Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Robinson’s DNP A Test For D’Antoni

According to the Daly News, Mike D’Antoni said the following about his decicision to bench Nate Robinson against the Orlando Magic:

“We want to win, and if he’s conducive to winning then he’ll obviously be back in the lineup. If not he’s not.”

D’Antoni’s case is that the diminutive guard is not conducive to winning, but that really doesn’t hold water. The Knicks have gotten off to one of the worst starts in team historically, and Robinson hasn’t played that much in that span. Nate has missed 12 of 19 games and has only seen 30 minutes or more in 2 games. Last year he played in 74 games and averaged 29.9 minutes per game.

The biggest irony is that there is a guard that’s unconducive to winning: Chris Duhon. The Knicks point guard is shooting 40.8% ts% and averaging 7.5 pts/36 yet is first on the team in minutes played. Although not a pure point guard, Robinson blows Duhon’s productivity out of the water (54.1% ts%, 17.9 pts/36). Last year with Robinson in the rotation, New York was 17th on offense. This year they are 22nd, even with Danillo Gallinari playing excellently on that end of the floor.

If Coach D’Antoni is making the case that Robinson’s benching is solely related to the team’s ability to win games, then it begs the question “Why is Chris Duhon leading the team in minutes?” Obviously the real issue is personalities; D’Antoni has been visibly upset with Robinson on a few occasions. Fortunately conflicts can resolve in a manner that’s positive. Robinson and D’Antoni could come out of this with greater respect and understanding of each other. But disputes like this can also end ugly, and Nate could see himself on the end of more DNPs or even traded.

How this plays out will give us a little insight on D’Antoni. He has a reputation for being a player’s coach, but perhaps underneath that veneer is a little bit of a disciplinarian. A few fans have voiced that this team is reminiscent of Larry Brown’s Knicks, and perhaps this feud is D’Antoni’s version of Brown’s “playing the game the right way.” Clearly the Knicks need Robinson’s production, and if they don’t receive it you have to wonder if D’Antoni isn’t the type of coach that can motivate players of all types.

93 comments on “Robinson’s DNP A Test For D’Antoni

  1. Frank O.

    Mike:

    I respect your point…but the Knicks haven’t won many games over the past five years with Robinson in there.

    This is one of the most undiscipline professional teams I have ever watched. Dumb fouls, missed passes, blown plays, turnovers, poor help defense, and an inability to execute basic basketball skills consistently, such as a free throw, is the hallmark of this team of misfits.
    And the goofing off that goes along with this team is noteable. Nate has had more than his share of boneheaded plays.
    I’m not a big discipline guy. I think there are more constructive ways to focus people and channel their energies…but in Nate’s case, it would seem appropriate that a little tough love be applied.
    It is amazing that such a small player could have such enormous potential. Nate could be a great point, or a great scorer. But he hasn’t played consistently well in a team concept. If you read his twitter, he is enormously juvenile. I was happiest to read this morning his acknowledgment that he needs to improve his play and preparation.

    I understand your concerns about Duhon. He isn’t good enough to be a starter in the league. But here is the point: D’Antoni is asserting his control. Earlier in the season there were folks on this board, not you, who noted some pre-game goofing off of which D’Antoni was oblivious. He took heat for not being in control of this group.
    I think he’s showing courage disciplining one of the most popular players on the team, among fans, and not dragging what Nate did through the press. He’s keeping the details between him and Nate. If you’ve ever managed people, or managed people who manage people, that’s what you want to see. It is respectful, and it is direct, and it sticks to the point without bringing in complications and distractions.
    Nate is a veteran player now, and we sometimes still speak of him as if he was a new rook. You and others on this board often argue that players are what they are at about the five to six year point in their career.
    Well, Nate is still a man-child in a man’s sport. He seems so self absorbed that he celebrates and taunts while the Knicks are down by 20. Either he is utterly oblivious that the Knicks are getting dogged and only celebrates his personal achievements (a 5’7 guard dunking and scoring on men a foot and a half taller is a significant achievement) is more than a little self-absorbed and sends the message that it’s everyone for themselves, not one for all and all for one, which is a team concept that wins.

    I love the guy, and in the past have argued that D’Antoni might consider placing him at point and handing him greater responsibility. This is a way to potentially positively divert his attention where it needs to be, with the team. Sometimes people respond to such an overture. He and Douglas starting in the back isn’t a bad combo. Certainly the PnR takes on a new, more lethal, dimension if Nate is running it.

    But this team is going to lose a lot of games. Playing Nate regardless of his behavior won’t alter the wins and losses much…but changing the team’s goof off culture could have a lasting affect. And it ultimately could be an important turning point in Nate’s career, where he decides whether he is an exciting, diverting 6th man on a bad team, or one of the best scoring guards in the game.

    And, the fact is this team gives away points in so many ways…which points to a lack of discipline. Nate is overtly undisciplined, and a good starting point for getting it right.

  2. Nick C.

    I gather in addition to the pre-game D’Antoni is referring to defense. And even in the 22 point 4th Q game, when the game was there to be won he was 1-6 only warming up, coincidentally or not, when it was out of hand.

  3. d-mar

    ‘A few fans have voiced that this team is reminiscent of Larry Brown’s Knicks, and perhaps this feud is D’Antoni’s version of Brown’s “playing the game the right way.”

    I think any comparison to Brown is unwarranted. After about a third of the season, Brown started subtly (or not so subtly) trashing his players to the media. He always had that hangdog “woe is me” look, and didn’t exactly make you feel good about the team. D’Antoni is an impossible situation with a team with very limited talent, but always stays upbeat and positive. He’s known as a player’s coach for a reason, but all that being said, it’s good that he’s drawing the line with Nate’s antics.

    Speaking of antics, man, do I hate the Celtics. I have the utmost respect for KG, but does he have to do that frantic chest pound and m—-f’er shouting after every basket? House and Rasheed also never stop yapping after making a bucket, and Perkins is always talking too. There’s a reason they lead the league in techs.

  4. Count Zero

    Nice post, Frank. I agree completely.

    N8 is one of those cases where you keep saying to yourself, “There’s so much to like — so much potential. If we can just get him to focus and improve the mental aspect of his game, he could be an all-star…he’s just a kid, after all.”

    And then you try, and you wait, and you wait, and you try…and in the end, he’s still the same kid he was when you started. As you say:

    “He seems so self absorbed that he celebrates and taunts while the Knicks are down by 20. Either he is utterly oblivious that the Knicks are getting dogged and only celebrates his personal achievements (a 5?7 guard dunking and scoring on men a foot and a half taller is a significant achievement) is more than a little self-absorbed and sends the message that it’s everyone for themselves, not one for all and all for one, which is a team concept that wins.”

    I can’t stomach that. You’re getting your ass handed to you — you have no right to chirp at anyone no matter what you just did on one play. It’s like a WR in football doing a big Ocho-Cinco type celebration after a great TD catch in the final minute of a game where his team is losing 37-7. Hello? The objective is to win — not to make the ESPN highlights. If you don’t see that, then you are part of the problem.

  5. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “I respect your point…but the Knicks haven’t won many games over the past five years with Robinson in there.”

    Yeah but they’re winning even less without Robinson. My point is D’Antoni is publicly saying that benching Robinson is about winning games. But that flies smack in the face with his reasoning to keep Duhon in at point guard.

    Additionally I don’t by the immaturity thing hurting the team. Last year Al Harrington cost the Knicks 2 wins for hanging on the rim after a dunk. Yet Harrington gets a pass and Robinson hits the bench.

    Robinson’s DNP clearly goes beyond winning – it’s a personal conflict between him & D’Antoni. If this were Jared Jeffries or Marcus Landry, no one would care. But it’s very clear that Nate is one of the best players on the team, the team is losing, and yet he’s not getting playing time. There’s a big problem with that.

    “I’m not a big discipline guy. I think there are more constructive ways to focus people and channel their energies…but in Nate’s case, it would seem appropriate that a little tough love be applied.”

    And that’s what my point is. If Robinson responds positively to D’Antoni’s “tough love” then it shows that D’Antoni is a good coach in that sense of being able to get the most of out his players. If it doesn’t then the Knicks have lost a valuable asset because their coach can’t relate to him. And in a season like this, they can’t afford to cast away production like that.

  6. cavjam

    Frank O’s post seems on the money. There’s another factor besides the professional/juvenile dichotomy in Nate’s behavior, however.

    A point loves to play against someone he can see over. It’s so much easier to see the motion of his teammates and the upcoming openings. The under-sized guard has to be smart to make up for those innate shortcomings (pardon the “nate short” punning) on defense. He has to know when to gamble on a steal/deflection, which way to shepherd his opponent, and how to take a charge. I’m not so sure you can teach smart to someone who, apparently, doesn’t see BB as more than a one on one game. It takes a touch of humility to acknowledge that you always have more to learn.

    Speaking of not very smart, Harrington’s another v talented scorer who seems unlikely to make the smart decision. I don’t know much about Ty Thomas, but I do know a Harrington trade for him would at least get rid of one not-so-smart player. Harrington/Nate for Thomas/Hinrich would be loverly.

    As for Duhon, did anyone else notice he’s been inferior since the Hughes’ trade? I don’t know if that’s coincidence or not.

  7. ess-dog

    I do think that at this point in his career, Nate is what he is: a very good 6th man who on a team with strong veteran leadership, could be a great 6th man.
    Look, at some point you have to give credit where credit is due and respect the authorities. Larry Brown AND Mike D’Antoni have both gotten fed up w/ Nate (not to mention lesser coaches) during his NBA tenure. These are two coaches (with very different styles) who are at the top of the sport of basketball. I think I’m going to follow their conclusion that Nate is a difficult player to coach and doesn’t have the makings of a starting point guard, but is more of a small 2 guard who can give you scoring off the bench.
    That being said, what Nate needs is a strong team leader to keep him in line ON the court (I’m looking at you Lebron, Wade) the way Rodman had to respect Jordan. It will make all the difference in the world IMO.
    But I also hope we can get through this season without a huge rift between Mike and Nate.
    Ideally, Harrington will be shipped out, and Nate will be relied on for the bulk of the bench scoring and get his minutes back.

  8. Frank

    I’m fine with him sitting Nate for a game or two to make his point. I’m also fine with him giving Nate a very short leash, because I feel like that’s the way to negatively reinforce stupid mistakes.
    For all we know, maybe Nate has been showboating in practice or blowing off meetings, and maybe that’s why he’s in the doghouse. I like the fact that D’Antoni is basically keeping this an internal matter.

    But eventually, Nate needs to be in there because he really is a great spark offensively, especially when PnR gets taken away by the other team. And maybe all this negative press will scare Nate into playing more under control during a contract year.

  9. Nick C.

    Pretty funny that JJ is in the package for a return trip. Thomas is young so there is room to improve. But the TSP high of 52% and reb % high of 15.9 is nothing to go crazy about. I have no guage on the shot blocking and steals, if he can play D he’s well worth it. One minus is his numbers are consistent other than a drop in TO% from his rookie year. To me it shows lack of growth or improvement, but that is total speculation and by no means based on any idea as to what a typical player’s numbers do over his first 3 years.

  10. Owen

    I think Thomas is a solid, marginally above average player right now based on his stats, and those might be better than that if his defense gives him a bump off box-score. I also know that Thomas was the most statistically productive player in his college class and a lot of players with that particular pedigree make good in the NBA eventually. But he also has had injury issues and team chemistry issues.

    He also seems like the prototype elite role player trying to be an elite scorer type, the kind of guy who would be way better if he focused less on trying to score and more on impacting the game everywhere else. Kind of like Josh Smith. I think that a lot of those guys kill their value by trying to do too much, and it’s rare that they actually do change, as Smith has seemed to have done so far this year.

    I think acquiring him would be an acceptable gamble but definitely not a sure thing. I think my feeling about it would be heavily influenced by how much it would cost to sign him long term. Certainly losing Harrington doesn’t bother me.

  11. tastycakes

    I’d rather have Ty Thomas than Muppet Al in a heartbeat.

    “Speaking of antics, man, do I hate the Celtics.”

    Funny, that’s why I love the Celtics. They play with passion, even with anger. Basketball is a sport of personality, the teams that play bottled up (I’m looking at you, San Antonio) are the ones I can’t stand to watch.

    I’m not thrown off of Knickerblogger for loving the Celtics, am I?

  12. TDM

    Frank –

    If it means we get Jerome James back, I’m in. He’s the missing cog that could bring the Knicks back to the promised land.

    Kidding aside, if were giving up Harrington and taking back JJ, I’d like to see the Knicks get rid of one of their bad deals. Either of the following work:
    Tyrus, Brad Miller and JJ for Harrington and Curry
    or
    Tyrus, Miller and JJ for Harrington, Jeffries and Mobley

    I know Abbey hates Miller but it would only for another 60+ games.

    If healthy, the defense TT would bring is definitely something the Knicks could use. However, what is the point of bringing in TT on his expiring deal? Would the plan be to try to sign him to a longer deal before the off-season? Its not like the Knicks are a contender and he will put them over the top. As it stands now, it looks like TT will be on the injury list for at least another month, possibly more.

  13. tastycakes

    BTW, I completely agree with Mike K’s assessment of the Nate situation. If winning was truly the issue, he would be playing over Duhon. But let’s face it, “winning” for this team means 20 wins instead of 15. It has to be more about buying into his system or “playing the right way” or something of the sort.

    It will speak a lot to D’Antoni’s ability as a motivator and leader if he can bring Nate back into the fold in a productive way. If he loses him completely, and you’re a Knick fan, that’s terrible news. I like watching Nate. He’s a limited player, but he had that dominant stretch post-all star break last year where he brought a lot of excitement and made the Knicks competitive. I miss the days of the Knicks losing close games.

  14. Z-man

    I would hate to lose Al Harrington right now. If this trade is made, I fear we will simply not be competitive at all this year. What would we gain that we couldn’t get later?

    On a totally different note, I had argued in the past that Ariza’s ascendency was in large part due to the “Kobe” effect…that playing alongside a superstar leads to more freedom, open shots, etc. His shooting with Houston is now around 38% and his stats overall are worse or at least no better than they were in LA. This is why I don’t get too bent out of shape about the Arizas, Balkmans, Barnes’s, Wafers, etc of the world.

  15. d-mar

    “Funny, that’s why I love the Celtics. They play with passion, even with anger. ”

    Not to get off on a Celts tangent here, but playing with passion is different from yelling and screaming and drawing attention to yourself. The Lakers won it all last year, you’d be hard pressed to find one guy on that team who acts that way on a consistent basis. Believe me, I’m envious of their success, I just hate all their crap(And that excludes Pierce and Allen, who are class acts)

    Re: Harrington, I agree with Z-man. I totally get his flaws and ball hogging, but without him, is there one guy on this team who can get his own shot? I thought the point was to at least be competitive this year, that would be completely throwing in the towel to get a somewhat questionable talent in Thomas. No need to make that deal unless they take Jeffries.

  16. Z-man

    I don’t think it is valid to compare Nate to Al. Nate has precipitated fights, had way more techs last year (not the hanging on the rim variety) and had that stupid traffic thing in the midst of a contract situation, all of which SCREAM immaturity and selfishness. The Knicks rewarded him with a 1-year deal for WAY more than the QO even though there seemed to be no interest in him. He was a complete zero in the few games he played before getting hurt. His defense, which was very promising in preseason, has really dropped off. That 3-pt shot (which would not have counted even if there was still time on the clock according to the Times) was just plain unprofessional, and compounded by his generally lackluster, even dumb defensive play on the court.

    I couldn’t care less about how much he cheerleads when on the bench. He’s not a rookie any more and needs to get hold of himself. I don’t buy the “that’s what makes him so good” argument. By the way, as a Met fan, I feel the same way about Reyes.

  17. Frank

    I’d make the Harrington-Thomas trade if for no other reason that Thomas is so vastly superior to Harrington as a defender. He’s averaging 10 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 3.4 blocks per 40 this year. Granted, he’s offensively challenged, but wasn’t it on this board that people were complaining that he’s an offensive black hole and grinds the O to a stop everytime he touches it? And less shots for Al would equal more shots for Gallo, which seems to be a good idea.

    And in terms of guys that can get their own shot — if we can get Nate back playing within the system — no one can stop Nate from getting his.

  18. Z-man

    I would argue that it would be a net loss…Harrington’s O is needed more this year than Thomas’s D, and Harrington’s D is much better than Thomas’ O. Gallo can get all the shots he wants right now… he just needs to get open. Next year is another story, but they’re both expiring anyway.

    Harrington has also been very solid in his past 10 games or so after a putrid start. Thomas is injured and who knows when he’ll be back.

  19. cgreene

    I have to say that I usually agree with Mike K on most points but here you are off base. This is simply a case where stats don’t tell the right story. I have been no big fan of the job D’Antoni has done in getting his players to play to their max potential on this team. However, Nate has alienated every coach he has had thus far in the league from LB the Discplinarian to Isiah to D’Antoni the Players Coach. Obviously this guy is simply uncoachable. Cmon. We all see the antics and the awful defense. 22 pts in a quarter when the game is out of hand means nothing. A few people have posted comparing Nate to Starks. First off, Starks was a top defender at his position. Second, he most obviously had the team’s best interest always as his top priority not entertaining the fans or whatever you call what Nate does. Nate is not the right kind of player for a rebuild and I hope we ship him out with JJ to a contender that needs a Vinny Johnson type off the bench. Sorry but the stats miss the point on this. Don’t care about the extra 2 wins his “stats” provide.

  20. Frank

    I think the O will be fine — it’s the D that has been so consistently bad and leads to a complete lack of transition baskets and run-outs. My memory of SSOL in Phoenix was fast-break basketball — however, our beloved “SSOL” Knicks are 28th in the league in fast-break points. Amazingly, we’re also 28th in the league in opponent’s EFG% in front of only GSW and Memphis. Ouch. No wonder our offense stinks – we’re always walking it up after made baskets into a opposing defense that is set. Interestingly, we’re 3rd in the league in possessions/game which presumably means the pace is still fast. The other teams in the top 5 in possessions/game are GSW (also #1 in fastbreak points), IND (#8 in fastbreak points), Denver (#3 in fastbreak points), and the Lakers (who are #23).

    This is basic analysis to be sure, but it sure seems like part of why GSW, IND, and DEN’s pace is high is because they run a lot and score a lot of fastbreak points. Our pace is high but our efficiency and fastbreak points are terrible — which matches with the visual evidence that we walk the ball up after all the made baskets, then just chuck up terrible shots early in the clock.

    Interestingly, GSW has both the worst EFG-against and the highest pace and fast-break points. Apparently they are just much more committed to running out than we are.

    Terrible defense = no fastbreak
    Run ball up against set defense and then shoot bad shots = poor offensive efficiency, high pace, and a 4-15 record.

  21. BK

    My comments pretty much fall in line Frank O’s and cgreene’s (as well as others sharing similar sentiments). Everyone knows that if you’re judging strictly on production, Nate should be playing — an offensive sparkplug on a team that’s horrible offensively should be playing. But Nate’s personality issues have been substantial enough to force D’Antoni’s hand, and this is with a coach has been criticized for being too easy going with his team in the past.

    And comparing Nate’s antics to Harrington’s two rim hanging incidents misrepresents the personality issues at hand and how they affect the team. Not saying that both aren’t knuckleheads, but Harrington has been largely professional and kept a positive demeanor throughout his time with the Knicks. Nate has been much more of a distraction through 3 different coaches.

    People should keep in mind that one of the reasons for the horrible start wasn’t just Duhon, but Nate’s own terrible start before he got hurt — Nate looked liked he hadn’t practiced all summer, he was awful. I’m glad to see he’s played better lately and I hope this all blows over and he’s back in the lineup taking away Duhon’s minutes soon. Whether’s Nate defensive issues can ever be solved…that’s another discussion.

  22. Frank O.

    Mike:
    I said I see your point.:)
    I didn’t disagree with everything you said, but I think the larger point is not winning a few games now, it’s teaching a team and a player how you can win consistently.
    Let’s face it, Nate hasn’t won anything since college. So he probably figures he’ll get his and enjoy it, despite the losing. That kind of sell-out attitude on a team promotes a culture of losing.
    And, lordy, these guys find new ways to lose every day.

    My point is D’Antoni needs to take the longview. If Nate wanted to be part of a new beginning in 2010, he needs to become a professional basketball player, not a circus sideshow.
    Yes, he brings energy and enthuisiasm. But energy and enthusiasm and professionalism are not mutually exclusive. Ewing had great passion. I remember that wide open-mouthed scream after a big block or a big dunk. I remember the passion, but the man was focused. He turned himself from a defensive shotblocker into one of the premier shooting centers the game has ever seen. You can be both enthusiastic and professional. D’Antoni is teaching that.
    And when he is talking about “if he can help us win” he’s not talking about a couple short term wins here and there.
    A hot Nate from time to time, isn’t going to get the Knicks over 35 wins. A focused, professional, enthusiastic Nate? well, he might help make the Knicks a consistently winning team. That’s the kind of winning I think D’Antoni seeks.

    So I disagree with your point about Duhon v. Nate as it relates to winning. At this point, as much as I disagree with him, D’Antoni thinks Duhon is the only consistent distributor on the team.
    Part of D’Antoni’s anger may be – I’m speculating – that Nate hasn’t show the maturity and skill to step up and take Duhon’s job.

    I mean, think about it:
    You’re a five-year vet guard who from time to time showed glimmers of greatness. But you’re a sixth man.
    And then you see a point guard on your team that is clearly a wounded duck, a sagging, vulnerable starter. Why wouldn’t you look in the mirror, knuckle down, and play harder and mature basketball so you could take the point guard’s place on the depth chart???
    I mean, if I’m D’Antoni – as I have said before – I look at the bench and see Nate running the point, effectively, dangerously, and being a nasty PnR guy.
    But what does he get: a man-child who plays well in spurts, doesn’t play well with teammates, does embarrassing stuff to the team, and basically shows no focused fire that would make him stand out as a starting option.
    Mike, have you ever stopped to wonder how it is that a guy like Nate, with his apparent skills, is unable to break into a lineup that has Duhon as a point? Has Nate shown anything consistently that would say, “This dude simply needs to be in Duhon’s place…”?
    I haven’t. I see a decent, inconsistent, immature 6th man.
    If I’m D’Antoni and I have a guy like that, I drag his ass in my office close the door and inform him that he’s fucking up as opportunity is staring him in the face. He should be a starter, but he’s not, and it’s his own fault.

    As for sending Harrington’s and JJ’s contract for Tyrus, I’d make a deal in heart beat, so long as what we get back doesn’t increase our salary in 2010. JJ’s contract goes beyond 2010, no?
    I also like Thomas’s D. Guys on this board were salivating at possibly getting him before.
    Harrington, for all his hard work, hasn’t learned to play with his head up. He said starting the season he would need to play better and get his teammates involved. With few exceptions, he hasn’t done any of that. One on three, one on two, whatever, the man catches the ball, and keeps the ball. Once he commits to the hoop, the whole team stops because everyone knows it is not coming their way.
    He will not be missed.

  23. Ted Nelson

    Good summary, Mike. “Playing the right way” is one of the things that’s reminded me of Larry Brown… even though few people would agree that D’Antoni’s offense is the right way to play.
    Post #5 is absolute perfection.

    I find the “winning” argument illogical. If the players who are hurting the team’s chances of winning are getting benched, then why are Duhon and Chandler #1 & #3 in minutes? Either D’Antoni doesn’t realize that those two are killing his offense without appreciably helping on defense, or he just doesn’t like Nate and likes them. Either way, it’s not a good thing.

    Frank O., Is he trying to win or trying to assert his control? I realize that you think they are one and the same, but I don’t. Some of his rotation players (Duhon, Jeffries, and Chandler) are unable to execute offensively at an NBA level no matter how much control he has over them. This is where I think the eternal optimism becomes a problem. He believes in those guys so much that he’s blind to the fact that they are terrible. Why does he still allow Chandler to shoot so much? Why is Duhon in the game? (I’m all for playing Jeffries to see if he can’t get traded. I would even play him more minutes.)
    The best way to change the “goof off culture” would be to tell Chandler to stop heaving bricks whenever he touches the ball. To tell Duhon to wear a suit to the game because he’s not getting on the court. To bench Goofy himself, Jeffries (which he can’t do of course). That’s the kind of goofying around that’s hurting the Knicks a lot more than pre game crap or dancing on the bench celebrating when you’re in the middle of bringing your team back against one of the best teams in the league.
    By scapegoating Nate I think D’Antoni is making the wrong point, and will not drive home the right message. I also wonder if it’s D’Antoni’s ego getting in the way, which leads me to the LB comparisons.

    “Let’s face it, Nate hasn’t won anything since college.”
    My biggest problem with your point is that you single Nate out as a loser. David Lee’s NBA teams have won the exact same number of games as Robinson’s. Guess he’s a loser, too. Guess Pau was a loser at the end of his Memphis time then suddenly became a winner in LA… Or maybe it’s that basketball is a team game?

    “A hot Nate from time to time, isn’t going to get the Knicks over 35 wins.”
    Mike has addressed this better than I can, but Nate is not the only guy who should be benched if winning games is the issue. An ice cold Duhon is not going to get the Knicks over 20 wins.
    Part of Nate’s frustration may be that he’s outplayed Duhon 10-to-1 and still behind him on the depth chart… I’m not saying that’s the right attitude, but it’s natural to feel that way. If Chris Paul were backing up Duhon you think he’d be happy about it? (Not to say Nate is in the same league, just an extreme example.)

    “But what does he get: a man-child who plays well in spurts, doesn’t play well with teammates, does embarrassing stuff to the team, and basically shows no focused fire that would make him stand out as a starting option.”
    I just don’t see that. I think Nate shows more focused fire than anyone in a Knicks uniform right now. He plays as well overall offensively as anyone on the team.

    I think you give D’Antoni a lot of credit. Maybe it’s due, but I don’t see why you assume it is. He’s been a bad to terrible NBA coach whenever he hasn’t had Steve Nash and Amare Soudamire on his roster.

    Nick C, “And even in the 22 point 4th Q game, when the game was there to be won he was 1-6 only warming up, coincidentally or not, when it was out of hand.” Is a 6 point game with 6 minutes to go really “out of hand?” Nate brought them back into that game. They could have won it. They couldn’t get any stops defensively–and neither of Orlando’s PGs scored all 4th quarter–and D’Antoni didn’t bring his best outside shooter, Danilo, in until it was a 13 point game with 3 minutes. Why wasn’t he in with 6 minutes to go in a 6 pt game?

    d-mar, No one is saying that D’Antoni IS Larry Brown, just that there are some disturbing similarities.

    “the way Rodman had to respect Jordan.”

    By all accounts Pippen was the vocal leader of the Bulls.

    “I’m also fine with him giving Nate a very short leash, because I feel like that’s the way to negatively reinforce stupid mistakes.”
    Why are Nate and Gallo the only ones with short leashes, though? Possibly because they are the ones D’Antoni cares about the most, as this is what a lot of coaches trying to teach do. Otherwise, it’s frustrating to see the rest of the team get away with every stupid mistake in the book and Nate/Gallo pulled every time they miss a shot.

    “But let’s face it, “winning” for this team means 20 wins instead of 15.”

    I would say 20 vs. 30-35, which is why I hate to see D’Antoni make so many questionable moves with playing time.

  24. Brian Cronin

    The Rockets continue to offer Tracy McGrady(notes) in a trade, but that will be a difficult proposition considering he’s the highest-paid player in the league ($23.2 million) and no one has seen him play in nine months. Houston seems willing to take back a longer-term contract for McGrady, but most executives believe his high salary makes it hard to put together a package.

    It is simply maddening that the Knicks can’t get in on that.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I realize that they simply can’t, as Curry has not proven he can stay healthy, and no team would ever trade for him if he can’t prove that (so his continued knee problems just continue to screw the Knicks over and over again), but it’s still maddening to see a team offering up an expiring contract and willing to take non-expirings in return and the Knicks can’t match the team.

    Damned worthless Curry and Jeffries.

  25. Frank O.

    Ted:

    I do give D’Antoni a lot of credit. His won-loss record is his own.
    Name one great coach that was able to make bad players take him to the playoffs? Pat Riley had Ewing, Charles, he had Mourning and Hardaway…and on and on.
    Phil Jackson, he’s had the greatest players of his day.
    Red Auerbach he had hall of fame talent.
    And yet, there are a bunch of coaches who had talent, but couldn’t get it done.
    So, you can’t discredit a guy for succeeding with his talented teams.
    The Knicks, frankly, aren’t that talented as a team.

    I think it is safe to say that this discussion goes beyond stats. I have always argued that David Lee is a very good role player, but he can’t carry a team. Nate from time to time can take over a game.

    Also, I know my notes are long, but I have said over and over that there isn’t a guy on the Knicks right now that is a consistent distributor of the ball at point. That is the only reason I can see Duhon out there, and I think D’Antoni should take a chance on another guy.
    And, Ted, you know Nate’s antics aren’t just off the court or on the sideline, they get onto the court. He plays no defense. He makes poor decisions. He gets Ts, and picks fights. You can’t turn a blind eye to these things just to make a point.

    Ted, so your basic argument is D’Antoni should simply bench JJ, simply tell Chandler, a developing player not to shoot poor shots, and bench Duhon. That simple? ok…
    Man, I wonder why that doesn’t just happen…?
    The reality is on the Knicks:
    * JJ is the only big guy who plays a semblence of Defense on this team;
    * Duhon in the only guy that passes first and has more than a fortenight of playing experience;and
    * Chandler is a young forward the Knicks hope to develop…

    JJ’s replacement? Harrington? He gets already lots of minutes. Landry? How much experience has he got? He’s going to lose you more games from simple mistakes than anything else. I could be convinced that Hill could get his minutes, but it’s not going to be pretty.
    And you may as well give up on shedding JJ’s contract if he gets limited burn.
    Duhon’s replacement? Douglas has a few hundred minutes experience. He’s not ready to run an offense like D’Antoni’s. Nate in his fifth year needs to be told not to shoot at his own hoop, or pick fights with opposing centers in close games….he’s not an easy pick. And the disgruntled backup argument works only when it is clear that you are doing the right things to play ball. We have seen number guys like Zach Randolph and Harrington before. Nate’s stats are nice, but someone needs to rein in the stupid.
    Who repaces Chandler?

    I don’t know.
    In my world, with this team, I would recognize this season is done.
    And then my goals are shedding us of JJ and Eddy before the season ends, which means I feature Eddy and JJ.
    I bench Duhon before the dude hurts himself.
    And I’d bench Chandler…for now.
    After Nate gets chewed out for a game or two, here’s the lineup I’d try:
    Nate at point
    Douglas at 2
    Jeffries at 3
    Lee at four
    Curry at 5
    (a disaster, maybe, but the two guys get a showcase)
    My bench would be Gallinari sharing with Jeffries, Chandler playing the three, Harrington sharing with Lee, Hughes as a part of the three guard rotation, and Darko as a defensive complement to Curry (I know Darko has said he could give a shit and want’s to go back to Europe).

    The rest would have to fight for minutes here and there.
    Hill needs time to develop, as does Landry.

    But no matter how you slice minutes, this is a weak team.

    And maybe, just maybe, calling out Nate wakes him up.

  26. NateRobinson

    Mike is right, I need to be more mature about the game. The team needs me out there, but I disagree with him on other things. We cant keep playing a small lineup if we are not going to get out and run. Put Darko, Hill or Eddie when he comes back at the 5 and slide Lee to the 4 where he would be more comfortable defending. Its not like we are shooting the 3s good enough to spread the floor. We need to pound the rock inside and make baseline cuts and off-ball screens to get the offense flowing.

    Ending the role playing I just read that the Bulls and the Knicks are in the works of shipping Ty Thomas and Jerome “Big hurt” James for Harrington and another piece. This could get interesting.

  27. SeeWhyDee77

    I jus read the article stating that we are in play for Tyrus Thomas. Her’s my take: The only think he can bring us is shot blocking. I’m not a fan of Thomas, or for having 2 JJ’s on the roster again. But, we need shot blocking in the worst way, and as ess-dog noted, moving Harrington would put Nate back in play for his bench scoring. Personally, I’d rather have Nate scoring off the bench rather than Al b/c at least Nate passes the ball. Losing Al’s almost 20ppg will definitely hurt, but if Nate gets back into the rotation-drop off in bench scoring shouldn’t be too noticable. But to have a chance to have a young shot blocker who has as much potential as Thomas, yea I’d move Harrington. But it would be extra sweet to get some cap relief in the deal since we would be taking players that Chicago obviously doesn’t want while giving them a weapon that should help replace Gordon’s scoring and possibly get them in the playoffs.

  28. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Frank O – you are intertwining Nate’s personality and his on the court play. Nate jumping around like an idiot or shooting the ball at the wrong hoop *after* the buzzer sounded doesn’t hurt the team at all. Whereas Harrington’s transgression of holding onto the rim directly lost the Knicks 2 games. Also what fights (plural)? Nate was suspended once for the Denver melee.

    Nate’s defense is bad, but so is just about everyone else on the team. Nate’s defense is no worse than Duhon’s offense, whereas Duhon’s defense is not more valuable than Nate’s offense.

    You can say the same about his selfishness. Nate’s certainly no more selfish than Al Harrington. The next time Al passes the ball successfully might be his first. How many times has Larry Hughes forced up a shot that had you throwing your shoe at the tv?

    Nate does a lot of dumb things, but few of them actually hurt the team. Put it this way – Nate had 12 technicals last year – that’s 12 points on the whole season (if they all hit). I think Duhon has given up that many points in the paint by passing the ball when wide open already this season.

    As for Jared Jeffries – are you actually suggesting he’s a worthy NBA player? You could play Darko and drop everyone down a notch & gain some shot blocking. Perhaps the same with Jordan Hill. Or maybe suit up the first fan that’s 6’7 or taller and can actually catch a basketball and make a layup. That could be an improvement.

  29. ess-dog

    Also you have to factor in that Toney Douglas is essentially a younger, cheaper, definitely-here-next-year, more defense prone version of Nate – and he’s playing well.

  30. d-mar

    To say that we would replace Harrington’s scoring with Nate’s is crazy. Yes, Nate can be explosive, but how often does he get to the basket? Or to the foul line? We all complain about Harrington, but isn’t it the job of the 6th man to come in and supply instant offense? I wish he would pass more, but as far as scoring punch, we have no one comparable. I think the offensively challenged Bulls would love to have him, regardless of his one dimensional game. They probably want this deal to go through a lot more than we do.

  31. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.,

    I absolutely agree that coaches are not as important as talent. I didn’t mean to say otherwise. What I meant was that to give D’Antoni a lot of credit presumably means that he is as good a coach as he showed in Phoenix, not as bad a coach as he’s showed in Denver and NY. I would say he’s underachieved or at best broken even in both NY or Denver… That a replacement level coach could win at least as many games. To me a coach needs to put the right guys on the floor, get the most out of those guys, and be in the right place at the right time (i.e. his system/style work for the talent at hand). The only time he’s done that is Phoenix. I’m not saying he’s a bad coach, I’m just saying there isn’t much evidence at this point that he’s a very good coach. My gut is that he’s a solid coach, but easily replaceable.

    I don’t think I’m turning a blind eye to his on court behavior. I just interpret it differently. As fire and passion, not as not caring. Do I wish he’d channel it better? Yes. Does D’Antoni have the luxury of deciding whether to play Nate or Dwayne Wade? Not this season.

    The Knicks have been better defensively with Robinson on the court (and a lot better overall) since D’Antoni’s been here. Both last season and the minutes he’s gotten so far this season. Maybe that’s not because he’s a good defender, but you can’t argue they play worse defense with him on the court. Whether or not you fight through picks is not the only measure of defense. Breen rips him for not getting back on defense while he is waiting to pick up his man in the backcourt… I don’t see where this consensus that Nate is not a team player comes from.

    They’ve been worse defensively and worse overall with Duhon on the court, both last season and this season. I understand a few reasons why D’Antoni is going with the “conventional” type of veterans in the starting line-up, but I think it’s a mistake. Generally speaking, a coach needs to put the best talent he’s got on the court and implement a system that gets the most out of that talent. He may think Duhon and Hughes is his best defensive back-court, very possibly it is but I’m not really sure. Offensively that’s a pretty miserable 1-2 punch, but I think he likes that they behave well and do what he says… feed his ego.

    My argument was that if you’re going to bench the players who are hurting your chances of winning, you should not stop with Robinson. Nor should you start with him.

    This is a weak team, but… could they have won the first Orlando game, down by 6 pts with 6 minutes to go? Danilo, their best outside shooter, wasn’t in the game. Orlando scored on every single possession between the 6 minute mark and 3 minute mark… how many TOs did D’Antoni call to cool them off and coach his rag-tag, low b-ball IQ team? Zero. D’Antoni needs to look in the mirror occasionally. What bugs me about him is that he’s said or implied twice now (preseason and now) that the Knicks are bad because of Nate Robinson and his attitude. This means that he believes all they need to do to win is act seriously and buy into his system. This is not true. They’ve got a better chance of winning by simply playing their best players then by being serious and running up and down the court taking the first semi-open jumper (he’s changed that to some degree, but the offense in the 2nd Orlando game was pathetic… in no small part due to Orlando’s defense, but still).

    He’s in a tough spot coaching this roster, and I can’t say for sure that doing anything differently would result in many more wins. They’ve lost some winnable games, though.
    Chandler is not going to develop unless you tell him to stop taking so many jumpers and start cutting to the basket. He is an atrocious jump shooter and has been for 3 seasons. That’s not going to change by taking more jumpers in games. The only way that changes is by taking LESS jumpers in games, or by working in the offseason. I don’t really think Chandler is killing the Knicks. I would like to see less of him and less shots, but can’t really argue with him in the rotation.
    The one big beef I have, though, is that I see Harrington and Chandler’s head-down, shoot always style (which is how they play a lot of games… I mean it’s literally like every time the ball is in one of their hands you know a shot attempt is coming and you know Harrington will either make 10 in a row or miss 10 in a row, but you know Chandler will miss 7 out of 10 jumpers… his eFG% on jumpers this season is slightly ahead of Jeffries… .366 to .342) is not conducive to winning. Yet D’Antoni doesn’t bench them, he encourages it. He encouraged it from Marion and Amare in Phoenix and it worked because they were getting the ball from Nash (and Amare is a better scorer).

    We both agree Duhon is killing the Knicks. In the long-run maybe he’s the best option at starting PG. I am so frustrated by the wake-up call to Robinson, though, in part because I’ve been hoping to see D’Antoni give Duhon a similar wake-up call for a while. A lot of people have been rationalizing the Robinson benching my saying this was a game the Knicks were going to lose anyway… First, I think this was a great match-up for Robinson for a few reasons: Orlando’s PGs are weak, the Knicks offense was struggling and needed some good “shot creating” and shot making, and Nate has an ongoing back-and-forth with Dwight Howard that would probably hype him up. Second, would it have killed the Knicks to take one of their many losses and give Duhon a game off to figure out what’s going on?

    Jeffries, more than Robinson, is someone I look at regularly and wonder whether I am watching a rookie… The TOs he commits are so insanely stupid it blows my mind. He ran into Nash in the backcourt when the Knicks were in the penalty, but wasn’t benched for a stupid foul the way Robinson was. He’s one of the only long Knicks, but is that really justification enough to have him on the court? He seems like a stand-up guy, but he’s a D-League player most nights.

    I’ve been saying the young guys look pretty raw. However, are they any worse then Duhon, Chandler, Jeffries, and Hughes offensively? Lee defensively? I don’t know. I agree with going with a rotation rather then falling into the I can play anyone and everyone and still lose no matter who I play trap a lot of coaches of bad teams fall into. I would have liked to see Duhon bumped from that rotation at some point and some sort of a leash on Chandler rather than the infinite space and confidence he seems to get from D’Antoni. Those two might be the two nicest guys on the team and D’Antoni’s favorite guys in the world, but if it’s about winning you have to coach them at some point.

    “Landry? How much experience has he got? He’s going to lose you more games from simple mistakes than anything else”

    Jeffries makes as many mistakes as any NBA player I’ve ever seen. Ever. Landry looks raw, I agree. How would he play given consistent rotation minutes for a few games??? I have no idea, he’d have to be given a few minutes to see. I know he comes from GREAT stock (he’s Carl Landry’s brother), and looks like a strong defender with 3-pt range.
    The beast you know isn’t always better than the one you don’t. At some point, when your winning % is 20, you might take a little risk and see what happens. On the other hand, hiding Landry on the bench ensures you can resign him for nothing this offseason and playing Jeffries gives you a chance to trade him. If it’s about winning short-term I would play Landry; long-term, Jeffries.

    “I could be convinced that Hill could get his minutes, but it’s not going to be pretty.”

    Very raw… I am so in favor of the crazy idea of playing TWO bigmen at the same time, though, and so against the idea of playing Darko or Curry (for any reason other than to showcase him) that I would love to see Hill AND Lee out there together or at least Hill AND Gallo. I know how crazy it is to play two bigmen at the same time in the NBA, I know… Give Hill very explicit directions on what his role is, and see if that’s not better then playing Chandler and/or Gallo long stretches at the 4 with Lee at the 5. I mean if Hill leaves his man 2 out of 5 times, gets dunked on once, forces a miss once, and blocks his shot once, that’s a net gain over Lee getting taken to school 5 out of 5 times. I love Lee, but he just gets embarrassed against the NBA’s best bigs.
    I thought D’Antoni didn’t care about position and just put his best players on the court in Phoenix. I’m starting to think that was completely wrong. He seems to care as much about position as any coach in the NBA. He just defines his positions differently. He refuses to play without guys he deems to play a certain position. On this roster I think that’s a bad thing.

    “Duhon’s replacement? Douglas has a few hundred minutes experience. He’s not ready to run an offense like D’Antoni’s.”

    Anyone. There are probably 10 PGs getting ready for the D-League season and 50 PGs playing in Europe who could have played better so far than Duhon has. That was just a brutal stretch.
    D’Antoni’s offense? The Knicks offense basically consisted of running down the court and taking the first open 3 until a few games ago. Occasionally picking and rolling. Not only could anyone have done that, but simply handing the ball to one efficient scorer and telling him it’s all yours go ahead and bomb away may have been more efficient.

    “Who repaces Chandler?”

    My whole idea, as radical as this may seem, is to change it up a little. Go with two combo guards and ask Gallo and Lee to create a little. Play two bigs instead of so many wings. Think outside the box a little.
    As far as WC specifically, I would play him. I would just play him fewer minutes, maybe, and put him on a short leash.

    “And then my goals are shedding us of JJ and Eddy before the season ends, which means I feature Eddy and JJ.”

    Agreed. Doesn’t get much worse than 4-15, so who cares. I guess Curry really is hurt this time, because otherwise he’s got to be out there.

  32. Ted Nelson

    To weigh in on the Harrington-Thomas deal… Lukewarm on it. The net result is probably nothing in the most likely scenario (no more wins this season and renouncing Thomas in the offseason). At worse it could be more losses this season and possibly even overpaying Thomas egregiously this offseason. Absolute best case the Knicks win a couple more games this season, get to see a free agent target for this offseason (who happens to be a very risky young player you would like to get to know before signing, even to a small deal), and there’s no longer a chance of him being restricted if you do want to sign him. At first he’s going to be looking for $10 mill per or something I would guess (I know he won’t get it, just think he’ll look high first), and that’s hopefully not what the Knicks want to pay him. Knicks will have to renounce his rights and wait him out if they want to resign him.

    I am slightly for it because in this lost season you might as well role the dice a little. Maybe Thomas blossoms under D’Antoni. Then, unfortunately, the Knicks probably promptly overpay him.

    Harrington is a pretty valuable trade chip (by Knicks standards), so I would look at the ability to get a future draft pick or shed Jeffries/Curry with him. On that note, maybe some team wants Thomas enough to take back Jeffries/Curry??? Probably not.

    d-mar,

    Last season Robinson actually got inside as much as Harrington: 30% inside shots vs. 33%. And finished with the exact same eFG% on close shots: .592. Harrington is up to 40% inside shots this season, but we’ll see if that lasts (he took only 27% his only full season in GS).
    On their careers Nate and Harrington get to the line about as many times per 36. This season Harrington is way up and Nate way down (that and preferring jumpers may be a good indication that he’s playing injured).
    I agree the Knicks would miss Harrington’s offense, but I’m just saying Robinson is a very comparable scorer.

  33. d-mar

    “I agree the Knicks would miss Harrington’s offense, but I’m just saying Robinson is a very comparable scorer.”

    I guess it comes down to for me, would I rather have Harrington on the floor as the primary option in crunch time with Douglas guarding the opposing 1 or 2, or Nate on the floor as the primary option and also guarding the opposing 1 or 2. (and BTW, please don’t get the impression I’m president of the Al Harrington Fan Club, I just think on this talent deprived team, we actually need him.)

  34. greatscott

    They are winning less overall, but all of the games they won are without Robinson or virtually without any contribution from Robinson. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Knicks win against the Hornets. Robinson DNP sprained ankle.
    Knicks win against Pacers. Robinson. 2 points.
    Knicks win against Nets. Robinson. 0 point.
    Knicks win against Phoenix. Robinson. DNP. Coach’s decision.

  35. greatscott

    I tell coach’s at coaching clinics that the greatest ally you have to get the team working well and players performing well is the bench. Don’t be afraid to use it whether it be for a star player or anyone else. In fact, the overall effect can be better when you bench a star. The other players see it and play harder because of it.

    Even if there is a price to be paid, don’t be afraid to use appropriate discipline. It may hurt in the short term but it will pay dividends in the future.

    – J Wooden

  36. SeeWhyDee77

    All I know is this: last season, Nate was unbelievable. Boneheaded at times, but for the most part, incredible-given his role and size. So I have no problem with him picking up the bench scoring role. I agree that Harrington’s great as a 6th man basically becuz he has no conscience. But here’s my problem with Harrington. At 6’9″ 250, he should not be playing like he’s 6’5″ 200. For that reason alone, I can’t trust Harrington with the ball as opposed to Nate having it. Simply put, Harrington should only be attempting to take bigger players off the dribble, and killing wings in the paint. Nate, on the other hand, plays to his strengths-so I think he can return to last season’s form. If D’Antoni wants to play Douglas more (which he should), Walsh should package Nate with JJ or Curry ASAP. Plenty of teams, contenders included, need Nate’s scoring off the bench. But I will admit-we do need Harrington. The talent and athletic ability will not drop off if we move Al for Tyrus, but the production will. And we need scoring almost as much as we need defense. But when ur talkin about Harrington vs Thomas, I’ll take Thomas’ defense and offensive upside over Harrington’s “shoot it with no conscience” mentality. Just my preference. To be honest, I would actually enjoy a squad similar to the EwingOakleyMasonStarksHarper days…those guys were all heart. Not the most athletic and offensively dynamic, but they brought it nite in and nite out.

  37. Thomas B.

    I read the title too quickly and thought it was

    “Robinson DNA test for D’Antoni”

    Initially, I thought D’Antoni at the end of his rope with N8, killed him. Or that Coach was actually Nate’s dad.

  38. Ted Nelson

    d-mar,

    (Don’t take this the wrong way, any anger is not directed at you.) Why not try Nate and Douglas in the backcourt with Harrington also in the game? Why not reward the guys who have actually played well offensively with more minutes and sit the guys who have been miserable? Jeffries (.490), Hughes (.490), Chandler (.478), and Duhon (.408) all have TS% under 50%, yet you’d be hard pressed to find many “crunch” times where AT LEAST 2 or 3 of those guys aren’t in the game. They are regarded as “good defenders” yet they are 1/2 of the rotation on the #25 defense in the NBA. This is a team that’s going to win with offense, not defense. So having more than 1 of those guys out there in crunch time is pretty silly.

    greatscott,

    It’s an interesting observation but, yes, I think that’s a coincidence. They’re 1-6 with Robinson completely out of the line-up, better with him on the court then off it, and Charlotte’s the only lose you can maybe put on his shoulders. He was the biggest reason they were in some of them, like the first Orlando game. He hasn’t been playing much at all: the only games he’s played 25 minutes since coming back from injury he’s shot over 60% from the field. To say that he hurts the team seems base-less to me.

    No one has been saying it’s a bad idea to bench players in general, so I don’t think that quote is completely appropriate. What has Nate done that’s led to this discipline? We can only speculate, so we can’t call it appropriate or inappropriate. We can say that based on his play it would have been appropriate to at least give Duhon a night off at some point (I have my fingers crossed that he’s snapped out of it, but he was brutal for a lot of games this season).

    SeeWhyDee77,

    Harrington’s having himself a very good offensive season and getting to the basket and to the line a lot more than usual. He’s the best scorer in the rotation outside of Gallo and Lee. (There’s no competition after that, in fact, since neither Nate nor Douglas has been firmly in the rotation and Hill and Landry are way out of the rotation.) Given his usage you could make a case for him as the Knicks best scorer period.

  39. Frank O.

    I think we all probably need a therapist, Ted. This team does that to you…..:)
    Mike I don’t think Duhon should play.
    But shutting down Duhon, Chandler or JJ doesn’t have quite the impact shutting robinson down does.
    I do believe they are making an example of him…with great skills comes great responsibility.
    Nate needs people to set his bar higher. Or they do the team and him a disservice.
    *shrug*
    Anyway, again, really good blogging with you all.

  40. Ted Nelson

    “But shutting down Duhon, Chandler or JJ doesn’t have quite the impact shutting robinson down does.”

    Because it might actually help the team? Is that what you mean? (Kidding, but not really. Their scoring efficiency has been awful…)

    “I do believe they are making an example of him…with great skills comes great responsibility.
    Nate needs people to set his bar higher. Or they do the team and him a disservice.”

    I think that’s true. It’s just tough to see Duhon get 40 minutes, Chandler encouraged to shoot a bunch of long jumpers, Hughes taking a lot of shots because there’s not one else on the team, and Nate getting benched… That’s why I say that if D’Antoni thinks Nate is why this team is bad, he needs a drug test instead of a DNP test.

  41. SeeWhyDee77

    On second thought..I hafta apologize to Mr. Jordan Hill for my last post? Why? Becuz I completely wrote him off in agreeing with the idea of bringin Tyrus Thomas in. The only thing Thomas brings to the table that Hill doesn’t is more athleticism (which doesn’t hurt but doesn’t necessarily mean more wins either), and the fact that he has had more PT. Other than that, they’re relatively the same player. Seemingly the same basic B Ball IQ (playing experience not included), the same offensive strengths, the same defensive game, etc. So what would we gain with bringin in Thomas as opposed to giving Hill more time? I really don’t see much. However, if we bring in Thomas and flip Hill into another asset we will actually use, then I’d say do the deal. Other than that, my advice would be to look to move Harrington elsewhere like say…ummm…uhh…I can’t really think of anywhere else. How about we try the one of the deals TDM mentioned?

  42. Ted Nelson

    this is so embarrassing… how is benching Nate working out? Really got the team playing well, right?

  43. DRed

    Al Harrington for Jerome James? Count me in! Look at the stats- In 2007 he shot 1.000 from the floor AND 1.000 from the free throw line. Oh, and we get a young player with some upside too? Even better.

  44. Ted Nelson

    Clyde echoed my thoughts when he said “Duhon with his most prolific game of the season…” pretty sad, but true.

  45. Sandy

    what a terrible starting lineup. we are lucky we are hitting threes otherwise this is a blowout already.

  46. SeeWhyDee77

    Sometimes it sounds like D’Antoni is giving people the runaround when he explains things doesn’t it? What was he just sayin about Nate…I understood maybe 5% of it lol

  47. Sandy

    our interior defense in non existent. i don’t care we are down by only 3, this was one of the worst starts ive seen.

  48. Ted Nelson

    The thing that stuck out to me about D’Antoni’s explanation was his defense comment. First, if you need defense why not play a 5? Second, you do not need defense. You need offense. You are a bad defensive team with little chance of improving. You have the offensive talent to be a lot better on that side of the ball.

  49. SeeWhyDee77

    I agree with Sandy…baaaaad starting lineup. Harrington should not be a starter…sure he’s scoring..but 15 points 1 rebound? That’s 6th man gunner material. Can’t really complain, he’s keepin us in the game. But wow..u would think that he doesn’t know that he has teammates. I still can’t believe JJ got the start..he’s better off the bench as a “defense in spurts” player..

  50. SeeWhyDee77

    we are winning becuz D’Antoni suddenly became a genius lol. Who woulda thought his plan would work tonite with the starters? Wow

  51. SeeWhyDee77

    wait..arent Doglas and Hill both from Georgia? Or did they just happen to play AAU ball together or somethin like that?

  52. Ted Nelson

    I think out of everyone in the starting line-up Harrington is by far the most justified, even more than Lee whose defense is horrific.

  53. SeeWhyDee77

    that’s sad thoug..Lee bein on terrible on defense becuz defense is typically a defensive stat rite? And he gets boards in bundles..wait, gotta cheer 4 harrington for that move and the 1st qtr..MVP!! MVP!! MVP!! OK where was I? Oh, considerin that Lee does so well at rebounding and is still horrible defensively-that says alot about him.

  54. SeeWhyDee77

    lmao….Michelangelo..good 1 Sandy..I wasn’t listening to the broadcast..whas that just a tech on smith or an ejection? Either way, even I hafta say it was BS..maybe Walsh paid off the refs…

  55. Ted Nelson

    I just think that Lee is overmatched against centers and plays no help D. He’s a PF forced to play the 5. It’s like stickying a round peg into a square hole. Atlanta has missed at least 2 layups and a dunk but have mostly owned the inside.

  56. Ted Nelson

    Yeah, I don’t expect to see Landry for a while… It’s unfortunate, in a way. He made the 3 (which didn’t count) after stepping out of bounds. Was it him or Duhon who stripped that one? He got to the basket then he missed that lay-up. Some good signs, but more bad signs.

  57. Gorky

    WOW. I just learned from ESPN1050 Radio that Zaza (Gabor) Pachulia critiques fashion for the Hawks’ magazine and writes style columns for Hoops magazine. Holy balls.

  58. Ted Nelson

    It’s Duhon, definitely. A lot of props to him for getting it together (still think D’Antoni should have sat him down at some point earlier in the season, though). Also Harrington. Those two are a combined 7/10 from 3, but both have also been taking it to the hole. Duhon creating a lot, Harrington needs to adjust a little since the Hawks know he’s not going to pass once he puts the ball on the floor. It was great, but it may prove unsustainable. How many times will the Knicks as a team shoot 60% from 3 in a half? Especially without either Danilo or Nate out there…

    Wilson Chandler not attempting a single 3 helps the team. He tried to get to the basket. Showed what he should be doing more of with those dunks, but also how bad of a finisher he is with those two badly missed lay-ups (one he got fouled on). He’s missed all 3 shots outside the paint.

    The Hawks look like crap. How many chip shots and lay-ups did they miss? How many wide open 3s? (13 missed 3s in 16 attempts, a lot of them wide open.) Their inability to hit from outside has allowed the Knicks to crowd the paint and keep them from dominating inside.

  59. BigBlueAL

    I dont understand League Pass this season. Sometimes they have no halftime shows like tonight and just have the stats page til the 3rd quarter begins. Sometimes they have a NBATV halftime show and other times they show the halftime show of the broadcast that is showing the game. Weird.

  60. SeeWhyDee77

    yea with all that money we pay for league pass, they should be giving us somethin. Lemme re-phrase, adding the extra we pay on top of the regular cable bill(comcast for me at least) they should give us something

  61. Frank O.

    Harrington. 14 shots. 10 baskets. 3 rbs. 0 assists.
    How does one touch the ball that much in a half, and not get an assist. I would think that is difficult.
    sorry, folks, fool’s gold.
    Looks like nate isn’t the only one riding pine. Gallinari also appears to be in the dog house

  62. SeeWhyDee77

    wow..if Lee, Harrington & Duhon managed to pull off this type of efforts consistently, they’d be all stars no question

  63. greatscott

    Another DNP for Robinson. Another win for the Knicks. Another sad night for the Robinson apologists.

  64. greatscott

    I read on another blog that the Knicks had a 20% chance to win, and 0% if Robinson did not play.

  65. Sandy

    joe johnson is damn good. max player good? idk. but he will be payed like a max player. good win tonight. hit our shots, which is unusual and unsustainable, but some great decision making by l. hughes at the end. hats off. another 76er loss and we are tied for 3rd in the atlantic…with 5 wins.

  66. greatscott

    “No one has been saying it’s a bad idea to bench players in general, so I don’t think that quote is completely appropriate. What has Nate done that’s led to this discipline?”

    You don’t get it and sound like Robinson, “I don’t know what I’ve done. Coach never says anything to me, etc.” That is why I posted the quote. You like Robinson. Good for you.

  67. jon abbey

    “They are winning less overall, but all of the games they won are without Robinson or virtually without any contribution from Robinson. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Knicks win against the Hornets. Robinson DNP sprained ankle.
    Knicks win against Pacers. Robinson. 2 points.
    Knicks win against Nets. Robinson. 0 point.
    Knicks win against Phoenix. Robinson. DNP. Coach’s decision.”

    this is the best post on this thread, and looks even more prescient after the win tonight. I love watching Nate as much as anyone, but it’s hard to argue he doesn’t kill you on D. I don’t really care if the stats back me up or not, Duhon/Hughes/Douglas are all decidedly better defenders.

    I still don’t get why NY looked like they weren’t trying for the first ten games or so, but if they can keep up the kind of effort they’ve been putting out against the elite teams once they go back to playing the rest of the league, they might get to 30 wins this year after all. big if, though.

  68. Frank O.

    The bench is shorter. Basically D’Antoni went with seven guys, with landry getting almost no burn.
    Now, is Duhon coming out of a funk, or is the solid play the anomaly?

Comments are closed.