Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Some Thoughts, Good and Bad

The Good:

The Knicks almost beat the Celtics, and for the most of the game they were competetive with one of the best teams in the NBA. In fact New York had a 5 point lead to start the 4th quarter, but couldn’t extend it past 6 points.

Nate Robinson had his best game of the year, and first good game in nearly a month. Last year Robinson averaged 29.9 minutes a game and was a pivotal piece of the Knicks season. He gives New York scoring and rebounding at the guard spot off the bench. Sure Nate is still struggling with maturity issues and clearly gets under D’Antoni’s skin, but without a doubt New York needs him playing well for a successful 2010.

Wilson Chandler showed some signs of improvement. His stat line was still poor, but he played tough defense on Garnett and showed some smart play. A few times Chandler took the action to the bucket, and late in the 4th quarter smartly avoided committing an offensive foul by dishing off to Lee for an easy score. I’ve said on more than one occassion that Chandler needs to shoot better or drive to the hoop more often, and he seemed to do the latter frequently against Boston. Hopefully he can keep it up.

The Bad:

You’ve probably already heard about Eddy Curry’s mindless technical foul. What has also bothered is how he’s played since his first game. During his tenure here, it always seemed that the New York guards had trouble getting him the ball in the post. But what I’m finding is that Curry is lackadaisical when it comes to catching passes. This year a lot of entry passes are getting bobbled or plain ending up in the other team’s hands. Granted he’s got a lot of rust to shake off, but Curry has to do a better job catching the ball, even if the pass isn’t thrown perfectly.

I’d also like to see him do more than just plant himself on the blocks. The team should use on the high screen or off the ball as well. When Curry’s on the floor, the team should have guys drive to the hoop more (namely Douglas, Nate, Chandler) and let Eddy pick up some easy buckets from double teams or offensive rebounds. Additionally Curry (and Lee) should be allowed to be aggressive on the offensive boards, instead of worrying about transition defense.

In order of minutes received, Sunday’s top minute getters were: Duhon, Harrington, and Hughes. Meanwhile Nate Robinson had a sizzling 19 points on 11 shots in 26 minutes (and blocked 2 shots). Gallo shot well and had a few strong rebounds, and only managed 24 minutes. Toney Douglas was on the court for only 6 minutes.

This is a disturbing trend because the Knicks should be playing their youngsters more. I understand the need for winning games, but if Nate, Gallo, and Douglas aren’t getting action when they’re playing well (or in Douglas’ case his replacement was playing awful), when are they going to see playing time? Al Harrington isn’t going to score 30 points on 21 shots every night, while Duhon and Hughes combined for 7 points on 17 shots (3-17). D’Antoni is generally good at finding playing time for the kids, but I hope that philosophy doesn’t get lost when it comes to crunch time.

15 comments on “Some Thoughts, Good and Bad

  1. Brian Cronin

    I don’t know how much of a problem the Nets being in Brooklyn eventually is when their arena won’t be ready until after the second year of Lebron’s next contract.

  2. d-mar

    Good point about Curry catching passes, Mike. I was also thinking that during his best season he got a lot of alley oop dunks and realized that the man feeding him most of those was the one and only J Crawford. An underrated skill of his, and I’m not sure who on this team is capable of seeing the floor and executing those lob passes.

  3. d-mar

    Oh, and as a follow-up, the lob pass works great when a center is constantly being fronted like Rasheed was doing on Sunday. Need to make that defender pay.

  4. Thomas B.

    I seem some good and bad in Curry. On the good I am inspired by the shape he is in and he has shown a bit more willingness to move towards a rebound (not saying much i know).

    On the bad, he like so many other players, let Rondo get under his skin. He isnt rebounding with two hands and he is not catching the ball well on the entry pass.

  5. Thomas B.

    I don’t know what I find most troublesome, Darko’s habit of one hand tipping boards out to others, or Eddy’s “let the ball fall into my chest before i touch it” style.

    He reminds me of a reciever who preferes to catch the ball with his body rather than his hands. I dont get why he does it that way.

    Well he is still better than Jerome James…except if he was James, he’d be at the end of his contract. So I guess, he isnt better than James after all.

  6. Brian Cronin

    You know, I was going to complain about the whole “featuring Curry so much in the offense” deal, but then I remember – trading Curry is more important than winning games this year.

    So, in that regard, carry on, Mike D!

  7. jon abbey

    Curry’s weight loss is hurting him in some ways on the court, I think. it makes it easier for guys to reach around him and knock away entry passes, and it makes it harder for him to overpower people in the paint.

  8. jon abbey

    heh, I’m actually serious. he obviously needed to lose weight, but his huge ass was a big part of his game, like a bigger Mark Aguirre. can you imagine the second half of Mark Jackson’s career with a normal size ass? he might have been out of the league years sooner.

  9. Robert Silverman

    “Curry’s weight loss is hurting him in some ways on the court, I think. it makes it easier for guys to reach around him and knock away entry passes, and it makes it harder for him to overpower people in the paint.”

    Get Eddy a sack of Ding-Dongs, stat!

    I think we all realize Eddy’s being showcased, just like Randolph and Crawford were last year. If Walsh can move him – I still think the best way to go is to find a really awful GM out there (someone hire Zeke, please!) who looks at Eddy’s low-post scoring and ignores, well, everything else about his game. Houston’s probably too smart to fall for that.

    My top candidates would be:

    CHARLOTTE — the combo of Larry Brown’s historically iffy personnel moves and Jordan’s indifference make it possible, except they have NO expiring contracts, so it’d have to be a 3-team deal.

    MIAMI – Yeah, I know, Riles is a certified JEENYUS, but as a GM? What are his great moves/draft picks? You could do a QRich (I know, again? But he’d be waived pretty quickly) + Diawara for Curry trade.

  10. Thomas B.

    I’m violating the terms of the cease fire by commenting but I’m being civil so i hope its okay.

    I disagree that losing girth has hurt Eddy. Sure he bowled people over but as I recall that was a big source of turnovers from an offensive foul call was it not? His turnover numbers increase with his waist I think. Blocks went down as pounds went up. Plus, the pounds lower his durability.

    Right now he might be the lightest he has been as a Knick but he has been lighter I think. With the Bulls in 2004-05 he was an effective scorer–not a barn burner at 16.4 mind you but better than what he did last year for the Knicks at 340 or whatever he was.

    The only thing that improves was scoring numbers. And I cant say he got more looks on offense as the USG-r stayed around 24 no matter his size. And when you consider the only thing he brings of value is scoring then maybe there is something to that.

  11. jon abbey

    he was more athletic five years ago, he can’t jump like that anymore.
    ‘showcasing’ him is just proving to other teams that he’s cooked, not that we really have a choice. thankfully he’s hurt again, so I don’t have to watch him tonight at least.

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