2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hornets

After a quality win in Toronto the Knicks are going from the frigid north to the deep south to face the Charlotte Lincats for the second game in back-to-backs. Charlotte has struggled a bit in the early season, after losing Kidd-Gilchrist in the preseason, but a win tonight can still get them even at 4 wins and losses. It’s hard to call the ninth game of the season a “big game”, but Charlotte is one of those teams that the Knicks will likely be battling all season for one of the final playoff spots in the East, so a win would set a good precedence for the remainder of the season. Let’s take a look at a few key players on Charlotte, so we know what we’re up against:

Al Jefferson
If there’s one thing you can say about Big Al, it’s that he’s consistent. His whole career he’s been around 10 rebounds/36min, scored with around league average efficiency at above average usage, and rarely turns the ball over. The guy is steady, if unspectacular. He is a big body in the paint, so it’ll be interesting to see if Robin Lopez can keep him in check, but the Knicks should do everything they can to keep Porzingis from having to guard him, if only because it’d give me pained flashbacks of Gallinari guarding Tractor Traylor in his rookie summer league.

Kemba Walker
Kemba is having a pretty good start to the season, scoring well above his career efficiency (TS% 0.54 this season, 0.496 career). The jump in efficiency has mostly been due to an increased free throw rate, as Kemba has been attacking the paint much more so far this year. That’s likely bad news for Calderon, which is definitely a match-up worth watching.

Nicolas Batum
Batum is leading the team in minutes and brings lots of 3pt shooting (0.45 3pt rate), great rebounding (11.2 TRB%, for a guard!) and solid passing (18.9 AST%). Again, the Knicks starting backcourt could have major problems keeping Batum in check.

Jeremy Lamb
Lamb is absolutely killing it in limited minutes to start the season. He is shooting 45% from 3 and 67% on 2pt FGs. The guy only has 3 FTA in 129 minutes this season, and his TS% is still ridiculously high! This shooting is completely unsustainable, but Charlotte really should be getting him more than 20 minutes per game until he cools off. Hey look, it’s yet another backcourt player for the Knicks to worry about!

Frank Kaminsky
The guy hasn’t really gotten many minutes to show off his skills. He’s only broken 10 minutes in 2 of 7 games so far, but maybe on the back end of consecutive nights played for Charlotte, we get to see him for some extended time.

I feel like I’m forgetting someone… Someone that adds to Charlotte’s solid backcourt and could be giving the Knicks fits all night. Hmmmmm… what was his name again?

He'll always be a KNick to me!
image courtesy of NBA.com

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268 thoughts to “2015-16 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hornets”

  1. kevin i always enjoy your writing. kp has a season high in points and knicks win by 8#my2cents

  2. That’s likely bad news for Calderon, which is definitely a match-up worth watching.

    Not if you’re a Knicks fan!

  3. I think I saw Aaron Afflalo’s mug on a milk carton this morning …”Have you seen me?”

  4. once afflalo gets in rhythm hes gooba look more like orlando afflalo than portland afflalo

  5. The Hornets have an awesomely (for the Knicks) stupid gameplan. Take outside shots against guards who are bad at keeping you out of the paint! Smart thinking, dummies!

  6. Both of his fouls tonight so far were almost unintentional. I guess having long limbs makes it hard not to reach guys accidentally.

  7. Both of his fouls tonight so far were almost unintentional. I guess having long limbs makes it hard not to reach guys accidentally.

    Yeah, I think Clyde is being a little bit hard there.

  8. Phil’s made more savvy moves for the knicks in his short tenure than any GM in the last 20 years

  9. Ah the Internet where one can spout an opinion regardless of how baseless or who little supporting info it may have

  10. Is it me or does Uncle Lou look a lot like Josh Hartnett? I see him and think of the movie Lucky number Slevin. Maybe Lucky number slevinteen

  11. I saw the Knicks play the Pistons at MSG in ’08, and I swore that it was Lou Amundson. Turns out it was Walter Hermann. Weird.

    Also, Langston Galloway is my spirit animal.

  12. Phil’s made more savvy moves for the knicks in his short tenure than any GM in the last 20 years

    Somewhere Stephen A. Smith is having an aneurysm.

  13. Ah the Internet where one can spout an opinion regardless of how baseless or who little supporting info it may have

    lol ok

  14. Phil’s made more savvy moves for the knicks in his short tenure than any GM in the last 20 years

    ….

    Ah the Internet where one can spout an opinion regardless of how baseless or who little supporting info it may have

    Is this some sort of performance art?

  15. Somewhere Stephen A. Smith is having an aneurysm.

    Smith lost all of his credibility in one minute after the draft. He’s become Mr. Irrelevant.

  16. Smith lost all of his credibility in one minute after the draft. He’s become Mr. Irrelevant.

    I’m surprised he had maintained any that long.

  17. Grant is getting abused off the dribble by Lin.

    But he went right back at him, which is very impressive.

  18. I wonder how much gunk Lin needs to put in his hair before every game.

    That looks like a ton of product.

  19. I wonder how much gunk Lin needs to put in his hair before every game.

    I have a feeling he got the idea from Shump’s Gumby-style box cut.

  20. There’s no way Jeremy Lamb suddenly became good, is there? If so, OKC must be piiiiiiiissed.

  21. I wonder how much gunk Lin needs to put in his hair before every game

    How does he go to sleep with that thing on his head?

  22. You mean the gameplan against the Knicks is to go to the basket? Wow, Clifford, how ever did you figure that out? I used to think he was a smart coach, but dang, dude.

  23. I was thinking Trent Tucker but that can’t be right. Novak might have had the most. Crawford?

  24. The Hornets use Kaminsky oddly. Why turn down so many picks for him if he’s going to be a backup like this?

  25. Does Porzingis have a fouling problem because he’s on the Knicks, or do the Knicks have fouling problems because they have Porzingis?

  26. Does Porzingis have a fouling problem because he’s on the Knicks, or do the Knicks have fouling problems because they have Porzingis?

    Wow, a “chicken or the egg” type question in basketball form.

    Nice.

  27. So, the Knicks have 13 personal fouls, leading to 17 FTAs by the Hornets.

    The Hornets have 2 personal fouls, leading to 2 FTAs by the Knicks.

  28. So, the Knicks have 13 personal fouls, leading to 17 FTs by the Hornets.

    The Hornets have 2 personal fouls, leading to 2 FTs by the Knicks.

    Story of the game.

  29. Man, our perimeter defense is so disgraceful. Its costing us game. People blame Calderon and Vujacic, to a lesser extent, this season. But the truth is that Grant and Galloway have been smoked too. And now it seems Afflalo isn’t much better now that his conditioning is bad he uses his hands to compensate for his sluggish feet.

  30. Hacking-and-whacking putting the Hornets on the line. O’q with 3 pf. KP and AA have 2 each.

  31. Hopefully Fisher’s strategy of spreading out the minutes last night pays dividends in the 4th Q with the Knicks being the fresher team.

  32. I was thinking Hubert Davis, but the suggestion of Chris Copeland is a good one.

    I think you’re right. Its Hubert.

  33. comeone guys. these are the games that we should win.
    We can’t stop the guards? why not let them penetrate then follow up with KP and Rolo D. The last time i checked, Hornets cant shoot from the deep.

  34. Its costing us game. People blame Calderon and Vujacic, to a lesser extent, this season. But the truth is that Grant and Galloway have been smoked too.

    Calderon has always been bad but now he’s slow and bad. Grant looks like he can become a good defender. Galloway is better than average. I think both teams are tired and I that leads to air-balls and lack of hustle on defense.

  35. Grant looks like he can become a good defender. Galloway is better than average.

    They’ve been very inconsistent in keeping dudes from entering the paint. IMO, fans have been giving them a pass.

  36. That’s Melo’s value. He’s the only Knick that can do that. He can put a team on his back.

  37. “KP’s handle is going to be what determines his status as a scorer.”

    sorry, I don’t agree.

  38. How many players in this league can do what Carmelo just did on a somewhat consistent manner?

  39. sorry, I don’t agree.

    I don’t see how you can disagree. If he improves his handle he’ll be able to take the ball far out from the basket. If it doesn’t he’s going to be more limited in where he can receive the ball.

  40. How many players in this league can do what Carmelo just did on a somewhat consistent manner?

    Define “somewhat consistent.”

  41. Combine Grant’s ball skills, speed and athleticism with Calderon’s shot and we have an all-star PG.

  42. We all loves Durant. I am trying to like Durant as my next all time fav player (after Penny)
    Everytime i see Melo plays like this, it feels like Melo is the finish product of Durant.

  43. Nightly aside from an occasional bad game.

    That hasn’t been Melo’s season but I understand your point.

    I would say you can get this out of KD, Curry, LeBron, Harden, Westbrook, Dirk.

  44. What is it with former Knick fan favorites and bad hair- Lin, Gallo, Shump, heck even David Lee had a faux hawk for a bit.

  45. Is lin and Lamb are to Walker and Hairston what Grant and Gallo are to Jose and formely Sasha?

  46. Teams have figured something out about Grant. He’s got to adapt. He’s not dealing well with pressure. Trouble getting into the offense.

  47. Amundson is a limited guy, but he’s a far more effective player than tubby is. Nice to see him playing well after being stapled to the bench

  48. Langston hasnt been nearly as good a defender as we’ve seen

    He’s been burnt a few times this season.

  49. Something off tonight with second unit. Maybe pace. The offensive sets are zombie esque. They’re moving around but not accomplishing anything.

  50. KP is tall enough that he doesn’t need more than a token dribble or two to get off his shot. Most all time greats 7′ or above couldn’t really handle. Kareem couldn’t handle. Wilt couldn’t handle. Yao couldn’t handle. Ewing couldn’t handle. I don’t get why you think its a prerequisite for being a great scorer.

  51. KP is tall enough that he doesn’t need more than a token dribble or two to get off his shot. Most all time greats 7? or above couldn’t really handle. Kareem couldn’t handle. Wilt couldn’t handle. Yao couldn’t handle. Ewing couldn’t handle. I don’t get why you think its a prerequisite for being a great scorer.

    You missed my point. Everyone you’re mentioning is a pivot who did most of their scoring 18 ft. within from the basket. The point is that an improved handle will determine if the’s the kind of guy who can take the ball from the three-line/perimeter on a consistent basis.

  52. KP is tall enough that he doesn’t need more than a token dribble or two to get off his shot. Most all time greats 7? or above couldn’t really handle. Kareem couldn’t handle. Wilt couldn’t handle. Yao couldn’t handle. Ewing couldn’t handle. I don’t get why you think its a prerequisite for being a great scorer.

    Yeah, I agree with you on this. He could change nothing except shoot better and he’ll be awesome.

  53. I’m not seeing any of the Knick guards able to stop penetration by guys like Lin. It’s not just Calderon.

  54. Not that the Knicks have helped themselves with stupid fouls, but that call on Thomas was bogus. Batum pushed him into Zeller.

  55. I’m not seeing any of the Knick guards able to stop penetration by guys like Lin. It’s not just Calderon.

    Agreed.

  56. Wow. Exactly what i thought would happen. Robin Lopez slacks off Hawes because of CALDERON to help with a cutting Lin, and Hawes gets an easy basket.

  57. WHY WOULD THEY NOT PLAY GALLOWAY ON LIN!!!!!! No RoLo help, no Hawes basket.

    I’m not mad about losing, I’m mad about the sheer idiocy of playing Calderon on a defensive set at the end of a tied game.

  58. The Hornets have 2.9 seconds to draw up a play and get a layup. We have 19 seconds and get a corner chuck by Melo.

  59. @212 I agree. I hate burning the time and then going Iso-Melo with little time left on the clock. Run a damn play already!

  60. The Hornets have 2.9 seconds to draw up a play and get a layup. We have 19 seconds and get a corner chuck by Melo.

    Yep. Pretty much sums up why Melo can be such a frustrating player.

  61. I mean we deserve to lose because of fisher giving 31 minutes to Calderon aka the worst backcourt defender in the league

  62. I don’t blame Melo. He didn’t have much time. The burning the clock is what is silly. Run a set; try to get a good shot.

  63. Sonovabiscuit… my heart stopped for two minutes there just waiting for the disappointment but vainly hoping for a miracle score confirmation. Gah.

  64. Calderon is such a bad PG. He doesn’t get the ball into the hands of his scorers that puts them in a position to make plays.

  65. Calderon’s offense kept the Knicks in the game, and Kemba was a trainwreck. I think Galloway should be locked in at 25 MPG minimum at least until he cools off, but I don’t think that mattered tonight.

  66. The Hornets have 2.9 seconds to draw up a play and get a layup. We have 19 seconds and get a corner chuck by Melo.

    Yep. Pretty much sums up why Melo can be such a frustrating player.

    I wasn’t blaming it on Melo, I’m sure Fisher told Calderon to give him the ball and let him iso. As long as I can remember (going back to Woodson) we never get decent shots to end games

  67. I mean we deserve to lose because of fisher giving 31 minutes to Calderon aka the worst backcourt defender in the league

    You can say what you want about Calderon’s defense but Grant and Galloway were abused by Lin and Lamb all night long.

  68. If you look at the layup play you could argue anywhere from .6 to 1 full second should have been on the clock. We got the away team whistle tonight.

  69. My bad. It was Galloway. And Zeller made the shot, not Hawes.

    Still frustrating. Lopez actually left his man to help vs. Lin. It’s also possible that the play was for Lin or Zeller, whoever was open.

  70. Lin feasted on the 2nd unit guards; I’m not entirely upset Calderon was in there – he played Lin tough those last few minutes believe it or not. Good execution by the Hornets on that Zeller lay-in.

  71. Just a quick comment on our guards getting beat. The bigs can do a better job hedging on those high screens too …they barely even show. I’m not saying go woodson, but if ya need to switch, you friggen switch. Big deal. Guys like Batum get into the paint in 2.5 steps … That’s a tough match-up

  72. Gotta give credit where it’s due: that was great 1v1 defense on Melo at the end.

    Maybe the Knicks were hoping for a double team to get a man open.

  73. I would like to see KP in the game in late D situations like that. I mean he IS extremely long and leads the team in rebounding.

  74. Either way. We had no answer for Lin, Lamb, and Walker tonight. Don’t know who to blame, but it was defensive. Although, there was a shocking lack of free throws (7 vs 28), and you do not win a game with that differential.

    Also, f everything about that Melo play. Though we left that dumb stuff behind.

  75. Plain and simple you don’t not play your best guard in the final minutes because of how he played in the game before that. If Lance Thomas was playing over Carmelo Anthony because Melo struggled from the field you’d hear about it all over television for better or worse. Fisher got away with not playing Galloway because he’s not a known commodity in this league. Galloway deserved to be in the game during the final moments of this game and I’m very upset he wasn’t. I don’t like how short a string Fisher gave him tonight and think Fisher is outsmarting himself. The Knicks should have won this game.

  76. KP becomes a way better shooter when he’s not second guessing himself and being tentative about seeking his shot.

  77. I would like to see KP in the game in late D situations like that. I mean he IS extremely long and leads the team in rebounding.

    I would too. But I thought Thomas was good defensively there.

  78. Actually KJG, I’ve been watching how our bigs hedge too. It seems like the make the initial hedge, but sometimes they need to hold on another half-second longer for our guards to completely recover. Several times they haven’t, and it leads to guard penetration for the other team. I believe our bigs have the capability to “push” guards out of position to penetrate (something Ewing’s 1990’s Knicks did real well).

  79. This was the one game this season when Calderon actually outplayed Galloway. Gallo wasn’t great on either end tonight. He and Grant got outplayed by Lin/Lamb and that was probably the difference.

  80. The problem with the Knicks play is that they only forced the Hornets to defend for a few seconds. Run a full set or play and make them defend for maybe 20 seconds, instead.

  81. Yeah, not blaming Calderon. On the last Lin basket Calderon played tough; he was draped on him. The guy simply made a tough shot. I like Galloway a lot, but he and Grant were pretty poor on D tonight.

  82. And on that zeller inbound. It was a solid play. No excuses but it made sense and zeller was ready when his option was there so good for him…You stay between ball and man or you take the bait and run around a few screens and get burnt.

    Zeller hits his free throws 20 second earlier and that play doesn’t even happen.

    …nothing like abandoning your entire playbook to not get a legit last shot off. Melo was feasting and I was all for him putting up the last shot. But really, Marvin Williams was already in his jock 5 seconds before he gets the ball. Run him through at least one screen first. It’s mind boggling

  83. …nothing like abandoning your entire playbook to not get a legit last shot off. Melo was feasting and I was all for him putting up the last shot. But really, Marvin Williams was already in his jock 5 seconds before he gets the ball. Run him through at least one screen first. It’s mind boggling

    Yeah, its just a bad combination of poor design and execution.

  84. Yeah I don’t mind getting the ball to Melo (when he’s on) late-game as long as he’s got a beat on his man/room to operate. He clearly didn’t that time; he either was forced or drifted around the perimeter. Even Clyde said he didn’t need to be out around the three-pt line when it’s a tie-game.

  85. Cdiggy… You’re right …they need to push the ball handler out … Hang on a bit longer. If they don’t, and it’s a good screen, then the opposing guard will always get in the paint. And fine, but everyone else better be ready to rotate.

  86. Not sure why Fisher has gone away from the O’Q, Dwill, Thomas, Gallo, Grant bench unit that played so well early in the season- is getting Seraphin and Lou minutes really that important? He’s put some weird bench lineups out there.

  87. This high screen stuff continues to bother me … I’m picturing in my head … Instead of seeing Rolo abandon ship and dive bomb back to his man after the screen, it sure would be great to see him smother the ball handler for a second. … And then recover… Trust the next guy. Or flat out switch. ONLY IF YOU HAVE TO…

  88. To be fair, incorporating a new guy into the starting lineup is disruptive. The best two takeaways from this game is that Afflalo played pretty well and Porzingis shot better.

  89. Also, KP played over 30 minutes with only 2 fouls, both picked up in the first 6 minutes. He’s learning! No FTs, though.

  90. What sucks is Lance threw a bad pass to a wide open Zingis which made KP reach down instead of go straight into his motion. Oh Well.

  91. KREAM (Kristaps Rules Everything Around Me) and Grant need to develop more confidence in terms when to take J’s. In that third quarter, Grant got into the paint this one time and tried to pass and it led to a turnover; it was a perfect opportunity for a pullup J or a floater (he *really* needs a floater in his arsenal). In the fourth, there were opportunities for KREAM to take a couple of jumpers, including a 3. He’s 7′ 3″ – why not get a smaller guy on him so he can easily shoot over them from time to time.

  92. Lamb/Lin/Batum shot 23-39 from the field. 5-10 from 3 point range. That along with the FT disparity it’s a miracle the Knicks were a kilo second away from winning

  93. Bigger picture: this game highlighted 2 things we knew going into the season: scoring (esp in the clutch) will be a bit at a premium outside of Melo until KP and Grant develop, and guard play and depth will be our biggest Achilles’ heel.

    Hornets’ D wasn’t put in a disadvantage late in the game (tho Melo had that 3) in large part because there wasn’t anyone on the court (save Arron?) who can get a step on his man to the paint and get the D unsettled.

  94. This is the first game that he starters thoroughly out played the bench also. Hopefully we can find some kind of equilibrium.

  95. yeah KP6 wtf w/Batum??? He was all like “No Lillard and Aldridge anymore to hog the shine!” “Watch me go toe-to-toe w/Melo”

    (he always had skillz, tho)

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