Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quick Reaction: Knicks 108, Magic 86

Orlando Magic 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
108 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 26 MIN | 9-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 25 PTS | +33

Oh, so THAT’s why you trade Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Ray Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry, Eddy Curry’s Food Per Diem and two of Clyde Frazier’s panda-skin suits get this guy. I shudder whenever Kelly Tripucka (or any other members of the smart set) start dissecting “body language” but, if only for the optics, it sure was fun to see Melo play angry. His devastating mid-range game came storming back to the fore, he plain shredded the Magic at the tin and all the above was accomplished despite the fact that he’s clearly still hobbled by whichever Milwaukee Buck Rochambeau’d him…Wow. Just a dominant, complete performance on both ends. What’s that? Where has this been all season? Shut the hell up, that’s where!

Landry Fields, G 28 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | 0

On a night when so many of his mates shone, Landry…well…he performed in a manner that was pretty much indistinguishable from every other game during the Knicks’ 8-1 run. He slashed to the basket, had a galling turnover and continued to receive increasingly threatening letters from The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers for failure to pay back dues. Like a Global Warming denier, despite the mountain of evidence, I remain convinced that the Young Landry who banked 37% of his treys will return tout suite…Right? Y’all are with me. Hello? You guys still here? Anybody?

Tyson Chandler, C 28 MIN | 4-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +22

Okay Tyson,

So here’s the deal. Our only other defensive big is out. The high-scoring all-star big who has been the team’s best player during the reign of the Potato-headed coach is also out. The point guard who fed you so many lobs…yeah. He’s out too. I know, not fun. But anyway, tonight, can you do us a solid and guard the league’s preeminent center one on one and make up for the fact that we’re undersized on the boards and make up for any defensive lapses in the backcourt/shoot 70%/run the high pick and roll/finish at the rim like you have all season? You can? Thanks. Sweet.

Oh, one more thing. I’m moving next week. It’s a fifth floor walk up, I’ve got a sofa unit that’s going to be tricky getting around the corners of the stairwell and I’ve got about 34 boxes of books. No, I’ve read them all, I just want to keep them. Can you…you know…You will? Awesome. We’re starting Saturday morning at 7am because I don’t want to pay an overage penalty on the truck. I’ll buy the coffee. See you then!

Baron Davis, PG 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | +32

There are still some persistent facial twitch-inducing aspects to the Baron’s game — the “Throw the ball in the vague direction of the hoop on the pick and roll” move, the “I’m going to dribble idly at the three point line and then launch one with the shot clock near zero” gambit to name two, but tonight was clearly his finest performance as a Knicks. I’m still considering converting because Jeremy Lin plummeted from the heavens and/or rafters, but it’s nice to know (hope?) that there won’t be a significant drop off when Baron’s beard enters the fray. Gird your loins, because I’m about to trot out a as hoary a sports cliche as I’ve got in my arsenal, but the best part of his game tonight? When Melo or Novakaine or Shump or whomever got “hot” he made sure that they touched the ball on the next possession, even if said player did swing it to the open man when the Magic converged. That’s just a veteran point guard knowing how to control/run the offense. Creak, gasp, cough.

Iman Shumpert, G 32 MIN | 10-21 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 25 PTS | +36

We Knick fans tend to…ahem…overreact at times, especially when it comes to rookies/young players with potential. We here at Knickerblogger aren’t immune. We actually leased an entire compound’s worth of slave labor in a free trade zone in Bangladore, where they work 25-hour days churning out ‘Bocker-themed t-shaped shirts that proclaim the aforementioned presumption of greatness. Tonight, “21 Shump Street” doesn’t only refer to the team-high number of shots he hoisted, but the potential (there’s that millstone again) our perpetual-energy combo guard does in fact possess. When he’s hitting consistently from long range (a few tips from Allan Houston never hurt), it’s like the fabled Dutch Boy pulling his finger out of the dyke on Twitter — comparisons to Joe Dumars, Latrell Sprewell and even…gulp…Dwyane Wade came flooding out with as much effervescent giddiness as 140 characters will allow. He’s not in that stratosphere yet, but If Shump can fling it like he did tonight on a consistent basis, we’ll start cracking the whip at the factory again.

Mike Bibby, PG 18 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -7

Now that we’ve run through Mumm-Ra, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Weekend at Bibby’s, The Walking Dead, Human Victory Embalming Fluid, “You can’t get hurt if you’re not actually living,” and another 44 iterations of jokes describing Mike’s untimely, premature demise, I gotta say, I’m tapped out. I got nuttin’. So, in lieu of thumbing through my dog-eared copy of James Joyce’s “The Dead” for a quote/jibe that’d probably be a reach and make your humble correspondent look like a pretentious egghead anyway, I’ll just note that Bibby hasn’t really been playing point guard since Lin’s been out anyway. Tonight, it was mainly Shump and J.R, Smith who initiated the offense or ran a pick and roll while Bibby channeled Eddie House — stretching the floor as an undersized two. I guess in that role — a 6’1″ Steve Novak (save for the fact that he’s about 872% less likely to hit the shot) — can we can call him…le petit mort? I’m back, baby!

Steve Novak, SF 23 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -2

Really not much more to say than NOVAK SMASH.

J.R. Smith, SG 30 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +2

J.R. did a few ridiculously athletic things — abusing poor Liggins with a crossover in garbage time, flushing a wayward alley oop from Bibby — but it’s his defense and willingness to do the dirty work that’s proving to be the most pleasantly surprising aspect of his game.

Toney Douglas, PG 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -3

I honestly thought Toney would get some significant burn tonight and start acronyming away, but, Son of Wood chose to go with a known (if wholly uninspiring) quantity in Bibby. It’s odd — for a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist, I do tend to have an unyielding faith in certain Knicks who catch my fancy (See Fields, Landry). Alas, his window to spin may slam shut as soon as Lin heals up.

Jerome Jordan, C 5 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -3

I have a fondness for all third string centers, possibly because continue to I labor under the delusion that if I was 7’2″ with Machine Man extendo-arms I too could log five minutes of play on an NBA team. That said, even though JJ to the third power is turning 26 in September, as previously stated, he is long and fairly athletic. It’d be swell if he was getting consistent mins in the D-League, but the with this truncated season grinding players into so much pink slime/meat filler, he’s definitely needed at MSG.

Josh Harrellson, F 20 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | 0

I don’t know about you, but I started sweating pure acid in the 2nd when it looked like Chandler was going to be either out of the lineup entirely or severely reduced in aggressiveness because of foul trouble. Jortstache came in and banged and boarded with aplomb, even if his elevation on layups makes Charles Oakley look like Bob Beamon. (Carl Lewis? Does anyone watch the Olympics any more?)

Five Things We Saw

  1. In the most noticeable change in offensive philosophy since Mike Woodson has taken over, with Baron Davis proving far less effective than Jeremy Lin on the pick and roll, the Knicks trotted out some serious onside-out basketball tonight. This sport we love isn’t chess, kids — Melo set up deep in the post and when he wasn’t rattling in turnaround jumpers or drawing contact, he smartly kicked it out to a teammates who either took the shot or swung it around the perimeter until they found a wide open look. For all those who claim that featuring Melo necessarily means an offense more stagnant than French-German front in World War One, I offer tonight’s affair to the court as evidence 7A. They dominated the boards and stuck to forcing anyone other than Dwight Howard to beat them, even when that strategy appeared to be failing miserably in the opening minutes. I grow more and more impressed with Coach Mike the 2nd (and the lush, sumptuous, full goatee that the MSG Network is featuring in promos for the NY-ATL tilt) with each and every passing game.
  2. Not that tonight’s win wasn’t impressive and all, but boy did the Orlandoans (Orlandoites? Orlandos? Jews?) just curled up and pull a Bibby. On more than one occasion this season, for reasons unknown, if their floor-stretchers aren’t connecting, Dwight seems to start pouting and then the whole team follows his lead, disappearing in a fit of pique that would do Garbo proud and resulting in ghastly things like the Knicks’ 21-0 run in the 3rd that blew the game wide open. I dig SVG as a coach, but to watch a supposed contender just quit like that…well…it’s not what I’d call a good sign.
  3. Some fun factoids in the midst of the delirium. Bernard King referred to Glenn “Giant Infant” Davis as a, “400-pounder.” I think he’s off a by a few folds of flab, but not that much. The MSG Network does a nifty job of using their sooper slow-mo shots not to clarify or highlight a particular play, but rather to provide the fans at home with larf-worthy distended facial reactions to either violent on-court collisions or, as was the case tonight, the horrified, palsied expressions of those who can afford to pony up about 2k a seat as an adorable rhinoceros of a man comes hurtling over the first few rows.
  4. Oh yeah. And Hedo Turkoglu is the spitting image of the French Impressionist painter, Edgar Degas.

    AMIRITE?!?

  5. Our boys find themselves above .500 for the first time since January, after multiple attempts to climb the mountain of mediocrity only to be sent plummeting backward like a hardwood Sisyphus. On a night that I assume most fans had pretty much written off as a loss, pretty much everything went right and they beat a top-three team like a gong. I can’t begin to predict what might happen next. They’re a mystery wrapped in an enigma underneath a fedora worn by an aging Blues guitarist/hack of a cable TV despot. Could Toney Douglas shed his skin tomorrow night and reveal that he’s actually descended from a race of evolved, hyper-intelligent penguins from the future? Sure! Why not. Awesome victory notwithstanding, whoever keeps slapping the Improbability Drive on the Heart of Gold, please stop. I’m nauseated and coughing up yarn.

55 comments on “Quick Reaction: Knicks 108, Magic 86

  1. JK47

    Melo’s line score in the recap is incorrect.

    He actually played 26 minutes, and scored 25 points on 9-15 shooting. He was +33 for the game.

    The A+ is correct though.

  2. thenoblefacehumper

    ‘Melo legitimately looked like someone you can really build a team around tonight. He had some great passes and just looked like a dynamic player. I’ll believe it when I see more of it, but it was refreshing.

    Oh, Tyson Chandler is really good at Basketball. Wow.

    SHUMP SHUMP

  3. JLam

    Knicks surprise me,
    When i predict a sure loss , it turns out to be a dominating win.
    When I predict a dominating win, its turns out to be an inept loss.
    When I predict the losing streak continues suddenly a wining streak starts.
    When I predict the winning streak will never end, a string of losses starts.
    Im not going to predict any more.

  4. jon abbey

    we went on a 48-10 run tonight spanning the second and third quarters against the 5th best team in the league. maybe it’s time for more people to start believing a bit.

  5. jon abbey

    BigBlueAL:
    Nothing beats getting home and finding out the Knicks won by 22 :-)

    how about that they were up by 39 before Orlando made a pretty meaningless run?

  6. JK47

    Fun fact: the Knicks now rank 7th in the NBA in point differential, one-tenth of a point behind the team in 6th (Indiana).

  7. jon abbey

    JK47:
    Fun fact: the Knicks now rank 7th in the NBA in point differential, one-tenth of a point behind the team in 6th (Indiana).

    it seems like this is pretty closely correlated to Hollinger’s Power Rankings, we should probably pass the Lakers and move up to 7th there tomorrow also.

  8. Brian Cronin

    Who cares what stats show up. Our Knicks kicked some butts.

    Yep, a dominant performance. Awwwwwwwesome. Hopefully they kick Atlanta’s ass on Friday, too!

  9. JLam

    Melo found his rhythm, tonight, finally.
    Knicks show can beat good teams without Lin, JJ and Stats.
    Why not rest anyone that’s hurting and save them for the playoffs?
    There’s only three games left in the schedule that need full healthy bodies to win, that 2 against the Bulls and one against the Heat.
    The rest are winnable with a partial squad hurt with injuries.

  10. Robert Silverman Post author

    Stats are fixed. Just FYI – we use a program to generate the fancy formatting for these here recaps and the “using the wrong stats” glitch happens from time to time.

  11. thenoblefacehumper

    JLam:
    Melo found his rhythm, tonight, finally.
    Knicks show can beat good teams without Lin, JJ and Stats.
    Why not rest anyone that’s hurting and save them for the playoffs?
    There’s only three games left in the schedulethat need full healthy bodies to win, that 2 against the Bulls and one against the Heat.
    The rest are winnable with a partial squad hurt with injuries.

    That’s a perfectly good strategy AFTER we clinch. Milwaukee is still just two behind us in the loss column.

  12. Z

    Missed the game. Damn. And from the game thread, it seems it wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated. SHUMP

    jon abbey:
    maybe it’s time for more people to start believing a bit.

    Did Dolan sell?

  13. jon abbey

    Z:
    Missed the game. Damn. And from the game thread, it seems it wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated. SHUMP

    yep, it was 90-51 at one point in the third.

    “Did Dolan sell?”

    no, but Woodson seems to have sold his soul to the devil, which I am all for.

  14. Juany8

    I know Melo had an amazing game, but didn’t he have like 27-12 yesterday? He’s a monster in the post, when D’Antoni decided to completely move Melo to the wing he sealed his fate. Can’t believe it took Mike Woodson of all people to realize this team’s potential. It’s really such a shame Stoudemire is out…

  15. Z

    jon abbey: Woodson seems to have sold his soul to the devil, which I am all for.

    Why would the devil even want that? He already has Phil Jackson’s soul, which is a much better conversation piece.

  16. Tony Pena

    Results of games played by teams that the knicks have beaten during this stretch suggests that it’s not a fluke.

    ORL: 7-3 in their last 10 before tonight
    MIL: 8-2 before NY game, beat ATL after
    PHI: Middling, but beating bad teams, and tough losses to top teams. Also beat BOS twice in their last 10
    IND: 4-2 after NY, incl. W’s against the CLIPS, MIL, MIA

    Even POR and TOR beat MEM, DEN and CHI, right around the time they played the Knicks.

  17. JK47

    We’re really gonna need to step up our game on the road. We have 6 home games and 9 road games left, and four of the home games are against Chicago, Miami, Boston and the Clippers.

  18. 2FOR18

    Melo vs Josh Smith Friday is going to be so interesting to watch. I can’t wait. I love when Melo is in the post as opposed to shooting long 2’s; that’s where he belongs at his current size and health.

  19. jon abbey

    Tony Pena:
    Anyone got a link to the game? Missed it

    it’s on MSG again now, they’re in the middle of that crazy third quarter stretch as I type.

  20. DRed

    As bad as Melo has been this year, he’s a killer when he gets the ball low on the block. If only we could meet the Magic in the playoffs-Tyson might be the only man in the league who can handle Dwight one on one. He’s certainly the best post defender we’ve had since the 90s. Who else in the league can best Dwight on the boards? Just a fantastic player.

  21. jon abbey

    oh, this one is for BigBlueAl, who mocked me when I was excited about Darrell Walker being hired for pretty much exactly this reason:

    “Knicks’ new assistant Darrell Walker, who Mike Woodson brought on when he became the interim head coach, has pushed Shumpert to make more consistent plays on the defensive end. That’s what Walker, who, like Shumpert, is from Chicago, was known for during his 10 years in the NBA from 1983 to 1993.

    “I play defense my way and he’s been all over me saying that he’s the best defensive guard out of Chicago,” Shumpert said. “It’s fun, but he definitely doesn’t say anything to me on offense [laughs]. He just worries about the defensive end and he gets in me if anybody gets past me. It’s definitely big for my confidence and my aggressiveness moving forward on defense.””

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/15483/woodson-shump-changes-the-game-on-d

  22. JK47

    Wow, Philly has 11 road games and 5 home games left. Celtics have 7 at home and 9 on the road and all their home games are tough: Miami, San Antonio, Philly, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami again and Milwaukee.

    If we go 10-5 (a tall order I know) then Philly and Boston would both have to go 8-8 or worse for us to win the division.

  23. jon abbey

    JK47:
    Wow, Philly has 11 road games and 5 home games left.Celtics have 7 at home and 9 on the road and all their home games are tough: Miami, San Antonio, Philly, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami again and Milwaukee.

    If we go 10-5 (a tall order I know) then Philly and Boston would both have to go 8-8 or worse for us to win the division.

    yeah, it will not be easy to get out of the 8 spot. that last Celtics loss really hurts, not to mention we’ve lost to 4 of the worst 5 teams in the league this year (!!!!).

  24. ruruland

    Maybe it’s been so long that Melo has been awful/injured, or maybe he was scoring in different ways last year, but this used to be a pretty average day at the office for #15, er 7.

    The difference is that you’d see a lot more explosiveness near the basket and on the drive, more defensive attention for sure… and in closer games a higher percentage of contested jump shots that would bring his shooting percentage down.

    AS Robert pointed out, indeed, it’s not chess. It’s not complicated.

    While Melo’s scoring is great, and phenomenal at times, it’s the threat of his scoring that is the more consistent/sustained way to get good offense.

    I think Knicks fans finally saw why Denver built their halfcourt offense around Melo post-ups/isos. Why, now, Denver can’t get good shots in the halfcourt (again,tonight, 15 straight possessions in the 4th quarter without a score, the same problem I’ve been talking about all year, one which the advanced stats people scoffed at as merely anecdotal earlier).

    While Melo had 6 assists tonights, how many good shots did the Knicks get out of Melo double teams?

    More often than not, teams aren’t going to double off the entry passer. That’s why Melo got 6 dimes tonight…..

    Normally, teams will come double off someone else, setting the defense into a rotation, which if properly executed with decent personnel will result in a layup/foul shot or wide open 3……

    I’ve talked about this very simple concept over and over and over again with people who believe that Melo’s impact on the game is captured by the stats — it’s not……

    Nor is it for any player who can create consistent double teams and set the defense in rotation without getting credited for initiating what turns into a highly leveraged offensive situation….

  25. ruruland

    It’s quite comparable in value to a great penetrating point guard who breaks the defense down — the difference is the point guard gets credited for the stats, while the double creating wing/post guy doesn’t….

    Why? The penetrator is doing to the defense what beating the rotation is done by a few guys….I’m not sure how the efficiency of those two scenarios break down, but in the latter scenario you’re looking at fewer turnoves, and the former scenario you’re looking at less layups and foul shots created.

    Again, folks. This used to be a very normal day for Melo…In a closer game he may have been asked to shoot more, and he may have a missed a few more shots.. bet the net effect of the double teams was always there….

    Melo can make everyone better with iso/post looks, especially Amar’e…

    It shouldn’t be an every play thing, but it should be a big part of the offense. Nene thrived as a weakside attack player…. So, too, can Amar’e (while keeping his other looks the same)… I think Lin can be much more efficient if he could play against a wrong-footed defender as opposed to creating against a trap…..

    Everyone, even Landry Fields, can improve.. There’s a reason you saw consistent, year-to-year, true shooing percentage improvements for guys playing alongside Melo.

    Melo couldn’t even move tonight…. God I hope he gets healthy because there’s a whole nother level he plays at when he combines his stroke with his normal explosiveness and agility.

  26. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey:
    oh, this one is for BigBlueAl, who mocked me when I was excited about Darrell Walker being hired for pretty much exactly this reason:

    “Knicks’ new assistant Darrell Walker, who Mike Woodson brought on when he became the interim head coach, has pushed Shumpert to make more consistent plays on the defensive end. That’s what Walker, who, like Shumpert, is from Chicago, was known for during his 10 years in the NBA from 1983 to 1993.

    “I play defense my way and he’s been all over me saying that he’s the best defensive guard out of Chicago,” Shumpert said. “It’s fun, but he definitely doesn’t say anything to me on offense [laughs]. He just worries about the defensive end and he gets in me if anybody gets past me. It’s definitely big for my confidence and my aggressiveness moving forward on defense.””

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/15483/woodson-shump-changes-the-game-on-d

    Hey, I believe I added a smiley face at the end of my mocking comment!!

  27. Tony Pena

    I agree with you ruru, stats don’t do Melo real justice- at his best he’s not “just an above average scorer”. But I also think there’s even another level that Melo is going to have to find if he’s going to bring a championship here, past the “50/50 chance he scores 40 tonight” level. The Melo, ahmm, “detractors” are right about one thing, in almost a decade it hasn’t brought the success a truly top individual talent in the nba should (aka Jordan), and this was with a franchise totally committed to him… But my conclusion is that he’s not a unique talent. Imho the change is going to be have to be him being able to turn it on and off quicker, without as many touches as he’s gotten in his career. It’s obvious he needed more help than in DEN, so now he has it. Well these guys need their touches too. At full strength the O is going to have to run through STAT AND Lin (!!!) at different points in the game, not to mention Chandler and the shooters. There’s only but so many possessions in a game. Not to say that he’s not going to be OK with that, or that you propose that everything always runs through him, but a Pierce-like role is a good comparison. More of a he’s option 1A to options 1B and 1C. I suppose the biggest thing going forward, past this season, is for the Knicks to find that delicate balance between letting Melo go to work and gradually adjusting his game to play with multiple players that need touches. A tough, tough juggle, but a great problem to have. I think MDA saw this in advance, but wanted to turn him into something that he thought he should be, overnight.

  28. Frank

    Great win last night – combination of us playing really hard and Orlando not bringing any energy at all. This game really made me wonder about Howard – is he mentally tough enough? He picked up 3 stupid fouls in the 3rd which basically ended the game (mostly over anyway). And for a guy who is supposed to be the best rim protector in the league, the Knicks shot 83% at the rim last night – 19/23. Seems like when the opposing center can do a reasonable job against him 1-on-1, he struggles. I don’t watch Orlando games a whole lot and maybe this was just a bad game, but he looked like he was just going through the motions after the Knicks made that run in the 2nd quarter.

    btw I guess that’s what Ryan Anderson does when Dwight’s not getting double-teamed. 16 minutes, 3 points, and oh yeah, he and Turk got completely abused by Melo on the defensive end. He’s definitely a good player but is he just a better rebounding version of Novak? We were throwing all kinds of smaller players on him last night and he couldn’t make us pay for the size mismatch.

  29. Frank

    btw – the last 2 games make me wonder whether or not Melo’s best position is really as a 4. Just like Amare overwhelms slower players on offense when he plays the 5, there isn’t a 4 in the league (other than maybe Josh Smith – we’ll see) that can stay with Melo. Melo’s been doing a very nice job on the boards also. Against teams with a true offensive 4 playing Melo there probably won’t work, but it sure has looked good the last 2 games.

  30. Gorky

    I missed the Knicks teams of the 90s, so I have literally NEVER seen the Knicks play good defense. I honestly didn’t know that was possible.

  31. Z

    Who was guarding Anderson? Was he getting the “Bucks on Steve Novak” treatment? (or was Anderson’s poor night a direct causation of Amar’e not defending him?)

  32. JC Knickfan

    Brian Cronin:
    It really is crazy that 8-1 gotthe Knick not a single spot in the standings.

    We where 9th place after 6 game losing streak. So we did gain one spot.

  33. Zach Horst

    I was at the game last night and the overall despair about Amar’e was pretty evident. People all around me were talking and complaining about how the season is gone without our PF.

    I think everyone is overreacting, though. Don’t get me wrong, we are definitely a better team with Amar’e, but not as much as people think. He’s a guy that will consistently give us 18 and 8 on the offensive end, but what does he let up defensively? With him on the floor, we probably give up 10 or 12 more points (compared to when Jeffries, Jorts, or even Melo is out there) throughout the course of a game.

    With Amar’e, I think the overall net is about maybe 7 more points and 4 or 5 more rebounds. Now these are baskets and boards we can definitely use come playoff time, but the team is more than capable of winning without him, especially with this new-found depth.

    Anyone else agree?

  34. jon abbey

    if they have Jeffries back, they might even be better without Amare, assuming (HUGE assumption) that this version of Melo is back for the duration.

  35. briand

    I too was a little surprised Douglas didn’t get any run in this game. I guess Woodson is hoping Bibby will find his stroke again, but I think that ship has passed. Since JR is basically playing backup PG anyway, why not throw Douglas out there and let him do his poor man’s version of Shump. At least he would provide some defensive value.

  36. Z

    Zach Horst:
    We are definitely a better team with Amar’e, but not as much as people think.

    What is our record without Amar’e this year? What is the point differential in those games?

  37. Zach Horst

    Z: What is our record without Amar’e this year? What is the point differential in those games?

    Yeah, I realize we are like 7-1 or something like that right? I mean, maybe we are better without him, and I just don’t want to believe it? I still think he can be a very valuable asset though if Carmelo isn’t hitting his shots.

  38. Z

    Zach Horst:
    I was making the point more towards those (like Michael Kay) who have said “without Amar’e, we won’t make the playoffs.”

    We might not make the playoffs without Amar’e, but if that turns out to be the case we probably wouldn’t make the playoffs with Amar’e either.

    And more telling of our 7-1 record without Amar’e is our 19-25(?) record WITH him.

  39. New Guy

    This is the wrong season to get caught up in records with or without players. Too many variables.

  40. Brian Cronin

    btw – the last 2 games make me wonder whether or not Melo’s best position is really as a 4. Just like Amare overwhelms slower players on offense when he plays the 5, there isn’t a 4 in the league (other than maybe Josh Smith – we’ll see) that can stay with Melo. Melo’s been doing a very nice job on the boards also. Against teams with a true offensive 4 playing Melo there probably won’t work, but it sure has looked good the last 2 games.

    I think it just goes to what we’ve been saying about this team for a long time now, that their three star players don’t really work well together. I mean, don’t get me wrong, with the defense playing well, you can win with the three of them not co-existing well (as they just have to be decent on offense to go with the great defense), but otherwise, you have three players who excel when they are the main option on offense.

    Lin played at his best when he was the focal point of the offense. He played pretty well when Amar’e was the focal point of the offense recently, but he played best when he was the focal point of the offense. His importance diminishes depending on the amount of touches he gets (in other words, he is not a Derek Fisher-type of 1).
    Amar’e played at his best recently when he became the focal point of the offense for the first time since last season. He’s pretty much useless on offense when he is not the focal point of the offense.
    Melo played at his best early in the season when he was the focal point of the offense and now, in the two games since Amar’e went out, he stepped right up and produced in a similar fashion. When he was not the focal point of the offense, he fell apart mentally.

    With the defensive-minded players they have plus the guys like Fields who don’t need to shoot to help the team, the Knicks really only “need” one focal point of the offense. Once they have said focal point, what they need next is just have the supporting players hit their open shots that they get as a result of the focal point. When they do…well, you’re going to have a blowout.

  41. jon abbey

    Zach Horst:
    I was making the point more towards those (like Michael Kay) who have said “without Amar’e, we won’t make the playoffs.”

    pretty sure Michael Kay doesn’t post or read here, thankfully.

    basketball is a game of matchups, we might miss Amare if we play Chicago in the first round. but for regular season games, we might not miss him that much, especially if Jeffries is available.

  42. Zach Horst

    jon abbey: pretty sure Michael Kay doesn’t post or read here, thankfully.

    basketball is a game of matchups, we might miss Amare if we play Chicago in the first round. but for regular season games, we might not miss him that much, especially if Jeffries is available.

    Yeah, I was referring to the public (people at the game last night) and media mostly. People on here know too much to make blanket statements like that.

  43. briand

    jon abbey: pretty sure Michael Kay doesn’t post or read here, thankfully.basketball is a game of matchups, we might miss Amare if we play Chicago in the first round. but for regular season games, we might not miss him that much, especially if Jeffries is available.

    Jeffries may be the key. I don’t really think the Knicks miss Amare that much with Jeffries around to soak up 20 min a night. But without both, the frontcourt rotation is awfully thin.

  44. Tony Pena

    @#51 Idk man. I think they can co-exist. Boston, again, is the example. We’ve seen it time and time again, any one of them step up big when another one is out, for long stretches too. If the Knicks can get that veteran mentality to be ready to immediately step up, within games and within periods of the season…

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