Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shamans 106, Knicks…Blech

New York Knicks 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
106 Washington Wizards
Carmelo Anthony, SF 44 MIN | 10-23 FG | 7-8 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 31 PTS | -9

I honestly don’t know how to evaluate/grade/comment on Melo’s performance tonight. For the most part, he didn’t force wing jumpers when it became clear early on that his shot was less than wet. He hit 4-8 from three and made more than a few clever passes out of double-teams to a cutting STAT and/or spot shooters. That said, in what will become a recurring theme should you chose to continue to read this little ditty, he just looked flat. Heck, after more than a few instances when he seemingly got walloped down low with nary a word from the arbiters, he didn’t even unleash his trademark aggrieved, sour half-smile or fail to get back on defense while he and the ref engaged in a lively debate about the merits of the latter jamming his whistle so deep into his pockets that it unearthed a lint-encrusted, faded receipt for a Blockbuster video rental from 1998. He’s playing way, way, WAY too many minutes, but we’ll get to that in a jiffy.

Tyson Chandler, C 36 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -5

Look, 13 bounds is nothing to shake a stick at, but shaking a stick is the least Tyson could have done to stop the frequent forays to the tin by the Warlocks. Once he started botching alley-oops and tapping the ball out, not to a fellow Knick, but to the waiting arms of many a Prestidigitator, you knew it just wasn’t his night. It’d be folly to have expected a record-4th straight 20 carom-snagging effort, but when Nene and Emeka ring up a combined 25-17 line, you can say with assurance that Chandler wasn’t up to snuff.

Jason Kidd, PG 18 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -11

“Hey Jason? It’s okay. Don’t get upset. Where did you leave it last…Okay, okay. I heard you the first time. ‘You don’t know.’ There’s no need to shout. I’m not patronizing you, I’m just trying to…No, I’m not treating you like a child. You lost something and I’m just trying to help. This is what I do when I lose something. I try to retrace my steps and go though all the events to see if I can remember where…You’re not senile. I didn’t say you were senile. Please, why does this always have to turn into a screaming fight? C’mon. Think back, okay. When did you last have your jump shot. I remember seeing it at the Garden when Orlando stopped by in Janu…No…no…not your garden, THE garden. Jason, JASON. Don’t go outside. That’s not what I meant. Your hearing’s going… JASON. PUT ON A SCARF AT LEAST, IT’S FREEZING OUT.

Raymond Felton, PG 40 MIN | 6-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +1

Defensive foibles aside, Felt had a solid outing with flurries bordering on outstanding at times. Why they didn’t run even more pick and rolls, like many of the strategic decisions in this one, remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma, stuffed awkwardly inside a penguin.

Iman Shumpert, PG 22 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -6

I think when Shump finally does convert a monstrous dunk this season I’ll achieve complete tumescence.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 28 MIN | 6-11 FG | 7-9 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | -3

Even another doubleplusgood effort from STAT was somehow boring as corn flakes tonight.

Steve Novak, SF 10 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4

Steve never has a good game when I’m captaining the HMS Recap. I’m beginning to think there’s a causal relationship here. If he goes bonkers on Friday, I’m penning the rest of these under a pseudonym like Sparkles McAfee or Merlin Enabnit or even the name I briefly used for writing angry, rambling, possibly-deranged letters to the editors of various print publications just to see if they’d print ’em, Ms. Pebbles Wadsworth, Esq.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 8 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -11

Save for a moment when he hurled a trey from Pampas, there’s very little positive that Prigs contributed to the cause. Considering he was scampering about on court when the Sorcerers when on their killer run, I’m docking him grade point. I DON’T WANT TO PUNISH YOU, BUT IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. THIS HURTS ME AS MUCH AS IT HURTS YOU. <3 u, 4evr, Pablo.

J.R. Smith, SG 35 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | -2

There’s a pretty famous bit of performance art from the 70’s by Joseph Beuys called “Coyote: I love America and America Loves me”. In brief, at a gallery on the Lower East Side, Beuys shared a room with a wild coyote, for eight hours a day over three days. He wrapped himself in a thick, grey blanket of felt, weilding large shepherd’s staff and basically watched the coyote as the coyote watched him. Sometimes the animal circled him, like he was about to attack, or shredded the blanket to pieces. Other times Bueys engaged in symbolic gestures, such as striking a large triangle or tossing his leather gloves to the animal. It was art. I have no idea what it was intended to mean or convey, but it was quite the must-see event of the black turtleneck/clove cigarette smoking/modes of alienation discussing set back in the dizzle. I mention all this because I’m semi-convinced that what J.R. Smith does on the basketball court is, in fact, a career-spanning version of performance art and we are not, as we might think, spectators, but actual players/elements of this Gesamtkunstwerk of Earl’s*. To wit, after a stretch when 40 of his 45 attempts to score were treys (and pretty much all spot ups) he suddenly returned to hoisting off-balance 20-footers with plenty of ticks still remaining on the shot clock. Why? Who knows. Why the fuck would a man live with a freaking wild coyote and strike a goddamn triangle, other than to piss the beast off. Just watch this. See if you don’t flash to our après-garde shooting guard’s particular elan/esprit.

*Upon further reflection, I’m not sure if Earl’s Joseph Beuys, the coyote is the game of basketball, and we’re the art-hags who came to see this dreck or Earl’s the coyote and we’re Bueys. Paradigm works either way, methinks.

Mike Woodson

Coach’s gonna get an earful from me in just a sec, but for now, I say, in as fully-throated a manner as befits a man with years of theatrical/vocal training, YOU CANNOT KEEP PLAYING MELO 43 MINUTES A NIGHT. I CAN’T SAY THIS WITH ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ASSURANCE, BUT BY THE END OF THE GAME HE LOOKS GASSED. AND THEREFORE CAN’T BE THE “CLOSER” THAT EVERY GOOD SQUAD REQUIRES. PLUS, IF THAT AWKWARD TUMBLE IN THE FINAL MINUTE IS PROLOGUE, HE’S GONNA GET HURT AND THEN WE’LL REALLY BE SCREWED.

(Bows. Exit, stage right, pursued by a bear that oddly resembles Nikola Pekovic)

Five Things We Saw

  1. ‘This recap, as you may have noticed already, has featured some oft-mentioned complaints/issues/gadflies (to put it mildly, but I’m going to stand in the mirror and do my best to try to replicate Mike Woodson’s stone Toltec death mask stare. Kind of like this.

    Nope, I can’t replicate it. It just looks like someone unleashed a silent-but-deadly bit of flatulence and won’t fess up and I’m, like, giving him the stink-eye as my nostrils fill up with the ambient sulfuric aroma.

  2. Regardless of my mimicry-fail, and even though you’re not here with me, you can probably tell that I’m pretty pissed. I cannot for the life of me fathom why this team/coach either cannot or will not make the seemingly basic strategic changes required to contain the whippet-quick point guards that have been eviscerating this team since, oh, I don’t know, the William Howard Taft administration. And frankly, I’m getting plum tuckered of finding different ways to say the same ish over and over. They say the Hell you know is preferable to the one you don’t. Well, I’m way too familiar with this circle of the inferno, but here goes…The pointless, unforced switching, the terrible rotation from such luminaries as Tyson Chandler on down, the decision to double team non-threats like Emeka Okafor, all of it followed hard upon by sluggish, not-even-half-an-assed close outs. It’s happened time and time again. You give a guy enough time to solve Fermat’s Theorem whilst he idles out on the perimeter, no matter how sub-par a shooter he may be, after he cans a couple, well, then all your precious scouting reports and white board plastered scribblings about tendencies and/or how middling an offensive unit the Thaumaturgies are can be chucked into the dustbin of history. Coming into the game, Washington ranked 25th in three-point shooting (.340), but tonight they hit 11-20 bombs, aided in large part by the sluggish New Yorkers’ inability to close out, which granted myriad Prestidigitators (Chris Singleton? Trevor Ariza???) the time, space and confidence to skewer the hell out of what might have seemed like a sensible, fact-based game plan.
  3. Plus, it’s certainly possible that there’s a reason Woodson stubbornly refuses to start Shumpert on the opposing point (you know, his chief skill at this juncture of his career). Maybe in practice both Felt and Prigs have been routinely lighting him up, leading the Goateed one to send “Rook” scurrying around the perimeter through an thicket of arms, picks, and wayward elbows, but given that option one, letting Felton get char-broiled and served up on a platter like one of the Food Network’s aspiring cheftestants/epicureans might cobble together on an episode of Chopped where the basket contained a live penguin, has failed so completely miserably, how much worse could the flat-topped one be? You know what the definition of insanity is, right? Well it’s far more complicated than the shop-worn phrase that gets routinely flung hither and yonder in political and sporting criticism alike, but either they’re unaware of the problem or too effing hard-headed to change. Not sure which is worse.

    That said, after a Felton-led 21-7 spurt towards the end of the third had (briefly) given the Knicks a three-point bulge, it doesn’t matter how lackadaisically one has or has not gone about one’s job for the prior 36 minutes, it’s certainly within this team’s grasp to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, man up, spit on their hands, hunker down, go Galt—whatever ruggedly American idiom/turn of phrase suits your fancy—and put a lesser foe away. When the Necromancers began the 4th on a 15-4 run, featuring all of the sins listed above, the game was more or less over.

  4. Even more disturbingly, this wan, indolent trend began in the 2nd half v. Detroit. Like the right royal James Q. Cavan the Elder said in his post-game post-mortem, playing with all the vim and vigor of an indifferent, navel-gazing, anhedonic teenager, stuffing his face with corporate, nutrition-free, preservative-laden convenience store crud whose heinie has made a permanent and immutable impression that could hold up in a court of law as a form of valid identification, in lieu of finger prints or dental records and whatnot in a stained, desperately-in-need-of-reupholstering couch is exactly the kind of behavioral pattern that tends to hang around/be tough to slough off, kind of like getting the aforementioned archetypal slacker to take out the trash or clean his/her room or exhibit some kind of pulse.
  5. Luckily (or potentially, unluckily) there’s another weak kid in the NBA schoolyard whose milk money the ‘Bockers can swipe on Friday. This game left a bad taste in my mouth. I mean really bad, like with that gelatinous white coating you get after a night of heavy drinking and then stopping off at Mickey D’s to at least put something in your stomach lest you hurl and then decide, “Hey. A Filet-o-fish. I haven’t had that in like, forever,” only to wake the next AM, dehydrated, your eyes still semi-wobbling in their sockets, realizing that you did not, in fact, ralph, and that translucent layer of beige goo covering your gob is mainly industrial fish parts and deep fryer grease residue. In brief, yuck. Here’s hoping our fave cagers are equally nauseated with their so-called performance and, Robert Randolph’s dark, Wizardly powers notwithstanding, take their sickly hate out on the Lupine Land of 100,000 Lakers.

24 comments on “Shamans 106, Knicks…Blech

  1. max fisher-cohen

    granted, I only got to watch two quarters, but the wizards looked pretty good, and they are another team that presents problems for NY: They have a physical front line (ala Chicago and Memphis) and htey have a fast point guard (ala seemingly half the league). I do think too that the Knicks played indifferently, something that, unlike teams that have, you know, won a playoff series in the last decade, they have no right to do. Again though this loss was far less significant to me than the losses to Chicago, Houston, Indiana, even Brooklyn for all its warts –games where the Knicks seemed to give a full effort and and still lost, games that illustrated irreparable flaws in their roster.

  2. Hubert Davis

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, shitty loss, but it happens sometimes. They’ve had so many good wins recently it is hard to get too worked up about one bad loss.

    Sorry, but I have to call you out on this. What are all these good wins you speak of? A 5-0 homestand against the dregs of the NBA that was bookended with our two worst losses of the season?

    This team is mailing in games. I’m not knocking the Wizards, they’ve been better. But this was a mail in. At Philadelphia was a mail in. Brooklyn on MLK Day was mailed in. Portland on New Year’s Day was mailed in.

    And in every game we go: “wow, the opponent just shot at a high clip that’s unsustainable.” It’s actually very sustainable when you’re leaving your opponent open consistently. NBA players make wide open jumpers at a very, very high rate.

    This team has a tough road ahead and these losses keep mounting. Indiana’s schedule gets VERY favorable, Chicago is getting Rose back. Keep this sh** up and it’s a 4/5 series in the first round with Miami looming in the second. We’ll learn the hard way and next year give more effort in these games.

    But wait a second…we went all in with veterans so that we wouldn’t have to have this learning curve!

  3. Hubert Davis

    And by the way, we’re not even getting the benefit of resting our guys during these terrible losses! 44 minutes for Melo, 40 for Ray…we’re actually burning dudes out to lose to the Wizards.

  4. massive

    The Knicks need to cut the bullshit. There is no reason to lose to the Washington Wizards. Not showing up to games is disrespectful to both the Wizards and your fans. They get paid 100% of their salaries, so they should give 100% of the effort. You don’t wanna play because they’re inferior? Then blow them out in 36 minutes and let Copeland and James White play the final 12. I’m getting sick and tired of losing to non playoff teams.

  5. pablopilot

    Wow. Robert if the Knicks played like you write, we’d be like 90-0 for the season already!!!

  6. d-mar

    massive:
    The Knicks need to cut the bullshit. There is no reason to lose to the Washington Wizards. Not showing up to games is disrespectful to both the Wizards and your fans. They get paid 100% of their salaries, so they should give 100% of the effort. You don’t wanna play because they’re inferior? Then blow them out in 36 minutes and let Copeland and James White play the final 12. I’m getting sick and tired of losing to non playoff teams.

    Every team in the NBA loses to non-playoff teams. The Grizzlies, everyone’s early season darlings, recently lost at home to the Hornets and the Suns. Meanwhile, the Wiz have beaten Miami, Denver, Chicago and OKC this season. I’m not happy at all with the loss, our defense was awful, but it’s not a reason to get suicidal. Woody said he was looking for 9-2 before the All Star break, and that’s still doable.

  7. custer

    I was at the game and could’ve predicted an indifferent game based on the layup line turning into the alley-oop line in warmups.

    The defense didn’t look as bad as the stats say, I mean trevor f*cking ariza will never go 5-7 from three again in his career, but there was too much unnecessary switching that led to a pass or two and a wide open three or good look from the paint.

    We absolutely need a second big man to spell chandler so he’s not scared of fouling every game. He doesn’t need to be the second coming of dikembe blocking shots, but when tyson doesn’t even contest drives to the rim our defense is absolutely exposed.

  8. Juany8

    Everyone realizes that the Knicks are closer to the Heat than to the Pacers right? And that this team has dealt with pretty damn serious injury issues of their own, for all our supposed depth the Knicks essentially played 7 people yesterday. Seriously guys the Wizards are on an 8-1 home stretch against plenty of good teams, calling he wizards a bad team because they sucked without Wall was like getting pissed when the Knicks lost to Sacramento when Felton and Melo were both out. You can’t just pretend it’s the same team playing every night just because the name on their jerseys is the same

  9. cgreene

    I’m usually the first one to say the house is on fire but geez. The over reaction here is almost comical. It’s a long season. Bad losses happen on the road. The defense wasn’t good but I can come up with 10 shots easily that were defended very well that the Wiz hit. Several by Okafor who threw in a spin move 7 footer from the post w Chandler draped all over him. Chris Singleton hit several shots w Melo draped on him. The 3 pt rotations were bad but 11-19 is still ridic. Move on.

  10. massive

    Here are some quotes from Berman’s piece:

    “Knicks center Tyson Chandler was fuming after the game and may have even taken a poke at the coaching staff.

    “If we want to accomplish our goal, we have to get ready for games like this and get up for games like this,’’ Chandler said. “We were simply outplayed and we can’t allow things like this to happen.”

    J.R. Smith said the Knicks (31-16) fell back into the trap of taking lesser teams lightly.

    “They’ve been playing better with [Wall]. We couldn’t keep him out of the paint,’’ Smith said. “It’s still disappointing though. We expected to come in here and win and I think that’s part of our problem. We just expect teams when we come in the building to lay down and not play and we can’t do that.’’

  11. flossy

    Juany8:
    Everyone realizes that the Knicks are closer to the Heat than to the Pacers right? And that this team has dealt with pretty damn serious injury issues of their own, for all our supposed depth the Knicks essentially played 7 people yesterday. Seriously guys the Wizards are on an 8-1 home stretch against plenty of good teams, calling he wizards a bad team because they sucked without Wall was like getting pissed when the Knicks lost to Sacramento when Felton and Melo were both out. You can’t just pretend it’s the same team playing every night just because the name on their jerseys is the same

    This is true, but Wall or no Wall, the Knicks are a better team than the Wizards, and lost because of problems stemming from lack of effort and focus. Guarding Wall 25 feet from the basket, leaving Martell Webster open for 3, inexplicably allowing Emeka Okafor to score repeatedly in the paint… I guess no team can bring it every night, but it was especially disappointing to see the team wake up in the 3rd and re-take the lead and then punt the game away in the 4th with atrocious defense. Amar’e was playing hard (if not always smart), but virtually everyone else was phoning it in for most of the game.

    It’s a little distressing to watch Jason Kidd turn back into a pumpkin so quickly. I hope he spends the all-star break in a hyperbaric chamber or visiting Kobe’s German doctor or something.

  12. massive

    And no, I don’t think the house is on fire. If the Knicks play the Wizards in a playoff series, that’s a sweep. But when you’re in a tight playoff race, there isn’t much room to lose to the Wizards. That is a game we should have won, and the Knicks themselves are admitting to not taking the game seriously enough. I don’t know how that is at all defensible. We’re still #2 in the East, but we need to be distancing ourselves from the Bulls before they get Derrick Rose back in their lineup.

  13. yellowboy90

    massive:
    Here are some quotes from Berman’s piece:

    “Knicks center Tyson Chandler was fuming after the game and may have even taken a poke at the coaching staff.

    “If we want to accomplish our goal, we have to get ready for games like this and get up for games like this,’’ Chandler said. “We were simply outplayed and we can’t allow things like this to happen.”

    J.R. Smith said the Knicks (31-16) fell back into the trap of taking lesser teams lightly.

    “They’ve been playing better with [Wall]. We couldn’t keep him out of the paint,’’ Smith said. “It’s still disappointing though. We expected to come in here and win and I think that’s part of our problem. We just expect teams when we come in the building to lay down and not play and we can’t do that.’’

    Here I thought Tyson was talking about himself.

    Also, in the big picture of things I think the team needs a SG/SF and another big. My hope is that Brewer has been playing through major pain and will heal up to be the athletic wing he used to be. I am not counting on his 3 ball but if he turns back into a defensive presence that can finish around the rim it would be nice. This team doesn’t really have a back up 3 and someone capable of defending big wing players.

  14. Hubert Davis

    Juany8:
    calling he wizards a bad team because they sucked without Wall was like getting pissed when the Knicks lost to Sacramento when Felton and Melo were both out. You can’t just pretend it’s the same team playing every night just because the name on their jerseys is the same

    I’m 100% aware of this and even knowing that our level of effort and general indifference to guarding players was insulting. I don’t care if it was the Wizards or the Thunder. I know you weren’t necessarily talking to me, but my anger was due to the attitude that the team I support put forth, not the team they displayed it against was so poor. I get that the Wizards are better and mentioned that in my post. In fact, that makes me MORE angry. The Knicks’ attitude last night suggested that THEY didn’t know the Wiz were better than their record!

  15. Hubert Davis

    Hubert Davis: The Knicks’ attitude last night suggested that THEY didn’t know the Wiz were better than their record!

    But the JR quote from the Berman article counters this. Or maybe only JR knows. It would be just like him to be the only guy to be aware. It would just add to his performance art (that was a brilliant write up comparing him Joseph Beuys, Robert. Take a bow for that!)

  16. johnlocke

    Tyson played like crap and contributed very little in this game. His help defense on penetration was non-existent and he got abused by the likes of Seraphim and Okafor. He needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror regarding consistent effort. He had 2 fouls and no blocked shots and played 36 minutes.

    He and Raymond I felt were the largest culprits in the crappy defense that was played. Raymond playing up on John Wall was dumb and Tyson requiring help on the block against their big men is sillly. On offense, Novak and Kidd contributed nothing offensively which only added insult to injury

    massive:
    Here are some quotes from Berman’s piece:

    “Knicks center Tyson Chandler was fuming after the game and may have even taken a poke at the coaching staff.

    “If we want to accomplish our goal, we have to get ready for games like this and get up for games like this,’’ Chandler said. “We were simply outplayed and we can’t allow things like this to happen.”

  17. ruruland

    johnlocke:
    Tyson played like crap and contributed very little in this game. His help defense on penetration was non-existent and he got abused by the likes of Seraphim and Okafor. He needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror regarding consistent effort. He had 2 fouls and no blocked shots and played 36 minutes.

    He and Raymond I felt were the largest culprits in the crappy defense that was played. Raymond playing up on John Wall was dumb and Tyson requiring help on the block against their big men is sillly.On offense, Novak and Kidd contributed nothing offensively which only added insult to injury

    Some of what Washington success was attributable to hot shooting, both from mid-range and 3-pointers. Many of those mid-range shots were contested. Once Washington got hot they really moved the ball well against rotation and did what the Knicks have done some really good defenses.

    Oftentimes, the rotation was there just a little late. But I thought the rotation effort was actually okay.

    Tyson was abused in the post and it’s hard to understand how a guy like Okafor was going by him and scoring over him.

    John Wall breaks a lot of people down, but he had some pretty incredible finishes that can’t be defended.

    It wa a mediocre defensive effort but probably 8 or 9 out of 10 times that will suffice against Washington.

    The Knicks combined mediocre defensive effort with poor shooting and hot shooting from the Wizards.

    I wouldn’t be too concerned, the general trendline still looks very promising and Amar’e post moves are getting filthier by the day.

    He’s already pulling stuff off that no one else in the league can right now.

  18. Brian Cronin

    A 5-0 homestand against the dregs of the NBA that was bookended with our two worst losses of the season?

    Yes. 5-0 with three of the games blowouts and the last three games holding the opponents under 90 points. It was a great stretch. I get that they are supposed to beat bad teams, but come on, winning three out of four games against bad teams while also beating one good team and one mediocre team is still pretty damn good.

  19. kram

    I took my son to the game, his first knicks game…. I think unfortunately he was so distraught by the end that i now have years of therapy to pay for….

    He was even rooting for Washington at the end. We were hoping at least that JR could have at least missed his second free throw and gotten us all a free chicken sandwich.

    So that was his lesson 1, growing up a knick fan. He refuses now to go see rangers / caps

  20. Brian Cronin

    Hey, is Melo leading the NBA in scoring yet? With Kobe being a point guard now, I figure Melo should soon be the leading scorer, right? Or has Durant upped his scoring?

  21. Robert Silverman Post author

    Brian Cronin:
    Hey, is Melo leading the NBA in scoring yet? With Kobe being a point guard now, I figure Melo should soon be the leading scorer, right? Or has Durant upped his scoring?

    Durant’s at 29.5, Melo’s about a point behind him.

  22. jon abbey

    again, the Wizards are somehow good at home since Wall has come back, 7-1 now in their last 8 with wins against OKC and CHI besides us. everyone has dud games in the NBA, NY has actually had surprisingly few of them so far, considering all of their injury issues.

Comments are closed.