Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quick Reaction: Celtics 115, Knicks 111

New York Knicks 111 Final

Recap | Box Score

115 Boston Celtics
Carmelo Anthony, SF 35 MIN | 8-21 FG | 9-10 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 25 PTS | -8The jury in the ongoing case of Knickerblogger v. Carmelo Anthony was presented with some conflicting evidence today. The six straight points he registered in the final 1:39 while taking the ball to the hole like a running back gashing a defense and the money fall-away jumper over Pierce with 36 seconds left, putting the Knicks up 101-100 seem to exonerate our star defendant. The prosecution, led by lead attorney THCJ will point to the sieve-like defense and forced 20-footers he perpetrated throughout the 3rd that directly contributed to what proved to be an insurmountable lead his inefficient final numbers. More deliberation is clearly necessary.
Amare Stoudemire, PF 38 MIN | 7-16 FG | 2-4 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | -8My niece is sitting next to me as I write this. Maybe she knows why Amare’s gone to pot. She’s two

BOB: Lulu, Amar’e's not playing well.

LULU: Why?

BOB: Well, he’s recovering from an injury…

LULU: Why?

BOB: He hurt his back in the offseason and…

LULU: Put ball in hoop.

BOB: He’s trying to, but he’s missing easy shots.

LULU: What this?

BOB: This a computer.

LULU: What doing?

BOB: I’m writing about Amar’e

LULU: Why?

At a very young age, Lulu’s already grasped the repetitive, Beckettian nature of Stoudemire’s play He can’t explode anymore and he’s as mobile on defense as Igoo from the Herculoids. It’s nigh-impossible to determine what the true cause is. Amar’e will continue to charge at the light brigade. But for those of us who write about him? Ours is not to reason why. Ours is but to do and die.

Tyson Chandler, C 31 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 14 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -18Yeah, the wrist is definitely bothering him. Many T-1000 type things to applaud, but those two ghastly fumbles of entry passes from Lin were definitely an indication of a glitch in his programming. D’Antoni recently said, “”I think it’s something that he’s going to have to live with for a month, two months. Hopefully it will get better… He’s just going to have to fight through it.”

I beg to differ. If he can take a night off against a team lacking in a worthy opponent (worthy being any lesser a being than the Kraken)– hey look! Drew Gooden’s a center. Tee-hee! — I’d advise he take it.

Landry Fields, G 15 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -16I’m probably Landry’s biggest fan this side of his immediate family and Andy Rautins (Though given the burgeoning Landry-Lin bromance, it’s entirely possible that shunned former BFF Andy is crafting voodoo dolls and writing mean things on Landry’s facebook page), but that’s two absolute poop-fests in a row. Luckily, there are no lack of options at SG these days, so Landry’s defecating/smearing his excrement all over the [insert bank name here] Garden was limited to a mere 15 minutes.
Jeremy Lin, PG 32 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 14 PTS | -9A very tentative, hesitant, confidence-lacking effort from our ephebic PG. Like every other team since his ascendance, Boston picked him up full court, trapped hard off the pick and roll and forced him to his left. Some clutch shots and runners helped to briefly secure the lead, but for the majority of the game, he looked as effective a PG as Rutherford B. Hayes (a fellow Harvard alum) was a President. Rondo eviscerated Lin offense to the tune of 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds, busting him up harder than Rutherford B. Hayes did striking railroad workers during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.
Baron Davis, PG 21 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 8 PTS | +10Some nice backup minutes from B-Dizzle, but like his fellow 1, he repeatedly coughed the ball up on ill-advised kickouts and drives down the lane towards destinations unknown .
Jared Jeffries, PF 17 MIN | 2-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +8There’s a growing chorus who think Jared should be starting at PF over Stoudemire. Raise your hand if you ever saw that coming? Amazing. At the beginning of the season, I’d have wagered we’d be witness to the historic inauguration of President Alf over Jared becoming the Knicks most effective PF.
Steve Novak, SF 27 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | +14Mr. White (Yeah, I’m going to keep banging that drum). canned some vintage treys. He also disappeared for long stretches on the court because Boston jumped the passing lanes like fiends. The ugly, off-balance 20 footer he bricked is testament to the fact that Mr. White is highly dependent on the other parts of this recently-cobbled machine to be working perfectly in order for him to drop the Discount DoubleCheck.
J.R. Smith, SG 20 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -2Speaking of my niece, Earl Smith III is just as unpredictable. You have to watch her at all times, because like a bundle of manic, unflagging energy, you just don’t know what she’s going to do next. She just threw her Snoopy doll at me and said, “Pay attention me.” That’s kinda what Smith is like on the court. An improbable alley oop can happen at any moment. So can a sill fadeaway with 28 seconds left on the shot clock. Either way, your eyes are constantly drawn to him when he’s on the court.
Iman Shumpert, G 31 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +9It’s always fun to point to one moment in the game and say, “Well, if they hadn’t called that BS tech on Shump, they still would have been up.” It’s silly because like thte noted scientist Ashton Kutcher has taught us, altering an element in the chain of events sets off a completely different reality. Still, that tech was just plain wrong. More on this later, but Shump was easily NY’s best shooting guard today.

Five Things We Saw

  1. I’m still quivering with rage so please indulge me for a sec, but…eff those mendacious, death-loving, frothing, lamprey-mouthed, inhuman, abominable, atrocious, verminous, rapacious, sadistic, bullying, invasive, grasping, psychopathic, twisted, warped, animalistic, belly-crawling, mouth-breathing, illiterate, innumerate, know-nothing, imbecilic, sheep-raping, horror movie extras (inhale)…puppy-torturing, vacuous, mindless, nihilistic, evil, diseased, soulless, morally bankrupt, greedy, insecure, envious, kleptomaniac charnel-house mascots stewing in universal hatred for all life…(inhale)…toxic, ugly, bestial, humorless, loveless, compassionless, demonic human-shaped ruins forever slouching toward Bethlehem in search of some fresh nightmare to wreak on the defenseless…(inhale)…Satanic monkey-shit-throwing, cowardly, parasitic, baby’s-candy-stealing, wife-beating, syphilitic poltergeists with erectile dysfunction…(inhale)…perverse, prurient, crocodile-eyed, necrophiliac mass-producers of human misery and gleeful destroyers of truth, justice, and the American way…sepulchre-hearted human deserts walking the Earth only to look for more victims…silly, stupid, ignorant bastards proud of every good thing they’ve never done, every person they’ve never been considerate toward, every fact they’ve never learned and will never acknowledge, and every virtue they will never possess or even attempt to comprehend…preternaturally drunken, bleary-eyed, zombie-like, unquestioning, unfeeling diabolus ex machina mockeries of the human condition, perpetually acting out a burlesque of the basest and least interesting psychological dysfunctions. (Sucking wind)…face-chewing, self-devouring, medieval barbarian museum dioramas and depraved homunculi preserved in formaldehyde to frighten children…sick, ominous, loathsome, Nosferatu-impersonating REFS!!!!!! WE. WUZ. ROBBED.
  2. Much better. Where was I? Oh yes. So many abominable calls. So many game-changing 4-5 point swings. It’s been the case since I watched McHale and Bird draw a whistle if you farted in their general direction. It was so when my father railed against the indulgences afforded by the pinstriped bishops to Havlicek and Cowens. And it will be the case for Robo-Paul Motherf#$%ing” PIerce in 2058 when my chemically preserved brain sits in a glass jar watching these gut-wrenching painful NY-BOS tilts as I rage (or rather make bubbly sounds in the formaldehyde) against the horrid parallels to the rest of life’s injustices that gallingly one-sided calls dredge up.
  3. You know my swell “Stop Switching” avatar? I was thinking of ditching it because it hasn’t been so egregious and throughout this winning streak, it’s been startlingly effective at times. Well, when you go up against a smart, veteran team like Boston, it’s utterly exploitable. They ran a high pick and roll to gain more-than-favorable matchups for Pierce and/or Garnett throughout the second half. Something about the definition of insanity comes to mind. That chit is on you, Coaches Pringles and Lou Gossett Jr. While we’re here, like Clyde, I think you foul the ball handler (like Rondo, maybe?) rather than allowing Pierce to launch the tying three. But that’s MD’A's MO. Sad face. Sigh.
  4. I’m still not sure what happened to the devastatingly effective offense that we saw in the first half. I hate the “We didn’t play with energy” fall-back excuse, but in this case, it may be true. They looked flatter than characters straight out of Flatland. Jeremy Lin was a simple line-segment, Melo was a polygon and Tyson a humble square. The second unit got slightly spherical at the end of the third, but then that three-dimensional bastard Paul Pierce just wrecked everything, showing the Knicks what you have to do to win a tough game on the road.
  5. When I was a kid, my Dad and I would often play catch on our block on the Upper West Side. As I may have mentioned, my natural athletic abilities leave something to be desired (like the presence of athletic abilities). We lived next door to a guy by the name of Bob Chrichton. He was a really talented novelist who also liked to imbibe the occasional fermented beverage in the afternoon. So he’d see us playing and invariably, each and every time I flubbed an easy catch, he’d bemusedly cackle from his stoop, “SHOULDA HAD IT!” hat’s what makes this game burn. They shoulda had it.

101 comments on “Quick Reaction: Celtics 115, Knicks 111

  1. A Voice of Reason

    Loved the rant on the refs…they have been laughably against us. It’s like they are hell bent against our team being a force. Whats with that?

    Good with the grades, although Lin and Baron deserve the same grade. Lin’s late buckets earned him a C+ IMO

    Shumpert gets an A if Novak gets an A.

    That is all. Great postgame once again from KB

  2. jon abbey

    I haven’t been as quick to write off Amare as a lot of other people here, but today was depressing on that front.

  3. jkhar

    Great write up Bob. You are right sooner or later we are going to foul the Celtics, instead of allowing the 3 to tie the game. It seems to happen to us every time.

  4. A Voice of Reason

    Like what I saw from Melo today. Assertive drives, persistent on the Offensive glass, clutch. His game should be the story, but PP PP’d on us again. The shots he throws us sometimes are atrocious. Sucks because we needed this win.

  5. DRed

    jon abbey: that’s really not true, he had some good games post-Lin, but right now he’s clearly the third best SG and the 11th guy overall. all 10 guys ahead of him (including Jorts) are better fits for this team, and the two games since we had a full complement of players have just proven my point even further.

    if you want to play 11 guys, he could maybe get some minutes at backup SF, but there is absolutely no reason for him to play any backcourt minutes given the other four guards we have. why would you give those other four less than 96 minutes combined?

    Right now? I agree, if by right now you mean ‘over the statistically insignificant sample of the last two games’. The last two games have only proven that Landry has sucked for the last two games. Shumpert has games where he’s a huge detriment on offense, JR Smith has been on the team for two weeks, is 4-13 since we’ve had all 4 guards available (thus proving indisputably that he can’t shoot) and Baron has a bad back.

  6. Nick C.

    Cute kid. You got me with ephebic. Finally my guess was that your avatar was “we was robbed.”

  7. JR Sec 112

    Shumpert deserved an at least a straight A. He was the only one who played D on Pierce and he even forced Garnett into tough shots. And he played to his strenght on offense.

  8. Owen

    Yep ephebic, liked that…. Very nice write up.

    Melo had an explosion, no doubt. I was cheering like a little girl. But the bottom line of 25 points on 26 possessions was about what I saw out there. Just a lot of brutal shots.

    Lin, looked overmatched. And I really don’t sense synergies with Melo. Same story with Fields. If someone isn’t getting him the ball in motion, he really struggles.

    Chandler at -18. Now, that’s not all on him. But that’s pretty shocking.

    On the other end, Rondo was pretty amazing, everywhere at once. But I have to give KG props. That is a hell of a basketball player. Pretty amazing that for many years people said he wasn’t a winner, wasn’t a real star. What a defender….

  9. johnlocke

    tough loss in the standings…and to a rival…

    Takeaways:
    - I would start Shumpert over Fields (plus if you’re going to go the entire 4th quarter and overtime and not play your starting 2 guard that says something)
    - JR still hasn’t found his shot out there or had an explosive performance….save the first few minutes of his first game (hopefully one’s coming soon)
    - Amare had his moments…although he picked the worst opportunity to miss an open dunk and play matador defense
    - We need to decrease the number of switching on defense…particularly smalls on bigs and star players against defenders that are not equipped to guard them
    - Liked Pringle’s rotations — did not like his decision to not foul, up three with boston with no timeouts — rookie coach mistake
    - Offense looked pretty good
    - Lin didn’t play particularly well…but needs to stop picking up his dribble on traps

  10. Hudson River

    The thing that really made my blood boil was continuously watching Kevin Garnett set moving screens throughout the game. And we know that the refs are aware of the moving screen call because Chris Wilcox got called for it in the second half for a not-particularly egregious screen.

    Also, why do we pay so many coaches when none of them can come up with “foul the 60% shooter on the floor if/when he gets the ball when down 3″. Its a debate when Steve Nash has the ball, but Rondo is going to miss one of the two 64% of the time (1 – 0.6^2). Literally unfathomable.

  11. JLam

    New Knicks fan here, primarily because of Linsanity. However it’s getting less enjoyable watching the Knicks in the past week. I realize its going to take some time for the team to jell but if this team going to be playing .500 baskeball until the playoffs then I rather not follow the Knicks and support them into the playoffs just to be swept by the Heat or Bulls.

  12. ephus

    Jim Cavan:
    I was at the game today. Two observations:

    1) It hurt

    2) I hate Paul Pierce

    I watched the game with my 9 year old daughter. She has been watching with me regularly since the games came back on MSG. She has been to lots of games at MSG, and can recite player numbers from memory for most of the roster.

    This was the game that baptized her into the agony of the Knicks vs. Celtics. Something we will always share. As much as today’s game hurt, it was bittersweet to share the experience with her.

    BTW, her thought during OT was, “When will Mr. Three Pointer (her nickname for Novak) get back in the game?”

  13. 2FOR18

    I was screaming at the TV to foul rather than allow the 3, so I’m glad you mentioned it in your re-cap. I know it’s not in MDA’s DNA to call for it, but damn, it seems so obvious to me. How many killer 3′s have Pierce and Allen hit against us? Im guessing 458.

  14. 2FOR18

    JLam: New Knicks fan here, primarily because of Linsanity. However it’s getting less enjoyable watching the Knicks in the past week. I realize its going to take some time for the team to jell but if this team going to be playing .500 baskeball until the playoffs then I rather not follow the Knicks and support them into the playoffs just to be swept by the Heat or Bulls.

    I’m sorry, maybe I’m just bummed about the game, but WTF kind of comment is this? You only follow the Knicks when they win? Then go root for the freakin Heat.

  15. Juany8

    We really would have won the game with competent refs, and considering it was at Boston against a Celtics team that clearly played better than their record, this loss isn’t as bad as it’s being made out to be. It’s more painful than anything, at some point somebody has to lose the game. The team is starting to show some real signs of excellent basketball, they’ve just had trouble putting it together for a full game (which every team other than OKC, Miami, and Chicago has had trouble doing). Luckily there is still time for significant internal improvement, and even though no one wants to face Miami or Chicago in the first round, they have to be beaten at some point to win a ring.

  16. d-mar

    What sucks about our record is that we really haven’t played that bad against the better teams, it’s those horrific home losses to bad teams that got us in a hole we’re still climbing out of:

    Lakers 1-1
    Dallas 1-0
    OKC 0-1 (road)
    Miami 0-2 (both in Miami)
    Philly 1-0
    Boston 1-2 (both losses in Boston)
    Chicago 0-1 (tightly contested home game)

    I won’t bother listing the awful home losses, no sense revisiting those horror shows. We absolutely have to get above the 7th seed, but it ain’t gonna be easy.

  17. New Guy

    Hudson River:
    The thing that really made my blood boil was continuously watching Kevin Garnett set moving screens throughout the game. And we know that the refs are aware of the moving screen call because Chris Wilcox got called for it in the second half for a not-particularly egregious screen.

    Seems like every Paul Pierce/Ray Allen dagger in the Knicks’ heart is preceded by an illegal Kevin Garnett screen.

    We should be using Chandler the same way, though. His screening ability is far too underutilized in late game moments.

  18. Bruno Almeida

    sorry, but Amare is done… even if he can find ways to contribute on offense, his defense is so absolutely terrible that he can’t be a plus on the court.

    Carmelo showed some encouraging signs, but still forced some terrible shots… he was awesome in the first half, scoring always within the flow of the offense, but reverted to his bad habits on the 3rd before playing great again in the 4th… let’s hope for more of good, less of the bad.

    Lin doesn’t worries me, I mean, the kid is a 2nd year player with no experience at all, we can’t possibly expect him to dominate an incredible defense like the one Rondo, Bradley and others played on him… Boston clearly watched the tape from Miami – NY a lot and came determined to take Lin out of the game, and they (better than anyone in the league, including the Heat) have the personnel to do it.

  19. jon abbey

    this is how deep we are right now: ESPN right now has an Insider BP series up suggesting ‘trade deadline fixes’ team by team. in ours, it says:

    “Amazing as it seems, just a few weeks after we were shaking our collective heads over what a mess the Knicks’ roster had become, you now have to squint real hard to find an element that is missing from its current contingent. ”

    and recommends just playing Harrellson with the good point:

    “Harrellson was a bit of a mad bomber before he was hurt, but was shooting a high enough percentage behind the arc to stretch opposing defenses. Now that Lin is running the show, Harrellson’s looks should be that much cleaner.”

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7644126/nba-trade-fixes-celtics-knicks-76ers-raptors-nets

    we seem to have all the potential pieces if they all stay healthy to give anyone a hard time in a seven game series, we’ll see how good D’Antoni is at putting them together.

  20. jon abbey

    Juany8:
    We really would have won the game with competent refs, and considering it was at Boston against a Celtics team that clearly played better than their record, this loss isn’t as bad as it’s being made out to be. It’s more painful than anything, at some point somebody has to lose the game. The team is starting to show some real signs of excellent basketball, they’ve just had trouble putting it together for a full game (which every team other than OKC, Miami, and Chicago has had trouble doing). Luckily there is still time for significant internal improvement, and even though no one wants to face Miami or Chicago in the first round, they have to be beaten at some point to win a ring.

    again, well said. to me, the main reason to hopefully avoid those two (or at least Miami) in the first round is that I think this team will only get better the longer it gets to play together.

  21. daJudge

    The fact that we are talking seriously about Amare going to the second unit speaks volumes. It’s a death knell. I don’t like to get into salary issues, but he may be the most overpaid player in the league. That still doesn’t really bother me, except he may be one of the most overrated (or injured) player in the league this year. BTW, I thought Lin was awful today. I felt much better when BD was in the game. Also, you know what is the great ref equalizer—hit your damn free throws. I am tried about hearing about how we got “hosed” by the refs until we control our own f-ups; stupid lobs, sloppy play, turnovers, really crappy coaching, poor strategy, indifferent defense, breath taking underachieving play by our so-called [s]tars, lack of passion, poor shooting by our shooting guard, horrible/absent game planning and Messianic reliance on Lin. Maybe that’s what ephebic means, who knows. Rant over.

  22. jon abbey

    not looking at specific matchups (Dallas next), but as a general rotation, this is what I’d go with right now:

    C: Chandler (30), Harrellson (14), Jeffries (4)
    PF: Amare (26), Jeffries (16), Novak (6)
    SF: Melo (30), Novak (18)
    SG: Shumpert (24), Smith (24)
    PG: Davis (20), Lin (28)

    total minutes:

    Melo-30
    Chandler-30
    Lin-28
    Amare-26
    Smith-24
    Shumpert-24
    Novak-24
    Davis-20
    Jeffries-20
    Harrellson-14

    if Fields is going to cut into anyone’s minutes there, I’d say it should be Jeffries, but I would like to go to war for a few games with this crew and see how it goes. the thing about bringing Lin off the bench is I think it will make it harder for teams to game plan for him, also let’s see more of Baron with his long time buddy Tyson.

    and FREE JORTS!

  23. New Guy

    jon abbey:
    this is how deep we are right now: ESPN right now has an Insider BP series up suggesting ‘trade deadline fixes’ team by team. in ours, it says:

    “Amazing as it seems, just a few weeks after we were shaking our collective heads over what a mess the Knicks’ roster had become, you now have to squint real hard to find an element that is missing from its current contingent. ”

    I can tell you what’s missing without squinting: more effort from our two max players on the defensive side of the court.

  24. New Guy

    In fairness to Amar’e, it may not be effort, it may be his body is betraying him. But Melo can be a better defender with greater effort and concentration.

  25. Owen

    “I can tell you what’s missing without squinting: more effort from our two max players on the defensive side of the court.”

    And perhaps hitting their shots at an above average ts%…..

    Right now the only guy hitting shots is Novak. And he has proven to my satisfaction he doesn’t need melo or amare out there to do it….

  26. Doug

    JLam:
    New Knicks fan here, primarily because of Linsanity. However it’s getting less enjoyable watching the Knicks in the past week. I realize its going to take some time for the team to jell but if this team going to be playing .500 baskeball until the playoffs then I rather not follow theKnicksand support them into the playoffs just to beswept by the Heat or Bulls.

    I totally understand if you want to be a casual, fairweather fan (that’s how I am with football), but in the future please keep it to yourself.

  27. jon abbey

    JR Swish is going to get into the flow at some point, and when he does, look out opposition.

  28. d-mar

    New Guy: I can tell you what’s missing without squinting: more effort from our two max players on the defensive side of the court.

    Can we stop buying into the conventional wisdom that Melo is a bad defender? Did you see anything today that would make you think that? And don’t tell me it’s Pierce’s 34 points, a lot of those were step back contested jumpers that he would hit on anyone.

  29. rururuland2

    Owen:
    Yep ephebic, liked that…. Very nice write up.

    Melo had an explosion, no doubt. I was cheering like a little girl. But the bottom line of 25 points on 26 possessions was about what I saw out there. Just a lot of brutal shots.

    Lin, looked overmatched. And I really don’t sense synergies with Melo. Same story with Fields. If someone isn’t getting him the ball in motion, he really struggles.

    Chandler at -18. Now, that’s not all on him. But that’s pretty shocking.

    On the other end, Rondo was pretty amazing, everywhere at once. But I have to give KG props. That is a hell of a basketball player. Pretty amazing that for many years people said he wasn’t a winner, wasn’t a real star. What a defender….

    Melo was not credited with an assist to Amar’e with 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter but it should have been 27 points on 27 possessions.

    I’d like to know what shots were brutal, as in what shots you thought were unecessary in the context of what was happening.

    Missed shots: layup blocked by Garnett (no foul), missed open jumper off of penetration in left corner, baseline drive into converging defenders that turned into travel (5 seconds left in quarter) 1 missed layup and 2 missed putbacks eventually resulting in free throws, missed jumper on a Ray Allen post-up where he was trying to draw foul (and he’ll get that call), missed 16 footer on iso, missed shot at buzzer, 4 contested misses in overtime with the team down.

    Again, against steller defense Melo was sitting at 8-16 for 23 points before the Pierce 3, with 3 of those misses coming on one sequence at the rim where he got two points.

  30. rururuland2

    d-mar: Can we stop buying into the conventional wisdom that Melo is a bad defender? Did you see anything today that would make you think that? And don’t tell me it’s Pierce’s 34 points, a lot of those were step back contested jumpers that he would hit on anyone.

    Melo guarded Pierce maybe a quarter of the time. Whenever Melo got switched he did a good job. In fact, on the switch he did a better job on Allen, Garnett and Rondo than the guys who were supposed to be covering them. I’d be happy to go through the possessions I;’ve got it Dvr’d.

    The one problem defensive for Melo was heding on screens against Rondo.

    The switching is a team-wide strategy.

  31. rururuland2

    jon abbey:
    JR Swish is going to get into the flow at some point, and when he does, look out opposition.

    No doubt. It’s not just JR. There were 15-20 points left on the floor tonight that this team will convert in a month or two (i’m not talking about missed jumpers, I’m talking transition and semi-transition paint points)… timing issues in the passing game.

    Melo hasn’t even gotten going yet. There are so many dimensions to the offense that will improve. And yet, 103 pts in regulation against one of the three best half-court defenses the Knicks will see all year.

  32. rururuland2

    New Guy: I can tell you what’s missing without squinting: more effort from our two max players on the defensive side of the court.

    Don’t lump Melo with Amar’e. Melo has been closing on his shooters and playing good man defense since he’s returned. AMar’e issues in every aspect of the game defensively are well documented.

    Though I see signs he’s slowly getting back to form on offense.

  33. johnlocke

    With you on the start shump over fields thing….but a bit too early to be on the start BDavis over Lin…Lin has had 2 bad games since becoming a starter against great defensive teams…let’s see Davis in action for a more meaningful sample of games to judge his health and playing ability before inserting him into the starting lineup

    jon abbey:
    not looking at specific matchups (Dallas next), but as a general rotation, this is what I’d go with right now:

    C: Chandler (30), Harrellson (14), Jeffries (4)
    PF: Amare (26), Jeffries (16), Novak (6)
    SF: Melo (30), Novak (18)
    SG: Shumpert (24), Smith (24)
    PG: Davis (20), Lin (28)

    total minutes:

    Melo-30
    Chandler-30
    Lin-28
    Amare-26
    Smith-24
    Shumpert-24
    Novak-24
    Davis-20
    Jeffries-20
    Harrellson-14

    if Fields is going to cut into anyone’s minutes there, I’d say it should be Jeffries, but I would like to go to war for a few games with this crew and see how it goes. the thing about bringing Lin off the bench is I think it will make it harder for teams to game plan for him, also let’s see more of Baron with his long time buddy Tyson.

    and FREE JORTS!

  34. rururuland2

    daJudge:
    The fact that we are talking seriously about Amare going to the second unit speaks volumes. It’s a death knell.I don’t like to get into salary issues, but he may be the most overpaid player in the league.That still doesn’t really bother me, except he may be one of the most overrated (or injured) player in the league this year. BTW, I thought Lin was awful today.I felt much better when BD was in the game. Also, you know what is the great ref equalizer—hit your damn free throws.I am tried about hearing about how we got “hosed” by the refs until we control our own f-ups; stupid lobs, sloppy play, turnovers, really crappy coaching, poor strategy, indifferent defense, breath taking underachieving play by our so-called [s]tars, lack of passion, poor shooting by our shooting guard, horrible/absent game planning and Messianic reliance on Lin.Maybe that’s what ephebic means, who knows. Rant over.

    So, the Knicks lost by 40?

  35. rururuland2

    Bruno Almeida:
    sorry, but Amare is done… even if he can find ways to contribute on offense, his defense is so absolutely terrible that he can’t be a plus on the court.

    Carmelo showed some encouraging signs, but still forced some terrible shots… he was awesome in the first half, scoring always within the flow of the offense, but reverted to his bad habits on the 3rd before playing great again in the 4th… let’s hope for more of good, less of the bad.

    Lin doesn’t worries me, I mean, the kid is a 2nd year player with no experience at all, we can’t possibly expect him to dominate an incredible defense like the one Rondo, Bradley and others played on him… Boston clearly watched the tape from Miami – NY a lot and came determined to take Lin out of the game, and they (better than anyone in the league, including the Heat) have the personnel to do it.

    Uh, Melo didn’t take a shot in the third quarter. All of his isolations came when the offense had stalled. That’s one of the beauties of having a guy who can create for himself, just as Bryant did tonight.

    It’ll never be as efficient as other looks, but when the continuity offense is shut down you have to have a guy like Melo.

  36. rururuland2

    Owen:
    “I can tell you what’s missing without squinting: more effort from our two max players on the defensive side of the court.”

    And perhaps hitting their shots at an above average ts%…..

    Right now the only guy hitting shots is Novak. And he has proven to my satisfaction he doesn’t need melo or amare out there to do it….

    And to me it’s fairly obvious both Amar’e and Melo’s TS% will rise significantly in the second half.

    We bet Melo would shoot 60TS in the second half, and I’d be willing to bet Amar’e is somewhere close to that as well.

  37. ircorona

    Ok.. I have been reading 90% of what happens on this site daily.. for quite some time, and usually everyone who comments on here typically is on the mark of course besides their own perception of players.
    After watching today’s game and reading what has been said by most of you so far I cant understand why no one else see’s that in the past 6 games the knicks have not been getting their damn calls from the refs. I dunno why but their not. This like other games has been a knicks vs insert + refs. 8 v 5. Not only that, Amare sucks period. No defense No offense just wasted minutes on that guy.

    And then some people talk about melo..? really i hate the terms
    (all star) (super star) but Melo is a star of the team and he is a big reason they even stayed in the game going dragon mode what i call it when melo starts handling the bizness, and the same reason when playoffs come he will be a determining factor to whether we win or lose down the stretch.

  38. jon abbey

    johnlocke:
    With you on the start shump over fields thing….but a bit too early to be on the start BDavis over Lin…Lin has had 2 bad games since becoming a starter against great defensive teams…let’s see Davis in action for a more meaningful sample of games to judge his health and playing ability before inserting him into the starting lineup

    starter in name only, I still have Lin playing more minutes, but it’s about balancing out the units to start the game. I’d like to see Baron take a shot at getting Melo and Amare going early on, and if Lin played his first stretch with Novak/Smith/Jorts, all of that three point shooting should really open up the lane.

    D-Will with 57 against Charlotte tonight, he/Howard/Dirk will be a scary trio if Cuban manages to pull that off.

  39. rururuland2

    Bruno Almeida:
    sorry, but Amare is done… even if he can find ways to contribute on offense, his defense is so absolutely terrible that he can’t be a plus on the court.

    Carmelo showed some encouraging signs, but still forced some terrible shots… he was awesome in the first half, scoring always within the flow of the offense, but reverted to his bad habits on the 3rd before playing great again in the 4th… let’s hope for more of good, less of the bad.

    Lin doesn’t worries me, I mean, the kid is a 2nd year player with no experience at all, we can’t possibly expect him to dominate an incredible defense like the one Rondo, Bradley and others played on him… Boston clearly watched the tape from Miami – NY a lot and came determined to take Lin out of the game, and they (better than anyone in the league, including the Heat) have the personnel to do it.

    Boston crowded Lin when he got into the lane. Much different then what happened in Miami. Lin could have had a much more efficient game if he had made the pass to the open man or cutter on a bucn h of his drives. That’s how Steve Nash creates scoring opportunities for himself at the rim– he never gets too deep that he can’t make the pass out.

    Lin needs to set up his scoring in the paint by making the easy pass. He gets tunnel vision and defenders don’t have to hesitate on their help.

    Lin is a smart guy and a student of the game, clearly. So, I know he’;s going to recognize all of the missed passing opprtunities. The big question is can he see them as they develop in real time?

  40. rururuland2

    jon abbey: starter in name only, I still have Lin playing more minutes, but it’s about balancing out the units to start the game. I’d like to see Baron take a shot at getting Melo and Amare going early on, and if Lin played his first stretch with Novak/Smith/Jorts, all of that three point shooting should really open up the lane.

    D-Will with 57 against Charlotte tonight, he/Howard/Dirk will be a scary trio if Cuban manages to pull that off.

    OMG look at that line

  41. Owen

    rururuland2 – What’s with the second screenname?

    Look, Melo is one of the best offensive players in the NBA. Would it kill him to crack the point per possession mark?

    It’s not like the other guys on this team haven’t proved they can score without him…

  42. johnlocke

    Interesting idea.. but you can’t really expect D’Antoni to do that unless there is clear evidence (from practice or in games) that this balance would be more effective….. you risk damaging Lin’s confidence, and putting on the bench the person who’s been the best player on the team over the course of the last month. Typically you start your five best players ….with few exceptions (Harden in OKC comes to mind). Davis may end up proving to be better, but I’m riding the horse that saved the season unless there is strong evidence to suggest he should not be starting –even if he’s getting more minutes

    jon abbey: starter in name only, I still have Lin playing more minutes, but it’s about balancing out the units to start the game. I’d like to see Baron take a shot at getting Melo and Amare going early on, and if Lin played his first stretch with Novak/Smith/Jorts, all of that three point shooting should really open up the lane.

    D-Will with 57 against Charlotte tonight, he/Howard/Dirk will be a scary trio if Cuban manages to pull that off.

  43. rururuland2

    Owen:
    rururuland2 – What’s with the second screenname?

    Look, Melo is one of the best offensive players in the NBA. Would it kill him to crack the point per possession mark?

    It’s not like the other guys on this team haven’t proved they can score without him…

    ok.

  44. New Guy

    d-mar: Can we stop buying into the conventional wisdom that Melo is a bad defender? Did you see anything today that would make you think that? And don’t tell me it’s Pierce’s 34 points, a lot of those were step back contested jumpers that he would hit on anyone.

    I saw quite a few Rondo passes whiz right by him in passing lanes that he could have closed down if his head were facing the right direction.

    Note, though, I didn’t say he was a bad defender, and I agree the “conventional wisdom” is bullshit. I see flashes of a brilliant defender, in fact. I just wish I saw more of it.

    Of course, Owen’s assessment (the TS%) is more spot on. My overall point is that the “problems” (if you want to call them that) with the Knicks current contingent probably lies with the deficiencies of players 1-2 moreso than 3-10.

  45. rururuland2

    New Guy: I saw quite a few Rondo passes whiz right by him in passing lanes that he could have closed down if his head were facing the right direction.

    Note, though, I didn’t say he was a bad defender, and I agree the “conventional wisdom” is bullshit.I see flashes of a brilliant defender, in fact.I just wish I saw more of it.

    Of course, Owen’s assessment (the TS%) is more spot on.My overall point is that the “problems” (if you want to call them that) with the Knicks current contingent probably lies with the deficiencies of players 1-2 moreso than 3-10.

    Every single game is a referendum on Melo, and not matter how well he plays he’s always going to be lumped in with Amar’e's play. People need to face the reality that you’re not going to $40 million in production from the two combined on most nights.

    People just need to get over that. There’s all the reason in the world to be positive. And unlike Knicks fans, you didn’t see the Celtics fans booing their team when they got down by ten points in the first half. You didn’t see them chanting for Brandon Bass to come back in as the C’s tried to hold a fourth quarter lead.

  46. nicos

    It’ll be interesting to see how/if D’A uses Harrellson. Hard to take Jeffries out of the second unit so you’re looking at going big with him taking Smith or Shump’s minutes there. He’d probably fit best taking some of Amar’e's minutes with the first unit where the lack of anyone to hit the corner three has hurt spacing. That’s not going to happen for anything more than token minutes- at least barring injury- so I can’t see him getting more than 5-6 minutes here and there and getting more DNP-CDs.

  47. Juany8

    ircorona:
    Ok.. I have been reading 90% of what happens on this site daily.. for quite some time, and usually everyone who comments on here typically is on the mark of course besides their own perception of players.
    After watching today’s game and reading what has been said by most of you so far I cant understand why no one else see’s that in the past 6 games the knicks have not been getting their damn calls from the refs. I dunno why but their not. This like other games has been a knicks vs insert + refs. 8 v 5. Not only that, Amare sucks period. No defense No offense just wasted minutes on that guy.

    And then some people talk about melo..? really i hate the terms
    (all star) (super star) but Melo is a star of the team and he is a big reason they even stayed in the game going dragon mode what i call it when melo starts handling the bizness, and the same reason when playoffs come he will be a determining factor to whether we win or lose down the stretch.

    Honestly I’ve noticed the problem with the refs too, Melo has stopped getting foul calls he got even earlier this year, but then when your own fans are generally rooting on you to fail because you’re not Lebron, the refs stop being as kind. There’s nothing to do about Amar’e but hope something we don’t know about is holding him back. He’s just mediocre right now, and that’s on offense…

  48. New Guy

    “People need to face the reality that you’re not going to get $40 million in production from the two combined on most nights.”

    Right, and wasn’t the point about roster construction? If you don’t think we’re going to get elite contributions consistently on both ends from 2 players who take up more than 2/3 of the cap, wouldn’t you agree that you don’t “have to squint really hard to see the deficiencies in the Knicks’ current contingent”?

    It’s not a referendum on Melo. I just thought that quote was ridiculous.

  49. Bruno Almeida

    rururuland2: Boston crowded Lin when he got into the lane. Much different then what happened in Miami. Lin could have had a much more efficient game if he had made the pass to the open man or cutter on a bucn h of his drives. That’s how Steve Nash creates scoring opportunities for himself at the rim– he never gets too deep that he can’t make the pass out.

    Lin needs to set up his scoring in the paint by making the easy pass. He gets tunnel vision and defenders don’t have to hesitate on their help.

    Lin is a smart guy and a student of the game, clearly. So, I know he’;s going to recognize all of the missed passing opprtunities. The big question is can he see them as they develop in real time?

    what I meant is that they trapped him a lot too, which happened against Miami.

    and about Melo’s shots, I don’t remember on which quarter he had his misses, I went with what Robert put up in the recap.

  50. rururuland2

    New Guy:
    “People need to face the reality that you’re not going to get $40 million in production from the two combined on most nights.”

    Right, and wasn’t the point about roster construction?If you don’t think we’re going to get elite contributions consistently on both ends from 2 players who take up more than 2/3 of the cap, wouldn’t you agree that you don’t “have to squint really hard to see the deficiencies in the Knicks’ current contingent”?

    It’s not a referendum on Melo.I just thought that quote was ridiculous.

    It’s not a deficiency when you get a ton of production (in theory) for a very small amount of amount from spots 3-10. It doesn’t matter who gets paid when they’re on your roster.

    Right now, the Knicks don’t hav any glaring deficiencies.

  51. rururuland2

    Bruno Almeida: what I meant is that they trapped him a lot too, which happened against Miami.

    and about Melo’s shots, I don’t remember on which quarter he had his misses, I went with what Robert put up in the recap.

    He missed his last five shots. He had no shots in the third quarter and two misses in the fourth. 3 misses on one possession in which he scored two points on free throws.

    So actually Owen, 27 points on 24 total possessions.

  52. johnno

    First things first — the refs were horrible and I loathe Paul Pierce with all my heart. Having said that, I don’t understand why everyone is being so negative about the Knicks. Yes, they had a bad eight minute stretch to start the third quarter. However, they were down 15 late in the third on the road against an elite defense and they came all the way back to take a 3 point lead with 18 seconds to go, and got a pretty good shot off to try to win it. I agree with rururuland — I think that there was a lot to be encouraged about. They lost a tough game, but showed a lot of heart. Let’s see how they rebound from it.

  53. art vandelay

    I think the negativity, in part, springs from us all being so absolutely fatigued by these wretched last-second debacles against boston….I mean seriously, between last season (regular season and playoffs), what are the odds we would lose some 5 games or so in the waning seconds….I think we keep waiting for one to go our way….

    how many more killer shots does Pierce need to make before he enters Reggie Miller knick-killer territory..absolutely sick of it!!!

  54. Z-man

    Although the Knicks have been awful for most of his career, Pierce has tormented the Knicks during the regular season approaching the class of Jordan and Miller. This one may have taken the cake, though.

    Bass and KG were very tough from 15-18 ft.

    Lin is rapidly coming down to earth. He is a nice PG with big cojones, but he has some pronounced skill deficits that will take more than this season to work out. Still fun to watch him, though, those points in the last few minutes were immense, especially the 3 off the Shump feed.

    Shump played w/o the knee garments today (didn’t notice on Wednesday.) Those dunks he had been missing all year are now going in. He and JR are quite the athletic duo!

    Fields looked lost out there, almost like the playoffs. The Celts are a wily team, they seem to know how to take advantage of the inexperienced and to exploit individual weaknesses in their opponents better than most teams. Still don’t see them either staying healthy until the playoffs or getting past the first round, if only because father time and their lack of depth are going to catch up with them.

  55. d-mar

    BTW, Boston has played the least amount of road games in the NBA (14) and have an 8 game road trip coming up, so they’re no lock to move up in the standings.

  56. Z-man

    PS I’m kind of glad that the odds of facing them in the first round are slim to none. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing to them again. Man, do I hate that team!

  57. Owen

    “So actually Owen, 27 points on 24 total possessions.”

    Yeah, you are right, it’s not really possessions. It’s net shots, or whatever you call the aggregate of FGA and FTA. I used possessions as a shorthand but that wasn’t right. Should have said PPS.

    The calculation for TS% is Points/2 x (FGA + .44 FTA)

    Given that Melo had 10 free throws I did shortchange him.

    His TS% wasn’t 25 points on 26 shots. It was 25 points on 25.44 total shots.

    So, yeah, still below 50%.

    Look, I don’t mean to be pedantic. But our All – NBA elite scorer is just not cutting it this year, even at what is supposed to be his specialty. For a guy who is supposed to be well nigh unstoppable at the offensive end, the numbers just don’t reflect it.

    I fully expect Melo to uncork some monstrous games and move that ts% number back toward his career average. He is better than this. But the bottom line is that his performance has been pretty freaking pathetic so far.

    Forgive me if I expect a little more from the max contract player who we acquired because he was actually worth his max contract, unlike the other max contract player who we acquired apparently for even better reasons.

  58. rururuland2

    d-mar:
    BTW, Boston has played the least amount of road games in the NBA (14) and have an 8 game road trip coming up, so they’re no lock to move up in the standings.

    Right. They’ll be 7th or 8th seed. Atlanta slippin.

    On a second look Melo actually had an excellent defensive game. He had 3-4 hedge and recover plays on ROndo that were fantastic and was very good on the ball. His help awareness was above average all game.

    Amar’e was worse than I thought. His inability to close on the shooter was huge, as was his atrocious man defense.

    Celtics scored in transition and on cross match-ups after switches. Woodson needs to have some flexibility in his philosophy and let these guys fight through screens. Boston is one of the few teams that can really take advantage of it. (And Shump got beat a lot, as did Novak, Lin got beat a ton, as did Chandler and JR Smith).

  59. rururuland2

    Owen:
    “So actually Owen, 27 points on 24 total possessions.”

    Yeah, you are right, it’s not really possessions. It’s net shots, or whatever you call the aggregate of FGA and FTA. I used possessions as a shorthand but that wasn’t right.Should have said PPS.

    The calculation for TS% is Points/2 x (FGA + .44 FTA)

    Given that Melo had 10 free throws I did shortchange him.

    His TS% wasn’t 25 points on 26 shots. It was 25 points on 25.44 total shots.

    So, yeah, still below 50%.

    Look, I don’t mean to be pedantic. But our All – NBA elite scorer is just not cutting it this year, even at what is supposed to be his specialty. For a guy who is supposed to be well nigh unstoppable at the offensive end, the numbers just don’t reflect it.

    I fully expect Melo to uncork some monstrous games and move that ts% number back toward his career average. He is better than this. But the bottom line is that his performance has been pretty freaking pathetic so far.

    Forgive me if I expect a little more from the max contract player who we acquired because he was actually worth his max contract, unlike the other max contract player who we acquired apparently for even better reasons.

    I calculated his TS tonight to be 51.5%.

    Pedantic, really? How about prosaic?
    Look, I respect your perspective here. Don’t get me wrong.

    I have no problem with you expecting more from Melo. I really don’t. There’s no getting around the fact that his numbers are terrible to this point.

    But, none of that shit matters because it’s about what he’s going to do moving forward in this situation.

    You know my thesis on why he’s going to be so efficient moving forward. And shoot, if PP doesn’t knock down that miracle 3, we’re looking at a 8-16 for 23 points.

    The Knicks were in a situation where they had to take some tough shots. Melo took those –…

  60. A Voice of Reason

    Boy o boy, when Melo and JR get those jumpers back, we will be a load to carry for anyone. As Kobe and PP showed us today, a good jumper is indefensible. Melo has a great jumper, but he has struggled so far. The “numbers” everyone is so enraptured over indicate he will make more of them. He played well enough and like I said earlier, PP’s prayer is the only reason we aren’t praising Melo for carrying us to this win in the clutch. JR is a rhythm player. His time will come. 12 TO’s from our two points against the C’s is not gonna get it done. If Fields is gonna start, he needs to be more than just a pulse on the court. Shumpert is oozing with potential. Novak is soo money. The refs are truly rotten to us lately, and I agree that the fans have something to do with it. We gotta back our guys and give it to the refs everytime they slight us or empower the opposition. Maybe MDA needs to go Zen Master in a press conference. He sure as hell can afford the fine..

  61. hoolahoop

    I think the knicks played a very good game and came within seconds of beating a tough Boston team, in Boston. But the refs were not going to have it.

    That being said, this game was lost in a lot of different places. The tv sound was off in the bar I was watching, but how did Boston get a technical foul shot after the monster Shump jam in the fourth? That’s bullshit.

    MDA should not have let the Boston lead climb to fifteen in the third without stopping it with timeouts.

    Lin should be given all the credit in the world for being the catalyst that turned this team around, but by the end of the season, we may be praying again for BD to be their savior. He’s making too many sloppy turnovers and he’s missing his bigs for easy baskets on his drives and PNR’s.
    But, that three from the corner was BIG.

    BD’s back looks fine. He’s twisting and turning and playing hard. All things considered, he’d played a very good game.

    I’d give Shump the game ball for the knicks. Big impact on both sides of the ball.

    This was a pivotal game for the knicks. Unfortunately, they came up short. There’s still time to make a move to win the division, but time is ticking and their schedule is ferocious.

  62. jon abbey

    hoolahoop:

    That being said, this game was lost in a lot of different places. The tv sound was off in the bar I was watching, but how did Boston get a technical foul shot after the monster Shump jam in the fourth? That’s bullshit.

    he supposedly cursed at Garnett, as if Garnett doesn’t do that 50 times a game.

  63. ROUGH

    Apropos Garnett, I remember Jeff Van Gundy recently saying “Kevin Garnett is the player with the most no calls on illegal screens in NBA history.” True! I don’t know how he gets away with it each and every time.

  64. BigBlueAL

    “The prosecution, led by lead attorney THCJ will point to the sieve-like defense and forced 20-footers he perpetrated throughout the 3rd that directly contributed to what proved to be an insurmountable lead.”

    Melo picked up his 4th foul with 6:28 remaining in the 3rd quarter and was subbed out for the remainder of the quarter. At that time the Knicks were down 4 pts. Melo attempted exactly 0 shots in the 3rd quarter.

  65. JTHC

    GREAT, great reference to Flatland.

    And the officiating was even worse than usual against the Knicks. That technical against Shump? Unreal.

    Lin looked unenergetic, and I’m wondering if part of it is a conscious decision to dish more and penetrate less. There were a half dozen times where the paint opened up and I was sure he would drive… But he held back. I know it’s got to be tough for a guy who’s essentially a rookie playing with two star scorers, but he’s got to be more aggressive–his penetration breaks down defenses and gives Melo and others better looks.

  66. BigBlueAL

    Also to continue my Melo defending if Pierce misses that 3pter Melo finishes shooting 8 for 16 with 23 pts and is the hero. What a fickle/cruel game basketball can be lol

  67. EB

    Melo attemted zero shots in the third quarter, the second unit everyone was loving took a number of horrible shots, step back jumpers from Shump and Jr that clanged all over the place. Melo took exactly one jumpshot in the first half when the Knicks were running welll on offense.

    Not counting the three off. rebounds before the foul Melo was 25 on 18 shots 10 FTs. TS of .558. The Jumpers only started coming when our offense bogged down. Amare, Lin, Shump, Chandler completely useless on offense today.

  68. Juany8

    Yea Lin froze out Melo in the third, so obviously it was Melo’s fault for being a ball hog. He had a great game up until overtime, and there is absolutely no way you can convince me that shots in the first quarter have the same degree of difficulty as those in overtime. We’ve now lost 2 overtime games due to prayer 3′s (Andre Miller made an absolute prayer to force the second overtime, and he sucks at wide open 3′s) Players have been making crazy shots against the Knicks all season, and it has directly been the difference in 2-3 wins. If we were 21-16 we’d look significantly better in respect to playoff standings and overall outlook, and the difference has been the kind of shots Pierce made, even in games in which the team didn’t play that well.

  69. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    “The prosecution, led by lead attorney THCJ will point to the sieve-like defense and forced 20-footers he perpetrated throughout the 3rd that directly contributed to what proved to be an insurmountable lead.”

    Melo picked up his 4th foul with 6:28 remaining in the 3rd quarter and was subbed out for the remainder of the quarter.At that time the Knicks were down 4 pts.Melo attempted exactly 0 shots in the 3rd quarter.

    And I have a ton of respect and admiration for Rob and his great writing, but to say Melo was a sieve defensively, even if you’re saying it on behalf of someone else, is totally preposterous.

    Melo was very good tonight defensively. I’d be happy to go through every single defensive play on that youtube link with the full downloaded game.

  70. ruruland

    Juany8:
    Yea Lin froze out Melo in the third, so obviously it was Melo’s fault for being a ball hog. He had a great game up until overtime, and there is absolutely no way you can convince me that shots in the first quarter have the same degree of difficulty as those in overtime. We’ve now lost 2 overtime games due to prayer 3?s (Andre Miller made an absolute prayer to force the second overtime, and he sucks at wide open 3?s) Players have been making crazy shots against the Knicks all season, and it has directly been the difference in 2-3 wins. If we were 21-16 we’d look significantly better in respect to playoff standings and overall outlook, and the difference has been the kind of shots Pierce made, even in games in which the team didn’t play that well.

    man, I wish I had more time to create some videos of how close this offense is to be just lights-out good. Y’all remember the missed passes, but Lin’s penetration tonight was excellent. However, just the timing of his decisions is off. A few of us turnovers were on attempted passes to Melo who was open, but Lin either got threw the ball too late allowing the defense to recover, or threw the ball to early as the help defense hadn’t rotated over to defend his drive.

    The idea was there most of the time, Lin is just missing a ton of relatively easy passes.

    That will change I believe. Some of it is related to his peripheral vision, but the more aware he becomes of where the help is coming he doesn’t have to have Nash or Kidd vision to make the right play.

    So many points left out there today.

  71. ruruland

    Juany8:
    Yea Lin froze out Melo in the third, so obviously it was Melo’s fault for being a ball hog. He had a great game up until overtime, and there is absolutely no way you can convince me that shots in the first quarter have the same degree of difficulty as those in overtime. We’ve now lost 2 overtime games due to prayer 3?s (Andre Miller made an absolute prayer to force the second overtime, and he sucks at wide open 3?s) Players have been making crazy shots against the Knicks all season, and it has directly been the difference in 2-3 wins. If we were 21-16 we’d look significantly better in respect to playoff standings and overall outlook, and the difference has been the kind of shots Pierce made, even in games in which the team didn’t play that well.

    Better now than in the playoffs. I. Like GK, believe in the basketball gods. So long as the majority of this team continues to put forth the effort and play together on offense (and there’s no reason they won’t) eventually those plays start to turn in our favor.

  72. ruruland

    Owen:
    “I calculated his TS tonight to be 51.5%.”

    Not sure how you did that math….

    25 / (2 * (21+ 0.44 * 10))

    My bad it’s 49.2 %

    Must have had his points at 27.

  73. hoolahoop

    Just about every team in the league can make that claim. And just about every player. It’s a thin line between success and failure as tonight’s game demonstrated.
    It’s a bottom line (W-L), zero sum business (W-L).
    Their record is who they are.

  74. hoolahoop

    ruruland: man, I wish I had more time to create some videos of how close this offense is to be just lights-out good.

    Just about every team in the league can make that claim. And just about every player. It’s a thin line between success and failure as tonight’s game demonstrated.
    It’s a bottom line (W-L), zero sum business (W-L).
    Their record is who they are.

  75. Owen

    “Their record is who they are.”

    Well, for some purposes. But I prefer pythagorean expectation as a measure of who a team is. Ours was 20-16 going into today. Which I think should be fodder for the more optimistic types….

    There is a case to be made we are significantly better than our record.

    That said, what team that Pythag reflects I really am not sure, given how our season has gone….

  76. ruruland

    hoolahoop: Just about every team in the league can make that claim. And just about every player. It’s a thin line between success and failure as tonight’s game demonstrated.
    It’s a bottom line (W-L), zero sum business (W-L).
    Their record is who they are.

    No, that’s wrong. Not every team can make that claim. Not close. Let’s put this to the test.

    Given this statement, you should have very little to no reason to believe this offense can significantly improve, given the evidence at hand.

    I say they will, based on the potential I see.
    I’m going to venture to say this team will be top 5 in offensive efficiency starting from the Cleveland game.

  77. ruruland

    Owen:
    “Their record is who they are.”

    Well, for some purposes. But I prefer pythagorean expectation as a measure of who a team is. Ours was 20-16 going into today. Which I think should be fodder for the more optimistic types….

    There is a case to be made we are significantly better than our record.

    That said, what team that Pythag reflects I really am not sure, given how our season has gone….

    Well, do you think it reflects the team with no point guard, or the current team that’s trying to mesh all of its pieces, which provides very little data?

  78. BigBlueAL

    Owen:
    “Their record is who they are.”

    Well, for some purposes. But I prefer pythagorean expectation as a measure of who a team is. Ours was 20-16 going into today. Which I think should be fodder for the more optimistic types….

    There is a case to be made we are significantly better than our record.

    That said, what team that Pythag reflects I really am not sure, given how our season has gone….

    This team is significantly better than their record. If this team started together from Day 1 they wouldnt have started 8-15, probably the exact opposite considering the easy schedule early on.

    BUT the problem is they have less than half the season left with a pretty tough schedule to boot. Unfortunately I dont see this team finishing with any more than 34 or 35 wins this season which will mean the 8th or 7th seed and a likely 5 game elimination in the 1st round.

    It is why I really hope this team can stay in tact for next season (along with keeping D’Antoni) and finally for once having a normal season from the beginning. I do believe this is easily a 50 win team next season if this happens but unfortunately I doubt a 7th/8th seed finish to this season with a quick playoff exit will allow that to happen.

  79. Owen

    “Well, do you think it reflects the team with no point guard, or the current team that’s trying to mesh all of its pieces, which provides very little data?”

    Well, we are +70 since Lin started playing major minutes. So, yes he helps.

    I do think our pythag is a reason to be optimistic. Although I have yet to hear one of the optimists note it.

    And even a pessimist like me expected us to be better than we have been.

  80. Robert Silverman Post author

    BigBlueAL:
    “The prosecution, led by lead attorney THCJ will point to the sieve-like defense and forced 20-footers he perpetrated throughout the 3rd that directly contributed to what proved to be an insurmountable lead.”

    Melo picked up his 4th foul with 6:28 remaining in the 3rd quarter and was subbed out for the remainder of the quarter.At that time the Knicks were down 4 pts.Melo attempted exactly 0 shots in the 3rd quarter.

    You’re totally right. For some reason, I associated Melo w/losing the lead. I was blindingly mad after the game, so I hope y’all will give me a mulligan

  81. Brian Cronin

    It really is unfair that Melo gets so much shit from the New York media. He seriously is being treated like they treat A-Rod, isn’t he? Heck, it’s like they have their old A-Rod stories and are just using “Replace All” to put Melo and the Knicks where A-Rod and the Yankees once appeared.

    Keep your eye out for an upcoming story about how Melo choked for the Knicks in a big loss against the Cleveland Indians!

  82. Frank O.

    I think the Knicks are best running the offense through Lin.
    When he is aggressive every possession he creates massive problems. We are not as formidable with it running through Melo or Amare.
    Let Lin attack. His last few games he has been notably less aggressive.
    He was winning games without Amare and Melo being aggressive, and the team, the team, filled with lesser scorers, was scoring in double digits individually because he was creating.
    Now he has one bad drive, and he disappears for a few possessions. He’s a rhythm player who creates for his teammates. I don’t like the deference to Melo and Amare. They will get points, but off a point who controls the flow. Same can be done when Baron is running the O. Neither Amare or Carmelo are efficient enough to run the offense throu them. Lin’s usage needs to go back up again, as does Baron’s. This is a guard dominated offense.

  83. Frank

    Gotta be honest –

    I thought Baron played terribly. His TOR was 54.5 this game. 54.5!!! The game was lost in the 2nd quarter when we went to halftime up by 5 rather than 20.

    I thought Lin played terribly. He devolved into hero-ball and threw up some truly awful shots in the OT. He used to dribble into the paint and then dribble out of there if there was nothing – now he just throws up prayers. If Melo did that as much as Lin did yesterday, THCJ would literally explode.

    You get the feeling that D’Antoni is trying to get back to SSOL, pushing pushing pushing the ball up the floor. But they need to be smart.

    And even so – the difference between winning and losing was Shumpert’s T. Shumpert played great on offense yesterday but was just abused by Pierce. He needs to get up in Pierce’s grill much closer than he did on that shot. Even so, Pierce could shoot left-handed behind his back and his shots would go in against us.

    Landry with only 15 min yesterday. I think it is a sign of things to come.

  84. Tony Pena

    #90. It couldn’t run more through him. Every single body looks for him after rebounds. He’s THE primary ball handler about 80% of the time he’s out there. He’s trying to break down the defense but as you know, theyre trapping him and forcing him left. The only way you could defer less to them would be to bench them.
    Since we’ve seen this same movie before, I’m going to blame this one on Pringles. Waiting until we were down 15 to take Lin out, and not putting in Baron in on OT were mistakes that could’ve won the tight game.

  85. jon abbey

    Frank:

    And even so – the difference between winning and losing was Shumpert’s T.

    I really hate people saying this, why was it not Melo’s idiotic foul at the end of the second quarter or any number of dubious ref calls (both ways) or Fields’ dreadful play at the start of the third or countless other things?

    I blame Mike Breen for this, for years he used to harp on every single technical foul as being entirely unnecessary and potentially game-deciding, instead of recognizing that they’re often just part of the game. thankfully he stopped doing that, other people should too.

  86. MSA

    jon abbey: I really hate people saying this, why was it not Melo’s idiotic foul at the end of the second quarter or any number of dubious ref calls (both ways) or Fields’ dreadful play at the start of the third or countless other things?

    I blame Mike Breen for this, for years he used to harp on every single technical foul as being entirely unnecessary and potentially game-deciding, instead of recognizing that they’re often just part of the game. thankfully he stopped doing that, other people should too.

    Agreed.

    There was more than 110 possessions in the past game.

    You have to ignore a LOT of turnovers and bad shots to blame a lost to a technical foul.

  87. Frank

    jon abbey: I really hate people saying this, why was it not Melo’s idiotic foul at the end of the second quarter or any number of dubious ref calls (both ways) or Fields’ dreadful play at the start of the third or countless other things?

    I blame Mike Breen for this, for years he used to harp on every single technical foul as being entirely unnecessary and potentially game-deciding, instead of recognizing that they’re often just part of the game. thankfully he stopped doing that, other people should too.

    Point taken – I didn’t mean to actually blame that one play. Just meaning that it came down to 1 point that we could’ve gotten any number of ways.

  88. Frank

    I will say this for Shump though – he is looking increasingly aggressive on offense and settling less for long Js. Very small sample of course, but the last 2 games, at least 11 out of his 19 shots were at the rim (I say at least because hoop data’s box score seems to have lost shot location on two of his shots against cleveland), and he is averaging 17.6 points/36 on 13 shots/36 during those games.

    Moke Hamilton just tweeted this and I totally agree- it’s time for Shump to start. Especially considering how much Lin is struggling on D against the good PGs, we need his backcourt D on the first team.

  89. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:
    It really is unfair that Melo gets so much shit from the New York media. He seriously is being treated like they treat A-Rod, isn’t he? Heck, it’s like they have their old A-Rod stories and are just using “Replace All” to put Melo and the Knicks where A-Rod and the Yankees once appeared.

    Keep your eye out for an upcoming story about how Melo choked for the Knicks in a big loss against the Cleveland Indians!

    I get that your angle here is the NY media, but Melo wishes he had the place in the game that A-Rod had/has.

    if you want to go that way, A-Rod is LeBron, a historically great talent who delivers most of the time and has inexplicable head issues at some of the most crucial times (A-Rod finally shook this in spring 2009 after multiple personal psychoanalysts, and the steroid revelations made him finally realize that (some) people were always going to hate him no matter what he did, so he just said ‘fuck it’ and played).

    the best comparison I can think of for Melo is maybe Ryan Howard, a guy who got a massive contract based on RBIs despite huge holes in his game (defense, inability to hit lefties).

  90. Tony Pena

    Also hanging out with bad boy Jeter helped, he has that real fuck what everybody thinks attitude. I think/hope Melo is already starting to evolve the same (he’s going to have here). Maybe he and JR, can start hanging out in the real local Brooklyn spots?

  91. Brian Cronin

    Well, Ryan Howard has won a championship. ;)

    Seriously, though, obviously A-Rod is in a whole other class of athlete than Melo, but what I’m discussing here specifically (as you allude to) is that the media came up with a blueprint of how to treat bad losses during A-Rod’s first few years as a Yankee, and they all revolved around blaming him no matter what the actual game situation was, even though he was one of the 2 best players in his league for much of the same period that they were blaming him for every loss. So Melo comes in and they have that blueprint ready to go (and this just shows their stupidity – that they think Melo=A-Rod, which just shows how off they were about A-Rod) – no matter what, it is going to be Melo’s fault. Which is unfair.

    It is not a mater of not criticizing the guy. You know I’m cool with criticizing the guy when it applies, but “The Knicks lose – Melo to blame!” is not a fair assessment of yesterday’s game.

  92. Frank

    @100 – totally agree – but this is what passes for journalism in this day and age – except for a couple of writers – most notably Hahn and Beck – they are all just link bait. Melo doesn’t want to talk to Berman today? Berman writes an article about what Melo MIGHT be thinking about as a cause. How about Melo doesn’t want to talk to you because you’re a hack?

    If you look at the four factors – we won 3 out of the 4 factors, and lost the TO factor by a lot – THAT is the reason we lost. Not because we didn’t foul up 3, and not because of Melo. When your two PGs have 12 TOs you are going to lose to the Boston Celtics. That’s what all the writing should be about today.

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