Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Spurs 120, Knicks 89

San Antonio Spurs 120 FinalRecap | Box Score 89 New York Knicks

It’s Sunday, so we’ll spare everyone actual letter grades. They all fail, every man jack of them. The Knickerbockers have been banished to go sit in the corner in their repugnant all-Orange Unis. The only thing that would be worse is if, while seriously thinking about what it is they did, they were forced to wear these X-Mas day lumps of coal in our aesthetic stocking.

BYuAqUfCQAEVuRL

I’m sorry. That’s ridiculous. That’s like one of those cut-rate Batman costumes that your Mom gets you when you say you want to be the Dark Knight for All Hallowe’s Eve. You know, the one that’s a plastic t-shirt/smock with an image of the detective socking the Joker/Penguin/Two Face in the mug with a “Pow!” caption and that sugar-sweat inducing plastic mask with the little slit for your mouth that inevitably ends up shredding your tongue like so much brisket by the end of an evening’s trick or treating.

Or it was okayed by the same crack team of marketing wizard-bros that thought this cos-play snuggie would sell like hotcakes.

thumb.aspx

So now that we’re done with our sartorial evaluation, let’s turn to the game itself. It truly was a team effort, this rank, putrid garbage fire masquerading as an enjoyable sporting event (well, for the Knicks/Knick fans anyway). Caches, players, even fans should be slouching off like so many sad George Michael Bluth’s. I mean, the booing effort—considering how complete and total a devastation, like the Soviet tanks rolling over the Montenegrans in ’68 (Sorry ‘bout that Pek)—really was lacking in both energy and focus. One person in the entire World’s Most Famous arena gets an A. We’ll get to him in a bit

It’s not like anyone who’s been following this team for the first five games thought that this one would some kind of chocolate-coated, creamy money-centered bon bon of a game (I’m still coming down from my sugar rush). The Spurs have struggled offensively to start the year, but when it comes to both on and off the ball movement, they’re a freaking cold-as-fuck, devastatingly effective machine.

And that’s pretty much what happened. The Knicks switched early and often at barely a semi-offered pick, leaving a bajillion mismatches that were exploited with a simple pass to a wide open shooter or backdoor cutter. And even in this midst of all of these gobsmackingly dumb options that the Knicks seemingly foisted upon themselves, they insisted on doubling the mismatchee, leaving even more wide open-er (I can do that? Yes, yes I can.) looks or easy layups.

On the game’s opening possession, f’rinstance, Parker dribbled past a Duncan leaving Andrea Bargani the less-than-enviable task of trying to defend the twinke-toed Frenchman—a gent so deft of foot that Clyde opined that the former Mr. Longoria must swell dancer— twenty feet away from the hoop. The ‘Bockers half-assedly heartedly helped, and the ball swung to the metropolitan area’s own Danny Green for an uncontested trey.

Side Note: How is “Danny Green from Longuyland” not Jewish? He’s the Trevor Rosenthal of 3&D guys.

And that’s pretty much what continued through out 48 minutes of a drubbing that the Alamoes inflicted with the ease and casual indifference of cutting a water-soaked tonail. Closeouts and rotations were non-existent. Fast-break opportunities galore sprung up with even a casual outlet pass. They might want to pick up the aforementioned Mr. Green at halfcourt on those plays. No? Kay.

They had absolutely no tall dude capable of stopping dribble penetration, You know, stuff like this. Yes, that’s Iman Shumpert. Feel free to cuss at Bargs for screening his own man, but that was hardly the only instance of our formerly flat-topped friend getting burnt to a crisp.

And once any one garbed in silver and black (and since writing about uniform design is far more interesting that recapping/rehashing this depressing beat-down, the Spurs’ duds have to be top five in the league. The subtle use of a spur in place of the letter u is a nifty deviation from the standard “name plus digit” format) got past his man, the even taller dudes stared and marveled at the absolute miracle/poetry of humanity or engaged the Knick City Dancers in the Foucault discussion group that has replaced the stripper-y routines that Fearless Fedora’d Leader does not fancy and had an unimpeded path to the tin.

That’s what it’s come to: extended fantasies regarding cheerleaders  debating the notion that MSG has become a Panopticon. “Accountability” notwithstanding, at least the fans are getting fistfuls of “Discipline and Punish” shoved down their throats. I’ll show myself out…

…I’m back! Anyhoo, if you had better things to do on a crisp fall day (and I really hope you did). Things went straight into the hoops crapper from the opening tip. They were down 0-0 he 9:01 mark of the opening stanza. Earl Smith Jr., fresh off his NBA-mandated non-participation, proceeded to make up for five games worth of pine-riding (and late-night carousing and armored vehicle purchasing, by launching contested bricks, dribbling into traffic and/or coughing up the rock. It got so bad, I hear it inspired Stephen King to start work on a new best-selling super-scary tome, Stephen King’s Chinner. You know, because everything’s gone about as bad as humanly possible for Smith the Elder since he clocked Jason Terry on the… Look, I don’t sing or dance and I root for an execrable basketball team. Bad puns are all I’ve got. It’s not surprising that he was rustier than Jimilya Cavanovich’s portrait of the city of Detroit in his 1st game back. Go read that, if you haven’t. It’s much better than reliving this contest. Even so, for the reigning 6th Man of the Year, that was a pretty goddamn poop-tastic outing.

The offense reverted to being a stagnant, hot mess. The Texans decided doubling Melo was absolutely the way to beat this team, and glory be, it was. Anthony bagged a number of tough interior layups, and smartly rotated the ball, but no one was hitting, and there were way too many “I got this” moments. Looking at you, Ray Felton (or STAT, who really shouldn’t be playing. Or JR. Or Timmy Jr. (I was doing a lot of looking. I’m the Argus Panoptes, the 100-eyed Greek mythological giant of dung-strewn Knick games.) Or, considering they were rotating Tim Duncan onto Melo, it might possibly suggest that the floor-spacing that Bargs provides isn’t going to work as well as it did v. the Kitties.

They were down 35-17 after 12 atrocious minutes of so-called pro ball, with an Offensive Efficiency of 77.3 and a Defensive Efficiency of 159.1; the third time in four games they’ve allowed 30+ points in the first quarter. [h/t TweetKnick]

That’s when Coach decided to get in on this scatological orgy. He rolled with a STAT-JR-Artest-Tim-Udrih to start the 2nd that was 7-2 start the 2nd , leaving Pablo Prigioni to firmly grasp the starter-in-name-only mantle that was shameless abandoned by James White. Prigs sat for the remainder of the half, and Son of Wood stupefyingly brought in Amar’e for a single defensive possession in the final seconds, which obviously smacked Frazier in the head with as much force as the rest of us, because he was left to mutter, “That’s why STAT checks in, because you want the defense out there.”

Okay…

Even more, why Melo started the 4th with the Knicks down 30 is God’s own unique mystery and it took until the fetid, pointless bottom of temps du poubelle to see what Cole Aldrich/Toure’ Murry might provide. Spoiler Alert: Toure’ got his first pro points and Aldrich snaggled 7 boards. Silver Linings! Like a single, shining daisy sprouting in a pile of manure!

Of course, the highlight (so to speak was in the midst of a 31 point drubbing — the worst at home since the Boston game from ’07-’08 — came, at the end of the fourth, you could hear the world’s most devoted/fanatical/delusional kid screaming “SHOOT IT” at Beno Udih dribbling top of the right key, and when Timmy Jr. bonked a trey from the wing off Beno’s penetration, the self-same kid let forth a blood-curlding Cri di Coeur: “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!”

You go, faceless/nameless fan. I mean it. No snark here. In the face of utter futility, and a pretty altogether bleak afternoon, your insistence on keeping the faith is a great (if possibly misguided) thing. You’re the Knicks’ “Good job, good effort!”

And that’ll about do it. Guh. I’m not even mad. I’ve hit the Kubler-Ross ‘acceptance’ stage of of rooting for a crappy team. Yes, it is early, as they say, but it gets early awful early ’round these parts. I’m sure we’ll have more tomorrow in our dandy “Notes and Errata” column about the panic button and all the premature pushing, with ‘Fire Woodson’ chants raining down like so much manna from heaven, and this post-game assessment from Melo, possibly the most understated understatement in all eternity: “This city and this organization is not known for being patient.”

Indeed. If I had my druthers, I’d rather push this on the entire season. INCEPTION BUTTON!

28 comments on “Spurs 120, Knicks 89

  1. stratomatic

    I came into the season thinking the Knicks were the 5th seed in the east and would generally disappoint fans unless they got an upside surprise from Shumpert and Woodson quickly figured out that Bargnani is a 2nd string SF in a C’s body and benched him.

    Instead, there’s talk of Shumpert being traded (which for all we know is impacting him), Chandler went down, and Bargnani is getting his minutes at C.

    The Knicks are not a legitimate playoff team like this.

    To be clear, it’s not all bad.

    I’ve been saying from day one that Woodson is a mediocre coach that looks a lot better than he actually is through good fortune. So maybe we’ll get a upgraded there. But more important, if the Knicks blow the playoffs, there actually is a chance Melo leaves and we don’t have to suffer for another 5 years with an above average scorer that’s average at everything else as our main max player. The problem with that scenario is that there are only a handful of markets that Melo would go to and none of them are foolish enough to build around him. The second is that Dolan is our owner and he’s on the top 10 list for dumbest executives in the history of all sports.

  2. MarcusRinaldi

    My favorite part of this game was the constant camera cutbacks to Mike Woodson’s bewildered facial expressions. Look Mike, the switching on defense, which leaves Bargnani on Parker, or Felton on a posting Duncan, not gonna cut it. That’s just pure stupidity. Maybe if you had Tyson you could get away with a LITTLE switching, but constantly shifting is just pure stupidity. Never did I expect us to win this came, but today showed us how far away we are from where we were last year. I understand we are minus Chandler, and JR. Smith played more like half pipe today, but that would have maybe made this game a 15 point loss? I know it’s so early in the year, but man does Woodson need to make some adjustments. It’s simply not working. Did it work in Atlanta? 4 seed and done in the second or first round each year. We need something..Anything to spark this team.. Why can’t we have a short, quiet Asian-American sitting at the end of our bench right now?

  3. Kahnzy

    The good news is that, like Silverman wrote, they’re so bad I can’t even be mad about it. Like, it’s comical. And my tears are from laughter, not sadness.

  4. d-mar

    @1 Stratomatic – Melo has his flaws, but if you put Durant out there instead of Melo today, would the result really have been any different? This is not about Melo, it’s about our guards getting demolished and our awful defensive schemes (if you can call them that)

    And to call Melo an “above average scorer” is just ridiculous.

  5. ephus

    Melo deserved better than what the rest of the Knicks gave today. Last year, the Spurs used the same strategy (stop Melo and make someone else score) and the Knicks won.

  6. er

    @7 and @8 Its what we do here. Shit on Melo, Barg is actually making shots so its back to “Melo is avg” or “K. Lenard is a max player over Melo” Funny that every time he caught the ball hes was basically guarded by 2.5 men alotta respect for that avg guy. Swing the ball and………brick from Ray Felton. We need someone else in that spot who can kill teams for leaving them open. Also as said ad nauseum the switching is ludicrous.

  7. ess-dog

    Yeah I gotta say, Shump doesn’t look like the same player this season, more likely because of the injury than any Dolan/trade/non-starter stuff. He used to be able to come in and force the issue with guys like Rose and Rondo but now, not so much.

    But before anyone jumps off a bridge, just remember our 2nd best player was out. Arguably our 3rd best player had his 1st game back from a surgery, and our coach is grasping at straws as to how to work these pieces together.

    I think with a healthy Chandler and JR, we’ll still be an alright team. The problem with Bargs (or one of them anyway) is that he just works better against centers, but he rebounds like a guard. Once he moves back to the 4, I don’t think he’ll be as effective offensively. Making him the back up C is really the only responsible way to play him.

    I’d eventually like to see more Prigs/JR backcourts, with Melo at either the 3 or the 4. I still think Melo is our best 4 out of all of them, lol. Better to keep him there than frail Stat or old man Kmart. And just make Shump a 3 already. Dude doesn’t even have enough handle to be a great 2, much less a 1.

  8. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Bargnani still sucks, even if he’s putting up slightly above-average efficiency numbers w/r/t shot-making. Efficient scoring is only one piece of the puzzle.

    And yes, Kawhi Leonard is a better player than Carmelo Anthony.

    Damn, I really wish I had flown to Vegas to place that Under 49.5 bet… surest prop I’ve ever seen.

  9. er

    Bargnani still sucks, even if he’s putting up slightly above-average efficiency numbers w/r/t shot-making. Efficient scoring is only one piece of the puzzle.

    And yes, Kawhi Leonard is a better player than Carmelo Anthony.

    Damn, I really wish I had flown to Vegas to place that Under 49.5 bet… surest prop I’ve ever seen.

    Lol i wonder why some people even post here. Im sure there are places to just shit on a team constantly. Its actually sad. As far as the Leonard thing sure hes very good at what he does. Dude is surrounded by 3 hall of famers and an awesome coach switch him with Melo right now which team gets better and which team gets worse. SMH

  10. Jack Bauer

    This is on Woodson. He is the coach, it is his responsibility to make sure the team is ready to “compete” from the tip off to the final horn. It’s also his responsibility to know that JR is not ready to play well, and if not to at least limit his minutes and shooting when it’s obvious he is playing so poorly. The coach also needs to design an offense and defense that gives the team the best chance to win. That is NOT happening now. There doesn’t appear to be much of a plan on offense other than ISO ball. On defense, it seems pretty obvious that constant switching is giving the other team easy mismatches almost every time and it is killing NY. Far too often the other team is out coaching NY, particularly against the better teams. If Woodson gets fired he will have earned it imo.

  11. Kahnzy

    This is on Woodson. He is the coach, it is his responsibility to make sure the team is ready to “compete” from the tip off to the final horn.

    This is the only point of yours I disagree with. These are professional athletes. Their multi-million dollar contracts (or even just their hundred-thousand dollar contracts for the “poor” ones) should be enough to ensure they…what’s the phrase…do their damn jobs.

    As for the rest, I agree. When I hear the talking heads refer to Woodson as a “defensive” minded coach, I pretty much scream at the tv in vain.

  12. Owen

    It’s funny you mention Melo being average. He is exactly .100 today at B-Ref.

    Leonard, like Paul George, looks to be a complete wing player. Can slash, spot up, create off the dribble, play off the ball, and run the break. And he is a legit stud defender. I don’t know how happy I would be to spend max dollars on him but there is no question that that would be a far better long term decision than Melo. Leonard is 22 with hands like outfield gloves. Melo looks like a 35 year old running back out there right now. The difference in the way they play defense is pretty stark.

    Without Chandler we are a lottery team. Hopefully he gets back in time for a playoff run.

  13. er

    The difference in the way they play defense is pretty stark.

    Good thing you dont like James Harden……….

  14. danvt

    Without Chandler we are a lottery team. Hopefully he gets back in time for a playoff run.

    Nah, give them a mulligan. Sometimes the other team shoots 42% from threes. This is the nadir.

    Lol i wonder why some people even post here. Im sure there are places to just shit on a team constantly. Its actually sad. As far as the Leonard thing sure hes very good at what he does. Dude is surrounded by 3 hall of famers and an awesome coach switch him with Melo right now which team gets better and which team gets worse. SMH

    +1
    If someone had prognosticated that Chandler would get hurt in game 4 I’d be impressed. Advanced Stats people, of all people, should know that there are many factors in why a number of wins for a season would come to pass. The Knicks might end up being a better team than last year and win fewer games. Seems like there’s a ton of parody out there right now. The “bad” loss, if you can call it one, was to the Bobs at home. Yesterday we just ran into a buzz saw. A very fukin good team, relatively unchanged from last year, that played their game and put us out early. Let’s see what happens against ATL.

  15. babybokchoy

    it was so depressing i had to watch Law & Order SVU after the 3rd quarter to cheer up.

    i also did enjoy the closeups of woodson’s face thoughout the game…

  16. Mike Kurylo

    If someone had prognosticated that Chandler would get hurt in game 4 I’d be impressed.

    The guy has missed 10-20 games every year with the Knicks thus far. What were the odds he wasn’t going to be hurt for a part of the season? One reason I’ve been talking about Aldrich so much is because the Knicks have had a huge void at the backup center spot. Martin, Amar’e, and Bargnani can’t fill it, and that was clear way before the season started.

  17. Owen

    The Spurs would improve by swapping Melo for Kawhi? Disagree. Having a guy who just takes shots is the last thing they need, what with that nifty, newfangled offense they run where you pass and move without the ball.

    Mike K – You were right about Aldrich. Or you should be. They have no interest in playing him though, seemingly…

  18. Hubert

    BigBlueAL November 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    There is a reason Woodson has never coached a Top 10 defense over a full season. He is not good at coaching defense.

    Don’t forget, BBA, that he believes he has coached a top 10 defense because he uses points per game as his criteria for judging a defense.

  19. Hubert

    Owen November 11, 2013 at 11:33 am

    The Spurs would improve by swapping Melo for Kawhi? Disagree. Having a guy who just takes shots is the last thing they need, what with that nifty, newfangled offense they run where you pass and move without the ball.

    This is CRAZY talk, Owen. It’s just crazy. Melo would look like Team USA Melo in that offense. He would be ridiculous.

    Kawhi Leonard is an excellent basketball player, too. And that has nothing to do with Melo. Why even initiate these conversations?

  20. Donnie Walsh

    If someone had prognosticated that Chandler would get hurt in game 4 I’d be impressed. Advanced Stats people, of all people, should know that there are many factors in why a number of wins for a season would come to pass.

    Yes, and one factor is age. Old people get hurt more, take longer to heal, and are rarely come back stronger. So the “pessimists” that predicted fewer wins this year factored age and durability in, and to say that we didn’t, is revisionist.

Comments are closed.