Happy Knicks Year! (And Knicks-Clippers Game Thread)

It’s a very Bargnani end to 2014! As we send this sad, no-good, laughable year of ‘Bocker basketball into the dustbin of history, Fred Katz of Bleacher Report, ESPN and a bunch of nifty sites dropped by to give us the skinny on Donald Sterling’s Steve Ballmer’s shiny new team. You can read my and Kevin McElroy’s scorching-hot Knicks takes over at ClipperBlog.

So the Clips snaggled a slightly-used Mike Woodson. While It’s hard to gauge the impact of assistant coaches, your thoughts on his impact thus far?

Like you said, it’s hard to judge assistants from the outside, but if you’re looking for someone who looks like the illegitimate child of Steve Harvey and Mr. Potato Head, Woodson’s your guy.

If you hate eyebrows, Woodson’s your guy.

If you want an assistant who can do the Shimmy, Woodson’s your guy.

Early in the season, there were moments when the Clippers offense looked kind of “Knicksy.” Lots of isolation. Too much mid-range. And there are still moment when that happens, but the Clips are still scoring efficiently and mostly running the same plays. It’s hard t gauge actual value, and the presence of the great Alvin Gentry is surely missed in places, but Woody seems to be perfectly fine.

Blake Griffin’s been up and down this year. What’s going on? Why the increase in midrange heaves?

Doc Rivers has equated it to getting a new toy. You want to play with it as soon as you get it.

There’s no doubt Blake’s mid-range accuracy is improved this year, draining 40 percent of his attempts from that area, per NBA.com. But he’s also jump shooting so freakin’ much, getting away from his strength: finishing in the paint. He’s on pace for just 95 dunks, which seems like a lot, but is a little more than half of his previous career low. We’re not seeing rim-crushing Blake this year, and it’s hard to say exactly why.

There are times when he looks a sixteenth of a step slower or an inch lower to the ground on his vertical, nothing too damning, but subtle enough that it doesn’t allow for those Mozgovian moments. On top of that, he’s been more lax on the boards and on the defensive end.

Griffin is still one of the three of four best power forwards in the NBA. He’s scoring at an efficient and voluminous rate, even if it’s not quite as tidy as usual. He’s solidified himself as the NBA’s most versatile passing power forward at worst and it’s best-passing 4-man at best. He’ll be fine. It’s just been a little quirky.

What a nice, ebullient, probably-not-racist new owner you have. Which life event would you like to have had Steve sitting courtside to scream and sweat at: 1) Your Bar Mitzvah 2) The first time you ever kissed another human being 3) [insert your own option]?

He’d be a wonderful addition to my Bar Mitzvah if only because I’d love a glistening, salty, bald man screaming “Mazel tov!!” from across the congregation as Aunt Debbie and Uncle Mark finish their Aliyah. Conversely, I definitely wouldn’t want him there for my first kiss. I imagine that looked something like a frog stabbing at a fly, but if the fly was pretending that it wanted to be eaten. No one should have to witness the laws of nature dement to such a degree.

More than anything, though, I wish Ballmer were there the first time I successfully used the toilet. My father once told me (and by “once told me,” I mean he said it five minutes ago when I brought this up to him), “Potty training you was one of the worst experiences of my life.” He was elated when the diapers went away. Doesn’t he deserve a friend to celebrate with him after such a treacherous life-altering experience? Who better than Ballmer?

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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.

40 thoughts to “Happy Knicks Year! (And Knicks-Clippers Game Thread)”

  1. Clips have 8 fg’s on 8 ast. Which is the more laughable matchup? Calderon on Paul, Jason Smith on Blake, or something else? THJr on Reddick seems to be winning.

  2. Bargnani in the proverbial nutshell – 2 made jumpers, then an airball, then he can’t hold onto a rebound, resulting in a 3 pointer for the other team.

    Our lottery position is safe, if not improving.

  3. Bargs starting to look himself again missed a layup on the drive, rebound to end the half goes through hands, airballed jumper. He’s shaking off the rust nicely after the initial rebound and his two made shots.

  4. Who would want Timmy? There’s probably 300 players in college right now who can do what he does – make 1/3 of their shots and play no defense.

  5. Man, I really thought the “trade him for a protected second round pick” portion of Melo’s contract wouldn’t arrive until his 3rd year or so. Yet here we are in game 34 of year 1 and that’s exactly how I feel. Guess I’m starting my NYE drinking early. Stay safe everyone!

  6. The Clips din’t tease the knicks like most teams do, letting them get within 5 before slamming the door.

  7. As a knicks fan, you have to stay focused on the positives:
    – getting a high draft lottery pick.
    – only 4 2/3 years left on Melo’s contract.

  8. Better watch your back, 76ers. You may have a slight edge on us in losing percentage but we are three losses “ahead” of you. And now we have unleashed the Double Bargs lineup on the league. You guys have Michael Carter-Williams and his 27.3 USG and a .440 TS%, and that is indeed an impressive weapon, but we have TWO ANDREA BARGNANIS. We can put them on the floor at the same time.

    Game on, bitches.

  9. Top 2 pick is so huge for the Knicks since anything past #2 I don’t trust them not to fuck up.

  10. I’ve spent the last 15 minutes watching someone try on different shoes. This might be worse than the Knicks game

  11. The #2 pick in 2012 would have netted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist instead of Anthony Davis. We need the #1!

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I’ll still always be a Knicks fan, although it’s fair to say that I mean “fan” as in “critic of a poorly-run joke of a basketball franchise that has made exactly one good move (Tyson Chandler) in the last fifteen years.”

  12. That was that draft, though. That only had one no-brainer (although man, I still can’t believe how far Drummond fell). This draft promises to offer at least two no-brainer big men. After that, I worry that the Knicks will end up with the guy from China.

    Good luck in Portland, Jowles!

  13. Detroit somehow got better once they got rid of the unbelievably awful Josh Smith. Funny how that works.

  14. How many teams can jump to the top 3 in the draft? I remember reading that only one or two can do that but I’m not finding it anywhere.

    In other words if the Knicks have the worst record does it guarantee only the 4th pick? Or the 2nd or 3rd?

  15. Well, 7 weeks ago I asked this question to the board:

    Could this team be 6-28 going into the New Year??

    The team had just lost to the Magic at home and was sitting at 2-7.

    Even what I thought was my absolute worst case scenario over these past 21 games came up short in imagining the unbelievable suckitude of this team. They are actually a game up on the Sixers going into the New Year!

    Happy New Year, Knick Fans (…may 2014 soon be a distant, distant memory)

  16. I meant to say, “Any lottery team can win…” I swear I know the difference.

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