Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Update on Knicks Odds

The other day at the New York Times I wrote about the Knicks’ best odds to move up in the playoff seeding. I noted that catching the Celtics was their best option, which meant that the Knicks defeating Boston on April 17th would nearly double their odds.

I’ve updated my simulation accounting for the Celtics going 2-0 and the Knicks splitting their two matches since that time. New York’s odds have dropped to 3.6% to win the division. If the Knicks beat the Celtics the probability rises to 6.6%. Should they lose, their chances are a microscopic 0.3%. Giving the Knicks a loss in any other game only reduces their odds to 1.0%. Hence why that single game is still the most critical.

117 comments on “Update on Knicks Odds

  1. Frank O.

    from Mr. Grumpy Pants abbey
    and honestly, I seem to be in the minority, but I don’t really like any of these recaps very much. they’re very high on (attempted) humor and very low on analysis or even understanding of what just happened, they’re often flat out wrong on individual assessments.

    and as long as I’m going down this road, I actually don’t think almost any of the ‘articles’ on this site or the associated NY Times snippets are especially insightful, an ideal Knicks blog would combine the Posting and Toasting articles (which are great, very impressed with Seth Rosenthal, who also writes for NY Magazine now) and our comment threads (in which the various authors often have quite a bit of insight to add, some of the best posters here, just not the actual articles).

    my cranky two cents…

    Wow. You must be a blast at parties.
    Are you one of those exec people called in when they need to announce playoffs? I know your gig is music now, but seriously, you’d be good at it.
    I know you know that most of what you’re suggesting is ridiculously subjective. Like, I think Gauguin’s Tahiti phase was complete and utter, self-indulgent, mastabatory, lascivious deviant crap, but much of it still hangs in the Smithsonian and elsewhere and is held in very high regard.
    So I recognize when I say Gauguin’s Tahiti stuff sucks, I’m not stating a fact necessarily, but more an opinion, or personal taste. And he’s dead.

    You sometimes say things that are so definitive and probably insensitive unnecessarily, but hey, that’s just an opinion.

    I don’t think our friends’ prose are great artistry, necessarily, but they are better, IMHO, than you give credit for. Bad day?

    I realize this encourages your rapier-like commentary. But friends don’t kind of shit on friends, and I suspect Thomas, Bob, Jim, Mike, Brian and others you consider friends at least after all these years.

  2. Frank O.

    And while we don’t know each other, Jon, we’ve had dozens and dozens of exchanges and differences over the years, but I always weigh your comments. You are succinct and often correct, IMHO.
    But at times your commentary is caustic, impatient, angry, competitive and oddly personal sometimes.

    I guess I like our guys, admire the effort they put into it, and I see experimentation, which is brave, that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. And we get it all, every word of it for free.

    And just like this message, your don’t have to read it. Lol

  3. ABG

    You know, I also found the recap below my expectations. While I enjoyed the dry, self-deprecating wit of the Carmelo Anthony report to suit my tastes, I was less than enthused with the Terminator reference. It seemed the chef tried a bit too hard.

    As I’m new here, would someone direct me to the person with whom I speak about a refund?

  4. villainx

    I was going to say that’s for anticipating my question about the Knicks playoff odds, but the post focused on catching the Celtics.

    Now that the Knicks are two up, maybe three based on conference records, with eight games to go. Anyone updated possible scenarios with game remaining?

  5. massive

    According to Bill Simmons, the Nets could have had Paul Pierce for the same package that got them Gerald Wallace, but opted for Gerald Wallace because he’s 5 years younger. I’m glad the Celtics didn’t get New Jersey’s pick, but I don’t understand why Billy King still has a job. But then again, maybe their owner had a lot to do with that deal. That deal could very well allow Portland to draft Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, or Harrison Barnes with the Nets pick. If I was a Nets fan, I would be so upset.

    Also, Jason Kidd plans on playing another season. He’d be a great back-up PG here. He has a ring, too, so it’s not like he’d be dying to play for Miami.

  6. Grymm

    Here’s my take:
    BOS/ATL/ORL all have 8 games left with a 4 game lead on the NYK. So, in order for the Knicks to even tie one, that team would have to play .500 while the Knicks run out. I see the top side of the Knicks next 8 games as 6 wins so that means one of those teams closing 2-6 with the Knicks owning the tiebreaker. I don’t see that happening.

    Against MIL, the NYK actually should have the tiebreaker as they split head to head and the Knicks have faired better against other playoff teams. Actually, last I saw, MIL is almost the perfect .500 team. They lose to teams above .500 and beat teams below .500 very consistently. The Knicks have 4 bad teams and 4 good teams left on their schedule. I’m thinking 5-3 (maybe 4-4). If they do that, MIL needs to go 7-1 minimum to take the spot (regain 2 games and then 1 more to pass the NYK). I see MIL going about 5-3 (I’m giving them the last game of the season assuming Boston rests players).

    Interestingly, both PHI and MIL play IND twice. I could see PHI going 5-3 if they snap out of their funk. However, they could also lose 5 of 8. The NYK are 2-1 vs PHI (correct?). Personally, I’m kind of ambivalent. If PHI plays well, we get CHI. If they keep dropping off, we get MIA. The Knicks COULD tank and drop out of the playoffs, but, really, if you’re playing that poorly, it wouldn’t be fun to watch a playoff series.

  7. jon abbey

    Frank O:

    I said it was a minority opinion, but I’m sticking to it. plenty of people disagreed with me after I said it, that doesn’t mean I should keep it to myself. if people are asking for positive feedback (and they are, both Thomas and Robert asked for praise for their recaps on that thread), they should accept some occasional negative feedback too. I say what I think whenever possible, and hopefully my honesty makes my praise (when it comes) more meaningful than just backslapping whenever anyone does anything, regardless of merit.

    as for Mike’s update above, IMO it’s as meaningless and incorrect as his initial piece on this topic. we’re not winning the division, we haven’t had a chance to win the division since Boston started playing like a top team in the league again. run all the numbers you want, but we’re four games back with eight to play with one head-to-head game left, and there’s a good chance we lose the tiebreaker even if we win that game. sorry, that’s the way I see it.

  8. Caleb

    @10 not sure Mike (or his computer) disagrees, seeing as how it gives us a 3 percent chance of winning the division. That would make it a once-in-33 years-last-two-weeks comeback.

    And something for all the paranoid people to chew on: “Knick-hater” Hollinger has a nice piece up on why Chandler should be DPOY. It’s not numbers-heavy, just spouts some frustration and makes some points that will be obvious to many people here, but not for the rest of the basketball world.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/PERDiem-120411/nba-chandler-leads-hollinger-all-defensive-team

  9. New Guy

    Speaking of the Celtics, has anyone seen the minutes they’re logging? For the back to back v Mia & Atl, it went like this:

    Rondo: 40, 47
    Garnett: 33, 33
    Pierce: 40, 41
    Bass: 39, 42
    Allen: 35, DNP

    And this isn’t new. Remember the OT game we played them in Feb?

    Pierce: 46
    Garnett: 41
    Rondo: 48
    Allen: 45

    And yet, despite being significantly younger, we are the ones constantly dealing with injuries.

  10. TelegraphedPass

    Meh. They’ve had to weather injuries to Allen, early injuries to Pierce, losing Jeff Green, losing Mickael Pietrus, losing Jermaine O’Neal, etc.

  11. New Guy

    That wasn’t really my point, that’s just dumb luck (the injuries). But they’re recent revival began when they started going against the grain and playing huge minutes to their main players. While everyone else is resting and conserving, they’re burning out to maximize their core…yet no one’s burning out. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out/if it can sustain. Right now, if I had to bet on anyone coming out of the East, I think I’d pick them. I just wonder if they’ll look worn out by May.

  12. ruruland

    villainx:
    It would be nice to win the division, but I’m just worried about making the playoffs.

    Both Orlando and Atlanta are potential marks. Knicks have to go 7-1 though, maybe even undefeated.

  13. ruruland

    New Guy:
    That wasn’t really my point, that’s just dumb luck (the injuries).But they’re recent revival began when they started going against the grain and playing huge minutes to their main players.While everyone else is resting and conserving, they’re burning out to maximize their core…yet no one’s burning out.It will be very interesting to see how it plays out/if it can sustain.Right now, if I had to bet on anyone coming out of the East, I think I’d pick them.I just wonder if they’ll look worn out by May.

    The physical advantage they seem to be playing with will turn into a a mental advantage in the playoffs— very smart to really go full throttle at this point. They’re in a much better place than last year. Obviously a lot of it is the older guys’ alarms going off again.

    Considering what they did to the Heat the last two games, when they meet up again… honestly think they can win that series.

    Also, the Heat trio… they’re feeling the pressure and it’s only going to get worse.

    Lebron went so hard the first 3 months I’m not sure if he’s going to be a monster in the playoffs this year.

  14. Z

    New Guy: [their] recent revival began when they started going against the grain and playing huge minutes to their main players.While everyone else is resting and conserving, they’re burning out to maximize their core…yet no one’s burning out.It will be very interesting to see how it plays out/if it can sustain.

    They did this exact same thing last year, and the year before. Everyone pronounces them dead in March, and then they turn it on in April. They rest and conserve while everybody else is playing hard. Then when everybody starts to fade, they kick it up. Tortoise and hare, if you will, but it is the advantage of having a team of veterans and steady professionals.

    And, I agree with jon that the Boston game is no more important at this point than any other of the remaining 8 because we ain’t catching them.

  15. gjknick

    Ship has sailed on winning the division but we need to keep pushing to ensure a playoff spot. We’re ahead, but it would be easy to have a drop off in effort against Washington and give back some of what we gained.
    As to Jon’s thoughts about the recaps and articles in general, I find the quality of the writing and the usually successful attempts at humor refreshing on a sports blog. Appreciate the effort put in and not pandering to the lowest common denominator. That said, all writers need some honest feedback from their readers occassionally and I bet these writers are strong enough to handle whatever Jon is dishing.
    Just for comparison, I find the writing on this blog to be lightyears ahead of that found on Posting and Toasting though I do appreciate some of the analysis done there.
    In the end, the biggest reason I come to this site is the dialogue and comments. Thanks for creating the space for an unusually intelligent knick conversation.

  16. Peter87

    Bowen quote from this article (http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/16525/bruce-bowen-iman-is-paving-own-path-on-d):

    “At Madison Square Garden, he was able to be physical against Chicago. But when the Knicks visited Chicago, he wasn’t getting the same calls. He needs to learn when to back off on the road. If he sticks with it in time, he’ll excel.”

    OK, everyone already knew this intuitively, but here it is explicitly confirmed by a very good NBA player. Doesn’t this kind of suck? Should there really be this big of a difference in calls?

    My question is this: is this because of the inevitable fact that refs are human and are subconsciously influenced by the crowd, or is it (conspiracy theory warning) intentional by the NBA? Perhaps they sell more tickets when the home team wins more often.

  17. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    Frank O:

    I said it was a minority opinion, but I’m sticking to it. plenty of people disagreed with me after I said it, that doesn’t mean I should keep it to myself. if people are asking for positive feedback (and they are, both Thomas and Robert asked for praise for their recaps on that thread), they should accept some occasional negative feedback too. I say what I think whenever possible, and hopefully my honesty makes my praise (when it comes) more meaningful than just backslapping whenever anyone does anything, regardless of merit.

    as for Mike’s update above, IMO it’s as meaningless and incorrect as his initial piece on this topic. we’re not winning the division, we haven’t had a chance to win the division since Boston started playing like a top team in the league again. run all the numbers you want, but we’re four games back with eight to play with one head-to-head game left, and there’s a good chance we lose the tiebreaker even if we win that game. sorry, that’s the way I see it.

    As I said, I respect your comments. We’re all grown ups – at least most of us – with different styles of engagement. So be it. I think your point about fishing for compliments is fair, for what that’s worth.

  18. Frank O.

    Caleb:
    @10 not sure Mike (or his computer) disagrees, seeing as how it gives us a 3 percent chance of winning the division. That would make it aonce-in-33 years-last-two-weeks comeback.

    And something for all the paranoid people to chew on: “Knick-hater” Hollinger has a nice piece up on why Chandler should be DPOY. It’s not numbers-heavy, just spouts some frustration and makes some points that will be obvious to many people here, but not for the rest of the basketball world.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/PERDiem-120411/nba-chandler-leads-hollinger-all-defensive-team

    I do find it amusing of late that people are quoting Hollinger so often now, given he has been excoriated here so roundly in the past.
    Although, I’m not sure whether those who have noted him have necessarily been his critics in the past. Just a general impression.

  19. jon abbey

    Peter87:

    My question is this: is this because of the inevitable fact that refs are human and are subconsciously influenced by the crowd, or is it (conspiracy theory warning) intentional by the NBA?Perhaps they sell more tickets when the home team wins more often.

    that book ‘Scorecasting’ from a couple of years ago examined this and came to some conclusions, here’s a piece on it:

    http://www.thefixisin.net/homefield.html

  20. ABG

    I break down the remaining schedule into the next six games, and then the final two.

    We aren’t catching any of the teams ahead of us (save Philly, and really I don’t care whether we end up 7 or 8), but it would be of maximum benefit to this team to clinch by Sunday 4/22 against Atlanta. That way, Woodson can rest Melo, Tyson, Davis, Shumpert etc (and not rush Amare back too quickly) for a full week before the playoffs begin and get some additional practice and film time in without worrying about the Clippers and Bobcats.

  21. JR Sec 112

    jon abbey: that book ‘Scorecasting’ from a couple of years ago examined this and came to some conclusions, here’s a piece on it:

    http://www.thefixisin.net/homefield.html

    Thanks for posting that. Fascinating.

    Quick question on tiebraker w Bucks. What is after conference record? The way it stands now, if Bucks gain 2 games on Knicks in last 8, they will lose in conference record as well UNLESS one of losses for Knicks is v Clippers (only game either team has out of conference for the remainder of the season). In other words, Knicks go 4-4, 4-3 v conference teams (loss out of conference to clips) and finish 27-21 in conference. Bucks go 6-2, 6-2 in conference, finish 27-21. Is Head to Head common opponents next and, if so, any idea who gets tiebreak?

  22. StatsTeacher

    Hi all — first day poster on KB — love the site. Followed Lin to NY from GS and I think I can give (maybe) some useful insight. I am a hardcore Knick fan now, watch every game on League Pass.

    Re: Baron, he was awesome on the GS “We Believe” run, so I am still a bit of a Baron fan, but that run also showed the true impossibility of a jump shooting team going far. Utah outrebounded GS by ~ 20 boards/game, and we had almost no dribble penetration. That is why I love Lin. If you look at Hollinger, he says Lin is the 10th best PG in the game, but there are guards above him I would NEVER want. Curry puts almost no pressure on the defense, sweet jump shot but big deal. No free throws, hardly ever wins. Rondo (below Lin BTW on PER) IS better than Lin because he puts huge pressure on the d. Baron used to be an amazing athlete, so I feel very bad for him now, not sure he’ll ever get it back.

    A few weeks ago there was some discussion on how GS “missed” Lin, and they did, but Linsanity was impossible on GS because they have no, and I mean ZERO big men that can run a pnr. They can barely p and have no chance at r and cannot EVER make a shot. Chandler made Linsanity, and is IMHO the best 5 in the game, would NOT want Howard. I have been watching GS ball for years, and last night the Bucks played 100% GS ball: Monta and Jennings took hundreds (it seemed) low % shots and jump shot-ed their way to an early end.

    lastly (apologies for the long post) Lin was not missed. You would have to be brain dead living in NorCal as I do and not notice Lin. He was a dominant hs player that led an improbable 32-1 run culminating in a state hs championship. The first time I saw him was on a short local TV newsclip and I thought, “Who is that dude dribbling around in the paint, yelling at his team-mates and making the perfect pass?” and that was in a 20 second clip when he was in hs.

    Anyway, nice to see Knicks are probably in, and I hope Lin returns for round 1…

  23. ruruland

    Peter87:
    Bowen quote from this article (http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/16525/bruce-bowen-iman-is-paving-own-path-on-d):

    “At Madison Square Garden, he was able to be physical against Chicago. But when the Knicks visited Chicago, he wasn’t getting the same calls. He needs to learn when to back off on the road. If he sticks with it in time, he’ll excel.”

    OK, everyone already knew this intuitively, but here it is explicitly confirmed by a very good NBA player.Doesn’t this kind of suck?Should there really be this big of a difference in calls?

    My question is this: is this because of the inevitable fact that refs are human and are subconsciously influenced by the crowd, or is it (conspiracy theory warning) intentional by the NBA?Perhaps they sell more tickets when the home team wins more often.

    It’s a combination of a lot of things. Say what you will about Donaghy, I interviewed him for three hours back when he was trying to promote his book, and while there is a legitimate conspiracy angle to this, it has a lot to do with the personalities of officials and how they mesh with players and environments.

    Some guys are really susceptible to making bad calls in certain situations, other guys are the complete opposite — so tough that they swallow the whistle when there are obvious fouls.
    That’s just the surface, because the small group dynamics are just as important. officials call games in groups, meaning that they either consciously or unconsciously follow in-game patters of other officials.

    Iman will get a lot more calls as his rep. grows. But against a team with a great record at home coming off a loss? You probably aren’t going to get away with stuff like you would in other…

  24. ruruland

    ABG:
    I break down the remaining schedule into the next six games, and then the final two.

    We aren’t catching any of the teams ahead of us (save Philly, and really I don’t care whether we end up 7 or 8), but it would be of maximum benefit to this team to clinch by Sunday 4/22 against Atlanta.That way, Woodson can rest Melo, Tyson, Davis, Shumpert etc (and not rush Amare back too quickly) for a full week before the playoffs begin and get some additional practice and film time in without worrying about the Clippers and Bobcats.

    Look at the schedule again for Atlanta and Orlando and tell me there isn’t a good chance one of them finishes with 28-29 losses…

    there isn’t a playoff-potential team in the league that won’t be going full tilt until the end– that’s how close every race is — for HCA, seeds, and making the playoffs.

    the one guy I’d sit would be Baron, but i don;t think it will happen (and I was under the impression he was going to rest for a week)

  25. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    Amare is aiming to return on Wednesday against the Nets, according to Marc Berman.

    If he can go Wednesday he should go Tuesday instead. We need him Sunday.

  26. ruruland

    Z: They did this exact same thing last year, and the year before. Everyone pronounces them dead in March, and then they turn it on in April. They rest and conserve while everybody else is playing hard. Then when everybody starts to fade, they kick it up. Tortoise and hare, if you will, but it is the advantage of having a team of veterans and steady professionals.

    And, I agree with jon that the Boston game is no more important at this point than any other of the remaining 8 because we ain’t catching them.

    Yep. Spurs did that for years, too. Boston is a HUGE game for the team’s collective spirit and mentality in the playoffs.

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ruruland: Boston is a HUGE game for the team’s collective spirit and mentality in the playoffs.

    Dr. Ruruland, Licensed Psychoanalyst over here.

  28. ruruland

    “It feels great,” Smith said of Woodson’s confidence in him. “He’s been sticking with me a lot for the last two games. Over and over, he’s been showing his confidence in me.”

    “Without a doubt,” he said, conceding, “I wasn’t having the best game all around. My individual defense was terrible tonight. It’s something I’ve got to keep working on and get better at.” Besides being much more self-effacing in NY, he’s also been much more candid about his play.

  29. hnwingo

    I like the game recaps very much but would strongly urge the writers to move to an 80% analysis, 20% style and humour approach. Usually the jokes, inside references, cultural asides take over and are highly distracting. The analysis, well-written and direct can stand on its own. I thank Mr. Abbey for raising this and am very much in debt to the writers of this site for all their tremendous work.

  30. JR Sec 112

    So, no one has any idea what the tiebreaker after conf record is and how we match up against the Bucks in that respect?

  31. ruruland

    hnwingo:
    I like the game recaps very much but would strongly urge the writers to move to an 80% analysis, 20% style and humour approach.Usually the jokes, inside references, cultural asides take over and are highly distracting.The analysis, well-written and direct can stand on its own. I thank Mr. Abbey for raising this and am very much in debt to the writers of this site for all their tremendous work.

    Obviously Robert is an extremely talented writer, but sometimes I think he tries too hard to be funny. I love reading a lot of it, but I don’t think everyone needs to be Cavan. Sometimes I don’t think Cavan should be so Cavan.

    So, yeah, the peanut gallery speaks.

  32. ruruland

    JR Sec 112:
    So, no one has any idea what the tiebreaker after conf record is and how we match up against the Bucks in that respect?

    No one.

  33. ABG

    jon abbey:
    Amare is aiming to return on Wednesday against the Nets, according to Marc Berman.

    Read that article again. Absolutely no sourcing whatsoever. Seems like he’s speculating in the form of news.

  34. villainx

    ruruland: No one.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_Playoffs,

    Two-Team Tiebreaker:
    Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division)
    Better record in head-to-head games
    Higher winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
    Higher winning percentage in conference games
    Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference (including tied teams)
    Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in opposite conference (including tied teams)

    Three-Team Tiebreaker:
    Division winner (this criterion is applied regardless of whether the tied teams are in the same division)
    Best head-to-head winning percentage among all teams tied
    Highest winning percentage within division (if all tied teams are in the same division)
    Highest winning percentage in conference games
    Highest winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference (including tied teams)
    Highest point differential between points scored and points allowed

  35. ABG

    ruruland: Look at the schedule again for Atlanta and Orlando and tell me there isn’t a good chance one of them finishes with 28-29 losses…

    there isn’t a playoff-potential team in the league that won’t be going full tilt until the end– that’s how close every race is — for HCA, seeds, and making the playoffs.

    the one guy I’d sit would be Baron, but i don;t think it will happen (and I was under the impression he was going to rest for a week)

    Ok, I’ll bite.

    Assuming we are ONLY catching possibly the loser of the Orlando/Atlanta game.

    The loser of that game has 25 losses.

    If its Orlando, I see two “Likely” losses (@Bos, @Mem). That takes them to 27 losses. From there, I see one 50/50 game (@Den). Lets say they lose that–it takes them to 28 losses. Then they’d have to lose one of the remaining two unlikely, but possible, games on their schedule (vs. Philly, or @Utah). So if they did that, it would take them to 29 losses. So to catch Orlando, we’d have to go 8-0, beating the Celtics, Heat, Hawks and Clippers just to tie. I guess its POSSIBLE, but I wouldn’t go building a strategy around it.

    Now, Atlanta is far more likely. If they are the loser of the Orl/Atl game, they will have 25 losses. We’d have to assume a loss to us for this to work, so that takes them to 26 losses. They would have to then lose all three games–all at home–to Boston, Dallas and the Clips.

    And now for all of our trouble, what do we get for the hard work of ending up in the sixth seed? The hottest team in basketball and a team that is just a bad matchup–the Celtics.

    Frankly, I say a realistic goal should be to play even or a game ahead of Milwaukee for the next six games, clinch with a win in Atlanta, and rest to get ready for Chicago or Miami. Likely by that point we’ll have been eliminated from the 3-6 spots anyway.

  36. jon abbey

    ABG: Read that article again. Absolutely no sourcing whatsoever.Seems like he’s speculating in the form of news.

    I mean, I think Berman is awful, but that piece specifically reads like he was told this and allowed to print it as long as he didn’t source who told him.

  37. ruruland

    ABG: Ok, I’ll bite.

    Assuming we are ONLY catching possibly the loser of the Orlando/Atlanta game.

    The loser of that game has 25 losses.

    If its Orlando, I see two “Likely” losses (@Bos, @Mem). That takes them to 27 losses.From there, I see one 50/50 game (@Den).Lets say they lose that–it takes them to 28 losses.Then they’d have to lose one of the remaining two unlikely, but possible, games on their schedule (vs. Philly, or @Utah).So if they did that, it would take them to 29 losses.So to catch Orlando, we’d have to go 8-0, beating the Celtics, Heat, Hawks and Clippers just to tie.I guess its POSSIBLE, but I wouldn’t go building a strategy around it.

    Now, Atlanta is far more likely.If they are the loser of the Orl/Atl game, they will have 25 losses. We’d have to assume a loss to us for this to work, so that takes them to 26 losses.They would have to then lose all three games–all at home–to Boston, Dallas and the Clips.

    And now for all of our trouble, what do we get for the hard work of ending up in the sixth seed? The hottest team in basketball and a team that is just a bad matchup–the Celtics.

    Frankly, I say a realistic goal should be to play even or a game ahead of Milwaukee for the next six games, clinch with a win in Atlanta, and rest to get ready for Chicago or Miami.Likely by that point we’ll have been eliminated from the 3-6 spots anyway.

    Considering Dwight’s back, Hedo being out and the fact that they’re in turmoil and just lost to Washington, I’d say Philly, Utah and Denver are all 50-50 games at the very least…. Denver just beat them in Orlando with Anderson and Turkey in the lineup.

    Given where they’re at Cleveland isn’t a lock either, not with Irving back.

    The Knicks have 28 losses. If they go undefeated Atlanta or Orlando would only have to lose 4 games– the Knicks will have both tiebreakers assuming…

  38. ABG

    jon abbey:

    I am fine with anonymous sourcing in journalism, but not to even mention that the information comes from SOMEWHERE tells me he’s just making shit up.

  39. ruruland

    Also, Indiana is two games up on Boston. They’d likely be the team we’d face as the sixth seed, assuming we go 7-1 (and beat Boston) and one of the other teams loses five of its remaining games.

  40. jon abbey

    ABG: Ok, I’ll bite.

    Assuming we are ONLY catching possibly the loser of the Orlando/Atlanta game.

    The loser of that game has 25 losses.

    If its Orlando, I see two “Likely” losses (@Bos, @Mem). That takes them to 27 losses.From there, I see one 50/50 game (@Den).Lets say they lose that–it takes them to 28 losses.Then they’d have to lose one of the remaining two unlikely, but possible, games on their schedule (vs. Philly, or @Utah).So if they did that, it would take them to 29 losses.So to catch Orlando, we’d have to go 8-0, beating the Celtics, Heat, Hawks and Clippers just to tie.I guess its POSSIBLE, but I wouldn’t go building a strategy around it.

    Now, Atlanta is far more likely.If they are the loser of the Orl/Atl game, they will have 25 losses. We’d have to assume a loss to us for this to work, so that takes them to 26 losses.They would have to then lose all three games–all at home–to Boston, Dallas and the Clips.

    And now for all of our trouble, what do we get for the hard work of ending up in the sixth seed? The hottest team in basketball and a team that is just a bad matchup–the Celtics.

    Frankly, I say a realistic goal should be to play even or a game ahead of Milwaukee for the next six games, clinch with a win in Atlanta, and rest to get ready for Chicago or Miami.Likely by that point we’ll have been eliminated from the 3-6 spots anyway.

    exactly, maybe you should be writing pieces for the NY Times. :)

  41. ABG

    jon abbey: exactly, maybe you should be writing pieces for the NY Times. :)

    Well, I didn’t actually source anything, so I CAN write for the Post.

  42. Caleb

    Orlando is the obvious candidate for collapse, with all the injuries and the team chaos. If Dwight gets back spasms for three games, they could easily go 2-6 or 1-7. Who thought Philly would go on a 5-game losing streak?

    Unlikely as it is for us to move up, Boston is IMO the best matchup by far, even though they’re playing well. Unless you think Derrick Rose is going to be gimpy the rest of the way, which, as I think about it, isn’t farfetched.

  43. Caleb

    Of course we’re not really aiming for a particular spot, we’re just trying to win all the games, regardless. (unless we’re locked in and we choose to rest players at some point).

  44. ruruland

    Caleb:
    Orlando is the obvious candidate for collapse, with all the injuries and the team chaos. If Dwight gets back spasms for three games, they could easily go 2-6 or 1-7. Who thought Philly would go on a 5-game losing streak?

    Unlikely as it is for us to move up, Boston is IMO the best matchup by far, even though they’re playing well. Unless you think Derrick Rose is going to be gimpy the rest of the way, which, as I think about it, isn’t farfetched.

    I’d rather face Chicago then Boston. Indiana has a home heavy schedule and a two-game lead on Boston — we’re not facing Boston. It’s either Indiana, Miami or Chicago.

  45. Frank

    I seem to have completely missed this, but apparently Zach Randolph is coming off the bench now for Memphis? Done so that the second unit doesn’t get totally outscored all the time? And now Memphis is basically unbeatable? Sounds like a good precedent for bringing Amare off the bench when he is ready.

  46. Zach Horst

    Frank:
    I seem to have completely missed this, but apparently Zach Randolph is coming off the bench now for Memphis?Done so that the second unit doesn’t get totally outscored all the time?And now Memphis is basically unbeatable?Sounds like a good precedent for bringing Amare off the bench when he is ready.

    My cousin had texted me this morning about this exact scenario. He suggested a starting lineup (when everyone is healthy) of Lin, Shumpert, Fields, Melo and Chandler. Second unit – Davis, JR Smith, Novak, STAT, and Jeffries. I agreed for the most part, but suggested Shumpert may be swapped with Lin to give the second unit a bit more defense.

    Over the past two seasons, the Knicks have played in three main scenarios – Stoudemire alone as the star (played well), Lin alone as the star(played well), Melo alone as the star(played great). Still, we haven’t seen the team play well with any combination of these players. It’s unsettling to say the least, and it’s up to the coach to tweak the lineups for maximum efficiency.

  47. art vandelay

    Frank O.: I do find it amusing of late that people are quoting Hollinger so often now, given he has been excoriated here so roundly in the past.
    Although, I’m not sure whether those who have noted him have necessarily been his critics in the past. Just a general impression.

    I actually like his work, and I have pointed out on here several times his inherent bias over the years against the Knicks, but I usually flag his articles because they provide some degree of statistical insight.

  48. Zach Horst

    art vandelay: I actually like his work, and I have pointed out on here several times his inherent bias over the years against the Knicks, but I usually flag his articles because they provide some degree of statistical insight.

    I think his statistical analysis has lead him to portray the Knicks in a bad light. That’s to be expected though, because, well, from a statistical standpoint they have been less than positive in the past ten years.

  49. Ben R

    Getting to the 7th seed is better than staying at the 8 because if we can somehow survive the 1st round we would get a favorable matchup vs either Indiana, Atlanta or Orlando in the 2nd round. If we stay at the 8th seed and somehow survive that puts us against Boston in the 2nd round.

    I know that surviving this opening round will be near impossible but if we do the door to the finals could be slightly ajar. Lets assume that other than us the other top seeds advance so we beat 7th seed Miami/Chicago and the other beats Philly, Boston beats either Atlanta/Orlando and Indiana beats the other one. That leaves an easy 2nd round matchup vs Indiana for us while Chicago/Miami and Boston get to pound each other in what will likely be a long tough series.

    This leaves us going into the conference finals confident and rested while whoever survives the Boston series is tired and hopefully shaken. This would be the best possible scenerio.

  50. Thomas B.

    jon abbey:

    Frank O:

    I said it was a minority opinion, but I’m sticking to it. plenty of people disagreed with me after I said it, that doesn’t mean I should keep it to myself. if people are asking for positive feedback (and they are, both Thomas and Robert asked for praise for their recaps on that thread), they should accept some occasional negative feedback too..

    The request for praise was just a joke on my part. There really is no reason to debate whether my observations or jokes are any good. Even I would agree that most of them are not great. But a recap needed to be done and we don’t always have the very best folks around to do it, so I do what I can to help the KB team. If you liked it, thanks. If you didn’t, thanks for reading it anyway and telling me how I can improve. I’m all for hearing what you folks think of my work good or bad.

    Every member of the KB staff contributes because he feels he has something to offer. We put ourselves out there to be praised or ridiculed with each article. Good or bad we do it to give you something to talk about it. We do it everyday. We do it after our primary jobs. We do it after we tuck the kids in bed. We do it after our AA meeting. We do it after classes. We do it when we’d really rather be getting some sleep. And we do it for free.
    I am very lucky to work with a great team of guys here at KB. Are we perfect? Of course not. But I am proud that we can occasionally do some really awesome work.

    Thanks for the feedback, posters. Keep it coming.

  51. ruruland

    Zach Horst

    Over the past two seasons, the Knicks have played in three main scenarios – Stoudemire alone as the star (played well), Lin alone as the star(played well), Melo alone as the star(played great). It’s unsettling to say the least, and it’s up to the coach to tweak the lineups for maximum efficiency.

    Melo put up some of his best statistical seasons playing alongside Allen Iverson, one of the highest usage players in NBA history, and one of the most difficult guys ever to mesh with given his unpredictable style of play.
    He played a season and a half with him and his last four months were ridiculously efficient– well over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3. It took time for those guys to get the 1/3 pick and roll down and how to space each other.

    It took him awhile to adjust to Billups, and for Billups to adjust to him (though he was injured in ’09) but was extremely efficient in the playoffs and in ’10 before both got injured that year.

    Last year, to me, in Denver, would have been more of anomaly given you know what. But he was great with Billups in NY as the two had to rely on each other in a new system and environment — sans the team crushing distractions

    Melo has adjusted with pretty much every kind of player imaginable, outside of a post-up guy (he’s never really played with good one).

    The key is that he touches the ball a lot. That doesn’t mean you go away from Lin 4 out and high pnr, go away from Amar;e. It just means that you mix in post-ups, screen and rolls, and isolations for Melo a good amount of the time.

    When he starts to put up a few consecutive months like he’s playing now, teams won’t let him go to work (and this stretch used to be pretty much normal). Lin and Amar’e can absolutely thrive when Melo is the focus — just as so many guys have in the past with Melo.

  52. ruruland

    Frank:
    I seem to have completely missed this, but apparently Zach Randolph is coming off the bench now for Memphis?Done so that the second unit doesn’t get totally outscored all the time?And now Memphis is basically unbeatable?Sounds like a good precedent for bringing Amare off the bench when he is ready.

    If Fields can’t start making a few shots, you might as well cart Amar’e out there because he can relieve some of the pressure from the mid-range AND ACTUALLY create his own shot.
    I have no idea why we haven’t seen more Melo/ Amar’e two man game — some of it might be the poor screen setting, but I think a lot of it was MDA’s insistence on using Chandler as the screener in the 4-out.

  53. jon abbey

    Zach Horst: My cousin had texted me this morning about this exact scenario. He suggested a starting lineup (when everyone is healthy) of Lin, Shumpert, Fields, Melo and Chandler. Second unit – Davis, JR Smith, Novak, STAT, and Jeffries. I agreed for the most part, but suggested Shumpert may be swapped with Lin to give the second unit a bit more defense.

    so this assumes that Lin will be ready to play before the Knicks are eliminated? I think that’s about as likely as Mike’s dream of NY winning the division, neither are happening IMO.

  54. max fisher-cohen

    Zach Horst: My cousin had texted me this morning about this exact scenario. He suggested a starting lineup (when everyone is healthy) of Lin, Shumpert, Fields, Melo and Chandler. Second unit – Davis, JR Smith, Novak, STAT, and Jeffries. I agreed for the most part, but suggested Shumpert may be swapped with Lin to give the second unit a bit more defense.

    Over the past two seasons, the Knicks have played in three main scenarios – Stoudemire alone as the star (played well), Lin alone as the star(played well), Melo alone as the star(played great). Still, we haven’t seen the team play well with any combination of these players. It’s unsettling to say the least, and it’s up to the coach to tweak the lineups for maximum efficiency.

    This is my one major concern that prevents me from buying into this team. We always knew that Melo and Stat could be very good as #1 options. We saw Lin be great as a #1 option.

    Look at the best lineups for OKC, Miami, or Chicago. In almost all the best lineups you have their stars in together.

    New York’s 3 best lineups with over 20MP this season are:

    1) Lin, Jeremy – Shumpert, Iman – Fields, Landry – Novak, Steve – Chandler, Tyson

    2) Shumpert, Iman – Smith, J.R. – Fields, Landry – Anthony, Carmelo – Chandler, Tyson

    3) Douglas, Toney – Fields, Landry – Anthony, Carmelo – Jeffries, Jared – Chandler, Tyson

    Not a single one with even 2 of our 3 best scorers.

  55. Brian Cronin

    Fields and Chandler in all three of the top lineups. Chandler is obvious, Fields is surprising (it might have more to do with Fields just never getting hurt). And yes, the fact that the Knicks’ three best offensive players can’t seem to all excel when playing together is a big problem going forward.

  56. ruruland

    max fisher-cohen: This is my one major concern that prevents me from buying into this team. We always knew that Melo and Stat could be very good as #1 options. We saw Lin be great as a #1 option.

    Look at the best lineups for OKC, Miami, or Chicago. In almost all the best lineups you have their stars in together.

    New York’s 3 best lineups with over 20MP this season are:

    1) Lin, Jeremy – Shumpert, Iman – Fields, Landry – Novak, Steve – Chandler, Tyson

    2) Shumpert, Iman – Smith, J.R. – Fields, Landry – Anthony, Carmelo – Chandler, Tyson

    3) Douglas, Toney – Fields, Landry – Anthony, Carmelo – Jeffries, Jared – Chandler, Tyson

    Not a single one with even 2 of our 3 best scorers.

    it always takes longer for high usage guys to adjust to each other. They can all complement each other very well if they sacrifice a little.

  57. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:
    Also, lineup #2 should be the Knicks’ starting lineup on Friday.

    Baron was good at the start of the Bucks game, I’d rather take advantage of his few quality minutes early on, and go to that lineup more down the stretch.

    how the hell is TD/Fields/Melo/Jeffries/Chandler in our top lineups? not sure that passes the smell test.

  58. Brian Cronin

    Baron was good at the start of the Bucks game, I’d rather take advantage of his few quality minutes early on, and go to that lineup more down the stretch.

    Fair enough. Do you agree that they should have Shump as officially the back-up 1 and no more Bibby/Toney?

  59. ruruland

    jon abbey: Baron was good at the start of the Bucks game, I’d rather take advantage of his few quality minutes early on, and go to that lineup more down the stretch.

    how the hell is TD/Fields/Melo/Jeffries/Chandler in our top lineups? not sure that passes the smell test.

    SSS of 27 minutes bro: http://www.82games.com/1112/1112NYK2.HTM

  60. Juany8

    Amar’e and Chandler were never going to work as long as Amar’e was missing open jumpers and the team was playing with no point guard, so the time before Lin can be thrown out entirely. I don’t get why no one thinks it can work, it clearly did under Woodson when Amar’e was becoming a beast and Lin was playing more in control. The only problem with that stretch is that Melo couldn’t make an open jumper at all. The Knicks were still blowing everyone out (except an understandable loss on the road in Toronto during a 5 games in 7 nights streak).

    Melo isn’t going to be putting up 30 a game when Lin and Stoudemire come back, but he should still be the primary option whenever he is on the floor. That means Lin is going to have to adjust to playing off the ball, which I think he is capable of. Anyone who thinks Lin should get to run the offense after the MDA disaster is a homer, anyone short of Russell Westbrook needs to defer to Melo (and Stoudemire to a lesser extent)

  61. max fisher-cohen

    And 27 minutes isn’t nothing. It’s more than half a game. That lineup is the 16th most used lineup out of like 300. There are only 5 lineups this year with more than 50 minutes together.

  62. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin: Fair enough. Do you agree that they should have Shump as officially the back-up 1 and no more Bibby/Toney?

    I’d be fine with that, but I think the reason Woodson hasn’t fully gone to that (yet) is that he wants to keep going small and dumping Bibby/TD from the rotation totally would mean playing guys like Jeffries and/or Jorts more and using taller lineups.

  63. ruruland

    max fisher-cohen:
    And 27 minutes isn’t nothing. It’s more than half a game. That lineup is the 16th most used lineup out of like 300. There are only 5 lineups this year with more than 50 minutes together.

    Huh? I don’t think you can learn much of anything about one player in 27 minutes, let alone how 5 play with each other.

  64. JC Knickfan

    Because if compressed schedule, I’ve not seen Woodson use less 9 players. I think once Amare get back Bibby/TD will be gone outside garbage time. Shump, some JR, little bit Fields and Melo will bring ball up when BD is not playing.
    We get can’t sign another PG for playoff, so team should just get use one 2 guard playing point for extend periods.

  65. max fisher-cohen

    ruruland: Huh? I don’t think you can learn much of anything about one player in 27 minutes, let alone how 5 play with each other.

    For sure it’s not proof that that should be our starting lineup. But it’s also not completely dismissible. If you watched a Knick game where that lineup played an entire half and was up 18 at halftime, you would have to admit that something more than luck was going right. I’d say 10 MP is completely dismissible, 50 MP is a solid trend and 100 MP is convincing evidence.

    jon abbey: I’d be fine with that, but I think the reason Woodson hasn’t fully gone to that (yet) is that he wants to keep going small and dumping Bibby/TD from the rotation totally would mean playing guys like Jeffries and/or Jorts more and using taller lineups.

    Fortunately Bill Walker is fat and healthy now and ready to make some bad passes.

  66. art vandelay

    My one major wish for rest of season is that neither TD nor Bibby see the court the rest of season + playoffs unless we are up 30 with 6 minutes left in 4th quarter (like possibly tomorrow night, hopefully)…think about how bad they have been that we have more confidence in trotting non-point guards like JR Smith and Shumpert out there to play a position they are clealy ill-equipped to handle simple because our supposed PGs really have no business playing in the league right now.

  67. art vandelay

    JC Knickfan:
    Because if compressed schedule, I’ve not seen Woodson use less 9 players.I think once Amare get back Bibby/TD will be gone outside garbage time.Shump, some JR, little bit Fields and Melo will bring ball up when BD is not playing.
    We get can’t sign another PG for playoff, so team should just get use one 2 guard playing point for extend periods.

    As much as we lament MDA, in a sense I think Woodson has and will continue to benefit from having worked under him…if he had started out the season as the head coach our offense likely would have been a lot more iso-joe (now iso-melo) with few to any diversification and probably we would be harangueing him on here for the one-dimensional nature of it….as it is he has retained several of MDA’s offensive wrinkles which i think were working and continue to do so.

    Still a little worried, though, that he has adopted the MDA don’t foul when up 3 and the other team has ball with 15 seconds to go left (last night it worked out, but I wouldn’t continue to not foul under similar circumstances…knicks always seem to get burned by that).

  68. yellowboy90

    I think we saw a little how Amar’e would fit in as a starter when they had Fields instead of Melo at the high post with Chandler. Exchange STAT with Fields and you have a good set. Now that will put Melo back on the wing and he needs to go back cutting back door like he was starting to do when Woody took over. The problem was Melo was missing easy layups and shots he normally makes. I think we will see Melo and STAT taking turns aat the high post, low post, and the wing. Also, letting STAT take the three might not be a bad thing. Can it be worse than Fields? Another thing more than likely even if STAT starts he will most likely get his rest around the 7 min mark and get him back to start the 2nd qtr.

  69. jon abbey

    art vandelay:
    Still a little worried, though, that he has adopted the MDA don’t foul when up 3 and the other team has ball with 15 seconds to go left (last night it worked out, but I wouldn’t continue to not foul under similar circumstances…knicks always seem to get burned by that).

    which pro coaches actually do this regularly? I don’t know, I’m asking, does Popovich?

    I definitely would have done it in that Celtics game because I’ve seen Pierce make that shot too many times, but I would also generally lean towards not doing it. specifically in the Bucks case, it seemed like our perimeter defense had found a second wind and their shooters were finally exhausted/missing/some combo thereof.

    but situation-specific for me, I wouldn’t have a rule of thumb either way.

  70. jon abbey

    it’s really stunning that Toney Douglas has fallen off a cliff like this at age 26 and allegedly healthy. he was one of our better players down the stretch last year and averaged 28 minutes and 10.8 points in the Boston series. it’s hard to believe he has dropped to a point where he can’t be on the court for 15 minutes as a backup, but it certainly seems to be the case.

    but he did show some signs for the first time in garbage time against Orlando, maybe he should keep getting minutes until Amare is back. Bibby did make one sweet entry pass to Chandler, but TD has more upside and his D is much better.

    for those who think Miami is a ‘better’ matchup than Chicago, how do you propose getting the ball up court against their pressure? who do you have doing that for 48 minutes?

  71. art vandelay

    jon abbey: which pro coaches actually do this regularly? I don’t know, I’m asking, does Popovich?

    I definitely would have done it in that Celtics game because I’ve seen Pierce make that shot too many times, but I would also generally lean towards not doing it. specifically in the Bucks case, it seemed like our perimeter defense had found a second wind and their shooters were finally exhausted/missing/some combo thereof.

    but situation-specific for me, I wouldn’t have a rule of thumb either way.

    I agree….there is no rule of thumb…clearly it depends on time left in game and # of timeouts for opposing team….if they have no timeouts this is an absolute no brainer, and yet I have seen MDA and others not foul in this predicament, believe it or not.

  72. art vandelay

    jon abbey:
    it’s really stunning that Toney Douglas has fallen off a cliff like this at age 26 and allegedly healthy. he was one of our better players down the stretch last year and averaged 28 minutes and 10.8 points in the Boston series. it’s hard to believe he has dropped to a point where he can’t be on the court for 15 minutes as a backup, but it certainly seems to be the case.

    but he did show some signs for the first time in garbage time against Orlando, maybe he should keep getting minutes until Amare is back. Bibby did make one sweet entry pass to Chandler, but TD has more upside and his D is much better.

    for those who think Miami is a ‘better’ matchup than Chicago, how do you propose getting the ball up court against their pressure? who do you have doing that for 48 minutes?

    I don’t know…I think Chicago is probably a better matchup because our major nemesis against Chicago is rebounds, which can be a matter of effort and intensity, which I imagine they would pick up in playoffs…as bad as our defense was even last season, during the first 2 games of the series last year in boston our defense was pretty stout, so I think that is something we could correct just by virtue of being in the playoffs, whereas our major achilles heal against miami would be taking care of basketball, which is a measure of intelligence to a certain extent and maybe habit…in other words it is just a more inherent/innate characteristic, but certainly not so much effort, so I don’t think we could correct this trait just as a result of being in playoffs.

  73. ruruland

    “Assuming the Knicks hold their ground, the same nagging questions will follow them right into the postseason, and into a first-round series in which they will be heavy underdogs against the Bulls or the Heat.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/sports/basketball/for-knicks-eight-games-and-lots-of-questions-remaining.html

    Beck’s reporting is really getting on my nerves of late. Talented, talented guy who seems to be mailing it in and scraping by on his writing.

  74. Mulligan

    Anyone else watchbg OT of Chicago and Miami? Very good, intense game. Can’t wait for the playoffs!

  75. Mulligan

    ruruland:
    “Assuming the Knicks hold their ground, the same nagging questions will follow them right into the postseason, and into a first-round series in which they will be heavy underdogs against the Bulls or the Heat.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/sports/basketball/for-knicks-eight-games-and-lots-of-questions-remaining.html

    Beck’s reporting is really getting on my nerves of late. Talented, talented guy who seems to be mailing it in and scraping by on his writing.

    What bugged you about that article. The points seem reasonable. If we were healthy, I’d say we could go toe to toe with either of those teams, but we’re seriously banged up and have had no consistency this season. Not a recipe for success. Chicago is bitch slapping Miami in overtime with basically their B team plus Deng. They’re no joke and they’ve been doing it for two years now.

  76. ruruland

    Mulligan:
    Anyone else watchbg OT of Chicago and Miami? Very good, intense game. Can’t wait for the playoffs!

    I’m telling you man. This isn’t rope-a-dope, they aren’t playing possum, I really think the Heat are in trouble. They don’t have that same edge at all.

    About to be 12-10 in their last 22. They exerted huge amounts of energy in the first half, and now the warts are showing.

    They’re about to lose to the Bulls when Rose goes 1-13 for 2 points??

    After losing twice in a row to Boston, losing their last game in Chicago without Rose, etc. Something happened to that team, and to Lebron, when he passed up that shot against Utah.

    The guy I saw in that game was the greatest athlete, let alone basketball player, I’d ever seen. While he’s still going to be Lebron, he’s not close to what he was that night and what he was the first half of the year.

    I don’t want to face them because they just have too much to stop, but I think they’re going down sooner than later.

  77. ruruland

    Mulligan: What bugged you about that article. The points seem reasonable. If we were healthy, I’d say we could go toe to toe with either of those teams, but we’re seriously banged up and have had no consistency this season. Not a recipe for success. Chicago is bitch slapping Miami in overtime with basically their B team plus Deng. They’re no joke and they’ve been doing it for two years now.

    As a reporter, he shouldn’t make a statement of fact when it isn’t a fact he’s stating.

    There’s still a decent chance the Knicks get the sixth seed, and no one reading this article would know that.

  78. ruruland

    Mulligan: What bugged you about that article. The points seem reasonable. If we were healthy, I’d say we could go toe to toe with either of those teams, but we’re seriously banged up and have had no consistency this season. Not a recipe for success. Chicago is bitch slapping Miami in overtime with basically their B team plus Deng. They’re no joke and they’ve been doing it for two years now.

    I think it is a fact to say that any version of the Knicks team would be heavy underdogs against those teams. I don’t have any problem with that.

  79. Will the Thrill

    Although it would be amazing, I don’t see us getting the 6th seed. I would probably give it a 5% chance of happening.. Orlando would have to totally tank, and we would have to basically go undefeated. I can’t see us beating Boston the way they are playing, and I just don’t think we match up well agains the Heat.

    ruruland: As a reporter, he shouldn’t make a statement of fact when it isn’t a fact he’s stating.

    There’s still a decent chance the Knicks get the sixth seed, and no one reading this article would know that.

  80. ruruland

    Will the Thrill:
    Although it would be amazing, I don’t see us getting the 6th seed.I would probably give it a 5% chance of happening.. Orlando would have to totally tank, and we would have to basically go undefeated. I can’t see us beating Boston the way they are playing, and I just don’t think we match up well agains the Heat.

    IF we get the 6th seed we’d most likely end up with Indiana– the Pacers are two games up on Boston with an extremely favorable home schedule.

    Orlando just lost to Washington. Their best player has a back injury and could be a game-time decision every game moving forward. They’re without their best offensive glue player for the remainder, and of course, that locker room may be in complete shambles (and that’s a big deal in the NBA)…

    They play 5 games against teams battling to get in the playoffs or get out of the 7th and 8th seed — four of them are on the road.

    If they lost to Atlanta and the Knicks beat Washington, the Knicks will be 3 games back with the tie-breaker.

    Orlando has to finish a game better than the Knicks, which really makes the Knicks two games back.

    Orlando has two scheduled gimmies of their remaining 8 games — but they just lost a scheduled gimmie.

    Can they lost 5-6 of their remaining 8 games given their state? I think the odds are much greater than 5-10 percent of that happening. Going 3-5 wouldn’t be all that bad considering where they are right now. Good teams go through 3-5 stretches all the time.

    5 losses means the Knicks need to go 7-1. Sweep the homestand, and you’ve got a great chance of getting the 6th seed and facing the Pacers, a team the Knicks are better than ( at least have looked that way for 10 of the 11 competitive quarters they’ve played them)

    That’s the road this team will need to take to make an incredible run.

  81. art vandelay

    @100:

    Listen, I would love nothing more than to nab the 6th seed, but as optimistic as I know you tend to be, do you really think it is going to happen? Maybe it is simply a by-product of not being a Knicks fan like I have been for the last 25 years…somewhere along the Knicks will lose a game they should win (possibly at cleveland or atlantla), compensated by a game they should not, but in the end, it will be a finish in the area of 5-3…

    this team has been plagued by injuries just prior to the playoffs since I don’t even know how far back….how many times did Ewing break down around this time of year? Last year they lost their starting 4 and 1 and the same has occurred this season, rig,ht in time for the playoffs. Listen, I try to stay positive, and I really think at full strength this team could seriously compete for a championship, but let’s not continue to reach for a 6th seed that honestly isn’t happening…we are going in as 7th or 8th seed without a doubt.

  82. Robtachi

    Mulligan: What bugged you about that article. The points seem reasonable. If we were healthy, I’d say we could go toe to toe with either of those teams, but we’re seriously banged up and have had no consistency this season. Not a recipe for success. Chicago is bitch slapping Miami in overtime with basically their B team plus Deng. They’re no joke and they’ve been doing it for two years now.

    There’s a simple explanation for that and it’s the same reason Chicago pounds the Knicks into submission; for all Miami’s offensive talents and defense from Wade and LeBron, they are terribly disadvantaged rebounding in the interior, which we know first hand is possibly the Bulls greatest strength, particularly on the offensive glass. And the Bulls are insanely deep with it too, with Asik and Gibson off the bench. Miami is not a big team and doesn’t threaten the interior if LeBron and Wade are forced to work outside shots. Lord knows Chris Bosh will never pull down as many rebounds as a 6’11″ man should. I STILL far prefer STAT over Bosh. Bosh is the kind of guy who will make you pull your hair out on a nightly basis because he’s never going to rebound and body up inside as much as he should be able to. Not a max player in any sense of the term.

  83. Will the Thrill

    Just as you said though, we would need to go 7-1 during that span AND them lose 5-6 of their remaining 8 games just to catch them. That’s why I said 5%

    ruruland: Can they lost 5-6 of their remaining 8 games given their state? I think the odds are much greater than 5-10 percent of that happening.

  84. hoolahoop

    Ratchet down your expectations if you don’t want an ulcer. The knicks are NOT getting the 6 seed. Let’s just hope they don’t get the 7. Miami is more likely to give them a good beatdown.

  85. hoolahoop

    ruruland: I’m telling you man. This isn’t rope-a-dope, they aren’t playing possum, I really think the Heat are in trouble. They don’t have that same edge at all.

    About to be 12-10 in their last 22. They exerted huge amounts of energy in the first half, and now the warts are showing.

    They’re about to lose to the Bulls when Rose goes 1-13 for 2 points??

    After losing twice in a row to Boston, losing their last game in Chicago without Rose, etc. Something happened to that team, and to Lebron, when he passed up that shot against Utah.

    The guy I saw in that game was the greatest athlete, let alone basketball player, I’d ever seen. While he’s still going to be Lebron, he’s not close to what he was that night and what he was the first half of the year.

    I don’t want to face them because they just have too much to stop, but I think they’re going down sooner than later.

    Lebron was a beast against OKC last week. Discounting him in any way is unrealistic.

  86. hoolahoop

    jon abbey:
    it’s really stunning that Toney Douglas has fallen off a cliff like this at age 26 and allegedly healthy. he was one of our better players down the stretch last year and averaged 28 minutes and 10.8 points in the Boston series. it’s hard to believe he has dropped to a point where he can’t be on the court for 15 minutes as a backup, but it certainly seems to be the case.

    but he did show some signs for the first time in garbage time against Orlando, maybe he should keep getting minutes until Amare is back. Bibby did make one sweet entry pass to Chandler, but TD has more upside and his D is much better.

    for those who think Miami is a ‘better’ matchup than Chicago, how do you propose getting the ball up court against their pressure? who do you have doing that for 48 minutes?

    TD was always a streaky low IQ player. Depend on him too much and you’re going to be let down more often than not.

  87. ruruland

    Robtachi: There’s a simple explanation for that and it’s the same reason Chicago pounds the Knicks into submission; for all Miami’s offensive talents and defense from Wade and LeBron, they are terribly disadvantaged rebounding in the interior, which we know first hand is possibly the Bulls greatest strength, particularly on the offensive glass.And the Bulls are insanely deep with it too, with Asik and Gibson off the bench.Miami is not a big team and doesn’t threaten the interior if LeBron and Wade are forced to work outside shots. Lord knows Chris Bosh will never pull down as many rebounds as a 6’11? man should.I STILL far prefer STAT over Bosh.Bosh is the kind of guy who will make you pull your hair out on a nightly basis because he’s never going to rebound and body up inside as much as he should be able to. Not a max player in any sense of the term.

    Last two years rebounding differential (without calculating rebound rate understand Miami shot the ball better for the most part)

    Chicago +4 (Chicago win)
    Miami +1 (Miami win)
    Chicago +16 (Chicago win)
    Chicago +6 (Chicago win)
    Chicago +14 (Chicago win)
    Chicago +12 (Chicago win)
    Chicago +12 (Chicago win)
    Miami +4 (Miami win)
    Chicago +9 (Miami win)
    Chicago +1 (Miami win)
    Chicago +3 (Miami win)

  88. hoolahoop

    What puzzles me is that for a guy that likes to coach other players, and strategize with the coach, BD makes a lot of bone head plays.

  89. ruruland

    hoolahoop: Lebron was a beast against OKC last week. Discounting him in any way is unrealistic.

    Not discounting him. I said he’s still Lebron, the best player in the game. He’s just not the best player of the last 30 years like he was in the first half. And again, he continues to disappear in the 4th quarter and OT.

  90. ruruland

    Brian Cronin:
    I was shocked by how difficult Orlando’s remaining schedule is. I don’t see a single “gimme” of their remaining games.

    I prefer gimmie for whatever reason. Charlotte at home?

  91. jon abbey

    hoolahoop:
    What puzzles me is that for a guy that likes to coach other players, and strategize with the coach, BD makes a lot of bone head plays.

    it is strange, but he’s never really done that in previous seasons, so I’m thinking a lot of it is his body just not responding well enough to his brain and him not fully knowing how to adjust (others have said that here too).

  92. Brian Cronin

    it is strange, but he’s never really done that in previous seasons, so I’m thinking a lot of it is his body just not responding well enough to his brain and him not fully knowing how to adjust (others have said that here too).

    I know what you mean and for the most part I agree with you (that Davis can help so long as his minutes are strictly limited ,as his body just can’t hold up in its current condition), but it just made me giggle a bit to read that as “his body is so broken down that even his brain is not working correctly.”

    EDITED TO ADD: Oops, I initially left out the “as” in “read that as.” The “as” is certainly an important part of that sentence.

  93. jon abbey

    in case that’s not clear (not sure), I was saying that his brain is working fine, his body just isn’t doing what he’s come to expect it to.

    he looked quick at the beginning of the Bucks game, though, maybe the best he’s looked physically thus far. 4 points, 3 assists, 1 board (and 2 turnovers) in the first 7 minutes and a 24-16 lead. unfortunately that was basically it for him for the day, 12 more minutes played and almost no positive contributions.

  94. Brian Cronin

    No, I got what you meant. I just was having some fun with it.

    That being said, while I, too, have made that same exact argument in Davis’ defense before… I dunno, I think it might be getting a bit difficult to continue making the argument, since you have to figure that if your body can’t do what your brain wants it to the first dozen or so times, you’d stop trying to get your body to do those things, ya know? And Davis, for whatever reason, can’t seem to make that adjustment.

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