279 thoughts to “2011 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Jazz”

  1. Billups/Turiaf/Walker all out again, according to Hahn. all hail Roger Mason Jr.!

  2. How bad do you think Billups’ injury is? To wit, if tonight was a playoff game, do you think he would try to play?

  3. probably, but it’s best that he gets fully healthy for the stretch run, especially as long as we’re winning at least some games without him.

  4. The Knicks actually have a better point differential than the Hawks. Bizarre.

  5. Brian Cronin: Oh, no, I totally agree. I just wonder how serious the injury is.  (Quote)

    Thigh injuries can be tricky. For some reason, the hematoma from injury can calcify in that area of the leg and cause long term problems (myositis ossificans). I do not know if this is the case as I only have the same press releases that you have and not Chauncy’s medical records.

  6. That’s crazy. I mean, I believe it, of course, but wow, that really sucks – all that damage from a tough pick by Dwight Howard. Crazy.

  7. Brian Cronin: That’s crazy. I mean, I believe it, of course, but wow, that really sucks – all that damage from a tough pick by Dwight Howard. Crazy.  

    I thought it was a borderline dirty play by Howard – you could see him move his knee just as Billups turned the corner

  8. Yes, quadaceps muscles are very prone to that condition. It doesn’t mean he has MO but that it could explain the reason for being extremely cautious and giving him extra rest to PREVENT him from getting MO.

  9. I thought it was a borderline dirty play by Howard – you could see him move his knee just as Billups turned the corner

    I agree that it was definitely right on the edge between “acceptable” and “dirty,” but still – it is amazing that he could cause that much damage with it.

  10. Yes, quadaceps muscles are very prone to that condition. It doesn’t mean he has MO but that it could explain the reason for being extremely cautious and giving him extra rest to PREVENT him from getting MO.

    Oh yeah, I know what you mean, they’re just being cautious (because why risk it?), but still – wow, it certainly looked like a hard shot, but it’s amazing to think that basically a well-places shot can do that much damage.

  11. Probably a good idea to hold Billups out one more game, we have a very tough back to back with Memphis and Dallas coming up (and not to take the Jazz for granted, but they have been playing badly of late and don’t have D-Will)

  12. BTW I’m very disappointed that out of 204 comments from the game Sunday and 89 comments on the game wrap up from Monday, not a single person mentioned that the Knicks went to zone at least twice yesterday! Both centered around Jeffries who played the passing lane on the strong side. Guess Knick fans don’t care about defense anymore…

  13. Mike Kurylo: BTW I’m very disappointed that out of 204 comments from the game Sunday and 89 comments on the game wrap up from Monday, not a single person mentioned that the Knicks went to zone at least twice yesterday! Both centered around Jeffries who played the passing lane on the strong side. Guess Knick fans don’t care about defense anymore…  

    Defense is so like 90’s, Mike. For seriously. I mean, come on. Go back to your AOL chatroom. Rilly…

  14. Nice signs – Melo’s made some good passes to avoid the double. Landry is Landry-ing. Defense has been aggressive.

  15. Good start. But I think we might need to bring in Shelden to guard Jefferson. His is the only forehead that can contain him.

  16. Wow, we are lighting it up. Amare and Melo are playing well together, especially on that last pick-n-roll.

    Did you just hear the announcers say that the Jazz are giving up 44% from three point land since the All Star break? OUCH!

  17. Jazz defense is just atrocious. They are looking like the Warriors out there

  18. JJ better not get any ideas with that drive. Defense and boards only, my man.

  19. latke: wow i feel like we’re playing against the 2006 knicks  

    Considering Balkman and Jeffries are on the floor, it’s a reasonable confusion

  20. It’s sort of endearing watching Jeffries drive to the basket. Like seeing a new born dear try to walk.

  21. earl watson vs. anthony carter… they need to make a video game based on this matchup

  22. latke: earl watson vs. anthony carter… they need to make a video game based on this matchup  

    They already made a TV show about it. It’s called, “Scrubs”

    (rim shot)

  23. Mike Kurylo: Mike Kurylo

    It’s so hard to tell when we’re in zone because we switch so much in man, it sometimes looks a lot like a zone. I’ve smelled zone a couple times that first quarter. Think the zone is good for us, force teams to shoot us out of it, try not to collapse in the paint too much, we should be ok.

  24. latke: well executed silverman.think we’ll let them back in the game?  

    Yep. No way we’re shooting 70% the rest of the game

  25. Jake S.: Who’s the better mid-range jump shooter, STAT or Ewing?  

    Turnaround/Pick and Pop = Ewing

    Spot-up/Curl = Stat

  26. Jake S.: Who’s the better mid-range jump shooter, STAT or Ewing?  

    Stat. Quicker release and he can do it off the dribble or right off the catch.

  27. Which will happen first – Jeffries’ first hoop or the NFL agreeing to a deal w/the Union?

  28. What’s so strange is that Jeffries was a good scorer in college. Deft on the block, quick spin moves and really slippery. He’s just completely atrophied.

  29. jeffries needs just a nice put back or an alleyoop, can he jump high enough for that?

  30. DWTDD has to learn that sometimes it’s best to slow up on the break & give the trailers enough time to fill the lane

  31. Jim Cavan: What’s so strange is that Jeffries was a good scorer in college. Deft on the block, quick spin moves and really slippery. He’s just completely atrophied.  

    How does that happen? It’s so weird that his hands would turn to stone all of a sudden.

  32. Jeffries was IIRC Indiana HS player of the year. Then he was an enigma and Bobby Knight whipping boy ( I think) who wad their starting center when they went to the NCAA finals.

  33. AC is doing some other stuff well though.
    And with Amare and Melo playing like this, it just flat doesn’t matter.

  34. Doug:
    How does that happen? It’s so weird that his hands would turn to stone all of a sudden.  

    His hands were always bad. He just got a ton of open looks in college.

  35. Doug:
    Quickness, length, yet zero hand-eye coordination.  

    Ha! I hear you, but wasn’t this guy Mr. Basketball in Indiana?

  36. Robert Silverman: DWTDD has to learn that sometimes it’s best to slow up on the break & give the trailers enough time to fill the lane  

    I hope people don’t give up on that kid. He could grow into a super-solid second guard, and I don’t mean that as a backhanded complement.

  37. Mr. Basketball in Indiana?

    So how successful are Misters Basketball?

    It’s so strange after all these years to hear that the Knicks are block shot leaders.

    Utah announcers say because Melo is backtracking after a shot, he is, and he knows he is, hot. Is that true?

  38. David Crockett:
    His hands were always bad. He just got a ton of open looks in college.  

    Oh, so he was a college star who couldn’t score at the NBA level.

  39. David Crockett:
    His hands were always bad. He just got a ton of open looks in college.  

    Who was giving him these open looks? Tom Coverdale? The guy was the best player on the National Championship runner-up. He wasn’t Blake Griffin or anything, but he definitely had a decent post-up game and a serviceable 15 foot jumper.

  40. Jake S.: Jeffries always reminds me of the halcyon days of Charles Smith.  

    mike k.:
    Aren’t Charles Smith references banned from knickerblogger.net?
    if they aren’t they should be.
    I move the strike all after the words halcyon days…
    Do I hear a second?
    :)

  41. Robert Silverman:
    Turnaround/Pick and Pop = EwingSpot-up/Curl = Stat  

    Ewing’s jumper was unblockable.

    By the way, Cevasio looking a little more feminine tonight…

  42. Jake S.: Fair enough. I just shuddered when he flashed across the screen.  

    Seriously, i just shouted WTF in my head when I saw him there.
    Immediately flashed on his grand misses v. the Bulls.

  43. I can almost live with a few botched layups by Jeffries in return for what he gives us on the defensive end. It’s a sports cliche, but what he does will not show up on the stat sheet. I believe he’s guarding Milsap tonight, and the guy’s been invisible so far – 1 for 3, 2 points. And Horford last night. Also, as Mike pointed out earlier, we’ve seen the return of the zone, which D’Antoni uses to capitalize on Jeffries’ active hands and wingspan.

    OK, I’m a little too high on Jef-frightened, but I like what he brings to this team.

  44. Proper grammar is always a delight.

    Totally guessing on that, so I didn’t screw up?

  45. d-mar: I can almost live with a few botched layups by Jeffries in return for what he gives us on the defensive end. It’s a sports cliche, but what he does will not show up on the stat sheet. I believe he’s guarding Milsap tonight, and the guy’s been invisible so far – 1 for 3, 2 points. And Horford last night. Also, as Mike pointed out earlier, we’ve seen the return of the zone, which D’Antoni uses to capitalize on Jeffries’ active hands and wingspan.OK, I’m a little too high on Jef-frightened, but I like what he brings to this team.  

    this team doesn’t need jeffries to even take a shot.
    They have enough scoring. They needed his D.
    On past teams, the Knicks weren’t good enough to have a position go dark during a game.
    times have changed.

  46. d-mar: I can almost live with a few botched layups by Jeffries in return for what he gives us on the defensive end. It’s a sports cliche, but what he does will not show up on the stat sheet. I believe he’s guarding Milsap tonight, and the guy’s been invisible so far – 1 for 3, 2 points. And Horford last night. Also, as Mike pointed out earlier, we’ve seen the return of the zone, which D’Antoni uses to capitalize on Jeffries’ active hands and wingspan.OK, I’m a little too high on Jef-frightened, but I like what he brings to this team.  (Quote)

    Can’t understand why he didn’t at least try AR in this role.

  47. The Knicks defense tonight is refreshing. Everybody looks engaged tonight (even though Melo sorta gave up on the oop to Kirilenko), and they’re forcing turnovers. If only these defensive players (Jeffries and Carter) could shoot the basketball.

  48. villainx: Proper grammar is always a delight.Totally guessing on that, so I didn’t screw up?  

    Yeah I noticed that too, probably because it’s a Monday night.

  49. BTW, pretty quiet crowd given the beat down

    Not much to debate during blowouts. You can come on to Daily Dime Live – I’m chatting there and Kevin will likely be along in the second half, too!

  50. Jeffries in college was compared to Danny Manning. As Clyde has repeatedly said. “Shooting is about confidence.”

    Jared’s certainly been knocked down a peg self-esteem-wise since his HS/College days

  51. Can’t understand why he didn’t at least try AR in this role.

    Exactly. So silly.

  52. Frank O.: BTW, pretty quiet crowd given the beat down  

    Yeah I noticed that too, probably because it’s a Monday night. d-mar

    (Quote)

  53. @98…that’s the state of the board…most only comment when the game isn’t going our way.

  54. GHenman:
    Can’t understand why he didn’t at least try AR in this role.  

    I think its because Anthony Randolph thought he could shoot, and Jeffries knows he can’t shoot.

  55. Other famous and/or infamous Mr. Basketball winners:

    Looks like the predictive value is not much.

  56. See Al Jefferson go bonkers inside? That’s what Z-Bo’s going to do in spades on Wednesday

  57. Melo’s really showing a willingless to pass now that he has a teammate who’s as good/better than him.

  58. villainx: Other famous and/or infamous Mr. Basketball winners:Looks like the predictive value is not much.  

    The predictive value is non-existent. Let’s hope Jared stops shooting.

  59. Amazing how other players are allowed to scream at refs with no tech. I guess it’s all about reputation, once you accumulate some T’s, refs will give you no slack.

  60. I just want to point out that we’ll be on a two-game win streak should get this W.

  61. villainx: Mr. Basketball in Indiana?So how successful are Misters Basketball?It’s so strange after all these years to hear that the Knicks are block shot leaders.Utah announcers say because Melo is backtracking after a shot, he is, and he knows he is, hot. Is that true?  

    It became true when he said it. Everything on tv is true

  62. Can we safely say that the aforementioned and much-debated “gelling” might be taking place?

  63. I have come to believe that the x factor for this team is any other knick than amare/melo/billups. If anyone other than those 3 has a big game this team is untouchable.

  64. What has happened to Milsap.
    He was looking like one of the most dynamic players out west…tonight, he’s horrible.
    Like Horford last night.
    Is that who Jeffries is guarding?

  65. Have we been seeing less ally-oops out there or is just me? Cant remember the last one…

    Ill happily trade them for Ws but just asking

  66. Favors may be good. I get that he was a big part of the Nets’ “assets” before the trade deadline. But Devin Harris is a dog. I liked him for about ten minutes when he first came over for to NJ for Kidd, but he has been miserable ever since. Surely the fact that his teams lose and lose and lose has something to do with his lack of leadership.

  67. Melo is on a 40 points per 36 mins pace right now.

    Stat is on a 46 pts per 36 mins pace

  68. Really? NO ONE wants to admit they were wrong about melo last night? (his eye was clearly hurting him)

  69. rohank: Really? NO ONEwants to admit they were wrong about melo last night? (his eye was clearly hurting him)  

    He admitted he was seeing double. So yes, it’s safe to say his eye was bothering him.

  70. rohank: Really? NO ONE wants to admit they were wrong about melo last night? (his eye was clearly hurting him)  

    Okay, but if his eye was that bad, why did keep shooting? why was he in the game?

  71. I was kidding about the bitches part, but seriously, get over there and feed him.

  72. keep feeding……

    Winning duh….you don’t see charlie sheen giving up do you?

  73. Just got a good up-close look at Harris… anyone say Ludacris doppelganger?

    Melo on fire… but this Jazz team should blow it up and start over.

  74. Wonder when the last time 2 Knicks had 30+ points? Ewing and Houston?

    PS Shelden Williams nickname should be “Babyface” as in a baby-sized face on a man’s head.

  75. I’m looking forward to a fourth quarter lineup of Roger Mason, Andy Rautins, Balkman, Derrick Brown, and Shelden Williams.

    BTW, I like Shelden Williams. He’s a tough defender, and he’s competent on offense. IMO, better than any of the Miami centers.

  76. Love how we haven’t taken our foot off the pedal. Still scrapping and hustling. Love the new ‘tude.

  77. The Infamous Cdiggy: Just got a good up-close look at Harris… anyone say Ludacris doppelganger?Melo on fire… but this Jazz team should blow it up and start over.  

    They definitely have a logjam in the front court with Millsap, Jefferson and Favors looking better all the time. They definitely need a pass-first guard out there, and Harris ain’t that.

  78. BTW, I like Shelden Williams. He’s a tough defender, and he’s competent on offense. IMO, better than any of the Miami centers.

    He certainly looked like he could do something in the next level based on what he showed in the college tournament. Certainly doesn’t hurt that he has some skills and has some size.

  79. Informal survey: Who’s uglier? (Pick 1 of 3)

    A) Sam Cassell
    B) Popeye Jones
    C) Shelden Williams

  80. I think this is how the best case scenarios for this team played out. Melo must have had some sense knocked into him. :-)

  81. I will emend last night’s comment. I now put it this way:

    If we can get double digit scoring from EITHER Anthony Carter or Shelden Williams, I like our chances.

  82. rohank: Informal survey: Who’s uglier? (Pick 1 of 3)A) Sam Cassell
    B) Popeye Jones
    C) Shelden Williams  

    B. Popeye Jones’ face is illegal in most states.

  83. This is so boring.

    I really want the NBA to to deem it a turnover when a player who is falling out of bounds throws the ball off the defender. When else can player throw a ball at the defender and not get hit with a tech. It should be a turnover for the person who threw the ball, not the person who was hit. It isn’t all the different from the rule change the prevented calling time while falling out of bounds.

    What is the crowd chanting? Can you make it out?

  84. congrats on DDL brian that’s pretty cool.

    Thanks, it’s been fun. While I love the blowout, DDL would probably be more fun in a closer game.

  85. BALKMAN HIT A 3!! Rautins taking off the warmups…

    IT’S a WRAP! *Official*

  86. They needed a game like this. Just a start-to-finish blowout where everyone could have fun.

  87. Jazz announcer just now: “I think Mike Dantoni is going to enter the game soon.”

    When was the last time we had a game like this?

  88. Just got home. Turned the game on then immediately looked at the box score (looked at Stat and Melo first of course). All I have to say is WOW.

  89. yeah i’m sure it would be, you think you’ll get to do it again?

    I’m in the queue for Thursday’s game, I believe.

  90. See, the thing is Stat and Melo complement.
    Wade and lebron clash…and they cry…
    “There’s no crying in” basketball!!!

  91. Brian Cronin:
    I’m in the queue for Thursday’s game, I believe.  

    Awesome, I should be able to write up some Randolph sucks stuff by then :)

  92. Good to see everyone getting some playing time. A nice win with the upcoming schedule. If only Jeffries had scored . . .

  93. See this is why balkman woln’t get much playing time. He needs to show he can play, not goof off.
    The play dunk, the ill advised 3.
    Goof

  94. Knicks could be catching Atlanta soon, next two against lakers and bulls….only 3 back as of now. Could get interesting.

  95. Carmelo TS: 91.2%
    Amare: 85.7%

    good passing. average defense. Definitely looking forward to Memphis on Wednesday. Memphis is a tough team that’s been playing particularly well recently. A win against them, and I’ll be feeling optimistic.

  96. When Andy Rautins got into the game tonight against the Jazz, he reached a milestone. He has no longer played in the fewest NBA games amongst his fellow Syracuse alums! He has passed Lou Spicer’s total of 4 games played and he may even catch up to Demetris Nichols this year; those are some household names, right? Only 1,134 more games to be the all time leader. Go Andy!
    theresastatforthat.blogspot.com

  97. Considering we just got 22 inches of snow in this godforsaken County, the hot shooting was a welcome contrast. Good game and not much to Negablogging tonight. Is it conceivable that we actually have some depth? Who knew? How nice. Good night.

  98. at the game tonight, the Andy Rautins chants were deafening. everytime he touched the ball, it felt like a Duke game.

  99. The Jazz had 22 offensive rebounds. That’s more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds.

  100. Appropo of nothing…

    Larry Johnson was in “Space Jam” with Bill Murray
    Bill Murray was in “Zombieland” with Woody Harrelson
    Woody Harrelson was in “No Country for Old Men” with Josh Brolin
    Josh Brolin was in “Hollow Man” with KEVIN BACON

  101. I think we’ll handle Memphis just fine. Not sure Randolph and Gasol can keep up with our pace. Hopefully Billups will be back by then, and Douglas can continue his stellar play. No time for breaks.

  102. rohank: Informal survey: Who’s uglier? (Pick 1 of 3)A) Sam Cassell
    B) Popeye Jones
    C) Shelden Williams  

    D) Tyrone Hill

  103. d-mar: Wonder when the last time 2 Knicks had 30+ points? Ewing and Houston?

    I’m going with 2/17/93 when Ewing scored 43 and Starks scored 39 in a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

  104. wow, that was amazing.

    and the answer as to why D’Antoni didn’t try Randolph in that role is because that role didn’t exist in D’Antoni’s world pre-Carmelo. now with both Melo and Amare on the floor, he’s finally at long last decided to let guys who are better defenders than scorers play, but unfortunately too late for Randolph.

  105. Spree8nyk8: Knicks could be catching Atlanta soon, next two against lakers and bulls….only 3 back as of now.Could get interesting.  

    I hope we don’t, Orlando/Boston are decidedly worse matchups IMO.

  106. I’m going with 2/17/93 when Ewing scored 43 and Starks scored 39 in a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

    My guess is that it was a lot more recent than that. Like Harrington and someone (Lee? Nate? WC? whoever).

  107. can I point out that no silly “firsties” posts makes for a better karma game thread?

  108. I must admit I found it amusing that you had the first post. When I saw it, I tried to picture you saying “firsties” and it made me laugh.

  109. Brian Cronin:
    My guess is that it was a lot more recent than that. Like Harrington and someone (Lee? Nate? WC? whoever).  

    Gallo had 31 and Stat 39 in the Griffin-Mozgov game this season

  110. I’m having a hard time following, what’s the consensus/general assessment on Toney Douglas. Good pg skills? Adequate shooter? Good back up/spot starter? TO numbers/ratio don’t seem horrible.

  111. villainx: I’m having a hard time following, what’s the consensus/general assessment on Toney Douglas. Good pg skills? Adequate shooter? Good back up/spot starter? TO numbers/ratio don’t seem horrible.  

    Douglas, so far, has been a good player (at least when he’s shooting well). He’s a tenacious defender, but he’s more of a 2 guard than a point. His PG skills aren’t necessarily up to par, but he’s still an effective player for us here. I’d say at best he’s the ideal 1st guard off the bench.

  112. Yeah, he’s more a short 2 than a 1. But as long as he doesn’t play moronically, he can help at the 1 and he can help at the 2 no matter what (because he doesn’t have to really do much thinking – just play D and hit open shots).

  113. Landry Fields has figured out how to play with the superstars. He’s played two very good games in a row

  114. villainx: I’m having a hard time following, what’s the consensus/general assessment on Toney Douglas. Good pg skills? Adequate shooter? Good back up/spot starter? TO numbers/ratio don’t seem horrible.  

    Lindsey Hunter.

    TD has no PG skills and is a mediocre shooter (good last year, bad this year, ok in college). He is a very good defender. He’s a good match next to Billups; it isn’t pretty when there are two non-shooters in the backcourt, and TD can cover a lot of opposing PGs who are too quick for Chauncey.

  115. Landry Fields has figured out how to play with the superstars. He’s played two very good games in a row

    Can you provide more color on this? As in how so? His stats look like he has re-adjust his supporting offensive role ok, and from what I hear he’s been a capable perimeter defender. But I’m just going off the box score and comments here.

    228 + 229, Douglas superficially looks like he’s been throwing up good pg stats (assists, TO, + defense), and some scoring. Just thinking is PG, or back up PG, will be as big of a concern going forward.

  116. Lindsey Hunter.

    When I think of Hunter, I just think that he was the dude that led to the fazed out of Isaiah.

  117. Some great reads for the stat-minded. Saw this one in Slate today, jumping off of the Carmelo Anthony debate.

    It’s a good read although there are some off-key notes – like saying Jason Kidd owes his great rebound #s to Jason Collins, and quoting someone who says Kevin Love’s rebounding is “only” worth about 3 points a game.

    But it’s also full of great links, including this one to a January post by Phil Birnbaum who is known as a baseball analyst.

    He basically concludes that none of the “advanced-stat” metrics are good enough yet to predict anything. He has high-hopes for plus-minus, though!

    It’s a bit of a straw-man argument (aside from Dave Berri, I don’t know too many stat geeks who think they have it all figured out) but worth reading, and full of great links.

  118. villainx: Landry Fields has figured out how to play with the superstars. He’s played two very good games in a row Can you provide more color on this? As in how so? His stats look like he has re-adjust his supporting offensive role ok, and from what I hear he’s been a capable perimeter defender.   

    Fields was a +26 for the night.
    But you have to look at the team’s statistics to get a sense of his performance. Yes, he had only 4 boards, when the team seemed to spread the rebounds across the team, with no one higher than 6 boards. His defense has been excellent. He hustles to loose balls, moves the ball, and generally helps to make them better.
    His scoring won’t ever be huge on this team because you have two beasts rightfully taking most shots. If the Knicks all crash the boards, and they all did last night, he’s going to have fewer to grab.
    I think we’re all beginning to see how certain players can play specific roles on a team, when you have two dominant players contributing. Jeffries was a +27 last night, with 0 points.
    Knicks teams of recent years needed scoring productivity everywhere to be competitive. That doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore.

  119. hey guys, long time without internet, nice to see the Knicks with 2 pretty good consecutive wins.

    @236
    it’s amazing how some of those stat guys never watch games, just look at Dave Berri’s first comment: “I think what Carmelo does is, the more players you have guarding him, the more he wants to shoot. Which is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do”

    well, you can knock Carmelo’s game in many ways (low ts%, uninspired defense, willingness to keep shooting even while having a bad night, etc), but the one thing he has been doing consistently since he came to the Knicks is passing out of double teams, last night he did it every single time he got it.

  120. Caleb: Some great reads for the stat-minded. Saw this one in Slate today, jumping off of the Carmelo Anthony debate.
    It’s a good read although there are some off-key notes – like saying Jason Kidd owes his great rebound #s to Jason Collins, and quoting someone who says Kevin Love’s rebounding is “only” worth about 3 points a game.But it’s also full of great links, including this one to a January post by Phil Birnbaum who is known as a baseball analyst.
    He basically concludes that none of the “advanced-stat” metrics are good enough yet to predict anything. He has high-hopes for plus-minus, though!It’s a bit of a straw-man argument (aside from Dave Berri, I don’t know too many stat geeks who think they have it all figured out) but worth reading, and full of great links.  

    The Slate story was excellent.
    One thing stats have done for basketball is turn it into yet another million dollar fantasy industry…:)

  121. Agreed on the slate story. Basically sums up my feelings on advanced stats in basketball: certainly a valuable tool, but still fairly imprecise, especially compared to baseball.

    As far as last night’s game, one thing that I thought was key for our offense (besides utah’s allergy to defense) was getting the role players going early. If the defense has to respect landry and toney, it opens up things for stat and melo to go to work.

    Also, as bruno said, melo passed out of double teams consistently. This makes me cautiously optimistic.

  122. Jim Cavan: gel

    I will agree that an NBA team needs time to gel if everyone else agrees that the Knicks team is now deemed “gelled” and henceforth any such losses, missteps, poor plays, bad shooting nights, defensive miscues, and the such are not the fault of the team needing time to gel.

  123. fushknicken:
    It’s so hard to tell when we’re in zone because we switch so much in man, it sometimes looks a lot like a zone. I’ve smelled zone a couple times that first quarter. Think the zone is good for us, force teams to shoot us out of it, try not to collapse in the paint too much, we should be ok.  

    The Knicks are in a zone when you can find a player not directly defending an individual for short stretches during a possession. Well if it’s Jared Jeffries it’s a zone, for anyone else it’s a lapse in man-man defense.

  124. I will reassert, this offense will make Carmelo more efficient. He’ll get better looks. the ball will move and he’ll get his points on fewer shots.
    And he’ll be a more complete player.
    One thing I think he suffered from is lazy coaching: His past coach simply used him like a battering ram, which is what Carmelo has said himself.
    Indeed, he recently noted that his body can’t take that kind of usage.
    D’Antoni’s system doesn’t require one player to be a battering ram when you have multiple weapons and you find the open man for the best shot.
    Amare was getting pounded early in the season because essentially the Knicks didn’t have consistent scoring elsewhere. As the season wore on, he was wearing out. But now with two genuine scorers and a host of role players who are able to score, they don’t get worn down as much. I think it is very encouraging in the last two games that both Melo and Amare were able to rest, and the Knicks won big.
    This system is going to extend amare’s and carmelo’s careers, given they can avoid freakish injuries.
    Amare won’t see triple teaming anymore and Carmelo won’t need to be a bull.

  125. I always found it interesting that the idea of this team needing to “gel” or “develop chemistry” was a point of centention on this board. I mean, I get that we tend to reject things that sound like conventional basketball wisdom, and often with good reasons but…you realize sports teams practice for a reason right?

  126. “It’s better for me in this offense, to keep the ball moving and running, coming off screens. I didn’t have that in Denver. It was just go down there, get a bucket in the post and bully your way through. I did seven years of bullying, man, and my body, I can’t take it anymore. [This offense is] easier for me to come off of screens and use the big men and pick-and-rolls and stuff like that. It takes a lot off my body.”
    Carmelo Anthony

    From the horse’s mouth

  127. Mike Kurylo:
    I will agree that an NBA team needs time to gel if everyone else agrees that the Knicks team is now deemed “gelled” and henceforth any such losses, missteps, poor plays, bad shooting nights, defensive miscues, and the such are not the fault of the team needing time to gel.  

    Tenacious K

    I’m not prepared to declare the Knicks gelled. They crushed an inferior team. They still let a center completely dominate the paint and gave up oodles of offensive boards.
    And we always knew the offense would come together more quickly than defense.

  128. Mike Kurylo:
    The Knicks are in a zone when you can find a player not directly defending an individual for short stretches during a possession. Well if it’s Jared Jeffries it’s a zone, for anyone else it’s a lapse in man-man defense.  

    I was about to say…we often see perimeter shooters with no one within 3 feet of them, but they’re not in zone D. :)
    They do appear to be playing a match up zone of sorts from time to time…

  129. Robert Silverman: Appropo of nothing…Larry Johnson was in “Space Jam” with Bill Murray
    Bill Murray was in “Zombieland” with Woody Harrelson
    Woody Harrelson was in “No Country for Old Men” with Josh Brolin
    Josh Brolin was in “Hollow Man” with KEVIN BACON  

    mment-320332″>

    Wild Things

  130. Mike Kurylo:
    I will agree that an NBA team needs time to gel if everyone else agrees that the Knicks team is now deemed “gelled” and henceforth any such losses, missteps, poor plays, bad shooting nights, defensive miscues, and the such are not the fault of the team needing time to gel.  

    I was more suggesting that the gelling process is underway. Like a delicious brew that’s fermenting. Three more games. Otherwise my already arbitrary “Melo: Ten Games in” article seems, well, more arbitrary.

  131. Bruno Almeida: hey guys, long time without internet, nice to see the Knicks with 2 pretty good consecutive wins.@236
    it’s amazing how some of those stat guys never watch games, just look at Dave Berri’s first comment: “I think what Carmelo does is, the more players you have guarding him, the more he wants to shoot. Which is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do”well, you can knock Carmelo’s game in many ways (low ts%, uninspired defense, willingness to keep shooting even while having a bad night, etc), but the one thing he has been doing consistently since he came to the Knicks is passing out of double teams, last night he did it every single time he got it.  

    Exactly. Berri, who has interesting stats that a lot of people here believe in very much, makes himself look like a fool when he does stuff like this to try to prove his stats validity. His stats and projections have been very interesting, and also comically inaccurate on numerous occasions. I don’t ever read his blog anymore so maybe he’s changed but he used to be very stubborn about his stats when it was clear how far from perfect they were.

    Definitely an interesting article with some good points…the Kidd/Collins thing is a bit over the top but I think the point is valid. Basketball is a fluid game. It’s just very unlikely that the numbers will approach the accuracy level of those for baseball.

  132. erobes: I always found it interesting that the idea of this team needing to “gel” or “develop chemistry” was a point of centention on this board. I mean, I get that we tend to reject things that sound like conventional basketball wisdom, and often with good reasons but…you realize sports teams practice for a reason right?  

    You realize that some players also believe they have lucky socks, right?

    Honestly that’s a marketing tool that I’m surprised hasn’t been used yet.

    These socks were made from the most fortunate sheep, were lightly brushed with a rabbit’s foot, have a four leaf clover on the big toe, and come in a horseshoe shaped container. You’ll notice the difference immediately.
    [pan to girl standing a pharmacy counter]
    GIRL: I wore my Lucky Socks, and I just won the lottery!
    [pan to teenager dressed in a tuxedo about to open his front door]
    BOY: I had problems finding a date to the prom. And then my dad got me Lucky Socks.
    [Boy opens door to slutty looking 25 year old, playing a teenage girl.]

  133. How can you consider them gelled when Billups has been out the past few games?

    Are the Heat after most of a season even gelled?

    I do think the guys are getting in rhythm with each other, you can see it in Amare and Melo’s jumpers…and in the lack of hesitation from Fields when he touches the ball. But I’m sure when they face some of the elite defenses they will look a little off at times.

  134. The Knicks should skip training camp and not practice next year. It won’t affect their final record, and should boost team morale too.

  135. dmull: Are the Heat after most of a season even gelled?  

    There’s no explanation for shooting 1-18 in “clutch” moments. That looks like a statistical anomaly. I don’t think it has to do with the “gel” theory. Good players play well, and play well together.

  136. I’m not certain if this has really been mentioned in here, and obviously, it hasn’t been mentioned at all in the syndicated press. What I was most impressed with last night was not their offensive throughput, but their defensive presence (the whole team) throughout the important stretches of the game. Though 109 points is not a defensive display, you have to take into consideration the pace of the game, and the fact that the 3rd and 4th quarters were pretty meaningless. Garbage time is garbage time. The Knicks forced turnovers and got stops when they needed to in the first half. That is the difference. I see them playing hard, but more importantly, effectively. The defense has been improving from game to game, with last night, even more impressive than the nights before.

    If you can score, which they can, it is the defense that produces blowouts. That the Knicks did well. Their strength is bothering opponents, not interior presence. They did plenty of that last night. If the players can continue buying into defense, the offense will come naturally for the two pure scorers.

    My only concern at the moment is rebounding. I understand defense and offense need time to gel, get to know each other’s comfort zones, shot zones, etc. However, rebounding does not require those. If the Knicks played at the Pistons/Larry Brown/Old Spurs pace, Amar’e would probably be averaging 5 rebounds a game, and Melo about the same. That’s kind of scary for two rather large forwards. They don’t really have any excuses now that Amar’e is playing PF again. As everyone knows, rebounds are more about effort. When you combine effort with shot sense like D. Lee or K. Love, you produce monster numbers. Outside of that, the second most important ingredient is BOXING OUT. Anyone else notice that Amar’e’s box out abilities are worse than the little girl playing piano at the halftime show? Does that coaching staff see this? He needs to take a queue from Jeffries, who boxes out even at…

  137. the free throw line if the rebound is long. I am very tired of seeing small forwards and shooting guards grab rebounds in the lane when there are 4+ Knicks around a la Josh Smith/Marvin Williams in the game vs the Hawks. Sure, the Knicks put up respectable rebounding numbers in that game (in fact, I think they topped the Hawks, but I could be wrong). Still, there’s no excuse why they shouldn’t have outrebounded the Hawks by about 10 instead. I see, every game, so many opportunities that Knicks give up to opponents. They get an offensive rebound and have a quick putback too. Look at the Cleveland game, Hickson going nuts again.

    My god, someone YELL at them to BOX OUT during the game all the time to remind them please.

    P.S., if you’re a professional basketball player, have good hops, are 6’11, and have done this thing your whole life, and you’re paid millions of dollars to do this, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE A LAYUP WHEN YOUR HAND AND THE BALL ARE ABOVE THE CYLINDER. In fact, you should be jamming that shit home.

  138. ASyrett19: The Knicks should skip training camp and not practice next year. It won’t affect their final record, and should boost team morale too.  

    That’s silly. Morale has no effect on team record. ;-)

  139. as far as “gelling”, I would say that Billups being out has maybe been a temporary help (shockingly) because it’s allowed D’Antoni to surround Melo/Amare with a bunch of guys who are better defensively than offensively, and then on offense, just get the ball to those two and let them go.

    I also love how Melo’s acquisition has forced D’Antoni to finally at long last reevaluate some of his fundamental concepts of coaching, I’m definitely more optimistic about this whole thing than I was a week ago.

  140. Mike Kurylo: @247, @250Then I take back my offer. Should have taken it when you have a chance, I’m pretty sure I’ll not proffer it again.  

    Tenacious K:
    What will we do??? :)

  141. Mike Kurylo:
    I will agree that an NBA team needs time to gel if everyone else agrees that the Knicks team is now deemed “gelled” and henceforth any such losses, missteps, poor plays, bad shooting nights, defensive miscues, and the such are not the fault of the team needing time to gel.  

    you’re getting into Dave Berri wacko territory on this one, just an observation from a friend.

  142. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    There’s no explanation for shooting 1-18 in “clutch” moments. That looks like a statistical anomaly. I don’t think it has to do with the “gel” theory. Good players play well, and play well together.  

    Unless they woke one morning and were afflicted with Chuck Knoblauch’s disease and it’s in their collective heads that they simply can’t win close games…

  143. I tend to think the whole … need time (beyond a few games to know where guys spots are, how they catch the ball etc.) is just an excuse. Doesn’t anyoen remmebr year after year after year of You know who throwing that “need a training camp” blah blah blah while teams like Toronto, Chicago etc. were doing well pretty quickly and with new pieces. Is basketball so complicated that it takes months and years to figure out how to run a pick and roll, set a screen, do a curl play, switch on defense. In theory they have been doing these things since Junior High.

  144. Nick C.: I tend to think the whole … need time (beyond a few games to know where guys spots are, how they catch the ball etc.) is just an excuse.Doesn’t anyoen remmebr year after year after year of You know who throwing that “need a training camp” blah blah blah while teams like Toronto, Chicago etc. were doing well pretty quickly and with new pieces.Is basketball so complicated that it takes months and years to figure out how to run a pick and roll, set a screen, do a curl play, switch on defense.In theory they have been doing these things since Junior High.  

    You’re probably right, generally, but D’Antoni has had to incorporate three basically offensive players, Amare, Melo and Billups, into a system that is offensively focused, and then get them to focus on defense.
    Having purely defensive players will be helpful

  145. jon abbey: as far as “gelling”, I would say that Billups being out has maybe been a temporary help (shockingly) because it’s allowed D’Antoni to surround Melo/Amare with a bunch of guys who are better defensively than offensively, and then on offense, just get the ball to those two and let them go.
    I also love how Melo’s acquisition has forced D’Antoni to finally at long last reevaluate some of his fundamental concepts of coaching, I’m definitely more optimistic about this whole thing than I was a week ago.  

    Jon:
    Becoming surprisingly verbose and hopeful (for you) lately.
    It’s confusing. Cut it out. :)

  146. When you have a record such as the Heat, and then claim requiring more time to get to know each other and understand each other’s games (after Olympic teams and knowing each other tedancies in the regular season – they played against each other didn’t they?) it really comes off as disingenuous AND conceited.

    “Hey, look, we need time to gel. We really SHOULD BE 60-5 at this point. It’s because we don’t really understand each other’s game yet, THAT is why we’re only 40-20.”

    You wonder why people hate those dicks. I guess dancing on the big stage guaranteed them 70 wins.

    Give me a break, they fail at closing games, pure and simple, probably because they feel they could just drive left every single time, or pull up for a top of the key 3 (amazing playcalling by Spoelstra – yea, he’s a great coach and shouldn’t be criticized by the media! -every coach in the league), since they do believe they’re better than the rest because of their ‘talents being taken to south beach.’

    Yea, you can call me a Heat hater, but it certainly isn’t because of one player. Their collective stench is greater than the sum of their parts. Too bad their games aren’t.

  147. I don’t think Mike’s position is too far off. I think there does need to be a time when we say “okay, they’ve had their time to ‘gel,’ now that is not an excuse anymore.”

    Mike and I just might differ on how many games it takes to reach that point. I still think it’s closer to 15-17 games before I’m ready to say “this is what they are,” but I agree with the basic idea that the “gel” argument has a time limit on its effectiveness.

  148. Gel’ing also has a lot to do with complementary pieces. It’s not a concept that applies to odd pieces. No matter how much time you have, you can’t fit a square into a similarly sized circle. Over time though, you may keep scraping away at the square until it is shaped more like a circle, but by then, you don’t have the same piece anymore. I think this is essentially the Heat problem. Unless one of them starts nailing spot up 3pt shots at a 43% clip, this will always be an issue. The problem with taking the LAST SHOT for the Heat is that it is THE LAST SHOT, and only one person gets to take that shot at a time.

    If this were in Cleveland, LeBron’s misses wouldn’t be discussed in such a manner at all. In fact, I would bet if the Knicks traded Carmelo to the Heat for Wade or LeBron, both teams could potentially significantly improve. But no one would ever think about doing a trade like that. I also strongly (maybe wrongfully) believe that if Stoudemire was on the Heat, they’d be a better team. I’m glad we got Stat.

  149. Brian Cronin: I don’t think Mike’s position is too far off. I think there does need to be a time when we say “okay, they’ve had their time to ‘gel,’ now that is not an excuse anymore.”Mike and I just might differ on how many games it takes to reach that point. I still think it’s closer to 15-17 games before I’m ready to say “this is what they are,” but I agree with the basic idea that the “gel” argument has a time limit on its effectiveness.  

    well, of course, I don’t think Miami can use it anymore, but I generally allot 40 games for major core changes and NY certainly qualifies there.

  150. 40 sounds reasonable. I’d say more closer to 20-30 though, to find your actual identity. Sure, you can expect some gelling to happen after 40 games, of course. Every game played, they gel a bit more. But if you’re expecting siginificant improvement after the 40 game mark, you’re probably a Knicks fan during the Isiah Thomas era.

  151. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    There’s no explanation for shooting 1-18 in “clutch” moments. That looks like a statistical anomaly. I don’t think it has to do with the “gel” theory. Good players play well, and play well together.  

    Probably is a statistical anomaly but stats don’t necessarily capture the effect of psyche – in fact stats probably pointedly ignore psyche. But there’s no question that something like it exists in sports. Look at Tiger Woods – dude was unstoppable with a lead for the first 10 years of his career, and now he can’t close anything. (I guess it is possible that he was on PEDs from that guy Galea).

    A player’s state of mind seemingly MUST come into play regardless of stats. We’ve all seen guys short-arm free throws in the clutch, or have Chris Webber brain farts when bringing the ball up the floor. 1 for 18 is pretty far out there for a statistical anomaly – probably is reaching statistical significance, considering both Wade and Lebron shoot 50+% from the field.

    Re: “good players play well and play well together” — is there really any proof of that? Shaq and Amare are both good players but they were terrible next to each other. I think it’s entirely possible that the sum of guys like Lebron and Wade is less than its parts. Even though Amare and Melo are score 1st, defend 2nd sort of guys, they have very different optimal scoring styles – Melo is more of a ballhandler/create your own shot guy, whereas Amare is much better either as a spot up shooter or getting the ball on the move towards the basket. It’s not quite as similar as DWade and Lebron, who are both “give me the rock at the top of the key and clear out” kind of players.

  152. Re: Toney Douglas – he’s another under-the-radar Donnie Walsh move that has turned out great. Whether or not he should have taken Dejuan Blair with that pick, Donnie basically produced Toney out of nowhere. I still can’t figure out why teams sell late 1st round draft picks – especially guys like Jerry Buss (who sold the DWTDD pick) who have tons of money. It’d be interesting to see an analysis of draft picks that were bought or traded essentially for financial purposes, and how those players turned out, and how those players might have brought more $$ in than the actual sale of the tickets. Nate RObinson was basically a bought draft pick – he probably sold tons of jerseys and some amount of tickets when he was a Knick – I know my wife loved him and had his t-shirt. Rondo was a bought draft pick. TD was a bought draft pick.

    Think the Lakers would love to have TD now? He would be perfect on that team. He’s 10x the player Derek Fisher is at this stage of their careers.

  153. My guess, Frank, is that guys like Rondo, Nate and Toney are the aberrations rather than the rule (which is why teams are okay doing it), but yeah, it’d be an interesting study. I’ll try to give it a crack.

  154. The “gel” theory seems to be like “clutch”. (See @ZachLowe_SI ‘s posts from today).

    Clutch, as used by sports pundits, is defined as “how the player last performed at clutch time.” For instance LeBron James is no longer clutch. However he was “super-clutch” in 2009. (Zach also referenced Steve Young & Derek Lowe).

    Similarly a team “needs time to gel” anytime they perform poorly post trade. Last night the Knicks didn’t need any time to gel, but they’ve had games where “gel” didn’t come into play.

    In both cases you only know after the fact.

    But really most importantly, even if it does exist (I’ll admit that it might much faster than most will admit that it might now) you can’t tell. I could posit that the ghost of Max Zaslofsky has haunted the team since the 80s. When the team losses it’s Zaslofsky. When it wins, Zaslofsky was taking the night off.

    Concerning “gel”, when the Knicks lose is it:

    A. Gelling
    B. Better Opponent
    C. Random Chance
    D. The Food They Ate
    E. How Comfortable They Slept
    F. Who Has Sick Kids

    I’d go with B & C, and then flip a coin between A, D, E, and F. Honestly I hope to live long enough that teams hire analytic groups to find how D-F affect players. Because at my job those seem to be the big ones.

  155. what “clutch” should mean is that an athlete performs better in pressure situations than they do otherwise. Robert Horry and Derek Fisher are good examples.

    every athlete is a different case, some turn a corner and figure things out mid-career, finally triumphing over their mental issues (A-Rod for instance). LeBron’s case is one where he was superclutch his whole career until whatever happened in that Celtics series last year, and it seems like he still hasn’t fully recovered from that and now the rest of the league is sensing his vulnerability (this is a guy in contention for his third straight MVP).

    someday the real story of what went down on that Cavs team will come out (I personally believe the Delonte sleeping with LeBron’s mom to get revenge on LeBron sleeping with his wife, and Shaq telling LeBron before game 3 story), and then I think we’ll understand this period in his career a lot better.

  156. jon abbey: what “clutch” should mean is that an athlete performs better in pressure situations than they do otherwise. Robert Horry and Derek Fisher are good examples.
    every athlete is a different case, some turn a corner and figure things out mid-career, finally triumphing over their mental issues (A-Rod for instance). LeBron’s case is one where he was superclutch his whole career until whatever happened in that Celtics series last year, and it seems like he still hasn’t fully recovered from that and now the rest of the league is sensing his vulnerability (this is a guy in contention for his third straight MVP).
    someday the real story of what went down on that Cavs team will come out (I personally believe the Delonte sleeping with LeBron’s mom to get revenge on LeBron sleeping with his wife, and Shaq telling LeBron before game 3 story), and then I think we’ll understand this period in his career a lot better.  

    And I’m the one heading into “wacko territory”? :-D

  157. you must have heard that story before, and it seems to fit with what happened. obviously I don’t know for sure, but someday we’ll find out.

Comments are closed.