Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Knicks and The Lakers and Phil Jackson and Terrible Basketball and Wood Finish and Holy Crap This Team Is The Worst

On Tuesday afternoon, I started bouncing ideas around for a post about the whole symmetry of Phil Jackson taking over the Knicks and then the Knicks and Lakers playing on national TV at a time when the Lakers seem to be aggressively tanking while the Knicks ride a semi-hot streak trying to grab a playoff spot that once seemed like a complete pipe dream.

I figured I’d make some parallel between the NBA’s two signature franchises moving in opposite directions – the Lakers experiencing their worst season since the mid-70s, and possibly the worst season since they’ve been in Los Angeles, while the Knicks surge following a dreadful start to the season and strut around after signing Famous Phil away from the West Coast. It would have been a largely disingenuous argument, considering the Knicks are most certainly not “a team on the rise”; They’re an unmitigated disaster that only by the sheer grace of Christ himself are still (technically, mathematically) alive in playoff contention. But it was narrative, and you can usually get away with that sort of thing.

But then, you know, the game happened.

In case you didn’t watch, the Knicks lost because they suck at basketball and they wanted to remind everyone of this after throwing a few people off the scent with that eight-game winning streak. Their loss Sunday against the Cavs went under the radar as so many people were watching the college tournament, so they got savvy and waited until last night to do their whole “No, in case you forgot, we REALLY suck” routine.

In the second quarter, they surrendered 51 points. That’s not a typo. Their defensive efficiency in the quarter was a strapping 204, which means their defense would have performed better if they had issued monogrammed invitations for the Lakers to simply walk down the lane and dunk the ball on each and every possession. You might think that sounds hyperbolic and stupid, but it (regrettably) is not. It was around this time that I decided to start drinking. Unfortunately, I did not have any whiskey in the house, because I apparently used it all over the weekend to make the dogs barking in my head shut up (this is how my roommate claims I explained it to him). So I went rooting around in my basement and I came up with a few cans of Wood Finish. I assume you’ve never drank Wood Finish, so if you’re curious, here are my thoughts:

Natural 209:

This is a pretty standard finish. It has a slight burn at the beginning but it subsides quickly. No one flavor stands out, but has hints of oak, hickory, and maple. If you’ve never drank finish before, this is a good one to start with – it’s very good for amateur palettes. 7/10

Red Oak 215:

As the title would indicate, this has a strong oak flavor, complemented by a hint of Concord Grape and and even softer hint of cocoa. It will give you a bit of a headache if you drink it too quickly – this is a finish you want to savor. Good with lamb or pork. 8/10

Puritan Pine 218:

This is one of the weaker flavors – I thought it was okay, but the name “Puritan” really seemed to be unnecessarily judging. All the flavors are very muted – offers a very vague, indiscriminate taste. 4/10

Gunstock 231:

Here’s a finish if you want to put some hair on your chest and feel like a real American. The flavors are strong and hit you almost immediately – perhaps even before the liquid touches your lips. The cacophony of flavors includes steel, lead, gunpowder, mesquite, bacon fat, and rattlesnake venom. You shudder when you drink it but feel better for it. 9/10

Dark Walnut 2716:

A very heavy, nutty finish. The most prominent flavor is (obviously) walnut, but it also carries several Earthy flavors like soil and peat moss. It has a saltier taste at the beginning than most (from the nut flavors), but it ends with a sulfur taste (from the earth tones) which gives it a nice balance. 8/10

Golden Pecan 245:

Certainly one of the more impressive flavors – it’s very buttery with a strong honey finish, almost like a mead. Brown sugar and vanilla give it a robust sweetness. A classic “finish for people who don’t like drinking finish” flavor, but even a connoisseur would enjoy it. 9/10

Cherry Fruitwood 292:

The strong fruit flavors nearly overwhelm you right away – Cherry, multiple apple flavors (Golden Delicious and Granny Smith were two that I picked up right away), and pear with hints of raspberry, blueberry, and cranberry. There’s even a hint of green olive, a nice salty flavor to offset some of the sweetness. 9/10

Sedona Red 222:

One of the Earthier finishes, mostly sandstone and limestone, but they’re balanced with a strong blood orange citrus character. A generally smoky flavor. Apparently it complements Mexican food well, but I’ve never tried it. 6/10

Brazilian Rosewood 213:

A very interesting finish in that it carries a very strong aroma, but most of the flavors are muted. An experienced finish drinker can pick out coffee, açaí, mango, guava, okra, cilantro, and cocoa, among others. The muted flavors can be a bit off-putting at first if the fragrance has you expecting a full-body finish, but if you know what you’re getting it’s really quite lovely. 9/10

Colonial Maple 223:

This was clearly the class of the lot – particularly the 2007 Vintage. A strong maple flavor slowly descends to a lovely combination of venison and tobacco before rounding out with a hint of Earl Grey tea, lemon, and saltpetre. It’s a rugged, sinewy finish that you can really feel transition from one flavor to another, as opposed to simply all blending together. Great for amateurs and connoisseurs alike. 10/10

31 comments on “The Knicks and The Lakers and Phil Jackson and Terrible Basketball and Wood Finish and Holy Crap This Team Is The Worst

  1. DRed

    This has nothing to do with wood finish or the Knicks, but it made me laugh. It’s from a Broussard article lamenting the growing prevalence of stats guys in front offices:

    One former star in the NBA with years of front office experience said that there is a divide within front offices between those who are perceived to be stat guys and those who are considered basketball lifers.

    “Basketball guys who participated in the game through years of rigorous training and practice, decades of observation work through film and field participation work feel under-utilized and under-appreciated and are quite insulted because their PhDs in basketball have been downgraded,” the former executive, who chose to remain anonymous, told ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard.

    . . .

    “The [analytics] narrative is hurting basketball PhD thinkers right now,” the ex-player said. “However, if numbers never lie, the basketball PhD thinkers have won more championships by far than the uneducated analytics guy.”

    If you’re trying to convince people you’re serious executive material, Mr. Ex-player, you should not refer to “former players” as “basketball PhD thinkers”. I’m also terrified that it’s Alan Houston.

  2. Farfa

    I wonder where Steve Mills would be positioned in the scale between “analytics” and “basketball PhD thinkers”. I think “CAA toddler walking around with daddy’s wallet”.

    Also, I suppose the guy quoted is Elgin Baylor (as you can see, the quote goes on saying “former executive”, other than “ex-player”). Or hmmm… Wes Unseld? And what if it’s Isiah?

  3. d-mar

    Seth at Posting and Toasting has outdone himself today, a must read.

    My favorite lines: “Robert Sacre, who can barely feed himself, executed a flawless Dream Shake to score over Tyson Chandler” and “… if the Knicks had simply not fielded a team in the third quarter, Los Angeles might have performed worse.”

  4. Garson

    Interesting Side Story of last night:

    Offensive genius Dantoni that the Knicks hired and fired DESTROYED our “defensive guru” Woodson whom the Knicks fired Dantoni for. PLUS Dantoni did this with Less Talent.

    Dantoni must have had the greatest sleep of his season last night

  5. ephus

    In the second quarter, they surrendered 51 points.

    That happened in the 3rd quarter.

    This is not a good time to be a Knick fan.

  6. ephus

    In the game thread, I noted that the Lakers did not run PnR during the first quarter. In the second quarter, they started to set screens and the Knicks had no answer.

  7. Hubert

    Woodson was probably waiting for D’Antoni to abandon what was working so well and start running ISO and then he was going to make his move.

  8. DRed

    You’d think the guys on the Knicks who actually played for Mike D’Antoni (or coached under him), would have some idea what his team would want to do on offense and how to counter it, but Knicks.

  9. SlowMotion

    These are the type of games where it makes me question if signing Melo as the main piece for a championship team is the prudent thing to do. Yes the majority of the blame has to go to Woodson, but the lack of leadership and testicular fortitude on this team is palpable. I don’t think a leader of men, takes it with the same callous attitude Melo bypasses offensive playcalls for the obligatory -I am struggling against a good defender but I am getting him this time post up- that so often cloud Knick fourth quarters.

  10. mokers

    ephus,

    It is amazing watching this team defend after a screen. Even if the person getting screened is not defending the ballhandler, the rotations are doomed. This team lacks even the basics of defense and I believe that Woodson’s scheme is turning mediocre defenders to bad defenders and bad defenders to all-time futile defenders.

  11. DRed

    Lebron is a force of nature. Hibbert tried to do his vertical thing and Lebron shrugged him aside like was a child

  12. hoolahoop

    Letting Woodson continue to stay here and allowing this current culture to fester is such a terrible mistake. There is no development taking place. Bad habits are being reinforced. This is such a wasted opportunity. You can’t just allow something as toxic and destructive as the current culture of this Knicks team to continue to exist.

    And the fact that we are has me down on this whole Phil Jackson thing already. What, we couldn’t hire a decent interim coach for half a season because we were talking to Phil Jackson? How the fuck does that make sense? And now we can’t fire this schmuck because there isn’t enough time for it to make a difference? That’s fucking stupid, too.

    Everything that happened from December on caused damage. Damage to our culture, damage to our young players’ development, damage to our reputation.

    Continuing to let this assclown run amok is causing more damage, every day. IT NEEDS TO FUCKING END. This isn’t about making the playoffs, or turning it around. It’s just basic damage control. Things can get worse if you don’t do anything.

    It’s like we have a wild animal in our house and he’s destroying everything in it. Before you fix all the shit he’s destroyed, GET HIM OUT OF THE FUCKING HOUSE BEFORE HE DESTROYS MORE SHIT!!!

    Absolutely!

  13. coyle022

    Well ATL took care of business by getting blown out in Min. Let’s see if the Knicks show up tonight, knowing that they can gain ground

  14. iyasin

    btw i heard isiah thomas is out for the kings tonight so that puts this game on high jimmer alert since there’s a backup PG starting. (I think its ray mcallum…so if yall see that name in the news you already know).

    But Heat pacers just much better cant switch to Knicks-Kings

  15. lavor postell

    Nice to see Lebron popping Hibbert with an elbow. I for one am fairly sick of the verticality nonsense that Hibbert gets away with when every other big man in the league is not afforded the same benefit of the doubt.

  16. BigBlueAL

    To add to the frustration, the Hawks lost tonight dropping to 31-39. If the Knicks wouldve won their last 2 games they would be 31-40 going into tonight. The Hawks host Portland tomorrow which probably means a loss and a 31-40 record. If the Knicks wouldve won their last 2 games plus tonight they would be 32-40 and alone in 8th after tomorrow night assuming again a Hawks loss tomorrow.

    Alot of stupid what-ifs I know but man what a fucking blown opportunity these last 2 games have been.

  17. BigBlueAL

    BTW not even watching the game but just saw on Twitter that the Kings have made 11 of their first 15 shots. Unreal.

  18. lavor postell

    I mean the defense sucks but its nice to see that the Knicks have decided to try for more than a quarter today…

  19. ptmilo

    Knicks going with Melo/Stat and three guards again. Kings playing Rudy Gay at point guard. Chess match.

  20. BigBlueAL

    I guess with the Heat/Pacers game over I might as well check in on the Knicks game. Mildly surprised to see they have a big lead though its still very early. I guess they do have some pride lol.

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