Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quick Reaction: Knicks 107, Wizards 93

New York Knicks 107 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Washington Wizards
Jared Jeffries, PF 26 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -10

Some usual Jared-y goodness in this one, but repeated attempts to shatter the backboard via botched layups and doinked open jumpers seemed to take some of the pizzazz out of Jeffries’ game.

Bill Walker, SG 27 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +7

Oh right, when Billy isn’t connecting from deep, he’s pretty much useless, much like Steve Novak. I dunno about you, but every time I see the two of them on the court together I think of Gummy chewing the fat with Chevy Chase on the beach in the movie Fletch. Naturally, in the film, Gummy is a drug-sucking fiend while Fletch (Novak) only feigns addiction to get the inside dope on the evil duo of Joe-Don Baker and Tim Matheson. Did I just suggest Bill Walker’s an unabashed imbiber of illicit substances? Me? Never!

While we’re here, Larry “Flash” Jenkins, who so nobly portrayed Gummy, is also known for playing one of the gas station attendants who go for an extended joyride in Cameron’s Dad’s Ferrari in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The other attendant, Richard Edson (Vito from “Do The Right Thing,”) has a vaguely Balkman-esque vibe. What I’m saying is, they should greenlight remakes of 80′s films with members of the Knicks’ roster.as soon as possible. I’d watch ‘em, wouldn’t you?

Tyson Chandler, C 34 MIN | 7-12 FG | 11-14 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 25 PTS | +10

Another monster game from Robo-Tyson. Yawn. Funny thing. Anyone here ever read Paul Shirley’s “Can I Keep My Jersey”? It’s not a great book but in a Jim Bouton kind of way, it is a fascinating expose into the day-to-day lives of NBA players. I mention it because at one point, Shirley royally tears a young Chandler a new one, lamenting his utter lack of intangibles/knowledge of the game/work ethic and describing him as a player wholly reliant on his a priori physical gifts. People, apparently, can change.

Landry Fields, G 37 MIN | 6-11 FG | 4-7 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +10

Oh there you are, 2010-11 Pre-Melo Trade Landry! It’s amazing how much more effective Fields is in a motion, uptempo offense. You know, like the one the ‘Bockers ran for most of last season. Two caveats: One, the botched (and altogether unnecessary) alley-oop to Shump Shump at the start of the 4th might have given Coach Pringles a debilitating brain aneurysm. Don’t do that again, Landry, or you’re sleeping on your own couch for the rest of the week.

Two, I get that Fields is trying to work out the kinks in his newfangled shooting form both from downtown and the line, but for now, it remains a serious work-in-progress. Not a, “The half-completed yet still fully operational Death Star in Jedi”-type work-in-progress. More like a, “Your shot is flatter than an emaciated 16-year old girl who’s either suffering from Bulimia or Anorexia but you’re scared to ask because she’ll ask if you think she looks fat”-type work-in-progress.

Jeremy Lin, PG 36 MIN | 9-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 23 PTS | +18

As the old saying goes, once is a fluke, twice is a trend and three times is SO EFFING AWESOME AND COOL AND I LOVES YOU SOOOO MUCH JEREMY!!!!

Seeing Lin face off against the over-hyped John Wall was like having an imaginary, tiny Larry Brown sitting on your shoulder the whole game and Imago-Larry is repeatedly squealing with fits of apoplectic joy about, “Playing the right way!” As an athlete, Wall outpaces Lin by leaps and bounds. Lin just plays basketball…and that has made all the difference. He unerringly makes the right decision with the ball in his hands whilst Wall…well, he’s wicked fast. In the 1st half, when DC tried to take away his penetration, he found open shooters and cutters. In the 2nd, when they were looking for the pass, he finished at the hoop with aplomb. Simple, right?

On a side note, for those not watching on NBA TV, at one point the Wizards’ announcers went off on a tangent about a coterie from Harvard being in attendance to see Lin. Not surprisingly, it devolved into a series of rib-poking chortles about nerds and pocket protectors. Well guess what? That nerd with a band-aid dangling goofily off his chin for a good portion of the half just won the presidency of the Greek Council, boinked Ted McGinley’s cheerleader girlfriend and sang, “We Are the Champions,” in yo muthafluffin faces.

Mike Bibby, PG 15 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +1

Evidently _______ is buried so deeply in a moldy corner of D’Antoni’s doghouse he’s more likely to give 15 pointless minutes to Mumm-Ra here.

Steve Novak, SF 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | +22

Speaking of twice being a trend, howzabout that Novak guy, huh? I’m paraphrasing, but in his Basketball tome, Bill Simmons mentions a list of celebs/entertainers who do one thing and only one thing well yet manage to achieve a measure of success/fame like Michael Buffer, Cytheria, Simon Cowell and Jeff Foxworthy. Well, it iooks like it’s time to crank out a third edition with Steve “The Overworked IRS Auditor” Novak added to your list, Billy boy.(P.S. If you’re reading this, Simmons…Ha-Ha!) On this team, floor-spreading and hitting open jumpers when the D collapses on the pick and roll is a VERY valuable single skill to have.

Iman Shumpert, G 37 MIN | 6-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +14

I think Shump heard about the shoddy sales records of the “21 Shump Street” shirts here at the Knickerblogger store, because Shumpty put in a vintage (is it okay to say “vintage” if I mean 10-odd games ago? It is? Thanks!) performance — ball-hawking defense, decisive forays to the rim and even a swished trey. In case anyone was still pondering the existential question, “Is Iman a point guard?” the answer is clearly NO, but a high-energy, shutdown, slashing two isn’t a bad thing to be from a Sartrean perspective.

Five Things We Saw

  1. This is fun. This is a fun team again. Both Chandler in print and Dennis “3D” Scott on air tonight have mentioned it, but Lin makes all the pieces fit in their proper places. Shump doesn’t have to try to run the show, Chandler is a killer in the pick and roll and shooters (even Bill “Gummy” Walker) open up the court. For those who worry that re-inserting Stat/Melo will be like cramming a polo mallet into the gears of this finely-tuned machine, think again.
  2. It goes without saying that the Wizards are pretty bad at basketball. That said, I really dig Trevor Booker. He’s not going to be an all-star anytime soon, but as a ‘tweener/enrollee at Paul Millsap School of Effective Bench Play he’ll carve out a solid, 10-year career.
  3. Via the right honorable Jim Cavan: “The fact that this guy can escape under the radar so many times just goes to show the lack of creativity / intelligence inherent in many an NBA front office / coaching staff. I feel like D’Antoni gets a slight pass for overlooking him simply because the team had no practice time in which to really evaluate him. But Golden State and Houston? Good lord. I mean, I know our “system” is more tailor-made to his abilities, but his skills I feel would translate effectively into any system.”

    Here’s the thing, Jim. (And this is part of a MUCH longer thought) Executives (in any field) have a vested interest in seeing their decisions succeed. Plucking and playing an un-drafted player like Lin, even if they flourish, is an admission that somewhere in evaluation process, you and/or your staff failed. Thinking outside the box is a lose-lose scenario for those in a decision-making capacity, assuming your understand their real motivation — to remain in authority. This isn’t just a sports-centric problem. Over time, any system (whether it’s a basketball front office or a bank or government or whatever) that has a measure of power and/or authority will shift its priorities from the job the system was set up to achieve to protecting and sustaining the interests and power of those at the top of the hierarchy in the system. Governments exist to keep politicians in power, banks exist to funnel more money to bankers and on and on…More on this later, y’all.

  4. The word is Amar’e should return in time for Tuesday’s game at Toronto. Even if the Knicks had lost tonight, I can’t imagine any fan with even a semblance of a soul would begrudge him missing the next two games to spend time with his family.
  5. Speaking of which, the next two games are going to be downright tough. But for the first time since the preseason, I’m genuinely excited to see how this collection of players from the Island of Misfit Toys fares against stronger competition. And Rubio-Lin on Saturday night? Sweet fancy Moses, for fans of pure PG play, that’s some onanistic shizznit right there…

70 comments on “Quick Reaction: Knicks 107, Wizards 93

  1. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Re: the comment in the last thread from J. Cavan about Lin somehow being “missed” by the system

    PAWS40 didn’t miss him.

    ; )

  2. Thomas B.

    The line I was hoping to see next to Mike Bibby was “Tonight on AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’…” But the Mumm-Ra joke was a very nice, chuckle worthy alternative. Well done.

  3. Tony Pena

    “Over time, any system (whether its a basketball front office or government or whatever) that has a measure of power and/or authority will shift its priorities from the job the system was set up to achieve to protecting and sustaining the interests and power of those at the top of the hierarchy in the system”. Nice. Kinda like what’s happen to the music business.

  4. Tony Pena

    When stats can be misleading… = Wall supposedly had 6 assists. I don’t remember one that mattered.

  5. Frank O.

    Nice Robert. Onanistic shizznit.
    Did I mention I was there tonight? I was there. She was J-Lo from the block, but he was J-Lin from the block.
    He just knows what he is doing. The front court of Chandler/Amare/Melo is going to love playing with Lin. I mean he makes Jeffries look good from time to time. The spacing is amazing. Lin dominates the ball but everyone is engaged because they know the ball will find them. With Melo, when he passes it people are caught off guard and out of sync and they were missing.
    Lin is special.
    TD was a dnp I believe, and it is well deserved. Sending him to D league to regain confidence or trading him for a second rounder may be in his future, especially if they need to create a slot.
    I loved seeing them live. Amazing fun

  6. Degree_Absolute

    er: great recap

    this is your key assesment:

    “Lin makes all the pieces fit in their proper places.”

    I believe Randy Wittman also said this. It is officially a meme.

  7. nicos

    I’m a little worried about Fields who seems to have gone back to steadfastly refusing to shoot from the outside since that airball in Boston- hopefully just a temporary hiccup. And everyone is killing Wall but put him in a better situation and I think he’d be fine- other than Booker (maybe) no one on that team should be an NBA starter and half of them shouldn’t be in the league at all. How Grunfeld still has a job is beyond me.

  8. Shad0wF0x

    er:
    great recap

    this is your key assesment:

    “Lin makes all the pieces fit in their proper places.”

    Agreed.

  9. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Robert Silverman: Nick Fazekas just called me. He wants to know what the eff happened to him? Did the all-powerful PAWS fail? The horror!

    With a .148 WS48 over 269 minutes of NBA action (at age 22), and having lit up the D-League, I’d say it surely did.

  10. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Doug: Let’s make it our new god!

    Or, y’know, take a gamble on an undrafted free agent based on his stats, which looked pretty awesome compared to his cohort. But yeah, a non-guaranteed contract at the rookie minimum would be a bad business move.

  11. Z

    To think that it took Toney Douglas’s epic and inexplicable fall from “above average guard” to “worst player in the NBA” just to open the door for a savior shows that God truly does work in mysterious ways…

  12. Z

    Robert Silverman: Nick Fazekas just called me. He wants to know what the eff happened to him? Did the all-powerful PAWS fail? The horror!

    I’ve played the Nick Fazekas card to try to silence Berri-philes many times here over the years, but now I’m ready to shut up about it. PAWS clearly has value in identifying prospects that are able to contribute at the NBA level. If you don’t think of the score as a “ranking” but rather an up-or-down vote on a players relative worth, it can obviously be a valuable tool.

    Perhaps if Fazekas was thrust into getting 40 minutes a game the way Lin has been, he too would be the toast of the league (though his “Fazekasrella story” wouldn’t be nearly as compelling nationally as Jeremy’s Linderella story).

  13. villainx

    Lin dominates the ball

    I notice this too. I’m trying to hope this won’t become an issue.

    But looks like Lin stays active even when he’s off the ball. And if Lin encourages his teammates to be more effective in the pick and roll, or drive to the basket, (or in general help Fields and Shumpert find their game better) got to be a good thing.

  14. Spree8nyk8

    DAS_FX:
    Fantastic.Next year will be even better, having Nash on the bench.

    If he maintains what he has going right now, Nash is never going to get here, because we are going to end up using the MLE on Lin. Quite frankly at this point that is what I’m rooting for.

  15. Z

    And in all the Lin hysteria, let it not be overlooked that our own Mike K. drafted Lin with the #39th pick in the 2010 true hoop mock draft:

    KnickerBlogger.Net/thn-mock-with-the-38th-39th-picks-new-york-selects…/

  16. Z

    “I didn’t know he could dunk. When he’s going in for the dunk I’m like ‘no Jeremy, just lay the ball up.’ And all of a sudden he dunks it and I was probably just as excited as the crowd was.”
    -Tyson Chandler on Jeremy Lin’s third-quarter dunk

  17. Robert Silverman Post author

    Z: I’ve played the Nick Fazekas card to try to silence Berri-philes many times here over the years, but now I’m ready to shut up about it. PAWS clearly has value in identifying prospects that are able to contribute at the NBA level. If you don’t think of the score as a “ranking” but rather an up-or-down vote on a players relative worth, it can obviously be a valuable tool.

    Perhaps if Fazekas was thrust into getting 40 minutes a game the way Lin has been, he too would be the toast of the league (though his “Fazekasrella story” wouldn’t be nearly as compelling nationally as Jeremy’s Linderella story).

    I hear you. I’m not wholly dismissing Berri. I just don’t see it being the Unified Field Theory his acolytes do.

  18. villainx

    From what I’ve been catching up on the internet, coming through college, Lin was more of an off/combo/shooting guard, and not point guard? Dang.

  19. Doug

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Or, y’know, take a gamble on an undrafted free agent based on his stats, which looked pretty awesome compared to his cohort. But yeah, a non-guaranteed contract at the rookie minimum would be a bad business move.

    Or, ya know, watch Simpsons references WHOOSH right over our heads.

  20. JK47

    Lin’s emergence means so many things to the team:

    1. No more minutes to Toney Douglas
    2. No more Melo trying to play point forward
    3. No more Shumpert trying to play point guard
    4. No more need for Baron Davis to become the savior– if Baron ever does suit up he becomes a killer backup PG
    5. Team defense does not take a hit because Lin is a capable defender

    The odds that Baron Davis can give us 15-20 minutes of competent PG play off the bench are a lot higher than the odds that Baron Davis can come in and give us 30-35 minutes of competent PG play as a starter. Add JR Smith to this mix and you could have some serious depth and versatility at guard. Bill Walker, _________ and Mumm-Ra could all finally be banished to DNP-CD land forever.

  21. Ben R

    I still have hope for _______, I’m just hoping he sits for a little while gets healthy, maybe finds a bit of his swagger and then comes back. He is/was a nice player and you don’t simply forget how to play.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    And as I said, I don’t view PAWS as a way to say, “This player will most certainly be good at the NBA level.”

    It’s more: “How in _____’s unholy name did we not pick up the player with the 12th highest score (higher than Wall, by the way) after he went undrafted?”

    The low-risk/high-reward thing is what I (and many others on this site) blasted Donnie for being (mostly) oblivious to, and Lin is yet another example of it. For $500k and no future money locked up, how do you not draft a guy with his college numbers?

  23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I guess my point is that you really have to think that a metric is complete bullshit if you’re saying that a guy rated that highly doesn’t deserve that kind of minimal-risk decision.

    And it seems that only in professional sports can that kind of attitude occur. How do these people keep their jobs?

  24. Robert Silverman Post author

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    I guess my point is that you really have to think that a metric is complete bullshit if you’re saying that a guy rated that highly doesn’t deserve that kind of minimal-risk decision.

    And it seems that only in professional sports can that kind of attitude occur. How do these people keep their jobs?

    Lookit my fourth point. This isn’t a sports problem. Risk in any bureaucracy isn’t advised. Why? As an individual hoping to succeed (note that I don’t say “making a team succeed”) you can do very well in a bureaucracy by failing miserably using “conventional wisdom.” Don’t rock the boat — especially when you’re in it. Systems exist to support systems.

  25. Juany8

    Seems weird to insult the Knicks for not drafting him when they’re the only team that’s actually given him serious minutes. One thing to remember is that since most second round picks aren’t really expected to be very valuable players, many teams just take athletic bigs they can try to develop in later years, or other players who probably aren’t going to do much. That’s fine for a team that’s going to be in the lottery for a while, but for teams that hope to compete, being able to find capable role players who fit the team can be invaluable in the second round. The Rockets and Spurs do it virtually every year, although Poppovich would probably laugh if you tried to explain PAWS to him. Finding players with role player skill sets is very valuable, which often means they won’t be dominant scorers in college. They can play off the ball well, rebound properly, and don’t turn the ball over, all things PAWS values, which does make it useful when looking at late picks who aren’t expected to dominate the ball in any way. PAWS doesn’t pick top players as well, unless you think DeJuan Blair or Kenneth Faried are going to be future stars.

  26. BigBlueAL

    Donnie Walsh did draft Fields when no mock draft in the planet had him being drafted. Chad Ford famously didnt even have him in his Top 100 prospects.

  27. Brian Cronin

    Donnie Walsh did draft Fields when no mock draft in the planet had him being drafted. Chad Ford famously didnt even have him in his Top 100 prospects.

    I think that was a failing on Ford’s part, though. As Fields worked out for the Spurs, the Lakers and the Suns, and all three of them had picks soon after the Knicks. He’s just the type of player those teams pick up, so I think he would have been nabbed by one of them. I think they just did not want to share their idea with him because they wanted Fields to not be picked ahead of them. I don’t get how a guy who got workouts from multiple teams did not hit Ford’s Top 100. It seems like it was just a mistake on his part.

  28. Brian Cronin

    If he maintains what he has going right now, Nash is never going to get here, because we are going to end up using the MLE on Lin. Quite frankly at this point that is what I’m rooting for.

    Note that the guy who I quoted on Lin’s salary cap situation has now said the exact opposite with regards to Lin’s situation. So it is not an “Lin or Nash” situation – they would be able to get them both! It really turned on this quote from Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ. In it, he says “If a player is waived and is claimed by another team before he clears waivers, then his Bird clock resets.”

    Well, obviously, that happened to Lin, so his Bird clock would reset, right? Coon, though, yesterday was asked in a chat and he said the exact opposite, that if a player is waived and claimed by another team before he clears waivers, then his Bird clock does not reset. So Coon was mistaken in the FAQ (and I was mistaken to have relied on the FAQ), meaning that the Knicks do have Lin’s Early Bird Rights and would be able to go over the cap to re-sign him without touching their Mid-Level. I’ve edited my piece accordingly. Pretty cool, huh?

  29. Brian Cronin

    And yeah, what I’ve gotten out of this whole thing is that there are good players out there who just get buried for whatever reason and you can’t use “Coach A didn’t play him” as a reason why a player should not get more minutes. There are a lot of stubborn coaches out there who don’t play players for a variety of reasons.

  30. njasdjdh

    Just finished reading through last night’s game thread and don’t really get all the vitriol for Wall. I’m not sure what else you all want him to do given the…”quality”…of his team.

    Anyway, yay Linsanity!!!

    List of players with at 3 or more consecutive games where they scored 20 or more points with 6 or more assists while shooting greater than 50% from the floor since the ’05-’06 season:

    LeBron James
    Russell Westbrook
    Chris Paul
    Deron Williams
    Dwyane Wade
    Eric Gordon
    Steve Nash
    Andre Igoudala
    Vince Carter
    Kobe Bryant
    Joe Johnson
    Kevin Garnett
    Derrick Rose
    Tony Parker
    Andre Miller
    Ty Lawson
    Lamar Odom
    Jeremy Lin

  31. Brian Cronin

    I think I mentioned that Wall had a pretty good game, it was just that far too often he was clearly reacting to what Lin did and just sort of put his head down and forced himself to try to score to show up Lin. Often enough, he succeeded, but overall it made for a disjointed effort on his part where he looked more concerned with responding to Lin’s good plays than setting his own teammates up. At the end of the game he started moving the ball and ended up with a few assists at the end, but overall he tried too much hero ball. But really, the visible anger he was showing over Lin’s success was just so silly.

  32. njasdjdh

    Brian Cronin:
    I think I mentioned that Wall had a pretty good game, it was just that far too often he was clearly reacting to what Lin did and just sort of put his head down and forced himself to try to score to show up Lin. Often enough, he succeeded, but overall it made for a disjointed effort on his part where he looked more concerned with responding to Lin’s good plays than setting his own teammates up. At the end of the game he started moving the ball and ended up with a few assists at the end, but overall he tried too much hero ball. But really, the visible anger he was showing over Lin’s success was just so silly.

    I’m not as comfortable as you are reading his mind. I just don’t like that sort of armchair psychologist analysis.

  33. Brian Cronin

    Just read his face.

    The desire to want to answer the other team’s player making a good play is a standard NBA trope. We see it all the time. Since Wall’s teammates are so bad, it really wasn’t like he was affecting the Wizards too much by playing hero ball, but he was playing it.

  34. BahoPuwet

    Isiah Thomas is spreading the word that he drafted Jeremy Lin for the Knicks.

    Will the ball movement/team game continue when Melo is back?

  35. cgreene

    I really hope people got the Cytheria reference in the recap. A true LOL for that one.

    The fact that the Knicks are in such a hole record wise does put a damper on this for me a bit. Wish we were talking about how this was going to vault the Knicks into the upper echelon of the conference rather than help them possibly make the playoffs. But it’s fun for now!

  36. Brian Cronin

    The fact that the Knicks are in such a hole record wise does put a damper on this for me a bit. Wish we were talking about how this was going to vault the Knicks into the upper echelon of the conference rather than help them possibly make the playoffs. But it’s fun for now!

    It would have been huge if Milwaukee and Cleveland hadn’t won last night, as well. The Knicks need to stay close while playing without STAT and Melo.

    Man, Chandler is so freakin’ awesome.

  37. Brian Cronin

    Did you guys catch the bit where Randy Wittman’s son texted him during the game that his team’s at Cornell (where Ryan Wittman played against Lin during college) played better defense on Lin?

    Ouch. I know it was a good natured joke between father and son, but still…ouch.

  38. Frank

    I have to hand it to Jim Cavan and Robert Silverman – you guys are just KILLING it in these recaps. I’m sitting in my office smiling at my computer right now, which probably looks borderline crazy to any passerbys. Not that the recaps weren’t great before, but clearly Lin-induced giddiness is great for writers too!

    @THCJ – I think if there were one more round in the NBA draft and 1 or 2 more roster spots per team, a lot of these guys would be getting picked up. You’re talking about a “Moneyball” approach to drafting, which is easier if you are in baseball with what, 100 rounds in the draft and 5+ levels in the minor leagues. I’m not saying you’re wrong – just that with finances for NBA teams being tight anyway, drafting/paying these guys will 90% of the time end up being wasted money. Again – not saying they shouldn’t do it — but with all contracts being guaranteed, most of the time you will have to eat a contract to REALLY give a shot to a 2nd round or undrafted player.

    It IS surprising that Morey decided to hold onto Jonny Awful Flynn instead of J-Lin though – and indefensible for GSW to make such a misguided attempt to get Deandre Jordan when they knew LAC would match. Seriously- they basically wasted Reggie Williams, Lin, and their amnesty so they could ultimately sign Kwame Brown to a 1 year contract. Just ugly – especially since Lin was such a crowd draw in the Bay Area.

  39. Brian Cronin

    I generally agree, Frank, except I would note that teams in the NBA should likely do a better job with the non-guaranteed contracts of the second round. That’s really where athleticism seems to trump everything. Teams tend to take flyers on “athletic” guys instead of players like Lin and the athletic guys never amount to anything.

  40. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    I generally agree, Frank, except I would note that teams in the NBA should likely do a better job with the non-guaranteed contracts of the second round. That’s really where athleticism seems to trump everything.Teams tend to take flyers on “athletic” guys instead of players like Lin and the athletic guys never amount to anything.

    Agreed – although what I meant was that in order to really give a second round or undrafted guy a chance (with their non-guaranteed contract) – which in my mind means not just summer-league and training camp but also time in practice and in games- most teams will have to cut/trade a guy that has a guaranteed contract and then eat that $. I think I read somewhere that that’s why Morey held onto Flynn – because he had guaranteed money.

  41. Brian Cronin

    Good point. I never thought of it from precisely that angle. What really confuses me about the whole thing is how the heck couldn’t Houston find someone to dump Flynn on? They had to know that Flynn was their #3 pg, right? And as we have seen now, there are plenty of teams still willing to give Flynn a flyer. So I wonder why they weren’t able to dump him on another team to keep Lin.

  42. Frank

    I’m still giddy from the last 3 games so this may be overoptimistic, but if you look at our offensive efficiency recently, it did seem like we maybe were starting to turn a corner even before Lin came in and turned into Steve Nash.

    http://www.hoopdata.com/teamgl.aspx?team=NYK

    The fact that we were getting better already WITH Melo and Stat, and that we’ve been so good WITHOUT Melo and Stat – makes me feel like players are starting to buy into / adjust to the system. Our offensive efficiency has been on the uptick for a couple weeks now with our only sub-100 game coming against Boston (whose defense is just ridiculous right now). If you put Melo or Stat on the receiving end of some of those passes that are currently going to Jefferies or Walker, this offense could just explode (in a good way). Hopefully the defense doesn’t suffer too much from their return though.

    Overall I think it’s sort of lucky that STAT’s coming back monday and Melo probably a few games after that, so that we can slowly add pieces back in rather than flooding the floor with high usage players all at once.

  43. Brian Cronin

    FIelds really seems to be the measuring point of how well the system is going. He seems to be unable to play well in anything but a strong ball movement offense, so his recent resurgence seemed to show that they were getting there (as I’ve noted before, Melo and Fields suddenly “clicking” made a gigantic impact). That said, it continues to amaze me how in the world it took them this long to get to that point. I mean, for crying out loud, the numbers were staring them right in the fact showing that what they were doing was hurting the team and yet STAT and Melo just kept doing it and doing it and doing it.

  44. The Infamous Cdiggy

    JK47:
    Lin’s emergence means so many things to the team:

    1. No more minutes to Toney Douglas
    2. No more Melo trying to play point forward
    3. No more Shumpert trying to play point guard
    4. No more need for Baron Davis to become the savior– if Baron ever does suit up he becomes a killer backup PG
    5. Team defense does not take a hit because Lin is a capable defender

    The odds that Baron Davis can give us 15-20 minutes of competent PG play off the bench are a lot higher than the odds that Baron Davis can come in and give us 30-35 minutes of competent PG play as a starter.Add JR Smith to this mix and you could have some serious depth and versatility at guard.Bill Walker, _________ and Mumm-Ra could all finally be banished to DNP-CD land forever.

    Ultimately, Baron Davis should be the starter, *but* if Lin can keep this up, the Knicks can take their time easing Baron back into things.

    JK47:
    The odds that Baron Davis can give us 15-20 minutes of competent PG play off the bench are a lot higher than the odds that Baron Davis can come in and give us 30-35 minutes of competent PG play as a starter.

    JK, I think Baron could go for 25-30 minutes eventually. I still believe we’ll need Baron against the teams with elite perimeter guys (i.e. Chicago, Miami). But again – instead of the world awaiting Baron’s return, Lin buys Baron and the team more time.

    I still feel really good about what this team can do at full strength. P.S. If your a Big Blue fan (like me), you learned recently not to underestimate what happens when a team with talent gets their guys healthy and in sync just in time…

  45. gbaked

    cgreene: The fact that the Knicks are in such a hole record wise does put a damper on this for me a bit. Wish we were talking about how this was going to vault the Knicks into the upper echelon of the conference rather than help them possibly make the playoffs. But it’s fun for now!

    All this team needs to do is make the playoffs. Once in there, anything can happen. It would almost be too good to be the 8 seed playing the heat in round 1.

  46. Gideon Zaga

    And once again I ask who said the Knicks are cursed. So glad we don’t have to talk about the Nuggets anymore and fantasy trades every other day. I’m still shooting for the 4the seed myself. Say what u want.

  47. Z

    Brian Cronin:
    Man, Chandler is so freakin’ awesome.

    Yup. (not to be lost in all the Linsteria!)

    Brian Cronin:
    there are plenty of teams still willing to give Flynn a flyer. So I wonder why they weren’t able to dump him on another team to keep Lin.

    Like us! (wasn’t it less than a week ago that we supposedly offered Renaldo Balkman for Flynn? Imagine if Lin was cut again just to make make room for Flynn. That would have win Flynnsane!)

  48. chrisk06811

    I feel like Amare will fit in very well w Lin. He’s been sitting on the perimeter all year. Now, he’ll run pick and rolls and he’ll run the floor. I’m not worried about that fit at all, and I’m not worried about Stat getting his shots or taking them away from anyone.

    I’m worried about Melo. Will he be OK not handling the ball as much? Has he ever really played with a real pass first PG? The only time I can think of was in the olympics, and Melo was arguably the best player on the floor. Lets hope he’s ok getting his in the flow.

    What I really can’t wait for is the first time Lin waves at him to get the hell out of the way. Then we will know what we have.

  49. Eternal OptiKnist

    Frank: I’m still giddy from the last 3 games so this may be overoptimistic, but if you look at our offensive efficiency recently, it did seem like we maybe were starting to turn a corner even before Lin came in and turned into Steve Nash.http://www.hoopdata.com/teamgl.aspx?team=NYKIf you put Melo or Stat on the receiving end of some of those passes that are currently going to Jefferies or Walker, this offense could just explode (in a good way). Hopefully the defense doesn’t suffer too much from their return though.Overall I think it’s sort of lucky that STAT’s coming back monday and Melo probably a few games after that, so that we can slowly add pieces back in rather than flooding the floor with high usage players all at once.

    Good point about how he’s playing this well with Jeffries who can’t finish at all and Chandler who is great with the lobs, decent otherwise but is no Amare when it comes to finishing at the rim. Amare is going to flat out dominate when he gets back…If melo buys in, we’re back to being a team to fear. Also good point on the staggered add-back of Amare and Melo.

  50. TheXman

    njasdjdh: assists while shooting greater than 50% from the floor since the ’05-’06 season:

    What ’bout the team surrounding Jeremy Lin last night? Jared Jeffries, Novak, and Fields? Wizards based on conventional thought have decent players – Nick Young, McGee, Crawford. So who was able to make their teammates better?

  51. Eternal OptiKnist

    cgreene: The fact that the Knicks are in such a hole record wise does put a damper on this for me a bit. Wish we were talking about how this was going to vault the Knicks into the upper echelon of the conference rather than help them possibly make the playoffs. But it’s fun for now!

    We’re 4 games below .500…not in that big of a hole when you consider how this team should play together once complete now that we have a legit, serviceable PG (not asking him to score 30 points a night…but he can RUN THIS TEAM). You ask me, once Amare is back, assuming they dont have to spend 2 weeks to develop chemistry, we can go on a serious run…MAYBE well enough to let Melo postpone his comeback another week to fully heal. We’re on the cusp of something really great if we can get Melo involved in the flow. Contrary to many (i suspect), i think he will buy in..i just hope he has the ability to adjust his game.

  52. KnickInSeattle

    Has anyone seen Melo reacting to Lin’s success from the bench?
    Most of the team seems excited and happy for him (a very good sign).

    I would bet that Melo is too, but I watched the last game on NBA TV, got the Wizards broadcast and they didn’t show the Knicks bench much at all.

  53. Gideon Zaga

    Melo is always in the locker room watching the games when he’s injured, like Kobe they never like to sit on the bench. But remember that during the jazz game he came out in street clothes to support the guys. I understand why people don’t like those guys, they just have different personalities.

    KnickInSeattle:
    Has anyone seen Melo reacting to Lin’s success from the bench?
    Most of the team seems excited and happy for him (a very good sign).

    I would bet that Melo is too, but I watched the last game on NBA TV, got the Wizards broadcast and they didn’t show the Knicks bench much at all.

  54. danvt

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I guess my point is that you really have to think that a metric is complete bullshit if you’re saying that a guy rated that highly doesn’t deserve that kind of minimal-risk decision.

    Yeah but he went to Harvard, right? I mean, who’d he do it against? Northeastern?

  55. danvt

    Just saying you can’t call someone’s job credentials into question because they missed this one. Well, you can.

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