Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Nets 103, Knicks 80

Brooklyn Nets 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
80 New York Knicks

Yep, it’s grade-free time again. We’re like a freaking Montessori school around these parts.

What we’re left with is a short (snuff) film that really encapsulates this dilapidated, rusted clown car of a season (too many clowns, yo). In case you had much better things to do on MLK Day (like, I dunno, drinking a BJ’s Price Club-sized jug of Windex, ripping off all your clothes, howling like a would-be Lycanthrope and running headlong into a fairly busy interstate, screaming obscenities at the incoming traffic), here it is, via Matt Moore:

834561100

This is how the Knicks “defend,” and this is Carmelo’s oh-so appropriate response. No, Toure’ Murry and Jeremy Tyler hadn’t been gorging on a steamed, three-day-old kimchi before tip off and simultaneously let rip with two of the world’s most pungent, silent-but-deadly hot burners:

Look at Melo’s mug again. LOOK AT IT.

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 4.30.05 PM

Yeah, that was probably your and my reaction as well. Melo’s grinned and rolled his eyes at many a perceived injustice before, but Bargs being repelled from a wide-open Deron Williams like their very DNA contained opposing magnetic charges managed to take a heavy, steel-reinforced pickaxe to his normally sunny demeanor.

So now we begin fretting that Melo will (justifiably) flee this massively broken, sad, wheezing calliope of a team called the New York Knicks. And who would blame him?

They’ve gone ‘round and ‘round in the same bewilderingly repetitive and numbingly dumb cycle for more than a decade: overpay for stars, fail to amass the cheap resources to allow those ‘stars’ to succeed, panic and then make a series of bewildering deals in the hope of attracting the next ‘star’ to slap upon the marquee. Wash, rinse and repeat ad nauseum.

And there are zero signs that owner James Dolan, the fedora’d, ham-fisted epitome of oblivious self-indulgence and total lack of self-awareness, has any desire to deviate from this howling garbage fire of a plan/general operating strategy.

Seriously, you’re Carmelo Anthony. What possible reason or thing or hope would make you want to suffer the last 2-3 years of your prime in this fetid swamp, aside from 30 million Federal Reserve Notes?

***

Whilst you ponder that oh-so-pleasant thought, let’s take a look at the rest of the game. Hey! Where are you going? Get back here and read this recap, young man, or you won’t get any dessert! The Nets are playing some great ball. They’re unselfish, they hunt threes, they limit turnovers and hound the ball and… I’m sure I’ve seen that brand of ball somewhere. Déjà vu, man. Whoah.

We’ve said before that we’ve said it before, and yet once again, we’re saying that you’ve seen this type of crap-tastic play from the Knicks before, and in all likelihood, you’ll see it again, on and on, to the last syllable of recorded time.

And all our yesterdays have lighted Smith-ian fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle of two-PG lineups! Life’s but a walking shadow of Tyson’s defensive chops, a poor player like Ray Felton struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard for 30+ MPG regardless of how big a dump he takes on said stage. It is a tale told by we idiotic Knickerbloggers, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, (save for yet another tepid, enervating loss).

Sorry, where were we? Oh yes. The Knicks doubled haphazardly and switched easily, leading to a jillion wide-open threes. Melo had another boffo game, particularly on the boards. He’s been great at handling double teams, and if he was passing to people who aren’t named Raymond Felton, a gorgeous bouquet of dimes would’ve been his for the taking.

Speaking of the other starters…yuck—a combined 6-24 from the field and 6-12 from the line. Shump was aggressive/confident but if he’s not hitting, it really doesn’t matter how many leather-bound, heavily dog-eared and underlined copies of The Secret he’s got stashed in his bookshelves.

Felton was terrible early on, then worse in the middle, and the less said about the end of the game, the better. He lacked the speed to turn the corner, he was missing open shooters, taking dumb floaters/layups/those weird “Is it a shot or is it a lob” thingies and got beaten like a redheaded stepchild on defense.

In one particularly guffaw-worthy sequence, he airballed a three (Nice pass, Melo!) and stared at his flippers in disbelief, followed hard upon by a patented whine/bitch sesh with the refs after a sloppy, ill-considered and ill-conceived foray into the paint. Oh, and Ray Felton has a -13 NetRtg over the past 10 games and for the season the Knicks are 3.1 points/100 possessions better with him off the court on offense. ON OFFENSE. Worst PG in the association, y’all.

After the game (because that’s when the real zingers come out) Woodson said of his erstwhile floor general: “He’s not really playing the Raymond Felton-type basketball” we’re used to.

Actually, Coach. This is exactly what Raymond Felton-type basketball looks like. It burns, don’t it? Mainly in the eyes. Get thee to an eyewash station, tout suite. Try to avoid all the Portlandians that are crumpled on the floor in fits of uncontrollable laughter.

And to think, this atrocity occurred on NATIONAL PENGUIN AWARENESS DAY.

The horror, the horror…

What else? J.R. took some shitty shots, Prigs didn’t play much, what with it being his first game back (and with his James White-ish stints died the hope for a revival of the halycon days of twin dragons point guards in the backcourt)Timmy had a nice transition bucket. Bargs was Bargs except more Bargs-y (as our own Kev “In” McElroy said, “Bargnani plays defense like he’s my dog and the ball is a treat. Just jumping and lunging every time he thinks someone is going to move it.”

And then there’s Tyson Chandler. Tyson’s basketball skills may be eroding, but his chuck-the-coach-under-the-bus game is ON POINT.

Peep this:

And this:

Or this:

Do you have something to add, Melo?

For the record, I am fully #TeamTyson. Given Dolan’s comments back in November about “losing the locker room,” I wonder if he reads this (or has some pencil-necked, sycophantic, asthmatic toady read it to him) and changes his mind about Woody’s job status.

What am I saying! The New York Media’s soooooo out to get the Knicks. They probably made that ish up! And Dolan doesn’t read the papers (and/or can’t read at all) anyway.

Before we end this obituary, one last tidbit.

We’ve spent a great deal of time this season grinding various molars and canines down to the nubbin with regards to Mike, Son of Wood’s lineup rationales. Before tipoff, we heard this quote:

Followed hard upon by this quote:

Let’s break that down, shall we? Good teams do not change lineups. Ergo, the Knicks will change lineups. That’s…that’s insanely stupid/stupidly insane (or at least an example of a man who’s gotten so mucked up in his own bullpuckey that he has zero ability to keep his lies compartmentalized.

And it didn’t matter whether they won or lost this afternoon. If it had worked, he’d have been validated in his godawful ‘matching up’ strategery, and since they lost, it’s clear (in his mind) that going small can’t won’t work.

Quite the swell self-fulfilling prophesy, eh?

So yes, he’ll go back to starting Bargs (no matter what ridiculous number might need to be invented, like I to the 4,563rd power or something) to represent the +/- data when he does go Tyson/Andrea) on Wednesday v. Philly or Friday v. the Kitties. You know, because you can’t—CANNOT—leave Melo to fend for himself versus Thaddeus Young and/or McBob.

In case you’re unaware, those two gentlemen are 6-10. That’s SIX FEET TEN INCHES TALL. Do you know how tall that is? That’s—what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s right on the tip of my tongue. Gawd, I hate that. When you can’t remember a word, but you know it’s there, like a canned good that you store on the tippy-top shelf; the one’s that’s just out of reach. But you stick it up there because, seriously, how often are you going to need pumpkin pie filling? So you’d have to drag the rickety ladder out of the hall closet and that thing’s one misstep away from collapsing entirely and that’s an even more frightening thought than not getting your grubby mitts on the sweet, creamery, precious pie filling, and so you just strain and reach and screw your face up like you just got a serious whiff of white vinegar, trying to elongate your fingers so you can tip it a bit closer to the edge and grab it but it’s still a millimeter or two away… Oh right. Now I remember. Whew, that’s much better—BIG. THEY’RE BIG.

I will now jam a knitting needle (they’re in the same hall closet as the rickety ladder) into my medulla oblongata to better understand the mind of Mike Woodson. Ahhhhhh. Much better. The ladder is big, man.

But wait, there’s more. Looky here, a silver(man) lining!!!

And here’s a patented PabloSneak™ [Again, via Matt Moore]

834561563

And here are some fun quotes from Metta.

So yeah. Relax. Take your time. Enjoy life and our very, very bad ‘Bockers. It is as it was before and probably as it will be again. Selah.

Have a great MLK Day y’all. Go Knicks!

[UPDATE 8:43PM]: Looks like Beno wants out of the aforementioned clown car…

89 comments on “Nets 103, Knicks 80

  1. Nick C.

    I gotta give you credit for being able to come up with something more than “they suck and traded away their pick.”

  2. flossy

    I highly recommend cleansing the palette with Blazers/Rockets, for anyone who wants to remember why basketball is considered “fun”

  3. Kahnzy

    I highly recommend cleansing the palette with Blazers/Rockets, for anyone who wants to remember why basketball is considered “fun”

    That’s what I was thinking too…but so far it’s been all Houston. Here’s hoping Portland makes a run in the 2nd half to make things interesting.

  4. flossy

    Here’s hoping Portland makes a run in the 2nd half to make things interesting.

    I figure they will… or Houston will continue to shoot 77% from 3.

  5. chrisk06811

    By “The Secret”……are you referring that of author P Prigoni (english version)? I don’t believe Shump has read that. In fact, I think it may be in Indianapolis in Cope’s girly backpack.

  6. JK47

    I’ve mentioned many times here that I’m a Syracuse University alum and a huge fan of the hoops team. We have a freshman point guard this year named Tyler Ennis. He is a revelation. A beautiful player.

    Going from watching Tyler Ennis to watching Ray Felton is like eating a meal of grass-fed filet mignon, with the cut personally selected by Alice Waters, then eating for your next meal a rancid roast beef sandwich from Arby’s that has sat on the dashboard of a minivan in Reseda for two days.

  7. maxwell_3g

    just playing with the trade machine
    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=mf69gx8

    The problem with trading Melo is that there is probably a very limited number of teams that he would agree in advance to sign with. In tis trade, we would immediately make Washington (Melo’s hometown team) a legit upper tier team that he may sign with. The knicks would get picks and the Pistons would deal with their roster issues.

    Knicks send- Carmelo, Ray Felton
    Knicks receive- Gortat (expiring deal), Ariza (expiring deal), Otto Porter, Will Bynum (2 y remaining), Chris Singleton (expiring), Detroit 1st (lottery protected), Washington first (unprotected), Washington 1st (lottery protected)

    Wiz send- Gortat, ariza, singleton, porter, vesely, 1st rounder (unprotected), 1st rounder (lottery protected)
    Wiz receive- Melo (and his bird rights), Monroe (and the right to match any offers on him), Jerekbo

    Detroit sends- bynum, monroe, jerekbo, 1st rounder (lottery protected)
    detroit receives- beal, felton, vesely

    why the knicks do it- BLOW IT UP. plus, may be able to swap gortat and ariza for more bad contracts and picks (Gortat to OKC??)

    why the wiz do it- Wall, Webster, Melo, Monroe, Nene- not a bad foundation- things could get expensive though

    why the pistons do it- get to move Josh Smith to PF- pick up young SG

    thats the best I got for trades not involving the clippers

  8. ruruland

    I’ve got nothing. It’s becoming difficult for me to envision Melo going through another year and a half of this. If there was some kind of hope, I seriously think he’d stay. But this is unbearable. I feel horrible that die-hard Knicks fans have had to do go through these last few years after what you guys have already endured the last 15 or so years. I know what that is like. For long-time Nuggets fans, Melo was the glimmer of hope after 20 years in the abyss (one miraculous series win against Seattle notwithstanding).

    Melo (and his naivete of younger days) is largely responsible for this mess. It just completely sucks no matter how you slice it. I hope a trade can be arranged so the Knicks can at least get some value. Unless things turn around and there is some kind of glimmer of hope, I honestly think that’s a distinct possibility.

  9. ruruland

    And yes, this is the most poorly coached basketball team I’ve ever seen. Mike Woodson is not a very bright man.

  10. BigBlueAL

    Hey, 15 years ago the Knicks made the NBA Finals!! 14 years ago they made it to the Conference Finals!!

    In all seriousness to me the day the Knicks started going to hell and have basically remained there (though at least there have been some fun moments since Stat and Melo arrived) was Dec. 8th, 2001. That was the day JVG quit. Since that date the Knicks have been an utter mess and embarrassing.

    At least for me the Yankees start Spring Training in less than a month.

  11. JK47

    The climb back to respectability just seems like it is going to be so Sisyphean. The Knicks are one of the worst teams in the NBA, they have zero in the way of young, asset-type players, they owe two unprotected first round picks and a zillion second round picks. The roster is a swamp of toxic contracts and near-finished veterans that no contending team would really want.

    The Knicks have two players they can trade who will bring at least some return: Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony. Anybody with a brain in his head should realize that those two need to be traded and the rebuild needs to begin yesterday, but rest assured the Knicks will also find some way to fuck this up. Melo will probably walk and the Knicks will probably get nothing for him. That is just the way shit goes around here.

    Sucks to be us.

  12. yellowboy90

    Well I just saw that Chris Walker F for UF will be eligible to play after 1 more game.Walker is like a young Amar’e and will be a nice addition behind Pat Young. If it wasn’t for UF bball my sports year would suck.

  13. Jack Bauer

    “Mike Woodson is not a very smart man” +1000
    Love Felton on the Penguin poster- classic

    This team is B..A..D …bad. Unwatchable & embarrassing. Why would Melo even consider staying in the steaming pile of dog excrement that this franchise has become?????

  14. Frank O.

    Woodson has taken this team and really destroyed it. Never have I seen a pro team so unable to handle picks.
    And while AB seems lost in that gif, one must ask also: who was Pablo guarding. It was like musical chairs: the music stopped and Pablo had nary a Net to guard.

    I have to believe a new coach could at least make this team respectable, but Felton’s play is so bad, he simply must be benched. Shump, too, I hate to say. He is just not good.

  15. Frank O.

    And Melo’s decision that forced the Knicks to give up so much is the mother of this invention.

  16. Nick C.

    Ruru – I have to give you credit. Not everyone here comes in when things don’t go the way they predicted …

  17. Cock Jowles, #1 Nostradumbass

    Can we have a thread with all of those commenter posts in October explaining how Bargnani & co. were going to have career years en route to the ECF? Please?

  18. er

    And Melo’s decision that forced the Knicks to give up so much is the mother of this invention

    –last I checked Melo doesn’t make trades. That’s on ownership

  19. Cock Jowles, #1 Nostradumbass

    –last I checked Melo doesn’t make trades. That’s on ownership

    Mutual responsibility. If you think that Carmelo doesn’t have sway when it comes to forcing moves, you’re living in a fantasy-land. I’m all for the guy making as much money as those millionaire owners think he’s worth, but let’s not pretend that he’s just along for the ride. His people move those negotiations.

  20. flossy

    Oh my god… the Knicks broke ruruland.

    Jowles, if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours you’re supposed to call a doctor.

  21. Owen

    Ruru – At the end of the day, Melo has to realize that working for Jim Dolan is not going to allow him to reach his personal and professional goals. It’s just not going to happen here in the next two years. It might happen three years out but let’s face it, Dolan and the Knicks have a poor track record.

    Him leaving at the deadline is the best things for all parties concerned….

  22. knickster

    …not to mention Melo personally “delivered” Woodson to our coaching door by not buying into Dantoni’s system.

    That said, I think this is a perfect time for the front office and fans to act rationally – hey, even Ruru is coming to his senses (the evidence is *that* overwhelming). There may be an opportunity in all this chaos: offer Carmelo Anthony a REALISTIC contract: 17 millions per for 3 years. If he doesn’t immediately accept, trade him for whatever can be gotten.

    The rationale? no need to pay him more than what the market bears and Carmelo does not have too many options which are significantly better than New York.

    But all that needs to happen once Woodson is gone (an added benefit to firing Woodson *today* is that there is a chance we can raise our player’s trade values if the team begins to play better – everyone will blame the poor performances on Woodson!)

  23. KJG

    We need to fleece someone for Tyson… I enjoyed his defensive prowess 2 years ago but I see a guy that is completely in decline (at least on this sorry ass team) and so so pathetic on Offense… Great help guy on D, but quite honestly, if he helps efficiently and the other guys don’t, that’s a complete waste of an asset. Offensively, he has no touch (duh), and he is not a good finisher by any stretch unless he catches the ball in mid-air, on the way down to basket, for a dunk (aka, ally oop (another duh))… When he’s fouled, his FT shooting is fair, but mostly unreliable… I think he is overvalued, not just by us, but by the league and thats why we need to start with moving him…

    Melo, like its been said here, is a tough trade, because only a few teams could/would do it… but obviously, im all for moving him. I’m not a happy guy, even when this team wins. I just dont enjoy it. And I’ve never been like this in my short 31 years on earth (25 of which where I actually knew what was happening)

  24. Cock Jowles, #1 Nostradumbass

    It’s lasted 3 solid months. I am giddy at the thought of ruruland admitting that Carmelo Anthony is not a max player. Maybe he’s not there yet, but he’s on the way.

  25. slovene knick

    @KJG
    I’m a happy guy I guess… because of 38 years on earth i am like Dylan’s Mr. Jones in 37,5 of them.And following is not a part of that 0,5 year:

    So I say stick with plan A and sign Carmelo for discount max deal. He’s in pain right now…and he will be motivated as hell to do the right thing. And that’s to win in NyK.
    Force a trade, force D’Antoni out, “redoncolous” contract of Lin….the only way to undo that is with a Chip won.

  26. Crumple

    What a frustrating team!

    It seems like the end is here…and yet just recently they beat Spurs Heat Mavs.

    41 games left to make a move.

    They really can win the next 5 in a row.

    what are we going to do? OBVIOUSLY this team can’t win a championship so since they have no pick all there is to root for is some form of playoff games to get excited about.

    Please don’t descend to Bucks territory!

  27. KJG

    @33

    Fair enough… if its truly a discount, and somewhat significant at that… We cant be having these guys making close to 20M-25M plus at the end of their contracts… its just such shite…

    Id still rather get something back for one of our assets and I still want to move Chandler… if at worst, just to shake things up… i’m desperate.

    And in all seriousness, I’m actually one of the happiest guys… just not when it comes to this current tragedy.

  28. thenamestsam

    My biggest hope is that somebody is pointing out to Dolan how embarrassing it will be if he gets left at the altar by Melo this summer, and that Dolan’s overriding fear of being embarrassed will lead him to make the logical move and deal Melo in a move that looks at least slightly towards the future.

    My biggest fear is still that Melo decides for money over glory and re-ups for the max here dooming us to riding this “core” into the ground more than they already are.

    Along those lines, I’ve been on the “Fire Woodson” train since Day 1, but now I actually fear the firing somewhat. I worry that firing Woodson and replacing him with somebody with even baseline competence is going to lead to a run of slightly over .500 basketball that will convince the hire-ups that all this turd needed was a little spit-shine. With Woodson at the helm we’re significantly more likely to achieve the level of terribleness that we need to have any change of getting some turnover.

  29. lavor postell

    If you’re going to blow it up now is the time and we can’t overplay our hand. The fact is under the new CBA most teams are very reluctant to give up first round picks unless they think the move will put them over the top.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=kt8yqyn

    PHX gets: Anthony and Udrih + cash (1.5m from NYK and WAS)
    WAS gets: Chandler, Martin and Shumpert
    NYK gets: Okafor, Frye, Green, Marcus Morris, Gortat, Ariza, 2015 1st from Wash, a2014 1st from PHX (via Washington, top-12 protected) and 2015 1st from PHX (via Lakers, unprotected)

    If Melo would agree to sign an extension from Phoenix I think this move would make sense from each team’s perspective. Re-signing Bledsoe would give them a starting 5 of Bledsoe, Dragic, Tucker, Anthony, Plumlee/Len. They’d still have three picks in this upcoming draft and still have plenty of cap space to make moves, plus Sarver is a sucker for cash in deals.

    Washington would make this trade most likely on the basis that Chandler and Martin can give them 48 minutes of elite paint and rim protection while Shumpert would be a solid defensive wing for them while we take on their expiring deals for Gortat and Ariza. I don’t think they’d be able to re-sign Ariza since he’s playing bonkers this year and will command decent value on the open market. They’ll have cap space, but I think they would rather shore up their 4 and 5 positions. If they insisted on keeping Ariza with plans to re-sign him we can take on Vesely and Seraphin instead, which they may rather do.

    We make this deal for the picks and the fact that none of these contracts extend past 2015. This wouldn’t put us under the cap this season, though it may give us access to use the full MLE this summer. Next year however we’d have two 1st round picks from this trade and our own, while also being plush with cap space. That Lakers 2015 pick could potentially be a high lottery pick as well.

  30. flossy

    If Melo would agree to sign an extension from Phoenix

    No offense, and I like the outside-the-box thinking, but I stopped reading at this sentence because… yeah.

  31. cgreene

    How about Melo to Houston for Parsons, Asik, Lin and a pick?
    Then send Chandler to OKC, Port, Was, Pho or wherever for more.

  32. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I’m inclined to agree, LP, that Melo is unlikely to sign an extension with Phoenix.

    I think the most likely scenario is still Melo re-signing here for the super-MAX, which is a shame. But at least maybe they might have a decent team in 2015-16!

  33. cgreene

    I think you guys are crazy if you think Melo resigns here for super max. I think if the Knicks finish this season out of playoffs or get swept in round 1 then Melo is more than likely gone or he will resign here for a discount. Ruru is right about 1 thing the guy is not stupid. He has more $ than God. He’s not going to languish for the rest of his career over what amounts to 10% additional pay unless CAA has him so far over their knee he can’t say no to them. If we’ve seen anything out of Melo this season it’s that he is more of a competitor than he was given credit for. Dude def wants to win.

  34. Brian Cronin

    Everyone in the NBA wants to win. They also almost always take the most money available to them. STAT wanted to win when he came to New York, but he also took the most money he could get even though it would hurt the Knicks’ cap flexibility. Melo wanted to win when he orchestrated his move to New York, but he also wanted to make sure he got the most money he could possibly get, even if that meant that the Knicks would be weakened as a result of that decision.

    These guys are not dumb (well, okay, obviously some of these guys are dumb – Eddy Curry, for instance, was a dumb person) but they also tend not to believe that them making the max is a bad thing for the team that is signing them.

    Melo giving the Knicks a significant discount on the chance that they’ll use that extra money wisely in the future is not something you often see in the NBA. Especially since he could just opt in for one more year and have a much better picture of the Knicks’ chances of putting together a new squad in 2015, but he has already said he isn’t doing that.

  35. lavor postell

    There’s no way Houston gives up those three and a pick for melo. Dolan would also never sign off on reacquiring Lin at least not until he’s 35 and broken down.

    Agreed he probably doesn’t resign with Phoenix but you might as well pick up the phone which we apparently have no intention of doing.

  36. JK47

    Unfortunately Melo is a huge egomaniac and he’s only willing to play in the biggest media markets, no matter how much he says he’s all about “winning” and his “legacy.” So that limits both his and the Knicks’ options. It’s only a matter of time before MeloDrama II happens, and Melo’s people announce he will only accept a trade to the Clippers and Bulls, who will then have us over a barrel. Except the difference is that their owners are not as stupid as James Dolan (yes, even Sterling) and they won’t give up the farm to trade for a guy they can simply sign as a free agent. So at the end of the day Melo will have fucked us both coming and going.

    This is what’s going to happen. I can see it coming from a mile away.

  37. KnickfaninNJ

    This team is completely mystifying to me. Even really lousy teams are often more watchable than they are. I watched the game on tape last night, and the score actually wasn’t as bad as their performance. I don’t think their talent is as bad as their record or their performance, but they just don’t have it as a team. I’m generally patient with people, and I know there are lots of injuries, but I have given in, Woodson has to go.

  38. Crumple

    @42 – It’s not up to the player to take less than max money to “help the team”. It’s up to the GMs and owners to build a team knowing they need a max money player to win a title. Melo and STAT did nothing wrong at all.

  39. Brian Cronin

    @42 – It’s not up to the player to take less than max money to “help the team”. It’s up to the GMs and owners to build a team knowing they need a max money player to win a title. Melo and STAT did nothing wrong at all.

    Of course they didn’t do anything wrong. But again, they took the most money they could possibly get, which is what 98% of all NBA players do. That’s all. No judgement of them, just an acknowledgement of the unlikelihood of Melo leaving significant money on the table to re-sign with a team that is 11 games under .500 halfway through the season with no reason to believe that a significant improvement is coming any time soon.

  40. Crumple

    Who has a serious shot at Melo if not the Knicks?

    I don’t follow all the financial stuff as closely as you guys.

    Because if I were him I think I would move on. It seems like 54 wins and a ECF loss will be the ceiling on the time here.

  41. KnickfaninNJ

    “The Knicks honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his national day of remembrance by instituting his policy of non-violent resistance against the Nets.” — per Ian Begley of ESPN

    Too true

  42. thenamestsam

    Unfortunately Melo is a huge egomaniac and he’s only willing to play in the biggest media markets

    I can think of a LOT of plausible reasons why someone might prefer to live in NYC over Phoenix that have less than nothing to do with being an egomaniac.

  43. DRed

    This team is completely mystifying to me. Even really lousy teams are often more watchable than they are. I watched the game on tape last night, and the score actually wasn’t as bad as their performance. I don’t think their talent is as bad as their record or their performance, but they just don’t have it as a team.

    Yeah, it’s really not that complicated. We are giving major minutes to some terribly unproductive players. You bench Bargs, JR and the penguin and the wins will start coming. I mean, I’ve been saying this for months, but giving the second most minutes on the team to your worst player is not a smart plan.

  44. d-mar

    While I get that Chandler is fed up with Woodson and being “outschemed” by every coach in the NBA, his performance on the court has been pretty awful lately. He’s having no impact on the game at either end, and he just seems disinterested.

    Unfortunately, I think he’s kind of checked out, and there’s really no excuse for that, no matter how bad your team is. The only player on the team that actually seems to care right now is Melo.

  45. JK47

    I can think of a LOT of plausible reasons why someone might prefer to live in NYC over Phoenix that have less than nothing to do with being an egomaniac.

    Fair enough, but you can’t say “I just want to win” and then also say “I’ll only play in NYC or LA.”

  46. DRed

    Unfortunately, I think he’s kind of checked out, and there’s really no excuse for that, no matter how bad your team is. The only player on the team that actually seems to care right now is Melo.

    We’re not losing because everyone but Melo doesn’t care. We’re losing because we’re giving a lot of minutes to bad basketball players.

  47. lavor postell

    @44

    The clippers and bulls have no leverage because they will not have the cap space this summer to sign him. He may leave and sign somewhere in free agency if we don’t trade him but it will not be to either of those teams unless they dump major salary.

  48. KnickfaninNJ

    DRed,

    The quality of our players is clearly worse than we all thought, but it’s not just that. There is something about playing at home this season that’s just kiling them. That isn’t normal. For example, do you really think the Bobcats have more talent than the Knicks? But they have a better record.

  49. cgreene

    @53 I normally would agree but to be devil’s advocate I think what Chandler is saying is that the scheme (switching) and the lack of rotation awareness is literally taking away the things that he does well and makes him a worse player. I actually understand this logic. E.g. Bargs gets switched onto a guard, promptly gets beaten off dribble and Tyson is literally left to decide whether to let the guard get to the hoop or help off his man who undoubtedly will get left wide open and either get a OReb or a pass from the driving guard w no help. I actually think Tyson intentionally doesn’t leave his man to help sometimes to expose the Felton in particular.

    Woodson has demonstrated ad nauseam that he actually plays to the team’s weaknesses and cannot teach a scheme that works to its strengths. E.g. high PnRs w Amare and/or Bargs should be trapped every time. Knicks never trap the ball handler. This scheme allows more time for the defense to rotate properly and hedge against the inability to stop ball handling penetration and gives bad defenders like Bargs and Stat a VERY specific role in the D.

    Woodson has essentially done the same thing w Shumpert in particular. Besides destroying his psyche he never exploited Shumpert’s greatest defensive ability (also the Knicks greatest D weakness) which was defending the ball handler. That’s what Shump showed he was so good at his rookie year. Instead last year he moved Shump to primarily defend 3′s (which he did admirably at times especially against PP and Celtics) but meanwhile it changed Shumps whole D mindset from being a ball hawk to being a muscle defender which was the obvious lesser of his strengths.

  50. Donnie Walsh

    Unfortunately Melo is a huge egomaniac and he’s only willing to play in the biggest media markets, no matter how much he says he’s all about “winning” and his “legacy.”

    Yes. Phoenix would be a great spot for him. As would a number of other situations. He’s already proven himself to be a lousy GM (JR Smith, Mike Woodson, Jeremy Lin, and his own orchestrated trade to NY). Why he would limit himself to just two cities is just weird– especially for a guy who claims to care about winning first-and-foremost. (But, hey, this is why some folks find it unappealing to root for him– asshole or not, that is how he comes across)

  51. flossy

    to expose the Felton

    This made me laugh at my desk for some reason. I’m pretty sure “exposing the Felton” is at least a misdemeanor in 37 states.

  52. lavor postell

    Felton is excruciatingly stupid on defense and when he makes that exasperated look after either getting blown by and committing an obvious and mindless foul or just not rotating at all I want to punch him in the face.

  53. JK47

    Over the past few years, I’ve had two moments of total outrage over Knicks personnel decisions:
    1. Letting Lin walk and bringing back Felton
    2. Trading for Bargnani

    Turns out I was completely right to be outraged in both cases.

  54. Frank

    Can we have a thread with all of those commenter posts in October explaining how Bargnani & co. were going to have career years en route to the ECF? Please?

    Didn’t know Richard Sherman was posting on this board now. Shocker that Jowles is coming here all gleeful with how right he was while his team implodes.

    Anyway, like everyone else I think it’s best for all parties involved for us to blow this thing up. Trade Tyson. Trade Melo. Use those two to pawn off the Felton. And most importantly Woodson has to go. This team is embarrassingly coached. Watch Chicago and see how even horrible defenders like Boozer actually look ok in that system. How JVG turned an average or worse defensive team in Houston into a perennial top 5 defensive team. How Steve Clifford has turned Charlotte into a top-notch defensive team this year. It’s just ridiculous to watch.

    Yes – some of the responsibility for this comes down on Melo and his unwillingness to wait for FA in 2010. But to have a season like this after a relatively successful last season is an organizational failure from the owner down to the last player on the bench.

    And re: Melo – I think in terms of play this season, he’s the least to blame for this debacle. The dude brings it every night for league-leading minutes, is rebounding the ball better than ever, and actually playing (to my eyes) reasonable defense. He needs a new start somewhere else and we need draft picks and young players.

  55. thenamestsam

    Fair enough, but you can’t say “I just want to win” and then also say “I’ll only play in NYC or LA.”

    Definitely hypocritical but I’d still say egomaniac is a little strong. In general, it just bugs me how different the standards people apply to athlete’s career choices are than the ones they apply to their own choices. Athletes who take the highest paying job rather than the one with the best organization are “greedy”. Athletes who prefer to live and work in cities with obvious advantages like NY, Miami and Chicago instead of Phoenix and Minnesota are egomaniacs and traitors. Never mind that salary and location are major factors in 99% of people’s choices about their careers.

  56. Owen

    CGreene- I agree.

    I don’t really see how the complaints about Chandler are justified at this point. He’s played less the 500 minutes, most of them after returning from a leg injury. Laying the blame at his feet for defensive breakdowns when you have Felton and Bargnani out there is bizarre. He hasn’t been the dominant force of the last two years but from what I can tell a lot of that is on the other personnel.

    There have been so many situations where he has been in a 2-1 when a guard blitzes in from the perimeter. No center is going to fare well.

    Not giving him a free pass but he is not the problem.

    Re Melo, the hubris involved in believing he is the kind of player who deserves to play only in LA or NY is amazing. But, honestly, not going to fault Melo for his self belief. It’s MSG I fault for buying into it….

  57. d-mar

    I wasn’t blaming Chandler per se for the state of the Knicks, just observing that he seems to be going through the motions and not really having any impact on the game. Whether it’s his knee, malaria, frustration with the rest of the team’s defense, whatever, I don’t see how you can argue that he’s even playing so-so basketball right now.

    And this after a really promising start to the season for him, just another depressing development among many for this dysfunctional group.

  58. flossy

    Didn’t know Richard Sherman was posting on this board now.

    Ahahaha! I’M THE BEST COMMENTER IN THE GAME!

  59. Frank

    I still think Chicago is a great fit for Melo. Still a big city, and has a coach and personnel that could probably minimize his weaknesses. And they have assets they could send us. I suggested it before, but I still think Melo + Shump for Butler + Boozer + draft picks (as the principals, + others as filler etc.) would be fair for both sides. A lineup of Rose, Shump, Melo, Gibson, and Noah would be really well balanced.

  60. Cock Jowles, #1 Nostradumbass

    “How about Melo to Houston for Parsons, Asik, Lin and a pick?
    Then send Chandler to OKC, Port, Was, Pho or wherever for more.”

    Never in a million years would Morey do this deal.

  61. johnno

    I am always surprised at how little criticism Iman Shumpert gets on this site (and, when he does get criticized, it is usually in the context of “look at what that idiot Woodson has done to Shump Shump”). In my mind, he has been by far the biggest disappointment on the team this year — and a very big reason why they stink. Except for two games in Texas, he has been positively brutal on offense (as in, he can’t shoot, dribble, pass or move well without the ball — or finish on a fast break)and his defense hasn’t been very good either. We all hoped/expected him to be much better this year than last but, not only has he not improved, he has regressed badly. Although maybe some of us had blinders on and thought that he was better in the playoffs than he really was. Go back and check his numbers. They were not good at all. I remember reading a scouting report before he was drafted that said something like “To show you how bad this year’s draft is, Iman Shumpert might go in the first round.” Maybe that guy knew something we don’t know?

  62. cgreene

    @73 you mean his very respectable numbers? .128 WS, 528 TS, ORtg 106, DRtg 97? Those are the best stats of any single section of his career.

    PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MATTERS. We have a coach who can’t figure that when your team has the ball with 40 seconds to go in a quarter that you should quickly so you can get an extra possession. You think he understands how to maximize a player’s value? Cmon.

    I just finished reading Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson. All I could think when he writes about basketball strategy was Mike Woodson does not have 2% of the intellectual feel for the in game tactics and player psychology that this guy does. I understand that few have. But just listening to them both articulate the game. OY!

  63. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    I still think Chicago is a great fit for Melo. Still a big city, and has a coach and personnel that could probably minimize his weaknesses. And they have assets they could send us.

    Yeah, but don’t you think Dolan & co. would rather let Anthony walk out the door and sign with a team that has cap room than actively turn him over to the Bulls, only to have to get beat down by them for the next 4 years? (And, since that was a rhetorical question, I should go ahead and ask you whether you think he is necessarily wrong to feel that way?)

    I am always surprised at how little criticism Iman Shumpert gets on this site (and, when he does get criticized, it is usually in the context of “look at what that idiot Woodson has done to Shump Shump”). In my mind, he has been by far the biggest disappointment on the team this year

    I don’t think Shumpert gets much criticism on this board because I think this board never really expected Shumpert to become a good NBA player. His college stats were terrible. His rookie stats were terrible. There are not very many good players that come into the league with terrible stats (and confirm their weaknesses at the pro level), and then go on to turn into legit players. The only reason Knick fans put their eggs in his basket was because he was the only person on the roster with enough potential upside to put the team over the top from where they were last year. Obviously that hasn’t happened, and it was a bad bet to make, but seeing as it was also the only bet to make, I don’t think people should necessarily be called out for it.

  64. DRed

    All I could think when he writes about basketball strategy was Mike Woodson does not have 2% of the intellectual feel for the in game tactics and player psychology that this guy does. I understand that few have. But just listening to them both articulate the game. OY!

    Here’s a strategy that would make the Knicks better. Keep your worst player, Andrea Bargnani, on the fucking bench. And my strategy has the benefit of requiring no feel for in game tactics or player psychology.

  65. cgreene

    yes but that all started with the presumptions that the small lineups played last year were a fluke to win the division, that the East required tall players to win (even though Miami has to be one of the smallest poorest rebounding teams to ever win a title) and that it’s smart to alter your lineups to dependent upon whom you are playing. that was his intellectual strategic analysis of the situation.

    his psychological strategy was to tell his young player with upside coming off a strong end of season that he may lose his job to JR Smith coming off knee surgery and suspended for smoking pot. well done!

  66. johnno

    @74 and 77 — against the Pacers, Shumpert shot under 38 percent overall and under 35 from 3. In games 3,4 and 5, he shot a combined 6/26, including 1/10 from 3. Our defensive “stopper” had 2 steals for the entire series and just over 1 assist a game. Those are good numbers? Overall, JR Smith had a MUCH better year than Shumpert. So, Woodson shattered Shumpert’s confidence by saying that JR was going to be given the opportunity to win a starting job? If so, Shumpert really needs to toughen up (especially since he has started virtually every game and has gotten 30 minutes a game despite really lousy play — and one really really boneheaded play that cost them that Pacers game).

  67. thenamestsam

    Johno is 100% right on the nose. So many people were playing the “Shumpert had a fantastic playoffs” card before the season when what they really meant was “Shumpert was fantastic in the game I remember most clearly from the playoffs, which is to say the last one”. For the playoffs as a whole he averaged 12 points, 2 assists and 8 rebounds per 36 on decent shooting percentages. That’s fine, but it was hardly a coming out party. At this point as hard as it is for me to accept, it’s hard to see Shumpert ever becoming more than an 8th man, a perfectly serviceable bench wing who can defend a little bit, hit a jumper here and there, but has far too many limitations on both ends of the court to be much more than that.

    On offense he’s far too prone to fading out of games entirely, but even if you blame that largely on Woodson, he hasn’t developed any of the secondary skills that could make him more than a supporting piece offensively. His handle, finishing at the rim, and passing on the move aren’t anywhere near the level needed to put him in pick and rolls and make him a creative force, and his spot-up shooting just isn’t reliable enough for that to be the mainstay of his offensive game. Defensively he still has the exact same weaknesses he came into the league with 2.5 years ago. Anything involving a screen gives him fits, and unfortunately for him, NBA teams set lots of screens. He also has a little bit of a problem positionally as he seems to defend best against PGs, but his complete inability to be used as a creative player on offense means you really always need two true guards on the floor with him which is an awkward combination.

    Altogether it’s lovely to blame the org and Woodson for all of his flaws, but maybe he just really wasn’t that good to begin with.

  68. steveoh

    LeBron giving up money for Pat Riley and Mickey Arizon to spend on the team is nothing like Melo giving up money for Steve Mills and James Dolan to spend on the team.

    I wouldn’t leave money on the table if I were him.

  69. lavor postell

    Yeah I never really understood why people acted like Woodson saying something like Shumpert needs to earn his spot was some serious mindfuck. Woodson’s done a lot of stupid shit in his time with the Knicks and definitely all of this season, but not being patient with Shumpert and now allowing him to develop is not part of it. It would be one thing if Shumpert was struggling to finish at the rim because of paint clogging lineups, but he can’t beat guys off the dribble that any starting 2 guard should be able to do with ease.

    Any time he takes a guy one-on-one in isolation he never gets past them and settles for a long pull up two. If he does get to the rim usually off of a kickout or ball rotation around the perimeter he struggles to finish because he needs to gather himself and jump off both feet. These aren’t issues a third year player should be having regardless of development. 2 guards should be able to dribble and finish off one foot, particularly when guarded by power forwards regardless of coaching.

    And for all the shit JR’s got this year, and deservedly so, he’s been shooting much better the past 3-4 games and been better than Shumpert on the defensive end. More than anything I can’t remember the last time Shumpert picked a guy’s pocket and taking it the other way for an easy 2. I remember that he was good for 1-2 of those a game. Right now if there was a reasonable pecking order at the 2/3 positions Melo, JR and THJR would be getting the vast majority of minutes.

  70. cgreene

    I am seeing the other side of the Shump points. Not to say I agree 100%. I do think the org is somewhat at fault and hasn’t most likely taught and directed him well but he def shares blame.

  71. lavor postell

    I mean the org clearly is at fault, but some fundamental things shouldn’t have to be taught to you and you must demonstrate an innate ability to do them. I can understand if he was failing in the pick and roll because we were teaching him the wrong things to do, or more importantly his mentor would be Raymond Felton who would show him how to do the shittiest Tony Parker imitation of all time, but I think his overall ball handling should have improved regardless of coaching staff. He also almost never put in pick and roll situations because he is such a poor ball handler. Just an example, but yeah Shump clearly needs to shoulder much of the blame for his own development.

  72. Owen

    I like Shump but he doesn’t look like the same guy defensively since the injury. Might come back strong next year.

    But his college numbers are telling I think. He was never a guy you could realistically trust to be a plus offensive player based on his track record.

  73. Frank

    I think Woodson has really damaged Shump — not necessarily just psychologically but just not playing him in the way that would maximize his strengths. Shump’s most prominent defensive trait is stopping the ball. So let him stop the ball. His most prominent offensive trait is probably shooting spot-up 3′s. So run some plays for the guy for pete’s sake. Like Pop runs for Danny Green, or like any team that has Kyle Korver runs for him. Or even the plays we used to run for Novak. Shump’s not a great shooter like those guys, but give him a couple plays per game where he’s the man and he’ll pick up the other parts of his game.

    I just finished reading Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson. All I could think when he writes about basketball strategy was Mike Woodson does not have 2% of the intellectual feel for the in game tactics and player psychology that this guy does.

    I love how we start off every game with the same freaking play, which is to free up Melo for an f*cking 19 footer. In fact 90% of our plays are to free guys up for a long jumper. The Raymond Felton elevator doors play from 20 feet. The Melo 19 footer. The Bargnani every-shot. Hey Woody – the reason these plays work so “well” is because these are the shots the defense wants you to take!!

  74. johnno

    “I don’t think Shumpert gets much criticism on this board because I think this board never really expected Shumpert to become a good NBA player.”
    Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people on this board did think that he was going to become a good player (I am guilty as charged) — hence the outrage expressed by many people that Woodson had the unmitigated gall to suggest that he had to earn his starting spot. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that most of us thought that he would be a lockdown defender (based on his comments in the preseason, MWP apparently shared that view) and at least a league average starting 2 guard offensively.

  75. ephus

    I’m one of the people who saw a really high ceiling for Shumpert – Sane Sprewell. Looks like that was far too optimistic.

    Shumpert has a glaring defensive weakness: he dies on picks far too often. The great plays against Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade that led to the great reputation were largely in straight one-one-one situations (I distinctly recall Rose waiving off the pick so he could try to cross over Shumpert).

    Shumpert also is a bad transition finisher. That means he does not get much offensive upside from his speed, defense and leaping ability.

  76. Donnie Walsh

    Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people on this board did think that he was going to become a good player (I am guilty as charged)

    When Shumpert was drafted, skeptics pointed to his horrible college stats and said “he’s not going to be good.”

    But optimists said: “his coach at Georgia Tech used him wrong.”

    When Bargnani was traded for, skeptics pointed to his horrible professional stats and said “he’s not going to be good.”

    But optimists said: “his coaches in Toronto used him wrong.”

    Sometimes players that look like they should be good simply aren’t good. And we can hate folks like #1 Nostradumbass for telling us this, or we can listen to them, and maybe not make the mistake of investing in them in first place.

  77. KnickfaninNJ

    It is true that often bad players are the same when they move to another team or that when players come out of college their flaws are exposed and they don’t do well in the NBA. But one area where players do improve after getting to the NBA is in shooting accuracy. I don’t think we could have expected that Shumpert would suddenly be able to drive and score or kick out in a way he wasn’t good at in college. But improving his shooting the point where he has good percentages when left open was a doable expectation. Some players do it and some don’t. So far, unfortunately, he hasn’t and he hasn’t shown much signs of progress either.

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