Knicks 88, Suns 112: 77 Signs of Suns-Induced Sadness

As this game was a meeting of two former Mike D’Antoni-orchestrated “Seven Seconds or Less” squads, and the Knicks are regular committers of all manner of defensive sins, it seemed fitting to call in the services of Detectives William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) of Se7en fame. Oh, and, during a timeout early in the evening, a Suns fan calmly banked in (no pun intended) a half-court jumper for ownership of a cool $77,777 cheque.

New York Knicks 88 FinalRecap | Box Score 112 Phoenix Suns
Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 30 MIN | 8-16 FG | 3-5 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | -27“It’s impressive to see a man feeding off his emotions.” – Somerset
1. When one watches Phoenix’s pogo-stick pivot, Miles Plumee, soaring to the rim in transition for a reverse alley-oop jam, it evokes all kinds of Stoudemire-related sads.
2. It’s heart-warming to see him starting game after game once again, and Amar’e continues to have efficient offensive outings, yet, it means next to nothing.
3. The Knicks are disadvantaged by roughly ten points per 100 possessions when Amar’e is grouped with Anthony and Hardaway Jr. This three-man lineup was plugged into the game in the midst of Mike Woodson’s rescue efforts.
4. After knocking in an eighteen-footer and being clipped on the elbow by Channing Frye, STAT gestured the “count the basket,” symbol. This, as the team was down 29 early in the third quarter.
5. Stoudemire is not especially on board with the idea of passing the ball on offense, of late.
6. Amar’e had been 1-2 as a starter against the Phoenix Suns.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 8-20 FG | 3-5 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | -23“Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” I agree with the second part.” – Somerset
7. Carmelo played the first fifteen minutes of this game, without a break.
8. Fatigue has loomed over Anthony’s season.
9. Despite the Knicks failing to be within single digits for the entirety of the second half, Melo played 40 minutes.
10. An anomalous 40% from the field and 60% at the line isn’t going to propel this supporting cast within reach of anything significant.
11. Melo only managed to get to the line five times, two below his season average.
12. Mike Woodson elected to continue to flog the proverbial dead horse, only yanking Anthony from the game in the latter half of the final period.
13. Melo had averaged 40 minutes of playing time over the last two, and this was the Knicks’ third game in five nights.
14. Mike Woodson has ridden Carmelo Anthony into the ground – but will not throw him under the bus.

Tyson Chandler, C 29 MIN | 0-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -21“Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.” – John Doe
15. Eric Bledsoe blocked Chandler in the second quarter.
16. Markieff Morris also blocked him, in the third quarter.
17. He went 0-4 with a -24 and more fouls than points through the first three quarters. Is that good?
18. Slowly but surely, “2011 Tyson Chandler” is drifting further and further away from our collective consciousness.
19. He decided to get involved in a scuffle with Markieff Morris, because why not?
20. The lead was a flattering 19pts at that stage.
21. And, of course, Chandler picked up the obligatory technical for his troubles.
22. I’m not going to sit here and say that Tyson Chandler played well.
23. If Chandler’s visible displeasure, murmurings and passing remarks about being “out-schemed,” weren’t enough of an indicator of his Woodson-related frustrations, watch this game.
24. Even with hints and spurts of a possible revival, ultimately, his play has vacillated from DPOY to an apathetic, rebel-without-a-cause defensive figure. Sigh.
25. Miles Plumlee had five more rebounds than Tyson Chandler, albeit in six fewer minutes on court.

Raymond Felton, PG 23 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 6 PTS | -26“This isn’t going to have a happy ending.” – Somerset
26. Raymond Felton is the starting point guard for the Knicks.
27. In basketball, the point guard is responsible for establishing the offense, controlling the flow of the game, and involving teammates. So, yeah.
28. For a short while, it looked as if Bledsoe and Dragic were going to score ALL OF THE POINTS.
29. Goran Dragic toyed with the portly point guard, including 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting (three from downtown) in the first quarter.
30. In very Knicksian fashion, a fast break opportunity (in the third quarter) ended with Felton being called for a travel after taking it to the basket for a one-on-three.
31. Felton sunk an and-one floater early in the third. Fuel to the floater-friendly fire.
32. Felton demonstratively displayed his dismay at a hand-checking foul call with 9mins left in the third. By his count, he has never been correctly adjudged to have fouled an opponent. All 1449 career fouls were mistakes.
33. Dragic copped a nasty cut to the eye and was clobbered on more than one occasion on the evening.
34. Dragic finished with 32pts on 5-9 3FG shooting.
35. Dragic, unfortunately, does not play for the Knicks.
36. Raymond Felton is a big part of what we do here.
37. Four assists on the night for Raymond Felton. Also: four turnovers, and four personal fouls.
38. The Knicks’ backcourt defense conceded a total of 48 points and seven 3PM to the Suns’ starting guards.

J.R. Smith, SG 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -37“It’s more comfortable for you to label me as insane.” – John Doe
39. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.
40. Earl scored 10pts in the first stanza, including two threes. After this, it was all downhill.
41. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.
42. Three turnovers and zero assists for the Knicks’ enigma.
43. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.
44. This is now Smith’s worst +/- on the season, “besting” a -32 from the Christmas Day loss to OKC.
45. He could not follow up his franchise record-tying 9 3PM from the win in Sacramento with another franchise record.
46. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.

Jeremy Tyler, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 047. Jeremy Tyler has unequivocally been demoted to the role of “participant” in the garbage time barbershop quartet of Aldrich, Murry, Tyler, and Brown.
48. Shavlik Randolph had two points and three rebounds in 3 minutes, trumping Tyler’s three minutes.

Cole Aldrich, C 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +549. Travel to “Cole World” was strictly limited to the final six minutes.
50. Cole Aldrich miraculously assembled a tidy +5 – only that it was restricted to five minutes of floor time.
51. The Knicks have the league-leader for defensive rebound percentage (Aldrich, 31.4%) but couldn’t find ten minutes to squeeze him into the rotation.
52. Cole Aldrich(’s playing time) has been kicked to the curb.

Shannon Brown, PG 5 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +353. “Defensive stopper” by default, Shannon Brown, didn’t enter the game until garbage time.
54. Any chance of a Shannon Brown revenge game narrative was thus erased.
55. Shannon Brown attempted five field goals.
56. Shannon Brown is an active member of the Knicks’ roster.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 20 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -1“I just don’t think I can continue to live in a place that embraces and nurtures apathy as if it was virtue.” – Somerset
57. Pablo is nearly 37 years old. Eric Bledsoe is not.
58. Prior to tonight, New York was 8-19 in games where Prigioni dished out three or fewer assists.
59. Pablo hoisted (and made) a three in transition. This may or may have been the highlight of the night for the Knicks.
60. For entertainment, a tricky touch pass to Amar’e (that led to free throws) closely followed that three. In the fourth quarter. When the Knicks were down 19.
61. The lightning-bolt-in-a-bottle duo of Dragic & Bledsoe is very near the worst possible defensive assignment for Prigioni.

Iman Shumpert, SG 26 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -1“What’s in the box?” – Mills
62. There were no extra clues dispensed in the ongoing mystery of what happened to Iman Shumpert’s soul.
63. A solitary corner three summarized Shumpert’s offensive contributions.
64. Even with J.R. Smith’s misfiring, erratic arsenal, and a blowout scenario for the bulk of the game, Shumpert could not get more than 26 minutes of burn.
65. It’s okay, though, because Shumpert is a “big,” guard, and TRIANGLE. Holding out hope that games like tonight are not the kerosene onto the flaming, nail-ridden coffin that is Shumpert’s confidence.
66. Shump has now scored 11 points (total) over the past three games.
67. A decently nifty defensive outing on Shumpert’s behalf was buried deeply beneath the muck of the rest of the team’s performance.

Toure’ Murry, SG 5 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +368. Confirmation that Toure’ Murry does indeed still exist. Unfortunately, confirmation didn’t arrive until the result was well and truly decided.
69. Toure’ Murry has not played more than six minutes in any game since February 28.
70. Toure’ Murry’s headband was unable to provide any additional luck.
71. It’s okay to (quietly) admit if you forgot Murry was once a part of the rotation.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 21 MIN | 2-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +5“Did the kid see it?” – Somerset
72. Hardaway Jr.’s shots were not falling.
73. Hardaway Jr. does not appear to play defense.
74. The combination of being trigger-happy and off-target doesn’t tend to bode well against one of the league’s best transition teams.
75. This game was the eleventh time in the rook’s campaign that he has launched at least five three-pointers while shooting 20% or below from that range.
76. 2-11 is not a productive night of shooting the basketball.
77. THJ entered this game in the desert having converted just 31.9% of his three-point attempts over his last ten.

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30 thoughts to “Knicks 88, Suns 112: 77 Signs of Suns-Induced Sadness”

  1. So much for my “weird feeling” of winning this game. I’m really sorry to reiterate that we’re losing the playoffs train especially because we didn’t fire Woodson in time. Everyone seems so deflated, like playing this way has become a heavy drag. Too much of that is on Woodson’s shoulders. And some of that is on not having a leader in the locker room.

  2. It is fascinating (like watching the Zapruder film) how the Knicks have had several decently sized winning streaks buried beneath legions of losses.
    It’s what to me proves that this isn’t necessarily all about personnel. It is so clearly a coaching problem.
    But I think it probably is about one player, in particular.
    It is amusing how some folks will lump, say, Amar’e, Chandler and Hardaway and suggest it is not a strong rotation, when the fact of the matter we are talking shades of grey. Most of our lineups involve the emperor penguin or one of the oldest point guards in the league.
    There was a point in the second quarter where Dragic and Bledsoe were slipping defenders in the paint and going in for virtually uncontested layups pretty much at will.
    And with Dragic knocking down threes to the sounds of ‘LAYUP’, one might think fat Ray would fight over picks, rather than routine duck under them.

    But, you know, we should expected it because no coach has ever figured out how to defend the devastating single pick, right? Got forbid someone work in a roll…
    Woodson may have fallen to Zeke-like coaching prestige after this season. He may not get a division 1 coaching job.

  3. I didn’t see the game, but looking at the box score, it seems the starters got blown away, but the bench did fine. Is this a correct impression?

  4. Knicks fan nj there was no game last night .. There were no starters there were no bench players… Game was over mid way thru the first thx to knicks trading away any draft picks in the past ten years … To the tune of 18 first quarter points

  5. The bench held up extremely well, it was definitely the Knicks’s strongest point. At one point Tyler’s chair was precariously leaning a little starboard, but Herb wadded up a program and snuggled it under a leg. That seemed to stabilize things and set the tone for a pretty ergonomic second half.

  6. Lack of pride, definitely. Dragic slashed repeatedly through our defense as if it was butter. Nobody gave a damn. This team has completely quit on the coach, and I don’t really understand why they’re not firing him. Again, if we intend to chase the playoffs, I don’t really know how anybody can trust Woodson to do the right job. Even for a really few games, we should try a different approach, and with the befuddled looks Woodson randomly throws to the court as soon as the game slips just a little away this is not happening under his guide.

  7. Chandler should have been benched last night. Not that Aldrich would have played better but chandler obviously didn’t want to be out there.

  8. Another horseshit effort from the Knicks on the defensive end, as the Suns racked up a gaudy 126.3 offensive rating. There was only one positive to take from this game: with 73 games in the books, the number of games remaining in Mike Woodson’s tenure as Knicks head coach is now in the single digits. Here’s to a brighter tomorrow in which the Knicks are not a bottom-5 defense.

  9. Chandler used to be one of my favorite Knicks since 2000, and even though I can certainly understand his “why bother?” attitude because of Woodson, that’s still no excuse to not go out and do your God damned job. If any normal person went to work and gave a pissy don’t-give-a-fuck effort everyday, they wouldn’t last long. His attitude is turning into a cancer, and it’s gotta go.

    Hey, if Noah can try and tempt Melo into going to Chicago, maybe Melo can convince Noah to come here instead. A man can dream, can’t he?

  10. Also, what’s worse:

    Giving up 51 points in a quarter to a Laker team that fielded a starting 5 that wouldn’t even make the D-League All-Star team


    Detroit losing by potentially 30 to a 76er team that had lost 26 in a row coming into tonight?

    I lean towards the 51 point quarter. Which when your team has lowlights worse than what Detroit is about to do tonight means you’ve had a really terrible season.

  11. Wow, philly. I actually placed a bet on Philly this year and I think I took the over on 17 games. Maybe 15. Vegas is good, that’s all I can say….

    I still can’t get mad at Chandler. I mean, being a Knicks fan and not having your spirit broken is one thing. Having to actually go out their and play for Dolan and Woodson, it changes a man….

  12. Hawks lost again. 36 wins might make the playoffs.

    I have zero expectation that the Knicks have six more wins in them this season.

  13. It’s just sad. ATL is in a free-fall, and we can’t take advantage. The playoffs are there for the taking. It would be beyond pathetic if we couldn’t sneak in.

  14. It would be beyond pathetic if we couldn’t sneak in.

    And yet, appropriate at the same time.

  15. Here’s a fun fact: Other than the Indy win, the Knicks haven’t beaten a team currently more than one game over .500 since JANUARY 13TH! Over TEN WEEKS!

    Atlanta will probably win about five more games: Home for Philly, home for Cleveland, home for Detroit, home for Boston, @ Milwaukee — all really cake games. They have a few more that are 50/50, but we’ll assume they lose those.

    New York has one more game on their schedule that they’re likely to win: @ Utah. Every other team they play is above .500. Even @ Utah is dangerous seeing as it will be the second night of a back to back and the fifth game in seven nights. I’d say there’s a like a 10% chance NY loses out.

  16. I think they’re only definitely winning three more games, but four does seem likely. I don’t think it is automatic that they win all five of those games against Detroit, Cleveland, Boston, Milwaukee and Philly.

    But yeah, if they do win four games, the Knicks are basically fucked due to that L.A. loss.

    There is still the chance that Atlanta just loses out, though!

    Sunday against Golden State is sort of the make or break point for the season, though. If they can get a win there, I could still have some hope. If not, it is hopeless (I say that, but then if Atlanta loses to, like, Philly and Boston, suddenly things wouldn’t look quite so bleak).

  17. The fact that the knicks are still in the playoff hunt says there’s something very wrong in the NBA.

  18. The knicks can can get blown out by the worst teams in the NBA night after night, but have it them to beat the best on any given night.

  19. Yeah, that’s pretty much it and it is because of that they still probably have a chance at making the playoffs. They can at least theoretically beat Chicago, Miami, Golden State, etc. Atlanta has no chance. Atlanta might not even be able to beat other shitty teams!

  20. Atlanta loses again. I know they play Philly soon. But you know what Philly says, hey we get to play the Hawks! Heard on the radio this evening that’s not hard to imagine that Philly go on a little streak (based on opponents and simply statistical probabilities evening out) including their next game against the Hawks. They beat Detroit pretty handily, and Detroit currently is just as good as Atlanta is (ie minus Korver).
    Let’s just look at a possible outcome of the next few days.
    We win against GS and Utah, we’d be 32-43 (.427)
    Atlanta loses to Philly, they’d be 31-42 (.425)

    Here (via ESPN stats on recap page of Hawks v. Wiz) are some interesting facts to further deflate Knicks fans:Research Notes
    Bad news for whoever earns the 8 seed in the East. Since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1983-84, teams that entered the postseason with a sub .500 record are just 2-40 in playoff series. The 1986-87 SuperSonics (.476 win pct) were the only team to win a series, defeating the Mavericks in the First Round and Rockets in the Conference Semifinals. Since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1983-84, the worst playoff team were the 1985-86 Bulls (.366 win pct). That’s the year Michael Jordan dropped 63 against the Celtics in the playoffs. Boston swept the series and went on to win the NBA Finals.
    The Hawks currently hold the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 31-40 record, just 2 games ahead of the Knicks. Atlanta currently has a .437 win percentage. Over the last 25 years, that would be the 2nd-worst mark by a playoff team. Only the 1994-95 Celtics were worse with a .427 win percentage. [-]
    Worst Win Pct By Playoff Team – Last 25 Years
    1994-95 Celtics .427
    2003-04 Celtics .439
    1996-97 Clippers .439
    * Hawks: currently 8th in East (.437)

  21. Both UCONN and Michigan St. defend the pick and roll way, way better than the Knicks.

  22. Cavs all of a sudden making some noise for the 8th seed and their schedule is extremely easy the rest of the way. They only have 1 game left vs a team over .500 and thats vs the Nets the last game of the season I believe. Knicks meanwhile have the toughest schedule remaining of any team in the East lol.

    Cavs conference record is atrocious though, their record vs the East is like 4 games worse than the Knicks. Funny part is the Knicks are 2-2 vs Charlotte, Atlanta and Cleveland (the 3 teams closest to them in the standings). So annoying.

  23. David Lee and Bogut are out tonight for Golden St. Maybe the Knicks can keep margin of defeat under 20 tonight.

  24. This Michigan team this season was everything the Knicks aren’t. Losing on a ridiculous three to Aaron Harrison and Kentucky who in the last 3 games have decided to go on an absolute roll from downtown hurts, but the fact that they fought until the end and made a run to the Elite 8 without their preseason All-American, Mitch Mcgary, I absolutely love them.

    Now I get to watch the Knicks who give up 51 points in a quarter to the fucking Lakers, have zero mental toughness and have “leaders” that have mailed in the season because they don’t agree with coaches defensive strategy (Looking at you Tyson). Multiple times I’ve said I’m done with this Knicks team, but I’ve been a fool and come back every time, but if they get blown out tonight and look listless I’m out for the remainder of what little remains in this season.

    It sucks to get your heart ripped out like that, but at least it’s nice to know you had one in the first place. This Knicks team hasn’t even given us that.

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