Knicks 100, Kings 85

Sacramento Kings 85 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 New York Knicks
Amare Stoudemire, PF 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +20

The numbers might not reflect as much, but Stat looked like he knocked off a lake barge’s worth of rust the last 24 hours. He did have one of his “episodes” – turnover followed quickly by a rage foul at the other end – but all in all Stat looked measures more comfortable playing off his new-look squad. The Lin-Stoudemire P&R still needs tweaking and tuning, but the Spidey senses of both parties are going so berserk you can practically see smoke coming out their ears.

Bill Walker, SG 20 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | +22

During Melo’s absence, Bill Walker’s been like the fifth guy on a bank heist team: Nobody’s exactly sure what he’s doing there or whether he secretly works for the cops, but they let him try to chip in anyway. Mainly because all the other heist team reserves would trip over the BofA laser alarm. That all changed — at least for an evening — with Walker’s shooting (Billy Bird), post moves (Hakeem Walker), and passing (Magic Walker) all rolled out with aplomb.

Tyson Chandler, C 30 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +20

A night after foul trouble had him largely tacked to the pine, Chandler managed to stay on the court long enough to put up a mediocre performance — numbers wise, anyway. Chandler did do a hell of a job keeping DeMarcus Cousins off the glass, however, forcing the blossoming Soph to get his on mid-range jumpers. Unfortunately, his poor shooting night brought his season field goal percentage below a million percent for the first time all year.

Landry Fields, G 30 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | +18

After the Kings play-by-play man Grant Napear responded to Landry’s first touch – a travel – by busting out “hip-itty-hop to the barber shop,” I almost went to bed. But then I remembered the mute button, which made things slightly more bearable from thereon forward. Ditto the stellar play of Landry himself, who’s parlayed his new-found bromance flame into a stunning renaissance of late. Even so, making Lin sleep on that couch would qualify as child abuse in most states.

Jeremy Lin, PG 26 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 13 AST | 10 PTS | +19

Yeah, he had baker’s dozen assists. Yeah, the Kings play-by-play guy referred to one of his dishes as “Classic Jeremy Lin.” So what? He didn’t score 20 points. He didn’t de-mummify Mike Bibby. He didn’t force the Chase moneychangers out the Temple. He didn’t cure AIDS. He didn’t throw a lob with his teeth. He didn’t weave a blanket for all New York’s homeless out of Renaldo Balkman’s hair. He didn’t negotiate an Isreal-Palestine peace settlement. He didn’t shave Bill walker’s head. Regressing to the mean. Told you. FAIL!

Mike Bibby, PG 18 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -3

Did you know that an anagram for Michael Bibby is “Hi, my ice lab bib”? As in, “Hello, bib. I’m going to wear you so that I don’t get dirty stashing Mike Bibby back into the ice lab.”

Jared Jeffries, PF 23 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +6

Jeffries has come awfully close to a double-double a few times of late, but hasn’t quite closed it out. No matter. His defensive presence once again helped turn the paint against the foes, while his offensive awareness, presence, and confidence continue to grow. Although I’m starting to worry that the next really hard charge might send JJ into the next dimension.

Steve Novak, SF 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +2

Hey, I miss Jorts, too. I do. Can’t wait for the guy to come back and beef up our front line a bit. But even at his most dangerous from distance, Harrellson didn’t pose near the threat – or provide near the floor spacing – of a Steve Novak. During the past fortnight’s Linning streak, Novak has proved himself yet another classic D’Antoni cog, keeping the defense honest and opening up opportunities for Lin, Fields, and Shumpert to cut and slash inside.

Wife: “He looks old.”
Me: “He’s 27.”
Wife: “Oh geez…”

Renaldo Balkman, PF 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -10

Grant Napear: “Looks like Balkman took a shot in the eye right there.”

No he did not, Grant. No he did not.

Toney Douglas, PG 7 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -10

After three games of exactly zero court minutes, Toney was finally given some garbage time, “confidence-building” burn. The energy was there, but the shot still looks Maloof broke.

Jerome Jordan, C 7 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -10

I’ll be honest, by the time Jordan entered the game, I’d pretty much stopped paying attention. Despite the actual tangible statistics, the one time I saw Jordan do anything, he bobbled an easy entry pass. I’m starting to think he’s like one of those Mario Bros. ghosts that only moves around and tries to attack when you’re not looking at it, and then totally freezes as soon as it sees your eyes.

Iman Shumpert, G 21 MIN | 3-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +1

If I’d eaten Jose Calderon without chewing, I’d probably be a little sluggish the next day, too — bad gas. Not the most spectacular of outings from our iron-forged rook — As our boy Spree aptly pointed out, “dude looks like a life-sized GI Joe action figure” — but his performance in Tuesday’s nail-biter buys him at least half a dozen duds, in my estimation.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Not since the 90s has the Garden’s energy been so consistently berserk as it’s been the last two weeks. We know this because, within five minutes of tonight’s tip, a good grip of the crowd was yawping for defense. Against the Kings. In February. Last month I wrote a piece for the Times about how home court advantage as we know and understand it tends to backfire in MSG. Might have to revise my thesis.
  2. If Cousins can somehow get a brain tattooed on the inside of his skull, the closest thing to a ceiling he’ll have will fall somewhere between the stratosphere and Neptune. As we mentioned earlier, Chandler kept Cousins largely at bay on the glass. But the flashes, the quickness, the strength, the quickly blossoming game — it’s all there, and it’s all getting more and more scary by the day.
  3. Gee whiz, if we could just get the Kings at the tail end of every back-to-back, why, we’d be doing just swell! The Knicks outdid the Kings in virtually ever category – shooting, rebounding, defense, TV crews — in a contest that had more the tenor of a friendly with the Paraguayan National Team than an actual NBA game. Maybe they were happy to be home. Maybe they just wanted to — finally — put a bad team away early. Maybe they just really wanted to get back to .500. After all, the symbolism of having the team’s final piece inserted just as it claws its way back to even keel is an attractive one: As far as the Knicks are concerned, it’ll be a whole new season and – hopefully – a whole new Melo. As for the Kings, the Maloofs should probably hold a few hundred bake sales or something.
  4. There’s nothing quite like a Knicks home crowd. From basically inventing the “DE-FENSE” chant to the eardrum-splitting chaos of a home Playoff game to the now infamous Kris Humphries abuse, there’s arguably no better crowd in professional sports than that which bleeds orange and blue. But showering Kings rookie guard Isaiah Thomas with boos any time the poor kid so much as lifted his Gatorade cup? That takes the cake.
  5. As I explained earlier, I was stuck tonight with the Sacramento home feed on League Pass. Or, as I like to call it, the Sactotron 3000 Robo-Game-Announcer. This machine comes with two settings: Midwest John Doe Robot (play-by-play) and Cowboy Robot (color). Both impart all the enthusiasm and vivacity of a bowl of lettuce, and both are tremendously numb to even the most asinine of Kings screw-ups. Even-keeled, I guess you’d say? Anyway, it sounds like Breen and Clyde were in rare form tonight. Something about sharks remembering their watering holes and Clyde needing elephant bait in order to scrub Al Gore’s deck and digging Asian chicks with blond hair? I hate League Pass.
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Jim Cavan

Beyond his KnickerBlogger roots, Jim's work has appeared at ESPN.com, Grantland, The Classical, and the New York Times. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, entitled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.

44 thoughts to “Knicks 100, Kings 85”

  1. Hmmm, my league pass feed had the Breen and Clyde. Didn’t there used to be rumors about how the two didn’t really get along? Now they seem like an old married couple: occasionally passive-aggressive, but now self-aware about and mildly entertained by the things in one another they used to find irritable.

  2. Look how comfortable Landry looks out there, what a difference a couple of weeks make. I hope he has finally turned that corner.

  3. So league pass games are not blacked out? That is an interesting piece of information….

    Although I guess you are probably out of town to be able to watch it….

    Great great recap….

  4. jon abbey: no, he proves teams need a PG unless they have an elite player like LeBron/Wade/Jordan on the perimeter. we were playing without any of maybe the 50-60 best PGs in the league, not a recipe for success.

    The Magic are 18-11 without a decent point guard. Chris Duhon and the Gutted Husk of Jameer Nelson are really bad. Not _____________ bad, but well below league average.

    What’s your excuse for them?

    Maybe the reality is that we have $34M locked up in two overpaid “superstars” who aren’t anywhere near the LeBrons and Wades of the league. Maybe we should trade them for other league-average players (although Amar’e hasn’t been that, most assuredly) and draft picks. Or maybe we should wait for this mysterious “gel” to kick in, which will magically solve all of Amar’e start-a-drive-17-feet-from-the-rim-and-cough-it-up-by-the-second-dribble problems and turn him into the max-deserving player he’ll never be.

    Or you can keep making excuse. Either way’s cool.

  5. The Honorable Cock Jowles: The Magic are 18-11 without a decent point guard. Chris Duhon and the Gutted Husk of Jameer Nelson are really bad. Not _____________ bad, but well below league average.

    What’s your excuse for them?

    uh, they have the second best player in the league, who causes more spacing issues than anyone else, and they’ve surrounded him with shooters, plus Turkoglu plays point forward down the stretch pretty often.

    pretty sure you could have puzzled that one out yourself, sometimes I find it hard to believe you’re this ignorant combined with being this arrogant, but it seems like somehow you actually are.

  6. So I’m new, but I’m guessing that Cock Jowles is the always obnoxious and frequently curmudgeonly guy in the group that everybody tolerates because they don’t know how to politely get him to shut it?

    It’s like reading the repeated, compulsory, and never quite relevant thoughts of the Asperger’s sufferer.

    In other words, Cock Jowles = Sheldon Cooper. He’s not quite wrong (because he limits all discussion to things that can be empirically verified) but he’s never on point either.

  7. The Honorable Cock Jowles: The Magic are 18-11 without a decent point guard. Chris Duhon and the Gutted Husk of Jameer Nelson are really bad. Not _____________ bad, but well below league average.What’s your excuse for them?Maybe the reality is that we have $34M locked up in two overpaid “superstars” who aren’t anywhere near the LeBrons and Wades of the league. Maybe we should trade them for other league-average players (although Amar’e hasn’t been that, most assuredly) and draft picks. Or maybe we should wait for this mysterious “gel” to kick in, which will magically solve all of Amar’e start-a-drive-17-feet-from-the-rim-and-cough-it-up-by-the-second-dribble problems and turn him into the max-deserving player he’ll never be.Or you can keep making excuse. Either way’s cool.

    How is that an appropriate comparison?

    Sometimes I wonder if you’ve actually have ever watched these teams.

    Orlando has great spacing and a guy who tilts defenses and creates rotations. Replace Howard with a great penetrating guard like Lin and you get the same results.

    You’re convinced Amar’e is going to continue struggling after just two games back?

    You’re convinced Melo is going to play “league average” playing with the first penetrate and kick point guard in his career?

    Jeremy Lin on how he and Melo will work together in this offense:
    http://www.nba.com/video/games/knicks/2012/02/15/0021100433_sac_nyk_lin_presser.nba/

    starts at 4:18

    Are you just trolling?

  8. it’s the funniest cycle:

    1) decide what stats make a player good or not
    2) judge players by those stats, no matter how they correlate to chemistry and winning games
    3) never ever deviate on these set-in-stone perspectives, no matter how much information comes in to the contrary
    4) mock anyone who doesn’t toe the party line

    here are some tips for you and Mr. Berri:

    1) rebounds, not always as important as is thought
    2) turnovers, quite often not attributable to just one person and a wide variance in how damaging they actually are on an individual basis
    3) the ability to create space for your teammates on offense, both the single most crucial aspect of an offensive player and very hard to measure
    4) the more energy the other team needs to expend to stop you, the less it has left to stop your teammates. also very hard to measure, especially since individual games are not entirely separate events

  9. Knicks4Eva: So I’m new, but I’m guessing that Cock Jowles is the always obnoxious and frequently curmudgeonly guy in the group that everybody tolerates because they don’t know how to politely get him to shut it?It’s like reading the repeated, compulsory, and never quite relevant thoughts of the Asperger’s sufferer. In other words, Cock Jowles = Sheldon Cooper. He’s not quite wrong (because he limits all discussion to things that can be empirically verified) but he’s never on point either.

    Haha. That’s excellent.

  10. Knicks4Eva:
    So I’m new, but I’m guessing that Cock Jowles is the always obnoxious and frequently curmudgeonly guy in the group that everybody tolerates because they don’t know how to politely get him to shut it?

    It’s like reading the repeated, compulsory, and never quite relevant thoughts of the Asperger’s sufferer.

    In other words, Cock Jowles = Sheldon Cooper. He’s not quite wrong (because he limits all discussion to things that can be empirically verified) but he’s never on point either.

    Sheldon Cooper is a trillion times smarter, Cock just stops posting for a bit whenever he gets backed into a corner. if he really is a professor of any kind, it’s a sad advertisement for academia.

  11. jon abbey: it’s the funniest cycle:1) decide what stats make a player good or not2) judge players by those stats, no matter how they correlate to chemistry and winning games3) never ever deviate on these set-in-stone perspectives, no matter how much information comes in to the contrary4) mock anyone who doesn’t toe the party linehere are some tips for you and Mr. Berri: 1) rebounds, not always as important as is thought2) turnovers, quite often not attributable to just one person and a wide variance in how damaging they actually are on an individual basis

    “3) the ability to create space for your teammates on offense, both the single most crucial aspect of an offensive player and very hard to measure4) the more energy the other team needs to expend to stop you, the less it has left to stop your teammates. also very hard to measure, especially since individual games are not entirely separate events.”

    Wow. That is great. Exactly what I’ve been trying to convey here.

  12. I definitely want them to add Smith, but I’m definitely worried about disrupting chemistry. I know we need the 3 pt shooting at guard. But what happens to fields and Shumps minutes? Both are playing well right now.

  13. Why does anyone want JR Smith? He’s possibly the dumbest, worst-behaved, hardest-to-control player in the NBA. His stats are incredibly inconsistent, he contributes very little aside from scoring, and he is not happy as a spot up shooter. What reason is there to get him on the Knicks???

  14. Oh, man! I was planning on computing our players’ GPA’s at the halfway point of the season, and you just totally screwed our lord and savior.

    Jeremy Lin’s dad is gonna be really disappointed in him.

  15. Gorky: Why does anyone want JR Smith? He’s possibly the dumbest, worst-behaved, hardest-to-control player in the NBA. His stats are incredibly inconsistent, he contributes very little aside from scoring, and he is not happy as a spot up shooter. What reason is there to get him on the Knicks???

    Those compound adjectives are pretty subjective.

    For one, he’s one of the 5-10 most prolific 3pt shooters in the game the last 5 years or so. (see my post about games with 5 or more 3s)

    That percentage went down a bit when he was asked to playmake, but he’s quite capable of being a great 3pt shooter again paired with a drive and kick pg.

    He was Denver’s best +/- player over a 5 year period.

    The last four years has assist percentages superior or comparable to guys like Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen and Jason Terry.

    Inconsistent, yes.

    But in just over 300 games as Nugget, 71 he scored 20 points or more. That’s for a guy averaging between 18-27 minutes a game.

    Check out his percentages in those games if you think he’s just a volume shooter:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pgl_finder.cgi?request=1&player=smithjr01&match=game&year_min=2007&year_max=2011&age_min=0&age_max=99&team_id=&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_starter=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos_is_g=&pos_is_gf=&pos_is_f=&pos_is_fg=&pos_is_fc=&pos_is_c=&pos_is_cf=&c1stat=&c1comp=gt&c1val=&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts&order_by_asc=&offset=0

    He can single-handidly win you games off the bench.

    If you think he’s just a chucker, see what he did in game 4 of the WCF against the Lakers, where he was clearly the best player on the floor when he was on it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkD_99dLOk0

  16. I’m not convinced on Amare either way. He may continue to struggle, because a lot of his problems in the last couple of games seem to be with his lift. Fewer dunks, more shots blocked. Maybe he’s just out of game shape after his absence, but maybe there are lingering health effects. Only time will tell.

    I’m also not sure exactly why but he doesn’t seem to be getting the calls he was getting last year. It seems to me like he is still drawing the same contact, he just doesn’t get to the line as much. It doesn’t look to me like he is seeking to avoid contact so I’m not really understanding what has changed in the refs eyes.

    As for why we would want JR Smith…even if he is the team killing headcase he is being portrayed as by some parties(and he’s not; he’s far from a boyscout, but he’s not Metta World Peace either), he’s valuable for the simple fact that he takes Bill Walker’s minutes. Bill was nice tonight but he has far too many games where his impact is negative. Smith scores efficiently, generates a fair amount of turnovers for his position and doesn’t turn it over often. Even at half speed he is probably a better on ball defender than Walker is, and I don’t see anyone he can be as stupid as Walker is on rotations. I’m fully on board with Smith in NY.

  17. Is it me or has this condensed season been like crack? I mean when the Knicks have 2 days off I am like Noooooooooooooooooooo. Even before all this stuff happened I was definitely reading more articles, watching more replays of games or highlights, listening to more sports radio than I ever have before. Once they got you hooked…..

  18. By my quick and dirty math, the Knicks’ offensive rating in the Linsanity era has been around 105 or so, not including tonight’s laugher against Sacto. An O-rating of 105 would rank 7th in the NBA, and of course the Knicks did most of that without Melo and Stat. If everything clicks it sure seems to me like this could be a top 5 offense and a top 10 defense, which would mean we would be real contenders. The Mavs last year were 8th in defense and 8th in offense and they won the title.

  19. back on the first page of Hollinger’s rankings at 15th, a tiny bit behind Kenneth Faried and his band of rampaging Nuggets in 14th. NY has still played the weakest schedule in the league, though.

  20. Incredibly funny!

    If everyone’s healthy, our lineup should look something like this

    J-Lin 28 / Davis 20
    Landry 28 / Shumpert 20
    Melo 35 / Novak 8 / Landry 5
    Stoudemire 32 / Jeffries 10 / Jorts 6
    Chandler 32 / Jeffries 12 / Jorts 4

    I am bit skeptical about JR Smith, he is definitely the best player available, but he might be a headcase (or at least, he is portrayed like that). Even if it worked, we have a really nice thing going with our players, so i would prefer to bring someone with a low profile. Preferably a C to spare some minutes to Chandler. Who’s available out there? What are the alternatives?

    I guess if Davis doesn’t fully recover from his back injury, that makes JR Smith more valuable to the Knicks.

  21. jon abbey:
    back on the first page of Hollinger’s rankings at 15th, a tiny bit behind Kenneth Faried and his band of rampaging Nuggets in 14th. NY has still played the weakest schedule in the league, though.

    Yeah, it’s amazing how easy our schedule has been during this run, the Lakers being the only serious contender (and they aren’t that good really.) Although we were losing to teams like Sacto early in the season.
    Our 2nd half schedule should be brutal. Looking forward to seeing what we can do against the Miamis and Chicagos of the world…

  22. entertaining recap as always! I bet Bill Walker’s mom has it printed out and magneted to her fridge.

  23. jon abbey:
    it’s the funniest cycle:

    1) decide what stats make a player good or not
    2) judge players by those stats, no matter how they correlate to chemistry and winning games
    3) never ever deviate on these set-in-stone perspectives, no matter how much information comes in to the contrary
    4) mock anyone who doesn’t toe the party line

    Or decide which stats correlate with wins and judge them accordingly. Then use those stats (not adjusting for “gut feeling” and “eyetest”) to determine which players are bad and which players are not. Chemistry is another word for “how good are your players?” and the numbers show that our players are not very good.

    (In the year before the Superfriends teamed up, Wade, LeBron, and Bosh all had roughly the same WS48 they have now. Almost no change despite an ENORMOUS shakeup in personnel and system. And Berri’s work, which I’m sure you haven’t read, argues that the stats — no matter what you feel — don’t change that much from year to year apart from the normal deviations based on age, injury, etc.)

    And what information comes to the contrary? Your wholesale dismissal of Berri is, “The stats don’t match what I see and therefore believe, so they’re wrong.” That’s the only argument you have against his model.

  24. The Honorable Cock Jowles:And what information comes to the contrary? Your wholesale dismissal of Berri is, “The stats don’t match what I see and therefore believe, so they’re wrong.” That’s the only argument you have against his model.

    if you want to sponsor my spending the time and effort on it, I will be happy to rip that ignorant bitch to shreds. in the meantime, I’ll stick with my drive-by mockings of him and of you, for believing his silliness.

    anything that fits our model=valid data
    anything that doesn’t fit our model=outlier, let’s ignore it

  25. The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    (In the year before the Superfriends teamed up, Wade, LeBron, and Bosh all had roughly the same WS48 they have now. Almost no change despite an ENORMOUS shakeup in personnel and system. And Berri’s work, which I’m sure you haven’t read, argues that the stats — no matter what you feel — don’t change that much from year to year apart from the normal deviations based on age, injury, etc.)

    hilariously the very first example I checked of this proved how wrong it is:

    WS/48, the year before and after Garnett/Pierce/Allen joined up:

    Garnett: .171, 265
    Pierce: .148, .207
    Allen: .136, .177

    nope, no such thing as chemistry.

  26. Haha Well Said although way to pick a fight with the Bad Wolf or as he will say himself, the Melo of this Blog.

    Knicks4Eva:
    So I’m new, but I’m guessing that Cock Jowles is the always obnoxious and frequently curmudgeonly guy in the group that everybody tolerates because they don’t know how to politely get him to shut it?

    It’s like reading the repeated, compulsory, and never quite relevant thoughts of the Asperger’s sufferer.

    In other words, Cock Jowles = Sheldon Cooper. He’s not quite wrong (because he limits all discussion to things that can be empirically verified) but he’s never on point either.

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    And what information comes to the contrary? Your wholesale dismissal of Berri is, “The stats don’t match what I see and therefore believe, so they’re wrong.” That’s the only argument you have against his model.

    Thats not the only argument, though. He had Dennis Rodman rated about Michael Jordan on the late 90’s Bulls. He had Reggie Evans as one of the most valuable players in the NBA; in fact, there was only a minute difference between what Lebron James and Reggie Evans contributed per minute, according to Berri.

    He overvalues rebounding and he doesn’t account for the value of being able to use a lot of possessions at moderate to high efficiency.

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