Knicks-Bobcats Intermezzo (And Game Thread!)

Robert Silverman and I have been exchanging e-mails in the hours and days since the Knicks last took the floor against Charlotte.  It’s gone basically how you would expect.  Here, see for yourself:

FROM: Robert Silverman

TO: Me

Nov 5 (3 days ago) 

So when you IM’d me by saying, “Fuckity fuck fuck fucker fuck ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY,” I thought we should talk. Not because I disagree with your assessment of the state of Knickerbloggeristan right now, but because (and I could be wrong) I think there might be a little bit more to it than that. I mean, I was raging for a good solid hour on Twitter between 6-7pm and then screamed at/with the folks from the NYKnicksPodcast (be on the lookout for the link to that later. It’s like a peak GG Allin performance, only with more blood and flung fecal matter) because it all just seems so patently wrong and unfair.

It’s not just that we seem to be careening, recidivist-style towards a very Isiah/Larry Brown/mid-2000’s season, I think the reason I was (and I still am) so pissed) is that it seems so unfathomably stupid to invest in a team that has and will make the exact same terrible, no-good, relatively avoidable mistakes again and again. I feel like I know this terrain, and in this instance, familiarity definitely breeds contempt. I said it that twit-rant that I was more angry at myself for the folly of investing so much of my emotional capital in any team, let alone one as preternaturally doomed as the ‘Bockers. Now, after an utterly predictable drubbing by a lousy Charlotte team that wasn’t even having a halfway decent game, I just feel numbly beaten, you know.

But anyhoo,,, fuckity fuck fuck? Go on…

FROM: Kevin McElroy

TO: Robert

Nov 6 (2 days ago)

Honestly, I promised myself I was going to reserve judgment until we got to about Game 10.  As poorly as they started tonight, and as predictable as the issues these past few games have been, I was holding up OK.  Then Chandler knocked knees with Kemba and Cole Aldrich had to basically carry him to the locker room and the whole foundation crumbled underneath me.  Because what this team doesn’t understand, it seems, is how delicate success is in the NBA.  They built this team with a whole salary cap’s worth of money (and then some) committed to relatively one-dimensional scorers (your Melos, your STATs, your Bargses and Earls) but didn’t think to save room for a passable backup with the legs to give 20-25 minutes every night behind their most important player.

And that’s the biggest issue with the Bargnani move and I tried to get at this in my write-up about it but if Chandler’s down for a long time it just makes it so much more real and easier to explain.  It’s just arrogant.  It’s so, so arrogant to toss away draft picks and trade flexibility for a guy who sort of but not really improves an area that doesn’t even need improving when you’re thin in places you can’t afford to be thin and not particularly on the cusp of a title anyway.  It’s arrogant to say things like “Screw the future first rounder!  It’s not like it’ll be in the lottery!” when the NBA reminds us time and again that it doesn’t take much to dump a team from the middle of the playoff hunt to the bottom of its division.  And it’s arrogant to hand away roster spots and throw away stretches of games behind a backwards lineup as if the wins will just be there eventually when you need them.

Success in the NBA is precious and after the last 15 years the Knicks of all teams should know it.  And yet, they take it for granted and plan like it’s silly to insure against bad luck.  But guess what, some misfortune is a fact of life and if this Chandler injury is serious this year is going to be over before it ever got a chance to get off the ground.  And it sucks.

I guess that’s its own conversation though because, hey, maybe he only misses a couple games.  And if that’s the case, this is just a crappy loss to a bad team where we have to wake up in the morning feeling like history is repeating itself but not like the ship is sinking already.  Right?  Please say right?

FROM: Robert Silverman

TO: Me

Nov 6 (2 days ago)

I don’t know. We’re still very much in the belly of the SMALL SAMPLE SIZE KRAKEN

Inline image 1

…and my response is actually pretty anti-analytic, but it just feels like there are more woes coming down the road, that the God or Gods are shoving this team’s hubristic careless ways back in its face. Even if Tyson say, misses a game or two, look at the upcoming schedule. I say they’re 5-11.

I mean, look at the amounts of choleric venting and bile-spewing that’s emanating from the commiserati. We’re just a great big colicky orange and blue baby right now. Imagine how difficult it is to be on the receiving end of these brutish, ugly defeats.

I’m speculating like a moron, I don’t know if these guys particularly like each other. There was a moment during I think the 3rd quarter — you and I both saw — when the cameras cut to Melo giving Bargs a good tongue-lashing, and man, Anthony had a look that suggested he really doesn’t cotton to the big feller’s jib. I mean, when Melo doesn’t like a player, you know it. You can tell that he still hates Landry Fields (for reasons that we’ll probably never know). I don’t think Melo likes Bargs.

So what if all this hand-wringing and anguished cries about lineup choices that we fans are having isn’t entirely dissimilar to what’s occurring in the locker room. What if a certain portion of the team thinks they should be playing small ball and another faction doesn’t, because honestly, you watch them play and I don’t see a group of dudes that look like they’re having much fun (or trust each other, really)

The whole ‘leadership’ ‘mentoring’ thing has always struck me as a particularly hackneyed sportsrwiting cliche/#HotSportsTake. It’s an easy drum to beat and requires zero actual analysis. “The Knicks are turning the ball over because they lack leadership. Men who have been through the battles of playoff combat and have the scars and the war stories and mischievous, knowing glint in their eye to prove it. These men, these leaders of men, nay these men who in another life would be leading the charge up San Juan Hill…” etc. wash rinse repeat. Sports is war. Kill me now.

But here’s the thing about cliches. Even the ones that sound so saccharine and treacly and hoary that you’d expect them to be sewn on decorative Ethan Allan throw pillows, they are often…gulp…true.

Which is a very long-winded way of saying that I don’t think this locker room is as unified as it was last year, and I worry that a craptastic first month might really cause the fit to hit the shan. That’s totally random, unsubstantiated speculation, and when the team was winning (like it was last year) it’s really easy to be all love-thy-brother/fare-the-well-good-fellow.

So I don’t know. It could get worse, even with an un-maimed Tyson.

That’s probably not the answer you were looking for. I mean, to you and I (and every Knicks fan with a vaguely functional cerebral cortex) the answers seem simple. I don’t know why Mike “Hellen Keller” Woodson can’t/won’t see it. Expect for the kind of tinfoil-hatted paranoid speculation that in ‘Bockertown ends up being Occam’s Razor. That shadowy interests in smoky back rooms have their own, profit-based agenda that may or may not have anything to do with winning/ plays bitchin’ blues riff on an air guitar.

FROM: Kevin McElroy

TO: Robert

Nov 6 (2 days ago)

It’s funny, I so rarely feel any tension between my Knicks fandom and my role as a blogger or tweeter or generally pseudo-visible member of the discourse here and at other places.  But this is one of the times that I kind of do.  As a fan, I have tons of theories and instincts and speculations and the like but for fear of passing off these speculations as meritorious (since it’s not like I have any more access or insider knowledge than anybody else who watches the games) I feel obligated to keep them inside.  Which is my way of saying that I spent a lot of your last e-mail nodding but won’t say at which parts :)

Anyway, they could really stumble their way through the first month even if he just misses a little bit of time.  The good news is that while the conference has gotten stronger at the top it’s still pretty forgiving in the middle; at least one sub-.500 team should make the playoffs in the East, for example, so even 5-11 wouldn’t be an impossible hole to climb out of.  Shit, we’re currently one game out of 4th in the East because only 3 teams have winning records and one of those is Philly.

And I do think the Knicks go on a run eventually because say what you will about the owner but he doesn’t like losing.  Woodson or somebody else might become a fall guy along the way but eventually somebody is going to look at the same numbers I’ve been railing on about the past few days and realize that this team has various combinations of players that are capable of stopping the bleeding.  I tweeted this last night but with a couple minutes left in the game the Knicks were +14 with Prigs on the court and -19 with him off the court on the season.  Bargnani’s splits are opposite and more extreme.  Maybe it’s an aberration, of course, but if it isn’t I just can’t see them letting it go on forever and ever, especially in a year when we don’t have a draft pick and the Nets are likely to be really good.  He’s not going to just let them lose 50 games when they possess the means to stop it.

This all goes out the window if it’s a long-term Chandler injury, of course, because we simply don’t have the personnel to piece together 48 minutes a night of anything in the same universe as what he gives us.  It’s just been so supremely not fun so far.  Hopefully in a few weeks this looks like idle whining over a few bad games from our still good team but the scary part is that the problems are exactly the things you would have expected before the year, which takes the legs out a little bit from under the small sample size thing (eg. I predicted regression on threes and while it’s been extreme thus far it’s not going back to where it was last year with Novak and Cope.  But other than that, should we REALLY be much worse than we were last year?

FROM: Robert Silverman

TO: Me

11:17 AM (3 Hours Ago)

And  of course, after we started writing this mash notes to our collective misery, we found out that Tyson Chandler would be out 4-6 weeks. And so we unleash our historically accurate, ancient Knicker-backer rallying rcry, IT COULD BE WORSE!

We’ve already covered who we think Woodson should start here.

I particularly enjoyed your Nostradamic tweet here:

And for those who think Bargs is cursed worse than Cousin Oliver on the ill-fated, shark-jumped, let’s-add-another-cute-kid-for-reasons-that-make-zero-narrative-sense-but-the-original-ones-have-gotten-too-durned-big-to-cuddle final season of the Brady Bunch, it is worth noting that the only reason Kemba Walker went barreling in to Chandler is that Andrea absolutely whiffed on a rotation (quelle surprise).

In fact, there’s probably a larger, longer piece to be written comparing the careers of Aaron Spelling and James Dolan. The former thought Gilligan’s Island was insightful commentary/a sociological paradigm for humanity’s struggle to survive/thrive/”get along” and that the Brady Bunch was in an-depth examination of the nature of tumultuous post-nuclear, divorce-laden American families. Like the Loud’s n’ shit.

Of course, while Spelling was a mega-rich deluded fool who produced great shining turds, at least the shit he lobbed into the great American consciousness was dreck that US citizens actually liked.

FROM: Kevin McElroy

TO: Robert

2:06 PM (59 Minutes Ago)

I have generally felt that the weirdly schizophrenic responses from Woodson regarding lineup strategy in the past week or two suggests that a lot of his personnel decisions have come via mandate from on high.  At times I’ve even referred to this as a “conspiracy theory.”  I’ve been thinking about it, though, and honestly it’s nothing that far-fetched or nefarious.  If Dolan is the one calling the shots and leaving Woody to deal with the backlash, it’s just a guy being  asked to do something by his boss, doing it, and not being able to say “hey, look, I know it works the other way but my hands are tied here, this is what the boys upstairs think we should do.”  Which is only something that, oh, everyone who’s ever held a job should be able to relate to.  Coaches, even relatively powerful ones, still have to function as one cog in a larger organization and in the case of Dolan and the Knicks, there are considerations that go into that organization’s decisions that transcend simple win-loss calculations, considerations that none of us can really ever hope to completely understand.  That doesn’t make it a conspiracy, it just makes it a business; it doesn’t make us saps, it just makes us customers who don’t have seats at the investors’ meetings.  Frankly, it would almost be weird if there wasn’t any input from Dolan on lineup decisions seeing as he apparently micromanages a squad of dancers that he probably pays about 1/100 of what he pays his players.  And I doubt it’s even unique to Dolan; there are probably tons of owners with a similar level of input into personnel decisions and we just don’t care for two reasons.  One, they aren’t our owner.  Two, and here’s the thing that matters, they’re just better at it.

Enough on that though because now it’s Friday and they have a game to win on the road against the same team against whom they looked so crappy earlier this week and we can get our first look at what the plan is for these next 4 to 6 weeks.  I’m guessing tonight it’s Prigs into the starting lineup and Bargs at the five and that JR replaces Pablo in the starting lineup once his suspension is over (Sunday vs. San Antonio).  Your thoughts?

FROM: Robert Silverman

TO: Me

2:47 PM (18 Minutes Ago)

So many, none of them good.

With regards to Dolan and ‘conspiracy’ theories, I think you’re right. It’s not some ultra-complex, shadowy network. Secretly pulling the strings/issuing orders from their Spider Skull-shaped secret island headquarters. That ish would at least be INTERESTING.

And that’s the thing; your scenario –a dumb, utterly lacking in self-awareness fedora’s ego belch of a boss launching into (possibly justifiable) tirades, and a slew of harried, overworked, under appreciated employees/lackeys having to cover for/justify/rationalize his fits of pique — isn’t fun to ponder; hell, it’s wayyyyyyyy too familiar for most of us working stiffs.

That’s the thing. I think most of us would rather have a mysterious, all-powerful unseeing force controlling things, even if they’re basically evil, like the Tri-Lateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group or any big talent agency. The alternative is that assholes are in charge who are as steak-headed and blind as the rest of humanity and all of this is just chaos and happenstance. And that blows.

But more importantly, the starting lineup! I’m thrilled Pablo’s back, but Big pt for Bargs at any position is going to be an eternally-flaming garbage fire, especially at the rim and on the boards.

And yes, it seems as though JR’s been promised a starting spot, regardless of merit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the agreement was tattooed somewhere on his person, lest any future ‘Bocker exec/head coach tried to welsh on the deal.

But hey, Patrick Ewing’s manning the till for the RobertCats! I love Patrick. He rules.

What’s your prediction for tonight’s game? Feel free to channel your inner Mr. T and just grumble, “Pain,” through a vein-poppingingly clenched mandible.

FROM: Kevin McElroy

TO: Robert

3:01 PM (5 Minutes Ago)

Well here’s the thing.  The Bobcats are HORRIBLE.  They were even horrible Tuesday when they beat us.  They hit 44% of their 2-pointers despite the Knicks’ lack of an interior presence for more than half the game.  They turned the ball over 22 times.  They won because we didn’t defend the defensive glass.  At  All.  At one point in the second half they had 15 offensive rebounds and we had 17 defensive rebounds (it ended 16-22 on that front; still horrible but not quite as comical).  We also gave them a red carpet to the free throw line and, to their credit, they made it count with a 34 of 42 showing from the stripe.  They beat us but it was really like Prez says in The Wire: nobody wins, one side just loses more slowly.

Anyway, I think we win tonight.  Bargs at the 5 is a disaster on D but they barely punished us for it last game and I think moving him to the 5 on offense for a whole game actually improves our spacing.  It sounds like Woody’s ready to run K-Mart into the ground at this point also, which is fine by me — he can rest after Chandler’s back.  As bad as it’s been, they’ve managed to make all three losses competitive despite hitting only 29.9% of their threes and sporting horrible free throw rates at both ends of the floor (a very low .168 FT/FGA on offense and an almost comically high .300 FT/FGA on defense, 27th and 30th in the NBA, respectively).  I think they really only have to be average from three and in the foul battle tonight to win fairly easily.  After tonight, they have 6 straight against teams who either have a really strong frontline or at least one quality post scorer.  That’s where Clubber Lang’s quote might be prescient.  Tonight’s game is just a game that any halfway-decent team should be able to win, even missing its starting center.  Let’s just hope the Knicks meet that criteria.

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Kevin McElroy watches the Knicks and owns a computer.

152 thoughts to “Knicks-Bobcats Intermezzo (And Game Thread!)”

  1. I know that all of the cool kids are down on JR Smith, but there is nothing that JR Smith cannot do on a basketball court. I would not be surprised if he returned with a run of great games. He has the athleticism to be a great trapping defender.

    I want JR Smith to take all of the minutes that Hardaway has been getting, plus some of the time that Carmelo has been on the floor.

  2. I am decidedly not down on JR Smith, especially with the way our offense has looked so far. That said, our bigger issues are obviously in the middle now, not on the wing.

  3. Kevin – I do not think that JR Smith’s salary can be mentioned in the same breath as Carmelo (who I think is a max player), Stat or Bargnani (not so much). So long as the Knicks do not get dinged for the Chris Smith contract, I think that their management of JR Smith’s contracts has been strong. They got him to come to NY by keeping some free cap space in 2011-12, kept him the next year with a 20% non-Bird raise and brought him back using Early Bird rights that did not eat any additional cap space. If you think JR Smith is an asset (as I do), the only downside to his contract this year is that it brought the Knicks incrementally closer to the Apron.

    Given the current circumstances, I also do not think you need a conspiracy theory to explain why JR Smith will start when he returns. I think that JR Smith merits a starting role as part of a 3 guard offense. IMO Felton/Shumpert/JR/Melo/Bargnani is a much better choice than Felton/Shumpert/Melo/MWP/Bargnani. The problem with running the two PG offense with Felton & Prigioni is that it means a lot more time for Udrih, who has looked to be a Bargnani-level defender to me.

  4. ephus,

    That wasn’t a shot at JR. It was a shot at acquiring Bargnani when we already had so much money tied up in guys whose value was 90%+ their ability to score.

    I also think they’ve done the best that could have been expected with JR — he was a coup a couple years ago, a bargain last year, and his deal this summer generally made sense given the options at their disposal.

  5. It’s just arrogant. It’s so, so arrogant to toss away draft picks and trade flexibility for a guy who sort of but not really improves an area that doesn’t even need improving when you’re thin in places you can’t afford to be thin and not particularly on the cusp of a title anyway. It’s arrogant to say things like “Screw the future first rounder! It’s not like it’ll be in the lottery!” when the NBA reminds us time and again that it doesn’t take much to dump a team from the middle of the playoff hunt to the bottom of its division. And it’s arrogant to hand away roster spots and throw away stretches of games behind a backwards lineup as if the wins will just be there eventually when you need them.


  6. I agree that while I can’t really predict what will happen with the rest of these games, tonight at least will be a Knick W. I think Melo will go into beast mode and pull this win out like a guy in a race pulling himself across the finish line with a broken leg.

  7. Well, all of my arguments over the summer defending the Bargnani acquisition over the summer (a more complete Novak who can resist teams closing out hard with almost-as-good 3 point shooting) have seemed ridiculous based on the first four games. If the Novak/cap filler/2016 first round pick (subject to Denver’s switching right) could have brought back a defensive presence at the backup 5 like Asik or Okafor, that would have been a better constructed team. Maybe the Wizards and Suns would have done a three way deal where the Knicks got Okafor, the Wizards got Gortat and the Suns got (a) the Wizards’ 2014 first round pick (lottery protected for 2014), (b) the Knicks’ 2016 first round pick, (c) Novak and (d) cap fillers. Oh well.

  8. I like Bargs to have a breakout game tonight. Biyombo doesn’t like going outside the paint. It’s a better matchup for AB than McRoberts was. AB knows he’s going to play a lot and likely won’t get yanked at halftime, good for confidence which is good for rhythm.

  9. Boards shitty? Check
    Jump shooting o? Check
    Poor flow? Check.
    Poor overall energy? Check

    So no real change…

  10. I did pick Bargnani up in my fantasy league. So I will go that far on him….

    Great putback by Metta…..

  11. my post-work nap unexpectedly went into overtime… what have I missed???

    please tell me that Charlotte Head Coach Patrick Ewing guaranteed a Charlotte win tonight. that would be a good sign

  12. Do you guys get the sense that we generally play below the rim?

    Tyson and Amare don’t when theyre healthy… Melo and JR don’t need to… Shump can definitely get up. But yeah we really like jumpers.

  13. please tell me that Charlotte Head Coach Patrick Ewing guaranteed a Charlotte win tonight. that would be a good sign

    My loyalties are at odds! On the one hand, I want the Knicks to eviscerate this team. On the other, I really want to see Patrick succeed.

  14. bargs the rebounding monster!!!! is that Michael Cage out there pulling down those offensive boards???

  15. Do you guys get the sense that we generally play below the rim?

    IMO, Carmelo has to be one of the least athletic superstars right now. Is he a beast on offense? Absolutely, as evidenced by last years scoring title. But athletically? And I really don’t get it either. Imagine Lebron, Durant, Blake Griffin, etc. getting blocked on a breakaway dunk the way Melo did during the last Bobcats game. That should’ve been a wide-open, highlight dunk, and instead he was blocked from behind by (I think) Gerald Henderson.

  16. Metta Artest is sooooo much better than I realized at this point in his career. he never joumps, but still d’s up, rebounds, and finishes. he looks better than he did at the end with sactown, never mind Houston and the LAL

  17. Bargnani was obviously waiting for a catastrophic injury to a teammate before asserting himself

  18. Nice ball movement so far tonight. Shooting is still off but like the unselfishness and the crashing of the boards on offense.

  19. Bargs is going 20-10 tonight

    I assume you are talking about 20 rebounds and 10 blocks!!!

  20. stat may have just set a record for setting up for a charge for the longest time before contact. he was planted there when the ball was at halfcourt!!

  21. yes owen. I hate it when Woodson takes our “bigs” out. without stat and bargs in, we have NO ONE to protect the paint

  22. stat may have just set a record for setting up for a charge for the longest time before contact. he was planted there when the ball was at halfcourt!!

    Stat is just 20 moves ahead of everyone else!!

  23. Regarding Melo’s relative lack of athleticism; personally I think it’s a good thing (mostly). Players that rely too much on their athletic ability don’t tend to age gracefully in the game. Some, like Wade, can retrain themselves and adjust their game, but most don’t. Melo’s below-the-rim game should serve him well as he gets older, when players have to rely more on smarts and skill than athleticism.

  24. DID ANYONE JUST SEE THE BARGNANI CROSSOVER ON MCROBERTS???? he looked like Jamal Crawford hahahahaha

  25. I know that TH2 is a little chucktastic right now, but Im all for him playing. I see him as a contributor come playoff time and for the future. I love his athleticism, defense, and his stroke (at least it looks good)

  26. Melo was an average leaper coming out of ‘Cuse. Elite second jump, first step and quick twitch in his upper half — super fast hands and upper body movement, giving him one of game’s best releases.

    All of those are athletic attributes. Just odd that we’d still be talking about that after a few hundred games in a Knicks uniform.

  27. Stop freaking fouling. Bobcats tonight cant make a shot if their life depended on it yet we keep bailing them out by fouling and sending them to the FT line where they are all Larry Bird apparently.

  28. For all that that was a nice move by Bargs it’s a little crazy how badly he missed that layup. But good half from him, although he is cooling off it appears…

    Melo isn’t athletic. He really never has been. Not at least relative to the real superstars in the league. It’s so rare for him to get easy buckets in transition which really is the differentiator.

    But he’s having a very nice half though. And he has done some good stuff so far this year.

  29. Although, when I look at the boxscore, Bargs has 13 points on 14 shots right?

    plus ca change….

  30. as someone who cant stand the Heat, I cannot endorse that Shump Shump flop there. please stop

  31. Ruru – Melo is not an elite NBA athlete. His vert is pedestrian and he runs the floor extremely poorly. His strength is really his main asset.

  32. Yeah, actually fool’s gold from Barg. But he has his confidence back at least a little bit….

  33. anyone with league pass lay want to check out the NO Pels while we are at the half. Anthony Davis has forced his way into the league’s top 10 players and he is rising fast

  34. Wow. 8 and 7 through 5 minutes. That’s a nice start.

    Anthony Davis is going to be a star, although I fear he will get injured. Just looks Chandler-esque.

  35. Yeah, actually fool’s gold from Barg. But he has his confidence back at least a little bit….

    If he could shoot at his career 3p avg he’d be fine. Hopefully it comes more into line as the season goes on. 1-5 tonight not good though

  36. Drafted Anthony Davis in the 2nd round of my fantasy draft (14th overall). Kid has been amazing so far this season.

  37. davis’s stroke from 15 is completely pure. he can hit and drive when he faces up. he is ridiculous before you even start considering his length on D. its a shame that the pels were so stupid in the offseason. I think they gave up too much for Holliday, but the bigger sin was the sign and trade for evans. no need to have evans, Gordon, and holliday on the same team. I have to believe that they are showcasing Gordon, but I don’t know if they will find any takers.

  38. speaking of breakout players. we all saw that the way NBA games are called changed (for the better) last year in the playoffs when the refs finally decided that hibbert should be allowed to jump straight up. with that precedence in place (along with off season conditioning) Hibbert has been an absolute demon on D this year. He might be the leagues best center IMO and is a shoe in for DPOY. check out his block totals

  39. Dare I say…a career game for Bargnani??? When it’s all said and done I doubt he has ever gone for 20 +pts, 6+ rebs, and 3+ blks in a single game.

  40. Forget Hibbert- Bargnani looking like a DPOY candidate tonight! Not just blocks- he’s been really good when switched out on guards on the perimeter.
    Except for that last play.

  41. turns out Bargs has gone for 20 6 and 3 blks a grand total of SIX (6) times in his career. The extremely ironic part is that TWO (2) of those performances were in wins against the Knicks, one of which was @ MSG.

  42. Davis is a perfect example of a guy whose college stats predicted elite stardom.

    Kidd-Gilchrist on the other hand was actually pretty mediocre in college overall. But still got drafted super high based off of AAU helium.

  43. im starting to think that we should just let Melo walk…….to make sure that we have money to resign BARGS!!!!

  44. Although I guess MKG was actually decent. Thought he was worse. Don’t like his game that much but MJ is all in on him….

  45. I’ve been more optimistic about Bargs than most, but even I didn’t expect him to block 4 shots.

  46. another note on Bargs-those 6 monster games all came during ages 23 and 24…this is a very good sign if this game can kickstart Bargs into being at least a somewhat productive player alongside Melo.

  47. awesome b-ball night. nba games all over the TV and my Hoyas on espn. since its not the tourney, JTIII may lead us to victory

  48. Please don’t blow this game, please don’t blow this game….

    …please don’t blow this game, please don’t blow this game…

  49. Bargs, 4 block, 2 assists, 6 boards, 22 pts on 10 for 23.
    He’s a contributor, ladies and gents.
    Not a good run now tho for bocker

  50. Who stole our Bargs whipping boy stiff?!?! This new guy can’t be him cause he’s making us use words like rebounds, blocked shots, and defense in the same sentence as Bargs.

  51. Prigioni should get credit for the 24 second violation. He moved Hardaway in to pick up Zeller as the dive man, which led to the wild shot that missed the rim.

  52. That was the most technically sound defensive rebound I have ever seen by Amar’e. He grabbed it with two hands above his head, jumping back towards the rim taking off of two feet, landing on balance with two feet and quickly triggering a safe outlet pass.

  53. need someone to leave a 3 pointer wide open so that he can double a guard in the post???? Just ask for STAT

  54. at what point do we just acknowledge that STAT is never going to be a net positive producer for us??? he is now a non-elite scorer with bad defense on an absolutely elite level.

  55. When the Knicks traded for Bargnani, I defended the trade because I expected offensive performances like tonight. If he performs like this consistently, the trade will be worthwhile.

  56. Didn’t like our two back court guys falling back and watching the ball bounce around free at the top of the key.
    Then they’re on their heels and give up a lay up

  57. Thank goodness we have mega-superstar Andrea Bargnani to carry us over the might Charlotte Bobcats!

    Also, in reply to the anti-STAT crowd…he sucked his first 5 or so games last season too, before getting into a rhythm and devouring other teams second unit bigs. Will he ever measure up to his contract again? No, and I don’t think there’s any argument there. But he can be a decent post-option in the 2nd unit once he gets a flow going. But, not being a professional athlete, I can only imagine how difficult it is to get into said flow when you only get to play 10 minutes every other game…so it may take a while.

  58. after seeing bargs block 5 shots tonight. what the hell is tyosn’s problem???? he never even averages 1.5 bpg

  59. I think what we are witnessing is the Basketball Gods balancing out the terrible Chandler injury with a miraculous Bargnani performance. If Bargnani can do this , or something similar, on a consistent basis, we might be a 50+ win team this year.

  60. I have to say, Woodson has kept a solid rotation tonight. Basically, he did what I said he should do earlier in the day, so I’m pleased. Lol

  61. Ru gets cred for calling Bargs break out

    If you are constantly calling for breakouts for bargs and melo, and then it happens once, do you really deserve credit??? it had to happen eventually

  62. at what point do we just acknowledge that STAT is never going to be a net positive producer for us??? he is now a non-elite scorer with bad defense on an absolutely elite level.

    After more than 2 games. I mean, he’ll probably get hurt again, but he sucked when he first came back last year too, so give the guy a chance.

  63. As predicted, this is a career game for #77, ANDREAAAAAAAAAAA BARRRRRGNNNNNAANIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!

    He has never accumulated 25 or more points, 8 or more rebounds, 5 or more blocks, and 3 or more assists in the same game. ever.

    and he did it for the New York Knicks

  64. Nice much needed win. Sunday afternoon vs the Spurs with JR back should be very interesting.

  65. I liked Melo’s game tonight though; particularly the 8 boards and 6 assists. His jumper looking as good as ever doesn’t hurt either. Hopefully this is him breaking out of his, as Clyde would say, early season doldrums.

  66. Tonight was a good night to be a Knick fan.

    Considering the dread coming into today, and the dulcet tones of Friday Night Knicks, I am very pleasantly surprised.

  67. Hey, that was fun! Bargsanity! The return of Melo’s jump shot! The return of Amar’e Stouremire to the ranks of people who resemble professional basketball players!

    By the way, Steve Novak had 8 blocks… last season.

  68. Not to rain on the Bargs for MVP party here…but this was one game against a terrible team. I mean, Bargs having a good game is certainly better than him having a bad one, but just like people said give him a few games to prove he’s not terrible, let’s give him a few games to prove he’s valuable.

    Also, Washington about to beat Brooklyn just makes this night even better.

  69. The Wizards win their second in a row. Brooklyn is now the same 2-3 as the Knicks, and they do not have any major injuries to blame.

    The ship be floatin’.

  70. Not to rain on the Bargs for MVP party here…but this was one game against a terrible team. I mean, Bargs having a good game is certainly better than him having a bad one, but just like people said give him a few games to prove he’s not terrible, let’s give him a few games to prove he’s valuable.

    I mean obviously it’s just one game, but it’s very encouraging. First time a Knick player has had 25 pts/5 blocks in a win since Ewing (ironically) in ’97. Moreover, he played respectable defense and looked okay on the boards. This is the kind of game that Novak/Camby definitely never gave us. Do I expect 25/8 every night? No, but this is start.

    Nice to see some signs of life from Amar’e too. One step at a time.

  71. My Knick wishes for the Holidays:

    1. JR Smith gets a really fun sobriety coach.
    2. Melo’s shoulder stays in its socket.
    3. Amar’e has the same late career as Antonio McDyess.
    4. Bargnani has more nights like tonight.
    5. Shumpert guests on the Wu Tang reunion album.
    6. Felton can have all the Carolina bbq he wants delivered to NYC.
    7. Prigioni steals NYC’s heart like an inbounds pass.
    8. Chandler heals in time to exact revenge from Roy Hibbert.

  72. Yes, it was against a bad team and a couple of limited centers. Yes, his overal shooting numbers were just OK. Yes, he didn’t get to the line. Yes, he had glaring lapses on D and on the boards. But there were some glimmers of hope for Bargnani. Sunday will be a much better test.

  73. Oh, don’t mistake my party pooping for anything less than cautious optimism. I also would LOVE to see Bargs have more games like this. I also wouldn’t expect quite this level on a regular basis, but something in the ballpark would be found gold so far as I’m concerned. Maybe 13-17 and 5 boards on a TS% north of .560, with defense a little better than a cardboard cut-out would be nice.

  74. I think TH2 needs to see only very limited minutes now that JR is back. He just isn’t an NBA player yet. I like him, but he needs to learn how to play NBA ball and it will take a while.

  75. Kevin Love showing he’s the best true power forward in the game right now (assuming we’re counting LeBron as a SF anyway).

  76. 32 points (on 18 shots), 12 boards, 6 blocks… holy shit. Anthony Davis has just exploded out of the gate this season. Being a Pelican seems to suit him!

  77. The Brow is legit.

    I wish Barg’s breakout game hadn’t been a 25 points on 25 shot shot-taking masterclass, but I will take it and the W. At least he filled the boxscore. He played better D tonight.

    Like what I am seeing from Melo. Like the boarding. Like the slightly more tenacious D. Ball stopping is less evident this year. Still settling a little bit for the 18 footer but it was pretty wide open tonight.

    We needed that win and we got it. It was the Cats and losing to them was inexcusable but at least we got it done on the road.

  78. What trade is out there that will help us , th2 , priggy smalls , and beno Siegel , are all good back of the rotation perimeter players . We badly need some front court depth and while I love priggy he is expendable before shump every day . And why isn’t Jason Collins getting any mention ?

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