Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Suns 129. Suns East 121

When I was a youngin’, the Martin Luther King Day afternoon game was always a treat. One, I got a day off from school in the middle of a typically bleak NYC winter. Two, the ‘Bockers always played (or at least seemed to) against one of the NBA’s better teams and occasionally they’d pull off a dramatic and/or unexpected win. Even more enjoyable (to a teenage me) is when there’d be some random act of violence and/or hostility

Some of y’all may recall, the Nix actually played in the first MLK Day game (it only became a holiday in ’86) v/ Philly and the next year took on the awesome and equally loathsome Celtics. A nip and tuck affair, they won it on a last-second, off-balance bank shot by their perpetually undernourished “power” forward, Louis Orr.

Then there’s the infamous game in 1990 when Trent Tucker nailed a rainbow trey with .01 left on the game clock for the win (leading directly to the, “Trent Tucker Rule,” which stipulated that a player needs at least .03 seconds to attempt any non-tip shot). You can see it at 9:43 of this clip. Particularly amusing (but alas, not shown) was Pre-Zen Master Phil Jackson’s’ look of utter incredulity after the ball went through the hoop, his hands grasping futilely at his Late-80’s-era NBA head coach perma-weave hairdo.

But of course, buzzer-beaters aren’t nearly as compelling as all-out brawls, if only for the crushing irony of fists flying on a day celebrating a man who dedicated his life to preaching non-violent resistance.  Like in 2001 when Marcus Camby got a little peeved at future Cavs GM Danny Ferry and took a vicious swing at him, only to miss entirely and whomp Jeff “I should really never be allowed anywhere near an NBA brawl” Van Gundy upside the head. This lead to a series of hand-wringing and faux-appalled articles by the tabloids along the lines of “Oh the humanity!” or, “On Martin Luther King Day! Children were watching this game. Won’t somebody please think of the children!” And even, “Dr. King’s legacy/work/words mean nothing to these hooligans on the court!!!

Honestly though, I’m fairly sure they just recycled the same “think-pieces” they’d written in ’93 when, after a close-fought Nix-Suns game, Charles Barkley, displaying his usual sense of timing and clearly only wanting to have a calm, rational discussion (that in no way involved violence or violent rhetoric) about some calls that he disagreed with, literally vaulted the scoring table to chase down Referee Jim Clark, wrecking a few Commodore 64’s, Wang Laptops (Seriously, there used to be a big-time computer company called “Wang.” Another delight for teenage me. [Wang, tee hee!]), and Apple 11g’s before being forcibly restrained by all-time bad, lumbering backup 7-footer, Tim Kempton.

I hope you all enjoyed this brief primer on MLK Day and the Nix, b/c honestly, I just didn’t want to write about today’s miserable game of basketball. They lost, which will happen from time to time, but if you check the comments in the in-game thread, folks are pissed. Raymond Felton is getting those perturbing Chris Duhon comparisons again. Stat’s soft. D is awful, etc. etc…Basically, all the things we heard and said at the start of the season. I guarantee a ratcheting up of the howls by the unwashed masses plus Berman/Isola/Vescey to, “GET MELO NOW!!!” You can set your watch by it.

In brief, the Knicks were just terrible closing out on three pointers and let the Suns hang around all game. It was odd. I said myself in the comments it seemed as if the Knicks were “waiting to win.” Now, I try not to delve too much into bad sportswriting sociology/psychology (e.g “They wanted it more.” “We weren’t hungry.” “This team has no heart” and on and on.) but in this instance, it seemed as if they felt they were about to go on a 20-2 run at any moment and put the Suns away, but it never happened. There were a few brief flurries, but really the two teams stayed within 3-4 points of one another until the very end. Alas, Stat missed some gimmes in the 4th, the Knicks committed a ton of silly fouls and the ghosts of Channing Frye, Vince Carter and Grant Hill made clutch bucket after clutch bucket. Here’s some more detailed thoughts on our heroes for those of you who are gluttons for punishment.

RAY-RAY: Somewhere, Ted Nelson is smiling. Felton’s been off for a few weeks now. 13 dimes notwithstanding, 3-13 from the field is just not good. Is this a return to his statistical norms or is he suffering from fatigue/overuse or is he hurt worse than he;s letting on? Only time will tell.

STAT; 39 41 points (TOTH to BigBlueAl) is sure swell, but as previously mentioned, he came up small in the 4th. Then there’s his, “I’m not going to contest this shot b/c I can’t get in foul trouble” thingy. I get that, but that shouldn’t carry over to rebounding. How a guy 6’10” who can jump through the roof finishes with only 6 rebounds is beyond me. Maybe I should ask Brook Lopez.

GALLO: He had a solid game coming back from injury, but he’s still got to demand the ball more. Felton too, needs to find him when he’s heating up.

DWTDD: There’s good Toney, who’s a major pest on D, can semi-run the point and cans open shots. Then there’s bad Toney, who takes awful contested runners, turns the ball over constantly, and seems like his b-ball IQ is at Jerome Jamesian levels. Guess which one we got today?

WILLLL-SON CHAND-LA: Not much to say. His some nice shots but also missed a ton of 3’s and wasn’t a factor on defense. It’s these so-so, it doesn’t really matter if he’s on the floor or not, games that make the populace clamor for that guy in Denver. (Of course, it’s these disappearing acts that make it much harder to get said Denver-ite (Denver-ian?).

EXTRA E/BULLY WALKER: Like twin demiurges, they both had some nice moments (E off the dribble, Dubs from downtown), but there were defensive lapses and putrid fouls galore v. Carter and Hill, who both played like it was the year 2000.

LANDRY FIELDS: Dude needs a nickname. Plus, he needs MD’A to play him at the end of the game. He was his usual intangible-tastic, rebounding, spot-up shooting self, but for reasons unbeknownst to your humble correspondent, didn’t play in the 4th till the game was out of hand. When Landry doesn’t get enough PT, the angels weep tears with droplets o f WP/48 inside.

C’est tout, mes gars. There’s a nasty Southwestern road trip coming up, with both the Spurs and Thunder on the docket seeking some measure of retribution. Yikes. This is still a young team, and games like the last two are bound to happen, but to paraphrase/honor Dr. King, “We, as a team, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.”

71 comments on “Suns 129. Suns East 121

  1. BigBlueAL

    Not to nitpick but Amar’e had 41 not 39 pts today :-)

    One more thing to note, the lack of a homecourt advantage is truly frustrating and really has to change. 10-9 at home with 5 of those losses to teams who are currently 3 games under .500 or worse is not acceptable.

  2. Mowgli

    re- RAYRAY : am sure he’s just tired at the moment and what we have seen the first part of the season we are goin to see it again.

    I have to say smth tho about that, even if he’s tired, I’m sometime impressed about the poor selections and the forced shots he takes,
    I am also a bit concerned that he doesnt understand what a factor Gallo could be for this team if he goes to him more…
    that shows a bit of low bball iQ.

    I mean I really really love Ray, he’s tough, he plays solid D, but with everyone talking about the melo trade ( wich I think it won’t make us better ), I am surprised nobody talks about trading for Paul. With him guiding this team and a decent C I think we are straight away 0.650 team.
    I am not sure what the situation in NO is, but they dont have money, they are looking at relocating, not a bright future…
    I bet Paul wants to leave… and if not possible 2012 DWill its freeagent anyway.

    I think most of Felton improvement are because of MD’A system, Nash is a better PG then Ray, he still is, but with MDA won 2 mvp in a row…D’antoni really makes PG look better..
    I mean Paul or Dwill with our system would be assists machines, They’ll find our shooters better, less dumb turnovers, better P’n’R…

    This is the key role for the MDA system and money spent for a star
    there, would be well spent

  3. GHenman

    I think most of Felton improvement are because of MD’A system, Nash is a better PG then Ray, he still is, but with MDA won 2 mvp in a row…D’antoni really makes PG look better..
    I mean Paul or Dwill with our system would be assists machines, They’ll find our shooters better, less dumb turnovers, better P’n’R…

    This is the key role for the MDA system and money spent for a star
    there, would be well spent Mowgli

    Good point

  4. tastycakes

    Next 8 games:
    @HOU
    @SAS
    @OKC
    vs WAS
    vs MIA
    @ ATL
    vs DET
    vs DAL

    Washington and Detroit are the only “gimmes” on that schedule (and we’ve seen how well those have worked out over the last 2 games). Could be at .500 in early February if the boys don’t get it together.

    I’m getting pretty tired of the Knick “defense”.

  5. BigBlueAL

    Chandler was 2 for 9 from 3pt range today and is 5 for 25 from 3pt range in his last 5 games. Looks like he and Felton are both unfortunately regressing toward the mean a bit.

  6. Mowgli

    and I want to add smth else, a good PG is like a diamond, its forever!

    a great PG can play BBall period, he’s smarter then the rest of the team and even if with the age you loose a bit of athleticism you make the ball run, he doesnt need to dunk over anybody or box out and grab rebounds over a 22 year old beast that just came out of college.

    Sometime building a team around a coach isnt always the best thing to do, what happens if you fire the coach after few season cos he doesnt get you a title? do u change the all roster? ask Kerr if he knows smth about it… but Nash is still there, the only one they havent traded, too important for the team

    A PG like Nash or Kidd can still run a team at their age…
    and Paul and Dwill are in the same league, they are the best of their generation and will shine for another 10 years

    I am sayng this cos in five year times Stat won’t be the same he is now, the athleticism is too important part of his game… if we dont win anything in five years time and we need to rebuild, Stat I dont think will be part of it, But paul or Dwill yes, they’ll can do another run…

    I suffered more in the last years looking at our salary cap then actually the standings… so whatever we spend in the next years I want to do it wisely

  7. jaylamerique

    tastycakes: Next 8 games:
    @HOU
    @SAS
    @OKC
    vs WAS
    vs MIA
    @ ATL
    vs DET
    vs DALWashington and Detroit are the only “gimmes” on that schedule (and we’ve seen how well those have worked out over the last 2 games).Could be at .500 in early February if the boys don’t get it together.I’m getting pretty tired of the Knick “defense”.  

    who the hell made our schedule. it seems like every ten game stretch for the knicks is hard.

  8. Ben R

    Bad game, bad defense, no worries, this is the first stretch we’ve hit since we started playing well in which we’ve lost to teams we should beat. It happens to every team and we will bounce back. I am with d-mar, the Knicks will win one of the next three, I wouldn’t be surprised if we won two of them. Over the next 8 I think 3-5 is most likely and 4-4 wouldn’t surprise me a bit. There is no way, barring major injury or an amazing run by one of the teams below us, that we will fall out of the 6th seed.

    People fail to mention after that difficult 8 games we have a much easier stretch. 4 out of the next 6 vs teams with losing records and the only two “hard” games against the Lakers and Hawks both at MSG. So that means worst case we go 7-7 over the next 14, but 9-5 is also very possible. Then we hit the all-star break and Douglas, Felton, Turiaf will all get some much needed rest.

    Some good: Gallo played well, still needs to shoot more, and didn’t seem to lose his aggressiveness going to the basket, Walker, though still bad on defense, seems to have found his jump shot during Gallo’s absence, which should help long term, and good to see some pnr in the offense after going away from it for the past couple games.

  9. jon abbey

    I thought it was pretty clear that Fields was benched because Carter was abusing him on D, and because he mostly refuses to initiate offense even when it’s needed (usually this isn’t an issue, today they could have used him being more aggressive at times).

  10. Z

    Thanks for the trip down MLK memory lane, Robert. I’m pretty sure I was at that Sixers game in ’86. I remember skipping school because it was Dr. J’s farewell game at MSG and the Knicks gave him a baby kangaroo. Then afterwards I saw Bernard King in the parking garage across the street.

    Hmmm…

    Now that I think about it, there’s a lot to this story that doesn’t quite add up. Like, why was Bernard parking across the street instead of with the other players? Had things really gotten that testy between he and the front office? And why did the Knicks even have a baby kangaroo to give to Dr. J at halftime? And why did I have school on Martin Luther King holiday?

    But these events are all vivid in my memory.

    Maybe I should have taken it easy on the acid in the 80s, huh?

  11. Brian Cronin

    I thought it was pretty clear that Fields was benched because Carter was abusing him on D, and because he mostly refuses to initiate offense even when it’s needed (usually this isn’t an issue, today they could have used him being more aggressive at times).

    Yeah, I didn’t have a problem with Fields’ benching in the fourth.

    Honestly, my only real problem with this game was the point guard play. Better play from the 1 and the Knicks win this game easily. I have faith Felton won’t continue to play this poorly, though, so I’m not too worried overall.

  12. daJudge

    Robert–I really enjoyed your post. Great stuff and IMHO, excellent prose. It’s funny or, sad, when you talk about 1986–like it’s way in the past. That was like 20 years after I started watching sports. Oh well.

    Brian– I’m not too worried overall either. This is a nice young team and they will improve one way or another. Starts from the top, but please sign a 5. Why no love for Kevin Love on this site? I think he would be perfect and will be a rfa.

    Other folks–Please stop trashing STAT—–It’s funny, because I remember people kveching (sorry, spelling, I’ve been way, way upstate for a long time) about B when he scored 60 with his fingers taped. Apparently, Patrick sucked too. Come on. My young daughter would write OMG.

    Also, I always enjoyed reading the Ted Nelson stuff—is he still with us? Did he get hurt or something? He wrote with a lot of passion in his own way. I hope he’s OK, but I hope he’s not just a quitter. I’d love to read his stuff again. Not for nothing.

  13. Brian Cronin

    Why no love for Kevin Love on this site? I think he would be perfect and will be a rfa.

    I think people here love Love, it’s just that we’ve all come to grips with the fact that Minnesota would never let him go. They’d match any price (I bet up to and including a max contract).

  14. Doug

    Ted is alive and well, happily talking about the Yankees at River Ave Blues. The ?????’s and the !!!!!’s live on.

  15. Brian Cronin

    Wasn’t he at odd’s with Rambis at one point?

    He was, but Rambis got his head out of his ass pretty early on (the 30-30 against the Knicks sorta solidified it, ya know?).

  16. Robert Silverman Post author

    Kevin Love would be outstanding. Just as long as we’re pining, the guy I want in a Nix uni next season is Kendrick Perkins. Yes, he’s coming off an injury but he’s a beast defending the low post and would inject serious toughness. He’s an RFA who could come cheaply. Whether the Bostonians would ever let him go is another matter entirely

  17. ess-dog

    Regardless of what you think about the guy, I feel strongly that we’re getting Melo. Everything he says leads me to believe that he only wants the Knicks, but a bunch of suits think they can muscle him in another direction for their benefit.
    At this point, I’m assuming that the trade will happen, and hopefully we don’t lose too much – especially Fields.
    But whether he comes or not, we clearly need a back up pg and a starting center (or at least a time-share.)
    I think Donnie would like to hold on to Mozgov at least for a while, which leaves us very little to trade with.
    Maybe a TD for Jason Thompson straight up trade would make sense and Walker/Azu for Sessions?

  18. d-mar

    I’m really glad Blake Griffin is out West and we only see him twice. Today 47 pts., 14 reb. in a win over the Pacers. Wow.

    If it’s any consolation to Knicks fans, Utah and Dallas had bad losses today also, (although at least they were on the road). As I said before, many good teams go through a January swoon and then pick it up after the All Star break – let’s hope we’re in that category.

  19. JR Sec 112

    Sessions is a good idea, especially if you think that Mo Williams is going to exercise his $8.5mn player option for the next 2 years. No need to have a backup like Sessions making $4mn with Gibson being able to play some point as well. Cavs need some scoring, so maybe they would go for Walker straight up. Maybe even throw in a 2nd round pick, if we have to.

  20. GHenman

    Sessions is a career 17% 3 pt shooter. I don’t think he fits this team. I think Boobie would be a better fit.

  21. BigBlueAL

    Daniel Gibson is NOT a PG. No difference than having TD as the backup PG. For their careers TD’s Ast % is actually 3 points higher.

    Sessions would be a great backup PG for this team. The bench shooters like Walker and Silent E would benefit greatly by playing with him I would believe. Plus TD playing backup SG if possible along a PG like Sessions would be great too.

  22. JR Sec 112

    The 17% is irrelevant, he’s shot 3 3s all year. He’s a solid PNR point guard and good defender. Gets to the line as well. Perfect for running the 2nd unit.

  23. BigBlueAL

    I love the Amar’e bashing on a day when he scores 41 pts on 25 FGA. The Knicks D was horrible because they kept leaving shooters wide open all over the place and couldnt keep anybody in from of them on the perimeter. Robin Lopez sored 12 pts on 11 FGA so he wasnt exactly killing Amar’e down low like many here are making it seem. Oh he also had 0 offensive rebs.

    I mentioned this the other day, it didnt take Amar’e long to start getting the Ewing treatment from Knick fans apparently.

  24. JR Sec 112

    Absolutely. 2nd unit cant score now cause TD cant run the point and is a shoot first PG, which ends up with us in a lot of ISOs with the clock running down and no offensive flow. Sessions would be a huge improvement.

  25. BigBlueAL

    Doug: Ted is alive and well, happily talking about the Yankees at River Ave Blues. The ?????’s and the !!!!!’s live on.  

    Yeah I saw he commented the other day in one of the threads talking about the Soriano signing. He has commented there throughout the past year but hasnt made a name for himself over there as he has here lol.

  26. GHenman

    I think Sessions would last about two weeks in the Knicks rotation before he found himself Marburied at the end of the bench with Mason and Randoph.

  27. GHenman

    JR Sec 112: The 17% is irrelevant, he’s shot 3 3s all year. He’s a solid PNR point guard and good defender. Gets to the line as well. Perfect for running the 2nd unit.  (Quote)

    Unless I’m mistaken, the Knicks shoot quite a few three pointers under their current coach.

  28. Ben R

    Robert Silverman: Don’t think anyone will agree with you.  (Quote)

    I really like Amare and I would trade him for Love. Love is much younger and while not quite as good right now in a couple of years he should be better. Also his age fits better with the rest of our youth.

    Love is in my opinion the 2nd best young big man in the game right now.

  29. Brian Cronin

    That was a pretty good article, d-mar, but then I recall that Wojo was one of many writers who completely bought into New Jersey’s hype earlier on.

    This really irritates me about the media – there really is zero culpability for earlier positions. Wojo, in particular, can take pretty much any position he wants then come back a few months later and write an article going the exact opposite direction.

    So it could be (and was) “The Knicks are getting embarrassed by the upstart Nets, who look much better for free agents” then today it is “The Nets try to trick people into thinking they’re a good place for free agents, but they’re not.”

  30. greatscott

    While we’re on the topic of trading Stoudemire, they could have just kept Lee – that would have made the most sense. Carmelo also loved Lee and Danillo’s game. Stoudemire (on the trainer’s table wrapped up like a mummy) is starting to break down and the season isn’t half over. How will he be in 3, 4, 5 years when D’Antoni insists on playing him out of position so many minutes and nobody else? About the Amare bashing when he scores 41 – all we heard last year about Lee was it’s not about how many points you score, it’s whether you get the win.

  31. Will the Thrill

    The Knicks simply cannot have their offensive go-to player as their anchor on defense. Amare isn’t a disciplined defender and gets in foul trouble almost every time he is matched up against a skilled center. It is frustrating to see that the Knicks’ greatest weaknesses (rebounding and defense) are what Randolph’s strengths seem to be, and yet he still will not get any playing time. I don’t have a big problem with not playing him because he’s been so bad on offense but if D’Antoni doesn’t want to play him then they need to trade him for another big that can give Amare some rest on defense.

  32. BigBlueAL

    greatscott: While we’re on the topic of trading Stoudemire, they could have just kept Lee – that would have made the most sense. Carmelo also loved Lee and Danillo’s game. Stoudemire (on the trainer’s table wrapped up like a mummy) is starting to break down and the season isn’t half over. How will he be in 3, 4, 5 years when D’Antoni insists on playing him out of position so many minutes and nobody else? About the Amare bashing when he scores 41 – all we heard last year about Lee was it’s not about how many points you score, it’s whether you get the win.  

    If you want Lee back so badly Im pretty sure the Warriors would gladly trade him for Amar’e straight up. Problem is they would have to add Curry and Ellis for the Knicks to maybe think about it.

  33. BigBlueAL

    Hell right now the Warriors might be willing to trade Lee back for the same guys they traded him for with the way he has played for them this season and the amount of money/years left on his contract.

    Nah, Knicks might have to add Shawne Williams or Bill Walker to make it happen. Rautins would be the deal breaker though.

  34. BigBlueAL

    Golden St is 14th in offensive efficiency and 27th in defensive efficiency. Lee’s fingerprints are definitely all over that team since they are basically the Knicks of the past 2 seasons.

  35. Kevin McElroy

    Bobbo

    1) Nickname = Landry Fields Forever
    2) Re your title: only 1 team in NBA history has had a winning record with worse offensive and defensive rebound rates than this year’s Knicks have so far. 2008 Suns.

  36. Robert Silverman Post author

    Kevin McElroy: Bobbo1) Nickname = Landry Fields Forever
    2) Re your title: only 1 team in NBA history has had a winning record with worse offensive and defensive rebound rates than this year’s Knicks have so far.2008 Suns.  

    1. Hm. Landry Fields Forever is too Chris Berman-y for my taste

    2. Exactly. Here’s what we’ve learned about the 10-11 Knicks: When they’re on their game offensively, they can beat anyone (Spurs game). And when they’re off, they can lose to anyone (Sacto). The 04-10 Suns were just “on” a heckuva lot more consistently, mainly b/c of Nash (and Marion, Stat, Joe Johnson, et. al)

  37. latke

    Will the Thrill: The Knicks simply cannot have their offensive go-to player as their anchor on defense. Amare isn’t a disciplined defender and gets in foul trouble almost every time he is matched up against a skilled center. It is frustrating to see that the Knicks’ greatest weaknesses (rebounding and defense) are what Randolph’s strengths seem to be, and yet he still will not get any playing time.

    Will, I agree with your premise that it’s problematic for Amare to have to take such a beating from the big dudes. AR though is not the guy you think he is. He is long, but he is very lanky. He is listed at 225 (15 lbs less than Amare), and IMO that’s a stretch. AR is a 3/4 who is really good at helping on defense (thus the great shot blocking numbers). He does not have the strength to match up against the big dudes who are putting a beating to Amare. I agree that he has mountains of potential, and it makes me sad that MDA is unwilling to open his mind to the ways he could potentially help the team (if not this season, then with some PT, maybe next season).

    What really sucks IMO about the whole AR situation is that we are selling him right now at his all-time low value. Even if he makes a ton of mistakes, how many games would AR cost us if we played him 10 MPG? If it drops us from the 6th seed to the 8th seed, what’s the difference? We’re not winning a championship this year, and the potential reward of AR getting his act together is so huge that even if the odds are slim, you still make that bet.

    The bottom line is that he’s only played in 113 NBA games, and that’s counting the 14 games this season where his minutes have all been garbage. It’s certainly important to reward good play, but I think the precedent in general with young players is to be forgiving, to give them a chance to work through the kinks.

  38. greatscott

    Lee wasn’t playing for a lot of this season and then was trying to come back injured. The Warriors were 6-2 to start and 6-0 when Lee had a double double. Then Lee went down after the elbow from Chandler. See what a healthy Lee did to Amare and the Knicks before the injury. He is just getting back to playing and almost healthy now, 24 and 10 today and the win. Knicks lost 3 in a row, lost to the lowly Kings, and are 4 – 6 for the last ten under Amare yet he has a better cast.

    Of course the Knicks are going to have a better record this year than the last two seasons. This is the first year in 3 seasons that they have tried to add players that are not just for salary cap purposes. Don’t you think Amare is helped by an improved and healthy Gallo, improved Chandler, Felton playing at an all star level, and help from Turiaf and Mozgov when he was playing? Who did Lee have? Lee had a Duhon and an injured McGrady.

  39. greatscott

    Knicks Get Served Some Humble Pie
    D’Antoni: ‘We Think We Are Really Good and We Are Not’

    Over the past few weeks, as wins and smiles and late-night talk-show appearances have become more frequent for the Knicks, they have developed quite a bit of confidence and even a little swagger.

    In the midst of all that, there was little hint of a crash and almost no evidence that they might be headed back to the mediocrity that plagued them in the beginning of the season, when they started 3-8.

    But with their third straight loss on Monday afternoon, a 129-121 drubbing at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, they showed the cracks that were thought to be ancient history. And after the loss, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni offered his biggest criticism yet of his 22-18 team.

    “We think we are really good and we are not,” Mr. D’Antoni said.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703396604576088350573180330.html

    At least Stoudemire understands they haven’t done anything…

    “I think we have to understand that we haven’t done anything yet as far as winning. We have won a few games,” Mr. Stoudemire said, later adding “four games over .500 is unacceptable. We had a chance to take advantage of our situation and we didn’t. Now we have a tough road trip ahead of us.”

  40. Brian Cronin

    A few losses in a row really isn’t a big deal, particularly with what we thought about the Knicks coming into this season.

    However, in particular, the reactionary stuff is quite silly.

    Shawne Williams has a good game and suddenly he’s “more consistent than Gallo and can do everything Gallo can!”

    Felton is hot and he is “not that much worse offensively than Nash” then he has a few stinkers and he’s “Duhon 2.0″

    The Knicks win a great game against San Antonio and suddenly it is “take undeserved shots at David Lee” time then Amar’e Stoudemre strings together a couple of weak performances (mostly on defense, but some rough offensive games, too) and suddenly the “We should never have lost Lee!” stuff comes out.

    The NBA is a long season, you can’t get too excited (either positively or negatively) on a few games here and there.

  41. Brian Cronin

    The Knicks simply cannot have their offensive go-to player as their anchor on defense. Amare isn’t a disciplined defender and gets in foul trouble almost every time he is matched up against a skilled center.

    Yeah, it does seem true that the Knicks appear to be following the same strategy with Amar’e that they were using with Lee the last two seasons – specifically asking him not to play aggressively on defense, because they don’t want to lose him to foul trouble. Amar’e has been more active on shot-blocking than Lee (it’d be hard not to be more active on shot-blocking than Lee), but basically they’re playing the same style of defense (which is mostly stay away from fouls).

  42. Ben R

    I want to make it clear I do not want to trade Amare. I would much prefer Amare to Lee. Amare is great and has helped this team immensely. It’s just there are only about 10 players in the entire league I would not trade for Love, he is an amazing player and his age fits better with our youth, it was in no way an attack on Amare.

    As for Lee on the Warriors his stats are not great but the effect he’s had on the team is profound. In the 9 games he missed this year GS is 1-8 in the 30 he’s played they are 15-15. His effect on the defensive end is negligable they are bad with or without him on the court (0.4 pts per 100 poss worse with him on the court), offensively on the other hand he makes a big difference (6.2 pts per 100 poss better with him on the court). I think if Lee hadn’t gotten hurt GS would be right there with Portland, Memphis, and Houston fighting for that last playoff spot. Not a dig on Amare just defending Lee, who is still a great player.

  43. Nick C.

    I’m with you @ 51. Definitely not the most inspiring last few games but these are not Isiah’s Knicks. This is what happens to even good team. Miami lost a two in a row including a game to the Clippers. The Lakers had a series of clunkers. Pau Gasol has been less prolific than he was in the first month. This team is not at that level. It will have ups and downs. Even a 50 win team loses 32 sometimes probably in clumps of 2s and 3s or 4/5s. But it’s just like someone said here or in the game thread there is PTSD over the last years and it seems as if people here are expecting a 2-13 streak and 30 wins becuase that is what has happened every year pretty much for a decade.

  44. daJudge

    I never meant to suggest that we trade Amare or even discuss it. Talk about reactionary. I was just looking for a Center that could fit into the system. Since Love is unavailable for now and the future, I would simply note that any Center would fit the bill that could play strong D and either: (a) pass out of the post, or (b) draw the opposing center outside of the paint. Anchoring the D is essential and at least one of the two offensive skill sets is a must. At a minimum, the player must be a real presence in the paint on D and get out of the way on offense. The problem with the offensively challenged Center, at least w/i this system, is his presence removes a potential scorer, which is coveted. If the Center was able to hit a mid-range J or pass out of the post and move, that would likewise remove a potential defender from the paint. It would probably work in the system since the D would be vastly improved (yesterday’s was awful to watch) and the offense could still be lethal. I guess I’m just suggesting that a little more balance would be helpful. The strategy alluded to by Brian at 52 is apparent. It is hard on the eyes and unsatisfactory. Whether it is necessary under the present circumstances is another question.

  45. Thomas B.

    Bobbo1) Nickname = Landry Fields Forever

    “Landry Fields Forever” Are you a sixteen-year-old girl? :-) The obvious choice is Landry Fields of Dreams. Because I have to dream about him beating someone off the dribble, dream about a pull up jumper, dream about him taking advantage of a mismatch. tee hee.

    On another note, I do so love “Martin Luther” day because it is the day of the big annual Catholics vs Protestants basketball game. The Catholics thought they could buy off the refs, while the Protestants thought good deeds and sportsmanship would win favor with the officials. The Protestants dominated the series in the early going but the influx of players from Latin America has really helped the Catholics pick up steam. Thanks for reminding me of those great games Robert. :-)

    Look lets not hit the panic button. The Spurs dont stink for losing to us and we dont stink for losing to the Cavs, Kings, Suns…well when you put it that way maybe..no Caleb is right it’s a long season and you’ll win some and lose others.

    The thing is that when the Knicks play at optimal levels on offense, they are very dangerous. They rarely play optimal defense, they dont rebound well, and they are not deep. So when the offense slips from 6th gear to 4th, they lose to moderate teams (Suns), and when it never gets out of 2nd gear they lose to horrid teams like the Kings.

  46. Brian Cronin

    In addition, the Suns have played better since Gentry started using a coherent rotation (and a blatantly obvious starting five – why he didn’t get here sooner is beyond me) and really, they looked good yesterday. Nash was excellent and Hill and Frye were very effective. Carter was erratic, but also played well (surprisingly, all three of them ended up not having great days from the field – Hill lit it up at the charity stripe, though – 11 out of 12!!). It wasn’t like losing to Sacramento – the Suns can be (and should be) a good team. What we saw from them in Phoenix was the aberration, not the norm, and even with all of that, some slightly more effective basketball and the Knicks easily could have won the game (unlike the Sacto game, where they were out of it early in the fourth).

    Heck, just having Turiaf back probably would have resulted in a W.

  47. Brian Cronin

    By the way, I know it is a silly thing to be irritated by, but darnit, I hate Gallo’s one FT miss per game. Dude should be automatic!!

  48. d-mar

    @51 well said Brian.

    The backlash against Amare and Felton is particularly absurd. How about a moratorium on bringing up Lee and Duhon every time one of these guys has an off night? Stat and Felton have brought credibility to this franchise, and have been the main reason we’ve won all those road games down the stretch.

    I’ll go out on an early limb and predict we beat Houston tomorrow; should be a little revenge motive and maybe we can stop Kevin Martin from smiling for one game.

  49. Frank

    Was at the game yesterday – it’s interesting the different perspective you get at the games as opposed to TV. Yes, we all know the Knicks need a rebounding/shotblocking center, but the problem yesterday wasn’t interior defense — it was HORRIBLE rotations and lazy defensive play. There were so many wide open 3’s for the Suns that were the result of Gallo, Amare, or someone just standing around in no-man’s land. I don’t know if this is a coaching problem or a lazy brain problem, but it’s probably both.

    One thing I must take D’Antoni to task for – there just is no way that Landry Fields can be sitting during the 4th quarter. Dude is our best rebounder and may have prevented all the backbreaking Suns O-rebounds.

    Overall – and I don’t feel like this is a “panic” statement – this team needs a shakeup. There is just no way that this team can compete in a 7 game playoff against the big boys. Whether that means trading for Melo or someone else I don’t know… but it’s feeling more and more like it’s going to be a move for Melo.

    Interesting thing from Larry Coon — if Donnie trades for a 2012 1st rounder, then 2011 and 2013 picks can be traded. Not that I want him to do that — just opens up the possibility of multiple 1st rounders to Denver. I’d consider Chandler, Curry, Azu’s insured/expiring contract, and 2011/2013 picks for Melo and Afflalo. Denver probably wouldn’t want to give up Afflalo but he would be great on this team.

  50. Caleb

    Frank: Interesting thing from Larry Coon — if Donnie trades for a 2012 1st rounder, then 2011 and 2013 picks can be traded. Not that I want him to do that — just opens up the possibility of multiple 1st rounders to Denver.I’d consider Chandler, Curry, Azu’s insured/expiring contract, and 2011/2013 picks for Melo and Afflalo.Denver probably wouldn’t want to give up Afflalo but he would be great on this team.  

    I don’t think that is right – I see what he’s saying about the 2012 + 2013 picks, but the Knicks didn’t have a first-round pick in 2010, so to not have one in 2011 would mean they were pick-less two consecutive years. That’s a a no-no.

  51. Caleb

    @63 I should say – the suggested trade – Chandler for Melo and 2 draft picks for Afflalo, with salary throw-ins – isn’t a bad one. You could sub Toney Douglas or Mozgov for the 2011 pick.

  52. Frank

    Caleb:
    I don’t think that is right – I see what he’s saying about the 2012 + 2013 picks, but the Knicks didn’t have a first-round pick in 2010, so to not have one in 2011 would mean they were pick-less two consecutive years. That’s a a no-no.  

    That’s what I thought too but according to Larry Coon, previous drafts are not considered – ie. you’re not allowed to have two consecutive FUTURE drafts without picks. So the clock started again right after the 2010 draft, and if the Knicks get a 2012 pick, trading the 2011 would only be considered the 1st year without a pick.

    Hahn wrote about it in Newsday today also:
    http://mobile.newsday.com/inf/infomo;JSESSIONID=1A19E3C6A4FCDEA32AA6.3029?site=newsday&view=sports_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=sports&feed:i=1.2618401

  53. Doug

    If getting a 2012 pick gives us the right to trade our ’11 and ’13 picks (by breaking up the streak of consecutive years without pick) for Melo… that’d be very sneaky. At first glance, I like this idea.

  54. tastycakes

    I call Landry “Lance”.

    Watch Friday Night Lights to get the reference (worth watching anyway!)

  55. greatscott

    Brian Cronin: Yeah, it does seem true that the Knicks appear to be following the same strategy with Amar’e that they were using with Lee the last two seasons – specifically asking him not to play aggressively on defense, because they don’t want to lose him to foul trouble. Amar’e has been more active on shot-blocking than Lee (it’d be hard not to be more active on shot-blocking than Lee), but basically they’re playing the same style of defense (which is mostly stay away from fouls).

    Exactly.

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