Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nuggets 98, Knicks: The Unnamable.

New York Knicks 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
97 Denver Nuggets

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Melo is/was right: we are in a dark place.

This is exhausting. I don’t know about you, but I’m just tired of writing the same dumb things about a dumb team that fails in painfully repetitive, dumb ways.

All of it so very Beckett-like (if the man had ever heard of or deigned to root for a team, this one would nestle in the cockles of his heart). Unnamable, yet totally familiar.

So yes, again there aren’t any individual grades tonight. The same small group of ‘Bockers (more or less) were good (but not good enough), and the same somewhat larger group of Dutch Short Pants were bad (just bad enough) in exactly the same fashion that they’ve been bad in the 14 prior games.

I’m not even angry (Okay, I’m a little angry), but whatever I (or any of the myriad smart people who watch basketball) might say about this game has been said before. I can say it till I’m chartreuse in the face, and yet I (and you can’t shake the gnawing feeling that it will never change; that our anguish and plaintive cries of dismay and desks/tables/ottomans pounded into kindling by our battered, blood-stained knuckles is the equivalent of trying to change the chemical composition of the Caspian sea by dumping bucket after bucketful of our collective bile.

We know, deep down in the dark places we don’t talk about at cocktail parties, that this cannot be fixed.

Woodson will not be sent packing, even if he makes somewhere between two and 5,367 strategic (for lack of a better term) decisions a game that make you seriously consider the idea that he’s shaving points or outright dumping games.

For example, if Prigioni is hurt (there’s been some idle chatter about plantar fasciitis and/or a wonky shoulder, via the un-whistled cross-block in Wednesday night’s meaningless exercise in masochism), how can you play him in the 2nd half? Sorta screws up the lie that he’s hurt (if it is a lie). Or if he’s being benched for shoddy play (really?), it’s largely due to the fact that (like many of his fellow ‘mates) he’s being used incorrectly and for ever-decreasing periods of time (And never in two-PG looks with Felton, because if something works, you should probably shatter it into a bajillion pieces, bury the shards in equidistant points around the globe and salt the earth so that nothing of hoops value ever grows there again.).

As with many (all?) things Knick, we are left to decide—Scylla and Charybdis-like—between incompetence and utter bullshit.

If Woodson hopes to maintain any credibility whatsoever as a coach that demands ‘Accountability,’ (Ha!) and does (for once) yank JR when he’s playing like he hoovered a bad dose of Dilaudid, why (Oh God. Yes, an indifferent [at best] God, and at worst a petty, juvenile, somewhat sadistic God) oh why do you put him back in the game with six minutes to go?

Yes, Hardaway got toasted by Ol’ Perfesser Andre Miller, but he was actually hitting spot up threes. He might have been fazed by “the moment” (as they say), but he wasn’t launching ill-considered isolation jumpers or treating the rock like it was an extra-large hunk of red kryptonite. Even Mike Breen, once a staid, truly objective play-by-play man, has been reduced to an apoplectic, spittle-flecked blogger in tone and temperament, unleashing such verbal bombs as, “How long do you let him keep playing if he’s not defending well and he’s not hitting shots?”

And yes, Woodson did go with Melo at the four for vast swathes of this game. This is a good thing. And he did keep Amar’e under his federally-mandated twenty minutes per game, because keeping him on the court in the 2nd half (after some passable [yes, the soft bigotry of low expectations rears its ugly, deformed, pock-marked head] play in the 1st) would have been declared cruel and unusual punishment, or at least employee harassment, even by as corporate-friendly a gang of Supremes as the Roberts Court.

But if you feel compelled to start hashtagging #FIREWOODSON like a fiend (and I’ll RT you like a mofo if you do), I have to ask, what then? They’ll only hire even more of a cow-towed lackey to take his place.

Phil Jackson and/or any members of the Van Gundy clan are not ever walking through that door.

And yes, our beloved ephebe, Iman Shumpert, was aggressive and damned effective. And he’s still a Knickerbocker (for now).

And yes, Bargs was deadly as a pick and pop shooter.

And yes, this was an awful game to watch (Be forced to watch, by forces unknown and unnamable?), and the Rocky Mountain Folk seemed to be doing their damnedest to hand it to the New Yorkers in a silver chalice. Why the Gold Miners didn’t run Ty Lawson (Never a Knick, Always a Knick-killer) on the pick and roll every single goddamned time, when said play yielded nothing but uncontested shots at the rim or wide open treys after a half-decent kick-out pass remains an impenetrable, monstrous mystery.

Are the Knicks so sad that they’re inspiring pity? Or is their basic, essential sadness a virus, infecting their opponent with a sickness, the symptoms of which are lethargy, indifference and perhaps the death of a few million of the brain cells that control b-ball IQ.

What happened to all the nifty plays from last season? Where are all the double and even triple screens? Where’s that set at the elbow that harkened back to the weaves of Auerbach’s hated Celtics?

Why are they gone? Has Woodson forgotten them? Or do the players on the floor refuse to run them, which again leads us back to a terrible, warped-mirror version of Sophie’s Choice. Then again, this quote is enough to call into question whether or not the man is operating with all his fac-ul-ties intact.

And after the game, he said, “I thought Iman and JR played better tonight.”

(Silence)

I cannot stop asking why, even though asking why is pointless. The answers will never come from the powers that be, and even if they did, if we were to be told why certain players start and others sit, and why some can seemingly do no wrong, while others are sent to the gulag/phantom zone for the slightest transgression, the answers (truth?) might prove just as or even perhaps possibly more hateful than the stony silence upon which we fling our endless queries.

But there they were, after JR Smith (finally) hit a three (because of course), as did Ray Felton (who seemingly pent as much time on his belly as his spirit animal), and Wilson Chandler (Hello, old friend. You are here. Of course you are. So is Nate, torching the Knicks like an imp of the perverse, and Timofey, Golem-like, not particularly effective but still there, reminding us of something forgotten, or something we forced ourselves to forget, that wasn’t really all that pleasant or loving or beautiful or even good when we had it [Did we have it?], but now that it’s gone—swept away by the zephyr-ic, ever-shifting gusts of our memory, we cherish it all the more. All memories are lies. Lies that grow in strength and intensity, for in the end, our lies about ourselves are all we have. WE DEFINE OURSELVES BY THAT THING WE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE.) stepped out of bounds, the deficit was 96-93.

And then they couldn’t inbound the ball, and Earl was falling out of bounds (twice) and somehow managed to get the ball to Shump, after it glanced tantalizingly off the hands of seemingly every player on the court, who drove and converted a layup (That shouldn’t be shocking. It is. Before tonight, he was only hitting 36% at the rim.). And then Lawson made one of two. And I was screaming. Not out of misplaced, impotent rage, but rather yawps of pure hope.

And though I swore I’d given up, that I didn’t care, my heart proved my head and mouth a liar. It was there, what we’d pined for (begged for, dreamed for) an actual (if ugly) win within their grasp.

Melo grabs the rebound and has the ball (because of course he does. Melo dribbles the clock down (why?). Melo’s facing four guards and Chandler, but he does not drive to the rim, even if he had been receiving the “superstar calls” that he’d been screaming from the highest mountain were his very birthright.

Instead, facing Randy Foye, he shoots a contested fadeaway. Was he fouled? Maybe. Could have gone either way. See here:

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UPDATE: As Brian Cronin ‘splained in the comments: “You’re allowed to block the shot and if, in blocking the shot, you hit the player’s hand (while the ball is in his hand) as well, then it is considered as if you’re just hitting the ball. Essentially, it is another way of saying that it is is incidental contact. As otherwise, every time you block a shot you’re likely to hit the opposing player’s hand, ya know?

Here’s the specific rule in the NBA rule books (Rule 12 (B)(I)(e):

Contact which occurs on the hand of the offensive player, while that hand is in contact with the ball, is legal”

Poop. And of course:

Melo was at 44% in those situations prior to last season (the league average is 28%). But Heroball doesn’t allow for questions. Heroball merely is.

Is hope less preferable than despair? I don’t know the answer. We’ve lived with the latter for so long (How long? All season? The past decade? All our lives? Before that, even?) such that the former feels like a cruel, sadistic joke.

But we go on. Another game (loss? Yes…) looms on Sunday.

Where now? Who now? When now? Unquestioning.

I, say I. Unbelieving.

Questions, hypotheses (call them that).

Keep going, going on (call that going, call that on).

Can it be that one day (off it goes), that one day I simply stayed in (in where? To watch yet another Knick loss) instead of going out, in the old way, out to spend day and night as far away as possible? (It wasn’t far.) Perhaps that is how it began. You think you are simply resting (the better to act when the time comes, or for no reason) and you soon find yourself powerless ever to do anything again but watch yet another bad game.

No matter how it happened. (It, say it, not knowing what.) Perhaps I simply assented at last to an old thing. (But I did nothing.) I seem to speak (it is not I) about me (it is not me).

These few general remarks to begin with.

What am I to do (what shall I do, what should I do?) in my situation? How proceed? By aporia pure and simple? Or by affirmations and negations invalidated as uttered (or sooner or later)? (Generally speaking.) There must be other shifts. Otherwise it would be quite hopeless. But it is quite hopeless. (I should mention before going any further – any further on – that I say “aporia” without knowing what it means.)

Can one be ephectic otherwise than unawares? I don’t know. With the yesses and noes it is different: they will come back to me as I go along. And now, like a bird, to shit on them all without exception.

The fact would seem to be (if in my situation one may speak of facts) not only that I shall have to speak of things of which I cannot speak, but also (which is even more interesting) that I shall have to… I forget, no matter. And at the same time I am obliged to speak. I shall never be silent. Never.

I shall not be alone, in the beginning. (I am of course alone.) Alone. That is soon said. (Things have to be soon said.) And how can one be sure, in such darkness? I shall have company. In the beginning. A few puppets. Then I’ll scatter them, to the winds, if I can.

And things? What is the correct attitude to adopt towards things? And (to begin with) are they necessary? What a question! But I have few illusions: things are to be expected. The best is not to decide anything (in this connection) in advance. If a thing turns up, for some reason or other, take it into consideration.

Where there are people (it is said) there are things. Does this mean that when you admit the former you must also admit the latter? Time will tell. The thing to avoid (I don’t know why) is the spirit of system. People with things, people without things, things without people – what does it matter? I flatter myself it will not take me long to scatter them, whenever I choose, to the winds. (I don’t see how.)

The best would be not to begin. But I have to begin. That is to say I have to go on. Perhaps in the end I shall smother in a throng: incessant comings and goings, the crush and bustle of a bargain sale. No, no danger. (Of that.)

Carmelo is there. Of his mortal liveliness little trace remains. He passes before me at doubtless regular intervals. (Unless it is I who pass before him? No, once and for all: I do not move.) He passes, motionless. But there will not be much on the subject of Melo, from whom there is nothing further to be hoped. Personally I do not intend to be bored. (It was while watching him pass that I wondered if we cast a shadow. Impossible to say.)

He passes close by me, a few feet away – slowly, always in the same direction. I am almost sure it is he. The cocksure headband and orange shooting sleeves seems conclusive. With his two hands he props up his jaw. He passes without a word. Perhaps he does not see me. One of these days I’ll challenge him. I’ll say… I don’t know, I’ll say something… I’ll think of something when the time comes. (There are no days here, but I use the expression.) I see him from the waist up: he stops at the waist, as far as I am concerned. The trunk is erect. But I do not know whether he is on his feet or on his knees. (He might also be seated.) I see him in profile. Sometimes I wonder if it is not Woodson. Perhaps it is Woodson, wearing Melo’s headband. But it is more reasonable to suppose it is Melo, wearing his own headband. (Oh, look, there is the first thing! Melo’s headband!)

I see no other clothes. Perhaps Woodson is not here at all. Could he be, without my knowledge? (The place is no doubt vast. Dim intermittent lights suggest a kind of distance.) To tell the truth I believe they are all here (at least Toure’ Murry and some other useless 7-footer on the bench, taking up space). I believe we are all here. But so far I have only seen Melo. Another hypothesis: they were here, but are here no longer. I shall examine it after my fashion. Are there other pits, deeper down? To which one accedes by mine? (Stupid obsession with depth!) Are there other places set aside for us – and this one where I am, with Melo, merely their narthex? (I thought I had done with preliminaries.) No, no, we have all been here forever, we shall all be here forever. I know it.

No more questions.

Is not this rather the place where one finishes vanishing? Will the day come when Melo will pass before me no more, exiled to Los Angeles via free agency? Will the day come when Melo will pass before the spot where I was? Will the day come when another will pass before me, before the spot where I was? I have no opinion, on these matters.

Were I not devoid of feeling, Woodson’s beard would fill me with pity. It hangs down, on both side of his chin, in one giant tuft of impenetrable hair. Was there a time when I too revolved thus? No, I have always been sitting here, at this selfsame spot, my hands on my knees, gazing before me like a great barn owl in an aviary. The tears stream down my cheeks from my unblinking eyes. What makes me weep so? (From time to time.) There is nothing saddening here. Perhaps it is liquefied brain. Past happiness in any case has clean gone from my memory, assuming it was ever there.(If I accomplish other natural functions it is unawares.) Nothing ever troubles me. And yet I am troubled.

Nothing has ever changed since I have been here. But I dare not infer from this that nothing ever will change. Let us try and see where these considerations lead.

I have been here, ever since I began to be a fan of the Knicks (my appearances elsewhere having been put in by other parties). All has proceeded, all this time, in the utmost calm, in the most perfect order (apart from one or two manifestations the meaning of which escapes me). (No, it is not just their meaning escapes me, my own escapes me just as much.) Here all things… No, I shall not say it, being unable to.

I owe my existence to a sad basketball team. These faint fires are not of those that illuminate or burn, like Steph Curry and his ilk. Going nowhere, coming from nowhere, Melo doesn’t pass.

These notions of forbears, of houses where lamps are lit at night, and other such: where do they come to me from? And all these questions I ask myself? It is not in a spirit of curiosity: I cannot be silent. About myself I need know nothing.

Here all is clear. No, all is not clear. But the discourse must go on. So one invents obscurities. Rhetoric. These terrible rotations, for instance (which I do not require to mean anything): what is there so strange about them, so wrong? Is it their irregularity, their instability, their shining strong one minute and weak the next, but never beyond the power of one or two candles? JR Smith appears and disappears with the punctuality of clockwork, always at the same remove, the same velocity, in the same direction, the same attitude. But the play of the lights is truly unpredictable. It is only fair to say that to eyes less knowing than mine they would probably pass unseen. But even to mine do they not sometimes do so? They are perhaps unwavering and fixed, and my fitful perceiving the cause of their inconstancy.

I hope I may have occasion to revert to this question. But I shall remark without further delay (in order to be sure of doing so) that I am relying on these lights (as indeed on all other similar sources of credible perplexity) to help me continue and perhaps even conclude.

I resume, having no alternative. Where was I? Ah yes: from the unexceptionable order which has prevailed here up to date may I infer that such will always be the case?

I may of course. But the mere fact of asking myself such a question gives me to reflect. It is in vain I tell myself that its only purpose is to stimulate the lagging discourse: this excellent explanation does not satisfy me. Can it be I am the prey of a genuine preoccupation, of a need to know as one might say? I don’t know. I’ll try it another way. If one day a change were to take place, resulting from a principle of disorder already present, what then? That would seem to depend on the nature of the change. (No: here all change would be fatal and land me back, there and then, in all the fun of the fair.)

I’ll try it another way. Has nothing really changed since I have been here? No, frankly, hand on heart… wait a second… no, nothing to my knowledge. But, as I have said, the NBA may well be vast, as it may well measure twelve feet in diameter. It comes to the same thing, as far as discerning its limits is concerned.

I like to think I occupy the center of the basketball-watching universe, but nothing is less certain. In a sense I would be better off at the circumference, since my eyes are always fixed in the same direction, at the game and yet another loss. But I am certainly not at the circumference. For if I were it would follow that JR Smith, wheeling about me as he does, would issue from the enceinte at every revolution (which is manifestly impossible). But does he in fact wheel? Does he not perhaps simply pass before me in a straight line?

No, he wheels, I feel it. And about me, like a planet about its sun. And if he made a noise, as he goes, I would hear him all the time (on my right hand, behind my back, on my left hand) before seeing him again. But he makes none. For I am not deaf, of that I am convinced (that is to say half-convinced).

From center to circumference in any case it is a far cry and I may well be situated somewhere between the two. It is equally possible (I do not deny it) that I too am in perpetual motion, accompanied by James Dolan (as the earth by its moon). In which case there would be no further grounds for my complaining about the disorder of the starting lineup and the pick and roll defense, this being due simply to my insistence on regarding them as always the same and viewed always from the same point. (All is possible – or almost.) But the best is to think of myself as fixed and at the center of this game-watching place (whatever its shape and extent may be). This is also probably the most pleasing to me. In a word: no change apparently since I have been here. Disorder of the lights perhaps an illusion. All change to be feared. Incomprehensible uneasiness.

That I am not stone deaf is shown by the sounds that reach me. For though the silence here is almost unbroken, it is not completely so. I remember the first sound heard in this place (I have often heard it since) it is Marv Albert and Hubie Brooks, extolling the virtues of Bernard King. For I am obliged to assign a beginning to my residence here, if only for the sake of clarity. Hell itself, although eternal, dates from the revolt of Jeff Van Gundy. It is therefore permissible (in the light of this distant analogy) to think of myself as being here forever, but not as having been here forever. This will greatly help me in my relation. Memory notably (which I did not think myself entitled to draw upon) will have its word to say, if necessary. (This represents at least a thousand words I was not counting on. I may well be glad of them.)

So after a long period of immaculate silence a feeble cry was heard, by me. (I do not know if Hubie heard it too.) I was surprised (the word is not too strong): after so long a silence a little cry (stifled outright). What kind of creature uttered it – and (if it is the same) still does, from time to time? Impossible to say. Not a human one in any case, there are no human creatures here (or if there are they have done with crying). Is Dolan the culprit? Am I? (Is it not perhaps a simple little fart? They can be rending.)

Deplorable mania, when something happens, to inquire what. If only I were not obliged to manifest! And why speak of a cry? Perhaps it is something breaking? Some two things colliding? There are sounds here, from time to time, let that suffice. This cry to begin with (since it was the first). And others, rather different. I am getting to know them. (I do not know them all: a man may die at the age of seventy without ever having had the possibility of seeing Halley’s comet.)

It would help me, since to me too I must attribute a beginning, if I could relate it to that of my abode. Did I wait somewhere for this place to be ready to receive me? Or did it wait for me to come and people it? By far the better of these hypotheses (from the point of view of usefulness) is the former, and I shall often have occasion to fall back on it. But both are distasteful. I shall say therefore that our beginnings coincide: that this place was made for me, and I for it, at the same instant. And the sounds I do not yet know have not yet made themselves heard. But they will change nothing. (The cry changed nothing, even the first time. And my surprise? I must have been expecting it.)

It is no doubt time I gave a companion to Ba. But first I shall tell of an incident that has only occurred once, so far. (I await its recurrence without impatience.) Two shapes then, oblong like man, entered into collision before me. They fell and I saw them no more. (I naturally thought of the pseudo-PG couple Felton-Prigioni.) The next time they enter the field, moving slowly towards each other, I shall know they are going to collide, fall and disappear, and this will perhaps enable me to observe them better.

Wrong. I continue to see the Knicks as darkly as the first time. My eyes being fixed always in the same direction I can only see (I shall not say clearly, but as clearly as the visibility permits) that which takes place immediately in front of me – that is to say (in the case before us) the collision, followed by the fall and disappearance. Of their approach I shall never obtain other than a confused glimpse, out of the corner of the eye. (And what an eye!) For their path too must be a curve (two curves), and meeting (I need not say) close beside me. For the visibility (unless it be the state of my eyesight) only permits me to see what is close beside me.

I may add that my seat would appear to be somewhat elevated, in relation to the surrounding ground. (If ground is what it is. Perhaps it is water or some other liquid.) With the result that, in order to obtain the optimum view of what takes place in front of me, I should have to lower my eyes a little. But I lower my eyes no more. In a word: I only see what appears close beside me. What I best see I see ill.

Why did I have myself represented in the midst of men, the light of day? (It seems to me it was none of my doing. We won’t go into that now.) I can see them still, my delegates. The things they have told me! About men, the light of day! I refused to believe them. But some of it has stuck.

But when, through what channels, did I communicate with these basketball-playing gentlemen? Did they intrude on me here? No, no one has ever intruded on me here. Elsewhere then. But I have never been elsewhere. But it can only have been from them I learnt what I know about men and the ways they have of putting up with it. (It does not amount to much. I could have dispensed with it. I don’t say it was all to no purpose. I’ll make use of it, if I’m driven to it. It won’t be the first time.) What puzzles me is the thought of being indebted for this information to persons with whom I can never have been in contact. Can it be innate knowledge? Like that of good and evil? This seems improbable to me. Innate knowledge of my mother (for example): is that conceivable?

Not for me.

The Knicks!

68 comments on “Nuggets 98, Knicks: The Unnamable.

  1. TheRant

    I fail to see what we would gain by firing Woodson.

    What I might prefer, with a new Mayor who is feared by the 1% to be a socialist, is to make their worst dreams come true. Seize the Knicks and the Rangers from Cablevision and sell them at Auction. The Knicks were estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.1 Billion and the Rangers $850M. That leaves just shy of $2 Billion for the renovation of Penn Station to its former glamor.

    If Cablevision complains or sues — drone strike. And who else in New York would make a peep about this win win win? A functional train station. A better stadium. And an owner who — the next time we are faced with a sharpshooter-who-needs-a-supporting-cast, but who tells his team he is leaving, trade or no trade — won’t give away the entire team by negotiating against himself.

    Boy could we have used a supporting cast tonight.

    Orlando will certainly enjoy Draft Night 2014.

  2. coyle022

    Believe it or not, the Knicks are only 2.5 games out of the 8th seed. TWO AND A HALF GAMES! and 1 out in the loss column. Had to triple check just to make sure it was legitimate, but the Celtics are currently the 8th seed. As bad as it has been, there’s no way that this Murphy’s Law of a season can continue as poorly as it has thus far. Esp. with Chandler coming back. 500%? that’s a stretch. but playoffs are very much a possibility, however a matchup w/ Ind or Mia will be a 4 game sweep.

  3. Brian Cronin

    Melo’s 1 for 15? The 1 was a drive. The 14 were jumpers. I shit you not. Herring had the stat. He always has the cool stats.

    And he wasn’t fouled. The freeze frame is misleading. When the contact with his hand was made, the ball was still in Melo’s hand. Note that Melo did not even slightly contest the call. Because he knew it was the correct call.

    And either way, how in the world would it make sense to compare it to the George call? That was on an elbow. It’s a completely different situation.

  4. Robert Silverman Post author

    And he wasn’t fouled. The freeze frame is misleading. When the contact with his hand was made, the ball was still in Melo’s hand. Note that Melo did not even slightly contest the call. Because he knew it was the correct call.

    It was borderline. Could’ve gone either way, but how does “When the contact with his hand was made, the ball was still in Melo’s hand” make it not a foul?

  5. Jack Bauer

    I am soooo glad I opted to watch college hoops tonight instead of torturing myself with this frustrating team of the lowest IQ ballers perhaps ever assembled. They play so dumb and Woodson feeds into it by even dumber coaching decisions and baffling rotations. I honestly thought this team would be better than last year’s team – obviously I am a moron.

  6. Brian Cronin

    It was borderline. Could’ve gone either way, but how does “When the contact with his hand was made, the ball was still in Melo’s hand” make it not a foul?

    Because

    The hand is considered “ part of the ball” when it is in contact with the ball and contact with a players hand when it is in contact with the ball is not a foul.

    Therefore, when Foye made contact, Melo’s hand was considered part of the ball so it was considered “all ball” and thus a clean block.

    Melo knew that, which is why he didn’t even flinch when it happened. He knew Foye had gotten all ball.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Woody was bad in this game, but Shaw was worse. They literally could have just continued to go to Lawson on every play and the Knicks would never have been able to stop them, but they didn’t. He stuck with Nate as the primary ball handler way too long. And, of course, the most egregious play. He kept Hickson in the game late in the game when there was no reason for him to be in the game (as the Knicks were not going to be posting up and nor were the Nuggets) and then got pissed when the Nuggets inbounded the ball to Hickson and he was fouled (where he made 1 of 2). You can’t complain about your players inbounding the ball to a player when you are responsible for whether he comes into the game or not!!!

  8. Brian Cronin

    You’re allowed to block the shot and if, in blocking the shot, you hit the player’s hand (while the ball is in his hand) as well, then it is considered as if you’re just hitting the ball. Essentially, it is another way of saying that it is is incidental contact. As otherwise, every time you block a shot you’re likely to hit the opposing player’s hand, ya know?

    Here’s the specific rule in the NBA rule books (Rule 12 (B)(I)(e):

    Contact which occurs on the hand of the offensive player, while that hand is in contact with the ball, is legal.

  9. BigBlueAL

    If there was ever a time to fire Woodson its right now. In December the Knicks only have 6 road games, all vs the East and 1 is in Brooklyn so they only leave NYC for 5 games this entire month. Its a pretty soft looking schedule which would be perfect for a new coach to get off to a good start and have alot of practice time since there wont be much travel.

    BUT who would they hire?? The 3 best options to me are the Van Gundy brothers and George Karl. Cant see a VG bro coaching here because they wouldnt want to work for Dolan (although recent comments from Jeff VG makes me think he would be willing to return but it might just be wishful thinking on my part) and there is no way Melo and JR would welcome Karl as their coach again. I dont think Hollins would be much of an upgrade because he is old school who doesnt believe in stats hence why he clashed with the new management in Memphis. He would certainly improve the defense though and just in that regard be a big upgrade over Woodson.

    There certainly isnt an in-house coach who would seem to be a logical upgrade over Woodson. So it sure does look like we are stuck with Woodson for the rest of this season before God help us John Calipari becomes the new head coach in the off-season. BTW forget the 8th seed, the Knicks by only being 3 gb of the division lead are therefore only 3 gb of the 4th seed.

  10. f.l.o.

    did he really block the shot? honestly, even after looking at it several times I can’t tell for sure if he got a piece of the ball (too).
    I guess Melo not complaining means it was okay but then again, maybe he’s already too fed up with not getting calls that he doesn’t bother anymore…

  11. Brian Cronin

    They showed the replay a few times on the post game and while yes, it was not completely clear at first glance (at least not from the standard angle) they eventually got to an angle where it was clear that he hit the ball while it was in Melo’s hand. It was just at a weird angle so that from the standard view it was not automatically evident.

    Hahn, for instance, initially argued that it was a bad call but then after they played enough replays he reversed his position because they landed on a replay that made it clear.

  12. AvonBarksdale

    I read it. It’s good we are all victimized and pitiful at the same time. No answers only more questions and delusion of what we think we are but never actually were in the first place. I wish I couldn’t relate to that as much as I do, I see myself in all these players and the game they play. Today I failed but tomorrow? Who knows dude but unlike the Knicks I’m gonna give everything I can and try to learn from my mistakes. always seek the ugliest truth zebra boys cry foul but grown men eat the lions heart

  13. yellowboy90

    Well my fan season is not going well so far. I had to watch UF losing 6 games in a row(and counting) including Ga Southern and now I get to watch the Knicks lose game after game. At least UF’s season will come to a close today against FSU. It’s funny last year UF/NY had great regular seasons and poor post season/bowl game performances. The two are interconnected some how. It’s weird because when UF break out their orange jerseys they always lose too. My saving grace is UF BBall. Thank goodness for Billy D.

  14. Z-man

    Very, very tough loss to swallow. Still, I am finding solace in the little things: especially Shump playing with more Shumpitude. I truly believe that Shumpert is the key to getting out of this funk, that is, until Chandler gets back.

    It’s just mind-boggling how little JR, MWP, STAT and Prigioni are giving us these days. That we are even competitive is cause for optimism. If healthy, these guys can’t possibly continue to play this poorly.

  15. Z-man

    At first glance, Indiana looks like they are putting together a championship-type season. But looking at their schedule so far, it is amazing how front-loaded it is with weak teams.

    Better times are right around the corner for us, I can feel it.

  16. JK47

    All together now:

    IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER
    IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER
    IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER
    IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER

  17. jotapay

    A truly genius post, perfectly capturing the anguish of this season – a cross between Groundhog Day, Dante’s Inferno and a bad acid trip. As the man wrote, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter.”

  18. d-mar

    We all know if they had called a foul on Melo’s last shot, the second free throw would have spun around the rim 5 times and fallen off as time expired. Or Bargnani would have had his putback dunk blocked by Ty Lawson.

  19. Zanzibar

    JR is not being used properly. His 3FG% for the past 5 seasons from two areas on the floor:
    Right Corner 3:…. 45, 35, 41, 51, 59
    Above the Break: 36, 35, 41, 32, 38

    JR was much better last night in the max spread offense (formerly known as 5-out :)) which by the way went +5 in 19 minutes. He scored on two driving layups during that time. Woody needs to put him in the right corner when Melo ISOs to maximize his 3%. He needs to have him running PnRs with Melo in that spread offense with Bargs, Shump, Felton/Prigs stationed across the 3 stripe. He needs to run PnPops with Bargs and Melo. JR falls apart when he freelances especially against better defenses. Put him in the spots and sets to which he is best suited and he could be really effective.

  20. EB

    Zanzibar
    November 30, 2013 at 11:45 am
    JR is not being used properly. His 3FG% for the past 5 seasons from two areas on the floor:
    – Right Corner 3:…. 45, 35, 41, 51, 59
    – Above the Break: 36, 35, 41, 32, 38

    He’s always taken more above the break and usually does fine. But definitely should have more than 1 shot from the right corner.

  21. Zanzibar

    Prediction…if we lose to Pelicans, Woodson doesn’t last the week.

    Doubt it, I think it would have to get much worse but a loss to the Nets might force the impulsive Dolan into action. The reason I say it will take more is that I believe Woodson’s contract was just extended and Dolan would look foolish firing him so early. Remember he extended Isiah right after winning that key game, the team went south right after that, and Isiah well…… I don’t think JD is the type of person who learns from his errors. He’ll dig in knowing we’re likely to win some games in the next couple of weeks given the schedule and then TC returns.

  22. Mental Masochist

    Who is even out there that could be a decent coach for this team, would be willing to suffer that fool in charge and doesn’t already have bad blood with said fool?

    Perhaps it’s time for a Vince Boryla redux. 55 years between coaching stints ain’t too long ay?

  23. EB

    -Bargs shoots better from midrange than at the basket. Whats with that?
    -Last year shump hit over 40% from the corners, this year under 30%.

  24. maxwell_3g

    some of you guys are way better at finding stats than I am. can anyone find “% of shots blocks” or “number of players shots blocked per 36 min”? after seeing the moz send stats “dunk” attempt backwards, it occurred to me that stat has to be on a record pace this year. he clearly cant do what he used to and refused to adjust in any way (and cant make a jumper now either). I predict that his shots are being blocked at historic rates, Charles Smith at the end of key playoff games type rates.

  25. DolanSucks

    Deafening silence on Nate huh? LMAO LMAO … Dolan & co. Are idiots. Was impressed by Bargs but he has no dynamic PG to pick & roll with. Melo has no help. Nate outplayed JR…. And VAN GUNDY NOW!!! (Although we know no self respecting coach would play under Dolan)

  26. Zanzibar

    EB, I wouldn’t worry about Shump because he’s always been a good spot-up 3 shooter. Unless his knee is bothering him, this drop is probably just part of his general malaise period and a stagnant team offense. Here’s some bizarre stats showing over the past 5 seasons for Bargs the # of corner 3s attempted versus above the break 3s attempted along with the results for corner 3s in parentheses:

    8 vs 115 (33% from left on 3 attempts and 20% from right)
    2 vs 113 (0%)
    3 vs 217 (66% on 2/3 from corner left)
    10 vs 311 (63% on 8 attempts from corner left, 0% on 2 from corner right)
    4 vs 286 (0%)

    I presume Bargs has practiced the corner 3s and is plain terrible at them but it looks like he could be pretty good from corner left although obvious sample size issues. That would be huge if he could knock down corner left 3s at 40%. Put Bargs and JR in left, right corners respectively, and Shump above the break (Shump shot 39% above the break last season and 43-44% from corners). We could potentially have 3 guys who shoot >=39% from those respective positions in a spread offense.

  27. EB

    EB, I wouldn’t worry about Shump because he’s always been a good spot-up 3 shooter. Unless his knee is bothering him, this drop is probably just part of his general malaise period and a stagnant team offense. Here’s some bizarre stats showing over the past 5 seasons for Bargs the # of corner 3s attempted versus above the break 3s attempted along with the results for corner 3s in parentheses:

    Yeah I was more pointing it out as one of the reasons why we can’t make corner threes. But yeah, I don’t know why we never try and put some other players there and have them shoot from the corners. I think you have a good plan. Too bad no one in the Knicks’ organization knows how to look at publicly available shotcharts.

  28. Tony Pena

    I did see Woodson try to emphasize spread lineups yesterday, especially in the 2nd half. And if I’m not mistaken it took a little while for it to get going but he stuck with it and they started clicking. You up for an Offensive Assistant job Zanzibar?…. Woody also pulled Artest the game before last and yanked STAT last night, so there’s that. At least we know he’s not blind, just stubborn. Next up is JR. He just looks like he’s still recovering – no lift driving, arch lacking on his jumpshot. He did try on defense last night. He just needs to play way less right now.

  29. EB

    maxwell_3g
    November 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm
    some of you guys are way better at finding stats than I am. can anyone find “% of shots blocks” or “number of players shots blocked per 36 min”?

    Hoopdata used to track this but they seem to have shutdown.

  30. ephus

    Great post. A towering achievement.

    This season reminds me of 1984-85. Bill Cartwright missed the year with a broken foot. Despite vintage Bernard King (28 years old and scoring champ), the Knicks limped to 24 wins. This year, Carmelo Anthony’s scoring is not enough to get the Knicks a victory. The prior year, the Knicks gave the 1984 Celtics their biggest scare in the second round. This vintage Knicks are coming off a tough second round elimination as well. No center, then and now, equals no season.

    The 1985 season ended in tragedy against the Kings when Bernard King wrecked his knee. I hope that part of history does not repeat.

  31. DolanSucks

    You mean the same Van Gundy that Dolan ran out of town, the same Dolan who allowed Riley to go, and allowed his YES MAN, Jonathan Supranowitz, to run Tom Thibodeau out too? Our dreams will NEVER happen under this ownership. No self-respecting Coach will EVER work under Dolan, that’s why he hires his “Friends.”

    Thanks Dolan, ruining the Knicks, and the Billion Dollar Comedy Club, formerly known as Madison Square Garden, since 1994.

  32. flossy

    This season reminds me of 1984-85. Bill Cartwright missed the year with a broken foot. Despite vintage Bernard King (28 years old and scoring champ), the Knicks limped to 24 wins. This year, Carmelo Anthony’s scoring is not enough to get the Knicks a victory. The prior year, the Knicks gave the 1984 Celtics their biggest scare in the second round. This vintage Knicks are coming off a tough second round elimination as well. No center, then and now, equals no season.

    The 1985 season ended in tragedy against the Kings when Bernard King wrecked his knee. I hope that part of history does not repeat.

    I would take a 24 win season this year for the 1st overall pick in next summer’s draft, but we all know that ain’t happening.

  33. d-mar

    Guess which team leads the league in fewest turnovers per game with 12.6? Our beloved Knicks. Guess which team is last? The Rockets at 18.6 (the Warriors are 2 slots above at 17.5) So taking care of the ball isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I guess. Of course, the Rockets attempt 33.4 FT’s a game, while our team attempts 17.7, and the Rockets are shooting 37.% from 3 point range and 49.2% overall vs. our 31.7% and 41.9%.

    So imagine if we didn’t take care of the ball so well, how bad would our record be? Oh wait….

  34. max fisher-cohen

    @maxwell_3g

    NBA stats page has blocked attempts per game and BLKA% under the Usage drop down. Stoudemire accounts for 55% of the blocks against the Knicks while he’s on the floor, far and away the worst on the team despite only having a USG% of 22.4%.

    Regarding winning the division, the division leader is the Raptors, who are on pace to win 32.8 games. That means that the way things are going, the 33 wins gets you the division title, so the Knicks could potentially win the division by finishing the season on a 30-37 tear!

  35. flossy

    Regarding winning the division, the division leader is the Raptors, who are on pace to win 32.8 games. That means that the way things are going, the 33 wins gets you the division title, so the Knicks could potentially win the division by finishing the season on a 30-37 tear!

    God, that is pathetic. If things don’t shape up, the NBA should just cancel round 1 of the EC playoffs in shame.

  36. nyk8806

    I would be interested in seeing the standings TO/game adjusted for pace. Likewise, a more relevant statistic would be turnover differential, where I suspect we rank considerably lower. Not all possessions are created equal, but neither are statistics.

    Only thing that can save the franchise is if Dolan publicly guarantees another win, and the Knicks then proceed to get blown out by 30, he flies off the handle and has an aneurysm, being forced to cede control to someone (anyone) else. By our luck we will actually end up winning the game and Dolan will go back to believing in his supernatural powers and playing the guarantee sound clip at his next gig.

  37. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Taking care of the ball is very, very important. It’s not nearly as important as scoring efficiently. The Knicks are 25th in eFG%, 19th in ORB%, and 29th in FT/FGA. Defensively, they are 19th, 10th, 8th, and 30th (!!!) in the Four Factors (eFG%, TOV%, DRB%, and FT/FGA, respectively). That’s a recipe for the lottery.

  38. KnickfaninNJ

    I think the Knicks should have gone for a 3 pointer on their last shot of the game. Look at the odds. A two pointer by Melo has probably a 45% chance of going and a 10% chance of giving him an old fashioned three point play. If he hits the two and doesn’t get fouled or misses a foul shot they go to overtime and have a 50% chance of winning overtime (based on the teams being completely equal in scoring in regulation). So 50% times 45% plus 10% is 32.5% chance overall of winning if Melo takes a contested three pointer as the last shot. Even with the Knick’s horrible three point shooting this year they do better than 32.5% overall and a made shot wins the game. So their odds of winning were higher taking a three pointer.

  39. Donnie Walsh

    Who is even out there that could be a decent coach for this team?

    It’s fitting that last year’s Coach of the Year is available, but we can’t hire him because we care too much about JR Smith’s feelings.

  40. Mental Masochist

    Yeah, it is really a crying shame that we are forced to suffer because of Dolan needing to keep his boys Pipe and Melo comfortable and able to dick around as they please. George Karl could at least make this team an entertaining middling seed and likely would not suffer from coaching disorders as excruciating as Woody’s.

  41. Owen

    A slow night, perfect time to discuss the grooming habits of NBA players.

    He can’t defend but his smell won’t offend, here is Amare on his routine….

    “Every year I will stock my locker up with body wash, different lotions, different oils and different creams,” says Amar’e Stoudemire, a fashion-forward forward with the New York Knicks. Before games, he applies Bath and Body Works Stress Relief eucalyptus-and-spearmint-scented body lotion. Afterward, Mr. Stoudemire, 31, makes sure to wash his face with Dove soap to remove the sweat that pools around the edges of his goggles while playing.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304465604579221912691253326

    Surprising takeaway, Rasual Butler is still in the NBA….

  42. Z-man

    STAT should play 35 mpg in the D-league for a couple of weeks, he can’t keep using restricted NBA minutes to work on his game at the expense of his team. Not when we are 3-12.

    On a totally unrelated note, did anyone other than Morey see Chandler Parsons coming? What a find!

  43. Brian Cronin

    I agree that the minute restrictions are just ridiculous. Do we even know that a minute restriction like this helps?

    And yeah, Parsons is great. The Rockets are in this weird place where they likely really do have too many guys who would be best used as the first or second option on a team. If Harden, Parsons, Lin or Howard were Knicks, they would be right away be the Knicks best second option, ya know? Hell, Harden or Howard could theoretically be their best first option. But when you have four first/second options on a team at once, that typically means that at least one of them is being essentially “wasted.” Early on this season Parsons was that guy. You see this when any one of the non-Howard guys is injured and the other two non-Howard guys just score more without missing a beat. So I really think they likely should try to deal Lin, (perhaps packaged with Asik?) for a really good four or really good three that would allow Parsons to play the 4.

  44. yellowboy90

    As a fan of UF I got to see Parsons grow up from a kid who jumped up the ranks after a growth spurt and some great performance in AAU to now. Anyway, Greg Anthony used to rave about Parsons as a skinny freshman. You could see the potential but he lacked confidence. He really started to grow once his friend, NIck Calathes(memphis pg), and high School/college teammate left. Billy D let Parson handle the ball more and he was like the point forward who did a little of everything. I never understood how he was ranked so low when the year before Gordan Hayward was ranked so high and Parsons was the same kind of player just taller and more athletic. I guess he wasn’t as consistent of a shooter from the line and three, maybe.

  45. hoolahoop

    You mean the same Van Gundy that Dolan ran out of town, the same Dolan who allowed Riley to go, and allowed his YES MAN, Jonathan Supranowitz, to run Tom Thibodeau out too? Our dreams will NEVER happen under this ownership. No self-respecting Coach will EVER work under Dolan, that’s why he hires his “Friends.”

    Thanks Dolan, ruining the Knicks, and the Billion Dollar Comedy Club, formerly known as Madison Square Garden, since 1994.

    If Mark Cuban took ownership today, in three years the knicks would be an elite team on it’s way to becoming a dynasty. Once upon a time, every great player dreamed of playing in MSG.

  46. Donnie Walsh

    the same Dolan who allowed Riley to go… No self-respecting Coach will EVER work under Dolan… Thanks Dolan, ruining the Knicks, and the Billion Dollar Comedy Club, formerly known as Madison Square Garden, since 1994.

    As much as I hate James Dolan, we can’t really blame him for Letting Riley leave, considering he took ownership of the team in 1999.

    And Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, and Mike D’Antoni are all self-respecting coaches that had their choice of gigs and chose to join the Straight Shot. So it’s not that coaches won’t come here. It’s that there are some excellent coaches that are out of work but Dolan won’t hire them because he’s too married to his own sunk costs.

  47. Brian Cronin

    I never understood how he was ranked so low when the year before Gordan Hayward was ranked so high

    I get your point and I agree in general (that Parsons was underrated, especially in comparison to Hayward), but come on, do you really not understand why Hayward got so much more attention the year before?

  48. yellowboy90

    I get he was a media darling along with the Butler team but a Billy Donavan coached player should’ve gotten more credit. I could see if he was at a lower level school but in recent years UF has put out a very high product of teams and players. It could be the UF fan in me.

  49. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, but tournament heroes always get a big boost. It’s not like UF players didn’t get that same boost when they won the championship, right? Corey Brewer was a #7 overall pick!! And the guy couldn’t even shoot the basketball! But since he “knew how to win,” he went seventh among every eligible player in the draft!

  50. Brian Cronin

    Although, speaking of Brewer, it’s kind of amazing how much he’s been able to turn his game around since the Knicks cut him. He was terrible for years and now he’s a valuable player out of nowhere.

  51. njasdjdh

    Not sure how much Rockets games you guys watch, but Parsons wouldn’t thrive as a second option IMO. He’s basically a maxed out Landry Fields. He operates best when cutting/with ball movement. He has below average off the dribble skills, but due to long strides and a Bargs-level pump fake he can get to the basket somewhat easily and create…kind of. The Rockets don’t NEED to trade anyone. When the offense breaks down Harden and then Lin are options A and B for saving the possession.

  52. njasdjdh

    Although, speaking of Brewer, it’s kind of amazing how much he’s been able to turn his game around since the Knicks cut him. He was terrible for years and now he’s a valuable player out of nowhere.

    Disagree that he’s turned his game around. IMO, he’s the same player he always was (and his numbers are pretty consistent with this view) except he scores on a higher % of 2FGA almost entirely due to the fact that he is the league’s most unrepentant leak out guy.

  53. SeeWhyDee77

    Not trying to sound panicky, but the season is going nowhere fast and Tyson’s return will not save the season and get us back in the top 3..although Rose goin down for the season helps. And as much as I would love to keep Melo, if the team can’t get past the 2nd round I fully expect him to bolt. Maybe we can rebuild around him and the youngins, but I don’t know how we could coax another season or two’s worth of patience out of him. If we get closer to the trade deadline and things still look this bad, then maybe Mills should look to blow it up while keeping Shump, Murry, TH2,Aldrich, Tyler, Prigioni, and Bargnani. Bargnani more so to see if we can boost his trade value. Also I would move to get a young talented coach. I’m a Knick fan through and through but I don’t live in NY, so I can only hope that the city would offer a little more patience should the team decide to blow it up. As long as we have the young assets and a clear vision I wonder mind buying hope with my patience. I love what Boston did. They saw it was goin downhill and seized the chance to get a young exciting coach and trade for the future with that coach. It also didn’t hurt that they have a young star in Rondo, which we don’t have. Out of what we do have, I believe we can survive at the 2 if we commit to Shumpert/TH2/Murry there. That’s not much of a start but it won’t leave us with a huge hole there, an considering teams won’t trade for STAT, Kmart and MWP- we are gonna need young legs somewhere. At this point especially, if Boston really would take STAT for Wallace and Humphries then you almost have to make that move. As that can’t hurt that much now or in the future, especially if you decide to blow it up

  54. Owen

    Yeah, I don’t think Brewer has turned around his game. It’s just more of the same, he looks much better now that he has some elite teammates, just like at Florida.

    It’s amazing how Bargnani and Brewer have ridden pre-draft hype. They are an economist’s dream. Probably should never have been in the league in the first place but have ridden confirmation bias for years….

    Hard to believe Bargnani is making 2 million more per year than Paul Millsap.

  55. ephus

    Comparing Bargnani’s salary to Milsap’s is not useful. Milsap’s agent bet that he could get a near-max four year deal. When the market said no and teams that needed a PF went elsewhere, Milsap signed a short cheap deal to try again in two years. On the other hand, Toronto signed Bargnani to his deal years earlier, when he was viewed as a franchise cornerstone.

  56. Z-man

    I was going to the game with a buddy anyway, but since tix were so cheap on stubhub I decided to bring my two younger kids along. PLEASE win guys!!

  57. Owen

    “Comparing Bargnani’s salary to Milsap’s is not useful. ”

    It is and it isn’t. Surprised he got so little.

  58. Donnie Walsh

    Yeah, Bargnani signed his contract during a weak free-agent period. It was July of 2009 and the other two long term deals over $10,000,000/year were given to Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, which helps put the AB contract into perspective.

  59. Kahnzy

    Watching Clippers/Pacers and my first thought was about how much I dislike the short-sleeve jerseys. The Clippers look like they’re wearing matching pajamas at a summer camp.

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