2008-9 Game Thread: Knicks vs Wizards


[Knicks won the last meeting 114-108.]

What can you say? Almost nothing is going right for Washington. The Wizards are one of the worst teams on both offense (27th) and defense (27th). They are without two of last year’s starters; Gilbert Arenas will be out until December, and Brendan Haywood may not play at all this year. Combine that with the slow start from Deshawn “You can’t see me” Stevenson, and you get arguably the worst team in the conference.

What to watch for: Who is going to guard Caron Butler? Butler dropped 30 on the Knicks and pretty much scored at will. Butler is the Wizards’ best player in terms of creating his own offense (18.8 PTS/36, 24th in the league in Usage Rate), so the Knicks would do well to disrupt him and keep the ball out of his hands.

What to watch for 2: Nate Robinson v. Deshawn Stevenson. Did anyone else notice these two jawing in the first game? Nate scored twice on Stevenson and showed him the “you can’t see me” hand gesture that Stevenson used last year. Robinson has played well this year but his constant taunting and talking is starting to annoy me. MSG decided to have him on microphone for an entire game. Why provide a showboat like Robinson a stage like that? That’s like letting Pookie work in your crack house. Damn Nino, what were you thinking?

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38 thoughts to “2008-9 Game Thread: Knicks vs Wizards”

  1. Have a bad feeling either Jamison or Butler will take over the 2nd half as the Knicks run out of gas.

  2. not that anyone should take anything out of a game against the Wizards, but I’m starting to think NY will be better this season than they were before, once the team has a bit of time to gel and Jeffries is back.


    Nate, Lee, Jeffries, Thomas off the bench.

    they should be taller and better on D than before, and the ball’s got to move better without Randolph on the court.

  3. It’s the Late Game Collapse (R)!
    (R) A registered trademark of the New York Knicks

    this is pretty unfair in the Duhon/D’Antoni era, and totally unfair tonight, when they’re basically playing with five guys plus Rose and Roberson on a back to back.

  4. Cause they didn’t almost blow a 30 pt lead again OKC. And don’t forget the Dallas game. Admittedly they are better this year than last year (that was terrible), but they still have trouble putting games away.

  5. These guys are playing hard..
    Tonight’s win would be a bonus, but seems unlikely coz they’re starting to fatigue down there. 4 Fouls for Chandler, Nate & Malik

  6. Cause they didn’t almost blow a 30 pt lead again OKC. And don’t forget the Dallas game. Admittedly they are better this year than last year (that was terrible), but they still have trouble putting games away.

    yes, they blew the Dallas game, which was mostly on the late but not especially lamented Jamal Crawford. they’ve won pretty much every other close game this season. Duhon is making a huge difference over Marbury in tight games, it’s nice to not have an idiot running the team.

    Knicks top 4 with 102 of their 116 right now.

  7. 4 knicks (nate, chandler, qrich and lee) all have over 20 and none of them have taken over 20 shots. good shooting %’s.

  8. I think Duhon’s decision-making in those last seven seconds is good supporting evidence for what jon is saying.

  9. these guys play for their coach. at first, i thought it was kind of harsh to sit stephon and eddy, even when they have only 7 other players. but i guess there’s something to be said for holding players accountable.

  10. Nice win, especially considering the back-to-back set they have comin up (vs Cle, at Det). They badly needed this win. This is certainly if not a frustrating team to watch, a fun and easy to root for team.

  11. This is what D’Antoni said about the non-Marbury Knicks yesterday:

    “But at the same time, there’s consideration of a lot of guys in that locker room that are giving their hearts out. And those are the guys that I’m going to go on with, and those are the guys that I’m going to love, and those are the guys that are going to compete every night.”

    I think it’s appropriate here. Good win.

  12. Love the positivity surrounding this team right now. And I like that the media is treating the new arrivals as fillers in a salary dump. That only adds three more players that will be playing with something to prove – not to mention they’ll be playing for new contracts.

    Let’s speculate about the starting lineup against the Cavs. I think it’ll be the regulars with Mobley at the 2. I doubt that Harrington starts, let alone with one or two practices under his belt. And I think Nate needs to come off the bench to help guide the new second unit.

  13. yeah, Harrington hasn’t seen game action since the 5th, although he says he’ll play Tuesday. I think he’ll be starting in the near future, but maybe not the first game.

  14. Eventual starting lineup:


    Nate-Lee-Harrington off the bench with Tim Thomas getting spot minutes as the 9th man. Roberson-Rose 10th and 11th men playing only due to foul trouble/injuries. Eventually when healthy Gallinari would be 12th active player. Jerome James-Marbury (Ewing Jr when signed after Marbury cut??)-Fat Ass, I mean Eddy Curry, inactive. Hopefully somehow Curry can get traded to remove his contract for 2010….

  15. I agree with all that, except that if Gallinari is healthy, he’ll get 15 minutes a game somehow, and I think that Harrington is a better fit a C in D’Antoni’s offense than Jeffries is, so I think he’ll be starting there even after Jeffries comes back.

  16. Lee needs to start because no combination of Jeffries, Harrington, Chandler, and Thomas rebounds well enough to start together at the 4 and 5. We cannot have a starting frontcout averaging 14 rebounds a game.

    Just to put it in perspective Curry, who is a poor rebounder, averages more rebounds per 36 for his career than Thomas, Chandler, Harrington or Jeffries.

    We need Lee’s rebounding.

  17. Impressive, gutty win. The Knicks had every right to tire in the 4th quarter and they still managed to pull it out. Did you see the combined minutes of the starters over the 2 games? Duhon for one played 89 minutes. I think it says a lot about the coach and the players. Sort of reminded me of that Utah game where we were missing guys from the Denver fight, although that might have been the high point of that season.

  18. Why does every proposed lineup have Lee coming off the bench? With Randolph and Chandler gone, is there any debate that he’s the best guy left on the roster?

  19. I see 10 viable players on the roster right now — and one of them, Curry, is out for an injury or being fat, whatever it is.

    Barring injury, it’s a good bet the rotation will include Lee, Jeffries, Harrington, Chandler, Robinson and Duhon. (Jeffries ain’t great, but he brings something different from the other frontcourt players — a defensive specialist who doesn’t need the ball). Q will play as long as he’s healthy. (it’s been every other year, right?) Mobley and Thomas could both play. Mobley is pretty spent, but I guess we are thinner in the backcourt, which bodes well for his chances.

    If Curry ever gets in shape, or needs to be showcased for a trade, he would probably replace one of those two in the rotation. But of the front 9, at least one will usually be injured – just the odds.

    Roberson might play if Mobley falls on his face, but IMO he looks like roster-filler.

    With two forwards and Jeffries in the mix, Rose may have seen his last PT of the season. James, Marbury and Gallinari flesh out the 15…

  20. “Rose may have seen his last PT of the season.”


    Nice rotation analysis, Caleb. I’d like to see Gallinari get healthy and start taking 15-20 a game around Feb-March when we go into full-blown tank mode. As for Jeffries, it will definitely be interesting to see what he brings to the table once he is back. Unfortunately, his career average is .4 bpg, so our blocked shots problem probably won’t be solved. However, I do like the idea of having someone big who can rebound and is a good enough ball handler to rebound and initate the break.

  21. I’m interested to see how Jeffries is used. He’s a weak rebounder (just average, even for a small forward), a terrible shooter and too skinny to keep centers from getting position.

    BUT – he’s pretty low on turnovers, a decent passer, doesn’t shoot much, works hard, moves well for a 6’11 guy (he’s a legit small forward) and has those long, long arms. Whatever the reason, he’s had a good plus-minus rating the last couple of years (partly, IMO, because he would come in when Curry sat).

    IMO he was totally unsuited to Isiah’s half-court game; he was much better in Washington where they had a trapping defense (where he could break up passing lanes) and fast-break offense (since he can’t hit a jumper to save his life). D’Antoni does a great job putting players in position to succeed — showcasing strengths and camouflaging weaknesses – so I’m cautiously optimistic that Jeffries will be a positive.

  22. Yeah, besides his long arms (which are an amazing asset), what I like best about Jeffries is that he does really seem to have a great head for the game. If only he had more talent.

  23. “I’m interested to see how Jeffries is used.”

    The only thing with Jeffries that I am interested in seeing is whether other teams would want him.

  24. I’m interested to see how Jeffries is used.”

    The only thing with Jeffries that I am interested in seeing is whether other teams would want him

    Yes, it goes without saying that the biggest contribution he could make is going away to another team, for a shorter salary. If he looks good in the meantime, those odds go up (from zero, as of now).

  25. hey can someone please tell me what they think of this trade? once jeffries gets back, and hes playing decent hopefully, i think we should trade him to dallas for Stackhouse straight up. they aren’t playing Stack at all, and they seem like they are going for it since they traded Harris for Kidd. Anyone who might provide has to be better than a nobody on your bench. Stackhouse has a little higher contract, but its only 2 years, and then we’d have another contract off the books by 2010.

  26. Ben Bow,

    Interesting idea. A couple of things that come to mind are 1) the Mavs have a lot of depth at F (Dirk, Howard, Bass, Gerald Green, Shawne Williams, Antoine Wright, Devean George, and James Singleton… maybe a 3-way deal works or the Mavs feel like they need a defensive upgrade over those guys) and 2) the way Jeffries has played the last two seasons it’s not clear he’s an upgrade over an aging Stackhouse. I suppose the second reason is why everyone is anxious for Jeffries to get into the lineup and make an impact.

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