2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Clippers

So I currently live near Leesburg, Virginia, which isn’t interesting for the vast majority of the year, but today it definitely is, as we are expecting #SnowtoriousBIG to run up in our club iced out from head to toe to dump 2 feet or more of Cristal (which is what I will call snow from now on) on top of our domes. Shit could get real, ya’ll. With that being said, I’m well-stocked on the necessities (alcohol and fully-charged portable electronic devices), but if my power goes out, be patient on the recap. I might not even get to watch the game live depending on what kind of signal I’m able to get without wifi should the ship go down tonight. I’m optimistic that Snowtorious BIG will be kind enough to leave the lights on, though. Always struck me as the kind of guy who would pistol whip you and take your chain and wallet, but leave you with 20 bucks so you can at least get something to eat and a pint when you wake up.

Snowtorious BIG

He loves it when you call him Big Papa, but he loves it even more when it’s below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Give him the loot.

So when it comes to Mount .500, we’ve reached the summit again. It’s about damn time to get on the other side of this God-forsaken mountain and see the sun rise on an above-.500 Knicks team, am I right? The Knicks are 2-0 since Melo’s return to the lineup in a pair of home games that went to overtime and double overtime respectively. Exciting home wins for sure, and the Knicks now welcome a team from LA right before a weather system wearing a wool cap and torn jacket and never found without a yo-yo and approximately 60 safety pins, Winter Storm Jonas, descends on the area to ask if he can crash on your couch for an indefinite amount of time. This group of referee-trolling punks who flop more than a salmon on a sidewalk may as well stay at the hotel and pray for a swift death, there’s no way these LA boys can survive a winter storm who definitely heard that band’s album before you did.

I make no apologies when I say that I despise the Clippers. They are a team a lot of people don’t like, and they’ve earned it. I would say in the West that nearly every regular playoff team of the last few years unanimously hates the Clippers more than any other team in the conference. Oklahoma City, Golden State, San Antonio, Houston, Memphis and certainly the Dallas Mavericks after the events of the summer all hate their guts. It’s amazing how the Clippers have managed to make themselves such a target of not only those teams, but of referees, coaches, team owners and even agents. Do a Google search for “everyone hates the Clippers” and you’ll get an article from every sports media outlet in the country detailing the reasons for this, so I won’t go too much into it, but they really can get on your nerves. Chris Paul is a great player and will probably eviscerate the Knicks’ guards tonight, but the dude is infuriating to watch go against your team. We will all experience this tonight, “The Clipper Effect”, and it’s not limited to just the human flop machine Chris Paul; the whole team gets in on the act of playing like assholes. Side effects of watching your team play the Clippers include remote destruction, sleepy leg, furrowed brow, screaming heard through the walls, tangle lip, premature sobriety, flop-or-block anxiety disorder and seven years of bad harvests.

The Clippers traded Josh Smith back to Houston this morning for a bruised Granny Smith Apple and an unclear amount of dead crickets in a mason jar, but the Clippers are almost certainly coming out ahead in the trade if the cricket body count exceeds 15. Blake Griffin also won’t play tonight, so that’s a plus, because as talented as he is he has picked up some tricks from Uncle Chris and he does several ref-baiting acting jobs a game as well. But the Clippers are 10-2 since Blake went down with a quadriceps tear, albeit mostly against some of the league’s worst teams, and it is often argued in NBA circles that they are better without Griffin because of the problems with his spacing with DeAndre Jordan. The Clips are on a 2nd night of a BTB, losing to the Cavs last night 115-102. CP3 had 30 points and 9 assists to lead the Clippers, and also led them in minutes with only 33. Doc Rivers is an annoying coach just like his players, but the man was smart to save his team’s legs for tonight, understanding the game against the Knicks was more winnable than the game against the Cavs. I’m guessing Austin “can I stay up late tonight, Dad?” Rivers will be ready to go after an afternoon nap and a glass of Ovaltine, which is a good thing for the Knicks because he already used up his good game for the month.

The Knicks will go to MSG today a half-game out of 8th place in the East, and by the end of the night could slide into the 8 spot. The Clippers pose a lot of problems because of Chris Paul, but the Clippers will have no answer for Porzingis or Melo tonight. Reddick, an often underrated defender in addition to his offensive accumen, can probably make Afflalo a non-factor tonight, but what will be important for the Knicks will be to stop Reddick’s 3’s. The Cavs did a good job of keeping him off the 3-point line last night and limited him to 2-6 shooting beyond the arc. Reddick leads the league in 3pt% at 49.7%, which is an absurd number. If he has space, you can pretty much start etching the 3 points in stone. Afflalo may end up being put on CP3 and if Calderon is “hidden” on Reddick (there’s nowhere to hide Calderon against the Clips, Reddick is one of the best 2-guards in the league and we’re just going to have to hemorrhage points somewhere), he will have to stick to his hip. I would love to see Galloway and Grant get minutes simply for their defensive capabilities on the Clipper guards, which like most backcourts the Knicks encounter, will pose a significant problem.

Aside from Crawford off the bench, yet another Clipper Floposaurus, the Clips don’t have much outside shooting beyond Paul and Reddick. The Knicks have been one of the NBA’s best 3-pt defenses throughout the year, right now sitting at 4th with an OPP 3pt% of 32.4%, and strict attention to the principals of keeping their opponent off the 3-point line will be key tonight. I say never switch any screen with Reddick no matter what action the Clippers try to get him free, and let CP3 do his thing as much as he wants with the P&R jumpers he cans at a crazy efficient rate. The Knicks will have a much better chance of winning the game if CP3 scores 35 and Reddick gets 15 than if they both go for 25. The math is the same, sure, but the Clippers aren’t as good when CP3 has to start playing hero ball every possession because the passing lanes are clogged up.

This is a good time to catch the Clippers, because as a sandwich game between games at Cleveland and Toronto, this is the definition of a trap game, and the Knicks need to take advantage of a hopefully tired and shivering Clippers team tonight and get over .500. It would be a huge mental hurdle for the team, I think, to see more wins than losses in the standings tomorrow morning, and I think they have a great opportunity to do it tonight.

Enjoy the game, you crazy people, and if you get hit by Jonas tonight, just take it in stride and don’t hit him back. He’s not mad at you, he’s mad at his parents. God, they never let him do anything!

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Erik Judd

I'm a lifelong basketball fan whose interests range from some things to other things.

171 thoughts to “2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Clippers”

  1. I imagine Paul and Redick will do well, but Porzingis will feast, as well, so I think this will be a heck of a game. Come on, win!! And wishing the Knicks a safe journey tonight, as they’re going down right INTO the snowstorm, right?

  2. Stay safe everyone in the blizzard. I will be thinking warm thoughts as I watch the game in the hot Australian summer sun with an ice cold beer.

  3. We’ve spent so many games making mediocre to straight up bad guards look like Chris Paul. What happens tonight against the real Chris Paul? I bet we shut him down, just for irony’s sake.

  4. OT, has anyone noticed that not only is there not a center on the starting all-star team, there isn’t a legit PF?

  5. What I love about Melo this year is that I really feel like he is responding to all the constructive criticism I have offered him over his tenure in orange and black

  6. Well, Chris Paul is set to hit Free Agency in 2017. Maybe he makes good on his promise to join New York so he doesn’t have to embarrass us like this.

  7. I’d love to see Serephin nail Pierce. I think him and Garnett are tied for assholes I shouldn’t mind seeing nailed into the ground.

  8. Hopefully this isn’t one of Porzingis’ terrible shooting games because we really need him tonight (especially with Pierce guarding him).

  9. I didn’t expect to win this game. I was just hoping for a close game. Not gonna happen.

  10. Melo is gonna have a good night

    So is Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, J.J. Redick, and apparently Wesley Johnson.

  11. I honestly feel like DeAndre Jordan is Chris Paul’s puppet. He has no value besides what Chris Paul tells him to do.

  12. Jordan would miss Paul no doubt. I think the feeling would be mutual. The guy is NBA megatron.

  13. Chris Paul has been supremely awesome his whole career, though. Melo would score 40 points with all of the opportunities CP3 would create for him. DeAndre Jordan would have been so bad with Deron Williams’ passing him the ball.

  14. Tonight will be a tough night for Porzingis. He hasn’t totally figured out pick & roll defense, and is missing gimme threes.

  15. I would love to have Nate on this team. He could dribble between KP’s legs…I mean go through them like a tunnel.

  16. Williams’ dunking is surprising. Doesn’t look that athletic but a nice blend of elevation and power.

  17. KOQ may not be playing great but his facial hair is on point….

    Look at Prigs doing his thing. I really miss him….

  18. Sucks that oaq is both one of the only players we signed to a multiyear deal and the guy we least care if he’s on the team next year.

  19. Re: this commercial, I don’t believe that come winter Neil Patrick Harris is really that excited to visit an art museum in Rochester.

  20. I’m sure CP3 has some effect on Deandre’s scoring, but he’s performed about the same when CP has been hurt. Chandler thrived with Paul and fat Ray Felton. I think a really dominant roll man can score with any competent NBA level PG. They both play a part, but getting open for the dunk seems to be more the result of the big man

  21. If O’Quinn was indeed an athletic player in the combine or years ago, he has surely lost all of that now. The guy can’t jump whatsoever.

  22. I would conjecture that if we continue to leave 3 point shooters open we may very we’ll get our asses kicked

  23. Good D on that final play of the half. Difference probably what you would expect between the 2 teams. Would love to see Fish get Lou or Oaq out there for a few minutes just to rough Jordan up a bit. We really do lack that enforcer.

  24. Anyway we can sign the frisbee dog they have on at the moment? Get it running the lanes for some airbud oops. What’s our cap situation? 10 day contract maybe?

  25. Are the Knicks deliberately holding out Galloway because of some salary hold/minutes restriction? He’s looked so good recently but doesn’t play all that much.

  26. Robin Lopez looked like a really angry caveman Brendan Fraser there….

    Not really sure what’s happening here…

  27. I get the feeling that if RoLo gets tossed and he had the opportunity for a do over, he likely wouldn’t change anything

  28. Just end this game and award it to the Clippers so the Knicks will be more rested for the game in Charlotte tomorrow.

  29. Doubkle for RoLo which hurts, but I like that he didn’t take any shit from the Clippers.

  30. Just sit the starters for the rest of this night. This game is over, time to think about tomorrow night’s game.

  31. I just don’t get how pro’s can’t shot free throws. Does Jordan just not work on them at camp or training?

  32. I can’t watch this crap. Friday nights are not meant for watching Deandre shoot fts.

    #notapurist %nlneedsadh

  33. Hopefully that’s the last we see of Melo and KP tonight. Rest them for Charlotte tomorrow, hopefully Batum misses tomorrow night’s game since he isn’t playing tonight.

  34. I’m trying to think of the ugliest word possible to describe the Knicks’ play during this game.

    How about “sphincteresque?”

  35. How nasty would the Knicks be if we had Chris Paul though. Melo would be going off for 35 a night with 8 boards and 4 assists.

  36. Lets see:
    Melo sucked.
    Zinger sucked.
    Afflalo sucked.
    Calderon sucked.
    Lopez sucked.
    Grant sucked.
    Galloway sucked.
    DWill sorta sucked.

    Other than that, we played well.

  37. Zinger sucked.


    The critiquing of Godzingis based on statistical evidence shall not be tolerated on this board.

  38. This is when we should empty our bench but we don’t have enough depth to rest Afflalo and Williams.

  39. The Clips are probably the 5th best team in the NBA. The Knicks are, I dunno, 15-20th? Sometimes a much better team gonna give you an ass kicking

  40. When does Lance come back?

    Also, KP really seems to struggle against undersized guys. I guess it makes sense because he is not strong enough to back them down but it just seems like he gets too impatient and forces up a shot instead of taking his time and shooting over them. It is highly doubtful that they can block his shot. The entire team shot the ball poorly though so it is what it is.

  41. I don’t get why teams get players who clearly won’t mesh well with their coach. It is even more maddening when the GM is the coach and he goes out and gets guys who don’t mesh well with him! Doc Rivers is kind of insane.

  42. Charlotte winning in overtime was triply awesome:

    1. It got them extra tired out
    2. They figure they can lose tomorrow and split the back to back and not feel too bad about it
    3. Orlando is closer to the Knicks in the standings than Charlotte

    So that’s the silver lining I’m taking from tonight!

  43. Dang, tonight’s loss knocked the Knicks’ point differential back below -1. They had recently gotten it over -1 for the first time in a while. That’s annoying.

  44. So Paul had 2 points and 11 assists in the first half and then 2 assists and 14 points in the second half. That’s bizzare. DeAndre straight up killed us tonight. He was too fast for Robin and too massive for Porzingis. 20 points on 7-7 shooting is ridiculous.

  45. Superstar 3rd quarter from CP3. Deandre beat the shit out of our bigs repeatedly and cp3 thru lobs on a string. That, along with the three point blitz in the first quarter did the Knicks in. We are an avg to just below avg team, that was a good to very good team

  46. Deandre benefitted by CP3 penetrating and forcing our bigs to defend him. I blame Calderon more for Deandre’s great night than I do our bigs.

    But Grant wasn’t bad.

    And the Mets signed Cespedes!

  47. And the Mets signed Cespedes!

    Mets’ payroll is up near $140 now, so the Wilpons’ money woes are starting to look like less of an issue. This is a great time to be a Mets fan.

  48. You see, I’ve always seen Chris Paul as the second best player in the league to LeBron himself because of the impact he has on the game. Whether the stats community realizes it or not, Chris Paul has value you can’t really quantify because he inflates the value of his teammates. Chris Paul doesn’t just get you the ball when you’re wide open; he’s the reason you’re wide open in the first place. How many times did Chris Paul command extra defenders just to get Paul Pierce the ball with nobody within 2-3 yards of him? How many times did Chris Paul get into the teeth of our defense to throw a perfect lob to DeAndre Jordan (who is literally only good at catching basketballs, even though he might be the best in the league at catching basketballs)? The Clippers offense starts and stops with Chris Paul, and that’s why his teams never go too far. Its the same NBA, but a game against Westbrook or Curry is a lot more difficult than a game against Darren Collinson or Jose Calderon. Gregg Poppovich and Derek Fisher are different animals. When the best point guard of his generation is given trouble, it’s not like his teammates are still awesome. The .200 WS guy sees his value cut in half. The .600 TS guy sees his efficiency plummet because he was mostly efficient due to CP3’s excellence. LeBron has the same problem; he’ll drag JR and Shump to the finals but they get exposed for the pumpkins they really are once they’re there.

    All of this is to say Chris Paul, like LeBron James, is too good for his own good. He’ll lose this year (and next year) in the playoffs and hopefully the Knicks are good enough in 2017 that he sees coming here as the team to get him over the hump.

  49. You see, I’ve always seen Chris Paul as the second best player in the league to LeBron himself because of the impact he has on the game. Whether the stats community realizes it or not, Chris Paul has value you can’t really quantify because he inflates the value of his teammates.

    This is kind of like saying that Ken Phelps was an underrated hitter whether the stats community realizes it or not. The advanced stats cook Chris Paul breakfast on Valentine’s Day and bring it to him in bed. His career BPM is second to Lebron among active players and #3 (Curry) isn’t even close. If anything, their love is too fierce. Substantially better than Duncan, Garnett, Durant? Dunno about that. It’s a mistake to think that current advanced stats have no capacity to quantify factors that capture peripheral effects, like improving the production of teammates. These sorts of effects can be captured in the regressions run between conventional stats and team success that then feed into the coefficients used to weight individual boxscore measures (unless you’re Dave Berri in which case you just say you do that). Captured imperfectly, obviously, but the imperfections could just as likely be too favorable to players like Paul than unfavorable.

  50. Yeah, if Chris Paul had good players around him, he would have easily made it to the finals. Oh wait…

  51. Sweet. Got a pot roast goingk in the oven, adequate supplies of booze, and now I’ll have some Knicks on the tv

  52. Big game for the Knicks tonight. Charlotte played OT last night and should be w/o Jefferson, Zeller and most importantly Batum. Knicks have to go to Charlotte and win that game. Their next 2 games are home vs OKC and at Toronto so a loss tonight could lead to a 4 game losing streak.

  53. Sweet. Got a pot roast goingk in the oven, adequate supplies of booze, and now I’ll have some Knicks on the tv

    -post of the year

    Btw, wtf. Was at the game last night. Any idiot could see that CP3 was carving up Calderon. Concerned about Kemba as well…but with all the Charlotte injuries maybe help can cover up for Caldy.

    We would have won last night if Gallo played whenever CP3 did and Caldy did when he didn’t. Problem is with a speedy guard, rest of the team needs to cover for Caldy and that opens up a shooter somewhere and if those shooters can hit open shots we are toast.

    Did anyone notice how often KP ended up guarding CP3? I think he did a reasonably good job as well…

  54. I hope Coach Blatt takes over a western conference team coaches them to the finals and beats Cleveland in them so he can have a Fuck you post championship news conference. That would be epic.

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