Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Warriors 92, Knicks Woodson’d

New York Knicks 63 Final
Recap | Box Score
92 Golden State Warriors
Mike Woodson

(See Below)

As you might expect, we’re not going to do grades. There’s really no need. Everyone ranged from “Putrid” to ‘Dear God! The children! Won’t somebody please think of the children!” J.R. got himself tossed rather than continue (Ok, it probably wasn’t a fragrant 2 and Joey Crawford is a pathetic joke of a ref, but still.). Chandler let Andrew freakin’ Bogut beat him off the dribble. Felt was throwing up dumb 20 footers and dribbling into silly turnovers. Novak looked like he was trying to toss a string of bratwursts through the hoop. They went under every screen when facing Steph Curry, who might have dropped 54 on this team nary a week ago, I forget. There were a couple of half-decent spurts from Cope and Prigs but for some reason, Captain Simple-minded, the ‘Bockers’ so-called fearless leader, kept them glued to the pine until this game was well out of hand. But you know, it happens – the team plays terribly/ignores whatever passes for a scouting report. That’s annoying, but understandable. Bad games are one thing, but this is another animal altogether.

This is about Mike Woodson and what was, as far as I can recall, one of the stupidest in-game decisions a New York Knick coach has ever made.

Here it is: BY ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD, WHAT THE HECK WAS WOODSON THINKING (or rather, not thinking) BY KEEPING A FLUID-KNEED MELO IN THE GAME WHEN THEY WERE DOWN 27? AND THEN, TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, BROUGHT HIM BACK IN WITH NINE MINUTES TO GO????????????

It’s not just that it’s a blowout and the team is heading on a long road trip and sunk cost and whatnot. It’s that anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex could see that he had absolutely zero lift; that he was running (or more accurately, hobbling) around like I do when I play pickup hoops, wheezing and sputtering to such a degree that you’d think he was a non-athlete/chain-smoker (like yours truly).

If you enjoy keeping a Twitter feed scrolling during a game, you’d have seen that the reaction was uniform and swift, from Knick fan and basketball cognoscenti alike. Melo’s hurt. He’s not “rusty” or “off”, he’s hurt and you, Coach Woodson have to take him out and keep him duct-taped to the bench before you absolutely wreck this franchise. It’s not just this season, but you’re daring the fates to smack us across the broadsides for the next two years of Melo’s contract by pushing him to keep playing on a balky joint. I don’t care if he (Melo) says he’s okay and that he wants to play. That’s why you exist, coach, to protect players (at times) from their own worst instincts/desires. The juice just ain’t worth the squeeze. Heck, Melo shouldn’t be going anywhere near the court in a 23-point game even if he wasn’t coming back from an injury. It’s a dumb, reckless, shortsighted, dunderheaded, pointless, ignorant, insane risk.

And it’s not like you didn’t just lose a key player possibly because you exceeded the minute limit that was imposed upon his playing time. Sure, roll the dice. Why not? No way it could happen again, AMIRITE? YOLO!

If Melo is out the next couple of games (or worse) you can point directly to this moment. It’s so dumb Isiah Thomas would know better. A cardboard cutout of Larry Brown circa 2005 would know better.

It’s a fireable offense. That’s how bad it is.

I’m flabbergasted. I’m gobsmacked. I’m ready to scream and throw things and break furniture. This is what I looked like typing this:

writing_process

I recant every nice thing I ever said about Woodson. He’s got a tiny liquid-filled nubbin at the top of his spine where his brain should be. He cries at card tricks, that’s how dumb he is. #FireWoodson.

I just want to grab Woodson by the goatee and force him to watch this over and over and over and over and over again…

This effing team, mang…

UPDATE: In the post-game presser, when asked why he put Melo back in with nine minutes to go, Woodson mumbled some pabulum about “I thought we could make a run.” I’m going to go drink a liter of Drano. On to Denver!

39 comments on “Warriors 92, Knicks Woodson’d

  1. AvonBarksdale

    melo has something to do with this the entire team had a tense vibe and it wasn’t cause of anything actually basketball related, maybe they are depressed about STAT, maybe melo should sit out and they are confused, i can’t imagine this coach is this fucking retarded but then again the switching on defense, the horrible starting rotations, the blind faith in JR, the lack of consistent effort by the team…Melo was playing injured it was time to pull him like five minutes into the game he looked totally lost on defense and when he did dive for the loose ball i cringed. i was a huge fan of running things through STAT but Kenyon Martin is helping me through it. If this was the playoffs i could see those dunks going in for the +1 but now i’m dreaming.

  2. nicos

    At least with Amar’e you can see why Woodson was tempted to go over his minute limit- at least he looked fully healthy and was moving well. This was completely inexplicable- this wasn’t just “oh I missed a week and I’m a little out of rhythm” in which case maybe you do trot him back out just to get some rest. He couldn’t run or jump effectively- he couldn’t even back down Klay Thompson who he’d normally toss around like a rag doll.
    As for not playing Copeland- it seems to me he’s a little like Anthony Randolph in that the ball always seems to find him whether you want it to or not. Obviously, unlike Randolph he can score efficiently but it just seems like the offense tends to completely revolve around him whenever he’s in the game and I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing.

  3. GAx

    This game pissed me off enough to dust off this login and post my total agreement with this entry. For a game that made no sense, Woody REALLY exposed what a crutch Melo has been for him his entire tenure here. I still can’t believe he actually did what he did tonight.

  4. Brian Cronin

    As for not playing Copeland- it seems to me he’s a little like Anthony Randolph in that the ball always seems to find him whether you want it to or not. Obviously, unlike Randolph he can score efficiently but it just seems like the offense tends to completely revolve around him whenever he’s in the game and I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing.

    It is so weird how involved he gets in the offense when he is in the game. It is not like he’s a point guard who can call his own number when he’s in there.

  5. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: It is so weird how involved he gets in the offense when he is in the game. It is not like he’s a point guard who can call his own number when he’s in there.

    As D’Antoni likes to say, the ball on offense will find you if you have energy/activity and Cope on offense is always moving.

  6. nicos

    And I think D’A would say if you don’t have anything then move the ball quickly. My point is the ball gets awfully sticky when Copeland is in the game. It sticks in Melo’s and Amar’e's hands but that’s by design (or at least expected) so everybody knows what they’re supposed to do if, say, Melo catches the ball in the mid-post and can play off of it. I’m not sure the other guys really know what Cope is going to do so it makes things a bit tougher. Look, if Woody decides to give him more minutes and see if you can run the second unit offense through him a bit I don’t have a problem with it but I haven’t had a huge problem with him sitting either- unlike Novak he gives you absolutely nothing on offense if he’s not scoring the ball- Novak provides spacing whether he goes 1-5 or 6-10.

  7. Brian Cronin

    I totally agree, nicos. I mentioned that before. Both Cope and Novak are completely shut down by good teams, but Novak gets shut down because the good teams actually make a point of taking him out of the game by concentrating on him (which helps the spacing, as you note) while Cope gets shut down simply by playing good defenders period.

  8. BigBlueAL

    To be honest I dont get the take about good defenders stopping Cope. In his 6 starts he is shooting 53% overall including 44% from 3pt range (scoring 13.7 ppg in 22mpg). Thats pretty damn impressive considering you would think as a starter he is going up against better defenders than during garbage time. In his 4 highest minutes played games (40, 30 twice and 28 mins) he shot 8 for 16, 9 for 15, 6 for 12 and 11 for 19 including 12 for 26 from 3pt range (2 of them were starts). Looking at his game logs he really hasnt had many bad shooting games (1 for 4, 1 for 5, 2 for 6, 3 for 9).

    Now again as I mentioned before he doesnt deserve to be part of the normal rotation but I think you are underselling how good he has been on offense. But still he shouldnt be anything more than the 11th guy on the team (with the current 13 healthy players).

  9. BigBlueAL

    I guess my point is I could see why alot of fans would want to see more of Cope especially with how bad alot of the players in the regular rotation are shooting the ball. I certainly would rather see him play than White. But come playoff time I assume White wont be starting so this is a moot point. Im pretty sure if White and KT wouldnt have been getting these token starts lately Cope’s name wouldnt really be brought up much.

  10. Juany8

    Haven’t been able to watch a lot of games lately but I’m really losing faith in Woodson’s decision making. Melo has looked shaky for weeks now, and a top seed just isn’t worth entering into the playoffs hobbled. Amar’e is already gone, so the only hope this team has of advancing is if Melo utterly dominates on offense while Chandler does so on defense. I don’t know if that’ll happen, but I do know that if he can’t get enough lift to dunk it’s not really going to matter. Also maybe Shump shouldn’t be starting games at small forward anymore? Seems like a lot of effort is being put into making sure we play dumb lineups.

  11. Tony Pena

    Uhh from what I can tell Cope’s teammates actively look to get him involved, all the vets are always chatting him up, etc. He in turn defers to his point guards and Melo and Stat. He’s no season savior but let the kid play why not, he’s also been trying on D these last two games.

  12. Matt Smith

    Zach Horst (who wrote for KB) and I have both been saying Woodson isn’t a top-tier coach since the first run happened. He just does way too many things that make no sense.

    I think good coaching is about balancing two things: demanding respect and crafting a balance of smart offense and defense. Woodson exceeds at the former, as evidenced by Melo’s transformation after D’Antoni’s departure. He can make people hustle if he wants.

    I really can’t vouch for him on the latter. KB has accurately pointed out since the beginning of the season that over-switching and pointless doubling does not make sense with any roster, yet Woodson still has us doing it with the oldest roster in the league and wonders why we’re below average on defensive efficiency. His roster choices themselves are horrid – good players with potential (Cope) ride the pine, players who are effective in small spurts are never subbed in timely (Camby, KMart last night), and terrible players start for all of 15 seconds (White, Kurt) just so Woody can have peace of mind. His ability to draw plays on offense is also highly questionable – just look at the debacle vs. OKC. I don’t know about you, but to me the phrase ‘isolation coach’ just means ‘give the ball to your best player and have everyone spread the three.’ It looks good when your players are hot, but it’s nothing but frustrating otherwise.

    I’m not on any sort of #FireWoodson train – having a talented roster (like we have) and a coach that inspires players to hustle gets us far enough. But we’d need all the luck in the world to be a legit contender, unless Woodson decides to stop pouting and start coaching.

  13. jon abbey

    there are almost no top-tier coaches, it’s really a player’s league. I agree and have been saying since last summer that this roster would require some quality coaching, since most of the players are really bad at one end of the floor.

    another epic offensive performance by Tyson “top 10 offensive player in the NBA” Chandler, by the way. Spencer Hawes scored more last night than Chandler has in his last four games combined, Chandler’s numbers have declined every month this season.

  14. yellowboy90

    Will someone close to Melo tell him to man up and get his Knee drained. Why stay in pain over a long period when you can suffer once and feel better. Kobe got his knee drained a feww years ago during the playoffs just like Wade and they did not sit out any games. Melo has the luxury to get his Knee drained and rest it so it can recover even more.

  15. Hubert Davis

    This is the Knicks. We’re all about sacrificing the chances of long term success to achieve the slightest increase to improbable short term odds. The decision to play Melo for 34 minutes last night is exactly in line with all the actions we’ve taken since LeBron went to Miami.

    It’s a fireable offense somewhere else. It’s company policy here.

  16. Matt Smith

    I’d say Pop, Thibs, and Doc Rivers are top-tier coaches. PJax and Sloan would be too if they were still coaching. Vogel and Brooks are also very solid.

    You’re right though, there’s not too many of them, so I’m happy to just have a guy who gets players to hustle – I’d rather see people make energetic boneheaded plays than run an offense with zero energy, if I had to choose between a rock and a hard place.

  17. maxwell_3g

    Hubert Davis:
    This is the Knicks.We’re all about sacrificing the chances of long term success to achieve the slightest increase to improbable short term odds.The decision to play Melo for 34 minutes last night is exactly in line with all the actions we’ve taken since LeBron went to Miami.

    It’s a fireable offense somewhere else.It’s company policy here.

    +10000000

  18. ephus

    yellowboy90:
    Will someone close to Melo tell him to man up and get his Knee drained. Why stay in pain over a long period when you can suffer once and feel better. Kobe got his knee drained a feww years ago during the playoffs just like Wade and they did not sit out any games. Melo has the luxury to get his Knee drained and rest it so it can recover even more.

    I’m not a doctor, but I know enough to know this is wrong. Fluid on the knee is not a free-standing condition, it is a symptom of an underlying knee injury. The fluid is like a blister, designed by evolution to protect and immobilize an injured joint. When you drain the knee, you allow more range of motion on an injured joint. That is why Kobe and Wade needed knee surgery during the off-season after they had their knee drains.

    Let Melo rest until the swelling goes down!

  19. steveoh

    I was there last night, in the nosebleeds, enjoying Cope’s whatever the hell that was in the fourth when Melo checks back in. Every Knicks fan in my section was like, “WTF?”

    And that’s my point. Even transplanted Knicks fans sitting in the nosebleeds in Oakland knew it was a horrible idea.

  20. stratomatic

    This team is not good enough now, has several key components on the downside, no one significant on the upside, very little flexibility to trade or make moves, several players with low IQs (and I’m not talking just BBall IQs here), several players with chronic behavioral disorders, a coach that has no idea at all what he is doing with rotations, and is locked into this mess until 2015.

    Maybe making the playoff and getting knocked out in the 1st or 2nd round is someone’s idea of fun, but it’s not mine. It’s not that I want to win a championship immediately, although that would be nice.

    What I want is HOPE!!!!

    I want to feel like we are good, getting better, can make moves that might get us over the top etc…. Where we are now is my worst nightmare from hell. We are a team that has no chance to win it all and will be getting worse for the next 2 years before they can even begin to rebuild. And to add insult to injury, I hate every player on the team except Chandler, Novak, Prigioni, and Amare (who is damaged goods). None of them are likable and some are detestable.

    I’m 54 years old. I’ve seen championships, but I can’t take it anymore. When GOD, when can we get competent management at MSG to build a team the right way?

    For all his mistakes, Walsh was at least on the right path for awhile until he (or Dolan) pulled the trigger on Melo deal and killed us.

    Now we are back in HELL!

    What did I do in a prior life to deserve this?

  21. stratomatic

    Hubert Davis:
    This is the Knicks.We’re all about sacrificing the chances of long term success to achieve the slightest increase to improbable short term odds.The decision to play Melo for 34 minutes last night is exactly in line with all the actions we’ve taken since LeBron went to Miami.

    It’s a fireable offense somewhere else.It’s company policy here.

    Exactly.

    Absolutely horrid management and it almost certainly comes from the top.

  22. stratomatic

    Look guys, Copeland is barely an NBA player. He can score, but overall he’s clearly EV-. The fact that we even have to discuss guys like Copeland, White, Martin etc… shows what bad shape we are in.

    These guys are playing key roles on our team and they can’t even make other teams.

    If it wasn’t for Chandler and some good play from Kidd now and again, this would barely be a .500 team longer term.

  23. kronicfatigue

    Hubert Davis:
    This is the Knicks.We’re all about sacrificing the chances of long term success to achieve the slightest increase to improbable short term odds.The decision to play Melo for 34 minutes last night is exactly in line with all the actions we’ve taken since LeBron went to Miami.

    It’s a fireable offense somewhere else.It’s company policy here.

    THIS is the reason I haven’t been able to REALLY get into the Knicks ever since JVG left. There are things to like about this current version of the team, but man, at the end of the day all I can see is Dolan’s grubby little hands all over everything. This team is designed and nurtured only to increase ticket prices. And guess what, ticket prices are going up next year, despite the huge issues. The above quote captured the essence of the franchise

  24. mokers

    steveoh:
    I was there last night, in the nosebleeds, enjoying Cope’s whatever the hell that was in the fourth when Melo checks back in. Every Knicks fan in my section was like, “WTF?”

    And that’s my point. Even transplanted Knicks fans sitting in the nosebleeds in Oakland knew it was a horrible idea.

    I was there as well! If you guys hate the switching and double teams on tv, you will absolutely go apeshit live. They were so bad in the first half. They had Thompson on Melo, Lee on Shumpert, and Bogut (still playing like crap this year) on Tyson and couldn’t get any of them the ball. We double team All the time, giving Thompson and Curry easy spot ups.

    I had a brief hope in the second half when they started taking everything to the basket, but then Joey Crawford decided to take over the game. I didn’t think the Knicks would win, but it was at least watchable for a few minutes. After the JR flagrant, it was unwatchable.

    In the Cope debate, I think on a night when Novak was clearly way off, he could be brought in just to shoot threes. On his defense, he could easily come in and make the dumb fouls Novak does. even my girlfriend noticed “you just don’t know what he is going to do” but down by 20+ and on the floor with sometime 3 people who didn’t make a field goal, it doesn’t really matter. He is not a difference maker but he has shown he can come off the bench cold and make some shots, which we have been lacking.

    On Woodson, when he had Melo in there for so long and brought him back for the 4th, I had a brief moment when I thought I could him him in the head by throwing my phone, hopefully knocking some sense into him. I figured I could take up a collection here and get bail in about 30 seconds, but then the dippin dots guy came buy and I got distracted.

  25. JK47

    I’m guessing the rest of this season is going to be disappointing. We’re already without Stat for the remainder of the year, and Melo is looking pretty gimpy. There are a lot more games to go and this old, injury-prone team is not holding up well. One or two more injuries and this could get really grim. I’m scared to think of what the rotations are going to look like come playoff time.

    If the Knicks’ management was smart, they’d realize that this bunch is probably not gonna knock off the Lebron James Heat any time real soon, and they’d start the long and painful process of rebuilding. I’d be looking to move Melo and Chandler for draft picks and assets and patiently wait for Stat’s contract to come off the books.

  26. flossy

    JK47: I’d be looking to move Melo and Chandler for draft picks and assets and patiently wait for Stat’s contract to come off the books

    Season ticket prices just went up 6.4% for next season, so… yeah. That’s not going to happen.

  27. maxwell_3g

    JK47:
    I’m guessing the rest of this season is going to be disappointing.We’re already without Stat for the remainder of the year, and Melo is looking pretty gimpy.There are a lot more games to go and this old, injury-prone team is not holding up well.One or two more injuries and this could get really grim.I’m scared to think of what the rotations are going to look like come playoff time.

    If the Knicks’ management was smart, they’d realize that this bunch is probably not gonna knock off the Lebron James Heat any time real soon, and they’d start the long and painful process of rebuilding.I’d be looking to move Melo and Chandler for draft picks and assets and patiently wait for Stat’s contract to come off the books.

    ahhhh. rebuilding time again. i actually agree but its sad that we all lauded walsh for his efforts (we were all too kind to him, he made several dumb moves) and less than 3 years later, we are talking about blowing it up again. with exactly 1 playoff win to show for it

  28. jon abbey

    I have always said that the butchering of the 2009 draft was a huge blow to this franchise, landing a top player like Lawson there really might have been the difference in landing LeBron or not.

  29. BigBlueAL

    Im pretty sure LeBron still wouldnt have chosen the Knicks in 2010 if they had Ty Lawson.

  30. jon abbey

    that’s the usual answer, but we’ll never know. I don’t believe he really decided years beforehand, and I’ll always be convinced that a better push from NY (including a GM not literally in a wheelchair at the time, LITERALLY) might have done the trick.

  31. jon abbey

    but Walsh knew the deal when he signed up, he had to be basically perfect to have a real shot, and he wasn’t. he choked miserably in that 2009 draft, unforgivable in my eyes.

  32. BigBlueAL

    There is no way any team at that time was going to compete roster wise with the Heat being able to team LeBron with Wade and Bosh. Not even the Bulls with Rose was enticing enough.

    If LeBron wanted to go to the Knicks it was going to have to be for off the court reasons and wanting to be a hero in NY by resurrecting the franchise. His main focus was clearly winning and playing with the best teammates possible so again no team was going to be able to offer him what the Heat were with Wade and Bosh not to mention Pat Riley running the franchise.

  33. BigBlueAL

    Also I know everyone harps on the 2009 draft and rightfully so but the Knicks had the 8th pick in the draft, not a Top 3 pick. If Golden St doesnt pick Curry 7th the Knicks come out huge winners. When you are picking that low you need help from the teams before you and they didnt get any since the hope was that Rubio or Curry would drop to them and it didnt happen.

  34. jon abbey

    that was the primary hope, but they absolutely needed a PG and there were plenty to choose from at 8. it was dereliction of duty to take a PF and an obviously shitty one at that.

  35. BigBlueAL

    Problem was the Knicks won 32 games in the 2008-09 season which left them with the 8th pick. They shouldve made those cap-clearing trades before the season because they started out 6-5 before the Randolph and Crawford trades where as if they make those trades before they probably lose at least a couple of more games if not a few more which wouldve moved them up a couple of spots and guaranteed them either Rubio or Curry.

    The Knicks werent good at tanking games, even late in the season they traded for Hughes and Wilcox to help them make a playoff push and that also resulted in a couple of more wins than necessary. That team shouldve won in the mid-20′s not 32 games.

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