Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quick Reaction: Knicks 85, Sixers 79

Philadelphia 76ers 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
85 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 37 MIN | 9-24 FG | 8-8 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 27 PTS | +5

Does anyone else here think Melo watched way too many Charles Bronson movies growing up? Jay-zus! It was largely a tale of two quarters for our prodigal son, who got off to a promising start — hitting his first three shots — before quickly tailing off in the second quarter. He then erupted anew in the third, netting 14 points from pretty much everywhere within 23 feet. Hero Mode fully assumed, Melo forced the issue early and often in the fourth, committing two turnovers, a charge, and one flagrantly dumb foul in retaliation after an Andre Iguodola steal. Twenty-four shots and a handful of admittedly clutch free throws later, many are seriously beginning to wonder whether this team really even has an offense after the 36th minute… *actually sees that Melo grabbed nine boards and dished five dimes, gives up*

Amare Stoudemire, PF 37 MIN | 8-14 FG | 4-7 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 20 PTS | -8

You’d be hard-pressed to script a more prototypical Stat game than this one. On offense, Stat was active, aggressive, and in control, connecting on deft turnarounds and mid-range pops and – most crucially – getting to the stripe. Even more encouraging, Amare’s ten boards marked the fourth time in five games he’s entered double digits. On that-thing-where-you-try-to-stop-the-other-team-from-scoring, Stat time and again fell asleep in the paint, failed to help on drives, and at one point passed up what would’ve been the easiest charge of his career by leaning back and letting Evan Turner bank in a 10-footer. It was quite humorous.

Tyson Chandler, C 35 MIN | 0-1 FG | 3-4 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +8

After his 22-point outburst against the Bobcats, it was understandable that Tyson would want to take a night off on O. Luckily, his 13 boards and omnipresent middle linebackering (I’m blaming all 40 of the Sixers’ paint points on Stat) proved he was still able to work from home, as it were — this despite being smacked in the face by Tony Battie, who apparently thought he was back fighting bears in the Roman Coliseum. Tyson also botched a would-be Shump alley-oop so hard off the back iron that the ball actually turned to powder.

Landry Fields, G 35 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | -5

It seems like all of Landry’s games thus far have been painfully forgettable. Despite a well-rounded first half (4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists), Fields played but sparingly in the second. He did, however, come up with a key steal off a Melo deflection at the apex of Philly’s late run. At this point, you just have to hope the slumping soph’s water treading leads slowly back to standing, and eventually to another run at the waves.

Iman Shumpert, G 38 MIN | 5-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | -6

The bad news is Shumpert fell a little bit closer to earth in this one, struggling from deep, committing a couple costly turnovers, and playing like, well, a noob. Despite a reputation for a shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality, if anything Shump was a little too passive at times, passing up open looks and deferring to Stat and Melo on the elbows. The good news is he seems to have found a mid-range sweet spot of sorts, having drilled a handful of 16-18 footers from the right wing early in the second half. His defense was equally as touch-and-go: The effort is clearly there, but it’s an effort that can border on the overzealous, as evidenced by a number of Jrue Holiday blow-bys.

Toney Douglas, PG 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +16

Baby steps. In the midst of probably the worst stretch of his career, Douglas managed to piece together a respectable – if wholly unspectacular – outing. Indeed, you have to think hitting his first three early in the second stanza felt about as good as one bucket can feel for a player as down-and-out as our beloved TD. A couple of head-scratching turnovers aside, Douglas was far less terrible than in previous outings, and somehow managed to finish with a team high +16. Which tells you as much about that statistic as you’ll ever need to know.

Bill Walker, SG 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +8

For the second consecutive game, Walker hit a timely three pointer to help stem the opposition’s tide – this one early in the fourth, and with a very large hand in his face. Not known as a glassophile (that’s Greek for “lover of glass,” y’all), our boy Billy also managed to snag four ‘bounds in his 17 minutes. But nothing compared to watching him try to guard Lou Williams at the top of the key. That was the best.

Josh Harrellson, F 23 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +12

Jorts got some early burn in this one, and quickly made the most of it, scoring 10 points (including three roof-raising triples) in the first half alone. He’d connect on a third in the second, making it the first time since the Sacramento game that he’s found a consistent rhythm from deep. While he only managed one rebound, Jorts continued to impress on the defensive end, even managing to stifle Elton Brand late in the shot clock on a few second half possessions. Also, I’m hearing *reports that Spencer Hawes chose to sit out tonight’s game not because of some “back injury,” but because Jorts whooped his ass in Buck Hunter Pro at a Secaucus bar last night.

*Voices

Five Things We Saw

  1. Holy Jorts our bench is thin! After a Lazarusian 16-point contortion against the hapless Pistons, Mike Bibby has logged a grand total of six minutes in the last two games. Steve Novak? His only eight minutes in the last five outings came against those same Pistons. Renaldo Balkman? Same story: 13 minutes in the last four games, all of them in Detroit. Jerome Jordan? Pffffffffft. Clearly the short bench strategy’s worked as a matter of coincidence during the Knicks’ four game win streak. But unless D’Antoni’s strategy is to somehow build a 10 game lead in the division, and then set our regulars for the final handful of games, I fail to see how limiting your options – particularly given the condensed nature of the season – can be an effective long-term strategy.
  2. I think it’s safe to say the Knicks would fair very poorly in a zombie apocalypse. Twice the Knicks spotted the Sixers a lead of 16 or more, and twice the Sixers nearly closed the gap completely. Once again, and despite playing a team on the tail end of a back-to-back-to-back, the Bockers managed to hold on almost in spite of themselves. The only difference now is they’ve managed to pull their Houdini act against opponents putrid and polished alike. Which will either intensify their already frightening false sense of security, or – by sheer virtue of pattern – temper it. Let’s hope it’s the latter.
  3. Consider this Part II of the previous point. The Knicks committed 21 turnovers tonight – 18 of them came from the starters. That’s Car 54, Where Are You? bad. That’s Domino’s pizza bad. Part of it has to do with the still-lacking offensive continuity, and the ball-stopping tendencies that are its wont. Part of it can be chalked up to Philly’s stifling D, which even after tonight should rank near the top in terms of defensive efficiency. Regardless, 21 turnovers is about 11 too many.
  4. As maddening as he can be, Carmelo Anthony possesses a truly lethal quiver of tricks. We know — and, more importantly, he knows — he can close shop and bleed wills at a moment’s notice. The trick is getting him to not try closing shop 10 minutes early, before all the dirty work’s done and the cranky customers are served.
  5. We all know it. We’re all thinking it. It needs to be said: Amar’e Stoudemire has to be more involved in the offense – early, often, late, and often. He may not possess Melo’s offensive arsenal, but his ability to take it to the tin and draw fouls are at least as advanced as his forward-mate, if not more so. Obviously a huge part of Stat’s effectiveness comes with having a reliable, pass-first point running the show, and neither TD nor Shumpert – sad to say – are there yet. But in crunch time, the Knicks need not be so afraid to give Stat some touches. What’s the worst that could happen? Actually, don’t answer that question.

    …Aaaand with that, I’m done kvetching. This was a solid win on a number of levels. It’s on to Memphis tomorrow, where we’ll surely have our own mettle — and stamina — tested by a battered and angry Grizzlies squad, in a city where the river smells like a strange combination of meat and rotting meat.

42 comments on “Quick Reaction: Knicks 85, Sixers 79

  1. nicos

    Another nice breakdown, Jim! I’d like to give Melo a B- as I thought he was really active on D throughout the game. But 9-24 and 5 turnovers (for which AI should get a ton of credit) and C+ seems about right. I thought Fields played his second consecutive + game on the defensive end, so much better getting through screens and making some nice plays rotating inside. But in the second half he barely even looked at the basket on the offensive end. We already have one guy (Chandler) who’s never going to shoot outside of the paint, we can’t afford another. That said, he looks far more lively and hopefully that’ll translate into hitting some open threes soon.

  2. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    Funny you say that, Nicos. I actually had a change of heart after publishing, realizing he actually had 9 boards and 5 assists, and gave him a B- instead. Funny how we tend to overlook the numbers when the assists aren’t highlight reel material.

  3. Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15)

    Melo was too focused on being mad daggerous after the 3rd quarter. Major case of Kobeism in the 4th, just simply trying to do it all. Passed the ball so well to start the game, and lost that willingness as the game played itself out.

    C+.. B- sounds about right.

  4. scogg888

    These recaps are both hilarious and thought-provoking. I think that the number 1 concern is turnovers right now, seeing as we have already had at least one other game with 20+. However I think many other teams are stuck in the same boat. If we can find our offensive flow ahead of the other teams we can get some key early wins in more comfortable fashion than tonight.

  5. nicos

    Jim Cavan (@JPCavan):
    Funny you say that, Nicos. I actually had a change of heart after publishing, realizing he actually had 9 boards and 5 assists, and gave him a B- instead. Funny how we tend to overlook the numbers when the assists aren’t highlight reel material.

    Yeah, AI gave him no space to throw those lobs to Chandler. He did make a couple of nice dishes to Jorts in the corner for threes. Given how often they trapped and good their rotations are he probably did well to get what he did.

  6. Eternal OptiKnist

    I’m so happy i was wrong about this game! Good enough defense, nice, gutty win. Good call on Melo…great heroics at time, but more maddening ball-stopping. Anyone else notice Mike D’antoni yelling at Melo to get the ball over halfcourt to avoide the turnover on the last posession? I’d like to think Melo didnt hear him..but it sure looked like he might be ignoring him…not cool…MD was right.

  7. BigBlueAL

    Another reason Baron Davis is desperately needed is to give Melo a break. Every point he scores is a mission, he never gets anything easy since he is doing all the ball-handling. Last year the reason he shot so well from 3pt range and made so many was because he was getting alot of open looks in catch and shoot situations.

    Melo has to be exhausted late in the games, especially when he has to bring the ball up the court so much too. Not making excuses for him because his shot selection in the 4th quarter tonight was pretty freaking horrendous but the guy has to be getting exhausted by the end of these games. He had 9 rebs and 3 stls tonight too so thankfully he was not coasting on the defensive end.

    Right now he is like LeBron with the Cavs in terms of he has to be the main scorer always doing so going one-on-one plus he has to set-up his teammates too.

  8. jon abbey

    I never order sports jerseys or anything like that, but I just bought SHUMP SHUMP t-shirts for both myself and my wife. thanks, Mike!

  9. BigBlueAL

    For everyone who complains about Melo going to hero ball late in games, the Lakers tonight (or every night really) and both the Heat and Clippers are prime examples of hero ball tonight too. Its an NBA epidemic lol

  10. JK47

    LeBron choked in several different ways at the end of this game against the Clips– missed a jumper in regulation that would have put the game out of reach, then fouled Billups on a three-point attempt, then missed a key free throw that allowed the game to go to OT. Pretty entertaining to watch.

  11. BigBlueAL

    BTW Im not saying its a good thing because on nights like tonight watching Melo/Kobe/LeBron/Wade/Billups/CP3 brick ugly jumpers after going one-on-one is not pretty to watch. But some here make it seem like Melo is the only player in the NBA who does it, its a common theme among most NBA teams late in games especially the ones with “superstars” on their teams.

  12. Eternal OptiKnist

    Amare’s defense was so irritating…I’ve got to say..at least melo seems to give an honest effort. I’m not sure if amare doesn’t try or doesn’t know how. I wonder if playing under d’antoni upon entering the league stunted his growth defensively…its putrid for such a gifted athlete. I’d go B-

  13. Tony Pena

    Nice recap. 11? of those turnovers were in the 4th, sooo very Knick-like. Ugh…
    This is closer to the real Drizzy Fields. Not as good as early last year but not as putrid as the Celtics series. If he can hit a few of those wide open shots we’ll be in good shape. It looks like he’s thinking about whatever mechanics they’ve been working on right before he releases…
    Btw, I really really like that new MSG game caller.

  14. Z

    BigBlueAL:
    For everyone who complains about Melo going to hero ball late in games, the Lakers tonight (or every night really) and both the Heat and Clippers are prime examples of hero ball tonight too.Its an NBA epidemic lol

    Yeah, I get it when the team is struggling and Melo feels the need to take the team on his shoulders. But the Knicks built up a double-digit lead with in this one, against a good team, with ball movement and Amar’e scoring in the paint. So why does The 4th quarter require any Heroball at all? Why does the “gameplan” need to change? Why does every 4th quarter need to be “live by Carmelo, die by Carmelo”, even with a 16 point lead?

    Makes no sense.

  15. Shad0wF0x

    @15

    It’s not that I don’t agree that all the ball movement is better. Some people in this site though will watch Wade, CP3, LeBron brick a shot and react “Oh well, you can’t hit them all.” Then watch Melo miss the same shot in a similar situation and say, “OMFG what selfish player.”

  16. jon abbey

    it’s not just ball movement, it’s decision making, which shot to take and when to settle/force. Melo needs to be better at this aspect of the game if he is serious about leading this team to anything more than the occasional playoff series win.

  17. ruruland

    jon abbey: it’s not just ball movement, it’s decision making, which shot to take and when to settle/force. Melo needs to be better at this aspect of the game if he is serious about leading this team to anything more than the occasional playoff series win.

    this will never end

  18. slovene knick

    Don’t know if someone mentioned it before; but 8 man rotation is playoff-time. He(D’A) has to win now to cool the seat under his ass and he feels there is no time to try different rotations.
    Baron is a must now…and balkman bibby too. Chandler must be out for at least 15 min a game(Jordan).
    Hope it was one game thing.

  19. danvt

    Nice win over a good team.

    Did anyone else notice that Philly only scored 79 points? We won despite a bad offense, which is a very good sign. Thank God for Tyson Chandler. And, Shumperts defense was very good. Holliday had 4 asts, 3 TOs and was 6-13. Lou Williams was 1-6.

    On the other side, you could see that coach told Jorts and Landry to be more aggressive. It worked in the first half but by the 4th quarter it was all Melo all the time. You can literally see the indecision in the role players. They’re open and they don’t shoot. How many 24 second violations did we have?

    Playmaking doesn’t come as naturally to Melo as it does to other players of his stature but having team mates you can trust makes a big difference. Landry needs to take more than 5 shots. I mean, it’s ridiculous. This is the position Ray Allen plays. You can see that Melo is trying to facilitate. The Jorts three to end the 1st half was off a beautiful feed from Melo. It’s just that we’re not a very deep team right now and when things get tense guys are gonna revert to doing what they’re used to.

  20. Nick C.

    ^
    It seems like it may be a chicken or the egg thing. Is it hero ball time in the fourth b/c some of the players “freeze up” so that’s all the team is left with or do they “freeze up” (stupid phrase I know) b/c one or two players decide to go it alone.

  21. danvt

    Nick C.: It seems like it may be a chicken or the egg thing. Is it hero ball time in the fourth b/c some of the players “freeze up” so that’s all the team is left with or do they “freeze up” (stupid phrase I know) b/c one or two players decide to go it alone.

    Yeah, Landry really short armed a shot against Charlotte. It was a nervous shot, plain and simple. We can’t have that. Coach D has to be strong and insist that the team take the best shot from the best spot no matter who it is. You could see in the first half that Jorts new it was his job to hit the corner three.

  22. Frank

    4th quarter really needs to be at least a 2 man game with Melo and Amare. I hope with whatever practice time they have that they run the PNR more than they have. I can only really remember one where Melo dropped a perfect pocket pass to Amare who scored and I think got the and-1.

    I think the return of Jefferies means more like 34 min/game for Chandler, and hopefully when Baron comes his ability to score (albeit inefficiently) and create easy shots for others will allow Melo/Amare to be in the 35-36 min range also. I don’t think this team will last with a short 8 man rotation.

    btw we are now SEVENTH in the league defensive efficiency at 97.5. Who woulda thunk that our offense would be average (16th) and our DEFENSE would be our strong suit?!?!?

    btw I am coming to agree with ruruland that maybe JR Smith would be a better fit for us than K-Mart. We are shooting 30.5% from 3 (23rd in the league) despite being 3rd in 3 point attempts/ FGA. If our 3 point shooting ever comes around this will be a VERY dangerous team. Unfortunately, our best 3 point shooters are also our worst defenders (Bibby and Novak) and right now it is our defense carrying us (wait did I seriously just write this sentence?!!??)

  23. Frank

    Also – were we playing some sort of point-zone or 1-3-1 zone last night? Shump looked like he was jumping from man to man at the top of the key and out to the wings.

    Will be interesting to see if we play a lot more zone when Jefferies comes back. Between the length and foot speed of JJ, Shump, and Chandler, this could be a really interesting zone team. And for all their defensive faults, Melo and Amare are both long and quick too.

  24. Frank

    Sorry I will just keep posting, hope y’all don’t mind.
    I thought Amare quietly had a great offensive game (ie. he needs more than 14 shots). 10 of his 14 shots came from <10 feet and he looked mostly under control the whole game – and this against at least an average defender in Elton Brand. He also looks to be using more post-moves – specifically his little jump hook as a counter-move when he drives with his left hand. When he doesn't force his offense, he really is pretty awesome – and all this WITHOUT a real point guard.

    Defensively he was fair, but it bears noticing that this is his 6th out of 8 games so far that he has posted a total rebound rate of 15+ (ok one of those was a 14.9). Considering the last time he rebounded at this level was his pogo-stick (pre-knee injury) rookie and sophomore years, I am really encouraged that he is finally taking this seriously. If he can rebound like this, it'll allow Chandler to try to block/alter shots even more aggressively.

  25. Frank O.

    Purely from a fan perspective, I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s game.
    The Knicks led for three periods, survived two surges by the Sixers and played stout defense.
    Our guards are doing a sound job controlling quick, smaller guards and our interior D is as good as it has been since dear Patrick was banished from NYC for a fleeting fancy.
    Say what you will about SHUMP’s late struggles under pressure, he’s playing with a knee strain and a crampy thigh and yet he brings it, every possession. You know there are people, horses and Labradors that literally run themselves into the ground if you were to urge them to, and, frankly, that’s SHUMP.
    I agree with Jim and Frank and others that Amare needs to get the ball more down the stretch. He’s such a dynamic force in the paint and draws fouls continually (although it appears by his reactions he gets fouled every play). I have never seen a guy who literally holds the ball in the opponents face and, yet, they foul him or he scores regardless. Powerful man. He should share the go-to role with Melo.
    Melo, like Amare, will frustrate fans forever. Each will make boneheaded plays. Each will will do transcendent things that will take your breath away. But while they have defensive lapses and force shots, they both rebound, get to the line, cannot be contained, and get their opposites in all kinds of foul trouble. I would wager the Knicks will be the most fouled team in the NBA, or at least in the top five, which is to say that if they are down by 10 in the last three minutes, the game isn’t ever over.
    But clearly, this team has a personality. They are tough, very tenacious, intimidating, hustling, athletic and skilled on both ends of the floor, and when Baron arrives, the collective IQ will improve.
    They have a swagger to match any gunslinger in this league, and it’s about f-ing time.
    Their bench will be better. Give it time. Let injuries heal.
    the Knicks are a stout team.

  26. Frank

    @27 –
    From the perspective of the 4 factors -we are 5th in the league free throw rate and 7th in free throw rate differential (btw Denver’s FTR of 12 is nearly double then next closest!). Our offensive rebounding still sort of sucks (our differential is -1.35) but we were at -3.82 last year. Plus, the #s are really thrown off by our first two games when we were just killed on the offensive boards (-14 and -19 offensive rebound rate). We’ve actually outrebounded the opposition on the offensive boards for 6 straight games.

    Turnover rate is still middling but we’ve been better than the opposition in all but 2 games (last night’s game and the 1st game against Charlotte).

    Our biggest problem is our own eFG and that is clearly tied to our high-volume low-success 3 point shooting. I assume that will just even itself out – only 2 players on the entire team are shooting the 3 anywhere close to their career percentages (Melo/Bibby), and some (Walker, TD, Landry) are WELL below their career averages.

    Our eFG-against is sort of poor but that’s what happens when you let the Lakers and Bobcats shoot 58-59% eFG. Last three games our eFG-allowed has been 45.7 or less.

    All told – it’s tough to complain too much about this team right now. I think it’s clear the defense is coming together (although we have yet to play well against an A-level offense – I don’t count Philly as one of those) and I feel like the offense is just waiting to bust out (assuming Melo doesn’t go Hero-Ball even more than he already is).

  27. Eternal OptiKnist

    @ 27. Man Franky O….well said. I’m so happy about this team right now. With the Rangers where they are, the Giants on their run, the Yanks doing what they do…this could be a big year for NY sports

  28. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Makes you wonder how they would have fared had Hawes not been out. A six-point win over maybe the league’s best team without its best player… doesn’t bode well, even if it’s a W.

  29. Frank O.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    A six-point win over maybe the league’s best team without its best player… doesn’t bode well, even if it’s a W.

    Hawes? We’re talking about Spencer Hawes????
    He’s their best player now???
    The Spencer Hawes whose getting 12 points and 9 boards????
    The Spencer Hawes whose numbers, who while more efficient, doesn’t approach David Lee’s output?
    The Spencer Hawes, who in a short season shows stats that are more than .200 % over his TS and eFG norms because of three good games, but is in no way going to sustain that?
    The Spencer Hawes, who in no way even comes close to being a better player than Andre Igoudala???
    But he’s their best player now….?
    And do the Knicks get any credit for the fact that the guy who would be their starting PG is injured? I mean, the Knicks are limping around without a true point guard right now. Their current starting point is barely recovered from a sprained knee. Their best scorer is playing with an injured back. Their back up point has a damaged shoulder and isn’t remotely the same player he normally is. So, if one were being fair, one would think in the stat sheet of life, these things would come into account in some way…
    And yet, it “doesn’t bode well” that they didn’t just get a W, they got FOUR Ws in a row, and their defense is rated now 7th in the NBA…?
    How about trying this: It bodes well, that at no time since the first period did the Knicks relinquish the lead to one of the best teams in the NBA right now, a time that had won six straight to that point.
    It bodes well, that despite have seven of 13 entirely new players on the team, one of the hardest aspects of basketball, team defense, is one of the team’s strongest traits.
    It bodes well, that this team is gutting out wins that aren’t pretty, but effective, without a true point guard.
    It bodes well, indeed…

  30. gbaked

    slovene knick:
    Don’t know if someone mentioned it before; but 8 man rotation is playoff-time. He(D’A) has to win now to cool the seat under his ass and he feels there is no time to try different rotations.
    Baron is a must now…and balkman bibby too. Chandler must be out for at least 15 min a game(Jordan).
    Hope it was one game thing.

    i could be wrong, but i feel like Mike D did this last year, then after the team settled in opened up his rotation a bit.

    I also think that getting JJ back soon will help take some min away from chandler. I think Mike D is scared to leave the team with nobody who can dictate the defense, and for all his faults, JJ understands team defense.

  31. jamesportis

    Everyone is quick to lament Melo’s defensive shortcomings, but the next bad defensive game he has this year will be his first. Amare, on the other hand, smh. Thankfully, nobody his lit him on fire (except for Diaw, who is barely an NBA player and I think Amare completely overlooked him), so he has been a net positive with his point total and rebounding. All in all, a great win that could have been spectacular if we could only get out of our own way. Oh well…

    And here’s to 35 mins MAX for the big 3. You’re seat cooled down, MDA, time to act like a real coach now

  32. johnno

    Frank O. — Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you again for a little perspective! Hey guys — you DO realize, don’t you, that this team has been together for only about 30 days, their starting center joined the team a week before the season, two significant rotation players first set foot on an NBA court a few weeks ago, three rotation players sat out last night and one is barely back from major shoulder surgery — on his shooting arm, no less. You also must realize that, after starting the year terribly on defense, they are SEVENTH in the league in defensive efficiency right now, right? Yes, the game was ugly, but the Knicks beat the team that was first in the league in BOTH offense AND defense. Many of you look back fondly at the Ewing/Riley/Van Gundy Knicks. Do you realize how many brutally ugly 71-69-type games that team won?? And STOP trashing ‘Melo!! The guy is averaging a career high in assists and the only three non-point guards in the whole league who average more assists are LeBron, Kobe and Boris Diaw! Take a deep breath. You really can’t judge this team until about 25-30 games into the season. By the way, the mighty Heat started last year 9-8…

  33. danvt

    johnno: And STOP trashing ‘Melo!! The guy is averaging a career high in assists and the only three non-point guards in the whole league who average more assists are LeBron, Kobe and Boris Diaw! Take a deep breath.

    I think most posters here agree that Melo is looking to pass more and doing better at it. His assist numbers are up and it’s right on the stat sheet. The problem is that, especially down the stretch of games, the offense can become one dimensional. Roll players are getting the ball and deferring. After the team got the lead, early in the second quarter, the play where Chandler got his shot blocked was emblematic. Melo finds Ball Wilker in the corner, who should have shot it but instead threw it around the perimeter until it ended up with Melo again who, against the clock, got it to Chandler and too late.
    It’s good to have a player like Melo, who believes every shot he takes will go in. The Knicks (especially Fields!) are not a very confident group on offense right now. Sometimes Melo’s confidence causes him to take a long shot with lots of clock left. Sometimes it means that teammates won’t launch and will rely on him too much.

  34. xcat01

    @24
    I don’t think the Knicks want JR Smith anywhere near MSG, unless they can get a restraining order against his sister. She choked a b*tch in China last night. Doesn’t she know that you can be killed in China for that!! The player that I want the Knicks to add is probably not going to be available to us, that person is Wilson Chandler. Sure wish he wasn’t a RFA. Hey, maybe the Knuggets will take Billy Walker for the rights to Ill Will? No, probably not but we can dream though.

  35. ruruland

    xcat01: @24I don’t think the Knicks want JR Smith anywhere near MSG, unless they can get a restraining order against his sister. She choked a b*tch in China last night. Doesn’t she know that you can be killed in China for that!! The player that I want the Knicks to add is probably not going to be available to us, that person is Wilson Chandler. Sure wish he wasn’t a RFA. Hey, maybe the Knuggets will take Billy Walker for the rights to Ill Will? No, probably not but we can dream though.

    Chandler would be a good fit…. But he will be asking for 8-10 mil next year.

    JR isn’t going to have as many suitors because of the long list of “incidents” and reputation.

    But, he’s clearly a better player than Chandler and can be had for small MLE this year, until he proves to the league he is sane enough to play in the… well, league.

    he is, of course. And he’d be an unbelievably good fit in NY.

    He would elevate the Knicks into the elite group of teams….. And he’s carrried the Nuggets to playoff victories before.

  36. ruruland

    The Knicks have probably the worst supporting cast offensively I’ve seen in a long time….

    Outside of Amare and Chandler, this team is really bad on that end.

    Chandler can set screens, dunk and make fts — but everything he does is a bypoduct of teams trapping the PNR. He is liability trying to create his own offense.

    Shumpert shows flashes at times of what he will become on offense, but would be considered an offensive liability on most teams because his man can play off the ball quite a bit due to his lack of range.

    Jorts, Fields, Walker, Douglas… these guys are simply well below average offensive players.

    Until the bench is enhanced with talent it’s going to be the Melo and Amare show…. and winning with defense.

    Frankly, I think it serves the core of this team much better to build the defensive foundation now and imprint the muscle memory for a run when the roster becomes somewhat balanced.

  37. xcat01

    Jorts is going to be a good role player if he is given a chance. I think that TD is hurt worse than he is letting on but he is afraid to lose his spot if he goes on the injury list. Walker is trade bait, hopefully someone can see some potential in him. Fields will be fine if the coaches will just stop messing with his shot. This is the type of bench the Knicks are going to have when you have all almost all the cap space taken up by three guys.

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