2010 Game Preview and Thread: Knicks v Raptors

New York (16-22 overall, 9-10 at home, 11-14 in conference) on the heals of a stolen win in Philadelphia looks to get to .500 at home.   Toronto (19-20 overall, 7-14 on road, 13-13 in conference) has dropped its last two games.  Toronto is not a strong road team.  Toronto is 5-13 in conference road games with only 1 win against a team with a record above .500.  Toronto is 4-3 on the road against conference rivals with records below .500.   Yeah, I’m not sure what the point of all that is either.  But it’s doubtful anyone reads this anyway.  Oh well, to the stats!

Knick Offense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 106.2 50.8 15.3 23.2 19.2
Rank 20 11 10 29 28
Knick Defense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 107.6 50.7 15.8 26.6 21.7
Rank 19 23 13.5 15 12.5
Raptor Offense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 110.9 51.1 14.7 25.6 27.5
Rank 5 6.5 7 20 2
Raptor Defense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 113 50.7 14 28.7 26.1
Rank 30 22 28 27 26

What to watch for: Toronto defense

Toronto ranks in the bottom third of the NBA in every defensive four factor.  The team is dead last in defensive efficiency (113) and they are near the bottom in turnovers forced, and defensive rebounds secured.  Toronto’s defense plus their poor road record gives the Knicks a good shot tonight.  Of Toronto’s 4 road wins against sub .500 conference foes, 3 wins came against teams in the bottom third of the NBA in offensive efficiency (Chicago, Washington, and Detroit). Toronto dropped road games to the Pacers (27th in offensive EFF) and the Milwaukee (25th).  So with this defense, the Raptor can lose on the road any given night.  Let’s hope tonight is one of those nights.

What to watch for 2: 5 on 4 and a half?

I don’t think Jeffries is as much a hindrance on offense as he appears to be.  Do I think JJ is a talented offensive player? By no means.  Does JJ struggle to score on a consistent basis? Sure.  So why do I not view JJ as an offensive hindrance?  Well, I remember watching two other offensive talents grind the Knick offense to a stop: Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry.  Zach Randolph has vast offensive talent, but his poor shot selection, reluctance to pass, and this killed the New York offense in his tenure.   Eddy Curry has a turnover rate above 30.  Sure, Jeffries’ turnover rate of 14 isnt great, but next to Curry Jeffries is Jason Kidd.  Plus Jeffries rebounds, something Curry never did well.  In defense of Jeffries I’d like to note that JJ has the lowest USG-r on the team at 9.3.  Curry’s is 26 and the team was getting nothing out of it. At least JJ tries to limit his drag on the offense.  JJ had one of his better games as a Knicks against the Sixers.  Given Toronto’s poor defense, he may have another strong showing all while rebounding, playing defense, and helping out in anyway that he can.  The point is that JJ is not as bad as he seems, at least not in comparison to Randolph and Curry.

In game thoughts here.

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Thomas B.

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135 thoughts to “2010 Game Preview and Thread: Knicks v Raptors”

  1. This is a great measuring stick game for the Knicks, in terms of their playoff aspirations. They simply can’t afford to lose too many home games vs. middling teams for the rest of the year, particularly those fighting for the last two EC spots. If they can’t get up for this game, look out below!

    Gallo needs to step up tonight. In a way, he and Bargnani are the same player and have faced the same criticisms. Their stats are very similar, except that Gallo takes more 3’s. Bargnani is shooting lower than his career average from 3, but otherwise has hovered around 40%. Obviously Gallo has more upside, being younger and taking less time to play at the same level, but they do seem pretty similar for now. Didn’t they guard each other last time they faced each other?

  2. Can’t wait to see the match-up between David Lee and Chris Bosh. I hope they guard each other so we can get a better visual comparison.

    My prediction: New York by 13. You heard it here first.

  3. Agree with Z-man this is a game we really can’t afford to lose. As well as we’ve been playing, we’re still 6 under .500. I think the 8th spot will come in with 39-40 wins, so we’ve still got work to do, and many have noted on this blog the brutal March schedule that awaits. The Raptors are a bad road team as well.

    No reason we shouldn’t win the next 3 before Fri. vs. Kobe.

  4. “In a way, he and Bargnani are the same player and have faced the same criticisms.”

    There are similarities, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they are the same player. Danilo’s game is more well rounded and I expect it to become even more so as he develops.

    There are statistical similarities, but Danilo’s TS% this season is 30 percentage points higher and his playmaking is better already (although I think it should get better). Bargnani is also a 4/5 while Danilo is a 3/4, so when you look at rebounding and block numbers in that context Danilo looks better. Don’t know how much this tells us, but the Knicks are actually 5.3 pts/100 possessions better defensively with Danilo on the court. If Danilo got the extra FGAs Bargnani does I think he’d obviously be the better player.

  5. Avery Johnson just said during the ESPN pre-game show while discussing what teams he could be traded to in the future that Gilbert Arenas would be a perfect fit for the Knicks next season. I almost vomited.

  6. This is bullshit, the game is in NY so why is League Pass showing the Raptors broadcast!!

  7. Calderon hasnt started since coming back. Jarret Jack the Knicks killer already with 5 pts shockingly.

  8. This is a disgrace now. Nate gets fuckin hammered no call, DeRozan goes to the line again on the next play on a touch foul.

  9. its so rediculous how crappy this game is. Listening to the raptors announcers is the most painful part of it.

  10. It feels like no matter whatever shot the Raptors attempt, it has a 100% chance of going in. This is a f–in’ nightmare.

  11. I dont even think the 1996 Bulls got as many calls as the Raptors are getting tonight. Granted thats the least of the Knicks problems tonight but still it hasnt helped.

  12. Toronto announcers are really bad… they just asked why he is called the Rooster… neither had any idea

  13. Chris Duhon is such a nonentity. This is a baseball stat, but his VORP has to be the worst in the league.

  14. This is the first full game I’ve caught since November. I heard the Knicks had actually started playing some watchable basketball, but I won’t believe it until I see it.

    What I see now is the same 3-13 team I remember. No offensive plan. No D. Harrington putting his head down every time he catches it. Duhon dribbling in circles around the restricted zone. Crap like that.

    What happened to the December Knicks I never got to know?

  15. btw that duhon dribble in a circle and chuck a shot up thing was hilarious. Might be the worst move i have ever seen.

  16. and i really enjoyed the whole gallo is heating up lets stop giving him the ball thing. Then the oh there is 3 seconds give it to him! and he makes a 3….

  17. Charlotte gonna beat the Spurs at home tonight. The 8th seed to me is the only spot up for grabs with the Bulls schedule remaining with much more road games than home games. Charlotte has LB as their coach plus Stephen Jax now and Toronto has too much talent.

  18. Avery Johnson (in response to the Knicks giving up 67 and the Nets 72 in the first half):

    Defense? You’re talking about defense? (a la Jim Mora)

  19. D’Antoni after tonight should pull a Jim Mora and say Playoffs?? Dont talk about Playoffs!! lol

  20. You know, this is all JJ’s fault for dragging the offense down. :-)
    Actually, it is 5 on 4 but it’s Duhon who is missing. I mean that dribble in a circle then miss the shot thing, it looks like he is being controlled via a Wii remote in the paws by a blind monkey with parkinson’s.

  21. So Gallo was actually hot at end of 2nd quarter and they start the 3rd quarter and he still hasnt touched the ball yet. Smart.

  22. Wtf is up with Charlotte? Luckbox mf’s, every good team they play ends up being on their worst when they play them. Cleveland loses, Spurs lose, houston loses. It can’t keep up for them, sooner or later someone other than NY has to bring them a good game.

  23. Spree, since they got Stephen Jackson the Bobcats have been very good and will most likely end up in the 5th spot imo. Forget the Bobcats right now just focus on whoever is in the 8th seed (Bulls or Bucks). Gallo on fuckin fire now!!!!

  24. I don’t think the 8th seed is what the Knicks should be aiming for, I think they are quite capable of the 7th or even 6th seeds. They had the 3rd best record in the east since Dec 1st so I don’t think it’s unreasonable (although if they drop this game losing 3 out of 4 is not helping the cause).

  25. “Lee is playing Bosh tough. Statement game for Lee??”

    Bosh has 13 points on 5-6 shooting and has a +20 for the game.

    Lee is has 17 points on 17 shots and has posted a team worst -15.

    I hope it’s not his best statement…

  26. Looks like Bargnani woke Gallo up.
    Gallo is showing some balls tonight after looking kind of overwhelmed by Durant.

  27. I want to start a gallo for PG petition. Get duhon to the d-league so he can learn to make layups.

  28. Oh yeah Ted me too, just saying though Bargnani ballin tonight, but all of a sudden so is Gallo.

  29. Raptors announcers are idiots, they said Gallo wears #8 in honor of D’Antoni. He wears #8 because his DOB is 8/8/88.

  30. There was a debate beginning on the last thread between Ted and Caleb on the value of Chris Bosh.

    I hope the discussion continues. I read here about how he’s over-rated, but he seems like an elite talent every time I watch him play.

  31. maybe im biased but it seems like the knicks announcers are some of the few in the league who arn’t just homers for the team they call games for.

  32. But Bosh has causes his team’s offense to stagnate, according to the Raps own announcers. Ihave to agree. they try to isolate him all the time and they are not as good a team when they go into that mode.
    They are far more effective when they attack from the wings….
    Oh, and I’m telling you, Lee looks better than Bosh tonight.
    You get more bang for you buck from Lee rather than throwing max money at Bosh. IMHO

  33. Jesus Christ, has there been a possession where the Raptors didnt drive and get to the freakin FT line.

  34. Nice run to make it respectable, but they’ve put Calderon back in to break our hearts.

  35. Im 6 ft 215 lbs, slow as shit with no handles whatsoever and I think I can drive and score at will against the Knicks. Although considering all I do is shoot 3pters I may have a hard time shooting over their length on the perimeter.

  36. Knicks need to sprint through the end of this period.

    But see how much better Raps are when their wings get involved? With Bosh, everyone stands around..

  37. Why does Nate seem so passive on offense? He’s not even trying to beat his man off the dribble or even attempt a shot.

    That was an awful end to a great quarter. Great job Duhon.

  38. “But Bosh has causes his team’s offense to stagnate”

    Not tonight. He’s only taken 10 shots and they had 95 points in 36 minutes.

  39. Gallo has touched the ball once on offense in the 4th quarter, and that was when he stole a pass and dribbled it up himself and shot a 3.

  40. Gotta say, Jeffries was more active in that one possession than Gallo was for the last 4 or so minutes he was on the floor.

  41. You know it would be one thing if Duhon was some kind of defensive stopper, but it sure seems like opposing FG’s have a field day against him. So what exactly does he bring to the table? The occasional 3 pt.explosion in the 1st quarter? I’m sick of this guy.

  42. I am sickened by the fact that Gallo was on fire and somehow the Knicks didn’t work the ball to him. Why is that?
    I said the other night that if Duhon can’t score, can’t handle quick or big guards, exactly why is he starting?
    Then I see Nate try to run the offense…
    And suddenly the walls feel as tho they are closing in…
    I have this gut feeling that if we actually had a point guard that could pose a threat, who was just modestly capable, this knicks team would be significantly better…

  43. Double OT for Wiz-Bulls. Frank O, totally agree with you. Ive been saying forever imagine if Gallo played with someone who can get him good looks on a consistent basis.

  44. bba – the “Holy Shit” part of crawford’s shot isn’t the shot itself, but the fact that on Sportscenter the anchors called him “Jamal Crawford, former Knick great”………………….WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?

  45. LOL they do that alot as a joke, like they will say former Yankees great Wilson Betemit or something like that.

    BTW the Bucks won too, how quickly I go from thinking the Knicks will get the 8th seed to going back to thinking they really dont have much of a chance.

    If you really look at the rosters on the teams they are competing with honestly except for the Bucks and the Heat (but they have Wade so he makes up for it in a HUGE way) the Knicks are clearly the less talented team in that group. The Bobcats now at least 1-8 are very good and they have Larry Brown who like it or not can still coach. The Raptors are loaded with offensive talent and the Bulls are much more talented than the Knicks too. The only thing with those 2 teams is they dont have very good head coaches.

    I know some people here disagree but the Knicks’ only advantage over the all those teams really is D’Antoni. I still think the Knicks will win around 37 games or so but Im not sure that will come close to getting the 8th seed now. The Top 7 will all be at or over .500 so again to me only the 8th seed will be below .500 and Im not sure it will be much lower than 40 wins, 39 maybe. Not sure if the Knicks can win that many. Hopefully they sweep this home and home vs the Pistons then have a few days off before a tough weekend at home vs the Lakers and Mavs.

    Again maybe Im over-reacting to this latest mini-tough stretch but Im just not sure this Knicks team has the overall talent to get the 8th seed.

  46. Bargnani is a very good player.
    he suffered to be in the bosh’s shadow, and his development was slowed by an asinine coach, the terrible mitchell.

    he is a team player and a low profile guy, so all the lights point on bosh, that is more stats-wise.

    but since last year he played really well. had 2 very good games against tim fucking duncan. recently they beat orlando and he defended howard really well one on one, forcing him to 9 ! turnovers.

    the more I see bosh, the more I’m convinced that he is not well suited to the dantoni style.

  47. @Frank O-the whole not getting Gallo the ball consistently thing is really a problem. I think it is imperitive that Knick players are all trained to look for him as the first option. Whether he is hot or cold, he is the best shooter by far. I truly believe that part of his inconsistency is directly related. I cringed more than once watching Duhon ignore him when he was open and then Chandler do the same thing.
    I think the real problem playing the Raptors is that they like to play the same way and they are better. They are more athletic; they are younger. And they have better shooters. We all knew they’d make a run but a whole that big tends to be insurmountable, failing to close out on Bargnani-REPEATEDLY spelled their doom-early.
    The game also served as a good reminder to all the big DLee fans out there: he is not on the same level as Chris Bosh. I like David Lee. I hope the Knicks resign him. I actually started to think he WAS attaining the same level as Bosh and Amare. Last night reminded me that, despite his very nifty ambidextrous moves-he is not even close. Until, and if he becomes a defensive presence he just does not belong in the discussion of elite 4/5s. Hell, Dirk is an upgrade on defense.
    @ Ted-I love Gallo but he is not a superior player to Bargnani. When a player has less experience you can always say he has a bigger upside; that’s really just saying he is not better now. They are in fact very similar and I like em both. Maybe Gallo is a better passer, but Bargnani is good and getting better, too.
    This game was a very accurate litmus test. I think it’s pretty safe to say the Raps are just better than the Knicks. Calderon is what Duhon was supposed to be. The Bobcats are better than the Knicks also…and so are the Bulls. Sad, but true-even though, I, like so many, still hold out hope of sneaking it at #8.
    D’amphony is a disaster, I do not know how anyone can think he has the Knicks playing decently. their ultimate potential is mediocrity, and they are falling short of that. Whereas their direct competition, (Raps, Bobcats, Bulls) ALL have much better upside, talent, energy. I think the Knicks on court chemistry is really bad. Watching them against Houston and Charlotte really highlighted that; those two teams would be nothing without chemistry and they are light years ahead.

  48. “The game also served as a good reminder to all the big DLee fans out there: he is not on the same level as Chris Bosh.”

    Um, David Lee came within one assist of a triple double last night. Not the game to be making that statement.

    I think some of you guys are way overrating the Raptors and the Bulls. You can’t use last night’s game to evaluate the Raps; everything they shot went in, and the Knicks were just off. Toronto is one of the worst defensive teams in the East, and will definitely stumble at some point. The Bulls are offensively challenged, and can go through some serious droughts when Rose isn’t scoring, and their bench is shaky. Let’s see where they stand after this long Western trip.

    I am not saying we’re clearly better than either of those teams, but I don’t think we’re worse either. Way too early to be conceding playoff spots.

  49. d-mar, I totally agree with the Bulls being vulnerable but to me thats the only team the Knicks can catch and pass. The Raptors have too much talent imo. Of course if Bosh is traded before the trade deadline that would change everything.

  50. @d-mar- a loss is a loss and a perfectly good time to point out the fact that DLee is not (yet?) an elite C/PF. particularly a loss to a mediocre team. Yes, Lee has elevated his game. I’ll even grant that he has done so beyond what I thought he was capable of. He is in the best scoring groove of his life. And, I am not even all that crazy for Chris Bosh. I do not for example think that Bosh is a “max” player. Still, Bosh is MUCH quicker on defense, a much better shot blocker, always requires a double team etc.-and one game does not a season or a career make. When Lee had to guard Bosh, Bosh took him right to the hoop and got fouled. Bosh has the quickness to blow by DLee. Lee is crafty, has extended his range, has improved his handle, and at the 5 usually quicker than his opponent. he does not demand a double team, even in the post, let alone 19 feet from the hoop, his passing is improved but his assists to turnover rate is nothing to brag about, and most importantly: he is (still) a total defensive liability. Can you disagree with that statement?

  51. Steven U – I’m not going to argue that Bosh is a better player than Lee, it’s just when you say “not on the same level” that implies a much larger gap than I think there is. I don’t think anyone viewed this game as a “who’s better – Bosh or Lee?” referendum, so I’m not exactly sure whose point you’re refuting?

  52. “I do not for example think that Bosh is a “max” player.”

    I hear this a lot, and I assume this statement is based on productivity. That for a “superstar” he doesn’t measure up statistically to the truly elite players in the league.

    But in the case of Bosh, isn’t it possible that his perceived value IS his real value? That he is worth max money because his presence on a team is enough to convince another, truly elite player, to sign with the team in the off-season. He may not deliver as well on the court as his salary would dictate, but he could, theoretically, deliver a second superstar to a team that has enough cap space to afford two max players this summer.

  53. The Latke guarantee: If the knicks trade Duhon or Harrington, no matter what they get back, they will go on a real winning streak. If not, they will miss the playoffs.

  54. d-mar-we could debate the importance of defense where I think the gap IS huge, but overall I think we agree-your point is totally valid-as long as we agree that Bosh is the superior player. If I had a choice between DLee at say 9 per or Bosh at 16 per-I’d take DLee in an instant, if anything I think they may both be over valued right now.
    z- a max player-imo-is a player you build a team around. A player who can be the best player on a championship caliber team. I think Chris Bosh is a very good player. My real point is that there are very few players who deserve max money. I think the fact that the cap is going down for the first time ever, signals the end of an era. Players like Monta Ellis, Andres Biedrins, Hedo Turkoglu, Ben Gordon-etc-are wildly overpaid and I just do not think that will continue in the same manner.
    The real max players are a short list: DWade, The King, Howard, Durant, Kobe, Paul, and Deron Williams-and maybe Melo, Dirk (borderline at best) and Duncan (on the decline). After those few, I really do not see any. I am not knocking Bosh-in a group with say Amar’e and Joe Johnson-guys better suited to be Robin than Batman. And those guys do not deserve max money. I seriously doubt Joe Johnson, for example will get the $60 over 4 he turned down.
    p.s @ z-if the Raps keep Bosh and sign a max FA in addition-I will buy you drinks-and write a lengthy piece about how right you were…

  55. “@ Ted-I love Gallo but he is not a superior player to Bargnani. ”

    Gallo is not better than Bargnani because of his upside. He’s better because of his production. They are both primarily scorers, and Gallo is a much better scorer:
    One 9-13 game doesn’t change that. Gallo’s career TS% is 54 basis points higher.

    Lee v. Bosh:
    Lee has at least made it a question worth asking and it depends on the money both will make, but I have a hard time seeing any argument that Bosh is not a superior player by a pretty wide margin, i.e. on a different level:


    In this league Bosh IS a max player, period. There is no doubt he will get the max. Not even a question. He’s one of the best offensive bigmen in the game. Clearly he’s not the best player in the league, not one of the best 5 even, but under the NBA’s salary structure the guy deserves a max contract. A lot less deserving players have gotten max contracts. A LOT.

    “we could debate the importance of defense where I think the gap IS huge”

    I don’t think the gap on defense is as big as on offense.

    “z- a max player-imo-is a player you build a team around. A player who can be the best player on a championship caliber team.”

    A max player is by definition a guy who gets the max salary. The CBA is such that great players are underpaid (good players are often overpaid, but I don’t think that’s the CBA’s fault). Call it a “championship caliber franchise player” if that’s what you mean. If there were no max salary LeBron, Wade, Paul, Howard… those guys could make well over 20 mill per. If there were no cap at all they might get 50 mill per or something ridiculous like that.

    “I think the fact that the cap is going down for the first time ever, signals the end of an era.”

    I think it signals that we are in the biggest recession since the great depression… Even in that recession with the cap going down guys like Hedo and Gordon and Bargnani got paid.

    “And those guys do not deserve max money”

    The market seems to disagree with you. A guy like Bosh doesn’t make you a contender without some other really strong players, but if you put a half decent team around him you’re in the playoffs every year. As a fan of a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 6 years, I can appreciate the value in that.

    “I seriously doubt Joe Johnson, for example will get the $60 over 4 he turned down.”

    I think he will. I don’t think he’s as valuable as Bosh, though… he’s arguably not the best player on his own team.

  56. “a max player-imo-is a player you build a team around. A player who can be the best player on a championship caliber team. I think Chris Bosh is…better suited to be Robin than Batman. And those guys do not deserve max money.”

    If Robin played in the NBA, he’d command max money, sissy tights and all.

    Look at the Robins out there: Rashard Lewis, signed to a max deal to be Howard’s side kick. Pau Gasol, making max money as Kobe’s assistant. In Boston there are two Robins making more money than Batman. These are the three teams that have played in the finals over the past two years.

    These “second best players” may not deserve max contracts, but they get them, and I don’t think Orlando, Boston, or LA regrets paying them top dollar.

  57. I think Gasol and Pierce, at least, definitely did deserve max deals. They are great “Robins” on Champions, but have also been “Batmen” on solid playoff teams.

  58. Ted and Z-you both make good points re the whole max salary thing. My point is that I think as recently as this past offseason teams were still living in a fantasy land that will actually change this coming season (even though, admittedly, to this point it has not)

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