Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mavs 95, Knicks 85

New York Knicks 85 Final
Recap | Box Score
95 Dallas Mavericks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 31 MIN | 2-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -18

MELO: “Yo, Matrix, what you doin’ after the game? We got a few hours before we gots to catch the bus on down to….”

MARION
: “Yo you just threw the ball at Lin’s shoes…”

MELO: “Wha….”

After his painfully blasé reaction to Sunday’s spleen-stabbing loss to the Celtics – basically: “That was a fun game, oh well” – Melo’s in-and-out play wasn’t the most encouraging of signs. In fact, it was by far one of his worst outings in the orange and blue, with string-pulled jumpers, failed finishes at the rim, and general lack of sweat sounding the most screaming of alarms. But to see him flashing yet another toothy grin during post-game pleasantries, was to feel as close as I ever have to the kind of guy who would use his shotgun to shoo kids off his lawn in a bourbon haze.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 32 MIN | 10-18 FG | 6-8 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 26 PTS | -1

A horrendous two point, zero rebound first quarter found me about two seconds from throwing my $75 Stoudemire jersey into the pile of rags we use to clean up our pets’ puke and piss. But a vintage comeback eruption assured it would remain a makeshift curtain for at least another day. Here’s the thing doe: His third quarter heat check lasted about three days too long. Meanwhile, the second half found Nowtizki taking him so deep into the Dirk Dungeon that I half-expected Stat to hand his captor a basket full of lotion during the post-game handshakes.

Tyson Chandler, C 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -9

I’ll be honest, a huge part of me was concerned that Mark Cuban was going to cover Chandler’s Chip ring with some kind of wrist-melting agent. Because, you know, who expects the billionaire in a tee shirt? As it was, Chandler looked noticeably hobbled for much of the game, a fact that many of the Knicks — who seemed perfectly content with rifling 90 mile an hour passes at his one functioning hand — apparently missed.

Landry Fields, G 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | 0

We all know Fields hates playing against the Celtcs – something about their old man musk makes our streaky Soph bust out in failure hives — so we half-expected something resembling professional basketball caliber play tonight. His shot’s still broke as Lehman, but at least there was spring in his step. Now let’s just hope Popavich doesn’t kidnap him and put him on his mantle of misfit toys.

Jeremy Lin, PG 33 MIN | 4-13 FG | 5-8 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | -11

This was a mixed bag’s mixed bag, with Lin looking at times measured and confident, at others tentative and intimidated. After hitting on a couple of early tries from distance, Lin’s shot failed him for most of the final three quarters. His turnovers were down, however — a stat rendered slightly less remarkable by the fact that he was guarded for most of the game by a guy whose defensive quickness can be best described as “granite-like.” As for getting his face bludgeoned by Jason “We Never Get Any Respect From the Refs” Kidd, and not getting the flagrant call? Pay your dues, rook? Something?

Baron Davis, PG 15 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | +1

Having shown steady progress in his first few games back from a herniated schlong…. My bad, herniated disk…. It was inevitable that rumblings over who should be the Knicks’ starter would start quaking their way to the surface, as they have in the past week. After tonight — a performance marred by three-point attempts so devoid of arc Mike Bibby was alarmed — Davis should just be proud that he built himself a nice brick mailbox to live in.

Jared Jeffries, PF 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6

Reading this stat line is a little like my friends back in college telling me I drank pond water on mushrooms: I don’t remember it happening, but why would they lie about something like that?

Steve Novak, SF 27 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -4

You kept waiting for that awkward moment when Novak – who sported a Mavs uni for about 10 minutes last season – would join Chandler, looking for his own Championship bling prior to tip-off. Instead, we got a glimpse of the sharpshooting forward circa EVERY YEAR BEFORE 2012 – at least early on. (Even his one first half make managed to hit every conceivable part of the rim before reluctantly dropping through.) But nothing could top his off-the-dribble fadeaway in the first quarter — and by that I mean he deserves to spend a night in jail for it. Still, #discounttriplecheck once again came roaring back in the second half, hitting on three straight to keep the Knicks in it.

J.R. Smith, SG 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -12

Having laid down a complete turd pile on Sunday, the law of averages dictated Smith would come out and break Wilt Chamberlains single game scoring record. As it turns out, the law of averages is a lying @#$!%. Either there’s some Tyreke Evans School of Fadeaway 20-Footers that I’m not aware of, or Smith is inching closer and closer to becoming the first player in NBA history to hit a three-pointer while lying flat on his back.

Iman Shumpert, G 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | -3

Given what happened Sunday, simply avoiding getting T’d up for farting in Dirk Nowitzki’s general direction seems victory enough for Shump. Two key things: 1) He didn’t force anything; and 2) His defense is poetically savage. He may not have tallied the points to prove it, but his second half defense was the catalyst for the Knicks’ late charge.

Josh Harrellson, F 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +13

BREAKING: Shattering your shooting wrist will affect your shot. It certainly doesn’t help that Jorts has had to watch Steve Novak come in and lift his leg all up on the corner threes. But Harrellson provides something Novak does not: Consistent rebounding. All in all, not bad for his first game back. Somebody get this boy a squirrel sandwich!

Five Things We Saw

  1. We’ve been waiting for it to happen, and it finally did: The Mavs basically won this one at the stripe, hitting on a sexy 26-30. Contrastingly, the Knicks once again struggled to convert on LITERALLY THE EASIEST THING TO DO IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!
  2. A common criticism of Knick performances over the past two seasons has been their maddening inconsistency. Typically, such beefs have been levied towards the offense. But really, our defense has been equally spotty; sometimes we react to pump fakes like year-old dogs leaping for an out-of-reach treat; while other times the rotations — and yes, even the switches — are quick, our hands active. As Bob Silverman so poetically put it: “I can’t understand how a team could look so good and so shitty in the same season.”
  3. Roddy Beaubois is all kinds of sparkpluggy. Sooner or later, Jason Kidd’s going to realize that collecting Social Security and hitting up Happy Hour at the local Cracker Barrel is a much more relaxing existence than trying to prevent the most broadly dominate crop of point guards in NBA history from ruining your legacy. When that time comes, this kid may very well be the heir apparent. And not just because that shit I just said is French.
  4. Whether we like it or not — whether we deserve it or not — we’re going to get the opponent’s best shot night in, night out. Such is the foul flipside of a roster built both on the tenants and in the shadows of fame. We’re two games under .500. After tomorrow, when we take on a Spurs squad harder to beat at home than Julius Caesar, that deficit will most likely move to three. With one of the league’s toughest rows to hoe from here on out, it certainly won’t get any easier. I just have one, small request: No smiling after losses. This isn’t Pictionary.
  5. I don’t know about you, but I reckon this gel’s getting mighty stale.

53 comments on “Mavs 95, Knicks 85

  1. Brian Cronin

    Good stuff, Jim, although I’d quibble a bit on Novak and Lin’s grades. They both seemed one grade too high. I think Lin was a C+ and Novak was a B. Novak had that stretch that was so horribly bad that I can’t see him getting a B+ (a brick, a foul on Dirk, a terrible three and then a foul on Dirk with the ball barely past midcourt as a 1-point deficit became a 5-point deficit).

  2. Jake S.

    I’ve been avoiding the anti-Melo train all year (or trying to, anyway), but I’m having a tough time tonight. I know he’s low key, but it seems like he doesn’t really give a shit. Post-game interviews these last two have been appalling.

  3. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    I FOR ONE WILL SMILE CAUSE IF NOT FOR THE WORST REFEREED GAME IN THE NBA ON CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS WE WOULD BE BACK ONLY ONE ON PHILADELPHIA. NUFF SAID. POINT EXPLAINED. AND I HATE ALL BLIND KNICKS FANS!!!!!!!!!!
    BAH HUM BUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    REFS CALL A EVEN GAME (NOT EVEN A GOOD GAME JUST EVEN GAME) SO WE CAN ACTUALLY GAUGE THIS TEAM. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.

  4. Jim Cavan Post author

    ruruland:
    AS I alluded to in the other thread, that his no-show performance was indicative of some kind of distraction. Well, it looks like there may be a major one.

    https://twitter.com/#!/search/Carmelo%20Anthony

    So what? That was, what, 9 years ago? I’ve been as big a Melo patience-preacher as anyone, but the idea that his smoking dope almost a decade ago and it suddenly becoming a “scandal” would somehow affect his play is as ludicrous as it is insulting to guys like Stat, who actually had / have an excuse.

  5. jon abbey

    LMNYKFAN4LIFE:
    I FOR ONE WILL SMILE CAUSE IF NOT FOR THE WORST REFEREED GAME IN THE NBA ON CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS WE WOULD BE BACK ONLY ONE ON PHILADELPHIA. NUFF SAID. POINT EXPLAINED. AND I HATE ALL BLIND KNICKS FANS!!!!!!!!!!BAH HUM BUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    REFS CALL A EVEN GAME (NOT EVEN A GOOD GAME JUST EVEN GAME) SO WE CAN ACTUALLY GAUGE THIS TEAM. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.

    your performance was the only one worse than Melo’s tonight, shut up already.

  6. Brian Cronin

    So what? That was, what, 9 years ago? I’ve been as big a Melo patience-preacher as anyone, but the idea that his smoking dope almost a decade ago and it suddenly becoming a “scandal” would somehow affect his play is as ludicrous as it is insulting to guys like Stat, who actually had / have an excuse.

    If it leads to Syracuse vacating the title, I could see it being a major story. Not so much so that he should be looking like someone just ran over his puppy (and no excuse for his awful game), but still, a major story that would make him feel bad.

  7. jon abbey

    Jim Cavan: So what? That was, what, 9 years ago? I’ve been as big a Melo patience-preacher as anyone, but the idea that his smoking dope almost a decade ago and it suddenly becoming a “scandal” would somehow affect his play is as ludicrous as it is insulting to guys like Stat, who actually had / have an excuse.

    agreed. inexcusable tonight, really inexcusable.

  8. ruruland

    Jim Cavan: So what? That was, what, 9 years ago? I’ve been as big a Melo patience-preacher as anyone, but the idea that his smoking dope almost a decade ago and it suddenly becoming a “scandal” would somehow affect his play is as ludicrous as it is insulting to guys like Stat, who actually had / have an excuse.

    I’m not defending Melo. Go for him. But his performance didn’t add up to me at all.

    This may have played a part, that’s all I’m saying. And frankly, either you way slice it’s Melo’s fault. No excuses for his awful game tonight.

  9. max fisher-cohen

    If he failed the drug test and they still let him play (which seems to be what the tweet is saying), I highly doubt that now, ten years later, they would take away Syracuse’s title.

  10. Jim Cavan Post author

    Brian Cronin: If it leads to Syracuse vacating the title, I could see it being a major story. Not so much so that he should be looking like someone just ran over his puppy, but still, a major story that would make him feel bad.

    I’m sorry, but there’s just no way that happens. 98% chance it was weed. If Melo smoking weed helped Syracuse win the title, then you might as well rescind the presidencies of our last three Commander in Chiefs, at least .

  11. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    ok no more caps, but are you seriously gonna say we were not hosed these past two games. are you serious? do u really think we should have lost those games if they reffed these two games right? just asking i really want to know the truth of what is in your heads? just being honest and sincere.

  12. BigBlueAL

    BTW Yahoo broke this story earlier today but it didnt name specific names of the athletes who allegedly failed the drug tests.

  13. PC

    Stat people – someone support me and someone rebuke me:

    We are mediocre because we don’t shoot well and we don’t pass well. Isn’t that the story of this season?

    We improved in so many areas: (1) defense! yay!; (2) we have basketball players on our roster! double yay!

    But they can’t shoot and they love turning the ball over. That will never equal consistent winning.

  14. Owen

    Here is a yahoo piece on it. Not the best piece, or at least kind of confusing…

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/news;_ylt=AmdpbYNAvM1xHrU8D0b_gGTevbYF?slug=dw-wetzel_syracuse_basketball_investigation_030512

    The NCAA is a joke. Anyone who hasn’t read Taylor Branch’s Atlantic piece should immediately. Probably the best piece of sport journalism I have read in five years.

    If you were +13 in that crapfest, I think you deserve higher than a c+. I can’t say what exactly Harrelson was doing, but I think it involved some defense and screen setting. Anyway, that’s the most I have really seen him play, having missed the early games. I like Jorts.

  15. nicos

    There was a play early in the game where Melo had Marion sealed deep in the post and Lin kind of ignored him and just swung the ball to the weak side and Melo kind of stood there with his arms up for a second or two and it was all downhill from there. Certainly no excuse for Melo to phone it in though Lin needs to a better job at finding guys when they flash into the post- you’ve taken Amar’e out of the pnr in favor of Chandler and drastically reduced Melo’s iso plays- both might be the right call but you can understand the frustration when they do come open on cuts and don’t get the ball.

  16. nicos

    max fisher-cohen:
    If he failed the drug test and they still let him play (which seems to be what the tweet is saying), I highly doubt that now, ten years later, they would take away Syracuse’s title.

    USC had to vacate their 2004 football title over the Reggie Bush fiasco seven years after the fact. If Syracuse had Melo playing in the tournament when he should have been suspended it could happen- perhaps not likely but certainly in the realm of possibility.

  17. max fisher-cohen

    @nicos, yes, I remember that play as well. Melo was like 5 feet from the rim. I thought it was dirk who was guarding him though. Anyway, Lin looked at Melo and then reversed the ball. Not sure why Lin didn’t dump it in. That’s a really high percentage position.

    The offense was just a mess tonight. For all those concerned about Lin though, I thought he passed well and handled the trap pretty well as well. The chemistry with stoudemire in particular was stronger, especially when STAT slipped the screen. Lin was able to needle passes through the trap before it got to him.

    If Lin had been playing with that second unit rather than Davis, we might have been up 10 instead of one. The success of that second unit was all about defense. The halfcourt offense mostly consisted of Baron Davis chucking threes. There also was the benefit of Nowitzki sitting for part of the time.

  18. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    1) i think Amare’s point production and his shot getting blocked has to do with 3 different things.

    a)one we already know: he hasn’t had enough time in the off-season to practice his shot, hence because of his extra height and not getting enough lift from his legs, from the added weight and the muscle he put on, his shot is off.

    b)he is not going up against centers anymore who are more or less sluggish and slower than amare, so he doesn’t have the same advantage as he did these past years.

    c)with the loss of his brother and his injuries he has not had time to play with the rest of the team.

    IMO: he will get on track when his shot start going in consistently like it has so far in the past couple of games. it might not be going down at his normal clip but it has been getting better every game.

  19. Brian Cronin

    If Lin had been playing with that second unit rather than Davis, we might have been up 10 instead of one. The success of that second unit was all about defense. The halfcourt offense mostly consisted of Baron Davis chucking threes. There also was the benefit of Nowitzki sitting for part of the time.

    Yeah, that comeback was almost entirely Shump and Novak (Shump on D, Novak on O). Harrelson, I guess, played okay D, but really, it was Shump and Novak and three guys who happened to be on the court with Shump and Novak.

  20. nicos

    max fisher-cohen:
    @nicos, yes, I remember that play as well. Melo was like 5 feet from the rim. I thought it was dirk who was guarding him though.

    You’re probably right on it being Dirk rather than Marion. I just thought it was weird- it’s not like Lin didn’t see it or have a good angle to throw the pass. Maybe he thought Dallas was in good position to double Melo on the catch- whatever the reason, Melo didn’t seem too pleased.

  21. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    point 2) when melo first came on the team last year he was shooting from all over and getting it in. he was scoring like a superstar. his defense lacked all the time but he was scoring. the truth is he is rebounding better playing better d in spurts and his offense is down.

    IMO: when his shots start going down everybody will be on melo all day saying how great hes playing and how hes carrying the team. i am not a huge melo fan, but i will say this: when everything comes together, he will be a very dangerous player, with an above assist to turnover ration that will boggle the mind. he will be that complete player. and don’t be surprised if he surpasses Le bum James.

    AND U HEARD IT FROM ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!

  22. JK47

    No more excuses for Melo. Man up and start playing some ball. He has been playing horribly for quite some time now and I’m getting a little tired of hearing about this big explosion that’s right around the corner. The guy gets paid max money– he shouldn’t be out there looking like Richie Tenenbaum at the French Open, regardless of whatever scandal is hovering over Syracuse Basketball.

  23. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    point 3) we have one of the best young pg’s in the league.

    a) he passes well and is playing better of the trap.

    b)he shows improvement every game almost every play that’s scary.

    c)ever since they have been knocking him on his T.O. they have gone down.

    d) it takes a whole team to stop him!!!!!! wow!!!!

    IMO if he starts to gain his confidence back and play his game and carry this team on his back all game not just like he tries to in the fourth he will be the most dangerous players in the league. he has such an upside just keeps getting better and is doing this on the fly. it seams at this moment the only way teams are stopping the knicks is stopping Lin. that is why the second team gets such great comebacks. once the first team learns through adversity and starts learning each others games Lin will be that much better.

  24. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    point 4 tyson chandler is the best at what he does defense and pic n roll offense.

    IMO: nuff said we just need him healthy.

  25. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    point 5 we have the deepest bench in the league.

    a) novacaine 3 pt specialist

    b) jared jeffries defensive stopper 3-5.

    c) shump instant energy and defensive stopper 1-3.

    d) jr smith amazing 6 man.

    e) baron davis amazing back up point guard.

    IMO: with all the points i have said and made thus far who can dispute we can not be the best team in the league during the playoffs, given a fare shake with the refereeing and everybody coming together and playing to there potential. im just saying the knicks will be heel on hoops in the finals and you can remember i said that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. BigBlueAL

    Could care less about the game vs the Spurs, the next 2 games are much more important and have a real impact on their playoff chances, Fir at Milwaukee and Sun home vs Philly. Unfortunately it is immediately followed with a game in Chicago lol

  27. Tony Pena

    Lol. I think they call it being a homer. The team simply goes on runs when Baron is on the floor. Put the game away with CLE, erased 10+ points deficits twice at BOS, and led the attempt comeback today. It’s OK guys, and D’antoni, the prodigal son can have some flaws. Flaws that I know the kiddo is working on. In the meantime D’antoni needs a quicker hook, if not start Baron, or at least start Shump to cover whoever quick guard is going to hose Lin otherwise. Man, that Tony Parker matchup is going to be sw-eet tomorrow.

  28. TheXman

    Also what happened to all those additional practices? We only had 1 game last week with the Cavs, then all those days of rest with the Celtics on Sunday. I don’t see much improvement.

  29. Robert Silverman

    TheXman:
    Also what happened to all those additional practices?We only had 1 game last week with the Cavs, then all those days of rest with the Celtics on Sunday.I don’t see much improvement.

    Practice? We talkin’ bout practice?!?

  30. daJudge

    B for Jorts, for his screens, boards and D. The ‘Cuse stuff is significant IMO, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t why Melo was awful last night. This is turning into a real debacle. March madness anyone?

  31. Nick C.

    Nice recap. Maybe I’m just cranky but the “belt/double check” thningy is played. Once on the spur of the moment OK but if it was Nate doing that half the board would be grousing (including me).

  32. Frank

    Boy I really thought we were going to pull that out last night. Would’ve been a great win.

    I’ve really been up and down on D’Antoni but I’m down on the idea that he can’t figure out how to get Melo going. Say what you will about Melo but the man can score the ball and has done so at a high-volume better than average efficiency his entire career. Maybe the last 1-2 weeks is just a cold stretch for him and 2 weeks from now he’ll be on fire, but he sure looks lost out there. It’s like Amare and Melo can’t look good on the same day.

    Amare did look pretty good out there yesterday though – Dirk will do what Dirk does, but I thought Amare played pretty solid D last night, and 26 points on 18 shots equaling a TS of 60.4 might be as good as we can hope for going forward, especially considering Dallas has a tough D.

    I think Shumpert deserves better than a B – he did have some god-awful turnovers and on at least 2 occasions could’ve dunked the ball rather than pulling up for an ugly finger-roll/brick, but his D completely changed the game in the 4th. Many of us said it before – he needs to start. The energy he brings when he’s on the floor is desperately needed on that 1st unit.

    And meanwhile what is up with JR Smith? Did he forget how to shoot somewhere on the flight between China and the US? The occasional step-back long 2 I can live with – comes with his territory – but he’s just been horrible offensively other than a couple nice alley-oop dunks.

  33. jon abbey

    Nick C.:
    Nice recap. Maybe I’m just cranky but the “belt/double check” thningy is played.Once on the spur of the moment OK but if it was Nate doing that half the board would be grousing (including me).

    he definitely shouldn’t do it when losing like yesterday, I’m OK with it if they’re ahead.

  34. sisterray

    At the beginning of the season, when everything was going wrong for the Knicks every night, it was hard to figure out what the underlying problem was. Now that we’ve seen what the team is capable of, it’s gotten obvious: our stars are playing horribly.

    Since the 2nd week of the season, Melo has had two decent games (1/31 against Detroit and 2/29 against Cleveland). The guy is chucking up 18.2 shots a game and making under 40% of them while contributing nothing at the defensive end.
    Stoudemire has scored well more frequently (like, once every 5 games), but has generally looked pathetically lost at both ends of the court.

    When you have two guys taking up considerable minutes on the floor despite terrible performances night after night, you lose basketball games.

    I think it’s getting to be about time that D’Antoni gets the green light to play people based on their on-court performance on a given night, not based on their salary and name-recognition.

  35. BKQuick1

    I’m new here but I’ve been a Knick fan since I was 7 years old (now 50). I know that it’s different from when the Bulls, Pistons, Lakers and Celtics were seemingly in the finals every year and players on the respective teams seem to genuinely hate one another. However, when you’ve played like shit and you know you’ve basically let your team down, down walk around all smiley faced after the game, shaking hands and generally acting like it’s not a big deal that you’ve sucked for about a month already!

    I’ve been big fan of Melo’s and a defender of sorts since the trade, but I’m really starting to wonder about this dude. I want to see him play angry, determined and oh yeah, smart! He just sucked last night in every way, started with his attitude. I didn’t see a guy who looked fully involved and there’s no excuse for that. Dirk showed how it’s done. He sucked in the first half, came out pissed and determined in the second half and tore the Knicks a new one in the fourth Qtr.

    Lin shouldn’t get a pass either as lately he starting to look every bit the D-league bound player he was about to be before Linsanity took over. I guess it’s a chemistry thing because he, Melo and Amare only good for very short stretches on the court together. The second unit outplays the starters every damn game and mostly just heightened effort on D and Novacaine 3s! The starters should be embarrased! Except of course for Fields who really shouldn’t be starting or getting much beyond 10-15 minutes a game. He’s horrible at generating any offense on his own and his shot is the ugliest since Jamaal Wilkes! Except his never goes in!

    Coach Pringles needs to show some balls and cut the playing time of the underachievers. Big contracts be damned!

  36. TelegraphedPass

    I can see it now: Boom Dizzle, Shumpert, Novak, Jeffries, and Chandler walk into the TD Garden and take the Celtics’ lunch.

    You know who else was effective in a limited role? _________

    We’re well aware how starting him worked out for the Knicks.

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