2010 Game Preview and Thread: Jazz at Knicks

A quick preview of the game and a place for your in game thoughts.

The good news is that the 2010 Advanced Stats Page is up! 

The bad news is that there is little good news in those stats for the Knicks.

The Knicks play the eighth game of the season tonight putting the team roughly 1/10th  of the way through the season.  So far, it’s not good.

Knick “Offense”

Stat 100 47.3 14.9 20.4 18.1
Rank 24 22 9 30 28

Knick *sigh* Defense

Stat 109.7 53.5 17.5 26 24.7
Rank 24 26 10 12 17

Jazz Offense

Stat 109 49.6 14.7 25.1 26.9
Rank 11 17 7 21 7

Jazz Defense

Stat 111.6 50.6 14.3 27.3 28.5
Rank 25 22 26 19 27

I think we all expected the Knicks to struggle on defense; but I don’t think even Mike’s pessimistic side thought it could be this bad on offense.  The Knicks are 4th in Pace (they play fast) but they are 24th in offensive efficiency (they play loose).  There are any number of things we could gripe about–Harrington’s shot selection, Chandler’s problems from deep, Duhon’s problems from close–but the big problem in my humble opinion is the Knicks dreadful FT/FG ratio (28). 

Compare the Knicks FT/FG ratio to the league leading Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets’ pace (95.7) is just as fast as the Knicks (96.2) but their FT/FG rate is double that of the Knicks (36.4).  This tells me that Denver’s approach to offense is to attack, while the Knicks’ approach is to just take a shot.  Is it any wonder that the Knicks’ sole win this season came in lone game where they made more FT’s than 3 pointers attempted?  If the Knicks want to improve the offense, they have to attack and stop settling for just getting a shot off (Wilson, are you reading this? Great, pass it along to Al.)  Back to the Jazz.

What to watch for:  Can the Knicks exploit the Jazz defense? 

Hard as it was, I found a ray of hope for the game:  The Jazz defense.  The Jazz are in the bottom third of the NBA in most advanced defensive stats.   The Jazz have big problems with defensive efficiency and defensive FT/FG ratio.  Of course, the Knicks are not running an efficient offense and I’ve already detailed the problems they have getting to the line.  Okay, maybe not a ray of hope.  A twinkle of hope from a star that burned out millions of years ago.  But it’s still light.

What to watch for 2: Lee and Duhon (or Gallo) on the pick n roll.

If the Knicks have a bread and butter play on offense it’s the pick and roll.  They need to go to this early as Boozer and Okur are not good on defensive switches.  If the Knicks can get this play working, it could open up a few looks elsewhere on the offense.

What to watch for 3:  Knicks’ interior defense.

Boozer is off to a poor start on offense this year.  His eFG (43.0) is the lowest of any point in his 8 year career.  The Knicks have to keep him from getting easy looks inside.  The Jazz are not really lighting it up from deep.  Only Okur (40%) and Williams (37.1%)  are shooting over 30% from distance.  If you combine that with Boozer’s slow start, the Knicks should be able to avoid doubling down low, and therefore avoid giving Utah open looks from outside.

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Thomas B.

@Don't bother; I don't tweet

54 thoughts to “2010 Game Preview and Thread: Jazz at Knicks”

  1. Yay for the Advanced Stats page! Between this site, 82games.com, basketball reference, and Hollinger, it’s going to be embarrassing how much of my browsing is going to be on those sites for the next eight months. (*insert joke about how much more fun it will be than watching the average Knick game here*)

  2. Dig the high-powered stats. Nice.
    Straight up, I’m an NBA fan that’s a Jazz fan.

    This one outta be sumthin to see, with some serious scorin. G’luck Bockers and Bloggers. Let’s get it on!

    Hope the jazz play at least some semblance of 3-fense tonight, since Gallinari is such a sharp shooter. Could be a night for Big Al to get on track, too. Memo and Boozer gonna have to they’re feet busy.

  3. Also, I sure hope to see Andrei Kirilenko on Danilo, and David Lee vs Paul Millsap. Those could be great matchups, should they happen.

  4. I just plunked down $100 on the NBA League Pass Broadband “Choice” Edition. This way, when I can no longer stand the ‘bockers, I can pick another 6 teams to watch. It’s quite a big savings compared to previous years where I would pay the full $180 (or whatever) for the cable full league pass.

    I also figure I can probably just ask Al Harrington for my money back.

  5. Am I the only who feels like the rest of the team is deliberately avoiding gallo on offense? Two blocks and both times he sprints down the floor and no one even glances at him? I would never be one to say something like this, but it looks like a friggin conspiracy mon.

    Like what Im seeing though. Lot more energy i think attributed in large part to Toney Douglas. I like the idea of pulling duhon earlier in the event of a poor duhon showing to inject some life into the team and lockdown the point. Doesnt seem like he should struggling whatever you make of this offense.

    Im also feeling the need to echo anyone else’s distaste for Al Harrington and his innate ability to just lower his head and try to play one-on-one. How can one legitimately not understand how detrimental their play and playstyle are to a team’s offense?

  6. This team has quit. 8 games in and they have quit! Look at the way they play its clear they all just want to go home. Oh this is the Larry Brown season and IT part duex all over again.

  7. These games should be on later in the evening.

    Will someone please think of the children!

  8. Gettin plenty of open looks. Knicks just not knockin em down. Yet.

    Jazz impload in the 2nd half, though, lately.

  9. I’m going to save myself some time and just write the game preview for every other game this season right now.

    2010 Game Threads: Knicks v. Anyone

    The Knicks are still in the bottome third of the NBA in every offensive stat other than pace. They are also in the bottom third in every defensive stat.

    What to watch for: An awful defensive effort coupled with an awful offensive effort.

    What to watch for 2: A late run that will again come up short. But it will good enought o keep us sucker knick fans hoping for more.

    What to watch for 3: Me reaching for that bottle of sleeping pills and a 5th of gin.

  10. The knicks are going to win. You are all cynical doubters. They will win tonight, and they will win many more games too! Believe!

  11. We are all Charlie Brown, and the Knicks are Lucy:

    They keep holding that football and–just this once–we’re gonna kick it.


  12. “As the Garden Turns”

    Thomas: What did you say?

    Knicks: We can make a come back.

    Thomas: I’ve heard this before. In Charlotte.

    Knicks: This will be different. We are at home.

    Thomas: You mean like when you were home with the 76ers.

    Knicks: Why bring that up? I’ve changed.

    Thomas: Maybe..but I just can’t trust you (runs off in tears).

  13. Just cause the Knicks suck terribly doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a spirited game – oh wait, Jared Jeffries is coming in. NVM

  14. Speaking of stats, the Knicks’ forced TO rate is pretty high, and continues in this game. That’s one good thing that’s carried over from preseason.

  15. I hate it when I’m right.

    JJ has played nice D tonight, btw.

    As they say in tha ‘Tah backcountry, ‘Here come da fahrworks.’

  16. Just got home, seeing the lineup D’Antoni is going with down the stretch I dont think he wants to win the game.

  17. So Harrington gives up an offensive rebound putback on D then misses a wide-open 3. Glad he is on the floor instead of Gallo or Lee.

  18. Lol, just got home, I guess if I am going to watch 6.4 seconds of the game this is the 6.4 seconds to watch…

  19. I know what we’re trying to do, and I’m trying to be patient, but man this team is hard to root for right now.

  20. “As the Garden turns”

    Knicks: baby, about that come back I promised you…

    Thomas: save it.

  21. Upsides to this game – They battled back, Douglas had a good game, and we played some defense tonight

  22. “A late run that will again come up short. But it will good enought o keep us sucker knick fans hoping for more.”


    A blow-out in close-game-clothes…

    Chandler 0 FTs.

    Harrington 0 assists.

    Darko 0 minutes (coach’s decision??).

    The good news: Obviously Douglas (until the last play) and even better, Duhon ridin’ the wood.

  23. I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate Al Harrington more than I had been hating him but OH MY GOD cut that bastard already! He needs to go the way of the other shoe peddler…
    And seriously, why are Al and Wilson each taking TWICE as many shots as Gallo?

  24. Ouch that hurts. Although to be fair, Gallo has to do a better job fighting for the ball and getting open. He has got to simply stop camping outside the 3 point line waiting for a pass.

    Interesting to see Duhon and Lee sitting out the stretch run. D’Antoni finally sending a message? I liked Hughes today. Although he shot terribly, he played within himself, played good d, and helped the team. Harrington is really struggling out there. He has got to find a way to get himself easier shots. Curling off picks or something. In general, our team needs to find a way to get easier buckets. Good game by T. Douglas. I’m not ready to anoint him because I think his handle is a big suspect but we’ll see. Another L for the Knicks at the end of the day.

  25. Also, not impressed by the Jazz. Suspect defensively, especially against an offensively challenged lineup of Douglas, Hughes, Chandler, Jeffries and Harrington. That group would have a hard time running a layup line. Despite their talent, the Jazz do not seem together.

  26. Jazz have given up a career high to some ‘nobody’ in all but one game this season. Tonight’s winner, Toney Douglas!

    Kid looked good. Nice of the Jazz to jumpstart his id.

    Gotta hate it when you go all the way to NY for a close shave.

    Feel for ya, KB’s. Peace.

  27. As I mentioned I got home in time to see the last 5 minutes of the game. I heard them mention that the Knicks were getting killed again and were in the middle of a comeback so even though I was appalled by then lineup on the floor I figured well I guess they were playing better than guys like Lee and Gallo.

    But I just looked at the box score and while Gallo didnt do much in only 25 minutes he was a +3. Lee was an astonishing -19 and Duhon -15. So again why the hell was Gallo not playing more and more importantly featured more in the offense (7 FGA) ???? Al Harrington is slowly becoming the most hated Knick on this site and rightfully so

  28. Uck. Uck. Uck.

    Can we start playing the Douglas, Hughes, Gallo, Lee and Hill/Darko line up now? I mean, what’s the point of doing anything else? At least this way we’ll get some time for people who will or might stick around (I’d put Chandler in for Hughes but I can’t bear the thought.)

  29. LMFAO at this tweet someone sent to Hahn tonight:

    I get it..The Knicks are Just playing Keep Away..And Gallos it..

  30. DRed,

    Regardless, it’d be great to have a pick. One might be able to package a high first-round pick for multiple future picks or alongside some outstanding salary detriments. That the pick that the Jazz will invariably receive at the end of the season (that is, it is not lottery- or even top (#) protected) is simply a testament to Isiah Thomas’s arrogance and short-sightedness. It’s bad management, through and through.

  31. I hate the team, so I want to root against them.

    But we don’t even have our own pick, so what am I supposed to do, root for them to win? For what?

    I suppose I want D’antoni to keep his job.

    Long year ahead.

  32. The worst part is that they’ve dug a huge hole early in the season, and the schedule has really not been that hard. This team is obviously not capable of running off 4 or 5 straight wins, so they’ll never even sniff .500, and one tough road trip will end the season before 2009 is even done. But hey, we’ve got one more win than the Nets!

  33. On a totally different subject, Henry Abbot had a great post today regarding basketball stats and the value of intuition vs. empiricism,


    Here is the two paragraphs Abbot excerpted from David Leonhardt’s article in the NYT…

    “This debate between intuition and empiricism is as old as Plato, who thought that knowledge came from intuitive reasoning, and Aristotle, who preferred observation. The argument has seemed especially intense lately, as one field after another has struggled to define the role of human judgment in a data-saturated society. The police officials in New York City who overhauled crime fighting were classic empiricists. The debate over education reform revolves around how well teachers can be measured and what the consequences of those measurements should be. These disagreements can sometimes be exaggerated, because everyone agrees that intuition and empiricism both have a role to play. But the fight over how to balance the two is a real one. …

    The overall record of decision-making approaches that are based mostly on intuition is far weaker than the record of decisions based mostly on data. To give just one example, an article in the journal Psychological Assessment, analyzing dozens of studies that compared clinical judgments with data-based diagnoses, found that clinical judgments were better in only a few instances. The two approaches were equally accurate about half of the time, but the data-based diagnoses substantially outperformed human judgment in nearly half of the studies. And with data collection becoming ever cheaper, Kahneman says that the number of occasions in which an intuitive approach beats a systemic one is getting smaller all the time.”

  34. After watching tonight’s game I have to say, this summer can’t come soon enough. Even if we don’t get LeBron, we get to dump Harrington and co. This team does the same thing every single night; get down by 20-30, then storm back and lose in the final seconds. I don’t even watch the 2nd and 3rd quarters anymore. This is terrible. Is there any way we can get rid of Chandler? Washington wanted him for their pick…. Chandler + Jeffires for expiring contract? He is playing so terribly.

  35. Please give Will a chance….I don’t want to see another Ariza story.
    Chandler has so much more to give…just needs some time to find his feel.
    All other expandable(AH, LH, JJ, EC,CD,NR,) come in line prior for any trade…but I guess that’s a no go/not want.

  36. I thought it was nice that D’Antoni got creative and instituted a zone defense to reduce the Jazz’s advantage in the paint. What I didn’t like was how, after Utah made several 3’s, we stayed with the zone defense. We should have alternated between zone and man to keep the Jazz guessing. After a while last night, they came down, ran the same 2-3 zone offense, found a man wide open from 3, and knocked it down. Zone is good for awhile, until the other team adjusts and makes us pay. D’Antoni should mix it in from now on imo.

  37. Sandy – I thought the zone was overall very effective, and the Jazz looked confused and out of sync on a lot of possessions. I also suspect D’Antoni said we’ll live with 3 point attempts from Kirilenko and got burned. I think when Hughes and Douglas were at the 1 and 2 it really disrupted Utah’s offense.

    But the sad truth is that the zone is a bit of a gimmick and a concession that the Knicks can’t play man to man defense.

    Eddy Curry is practicing today, salvation is near!

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