Game Thread: Hornets v. Knicks

Tough matchup versus the defensive-minded ex-Bobcats, and Al Jefferson is going to do mean, not-nice things in the post. But hey, Melo needs three points for 20,000!

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Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

95 thoughts to “Game Thread: Hornets v. Knicks”

  1. wathcing the pre-game, Im so glad that Rick Fox is not part of the Zen staff. I really dont care for that guy

  2. Not sure how I feel about the unkempt nature of Shump’s flattop, but can’t argue with their play so far…..

  3. dont like that shot by acy, but if he feels compelled to take it, he should just launch from 3

  4. i have good news and bad news. the good news…JR has made some shots. the bad news….JR is aware that he has made some shots

  5. I’m excited to see Amar’e and Hardaway play their famous inside-out game on defense.

  6. I going to need everyone on the team to change their last name to Smith if that what it takes.

  7. Dalembert is a really solid one on one defender and sets excellent screens, makes me miss last year’s version of Tyson Chandler not so much.

  8. Cole did the classic Roy Hibbert “straight up in the air” thing and got called for the foul. No respect.

  9. JR has 3 turnovers where he basically handed the ball to the other team. Almost like he’s part of a point shaving conspiracy.

  10. Yeah, pretty obvious that Cole should be getting more minutes, he’s dominating Al Jefferson at both ends of the the court.

  11. Im all for the triangle and sharing the ball on offense but Melo goes way too many possessions where he doesnt even come close to touching the ball. Awful end to the half for the Knicks, Hornets have no business being down only 2 at the half.

  12. Shit, I step away and they go on a 20-7 run?? Who’s “guarding” Jefferson? Dalembert was doing a good job on him.

    Also, can someone please convince JR to quit the league and go play for the Globetrotters?

  13. Dalembert looks really tall. Either guys aren’t their listed heights out there or Sammy’s taller than 6’11”. Anyways…so far I’m lovin Larkin’s play. Shump is playing out of his mind..if it had not been for the early fouls- who knows? He might already be at 20 points.

  14. i have now watched almost 3 fulll games and I still have NO idea of which of our bigs are good.

  15. Shump and Dalembert’s fouls are killing us in this game. Without those two available the defense really goes to shit.

  16. out of my top 5 most annoying players, i know 4 are lebron, bayless, gerald henderson, and boozer. i think i dont like people with bad looking bald heads

  17. More Prigs and Larkin! Fish doing a nice job moving personnel in and out. Much less predictable than Woodson last year.

  18. Beautiful spin move and layup by Melo, after the good defensive play.

    He can do that in part because he still has energy to lift his legs.

    Fire Mike Woodson!

  19. Terrible shot clock management on that last possession. Gotta at least drive and draw a foul.

  20. Count this as a game we would have lost with Woodson at the helm.

    We should have something on the front page where we can keep track of how many of these we get over the course of the season.

  21. Yep, this is one WOW (Wins Over Woodson) and counting.

    The Bobnets are pretty good, and this is a nice win. And the game was actually fun to watch. Lots to work on, but I’m enjoying these Knicks.

  22. Solid play from Melo tonight on both ends. Larkin has been quite good but the team will gain another dimension when Calderon comes back, because you really have to respect Calderon’s shot. He’s one of the deadliest shooters in the league.

  23. I really like the way the team played tonight under Fisher. Last year they would have melted down and lost to Charlotte, and a lot of it would have been due to Felton’s switching off of Kemba Walker to leave Bargnani to guard him 21 feet away from the basket. STAT’s 17 and 10 in 23 minutes, though? That’s nothing short of impressive.

    The Knicks need to bury Jason Smith on the bench if they want to win games. 2 or 3 19 footers a game will not cut it if he only gets you 2 boards as a primary front court player. I’d just let Amar’e and Cole Aldrich split his minutes.

  24. I don’t like his rebounding but man I think Brandon Bass would be a pretty good fit for this team.

  25. Iso-Kemba

    Right? What the fuck? But I love it!

    I thought I was being bold when I predicted that they’s split their first eight games, but now I look like I was being conservative!

  26. Jason Smith was a big part of beating the Cavs. He played poorly tonight, but benching him at this point would be a bit harsh. Cole was pretty forgettable in his cameo tonight.

    At the end of the day, this is what Melo can do when he’s rested and used properly. He made huge plays on both ends. Kudos to Fisher, he’s doing really great so far! (Kerr seems to be hitting the ground running as well!)

  27. Frustrating game to watch at times but I will gladly take the win!! Fish going small for the final few mins was the biggest factor, great move although I thought he shouldve done it sooner but better late than never lol.

  28. We’d definitely be 0-3 if Woodson was coaching this team. Really like what I’m seeing from Fisher so far.

    Also DeMarcus Cousins went nuts today. Hell of a game from him.

  29. Good sign – Dalembert plays 6 minutes against Cleveland– doesn’t sulk — comes back with a big defensive performance against Jefferson last night. Really amazing how effective he was.

    Amare just can’t guard Al, which isn’t so surprising since Al is a really good post player. Other than getting torched 1-on-1 against him, he had maybe one obvious defensive gaffe — otherwise solid. Small sample of course but Amare is averaging 20.8 points and 12.4 rebounds per 40. He’s also not turning the ball over at all.

    Really impressed with Fisher so far. And his allocation of minutes (and guts to not play guys just because they’re supposed to play big minutes) bodes well for Bargnani playing minimally this year if he’s not playing well.

    Gotta be honest though – I’m not sure Bargs isn’t as good or better than Jason Smith. Smith doesn’t rebound much at all, and doesn’t seem to be an amazing defender or anything. Bargs is a pretty good mid-long 2 shooter also, and at least there is some other offensive game there (shot-fake drive, etc.).

    Just loving Pablo’s play so far this year. Other than a couple times he passed up shots he should’ve taken, he’s really been a steadying force on this team. Now that we’ve declined Larkin’s option, I feel like the vast majority of the PG minutes should go to Pablo and Calderon. We can use Larkin as a change of pace guy.

    Meanwhile what was up with Gerald Henderson not going off for 25 against us?

  30. by the way for the record I am fine with us not locking up Larkin next year. That extra $1MM just might make the difference between landing someone we want and losing him to an equivalent offer from another attractive team. I think one would hope that his ceiling would be someone like Lawson, but it’s pretty clear to me he’s nowhere as good as Ty Lawson. I think his most likely NBA comp is Aaron Brooks, who is a vet’s minimum kind of guy.

    There’s been a bunch of hubbub on Twitter about what we are allowed to offer Larkin after this year. Are we limited to his QO of $1.7MM-ish or do we have early bird rights? Ephus? Brian? anyone?

  31. I think Jason Smith v bargs is mostly a wash. Bargs sports a higher career TS (.533 vs .512), AST% (7.0 vs 5.6) and a slightly lower turnover rate (10.5 vs 11.8) but Smith beats out Bargs on career TRB and ORB % (12.5% trb, 8.5% orb, vs bargnani’s 9.5% trb and a 3.8 ORB [!!!]), 2pfg % (the only shot either of these players should be taking– 48% smith vs 47% bargs) Steal percentage, and block percentage (though these numbers are pretty irrelevant for both players). Smith has higher career ws/48 (.075 vs .059) and a lower drtg but theyre both so abysmal on defense that im not sure stats will ever be fine-grained enough to quantify whose incompetence is greater.

    If I had to choose between the two for a contract, I’d take Jason Smith–he’s way cheaper. Since we have both of them, I still choose Smith. That being said, neither should get time, nor should they be on any NBA team.

  32. Props to Jason Smith for his play during the Cavs game though. But he’s still a shitty player until further notice.

  33. I know we’re only 3 games into the season, but I’m really excited about Fish’s coaching. He seems to have a really good feel for the game. Having Phil as a sounding board undoubtedly helps. But he, and the team, doesn’t look as lost as Kidd and the Nets last season. Like I said, we’re only 3 games in- but there has been massive roster and system turnover. And guys are looking more comfortable by the game. I don’t expect the team to contend this year, but I expect the team to make the playoffs. too much talent on the roster not to do so. I’m also anxious to see the next influx of talent via the draft and FA’s. Watching the game last night, it became stunningly clear which types of players Phil & company have in mind to complement Melo. And it also was clear how they intend to maximize Melo’s impact. Those who expect Jordanesque scoring from him should be pleasantly surprised. Melo’s arguably the most devastating scorer in the league, but the way Fish wants to use him should make him deadlier. He’s putting Melo in good spots so that he can be patient and efficient in the 1st 3 quarters, and then giving him sufficient rest while leaning on the system so that Melo can be the closer we all know him to be. This team is far from a finished product, but damn I like where it’s going! Even Acy is being utilized in a way that maximizes his impact. And no one saw him having a big role. Larkin looks really good as well. This is gonna be fun to watch once it gets clicking.

  34. There’s been a bunch of hubbub on Twitter about what we are allowed to offer Larkin after this year. Are we limited to his QO of $1.7MM-ish or do we have early bird rights? Ephus? Brian? anyone?
    Teams have until the October 31 preceding the player’s second regular season to exercise their option for the player’s third season. Likewise, they have until the October 312 preceding the player’s third regular season to exercise their option for the player’s fourth season (see question number 59 for more information on options). If the team invokes both options (keeping the player for all four seasons) and submits a qualifying offer after the fourth season, then the player becomes a restricted free agent (see question number 44 for more information on restricted free agency). If the team declines either option, then the player enters free agency as an unrestricted free agent.

    However, if the team declines either option and the player becomes a free agent, the team cannot re-sign him to a salary greater than he would have received had the team exercised its option. In other words, teams can’t decline an option year in order to get around the rookie salary scale and give the player more money. This applies to all types of signing, including the Bird exception, the Mid-Level exception, and cap room.

  35. Amare just can’t guard Al, which isn’t so surprising since Al is a really good post player. Other than getting torched 1-on-1 against him, he had maybe one obvious defensive gaffe — otherwise solid. Small sample of course but Amare is averaging 20.8 points and 12.4 rebounds per 40. He’s also not turning the ball over at all.

    Early days, but the amount of space the Triangle provides Amar’e when he gets post touches makes him unguardable. Most of his turnovers last year came as a result of failing to recognize double teams bearing down on him and getting stripped in traffic. There is a lot less double teams he’s facing right now because of the spacing within the system and because he’s receiving the ball at the elbow for catch and shoot jumpers or on the block, both areas where he’s capable of making quick decisions. His rebounding has been encouraging and would be a huge boost if he could maintain his pace on the glass.

    JR is going to have some good and bad days early on, but he’s definitely trying to play within the system for the most part which is nice to see. He had some stupid turnovers last night, but they were all to my memory in the process of making standard passes within the offense rather than because of some wild iso-fest. If he does figure out the balance understanding when to look for his, when to create and when to keep the offense ticking he could be devastating within the system. At the least we should be able to get more for him than Copeland in a league that is going crazy for wings currently.

  36. The Larkin decision is not about saving money, imo, because they could have used the stretch to get his cap hit down to around $557k I think.

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