Game Recap: Knicks 98, Pelicans 91

New York Knicks 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
91 New Orleans Pelicans

Five Things We Saw

  1. The last game that I wrote a recap for was the overtime marathon with the Bucks, which contained that infamous Bargnani shot. It took over two months of recovery for me to once again volunteer to write a recap. This game was not nearly as traumatic. Thank you for that, Knicks. I’m going to get to the grades in a minute, but I have some other matters to discuss first.
  2. Have y’all been obsessing about every trade rumor that has come up the past couple days? In case you haven’t, just know that the trade deadline is tomorrow and a majority of trades that the Knicks have been rumored to be involved include Iman Shumpert. The same Iman Shumpert that fell to the court and had to be help into the locker room in the 3rd quarter. Sooooo… I guess the Knicks will be relatively quiet on the trade front this year.
  3. Speaking of trade rumors, it sounds like the Knicks have been telling teams that Hardaway is not available, and the players they have been rumored to be interested in have contracts that don’t go past 2015. It seems like they might really have a plan to overhaul this roster and rebuild the team from scratch after next year, rather than trying to cobble together a 1st round playoff exit out of horrible contracts nobody wants. This is a cause for optimism! Be optimistic with me, so I don’t look crazy, please.
  4. If I’m correct about my last point, the Knicks really don’t have to rush anything. They have until the end of next season to clear the few unwanted contracts they will have left after the 2015 season. That includes Felton and probably J.R. Smith. Rumors had them telling teams that they weren’t going to trade Shumpert unless the team also took Felton. Again, this is a good sign that they are actually looking towards building something with an abundance of cap room after the 2015 season.
  5. Carmelo is doing his best to keep this team respectable. He is obviously the best player on this team, and putting in more of an effort than anyone else to boot. What I wonder is if he’s willing to go through one more year of this before things have a real chance of turning around. I don’t see any possible way the Knicks will be good next year. Teams just don’t trade superstars for expiring contract garbage anymore, and that is what is going to be taking up the Knicks cap space. It’ll be very interesting to see what happens this offseason, but if I were Melo, I don’t know if I would be willing to waste one more prime year on a garbage team for the hope they can put together a solid roster once there was cap space. We shall see.

    Enough of the talk of the future, though. Let’s get to the game grades!

Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 16-29 FG | 8-12 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 42 PTS | +5

Just a great game by Carmelo. He singlehandedly won the Knicks this game in the 4th quarter, driving to the hoop to hit short pull-up jumpers, rather than settling for fall-away 20 footers. The four rebounds, despite playing most of his minutes at the 4, is the only thing that keeps me from giving him an A+. But just like WP, I probably overvalue rebounding.

Tyson Chandler, C 36 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +7

Anthony Davis blocked a Tyson shot early, and then nailed some jumpers over him, but Tyson wasn’t too bad on the whole. He fought on the boards, at least. I do miss Tyson the Destroyer of Worlds that roamed the court for the few games before he broke his leg, and previous seasons before he inevitably broke down. I want that guy back…

Raymond Felton, PG 33 MIN | 1-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +15

Ray really didn’t help his trade value tonight, but what is there to say about the guy that hasn’t been said 100 times before? His offense has been almost as putrid as his defense. His ceiling is a mediocre player — that’s it. And that’s if he’s in shape.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -9

Prigs does seem to settle the offense when he’s in there, but here’s the problem with Prigs playing SG in the 2 PG lineup:
Eric Gordon: 28 points on 17 shots
Austin Rivers: 14 points on 10 shots
He was really having a tough time defending the opposing guards tonight, and that isn’t unusual. You just hope he makes up for it running the offense and getting steals. He did O.K. with that tonight.

Iman Shumpert, SG 17 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +2

The Knicks’ PR said that Shumpert had a “sprained knee” shortly after he was helped into the locker room in the 3rd quarter. Hopefully it isn’t anything more serious than that, but honestly, how much can you point to potential when a guy is in his 3rd year in the league and really hasn’t improved at all? At least other teams seem to value him, so there may be something to pointing at the failings of the coaching staff to put Shump in the best position to succeed.

Jeremy Tyler, PF 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -2

Jeremy did good enough in his limited minutes, although he still has a lot of work to do on his defensive positioning and help defense, but that can go for everyone else on this team.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 36 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +9

He’s just fun to watch, isn’t he? Fast as hell in the open court and been great at converting at the rim — both of which the Knicks sorely lack. Right now he really brings nothing to the table other than scoring, but he is, after all, only a rookie. The other stuff will come in time.

J.R. Smith, SG 40 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | +8

I like this new J.R. — he’s played within the offense, most of the time, and has been scoring pretty efficiently since he was let out of the Woodson doghouse. Maybe he really wants to stay a Knick. It’d be interesting to see if he would regress with a different coaching staff.


Evidently several teams have been rumored to be interested in trading for Udrih. Just like Shumpert, it seems that other teams believe that the Knick’s coaching staff isn’t putting a good player in a position to succeed. Go figure. If Beno does get traded, I will be the first to write a tribute. I like the dude.

Mike Woodson

The East may be big, man, but against this Western Conference team Woody busted out the small ball, and mainly stuck with it throughout the game. Maybe someone finally got in his ear and convinced him to go back to 2 PG lineups and playing Melo at the 4. Or maybe it is all because of injuries. Either way, Woodson didn’t do anything too terrible tonight and we won.

And just in case you were going to try to sleep tonight, just remember this guy is always watching, waiting for a moment of weakness:


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21 thoughts to “Game Recap: Knicks 98, Pelicans 91”

  1. Going to nitpick.

    Pierre the Pelican had a nose job, so if you see him looking like that it really will be a nightmare.


  2. Nice, concise recap for a game that didn’t really warrant much meaningful examination anyway. One more win, likely to no effect in the grand scheme of the season.

  3. The only way to me you can convince Melo to go thru next season before reinforcements hopefully come in the summer of 2015 is by hiring a strong head coach. Period. Thats how they kept Ewing from leaving in the summer of 1991, they hired Riley who took almost the exact same roster from 39 wins to 51 wins the next season (plus a pretty fun postseason run) before they were able to make several moves in the off-season that turned them into championship contenders for the next 3 seasons (winning 60-57-55 games in the process).

    This roster with a JVG or Thibs easily makes the playoffs next season. Then you have some decent momentum heading into the 2015 off-season. Granted missing the playoffs would be better since then they would actually have their own lottery pick but thats a whole other scenario.

  4. I kinda want Stan Van Gundy over Jeff if we had the choice. Partly because I like Jeff as an announcer, and more importantly because Stan has had top five offensive teams and top five defensive teams.

  5. I probably would too but there is just no chance in hell with the way Stan VG deals with the media that he would be able to coach under Dolan, plus not sure he would want to coach a franchise that is so closely tied to his bro anyway.

    JVG would immediately improve the D obviously plus from listening and reading quotes from him he sure seems to have embraced the idea of advanced stats and I believe because of this his offenses will be alot better. Plus most importantly he obviously knows what he would be getting into working for Dolan and as Ive mentioned in the past listening to some of his interviews when talking about his coaching career it is obvious how much he still loves the Knicks and how much he loved coaching them. Over the summer he had an interview with Michael Kay where he said the biggest regret of his life was quitting as coach of the Knicks and that he has had to live with that fact every day since.

    He really sounded like someone who was extending a pretty strong olive branch to Dolan and Im not surprised about the rumors during the season about Dolan’s strong interest in re-hiring JVG.

  6. I like it when the Knicks win.

    Unless this helps Woody keep his job, of course. But I think the “X amount of losses means Woody gets fired” ship has sailed a long time ago.

  7. How ridiculous is it that the Clippers deal moved from Reggie Bullock and Collison to Barnes and Collison? The Knicks can’t make a good trade to save their life. Even their hypothetical trades are terrible. I don’t mind Collison, but to not get Bullock back in the trade would take it from being a good trade to a “meh” deal.

  8. Chad Ford :

    Trading for Lin or Teague also kills any cap space the Knicks will have in 2015, but given the pressure to win now, they might just make a deal like this anyway.

    The Lin rumors are obviously bullshit, but damn, Ford, how hard is it to take a few seconds to simply check to see what the players’ contracts are before you write about them. Lin is only signed through next year. He wouldn’t affect the Knicks’ cap space in 2015.

  9. Maybe he’s going on the assumption that the Knicks would acquire Lin with the idea of actually keeping him this time? Correct me if I’m wrong, but in 2015 they could only reduce his salary from the $15 million he gets in 2014 by so much, so he’d definitely be expensive against the cap.

    All b/s speculation, of course.

  10. Ford is clearly under the impression that Lin’s contract goes into the 2015-16 season, or else he wouldn’t be lumping him in with Teague like that (whose contract does go into the 2015-16 season).

    As for his salary, the Knicks would just rescind his Bird Rights and re-sign him themselves with their cap room. Then they could pay him anything they’d like.

  11. Great points about JVG. Honestly, JVG >>>>>>>> Woodson, so it’s not like we would do worse than what’s been happening now.

    I just want a new coach and a new point guard. Is that too much to ask for? Why can’t we have Isaiah Thomas and a VG?

  12. Another game that I didn’t watch, because Mike Woodson is still the coach. This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I really enjoyed not being aggravated over the all star break.

  13. Did I read that correct, $15m next season for Lin!

    That’s sort of how it works but not really. The cap hit for the Rockets, or any team acquiring Lin in a trade, would only be $8.3MM next season. Had we matched the original offer sheet, we would have suffered a $15MM cap hit next year. Here’s a better explanation of the “Poison Pill” contracts:

    “For example: the Houston Rockets offered identical contracts to Knicks guard Jeremy Lin and Chicago Bulls forward/center Omer Asik. They deals will pay roughly $5 million in years one and two and $15 million in year three. For the Rockets, those deals will count as roughly $8.3 million contracts each year, for cap and tax purposes. If the Knicks opted to match, Lin’s deal would count at its actual value. That $15 million cap hit – combined with the contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler – would have come with a staggering luxury tax bill.”

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