Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rockets 102, Knicks 100: Starring JR Smith in the Captivating Feature Film, Gravity

New York Knicks 100 Final
Recap | Box Score
102 Houston Rockets

AMBROSIA SALAD
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 2 hr 0 min
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces sour cream
6 ounces homemade mini marshmallows, approximately 3 cups
1 cup clementine orange segments, approximately 6 clementines
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries

Directions
Place the cream and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Add the marshmallows, orange, pineapple, coconut, pecans and cherries and stir to combine. Transfer to a glass serving bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.

Now, I’m not usually a fan of super-sweet deserts, but sometimes you just want to blast your pancreas all to hell with a glucose bomb and just revel in the burst of insulin (diabetics aside, of course).

My personal preference is to use less processed sugar than the above recipe calls for, relying on the natural sweetness of the fruits to satisfy…

Oh, I’m sorry. You don’t want to discuss deserts? Okay. Let’s talk about the Knicks. Sigh.

All in all, it was a damned fine performance for a struggling team on the second game of a back to back, especially one crawling through the lean, ever-churning oil fields and barren scrub brush of Texas.

Many, many things went well. Melo hobbled around on a gimpy wheel, but still managed to drain many a tough turnaround even with a rangy Terrence Jones/Chandler Parsons draped all over him, and when the ‘Bockers got him the rock after just a skosh of movement or off-ball action, he was gold, Jerry. Gold. Iman Shumpert continued to do positively wondrous, Shump-tastic things, hitting all six of his treys. That’s 12-14 over the last two games, 19-27 overall and a TS% of about 6,749.51, if my math is correct. That seems good. The fact that the wide-open looks that he used to build an imposing brick-walled brownstone on the Upper West Side for the vast bulk of this toxic, radioactive, SuperFund/EPA cleanup site of a season now falling is even better. But what’s truly bringing a permanent rictus of a grin to Knick Knation is the fact that… well, Shump seems to have returned to the effervescently giddy ephebe that we all have grown so fond of lo these many years and would gladly allow to take our fairest sister/daughter’s hand in blissful, state-sanctioned nuptials (or at least, you know, a couple of dates or something).

It’s certainly a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg paradox. And if he was clanging iron ’13-style, it’s fair to wonder if he’d be gamboling through the tulip-strewn, verdant fields and spreading his magic faery pixie dust hither and yonder. But eff it, let’s enjoy smiley-face Shump for as long as humanly possible. You know, trade value and the whims of a certain carbuncular, dyspeptic, Blues-warbling owner and whatnot. I’m just going to assume he took my advice about giving zero fucks, Bobby Rayburn-style.

Of course, it wasn’t all sweet, sweet, creamery ambrosia salad. They continued to do an absolutely atrocious job for most of the night closing on three point shooters, and if the Rockets hadn’t been oddly going ISO-Beard for vast swathes of the contest, they probably wouldn’t have jumped out to an impressive 81-73 lead entering the final stanza. Seriously, that was weird. The Rockets seem purposely built to shred the Knicks, and yet Harden, though devastatingly effective, wasn’t able to get any of the other Ballistic Missiles involved. And sitting Lin for all of the fourth, when he was shredding the Knicks in transition and on drives to the rim (defensive foibles and shoddy turnovers [Yeah, that was a part of Linsanity, too] notwithstanding) was damned curious,

Oh, you don’t want to read about that either? Yeah, I get that. You want to talk about this.

Suck it, Bargs. You’re not the only one on this team with a constant loop of a wind-up toy anthropoid wearing a fez and jolly lil’ vest, slamming together cymbals running through his so-called mind in lieu of an operant cerebral cortex.

Because, in the post-game media scrum, where we’ve heard every manner of Knickerbocker declare that black was white, up was down, war was peace and dogs and cats like living together, it seems that JR was not exactly well-informed as to the complex statistical algorithms of tonight’s tilt. You know, like the score.

Like every truly great artist, JR returned to the medium that he has surely mastered, the Twitter, to let us know that he was aware of his Martin-Sheen-uses-a-baby-as-a-shield-in-The-Dead-Zone-level gaffe.

And of course, it’s not enough that history once again repeated itself, it had to occur in an excruciating, soul-blasting manner that defied Marx’s prediction/dictum that it’d have some comedic value. With that in mind, here’s my hot sports take on what occurred within JR’s gray matter during the timeout directly preceding the ‘Bockers penultimate possession:

SOYUZ. CONTROL CABIN.

As soon as he makes it through the hatch, he TURNS the CABIN LIGHTS ON. There is just enough space for three astronauts to sit surrounded by the CONTROL PANEL that navigates the vessel. He sits down in the command chair. He fastens the safety belt, and looks around, trying to recognize the different buttons on the panel, which are all labeled in Russian.

JR: OK… where was it?… where was it?

He moves his finger across the different buttons, searching.

JR: Where is the power?… Here you are.

His finger stops on a button, which is labeled-BKN

He presses on it and the CONTROL PANEL turns ON. All the buttons light up and with a hum, the Soyuz’s systems start to run.

JR: Good… good… just like training… Gettin’ good. Gonna fly this ship.

JR reaches to the right, where next to the panel, there are several binders, each a different color.

JR: Undocking… undocking… Yes… You tryna get the red pipe…

And He takes out a RED BINDER. It’s all written in Cyrillic. He turns the pages until He sees a GRAPHIC representing the UNDOCKING PROCEDURE.

JR: Ok… Ok… I remember this… yeah, like on that Vodka bottle that I had sent over to my table at 1Oak. Damn straight…

He uses the CURSORS on the panel and selects a function on the COMPUTER SCREEN.He presses another button and- On the SCREEN, a COUNTDOWN- 4:30… 4:29… 4:28… Another RUMBLE in the Station.

JR: We don’t have four minutes to spare. We’re going manual. We blow up one space station an I take 1 shit y’all mad. I get one George Clooney killed y’all mad! Lol #OHWELL.

He flips through the binder to another page. He looks at a diagram and uses the cursors on the panel to change the function on the screen.

JR: Okay. This shit is weird. They didn’t tell me I’d have to read weird Russkie shit.

He releases the SAFETY LOCK on a BUTTON, then begins wildly pressing every single BUTTON that he can find. AN EXPLOSION in the Station makes everything shake. The vibration passes through his body, startling him, and…

JR: Firing the pyros #YOLO…Lol 17 buttons tho! Had to say damn myself!

He presses the BUTTON.

JR: Rezerv rasstyk!

The SOUND of a mechanism releasing reverberates throughout the vessel. It explodes. There are no survivors. SILENCE.

THE END.

You’re welcome.

But let’s take a look at that final shot. I’m not trying to be a contrarian/overly cutesy, but there is a reasonable argument to be made that a wide-open trey in rhythm (which JR’s heave certainly was) isn’t as colossal a blunder as Bargs’ Bargnani-ing in Milwaukee, even if Earl is forced to run out into the driving snow and flat make out with irony itself, since he was the one rolling his eyes and thrusting his arms upward in bewilderment when the former’s blunder occurred.

For one, if they did run down the clock, there’s no guarantee that they’d get a better look. You could make the argument that grabbing the lead is a better choice than banking on giving the ball to Melo and letting him pound the rock until there are visible dents in the hardwood, and then tossing up a contested, fadeaway 20-footer, and hoping that you could grind out a win in OT (again, with weary legs, playing on enemy turf).

I wouldn’t agree with that argument, especially considering Smith was in the midst of an outing in which he was a robust 1-8 from distance and he DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THE FRACKING SCORE OF THE GAME, but it’s not beyond the pale.

Anyway, it’s yet another game that they really could/should have one. Shump’s gorgeous clutch three and strip of Harden in the final 2 minutes is gone, like so many of Rutger Hauer’s tears in the rain. Tyson’s clutch rebound to secure an extra possession, and horrified look when he realized what our fave club-goer/conscience-free gunner was up to, yeah, that’s probably gone too. So is the steady play of Beno at PG, and Amar’e’s sudden inability to convert a layup, and the Knicks’ failure to run even a halfway-competent fast break, and Woodson’s Texas Toast-sized lineup choices (and the really, really, really dumb STAT-Bargs pairing to start the 4th quarter–please stop doing that, Son of Wood), and Timmy Jr.’s recent funk, and all of it.

That’s the part I hate the most (even more than the Knicks once again proving that Kidd and the other craggily old wise men that peppered the 2012-13 roster were really the only thing keeping this team from being allowed to park in handicapped spaces, what with their single-digit IQ) is that a game is a story, or multiples stories/narratives. JR’s JR-ness took all of those stories–some of which were quite pleasant–and collapsed them into a single, glowing point of mockery and humiliation. I hate that. I like complexity and contradiction and this team often makes that really, really hard to do, if only because of the blinding, white-hot rage that’s the necessary and logical endpoint to this any many, many other games.

So today, as they head to Dallas, they’ve been reduced to a sad, bitter, tepid little joke, and this is it: If JR Smith had been the 2nd shooter on the grassy knoll, John F. Kennedy would still be alive today. (rim shot) And possibly partying with his failed assassin. (Don’t forget to tip your waitress!)

To the Book Depository! Go Knicks!

59 comments on “Rockets 102, Knicks 100: Starring JR Smith in the Captivating Feature Film, Gravity

  1. Z-man

    I was so upset at JR’s middle-school level blunder that I couldn’t even stomach reading KB or any other blog until this morning. It’s like a recurring nightmare; the dumbness of Bargnani and JR is astounding. The thing it reminds me of most is in 2009 when Al Harrington got called for a T for hanging on the rim after making a great play and dunk, costing them a game vs. the Clippers, and then DID IT AGAIN IN A SUBSEQUENT GAME, again vs. the Clippers!

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/al-harrington-technical-foul-sinks-knicks-overtime-loss-clippers-article-1.371928

  2. JR Sec 112

    Cant think about the games anymore, only this potential trade. Blake for Melo is potential franchise changing deal. If they can keep Shump in the deal and lose as many games as possible in 2014-15, the future could be bright. High 2015 pick, 26 year old Blake, Shump, and free agent to be named later – genuine hope for the latter part of this decade.

  3. JR Sec 112

    With the team so much more appealing, probably could bring in a decent tough-minded coach – JVG, Thibodeau. Its almost too exciting to contemplate.

  4. DRed

    One source close to the situation said the Clippers’ latest internal discussion ended in favor of keeping Griffin.

    Duh. Maybe this Paul injury will somehow make Sterling do something extra stupid. A man can dream.

  5. bockadoo

    Melo is 1-16 in crunch time shots. If he can’t even be the go-to guy, then it’s time to scramble out of this mess ASAP. Not sure I’d go for Blake though, as he’d probably be a 15-18 point guy without an above average to great point guard. That was the problem with this Melo-centric plan from the beginning – we needed a great point guard. Melo isn’t great enough to be the point forward make everyone around you better guy. He’s an animal scorer and that’s it.. He will be perfect with CP3. Chandler, as much as I like him, is on the decline. Get rid of him before it’s too late too. Let’s scrap it all and get some draft picks, get JVG back, and go back to a share the ball, hard nosed defensive team that we can love again.

  6. vincoug

    I don’t think that shot was as bad as people are making it out to be. What we should be freaking out about is:

    1. Why was JR Smith in the game at all? He was awful yesterday just like he’s been awful since throwing an elbow in Game 3 of Round 1 last season. And why has Hardaway been seemingly banished these last two games for no apparent reason?

    2. I don’t know if it’s the players or the coach or, probably, both but we don’t understand 2-for-1s. With 41 seconds left in the game and a full 24 we should have trying to get a shot off within 11 seconds of inbounding the ball. Instead, we basically don’t run any play and Beno has to throw up a prayer with no time left on the clock. This is basic, fundamental shit that we’re seemingly completely oblivious to.

  7. vincoug

    JR Sec 112
    January 4, 2014 at 11:01 am
    Cant think about the games anymore, only this potential trade. Blake for Melo is potential franchise changing deal. If they can keep Shump in the deal and lose as many games as possible in 2014-15, the future could be bright. High 2015 pick, 26 year old Blake, Shump, and free agent to be named later – genuine hope for the latter part of this decade.

    I wouldn’t even keep Blake, though I do like him. I would try to move him to Minnesota for Kevin Love or to Phoenix for the package of 1st rounders they’re rumored to want to move for a superstar.

  8. hoolahoop

    I don’t know if it’s the players or the coach or, probably, both but we don’t understand 2-for-1s.

    This is much more egregious than JR’s decision. Watch the replay. Going for the 2-for-1 is not even on their mind. That is low b-ball IQ. I once heard CP3 refer to 2-for-1’s as basic, common sense basketball. I can’t remember a single time the knicks did it.

    Again, It’s fun to blame JR and make believe the knicks would have won this game if he didn’t take that shot.
    Alternative Reality: Knicks hold for last shot. Melo misses 15 foot, double teamed, iso fade-away. knicks lose in OT.

  9. kronicfatigue

    I don’t think that shot was as bad as people are making it out to be.

    If the Knicks wait for the last shot, they can either win it with that shot, or have roughly a 50% chance of winning in OT. Ignoring random craziness like a turnover while holding the ball for the last shot (ok, I know that’s not smart when talking about THIS team), if the Knicks could get off a 40% chance type of shot, that means they would have a 70% chance win expectancy. Even if they are forced into a 30% ISO type off balance shot, it’s still 65% to win.

    If JR makes that shot 100% of the time, the Rockets would need to hit a 3 just to get to the coin toss OT. Again, over simplifying (ignoring a strategy of fouling), if the Rockets can get off a 35% chance 3 pointer, then the Knicks would have a 82.65% of winning. 65% right there on the spot, and then 50% in OT.

    So the Knicks only increase their odds of winning from 65–>82.65 if you GUARANTEE the shot is going in.

  10. kronicfatigue

    To put it more simply, you can’t argue the merits of a 2-1 without realizing that a 1-0 is better.

  11. JR Sec 112

    The more I think about it, today is one of the first days in a while I feel some hope for this team. We didnt even know the Knicks would contemplate trading Melo until now – at least thats now in the realm of possibility. Also, just the idea of Blake for Melo puts a bid out there. So thats good as well.

  12. AvonBarksdale

    The intention though was neither this team has horrible instincts and worse coaching, these guys have learned very little from veterans/woodson/experience/game tape/last season/twitter…they are collectively dumb and need leaders to succeed which there are none. I believe them not exploiting the foul situation much earlier in the fourth quarter was the most heartbreaking part, we had the lead…we neglected to draw any fouls and we have stat a foul drawing machine when he isn’t fumbling the ball around too much. Also the combination of stat/bargs on the court at the same time is giving me weird headaches, i feel confused i think it’s depression…we have a chance to secure the lead…i dunno how i keep the tv on

  13. vincoug

    kronicfatigue
    January 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm
    To put it more simply, you can’t argue the merits of a 2-1 without realizing that a 1-0 is better.

    Oh, I’m not arguing that it was a good shot, I just don’t like how that decision has become the narrative when we should be talking about all this other stuff instead.

  14. mokers

    So can somebody explain the benefits of this Clippers trade for me? The Knicks should absolutely send away contracts, but they should be getting draft picks in return and the Clippers don’t have them.

    Robert, do you have league pass? I wonder because of your surprise at iso-beard. There are a lot of times when the Rockets essentially give the ball to Harden to see if he can get to the line. Like you said, sometime very effective, but you get that familiar look of teammates standing around while he does his thing.

    It’s amazing that JR Smith is still in the games in the 4th quarter.

  15. maxwell_3g

    I doubt the clips accept that offer, just because of the contract situations and the prospect of igning melo for big money and big years. but what about…….
    clips get- melo, felton, a highly protected first rounder from phoenix
    knicks get- dragic, cap fillers, and an unprotected from phoenix
    suns get- griffin, second rounder from clippers

    who says no? I know the knicks shouldn’t

    then flip chandler for perkins, adams, and some firsts

  16. maxwell_3g

    I’m a defense attorney. When my client has mental issues, I can have him/her evaluated to see if he/she is competent to stand trial. either the defendant is deemed “competent”, “not competent likely to be restored”, or “not competent unlikely to be restored”. basically, likeliness to be restored depends on the reason for incompetence. If the problem is a mental health disease such as schizophrenia, it is likely the person can be restored with meds and care at the mental hospital and then will stand trial. If the person has developmental delays (the new term for the “r word”) then the person will be “unlikely to be restored” as no amount of meds with fix the problem. The latter is good for clients charged with serious crimes (they typically just go to the mental hospital for a little but and are released) but it is bad in every other aspect of life (you ain’t ever going to get better).
    My point??
    I don’t understand why Woodson continues to play players like JR and Bargs in crunch time. I know that players like Murry and TH2 are not all that competent to play in those moments right now, but at least they will learn and eventually become competent. Bargs and JR are 6-10 years in the league. They are what they are. Their basketball IQ is developmentally delayed and it aint getting better. Their diagnoses is “not competent, NEVER to be restored”. Again, good if they are charged with murder on the basketball court, but bad in pretty much every other life situation. Time to go with guys with the ability to become competent.

  17. kronicfatigue

    [16]. Yeah, you can argue whether or not TH2 is a better option “at this moment” vs JR….But there’s absolutely no denying that it benefits the future of the Knicks to at the very least see, and possibly speed up the process by getting TH2 the experience.

    Unless the only goal of the Knicks is to back their way into a crappy division title and sell a couple of playoff tickets.

  18. JR Sec 112

    #14 – Without doing too much research on their stats (I would note PER and WS/48 are actually fairly similar between the 2) the Griffin trade is good simply because we exchange 1 guy making the max (Melo) who will turn 30 this year for another guy who will be 25. The next Melo contract will almost surely become an albatross by year 4. Melo will be looking for 5 years and $130m. That’s 26m a year. At the moment, we would be getting Blake aged 25-27 at 19m/year, with the possibility of signing an extension down the road for years 28-33 (still potentially his prime). Building a winner is about getting undervalued or at least fairly valued assets and trading Melo for Griffin is therefore a no-brainer, even before allowing for the possibility that Griffin might actually still be improving. Also, Blake’s usage is much lower, so that would potentially be more attractive for another big name free agent in 2015 who needs to dominate the ball (Kyrie Irving, etc).

  19. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    It’s understandable why Smith thought they were losing. I mean, they are the 2013-2014 New York Knicks afterall. 7-10 times he’d be right, so it was a high percentage guess.

  20. KnickfaninNJ

    I only could see some of the game (and not the ending). Overall the Knicks played a good team on the road and lost by a hair in a competitive game. That’s much better than the Toronto games and many others, where the Knicks looked and played badly and were torture to watch. It’s in the nature of close games that they are decided by small things. We all get mad at those small things, but the 2014 Knicks are so much better (so far) than the 2013 Knicks that I am content anyway. If we keep playing this well, we’ll win our share of games.

  21. kronicfatigue

    Knicks need to win more than their “share of games” though b/c of the hole they dug themselves in. They need to beat the bad teams, beat the “OK” teams most of the time, and even squeeze out a couple of wins against good teams. They’re running out of time. With Toronto’s recent play, it would surprise me if the winner of the Atlantic is below .500. Either they are an average team, or another team will get hot/lucky enough to get to .500. Knicks are 12 below .500 with 50 games to play, and 4 teams ahead of them. Making the playoffs is not this team’s birthright.

  22. KnickfaninNJ

    I agree. Even if they win more games, there is no guarantee of the playoffs. But I’ve seen so many years of lousy teams, I just want them to play well consistently first. Then I will worry about playoffs. They could start by playing better at home. They are 4 and 12 at home. That’s just horrible.

  23. mase

    Against the spurs JR. Makes all the right decisions down the stretch. Finding shump for the three, calling a timeout after the rebound to secure the possession with 8 seconds left …
    Fast forward 24 hours later and he is a different player, it’s mind boggling!

  24. DRed

    I only could see some of the game (and not the ending). Overall the Knicks played a good team on the road and lost by a hair in a competitive game. That’s much better than the Toronto games and many others, where the Knicks looked and played badly and were torture to watch. It’s in the nature of close games that they are decided by small things. We all get mad at those small things, but the 2014 Knicks are so much better (so far) than the 2013 Knicks that I am content anyway. If we keep playing this well, we’ll win our share of games.

    Well said. As someone mentioned in the gamethread, there’s a decent team in there somewhere hidden by the inexplicably stupid crunch time decisions and illogical playing rotations. I mean, if we’d just nail Bargnani to the bench the team would get better.

  25. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    I think Anthony for Griffin is a good trade for LAClips. And I think it’s a no-brainer for the Knicks. But I think NY would be smart to move Griffin for a more diverse set of assets than to build around him going forward.

    Phoenix is the obvious partner, and they have 4 first round picks this summer. But none of them are in the lottery (except possibly their own, but they are playing +.600% ball right now, so the best it would be would be #14). They have: Their own pick (currently #22); Indiana’s pick (currently #30): Washington’s pick (currently #18); and Minnesota’s pick (currently #14). But Washington and Minnesota’s are both protected, so the lowest they can fall is #12 and #13 respectively.

    So, ideally a flip of Griffin would net a lottery pick. The problem is, the NBA draft is already so convoluted this year. Hardly anybody seems to own their own picks. Here’s a quick lottery guide (with the current ranking of the picks):

    Milwaukee has their own pick (#1)
    Utah has their own pick (#2) and Golden State’s pick (#23)
    Denver has New York’s pick (#3)
    Orlando has their own pick (#4) and Denver’s pick (#12)
    Sacramento has their own pick (#5) (this is a protected pick and will not go to Cleveland this year)
    Atlanta has the Nets’ pick (#6)
    Philadelphia has their own pick (#7) and New Orleans’ pick (#13 (protected 1-5)
    Cleveland has their own pick (#8)
    Boston has their own pick (#9) and Atlanta’s pick (#20)
    Lakers have their own pick (#10)
    Memphis has their own pick (#11)

    Other picks that could become lottery picks to consider:

    Phoenix has Minnesota’s pick (#14 (protected 1-13) and Washington’s (#18 (protected 1-12) and their own (#22) and Indiana’s (#30)
    Chicago has their own pick (#16) and Charlotte’s pick (#15 (protected 1-10)
    Charlotte has Detroit’s pick (#17 (protected 1-8) and Portland’s pick (#29)

    *

    Hard to find a partner among this group. Maybe Orlando would be interested in building around Griffin?

  26. yellowboy90

    I kind of hope that Murry proves himself to be a quality back up and Woodson goes back to starting Prigs and Felton then move Melo back at 4. Hopefully, that opens up minutes for Murry.

    Also, even if they do not win the Atlantic the 5 seed wouldn’t be that bad.

  27. JK47

    The Clippers are clearly thinking in “win-now” mode– why would they want to flip Griffin for draft picks? He’s playing well– why not just keep him? Trading him for Melo is really incredibly stupid but trading him for lotto picks seems to make even less sense.

    This is too good to be true for us Knicks fans, right? I mean, trade Melo for Griffin, let Amar’e and Bargnani come off the books, keep the 2015 draft pick, maybe flip Chandler for another draft pick, reload with free agents in 2015– this can’t possibly be happening, can it? It makes too much sense and is not very Knicksy at all.

  28. mase

    I don’t think either team does the trade and your dreaming if you think the knicks would move griffin for lottery picks.

    Melo is a knock for life, and that’s a good thing. We should focus on getting a pg… Pelicans have two!

  29. JK47

    Wait a minute, my reading comprehension is bad. I missed the part where you said the KNICKS should flip Griffin rather than the Clippers. Duh.

    So yeah, I agree with you, I would love to flip Griffin for even more assets but I wouldn’t mind just holding onto Griffin either. It’s a WAY better option than signing Melo to the mega-max.

  30. DRed

    The trade is way too good for us to ever happen, and I don’t see Sterling wanting to pony up huge money to resign Melo. Unless his plan is to make the deal, try to win a title this season, and then let Melo walk and go back to being a penny pinching racist shithead. Which, from his perspective, might actually be the smart move.

  31. ephus

    This was an ugly loss that highlighted Woodson’s failures as a coach:

    1. Going away from the Pick and Roll that Houston could not stop.

    2. Freezing out Shumpert for most of the fourth quarter.

    3. Not getting to the line once Houston had 5 fouls with 8 minutes to go.

    4. Not making certain everyone knew time and score in the timeout at :39.

    5. Not getting a 2-for-1 with the ball, tied and :39 seconds left.

    6. Not calling a TO from the bench as soon as Chandler grabbed the rebound with :24.

    With all that, there were positives to enjoy:

    1: Murry has real skills and can contribute.

    2: Melo looked strong despite the injury.

    3: Shumpert is playing like a star.

    4: Chandler and Stoudamire both appear to have spring in their legs.

    Maybe this crew looks appealing to a strong coach for next season.

  32. hoolahoop

    JR’s shot wasn’t so boneheaded.
    Here’s a situation where statistics can be misleading. More important than JR’s overall 3P%, is his wide open, un-rushed, squared to the basket, top of the key, 3P%.
    In those situations he’s probably better than a 50% shooter.

    Then, there’s a lower than 50% chance Houston makes a three.
    And, as a rule, you don’t want to go into OT on the road. And you especially don’t want to go into OT on the road against a better team . . . especially if they beat you in the fourth quarter. NFL coaches methodically gamble all the time to avoid that situation.

  33. mase

    Jr’s shot was beyond boneheaded!

    How someone making $6m a year to play bball doesn’t know the score in the final possession is beyond my comprehension… Considering the night before in San Antonio he called a timeout after securing a rebound with 8 seconds makes his shot even more absurd.

  34. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    I don’t see Sterling wanting to pony up huge money to resign Melo. Unless his plan is to make the deal, try to win a title this season, and then let Melo walk and go back to being a penny pinching racist shithead.

    Sterling has actually invested a lot into the team recently. He spent a lot of money on Baron Davis, and expected to give a lot to Elton Brand, but Brand reneged. He’s now built the team into Los Angeles’s varsity team, with a top 5 player in his prime and a strong supporting cast. His problem is that the West is very competitive, and the Clippers haven’t separated themselves from the pack. I think Anthony brings a net positive this year and next year over Griffin. I think he would be foolish to not trade Griffin for Anthony on a pure basketball level. (Of course, Griffin has marketing and other tangibles attached to him in LA).

    Like the Knicks did with Anthony back in 2011, the Clippers can presumably talk to his reps before a trade is consummated and get him to commit to not opting-out. I would imagine that it’s a small concession to make (vesting $24,000,000!) for the opportunity to win a championship this year and next.

  35. yellowboy90

    Unless the Clippers go into a complete meltdown with Paul out I do not see this trade happening until the off season in a S&T if Griffin doesn’t do well in the playoffs.

    The timing of the Paul injury and this report comes at an interesting time. It gives the Clips a chance to see what kind of player/leader Griffin is.

  36. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    I don’t think either team does the trade and your dreaming if you think the knicks would move griffin for lottery picks…. We should focus on getting a pg… Pelicans have two!

    Yes, you’re right, trading Bargnani for Holiday is much more realistic.

  37. coyle022

    Has anyone here even considered the possibility that JR was in some sick way, “getting back” at the Knicks organization for their alleged “betrayal” of the Chris Smith cut. I know it’s childish, petulant, and sums up just about everything you need to know about JR Smith’s mental state as well as the utter despair of this current team, but after that Instagram tweet I wouldn’t put anything past him. Maybe the not knowing the score nonsense was a cover up and he actually intentionally screwed the team out of a win. Possible, not likely, but you can’t count out any possibility when dealing with JR Smith.

  38. d-mar

    I’m out of the country, and when I first saw that we lost by 2 to the Rockets, I was pretty damned pleased especially on the 2nd night of a back to back. But then I get into the details and read all about Woodson’s usual game mismanagement and JR’s bonehead play and it looks like we lost a winnable game.

    I guess my question is: does this team seem to have turned a corner? Obviously Shump’s revival is huge, but are there any other positive signs? And can we overcome home court disadvantage and actually win a game at MSG?

    It’s great to have Kblogger as a lifeline when you can’t watch the games!

  39. JK47

    Has anyone here even considered the possibility that JR was in some sick way, “getting back” at the Knicks organization for their alleged “betrayal” of the Chris Smith cut.

    Occam’s Razor says that JR is a mere idiot.

  40. mase

    ‘Yes, you’re right, trading Bargnani for Holiday is much more realistic”

    I would have to mull that over

  41. ephus

    JR’s shot was neither defensible nor a conspiracy. It was JR being his unfathomable self. This site sells, “Who shot? JR!” T-shirts.

    It was a horrible play because it was the only way the Knicks could lose in regulation. All of the number crunching shows that a team increases its win expectancy by holding the ball for last shot when tied. Euro teams sometimes foul in that situation to have the ball down one or two with a chance to take last shot rather than allow the other team to take last shot when tied.

    Bad coaching. Fire Woodson.

  42. ruruland

    Hey ephus, did you read the previous thread?

    The win probability on taking the shot and holding look pretty similar according to ptmillo’s math.

    On a b2b on the road against a better team, not sure OT is the way to go. It’s akin to taking a two point conversion down 1 on the road.

    Like I ballparked after the game, it’s a good shot if JR was the shooter he used to be. Not that he thought about it that way.

  43. flossy

    Griffin for Melo is such a good trade for the Knicks it’s insane. You would have to be insane not to pull the trigger on that deal. At the end of the year, if we don’t trade Melo, one of two things will happen:

    1) We grossly overpay him for his athletic decline in the hopes that in 2015 we’ll be able to building an amazing team around a 31 year-old making $25+ million

    2) He leaves and we just suck with no upside or return on our investment in him

    So… if we could flip him for a 24 y/o former #1 overall pick who has won RoY and been an all-star every season of his career we would be completely insane to think twice. Griffin is arguably as good or better than Melo right now, and over the next five years it’s pretty obvious who is going to be the better value. I would rather have Blake Griffin than even 3 first round draft picks. What are the odds you end up drafting a player as good as Griffin? Pretty fuckin’ small, that’s what.

  44. ephus

    I saw it and do not agree. First, I think you are dramatically understating the Knicks likelihood of winning if they run the offense for a last second shot. Houston was in the penalty, so any foul leads to winning free throws. I put the Knicks likelihood of scoring at least 1 point with less than 2 seconds to go was over 60%. If Knicks score there, they win 90% of the time – 54% net win probability. If the Knicks do not score, 10% if the time they lose on a buzzer beater -4% net losing probability. 36% of the time the game goes to OT. If you assume even match – 18% WP. Overall Knicks WP from holding for last shot is .72. Much higher than the number ptmillo generated assuming that JR is a 50/50 shot there.

    The fact that JR did not know the score is a sign if coaching incompetence.

  45. ephus

    The reason I think ptmillo is off is that the .605 WP for a team having the ball in a tie game and 21 seconds to go includes lots of situations where the shot clock is going to expire so the offense cannot hold for last shot.

  46. JK47

    I don’t quite understand why the Clippers would want Melo over Griffin. I mean, I’m trying to talk myself into the possibility that this trade might happen, and I just can’t do it. It just makes zero sense for the Clippers.

  47. DRed

    Griffin is a one dimensional dunker who can only score off offensive rebounds and shots created by CP3. Carmelo is destroying him in Points Per Possession. Carmelo is one of the most electrifying shot creators in the NBA. He lead the league in scoring last year! Imagine what he’s going to do when he moves from a team where he has been forced to shoulder the shot creating burden to one where he will be playing with the best point guard alive? Did you see what he did in the Olympics? Wow. The Clippers would be nuts not to make this deal. N-U-T-S. That spells crazy.

  48. ruruland

    Well, I think the Clippers would be intrigued by the idea of Melo playing alongside the game’s best pick and roll guard.

    The Clippers are one of the least versatile offenses in the league and bog down when teams can slow Paul pnr. They’re very one-dimensional in the half-court.

    Melo is one of the three most versatile offensive players in the game, and the Clippers would be able to run a true 4-out offense with a primary screener.

    So often the Clippers fail to get good shots with their two bigs on the floor. They’ve struggled in the playoffs despite having one of the three best players in the game. That’s a clear indictment on Griffin.

    In a situation where Melo is getting spoonfed easier looks and Griffin is having to create a greater percentage of his own, I’d have to believe Melo would be quite a bit more efficient.

    Melo has a higher PPP than Griffin the last two years, and is currently rebounding better at his position.

    On top of that, Griffin is totally reliant on raw athleticism, Melo’s athleticism is much more subtle, and he’s continued to improve by most statistical metrics despite being at an age and minute level where he’s supposed to decline.

    I would imagine there’s a very low probability that Melo would NOT re-sign after landing on a great team with the best teammate of his career (and friend.)

    But yeah, over 6 or 7 years, Griffin would likely give whatever team he plays for more value than Melo.

    Melo gives the Clippers a better chance of advancing now, imo.

  49. maxwell_3g

    why would the clippers do it? I will state my case (I would not do it if I was them though)
    1) Blake is putting up good numbers, but he is doing so with the absolute best pg for him setting him up constantly. the clippers can find someone less heralded to convert paul assists
    2) Blake does not protect the rim and in the playoffs, defense wins
    3) this is the most important one. We became a real NBA team when Chris Paul showed up. He runs this franchise. He doesn’t really like Blake and he is bros with Melo. What Chris says goes, and he says Melo

  50. cgreene

    @46 bc Melo and CP3 are in their primes right now and give the Clips a better shot at title in next 2 years. I firmly believe that Melo gives Clips better title shot right now than Blake.

  51. kronicfatigue

    ephus
    January 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    The reason I think ptmillo is off is that the .605 WP for a team having the ball in a tie game and 21 seconds to go includes lots of situations where the shot clock is going to expire so the offense cannot hold for last shot.

    I hadn’t seen that thread, so I went back and read it. But Ephus is right. Ignoring situations where fouls and/or kick balls extend the length of a possession, if you have the ball with 21 seconds left, it means you obtained possession somewhere with 45 to 21 seconds left in the game. In the former situation, you’ve used all 24 seconds of the shotclock right at the moment the clock strikes :21. In the latter situation, you’ve gained possession right at that moment.

    So there’s around 25 seconds where the team could have gotten possession, but only 4 (seconds 24, 23, 22, and 21) where that possession would represent what we had last night…shot clock off. That’s only 16% of the time.

  52. johnno

    It cracks me up that another Broussard “scoop” has prompted days of debate. He basically said, “The Knicks aren’t sure if Melo is going to leave, so they’ve had internal discussions about what they should do.” No shit. Their front office wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t have daily conversations about different possibilities and contingencies. I’ll spend the energy thinking about the merits of a trade when (a) someone other than “Make up a scoop” Broussard is reporting it and (b) the teams have actually, you know, spoken to each other instead of having some hypothetical internal discussions.

  53. maxwell_3g

    35-70 after 3 quarters. good God!!!!! maybe we need to trade them felton too, because apparently collision can not run an offense (shhhhhh, lets pretend felton can)

    ooops, never mind, at half. I still think they need felton

  54. Cock Jowles, #1 Nostradumbass

    In a situation where Melo is getting spoonfed easier looks and Griffin is having to create a greater percentage of his own, I’d have to believe Melo would be quite a bit more efficient.

    You realize you said this three years ago about him, right?

  55. ptmilo

    I put the Knicks likelihood of scoring at least 1 point with less than 2 seconds to go was over 60%.
    I once looked at this almost identical question, including the timing. You are very off in your guess. I don’t have the results handy, but when the opponent is in the penalty and you are down to your last possession it is far, far less than 60% likely you score any points within the last two seconds. The overall chance of scoring is below 40% (yes, when in the penalty) in that situation and getting the timing right is way lower. Your intuition is off here. Players often shoot too early, frequently take a very low % shot trying to get the timing right, and sometimes even turn it over or never get a shot off. And the Knicks should not be considered an outlier. At least not a positive one.

    The reason I think ptmillo is off is that the .605 WP for a team having the ball in a tie game and 21 seconds to go includes lots of situations where the shot clock is going to expire so the offense cannot hold for last shot.

    This is a sensible intuition but it does not seem to be important. For example, the WP of teams with the ball in a tie game and 32 seconds on the clock (cannot hold for the last shot) drops only from 60.5% to 59.4%. Barely a difference.

  56. kronicfatigue

    ptmilo, since I’m not sure where you are getting these numbers from, can you link, or in the alternative post the WP as the seconds dwindle. Does the WP go up as it gets closer to zero left on the clock?

  57. massive

    I think the smartest thing for the Knicks to do is trade Carmelo Anthony. His only chance of winning here is the same improbable way Paul Pierce got his championship, and that’s to somehow end up with four players around him as good as 2008’s versions of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins. The 2015 free agent market says that won’t happen. Best case scenario is we have a starting 5 of Rondo, Shump, Hardaway Jr, Melo, and Marc Gasol, which can be a phenomenal team if Hardaway Jr and Shump pan out (and we have a Van Gundy). But once you look at that $130 million Melo will take to stay here and the fact that Shump is an RFA that same summer, it’s more likely we end up with a significantly worse team since JR and Felton are both signed through that summer.

    Now if we trade Melo for Griffin, we’ll have a young core group of Toure Murry, Blake, Shump, our 2015 1st rounder (hopefully a 1, a 5, or Jabari Parker) and Hardaway Jr heading into next summer’s free agency. That’s a really attractive group of players for a great coach and great players, especially in this market.

    I’d hate to see Melo leave, but my loyalty has always been to the front of those jerseys. We can do some mega trade where we send Melo, Chandler, and Prigioni to the Clippers and get back a package surrounding Blake Griffin and hopefully a pick or two. It just makes too much sense for both sides for it to ever happen.

Comments are closed.