tells his players to give a foul when Joe Johnson makes a move to the basket. This gives the Hawks only 5 seconds to shoot.

    3. D’Antoni calls an on the ball trap of Johnson and they force a tough three at the buzzer.

    4. Coach realized that no Hawk defender was quick enough to stay in front of Nate and repeatedly called isolations.

    There were several other instances where the coach did make an impact for the better in this game. Hats off to him.

  53. Z-man

    The Knicks have the #6 road record in the eastern conference. That bodes well for the rest of the year, no?

  54. Brian Cronin

    What’s silly is that I would have gladly given D’Antoni credit for finally correcting his mistake if I didn’t see this ridiculous “See! Nate having a great game (note that Nate tonight merely tied his career high for points off the bench – this was not some sort of “wow, Nate has never played like this before!” type of deal) is proof that Nate should not have played the last month!” spin.

  55. Sandy

    Nate stayed a true professional. What he should do. That Oscar acceptance like speech was a bit troubling tho. I disagreed with Nate’s benching but we did go 9-5 last month so its tough to complain too much. Glad he is back and hopefully he can be a consistent scorer off of our bench.

  56. Sandy

    and Jamal was terrible. Couldn’t have been a better game. Jamal’s game has not evolved much. Falls in love with the jumper and plays zero defense. on one play nate took a straight path from the wing to the basket with little resistance from Crawford.

  57. BigBlueAL

    Latest tweet from Fake D’Antoni:

    Attn NBA GM’s: Nate Robinson can score 40+ every night, he’s HUGE on Twitter and he can be yours now provided you’ll take Jeffries too.

    This guy is freakin hilarious btw, you should see all his tweets.

  58. daJudge

    Frank O and other’s, I respectfully dissent. Please don’t point to the Coach for this performance, because he simply allowed it to occur. This was all Nate. As I said before, I think the Nate benching was way, way too long. Just my personal view, but I don’t trust this Coach. He could not even bring himself to tip his hat after this awesome performance. Again, I know most of you really dig this guy, but I think he’s very arrogant, insecure and evasive. His logic is flawed and his decision-making suspect. What if the Knicks had a crappy December—would his decision re: Nate have been wrong then? The Knick’s do not have the talent to bench a player like Nate, or even a marginal seven foot defensive player when they’re playing the Nets. Darko was buried so deep in the dog house, he wasn’t even available. By the way, I noticed the Coach alluding to Nate’s “athleticism” a number of times. This euphemism is not a compliment. It’s not just Nate’s athleticism… dude’s got a huge heart to come back like this and work out the way he has done. Why wasn’t there a mention of his commitment or work ethic after not playing for a month? I love the win, but can someone please articulate in a rational fashion why Nate was benched? Very sorry to be so negative after this excellent win, but I was surprised by the comments. Go Knicks.

  59. Frank O.

    Nate actually scored 45 in a game in March 2008 against Portland, but it was a loss.
    He was 16 for 28 with 6 assists and 6 rebounds. 57% from the field.

    His other 41 point night was a better game, a win, and he shot better than 60% from the field.

    But he’s had 13 games with better than 30 points in his five year career, nine of which were losses. All the wins in his 30 or more point games came against almost entirely bad teams.

    This was against a top team. In my humble view, this was his best game as a Knick, bar none.

    No one disputes Nate can be great.

  60. Ted Nelson

    YEAH

    “David that would be true if Nate was playing this way when he was benched.
    He was not.”

    The last game he played significant minutes he scored 22 points or something in the 4th Quarter… his benching came during the very next game. He started the season poorly, but was pretty hot just before the benching.

    Are you kidding me? D’Antoni admitted he MAY have been wrong and really can’t say what would have happened had Nate stayed in the rotation and that he’s looking forward to an even better January (presumably meaning with Nate getting a chance to play given the circumstances and line of questioning) in his post-game interview. He showed the flexibility to change his approach with Nate, which really impresses me and clearly got the Knicks a win. Can you really not admit that he and you MAY have been wrong? There is certainly evidence that the benching was the right thing, but there is also evidence that it was wrong. D’Antoni himself did a great job of putting that out there in his post-game interview. As you’ve said, it was a tough decision. It has worked out beautifully (between the run and now Nate’s return), but D’Antoni is humble enough to know he’s not perfect.

    You took every opportunity to rip Nate all thread long… His man was killing the Knicks? Which one? Bibby had 11 points on 12 shots, Crawford had 4 points on 12 shots, Teague had zero points on 2 shots, Joe Johnson had 28 on 30… All their guards stunk. Who was Nate guarding that killed the Knicks? His FT shooting? Come on.

    “he played probably the most complete game of his career.
    He swished and dished.”

    That’s exactly what he’s done his whole career. He is one of the Knicks best players. One of their best scorers and one of their best playmakers. Not as bad a defender as you think. Just take a look at his stats. This was an exceptionally great game, but D’Antoni came out and said in the post-game that EVERYONE knew this was what Nate does: he said he’s a great athlete and a great shot maker. I have gained a lot of respect for D’Antoni. Of course, greatscott, that doesn’t mean I will never, ever question any decision the man makes.

    Two things are clear: 1. Nate is not the idiot/pariah you have made him out to be and 2. Nate can help the Knicks win. You have made a lot of good points throughout the discussion–a lot of correct points–but there’s not need to be completely extreme.

    greatscott,

    Which chapter of the Church of D’Antoni are you a member of? He’s a good or even great coach and you have every right to agree with him, but every post you leave suggests that D’Antoni never makes mistakes and should never be criticized by anyone on this site. In the last thread you said that it’s nonsense to think you know more about the team than someone who knows its inner-workings… Does that logic stand up in the case of Isiah the GM or Larry Brown the coach (just to give two recent Knicks examples). Doesn’t seem to.

  61. Ted Nelson

    “Darko was buried so deep in the dog house, he wasn’t even available.”

    Maybe because he covertly called D’Antoni a liar and has said he can’t wait to leave the NBA and doesn’t work hard when he doesn’t like the situation he’s in? It’s hard to see behind the veil of the media into the inner-workings of a team, but when someone comes out and says those kind of things to the media it’s not hard to guestimate what might be going on behind the scenes.

  62. Frank O.

    dajudge:

    Your what if scenario is kind of invalid since we already know what happened….
    What if I was a millionaire…? well, I’m not.

    The Knicks did have a great month after Nate’s benching.
    Sure if things had gone badly things would be viewed differently, but you can’t simply will away the fact that the Knicks had a good month…
    Apparently, the Knicks did have good enough talent to bench Nate, but apparently not forever. And they didn’t just beat scrubs during that run.

    Now, the coach had to adjust because his seven and eight weren’t producing. He brings Nate in and he gets something.
    Coaches make decisions, one after the other. If it leads to victories, well, then they deserve credit for those decisions.

    You can’t divorce either person’s role in this performance. If D’Antoni personalizes this, Nate never plays. If Nate displays immaturity, he fails.
    But he made the decision to play Nate. And then to run the offense through Nate. Then to let Nate simply take over the end of the game, because Nate delivered.
    You know, when a player does not play, and he’s not injured, it’s a DNP-CD (coach’s decision).
    The CD is implied also when a player plays…

    Nate played great. Nate himself credited his coach with humbling him and making him think about his antics…

    If one does not believe one’s own eyes and ears I’m not sure anything can be said to change a mind.

    These are the facts:
    Nate was benched
    The Knicks went on a winning run
    Then the Knicks 7 and 8 started to drag.
    Nate was reinstated
    Nate played great
    Knicks win
    He credits his coach for humbling him and making him think about his antics.

    we’ll see if there is a happily ever after.

  63. SJK

    Does it really matter if D’Antoni was right or wrong to bench Nate? As long as they get the W I could care less how it happens.

  64. jon abbey

    “The Knicks went on a winning run
    Then the Knicks 7 and 8 started to drag.
    Nate was reinstated”

    except I think there were a couple of weeks between the last two, Nate should have been back for the game in Chicago on the 17th, and definitely for the Nets game.

  65. jon abbey

    “Does it really matter if D’Antoni was right or wrong to bench Nate? As long as they get the W I could care less how it happens.”

    you should maybe not be on a Knicks discussion site then. :)

  66. Ted Nelson

    Caught a few minutes of the D’Antoni show. He made a great, if obvious, point about Gallo. Basically, once Gallo develops his post moves against smaller guys and driving past bigger guys the Knicks can run their offense through him. I think his post moves when guarded by a SG are already there, but I agree with D’Antoni that there’s a little something still missing. Just sort of a veteran court awareness or something.

  67. Frank O.

    And of course, one does not know what Nate might have done had he not been benched.
    Ted, I don’t think my views on Nate have been extreme. I told everyone that that shot at his own hoop crystalized a feeling I have had for Nate.
    I was the extremist who called for D’Antoni to make Nate a point because I thought a more positive approach works better. I felt if you gave Nate the responsibility that he might respond well.
    But I also supported D’Antoni’s approach. Nate needed to be called out. He could be a great player but only he was holding him back.
    I stand by those views.

    Also, my comments during the game I think were legitimate feelings I was having.
    One thing, tho, I followed the game by radio and on the computer. I said Nate’s opposite (at shooting guard) was killing the Knicks. I couldn’t tell if Nate was guarding him at that point. I think later Jeffries was guarding him.

    And there was a period where bibby was hurting the Knicks. He made some big shots.

    But I do have concerns about Nate. I have not trusted his game for a long time. And my feelings on that are not extreme. They have been expressed by others here. And clearly D’Antoni felt misgivings too.
    But I have always said Nate was a very talented guy.

    D’Antoni saying he could have been wrong is just a fact, but it’s also a moot point. December was what it was and the Knicks were better for it. Whether it was attributable to Nate’s benching, or simply committing to a short bench and tougher D, it was a winning month, the first in a very long time.

  68. Ted Nelson

    “Your what if scenario is kind of invalid since we already know what happened….
    What if I was a millionaire…? well, I’m not.”

    It works better the other way: we don’t know what would happen if Nate hadn’t been benched. D’Antoni himself said he’s not sure if the Knicks would have won even more games in December had Nate not been benched. No one possibly can be.

    “Now, the coach had to adjust because his seven and eight weren’t producing. He brings Nate in and he gets something.”

    Here’s where you have to get off D’Antoni’s nuts a little. His 7 and 8 were injured. I like that D’Antoni showed some flexibility and went to Nate over Douglas, but we can’t say D’Antoni plays Nate is both Hughes and Bender aren’t injured. Those are two of the only guards in his rotation.

  69. Frank O.

    Jon:
    I think it was a week where the 7 and 8 were sucking.
    I think in hindsight you are right that the Nets game probably would have been a good point to make the decision.
    But it turns out it was the Nets game that really triggered the decision to bring Nate.

    amazing that one can go through the feelings of a game like the Nets game and then bounce back with a game like this.
    Fantastic game.

  70. Ted Nelson

    Franky,

    Come on… you’ve personally attacked him and taken every opening to rip him to shreds both as a player and a person. \

    “Also, my comments during the game I think were legitimate feelings I was having.
    One thing, tho, I followed the game by radio and on the computer. I said Nate’s opposite (at shooting guard) was killing the Knicks. I couldn’t tell if Nate was guarding him at that point. I think later Jeffries was guarding him.”

    This is what I’m saying. You didn’t even watch the game, yet you called Nate’s defense out???????????????? None of the Hawks guards had a good game, so which one was killing them?

    “But I do have concerns about Nate. I have not trusted his game for a long time. And my feelings on that are not extreme.”

    They have been pretty extreme. You’ve said he cannot help the Knicks win, you’ve said he’s a terrible defender, you’ve insulted his personality and character, etc., etc.

    “December was what it was and the Knicks were better for it.”

    NO!!! We cannot say if there were better for it. We cannot say if the Knicks would have won more games with Nate in the rotation. Just as it’s ridiculous to say D’Antoni was wrong because Nate had a huge game, it’s also ridiculous to say he was right because the Knicks had a good month.

  71. Frank O.

    Ted, i confess all game long, I was thinking to myself that Hughes’ injury was probably the thing that triggered the move to play Nate, but I didn’t want to sound as if I was taking something away from Nate.

  72. BK

    Gee, what a surprise: an inspiring win and the discussion gets dragged down into another referendum on the coach.

    I felt fine with Nate being benched for about 11 or 12 games, then when it became clear that Hughes hadn’t recovered from his injury and Bender was a work in progress, I wanted to see what he could do. All along though, the coach has been *very* consistent in his explanation of why Nate hasn’t played — it was the same rationale he used for Hughes’ benching at the start of the season, and even Marbury last year. He doesn’t like to give spot/garbage minutes to veterans who need a defined role. He’s fine with giving a few minutes here and there to rookies who provide energy, but not more established players.

    After kicking it around with too many different lineups and players the first ten or so wretched games, the coach decided to tighten the rotation up. He wanted to give a specific rotation time to gel, and pushed the focus on more defense, meaning Jeffries and Hughes in particular got more minutes. The result was a winning month, a slight improvement defensively (and importantly, more confidence from the players that they could get stops when it mattered) and very nearly the first ten win month in many years.

    When Hughes fell off, Nate got his chance back, and made the most of it. If he shoots 18 for 24 every game from now on, sure, say the coach is unprofessional and stupid. But right now, I’m happy that Nate seems to get it, kept his focus, and checked his emotions. And I’m not surprised at all that the coach allowed he should have played Nate a few games sooner — he has always been more honest, flexible and open to other points of view than other people here seem to realize. You may disagree with him, even think he’s a bad coach, but he’s nowhere near the ideologue some make him out to be.

    Oh, and tonight’s +18 for Nate is the first game this season he’s had a positive +/- when playing more than 12 minutes. When he had 22 pts in 24 minutes against Orlando, his team lost the quarter and he was a -5.

    This discussion is very similar to what I saw on twitter when Jennings scored 55. Suddenly, not drafting him was the mistake of the century. Then he went on to miss 50 of 65 shots over multiple games. Did he turn into a bust because of that?

    I want to see what happens when Nate isn’t shooting 18 of 24, when the other team is focusing their defense on him, and he has to involve other teammates. I’m rooting for him too. But I never had a problem with the original decision to sit him.

    And if anyone thinks the coach is about personalities, he sat Duhon and Lee virtually all of the 4th quarter and overtime. He wants to win, period.

  73. Brian Cronin

    This discussion is very similar to what I saw on twitter when Jennings scored 55. Suddenly, not drafting him was the mistake of the century. Then he went on to miss 50 of 65 shots over multiple games. Did he turn into a bust because of that?

    Yeah, because Nate’s benching hasn’t been criticized by many of us for a month…no, it was just because Nate had a great game tonight. Otherwise, no one has said anything about Nate.

  74. Ted Nelson

    By the way… Nate usually guards the other team’s PG, even when Duhon is out there. As I’ve said a million times, Duhon is generally better on SGs (and the stats back me up here). This was one basketball related argument I made throughout the benching calling for him to get out there.

    Bibby has hit big shots against just about every player in the league, he had a poor game overall though. This is part of why “just using your eye” is not sufficient to judge someone’s defense. Certain plays are going to stick out in your mind. Other factors–like WANTING Jared Jeffries to take as many long jumpers as he’d like and therefore leaving him open… of course, there are less extreme examples–also make it hard to judge someone.

    Crawford and Teague were pathetic.

  75. Frank O.

    Ted:
    you’re adding things between my lines.

    December was december and the Knicks were better for it. In November they were 3-11. In December they were 9-6.
    They were better.

    Statement 33
    Me: “Nate’s opposite is killing them.”
    I didn’t say Nate’s defense was killing them. I said A few comments back that I didn’t know if Nate was guarding him. But the opposite SG was killing the Knicks.

    Comment 59:
    big blue says: Damnit Nate, make the extra pass since Gallo was WIDE OPEN.

    I respond in #61: This is where I complain about Nate wanting to get his own, rather than making the best team move…
    And immediately follow with #62: Yeah, I can’t bitch too much.

    Then #68 I say: My goodness. Nate…making a statement
    Most of the rest I’m lauding his play.
    The worst thing I say about Nate for the rest of the way was my concern about his foul shooting, which several others noted as well.

    Ted: I’m not sure your characterization of my remarks tonight are fair.

  76. Ted Nelson

    Just want to add that it would be completely fair to say that my views about the Nate benching were extreme at first, and it became clear quickly that I was not right. The rest of the team stepped up bigtime when I really didn’t expect it. (Doesn’t mean I was completely wrong, either, since we don’t know if putting Nate out there with the rest of the team hot would have led to more wins. And at some point it becomes irrelevant, of course, because maybe they play a bit better but wind up with the same record.)

    The Knicks also switch a whole lot and play some zone… other reasons evaluating individual D is so hard. Finally, you can play near perfect D and still get a shot made right in your face, or you can leave your man wide open and he misses a shot. I guess that tends to even out over time, though.

  77. Ted Nelson

    I’m watching Knicks in 60. Any thoughts that Nate changed who he is… he was screwing around on the bench within the last couple games and was flexing and posing after most of his made shots in the game. One thing that impresses me about Nate during this whole thing is that he hasn’t lost who he is.

    My biggest point the whole time was that Nate is too good to bench. A lot of people disagreed and said he’s not even a good NBA player. I feel pretty good about my argument after tonight’s game.

    Frank O.,

    I don’t think I am reading between your lines. I’m going based on my interpretation of what you’re saying, sure.

    “They were better.”

    I’m not arguing that they weren’t. That’s a fact. I am arguing that correlation does not imply causation. We’re talking about Nate here, so I don’t think I’m adding anything to what you said to interpret it in the Nate-centric context it appeared.

    “I didn’t say Nate’s defense was killing them. I said A few comments back that I didn’t know if Nate was guarding him. But the opposite SG was killing the Knicks.”

    The implication was pretty obvious, how many times did you comment about a Knicks defender when another Hawk made a few shots? Plus no Hawks guard did kill the Knicks. They all helped the Knicks. Plus you weren’t watching the game… why comment on Nate’s positional counterpart?
    Again, Nate doesn’t usually guard SGs.

    “I respond in #61: This is where I complain about Nate wanting to get his own, rather than making the best team move…
    And immediately follow with #62: Yeah, I can’t bitch too much.”

    The implication being that you were right and Nate is a ball hog. If you watched the game, or Nate over his career, you’d know he’s one of the best passers on the team.

    “Ted: I’m not sure your characterization of my remarks tonight are fair.”

    I wasn’t commenting about tonight only, but the whole benching. Tonight you made a lot of negative comments about Nate’s play. Given how incredibly well he played, I would say the negative-to-positive ratio was pretty high. Hard to criticize someone in a game like that. You’ve been ripping him to shreds for weeks, though, and to now take his play tonight and victoriously claim that you were right all along…

  78. BK

    Ted, you bring up a great point: the coaching staff figured out a way (we hope) of “hiding” Nate (and arguably other Knick defenders with limited lateral quickness or height) within an effective defensive scheme, the matchup zone in this case. When Nate went off for his 22 point quarter, I remember his teammates being ineffective and caught in awkward mismatches on defense. Makes it easier to play Nate and use him for his strengths.

    BTW, I wrote about this a while ago, but Nate through the first thirteen games of this season (before his benching), was rated a “below average” defender by Synergy Sports, mainly for his poor defense against spot-up shooters and in isolation situations. Given the Knicks give up a lot of mid-range spot up jumpers and other teams try to isolate against someone like Nate, it’s imperative that the defense be able to help him in those situations. Tonight Jeffries in particular (and even Gallo and Wilson) were really good in the matchup zone, and Nate himself provided good help when the situation called for it.

  79. Ted Nelson

    “Defense is ridiculously hard to assess and quantify in basketball.”

    I’m just saying that it is as hard to assess visually at the NBA level as it is statistically.

  80. SeeWhyDee77

    I’m just glad that Nate “learned his lesson”. Or is it that Mike D learned a lesson as well? Hopefully this whole Nate-Mike D spat is over and we can get some great production out of the bench becuz the starting lineup isn’t really adept at scoring. I wonder, if Nate’s back in the rotation, will we have enuf room for 2 Al and Nate to come off the bench? Al’s a straight chucker, and we’ve seen what Nate can do. Nate does pass tho, so maybe it works-especially if Hughes’ injury keeps him out of the rotation. If we have a healthy Hughes, with Nate being the effective Nate from last season, we have a pretty damn good squad that should make the playoffs regardless of the “lesser” competition in the east. I must say, Nate’s explosion creates a problem, unless coach wants to expand his rotation. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watchin Lil Him. If there are still questions about if he belongs, watch the film. Dude is a baller..straight up.

  81. Ted Nelson

    Just thought of this… how funny is it that the gun incident happened on a team whose name was formerly the Bullets???

    BK,

    I agree with you on D’Antoni, but not on Nate.

    “I want to see what happens when Nate isn’t shooting 18 of 24, when the other team is focusing their defense on him, and he has to involve other teammates. I’m rooting for him too. But I never had a problem with the original decision to sit him.”

    If the Hawks weren’t focused on Nate in OT tonight… how dumb are they? They are a good team, and you have to assume they were desperately trying to stop Nate. He took the ball right at two hyper-athletic guys over a foot taller than him–Smith and Williams–in OT and put it in both times even though they fouled him

    He was doing a great job of getting teammates involved. Besides the 8 asts, he also made some passes that led to assists and some passes to open shooters who missed. I’ve always said (since Duhon fell off last season and maybe before that season too, not sure) that Nate might be a better PG than Duhon.

    “When Hughes fell off, Nate got his chance back, and made the most of it.”

    No, when Hughes got injured for the second time Nate got a chance. He was injured three games and has been off for 5 games since then. It’s not as cut and dry as you make it seem.

    re: 175

    I don’t think Nate is a terrible defender or even that bad, so I don’t really see it the same way. The Knicks are a team of mostly mediocre-to-bad individual defenders, so I agree that they need a strong team effort to play good D.

    By the way, you put a whole lot of stock into a small sample size of games early in the season when Nate’s an NBA veteran.

  82. Frank O.

    from Hahn:
    Seriously, how absolutely absurd and yet totally entertaining was that? But for those who believe D’Antoni “looks bad” as a result of this performance, you then could say your Dad “looked bad” when you behaved yourself after the first beat-down.

    Ted:
    I stand by my criticism of Nate. I am tired of his antics.
    I know that is subjective.
    I do think I am right in my contention that Nate needed some kind of change, something to make him more responsible.
    His behavior at times has been idiotic.
    Certainly, he hasn’t pulled a gun on a teammate…:)

    But he has been one of the sole players to have gotten in fights in the locker room. The only player I have ever seen shoot during a game at his own hoop on purpose. He certainly postures when the Knicks are getting blown out. And every coach that has ever coached him has said he has maturity problems.
    There has been no deviation.
    No equivocation.
    No disingenuous comments on my part.
    And if you go back there were maybe five comments that could be called negative about Nate during the game, and I made literally dozens of comments tonight.

    We can agree to disagree.
    I think we have the rest of the season to determine whether there is a happily ever after.

  83. jon abbey

    “By the way, you put a whole lot of stock into a small sample size of games early in the season when Nate’s an NBA veteran.”

    right, but a veteran in a unique situation (for him) in that he knows he will likely not be back here next year, and his effort level at the start of the year seemed to be seriously lacking.

  84. Frank O.

    What is most notable about Nate’s 8 assists is that he had 0 assists in the first 16 minutes with like 16 points.
    that means his 8 assists came late in the game.
    Remember, he didn’t get into the game until all but three minutes were gone in the first period.
    it also fits what nate described. Aggressive offense creates great passing opportunities. He certainly made the most of them.

    Listening to the game, by the way does not leave one ill-informed about a game. The radio announcers describe a lot. Nothing like watching, but you get a lot from radio, and frankly Gus Johnson is one of the very best.

  85. Brian Cronin

    It’s not even that Nate should be a star on the team or whatever, just that he’s far too valuable of an asset to be benched for a month. If he is not playing well, don’t give him big minutes. If he is playing well, play him more.

  86. Frank O.

    Brian, you’re killing me.:)

    I could say you’re spinning like a top yourself.
    We believe what we believe. Isn’t that okay?

    I detect a lot of bitterness. I hope I’m wrong about that.
    I don’t expect you all the agree with me.
    I’m not sure questioning my intellectual honesty is necessarily fair. This isn’t politics.

  87. Brian Cronin

    Gus Johnson is a fun announcer, but I wouldn’t call him informed.

    Just the other night he was going on about how ridiculous it was that the Knicks didn’t pick Brook Lopez. “How can you pass on a seven footer?!?” Really, Gus? Isn’t that what Portland was thinking in 1984?

  88. BK

    Ted, Synergy Sports video and game reports are used by all the NBA teams, to my knowledge. Last season, Nate graded slightly better on those reports than he did in the “small sample size” this year you talk about. It doesn’t mean coaching decisions can’t be made if he hadn’t been as effective as better defenders like Duhon and Hughes, and the coach is trying to establish lineups with a certain defensive identity.

    The reports aren’t the only basis for decisions, of course, but I myself watched all the games Nate played significant minutes this season (some games multiple times), and didn’t see anything to refute my impressions, or those of the outside reports, that Nate had issues with focus on the defensive end and was prone to losing his assignments and/or fouling and grabbing. Last night was a step forward for him, in my opinion, and we’ll see if it continues.

  89. Frank O.

    Again, because his view didn’t agree with yours doesn’t make him ill-informed. It just means your view is different than his.
    I said he was one of the best; i didn’t say he was perfect or met your expectations…

  90. Brian Cronin

    The “spin” stuff, Frank, comes up because of what Ted noted – you can’t go on about how Nate shouldn’t play, Nate shouldn’t play, Nate shouldn’t play – then Nate plays and has a great game and it’s “Great move by D’Antoni to play Nate!”

    Or to knock Nate’s previous “antics,” when he reacted the same way tonight that he acted the last time he played.

    I’m cool with disagreements, but I’d appreciate some consistency.

    Note that I thought Nate should play and tonight I think…Nate should play.

  91. Brian Cronin

    Again, because his view didn’t agree with yours doesn’t make him ill-informed. It just means your view is different than his.

    “How can you pass up a seven-footer?” is pretty darn ill-informed, analysis-wise.

  92. Ted Nelson

    Jon Abbey,

    Looking at the whole team, would you really say Nate’s effort seemed to be lacking early? Really? If you had to bench one guy based on effort early in the season it would have been Nate? Right after the Magic game where he single handedly kept them in the game and made it a 6 point game with like 5 or 6 minutes left? His effort was lacking in that game?

  93. Ted Nelson

    Lost in the Nate hoopla is that Landry was such a great pick-up as an undrafted FA… He didn’t even have a very good game, but the guy looks good for an undrafted FA.

  94. Frank O.

    I supported D’antoni’s decision not to play Nate, and I thought Nate’s antics justified his benching.
    I don’t think I ever said Nate’s benching would last all season. D’Antoni didn’t say that either.
    Nate’s antics tonight occurred in a tight, exciting game that the Knicks won. It should not happen during games when the Knicks were getting destroyed. you can see the difference, right?
    in one place it’s appropriate. In another, it’s not.

    I am consistent. I support this coach’s decisions. I think he has shown an ability to get something from a cast of what I have called misfits, so far.

    Again, at the start of all this, I was calling for d’Antoni to start Nate over Duhon and let him lead the offense. I thought that that kind of pressure would have made Nate more responsible in his approach to the game. But I supported the decision to bench him.
    If Nate plays well within the team concept. If Nate isn’t a defensive liability. If Nate cuts out the silly shit during games, I’m quite happy to see him playing, just like the next Knicks fan.
    But the knicks as a whole have been losers in the past five years, and that means no player is indispensable. Until this team posts a winning record, almost everyone is tradeable, benchable, whatever.
    Duhon and Lee basically got benched late in the game. It wasn’t a question. The Knicks were better with those guys on the bench.

    I think this is quite consistent

  95. Ted Nelson

    BK,

    TO be honest, I haven’t heard of Synergy Sports. Am interested to look into it.

    Based on statistical and visual evidence I do not think Nate is nearly as bad defensively as many people assert. Surely his size is a liability that he can do little about, but overall I don’t find him to be a huge liability. Below average, maybe, but nothing that means he shouldn’t be in the Knicks rotation. I’ve asked a bunch of times for a statistical argument that Nate is a bad/terrible (depending on you definition… basically a liability you need to bench). Still waiting for it.

    I also think Duhon is not as good as his reputation, and better on a lot of SGs than a lot of PGs. Joe Johnson is a 6-8 All-Star, for example, but I’d much rather have Duhon on him than a lot of the quicker PGs in the league. I am far from the only one who has said this.

    (One of my problems with the criticism of Nate is that someone like Duhon might fight through a screen and give effort but still routinely get beat by his man, while a better athlete like Nate might be able to go under the screen and still stay in front of his man… doesn’t mean he can just coast, but this is my problem with basing too much on you visual observations.)

  96. Ted Nelson

    “I don’t think I ever said Nate’s benching would last all season.”

    A lot of the things you’ve said recently imply that. You may even have literally said that, but certainly you’ve implied it.

    “Nate’s antics tonight occurred in a tight, exciting game that the Knicks won. It should not happen during games when the Knicks were getting destroyed. you can see the difference, right?”

    No, I cannot. He brought the Knicks within 6 points of the Magic with 5 or 6 minutes to go. THAT IS A CLOSE GAME. You are wrong on that. Period. It’s a fact. The shot against the Nets didn’t even count, did it? And the Magic game was close. His “antics” might have pissed you off, but it’s irrational.

    Frank, I can’t offer much more than what Brian says in 188. You cannot possibly always be right. None of us can. D’Antoni admits he is human. All we’re asking is that you not insist you are never wrong.

  97. Frank O.

    Brian:
    Lopez v. Gallo is a debatable point. I don’t think what gus said was off base.
    As a center, lopez is a force. he shows it every time he plays the Knicks.
    But Gallo’s TS% and eFG% is better.

    Still, it has been very hard to find an effective, potentially dominant 7 foot center. When you can get one, generally, you should.
    The Knicks need interior defense desperately.

  98. Ted Nelson

    “What is most notable about Nate’s 8 assists is that he had 0 assists in the first 16 minutes with like 16 points.
    that means his 8 assists came late in the game.
    Remember, he didn’t get into the game until all but three minutes were gone in the first period.
    it also fits what nate described. Aggressive offense creates great passing opportunities. He certainly made the most of them.

    Listening to the game, by the way does not leave one ill-informed about a game. The radio announcers describe a lot. Nothing like watching, but you get a lot from radio, and frankly Gus Johnson is one of the very best.”

    You didn’t see the game. As soon as Nate got in the game he started moving the ball. Tons of plays he made the pass right before the assist or made a good pass that led to a missed shot.

    Even on the radio you could hear them say Nate passes to Harrington… Harrington misses the 3. Nate passes to x, x passes to Duhon, Duhon hits the three. Again, it really seems like you are doing everything possible to criticize Nate.

  99. Ted Nelson

    “Still, it has been very hard to find an effective, potentially dominant 7 foot center. When you can get one, generally, you should.
    The Knicks need interior defense desperately.”

    Lopez is not much of a defender…

  100. Frank O.

    How the hell has anyone derived from my comments that I think I’m always right. WTF!
    This is more than ridiculous. A couple strings back, you and I had a back and forth and I virtually conceded every friggin point. Talk about irrational.
    You guys are getting silly.

    And what magic game was close? The Knicks lost by 12 and by 14. In the first quarter of a game, the team that goes up by two has a lead, but it’s close.
    when the game ends and you’re down by 12 or 14, how close was it really? Nate getting 22 points down the stretch probably kept it from being a totally ridiculous blow out.

  101. Frank O.

    Do the Knicks have a center getting two blocks per? He’s sixth in the NBA in total blocks right now, seventh in blocks per game.
    I’ll take that.

  102. Brian Cronin

    Lopez v. Gallo is a debatable point. I don’t think what gus said was off base.
    As a center, lopez is a force. he shows it every time he plays the Knicks.
    But Gallo’s TS% and eFG% is better.

    Still, it has been very hard to find an effective, potentially dominant 7 foot center. When you can get one, generally, you should.
    The Knicks need interior defense desperately.

    Lopez vs. Gallo is a very debatable point. Gus wasn’t having a debate though – he just railed against the Knicks for not taking Lopez or Jennings this year. “The Knicks could have had an impressive young team if they just did a better job in the draft the last two years” and when Lopez got a big rebound, “How can you pass on a seven footer!” It was just foolishness. If it was “How can you pass on Brook Lopez?” I could believe it – but the whole “how can you pass on a seven footer” thing is just one of those things that a dumb GM would say in, like, 1980. Especially when you factor in that the Knicks got Gallo in the Lopez draft.

    In any event, I like Gus Johnson – he’s a blast to listen to. Very enjoyable announcer. But not a guy I’d go to for analysis. That really has nothing to do with anything – your mention of the radio just made me think of my annoyance at listening to Gus the other day.

  103. Ted Nelson

    I am not someone saying D’Antoni looks bad, but if you were behaving yourself before the beat-down and then behaved yourself afterwards you could say that your dad was an anti-social psychopath. Again, I don’t think D’Antoni looks bad, I just think Hahn’s analogy is weak. Hahn seems to also feel like he has something to prove after Nate’s performance…

    “But he has been one of the sole players to have gotten in fights in the locker room. The only player I have ever seen shoot during a game at his own hoop on purpose. He certainly postures when the Knicks are getting blown out. And every coach that has ever coached him has said he has maturity problems.”

    Really? The fucking coach got in a physical fight with one of the players on a team plane. I can remember several locker room fights during the Isiah era, and several on-court fights in previous eras. Is getting in a fight really a reason to be benched? I don’t approve of physical violence, but a lot of professional athletes get in fights. He is not the only one.
    I’m not even sure what you’re referring to anyway.

    Seriously??? Do you watch games? Players shoot on the other hoop ALL THE TIME after the clock expires. All the time. After they foul someone or when the clock has expired. All the time.

    If you are referring to the Magic game, THEY WERE NOT GETTING BLOWN OUT.

    Every coach has played him and got productivity out of him. Larry Brown has complained about everyone and rarely plays young players. Nate played quite a bit for him.

    Your opinion is yours, but don’t support it with bogus examples.

  104. BigBlueAL

    As you can tell from the comments I watched the game and when someone said Nate had 0 assists in 16 minutes I replied that at least 3 times he had drove and kicked it out to a wide open player who made the extra pass for a basket so Nate was passing the whole game and couldve had more than 8 assists. Of course I got on him when he missed a 3 badly when they were down 4 with a few minutes to go because Gallo was wide open and Nate had time to make the extra pass to him :-)

    Also yeah his D was fine tonight, the guards other than Joe Johnson didnt do shit tonight for the Hawks. I noticed that when Nate was in the game they played alot more zone which was a smart move especially in the 4th quarter where they played a matchup-type zone where they did (especially Gallo) a GREAT job on fronting the post on Horford and Josh Smith.

  105. Ted Nelson

    “And what magic game was close?”

    The one where Nate scored 22 points in a quarter and was benched the next game. Check the play-by-play. Nate pulled them within 6 points, SIX POINTS, with 5 or 6 minutes to go. THAT IS A CLOSE GAME.

    Frank, you’ve been the #1 bench Nate cheerleader for a month. Nate comes back and plays amazing and you credit yourself for being right. Notice that D’Antoni did not do that. Because he would have looked like a total ass if he had. If he went out there and was 1-20 and the Knicks lost, I would not continuously post every good thing he did during the game and then say I was right all along. I would have looked like an ass. See where I’m going?

    “Do the Knicks have a center getting two blocks per? He’s sixth in the NBA in total blocks right now, seventh in blocks per game.
    I’ll take that.”

    Blocked shots do not equal interior defense. Lopez gets raped by the opposing bigman most nights and the reason he fell in the draft is because he lacks lateral quickness. He’s just not a good defender. He might help the Knicks interior defense, but I could say that about just about any decent legitimate center in the league. You can argue he is better than Gallo, but defense is a weird place to start.

  106. Frank O.

    Dude they lost by 14.
    Several of the fights have been documented with Nate. He’s squared off with a few Knicks players.
    And I’m not sure the “others do it argument” makes it okay. that comment feels bogus.
    You have noted some egregious examples of fights to make the case that Nate fighting is no big. Not your best argument, ted.
    Nate’s shot on his own hoop was just barely after the clock ticked over. Barely.
    I have seen guys, once all play has stopped and guys are walking off, take shots. This was barely as time was off….like a tenth of a second or so after.
    Yes, I have watched a lot of ball.;)

    D’Antoni has gotten productivity out of him. Perhaps even last night.:)

    Ted, I think you have personalized this. I suspect if you were my coach you might have benched me by now. You would be a bad coach.
    :)
    Cheers all. Bed time for me.

  107. Frank O.

    It doesn’t stop/
    I didn’t say I was right all along. I said an argument can be made that what D’Antoni did has paid off…

    I get where you are going. I think you’re being ridiculous, and calling me an ass simply bolsters my view.
    I think benching Nate was right.
    I think time will tell whether the benching affected Nate in a positive way. I said twice now, we’ll see if there is a happily ever after.

    I’m not sure what your deal is Ted. But I’m done with you.

  108. BigBlueAL

    I just watched D’Antoni’s post-game pres conference and I think I have even more respect for him than I already had. Granted I admittedly am a huge fan of his.

  109. david

    Wow. What a game.

    There’s another aspect to this that no one has talked about — if he puts together a few good weeks, Nate might get traded as the sugar to get someone to take the Jeffries contract.

    One possibility is the Rockets. Morey surely loves his efficiency as a scorer and, if they are going to make noise this year (and going forward), need someone who can create shots other than aaron brooks. Robinson, Jeffries, Hill and Mobley for TMac. Or something like that.

  110. Ted Nelson

    Frank, I just read through the thread after the game and saw several anti-Nate posts from you. Then I saw some post-game posts tooting your own horn about being right about Nate all along. You are right in some ways, but also wrong in some ways. A whole lot of points have been made over the past month, and overall I think your argument was hurt by tonight’s game.

    You are right that benching Nate didn’t kill the Knicks or un-motivate him, but a lot of your criticism has either been proven wrong or questionable. I believe you have posted several times during the benching that Nate is acting immaturely and compared him to Marbury, and every bit of evidence (his play, his even getting back out there, and quotes from D’Antoni, Chandler, and Lee) says that is wrong. Nate showed that he is a hard worker (as if that was a question to most of us) and a valuable basketball player (again never a question to me). I would have liked to see you tip your hat to Nate a little more instead of crediting D’Antoni so much for his success and quoting Nate multiple times crediting the coaches for his play. I am impressed as hell D’Antoni let Nate out of the doghouse, and I bet Nate is too. Darko and Curry are in the exact same doghouse, though, and could also help the Knicks if they were playing to their potential. Darko has done nothing but dig himself in deeper, and Curry has done little besides lose a ton of weight most of which it was embarrassing that he was carrying in the first place. Nate deserves credit for his work and attitude. I agree that D’Antoni is doing a good job coaching the Knicks, I just think Nate has taken a HUGE step towards proving you and other critics wrong about him.

    The Magic play is something that really pisses me off, not from you personally just from the entire anti-Nate camp.

    The play you are referring to happened at the beginning of a run BEFORE they closed the lead to 6. They were not getting blown out when Nate did the little pogo-stick move that pissed Breen off so much.

    I agree that Nate is particularly “antics” prone and a bit of a comedian, but I think because of that reputation he doesn’t ever get the benefit of the doubt. That play is the prime example, to me. Breen ripped him a new one for not getting back on D while he was literally waiting for the ball to come in so he could pick up his man at 3/4 court (Nate often applies 3/4 or full court pressure). He got ripped for showboating in a blow-out. The problem with that is that he was the only Knicks acting as if the team hadn’t already lost the game. He almost single-handedly brought them back while his teammates all sat around like boobs. The Magic’s PGs scored zero points and had like 1 ast during the 4th, as I remember. The wings and Howard were killing the Knicks D. Yet Nate has somehow taken blame for the Knicks D during that stretch from several posters.

    Still watching Knicks in 60, and one thing that sticks out to me is that Nate makes a lot of plays in transition D. With 4 left in the 4th he jumped up for an alley-oop to Josh Smith and was literally eye-to-eye with Smith when he broke it up. The guy has some defensive skills. He broke up another 1/2 court pass from the Hawks earlier in the game. He is a beast in the transition game, and in that sense I can see why it was easier to bench him when the Knicks switched styles. It also bugged me, though, that posters here missed that and just bashed Nate as a useless little midget. Also bugs me that the while team was poor defensively early, and yet Nate takes the blame. Based on tonight it looks like he CAN fit in on an improved defensive team. And, though I was slow to recognize it, they have improved defensively.
    From watching the game I also assume one or even two of his TOs came on plays where he was trying to save a loose ball, threw it towards a crowd, and threw it to the Hawks.
    Also, at least 1/2 Bibby’s points came when Robinson was not on him.

  111. Ted Nelson

    My deal is that you’ve painted yourself into a position where you are right either way. If Nate struggles you are right that he should have been benched. If he plays well you are right because he was benched. I’m done too, the consensus seems to be that after 14 games the motivation factor was out the window. My problem is that you preemptively tooted your own horn, when not even D’Antoni went there.

  112. nicos

    I actually thought Nate made a real effort to run the offense in the first half despite the lack of assists. In fact, I’d say the stretch he played before Duhon returned and he moved to the 2 was about as well as I’ve seen him run the point. In the fourth quarter & overtime they just spread the floor and let Nate go one on one rather than try to run the normal offense. In terms of his defense- his biggest problem (to me anyway) is his failure to fight through screens- while he has the quickness to get back to cut off penetration he lacks the length to close out on a jump shot or cover a big rolling to the hoop. Given that the Knicks defense isn’t great anyway (especially at the rim) giving up an open 16 footer to a point guard isn’t the worst outcome so I’m not sure Nate is that big a detriment and he’s certainly no worse defensively than Gallo who can’t keep anyone in front of him (though Gallo did do a really nice job in the zone tonight- very active especially fronting Horford and Smith). As Atlanta ran their offense primarily through Johnson rather than Bibby, Nate’s inability to get over screens was never really an issue and when he did get caught in a mismatch on a big Jeffries and Chandler did a great job of rotating and helping him out. Of course, Nate being Nate, he still did a little show-boating after a couple of hoops but in general, he played remarkably under control given the circumstances. I’m still not sure Nate can run the pick and roll well enough to supplant Duhon as a starter but if tonight’s any indication, he should be getting at least 15 minutes at pg and another 10 at sg. Also, there’s no way we win this game w/o Chandler as he was seemed to be the only one capable of actually getting a defensive rebound in the 4th quarter/ overtime.

  113. Droidz1979

    Enough of this nate and coachman-love arguments already jeez!

    Its a win to start the year, they lost to the worst team in the NBA prior to this game (Nets) and was down on the 2nd and 3rd quarter on this one, so i thought they were a goner already. Yet, they made it to overtime and won!

    At least were not rooting for the bullets er wizards where players have expensive and long term contracts who draws guns to settle arguments over debts from gambling. Heck, our team is not even close to the talent that this team “supposedly” has (Jamison, Butler, Haywood, Arenas, Miller and so on). We’re not even the wolves who traded Garnett for scrubs and drafted 2 PGs on the 1st round and yet is only playing one for this year!

    I’d take any win the Knicks has for the year/s to come where they could finally unload all the bad contracts that they carry (Jeffries and Curry) and hopefully land a real superstar FA this time. Oh, and i’d pick Gallo over Lopez anytime. On a Knick team that values 3 point shooting, i don’t think Lopez would be as effective anyway.

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