Next Day Reaction: Sixers 98, Knicks 90
Editors Note: Sorry this took forever. I was watching the debate and then reading the post-debate polls and then checking the Liberal blogs for their reaction and the Conservative blogs for their reaction and then checking Nate Silver’s feed for any changes and intrade to see what the Presidential markets think and then worrying and re-reading the numbers and re-checking the blogs. Basically, the same as I was during LeBron’s Free Agency but this ish matters. I’m a wreck. A total nervous wreck. So I didn’t watch the game until the 1am MSG re-broadcast so I could properly engage in this recappitude. But I did it because I care. I care about you. As Americans. Well, more that I’m a twitching wreck and can’t sleep. But still, enjoy!
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 35 MIN | 7-23 FG | 7-9 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 23 PTS | +1
We Knickerbloggeristas have worn our e-pencils down to the nubbin writing about Melo’s degree of effectiveness at power forward versus his stated preference for playing the three. Welp, day one of that experiment resulted in a line straight out of December 2011. Some nice boards and dimes and whatnot, but a whole lotta gettin’ his at the expense of things like running actual plays or ball movement — you know, basketball. More on this later…
|Tyson Chandler, C 38 MIN | 2-5 FG | 5-6 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -2
Some standard-brand (if low grade) Tysoning tonight, but I really hope he didn’t disembowel his fellow court-mates in the locker room after the game for their continued inability to close out on shooters, box out, play or even, at the barest minimum, keep the likes of Royal Ivey. (I repeat, ROYAL IVEY) from penetrating the lane at will. At one point in the 2nd, Robo-Center caved in Ivey’s chest on a pick and roll for no apparent reason. I’m going to ascribe that bit of random violence to misdirected anger. I grok that sentiment, Tyson. Totally grok that.
|Raymond Felton, PG 33 MIN | 8-17 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 23 PTS | -3
Yes, those long-distance heaves went in, but Raymond Felton chucking away from downtown at a D’Antonian pace is not a recipe for success. Unless, of course, you are preparing a large feast in which your dinner guests will be dining on the world’s largest shit taco. In the unlikely case that this is so, proceed. And now I’ve written and deleted a mini-screed about how swell it would be to have an Ivy League-ish point guard right about now because I can’t let anything go.
|Jason Kidd, PG 24 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 3 PTS | +3
Oh. So Jason Kidd’s our shooting guard. That’s outstanding. Really. What’s that you say? A shooting guard should probably be able to make an outside shot, especially since the Knicks’ offense has been reduced to “Get the ball to Melo in his super-favorite spots on the floor and either watch or wait until he kicks it out when doubled/tripled, kinda sorta if he feels like it”. It’ll totally work, and if you disagree with me, you’re just a haterz. Why? Because VETERAN LEADERSHIP and MENTORING, that’s why. Haterz…pfft.
|Ronnie Brewer, SG 16 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 PTS | -4
Pro-forma, boiler-plate statement(s) w/r/t Brewer, Ronnie: First game back, shaking off rust, becoming familiar with his teammates, getting back in basketball shape. Speaking of which…Er, is it just me, or did Ronnie look kinda zaftig out there tonight? It’s probably me. When it comes to weight issues, I have bodily dysmorphic tendencies equivalent to that of your garden-variety teenage girl. Does this blog entry make me look fat? You can tell me. Do I look fat? It’s probably just Jim making me look fat, the ectomorphic bastard. I hate him. Don’t tell him I said that. Thanks BFF’s!
|Kurt Thomas, PF 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -8
Considering the ‘Bockers rotation is starting to resemble the Russian Army towards the tail end of the Siege of Stalingrad during WWII, we may be seeing waaaaaayyyyyy more of Ol’ Crazy Eyes than any of us might of imagined as recently as say, three weeks ago. Seeing that baseline jumper is like putting on a t-shirt you’ve had for years. It may be threadbare and have some disturbing stains, but it’s oh-so-comfortable and comforting.
|Steve Novak, SF 27 MIN | 2-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -4
Every time Steve Novak misses a three, angels weep. Not recycle/paraphrase a Sorkinism (and since he’s recycled it in at least three of his shows, my conscience is clear), but the streets of heaven are too crowded with sobbing cherubim tonight.
|Mychel Thompson, SF 1 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +2
I’m still not entirely convinced that Mychal Thompson isn’t just Mike Bibby with a name change and a pair of Adler’s Elevators
|Chris Copeland, SF 26 MIN | 6-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | -14
Chris Copeland has been the New Yorkers’ best player this preseason and appears to be the first forward off the bench as of this writing. Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria! Discuss
|Henry Sims, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +2
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 3 PTS | -5
I really wish the Pablo had come to Dolanville four years ago at the beginning of the reign of the Pringle King. With a little more zip in his wheels, he’d have run that offense like a champ.
|James White, SG 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -8
White’s a decent enough slasher, but if he could only hit that corner three — where Shawne Williams made his home and Landry Fields burned his to the ground — he’d be an interesting piece of the puzzle.
Four Things We Saw
- Blech. That was ugly. The Knicks clawed back into the game mainly on the strength of a flurry of threes and moving the indicator on the defense-o-meter a few clicks up from “vomit-inducing” to merely “putrid”. Look, I’ve been advocating for a small-ball lineup with STAT coming off the bench/playing center with the 2nd team for awhile. But my carefully calibrated roster-tweaking will only work if Amar’e's around and J.R. Smith gives them reasonable SG play until Shump can come back and Camby can give Tyson extended minutes to ensure that they have a shotblocker on the court all the time and on and on and on. Basically, they need to reassemble the 2001 Sixers, with Melo as Iverson and gobs of shooters and defenders surrounding him. We seem to be missing the shooters. And possibly the defenders, though this raft of recent injuries pretty much throws that formula out the window (for the moment). Of course, when you assemble a roster as geriatric as this one, frequent trips to see kindly ol’ Doc Hinds shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The end result of all this kerfluffling of the the best laid plans of mice n’ Melos and men is somehow, we’ve taken the way-back machine to March 2012. They may play .750 ball these first few weeks whilst waiting for the return of the walking wounded but in order to do so, Melo has to play at an ungodly level and the defense has to be top five for the team to compete. Past is prologue, mes gars. I’m willing to wager that George Santayana was talkin’ about our hometown team when he babbled about failures to remember the past and being doomed to repeat it.
- Speaking of my pro-smallball stance, take a look at some nifty opinin’ from newly-minted Grantland scribe, Zach Lowe here
- For those who don’t have the MSG feed, there were some quality Clydisms tonight:
1. He repeatedly referred to Jason Richardson as “Q-Rich”.
2. When Spencer Hawes abused Novak down low Clyde described it as “Bogarting his way in the low post.” [Insert drug humor here]
3. Clyde is a handwriting expert. Awesome.
4. This probably annoys me and only me, but someone needs to tell Clyde that a “Vacillating pace” means the exact opposite of what he thinks it means. Clyde means “fast” whereas vacillating means alternating or wavering between different opinions or actions. Of course, I’d never dare correct Clyde to his face so vacillating now does indeed mean “fast”. He’s getting loose-age with his usage! I’ll show myself out…
- And that’s going to do it. I am contractually obligated to remind you that it’s just preseason and there’s plenty of time to work out these kinks or even colossal, unsolvable structural flaws. Oh who the hell am I kidding. PANIC. PANIC. SOUND THE ALARUMS. RUN SCREAMING DOWN THE STREET WEARING NOTHING BUT KNICK-EMBLAZONED SOCKS. PANICKING!
Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.