Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Timberwolves 109, Knicks 100

Minnesota Timberwolves 109 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 New York Knicks
Andrea Bargnani, PF 19 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -11

Better! One thing seems clear — Bargs is a lot more comfortable as a pick and pop shooter than he is when the ball rotates to him, in particular beyond the three-point line. I need to re-watch the game to be sure. (Yes, I’m that much of a masochist [or rather, Knicks fan. I’ll watch this one again, whilst reclining in a leopard skin robe in my luxurious study and, like Navin R. Johnson, declare, “Roll the ugliness…”]. He did a decent job trying to keep a mitt or two near Love and Pek, but maybe…just maybe…Son of Wood is coming to the realization that even when his shooting was carrying the offense, the team was still better off without him. Fun stat: The Knicks outscored the Wolves 47-33 once Bargs’ tuchus was planted to the pine. It’s not his fault, which is what makes this lost-puppy-in-the-rain-staring-at-a-signpost-he-can’t-understand-level sad/pitiable, but (raise the curtains on our ongoing production of Small Sample Size Theatre) he just doesn’t fit as a starter. That’s not to say it’s his ‘fault’ that they lost. It’s just that forcing him into the starting lineup is getting the team away from what it does best.

And he really resembles Nicky Sobotka. If you want a non-rational reason to clench your Andrea-loathing fists till your fingernails cut into the palm of your hand, that’ll do just fine.

Bargsobotka

Or this…

airbarg

So much sad face.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 44 MIN | 8-21 FG | 4-5 FT | 17 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 22 PTS | +8

That was weird. He started out ice cold and royally out of sorts, unable to finish those bunny offensive bounds or free himself up for a half decent midrange look. The Forest Puppies were throwing some Thibodeau-esque double teams/overloading the strong side and crowding the pick and roll, and whole for the most part he did an okay job of passing out, but he also had more than his share of ugly, unforced turnovers and trying-to-copulate-in-a-fetid-swamp-in-August sloppiness. He got looks in rhythm as the game went on (possibly due to a certain lineup combo that we’ll discuss further in just a jiffy), and did a boffo job hitting the glass all night, though.

Tyson Chandler, C 32 MIN | 3-4 FG | 4-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -17

Historically, Pekovic has absolutely shredded Tyson. He’s just too durned strong. I mean, on his back, he’s got a picture of: “the Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro, which was built on the side of a mountain cliff in the 17th century and dedicated to St. Basil of Ostrog,” and Nikola’s quoted as saying, “For us [Montenegrans], it’s a special place.” I’m scared just describing in in word form. Would you want to spend 2.5 hours or so dealing with an individual who looks like that thar vidyuh game character Zangief come to horrid, nightmarish, 3-dimensional life.

And all of the lovely mutli-limbed recovery skills and domination of the painted area that we saw v. the Bulls n’ Bucks, wasn’t really present. Mainly because the Minnesotans were getting their points in the paint via low post beasting, backdoor cuts, and leak-out/cherry-picked fast break buckets as opposed to quick guards penetrating to the tin, thus somewhat negating Tyson’s powers.

Raymond Felton, PG 38 MIN | 3-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 12 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -17

My first few notes for Ray — you know, during the very, very brief period where the Knicks had a 5 point lead – were all about coming to praise our Brutish BullPenguinDog for his aggressiveness and decisiveness driving to the hoop. That’s been a pretty consistent good thing so far this season. Naturally, like pretty much every aspect of the ‘Bockers’ performance, things went absolutely to pot shortly after, flopping and sliding about, seemingly having little to no idea how to direct the Knick attack, and pretty much getting manhandled by Ricky Rubio, 12 dimes notwithstanding. I also found it odd that Clyde kept referring to Ricky as an ‘underrated’ defender. I mean, unless he’s resorting to the dully bland, facile, oft-inaccurate “Euros can’t or won’t play D/are softer than aged Jamón Iberico stereotype, anyone who’s seen him play the last few seasons knows how well he sneaks into passing lanes and how nifty he is at keeping the point guards bottled up.

Iman Shumpert, SG 26 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -6

You remember back in the preseason, when you and I were praising Shump’s vim and vigor and taking statements about snatching the ball and having them sown on to decorative pillows and whatnot? Well, there is a downside to all that. Kevin Martin’s exactly the type of cat that’s bound to give Iman fits, what with the countless screens he’ll run an opponent through, a la Reggie Miller and all the crafty foul-inducing head/pump fakes, also a la Reggie Miller. I do not like Kevin Martin, a la Reggie Miller! Might’ve been wiser to put Shump on Ricky and let Felt run into/through the great pick wall of Minneapolis. Or, you know, JUST START PRIGS.

Kenyon Martin, PF 16 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -12

Speaking of head-scratching (to say the least) lineup/rotation choices, after Melo was sent to go sit in the corner and think about what he did after picking up an early 2nd foul, who should come into the game, but Kenyon Martin. I get the whole, “You’re getting shredded defense-wise, so put in a good defensive player” thing, but pairing Tyson and Kmart, even with the first, brief iteration of the two-PG look was a bad, bad idea. Of course, with those bigguns sharing the court, the Knickerbockers were outscored 21-4, including the dunderheaded JR Smith special: foul a three-point shot, then shove him out of rage/frustration, thus netting a tech.

Metta World Peace, SF 21 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +17

Silly technical fouls, you say? I give you a Metta who practically was wearing Pablo Prigioni like a blanket, trying to keep him from going at the arbiters and a tussle with that monstrous Slavic brute Pekovic that, had it escalated, might’ve warranted a UN sanctioned intervention. Look, I loved the way Ron-Ron played defense most of the game and the deft dives to the rim. He’s such a smart ballplayer in so many ways (and if the NBA ever banned jumping, he’d be and All-Star) and then equally out of control/impulsive in others. He still seems to turn down easy shots in favor of more difficult ones. His hands can be Kidd-like, but he gambles a lot. We’re still knee-deep in the whole comparing-this-team-to-last-year’s-thing (guilty as charged), but one big difference is that by shedding wise, aged, noble counselors like the aforementioned Mr. Kidd, ‘Sheed, Kurt n’ Camby, they shed a lot of Hoops IQ.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 25 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -7

He’s a serious weapon in transition. Like this:

0-7 from three is not what one would call “good,” but save for an odd inclination to use the excess kinetic energy he generated with his rim-rocking to chuck up a couple of heaves that clanged the back iron (Tim Jr.’s eFG%/Fuck’s Given ratio will always be infinity, or as it’s more commonly known, a Nick “Swaggy P” Young), he missed the type of in-rhythm, off good ball oration shot that he’s been hitting on the regular. He still hasn’t totally gotten the hang of the Knicks switches — and after a particularly vicious Kevin Love dunk, he looked over at Metta and said, “My bad, my bad.” — but the potential’s definitely there.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | 0

Was definitely guilty of overpassing, but his dish-first instincts and overall effect on the team means the former can be chalked up to the cost of doing business.

Beno Udrih, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Is Beno still ambulatory? Or even amongst the living? This photo suggests yes…

BYMjfKTIYAEEgfs

…but I still wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll soon be notified that he’s: “Day-to-day with a light flatlining of brain activity.”

Mike Woodson

This one’s on your shiny dome, Coach. I’m running out of ways to say that this ill-conceived going “big” thing isn’t working. It’s not working because teams function better with a set rotation. It’s not working because it’s leading to a massive uptick in turnovers. It’s not working because you aren’t really going big at all, not with that Italianate fellow at PF.

Because whether you like getting out your protractor and shoving reams of analytics showing what works best (Hmph. Numbers is for NERDS. Amirite? Emaciated, carbuncular, borderline Asperger’s-y dork, unfreezing my computer screen with soulless, dull condescension with like two jabs at the keyboardand then looks down at me like I’m some kind of special-needs kid. Hate those guys) or you fancy the boot-strapp-y, hardscrabble, old school, eye test, squinting and placing a weathered, calloused palm on their collective fetlocks, talking about cuts of jibs and sparks of an ineffable something right behind the ol’ cornea, these long-time arch enemies can both come together in peace and harmony to have “2PGS4LYFE” tattoed across their midriffs, Tupac-style.

If that’s not enough, if this doesn’t change before Tuesday’s battle with the Kitties, I’m going to take this jpg

BYMo7_KCcAEdHjr.jpg-large

…and take a rusty steak knife to hand carve those digits into a boulder, then build a medieval catapult to fling it through the Goatee’d One’s window at 4 Penn Plaza. Unless they keep him locked in some natural light-free sub-basement in the bowels of the Garden (entirely possible). Then we’re really screwed.

Three Things We Saw

  1. 39 Percent (h/t ruru) That’s what The Thousand Lakers shot in the half court. Now that’s partly due to the fact that the Knicks decided that in lieu of being deader’n disco, the best way to defend was out of control hacking/reaching. They also still gave up a ton of open looks with the simplest ball movement, but when they limited fast break opportunities, it was a heckuva lot better than the 41 point shit bomb that was dropped in the first stanza. This team is going to find it hard to win when they don’t win (or at least come out even) in the TO battle
  2. Some more numberz? Okay!

    proxy.jpg

  3. That was unpleasant. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched my 7-10th hours of sportsball today. I’m feeling vaguely nauseated, like I just got Schiano’d. Let’s end it with this slightly nicer stat: According to Bryan Graham, the New York Knicks have played 5,232 total games. After today, their record stands at 2616-2616. Mediocrity! Dudes, we totally got that hobgoblin! And this quote from Clyde: “What could go wrong? We’ve got World, Peace and Love out here.” That’s nice. Till Tuesday, then. Go Knicks!

71 comments on “Timberwolves 109, Knicks 100

  1. Hubert

    I’ve mentioned this in other threads, but since you guys are redesigning the site and taking suggestions, I’d like to mention it again now. The grades you post as images don’t always show up on certain browsers. They show up whenever I use my iphone or ipad (safari), they never show up when I’m at work (firefox and explorer), although they do show up when I use explorer on my home computer. I have no idea what the rhyme or reason is. Would it be too much trouble to just throw the grade somewhere in the stat line in addition to your images?

    Or am I the only person who has this problem?

  2. Hubert

    Anyway, our coach is an imbecile, and it’s really going to be hard to invest in this team with that idiot running it. I was all for continuing with him even after he was one Indiana’s most valuable contributors to their playoff success (I’d say their 3 MVP’s were, in order: Hibbert, jumping straight up, Woodson’s stupidity). People don’t always need to be fired for fireable offenses.

    But to continue with the fireable offense into the next season in spite of all evidence…that makes you an idiot who shouldn’t be coaching. This man is chasing rebounds like Ahab chased the whale. Everything we were good at is getting destroyed by his single-minded pursuit to not be outrebounded.

    And 3 starting lineups for 3 games? Is he kidding? He should go now before he goes too far down the wrong path. It’s increasingly clear that all the great lineups we stumbled on last year (the two-PG lineups, Copeland at the 5) were accidental. He gives zero credence to statistics, and I’m not even talking advanced stats. I’m talking “these 5 guys outscore their opponents by lots of points” so maybe I should play them. Instead, he plays combinations that fail every time they are on the court together because REBOUNDS!

    I hate him. I would fire him today but I have no faith we’d replace with him someone better. I guess we’re stuck with him, but that means all we have to hope for is the right combination of injuries to get us to play our optimal lineup. Which is fun.

    Also, it seems that despite all the spirited debate about AB, these idiots actually brought him here to go big and help with rebounding. I’m simply amazed at the stupidity. My coworker always tells me to stop investing in this team, that all teams ultimately reflect their owners. I hate that he is right. We’re going to be mismanaged at every level. The further we get from the Donnie Walsh guys (and Grunwald was the last one, I think) and towards the CAA guys, the deeper into shit we’re going to fall.

  3. KnickfaninNJ

    I also have trouble viewing on an iPhone, like now; but the grades do show up. Instead the site sometimes comes up with a huge font that puts very little information on one page, and the player pictures obscure their statistics

  4. david

    Wait a minute, Hubert — How do you feel about Woodson? Positively? I couldn’t tell….

    Well that stunk. I’m becoming convinced that the team will rise and fall with the swingmen, Shump, JR and THJR. If they hit shots, Melo will eventually get going, Chandler will do Chandler things, and Woodson may discover that playing guys who can shoot is a good strategy. If they can’t hit shots (or if they don’t play), we’re f-ed…

  5. Hubert

    Rob, great post, btw. Out of curiosity, what site are you using to get those numbers? Is that the fabled synergy?

  6. KnickfaninNJ

    The top five in the statistics chart are the ones who were in during the starters rest periods at the ends of the first and third quarters and the beginnings of the señor and fourth quarters. They weren’t facing the Wolves first team mostly. I agree they looked much better than the Knicks starting five, and I would like to see more of the lineup but the stats may actually only show thAt our bench is better than their bench.

  7. d-mar

    Not sure I would get as crazy about firing Woodson as Hubert, but I am tired of the multitude of lineups and the fact that he’s always the coach adjusting to the other coach (Game 4 in Indiana was a perfect example) Start your 5 best guys and stick with it, don’t worry about who the other coach is going to trot out.

    That being said, the overreaction to this loss (to a probable Western conference playoff team) by the usual suspects on this board is just getting tired.

  8. johnno

    I think that it is fair to say that enough of the season has been played that we can make some definitive decisions about coaches. The Bulls, Nets, Knicks and Grizzlies should all fire their coaches because they are all 1-2 and, therefore, doomed. The Thunder should consider firing their coach because, even though they are 2-1, they got killed by the T-Wolves. I can’t understand why the Heat haven’t fired Spoelstra yet since they suffered through that extended 2 game losing streak. What are all of these teams waiting for?!?

  9. Hubert

    Do I overreact? Sure. Am I reacting to this loss? Absolutely not. I’m reacting to everything that happened in the playoffs and what we seem to have focused on with an entire offseason to review our demise. This started in game 4 in Indiana. Our coach is abandoning our principles and ignoring evidence that shouldn’t be ignored. That is what I am reacting to. I would have hoped with an entire offseason to review what went right and what went wrong, he could have figured it out. The fact that he is doubling down on what went wrong, IMO, illustrates a systematic issue, one that doesn’t take 20-30 games to figure out. Ever read Blink? This is something you can thin slice. Our coach cannot analyze data and use it to his team’s advantage. That means doom, sooner or later. It’s not about the results. The guy is steering us away from what was successful. That’s why I’m tired of him. I could suffer being 0-10 if we were playing our best lineups and just getting beat. This has nothing to do with being 1-2, and comparing Woodson to Spoelstra and Thibodeau is laughable.

  10. Hubert

    You can talk about overreacting, but some ships have holes that you can fix, some have holes that are too big to fix. When you spot the one that’s too big to fix, get the f out of the boat. If you want to be patient, you’re going down with the ship. This is about recognizing that our hole is Mike Woodson is ignorant of things he needs to be mindful of, and that’s the kind of hole that takes you down. It sure as hell took us down last spring.

    Anyway, we’re not going to fire Woodson. I wouldn’t even recommend it because I doubt we can replace him with someone better. I’m very confident, however, that this man doesn’t care about things like the performance data of 5 man units, and in this league that makes you a caveman.

  11. thenamestsam

    I agree that it’s more than a little early to be talking about firing the coach after a 54 win season, but saying it’s too early to fire a guy is hardly a ringing endorsement. If anyone is actually pro-Woody at this point I’d love to hear their reasoning, because the more I see from him the less I like it. He got worked over in the playoffs last year, and right now I don’t have anything positive to say about the coaching of this team. The rotation and lineups are a complete mess, and we’re exhibiting all of the hallmarks of a poorly coached team – sloppy turnovers, defensive breakdowns, a lack of transition defense and an inability to stem the tide when things start going against us. When we went on our big run, Adelman called a timeout, drew up a beautiful play and got Love a wide-open 3 that was a huge turning point in the game. That’s where quality coaching can turn a game. On the offensive end we lack a system, and on the defensive end the system is actually a part of the problem (to the extent that there is a problem, because the half-court D is definitely the bright spot right now). I’m not panicking about a 1-2 start because the Bulls game was an expected loss, it’s a long season, and I still really believe in the talent on this team. But the coach is more a part of the problem than the solution at the moment.

    As for other things, it seems THJ was the topic of debate in the game thread last night, so I’ll throw my $.02. I’m really liking what I’ve seen from the kid, and I say that as someone who was very against the pick. He’s definitely rushing some things at the moment, and consequently he’s not making shots but that can be excused for a guy in his 3rd NBA game. Right now his shot selection is mostly good, he works hard on D, he gets out in transition. He’s not a 6th man yet, but when JR gets back he’ll be in a more appropriately sized role, and as long as he starts knocking in some of those open 3s I think he’ll be a contributor.

  12. flossy

    I think we’re all ignoring the elephant in the room, which is that the hideous orange jerseys are clearly to blame for our struggles and must be retired immediately.

  13. Hubert

    Here’s the thing: we have to guess what the starting lineup to play the Bobcats at home is going to be.

    Here’s the thing that’s even worse: smart money is that he’ll start Bargnani to match up with their size.

    I’m sure he’ll eventually stumble on 48-52 wins with these guys, because we’re a good team. The 1-2 start is irrelevant to my ranting. It’s the thought process.

  14. johnno

    Other than enthusiasm and willingness to shoot, what was there to like about Hardaway’s performance last night? He took several bad shots, he got torched by Kevin Martin, he was often out of position on defense and he shot terribly. Take away his two dunks and he shot 1-10, and he filled up the rest of the stat sheet with 1 rebound, 1 assist and zero steals in 25 minutes. If anyone else on the team played like that, everyone on this site would be screaming about how stupid Woodson is for playing him at all. Through 8 games (including preseason), he’s shooting about 35% and, for the three regular season games, he’s got a PER below 4. I think that he has the potential to be good but anyone who thinks that he has played well so far isn’t watching the same games that I’ve been watching.

  15. Donnie Walsh

    Even if Woodson took the Larry Brown approach and started guys based on where they were born, that would be better. (Because the Knicks don’t have any road games in Rome this year:)

  16. massive

    The Knicks have played a total of…6 games (including and) since Game 4 vs. Indiana. Three of those games came with an injured Melo, Chandler, and JR Smith. The latter three happened without JR Smith and with Carmelo Anthony shooting at a below average TS% for 11 quarters.

    It’s not all Woodson’s fault this team has struggled in its last 6 games. It’s not smart to fire an historically successful coach because of 6 games, especially when his roster has been less than optimal. That is ridiculous, honestly. Melo is missing open shots. The Knicks are turning the ball over on easy passes made at the wrong times, and every line up we throw out there is doing it. These things even themselves out over a season.

    But yes, I’m starting to think our orange jerseys are cursed.

  17. thenamestsam

    I think that he has the potential to be good but anyone who thinks that he has played well so far isn’t watching the same games that I’ve been watching.

    I’d say it’s extremely difficult to be a positive contributor overall when you’re shooting 35%. So I agree that THJ has hurt the Knicks so far. At the same time we all know there’s a random element to shooting, so I think basing an evaluation of a player on his shooting percentage over a small sample is a limited way to look at things. My comments above are certainly premised on the belief that in the long run he’s going to shoot better. Obviously if he continues to shoot 1-10 on non-dunks he’s going to be out of the league, but I think his shot looks good, and he shot it well in the preseason, and I (mostly) like the shots he’s taking. Also I think your defensive evaluations are a little harsh. Martin hit some tough shots, I wouldn’t characterize him as “torching” THJ for the most part. And yes he had some defensive mix-ups, a sentence which applies to 100% of NBA rookies.

    All of which is to say that while I agree that he hasn’t helped the Knicks yet we’re talking about a rookie in his 3rd game thrust into an overly large role. The more appropriate question in my opinion is whether there are signs he can help us going forward. I think the answer is yes.

  18. cgreene

    The user experience on iPhone safari is really bad for the new site. The text all overlaps. The margins where the comments are are really squeezed so I get like 2 words per line and have to scroll forever to get up and down.

  19. Mike Kurylo

    I’ve mentioned this in other threads, but since you guys are redesigning the site and taking suggestions, I’d like to mention it again now. The grades you post as images don’t always show up on certain browsers. They show up whenever I use my iphone or ipad (safari), they never show up when I’m at work (firefox and explorer), although they do show up when I use explorer on my home computer. I have no idea what the rhyme or reason is. Would it be too much trouble to just throw the grade somewhere in the stat line in addition to your images?

    Or am I the only person who has this problem?

    Damn multiple browsers, screen resolutions, and OSes. When KnickerBlogger first opened there were only two resolutions (640×480 and 800×600), the only browser was Internet Explorer, and the only operating system was Windows (Macs weren’t invented yet).

    The HTML to the grades aren’t generated here, so I have to work with a third party… It’s on the list, and thanks for your input.

  20. Mike Kurylo

    If anyone wants to send me a screen shot from their various devices, please send it to:
    ewing 33 $ knickerblogger.net
    No spaces and replace $ with @ sign.

    Just let me know the devices/browser, and if it’s just the grades or all articles so I can investigate/fix.

    Thanks!

  21. mokers

    It seems like our defenders are going more for steals than anything else and neglecting just getting a hand in the face and contesting shots.

    THJ is great in transition and I he has a great looking shot. I think shots will fall for him. However, I am not sure that he does enough elsewhere to put him on the floor when his 3pt shot is off, which it was last night. A lot of it had to do with Shump playing so poorly. And Udrih hasn’t looked good, but Felton was playing terribly last night. would have liked to see a Prigs/Udrih backcourt to see if there would have been better decision making.

    Overall, I am not really jumping ship, but the team really needs to take care of the ball more. all those turnovers are turning into wasy transition buckets.

    Bargs seemed a bit more comfortable. Love wasn’t biting for his pump fakes, but he seems to be gaining confidence. The missed reverse sucked, but if he is getting to the rim, good things will happen. That missed dunk doesn’t piss me off nearly as much as a terrible pull up three or step-back long two.

  22. Mike Kurylo

    I think we’re all ignoring the elephant in the room, which is that the hideous orange jerseys are clearly to blame for our struggles and must be retired immediately.

    Somewhere near a dripping faucet in a basement apartment void of non-florescent light, clyde police agrees.

  23. thenamestsam

    Oh also in the negative for Woody column, 44 minutes for Melo is way too many. Even though it should be a relatively light week I still think that’s too much for a game this early.

  24. er

    Did anyone notice what happened in the 1st q. When Melo went out with his second foul w/ 4 mins left the score was 19-15 Minny. The final score was 40-19. What the hell happened in those 4 min Gosh

  25. er

    Oh also in the negative for Woody column, 44 minutes for Melo is way too many. Even though it should be a relatively light week I still think that’s too much for a game this early.

    I tend to agree. Hopefully we beat the snot outta Clt so he and Tyson can rest. One thing i will say is that Melo looks the most athletic since hes been in NY. Hopefully he can get his game shape up to where he can actually still hit shots at the end of games

  26. Nick C.

    What is going on in general beyond the absurd 44 minutes from Melo and that with foul trouble. I see other box scores where 8-9 players are playing. Doesn’t anyone get that it is a loooooonnng season or want to try things/players/combos out for at least a few minutes in an actual game?

  27. flossy

    Did anyone notice what happened in the 1st q. When Melo went out with his second foul w/ 4 mins left the score was 19-15 Minny. The final score was 40-19. What the hell happened in those 4 min Gosh

    What happened was Chandler and K-Mart in the frontcourt together with nobody who could shoot the ball aside from Tim Hardaway Jr. (in other words, nobody who could shoot the ball).

  28. johnno

    Having Chandler and K-Mart on the floor at once could explain why the Knicks only scored 4 points in 4 minutes, but you would think that, with the two of them on the floor, they should be able to prevent the T-Wolves from scoring 21 in 4 minutes — which only works out to about 250 or so/48 minutes — Yikes!! In fairness, the pummeling started well before Melo left. After the Knicks went up 11-2, the Wolves outscored them 17-4 before Melo took a break.

  29. Robert Silverman Post author

    In fairness, the pummeling started well before Melo left. After the Knicks went up 11-2, the Wolves outscored them 17-4 before Melo took a break.

    Actually, the Knicks’ biggest lead was 11-8. the Wolves were on a 9-4 run when Melo came out — then the 21-4 run to close the half v. the Martin/Chandler front court combo. Yes, they were already foundering, but not that bad.

  30. Frank

    So someone just posted to Twitter the Knicks’ D-rating with (113.1) and without (82.6) Bargnani on the floor. Crazy thing is that it never really seems to be him that’s the problem — it’s just the team is completely out of sync when he’s on the floor. Weird.

    Anyway — the thing that made me least happy about this win is this quote from Woodson:

    Mike Woodson thought the Knicks got a little 3-point happy on Sunday night.

    “You got people flying at you, so you’ve got to put the ball on the floor and try to get to the hole,” the coach said. “I thought we settled.”

    The problem wasn’t that we shot too many 3′s — it’s that we missed too many of them. We had so many wide open 3s, especially lil’ Timmy. The difference in that 4th quarter is that Kevin Martin hit everything he threw up, whether contested or not, and THJ couldn’t hit on a whole bunch of wide open 3′s.

    Meanwhile, how annoying is that “rip” move? If you ask me that should be an offensive foul. It’s a completely unnatural motion that should never draw a foul unless the defender actually does something to initiate that contact. Not to mention the fact that if you watch the video, THJ actually hits the ball with his arm, not Martin, so it shouldn’t have been a foul anyway. How is that different than swinging the ball at a defender’s head?

  31. Owen

    As I remember the problem at the end of the first quarter was three straight steals and run outs for the Wolves.

    Not jumping ship. Just an ugly loss.

  32. thenamestsam

    Having Chandler and K-Mart on the floor at once could explain why the Knicks only scored 4 points in 4 minutes, but you would think that, with the two of them on the floor, they should be able to prevent the T-Wolves from scoring 21 in 4 minutes — which only works out to about 250 or so/48 minutes — Yikes!!

    I think this is a pretty good example of how incredibly interconnected everything is in basketball. So much so that even answering questions like “Is the defense the problem or the offense?” is tricky without having witnessed it. In this case the bad offense was definitely directly leading to the bad defense. So much of what the Wolves were doing was coming in transition or semi-transition. Some of that was due to bad awareness/laziness etc. but it also has to do with how disjointed the offense was. Not only turnovers but the bad misses that were leading to quick outlets which either led immediately to hoops or left the defense scrambling until they got a good luck. So while you’d expect the KMart/Tyson lineups to be potent defensively, they’re obviously not fleet of foot, and if the ball is going through the net before they even show up it’s hard for them to have much say in it.

  33. Hubert

    I wasn’t jumping ship, you guys. I’ve just given up hope that Woodson isn’t an idiot. The 40 point 1Q was some freaky thing that happens every now and then. But continuing to go back to Tyson and K-Mart lineups is the stuff of mentally challenged adults. The fact that certain lineup combinations get creamed and it doesn’t alter his desire to play them (and vice versa) just offends me on numerous levels. I’m convinced that every good lineup we had last year was a happy accident, and that he has no idea what made us good. For crying out loud, Frank’s posting quotes where he’s telling his players to shoot less three’s! I know it’s early, but he lacks the fundamental understanding to maximize this team. Not only that, he clings to outdated notions that are certain to take us away from our optimization. I’m sure everyone agrees with this, you’re just trying to not seem like you’re overreacting.

    Maybe RuRu can show us how he’s actually doing some great things that I don’t see. I welcome that. I welcome anyone to answer thenamestam’s challenge:

    If anyone is actually pro-Woody at this point I’d love to hear their reasoning, because the more I see from him the less I like it.

    without simply pointing to record.

    (And the reason I say don’t point to record is because our record is buttressed by two stretches of basketball in which we played a certain way and he is actively seeking to take us away from that style, so I don’t think its’ relevant.)

    It’s like he was watching TNT all last year and said, “yeah, Charles is right. I need to make my team better at rebounding and have us shoot less 3′s.”

  34. ephus

    This quote from ‘Melo does not give me a warm feeling that things are going to get better. From where I sit, the problem with ‘Melo is not that he has been too passive in the fourth quarters, but that he has been too quick to launch contested jump shots.

    On the other hand, if this signals that ‘Melo is going to start taking the ball to the rim late, I think that would be useful.

  35. KnickfaninNJ

    If anyone is actually pro-Woody at this point I’d love to hear their reasoning, because the more I see from him the less I like it.

    Well, I’m not exactly pro Woody, but I’m not anti Woody either. I think Woody as a coach is analogous to some players who have bad form, but overall have positive effects on their team. He isn’t decisive acting, and there are constantly small things that go wrong, but his track record in the past for whole seasons with Atlanta and with NY is very good. For example, the Knicks results last year were better than expected overall. The Knicks had way more wins last year than anyone expected, they beat Boston and made to the ECF semifinals. They did lose in 6 games to an Indiana team and he looked bad coaching them. But the realistic picture is that the Indiana team barely lost to Miami, and lost perhaps due to luck more than anything else; so they were a very good team. And the Knicks had an assortment of nagging injuries that hampered their play. So overall it was a reasonable coaching result. This year is the same thing. He’s not looking good so far and his choices are not working well, but it’s only three games. I think we have to give him at least a third and probably half of the season to see how things are working out.

  36. Hubert

    It’s not 3 games, guys. We played 94 games last year. We started strong, went away from what worked, staggered through over half a season of sub-.500 basketball, were nearly down and out, then Kurt Thomas happened and a fortunate set of injuries forced us into the optimal lineup that saved our season. Then we went away from said lineup in the playoffs in search of such truisms as “toughness”, “size”, “experience” and severely underperformed. And with a whole offseason to look at what went wrong and what went right, he seems to be more inclined to recreate the formula that failed us rather than the one that made us a surprising success.

    It’s the 97 games I’m talking about. Not the 3. Anyway. I don’t want to harp on this anymore. But when you see us “going big” against Charlotte to match up with Al Jefferson, don’t be surprised.

  37. er

    This quote from ‘Melo does not give me a warm feeling that things are going to get better. From where I sit, the problem with ‘Melo is not that he has been too passive in the fourth quarters, but that he has been too quick to launch contested jump shots.

    On the other hand, if this signals that ‘Melo is going to start taking the ball to the rim late, I think that would be useful.

    Nice use of the new link feature. Yes Melo needs to drive more late. One thing though he is LEADING the NBA in MPG. So theres that, hope hes not running out of gas

  38. ephus

    I am pro-Woodson. Since he took over the Knicks, he has:

    1. Righted the ship during the last twenty four games of the 2010-11 disfunctional season. 18-6. One playoff game victory over the Heat.

    2. Incorporated JR Smith into a team – leading JR to take a below-market contract for 2012-13.

    3. Led the Knicks to their first Atlantic division in nearly twenty years.

    4. Utilized JR Smith more successfully than any previous coach – leading to 6MOY award.

    5. Won a series over the last-gasp of the Celtics championship core.

    On the other hand, he did not do a good job of adjusting during the Pacers series. In particular, he did not figure out a countermove to Hibbert’s domination of Chandler. Many here (including me) were frustrated that he did not give Copeland more run during that series.

    The Red Sox success with Farrell leads me to believe that the job of manager/coach depends as much upon his ability to juggle personalities as making good in-game decisions. I bet that Bobby Valentine could do a much better job of game-managing the Red Sox in a stratomatic league than Farrell, but Farrell brought rings to Boston where Valentine brought only tumult. Woodson seems to be a good fit to keep the personalities on this team pulling in the same direction. Of course, I am not in the locker room so I do not really know.

    I say that Woodson should have the full season to show what he can do with this team.

  39. ephus

    As further evidence that Woodson is not an “imbecile”, look to his track record with the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks record improved during each of the six years that he coached them, peaking at 53-29. The year after Woodson was dismissed, Larry Drew coached virtually the same roster to 44 wins.

  40. Hubert

    All good points. I hope you’re right. I’m not really inclined to argue my feelings on this because I don’t even like having them. May it all fall into place again.

  41. johnno

    Hubert — I love your spin on last season — They “started out strong” and then “went away from what worked.” You’re right — they were 20-8 and going great guns and then Woodson stupidly decided to break Felton’s hand to send the Knicks offense into a tailspin. Then, just as Felton was rounding back into shape, Woodson stupidly injected fluid into Melo’s knee so that he lost his explosiveness and, after Melo played hurt for a couple weeks, Woodson stupidly made him sit out about 10 games. And I don’t know about you, but it drove me crazy that Woodson was stupid enough to hurt Chandler’s neck and then give him the flu so that he was playing at maybe 75% in the playoffs. And I bet that Woodson was even stupid enough to tell the refs not to call fouls on Hibbert as long as he jumped straight up. Maybe, just maybe, you should give Woody just a teany tiny bit of credit for overcoming all of the adversity/injuries and using different creative lineups to maximize the Knicks’ talent last year?

  42. Donnie Walsh

    Since he took over the Knicks, he has:

    1. Righted the ship during the last twenty four games of the 2010-11 disfunctional season. 18-6. One playoff game victory over the Heat.

    2. Incorporated JR Smith into a team – leading JR to take a below-market contract for 2012-13.

    3. Led the Knicks to their first Atlantic division in nearly twenty years.

    4. Utilized JR Smith more successfully than any previous coach – leading to 6MOY award.

    5. Won a series over the last-gasp of the Celtics championship core.

    Sounds to me like he’s really only contributed one thing of any significance, which is handling JR Smith in a way that makes him a help and not a hindrance. That is what points 1, 2 (even though it’s bullshit), and 4 are saying. Which begs the question: Why is JR Smith so important to this team?? He’s decent. Not great. And terrible in a large sample of playoff performances. If we need a coach that maximizes JR Smith in order to be successful, the reality is: we are going absolutely nowhere as a franchise.

  43. KnickfaninNJ

    Well if you think the 97 games showed him to be a bad coach, there is no reason for 3 games this season to change your mind.

  44. magraith

    @hubert, yes in Chrome Version 30.0.1599.101 m, in WIN7, grades are on the right side border, text overlays head shot. looks fine on win7 firefox (v25) though!

    Let’s WIN!

  45. ephus

    Sounds to me like he’s really only contributed one thing of any significance, which is handling JR Smith in a way that makes him a help and not a hindrance. That is what points 1, 2 (even though it’s bullshit), and 4 are saying.

    I did not articulate it well. I think that Woodson contributed to the success of the team in the last third of 2011-12 and 2012-13 by getting the team (including ‘Melo) to pull together in a way that MDA did not. It is not only about rotations, but also about getting the players to buy in. I think ‘Melo (most importantly) and JR Smith (less important, but not trivial) bought into Woodson as team leader. For example, Woodson got ‘Melo to play PF for large stretches of last season without griping (at least in public). It also is not “bullshit” to me that Woodson got better production out of JR Smith than just about any other coach has (Ruru always mentions one short stretch in Denver when JR Smith bought in, and I do not want to litigate that).

    My bottom line is that I consider Woodson to be a good (but not perfect) coach for this team. He obtained above-consensus results from last year’s roster. I do not always agree with his in-game decisions, but I believe that the Knicks are not likely to improve this year’s results by replacing him with hypothetical coach X. I fear that replacing Woodson would be likely putting a sledgehammer to a sheet of ice, and that the shards of the team equilibrium (i.e. effort levels from ‘Melo, JR Smith, Felton and stability of Chandler, MWP and Amar’e) likely would not be successfully re-assembled.

    Your mileage may vary.

  46. KnickfaninNJ

    The Red Sox success with Farrell leads me to believe that the job of manager/coach depends as much upon his ability to juggle personalities as making good in-game decisions. I bet that Bobby Valentine could do a much better job of game-managing the Red Sox in a stratomatic league than Farrell, but Farrell brought rings to Boston where Valentine brought only tumult. Woodson seems to be a good fit to keep the personalities on this team pulling in the same direction. Of course, I am not in the locker room so I do not really know.

    I say that Woodson should have the full season to show what he can do with this team.

    +1, And the Knicks are certainly a team that needs a coach who can juggle personalities.

  47. flossy

    Which begs the question: Why is JR Smith so important to this team??

    Because after Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks don’t have a single player who can maintain a high usage and score with anything remotely approaching acceptable efficiency? Amar’e is perpetually injured, Felton is a horrible scorer, guys like Chandler, Prigioni, etc. don’t seem capable of increasing their usage. None of that falls of Woodson. Bargnani can score but does nothing else well, and Woodson gets crucified by fans for giving Bargs any minutes ever. So if you want to point fingers at Woodson and JR Smith, that’s fine, but how exactly is that Woodson’s fault? Do you think, in his heart of hearts, he wants the success of the team he coaches to be tied to JR Smith?!

  48. thenamestsam

    Well, I’m not exactly pro Woody, but I’m not anti Woody either. I think Woody as a coach is analogous to some players who have bad form, but overall have positive effects on their team. He isn’t decisive acting, and there are constantly small things that go wrong, but his track record in the past for whole seasons with Atlanta and with NY is very good.

    I think this is basically right. On some level you are what your record says you are and Mike Woodson’s record is pretty decent for his career. But as far as I can tell that’s really the only good thing people have to say about him other than that he seems to get along really well with JR Smith. I’m not trying to marginalize that because obviously if you’re a coach who wins that’s just about the only praise you need which is why I agree that it’s too early to talk about a replacement or anything like that.

    But when I think of the guys I consider really good coaches in the league you can tell why people think their teams are well coached. With Pop it’s everything, with Thibs it’s defense, Vogel’s defense, Carlisle’s tactical adjustments, River’s out of bounds plays, Adelman’s offense, Spoelstra’s adaptability. You can see the impact these guys have on their teams every night when you watch them play. Woodson is supposedly a defensive coach except that he’s never coached a team that was particularly good on defense (outside of a Knicks team he inherited mid-season). Evaluating coaches is extremely hard which is why I completely respect the opinions of people who think he’s a good coach – it’s just so hard to tell, but I really don’t see it.

    Woodson on keeping Bargs in the starting lineup for Charlotte: “Maybe I am hard headed but I am going to start it again and just see what it looks like”. Like I said, I don’t see it.

  49. johnno

    On another note, the Erie Bayhawks have apparently acquired the minor league rights to Jeremy Tyler. Does anyone know what that means other than that he plays for the Knick affiliate? Do the Knicks have his NBA rights? Can another team sign him out from under the Knicks?

  50. Brian Cronin

    On another note, the Erie Bayhawks have apparently acquired the minor league rights to Jeremy Tyler. Does anyone know what that means other than that he plays for the Knick affiliate? Do the Knicks have his NBA rights? Can another team sign him out from under the Knicks?

    Yes, another team can sign him. The Knicks don’t own any special rights to him. However, the fact that he signed with their D-League affiliate does suggest that they want to keep an eye on him.

  51. Donnie Walsh

    Because after Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks don’t have a single player who can maintain a high usage and score with anything remotely approaching acceptable efficiency?… Do you think, in his heart of hearts, he wants the success of the team he coaches to be tied to JR Smith?!

    Right, that’s the point. The fact that the success of the team is tied solely to JR Smith is the problem, and there’s no solution that a coach can bring to fix it. Is it Woodson’s fault? No. But the question is, should the Knicks fire him, and I’d say the answer is “yes”, because the further they step away from the JR Smith/Carmelo Anthony/CAA rock that they’ve tethered themselves to, the better they will be in the long run.

    It also is not “bullshit” to me that Woodson got better production out of JR Smith than just about any other coach has

    (The “bullshit” I was referring to was that Smith took “below market” payment, when there is no proof to this (no other suitors as far as anyone can see, and they still gave him their max offer and threw in an extra $500,000 (and a roster spot!) to boot.

  52. AvonBarksdale

    Can anyone deny coach Jeff van Gundy would be a superior coach for this team….not that it’s possible I just wish we had a more definitive system or cohesion with our lineups…we can’t keep trying to adjust to every other team like this its absurd we can’t improve without moving past this stuff first, What do we learn watching footage of square pegs not fitting into round holes? All the other details are skewed from a bizarre perspective if we don’t situate the pieces properly..Bargs misses ziggy.

  53. ephus

    While there may be room for debate whether JR Smith could have gotten a better deal this summer, I think it is indisputable that he signed a below-market deal for 2012-13 (as I wrote above). He took only the 20% raise for Non-Bird rights rather than trying to get the MLE elsewhere. JR wanted to build to Early Bird rights with New York, and I do not think there is a chance that would have happened if he did not have a strong relationship with Woodson.

  54. Z-man

    Rob, thanks as always for the recap. I think the B for Bargnani was a fair grade. At the same time, your commentary suggests that no matter what Bargnani does, he will at best merit back-handed compliments. For the game, the guy shot at a TS% of .700 at a 30% usage, scoring 14 points on 10 shots in 19 minutes. He didn’t cause all the poor passing (like when Melo threw it crosscourt 10 feet over his head, or when Felton, Melo and Shump kept ignoring defenders in the passing lanes.) He didn’t cause Melo or Shump to pick up two early fouls. When he was taken out in the first quarter, the score was 18-13. He didn’t cause the Wolves to go on a 22-6 run after he was taken out. His defense was certainly no worse than his counterparts on the floor with him, or those who came on the court after him in the first quarter. In my opinion, you should have stopped his recap at “Love and Pek,” maybe with a qualifier like, “not enough to convince me that he should be starting or even playing, but at least a step in the right direction.”

  55. Donnie Walsh

    I think it is indisputable that he signed a below-market deal for 2012-13 (as I wrote above)

    Well, indisputable, except for the handshake agreement that may or may not have been made for Smith to play “below market” pay in exchange for a deferred long term deal at or above market value for he (and a bonus for his bro). (And, to the original point, I don’t think Woodson deserves credit for that, even if it’s a credit deserving move (which I seriously doubt it is/will turn out to be)).

  56. Brian Cronin

    Well, indisputable, except for the handshake agreement that may or may not have been made for Smith to play “below market” pay in exchange for a deferred long term deal at or above market value for he (and a bonus for his bro). (And, to the original point, I don’t think Woodson deserves credit for that, even if it’s a credit deserving move (which I seriously doubt it is/will turn out to be)).

    Yeah, no one made JR Smith a MLE offer after the 2011-12 season. The most he could have gotten then was a MMLE deal which obviously was not as good of a deal as the MLE he knew he would get from the Knicks this past offseason after taking roughly the same amount of money as the MMLE for 2012-13.

    This is no offense intended to JR. I just don’t think he ever actually took a real pay cut to play for the Knicks.

    The Knicks offered him the most money in 2011-12 when he got back from China (he possibly would have turned down larger offers from non-contenders but he never actually got a larger offer).

    Then the Knicks offered him basically the same amount of money in 2012-13 as he could have gotten on the open market (roughly $2.8 million from the Knicks as opposed to $3 million he could have gotten for the MMLE and with the Knicks he had the added bonus of knowing he’d get a MLE deal the next year if he took $2.8 million from the Knicks for a year).

    Then this offseason the Knicks offered him the same money as everyone else (the MLE).

  57. Robert Silverman Post author

    Rob, thanks as always for the recap. I think the B for Bargnani was a fair grade. At the same time, your commentary suggests that no matter what Bargnani does, he will at best merit back-handed compliments. For the game, the guy shot at a TS% of .700 at a 30% usage, scoring 14 points on 10 shots in 19 minutes.

    Welcome, z-man. But here’s the thing — despite that, the Knicks’ starting lineup was -37.0 in 13 mins. The Dual PG lineup, in contrast, was +31.8 in 7 mins. Their O/D-rating (can’t find the exact numbers right now) was at 80/110 with Bargs and 100/80 without him. That’s the thing — the Knicks are significantly better when he’s off the court, even on a night when he shoots well.

    He didn’t cause all the poor passing (like when Melo threw it crosscourt 10 feet over his head, or when Felton, Melo and Shump kept ignoring defenders in the passing lanes.) He didn’t cause Melo or Shump to pick up two early fouls. When he was taken out in the first quarter, the score was 18-13.

    Actually, he did partially cause all the poor passing, if indirectly. The problem is, he wrecks the spacing of the offense. (and that’s again, on a night when he shoots well). Chris Herring breaks down how he’s negatively impacting the rest of the team here

    He didn’t cause the Wolves to go on a 22-6 run after he was taken out. His defense was certainly no worse than his counterparts on the floor with him, or those who came on the court after him in the first quarter. In my opinion, you should have stopped his recap at “Love and Pek,” maybe with a qualifier like, “not enough to convince me that he should be starting or even playing, but at least a step in the right direction.”

    It’s more than enough to convince me he shouldn’t be starting.

  58. Brian Cronin

    Welcome, z-man. But here’s the thing — despite that, the Knicks’ starting lineup was -37.0 in 13 mins. The Dual PG lineup, in contrast, was +31.8 in 7 mins. Their O/D-rating (can’t find the exact numbers right now) was at 80/110 with Bargs and 100/80 without him. That’s the thing — the Knicks are significantly better when he’s off the court, even on a night when he shoots well.

    Yeah, it is fair to note that even Woody (Bargs’ biggest fan) basically benched Bargs in the second half and then the Knicks went on their biggest run of the game and got within two points before blowing the game late.

  59. flossy

    I am sure Woodson knows he needs to let Dolan/CAA see the franchise’s new family member get some burn to start the season (at least until such time that it becomes crystal-clear that Bargs is the problem, or, more optimistically, he starts playing well enough that he’s not a problem).

  60. Z-man

    “A lack of spacing helps explain Anthony’s struggles. Only 37.5% of his jumpers have been open looks—a considerable drop from last season, when 55% of his catch-and-shoot jumpers went unguarded, according to Synergy Sports.

    The irony here is that Anthony was supposed to get more space as a result of the Andrea Bargnani trade. But the experiment hasn’t worked yet: Bargnani is shooting fine, but he hasn’t dragged post defenders from the rim for Anthony; two-thirds of Bargnani’s jumpers have gone unguarded.

    As such, Anthony has shot 29.2% and taken many fewer shots from the paint in the 52 minutes he has shared with Bargnani. By contrast, he has shot 43.2% overall, and 30.3% better from the paint, without Bargnani, per NBA.com.”

    So it’s Bargnani’s fault that arguably the best isolation player in the NBA can’t hit a jump shot or make a shot in the paint. Sorry, I’m not buying. If there’s a spacing issue, its on the coach to figure it out and fix it. Deciding at this point that they simply don’t fit on the court together is a cop-out.

    As to the run at the end of the game, the damage was done at the end of the first period, when Bargs wasn’t in the game. When he left the game, they were down 5. At the end of the quarter, it was 40-19. How anyone could have watched that game and concluded that Bargnani’s 19 minutes is what did us in is beyond me.

  61. Robert Silverman Post author

    As to the run at the end of the game, the damage was done at the end of the first period, when Bargs wasn’t in the game. When he left the game, they were down 5. At the end of the quarter, it was 40-19. How anyone could have watched that game and concluded that Bargnani’s 19 minutes is what did us in is beyond me.

    Because even including the awful run at the end of the first w/o Bargs, the Knicks were considerably better when he was off the court. 80/110 O/D rating (on) 100/80 (off). That’s what happened. That’s also what happened in the first two games as well. Yes, going Martin-Chandler when Melo went out was a bad move by Woodson, as I mentioned in the recap, but it doesn’t mean Bargs was effective. He wasn’t.

    So it’s Bargnani’s fault that arguably the best isolation player in the NBA can’t hit a jump shot or make a shot in the paint. Sorry, I’m not buying. If there’s a spacing issue, its on the coach to figure it out and fix it. Deciding at this point that they simply don’t fit on the court together is a cop-out.

    Because teams aren’t defending Bargs on the perimeter for one, and two, he still floats into the paint, which is resulting in poor spacing and fewer open shots for Melo. Like Herring said, “Anthony has shot 29.2% and taken many fewer shots from the paint in the 52 minutes he has shared with Bargnani. By contrast, he has shot 43.2% overall, and 30.3% better from the paint, without Bargnani, per NBA.com.”

    W/r/t point No. 1, I’m sure the coaches are telling him not to do that, but for No. 2, Woodson can’t make other teams defend Bargs on the perimeter. There’s no scheme to counteract that. It’s not that Melo “can’t hit a jump shot,” it’s that he’s getting better, cleaner looks w/o Bargs, playing at PF, in a 2 PG offense or at least w/Metta who does space/spread the floor.

    It’s not his fault that he’s not a fit in this system. But starting him is a big factor in why they’re not playing well.

  62. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, it’s getting hard to figure out who is better than who early on as Team X loses to Team Y and then beats Team Z who beat Team Y.

  63. Z-man

    Rob, read the NYT article. It mentions Bargnani’s D but also gets into the main reason we lost, which was the play of the Knicks guards. Shump sucked. Felton sucked. TH2 REALLY sucked. Prigioni sucked. The spacing issue for Bargs had almost nothing to do with this loss. I suggest you watch the game again, look at every 2 points scored and every shot missed and see for yourself who was responsible. If anything, it was not playing Metta more.

    The overall numbers for the game are also misleading. Yes, we made a dramatic run at the end of the game, but you’ve watched enough games to know that runs like that mean nothing, all they do is distort the stats. How many times have you seen teams relax with big leads, even when the losing team puts their 5 scrubs on the floor? This was one of those games.

    Regarding the 2 PG / Melo at the 4 alignment, that is a recipe for a season that will end with Melo getting another scoring championship and us getting beaten again in the playoffs, probably in the first round this time. In this case, the devil that you don’t know is better than the devil you do know. Our PGs/SGs/SFs are not good enough to contend in the playoffs with Melo at the 4, not vs. the Nets, Bulls, or Pacers, or the Heat now that they have Birdman. It’s fool’s gold, imho.

    It’s noteworthy that Melo is averaging 11 rpg thus far. That’s a good sign going forward. He needs to get back to dominating opposing SFs.

  64. Nick C.

    Z-Man is there another or longer article that mentions the guard play or Felton, Shumpert, Prigs or THJ by name? The one Bob linked references lack of spacing and increased turnovers. The only names mentioned are the absence of Kidd, Sheed, Brewers (???) and Novak with respect to turnovers. Bargs is mentioned as not helping the spacing despite the claim he would. Melo was noted to be shooting poorly, duh. TBBPFKA Artest was mentioned as perhaps needing more PT.

  65. Nick C.

    Thanks Z-Man. In other words taking the two articles together with the impressions watching the game and it is safe to say they sucked all over. (I’m not sure it that should get an lol or a sad face).

  66. Robert Silverman Post author

    The overall numbers for the game are also misleading. Yes, we made a dramatic run at the end of the game, but you’ve watched enough games to know that runs like that mean nothing, all they do is distort the stats.

    The on/off numbers for the team with/without Bargs in the third game were even worse in the first two games. Check the stats I linked to in the recap. It’s not a run ‘distorting’ the stats.

    Regarding the 2 PG / Melo at the 4 alignment, that is a recipe for a season that will end with Melo getting another scoring championship and us getting beaten again in the playoffs, probably in the first round this time. In this case, the devil that you don’t know is better than the devil you do know. Our PGs/SGs/SFs are not good enough to contend in the playoffs with Melo at the 4, not vs. the Nets, Bulls, or Pacers, or the Heat now that they have Birdman. It’s fool’s gold, imho.

    16-1 going back to last season when they start Prigs/Ray/Shump/Melo/Tyson or K-Mart. Spreading the floor got the Knicks to the 2nd round last year, where they lost b/c Tyson was a shell of himself and both Melo and JR were playing through injuries. The problem wasn’t the alignment. And the one game that they did try to go big (Game 4) they were beaten like a gong. But yes, it’s clearly ‘Fool’s Gold.’

  67. DBQ

    Rob. I agree Bargs shouldn’t be starting. It’s all about expectations. Our (Knick fans) expectations for Bargs should be very very very low. In my mind, all he has to do is outperform what Novak gave us at a minimum. I think he can do that. He is not number one pick material, but here he doesn’t have to be, nor should anybody expect anything close to it.

    That said, he doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. He has no presence on the court. He really can’t guard anybody. Your BRILLIANT chart #2 at the end there would argue he shouldn’t even play at all. Very concerning

    It’s only 3 games so I won’t overreact yet. I like the Knicks roster, we have a lot of quality, veteran talent and depth. Woody’s really going to have to earn his money this year, because it appears this talent is extremely mismatched so far. When JR comes back it with further muddle the rotation (probably less minutes for Hardaway, which is ok). If Woody can successfully intregrate minutes for Metta (GREAT addition), Udrih (he needs to get some playing time), K-Mart, and even Bargs, this team can be better than last year. START PRIGS

  68. Frank

    I was (and still am) hopeful that Bargnani will be a useful player for us, but I agree that we really should be playing what is obviously our best lineup — Felton/Prigioni/Shump/Melo/Tyson.

    This isn’t the preseason anymore – that was the chance to try things out for free.

    btw, I’m not so concerned about Melo’s shot % and guarded/unguarded etc. This is 3 games. And my guess is that if Bargnani continues to have a usage in the mid-20s, scoring 23 points on 17 shots (which = TS 67.6) like he has done in the last 2 games, people will start guarding him, opening up more room for Melo. And re: Andrea’s turnovers — at least several of them have been when he passes to teammates and they’re not expecting the pass — that sort of stuff presumably will get better as everyone gets more used to each other.

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