Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Recap: LA Clippers 93, NY Dolans 80

New York Knicks 80 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 Los Angeles Clippers
Kenyon Martin, PF 24 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +17

Kenyon did what he’s supposed to do: rebound, play some defense, dole out some hard fouls, then give that Kenyon smirk at the player he just clobbered.

Andrea Bargnani, PF 39 MIN | 8-18 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +3

In the first half, I thought Bargs was playing great. His shot selection was superb. I counted only 3 shots outside of the paint, and a couple of those were wide open. He was drawing fouls and scoring with ease, as well as rebounding the ball effectively. In the second half it was all long range 2′s and missed 3′s. As usual, Drea’s man to man defense was solid, but poor switching on pick and rolls left his man open too many times. But hey, anytime Gnani gets double digit rebounds, I’ll give him at least a B. I’m gonna keep searching for a decent nickname for him, too. I give myself a C.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 41 MIN | 9-23 FG | 9-10 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | -2

That was some ugly shot selection by Melo most of the night. The long range contested jumpers a foot inside the 3 point line were on full display. The frustrating part was that when he was aggressive and driving, he was getting to the line. Maybe it’s a conscious effort on his part to pace himself with the heavy minutes he’s getting. A jumper requires much less energy than wrestling in the post or getting hammered on a drive. I guess I really couldn’t blame him if that’s the case. Anyways, another nice night on the boards for Melo. If he keeps up that effort once Tyson gets back, this is going to be a solid rebounding team.

Raymond Felton, PG 35 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -6

It’s good to have Felton back. He looked speedy and driven in the first half, coming up with some steals, throwing some nice passes and being the main facilitator of the 13-0 run NY went on in the 2nd Quarter. He kind of disappeared in the second half, but still had a solid game.

Iman Shumpert, SG 25 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | 0

Shump just doesn’t look particularly spry right now. He can’t hit a shot, he’s not moving much without the ball on offense, and he’s been pretty much invisible on defense. In this game he was so good at being neither seen nor heard, that I suspect he is a graduate of the Milford School. I’m not sure what to expect from Shump as the season progresses.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -29

Pretty much all of Amare’s offensive possessions in this game came out of isolations. Did everyone forget that this guy is one of the best pick and roll finishers in the history of basketball? Sure he’s lost a lot of athleticism, but it’s worth a couple of plays to see what’s what. But 2 rebounds in 20 mins is just unforgivable. So was the horrible defense.

Metta World Peace, SF 10 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -16

Only 10 mins, but he still got off 6 shots. That’s not what you should be doing Metta.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -6

Really? Under 10 minutes for Prigs? That’s just ridiculous. There is absolutely no reason for that.

Beno Udrih, PG 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -1

Now, 3 minutes for Udrih is reasonable, considering he managed 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in that time.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -11

Nice dunk.

J.R. Smith, SG 26 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -14

I only noticed one really stupid thing JR did in this game. Near the end of the 3rd quarter, with under 30 seconds to go, Pablo made a nice steal, passes to JR, who takes an off balance jumper with a man in his face with about 20 seconds left on the shot clock. Otherwise, nothing that made me scream at the tv. The long 3 as the shot clock expired earlier in the 3rd was nice.

Cole Aldrich, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

COME ON!!!!!!!

Toure’ Murry, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Could he be worst than Udrih? Probably not.

Mike Woodson

Any game that Cole Aldrich stays on the bench while Bargs gets almost 40 minutes playing center, Woodson gets an “F” from me. Also, 9 minutes of Prigs is inexcusable, especially with Shumpert and JR being as horrible as they currently are, and Felton being in his first game in 2 weeks.

One Thing We Saw

  1. This was my first recap! It took way longer than I expected and I really have to go to bed so I can get up in a few hours to cook a turkey. I’ve written enough! Everyone have a great Thanksgiving! Drown your worries in gravy!

70 comments on “Recap: LA Clippers 93, NY Dolans 80

  1. d-mar

    I’ve always been a big Amare fan, and he completely reinvigorated this franchise when he came here in 2010, but he is absolutely killing this team when he’s on the court. His moves on offense are predictable as hell, and he gets his shit thrown back at him by any player over 6’5″. And on defense, he has absolutely no clue and commits really stupid fouls. I’m not a big believer in +/-, but a -29 in 20 minutes is pretty scary.

    I feel bad for STAT, as I know he works hard and has a lot of pride, but he really should not set foot on the court unless it’s a blowout.

  2. airchibundo507

    At one point late in the game, the Knicks were down 4 while the Clippers had outscored the Knicks by 30 with Amare on the court. Unreal. Amare deserves an F for sure. He pretty much single-handedly lost this game, even with JR, Metta & Udrih playing like dogsh*t.

  3. Kikuchiyo

    I hope that after the West Coast trip the Knicks play some games in Hawaii and Japan. That way I won’t only miss the second halves, I can miss the WHOLE GAME.

    Woodson looks way, way overmatched by the various crises happening on this team. The team has two to five (if you’re generous) players who look “right.” Everyone else appears to be playing the worst version of himself. Do they even talk about what’s not working?

  4. DRed

    Happy Thanksgiving, all. We may not have a good basketball team to be thankful for, but we do have a good website to bitch about it.

  5. tastycakes

    Always loved Amar’e. But he’s hurting the team, bad. Zero confidence in his jump shot, constantly fumbling the ball away in the post, zero D… dude looks like he’s stuck in mud. He even makes Bargnani look good these days!

    What’s a real shame is that he doesn’t seem to have a sense of how he can turn himself into a useful role player — play defense, rebound, move the ball — and he keeps trying to will himself back into the player he once was and probably never will be again.

  6. ARMS12

    Watching Amare playing defense, I can only believe he must have some problem involving spatial awareness.
    He should try some heterodox approach to address this issue. Try some video games or learn something different, play an instrument for example, like Dirk Nowitzki did.
    Blaming Mike D’Antony for his poor defense doesn’t make sense anymore.

  7. JK47

    The Knicks are bad at every facet of basketball except preventing turnovers. They’re pretty good at that. They’re terrible at every other component of basketball on both sides of the ball.

    There isn’t a single player on the team I would want beyond his current contract, and the team has no draft pick in two of the next three seasons. The only solution is to begin a long, patient rebuild but that will never, ever happen. I hope everybody enjoyed that first-round playoff win against the Celtics because that is going to represent the high water mark of 20 years of Knicks basketball, maybe more.

    This isn’t a normal NBA franchise. This is a team whose DNA is infused with failure. The approach to roster construction is completely wrong-headed, and that isn’t going to change as long as Dolan owns the team. His sense of entitlement and his desire for instant gratification are poisonous, and the results on the court for the last decade plus speak for themselves. Knick fans deserve better than this, but as the great sage Snoop from The Wire once said, “Deserve ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.”

  8. ephus

    Things for which I am thankful. (Knicks related)

    1. I married way over my head and my bride has always let me watch as much Knicks basketball as I wanted.

    2. The 10-year old daughter is sweet, kind and a fervent Knicks fan who has joined me for countless games at MSG and on MSG.

    3. The hope that I felt holding my daughter’s hand walking into MSG for game 1 against Indiana last year.

    4. The sound of the cheers when Bernard King was introduced in his comeback game.

    5. Game 5 of the 1994 Finals against

    6. The moment that the Knicks won the Ewing lottery.

    7. Patrick Ewing’s 3 pointer to put the icing on the cake to eliminate the Celtics.

    8. All the books the 1969-73 Knicks wrote.

    9. The 1999 run to the Finals.

    10. The community of Knickerblogger.

    I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, great Hannukah and many blessings!

  9. nyk8806

    “I honestly didn’t even know who the coach was when I was coming to New York,” World Peace said. “I just wanted to win a championship; I didn’t even know who was coaching. I didn’t care. It could have been Aunt Jemima. They could have had the syrup coaching. I was coming here regardless. I just wanted to win a championship here.”

    Off his meds or making a subtle dig? Aunt Jemima couldn’t possibly do a worse job.

  10. JK47

    The bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup would probably be smart enough to turn down an offer of working for James Dolan.

  11. Kahnzy

    MWP is a weird dude. I was rather happy when we picked him up, believing he could contribute like a smaller version of K-Mart. Man has let me down so far.

  12. thenamestsam

    Happy thanksgiving to everybody. I’m not especially thankful for the Knicks at the moment, but I am thankful to have this community to share them with.

    As for the team, I’m pretty sure our 2nd and 3rd best players at the moment are Bargs and KMart, so that pretty much says it all right there.

  13. maxwell_3g

    The Knicks are bad at every facet of basketball except preventing turnovers. They’re pretty good at that. They’re terrible at every other component of basketball on both sides of the ball.

    There isn’t a single player on the team I would want beyond his current contract, and the team has no draft pick in two of the next three seasons. The only solution is to begin a long, patient rebuild but that will never, ever happen. I hope everybody enjoyed that first-round playoff win against the Celtics because that is going to represent the high water mark of 20 years of Knicks basketball, maybe more.

    This isn’t a normal NBA franchise. This is a team whose DNA is infused with failure. The approach to roster construction is completely wrong-headed, and that isn’t going to change as long as Dolan owns the team. His sense of entitlement and his desire for instant gratification are poisonous, and the results on the court for the last decade plus speak for themselves. Knick fans deserve better than this, but as the great sage Snoop from The Wire once said, “Deserve ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.”

    Slow clap. agree 1000%, especially not wanting any players past their contracts, melo included. I would want hardaway and maybe Kenyon and shump (since his contract will likely be very low right now), but that’s it

  14. SeeWhyDee77

    Happy Thanksgiving all! Real quick I wanna share what I think in contrast to media reports and in light of this terrible stretch of basketball.
    1) Dion Waiters. Why? Dammit we need defense not offense. Once Felton and Tyson round into shape, the offense will be fine. Besides..we have a bigger Waiters in TH2.
    2. MWP. Stop jackin up shots dude. That’s not what we brought u here for. Your offense is welcome, but within the flow of the offense. Speaking of offensive flow..
    3. Offense. The flow is quite offensive. Right now Udrih is not getting enough burn and JR is getting too much..as is STAT. Time to use Aldrich and Murry. Time to run plays where Shump has the ball in his hands..swing the ball around the perimeter a few times. I’ve seen Melo way too often get frustrated because someone else jacked the ball up early in the clock when Melo had an advantage, and end up goin 1 on 5. Woodson has to remedy this..quick. Speakin of Woodson..
    4. Coach. Woody is in danger of losing the team. I can see it. We’re losing, injured, and frustrated. I know Melo is the star player but Woodson has got to hold him accountable. Guys are seein him play hero ball at times he doesn’t necessarily have to and Woodson allows it. Guys like Shumpert, Bargnani, MWP, and STAT all know they and the entire team is so much better when the ball moves. All this talk about Melo needing a sidekick, when there’s a perfectly capable one in Bargnani. Not to mention STAT, JR, Udrih, and MWP can all contribute on offense enough to make the offense as deadly as it was last season. In the beginning of the season, Melo seemed to be trusting more but with guys banged up it seems like there’s no trust in the system at all. This is Woodson’s time. Meetings are not gonna get us out of the mud. Stern and solid coaching will. Everyone has to now that no one is beyond reproach.
    It’s still very early in the season guys, but I still see great things happenining if the team can work the kinks out.

  15. wjosephson

    Wondering why there is so much love for Prigioni. Last time he was in the game he turned it over twice, could not handle the double team. Why leave him in? He seems to struggle to penetrate. He is a good player with hustle but is he any better than Udrih?

  16. SeeWhyDee77

    If I had my druthers, I’d push to trade JR as hard as I could even if I got back pennies on the dollar. I don’t mean that to say JR is a cancerous team killer or that he’s not talented. But on that second unit I like a backcourt of Prigioni and Udrih with Murry and TH2 waiting in the wings way more than I like any configuration with JR. I’m sure that once he rediscovers his game he will look like a good player for this team again..but he breaks the offense as much as Melo but isn’t the scoring threat that Melo is. Plus I’m pretty sure that Murry/Prigioni/TH2 can each shoot from outside at the same clip, if not better, than JR does. And within the offense more often than not. But the biggest reason I think we should try and move JR is there are teams out there that need backcourt scoring more than we need a logjam in the backcourt and we may be able to get a helpful 4 or 5 out of it. Chicago, Charlotte, Philly, Boston, and Memphis could all use backcourt punch. It’s at least worth lookin under rocks to see what comes up. But please no Shump trade please unless it adds future value because he is a big part of our future value

  17. Donnie Walsh

    As for the team, I’m pretty sure our 2nd and 3rd best players at the moment are Bargs and KMart, so that pretty much says it all right there.

    Granted the Knicks are playing without Chandler, which obviously is a huge cause for their woes here early, and their record reflects his absence. But, the troubling things that the games, outside of the Indiana game, haven’t even been very competitive. And they are in the cellar of what may shape up to be the worse division in the history of the NBA, in what could turn out to be the worst conference the league has seen in a while. So, to hope that Chandler’s return will make the team a contender is a holiday prayer. (I think if Chandler hadn’t gotten hurt, the Knicks would probably be a game or two below .500 right now, and having to explain a labored start without the benefit of pointing to key injuries).

  18. hoolahoop

    Bargnani – SOFT

    Amare – DONE

    Melo – HERO

    Prigs – SMART

    JR – DUMB

    Felton – LIMITED

    MWP – BAD

    Shump – LOST

    K. Martin – TOUGH

    Woodson – WORST

    Aldridge, Toure, – MISSING

  19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Why did Mike ask what I contribute to this site? It’s simple: accurate predictions.

    How much energy did I spend this summer deriding the Bargnani trade, explaining why it was bad, and talking about how terrible he is at basketball? And then the season comes around and I say, “Oh, look at that,” and it’s a big deal to all the eternally optimistic posters on this site.

  20. Mental Masochist

    THCJ, I don’t believe anyone on this board to be eternally optimistic (save for Ruru and 2-3 others) and find your not-so-subtly veiled sniping a pain in the arse. Additionally, to pin the failure of this year’s Knicks solely on the exploits of the gallivanting, lanky Italian defensive dunce is a bit misguided and unfair.

    True, Bargnani has left quite a bit to be desired on both sides of the ball–what with him often sliding over to play help D on the seat for Elijah, and often looking Landry Fields levels of lost on the other side. However, to attribute all of the team’s woes on the court to the beleaguered chap is comparable to attributing the failure of “Batman & Robin” exclusively to George Clooney’s perky nipples. Everything else sucked in the movie and most everything sucks about the current team, from the top down, with few noted exceptions.

    Now I find myself rooting for J.R. and the rest of Woody’s unwarranted favorites to suffer simultaneous sprains in the hopes of having one of those cohesive stretches that seem to occur every year when all of “the good players” go down. Hell, maybe the team can go 39-43 and grab the 4-seed at that point. A guy can dream, ay?

    Also, despite the rumors for Williams, Waiters, et al. over the past few weeks and their genuine basketball suckery to this point, at least their all young bucks and not the usual list of tired out lame ducks. Baby steps. Baby steps.

  21. Z-man

    Jowles, I think you contribute a lot to this site, even though I often vehemently disagree with you. (Same was true for jon abbey, I miss him!) I don’t mind the gloating at all. And so far, it looks as if you actually underestimated the depth of the Knicks’ problems.

    I have been doing my best to be objective about Bargnani. It is clear that he is not capable of replacing Tyson Chandler, and he shouldn’t be in that role (why not give Aldrich a shot?) But in many of our losses (like this one) he played well enough to be a net positive. Is he causing the poor play of JR, Shump, Prigioni, STAT, and MWP? All of those guys are playing significant minutes and putting up career low numbers. Bargnani’s poor defense and rebounding certainly contributes to the problem, but he is actually playing like an average NBA player according to WS48.

    I think Bargnani playing heavy minutes is about 20% of the reason why we are losing. That’s not insignificant. But JR has gone from 6th man of the year to negative WS48-level. The PGs have been incapable of containing dribble penetration and have not represented a 3-pt threat on the other end. MWP has been a disaster during the past 2 weeks. STAT is treating critical in-game moments as if they are is own personal training camp scrimmage. Shump has been systematically demoralized by Woodson and Dolan under the idiotic assumption that JR and TH2 made him expendable. And your favorite player, Chandler, got hurt on a freakish play.
    So, while your prediction of massive struggles has come true, the reasons you cited, especially Bargnani, don’t really justify the crowing. It’s very early. Let’s see what happens when Chandler comes back.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    See, I think I’d be right on-target if Chandler were around. He’s one of the best players in the league, but he’s not going to turn a 3-11 team into a 11-3 team. (Actually, replacing him with Bargnani at center is probably a difference of 0.400 WP48 from center position, so maybe I’m wrong.) The thing I don’t understand is how many people chewed on Chandler’s flaws and then claimed that his loss is much more severe to the team than it is. “He’s not good at offense!” and then “I MISS CHANDLER’S PAINT-CLOGGING.”

    I’m not sniping. I’m way out in the open. I make these “bold” predictions — no one on this board thought they would suck as badly as WP, SCHOENE, and lil ol’ me did — and then get mocked and ridiculed for it. So sniping? No. Confirming what I predicted? Yes.

  23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    And it’s not all Bargnani. He’s a huge part of the Knicks problems, but MWP, JR, Carmelo, Felton, Amar’e and Shumpert were never going to be a good team either. Lots of overrated scorers and “wait ’til they gel!” underachievers. This team was never going to win 50 games.

  24. Douglas

    I don’t remember “a Tyson Chandler broken leg” anywhere among those predictions, so any crowing and preening seems ill-advised.

    You predicted a losing record based on the assumption that Bargnani was irredeemably horrible at basketball, not freak injuries. Your process doesn’t match the result, THCJ.

  25. DRed

    Bargs is terrible, but I’d say that JR, Stat, Beno and maybe jowles jr have all been worse. So it’s certainly all not his fault. But his playing huge minutes just underscores that the guys who run the team don’t know what they’re doing. We needed a defense/rebounding backup for Tyson. I thought that’s what Cole was for, but apparently not. We’re wasting a roster spot on half pipe instead of some sort of serviceable bigman. That’s not Bargs fault, but bitching about him is shorthand (at least for me) for the structural problems with this organization that he represents.

  26. iserp

    THCJ, you are tiring. If not for Bargs, what F-C rotation would the Knicks have? Steve Novak? People here that defended the trade argued that Bargnani would be an improvement over Novak. Over Novak!!!, not over Chandler! He has filled the role in an acceptable way. The knicks aren’t going to be a good team with Bargnani at C, but that was known. I think we singled out matchups where Bargnani might be more helpful than Chandler, but it was against Indiana and little else.

    And as others have said, Bargnani isn’t responsible that everyone else is missing their shots. I mean, the opposing team is defending Bargnani actively, and he is posting an average TS%. But JR, Felton, Shump, MWP are playing badly. At both ends of the floor. And some of this guys were very beloved by WOW.

    It’s OK to make predictions, and be proud if one hits the mark. But you are just being ridiculous. And i wouldnt be so happy with SCHOENE, he had the Nets at 50 wins and Detroit at 49. A random number generator would also get some predictions right.

  27. iserp

    BTW, i agree that not playing Aldrich a single minute is retarded. But that one is on Woodson, not on Bargnani.

  28. DRed

    When Tyson was healthy, was Bargs playing the Novak role? No. People claiming he was brought in to play the Novak role are simply wrong.

  29. JK47

    If Chandler was healthy AND the Knicks had a coach that could coach his way out of a paper bag, this team might be kinda a’ight. You could probably cobble together a Felton-Shump-MWP-Melo-Chandler lineup, coax that lineup to play tough defense, and get enough offense to win games. Sprinkle in some Prigs, K-Mart, Cole Aldrich for defense and JR Smith for bench scoring, bench JR when he does stupid shit and run Bargs out there as an occasional stretch 4, and you’d probably be at least as mediocre as the rest of the dreck that is huddled together in the middle of the EC standings.

    Without Chandler though, and with a coach who is an idiot, you get your brains beaten in every night. Woodson has no idea how to get this team to play defense, and doesn’t even seem to understand why the team is so bad. And the dropoff from Chandler to Bargs is catastrophic.

  30. Mental Masochist

    As has been noted, the prediction is rendered moot because it has little to no relation to the reasons cited for the demise.

    It’s equal to “Look how deep John Lennon is into drugs, I bet he dies at 40!”…John Lennon gets shot and dies at 40. “See he died at 40! I’m right!” Not so much…

    That being said and pushed aside for now, how many injuries, nights of shit play, and consecutive losses will it take before Woody actually allows Aldrich or Murry to get some burn. It’s entirely fucked that neither were thrown over the past few games with both TC and Felton out. I suppose the logic is “Well, with a 7-footer at center, there’s no need to trot out another.” Unfortunately, the goatee cannot comprehend that not all 7-footers do big man things. As for the point guard situation, anyone, ANYONE has to be able to do better than the smattering of crap delivered by Udrih and Prigioni while Felton was out. Even with Felton’s return the team hasn’t a bit of hope because he is lame and his struggles have been well documented. It’s a shame.

    Oh the joys of praying for adversity to play the team’s best suited players instead of relying on the coach to “get it.” The faux-accountability, the favoritism, the inability to come up with an offensive scheme more dynamic than “stand around, watch, wait for an errant chuck or pass to come your way” is sickening particularly when coupled with the “it’s sound philosophy to have the PG switch onto the high screener, because we have Bargs playing safety” scheme.

    Perhaps Michael Ray can be lured out of retirement. At least it’s some of that old timey, familiar fuckuppery.

  31. Zanzibar

    The knicks aren’t going to be a good team with Bargnani at C.

    Unclear. Again the data so far is that the Knicks have been a plus team when Bargs plays center in a 5-out offense. In fact, based on stats alone, the conclusion has to be that our optimal configuration would be Chandler as starting center and Bargs as back-up center but only in 5-out lineups. The problem is that Woodson has no faith in a 5-out unit so to me the real issue at this stage is our coach. Could you name another 5-out lineup in the history of the league? Bargs is a unique “talent” who happens to be an almost perfect fit for the 5-out config for this team. Who can guard Melo at the 4 in a completely spread offense? Lebron, that’s it. He’s too strong for other 3s and too fast for 4s. Surround him with capable 3 shooters who can play avg+ defense (which we have). Also JR would be optimized in 5-out config. Bargs is excellent at man defense and Shump/JR/Melo can all rebound. Major issue would be team/help defense but that’s another reason why the coach is the problem.

  32. iserp

    When Tyson was healthy, was Bargs playing the Novak role? No. People claiming he was brought in to play the Novak role are simply wrong.

    WTF? What do you get with this?

    If Woodson or the front office doesn’t place Bargnani in that role, it has nothing to do with me arguing that he would be better in that role. And it has nothing to do with Bargnani’s abilities, or Novak’s abilities.

    Sometimes i feel you are like THCJ, you just want to argue to confront people. You never want to reach to any conclusion.

  33. DRed

    Zanzibar, whatever a 5-out offense is we don’t have enough data yet to confidently state it’s an effective lineup. If it’s worked so far in limited minutes it’s certainly worth trying, but it’s no guarantee of continued success.

  34. Mental Masochist

    I don’t see the 5-out as a feasible option every night but certainly think it has its place provided the guys on the court actually showed a willingness to move the ball and move without the ball.

    Also, why hasn’t the 2-PG lineup been given any sort of play since Pipe’s return to the bench? It simply makes no sense.

  35. Z-man

    Abe Lemons once said: “There are really only two plays: Romeo and Juliet, and put the darn ball in the basket.” So long as the Knicks continue to miss wide-open shots (especially 3′s) nothing they do is going to work, Chandler or no Chandler.

  36. danvt

    The Knicks are bad at every facet of basketball except preventing turnovers. They’re pretty good at that. They’re terrible at every other component of basketball on both sides of the ball.

    There isn’t a single player on the team I would want beyond his current contract, and the team has no draft pick in two of the next three seasons. The only solution is to begin a long, patient rebuild but that will never, ever happen. I hope everybody enjoyed that first-round playoff win against the Celtics because that is going to represent the high water mark of 20 years of Knicks basketball, maybe more.

    This isn’t a normal NBA franchise. This is a team whose DNA is infused with failure. The approach to roster construction is completely wrong-headed, and that isn’t going to change as long as Dolan owns the team. His sense of entitlement and his desire for instant gratification are poisonous, and the results on the court for the last decade plus speak for themselves. Knick fans deserve better than this, but as the great sage Snoop from The Wire once said, “Deserve ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.”

    Really great post. It’s so sad what’s happened to this once proud franchise (or, sort of proud, anyway). There really are more NYK fans than anyone else too. So, a big chunk of the basketball watching population has been starving for a championship that hasn’t been and doesn’t look to be on the horizon. I wish Dolan would sell.

  37. Zanzibar

    @DRed Agreed which is why I used to word “unclear” at the start of my post. But I would note that the minutes are not trivial and there is some logic to to it. Success is whether team Ortg > Drtg which means the team/help defense cannot be so bad as to outweigh offensive gains.

    I don’t see the 5-out as a feasible option every night but certainly think it has its place provided the guys on the court actually showed a willingness to move the ball and move without the ball.

    No the players don’t have to move without the ball; in fact, they should stay stationary which is one of the virtues of a five-out offense when you have low BB IQ players. A 5-out offense is one where ALL the players can hit 3s at avg+ %. So Heat are close but Bosh has a career 3FG% of 30%. The old Phoenix offense was close but Amare is similar to Bosh in that respect. If Melo is guarded by a 4, the offense would start with all 5 players spread around the 3 stripe. If defender sloughs off, Melo will have an open 3; if he guards him, Melo attacks the rim. If Melo is guarded by a 3, he posts up. If help is given, 1 or 2 passes will result in an open 3. Another offensive strategy would be to run PnRs with JR/Melo pair. If no help is given, an open 2 or paint shot should be there (this was the Suns offense). JR is good at shooting open 2s and attacking/finishing at the rim but struggles when help arrives and then ends up resetting and shooting inefficient 2s. If help arrives in a 5-out, he knows exactly where open man and passes to him. Another offensive strategy would be to have Shump drive if guarded by slow defender; his ability to finish only matters if help arrives, but again he knows where his teammates are stationed and just needs to make make simple pass. JR and Melo are optimized in this offense. Shump’s perfect as 3andD for this offense (Raja Bell) which makes all of these trade talks all the more maddening.

  38. Nick C.

    Zanzibar, that link makes the 5out seem almost as if it is a play rather than a specific unit. How are you figuring your data, just making a logical assumption based on who is part of the 5? Also it reads like cutting to the basket is a key part of the offense and, I can barely recall even one non P&R where a player moves without the ball.

  39. Zanzibar

    @Nick C We’re getting a bit too hung up on terminology. If JR/Melo are running PnRs, it becomes a spread PnR offense like the old Suns. If Melo is guarded by a 3, he will post-up in which case it becomes a 4-out/1in offense like the Dwight Howard/Orlando teams. The other 2 examples I gave (Melo driving when guarded by 4 and Shump driving on slow defender) is 5-out in the sense that all players start from the perimeter. I used 5-out as the most concise term to describe all of the above for our particular team. I’ve described how the offense would work for our team before so I presumed people would know what I was talking about. In retrospect I should have just used the term “spread offense” but I didn’t like it because I figured readers might think I’m talking about lineups with Bargs as stretch 4 or Bargs as stretch 5 which include KMart. In any event, here are the lineups I think would be most effective:

    Felton/JR/Melo/Shump/Bargs
    Prigs/JR/Melo/Shump/Bargs
    Shump/JR/Melo/MWP/Bargs (note since offense initiated through JR or Melo, PG not so critical, also note MWP would be positioned in corner)

  40. Mental Masochist

    Zanzibar, I fail to understand the merits of the 5-out offense as you describe it, particularly in relation to this team. I do not trust anyone on this team to just make the simple pass, and figure it would devolve into 4 guys standing around the arc while one guy is going iso from out there (essentially what we are presently enduring). Additionally, given the way the Knicks have been chucking the 3s, I don’t think that it much matters.

  41. KJG

    Just looked at 5 out … It looks like the simplest form of a motion offense where you get rid of the ball … Cut to basket … And go to opposite side of court from where you passed … It really is simple. It’s the first offense I learned playing CYO ball in 6th grade. But aside from that, options and variations are limitless… Someone can flash to high post, take a touch just to pack defense in a little as decoy as players move into their spots on the perimeter… It’s a balanced offense that can emphasize jump shooters or cutters or both… That reference to the 73 team is ironic and telling as the game truly is a simple one when players of all ages learn such a standard set… It just comes down to execution… With a shot clock, it needs to move quickly… Any ball stopping and the defense can get back into comfy position…

  42. Zanzibar

    @45 Well we made the simple pass last season and our offense was centered around PnRs and Melo ISOs/Post-Ups. It’s the same only the max spread should make it all the more effective. Part of the reason IMO we’re missing so many 3s is because our offense has had no identity or flow to it; this offense should help fix that.

    @46 Read my post #41 to understand what I mean when I use the term 5-out.

  43. BigBlueAL

    Bargnani has been decent. He has had some very good offensive games and even has had a couple of 10+ reb games and 4 blocks in a game. BUT the problem has been what I feared before the season is Woodson’s lineups and minutes allocation. Bargs at 15-20 mins a game is fine. But Bargs is averaging almost 31 mins/g and he has played 83 mins in the past 2 games.

    Ive mentioned it before but the schedule in December (especially in the first couple of weeks) should be pretty easy. If this was last season I could easily see them go on a 6 or 7 game winning streak during the month but right now this team doesnt look like it can beat anybody. Chandler returning sooner rather than later would be nice.

  44. ruruland

    A few things.

    The Knicks are running fewer isolations than last year.

    The Knicks top six 3-point shooters (by volume) are shooting below their career average.

    **Jowles has never made his own predictions.

    If someone were to tell you that the Knicks would be without Chandler and ranked 25th in 3-point shooting, of course everyone would predict something like what’s happened thus far.

    But I would argue that improved 3-point shooting is just as likely as Chandler’s return, and that combined with an easier schedule is going to equate to a significant turnaround at some point.

    How significant that turnaround will depend on a few things more difficult to predict.

    Can J.R. Smith, MWP, and Amar’e return to the level of play they demonstrated last year?

    Can Iman Shumpert break out of whatever he’s in to be the player he was in the Pacers series?

    If those things break against the Knicks, they are fatally flawed in most playoff match-ups.
    If those things break for the Knicks, they’ll be a better team in the playoffs than they were last season.

    Yes, the Knicks are lucky they’re in one of the worst divisions in NBA history. But they’ll make the playoffs, and barring more injuries, snag the fourth seed.

    By that point, this start will long be forgotten, just as last season’s start buoyed by full health and unsustainable 3-point shooting were distant memories in the March swoon, April turnaround and playoff run.

    **Ronnie Brewer contributed more wins to the Knicks last season than Carmelo Anthony, who is still listed at power forward this year despite playing the vast majority of his minutes at small forward (WoW’s metrics are based on how players compare to each other by position, so of course every team must play the same players in the same positions for the same amount of minutes, and yet the Knicks have started either two centers or two power forwards every game this year).

  45. Mental Masochist

    Ah, thanks for the explanation Zanzibar. I like the sounds of it, but figure it’d take a pseudo-apocalypse of injuries, knife fighting, or some sort of edict delivered to Woody from above (like that’ll happen…) for him to make a change, hold anyone accountable to actually play it out and not just fall back to the every man for himself ethos.

    Really, with a coach like woody who seems incapable of reining in his “stars,” (pipe and melo) or is completely comfortable with the present offense (scary) or envisions it being played that way (even scarier) there is no impetus for change and they will continue with the chuckery–their comfort zone. Too bad the guys a shitty coach and we’re fucked.

    Pardon the cynicism, but hope eludes me with the current roster, coach and ‘gm.’

  46. ruruland

    A few more incorrect assumptions to point out.

    The Knicks have a higher assist rate than they had last season, and rank higher in the NBA in assist ranking than they did last season.

    The biggest statistical problem the Knicks — and its not even close or worth arguing — is that they have FAR AND AWAY the largest free throw discrepancy in the NBA. They rank last in BOTH ft/fga on offense and defense.

    That’s a truly incredible statistic, and yes, national narrative plays right into the minds of officials.

    Get things turned around, the Knicks should start getting a few more calls.

  47. Mental Masochist

    There’s far more wrong with the Knicks than not getting to the line 10 more times a game, Ruru my dear. Have you seen the stagnant state of the offense or the “pat on the back on the way to the basket” defense? Sure, free throws would help, but that’s about the 37th most important thing right now.

  48. ruruland

    I’m not sure if you’re trying to patronize me, but I think last year’s third ranked offense was more stagnant than you’d like to remember, as the Knicks have reduced their isolations and increased their assist percentage. That assist percentage would be much higher this year if the Knicks were shooting closer to their career averages. One could easily argue the Knicks are passing more than they did last season.

    I think when the Knicks miss shots they made last year, everyone wants to look for causality, when sometimes the game is really as simple as the few inches that determine made and missed shots. Yes, the Knicks lost two of their better shooters, but the shooters they have aren’t this bad.

    And yes, it’s always been true when the Knicks miss shots Melo has a tendency to dominate the ball more.

    Let’s remember that early in the season Melo wasn’t isolating at all (outside of the end of game stretch against Chicago), and that wasn’t working.

    I’d like to see Melo in a lot more pick and rolls inside the 3-point line, but generally speaking, the Knicks are generating exactly the kind of shots a team missing its best screener and best pick and roll penetrator should.

    I underestimated Chandler’s value to the offense. His screening really creates a nice domino effect. That said, the Knicks are vastly under-performing on good shots.

    And secondly, the Knicks had just as much of an issue bottling up penetration as they’ve had this season. Sure, not having Chandler makes a difference, but he was very average (at best) on defense last year.

    Considering the Knicks pace, a 10 free throw per game discrepancy is incredible. It would be like shooting close to 50 percent from the 3-point line as a team. It’s that kind of a statistical anomaly.

    In the last 14 years, only one team has had a free throw differential above (or below) -7!!

  49. ruruland

    So, even if the Knicks were to rank last in free throw differential in a normal year (and the team last in ft differential never has a guy top 5 in paint attempts like Melo is), they are still losing about 3.5 points at the ft line than they should expect in the absolute worst case scenario.

    3.5 points per game at the Knicks pace is like 4 or 5 rating points, which would be at least 2-3 more wins at this point.

    So throw everything else out the window, and say the Knicks deserve to rank last in ft differential, it’s costing them way more than it’s cost any team since 1999.

  50. yellowboy90

    I don’t think Bargs is a problem but I do think playing Amar’e and Bargs is a huge problem. Just let Cole pair up with Amar’e and Martin with Bargs.

  51. ruruland

    Chris Herring just tweeted me that the Knicks have the worst 3-point corner shooting of any team the last 15 years.

    “But I’m also starting to think NYKs an outlier in a lot of regards.” Herring tweeted.

  52. JK47

    Even if this team roars back and ends up a 4 seed or something, so freaking what? The team has no future. What can the Knicks possibly do to improve this team for next season? Amare’s carcass will still be on the roster, Bargs will still be on the roster, MWP and Prigs will be a year older, Felton will still suck and Shump will probably have been moved for scraps.

    Best case scenario, this team wins a playoff series. Their chances of doing real damage in the playoffs is exactly zero. When you have this kind of team– a team with a ceiling of mediocrity– you blow it up and start over again. You don’t keep doubling down on the “win now” moves that result in first round draft picks going out the door for Andrea Bargnani. The team’s next window to do anything is in the 2015 offseason, when the same inept management will try to load up on another batch of decline-phase entering free agents and the whole idiotic cycle will start all over again, except this time we’ll be discussing whether Kemba Walker will be a good fit in John Calipari’s offense and wondering how he’ll fit in with our new max contract shooting guard Monta Ellis. I’ve seen this movie before.

  53. Brian Cronin

    You can absolutely hate Melo and still think that that Howard story was silly. Just a lot of regurgitation of mainstream talking points (at one point literally just that).

  54. JK47

    Who the hell is Amar’e Stoudemire to be calling anybody out for not passing the ball? If you pass the ball to Amar’e Stoudemire, the possession is gonna end with Amar’e either shooting or dribbling the thing off his foot. He had 13 assists in almost 700 minutes last year. Jeezus, talk about the pot and the kettle.

    I’ve really had just about enough of Amar’e. If you can’t play anymore, at least keep your mouth shut while you cash your ridiculously huge checks. His FG-turnover ratio is approaching 1:1 and the opposing team goes on a 10-0 run every time he checks into the game. Go punch another fire extinguisher if you’re pissed off, dude. Do us all a favor.

  55. ruruland

    You’ve posted something similar to the above (Shumpert getting traded for nothing, the Knicks bungling the ’15 fa, and the need to blow the team up) more than once every day for a long time.
    We get it.

  56. Mental Masochist

    No patronization, just a conflicting viewpoint. Having watched the team to the point of nauseating frustration and quite a bit beyond, the free throw discrepancy is quite apparent and a pain, but I cannot say that they even play near well enough to win in any facet with that aside.

  57. danvt

    Even if this team roars back and ends up a 4 seed or something, so freaking what?

    To me this would be wonderful and I would love to see it. Most of us saw that this team was a long shot to win a championship anytime during this window and saw it long ago. I think we’d all be happy as hell right now with a four seed and some exciting playoff basketball this spring. The fearful thing is that we’re back to being a capped out lottery team with no picks.

    Just give me a punchers chance right now. Even if it’s worse in the long run and the rebuild starts later than sooner. Even if Dolan is vindicated for his lousy organization. I don’t care. I just want to beat some teams right now. Losing sucks and I’ll take winning anytime, even in the flawed paradigm you masterfully detailed.

  58. Owen

    “Just give me a punchers chance right now. Even if it’s worse in the long run and the rebuild starts later than sooner. Even if Dolan is vindicated for his lousy organization. I don’t care. I just want to beat some teams right now. Losing sucks and I’ll take winning anytime, even in the flawed paradigm you masterfully detailed.”

    I think this is the other perennial argument here.

    I have no problem with it. But personally, I would rather see us crash and burn until Daddy Dolan decides it’s time for a change….

  59. SeeWhyDee77

    RE: THCJ
    I appreciate his presence here. I will say this..at one point in time there was a hell of a lot of infighting here, and THCJ was at the center of much of it. Since then, he has toned it down a lot. I think that underneath the sarcasm and sometimes vitriolic commentary, that his contributions are quite insightful. He’s just a different personality I suppose. But, I come here to discuss basketball- in particular Knicks basketball- and to maybe learn a few things. So I try not to let things get under my skin. Some of us here take disagreements a little too far and fuel unnecessary criticism with them. Overall, I enjoy this site very much. What I don’t understand is this shitty state the team is in lol

  60. danvt

    Chris Herring just tweeted me that the Knicks have the worst 3-point corner shooting of any team the last 15 years.

    “But I’m also starting to think NYKs an outlier in a lot of regards.” Herring tweeted.

    Ruru, I really enjoy reading your posts. Your ideas are plausible and give me some reason to expect that things will get better. My questions for you are these. Three seasons in, what’s your assessment of the Carmelo Anthony trade? Did the Knicks give up too much? Are they worse even though they got the best player in the deal? Are the expectations for Carmelo too much? The NYK situation has made Melo have to shoulder even more of the load than Lebron has had to in MIA. I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves on for that reason. Might that be the best outcome for Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks? He goes to a team where he can be the final piece of the puzzle (Houston?) and NYK get’s multiple assets, restocks the cupboard with draft picks, and stops trying to win with duct tape rosters. I think Carmelo is a great Knick with tough big east roots. I love the way he’s attacked this year and hit the boards. Nothing has affected his will. But I wonder if this thing needs to be torn down here in NY. Give me a reason to believe, buddy.

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