Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Preseason Recap: Knicks 98, Wizards 89

New York Knicks 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Washington Wizards
Andrea Bargnani, PF 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -4

THAT’S what we’re kinda sorta talking about! Kinda! Bargs forged an effective niche early, taking what the defense was giving, attacking the tin aggressively, and hitting his throws when he did. On defense, a 6-foot ball of dryer lint could be rolling towards him at one mile an hour, Bargnani still wouldn’t take the charge. He relied a little too much on his J in the second half, but did manage a trio of well-timed snuffs. Promising signs of progress, albeit mostly in one dimension.

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: No.

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: C%

Carmelo Anthony, SF 29 MIN | 8-17 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +1

Prodigal Son blah blah pffffffffffft whatever. Like every preseason game Melo’s ever played, tonight’s tilt was less about mimicking real time flow or getting others going than it was lubing up the ol’ bucket launcher. That sounded a lot better in my head.

Anyway, some classic concerns turned up: Completely ignoring open teammates; taking plays off defensively; relying too much on defender-lulling dribbles and pull-ups. Just chalk it up to brandishing on behalf of the WB, and nothing else.

CHANCES OF MAKING THE TEAM: The same as me doing a Father Knickerbocker installment every week for the rest of the season, whether you fucking like it or not.

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: Melo’s elbow might be stronger than Kevlar at this point.

Tyson Chandler, C 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2

I think Tyson had full possession of the ball once, when he missed a mid-range jumper early in the game. Every other time he looked like the flailing receiver reaching for the wildly high thrown ball in Tecmo Super Bowl – no chance at all and holy shit did I just date myself. Basically he snagged three boards in six minutes and missed a couple of rotations on D. And sweated, kind of.

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: 100%

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: Probably.

Raymond Felton, PG 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +5

God bless Raymond Felton, but you’d have a better chance getting Ted Cruz to start a Franklin Roosevelt Fan Club than you would getting Felton — or anyone, for that matter — to stay in front of John Wall consistently for 15 minutes. In fact, Ray had one and only one recourse: pull Wall down by his arm just as he was hitting 90 in transition. Which, amazingly, wasn’t called.

On offense, Ray was… exercising? His stroke looks noticeably less hitchy, and he continued to bound spry off the dribble. Works for me.

ODDS HE MAKES THE TEAM: 100%

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: No.

Iman Shumpert, SG 10 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -4

I don’t know who that bald-ass stunt double was, but damn if he didn’t pull off a good Shump impression: hitting a couple smooth jumpers, occasionally turning overzealous on defense, and throwing down a nuclear put-back that got by far the night’s biggest crowd rise.

Then, disaster, in the form of an ill-fated attempt at a purple nurple on a streaking John Wall. The result: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: SHUMPUNDRED%

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

Josh Powell, PF 19 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5

Productive in spurts, but didn’t do enough to assert himself as an end-of-bench option.

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: No.

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: No.

Ike Diogu, PF 23 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -3

By far Diagu’s most impressive performance to date. The unthinking midrange jumpers make you cringe a little, but the confidence is there, and anyway his deftness around the rim more than makes up for it. He timed his rebounds well, boxed out effectively, and pretty much launched himself atop the 15th man fray. We’ll see if it lasts another week, but Ol Ike Diego (h/t: Mike Breen) is looking like he wants some of those stale-ass leftover media room cookies.

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: 65%

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: No.

Cole Aldrich, C 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8

COLE ALDRICH ANAGRAM FUN: Acid Cell Rho

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: Halo Circled

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: Cole ain’t got time to sprain.

Chris Smith, PG 7 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 11.10.52 PM
Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 11.12.13 PM

Pablo Prigioni, PG 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -6

Hit an open three, forced a feisty 10 second call late in the first half, had beautiful teeth. Not exactly sure when it happened, but Prigs apparently tweaked HIS elbow, too. The left one, but still: srsly?

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: ALL OF THE SECRETS

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: Whatever Spanish for “yes” is.

Beno Udrih, PG 26 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +24

Looked really, really good running the show, especially in the second half. He’s not the most fleet-footed defender, but he’s active, smart, and is able to use his deceptive size to hawk passing lanes. All but two shots were either wide open from deep or chippies in and around the paint – exactly what we need from him.

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: 100%

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: Be-NO!

Toure’ Murry, SG 25 MIN | 5-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +11

No one benefited more from Shump’s and Pablo’s respective joint fails than Murry, who capitalized with cool, confident stretches of perceptive D, controlled offense, and timely jumpers. He still has a tendency to get caught in no man’s land on rotations and help defense, but the on-ball instincts – aided by absurd length and quick hands – are there in spades. Whether Toure’s NBA ride ends with a Chris Smith smirk, I have no idea. I do know, however, that he is a far, far better basketball player. And I don’t think I’m alone in this assessment.

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: 50/50

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: Yes. He sustained it punching the computer screen after finding out HE DOESN’T HAVE A FACE.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +8

It’s been a helter-skelter preseason for our lithe legacy, with moments of timely heroics interspersed with, well, terrible basketball. But that’s to be expected. Given extended burn, Junior looked light of foot and sweet of stroke, if lacking a bit in lateral quickness on the other end. He showed off keen athleticism on a third quarter off-handed transition reverse, deft touch on a couple of clang-around threes, and generally looked like, well, a legitimate NBA rotation player. His dad can go to hell.

ODDS OF MAKING THE TEAM: Tim Hardaway%

DID HE SPRAIN HIS ELBOW: No.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Seriously, what’s with the ObamaDrone3000 camera view? I felt like I was conducting science experiments on a bunch of Gatorade-addled mice.
  2. The Wizards’ plan was simple: Hawk the passing lanes, and get out in transition by any means necessary. The strategy paid dividends early, with the Knicks – seldom terrific in transition D – looking fairly uninterested in participating in a preseason track meet. The game’s pace eventually slowed, but for a few brief spells it definitely looked like the ‘Zards had a formula that could prove playoff-sealing come next Spring.
  3. Chris Herring pointed out that the Wizards were 47% on threes from the corner a year ago. Which explains why corner threes made up approximately 47% of their offense tonight. They would cool down eventually, but Washington seems particularly bent on exploiting this, most efficient of hoists. For their part, the Knicks weren’t too great at closing out, which will have to change as we enter the shit.
  4. The son of the guy who plowed Sarah Palin that one time isn’t half bad.
  5. The Knicks outlasted the Wizards with a combination of solid perimeter shooting and Washington sucking at shooting. Still, this is a team clearly on the rise; no longer a doormat, and hell-bent on nabbing one of the bottom three seeds. Which made it a good test, I think.

29 comments on “Preseason Recap: Knicks 98, Wizards 89

  1. massive

    Tim Hardaway is going to be an overpaid starter in this league someday. I’m glad we drafted him.

  2. Jonathan Topaz

    “CHANCES OF MAKING THE TEAM: The same as me doing a Father Knickerbocker installment every week for the rest of the season, whether you fucking like it or not.”

    /http://bit.ly/R4YDIk

  3. johnno

    In other “news,” Marcus Camby has a torn plantar fascia and is out indefinitely. This is the guy who claimed he wasn’t “given the chance” to contribute last year…

  4. flossy

    How much longer can Camby prolong the “one more year” injured reserve tour of the NBA? Until he’s 45?

  5. Z-man

    Thanks, Jim.

    One thing I noticed about Bargnani is that he is a below-the-rim rebounder. Another is that even when he boxes out well, he seems to have a tough time grabbing and securing the ball. Finally, it seems like some easy boards that should go to him are snatched by other teammates. saw Melo, Shump and one other guard take a board away from him that they might have not taken away from, say, Chandler. Not blaming the others, it’s Bargnani’s fault for not going up more agressively and getting the ball while it is high above the rim. Just that it seems to be the case that his numbers are so low partially because he either waits too long to go after the ball (until it’s past its peak height) or over-defers to teammates.

  6. Donnie Walsh

    Z-man:
    It seems to be the case that his numbers are so low partially because he either waits too long to go after the ball (until it’s past its peak height) or over-defers to teammates.

    So, what you noticed is that he’s a shitty rebounder. (Eye test confirmation!)

  7. Z-man

    So, what you noticed is that he’s a shitty rebounder. (Eye test confirmation!)

    I thought we all agreed on that point. Where we disagree is:
    -Can he become marginally better (say, 6-7 per 36)? Say, a “mediocre” rebounder for a stretch 4 rather than a “shitty” rebounder for even a 3?
    -Does it matter much that he’s a shitty rebounder if he’s replacing Cope and Novak? (it obviously does if he’s replacing Chandler, as he was for most of the game last night.) If he regularly scores 13 points on 7 shots, who cares how he rebounds?

  8. DRed

    Donnie Walsh: So, what you noticed is that he’s a shitty rebounder. (Eye test confirmation!)

    I’m a little worried about the Cole train getting only 4 minutes. We really need a backup center.

  9. DRed

    Z-man: I thought we all agreed on that point. Where we disagree is:
    -Can he become marginally better (say, 6-7 per 36)? Say, a “mediocre” rebounder for a stretch 4 rather than a “shitty” rebounder for even a 3?
    -Does it matter much that he’s a shitty rebounder if he’s replacing Cope and Novak? (it obviously does if he’s replacing Chandler, as he was for most of the game last night.) If he regularly scores 13 points on 7 shots, who cares how he rebounds?

    Yes, it matters that he’s a shitty rebounder. It mattered that Cope and Novak were shitty rebounders too.

  10. Z-man

    DRed: I’m a little worried about the Cole train getting only 4 minutes. We really need a backup center.

    Agreed. I would way rather keep him over Ike and Powell. Undersized PFs/Cs are a dime a dozen. Keep Cole and if he’s useless, cut him and pick up a 6’9″ D-Leaguer.

  11. mokers

    DRed: I’m a little worried about the Cole train getting only 4 minutes.We really need a backup center.

    On this I think we will always agree. Running out an undersized 36 year old backup center is just not very smart. If we want to survive a Tyson injury or foul trouble, our alternative can’t be grind Kenyon Martin into dust. Bargnani can’t be the only interior defender on the floor (I won’t count MWP) and Diogu is also undersized. I liked Tyler’s athleticism, but he is at least a few months away. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Aldrich, but we don’t need these 6’8 PF masquerading as centers.

  12. JK47

    Ike Diogu can play– he has played about 2800 NBA minutes, and they’ve been productive ones. Career TS% of .578, career WS48 of .112, 79% FT shooter, 8.9 rebounds per 36. I’m fine with Ike getting a roster spot, as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of Aldrich.

    As usual, the Knicks have done a pretty good job of finding intriguing players to fill out the back end of the roster.

  13. alsep73

    I feel like, based on both production and minutes, Diogu is clearly in the drivers seat for one of those last 3 spots. Woodson has been talking up Murry, too, and with multiple elbow injuries in the backcourt, suddenly an extra guard is less of a luxury than we thought a few days ago. So in theory that’s two spots. For the third, do you go with Tyler, who hasn’t played at all but probably has a much higher upside than Aldrich, Powell or anyone else we’d consider? Or do you bail on Tyler and go with Aldrich as a genuine center who can play more immediately?

  14. mokers

    If Tyler were healthy, I would say Tyler over Aldrich. Until Tyler can go, I would do Aldrich over Diogu. More worried about defending Brook Lopez, Joakim Noah and Roy Hibbert when Chandler is in foul trouble. Obviously Diogu is the more polished player and is actually currently useful on offense.

  15. alsep73

    Also, I have only seen a couple of minutes of preseason so far. Am I right in assuming CJ Leslie has done nothing that suggests the Knicks will keep him?

  16. alsep73

    I would not be shocked in the slightest if the front office keeps Chris Smith (whose contract becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on Oct. 29). Seems like the exact sort of thing this front office (regardless of who’s actually in charge) would do, especially if it was an under the table part of the negotiation with Pipe himself.

  17. Brian Cronin

    I know we make fun of them for just that sort of bullshit, but I dunno, could they seriously do that? There’s clearly no room for him on the roster, so they wouldn’t do it, would they? Someone please tell me they wouldn’t really do that.

  18. lavor postell

    alsep73:
    I would not be shocked in the slightest if the front office keeps Chris Smith (whose contract becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on Oct. 29). Seems like the exact sort of thing this front office (regardless of who’s actually in charge) would do, especially if it was an under the table part of the negotiation with Pipe himself.

    Could they keep Lil Pipe after his contract becomes guaranteed, let him get an “injury”, waive him so he still gets his money and then give a spot to the guy they actually want to keep?

  19. massive

    I sure hope 1/2 pipe doesn’t make the roster. He’s the worst player on the team. He was the worst player in the Summer League. The guy just isn’t an NBA basketball player, and I don’t believe he was even good at Louisville.

    But I’m a Jets fan and have seen stranger things. Like how Matt Simms (son of Phil Simms) was a horrible QB in college and somehow became good enough to be an NFL back-up QB. But even then, Matt Simms always had a great arm. I don’t see any redeemable quality in Pipe2. He can’t shoot, he’s not a good passer, his defense isn’t anything to write home about, and he’s not a good rebounder for the position. I know the guy works hard, but he is not an NBA player. Not at all. God forbid he makes the roster and actually has to play because of injuries. At least James White was big enough to stay in front of a wing player or two.

  20. nicos

    I’m for keeping Tyler- he actually has the potential to be an NBA starter rather than just an end of the bench guy. Of course, he could never earn anything beyond garbage time minutes as well but given the Knicks may be in rebuilding mode sooner rather than later if Melo leaves I think he’s worth the roster spot. Obviously either Aldrich or Diogu still need to make it. I really don’t get all the love for Aldrich; yes he can rebound but that’s about it. He can bang in the post I guess but that’s more than outweighed by how slow-footed he is on the perimeter- from what I’ve seen (which is only a couple of games admittedly) he can’t stay in front of 4′s which given how much switching goes on is a problem and he’s just too slow to guard high screen and rolls. I think Diogu might be better suited to play some minutes alongside Kmart given that he can at least hit a baseline jumper- that could be a big help if Amar’e out any length of time.

  21. cgreene

    I think the under the table deal w Lil Pipe was that they would showcase him all the way through camp and pay him for that so he could prove himself. Then they can let him go. I have absolutely no evidence of this but it makes some sense.

  22. alsep73

    lavor postell: Could they keep Lil Pipe after his contract becomes guaranteed, let him get an “injury”, waive him so he still gets his money and then give a spot to the guy they actually want to keep?

    Does anyone know what the cap/tax ramifications of that would be? I know we have no cap space anyway, but would that make it more difficult to sign anyone else at midseason (a la KMart last year), or not affect us at all? If no change, I could see that as a Dolan-esque shenanigan.

  23. DRed

    Brian Cronin:
    I know we make fun of them for just that sort of bullshit, but I dunno, could they seriously do that? There’s clearly no room for him on the roster, so they wouldn’t do it, would they? Someone please tell me they wouldn’t really do that.

    We’re not keeping 1/2 pipe. I think Dolan is the worst non-Donald Sterling owner in the league, but there’s no way he’s that dumb.

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