2016-17 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Celtics

Merry Christmas, everyone!

The Knicks host the Celtics this afternoon in a big game. If they win this one, the Knicks will actually become tied for the #3 seed in the entire Eastern Conference and ahead of the Celtics! How awesome would that be? Let’s hope that they give us all a fun Christmas present today with a win!

For our last Christmas TV special that we’ve been sharing, let’s go with the Star Wars Christmas Special! It’s fun and absurd at the same time!

Let’s go, Knicks!

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202 thoughts to “2016-17 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Celtics”

  1. I got a color TV, so I can see
    the knicks play basketball…

    merry christmas…hope everyone and their families are safe and happy today…

    hopefully we’ll get a nice win for a present…

  2. Very solid performance so far on both ends, but we do not want this to come down to the Isiah Thomas show in the 4th quarter.

  3. I understand that you need to show what you sell but it is inexcusable to give minutes to Lance over Kuz and Willy

  4. Crowder with 3 straight threes. The first one Porzingis just fell asleep and the other two Melo did the same thing.

  5. would be nice if our superstar woke up and played well

    I’d settle for at least mediocre team defense.

  6. Melo needs to play with the same defensive intensity and Crowder plays when Crowder guards Melo. That’s the difference in the game.

  7. If Smart is gonna hit his outside shots, we have no chance.

    And 9 offensive rebounds by Boston not good either.

  8. They were doing fine until about the last 6 minutes of the second quarter. Stop turning the ball over and they’ll solve a lot of their problems.

  9. The rotations have been pretty terrible all around today. KP has looked especially awful though.

  10. This Boston players seem more physically “solid” than the Knicks.

    We can take this game, though. More discipline on both sides of the ball is needed.

  11. KP should be left in the interior and Noah should get the dweeb assignment of chasing stretch 4s around.

  12. The isos aren’t there for Melo today. He needs to play decoy on the elbow.

    …then he muscles in for a lay up and-one. And gets an elbow J.

  13. But it’s ok, both of those Melo buckets came in the flow. It’s the 10 seconds shoulder against chest ISOs that are useless against Crowder

  14. 7 assists on 26 fgs. We need to move the ball around and get Lee some open looks. It’s great t h at Melo and Rose are beating everyone 1 on 1 today, but we’re not taking advantage of the extra space because of the bad ball movement. And I can’t believe we’re getting bullied on the boards by the C’s.

    Ref work a lil shoddy too…that last call on Rose was such bs

  15. What the hell… I thought Marcus Smart was a crappie shooter.

    Where was that foul on Rose?

    Better energy right now by the Knicks. Keep it within 4-5 to end the Q at worst.

  16. one thing that I will say about Melo this game is that he is swinging it to Lee. That’s different than sometimes in the past especially when he sees the ball go into the hole.

  17. Where is Melo beating everyone 1 on 1?

    He’s been getting inside all game long in iso situations

  18. Too too too too many layups and inside layins being given up right now. Put KP back in, keep him in the paint on D.

  19. Also, I like Hornacek and everything, but why does KP never get the ball against shorter defenders?

  20. Also, I like Hornacek and everything, but why does KP never get the ball against shorter defenders?

    Because he’s not actually on the court to pass him the ball?

  21. @61: they are, but they’re good in ways of hustle, unselfishness and discipline. I don’t believe they’re more talented than us.

    Great block by KP. But I’m starting to wonder that this isn’t our afternoon.

  22. Celtics are proof of what an unselfish, well-coached team that play tough, fundamentally-sound defense can do in this league. They are not especially talented, but they understand their roles are in certain situations and play to their strengths.

  23. Rose is unstoppable off the dribble today…we need some open 3’s though. His and 1’s are nice, but he’s not getting to the line enough for it to matter

  24. @63 oh man…

    As much as I belive the arrow is generally pointing up for the Knicks, the next developmental step towards contention will be to play consistent, above-average defense.

  25. The thing I really, really, really, really hate of Rose it that he thinks he’s Steve Nash passing the ball

  26. I hate the celtics…and, yeah Doug Collins does need to take a deep breath every once in a while…I get he’s doing color or whatever, but, wow – he really does never shut up…

    I hate the celtics…merry christmas…

  27. Melo Joakim and Courtney are all gonna be tough to watch next season

  28. Rose loves turning his body in the air and passing behind him cross-court. It’s so easy to intercept. It’s like a quarterback rolling out and then throwing against his body.

  29. If ur going to play hero ball. For our sake, be a hero! But first play some defense like you give a shit

  30. What would the impact of KP’s defense look like with systematically competent defense…

    Rose is great getting to the rim. But we needed him to do more than that today – facilitate the offense more. Have his drives suck in the D and then pass out. And not allow his man to beat him down court backdoor.

  31. W.O.W!!!

    They erased an 11 point lead faster than you can blink!!!

    How about our boys!!

  32. WHAT IS A TWO FOR ONE I NOR THE KNICKS HAVE EVER HEARD OF IT

  33. Just when we have it in our grasp…bs calls take it away. Bad call on KP earlier..bad call on Noah just now

  34. Let’s just say our team doesn’t seem to be composed of the sharpest tools in the box (apart from KP, Noah and Vujacic)

  35. The true story of this game, though, is regularly bad defense. That’s why they can’t come back to win games in the 4th. Can’t get enough stops.

  36. @122

    Man, have you seen the last Melo possession? Refs have been awful but ISOing and not going 2 for 1 (and losing the ball on top of that)? Why?

  37. Melo is going to be worse than this next year, remember that.

  38. HAY GUIS DO U TINK MELO WILL GET 30 POINTZZZZZZ 2DAY FOR HIS 5TH STRATE XMAS GAME?!?!?! BECUZ THATS WHAT ESPN TINKS IS MOST IMPORTANT

  39. @126
    True. As much as I’d like to blame the game on the officiating, truth is bad defense/rebounding and wayyyyy to much iso play doomed us today

  40. I bet on “Stupid contested Melo 3 from the dribble” as our next play. But it’s kinda needed

  41. We didn’t deserve this win. Our defensive rotations are garbage.

    Would have been a nice little Christmas miracle though.

  42. I dont think it was a lack of sense of urgency. I think Melo was trying to line up for a (contested) 3.

  43. How come Kenny Albert never says anything about individual numbers? Mike Breen is constantly “for his eight rebound” this and “13 points for him” that, Kenny looks like he’s not able to count

  44. You’re 7’3 why in the world are you not shooting the ball at the peak of your jump instead of holding it and shooting it on the way down

  45. crowder and horford were grabbing the shit out of KP and Melo on that final inbound

  46. Well, let’s cross our fingers that this loss will be a wake up call for the team to improve the defense. Christmas Day. National TV. Hated rival. Lose and give up a ton of easy baskets. Give up 119 points. They should be humiliated.

  47. Celtics bench outscored ours 41-19, led by perennial 6th man of the year award winner Kelly Olynyk with 16 points.

  48. Man, have you seen the last Melo possession? Refs have been awful but ISOing and not going 2 for 1 (and losing the ball on top of that)? Why?

    George Karl may be an asshat, but he understands winning and losing basketball

  49. Al Trautwig looks and sounds like he devours cigarette buds and inhales chimney smoke in his spare time.

  50. BTW not a good KOQ game. Then again, Boston is a better team than us, so not really a problem this loss. It’s just that I don’t like the ISOs that much

  51. @141

    I’m not optimistic about this team responding to wake-up calls. Missed defensive rotations and Melo isos killed us this game. Missed defensive rotations and Melo isos have killed us all season. They seem incapable of fixing these things.

  52. I almost hate asking this on an advanced stats blog, but do you guys think Marcus Smart plays bigger than his stats? Or was our bad D that bad that allowed him his 15 points on 9 shots with 2/4 from 3?

  53. when you watch GS and Cleveland you realize that there is literally no point in trying to build a contender over the next three years

    It’s just a totally different plane of basketball

  54. @153: in which case, KP will be 24.
    So the Knicks have three years to get their shit together and build/develop the right team around him. I can deal with that.

  55. Complaining about the Knicks defense is like complaingigg about the color of the sky. It’s bad. The Knicks lost because the celtics hit open and contested 3s all game. Marcus smart hit a contested 3 with the shit clock winding down 2 times in this game. If you have shit like this going on it’s gonna be tough. The three 3s by crowder ended the game and only one was open when KP was playing him and was being held by Horford.

    Lee missed 3-4 wide open threes that we needed badly.

    The knick bench was awful and for the love of God KP shoot the threes and stop driving so much.

    Knicks would have won if it got to overtime but o well

    All he Knicks need to do is beat the teams they are clearly better than and they should have a top 4 seed. They need to steal a few of these toss ups as well

  56. @153: in which case, KP will be 24.
    So the Knicks have three years to get their shit together and build/develop the right team around him. I can deal with that.

    the most reasonable path to contention is to stockpile picks (no that’s not tanking) and make value signings like OQ (possibly the highest value non-max contract in the NBA) and then make a play for a superstar acquisition + a chip in the last of year of KP’s rookie contract/when KP hits his new contract

    Unfortunately Noah and Lee don’t come off the books until KP’s new contract, and then Melo gets extended. Such are the Knicks.

  57. Melo isn’t getting extended at this rate. By the time his contract expires we’re going to wish we never signed the last one.

  58. call me crazy (C-R-A-Z-Y!!!), but – i don’t really think the celtics are “better” than us…

    I think games like this (and our terrible defense) illustrates just how much we need some consistency in our roster…

  59. Nice rally at the end but I hated the way Melo played in this game. This was an “I’m on teevee, I’m gonna get some pointzz” game from Melo.

    I’ve been down on Noah but I thought he looked pretty good today.

  60. What would it take to produce a passing oriented team like the one Golden State has? All they do is zip that ball all around the court to find an open shooter.

  61. It’s pretty clear that the Knicks have to play almost perfect offense to win against good teams- it’s just too easy to get them back on their heels defensively. Poor initial defense by the Rose/Jennings plus some shaky rotations (esp. Melo though KP blew a few today too) are easily exploited by disciplined teams. Add to that mediocre defensive rebounding and you have the recipe for a bad defense. The Knicks almost survived it today but iso-Melo and a bunch of unnecessary turnovers (KOQ I’m looking at you) really cost them. And yet if they’d called the goal tend on Horford and the C’s don’t get that fast break three…

  62. Unfortunately Noah and Lee don’t come off the books until KP’s new contract, and then Melo gets extended. Such are the Knicks.

    I guess this is partly where I differ from the pessimists. There’s no guarantee either of those two finish out their contracts here, and I think they’re tradeable players (even Noah, esp since he’s been showing signs of life lately).

  63. I think the Knicks are actually very consistent, the defense is always terrible, Rose and Melo score pointzz, sometimes with decent efficiency sometimes not, KP does what KP does and Horny always changes his rotations in misterious ways…

    this is the issue with a star who’s a jump shooter: sometimes he’s going to go off like against Indiana, sometimes he’s gonna suck… there’s no point expecting Melo to be something else at this moment in his career.

    the defense is the real issue, but the personnel just isn’t there to change it significantly, so this is this teams ceiling: a 7-game series against Boston or Charlotte would be a 4-3 either way.

    but hey, many people are happy with this, I am not, and life goes on.

  64. Nice rally at the end but I hated the way Melo played in this game. This was an “I’m on teevee, I’m gonna get some pointzz” game from Melo.

    That’s some lazy ass analysis. He had good and bad moments in the game including a 22 point second half and the 3 that started the rally and the assist to KP to hit the second 3. Why is melo the default person to complain about. To me the variable was the bench. They got killed. The bench has been our strength.

    Melo
    KP
    Rose

    All had pretty typical games for themselves

  65. I think the Knicks are actually very consistent, the defense is always terrible, Rose and Melo score pointzz, sometimes with decent efficiency sometimes not, KP does what KP does and Horny always changes his rotations in misterious ways…

    Agree here

  66. It’s pretty clear that the Knicks have to play almost perfect offense to win against good teams- it’s just too easy to get them back on their heels defensively. Poor initial defense by the Rose/Jennings plus some shaky rotations (esp. Melo though KP blew a few today too) are easily exploited by disciplined teams.

    This too

  67. That’s some lazy ass analysis. He had good and bad moments in the game including a 22 point second half and the 3 that started the rally and the assist to KP to hit the second 3.

    Melo had 24 FGA, 9 FTA and… 2 assists. LOTS of those possessions were heroballing ISO’s. He was -8 for the game. He really didn’t play much of a team game today. The Knicks had 11 assists on 41 FG. It was not a great day for team basketball.

  68. I mean generally speaking the guy who went 9-24, played terrible defense, and bogged down the offense whenever he touched the ball is a pretty good candidate for who’s most individually to blame in a team’s loss

  69. “The Knicks had 11 assists on 41 FG. It was not a great day for team basketball.”

    I didn’t know Melo had a PG next to his name now

    Ok loss melo fault period. Merry christmas

  70. well, the dude that had “PG” next to his name had 3 assists and 3 turnovers, so…

    this is the 2016 Knicks boys.

  71. Any analysis of the future needs to take into account the very real possibility that Melo is useless as soon as next year

  72. Tell of two halfs offensively with Melo. 2-12, with one late qtr 3/4th court heave, and 6-6 from the line. Then 7-12, with a terrible 1/2 jumper to end the 3rd, and 3-3 from the line.

  73. What got me was the Knicks ran 3 perfect set plays to tie the game late and then on their last 2 possessions Melo HAD to be the star…….

  74. I am amazed how Melo can’t get off the floor going to the basket anymore. He reminds me of an older Bailey Howell playing for the Celtics……

  75. but it was a big eastern conference game on TV, what did you guys expect?

    jokes and or factual statements aside, I agree, it pissed me off so much… but this is the full Melo experience

  76. The one good thing from Melo today was going to the hole more times than I can remember this year. He needs to do that more just to keep defenders honest. Smart defenders are rightly playing way up on him. He needs to be able to go around them once in a while.

  77. @184 I completely agree, but the issue is: is he capable of doing that? because if he’s not doing it because his athleticism is kinda gone, well… next couple of years won’t be fun.

  78. It seems like Melo is more prone to jacking up shots when he’s being well-defended. I was curious, so I checked his game log for this year. I separated all of his games into four categories:

    1) games where he takes less than his season average of 19 FGA and shoots worse than his season average of 43%;
    2) games where he takes less than 19 FGA but shoots better than 43%;
    3) games where he takes 19 or more FGA but shoots worse than 43%;
    4) games where he takes 19 or more FGA and shoots better than 43%.

    For any player, you want them to shoot more when they’re hot and less when they’re cold. So category 3 (high volume, high efficiency) is the best category and category 4 (high volume, low efficiency) is the worst. Categories 1 and 2 are just OK.

    Here were the results when I separated Melo’s 28 games into those 4 categories.

    1) Low volume, low efficiency: 7
    2) Low volume, high efficiency: 7
    3) High volume, low efficiency: 7
    4) High volume, high efficiency: 7

    It’s a small sample, so take it with a grain of salt, but that is remarkable consistency. There seems to be zero correlation between Melo’s number of attempts and whether he’s hot or cold. He’s not more likely to jack up shots when he’s missing, like I feared, but he’s not less likely either. He’s just oblivious.

  79. It’s a nice find, yes, but I think that has a lot to do with the nature of Melo’s shots.

    at the beginning of his career, he shot about 45% of his shots at the rim… it’s sad to see, it goes down to the 30s in his 4th year, then the 20s when he joins the Knicks and now he’s at a career low 15.6%.

    comparing to a player like Giannis, for example, Giannis takes 51.9% of his shots at the rim.

    out of all possible 2-point shots (which comprise 69.1% of his total shots), 27.4% are the most inefficient shot in the game, the 16-feet plus 2-point jumper (in comparison, 30% of his shots are 3s)

    in his entire Knicks career, he made less dunks (145 in 6 seasons and a half) then on his best single season in Denver (165).

    now, he always took a lot of 16 feet or more jumpers, but pretty much all dunks and shots at the rim he had in the beginning of his career became three pointers in his Knicks years (about 15% of his shots were 3s in the final years in Denver, and about 35% were at the rim; this ratio is now inverted in the Knicks phase).

    that’s why I think there’s zero correlation between his number of attemps and his number of makes, because the long range jumpers are by nature harder shots… even a great shooter (which Melo never was and likely never will be) cannot guarantee a 18-feet jumper will fall every time he’s wide open, and Melo takes a fair bit of those while being contested.

    so that’s the issue for me, if he somehow managed to get away from these stupid long range jumpers and play more inside, he could be a superstar scorer… but then again, is he physically able to play inside like he once did? I would say no.

  80. @187

    He’s definitely taking tougher shots now than he did as a Nugget. That’s disappointing but not unexpected, given his loss of athleticism. And it’s not a disaster because he is taking so many more 3s.

    But a more disciplined player would realize when he’s clanking long jumper after long jumper and stop taking them. Start going to the rim or swing the ball to someone else or be a decoy. Melo seems to have no idea whether he’s making or missing. Right now that makes for a lot of ups and downs from him. If his FG% slips even further next year, toward 40%, we’re going to be in trouble if he still keeps firing away obliviously.

    The best aging superstars are the ones like Duncan that are aware of their increasing limitations and cede some of the load to their teammates. Can Melo be that guy?

  81. If we would have given the ball to Rose instead of Melo at the end we’d be sipping champagne today. Melo should be used as a decoy unless he’s proven to be red hot at the end of games. That iso sequence was horrid.

  82. The best aging superstars are the ones like Duncan that are aware of their increasing limitations and cede some of the load to their teammates. Can Melo be that guy?

    In a word – no.

  83. my issue with Melo is his lack of evolution.

    we saw it with LeBron, with Pierce, forwards who got older and started changing their games… LeBron started posting up people more, Pierce became more of a point forward… Carmelo added a 3-pointer to his arsenal 7 years ago, and that’s pretty much all of it.

    Carmelo is 4th in the entire league in isolation plays percentage (24.7%) and that’s it, that’s what he does… shoot 3s at a mediocre percentage and iso.

    I agree with Ras, he ain’t changing, and it’s going to be really shit as his athleticism keeps fading.

  84. Melo ain’t changing but the team is. Coach should call his number less, especially at the end of games. Rose should keep the ball out of his hands.

  85. Melo had those two really good years with the Knicks, in the 54-win season and then in the following Mike Woodson, pre-Phil season. He was up at a .560 TS% and had a solid .172 and .184 WS48 in those two seasons. Then he signed the extension, got injured early in that first season, and has seen his TS% stay steadily in the .530’s, and his WS48 over those three combined seasons is .113.

    Those two really good seasons were his age 28 and age 29 seasons, so it should really not be too surprising that his numbers have fallen off. Building around him was not really such a great idea, but y’know, whatareyougonnado.

  86. i think melo is fine… although it’d be nice if he could’ve hung onto his assist rate from last year given that he has better players surrounding him… for whatever reason we are running way more iso for him….

    it would help if we got better pg play but when the pg is looking for his own shot as well then you have our offense which is ok… but it’ll never be elite if we’re just running ‘your turn my turn’ basketball…. that’s another reason against a rose resigning…..

  87. another insane tidbit about Carmelo’s season so far: only 33.8% of his 2-point field goals have come from an assist by someone… his game really suffers from the iso heavy style and the fact that the team is not set up to get him easier shots.

    how much of that is his fault? (getting the ball im the elbow and pounding it a million times before shooting for example) or is it more the product of a stale offensive system… i don’t really know, but the numbers are pretty worrisome.

  88. The Knicks would do well to draft Jayson Tatum or Johnathan Isaac as Melo’s replacement. Of course that would mean trading somebody in order to move up, but if our defense isn’t fixable we may be better off moving somebody and biting the bullet early.

    I honestly think Boston and Cleveland are just terrible match ups for us this season. LeBron is out to embarrass us for the rest of his career and you have to play perfect ball to beat the Celtics. The Cs are just such a dirty ball club and they don’t turn the ball over. They fight for each and every win and they’ve been together for maybe 3 years now. I’m not too discouraged by today’s loss. I just hope we don’t see them in the playoffs because Melo can’t do anything with the combination of Smart, Bradley, and Crowder.

  89. The majority of this thread has been the usual bitching about Melo’s offense after he has an inefficient game. Melo can average a triple double and it still wont matter until this team fixes what is by far their biggest weakness, their God awful fucking defense.

    The offense, Melo included, is the least of this team’s problems.

  90. the defense, including Melo, is the biggest problem.

    doesn’t mean it’s the only problem this team has.

  91. I am guessing Melo assist rate is down from last year because his PnR attempts as a ball handler are down from last year.

    For some reason Jeff likes to try to close games with a two PG line up but I think the smarter thing to do is just play Holiday and Lee with Melo and Rose handling the ball in the PnR. I know adding Lee will improve the defense and it wouldn’t hurt the offense having 4 3pt shooters on the floor.

  92. I am amazed how Melo can’t get off the floor going to the basket anymore. He reminds me of an older Bailey Howell playing for the Celtics……

    That’s a sadly hilarious and accurate comp.

  93. The majority of this thread has been the usual bitching about Melo’s offense after he has an inefficient game. Melo can average a triple double and it still wont matter until this team fixes what is by far their biggest weakness, their God awful fucking defense.

    The offense, Melo included, is the least of this team’s problems.

    And Melo’s perennial lackadaisical effort on defense is the biggest defensive issue

  94. I honestly think Boston and Cleveland are just terrible match ups for us this season.

    Without question GS and Cleveland are much better personal wise, but the Celtics are only a bad match up because they play harder.

    The Celts got to every 50-50 ball in the second quarter and turned the game around on the offensive glass. They out hustled us, not out skilled us.

    And they executed better. With as poorly as we played the score was tied with a minute to go and after 3 perfect possessions, Melo refused to execute a team play. Boston, as offensively challenged as they are execute their limited offense to perfection.

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