Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Relatively Quick Reaction: Knicks 100, Sixers 84

Philadelphia 76ers 84 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 New York Knicks

DISCLAIMER: Yet again, there remains a glitch in the recap generator’s HTML code, and like Mr. Cavan I am incapable of fixing this Rube Goldberg device. Hopefully, we’ll resolve the issue(s) and have it looking better than a poop taco by tomorrow evening’s tilt. Until then, if you’re having trouble dissecting the misplaced graphics and whatnot, get Jim on Skype and he’ll perform an interpretive dance of today’s game that will be infinitely more pleasing to the eye.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 39 MIN | 10-18 FG | 6-9 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 27 PTS | +5That was beautiful. I’d start kvelling for paragraphs about how that might have been the most complete game at both ends of the floor we’ve seen in the 1.5 years that Melo’s been garbed in Blue and Orange, but his basic psychic makeup would probably force him to get peeved and start launching 30-footers from his nipples. This, of course, assumes that Carmelo Anthony reads Knickerblogger recaps and bases all his life choices on our sage advice, droll witticisms and obscure references. I’m going to hold on to that fantasy for a while, just as I’ll clutch vainly to the notion that one game is a large enough sample size to state with total confidence that the source of the most heated debates ’round these parts is finally “getting it”. Seriously though, ‘Melo was unstoppable. If the Sixers doubled, he moved the ball to the open man. If they played off him, he swished an open shot. If they pressed, he drove to the hole. More importantly, he was a plus defender, forcing multiple turnovers, rotating to help (I know. I can’t believe I just wrote that either) and getting a 9.9 from judge Charles Oakley on his swan dive into the stands. If this is to become the “new normal”…hoo-doggie. Look out. We’re talking a fully-operational Death Star here. The graphic’s been lost in the swirling seas of indecipherable code, but Melo gets an A+, obvs.

Tyson Chandler, C 21 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +7I thought robots weren’t susceptible to the various microbes, viruses and bacteria that plague we humans? Tyson was clearly feeling icky and as a result we saw a few glimpses of Tyson-y things scattered hither and yonder, but for the most part it’s probably best that he only got 21 minutes of floor time. Rest up, Tyson. Drink a lot of fluids. Don’t take zinc tablets. That’s a placebo. And if you need someone to bring you orange juice or wipe your nose or anything, you know how to reach me.

Jason Kidd, PG 25 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 12 PTS | +14In the sake of full disclosure, I was firmly against the Jason Kidd signing this offseason. His metrics have been plummeting faster than shares of Netflix the last two seasons and I just personally do. Not. Like. Jason. Kidd. It’s not just the spousal abuse charges, the weird kiss of his fingers before launching a free throw or the fact that when his playing career ends in 2037 he’ll be able to ease into his future employment as a full-time Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov impersonator. For reasons beyond my understanding, the cat just rubs me the wrong way. That said, after two games, color me impressed. He’s so effing smart. And if he can continue to spread the floor and play serviceable defense against shooting guards, he’s a serious asset. Is it okay if, empirical evidence to the contrary, I still don’t cotton to the cut of his jib? It is? Thanks.

Raymond Felton, PG 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +19A bit of a mixed bag for our man Raymond (no, not a mixed bag of leftover Halloween candy). He started out doing a nifty job of pushing the tempo, breaking down the defense, hitting open jumpers and finishing at the rim. His final numbers don’t reflect it, but I counted more than a few “hockey assists” (a pass leading to the pass leading to the bucked. Ray’s the guy behind the guy behind the guy. What was I saying? Oh right…) In the 2nd half, he had a gaggle of sloppy, unforced turnovers, but overall, another quality outing. Like my fellow recapper/Yoga aficionado, Jim Cavan, I’m going to do my best to resist the notion to compare every single millisecond of on-court activity to whatshisname down in the Lone Star State, but the whole “fits the team” better argument (which I still think is a load of bunk) is climbing in my internal polls.

Ronnie Brewer, SG 26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | +12One of the nice things about watching Ronnie Brewer is that I feel better about my own disjointed, wonky jump-shooting form. Granted, I don’t have a mangled limb to use as an excuse. Ronnie’s a plus defender and constantly in motion on offense. Even if he’s not the greatest finisher at the rim, he’s contributed to the pass-happy, unselfish vibe that your humble correspondent didn’t see coming — especially hard on the heels of a mainly ISO-centric preseason.

Kurt Thomas, PF 18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +5Kurt popped his flagrant foul cherry and honestly I’m surprised it took as long as it did. He clearly whomped whichever Sixer that was upside the head (and, for the record, I think trying to prevent concussions is a good thing) but if anyone finds a hole in the space-time continuum/wormhole that goes back to 1994, please do not bring an in-their-prime Anthony Mason and/or Charles Oakley back with you. If those two were to suit up in today’s NBA, they’d receive so many fines from Stu “The Dean of Discipline” Jackson, that they’d rack up debt that would rival that of the United States Government. [The US Debt Joke's for our own John Kenney, who we'll hear from later in this here recap.] Speaking of which, if Mase shows up in the state of Wisconsin, he’s going straight to debtor’s prison. Don’t believe me? Peep this. [h/t Kevin McElroy] (Seinfeld voice) What is the deal with Knickerbockers and financial difficulties with the Cheeseheads? Latrell’s houseboat wouldn’t even cover that bill. Yuks notwithstanding, like many an AARP member of our surprisingly spry roster, Kurt’s a SMART ballplayer. He’s all-too-aware of his own limitations, but within this relatively limited domain –setting bone-jarring picks, rebounding, hitting the occasional 15-footer, pulling awesomely crazy faces at the arbiters — so far, he’s been durned effective.

Rasheed Wallace, PF 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +5We’re all clearly pleased as punch to have Uncle Drew Rasheed Wallace back in the League. As friend-of-the-blog netw3rk noted on the Twitter: “Sheed gets a board; crowd erupts. This crowd would applaud Sheed’ going to the bathroom.” I hope further maladies, bumps, bruises and boo-boos don’t force Sheed much past his designated “infinitely cooler version of Brian Scalabrine” role, but given how things have gone so far (every available digit crossed, knock on wood and even rapping some wood-grained Teflon to be sure) I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he played smart ball and kept this wacky “team” concept rollin’.

Steve Novak, SF 24 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -4“It’s still oh-so-surprising and pathologically disappointing when he misses. Do that less, Steve, Kay? Much has been made of Novak’s defensive deficiencies, or rather the abject shock that one experiences when he does a halfway decent job. This afternoon, he unfortunately got burned on more than one occasion trying to stick with Dorell Wright. Sad face.

Chris Copeland, SF 2 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +4.It’s your first NBA points-day! Hi Cope!

Pablo Prigioni, PG 15 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 PTS | +9It’s your first NBA points-day too! So far, we haven’t seen much of the silky-smooth passes that Priggly-Wiggly (I’m trying to attain a critical mass with that nickname. Help a brother out.) handed out in the preseason, though he’s been solid and (once more with feeling) is clearly a smart ballplayer. That said, he’s seemed oddly tentative. 35-year olds can have jitters too, so we’ll chalk it up to that.

James White, SG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +4It’s your first Knick point-day! Hi James!

J.R. Smith, SG 35 MIN | 8-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +10And here’s the afternoon’s other Bar Mitzvah boy. Like ‘Melo, I really just want to seal this game from J.R. in a hyperbaric chamber somewhere in the bowels of an über-secret government think tank where it can be studied by top men. TOP men (and J.R., natch). There were still a couple of brain-spassms that might make one playfully slap one’s forehead and bemusedly chuckle, “Oh Earl,” including a wholly unnecessary stare-down of the 76ers’ bench after a made corner trey and two or three passes that went so far awry that they concussed the Durham Bulls’ mascot. That said, he was a sturdy defender, a willing passer and when the ‘Bockers absolutely, positively needed a bucket to quench a Philly mini-run that had whittled the lead to seven, he rattled off eight straight points, including two killer threes to open the fourth. As a bonus, during a post-game interview, he informed Tina Cervasio that his game plan was to, “Keep looking for Novak.” Good plan, J.R. Part of the reason that this recap was delayed until after the sun set (aside from the aforementioned technical difficulties) is that I’ve been hard at work banging out a screenplay for a TNT police procedural featuring a mismatched pair of cops who overcome their cultural differences to become best buds, crack one liners galore, score with the ladies and fight crime n’ stuff. It’s Novak and J.R., after tonight’s game…ONLY…on TNT. We know drama!

Five Things We Saw

  1. Hey guys, John Kenney here. Sorry to pull Bob off his soapbox. Don’t worry, I’ll give it back; it’s doubling as his residence at the moment due to Hurricane Sandy. Two quick thoughts on today’s game, from inside the Garden of Madison Square (sort of):The MSG crowd was pretty solid for a Sunday matinee, but Woodson’s acquiescence to the Sheed chants vs. Miami may have made them overeager. Today, we had Sheed chants starting before the 5 minute mark, followed by a dueling, “Mar-Cus Cam-By,” chant-off, followed by Woodson sending Sheed in, as if he’d been holding a noise contest and the Sheed fans had won. Don’t get me wrong: I love Sheed, and his play has been solid in garbage time thus far. But the Garden crowd should realize that their “crowd-chant capital” is not unlimited. The wise politician reserves his…Sorry, forgot that “Wise Politicians” are as oft-spotted these days as the Dodo Bird. Continuing…
  2. I’m tempted to say that the Knicks shouldn’t be relying on three pointers so much, but in-person it seemed like they easily could have shot them more. I doubted the Jason Kidd signing as much as anyone, but the ball movement in our two-point-guard sets is pretty frickin’ phenomenal, and as a result the Knicks are taking threes because they’re completely wide open; so much so that they occasionally get carried away with finding the perfect shot and pass it too much. Quick, don’t let Melo know I said that. We still don’t believe buddy! Keep proving us wrong! I definitely wasn’t applauding your smart, decisive play the entire game!
  3. Although he’s often been described as a pony with more than zero but less than two tricks, today we saw the impact Herr Novak can have on the offense without shooting the ball. During a long stretch when Steve-o had approximately zero shots, the Knicks smartly had Melo set up on the block on his side. Novak’s shooting ability kept his man from doubling Melo, and Melo’s smart decision-making in the post against single coverage contributed to fluid offense the likes of which we hadn’t seen since 2010. I’ll give Bob his house back now.
  4. Thanks Johnnykins. Don’t worry. I’ve got a portable soapbox. It allows me to rant and rage no matter where I hang my hat.I hope all you Knickerbloggeristas are as giddy as I am about how this team is playing. Honestly, this may be the first smart Knick team I can ever remember rooting for. The Rileyballers were great and all, but their success wasn’t predicated on having a Mensa-like b-ball IQ. To wit: After two games, they’ve assisted on 60% of their made field goals (45 out of 75). That very favorably compares to the league’s model of offensive efficiency, last season’s San Antonio Spurs, who gave at the office at a 58.5 percent clip. They’re not going to keep gunning from downtown at this (47%) rate, but they’re playing at a glacially slow pace, especially when compared to last season’s hybrid SSOL/ISO-Joe style, and that, when combined with their defensive dominance and their newfound passing fancy, will keep them in games even when the bombs go bonk.
  5. Not to go all Debbie Downer, but I remain concerned about what might occur when they try to re-integrate STATS skillz into this sweet, well-balanced soup; if the gorgeous spacing that’s allowed ‘Melo to operate will vanish, the defensive intensity will suffer because Anthony’s guarding quicker small forwards and STAT’s human turnstile act forces Tyson to cover for a multitude of lapses. Y’all know that as soon as he’s healthy, Amar’e’s going straight back into the starting lineup. Even if a phalanx of NBA geeks armed with reams of quantifiable data marched right into Son of Wood’s office, willing to wager their signed copy of Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise that Stoudemire and all of Knickdom would be best served coming off the bench, he’s still going to start as soon as he’s physically able to do so. Why? Well, conventional wisdom (my absolute fave oxymoron) says that Vets don’t lose their spot because of injury. Gah. Welp, we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it. For now, enjoy your first place, undefeated, New York Knicks! At this pace, we’re going 82-0! MATH!

40 comments on “Relatively Quick Reaction: Knicks 100, Sixers 84

  1. jon abbey

    the funny thing about that seemingly premature Sheed chant is that he looked great once he came in, the assist to the cutter was particularly sweet. he should get some first-half minutes tomorrow IMO, especially since Camby is supposed to be back the game after that.

  2. Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15)

    Melo ruined two perfectly good and expensive beers, minus a grade.

    In all seriousness, great recap Bob and John.

    You nailed the point that Brewer is constantly moving on offense, essentially filling in the role of Fields but understands his limitations and role.

  3. danvt

    “(I’m trying to attain a critical mass with that nickname. Help a brother out.)”

    Pabs Blue Ribbon?
    PG-oni?
    Tango and Cash?

  4. danvt

    Jason Kidd’s effect is immeasurable. It took a while to get used to him being a Knick, because I didn’t like the way he used to squash Marbury like a bug. Also, after reading all the naysayers here I was more or less convinced that, knowing that our cells completely replicate over time, we were getting a completely different set of cells than the one who played in the Finals for NJ. Well, he’s just as crafty, still pretty darn quick (3 steals!), and a LETHAL 3 point shooter.

    Knicks look good. I can see them sweeping this home and home deal.

    If they manage to keep it up then STAT and Shump coming back may have the quality of an excellent deadline deal.

  5. Eternal OptiKnist

    Great to see that most of the crap from the preseason (sh!tty defense/rebounding) has not continued into the real season but that the good (point guard play) has remained. I do have some concern over the 3-point shooting party, but i was at the game (listened on the radio on Friday…old school baby!) and they seemed to be all good shots; thats my only gripe though at this point. Melo has been phenominal at both ends.

  6. Tony Pena

    Two reasons why I’m not too worried about STAT coming back:

    1. He’s still at least 30 games away. If they’re still successful at that point, it’ll be more of a easing him in type of thing. There won’t be any major changes just to appease STAT. If they’re not successful, welcome back STAT!

    2. Woodson. STAT’s D could probably derail the team more than anything else, but it’s not for lack of effort. I trust that the coaching staff will simplify his assignments and make him at least passable as he was for stretches on the 18-6 run. On Offense, I’m thinking that the reason why Woodson encouraged the Hakeem training is because he wants the staple of the offense to be inside/out – pick and roll, instead of some crazy genius O that can simultaneously maximize and mesh their talents. If that’s the case, then STAT and Melo could just alternate working the post/spacing the floor.

    One downside, Melo defending 3s. But there’s not that many 3s that I can think of in the division or in the conference that he cant handle. Especially this year he’s moving great out there.

  7. ruruland

    The Knicks are capable of playing decent defense even when they play below average man defenders at multiple positions. the Celtics did it for years.

    Their help is what will always keep them in games. Of course you’re going to eventually have special defensive lineups (Kidd, Shumpert vs pg, Brewer, Melo/Wallace, Chandler) but you can go through 5-10 minute stretches with 2-3 mediocre to poor defenders so long as everyone stays chained. And when 2-3 of those guys are great offensive players, it’s called winning.

    Which gets us back to Amar’e. He is not going to turn into a good rebounder when he comes back. He’s decent man/post defender (see Synergy numbers)…

    Where Amar’e hurts teams historically is rotations, a lack of understanding of how to defend the pick and roll (and average lateral movement) and general defensive awarness.

    Now I’m not sure how many people remember the 10-15 games Amar’e played under Woodson last year, but Amar’e actually played defense during that stretch.

    He hedged and recovered on pick and roll and showed a focus that the people whom I respect didn’t think he had.

    So, there should be no question about whether Amar’e is capable of being a passable (or better) defender.

    Amar’e did not play college basketball. Prior to Woodson, he hadn’t played under a coach who stressed and yes, coached defense the way Woody does.

    The Knicks are building a culture where it is unacceptable to make mental mistakes on defense. Last year guys were accountable to Woodson. This year they are accountable to one another. That, to me, is the tell-tale sign of a team that is going to maximize its talent.

    Outside of that stretch with Woodson last year, Amar’e had not played in such a culture.

    I expect Amar’e, health willing, to become a solid defender here. He simply won’t play much if he plays unfocused and undiscplined, which is the reason he’s been a sieve.

    Also, this is not the “first time” Melo’s…

  8. ruruland

    defended at this level. This is what he did in ’08 and ’09 prior to wearing down from extreme usage and high minutes (where virtually every play had him wrestling on the block)

    Not coincidentally, ’08 and ’09 were the years the Nuggets transformed their culture with the change from Iverson to Billups.

    This team is so similair to the ’08 Nuggets its scary. This team is deeper, more talented more diverse on offense, and honestly, I’m starting to think they’re better coached. And Karl is a great NBA head coach.

  9. Frank

    Ruru – I know you said you know that the source for that preseason ESPN Mag hit piece on Melo was D’Antoni. But another interesting idea just struck me as I was reading your posts on the other thread about this offense being a lot like MDA’s offense but modified more for each player’s strengths. What if the source wasn’t MDA but Woodson? Or Grunwald?

    The most damning things said in that article were that Melo is not a leader and needs someone else to be the alpha (even if Melo thinks he’s the alpha), and that Melo would be best off in the same role he was playing in the Olympics. Look what has happened– Grunwald imports guys who are known to be locker-room leaders — Kidd mainly — and other veterans that Melo respects and that can keep him in line — Wallace, Camby, and even Prigioni etc. And look what has happened to Melo’s role — looks a LOT like what he did in the Olympics, even playing the 5 at times.

    From a bird’s eye view, what was said in that article has (at least in 2 games so far) come to fruition.
    Just food for thought.

  10. ruruland

    First, MDA was the source.

    But I like what you’re getting at.

    I’m not so sure that it’s a secret that Melo isn’t a consumate leader. For what it’s worth, I think the concept is overblown some.

    Most NBA players are alpha males from a small group theory standpoint.

    So, what do I think makes the perception of an NBA leader among groups of NBA players? 1) Production or experience

    Even the most alpha, most competitive guys don’t become the bonafide leader if they aren’t highly productive relative to their teammates, or at one point were.

    You can only be a leader if you experience things that all other players have, and stars have.

    There are a few examples of players who came into the league and quickly developed into the unquestioned leader of the team.

    You can have all the characteristics of the masculine ideal and not garner the respect as a leader if you don’t produce or haven’t produced, or in the case of a few exceptions, aren’t being put into the role of high production responsibility.

    So, the notion that somehow Jeremy Lin struck more fear into his teammates as a leader, which is what the quote suggested, is absolutely preposterous and reeks of spite and vindictiveness.

    But in order to be a consumate leader you must also work harder the the majority of your teammates most of the time, which hasn’t always been the case with Melo.

    And thirdly, you have to want to be a leader. I mean that in the sense that you have to be serious about not just your role, but how you fit into the team concept and how other players fit into it.

    Dwight Howard works hard. Dwight Howard produces. Dwight Howard does not take the role of leader seriously.

    Melo’s always played his best when the surrounding culture has been positive and team-oriented, and that has vocal leaders around him. Melo does not create the culture. Few guys do. It takes coaches and players to do it.

    ………

  11. Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15)

    Melo said in the postgame interview that he has never had a figure in the locker room that has forced him to mature and become a leader.

    I’d beg the differ, I think Camby and Billups did that with him in the 08-09 season when the Nuggets advanced all the way to the conference finals.

    I think that article was spot on when it said, and I’m going off memory here so it won’t be exactly correct, “Carmelo is usually described as someone with a good heart, but without the self awareness to notice his flaws.” That seemed spot on to me.

  12. ruruland

    Chauncey Billups creates culture. KG, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird created culture.

    But Chauncey and Kobe and developed into the culture-changing leaders only after being immersed in a great culture.

    So, most of the time, I think it takes a certain blend of leaders to change the culture ( I won’t use that word again I promise).

    Melo has negative tendencies as a leader, but also positive ones that manifest when there is a support system around him.

    Right now we are seeing those positive leadership habits manifest again, and I do think that’s because of the culture change, which occured in large part to Woodson, but is certainly aided by Kidd and the other older bigs.

    Melo’s even said as much in his own way after the game tonight.

    I actually don’t think this is all that outside the norm even for the great leaders.

    Kobe and Michael both had negative tendencies as leaders that would manifest if the wrong players surrounded them. (Chris Paul as well. See the playoff series vs Denver in ’08)

    There are a number of star players in the league who have a tendency to shrink in their leadership responsibilities (Dirk,Deron Williams, Durant) if there isn’t the right support system.

    So, my point is that there’s a rather wide range of personalities that work as demonstrable leaders. Some personalities need more external support than others, and I think Melo is one.

    But he’s a large part of creating and leading this culture, too.

    He’s not doing what he’s doing right now simply because he’s afraid to disappoint the older guys and Woodson.

    He’s leading the charge. A lot of guys are. Chandler does a lot of leadership things, but isn’ a big enoug star, doesn’t carry enough overall production burden, to ever be the sole (consumate) leader.

    But I think it’s clear grunwald built this team with chemistry and personality synergy in mind..

  13. ruruland

    Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15):
    Melo said in the postgame interview that he has never had a figure in the locker room that has forced him to mature and become a leader.

    I’d beg the differ, I think Camby and Billups did that with him in the 08-09 season when the Nuggets advanced all the way to the conference finals.

    I think that article was spot on when it said, and I’m going off memory here so it won’t be exactly correct, “Carmelo is usually described as someone with a good heart, but without the self awareness to notice his flaws.”That seemed spot on to me.

    Camby is not all that much of a leader, if only because he is often not there for his teammates because of minor injury, and can be as selfish on the boards and defense as any volume-shooter on offense (which isn’t always bad).

    Camby was not on the ’08 team. And there is no doubt that Melo knows that Chauncey was the alpha dog in Denver and turned that culture around.

    Also, the self-awareness point is the one that i correct, imo.

  14. Kurt

    Bob: great write up. What can we do to have Novak and J.R. do a much funnier version of Landry and Andy?

  15. PD

    hey everyone. long time lurker. first time poster. i love the personalities and the dialogue here. its always really interesting. been an knicks fan since the early 90′s.

    while its only a couple games and i don’t like to overreact to anything since i think we need to see at least 15-20 games to really get a feel (last season being a notable exception because it was so fucking weird. there was little “feel” to be had it seems). one thing i really like is the 2 point guard back court (whether felton/kidd or prig/kidd or whatever). with modern nba defenses loading up on the strong side with the 5 floating and in a similar sense the dallas type hybrid zone/man schemes having 2 guards whom can initiate an offense and can swing the the ball and pass smart is so valuable. it can tilt the defense and put them out of their schemes somewhat. not to harp on houston and lin that’s why i love the harden/lin backcourt. while the knicks back court might not have the ceiling talent wise (houston is way younger obviously) let see how this year works out. i hope the best for both sides.

    i guess i have to state my side on melo. im not the biggest fan of his game in general (aesthetically or in an advanced stats sense). though he has looked really good. it also seems someone told him how to talk to the media recently. less “head scratching” quotes. so that’s good. i honestly hope he keeps it up

    one other thing i think. while that ruruland dude’s ultra optimistic diatribes makes me feel uncomfortable for some reason (its a message board and its weird when the internet makes me feel uneasy when reading about basketball) his point about the turnover % with the new players is a great point. i think that will make a big difference from last year. they were 27th in to% last year. they should be way better this year in terms of that.

    lots of other questions to be worked out. we will see. i might post some gratuitous predictions later for the fuck of it. glad to join…

  16. jon abbey

    welcome!

    could Houston have kept Lowry and still gotten Harden? now that would be an backcourt with incredible potential, I’m just not a Lin believer.

  17. PD

    hey jon.

    from my understanding lowry and mchale did not get along at all. whether it was a philosophical thing or from when lowry got sick with his bacterial infection and dragic took over the starting job and mchale might have preferred him. i dont know. but from what i have read they “needed” to trade him. lowry is currently a better player than lin. better defender (though i dont think lin is as bad of a defender as some people think), better shooter (in context to the last couple years), both are good passers, both are athletic though from what ive seen ill give the nod to lowry. though as i said him and mchale had a feud and considering they used the pick they got from Toronto in the harden deal i dont know if they could have gotten him if lowry was still on the team. dragic is probably be a better player than lin right now as well. i don’t care to speak in hypotheticals at least in the past tense. whats done is done. though yes. in a vacumm lowry/harden probably would be better than lin/harden i suppose. but who knows

    the thing about lin. no one really knows. as i said in my last post last season was fucking weird. the kid obviously is an nba player. i have read your worries about his style of play might lead to injuries. i agree with that. but hes young. hes unique. hes flawed. hes talented. he also was part of my most exciting sports memory in the last decade or so. so im biased and i wish him well. he has looked pretty good in the first 3 games. hes not going to average those hall of fame type numbers he did during those first 10 starts. i think thats reasonable and not a reason to put him down or write revisionist history in some odd way to erase him from the knicks conscience as MSG has seemly attempted to do. whatever. he will be an above average point guard whom with harden will form a cool tandem if everything works out well.

    im excited to see it

  18. ephus

    A few points from Section 227:

    1. That was a great game from ‘Melo. Everything from the recap is spot on. I will give him an A++, because the HTML seems incapable of publishing it.

    2. Prigioni clearly knows how to run an offense, but he is too shot adverse for me. And, as a minor quibble, he does not yet know how to run the end of an NBA quarter.

    3. Sheed in the post was unstoppable. Now, Philly did not have any post defenders left in the game, but he hit the cutters and made a nifty post move for his basket. ‘Sheed, I know you hate doing the work in the post, but if teams are going to defend you with a 3 or smaller, it will not hurt as bad as you remember.

    4. The “Marcus Camby” chant came from near my section. It was a group of about 15 well lubricated young men, who were in high spirits.

    5. There is nothing that J.R. Smith can’t do on a basketball court. Of course, there is also nothing that J.R. Smith won’t do on a basketball court. If the Knicks get 60 efforts like today’s game, I will live with the 20 tough games that I know are coming.

    6. It is amazing how little Kurt Thomas game has changed. He had an old man’s game when he was here in the early ’00s, and he has perfected it. He runs the pick-and-pop flawlessly.

  19. PD

    ok. some predictions. i know its somewhat lazy and and flawed to post them after a the season started. but fuck it. i like to see a couple regular season games to see what type of schemes are going to be used for real.

    wins: 48-52 (i feel a 4 game swing is fair. i think the team is deep but old. so..injuries…fatique…melo hit pieces…new york post….kidd’s [subtle] creepiness….felton’s weight…daily news…Sheeeeeedddddd)

    melo’s TS%:55.5 (he in good shape. motivated. but has to shoulder too much the offense and considering his tendencies for bad shots this seems like a decent good year for him. but this is a safe number. wouldn’t be surprised of a tilt either way)

    melos ws/48 wp/48: 158 and 142. (i think this is reasonable considering his well documented strengths and flaws. dont try to argue with me because trying to guess these metrics is at least slightly ridiculous)

    amare games played: 55+ (i hope. i like the guy. i dont know how he will fit in right now. but it would be fucking sad for him at 30 y/o to decline this fast)

    shumps’ high top fade height: 4.2” (not sure of the current measurement. reach for the sky my friend. reach for the sky)

    combined weight of sheed and felton: whatever. seriously though. excited for the season. once again. glad to be a part of the dialogue

  20. jon abbey

    two good posts there, I didn’t know that about Lowry and McHale.

    of course, I still have no idea how McHale got another job in the NBA after his stellar 38-105 coaching record in MIN on top of his Isiah-esquw GM stint, including gift-wrapping his superstar for his former team. a big man coach a la Ewing I can see, coach or GM I really don’t get.

  21. PD

    whats even weirder about mchale is in interviews how annoyed he seems about the young roster they have. its understandable but in context to horrible job he did in MIN i agree he should be happy he at least has some talent and not backhandedly putting his team down about being inexperienced. i don’t agree with alot of what morey has done but he should be happy he is still coaching. in fairness he seems in better spirits since harden has come along. though with asik and d-mo he has some raw bigs to work with. there are worst rosters to juggle (the kings for one).

  22. yellowboy90

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–kenyon-martin-upset-he-can-t-get-nba-job-04311709.html;_ylt=AoZLJIouNvLxW9bn34l9kEC8vLYF;_ylu=X3oDMTN1cjgwMGQ0BG1pdANGRUFUVVJFRCBNZWdhdHJvbiBOQkEEcGtnA2ExMDg3ZTU0LTA0MWYtM2VkMC04Zjk1LWRlMzYxY2Y3MWU3NQRwb3MDMwRzZWMDbWVnYXRyb24EdmVyAzJkZjQzZmYzLTI2ZWUtMTFlMi1hZmViLTU0MTcxOTYxYmM5NA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFoNjVvZWVyBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANuYmEEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3

    That is like the longest link ever. lol.

    Anyway, it looks like Martin is ready to play for the Vet Min. Given that Ny has played Melo at the 5 in two straight games I think he could be used here. Why not add a player that can guard the 3,4, and 5 plus give you a little offensive game. I think his game would work well with Prigs too. I think the Knicks need to keep minutes down for every front line player due to age and injury so adding Martin is a no brainer to me. Plus he has played with half of the roster almost

    I would not cut Sheed now because if he gets back to 80% to where he was he will make a very good back up center. Basically, he is a smarter and better defensive Spencer Hawes in my mind. That would leave White or Copeland.

  23. Juany8

    In hindsight, it seems almost obvious that Morey had talks with both Orlando and OKC, and both would have preferred the guaranteed lottery pick from Toronto given that they had established point guards and Lowry is clearly not a backup. Morey and Presti work very quietly for the most part, you don’t hear about trades those teams are involved in until they happen. Lowry did have problems with McHale, and he requested a trade, while Dragic was a free agent and couldn’t be traded. Plus Lowry is probably the best per cost player in the NBA (non-rookie at least) he has a tiny contract and is a fantastic point guard, although Lin is a better scorer.

  24. Bruno Almeida

    jon abbey:
    two good posts there, I didn’t know that about Lowry and McHale.

    of course, I still have no idea how McHale got another job in the NBA after his stellar 38-105 coaching record in MIN on top of his Isiah-esquw GM stint, including gift-wrapping his superstar for his former team. a big man coach a la Ewing I can see, coach or GM I really don’t get.

    yeah, I don’t get it either, he seems to me a terrible coach.

    anyway, it’s probably the simplest answer on Lowry and Lin: McHale didn’t like Lowry, Lowry hated McHale, that’s why he had to go.

    I think letting Dragic go was the plan altogether, but I seriously doubt Morey thinks Lin is an improvement over Lowry… I like Lin, but Lowry is clearly better right now, and his contract doesn’t have the terrible last year Lin’s contract has, which makes him criminally underpaid imo.

    if the eastern conference didn’t already have Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams, he’d be an easy all-star.

  25. knicknyk

    Speaking of Kyle Lowry he is playing at a ridiculously high level right now. I think Dwayne Casey is the perfect coach for him to be honest. I remember last year when Lowry was on the Rockets he was playing insanely well also, near all star level but he got sick i believe & Dragic took his starting spot. The relationship between him & McHale was never any good but I think he has a chance at a fresh start in Toronto

    I watched the Suns vs Magic yesterday & Dragic was seriously padding his statistics towards the end. They had already been blown out & he was just shooting unnecessarily was kind of iffy to me.

    Lin has been playing pretty well his passing has seriously improved & his handle appears a lot tighter. Him & harden are getting to the FT line in bunches as well. All that team needs is a PNR big man like DeMarcus Cousins or LMA to really do some damage. I said from before I really think OKC is going to regret not re-signing Harden. Kevin Martin will play well for them and score in bunches but they will miss what Harden brought to the team.

    Also, if the LA were NY i am sure they would have about 10 articles queued up asking if the Lakers are better without Steve Nash.

  26. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    knicknyk:

    Also, if the LA were NY i am sure they would have about 10 articles queued up asking if the Lakers are better without Steve Nash.

    While I don’t disagree, the Lakers, at least in their first two games, are running an offense that seems terribly weird, even to a person who believes that there are very few significant differences between most teams w/r/t offensive strategy (7SoL and the grinding half-court of the ’04 Pistons being those polar exceptions that, in my opinion, wrongly suggest wide variance).

    I really have no idea what Mike Brown is doing having Nash playing more like a curling spot-up shooter than one of the best playmakers in league history. If Brown’s going to implement an offense which is totally unlike most others in the league — where a PG works the pick-and-roll or dribble penetrates — why bother having Nash in the first place?

    The Triangle (and the Princeton) seem more suited toward teams that have little PG depth, and place the PG on the two-man side of the floor, keeping him away from the major options. The Lakers have a strong Triangle set (Kobe, Gasol, and Howard seem perfect for the system), but they also have an all-world PG. Why minimize his impact?

  27. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: While I don’t disagree, the Lakers, at least in their first two games, are running an offense that seems terribly weird, even to a person who believes that there are very few significant differences between most teams w/r/t offensive strategy (7SoL and the grinding half-court of the ’04 Pistons being those polar exceptions that, in my opinion, wrongly suggest wide variance).

    I really have no idea what Mike Brown is doing having Nash playing more like a curling spot-up shooter than one of the best playmakers in league history. If Brown’s going to implement an offense which is totally unlike most others in the league — where a PG works the pick-and-roll or dribble penetrates — why bother having Nash in the first place?

    The Triangle (and the Princeton) seem more suited toward teams that have little PG depth, and place the PG on the two-man side of the floor, keeping him away from the major options. The Lakers have a strong Triangle set (Kobe, Gasol, and Howard seem perfect for the system), but they also have an all-world PG. Why minimize his impact?

    It’s almost like having a poor coach affects the impact any player can have on the game. Who knew?

  28. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Yet I have no empirical evidence that it’s Brown’s coaching that was fucking with the Lakers. There’s this thing called sample size, and three games means very little to me.

    Here’s one of my favorite Berri quotations: “I saw where Adrian Dantley kept saying, ‘We’re giving up too many layups.’ And it’s like the players were sitting there saying, ‘Yes, we know. We don’t want them to get layups, either. Why don’t you tell us how to stop them?’” They keep putting the mic on (Boston coach Doc Rivers) and he keeps saying the same thing, ‘We’ve got to play like a team.’ I mean, I’m getting tired of that. I can’t imagine what the players are thinking. . . . You’ve got to imagine (Celtics forward) Kevin Garnett, when Doc Rivers is talking, is, like, “Are you done yet? Can I go play? Yep. Play like a team. Got it.” That’s coaching.”

  29. Kurt

    THCJ: don’t always agree with you, but here I couldn’t agree more. The last time Nash was in a less creative role was the failed Terry Porter experiment in Phoenix.

    Nash and Howard should be running pick and rolls all day long with Kobe and Artest on the wings. Kobe would space the floor well even though he’s no Ray Allen. Since he’s so feared, any defender would be afraid to leave him.

    The only good explanation I can think of for this offense is to placate Kobe. Either Brown was afraid Kobe wouldn’t completely cede control to Nash. Or, he thought that Kobe had been in the Triangle for most of his career, and didn’t want anything too different. Neither make sense from a pure basketball perspective, though.

  30. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Yet I have no empirical evidence that it’s Brown’s coaching that was fucking with the Lakers. There’s this thing called sample size, and three games means very little to me.

    Here’s one of my favorite Berri quotations: “I saw where Adrian Dantley kept saying, ‘We’re giving up too many layups.’ And it’s like the players were sitting there saying, ‘Yes, we know. We don’t want them to get layups, either. Why don’t you tell us how to stop them?’” They keep putting the mic on (Boston coach Doc Rivers) and he keeps saying the same thing, ‘We’ve got to play like a team.’ I mean, I’m getting tired of that. I can’t imagine what the players are thinking. . . . You’ve got to imagine (Celtics forward) Kevin Garnett, when Doc Rivers is talking, is, like, “Are you done yet? Can I go play? Yep. Play like a team. Got it.” That’s coaching.”

    You do realize that those microphones come with the agreement that nothing serious will be shown on national TV right? Or that coaches work with their players when they aren’t in the game? Just because YOU haven’t figured out a way to measure something doesn’t mean you can pretend it doesn’t exist. Clearly Nash is being played in a different way than he was last year with Phoenix, it has nothing to do with his skills as a player

  31. Juany8

    Kurt:
    THCJ: don’t always agree with you, but here I couldn’t agree more. The last time Nash was in a less creative role was the failed Terry Porter experiment in Phoenix.

    Nash and Howard should be running pick and rolls all day long with Kobe and Artest on the wings. Kobe would space the floor well even though he’s no Ray Allen. Since he’s so feared, any defender would be afraid to leave him.

    The only good explanation I can think of for this offense is to placate Kobe. Either Brown was afraid Kobe wouldn’t completely cede control to Nash. Or, he thought that Kobe had been in the Triangle for most of his career, and didn’t want anything too different. Neither make sense from a pure basketball perspective, though.

    The problem with this logic is that Kobe has over a .700 TS% while putting up his lowest usage and assist numbers since the 90′s. He’s been on the ball less than ever in his career, and the Lakers offense has actually been pretty solid other than the turnovers, which can mostly be explained by the fact the team is still getting together. The Lakers’ real problem has been defense, and I doubt getting Nash a lot of assists is going to help at all on that end. They have the 7th best offensive rating in the league and the 27th best defensive rating. Even if Nash started putting up the best numbers of his career, he wouldn’t do shit for the defense.

  32. chrisk06811

    Why not keep it simple and just go with “PP”

    danvt:
    “(I’m trying to attain a critical mass with that nickname. Help a brother out.)”

    Pabs Blue Ribbon?
    PG-oni?
    Tango and Cash?

  33. chrisk06811

    Robert…..I view Jason Kidd the same way I do Billy Joel. I appreciate some of the things they do professionally; I am not impressed with them personally, and I wouldn’t accept a ride home from either.

  34. Gideon Zaga

    Lakers are 1-9 since preseason. Thats enough sample size, no?

    Everyone here knows I was probably the biggest Dantoni hater and guess what I hate Mike Brown too. Im sorry he is a one trick pony although a one trick defensive pony but just like Dantoni. Just like Nash made Dantoni, LeBron made Brown. He needs to be fired and fired quick. But on another note im glad the drama from last year is no longer in here but in LA now. One less team to worry about.

  35. knicknyk

    Bruno Almeida: yeah, I don’t get it either, he seems to me a terrible coach.

    anyway, it’s probably the simplest answer on Lowry and Lin: McHale didn’t like Lowry, Lowry hated McHale, that’s why he had to go.

    I think letting Dragic go was the plan altogether, but I seriously doubt Morey thinks Lin is an improvement over Lowry… I like Lin, but Lowry is clearly better right now, and his contract doesn’t have the terrible last year Lin’s contract has, which makes him criminally underpaid imo.

    if the eastern conference didn’t already have Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams, he’d be an easy all-star.

    Lin’s contract has no terrible last year. I thought this was already cleared up. THe cap hit is 8.3/8.3/8.3 Lin is getting paid 5/5/15 but unless your an accountant of the Rockets you should care less about what lin is getting paid. Cap hit is all that matters. This also applies for Asik.

    Getting rid of Lowry was why the Rockets got Harden in the first place. So it isn’t an argument between Lowry & Lin but Lowry & Harden. I would take Harden any day.

  36. max fisher-cohen

    @thcj

    I’m pretty sure ESPN/TNT are not allowed to broadcast strategic portions of time outs when they run the miked up coach segments. I remember one of the broadcasters explaining that in the playoffs last year. Also, fans wouldn’t know WTF they were talking about most likely even if they did broadcast the strategic elements.

  37. Kurt

    Max Fisher-Cohen: I remember hearing this as well.

    The same is true for those stupid coach interviews before the second and fourth periods. Since the coach isn’t going to give away what he’s going to do on live TV, the questions and answers are always in cliches.

  38. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Kurt:
    Max Fisher-Cohen: I remember hearing this as well.

    The same is true for those stupid coach interviews before the second and fourth periods. Since the coach isn’t going to give away what he’s going to do on live TV, the questions and answers are always in cliches.

    That’s an awful lot of faith in NBA coaching. Why do they say the same banal shit after games, then?

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