Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quick Reaction: Knicks 113, Pistons 86

Tonight we decided to open up the phone lines, as it were, and post some of our favorite player-related tweets. It was fun. We hope you enjoy them. If you don’t, well, I reckon you can go to Hell’s Kitchen.

Detroit Pistons 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
113 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 33 MIN | 9-14 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 25 PTS | +27

When I first turned on League Pass – having grown up outside Detroit, I actually welcomed the Detroit feed, featuring George Blaha (sexy name, sexier voice) and Greg Kelser – the initial starting lineup graphic had Billy Walker starting in an injured Melo’s stead. By game time, however, it was clear that Melo would, in fact, be at center court for the tip. One ridiculously effective, efficient, and effervescent game log later (I’ll chalk the lack of ‘bounds up to lack of hops, for the moment) one hopes maybe the three games he took off really were as good for the soul as they were for the shot selection.

@DarnleyRoad: Carmelo Anthony HAS to be related to me.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | +12

Stat was once again effective, albeit in unspectacular spurts. Which is maybe what we should come to expect from Amar’e, whose nonchalance vis-a-vis his own numbers, relayed in numerous interviews of late, at least appears genuine. He gave us a bit of a scare before the start of the second half, when it was reported he’d tweaked his ankle jogging out of the tunnel (that’s just some classic Jim Cavan shit right there). Stat managed to play through it, though he looked significantly less effective. Still, there were some nice highlights; chief among them a beautiful, totally in-rhythm dribble-drive, 12-foot pull-up bank from the right wing — a display I’m told Amar’e will follow up by reading selected passages from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass tomorrow night at The Art House.

@charliezegers: Source: Stoudemire was injured while attempting to touch his toes.

Tyson Chandler, C 32 MIN | 5-6 FG | 7-10 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +27

Sources have told me that, before the game, Tyson Chandler informed his teammates – brought into a huddle using his 14-foot pterodactyl wings – that if they didn’t feed him the ball to his liking, he would make a giant flesh necklace out of them. Seventeen points later – on roughly five more shots than he’s been accustomed to taking – the only bodies left bloodied were the ones unlucky enough to be donning the visiting blues.

@charlestosborn: Man, Tyson Chanlder is the coolest.

Landry Fields, G 31 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +25

For someone who’s appeared most ill-at-ease ever since last year’s Melo coup, Fields sure looked re-energized having #7 back on the court. Barring his zero-point crap-athon in Houston, Fields has tallied double figures in each of his last seven outings – something he achieved in the first eleven seconds of this game, by my count (I don’t know how to count). For all the hand-wringing over the seemingly submarined prospects of everyone’s favorite Cardinal, Fields – true to his alma matter’s ivy stock – really does seem to be figuring it out.

@ross_bernhardt: Landry Fields is on pace for 44 points and 16 steals after the first quarter. #Analysis

Iman Shumpert, G 35 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 6 PTS | +11

As with a toddler taking his first steps, we have to learn to be happy whenever Shumpert doesn’t fall down a flight of stairs or walk into a table corner every time he plays. That’s essentially what we got out of 21 Shump Street tonight. Amusingly, he appeared to take extra pleasure in crawling into lottery pick Brandon Knight’s jersey at every opportunity, despite said zealousness resulting in as many fouls as it did possession-kills. All that aside, a team-high 35 minutes, intelligent shot selection, and six dimes are nothing to scoff at.

@FuxWitLim: Iman Shumpert had 6 lousy fricking points???? Dude…I put money on him avg 10!!!! Smh

Jared Jeffries, PF 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +7

As much as I’d love to greenlight Jared Jeffries: Floor General for a couple hundred seasons, the budget — to say nothing of the stroke-inducing stress — is just way too rich for KnickerBlogger Studios’ blood. Jared Jeffries: Defensive Nuisance? I’d be willing to put in a lead actor courtesy call to Scott Bakula.

@netw3rk: The sound the Garden crowd makes when Jared Jeffries looks at the basket while holding the ball is amazing.

Steve Novak, SF 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +3

After his woeful off-the-bench performance in Houston, I was afraid Novak might show up to tonight’s game looking and acting like C. Montgomery Burns right after he built the Spruce Moose. YouTube it.

@ItsHiptoClip: Who would you rather have lunch with… Eric Piatkowski or Steve Novak?

Renaldo Balkman, PF 6 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +3

Renaldo Balkman averaged 72 points, 12 rebounds and 12 steals per 48 minutes in this game. That’s either Strawberry Ice or AK-47. Book it.

*TWITTER DOWN*

Toney Douglas, PG 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +12

Like Shumpert, Douglas managed more than he performed in this one. And that’s totally acceptable – welcome, even. Like Fields – though not nearly to the same degree – Douglas finally appears to be showing signs of life. Which is really just another way of saying Bibby will probably be gnawing on his shoulder at practice tomorrow.

@Kingjaffejo_NYK: Jeremy Lin > Toney Douglas

Jeremy Lin, PG 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | +3

I received an inordinate number of tweets tonight regarding whether or not — check that: when — Jeremy Lin will get more burn. To which the answer is as simple as its caveat: Of course he does; and, knowing Mike D’Antoni, of course he won’t. One thing I will say: He and Balkman appear to have a weird kind of chemistry out on the floor. Remember kids: Who you sit next to in the rotation is important.

@BobSaietta: Breen said, “Jeremy Lin fills up the stat sheet.” Yeah, but an hour later, you’re hungry to fill it up again. #vaguelyracist #recap

Robert Silverman everyone!

Jerome Jordan, C 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +5

A sick, twisted part of me wants Jerome Jordan to develop into an All-World Center who puts the entire Knicks organization on his back and carries us to seven championships in a row and we all buy Jordan jerseys and the whole thing just blows our minds because some of us have recurring nightmares where Michael Jordan suffocates us with a basketball.

@AntonioGil_SOSE: Jerome Jordan en pista… 5 minutos de morralla en el Garden.

Bill Walker, SG 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | 0

Bill Walker might be one of the few players in the universe capable of making an ostensibly efficient, disaster-free burn off the bench look – in real time – like Jackass bonus footage. Dude had five fouls in 15 minutes. That’s 16 fouls per 48. I just… THIS IS ME THROWING UP MY HANDS!!!!!!!

@ChlaMelo: Bill Walker just hit 2 of his 4 turnover moves back to back.

Five Things We Saw

  1. By now everyone’s been made privy to the fact that the Knicks – for all their offensive turd-wranglin’ – are a pretty decent defensive team. Aided by 20 Piston turnovers – 12 on steels, including five at the Venus Fly Trap hands of Landry Fields – the Knicks managed to turn their re-energized D into quick transition buckets. Perhaps the Orange and Blue can learn to tap at will into their inner Memphis Grizzlies, and make the savvy swipes and passing lane thievery we’ve seen of late a more pronounced hallmark going forward.
  2. Sometimes, when I’m by myself and bored, I like to print out color pictures of Greg Monroe and scrawl in crayon a Knicks jersey over the Pistons one. Such is the level of my juvenile, borderline-creepy jealousy vis-a-vis my hometown team’s rough-mined diamond. Many thought this would be the year the Detroit big and Georgetown gent would make the leap into the upper echelon of NBA centers. Thus far, that belief has largely been brought to bear — tonight’s relatively pedestrian stat line be damned. And I’m in no way saying that because I drafted him in the fourth round of my fantasy league and have taken to trying to write left handed just so I can be a little more like him…. In no way.
  3. I’ve never met them, but I imagine the psychological makeup of the Knicks Three Point Gods to lie somewhere on the spectrum between bi-polar and Gary Busey. The Knicks had it going from distance tonight, connecting on 9-18 and utilizing solid spacing and crisp passes to leave the relatively distance-inept Pistons in the dust.
  4. Before the clock struck garbage time, Mike D’Antoni had played eight players. Eight. Two days of rest aside, it seemed to this reporter that Lin, Jordan, Balkman, and Novak could’ve been summoned court-ward far earlier than they were. The Pistons are a bad, bad basketball team — there was no way they were coming back from a 24-point deficit, even given an entire quarter of Knick bricks and turnovers. Particularly in a condensed season, D’Antoni has to be smarter about how he manages his starter’s minutes. Take the guys out with the game in hand. If Detroit somehow cuts it to 12 or 10? Maybe then you throw your starters back in. Maybe. YOU’RE WELCOME, MIKE!
  5. By now, the effort / results deficit reflected in the ‘Bockers’ performance against teams that suck versus teams that don’t suck is glaringly obvious. It’s great to be able to put away bad teams early. But sooner or later the Knicks are going to have to prove they can defend, work the ball, and hit open shots as effectively against brass as they do birdshit.

30 comments on “Quick Reaction: Knicks 113, Pistons 86

  1. ruruland

    The great Gallo: 1-10, 0 assists.

    Benched in 4th quarter and OT.

    Denver fails to “execute” close 4th quarter game against reasonably decent defense.

    Maybe that deserves a blog post, extrapolated into eternity.

  2. Z

    Wait, is Scott Bakula going to portray Jared Jeffries while wearing blackface? Or is KnickerBlogger Studios promoting integrated casting? Not that I care. Either would be completely awesome. I’d DEFINITELY watch that show!

  3. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Wait, is Scott Bakula going to portray Jared Jeffries while wearing blackface? Or is KnickerBlogger Studios promoting integrated casting? Not that I care. Either would be completely awesome. I’d DEFINITELY watch that show!

    I’d prefer Dr. Sam Beckett leaping into the body of Jared Jeffries during the Bulls game to lead the Knicks to victory to avert what would have been a tough loss. By the way, rejoice Knick fans without MSG, the next three Knick games will all be on channels other than MSG!

  4. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Z:
    Wait, is Scott Bakula going to portray Jared Jeffries while wearing blackface? Or is KnickerBlogger Studios promoting integrated casting? Not that I care. Either would be completely awesome. I’d DEFINITELY watch that show!

    no Blackface pls… but otay on the rest

    LMNYKFAN4LIFE:
    trade of the year and i quote

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=73entfh

    you’re welcome… yup, i posted it first… me… Cdiggy… lol

  5. LMNYKFAN4LIFE

    The Infamous Cdiggy: no Blackface pls… but otay on the rest

    you’re welcome… yup, i posted it first… me… Cdiggy… lol

    nope this is my trade with your machine yup lol look up the link

  6. Will the Thrill

    Landry getting a little fancy on those fast breaks! No look passes and long leaping strides like he was just putting on a show. It’s funny how in one game he can be completely ghostly and another game he can have so much swag ((yeah I just said swag) only for Landry).

  7. Ben R

    ruruland:
    The great Gallo: 1-10, 0 assists.

    Benched in 4th quarter and OT.

    Denver fails to “execute” close 4th quarter game against reasonably decent defense.

    Maybe that deserves a blog post, extrapolated into eternity.

    14-7 – third in the west.

    I am looking forward to the day we have a lead to blow in the fourth quarter vs a decent defense.

  8. ruruland

    Ben R: 14-7 – third in the west.I am looking forward to the day we have a lead to blow in the fourth quarter vs a decent defense.

    You aren’t following my thesis. Denver is going to win a lot of regular season games, they will have a great point differential and Hollinger and others will project great things for them in the postseason, but it will be these kind of games, the ones they are ill-equipped for, that will ultimately define them.

  9. ruruland

    Ben R: 14-7 – third in the west.I am looking forward to the day we have a lead to blow in the fourth quarter vs a decent defense.

    What win % do you expect a Knick team with JR Smith and Baron Davis (and others regressing significantly back to mean)?

  10. Ben R

    ruruland: What win % do you expect a Knick team with JR Smith and Baron Davis (and others regressing significantly back to mean)?

    If we move the ball like we did tonight, especially how we moved it in the first half we will play a lot better and should make the playoffs, but I am not ready to say we are built for the playoffs any better than Denver is.

    I don’t buy that they will fall apart in the playoffs just because they lack a “superstar” iso scorer. They lost to a team last year in OKC that was just plain better than they were.

    It’s just like the argument against the Suns teams D’Antoni coached. They didn’t lose because they weren’t built for the playoffs they lost because they were worse than the teams that beat them.

  11. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Apropos of nothing, I just watched the premiere of this new Comedy Central show, Key and Peele. It was really good. I don’t know if you guys have heard of it (it hasn’t gotten a ton of publicity), but you should check it out – it’s replaying a lot this week.

  12. iserp

    ruruland: The great Gallo: 1-10, 0 assists.
    Benched in 4th quarter and OT.
    Denver fails to “execute” close 4th quarter game against reasonably decent defense.
    Maybe that deserves a blog post, extrapolated into eternity.

    I hope you’re joking, xD. You can’t base anything in only one bad game by Denver and one good game by the Knicks; let’s see if we can keep this up.

    You can have a lot of variance in just one game, not too far ago (2 seasons, perhaps), Dallas won by 50 point against us, and then they lost by 30 points to us the next game between the two teams. It is an extreme example, but anyway. If Denver faces Memphis in the playoffs (as a 2nd and 7th seed, or a 3rd and 6th), we can start to argue whether Denver was built for the playoffs or not based on the empirical results. I personally think that their depth won’t be an advantage then, but let’s see. (Meanwhile, Memphis lack of depth shows at times in the regular season, last night Marc Gasol played 50 min… that’s not good in the long run)

  13. Matt Smith

    JP! I demand more love given to Jordan vis-a-vis these arbitrary scorecard grades! If I misused that phrase, my excuse is my hatred of all things French. He’s a JAMAICAN SEVEN FOOTER. Need I remind you of the last time one of their ilk graced the pine at 34 and 7th?

    In all seriousness, I think he and Lin should get more burn. Until TD and Ball Wilker can prove that they DESERVE to be 6th men, let’s keep different people rotating through and try to run more with fresher legs.

    Also, one thing that hasn’t been talked about that’s semi-related: is MDA giving our starters too many minutes? I need to check the stats, but from watching the game, it seems like our big 3 are out there too often. I don’t think this bodes well for the playof — nevermind! MDA is brilliant. You can play your big three as much as you want if you’re not trying to make the postseason!

  14. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    We know that Balkman must be the world’s worst practicer, but perhaps Lin and Jordan also don’t do well at practice? D’Antoni seems to be a guy who values practice production a lot. Remember, Extra E got his big break last season because of his production at practice (Extra E was well known for being haaaaaaaaaaaardcore at practice – Von Wafer levels of hardcore). So maybe Lin and Jordan are too laid back? Toney and Walker are certainly not laid back guys, so maybe D’Antoni digs players who go all out at practice.

    But yeah, unless Lin and Jordan get a shot at playing real minutes, how can we judge them? When you tout their impressive performances, the counter is “it is garbage minutes!” But if all they’re given is garbage minutes, what the heck else can they do to prove themselves but do well in the minutes given to them – which they have! And yet they’re never rewarded with more minutes. So I think it must be practice issues.

  15. KnickfaninNJ

    I think it’s fair that players have to earn minutes in real games by doing well in practice. I don’t think D’Antoni is alone in among coaches in wanting to see good work in practice before putting people in games. Balkman has ended up with similar minutes no matter where he plays, so coaches seem to agree on him. Lin, on the other hand, got a lot more minutes in GS than here. But my guess is he doesn’t know the offense well enough yet or something like that. Because he seems to have shown considerable improvement. Last night wasn’t outstanding, but compared to his first Knick’s on court minutes, it was night and day.

  16. Frank

    As much as I’d love to celebrate last night’s game, my real thought is that Detroit is barely an NBA team at this point. They certainly don’t give NBA effort. I was at this mildly amusing game, and not sure if it showed up on TV the same way it did live, but Detroit basically mailed it in after halftime. Austin Daye has shot selection like Melo on his worst day, except he sucks at scoring whereas Melo is good at scoring. I’m not sure what kind of contract Lawrence Frank has, but if the Wizards fired Flip because the players tuned him out, LFrank deserves the boot too.

    On a happy note – that might be the best game I’ve ever see Landry Fields play. Amazing how different this offense looks when guys are hitting open 3s. Also – that might be the most in-the-flow games Melo has ever had as a Knick. Out of his 14 FGA only maybe 1 or 2 could be considered not in the flow of the offense.

    Re: Lin – he was fine I guess. 4 assists but I’d say the official scorer was being extremely kind to him on 2 of them, and one of the other assists was on a broken play where Jordan was just standing under the rim by himself. Even so, I’d like to see him get more burn only if because it gets Toney Douglas off the floor.

    @Ben R – other than the Chauncey-era Pistons, there really haven’t been any championship-winning teams without “superstar”-type players. The closest team to that is really the Spurs, but Duncan is a superstar in anyone’s book, Parker is somewhere below that, and Ginobili IS a superstar. I hear what you’re saying about “better” teams winning in the playoffs, but maybe they’re “better” because they have someone they can trust to score on any defense.

  17. Nick C.

    I guess the “superstar theory” depends on how loosely we define it. OTOH players like Gervin, Nique, Dantley with Utah, Melo and Amare (so far), AI (one finals appearance notwithstanding), Bernard, Vince Carter, McGrady etc. have had no luck.

  18. iserp

    Well, just having one superstar isn’t enought, obviously; you need heavy doses of luck and skill building a team.

    I consider Iverson to be quite unlucky in that regard, he never got a really good team in Philly, and he was done by the time he went to denver. Mutombo was a really good complimentary piece for him, but he was already 34 when they played together. Derrick Rose might be similar guard to Iverson, and Joakim Noah might be similar to Mutombo; but Chicago is luckier because both of them are young and will play together lots of seasons.

  19. yoda4554

    ruruland:
    The great Gallo: 1-10, 0 assists.

    Benched in 4th quarter and OT.

    Denver fails to “execute” close 4th quarter game against reasonably decent defense.

    Maybe that deserves a blog post, extrapolated into eternity.

    You know what “confirmation bias,” is right? Maybe this will help you.

    1/1–Denver 99, LA 90 (most of the season a top-10 defense)–Denver scores the final 11 points in the fourth quarter on a balanced attack, as LA’s I-can-score-on-anyone superstar Kobe Bryabt goes 0-3 with a turnover in the last two minutes.

    1/2–Denver 91, Milwaukee (one of the best defenses the last two years) 86–Denver outscores the Bucks 11-5 in the last five minutes, wins behind 21 points and 10 boards from Gallo.

    1/18–Denver 108, Philly (2012 Def Ranking: #1) 104 (OT)–Andre Miller ties it in regulation to cap off a 4Q Nuggets comeback and Nene and Afflalo win it in overtime.

    1/21–Denver 119, New York (2012 Def Ranking: #9) (2 OT) (you remember this, right?)–Gallinari scores 9 of his 37 points in the second overtime, as many as the Knicks as a whole score during that period; Knick superstar Anthony shoots 10-30 from the field.

    Yeah, they’ve lost some close games against good teams, too–like pretty much every good team has. But before you run your mouth off about how they can’t close out against good defensive teams in close games, try to make sure that’s actually, you know, true.

  20. thenamestsam

    Frank:
    As much as I’d love to celebrate last night’s game, my real thought is that Detroit is barely an NBA team at this point.

    I have to agree with Frank. I was at the garden last night as well (good thing about a bad team is cheap tickets) and before even the opening tip I was discussing how flat the Pistons looked. I don’t believe you necessarily need to jump up and down and scream before every game to play well, but it was pretty clear that they had absolutely no energy, and when you don’t have much talent, no energy is a killer.

    So while it did seem like there were huge strides taken last night it’s hard to read much into them given how awful that Detroit team is, and that we compounded it by making absolutely everything. If they come out and play with similar energy and style on Thursday I think they can keep it relatively close, and that would be a definite sign of progress.

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