2012 Game Thread: New York v. Detroit

I’ll actually be attending the game tonight with my wife (a Christmas present for a game back during Linsanity that I sold so we could attend multiple games for the price of the first tickets), so I figure I’d give you folks a nice and early Game Thread, just like how you like it!

This is a big game (as all games are this time of the year when the team is two games under .500 and fighting for a playoff spot).

The Bucks are playing their third game in three nights tonight before playing the Knicks on Monday. Hopefully they lose tonight and the Knicks take care of business.

Jeremy Lin mentioned last night that the Knicks had no plays for the zone that Toronto threw at them. Hopefully, if the Pistons try this new trick defense called “the zone” that the Knicks have prepared for it.

Let’s go, Knicks!

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204 thoughts to “2012 Game Thread: New York v. Detroit”

  1. now tonight is in the bag, I didn’t have a chance to make the first post last night. exhale, everyone. :)

  2. Howard Beck ? @HowardBeckNYT

    Jared Jeffries out approx two weeks, team says. MRI confirmed inflammation in right knee.

    ===================

    it’s almost as if taking NBA charges is bad for your body. :(

  3. Have fun Brian and wife of Brian. I think we come out strong tonight and kick some statistically significant ass. See how quickly I can become optimistic. Either a great trait or painfully stupid.

  4. Last night was awful, but the past is behind us. I hope that Chandler is able to bounce back on the offensive end.

    At the start of each game, my daughter asks two questions: (1) who is out for the Knicks tonight and (2) do I think that the Knicks will get ahead by enough to play Jordan?

    Lets Go Knicks!

  5. exactly, we’ve proven we can lose any game at any time, and it’s not like we’ve never seen Ben Gordon kill us in MSG.

  6. yesterday’s game was just awful. i dont know how, what, when, why, who they lost so badly!! why couldnt they get around the zone defense? is it that challenging? what if ever team uses that against us now? we have no answer??

  7. Looking forward to see how Lin matches up with Brevin Knight – just for the walk-on vs lottery pick angle.
    Isn’t Jerebko the type of player who seems to have a career game vs the Knicks? Or maybe it will be the 130 pound Austin Daye?
    I would like to see them go to Chandler early and often to maybe get Monroe in foul trouble, as they have nothing backing him up.
    Really need this one – they seem like a fragile team mentally, so I’m concerned a loss here will send them into the abyss.

  8. on paper, you couldn’t have much better answers for a zone than Novak and Smith, it’s just that Smith can’t seem to buy a basket right now.

  9. thyrdrail:
    yesterday’s game was just awful. i dont know how, what, when, why, who they lost so badly!! why couldnt they get around the zone defense? is it that challenging? what if ever team uses that against us now? we have no answer??

    It happens when your guards shoot 3-pointers consistently like this:

    Jeremy Lin – 31%
    J.R. Smith- 31%
    Iman Shumpert- 26%
    Baron Davis- 35%
    Landry Fields- 25%

  10. Don’t know if you guys take requests, but I would love to read a history of the Knick’s bad moves, starting with the Haywood/McAdoo years (we are so dangerously close to coming full circle with Amare/Melo), similar to what Simmons just wrote re: the Warriors.

  11. Clyde just attributed Melo’s shooting struggles “early on” (presumably start of season) to playing too much defense and having it sap his energy on offensive end….

    oh, yeah that makes sense….wait, what???

  12. 2FOR18:
    Don’t know if you guys take requests, but I would love to read a history of the Knick’s bad moves, starting with the Haywood/McAdoo years (we are so dangerously close to coming full circle with Amare/Melo), similar to what Simmons just wrote re: the Warriors.

    Just list every trade Scott Layden made.

  13. art vandelay: It happens when your guards shoot 3-pointers consistently like this:

    Jeremy Lin – 31%
    J.R. Smith- 31%
    Iman Shumpert- 26%
    Baron Davis- 35%
    Landry Fields- 25%

    Fields especially is 6-35 from 3 point range in the last 26 games, why wouldn’t you zone a team with him out there?

  14. 2FOR18:
    Don’t know if you guys take requests, but I would love to read a history of the Knick’s bad moves, starting with the Haywood/McAdoo years (we are so dangerously close to coming full circle with Amare/Melo), similar to what Simmons just wrote re: the Warriors.

    You really want to torture yourself AGAIN? I have a couple of youtube videos to send you of Ewing’s fingerroll in 95, Hakeem’s block of Starks in ’94, Smith’s 4 missed layups in ’93 and PJ Brown’s pile driver of charlie ward in ’97 while you’re at it if you’d like!

  15. art vandelay: You really want to torture yourself AGAIN? I have a couple of youtube videos to send you of Ewing’s fingerroll in 95, Hakeem’s block of Starks in ’94, Smith’s 4 missed layups in ’93 and PJ Brown’s pile driver of charlie ward in ’97 while you’re at it if you’d like!

    I’m a masochist. How else to explain 30 years of being a Knicks fan. Even when they were good in the 90’s it was torture.

    Come on – let’s get a beast game from somebody tonight

  16. 2FOR18:
    Come on – let’s get a beast game from somebody tonight

    Not gonna be Fields or Lin. Those guys lookin’ pretty amateur so far tonight.

  17. Fields and Shumpert tried to play H-O-R-S-E to see who should start at the 2.

    Neither has made five shots yet.

    They’ll have to try P-I-G.

  18. 2 teams playing a back-to-back that look beyond exhausted. Worst part is the game still has 42 mins left lol

  19. Guys Passing up shots, Lin passing up passes, overpenetrating and passing late. All good problems to have on a team, actually.

  20. STAT’s blocked shots have really picked up over last 10 games….he is really contesting inside….reminds of STAT from last year who was a guy help defender (if only a horrendous pnr defender)…

    I love STAT to death (my favorite Knick)….but something also seems a bit peculiar about how he has turned it on post-D’antoni…he was showing some signs pre-resignation….but he just looks physically like a different player….should we believe his renaissance just happened to coincide more or less with downfall of MDA (perhaps a lot of work to lose weight during all-star weekend)…

    he still seems a lot hesitant from outside…passing up outside shots..would NEVER have seen that last season.

  21. 2FOR18:
    holy crap Det is horrible!

    And this team nearly beat Denver (and ought to have the other night) IN Denver.

  22. Unfortunately I wont get back the last half hour of my life I just spent watching this hideous 1st quarter.

  23. BigBlueAL:
    Unfortunately I wont get back the last half hour of my life I just spent watching this hideous 1st quarter.

    If an alien landed on earth and watched that first half of professional basketball, I think he would deem the sport an utter waste of time and wipe out all of humanity as a result.

  24. To top it off LP Broadband at least for me is working horribly. I guess Im stuck watching the Pistons non-HD broadcast on regular League Pass.

  25. art vandelay: If an alien landed on earth and watched that first half of professional basketball, I think he would deem the sport an utter waste of time and wipe out all of humanity as a result.

    that’s how I feel every time I watch Syracuse, so aesthetically ugly to me, effective or not.

  26. How many passes do the Knicks bobble? It seems like every game guys are getting good passes that they aren’t expecting. Why?

  27. You are right about guys passing up shots. Everyone is being altruistic. Sometimes too much so…

    ruruland:
    Guys Passing up shots, Lin passing up passes, overpenetrating and passing late. All good problems to have on a team, actually.

  28. Have no worries. The Knicks offense, like Harrellson’s mustache, will fully emerge by the end of the game.

  29. This team REALLY misses Jared Jeffries. Jorts is responsible for half the Pistons points this quarter and he’s clueless on offense.

  30. B.A.B.K.:
    You are right about guys passing up shots. Everyone is being altruistic. Sometimes too much so…

    And that’s fine. You’ll live with that every time. You keep cultivating that mindset and eventually you end with something really good.

  31. I feel like the team’s losses coincide with Jeffries’ absence. Am I right?

    Juany8:
    This team REALLY misses Jared Jeffries. Jorts is responsible for half the Pistons points this quarter and he’s clueless on offense.

  32. Juany8:
    This team REALLY misses Jared Jeffries. Jorts is responsible for half the Pistons points this quarter and he’s clueless on offense.

    Funny thing is we would have said that about JJ in years past.

  33. Juany8:
    Jorts is responsible for half the Pistons points this quarter

    so, four?

    give the kid a break, he’s barely played since coming back.

  34. Could Jerome Jordan really be any worst than Harrelson just was? balkman would have been better.

  35. Knicks will win this game, most likely by double digits, but if they play like they have these last 2 days vs the Bucks on Monday they will get killed.

  36. If they even played halfway decent they would be up 15 now….just disgusting….

  37. I think right now I have more faith in a Fields jumper going in than I do a Melo jumper :-(

  38. ruruland:
    Their might be a big Melo dunk coming at some point in this game.

    He will probably hit the back iron and have the ball wind up at half-court.

  39. They have to post up Jelo every time and just let him use his strength and footwork. No more jump shots. TG they’re playing a team in the tank tonight.

  40. BigBlueAL: He will probably hit the back iron and have the ball wind up at half-court.

    At this point I don’t doubt it. But I think there will be a moment when he goes in for a monster.

  41. In all honesty and fairness to Melo, his wrist HAS to be killing him. No other explanation.

  42. Everything looking good tonight but the jump shots (overpassing doesn’t bother me at all). Not bad effort for 4th in 5.

  43. Chandler and Amar’e have been superb. 20 combined rebounds ( missed dunk and missed free throws yeah yeah)

  44. you think Chandler is taking the off-night he had last night personally? lol

  45. I’m not one to whine about the refs, but it seems like Lin has to play by different rules than everyone else. If that was a travel then so is every other running layup.

  46. Something needs to be said about the huge strides Amar’e has made defensively. This is something many on this board and around the league didn’t think he could do.

    Is it merely a coincidence that, for the first time in his career, he’s playing for a guy who emphasizes and teaches that end first and foremost?

  47. Melo has to be hurt. he definitely has to be hurting. im waiting for the 30 + point game to come soon.

  48. ruruland:
    Something needs to be said about the huge strides Amar’e has made defensively. This is something many on this board and around the league didn’t think he could do.

    Is it merely a coincidence that, for the first time in his career, he’s playing for a guy who emphasizes and teaches that end first and foremost?

    I’ve seen him play like this in the playoffs before, I think D’Antoni always told him not to get into foul trouble, but he is really competing now.

  49. jon abbey: I’ve seen him play like this in the playoffs before, I think D’Antoni always told him not to get into foul trouble, but he is really competing now.

    I watched those series firsthand. It’s the awareness to me that’s indicative of coaching. Spurs and Lakers took great advantage of his lack of timely decisions.

  50. Melo lost his rhythm. Asking if anyone find it to give it back to him.
    Suggestion
    1) Maybe you left it in Denver.
    2) Maybe you can find it before game time rather than during game time.
    3) Ask Novak, he’s got plenty to lend you.

  51. themark:
    Melo has to be hurt. he definitely has to be hurting. im waiting for the 30 + point game to come soon.

    I don’t think that’s it. While this is truly unprecedented, I think it’s his head… I think the whole MDA thing where he was not touching the ball much and not really looked at as a focus of the offense sort of hurt his confidence… and now he can’t get it back.

    Use that against him if you will, but it will come back some time. He’s putting in extra work recently, and he’s typically a guy that puts up more shots than most of his teammates.

  52. JLam:
    Melo lost his rhythm. Asking if anyone find it to give it back to him.
    Suggestion1) Maybe you left it in Denver.2) Maybe you can find it before game time rather than during game time.
    3) Ask Novak, he’s got plenty to lend you.

    He had it in New York before he got injured. He had it in New York last year.

  53. I’m at the game. When it got quiet I shouted, “Melo you suck.” I think he heard me. That is all.

  54. domiknick:
    I’m at the game. When it got quiet I shouted, “Melo you suck.” I think he heard me. That is all.

    The booing and jeers from the home crowd should definitely expedite his return to form. Good job as a fan. You showed him.

  55. I love Lin, but clearly he has a lotto work on and improve upon… He’s a smart guy, though, so I think he’ll be even better next year.

    Do you guys share my faith that he’ll make significant jumps next year?

    If he does,it will be scary for opponents

  56. I used to be fearing we would never have the old STAT who could impact game like an all-star calibre player whom we would need come playoff time…I now no longer worry about him but about Melo! What the hell is going on?

    Since the trade, has there literally been ONE game in which the two played well???

  57. B.A.B.K.:
    I love Lin, but clearly he has a lotto work on and improve upon… He’s a smart guy, though, so I think he’ll be even better next year.

    Do you guys share my faith that he’ll make significant jumps next year?

    If he does,it will be scary for opponents

    His decision-making and awareness are below average, but nothing unexpected for a guy with his experience. For a guy who gets into the lane as much as he does there’s a very nice ceiling as a playamker, but he has an incredibly long way to go.

  58. Melo can’t get a good whistle, either. 3 ticky tack fouls and two drives where he was killed with no call.

  59. If only Shump Shump can work on that J this summer…

    we need a starting 2-guard with a jumpshot. I really thinks it hurts the starting 5 to not have a guy that can stretch the floor with consistent long-range shooting.

  60. ruruland: The booing and jeers from the home crowd should definitely expedite his return to form. Good job as a fan. You showed him.

    Yes, please teach us all how to be fans. Tell us, at what point it is acceptable for us Knicks fans to voice our frustration with a “star” player making $18 million who, for all intents and purposes, forced us to gut our team in a midseason trade and who has played like shit for most of this year?

  61. I agree. Or if Fields would connect like he did pre-trade last year…

    The Infamous Cdiggy:
    If only Shump Shump can work on that J this summer…

    we need a starting 2-guard with a jumpshot.I really thinks it hurts the starting 5 to not have a guy that can stretch the floor with consistent long-range shooting.

  62. It’s just goofy to blame Melo for the trade.

    Blame Dolan if you think blame is due.

    I think it’s all but inarguable that the team now has more talent, at all positions, than the Gallo/Felton squad.

    But whether or no, Dolan was the architect of the trade, not Melo.

    Let’s hope he gets his shot back.

  63. Degree_Absolute: Yes, please teach us all how to be fans.Tell us, at what point it is acceptable for us Knicks fans to voice our frustration with a “star” player making $18 million who, for all intents and purposes, forced us to gut our team in a midseason trade and who has played like shit for most of this year?

    He’s been booed for a solid month now. You don’t boo a guy trying to find his offense. Boo poor effort. Melo gets as much fan hate feedback as anyone in the league. He understands fans hate him right now, but it ain’t helping the situation.

  64. Degree_Absolute: That is not fair.Played well below expectations is better.

    No, he’s been atrocious offensively. I’m not sure if you’re using the euphemism facetiously or not.

  65. B.A.B.K.:
    I agree. Or if Fields would connect like he did pre-trade last year…

    I say Shump-Shump b/c he can D and he’s more athletic. I like Fields, but he’s not a starting 2, especially with the talent level of the other starters.

  66. Do you think Lin is trying to “score” a big contract?

    Not sure I agree.I do agree with you that he’d get abigger contract if he was dishing out a bunch of assists

    drewbreez:
    Lin, to me, has shown he’s playing for a contract but may do better (and make more) if he just PASSES THE FACKIN BAWL.

  67. B.A.B.K.:
    Do you think Lin is trying to “score” a big contract?

    Not sure I agree.I do agree with you that he’d get abigger contract if he was dishing out a bunch of assists

    LIN will get the max possible for him (MLE, basically) given what he is worth to the franchise regardless of how many assists or points he puts up rest of the year, just based on “Linsanity”.

  68. Did something happen to STAT? They said he went to locker room? Please tell me he isn’t injured…..

  69. Yeah, he’s worth it for ticket sales alone, if not for solving disputes between major cable companies and cable networks

    art vandelay: LIN will get the max possible for him (MLE, basically) given what he is worth to the franchise regardless of how many assists or points he puts up rest of the year, just based on “Linsanity”.

  70. After holding an eight point lead in the 4th last time they played CHicago, Toronto up in third quarter in Chicago.

  71. Pistons are going get blown out at the start of the 4th quarter
    Knick impressive despite the TOs

  72. That 3rd quarter for ‘Melo showed me a lot. He figured out that he is not hitting his J right now, so he hitched up his big boy pants and got deep post position by moving without the ball.

    That is the way to break out of a slump.

    Really necessary, since Amar’e his strained his lower back and is unlikely to return. Knicks need him on Monday.

  73. does anyone else notice the sound sync-ing issues on MSG tonight? on swished 3s, you hear the sound of the net before the ball goes through the hoop.

  74. To answer the question my daughter asked before the game, yes, I think we might see Jerome Jordan tonight.

  75. I’m glad Harrellson’s game picked up there. I was about to announce his new nickname: The Big Apple Turnover.

  76. B.A.B.K.:
    Yeah, he’s worth it for ticket sales alone, if not for solving disputes between major cable companies and cable networks

    Lin will make most of his money from outside his NBA contract. Staying in media center will help. NY or LA.

  77. I can’t praise Shumpert enough. The way he covers the court is so keen and quick. I can’t name five G/SG defenders better than him in the L.

  78. drewbreez:
    I can’t praise Shumpert enough. The way he covers the court is so keen and quick. I can’t name five G/SG defenders better than him in the L.

    wow, is he lost on offense right now though.

  79. So where are all the people that predicted another big losing streak? Playing 4 games of professional basketball in 5 days in multiple different cities is ridiculously exhausting, finishing 3-1 with 2 blowouts and a win over the Sixers should be seen as a pretty solid streak, as well as the 6-1 record with 5 blowouts under Woodson.

  80. Juany8:
    So where are all the people that predicted another big losing streak? Playing 4 games of professional basketball in 5 days in multiple different cities is ridiculously exhausting, finishing 3-1 with 2 blowouts and a win over the Sixers should be seen as a pretty solid streak, as well as the 6-1 record with 5 blowouts under Woodson.

    No. Owen and company are lurking though to talk about Melo’s contract and 1-7 shooting in the first half.

  81. Juany8:
    So where are all the people that predicted another big losing streak? Playing 4 games of professional basketball in 5 days in multiple different cities is ridiculously exhausting, finishing 3-1 with 2 blowouts and a win over the Sixers should be seen as a pretty solid streak, as well as the 6-1 record with 5 blowouts under Woodson.

    you have anything to say about Jorts? 8 boards in 12 minutes now, I hope he keeps getting consistent minutes with Jeffries out.

  82. jon abbey: (Quo

    And yet this team starts a shooting guard that has gone 1-9 in his last 2 games, can’t shoot 3’s, hits free throws as well as Shaq, and can’t defend. I’m pretty sure the Knicks are the only team in the entire league that would give Fields real minutes, he’s a fucking trainwreck and has been all season

  83. jon abbey:
    Shumpert really has almost unlimited potential.

    Can he develop into just an average shooter.? If he can do that he has all-star potential. One thing I worry about Lin and Shump is that they’re both shot oriented ballhandlers. Davis complements both of them, and you’ll need a pass first pg or hope they develop in that way

  84. Juany8: And yet this team starts a shooting guard that has gone 1-9 in his last 2 games, can’t shoot 3?s, hits free throws as well as Shaq, and can’t defend. I’m pretty sure the Knicks are the only team in the entire league that would give Fields real minutes, he’s a fucking trainwreck and has been all season

    you know you are preaching to the choir with me on that one, no reason Smith/Shumpert don’t get all 48 SG minutes on this team. I’ve been saying that for weeks.

  85. jon abbey: you have anything to say about Jorts? 8 boards in 12 minutes now, I hope he keeps getting consistent minutes with Jeffries out.

    Jeffries is still a big upgrade, but Jorts did do much better as the game went on. Still making a few too many mistakes, I know he’s a rookie but if effort isn’t an excuse for this team anymore you can’t excuse a guy for his age.

  86. ruruland: Can he develop into just an average shooter.? If he can do that he has all-star potential. One thing I worry about Lin and Shump is that they’re both shot oriented ballhandlers. Davis complements both of them, and you’ll need a pass first pg or hope they develop in that way

    I think he can, he has nice form. he just really needs coaching, I’m hoping Walker has made him his pet project.

  87. jon abbey: you know you are preaching to the choir with me on that one, no reason Smith/Shumpert don’t get all 48 SG minutes on this team. I’ve been saying that for weeks.

    Actually looking at some of the bench units this team has had out there, Landry might fit in playing at the 3 with Baron and JR/Shump since that unit has been a little too reliant on jump shooting. Either way though, he’s a terrible fit next to the starters that unit has enough issues with spacing as is.

  88. Juany8: Jeffries is still a big upgrade, but Jorts did do much better as the game went on. Still making a few too many mistakes, I know he’s a rookie but if effort isn’t an excuse for this team anymore you can’t excuse a guy for his age.

    not his age, he hasn’t gotten consistent minutes since he’s been back. if he gets 12-15 minutes a night, he’ll be a positive, I think.

  89. yeah, the sound is all off on MSG tonight, you can really tell on the interviews. kind of annoying on those 3 pointers, I hope they get that fixed for Monday.

  90. Juany8: Actually looking at some of the bench units this team has had out there, Landry might fit in playing at the 3 with Baron and JR/Shump since that unit has been a little too reliant on jump shooting. Either way though, he’s a terrible fit next to the starters that unit has enough issues with spacing as is.

    Fields’ motion game is actually good with starters. His side pick and rolls are very good. The defense is a big issue, but if he could shoot somewhat close to what he did last year he’s not the worst option alongside the starters.

    Smith shouldn’t be starting alongside 3 guys who need shots. He works wonderfully with Shump and Davis.

    And Shump is inferior to Fields offensively.

    Really, you have to imagine both Shump and Fields will shoot better than this. If this team can somehow keep most of these guys the ceiling is pretty awesome.

  91. I know that many are harping on Landry Fields’ poor offensive performance, but I think the thing that is threatening his playing time is that he keeps giving up when he gets caught on picks. Ben Gordon ran him off a foul line pick during the third quarter, caught the ball at the 3 point line at the top of the key, waited two beats, updated his relationship status on facebook, and then shot the three. Fields gave up on the play, which got an irate Woodson off the bench.

    I do not think that Fields exile to the bench for the rest of the game was simply a matter of the Knicks’ big lead. This second time in a week when a Fields’ defensive breakdown in the second half led to him riding the pine for the rest of the game.

  92. ephus:
    I know that many are harping on Landry Fields’ poor offensive performance, but I think the thing that is threatening his playing time is that he keeps giving up when he gets caught on picks.Ben Gordon ran him off a foul line pick during the third quarter, caught the ball at the 3 point line at the top of the key, waited two beats, updated his relationship status on facebook, and then shot the three.Fields gave up on the play, which got an irate Woodson off the bench.

    I do not think that Fields exile to the bench for the rest of the game was simply a matter of the Knicks’ big lead.This second time in a week when a Fields’ defensive breakdown in the second half led to him riding the pine for the rest of the game.

    Isn’t it great?

    The thing is, If Fields is hurting you early you have 2 immediate substitution options.

    The whole ‘who starts’ deal is so over-talked about to me. I don’t think you want to play Shump 30-35 minutes, so at this point, someone like Fields needs to play 10-15 a game anyway.

    None of the three guys’ games are really set up to start, per se. Now, if you were willing to allow Jr to play 36 minutes like he did when he first arrived in Denver (and was beginning to emerge as a star player) then you could try to move Fields for a draft pick. Where he can be a bigger part of the overall offense, then that would be great.

    But as it stands you can’t be certain that JR SMith will stick to his plan of re-signing here, so you can’t commit to that idea. But Smith’s game as a driver, defender, playmaker and floor-spacing shooter should be the ideal option.

    He just can’t be a guy who, when he plays, is always deferring to others.

  93. Before Karl started his reign of terror on JR (and before the Iverson trade), the kid was the second option to Melo alongside a pass-oriented pg in Andre Miller.

    Everyone at the time thought he was turning into an all-star caliber two.

    You can see by his numbers during that stretch why: http://espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/2444/year/2007/jr-smith

    His overall game has improved immensely since then, and I still think in the right situation, possibly this one, he can be an all-star.

  94. Zwerling is an idiot: “There is a learning curve going on and it’s something to watch. Previously, Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system encouraged flow and gave players confidence. Currently, there is too much hesitation and uncertainty going on in the offense, which is partially leading to the turnovers.”

    Guys were passing up shots to get easier ones because of their struggles to shoot tonight and the previous two games.

    It’s amazing the kind of sympathy MDA garners from the media when clearly this was exactly the kind of change the Knicks needed.

  95. Most of us would have signed up for 6-1 during this 7 game stretch, at least I would have. Next game is pretty big, though. Not big enough to risk Amare or Lin if they need rest, though.

  96. Z-man:
    Most of us would have signed up for 6-1 during this 7 game stretch, at least I would have.Next game is pretty big, though. Not big enough to risk Amare or Lin if they need rest, though.

    Given the circumstances, my guess is they both play….not sure if they will be 100% though (witness STAT in playoffs against boston when he was a shell of himself).

  97. Raptors OT with the Bulls tonite. Guess Raptors are playing well. Not feel too bad about last nights loss.

  98. JLam:
    Raptors OT with the Bulls tonite. Guess Raptors are playing well. Not feel too bad about last nights loss.

    They had Chicago on the ropes last time they played them. They have some talent that, when they have momentum and the opponent can’t make shots, will win games.

  99. “Knicks locker room now decked with photos of Larry O’Brien trophy — one above each locker. Woodson’s idea. They were hung up at halftime”

    Howard Beck tweet
    https://twitter.com/#!/HowardBeckNYT

    Also, as I reported to this board prior to the beat reporters, there’s this:
    “As we said in the pregame Fix, Melo was out for a while 90 minutes before tipoff working on his shot. His FG% in last 6 games is 39%.”

    And most importantly just a minute ago: “Stoudemire left game early with back tightness, but he said he’ll play Monday. Not like back injury from playoffs, he said.”

  100. Howard Beck ? @HowardBeckNYT

    Stoudemire left game early with back tightness, but he said he’ll play Monday. Not like back injury from playoffs, he said.

  101. jon abbey:
    Howard Beck ? @HowardBeckNYT

    Stoudemire left game early with back tightness, but he said he’ll play Monday. Not like back injury from playoffs, he said.

    thank goodness….we didn’t need him tonight….he honestly has probably been the best Knick the last 5 games!!!

  102. ruruland:

    “As we said in the pregame Fix, Melo was out for a while 90 minutes before tipoff working on his shot. His FG% in last 6 games is 39%.”

    it certainly didn’t help, those shots in the first half were scary bad. the mid-range jumper after the layups in the second half gives me a bit of hope, but yikes.

  103. jon abbey:
    Howard Beck ? @HowardBeckNYT

    Stoudemire left game early with back tightness, but he said he’ll play Monday. Not like back injury from playoffs, he said.

    I am starting to think STAT should be the “go to” player and not Melo…is this absolutely crazy? He hit a number of big shots last season for the knicks before the tradel

  104. jon abbey: it certainly didn’t help, those shots in the first half were scary bad. the mid-range jumper after the layups in the second half gives me a bit of hope, but yikes.

    Shocking, really is. But he’s putting in the work to get it right. It’s there. Praying he gets that one game. That will be such a weight off of him, and when it does come off, watch out.

  105. Thanks for the updates. Good news about STAT

    ruruland:
    “Knicks locker room now decked with photos of Larry O’Brien trophy — one above each locker. Woodson’s idea. They were hung up at halftime”

    Howard Beck tweet
    https://twitter.com/#!/HowardBeckNYT

    Also, as I reported to this board prior to the beat reporters, there’s this:
    “As we said in the pregame Fix, Melo was out for a while 90 minutes before tipoff working on his shot. His FG% in last 6 games is 39%.”

    And most importantly just a minute ago: “Stoudemire left game early with back tightness, but he said he’ll play Monday. Not like back injury from playoffs, he said.”

  106. art vandelay: I am starting to think STAT should be the “go to” player and not Melo…is this absolutely crazy? He hit a number of big shots last season for the knicks before the tradel

    It’s in the context of the game. Amar’e needs help to be put in position to be efficient.

    And there’s plenty of reason to believe he’ll continue to get the looks he’s getting, and his teammates should continue to try to get him more. Right now, Lin isn’t doing a very good job of that. Melo, Fields and Davis have been the guys primarily setting him up.

    But no, when Melo’s right, and the continuity offense isn’t there and you need someone to create something, that’s what Melo has been great at his whole career.

  107. Thibodeau doesn’t know how to manage a season for the playoffs. He’s playing his top guys all the way tonight. I get that he wants his team to have HCA against Miami, but you have Deng averaging close to 40 mpg,and Rose at 36…..Considering all the blowouts they’ve played, that’s too many minutes.

  108. ruruland:
    Thibodeau doesn’t know how to manage a season for the playoffs. He’s playing his top guys all the way tonight. I get that he wants his team to have HCA against Miami, but you have Deng averaging close to 40 mpg,and Rose at 36…..Considering all the blowouts they’ve played, that’s too many minutes.

    definitely too many for Deng, but also keep in mind those guys have both sat out a ton of games.

  109. “Knicks locker room now decked with photos of Larry O’Brien trophy — one above each locker. Woodson’s idea. They were hung up at halftime”

    Amateur hour.

  110. jon abbey: definitely too many for Deng, but also keep in mind those guys have both sat out a ton of games.

    He’s been riding Deng through his injury. That team has good depth.
    It will be interesting to see if Miami and Chicago wear down deep into the playoffs given the intensity they play with and the minutes their top guys play.

  111. Yes, Thibodeau is insane with his minute allocations. Drives me nuts, and I’m not even a fan. Last season, he still had Rose playing 38 minutes just so the Bulls could have home court advantage if they made the finals and ended up playing the spurs. Now Rose is hurt, the Bulls are winning, it’s a condensed season, and Thibodeau still doesn’t see a problem. He’s not the only guy who’s been like that. Carlisle used to run his teams into the ground during the regular season as well. Took him a while, but he finally recognized that having a healthy team in the playoffs is more important than home court advantage.

  112. ruruland: It’s in the context of the game. Amar’e needs help to be put in position to be efficient.

    And there’s plenty of reason to believe he’ll continue to get the looks he’s getting, and his teammates should continue to try to get him more. Right now, Lin isn’t doing a very good job of that. Melo, Fields and Davis have been the guys primarily setting him up.

    But no, when Melo’s right, and the continuity offense isn’t there and you need someone to create something, that’s what Melo has been great at his whole career.

    Listen, I know that everyone wants to pretend that last season never existed, but STAT hit a number of bit shots believe or not for NYK before the trade….I don’t think it is absolutely ludicrous for him to be the go=to guy….I think more often than not he will have an advantage at his position moreso than Melo!

  113. max fisher-cohen:
    Yes, Thibodeau is insane with his minute allocations. Drives me nuts, and I’m not even a fan. Last season, he still had Rose playing 38 minutes just so the Bulls could have home court advantage if they made the finals and ended up playing the spurs. Now Rose is hurt, the Bulls are winning, it’s a condensed season, and Thibodeau still doesn’t see a problem. He’s not the only guy who’s been like that. Carlisle used to run his teams into the ground during the regular season as well. Took him a while, but he finally recognized that having a healthy team in the playoffs is more important than home court advantage.

    The great one’s like Pop and PJ don’t sell out during the regular season.

    He’s a young ambitious coach, but with the intensity and effort they play on defense it will be interesting to see how they sustain it when it matters.

  114. ruruland: Fields’ motion game is actually good with starters. His side pick and rolls are very good. The defense is a big issue, but if he could shoot somewhat close to what he did last year he’s not the worst option alongside the starters.

    Smith shouldn’t be starting alongside 3 guys who need shots. He works wonderfully with Shump and Davis.

    And Shump is inferior to Fields offensively.

    Really, you have to imagine both Shump and Fields will shoot better than this. If this team can somehow keep most of these guys the ceiling is pretty awesome.

    you just stated two reasons – defense and shooting – as to why Fields should NOT be the starting two.

  115. think it will be ludicrous NOT to consider STAT as the major man was what I wanted to posit.

  116. art vandelay: Listen, I know that everyone wants to pretend that last season never existed, but STAT hit a number of bit shots believe or not for NYK before the trade….I don’t think it is absolutely ludicrous for him to be the go=to guy….I think more often than not he will have an advantage at his position moreso than Melo!

    I will say this, he needs more touches. But go-to guys are shot-creators. Amar’e is (typically) a great open mid-range shooter, but those looks typically come off of continuity offense.

    He should be featured more, and that’s the responsibility of the primary ballhandler. Lin is a little full of himself right now, IMO, and he may not quite understand the importance of 1) giving his top guys confidence by going out of his way to create for them 2) identifying the mismatches when the top guys are on the floor.

    While CHauncey was never a natural point guard or playmaker, that was one thing he was incredibly good at — that’s how he managed the game. His scoring would be secondary to those two things most of the time.

  117. 23 points on 25 FGA from the Jennings-Ellis backcourt tonight. Mike Dunleavy, who has a .607 TS% on the season, had 6 FGA.

    (Tents fingers like Monty Burns)

    EXCELLENT.

  118. ruruland: I will say this, he needs more touches. But go-to guys are shot-creators. Amar’e is (typically) a great open mid-range shooter, but those looks typically come off of continuity offense.

    He should be featured more, and that’s the responsibility of the primary ballhandler. Lin is a little full of himself right now, IMO, and he may not quite understand the importance of 1) giving his top guys confidence by going out of his way to create for them 2) identifying the mismatches when the top guys are on the floor.

    While CHauncey was never a natural point guard or playmaker, that was one thing he was incredibly good at — that’s how he managed the game. His scoring would be secondary to those two things most of the time.

    I really think in an ideal world STAT is featured just as much as melo…this is what billups missed….he completed disavowed the advantages of stat last season when he joined the team…we focused too much on melo…I know you love melo…but I honestly think this team is best served focusing more on stat and chandler, and using Melo as a last resort, who is best served in that role.

  119. Although Lin’s 7 turnovers are a boxscore eyesore, he did manage a tidy 13 points on 6 FGA.

  120. The Infamous Cdiggy: you just stated two reasons – defense and shooting – as to why Fields should NOT be the starting two.

    I also said the idea of “starting” is more semantics than substance.

    It’s minute allocation, and Fields is behind Shump and JR in that department. I also said none of the three are ideal starters, but that Fields’ motion game complements other players and he has a chemistry with Lin.

    Unless you commit to major minutes for JR (if he was signed for the next few years I would be a major proponent of this) then someone needs to take those 10-15 minutes.

    Shump is not ready for 30+ minutes, his game is not nearly complete enough, and his offense is less harmonious with the starters.

    So, you play Fields 5 minutes to start each game. If he’s playing well, you bring him back in later. If not, you ride the superior players through the rest of the halves.

  121. I honestly think Shumpert would do just as well as Fields offensively if he was simply playing with the starters and cutting all the time. Neither can shoot, but at least Shumpert has good form on his jumper and looks like he can develop some legit playmaking skills. Besides the difference is defense is ridiculous. Shumpert is one of the better defenders in the league already and can guard 1’s and 2’s, letting Lin guard the weaker offensive guard, reducing the amount of time players like Rose and Rondo would be out killing this team. I just don’t see what Fields does that warrants playing time, even other limited 2’s like Sefalosha and Bruce Bowen could space the floor and play great defense

  122. art vandelay: I really think in an ideal world STAT is featured just as much as melo…this is what billups missed….he completed disavowed the advantages of stat last season when he joined the team…we focused too much on melo…I know you love melo…but I honestly think this team is best served focusing more on stat and chandler, and using Melo as a last resort, who is best served in that role.

    I agree on last year. But had Chauncey been around this year you better believe Amar’e would be getting more touches than he is. Chauncey is one of the smartest players in basketball, and it takes time and film study to understand 1) where guys needs their looks 2) how to get them those looks.

    He’s not a pg point guard so it’s not a natural. Moreover, given how competitive he is, being thrust into a playoff race, Chauncey was going with what he knew and what allowed Denver to be successful when he played there– Melo as option a.

  123. art vandelay: I really think in an ideal world STAT is featured just as much as melo…this is what billups missed….he completed disavowed the advantages of stat last season when he joined the team…we focused too much on melo…I know you love melo…but I honestly think this team is best served focusing more on stat and chandler, and using Melo as a last resort, who is best served in that role.

    I totally agree with this, Melo ideally will evolve into the Paul Pierce role on this team where he takes over offensively during touch stretches and mostly manages the game otherwise. He’s been playing like that the last few games but he simply can’t buy a jumper right now. Either way, pounding the ball inside is the best strategy no matter who’s playing, and Chandler and Amar’e give the team a strong advantage inside, while Melo’s post up abilities give this team another option for getting buckets close to the rim. Just imagine, if Melo was hitting his jumpers at even a career pace and JR could make his 3’s, this team would have a monster offense to complement their stellar defense. Amar’e managed to get back to his old self, let’s be optimistic Melo and JR do the same.

  124. art vandelay: I really think in an ideal world STAT is featured just as much as melo…this is what billups missed….he completed disavowed the advantages of stat last season when he joined the team…we focused too much on melo…I know you love melo…but I honestly think this team is best served focusing more on stat and chandler, and using Melo as a last resort, who is best served in that role.

    Also, Chandler’s offense is all pnr and put-backs. He actually he is the top option most of the time Lin runs pnr. But that’s all he has in his game.

    The middle pnr is still the most run play in this offense by a long shot, followed by the “double elbows”….They’ve been using Chandler as post-man on the elbow which MDA didn’t do, it’s a nice design, and allows for a variety of set play actions around him.

    But getting the ball to Amar’e more on the elbow, in conjuction with side screen and rolls, and MORE middle screen and rolls with Chandler out of the game should work.

  125. Juany8: I totally agree with this, Melo ideally will evolve into the Paul Pierce role on this team where he takes over offensively during touch stretches and mostly manages the game otherwise. He’s been playing like that the last few games but he simply can’t buy a jumper right now. Either way, pounding the ball inside is the best strategy no matter who’s playing, and Chandler and Amar’e give the team a strong advantage inside, while Melo’s post up abilities give this team another option for getting buckets close to the rim. Just imagine, if Melo was hitting his jumpers at even a career pace and JR could make his 3?s, this team would have a monster offense to complement their stellar defense. Amar’e managed to get back to his old self, let’s be optimistic Melo and JR do the same.

    I generally agree with this idea. But Pierce is also used as a wing ISO player to create weakside attack opportunities.

    Melo is a willing passer, and you saw tonight on a few wing/ISo catches that tilted the defense, Amar’e showed himself on the weakside while MOVING, creating easy point of finishes or fouls.

    The harmony is there, it’s just a matter of guys returning to their normal forms.

    If Lin can develop more of a passing mindset, the Knicks will be, IMO, as difficult to defend as the Celtics in their heyday (minus the kind of threat of Ray Allen is with a lesser version in JR, but with a much more efficient glass-pounding big)

    Rondo couldn’t space the floor, but he has a passing mindset. Their penetration abilities are somewhat similar, the difference is that Rondo was always looking to pass, which made his scoring much easier. That’s how Nash creates his scoring, too. Lin may never develop the passing skills of those players, but he can develop the mindset.

  126. Juany8:
    I honestly think Shumpert would do just as well as Fields offensively if he was simply playing with the starters and cutting all the time. Neither can shoot, but at least Shumpert has good form on his jumper and looks like he can develop some legit playmaking skills. Besides the difference is defense is ridiculous. Shumpert is one of the better defenders in the league already and can guard 1?s and 2?s, letting Lin guard the weaker offensive guard, reducing the amount of time players like Rose and Rondo would be out killing this team. I just don’t see what Fields does that warrants playing time, even other limited 2?s like Sefalosha and Bruce Bowen could space the floor and play great defense

    You’re underselling Fields’ playmaking and his motion and driving game. While he can’t make free throws, there’s an added value to creating fouls early in the quarter, and Fields does that better then Shump, too.

    Shump is a better overall player, but you only have so many minutes, and SHump isn'[t ready for 30+ of them.
    His offense is better than Shumperts right now.

  127. Listen, it all boils down to whether Melo can hit that mid-range jumper, which has been the bread and butter of his game his entire career…if that comes along, then we will be able to battle with chicago and miami….if he is injured and for whatever reason cannot hit that shot we are doomed to first room exit….is it not as simple as that?

  128. art vandelay:
    Listen, it all boils down to whether Melo can hit that mid-range jumper, which has been the bread and butter of his game his entire career…if that comes along, then we will be able to battle with chicago and miami….if he is injured and for whatever reason cannot hit that shot we are doomed to first room exit….is it not as simple as that?

    Pretty much I think that’s right. With Amar’e back to his 600 TS ways, and hopefully JR getting back to his old self, the half-court offense can be the best in the East.

  129. JK47:
    Although Lin’s 7 turnovers are a boxscore eyesore, he did manage a tidy 13 points on 6 FGA.

    One was questionable travel call which lost him 2 pt basket also.
    One was on jump floater which Jason Maxiell did nice job flopping into his jump. He lost 2 more pts because shot did go in.
    One was easy pass which Tyson probably would have 2pt so he lost assist.

    Would have had good stat line if those went other way.

    He did have some bad pass of course. I would not have Lin do inbound pass again this year.

  130. ruruland: I also said the idea of “starting” is more semantics than substance.

    It’s minute allocation, and Fields is behind Shump and JR in that department. I also said none of the three are ideal starters, but that Fields’ motion game complements other players and he has a chemistry with Lin.

    Unless you commit to major minutes for JR (if he was signed for the next few years I would be a major proponent of this) then someone needs to take those 10-15 minutes.

    Shump is not ready for 30+ minutes, his game is not nearly complete enough, and his offense is less harmonious with the starters.

    So, you play Fields 5 minutes to start each game. If he’s playing well, you bring him back in later. If not, you ride the superior players through the rest of the halves.

    I hear you, but I’d still rather have a guard that can either hit from outside within that first 5 min w/the starters or be able to stick the other team’s best 2-guard (which for most teams IS the starting 2-guard) with the group. I know you’re big on statistical analysis, but I’ve seen too much of Fields receiving kickouts on the perimeter and not be able/willing to shoot it from deep b/c his shot is broke beyond broke. I really believe it hurts the starting unit.

    Juany I 95% percent agree with you. Fields still can warrant PT at the backup 3 (a more traditional slash-and-cut position), but I can cosign with everything else you said – as long as Shumpert never ever ever ever goes all Memphis on us like earlier in the year.

  131. The Infamous Cdiggy: I hear you, but I’d still rather have a guard that can either hit from outside within that first 5 min w/the starters or be able to stick the other team’s best 2-guard (which for most teams IS the starting 2-guard) with the group.I know you’re big on statistical analysis, but I’ve seen too much of Fields receiving kickouts on the perimeter and not be able/willing to shoot it from deep b/c his shot is broke beyond broke.I really believe it hurts the starting unit.

    Juany I 95% percent agree with you.Fields still can warrant PT at the backup 3 (a more traditional slash-and-cut position), but I can cosign with everything else you said – as long as Shumpert never ever ever ever goes all Memphis on us like earlier in the year.

    Actually I mentioned he might be a better fit playing next to JR and Baron off the bench as a 3 since that second unit is far too reliant on shooting right now. I know Shumpert has big offensive issues, but I’d rather see him go out there and try to develop a rhythm, he was hitting at least mid range jumpers pretty frequently early in the season. Shumpert doesn’t even need to get 30+, he’s still a rookie so JR can get around 30 minutes a game while Shumpert gets around 20, basically Landry’s minutes would get split among JR and Shumpert.

  132. ruruland: I generally agree with this idea. But Pierce is also used as a wing ISO player to create weakside attack opportunities.

    Melo is a willing passer, and you saw tonight on a few wing/ISo catches that tilted the defense, Amar’e showed himself on the weakside while MOVING, creating easy point of finishes or fouls.

    The harmony is there, it’s just a matter of guys returning to their normal forms.

    If Lin can develop more of a passing mindset, the Knicks will be, IMO, as difficult to defend as the Celtics in their heyday (minus the kind of threat of Ray Allen is with a lesser version in JR, but with a much more efficient glass-pounding big)

    Rondo couldn’t space the floor, but he has a passing mindset. Their penetration abilities are somewhat similar, the difference is that Rondo was always looking to pass, which made his scoring much easier. That’s how Nash creates his scoring, too. Lin may never develop the passing skills of those players, but he can develop the mindset.

    Under Woodson Lin doest tries no too shoot as much until the 4QT. I think he has pass mindset just not greatest ability right now. One first problem I think his handle for PG is probably one the worst league. Because of this he cannot transition from dribble to pass as well most PG. One thing is for sure, this definitely something Lin can work on during the offseason. I definitely expect his TO be down next year which will lead more assists.

    Court vision is another thing. You build chemistry with teammate and that will help, but not exactly something you can easily work on in off-season.

  133. ruruland:
    …If Lin can develop more of a passing mindset, the Knicks will be, IMO, as difficult to defend as the Celtics in their heyday (minus the kind of threat of Ray Allen is with a lesser version in JR, but with a much more efficient glass-pounding big)

    Rondo couldn’t space the floor, but he has a passing mindset. Their penetration abilities are somewhat similar, the difference is that Rondo was always looking to pass, which made his scoring much easier. That’s how Nash creates his scoring, too. Lin may never develop the passing skills of those players, but he can develop the mindset.

    He needs get better at finding the holes and creases to feed guys when he drives into the paint. He does it sometimes, but other times I feel like he might get gobbled up a la Pac Man. I really like that he can hit those runners/teardrops and convert the tough shot w/contact while driving. I gots faith in young Lin.

  134. The Infamous Cdiggy: He needs get better at finding the holes and creases to feed guys when he drives into the paint. He does it sometimes, but other times I feel like he might get gobbled up a la Pac Man.I really like that he can hit those runners/teardrops and convert the tough shot w/contact while driving.I gots faith in young Lin.

    This is a real question since I couldn’t immediately find this info — Didn’t Rondo and Nash both play PG instead of SG on their college teams? Lin played SG at Harvard. It seems to be pretty common (confirm?) for a young NBA guard to have to retool from being a SG to a PG, but how many guys actually make this transition successfully so they are considered a top PG?

    For all the talk about Lin being a rookie and waiting for him to improve, there are some improvements we have already seen. He’s not so bad at going left, though certainly with fewer finishing moves than when he goes right.

    And he’s been better at the defensive end. Not just in terms of keeping his man in front of him and going through screens, but Lin is also very good about helping out. When his own guy doesn’t have the ball, he puts himself in the passing lane and moves from there to help out by taking quick swipes at the dribbles, or to help guard the guy if he’s committed to making a move. Many of his steals are from helping out like this.

  135. Yes Rondo and Nash both played PG in college. I don’t see Lin developing like a pass first Rondo/Nash/Rubio type PG. I think he will be more of a penetrating, high scoring, high/moderate assist, high turnover type PG ala Kevin Johnson. His court vision is good but not on the level of Nash/Rubio/Rondo and he doesn’t have a wide arsenal of passes those guys have. I think it’s setting yourself up for disappointment to want him to be a true pass first PG. Even with this small sample size we’ve seen more of a fearless penetrator mentality with him. I definitely think you can develop skills as a player but I don’t think a player’s mentality changes as much. Although even while I’m writing this Nash did become much more of a scoring threat as his career progressed. Still his mentality has always been pass first. Lin’s mentality seems to be create havoc down the lane first.

    There has been some statistical analysis that shows that high TOs in a rookie PG is actually an indicator of future success. TOs while bad do indicate a level or risk taking and trying to make something happen for your team. The thinking goes that at least you are trying to make something happen and if you can learn from your mistakes all other factors being equal a guard with a higher rookie TO rate indicates a higher ceiling than someone with a low TO rate. This is just a statistical generalization so there are lots of exceptions when it comes down to the individual player. Still… Though it is painful to watch as long as it seems like Lin is progressing I’m not overly concerned with the high TOs. Although that doesn’t help this year’s playoff run much!

  136. Juany8: I totally agree with this, Melo ideally will evolve into the Paul Pierce role on this team where he takes over offensively during touch stretches and mostly manages the game otherwise. He’s been playing like that the last few games but he simply can’t buy a jumper right now. Either way, pounding the ball inside is the best strategy no matter who’s playing, and Chandler and Amar’e give the team a strong advantage inside, while Melo’s post up abilities give this team another option for getting buckets close to the rim. Just imagine, if Melo was hitting his jumpers at even a career pace and JR could make his 3?s, this team would have a monster offense to complement their stellar defense. Amar’e managed to get back to his old self, let’s be optimistic Melo and JR do the same.

    I also think Melo evolving into Paul Pierce would be amazingly great. The one thing that is troubling with this analysis and the skill that sets Paul Pierce apart from Melo is Pierce’s 3pt shooting %. It’s a bit nerdy but reading this guy’s research paper that he presented at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference got me thinking about this: http://www.sloansportsconference.com/?p=6139

    Basically his paper breaks down how different styles of players perform together. To do this he breaks down players into different cluster types and one surprising result is that high scoring wing players who have high assists for their positions and shoot the 3 well (Paul Pierce) statically make better pairings with more different kinds of players than dynamic high scoring wing players who do not shoot as well from downtown (Dwayne Wade/Carmelo Anthony). The main difference between these two types of players is the 3pt field goal %. BTW the statistical analysis of this paper basically says that the Knicks pieces don’t fit well but you there is always the exception to the rule right?…

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