Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
-William Shakespeare – Richard III
In this short quote from Richard the III William Shakespeare captured the emotions of most Knick fans on or November 5th. Ah November 5th. Do you guys remember November 5th? It was just a week ago. The Knicks were on a two game winning streak–blowouts to boot. The team dodged a bullet on the schedule. With a seemingly weak schedule and the team playing so well, there was talk of possibly a five or six game win streak.
The fans–much like Richard the III–believed the we had reached the winter of our decade long discontent.
My point was if they blow out Philly like they did Washington tonight it is a sign that this team is mature and hopefully good enough to win most of their games vs the crap of the East which is alot of teams. If they do that they will easily make the playoffs and could maybe even get up into the 6th seed if the Bucks arent as good as they were last year which seems might be the case.-BigBlueAl
Long time poster TastyCakes on the Knicks’ schedule as of Nov 6:
If I’m counting right, that’s only 4 playoff teams from last year, including 2 games vs 1 (CHA) that is probably a lot worse off this year. GS and NO may be the most improved.
I’d be pretty happy with 13-7 — we’d have to go 10-5, and I must say that looks entirely feasible with this schedule. -Tastycakes
Even I got in on the act:
Isnt it great that we can actually do this again? To have hope. To look at the schedule and say “Hey, we could put a nice streak together here.” I’ve been waiting 10 years for a cup of this Kool-Aid. TastyCakes, pass a 40 oz. of that stuff my way!
Well one week later, the discontent is back. The fans are right to be concerned, but perhaps there are some signs that things won’t revert to years past.
D’Antoni is already tinkering with the lineup. I take the adjustments as a positive given that this is the coach that stuck with Duhon as his starter several weeks after he was declared dead. What seems to be key in D’Antoni’s adjustments is finding a way to open the floor for Amar’e Stoudemire. Mozgovwas made a reserve, and D’Antoni has spent time teaching rookie Landry Fields how to get the most from cuts to the basket. D’Antoni seems interested in developing Fields rather than benching him without warning, which is something D’Antoni is well known for doing.
My point is that this team has the potential for strong play. Hopefully, the coaching staff will find a way to bring it out each game.
What to watch for 1: Toney Douglas.
Toney Douglas has struggled in the last three games (11-31 fga, 2-14 3fga 38.7 eFg%) after a solid showing in two game prior to this stretch (17-33 fga, 8-17 3fga 63.6 eFG%). With Wilson Chandler back in the starting lineup, the Knicks need Douglas to lead the reserves. While we all want him to improve his shooting, Douglas needs to start with defense. Fortunately, the Timberwolves are very turnover prone and poor shooters. So Douglas’ new habit of running under screens may be less costly tonight. Douglas needs his swagger back and I think he can start to get it with a good showing on defense.
What to watch for 2: Timberwolves offense vs. Knick defense.
David Kahn has assembled a group of high usage low efficiency players that would make Isiah Thomas proud. The team has a number of players with offensive talent, but the team’s style of play does not foster easy scoring. Most players create their own shots and there is very little ball movement that translates into scoring. Sebastian Telfair leads the team in assists per 36 with 3.6. The big problem with the Knick defense has been eFG% (51.2%, 25th). A solid effort of defense should keep the Timberwolves right around their average eFG% (43%, 30th). The Timberwolves do not take many 3 point field goals either, so that might come in handy if a particular reserve guard decides to run under the screen with a minute to go in a tie ball game.
What to watch for 3: Timberwolves interior defense.
Much like the Golden State Warriors, the Timberwolves lack a defensive presence in the paint. Their best shot blocker per 36 minutes, Darko Milicic (3.8) struggles to get consistent playing time. The Knicks need to make a better effort to get inside. Drives to the basket got the team back into the game versus the Warriors and poor outside shots (and missed free throws) took the Knicks out of the game. Facing such a poor offensive team, there is no reason to settle for bad outside shots. The Timberwolves don’t force many turnovers, which is good for a Knick team that has struggled to protect the ball (22nd).
Hopefully this game signals the winter of our discontent.
Your in game thoughts here.