52 thoughts to “2013-14 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Thunder”

  1. Somehow Owen has claimed dominion over Knickerblogger on Christmas? God help us!

    Anyway, SHUMP WOODY AND FIRE DOLAN and all that.

  2. Somehow I still have a key to the place….

    Kevin Durant is pretty good……

    These threes are ridiculous

  3. Fact Fun: OKC is only the third Knicks opponent this season to start a game shooting 113% from the field.

  4. To think just 9 months ago the Knicks went into OKC and got a win extending their winning streak to 12 games.

  5. Beno Beno Beno….

    Perfect passing on the fast break, completely wide open three, and he bangs it off the side of the backboard….

  6. You know your team is in trouble when you consider that first half not so bad in comparison to some others.

  7. Can’t really be upset about this one. They had virtually no shot of winning even if Melo played. It’s Christmas, I’ve got a sleek new Legend of Zelda limited edition 3DS XL to play around with – this is one day a Knicks loss can’t ruin!

    Best wishes to all of you. Thanks for being here for the excellent conversation and for being you.

  8. Not even worth commenting on this game. Just hope Melo is back on Friday for what is amazingly a HUGE back-to-back vs the 1st place Raptors.

    Merry Christmas to everyone at Knickerblogger!! You guys make it alot easier to root and watch this team.

  9. Amen, BigBlue. I doubt I’d have the stomach for this team without this fine establishment of the information superhighway.

    Shumpert tries to fight through a moving screen, gets called for a foul. Someone wanna explain that to me? Clearly I don’t understand basketball the way the refs do.

  10. Is this the shortest game thread ever(while game is going on)? It would be nice to see Murry play

  11. Once again MSG has become a stage for everyone else

    You know, I have a conspiracy theory about this very thing. MSG (Dolan) knows they can get good gates for being a showcase for other teams. So you put together a team that can be competitive with the top teams but not too concerned with actually, yanno, beating them. Pay lip service to the Knick fans by saying you want to win a championship and make enough flashy moves so you A. have enough actual Knick fans at the games and B. keep the team interesting enough so the Wall Street/big biz spenders keep coming as well as the front row stars. In a previous thread, someone mentioned that a lot of hotels have packages for tourists that include Knick tix. They’ve circumvented accountability to real Knick fans by finding ways to fill the garden with people who are not quite real fans but have the $ to spend on games. Take in a Broadway play, have dinner, go see a Knick game, find a trendy nightclub… hey, you got yourself a nice tourist-y evening there.

    As Michael Jackson once sung: “They don’t really care about us”.

  12. Maybe the recap for this game (if we’re getting one, I don’t mean to imply) should be for the Thunder. At least then it might be more positive.

  13. A Christmas Poem from a good friend of mine:

    Knickerbocker Lament
    Christmas Day, 2013

    The NY Knickerbockers once were a team
    With Frazier, Barnett, Debusschere, Bradley and Reed
    In the 70’s a championship they brought home
    Because they passed the ball, not just one on one.
    But ever since then they don’t know what to do
    With great players like Ewing and Oakley too.
    Oh yes they pass, but not the ball
    They pass our good players
    Only to fall

    Remember Jeremy and Galo and Lee
    Playing great for others and who did we
    Ak, that means the senior citizen’s team
    So Melo can hero ball and his wife can preen
    While the fans must suffer injuries galore
    Substance abuse, bad knees, but how much more
    Can we take???

    So here’s a suggestion to Woodson on this Christmas day
    Treat your best guys the way they deserve
    And then they will play with vigor and verve.

    That means Schumpert, Prigioni, and Hardaway too
    Keep Melo rebounding and passing like he can do
    And by the way a lesson in defense would make a diff
    Before we fall off of the cliff,
    And please don’t keep saying we’re the best of the worst
    It feels like the Knicks will be forever cursed

    Quite frankly, there are those who say
    That so long as Dolan owns them things will be that way
    Forever plagued by dumb choices and ruled by CAA

  14. There is simply nothing JR Smith has done this year that is deserving of 38 minutes. 20 points on 22 attempts. There is nothing he does that THJ doesn’t do better. Hardaway’s shooting wasn’t great today, with 21 points on 19 attempts, but I’m actually glad to see him score in volume like that, at least within context, almost as if to say “see, JR? I can do exactly what you do, except better, and I’m a completely unproven rookie.” This franchise is going to be paying JR in a lot of money, roster spots and important minutes for years to come for what was essentially a few months of good basketball in an otherwise polished turd of a career.

    Shump seemed to have a pretty Shumpitty game today filling all the stat columns as you’d hope, though it is becoming increasingly obvious how little this team (or coach) thinks of him on offense. He just never freaking gets the ball in space. His paltry usage is almost exclusively self-generated be it in a transition make off a turnover he created, or an isolation in the mid-range which he is both not good at and shouldn’t be attempting. I can’t remember the last time they ran a play to open him up on the wing for something. He gets maybe one spot-up attempt per game, if that, and purely of the necessity of moving the ball out of a double-team or bad matchup. Shumpert is still not a good player on offense, with a spotty jumper, but for any NBA starter with a decent handle and above-average athleticism to get so little coming his way is just a special brand of incompetence on the Knicks’ part. I admit I am too forgiving when it comes to Shumpert, but objectively I do truly believe the organization is more to blame for his stall in development than he himself, especially when you see other guys at his position allowed to do whatever they want with the ball in their hands with utter impunity. The Knicks just don’t like Shumpert for some reason; certainly not as much as JR despite doing everything better than him.

  15. This Lakers-Heat game is pretty much the inverse of the Knicks-Thunder blowout. Lakers are similarly missing their leader on offense as well as their PG and other important depth guys, playing against the best team from their respective conference, but are fighting tooth and nail in a close game at home, whereas the Knicks went out for a pack of smokes (or maybe a phat blunt) at around 3:15 and never came back.

    Nobody expected the Knicks to beat the Thunder, particularly without Melo, and I similarly expect the Lakers to lose 15 minutes from now to a vastly superior team. But at least the Lakers still play with pride and a perhaps undeserved yet still refreshing air of superiority and expectation to succeed about them. That’s a cultural thing for an organization, and something I haven’t seen from the Knicks in a while.

    Also, man, how bad does that Beats by Dre commercial with KG look right now?

  16. Just read Twitter and all the postgame quotes from Udrih basically taking shots at Woodson. Udrih is my new favorite player on the Knicks lol.

  17. A lot of quotes from players in the past two weeks seem to indicate they’ve quit on Woodson. Which is fine with me.

  18. Anyone have the exact quotes? All I can find on twitter is another Knicks-y GIF of Udrih clanging a 3 off the side of the backboard, then promptly rolling up the sleeves on those ridiculous jerseys

  19. Here are some of the tweets I read (taken from a couple of different writers):

    Beno doesn’t sound thrilled with absorbing blame from Woodson: “Don’t just be a coach, be a person.”

    More unhappy Beno: “You can point fingers at me as much as you can ,but if things don’t work it’s not one person’s fault.”

    Beno again: “Sometimes I have a feeling ilke when I do a mistake they have a feeling that I’m making the mistake on purpose.”

    Udrih basically said hes never been so criticized in his career. Asked whether he meant media or team..

    Udrih said he didn’t want to point fingers at who the criticism was coming from. “I didn’t just forget how to play,” he said.

    Asked whether Woodsons still getting thru to the tm, Udrih said “Maybe the message hasn’t come across or we aren’t hearing the right thing.”

    Udrih, who was sold on NY as a free agent w idea that he’d be used in 2PG lineups: “Even when [Felton] was healthy, we weren’t using them.”

    The last few were from Chris Herring’s feed and he went on to say that Udrih seems to feel he has been made out as the scapegoat for the loss to the Wizards and has no sense of his role right now. He also mentioned Udrih talking about the jerseys today bothering his shot because of the sleeves lol. Chandler was also very critical of all the mistakes the team made on D today. Great job Mike Woodson!! lol

  20. “I kind of feel like when I do the right thing, it’s not the right thing in some people’s eyes,” Udrih said. “It’s just tough. It’s easy to point fingers when the team loses. But when it comes down to it, we are a team, we lose together. No matter who makes a mistake or who doesn’t, it’s still a team loss. So I think all of this stuff should be kept out of the media and not call certain people out or something. We’ve just got to go out there and fix it and watch video and fix it as a team.”

  21. “I’ve been playing this sport professionally for 16 years, different leagues and here, this is my 10th year,” Udrih said. “Usually, I was a guy that somehow made the right play at the end of the games or stuff like that. I’ve always been pretty good with not turning over the ball and this year, it’s totally different. I don’t know what happened that summer. I don’t think I forgot (how) to play basketball. so there’s a lot of factors.”

  22. The Knicks are hilariously bad on defense. Five of the main rotation players that played in this game today are flat-out shitty defenders: Amar’e, Bargnani, Hardaway, JR and Beno. These guys have the combined basketball IQ of a bag of bricks. I would give every single one of those guys a D or an F as a defensive player.

    There is no way you are gonna ever play competent defense with the combination of those poor defensive players and the defensive system this team plays.

  23. OKC had the biggest margin of victory EVER for a road team on Christmas today… This season is kind of like getting a root canal – it feels so good when ends

  24. and with those Beno quotes, and the way Woodson has handled his rotations lately… I’m afraid lil’ pipesanity might be coming soon

  25. Happy to say I did not watch 1 second of this game. Also happy Udrih said what he said. Hope the controversy gets heavy quick. Funny he mentioned the 2 pgs. The thing that frustrated me more about Woodson than anything this year was how he kept saying “I haven’t figured out what I want to do yet” when it came to rotations and just the overall strategy at the beginning of the season. It was like management mistake 101. You go into battle with a plan. You articulate that plan clearly to your team and you execute. As the facts on the ground change you adjust. Woodson if you go back and listen came right out and said I have no idea what I’m doing. No game plan. So he throws out what worked without figuring out why it was working and ends up with this pile of shit. If I’m Melo I’m pretty pissed right now. He got them to game 6 rd 2 last year. Had the best year of his career. He’s in mid prime. He’s playing great ball since starting a little slow. And your stuck with this amateur shit. Trade me to Clips or I leave for nothing.

  26. There is no way you are gonna ever play competent defense with the combination of those poor defensive players and the defensive system this team plays.

    Bing! Although the JRs have some hope. On the other hand Beno, Bargs and STAT… it seems, horrible Def technique, instincts AND no elite athleticism to make up for it.

    You gotta love controversial quotes from irrelevant foregin PG’s! KNICKS!!!!!

    I like it, right when he can’t get benched.

  27. I think OKC could have won by 50 if they wanted to.
    The knicks, with or without Melo, look horrible – heartless, selfish, one-on-one basketball. Granted, OKC has more talent than the knicks, but they move the ball and play with hard, as all the good teams do.
    I could live with watching a team that’s struggling with a losing record if they’re playing hard and not getting any breaks, but this team, most of the time, plays sloppy, ugly, lazy, undisciplined, schoolyard basketball.
    Fire Woodson, if for no other reason, but to make a point that this level of play is unacceptable.

  28. It really is staggering how Woodson truly believes that last season was a fluke (with regards to his general refusal to play two point guards together and his dumb obsession with “big” lineups). It’s like he was handed a goose that lays golden eggs and he killed it and served it for dinner – “Better to get a good meal out of it. That golden egg thing couldn’t last.”

  29. Dont worry, the Knicks apparently have a master plan that involves Rondo forcing a trade to the Knicks :-)

  30. Dont worry, the Knicks apparently have a master plan that involves Rondo forcing a trade to the Knicks :-)

    – BigBlueAl #42

    Rondo will be traded to the Knicks for the 2018-2022 1st round draft picks.

    I’ve already conceded that as long as Dolan (and CAA) owns the Knicks, there’s no point in emotionally attaching yourself to this team. I’ve been a fool for 14 years and it feels so much better not to care (as much) what happens to this team anymore. You sure as ice is cold that I will never pay for a Knicks ticket as long as Jimmy is around.

  31. The crazy thing about this Rondo pipe-dream is that IMHO Rondo and Melo are just not a good fit together. It’s true that one of the best parts of Melo’s game is his spot-up shooting (shooting 50% on 3’s on spot-ups this year!) – and Rondo would probably create more of those opportunities — but having Rondo on the floor automatically means less spacing on the floor assuming that your center is not really a shooter. With all-world talent next to him for much of that time (Pierce, KG, Ray Allen), the Celtics hadn’t had a good offense (ie. better than league average) under him since 2009. It’s like when Melo would draw a double and kick to Landry Fields, or just about anyone but Pablo this year. Now Rondo is a good defender when he tries to be, which is not that often.

    I for one would much rather have Kyle Lowry – he would cost much less (especially in a trade situation) in terms of both salary and assets going out, is a pretty good shooter, great rebounder (top 5 2 out of the last 3 years in terms of rebound rate at the PG position), and by all reports a good defender.

    And yes – totally agreed that putting Beno, JR, Bargnani, and Amare out on the floor at the same time is just idiocy. This coach is really something else. And for him to call out individual players is so annoying. As a coach he’s supposed to be a leader and a teacher. Anyone knows that the skill of a teacher is measured not in how much the teacher knows but in how well he communicates that to his students, how well he can get them to perform. If the team’s not playing with effort, it’s on him just as much as the players. If the team doesn’t understand rotations, it’s on him just as much as the players. If OKC just needs to pass the ball twice to get a wide open (no one within 10 feet!!) 3 pointer or a wide-open layup, it’s on him.

    He really needs to go. Those post-game comments basically show that most of the team has tuned him out.

  32. And call me crazy, or just a dreamer — we all know that guys like JVG or SVG would not want to take over a team in midseason because there’s no training camp yada yada yada – but wouldn’t this be the perfect season to do it if you were going to? The eastern conference is terrible, and you could play .400 ball, make incremental progress while learning the system slowly, and still make the playoffs. The team is begging for a new identity. You couldn’t possibly coach this team to a worse outcome than Woody has. And there are still 50+ games left in the season.

    I said this before and not that it’ll happen, but if I’m Dolan, I go to JVG and offer him a fully guaranteed 4.5 or 5.5 year contract at $6-7MM per — basically Doc Rivers money. Tell him that this season is an icing season for him — if he can get them to perform, great, but if they end up sucking like they do now, it’s stricken from the record. Give him a seat near the head of the table in terms of personnel moves, which includes cutting stupid Chris Smith.

    Man – you just look back at JVG’s record coaching defense and it’s amazing. The 2 years before he took over in Houston they were 14th and 29th in defense — then during his 4 years there they were no worse than 6th- and that’s with McGrady, Luther Head, Rafer Alston, David Wesley, and a mostly broken Yao Ming playing most of the time. That’s not exactly a collection of basketball Einsteins (although he did have Battier one of those years).

    This is what being a Knicks fan has come down to now for me – dreaming of JVG coming to the rescue. Sad.

  33. This is what being a Knicks fan has come down to now for me – dreaming of JVG coming to the rescue. Sad.

    Maybe MSG should, for the rest of the season, just show replays of JVG’s time with the Knicks instead of actual live games. That way we all get to watch competent basketball (mostly, I never was a big Sprewell fan, or a Camby fan for that matter) and maybe put enough endearing public pressure on JVG to at least provide us with an entertaining coach (even if the team would still mostly suck even with JVG at the helm, but the future would be brighter than it is now at least).

  34. Only good thing to come out of yesterday was the fact that Hardaway played 38 minutes. Maybe he will actually get some serious run now. His Synergy stats are awesome (on offense) – in fact his 1.12 PPP is 11th in the league, even better than Durant (1.07 – 22nd). He’s basically replaced Novak or Cope in the half court offense, and given us our only good transition player (1.29 PPP, 35th in the league). He literally needs to play 30+ minutes/game for us at this point given how horrific our offense has been. He’s a great spot-up 3 point shooter who shoots without hesitation when he has space, and he looks great coming off screens too (shooting 55.8% off screens for a 1.1 PPP, which in a larger sample would probably be top 5 or 10 since Kyle Korver is ranked 20th at just 1.03 PPP off screens). Team should run more Ray Allen-type plays for him.

    (his defense is awful – but the whole team’s D is awful so it’s not totally clear what’s his fault and what’s the team’s fault in general).

    I actually thought Shump played pretty well yesterday too – that phantom 2nd foul was really a bummer because he came out pretty confidently. Starting to see some signs that maybe this slump is coming to an end finally. Even the shots he missed were perfectly on line, just a touch short or long. The last few weeks they’ve been a foot off left or right as well as long or short!

  35. Re: Hardaway — seriously, if you could redraft the 2013 draft, where would he go? Probably behind Carter-Williams and Giannis, maybe behind Adams or Noel just because they are centers with promise. But I think he’d definitely go top 5. He’s been way better than Ben McLemore and certainly better than even Oladipo (although Oladipo’s defense would get some consideration). From what I had seen at Michigan I was really disappointed in the pick, but no question they hit a home run on him. So far.

    There’s no way we can trade him unless it’s for a real game-changer. And since that’s not happening he absolutely cannot get traded in a Lowry trade or something like that, even though I do like Lowry.

  36. The spot up shooting numbers on Melo is kinda fool’s gold. Didn’t he chafe at that role in D’Antoni’s offense after Lin emerged to the point of breaking plays so he could post up? Admittedly his role seemed to be stand in the corner for a three, but somehow I think that he finds being a spot up shooter more than sporadically beneath him.

    Does anyone really see Dolan hiring JVG? Dolan doesn’t seem like the forgiving type. Aren’t there any assistants or college guys? Though I doubt these clowns listen to someone without a track record. lol

  37. Woodson inherited a team from MDA that was just starting to come around after a series of injuries early in the season. He tweaked the offense in one way. He allowed Melo to take all the low efficiency long 2s, ISOs, and post ups that D’Antoni was trying to strip from his game. Melo and the players on his side in he split locker room responded to the change and the Knicks went on a tear. Since then Woodson has essentially been throwing spaghetti at the wall in a totally clueless fashion hoping some thing would stick. He’s literally the worst coach I have ever seen. He has no idea how to value his own players, no idea how to construct a balanced lineup, and no idea how to create mismatches that his own team can exploit.

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