Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nets 88, Knicks 85

Brooklyn Nets 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 45 MIN | 11-29 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 29 PTS | -1

Metric Melo – efficient Melo – was scarce to be found in the early going, as the bright MLK Day lights and the extending of his 20-point scoring streak clouded a few truly beautiful early dishes (including one for a cutting Stat that would truly be a beautiful harbinger.) Melo was able to bring the ‘Bockers back thanks to favorable mismatches and the Nets’ categorical refusal to double down. Some wonderful passes — to Stat in particular — balanced out an otherwise skull-hammeringly frustrating outing, with the net result being that, when J.R. is firing on less than no cylinders, the Knicks really do have nowhere else to go.

Some nice flurries peppered the second half, but for the most part the Knicks relied exclusively on heavy does of Melo on block and elbow. He had a few key hits to keep things interesting, but Woodson’s final play call – isolation on the right eblow that ended with a crippling air ball of a would-be tying bucket – was anything but. Twenty-nine points is great. Twenty-nine points on 29 shots is bad basketball and makes Dave Berri’s nose bleed out of both nostrils.

Chris Copeland, SF 15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | -2

Chris Copeland Anagram Fun: YOUR DEFENSE SUCKED

Tyson Chandler, C 35 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-3 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +7

Tyson got things going with a pin-point tap-out for an open Kidd three, and was responsible for arguably the game’s most surreal highlight when he completed the incredibly rare shoot-miss-putback-dunk-technical trifecta after yelling at Reggie Evans to stop parking his god damn Fiesta so close to the driveway. Lopez was able to exploit Chandler reluctance to leave the paint by burying a few first half jumpers, but really that speaks more to the Knicks’ utter lack of interior defensive options than Chandler’s transgressions.

Chandler hauled in a couple must-have ‘bounds in the game’s waning moments, but was for the most part the only one who showed anything beyond a marginal interest in boxing out and meeting the ball mid-air. With Camby and Sheed both on the shuffle-board-and-Musilex circuit, Chandler needs help that he simply isn’t getting right now.

Jason Kidd, PG 35 MIN | 4-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -1

Choosing to sic Shump on Johnson rather than Williams remains a bit mysterious, but credit Kidd for doing a good job sticking with D-Will on the perimeter and not letting him bully about the block – owing in part to the refs’ reluctance to call much in the early going. J-Kidd also connected on a pair of early threes, but iso-Melo rendered his a pretty useless presence late in the first half.

The third and fourth found Kidd’s hands contributing again, only this time for sending Nets’ possessions to an early death and coming up with five of his game-high six steals. He’s still completely incapable of taking his man one-on-one in transition, but at least he gave the Knicks a few extra possessions. Possessions the ‘Bockers blew like chore money in a candy store.

Iman Shumpert, PG 20 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8

You could tell Shump was about to explode in a plasma of napalm swag he was so excited, and the nerves showed a bit, as our 6’11” shooting guard air-balled a three and got lost in a few flurries of Nets picks early on. He tightened up his on-ball defense and managed to slow Johnson down after a habenero hot start, but didn’t see enough court time to capitalize on his impact in any statistically meaningful way.

Shump’s strict minutes limit would see him pulled in the heat of crunch time, which is exactly the time that Joe Johnson his clutch cannonade along the perimeter. He’d come in for defensive purposes on the last Nets’ possession, but by then the game was pretty much in hand anyway. He still looks less than 100% confident in his ability to finish in traffic, as evidenced by a gut-punch of a layup miss that could’ve gotten the late-game run going earlier. I know patience is the mantra here, but it’s hard when you know your team needs a spark and the guy who might give it is on the sidelines because one of his joints might explode.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 3-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +4

Hope sprang eternal in the early moments of Stat’s first stint, which ended with a beautiful off-ball cut – I’m still convinced he was chasing the end of the laser pointer into the first row – for a Melo foul-resulting feed. Then Amare’s defense happened, and things like melting into the floor while Kris Humphries dribbles by you like Magic Johnson. Awful, awful things. Amar’e was much more active in the third, particularly on the glass, and even capped off the Knicks’ big third with a nice slam off a Melo feed and ANOTHER MELO FEED STAT SMASH STAT DRIVE AND BANK STAT SMASH WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPEEEEEENIIIIIIIIIING!

So STAT busted out some 2010 boogie during the third, and managed to remain in the lineup for most of the fourth as well — a pretty severe give and take that certainly had Woodson fielding questions of rotations during the post-game meat-presser. At the very least it looks as if Amar’e is slowly earning the trust of coach and teammates alike – and Melo in particular, who consciously looked to spoon-feed his begoggled brother a number of times, with varying degrees of success. But by far Stat’s most impressive moment – which you wouldn’t have noticed had you not watched closely – came on his final rebound, for which he jumped higher than I think I’ve seen him jump in over a year. Goosebumps, fleeting though they may be.

Ronnie Brewer, SF 3 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2

Little known fact: Ronnie Brewer is actually not even on the team anymore, but the Knicks let him hang around and sit on the bench because he gives all the guys fruit snack packets and rides to practice without even asking for gas money. But then he wandered out on the floor for a few minutes and threw up two awful shots but Woodson didn’t have the heart to take him out until the next timeout. Ronnie spent the rest of the afternoon eating chalk in the shower.

Steve Novak, SF 14 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -9

Whatever.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 9 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +1

Prigs played his usual first half stretch before coming up lame with an ankle injury. The doctors stitched him up using leather shaving from a seldom used lasso, seasoned long ago with blood and tobacco spittle and driving rains during weeks-long cattle drives on the Pampas.

J.R. Smith, SG 38 MIN | 7-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | -4

A case of acute brain rot – the result of a last second trip to a London tattoo parlor located in a gas station basement, where a couple of pounds gets you a Union Jack with Adele’s face in the middle emblazoned on your armpit using nothing but a Bic lighter and a butter knife – made for an especially rough outing for ol’ Earl, who couldn’t hit the broad side of the Wailing Wall for most of the first three quarters. A pair of jumpers and active hands late in the third helped key the Knicks’ lead-taking third quarter run, but Earl’s was very much a give-and-take fourth quarter. His last-second desperation heave nearly – miraculously – almost banked in, but suffice it to say J.R.’s likely spent his buzzer-beating allowance for the year. Hey, at least he’s preparing me for what it’s like to have teenage daughters.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Melo ended the night with 27, making it the 26th consecutive game he’s notched more than 20. That’s close to a Knicks record, apparently. He’s still third behind a few people. Can’t remember who’s first. Ernie Grunfeld, probably.
  2. Towards the end of the first quarter of what was already proving to be a tight game, Deron Williams picked up his second foul, and joined Joe Johnson – who’d picked up his second a few minutes earlier – on the bench. This was the Knicks’ golden opportunity to take advantage of the Nets’ relative lack of depth and make a run. This did not happen.
  3. The Nets obliterated the Knicks on the boards 52-37, including 12-7 on the offensive end. You can afford that kind of deficit when the play’s gangbusters and neither can team can stop the other, but not when it’s an under-200 point slugfest such that’s become the norm between these two. Second chance points were one of many deciding factors, to be sure, but – given the fundamentals behind their theoretical prevention – also the most maddening.
  4. Talk about getting a tainted syringe full of your own medicine: The Nets connected on 12-24 from deep, a good grip of those coming off of second chance opportunities, and way too many at the hands of Joe Johnson and Keith $%#@!& Bogans. The chief culprit, of course, was poor perimeter defense and – BRACE YOURSELF! – over-switching. I know ours is an attack itself built on the idea that playing with fire can help you raze your enemies’ barracks. But that shit cuts both ways.
  5. Welp, there goes that lead in the Atlantic. One measly game now separates these two begrudged boroughs, with one (us) waning in the wake of too many injuries and too many years about our core, and the other (them) in an ascendance owing to a combination of new coach juice, improved chemistry, and a thus-far favorable schedule. There’s still plenty of time to stem and even reverse the tide, but with another slugfest on the docket Thursday (at Boston, a game I will be covering and in which I have an 80% chance of being arrested), fortune’s moon can’t wax fast enough.

45 comments on “Nets 88, Knicks 85

  1. ruruland

    Jim, check the rebound % for both teams, not the raw differential. the former is meaningless. Nets had 14 more turnovers.

  2. Jim Cavan Post author

    It’s only meaningless if you assume that every time we see this kind of deficit we also force that many turnovers. Not being able to box out and rebound is fundamentally still a problem.

  3. BigBlueAL

    Someone brought it up in the last thread about Melo’s huge minutes lately and it sure look like it caught up with him today, he looked exhausted and had no lift on his layups/shots toward the end of the game.

  4. ruruland

    But a lot of the Knicks defensive struggles have to do with lack of interior/weakside contests/presence.

    Nets are a really good offensive rebounding team. They only scored 28 points in the paint.

    When Nets make 10 or more 3-pointers, they average over 100 points: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tgl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=game&lg_id=NBA&year_min=2013&year_max=2013&team_id=NJN&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&round_is_ec1=Y&round_is_ecs=Y&round_is_ecf=Y&round_is_wc1=Y&round_is_wcs=Y&round_is_wcf=Y&round_is_fin=Y&game_num_type=&game_num_min=&game_num_max=&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_overtime=&c1stat=fg3&c1comp=gt&c1val=10&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts

  5. ruruland

    Check this out:

    Out of the 252 games where teams made 10 or more 3-pointers this year, only 11 were held below 88 points.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tgl_finder.cgi?request=1&player=&match=game&lg_id=NBA&year_min=2013&year_max=2013&team_id=&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&round_is_ec1=Y&round_is_wc1=Y&round_is_ecs=Y&round_is_wcs=Y&round_is_ecf=Y&round_is_wcf=Y&round_is_fin=Y&game_num_type=&game_num_min=&game_num_max=&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_overtime=&c1stat=fg3&c1comp=gt&c1val=10&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts&order_by_asc=&offset=200

    It was the lowest scoring game for any team that made 12 or more 3-pointers in a game, by 9 points.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tgl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=game&lg_id=NBA&year_min=2013&year_max=2013&team_id=&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&round_is_ec1=Y&round_is_ecs=Y&round_is_ecf=Y&round_is_wc1=Y&round_is_wcs=Y&round_is_wcf=Y&round_is_fin=Y&game_num_type=&game_num_min=&game_num_max=&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_overtime=&c1stat=fg3&c1comp=gt&c1val=12&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts

    That should give you a pretty good indication that the Knicks defense was pretty good tonight.

  6. ruruland

    Ok, this is crazy.

    Of the 1759 games in the since 1985 where a team made 12 or more 3-pointers, only 32 scored 88 points or less!!!!!!!

    That’s 1 percent!!

    If you look at all the games the Knicks have lost at home to good team with Melo, the opponent has had a pretty anomalous jump-shooting game.

    A lot to like about the Knicks defense right now.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tgl_finder.cgi?request=1&player=&match=game&lg_id=NBA&year_min=1986&year_max=2013&team_id=&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&round_is_ec1=Y&round_is_wc1=Y&round_is_ecs=Y&round_is_wcs=Y&round_is_ecf=Y&round_is_wcf=Y&round_is_fin=Y&game_num_type=&game_num_min=&game_num_max=&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_overtime=&c1stat=fg3&c1comp=gt&c1val=12&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts&order_by_asc=&offset=1700

  7. ruruland

    If we confine to just 12 makes (not more than 12), it’s still 32/779

    Still just 4 percent

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tgl_finder.cgi?request=1&player=&match=game&lg_id=NBA&year_min=1986&year_max=2013&team_id=&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&round_is_ec1=Y&round_is_wc1=Y&round_is_ecs=Y&round_is_wcs=Y&round_is_ecf=Y&round_is_wcf=Y&round_is_fin=Y&game_num_type=&game_num_min=&game_num_max=&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_overtime=&c1stat=fg3&c1comp=gt&c1val=12&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts&order_by_asc=&offset=1700

  8. BigBlueAL

    Ruru, you are really searching far and wide for reasons to try to convince us the Knicks D is playing decent right now lol.

  9. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    Ruru, you are really searching far and wide for reasons to try to convince us the Knicks D is playing decent right now lol.

    You think so?

    88 points is bad?

  10. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    Ruru, you are really searching far and wide for reasons to try to convince us the Knicks D is playing decent right now lol.

    Again, as JVG says, the game often comes down to makes and misses.

    The Knicks missed many of their good looks, the Nets missed fewer.

  11. jon abbey

    since we talked about it ad nauseum at the time, it’s worth noting that without Felton, Chandler had no chance at the kind of mega-game he had against them in the first meeting.

  12. BigBlueAL

    ruruland: You think so?

    88 points is bad?

    They had some great stretches of D today, hell I even praised their defense on JJ’s game winner because even though they doubled Brook again which I didnt like they rotated great and forced him to take a tough baseline fadeaway. I will live with that shot all day no problem. But the prior 2 possessions Bogans got a WIDE OPEN layup and 3pter which he thankfully missed. Every time a team shoots great from the perimeter you chalk it up to them just having a good shooting night but it happens pretty regularly against the Knicks.

    They allow way too many uncontested shots from the perimeter especially from 3pt range. Their team defense gets broken down way too easily too many times and they feel the need to double team too much which is compounded by the usual slow rotations after the double which is why they are caught scrambling way too much on D.

    They are 25th in the NBA in opponent eFG%, that is beyond awful. They are very good in forcing turnovers but I would much rather it be the other way around. They are a very good defensive rebounding team which I agree with as you know since Ive mentioned that here in the past.

    I admit I am real tough on the team’s defense but there is a reason on virtually every game thread we complain about the amount of open shots the other team’s are getting and their eFG% is proof that what we saw is a major problem. The Knicks defensive philosophy seems to be the exact opposite of the Bulls who always eliminate our 3pt shooting. Our defense enhances the other teams 3pt shooting. In today’s NBA you have to protect the 3pt line and at times concede drives to the rim instead of leaving 3pt shooters. Woodson’s defensive philosophy seems to be the exact opposite.

  13. ruruland

    BigBlueAL: They had some great stretches of D today, hell I even praised their defense on JJ’s game winner because even though they doubled Brook again which I didnt like they rotated great and forced him to take a tough baseline fadeaway.I will live with that shot all day no problem.But the prior 2 possessions Bogans got a WIDE OPEN layup and 3pter which he thankfully missed.Every time a team shoots great from the perimeter you chalk it up to them just having a good shooting night but it happens pretty regularly against the Knicks.

    They allow way too many uncontested shots from the perimeter especially from 3pt range.Their team defense gets broken down way too easily too many times and they feel the need to double team too much which is compounded by the usual slow rotations after the double which is why they are caught scrambling way too much on D.

    They are 25th in the NBA in opponent eFG%, that is beyond awful.They are very good in forcing turnovers but I would much rather it be the other way around.They are a very good defensive rebounding team which I agree with as you know since Ive mentioned that here in the past.

    I admit I am real tough on the team’s defense but there is a reason on virtually every game thread we complain about the amount of open shots the other team’s are getting and their eFG% is proof that what we saw is a major problem.The Knicks defensive philosophy seems to be the exact opposite of the Bulls who always eliminate our 3pt shooting.Our defense enhances the other teams 3pt shooting.In today’s NBA you have to protect the 3pt line and at times concede drives to the rim instead of leaving 3pt shooters.

    Opponents 3pt shooting is a byproduct of doubling, yes, and I think we should double and switch less. But I would wager that opponents efg% will plummet for a few reasons

  14. BigBlueAL

    ruruland: Opponents 3pt shooting is a byproduct of doubling, yes, and I think we should double and switch less. But I would wager that opponents efg% will plummet for a few reasons

    The funny thing is our offense is based on getting open 3pters and forcing the other teams to switch/help too much on PnR’s and Melo Iso’s so you would think that our defense shouldnt fall for this kind of stuff. Its kind of odd.

    Obviously getting Shump back to playing regular minutes will be huge for the perimeter defense.

  15. ruruland

    BigBlueAL: The funny thing is our offense is based on getting open 3pters and forcing the other teams to switch/help too much on PnR’s and Melo Iso’s so you would think that our defense shouldnt fall for this kind of stuff.Its kind of odd.

    Obviously getting Shump back to playing regular minutes will be huge for the perimeter defense.

    But the reason the Knicks just as any team switch is to deny the initial offense whether it’s the roll or the shot behind the screen or the pass to the 3pt line.

    Switching worked last year. It’s the reason Knicks opponents had the highest % of isolations in the NBA ( not as Zache Lowe incorrectly deduced, because the Knicks used a lot of isolations and this somehow lured teams into that style of game) .

    The whole concept behind switching is take away continuity offense. It’s based on having versatile defenders, which the Knicks do. The problem is that they overhelp too much at times, especially Chandler, which compromises the defense, and defeats the entire purpose of switching.

    the idea is to get other teams to isolate and post-up, have guys go 1-1 who aren’t very good at it, or not as good as the mismatch would seem to indicate.

    The Knicks isolation defense has been poor this year, but just like last season, the % of pnr roller and pnr ballhandler plays is below league average — those are two of the most efficient plays in the league, and the Knicks switching greatly reduces those kinds of attempts.

  16. JK47

    After the red-hot start this team is now on a 52.5 win pace. That still isn’t terrible, but I think we all should admit that there isn’t a lot of distance between NYK and the other contenders in the east like Indiana, Brooklyn, Chicago and Boston.

    The Knicks are coming up short against quality opponents on a pretty regular basis these days.

  17. BigBlueAL

    ruruland: But the reason the Knicks just as any team switch is to deny the initial offense whether it’s the roll or the shot behind the screen or the pass to the 3pt line.

    Switching worked last year. It’s the reason Knicks opponents had the highest % of isolationsin the NBA ( not as Zache Lowe incorrectly deduced, because the Knicks used a lot of isolations and this somehow lured teams into that style of game) .

    The whole concept behind switching is take away continuity offense. It’s based on having versatile defenders, which the Knicks do. The problem is that they overhelp too much at times, especially Chandler, which compromises the defense, and defeats the entire purpose of switching.

    the idea is to get other teams to isolate and post-up, have guys go 1-1 who aren’t very good at it, or not as good as the mismatch would seem to indicate.

    The Knicks isolation defense has been poor this year, but just like last season, the % of pnr roller and pnr ballhandler plays is below league average — those are two of the most efficient plays in the league, and the Knicks switching greatly reduces those kinds of attempts.

    I actually dont mind all the switching but as you said its the overhelping and at times seemingly needless helping that drives me nuts. Sometimes it looks like they arent sure if/when to help which is why their rotations alot of the time is so slow which leads to all the scrambling on D.

  18. ruruland

    That’s when Clyde and Breen and everyone else whine about switching, they fail to bring up its purpose.

    It’s like football fans who get mad when their team, for example, keeps checking the ball down and getting 6-7 yard passes against a cover 2. That’s what the defense is designed to allow. Some teams, few, beat it consistently.

    Sure, the Knicks will give up a glaring mismatch at times, but over the course of a game/season, especially when you have versatile defensive personnel, the numbers eventually work in your favor.

    Teams that can take away everything on screen and roll don’t come around very often. It starts with having great pick and roll defenders like Garnett or guards that can can consistently go over screens without giving an inch.

    The Knicks don’t have any great pick and roll defenders, and a few bad ones — Kidd, Melo, Amar’e, Chandler isn’t that great.

    But all four of those guys can do either a good or great job against the ball when up against a seeming mismatch (Chandler can stay in front of guards and wings, Melo can take most big men, Kidd is a great post defender against bigger guys, Amar’e has decent feet against guard and wings etc)

  19. ruruland

    BigBlueAL: I actually dont mind all the switching but as you said its the overhelping and at times seemingly needless helping that drives me nuts.Sometimes it looks like they arent sure if/when to help which is why their rotations alot of the time is so slow which leads to all the scrambling on D.

    Yeah, I agree. They should allow guys to try to to beat them 1-1. It will even improve their defensive rebound % if they do, because a lot of their issues rebounding (which are relatively minor) occur when guys like Chandler are out helping where they shouldn’t.

    but yeah, I’d like to see the Knicks reduce their rotations. go into scramble mode late in games or in certain situations when you can do it well.

    No team is built to run from side to side all game long.

  20. ruruland

    JK47:
    After the red-hot start this team is now on a 52.5 win pace.That still isn’t terrible, but I think we all should admit that there isn’t a lot of distance between NYK and the other contenders in the east like Indiana, Brooklyn, Chicago and Boston.

    The Knicks are coming up short against quality opponents on a pretty regular basis these days.

    The inability of pg to turn the corner and get into the paint takes away a lot of what the Knicks do really well on offense.

    Second, the other east teams that you mentioned are pretty good — better than they were early in the year.

    Third, each of these losses against quality teams either occurred without Melo/Felton, or when the opponent had an anomalous shooting performance (Boston/Chicago/Brooklyn).

    Going about .500 against the top teams is ok.

    The silver lining in all of this is that while Felton’s absence has hurt the Knicks offense, it’s forced them to improve and focus defensively.

    With the return of Shump and Camby, I still think this team is a top-5 defensive team.

    Injuries have hurt, but if you actually look at the schedule, the % of opponents that are playoff bound goes way down after the Boston game.

    The Knicks will be back on the 55-57 win pace in a few weeks.

  21. Juany8

    On another note, Mike D’Antoni is doing a wonderful job of destroying the Lakers from the inside this season. Pau Gasol is suddenly a backup center, and Earl Clark is getting roughly as many minutes as him. Wonder if he’ll last all of next season too?

  22. yellowboy90

    Man Woody needs to get Brewer some counseling and shelf him and get him back. It would be cool If pro teams could send their players down to their D-League team until they get their confidence back like in MLB. I doubt NBA players who been in the league go for stuff like that. The Knicks really need Brewer to guard players like Johnson, George, Granger, Pierce, and Lebron. Shump is a little too short to guard the mega 2s or 3s and JR is a little too small to guard mega 2s or 3s.

    I guess when Camby and Sheed come back you can move Melo to guard the 3 instead of Melo guarding the 4 for Amar’e.

  23. BigBlueAL

    JK47:
    After the red-hot start this team is now on a 52.5 win pace.That still isn’t terrible, but I think we all should admit that there isn’t a lot of distance between NYK and the other contenders in the east like Indiana, Brooklyn, Chicago and Boston.

    The Knicks are coming up short against quality opponents on a pretty regular basis these days.

    I know Boston beat the Knicks already but they are 20-20. They should not be in the conversation for the 2-5 seeds between the Knicks/Nets/Pacers/Bulls. Right now its the Heat as the clear cut best team in the East and then the afforementioned group of 4 teams. The Celtics/Bucks/Hawks will be battling for the 6-8 seeds.

  24. BigBlueAL

    Just looked at the Knicks schedule thru the All-Star break and its pretty damn favorable. 11 games, 7 at home and only 4 against teams at .500 or better (@ Bos, home vs Atl, Mil and LAC). 2 sets of back-to-backs but one of them are both home games (Mil and Sac) and the other is this weekend @ Philly then home vs Atl.

    Really hoping for a 8-3 or 9-2 record in this stretch.

  25. grindout838

    The knicks need to get back to their winning ways. melo seems to be losing trust in his teamates, and that’s not good @ all. he’s moving backwards instead of forward. The knicks shouldn’t revert back to old habbits. Team is the key word..one for all..and all for one.

  26. jon abbey

    seeding to me isn’t the worry as much as how we match up against the quartet of CHI/IND/BKN/BOS, one or two of whom we’ll almost certainly see in the first two rounds. 3-3 against those four with Felton, 0-4 without him, five losses in a row. all of them seem to be physically beating us inside and out, and we don’t have the big men or the muscle to fully answer. why hasn’t Kenyon Martin replaced Kurt Thomas yet, ruru?

  27. Brian Cronin

    And seeding to me matters only because it affects who the Knicks get in the first round. I don’t want to see them playing, say, Chicago on the road, ya know? So the difference between 3rd and 5th could be very significant.

  28. Brian Cronin

    As an aside, while I’d prefer it if they had cut him, as it would make them worse, I can’t help but be a little pleased that Chicago didn’t let themselves be completely cheap fucks and cut Nate.

    Speaking of completely cheap fucks, the Maloofs are such jerks. That said, if I had to pick between an NBA team being in Sacramento and an NBA team being in Seattle, I think I’d have to go with Seattle.

    Here’s the really weird thing to me – so the Kings move to Seattle and become the Supersonics, they don’t get access to the Sonic’s franchise history, right? That still belongs to the Thunder, no? So the new Sonics would have the Kings’ franchise history, right? So they might as well just call them the Seattle Kings, to make that clear.

  29. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    And seeding to me matters only because it affects who the Knicks get in the first round. I don’t want to see them playing, say, Chicago on the road, ya know? So the difference between 3rd and 5th could be very significant.

    The best case 1st round scenario is obviously either the Bucks or Hawks. Problem is who knows what seed the Celtics wind up in. If they do finally right the ship you assume they would at least get to the 6th seed which means a Top 2 seed for the Knicks would be ideal to get one of the 2 easiest 1st round matchups not to mention homecourt in the 2nd round obviously.

  30. Brian Cronin

    2 or 3 also means no Heat in the second round, which is major.

    So that’s why the division is so big to me. Getting it presumably at least keeps the Knicks in the #3 spot ahead of the Nets, as I doubt both the Bulls and Pacers both lap the Knicks and the Nets.

  31. Brian Cronin

    By the way, I don’t know how we can judge the Knicks’ pace when they’ve played without Felton for so long. If they continue to struggle when he returns, then fair enough. Or if he is going to miss a lot more time, then yeah, obviously you ding the Knicks’ projection. But Felton is due back soon, right? So the projections should be better than 52.5, I think.

  32. Brian Cronin

    Also, I can still totally live with a second round loss. I just want to see them win a first round series. They haven’t won one in over a dozen years!!!!

  33. massive

    I think the Knicks, with Felton, will be deadly. Watching today’s game and seeing Amar’e's off-ball scoring prowess, it seems absurd that people thought Melo and Amar’e couldn’t work together. Amar’e is still a rare player in this league in that he can score 20 a game without dominating the ball, and Melo’s 3 point range will provide enough spacing for the two to work. The Felton-Stoudemire P&R should be lethal if Felton can hit open jumpers again. When you add Kidd, Shumpert, Smith, one of Novak/Copeland, and Chandler to the Felton/Melo/Stoudemire dynamic, you have one of the best rotations in basketball. And this quote by JR leads me to believe that the Knicks aren’t even trying hard right now:

    “We have a great crowd, great fans,” he said. “For us to come out there and not play the way we’re capable of to start the game off, and try to always have to fight back into it in the second half, it’s unacceptable. It’s disrespectful to them more than anything, and for us we, should be embarrassed about it.” (http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/34191/notes-j-r-says-knicks-disrespectful-to-fans)

    All in all, I’m still not worried. I’ll be worried if Felton really finishes the season with his abysmal TS%/USG% combination.

  34. Z-man

    Count me among the worried. Getting consistently outrebounded by physical teams is never a good thing. That said, I did see some positives from Amare, even though Humphries atehim up.

    The Nets remind me a little bit of ’90′s Pacers, Brook Lopez is very much like Rik Smits.

  35. flossy

    Gotta hand it to Joe Johnson–he talked smack before the game and backed it all the way up. Knicks offense can’t get out of 2nd gear without Felton, I’m sorry to say. Melo can run the offense or score efficiently, but not both, and definitely not for 45 minutes. For everyone complaining about the defense, if we score 89 points we win this game.

  36. Douglas

    I’m not that worried. Even without Camby and Sheed and Shump-Shump limited to 20 minutes, the Knicks held the Nets to 88 points. If Felton is healthy, they win. No question.

  37. Nick C.

    I donno 74 FGA 88 Points doesn’t look like lockdown defense even factoring in the 20 FTA and 19 TO. I am a little surprised on this board of all places to have people gushing over points allowed per game (not just 40 but from the start of the thread). Brooklyn plays at the second slowest pace in the NBA.

    Anyhew we shall see how things go with Felton back. Camby/Sheed are old and always hurt anything from them is/was found money. The best thing was the three minute or so stretch where Melo kept finding Amare . If that becomes part of the regular rotation look out.

  38. yellowboy90

    Brian Cronin:
    From the recent ESPN article, it sure seems like the Knicks are taking a “Kenyon Martin or Sheed” stance, not both. I dunno why.

    Why not just cut James White who I like but doesn’t really play. Kenyon must have killed the Clips locker room.

    I keep thinking back to Joe Johnson shot and having the ability to put Kenyon at the 4 and Melo on Johnson. I think it would have created a tougher shot for Joe.

  39. ruruland

    Knicks had defensive rating of 100.2 last night. That’s really good.
    They had a 96.8 against Detroit, 96.9 against New Orleans and a
    97.5 against Indiana.

    Four out of their last five game have been excellent defensively.

    Got to like the trendline.

  40. Nick C.

    ruruland: Knicks had defensive rating of 100.2 last night. That’s really good.They had a 96.8 against Detroit, 96.9 against New Orleans and a97.5 against Indiana.Four out of their last five game have been excellent defensively. Got to like the trendline.

    OK I’ll accept that. I take it the rating is pp/100 possessions? Where did you find that anyway? If I had that info I may not have been so ambivalent about the defense.

  41. Glew

    Nick C.: OK I’ll accept that. I take it the rating is pp/100 possessions? Where did you find that anyway? If I had that info I may not have been so ambivalent about the defense.

    I think that you also have to look at what you are seeing. It seems pretty apparent that when Novak is off or is just simply not getting the looks in order to shoot he is more than a liability on defense he is an absolute detriment. When one person is as bad as Novak is at defense it creates additional stress for the rest of the unit. I am not sure who was guarding Humpherie’s but he must have had like 4 or 5 wide open dunks during the time when Novak was on the floor. Granted we are missing our defensive pf’s and felton so I am not too concerned for playoffs if we are healthy. Novak should average around 10 minutes per game depending on the matchup and how he is shooting/the score. I do not believe the knicks are playing good defense or even up to our potential right now, otherwise we would not be 4-6 in our last 10

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