Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

You Gotta Be Kidding Me?

If you watched the game from the Knicks blue and orange colored lenses, then you must feel the same way I do. I just don’t get that offensive foul call with 21 seconds left in the game against Carmelo Anthony for a number of reasons. First, I don’t see how ‘Melo gets some kind of superior position due to the ‘foul’. And granted it seemed that there was a lot of hand fighting on both ends before the ball got there. The whistle could have gone either way.

Secondly how do the refs make that critical call given how loose the rest of the game was called? Again it’s not like Anthony got the ball with a clear lane to score. But considering the low ratio of New York layup attempts that ended up with Knicks on the floor to foul calls, why did all of a sudden the whistles come alive?

Finally, how is this call against Top 10 NBA Player™ Carmelo Anthony? Didn’t the Knicks acquire him to get these kind of last second calls? Aren’t the refs supposed to skew the calls towards the league’s elite players?

Yes, I’m probably being biased. At least I really hope so.


EDITED: Glad to think that it wasn’t the heat of the moment that led me to believe the calls were dubious. You can watch this play, and the screen/trip on Douglas at refcalls.com.


* Note: There are currently about 20 Top 10 NBA Players™.

92 comments on “You Gotta Be Kidding Me?

  1. d-mar

    Totally agree Mike. That they made that call so far from the basket is absolutely mind boggling. You need to send a guy flying or on his butt for the ref to even consider making that call, and even then 9 times out of 10, they let it go.

    I can almost deal with the blatantly illegal screen by KG compared to the call on Melo; at the end of games, refs let the players manhandle each other when it comes to setting screens and picks. But the Melo call was complete garbage.

  2. massive

    The Knicks let the lead slip, then the refs took it from them. I can’t help but think that the referees are Boston fans and hate everything from New York. That was complete and utter garbage. We need to get even next game.

    I’m glad to see that STAT can have his way against the old, Boston front-line. His dunk on Jermaine O’Neal was absolutely vicious. If the rest the Knicks can play at this level and the refs don’t rape us again, we can win the series.

  3. Z

    It was nice to be at a real live Knick postseason game again… Even if they lost, it was a good game.

    I was lucky to be seated next to the two nicest, coolest Celtic fans on earth. Maybe they’re all like that now, but I was braced for a war and the crowd was pretty ‘Melo, even when the Knicks were crushing in the 2nd quarter.

    The Carmelo foul was across the court so I couldn’t see it, but I was sitting by the corridor where the players enter and exit the bench from and I can tell you that Herb Williams (of all people) left the court livid, screaming curses.

    One thing Amar’e proved is that he really was “saving himself for the playoffs” during the final 20 games of the regular season.

    One thing the Celtics proved is that they are beatable.

    And, finally, I didn’t watch the last month of the regular season all that closely, so I didn’t quite realize the extent of Landry Field’s uselessness out there. They really do play 4 on 5 when he’s on the court, which is weird, because he was such an important part of the team pre-trade. His teammates don’t even look at him. And on the rare event that he finds the ball in his hands he looks pretty damn bad. Is it possible that he’s on the bench the rest of the series? (coach went with Carter on Allen at the end when Billups was down).

    Here’s to a hard fought series.

  4. ww007

    Yeah the one good thing we learned from this game is that no one from the Celtics can stop Amare. I hope they look to him more as a primary option over Melo in this series.

  5. Robert Silverman

    As Mike will attest from the galled, gutteral sounds that I emitted whilst we watched the game together, I am of the (possibly subjective) opinion that we go boned, plain and simple

  6. ww007

    BigBlueAL:
    Also, what the hell got into Jermaine O’Neal.

    Nothing really. He got a few lucky offensive rebounds off weird caroms off the rim which left him wide open in the paint. He also got some open looks off dribble penetration by his teammates. I’d consider this game to be a huge statistical fluke for him that will not be repeated.

  7. BigBlueAL

    ww007: Nothing really. He got a few lucky offensive rebounds off weird caroms off the rim which left him wide open in the paint. He also got some open looks off dribble penetration by his teammates. I’d consider this game to be a huge statistical fluke for him that will not be repeated.

    His 4 blocks were more annoying.

  8. massive

    Chauncey Billups has been listed as uncertain for Game 2. I’m not so sure that this is a bad thing. If Douglas starts, we can really push the ball up and down the court against this old Boston team (who will be getting Shaq back) and really pour on the points. I’m really looking forward to Game 2 now, especially since the Knicks went on that nice run in March with Toney Douglas starting in Billups’ absence.

  9. BigBlueAL

    massive:
    Chauncey Billups has been listed as uncertain for Game 2. I’m not so sure that this is a bad thing. If Douglas starts, we can really push the ball up and down the court against this old Boston team (who will be getting Shaq back) and really pour on the points. I’m really looking forward to Game 2 now, especially since the Knicks went on that nice run in March with Toney Douglas starting in Billups’ absence.

    Sorry but anything that means more Anthony Carter is not a good thing.

  10. HoyaSaxa33

    I need me some knicks fans love….i live in St. Louis but a lot of dudes from my college are from chicago and therefore love the bulls….i’m so fuckin sick of listening to them yammer on and on and on and on

  11. CRJoe

    I’m so heartbroken that I haven’t been able to post all night… This loss really got to me… And I’m not all “oh my god this sporting event result will ruin my my life” crap some people do… It just got to me in the sense I cannot even think about sports without getting mad… Damn, it just HURT so damn much to lose that way… I just hope that ‘Melo & STAT have a different approach than me and come out with fire under their asses on the rest of the series…

  12. Robert Silverman

    I hear you Joe. It feels like the Charles Smith game and the John Starks game and the Reggie Miller 25 point 4th/8 points 9 seconds game.

    It hurts. And it never gets any easier

  13. BigBlueAL

    Robert Silverman:
    I hear you Joe. It feels like the Charles Smith game and the John Starks game and the Reggie Miller 25 point 4th/8 points 9 seconds game.

    It hurts. And it never gets any easier

    Charles Smith game still to this day for me is still the toughest loss Ive had to endure. But I gotta say Im glad to feel this hurt after a Knick loss tonight, its been too long.

  14. Shad0wF0x

    BigBlueAL: Charles Smith game still to this day for me is still the toughest loss Ive had to endure.But I gotta say Im glad to feel this hurt after a Knick loss tonight, its been too long.

    I agree. Now that I think about it, I’d rather feel this anger and annoyance than the indifference I felt for a couple of years. Still, I’d much rather be ecstatic about a win but that’s obvious.

  15. BigBlueAL

    Shad0wF0x:
    An ESPN article I agree with.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/columns/story?columnist=oconnor_ian&id=6379480

    I disagree with the premise that Melo took over the leading role in the 4th and took shots away from Amar’e.

    Melo took only 3 shots in the 4th quarter, all 3pters. 2 of them came in the final minute, one off an offensive rebound from Turiaf that rimmed out and the final shot. He did have 2 turnovers (1 of them the bogus offensive foul call).

    He had a couple of nice assists in the 4th quarter, driving and dishing to Amar’e for a dunk and Billups for a 3pter. As both D’Antoni and Amar’e said after the game Garnett starting really denying him the ball and forcing out to almost the 3pt line to make the catch.

    Gotta give the Celtics D credit too, it wasnt just Melo hijacking the offense and ignoring Amar’e. I mentioned Jermaine O’Neal earlier and his shot-blocking and defensive presence in the paint was huge. The Celtics stepped up their D in the 2nd half like we figured they did. Knicks only scored 35 pts in the 2nd half and most of those points took some super-human efforts from the individual players. Celtics still can play championship level D but Knicks showed and have shown in the past that they can score at will at times vs them. Just gotta figure out away to do it for 4 quarters.

  16. ww007

    Well I just saw a replay of that KG screen in real time on ESPN and yeah, it was a blatant trip. Garnett just stuck out his foot and TD tripped over it, flying head first. You figure in Boston, Garnett could probably blow a Knick’s brains out on the court with a concealed weapon and get away with it. I’m only half joking too.

    Yeah, Melo gets called for an offensive foul that could’ve gone either way (why do the refs think he needed to push off a bit in the first place? Maybe Pierce was holding him? Hmm…) Yet Garnett gets away with a blatant trip on the other end.

    Not to say the Knicks didn’t try to give this game away. But the refs handed it to the Celtics on a silver platter. And they say calls are supposed to balance out over the course of a game. Let’s hope there’s some sort of make-up call on the level of LJ’s 4 point play sometime in this series (which to this day I’m surprised the refs had the balls to do and proves that there are, indeed make-up calls in the NBA, even across games).

    And about that ESPN article, yes Melo had some nice assists in the 4th quarter. But he also took some bad shots early in the shot clock after the Knicks had gotten the offensive rebound and he also forced shots on drives that ended up being blocked. I guess even the best players force some shots sometimes (see Kobe from the earlier Lakers game). But the Knicks definitely needed to get the ball to Amare more, any way, any how. Set some screens. Trip some Celtics. Just get it done.

    Hopefully this will just make our big 3 super pissed and amped up for the next game. We’ll see how they respond.

  17. ww007

    And while I’m at it, someone seriously needs to do an Oak job on Garnett. Let him know you can’t get away with that crap without an elbow to the face and a broken nose… I nominate JJ.

    When did Garnett become such a dirty player anyway? I’ve always had respect for him but now he’s on the level of the PJ Browns, Robert Horries, and Bruce Bowens of the world.

  18. Z

    ww007:
    And while I’m at it, someone seriously needs to do an Oak job on Garnett. Let him know you can’t get away with that crap without an elbow to the face and a broken nose…

    Where is Tim Thomas when you need him…

  19. Caleb

    The call on Carmelo was ludicrous for all the reasons everyone has said – especially, as Mike pointed out, because it came out of nowhere – the rest of the game was pretty welll officiated, IMO.

    It was a critical moment but I won’t say the Knicks lost “because of the refs.” THere were 100 other plays.

    As for Garnett, that’s veteran savvy. What do you think would have happened if the refs called an off-the-ball offensive foul with 10 seconds left and the Celtics going for the last shot? The bar on that foul is very, very, very high and he knows it. Knicks have to be ready.

    I too miss Oakley (and Ewing, and Anthony Mason).

    I won’t be a Debbie Downer but Billups out means a lot of Anthony Carter.

    Amare looked like a complely different player last night. At least like a December-era Knick.

  20. daJudge

    The problem for me watching the game was that despite trying to stay positive, I always felt something bad was going to happen. It was like a sense of impending doom. The call was really bogus, came at the worst time and seemed inevitable. Amare looked great though and I think Melo will certainly play better. I think Garnett, who I have always respected, has played this way for a long time. Hate it on their team, love it on our team. Kind of like Oak or Mase. I thought Billups was awful last night, but I was really too amped to really evaluate him. Anyway, looks like this will be a very tough series. Assuming the Knicks keep up the defense, we can beat the Celtics.

  21. Z-man

    Hugely painful loss. I hope it doesn’t get into the Knick’s heads that they just cant beat the Celts.

    Monster game by Amar’e. He looks ready and rested. He said after the game “you can’t let this game lose you game 2″ which is exactly how I feel. They have to be able to look at the film and say “we got jobbed” and let it go.

    ONeal played at lest as well as Perkins would have, so this was essentially the same Celts team that went to the finals last year. There’s no disgrace in losing a tough game on their home court.

    BTW, Felton took like 3 of the last shots for Denver, all bricks, Gallo made a huge jumper but committed a dumb turnover. Same old Knuggets.

  22. ww007

    Caleb:
    The call on Carmelo was ludicrous for all the reasons everyone has said – especially, as Mike pointed out, because it came out of nowhere – the rest of the game was pretty welll officiated, IMO.

    It was a critical moment but I won’t say the Knicks lost “because of the refs.” THere were 100 other plays.

    As for Garnett, that’s veteran savvy. What do you think would have happened if the refs called an off-the-ball offensive foul with 10 seconds left and the Celtics going for the last shot? The bar on that foul is very, very, very high and he knows it. Knicks have to be ready.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Knicks did themselves in too. But the officials definitely did not help.

    And why is “the bar” lower on the previous possession for Melo? Does intentionally tripping someone not cross that “bar”? One could argue the Garnett foul was much worse… could have seriously injured TD. What if he blows out his knee falling down?

    What’s the worst damage that Melo could have done to Pierce on that “foul”? Earn him an academy award for Best Actor in a Tragedy?

    Sorry but I have to vent. There’s no excuse for biased (this is beyond just poor) officiating.

  23. Z-man

    Also, D’Antoni had a sarcastic response to a reporter’s questions about defense. They played their asses off defensively, unless you consider rebounding part of defense. Seemed like the Celts got lucky on quite a few long rebounds, but it always seems that way.

  24. ww007

    knicksfan6: It actually wasn’t a trip, but a blatant push.

    It may have been a push too but the reason TD fell was because his legs got caught up with Garnett’s. Watch how far Garnett extends his right leg when setting the screen, and watch TD’s right leg get caught up against Garnett’s. But yeah it looks like he pushed him too.

    Anyway we’re splitting hairs here. Bottom line is that it was an illegal screen. The NBA calls flops all the time, and this was NOT a flop.

  25. ww007

    ww007: It may have been a push too but the reason TD fell was because his legs got caught up with Garnett’s. Watch how far Garnett extends his right leg when setting the screen, and watch TD’s right leg get caught up against Garnett’s. But yeah it looks like he pushed him too.

    Anyway we’re splitting hairs here. Bottom line is that it was an illegal screen. The NBA calls flops all the time, and this was NOT a flop.

    Oh and they call Pierce’s flop but our guy goes crashing to the floor
    and nothing is called. Yeah, good officiating…

  26. ww007

    And if you look at the replay before Pierce flops, you’ll see Pierce’s left arm is draped all over Melo’s left shoulder, basically inhibiting his movement. And THAT was not called.

  27. knicksfan6

    ww007: It may have been a push too but the reason TD fell was because his legs got caught up with Garnett’s. Watch how far Garnett extends his right leg when setting the screen, and watch TD’s right leg get caught up against Garnett’s. But yeah it looks like he pushed him too.

    Anyway we’re splitting hairs here. Bottom line is that it was an illegal screen. The NBA calls flops all the time, and this was NOT a flop.

    You’re right.

  28. Caleb

    ww007: Don’t get me wrong, the Knicks did themselves in too. But the officials definitely did not help.

    And why is “the bar” lower on the previous possession for Melo? Does intentionally tripping someone not cross that “bar”? One could argue the Garnett foul was much worse… could have seriously injured TD. What if he blows out his knee falling down?

    What’s the worst damage that Melo could have done to Pierce on that “foul”? Earn him an academy award for Best Actor in a Tragedy?

    That’s basically my point. Garnett tripped TD, but given the situation, that’s a traditional playoff non-call.

    The foul on Carmelo was out of nowhere.

  29. Frank

    ww007:
    Well I just saw a replay of that KG screen in real time on ESPN and yeah, it was a blatant trip. Garnett just stuck out his foot and TD tripped over it, flying head first. You figure in Boston, Garnett could probably blow a Knick’s brains out on the court with a concealed weapon and get away with it. I’m only half joking too.

    I absolutely agree with this – I think Stern SERIOUSLY needs to take a look at officiating and how there are studies out there showing that the home team gets the calls FAR more often than the visiting team.

    MIA shoots 39 free throws to PHI 15, even though as Bill Simmons wrote, PHI actually took more shots in the paint than Miami did. (Let’s see what sportsguy33 has to say about the officiating in last night’s Knicks-Celts game).

    Perkins’s obvious offensive goaltending not called.

    Last night’s total robbery in our game.

    I really have no doubt that the Celtics KNOW that those calls will not go against them in crunch time. Like I mentioned in the last thread, even Garnett’s alley-oop was open because Ray Allen just shoved Turiaf out of the way — yet another illegal screen. I wouldn’t put it past a veteran playoff team to do these things on purpose knowing that the calls will not be made.

  30. Frank

    One more thing on our rotation going forward – as much as I love Landry Fields, he really is not helping us out there. 19 minutes, essentially zeroes across the board. He almost singlehandedly started the early 3rd quarter Celtics run with two just horrible one-on-one possessions that resulted in ugly shots. If he’s not rebounding (1 rebound in 19 minutes) and is trying to create his own offense, he is a net negative for us.

    Call me crazy but I’d like to see Bill Walker get Landry’s minutes. I feel like Landry is a little frozen out there, isn’t comfortable, and it shows. Walker did a great job in the first quarter, then didn’t really see the court much afterward.

    Other thing – our 2 headed center actually did a nice job – JJ with 9 rebounds, 5 offensive. Turiaf obviously played a great game. But our defensive rebounding was just terrible yesterday. Some of them were crazy bounces, long rebounds, but some of them were just bad boxouts. I think Shelden Williams needs to get some run out there.

    Assuming Billups is out, I’d like to see this distribution of minutes by position:
    PG: TD – 38 minutes, AC 10 minutes
    SG: Fields 20 minutes, Bill Walker 20 minutes, AC 8 minutes
    SF: Melo 40 min, Walker 4 minutes, Shawne 4 minutes
    PF: Amare 38 min, Shawne 10 minutes
    C: Turiaf 26 minutes, JJ 12 minutes, Shelden 10 minutes

  31. DS

    Eh… I think Landry should have gotten more minutes. He was a +7 and could bounce back.

    I doubt anyone wants to talk about the off-season but can someone in the know please answer:

    What does the Z-Bo signing mean for Marc Gasol’s free agency? Nothing?

  32. Garson

    I dont know why but the following play bothered me the most.

    After billups missed the layup on the play he gets hurt, Ronnie gets the rebound and passes it out to Melo on the corner 3 point line with 58 seconds to play, with the score tied 82 all.

    Wouldnt the smart move be to reset the play? NO melo says… im going to shoot a 3 with 24 seconds on the clock .

    absolutly not a melo hater, just a bad basketball hater.

  33. Spree8nyk8

    Well I’ll tell you what, this season in the games where Chauncey went down Toney stepped up pretty big. I think he’s gonna do it again this time. He has really grown on me the last 3 months, I used to hate every shot he took, now I think he’s playing much smarter.

    The problem with the calls last night is that you can’t give a team both of those. I think they would be ok non calls for both way, or good calls for both ways. I mean honestly if they don’t get that Melo call I don’t think we could really sit here arguing over the Garnett trip. It would just be expected that you aren’t getting that call with 10 seconds left, but you shouldn’t be getting that offensive foul call with 20 seconds left either.

    Bottom line is that we had a lead with 20 seconds left getting zero from Fields and an off game from Anthony. I think if those two can produce there is no reason why we can’t bounce back in game 2 and take control. Emotionally it sucks because they should have control of the series, but realistically, their goal should have been 1 out of the first 2 in boston anyway, and that is still very achievable. If they take game 2, especially after the way they lost game 1 I think that it’s going to be huge for them.

    I STILL BELIEVE!!

  34. Frank

    ugh, i’m getting nauseous reading all the puppy love the media has for Doc Rivers now. Sure, they were nice plays, but both the KG alley-oop and the Ray-Ray dagger worked because of illegal screens. LOTS of plays would look like genius if you can just shove and trip defenders as you please.

    And then Sebastian Pruiti tweets “I didn’t mention the trip because I didn’t think it is important…once TD gets in a trail position, its over, Allen was getting a shot off” — ummm… does contesting a shot ever affect its chance of going in? Then he follows it up with “Any other player it is probably a factor, but Allen? He gets it off, he’s knocking it down…just my opinion though…”

    That’s just stupid talk IMO. Does Ray Allen shoot 100%? No.

  35. Frank

    @41 – Agreed – Chauncey was pretty terrible last night, both on offense and defense. It’s one thing to give Rondo the mid-range jumpshot when you play off him to prevent penetration. It’s a total fail to not even attempt to contest the shot. And Rondo just owned him in transition.

    I think TD will do a good job – and I STILL BELIEVE also.

  36. Shad0wF0x

    @40

    I think this was the play I was most upset on from our side in the final minute. I would understand if he was knocking those down all game but he had a bad shooting night and should not have taken it.

  37. Caleb

    TD will be fine but with our group he needs to be playing 30 or 35 minutes anyway.. Billups out means more time for Anthony Carter.

    And hopefully Fields, by default.

  38. Spree8nyk8

    How great was Ronny last night though? I thought he and BW were fantastic honestly. Idk, the more I think about this game the better I feel about it. I mean i’m still staggered by the 2 calls, but we had a lead with 20 seconds left with melo, billups, and fields not having good games. I think that we are going to be a very angry team in game 2 and I hope they rip their faces off.

  39. Thomas B.

    If you recall in my playoff preview with Jim, I noted that keeping Boston off the offensive boards would be key. Oneal was allowed to get a put back that tied the game with about a minute to play. I cringed because I knew that was going to hurt. I agree the calls stink, but this team needs to figure out how to score more than 34 points in the 2nd half. Knicks did the same thinf in the 96-86 loss. They can’t stink at rebounding and fail to score. Is Fields on the playoff roster? Sure would like to walker or douglas at the two if he can’t do more than is production of late.

  40. Jim Cavan

    I can’t decide whether I’m more or less pissed off by the fact that it was the same ref both times. Or that his last name is McCutchen.

    I still feel like we can take game 2, even with Billups out. You could tell that game sapped Boston quite a bit. I know the prospect of TD starting is more than a little nerve wracking considering his inexperience in this kind of environment, but he sure looked pretty comfortable drilling that late three.

    As for the refs, at this point I have no idea what to do. Unless you want to change the rules to the players calling the first 10 fouls of each half — with contact confirmed or denied by the refs — and then the refs call each one after that, I don’t see how you change it.

  41. adrenaline98

    Mike and Robert and/or any other writers on the TrueHoop network that participate on the ESPN site, I hope to God you are all trying to get a piece onto their syndication.

    Listening and reading a lot of things from this morning, it seems that we are the only ones discussing these complete lack of calls and total homecourt advantage that is beyond homecourt advantage.

    The only thing being argued is Melo’s offensive foul, and most say, it wasn’t that bad of a call.

    It’s utterly ridiculous that the Cs got away with murder, and without some press pressure on these damn refs, it will be like that away in Game 2.

  42. chrisk06811

    We had PLENTY of time to get off a good shot to tie, and we failed.

    For game 2, we gotta see less Carter and Jeffries. Bos has a huge advantage when they only have to guard 4 or even 3 guys. Granted, Jeffries did a nice job on the boards. I’d rather see more douglas at the point.

    and, how do we get out rebounded by 10, yet we have one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA in Fields, who I know is shot, but….he plays only 19 minutes in favor of who?

  43. adrenaline98

    The KG screen is inexcusable. Little less seen is the Ray Allen reach-in on Melo because he was trying to intentionally foul him on the last shot, that the refs ALSO didn’t call. How do you not call intentional fouls? He had his hand on Melo’s arm and pulled away and stiffed up at the last second to pretend like he wasn’t fouling him.

  44. Sweeney

    Game 1 was the best chance for the Knicks to gain an advantage. Amare can go at KG all day, but the issue is Melo has no heart and his basketball IQ is to be questioned. A 28′ shot at the end with time on the clock vs. going to the hoop for the tie/hard foul?

    Easy to complain about the REFS but they were not that good throughout the entire game. They could not determine if they wanted to let them play or call it close.

    The real issue is that the team still lacks an identity and you went away from Amare. You took your best shot. You might win a game, but the series is over at this point.

  45. Frank

    Sweeney:
    Game 1 was the best chance for the Knicks to gain an advantage.Amare can go at KG all day, but the issue is Melo has no heart and his basketball IQ is to be questioned.A 28? shot at the end with time on the clock vs. going to the hoop for the tie/hard foul?

    Easy to complain about the REFS but they were not that good throughout the entire game.They could not determine if they wanted to let them play or call it close.

    The real issue is that the team still lacks an identity and you went away from Amare.You took your best shot.You might win a game, but the series is over at this point.

    Wow – then I guess the Spurs and Lakers should just pack up shop and go home too!

  46. Robert Silverman

    adrenaline98:
    Mike and Robert and/or any other writers on the TrueHoop network that participate on the ESPN site, I hope to God you are all trying to get a piece onto their syndication.

    Listening and reading a lot of things from this morning, it seems that we are the only ones discussing these complete lack of calls and total homecourt advantage that is beyond homecourt advantage.

    The only thing being argued is Melo’s offensive foul, and most say, it wasn’t that bad of a call.

    It’s utterly ridiculous that the Cs got away with murder, and without some press pressure on these damn refs, it will be like that away in Game 2.

    Here are my thoughts on the mothership. I am trying to be measured/objective here. Hence the lack of WE WUZ ROBBED!! Which is my actual opinion

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2011/news/story?page=5-on-5-110417

  47. adrenaline98

    Yea, can’t help it if Sweeney’s an idiot. If anything, it says to EVERYONE, including the Celtics, that the Knicks, if given some calls, could have easily taken game 1. EASILY. The fact that it was on Boston’s “amazing” home (court advantage) floor (33-8 record) shows that.

    McCutchen is also known as comparable to Joe Crawford in his on-court dealings. Think I would have rather had Tim Donaghy ref that game.

    And to those that say the Cs destroyed the Knicks in the 4th quarter, take away Ray Allen’s 3. Give the Knicks 2 free throws instead, and it would have been 25-23 with a win. Ain’t what it used to be in the regular season.

  48. adrenaline98

    Yea I just caught that Robert, at least you got a voice and an opinion up on there. It’s just brutal. KG could have walked off with my wallet and watch and I wouldn’t have felt as robbed.

  49. Ted NeIson

    Sweeney: Game 1 was the best chance for the Knicks to gain an advantage. Amare can go at KG all day, but the issue is Melo has no heart and his basketball IQ is to be questioned. A 28? shot at the end with time on the clock vs. going to the hoop for the tie/hard foul? Easy to complain about the REFS but they were not that good throughout the entire game. They could not determine if they wanted to let them play or call it close. The real issue is that the team still lacks an identity and you went away from Amare. You took your best shot. You might win a game, but the series is over at this point.

    as must as i love to hear your opinions completely independent of any sort of evidence, i go to this site to read interesting and informed dialogue and yours isn’t cutting it

  50. adrenaline98

    Is there some kind of conspiracy? I saw the KG trip as far more blatant of a no-call than the Melo offensive call. It was just so obvious what he did.

    Forsberg is also amazing. The only good playcall Doc Rivers made at the end of the game was stacking Cs players in front of refs so that they couldn’t see any of the action going on, since the trip was ridiculously blatant and other than that, there’s no way they don’t make that damn call.

    The only person so far that has even acknowledged it is Robert. Chris Sheridan just brushed right past that part of the question in his chat and talked about the melo call.

    I feel like I’m on some kind of crusade, and my emotions are probably getting the best of me.

  51. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I gotta say: seeing all the replays of those two egregious calls (and non-calls) makes me want the Knicks to win it all the more. It can be done.

  52. New Guy

    Here’s my take. The Celtics have beaten the Knicks 4 times in a row (not counting the meaningless last game) and each game has a required some type of super-human effort on their part.

    We are giving this team fits. There’s no reason to think we can’t earn a split here, and if we do I see this series going 7. If we win tomorrow, nothing that happened yesterday will matter. All that matters is we get a split one way or another, and I’m confident we will after what happened yesterday. That was not a fluke.

  53. endyendy

    The problem isn’t the Melo call or the Garnett non-call, it’s both combined. If you wanna hit Melo with that offensive foul you have to reciprocate at the other end. If you want to let them play and allow the Garnett screen you never should have made the Melo call. I hate to cry about referees but it reeks of bias or, at the very least, lack of a clear idea of how you want to call the game in the closing moments.

    Beyond that I find myself quite irritated at the idea I’ve seen floating around that the Knicks gave the Celtics their best game and came up short. Melo and Billups were not performing up to par and the Celtics still barely sneaked out of this game with an iffy victory. A victory nonetheless, but one that speaks more to Boston’s vulnerability than the Knicks lack of talent.

  54. latke

    I’m sorry, but I really am not in the ref bashing mindset here. First of all, the Knicks’ offense was a disaster for the entire second half. The entire purpose of a physical defense is to get in your head, and Knicks let the Celtics do that. Whenever they got into the paint, they took covered shots rather than kicking the ball out. The bulk of their 3PAs came against a set defense.

    The Celtic defense is DESIGNED to punish ISO teams. ISO plays usually take place on one side of the floor, giving the player who ISOs fewer angles at a pass. Rather than making one pass for a shot, iso passouts against Boston’s defense require that you rotate the ball around hte perimeter, and that gives defenders extra time to rotate. The high pick and roll, however, takes place more in the center of the court, giving the dribbler better angles to his entire team.

    One thing that bothers me was D’Antoni’s refusal to play Stoudemire at center. THe beauty of Shaq’s injury is that the Celtics no longer have anyone big enough to truly muck up the knicks’ defense. They’re already double teaming the post with Rondo’s man, so it’s not like we’re taking advantage of our defensive bigs to take away other offensive options.

    Our defense was solid, and I don’t want to hurt that, but at the same time, we can’t expect to win shooting 32% when the celtics turn up their defense.

  55. Frank

    @63 – I agree, but you sort of can’t have it both ways. Amare at 5 and presumably Shawne Williams at the 4 is just a horrible defensive team. Both JJ and Turiaf contributed significantly to what was probably one of the best defensive performances of the year. Unfortunately, Amare is not a 2-way player when he’s playing center — there’s just not enough rebounding there, and he can’t guard Garnett.

    I’ll say this much though- this was Turiaf’s best performance since early this season. He guarded Garnett 1-on-1 for the most part and Garnett had a very poor game by his standards.

  56. rayhed

    apparently zbo just signed a pretty hefty extension…. does this mean the grizz aren’t gonna have enough space to resign gasol- if the knicks don’t pick up the option on billups, how much space will they have?…. would spending money on gasol ruin flexibility for the following summer?

  57. adrenaline98

    @63

    It doesn’t matter that the Knicks played poorly offensively, or that the defensive performance was their best of the season. You can’t look back at the game and say they could have made this play or that play, because the same holds true for the Cs. The game unfolded the way it did due to both sides making mistakes or playing well. That’s how every game unfolds. To say “The Knicks could have made 1 more shot” or “The Celts could have made this 3 in the third quarter” is only true in hindsight. Yes, it’s true, if Stat hadn’t missed those 2 free throws, or if Melo didn’t miss that one, or if TD didn’t miss that one. You can blame the Knicks for their uninspired 2nd half offense. I don’t care.

    The point is that at a CRUCIAL moment of the game, the Celtics were awarded an EXTRA possession by the refs that should not have happened. In fact, they were awarded TWO extra possessions if you count the non-call. That is what makes it unfair. The Cs could have made this or that shot. The Knicks could have made that or the other shot. But at the end of the game, the Celts were GIVEN two extra shots, and therefore, the Knicks had two extra possessions taken away.

    Basketball, as we can all agree here, is a game of possession. In the last 21 seconds of the game, one team received 2 possessions that were not earned, and therefore, the element of what happened throughout the game had no bearing on the terribly unfair calls.

    In other words, you could have considered the Knicks leading 2-0 in the ball game with 21 seconds left, the ball, and the Cs were given two opportunities free to win that game.

    That being said, we are also not saying the Cs COULDN’T have won the game without those calls either. It’s just that they were made, and therefore, robbed the Knicks of two possessions. An uneven hand was applied. Two professional teams ideally should have equal footing to make that play. Let the players determine that.

  58. knickterp

    Brutal loss, but we need to match the Texas Rangers’ blueprint from last year’s ALCS. Crushing Game 1 collapse late in the game to the big bad Yankees, everyone thinking that they lost their best chance to make it a series (Michael Kay said the series was over after the game) and then they dominate the rest of the way. I wasn’t of the belief that Game 1 meant everything, but Game 2 is now huge. Hope our guys know they can play with–and beat–the Celtics.

  59. d-mar

    Melo needs to come out real pissed off tomorrow night, and make an impact not just by scoring, but crashing the boards, playing crazy D, getting steals, etc. And PLEASE stay out of foul trouble!

    I have a feeling this series will go like the Celtics-Bulls series a few years ago, split 2 in Boston, split 2 in NY, lose game 5, win game 6, but somehow we figure out a way to win a game 7 in Boston.

  60. John Kenney

    On a different note: Watching heat-76er’s… there’s something so logical about the Bibby-Wade-Bron-Bosh-BigZ lineup. 2 ancient players who shoot well and the 3 stars. i’d want that lineup in crunch time.

  61. Robert Silverman

    strangely enough, Mike Bibby’s only 32, but it seems like he’s been in the NBA forever.

  62. ess-dog

    For some sadistic reason, I watched the game again on NBATV today.

    First, we were definitely “jobbed” by the refs over the last 3 minutes.

    Of all those job-jobs, the most egregious one in my opinion, was calling that tickytacky offensive foul on Melo, and then I believe the NEXT TRIP DOWN not calling the same foul on Pierce who clearly pushes off Melo, practically throwing him to the ground while dribbling. The TD trip was bad too.

    That being said, we should’ve managed the clock better. And as good at Turiaf was at times, he missed an absolute chippie all by himself under the goal with about 2 min. left which was just a killer. Stat also missed a few free throws.

    I just couldn’t believe we lost like that AGAIN. I hope we can break through against them next game. I can’t be this nauseated three more times.

    If Melo, Stat and TD can all show up in the same game, I think we’ll win.

  63. tenebrous

    Horrible, horrible, horrible game by NY. From the coaching staff to the players. To go down the streach in a POff game and not have a timeout at the end just shows the newness of this 20 game team. I was left speechless at the end of the game. Though I don’t believe in calling any fouls those two were a part of the game. Apart of playing in Boston homecourt advg. It was not anyone particular players’ fault – though Billups totally surprised me with his “non-experience” and Stat with not demanding the ball in the last 3-5 min. Wow totally deflated – though this blog gives me some further hope. The Knicks have to go into this game and every other POff game as “we don’t want no calls our way we rather have the point – a streetball mentality etc etc etc …. This is how Boston plays – either it was taken or we gave it to them. Can’t write anymore, still too trumpted.

  64. tenebrous

    Amare plays better when he has 3 point shooters waiting on the lines to shoot a la SW TD & Walker, or is it just me??? Anyway, game 2 is ours.

  65. ess-dog

    I hope the guys aren’t too down after that loss. As far as the “now we know we can play with these guys” vibe, I think the Knicks already believed that. The question is, do they roll-over now, or do they try to push it to the next gear?

    Even without Billups, we could be ok. Landry defended Allen well in the 1st half. TD has been running the show better lately and can really defend and Carter can at least defend pretty well. Would like to see Shelden on J.O’Neal a little. I think we could win that matchup. Turiaf is great but only in short spurts. Hell we are what we are now: Carter, Walker and the “three-headed monster” at center are going to have to be in top form.

    I smell the blood fellas. We have to take these old bastards out.

  66. BigBlueAL

    With TD playing PG for most of the game tomorrow it will be interesting to see how much quicker a pace the Knicks play at.

    I dread having a close game in the 4th with TD and AC running the offense though. .

  67. Z

    adrenaline98:

    Listening and reading a lot of things from this morning, it seems that we are the only ones discussing these complete lack of calls and total homecourt advantage that is beyond homecourt advantage.

    Video of the KG trip was up on the yahoo homepage today.

  68. Z

    Has anybody mentioned the fact that we had on the court at one point possibly the worst 5 man unit in playoff history? Amar’e, surrounded by Douglas, Walker, Carter, and Jeffies. And, yet, the squad didn’t hand over the 5 point lead they were given… They expanded it to ten!

  69. Z

    Robert Silverman: WE WUZ ROBBED

    Sadly, a part of me feels there is something inherently stupid about a sport in which refs have a greater ability to determine outcomes than players.

  70. Robert Silverman

    Z: Sadly, a part of me feels there is something inherently stupid about a sport in which refs have a greater ability to determine outcomes than players.

    It’s the thing that I find the most pleasing and mind-numbingly frustrating about basketball. How it so aptly mirrors the injustices of the larger world. Shit ain’t fair all over, brother.

  71. BigBlueAL

    Z:
    Has anybody mentioned the fact that we had on the court at one point possibly the worst 5 man unit in playoff history? Amar’e, surrounded by Douglas, Walker, Carter, and Jeffies. And, yet, the squad didn’t hand over the 5 point lead they were given… They expanded it to ten!

    Yeah but a similar 5-man unit in the first 3 mins of the 4th quarter got outscored 7-0 and turned a 5 pt lead into a 2 pt deficit before Billups and Melo returned.

  72. Jim Cavan

    Robert Silverman: It’s the thing that I find the most pleasing and mind-numbingly frustrating about basketball. How it so aptly mirrors the injustices of the larger world. Shit ain’t fair all over, brother.

    That’s interesting. I’ve honestly never thought about it that way. I wasn’t around to watch games before the late 80s, so I honestly don’t know –was refereeing as big of an issue 25, 30, 40 years ago as it is now? I know they definitely let a lot more stuff go, and we all remember the 90s as being a pretty physical era. Is it just a matter of going back to those standards? Or is that simplifying the matter too much?

  73. BigBlueAL

    Jim Cavan: That’s interesting. I’ve honestly never thought about it that way. I wasn’t around to watch games before the late 80s, so I honestly don’t know –was refereeing as big of an issue 25, 30, 40 years ago as it is now? I know they definitely let a lot more stuff go, and we all remember the 90s as being a pretty physical era. Is it just a matter of going back to those standards? Or is that simplifying the matter too much?

    Refs have always played a big factor in playoff games. Just ask Hue Hollins :-)

  74. Robert Silverman

    Jim Cavan: That’s interesting. I’ve honestly never thought about it that way. I wasn’t around to watch games before the late 80s, so I honestly don’t know –was refereeing as big of an issue 25, 30, 40 years ago as it is now? I know they definitely let a lot more stuff go, and we all remember the 90s as being a pretty physical era. Is it just a matter of going back to those standards? Or is that simplifying the matter too much?

    My viewing history starts in the late 70′s/early 80′s and yeah it was a huge issue. Bird/Magic/Doc/McHale/Malone got every fracking call — and I won’t even delve into the preferential treatment Jordan started getting in the late 80′s.

    If you read Simmons’ book (and aside from the really weird [if brutally honest] fact that one of the main theses of the thing is that Simmons reveals in no uncertain terms that hates the fact that he’s white and thinks he’s secretly black [No joke], it’s a really good read), he implies that the refs have always played a huge factor in games and stars/certain teams played by a different set of rules than the unwashed masses.

    If I had to hazard a guess as to why this is so (more so than in the NFL or MLB), I’d say is that the speed of the games happens way too fast for the human eye to track and so rather than direct observation, referees rely on patterns and expected results.

    I.e. LeBron’s a great player. If he drives the lane and there’s contact, it’s probably a blocking foul. 85% of the time, they’re going to be right. But you’re not actually reffing the game in front of you. You’re assuming and ruling accordingly.

    PS – That’s a giant sack of MAJOR speculation on my part and I have no evidence to back it up

  75. Unreason

    Thoughts on the game:
    1. Amare Stoudemire is a bone-crushing war demon. If Shaq plays tomorrow, Amare might actually eat his head on live TV. Seeing a person in a Knicks uniform do what he did repeatedly to a series of large and fearsome Celtics in a playoff game is fantastically pleasurable.
    2. The difference between their team D and ours is MUCH smaller than I thought. We’re just better all around than I thought we would be in a road playoff situation against a team that talented, deep, experienced, and well-coached.
    3. If Melo doesn’t have another off night and we can keep up the defensive intensity, we can win the series.

  76. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Nice to know that the Knicks aren’t the only team being hosed by the crooks in black and white. Indiana got absolutely raped by those calls in the last two minutes.

  77. endyendy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Nice to know that the Knicks aren’t the only team being hosed by the crooks in black and white. Indiana got absolutely raped by those calls in the last two minutes.

    Didn’t see a good replay of the Foster tumble out of bounds, but it felt exactly the same. Hbbert gets a joke offensive foul on one end an apparent offensive foul at the other end ends up with someone on the ground and no call.

  78. Frank

    So, not to be already thinking about next season, and not that this will ever happen — but I’d LOVE to see Adelman be our coach. That dude is a great coach. Not that I don’t love D’Antoni – Doc Rivers’s cheating, I mean genius aside, I thought the Knicks played GREAT D on sunday night, so my biggest complaint about D’Antoni is not so much an issue right now.

  79. Sweeney

    No, those teams have identities and stars who know how to win. Who on the KNICKS knows how to win?

    Frank: Wow – then I guess the Spurs and Lakers should just pack up shop and go home too!

  80. Sweeney

    Really, so you dispute my point that Carmelo has a great basketball IQ? Or that the best chance for the Knicks to win a game was the 1st game of the series? Wait, wait, that the three refs were consistent in there calls all night.

    Look at the evidence then. Melo choked in the 2nd half and the game was too big for him. Rivers got the most out of his team when it mattered.

    My dialogue isn’t cutting it because it is not what you want to read. I just randomly searched the 2003 playoff season to see the % of game one winners who went on to win the series. To include the finals the team who one the first game won 11 of the 15 series. I don’t do this for a living, but I am sure an in depth study would find that to be a prevailing theme. The easiest game for a lower seed to win, according to most professional commentaries, is game one of a series. Not winning a game that you outplayed the other team for 47 minutes is a heart breaker and one very few teams can come back from.

    Obviously you think counter to me but where is your evidence that you declare you want in my commentary. Bottom line is it will be decided on the hardwood, but the Knicks played their best basketball all year and still came up short.

    Ted NeIson: as must as i love to hear your opinions completely independent of any sort of evidence, i go to this site to read interesting and informed dialogue and yours isn’t cutting it

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