Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Quick Recap: Knicks 111, Bobcats 78

New York Knicks 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
78 Charlotte Bobcats
Carmelo Anthony, SF 30 MIN | 0-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 4 AST | 1 PTS | +13

Three days ago, Carmelo Anthony held something of a press confessional in the Knick locker room following the team’s spirit-crushing double-overtime loss to the Nuggets. Therein, the star forward admitted that maybe – just maybe – he was shooting a wee too much. A mere seven shots in tonight’s contest aside, we won’t tally this up to the classic Kobe Bryant “I’m Not Shooting” game just yet. To the contrary, Melo – who looked noticeably pained at points – genuinely appeared to be looking to get everyone else involved. It might go down as one of his worst performances ever statistically – though 11 boards and 4 dimes might render that thought moot – but psychologically, Melo’s dud couldn’t have been better timed.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 29 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 18 PTS | +21

No one’s entirely sure how Stat’s “talk” with Melo actually went down – or whether it happened at all. Personally, I like to imagine Stat inviting Anthony over to his Manhattan pad for one of his famous pre-game meals. At least that’s what he tells Melo. Only, when Melo gets there, Stat instead just shows him Chef Max Hardy’s extensive culinary blade collection, which probably includes some kind of 17th century Japanese boning knife capable of sawing through elephant tusks. Then, before even letting him see the menu, Stat nonchalantly escorts him back to the elevator, presses the lobby button, waits until Melo steps inside, before telling his beleaguered and now completely terrified front court mate, “Good talk” just as the door closes. Which is going a long way to say that Stat had his best game in many moons.

Tyson Chandler, C 30 MIN | 9-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 17 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +13

SO MUCH BOBCAT BLOOOOOOOOD!…. I know I usually make some quip about how Chandler’s hard to notice unless you’re really paying attention and blah blah blah. Well, Tyson was pretty hard to miss in this one. Whether the product of the palpable anger I saw scrawled across the recent champ’s veteran grill in the locker room this last Saturday, or Michael Jordan taking his championship ring in a Monday night poker game, Chandler straight-up punked his former team, putting up one of the more dominating performances we’ve seen from anyone — regardless of team – this year. Now someone go tell him he needs to do this every game. Not it.

Landry Fields, G 30 MIN | 6-12 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 18 PTS | +29

I wasn’t around for the Renaissance, but I imagine there was a museum dedicated to this performance from Landry Fields. Probably somewhere in Florence, right along the Arno, where the sunsets shimmer in orange and gold and the cobblestone streets…. Alright I’ve never been to Italy, and that entire scenario I just outlined would require a time machine anyway. The important thing here is that Fields really does look like he’s breaking out of his months-long slump – and at just the right time. Constant motion, confidence, and aggressive drives have been the hallmark for the lately struggling Soph these last few games, and it looks like it’s working.

Iman Shumpert, G 25 MIN | 1-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +14

The Shump giveth, and the Shump taketh away. It was a rough shooting night for Manhattan’s favorite Yellowjacket. But he didn’t let it get to him, and five rebounds, a few assists and a pair of steals later, Iman proved once again that his is a stat line never starved.

Mike Bibby, PG 16 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +15

His shot was once again covered in grave dirt, but Bibby established some nice chemistry with Stoudemire early in the second quarter, hitting the struggling big on a number of deft cuts tin-ward. In short, he didn’t try to eat his teammates brains. Which is all we’re really asking for.

Jared Jeffries, PF 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +15

What a weird human being this guy is. The whole time he’s in I’m thinking to myself, “Damn, Jeffries is playing really, really well.” Truth be told, he did play pretty well, taking a couple charges, hitting a corner three, and nearly rendering Gerald Henderson headless — the closest Jeffries has come to killing a living thing since last month’s playoffs, when I very nearly tore my own head off after his Game 2 boner. I guess we’ll just let the zero boards go for now.

Steve Novak, SF 6 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +9

If you spliced together Novak’s shots this season, you’d have roughly 75% of the Jimmy Chitwood footage from Hoosiers.

Renaldo Balkman, PF 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +6

Exclamation Joint. Also: Human Victory Blunt.

Toney Douglas, PG 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | +9

In what’s sadly become something of a Dodo-rare phenomenon, Toney Douglas looked like a professional rotation basketball player tonight – nothing spectacular, and maybe nothing that might reasonably be called a harbinger, but a solid outing nonetheless. TDDWTDUTD.

Jeremy Lin, PG 6 MIN | 2-2 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 8 PTS | +9

I’m giving Jeremy Lin an A+ for two reasons: 1) The dude had a triple double in his only D-League game; and 2) Bob Silverman insisted that it would “get his parents off his back.” Racist.

Jerome Jordan, C 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +8

At a certain point in the fourth quarter, I witnessed a lineup consisting of Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Renaldo Balkman, Jerred Jeffries, and what I thought was Tyson Chandler. Needless to say, I was terrified. Is D’Antoni trying to kill this man, I thought? As it turns out, that man was actually the recently D-League recalled Jerome Jordan. Poor guy: His vicious garbage time baseline dunk was Grindhouse violent, and yet was probably the third most vicious slam of the night behind Chandler’s terrifying throw-downs.

Bill Walker, SG 18 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | +4

How did Walker end up on the bottom, anyway? Wasn’t he the second guy off the bench tonight? Is it the dreads? It’s the dreads, isn’t it?

Five Things We Saw

  1. For the first time since the Kings game, the Knicks were able to put pedal to metal and foot to throat early, thus providing some much needed starter rest at the front end of what promises to be a taxing four-games-in-five-nights road stand that only gets harder (Cavs, Heat, Rockets) from here on out.
  2. Baron Davis must be some kind of hipster magician – it’s the only logical explanation I can conjure for the kind of fluid, seamless ball movement that the lately languishing Knicks employed tonight, just a day after the back-hobbled Davis made his much-anticipated return to the court. It’s far too simplistic to point to Melo’s lack of hoists as the principal reason for D’Antoni’s offense suddenly kickstart… but it is a hell of a coincidence, no? Methinks there must be a happy median here.
  3. Kemba Walker is no joke. Like so many franchise-changing injuries past, DJ Augustin’s recent toe injury might very well yield a platinum lining for a franchise mired since its conception in ceaseless crapitude. To be sure, Walker’s super streaky, and his court vision still leave much to the imagination. But the kid can clearly ball.
  4. You know that feeling when you eat something really delicious a few days in a row – or too many times in one week – and you suddenly get burned out by it? I feel like Boris Diaw burned out on eating the Knicks. Which is a shame, because if there was ever a time to go bonkers at the ‘Bocker buffet, it’s when you’re wearing the home stripes AMIRITE!?!?!?
  5. Mike D’Antoni still has a job. Also, the Knicks scored 100 points in regulation for the first time in 938 cigarettes, by my count.

36 comments on “Quick Recap: Knicks 111, Bobcats 78

  1. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    Great stuff as always. But I (and Jeremy Lin’s parents) are taking a few points off your grade for your grades for these type-o’s:

    1. Houston Rockers? Are we playing an XFL team on Saturday?

    2. I don’t think you intended for Ball Wilker to receive an A+, unless he received said grade for agreeing to do your hair for free

    3. 2 dimes for Shump, not 5. Trust me, my fantasy team wishes it weren’t so.

  2. xduckshoex

    So now can we all agree that one guy taking two many shots in bad for the team in general, or is that still a debate that some people are going to insist on having?

  3. BigBlueAL

    We should have a poll on who Jim looked like in TrueHoop TV. Apparently he got alot of nominees on Twitter :-)

  4. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    BigBlueAL:
    We should have a poll on who Jim looked like in TrueHoop TV.Apparently he got alot of nominees on Twitter :-)

    The winter beard is throwing a lot of people off. The correct answer is “a ginger David Letterman with a slightly smaller gap in his teeth.”

  5. chrisk06811

    Jim, I hate to sound negative after a great victory like this, but, you just don’t talk about the JGJ like that. i was amazed when he hit that 3. so was he. it was like a miniature golf hole in one, and that shit is hard, so give a brotha his due.

    because of the hoosiers comment, I’m forced to love your writeup, and this is a whole lot better that watching borris diaw own the room like my mom at a chinese buffet.

    I think we can all agree, Steve Novak is getting some white women tonight, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. I don’t know what that mean, but still.

    Melo only scored 1 pt? that’s only 1 more than me. I ate chinese food and drank beer.

  6. Juany8

    An interesting article over at realgm looking at why it’s been far too early to tell if we’ll be able to build around Carmelo, Stoudemire, and Chandler. The offense has already been picking up the last 2 games (I know we lost the Denver game but Landry is starting to look like he belongs on a basketball court, and the ball is starting to move more fluidly)

    http://basketball.realgm.com/article/218550/Why_Its_Way_Too_Early_To_Declare_Winners_&_Losers_From_Carmelo_Trade

  7. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Holy shit, that article was terrible.

    When your premise involves the Knicks getting Kevin Garnett next year to be Amar’e’s back-up? Well, you know your premise is delusional. Also, “point guard is the easiest position to fill”? Delusional. “the Knicks are a few small tweaks from having a team capable of matching up with Chicago and Miami”? Delusional. It sounds like the typical “I don’t want to admit I was wrong about the Melo trade so, well, I won’t!” bit we’re all too familiar with by now.

  8. Juany8

    Brian, Arron Afflalo was picked up by Denver because the Pistons needed to clear room for Ben Gordon. Ryan Anderson was a throw in for the Vince Carter trade. Ty Lawson, Kyle Lowry, and Jrue Holiday were all picked out of the lottery. We actually got Felton as a consolation price, short term solution for little more than the mid level. It’s actually not that hard to envision us picking up players like Kenyon Martin, and if Baron works out we got him for nothing, same with Shumpert. I’ll agree that having KG as a backup next year is a total pipe dream, but Chicago’s main advantage over us (and the league) at this point is their incredible depth, and players like taj gibson, omer asik, and Kyle Korver aren’t super hard to find either.

  9. hoolahoop

    Missed this knockout, but reliving it through JC’s great Quick Recap is just fine. Amare paragraph had my cornflakes on the computer screen and milk coming out of my nose.

  10. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I’ll agree that having KG as a backup next year is a total pipe dream,

    It is a total pipe dream that was a central pillar of the article you linked to. Look at the proposed lineup he gave for the Knicks next year. It is this year’s team, only with Kevin Garnett added.

  11. Juany8

    Another big part of the article, which you seem to ignore for some reason, is the continued improvement of the Knicks as a team, including that of our young players, and the addition of Baron Davis, which would fill a gaping hole if he comes back effectively. Even when we don’t get KG, we still have the mid level, and someone like Andre Miller, Ray Felton, or maybe even Steve Nash could come in and fill the hole. It’s fine if you don’t like the Melo trade, but the trade was made to give the team a core for multiple years. It’s far too early to determine how it will all end up working, especially since no team realistically wins with 3 players, and the Heat at least picked up a few role bench players (all for very little money) that fit the team well. KG is ridiculous, someone like Haslem isn’t

  12. jon abbey

    heh, Human Victory Joint.

    finally the curse of the crappy Memphis game preview is over, we need another win tomorrow. Chandler was impressive, not since Marcus Camby have we seen anything like that.

  13. Ben R

    Great write up, They’re even more fun to read in a good mood. That was easily the best ball movement we’ve seen all year. Fields has really impressed me the last couple of games, his jumper is still a little off but he is attacking the paint and is finding ways to be effective without it. Great game from Melo, his shot was off so he shot less, fantastic. He will get his but as long as he doesn’t force it I don’t care if he gets 1 point or 30, his mere presence on the court, when the ball is moving, opens everything up. When the ball is not moving, not so much.

    Now lets do it versus a team that is not ranked 28th on defense. Still, first truly fun to watch game of the season, everyone looks good when the ball moves. More of that please.

  14. daJudge

    Jim, thanks for my favorite morning read. You and Robert should do a Knick stand up routine. BD tonight perhaps?

  15. SeeWhyDee77

    hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! lol..I was sittin here goin T..D..D..W..T..D..U..T…….D??” Then I was like o shit!! Toney Douglas Did What Toney Douglas USED To Do!!! lmao!! Good stuff! By the way..I finally was able to catch u on True Hoop TV JP..nice work. My thoughts on the game? Pure shock and awe. Chandler looked like..I don’t know..maybe a smaller D12? Shit was incredible. He was an absolute monster..I mean..he played the way a big man should play out there. Like a 6’11” 260lb big should. Wait..thas Stat’s measurables. Nice game Stat..but maybe u should play with half of Tyson’s intensity. YOU ARE NOT A PERIMETER PLAYER!!
    Also..I’m really worried about Melo. I kno he’s tryin 2 lead and stay in the game..but I really think he could have sat vs Charlotte and Cleveland and got treatment. He got away with one last night. I just don’t want his injuries to be the type of nagging ones that seriously hinders his performance as it has been lately. But as a whole..the whole team brought some serious energy an attitude..even Jeffries! AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!! We should play pissed off more often.

  16. Frank O.

    Been posting for more than four years, I think, but last night I thought juju had switched sides….
    Brian, you seem particularly sharp in your critiques lately…just an observation…
    Jim, great write up. Your line about BS and Mr. Lin had me laughing out loud this morning.

    The Knicks crushed a bad team last night. A little medicine for their soul. Throughout this whole run, I get the sense that these guys like each other. It is a testament to the team that through Melo’s travails – and I believe they are some injury and some that he has never played in a particularly sharing way – players encourage him, support him on the bench and no one, no one had to tell him, dude, you’re shooting too much.
    He can’t take 30 shots and make 3 in 10 and the Knicks win. This isn’t baseball. But what a beast he could be if he played within the offense, let the ball find him slashing or wide open. In that way, with his skills, he would be unstoppable and I bet he could be shooting 50 percent from the field if he did so. I don’t believe that is hyperbolic.
    I also believe he was experimenting last night. He looked in the mirror and said I’m not shooting well so I need to do other things. He limited himself to 7 shots. I think he watched his team function last night and saw some things that gave him confidence in them. He saw the ball movement, had a hand in it, and that could be great for him.
    The Knicks won’t go far without him. If he buys into D’Antoni system, and Davis is competent, they could go very far.
    But it will take about 20 games with Davis to get it sorted. We’ll know more then.

  17. Frank O.

    Also, I thought the Jeffries foul last night sent a message and I hope they keep it up.
    You will not show us up. We will not permit showboat dunks in our paint. I have been waiting for good, hard fouls to happen. This defense is getting a personality and there appears to be some defensive pride.
    Jeffries was funny, 3 of 5 with two air balls. But charges, hard fouls, some stifling man D, and ball movement…Jeffries is helping.

  18. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    I appreciate it, guys. I’m glad y’all enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them.

    Tonight should be interesting. Both teams are coming off games the night previous (the Cavs tussled with the Heat last night), so that might help. We’ll definitely get an up-close glimpse of Kyrie Irving — will be interesting to see whether we can contain him.

    If we can win three out of four on this road trip — tough, but not out of the realm of possibility — I think we might look back at this stretch as the point we turned it all around.

  19. tastycakes

    Jim, these recaps are EXCELLENT. Please keep them up. In no time, the New York Post will ring your doorbell carrying Peter Vecsey’s decapitated head and a contract for whatever stipend they pay their writers these days.

  20. tastycakes

    First game I didn’t watch all season. Sounds like I didn’t miss much. Glad to hear Chandler’s playing angry.

  21. Roshi

    Granted Melo couldn’t shoot for shit last night, but he was clearly making an effort to facilitate ball movement and get easy shots for other guys. Plus, he was rebounding HARD, in some cases pulling in boards in traffic. Between his defensive rebounding and Chandler owning the offensive glass, it looked like we were playing the lilliputian all-star team. Seems like Melo needs to sit a few games and make sure his wrist is allright…at full strength, I can definitely see him racking up assists/rebs and getting better shots in the flow of the offense. Worst case scenario, if no good shot emerges with 7 sec on shot clock, we dump it to him on the block and let him go to work. Now that we beat up a terrible squad (Gerald Henderson is their best player?! – and this coming from a Dukie), would be nice to get some momentum going against better teams. Certainly helps that Fields is back from the dead.

  22. bobneptune

    Juany8:

    I’ll agree that having KG as a backup next year is a total pipe dream, but Chicago’s main advantage over us (and the league) at this point is their incredible depth, and players like taj gibson, omer asik, and Kyle Korver aren’t super hard to find either.

    i hate to quibble, but their main advantage over the knicks isn’t taj gibson et al, but rather derrick rose being guarded by toney douglas or a crippled baron davis.

  23. Juany8

    Kyle Korver doesn’t play PF, so it’s not as big a deal when he doesn’t rebound or play defense. You’re right about Rose being a huge problem for us haha, but as long as we’re quibbling, we’d probably guard Rose with Shumpert and Rip/Brewer/Korver with Douglas and Davis. Neither the Bulls or the Heat will be able to fully take advantage of our back court defense because they each have only have 1 good player in the back court, and Shumpert can guard 1’s and 2’s very well. He shouldn’t be playing point guard, but Shumpert could develop into Tony Allen with a jump shot and some handle, which is actually a very nice player.

  24. george from brooklyn

    Jim, as good an analysis as I’ve read on any game and love the presentation ! Well done, I’ll give you an “A”, reserve the + so you have something to shoot for !!

    I’m a TWC “customer” or is “abusee” more apropriate, while I’m temporarily back in NYC and so missed some of the recent action, however, the offense needs to run through Fields, he has, by far, the highest BBall IQ on the team and keeps both himself and the ball constantly in motion.

    The Knicks bench will become a major asset as soon as MDA figures out his starting rotation. TDDW,etc.,with Shumpert, Jeffries, and I would play Novak and Jordan is very solid ! a good blend of offense and defense.

    Knicks are not far behind either Miami or Chicago. Chandler keeps James and Wade away from layups and the Knicks match-up very favorably with the Bulls. The team that should be scary are the Pacers !!

    Great Job, looking forward to tonight’s analysis!! WELL DONE !!

  25. ess-dog

    Great wrap up!

    I think we turned that corner last night. So much ball movement!
    It also feels great to like Landry again. I felt like I was in a fight with my BFF. I hope he continues to be humbly efficient.

    Btw, E-City aka Tubbs aka Eddy Curry has a TS% of .773 (in 12 minutes of play.) I think with LBJ and Wade riding him, he’ll have a pretty good year. I suppose I’m happy for him, even thought he crippled this organization (really Isaiah’s fault.) Should be a fun matchup on Friday.

  26. Mike Kurylo

    I did not get the Lin joke. It’s weird that I’m not getting the jokes on my own blog. Probably because I was dragged into an argument on twitter last night. Dont bother looking, it was beyond moronic.

    Looking forward to tonights tilt. I may have a Times piece coming out today.

  27. Bruno Almeida

    Mike Kurylo:
    I did not get the Lin joke. It’s weird that I’m not getting the jokes on my own blog. Probably because I was dragged into an argument on twitter last night. Dont bother looking, it was beyond moronic.

    Looking forward to tonights tilt. I may have a Times piece coming out today.

    high expectations asian fathers?

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