Knicks Morning News (2015.05.10)

  • [New York Times] Injuries Keep Piling Up, Adding to Playoff Drama (Sun, 10 May 2015 06:12:05 GMT)

    Kyrie Irving is limping. Pau Gasol is aching. Chris Paul is limited. Kevin Love is gone. And the injury list around the NBA just keeps growing.

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies Take 2-1 Series Lead Over Warriors With 99-89 Win (Sun, 10 May 2015 04:21:06 GMT)

    Zach Randolph scored 22 points and Marc Gasol added 21 points and 15 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors 99-89 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.

  • [New York Times] Memphis Wins at Home to Take Series Lead (Sun, 10 May 2015 03:50:58 GMT)

    The Memphis Grizzlies held off a late charge by the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at FedExForum for a 99-89 victory and a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

  • [New York Times] Wizards 103, Hawks 101: Paul Pierce Hits Jumper at Buzzer to Lead Wizards Past Hawks (Sun, 10 May 2015 03:44:42 GMT)

    Pierce’s jumper lifted the Wizards over the visiting Atlanta Hawks, despite the absence of John Wall and after letting a 21-point lead evaporate.

  • [New York Times] Derrick Rose Is Making Strides in His Return to Form (Sun, 10 May 2015 02:05:11 GMT)

    In what has become an annual ritual, Rose has been building himself up to his utmost potential, a deliberate process that has also been a hopeful one.

  • [New York Times] Pierce’s Buzzer-Beater Lifts Wiz Past Hawks 103-101 (Sun, 10 May 2015 01:39:10 GMT)

    Paul Pierce’s banked-in 21-foot jumper at the buzzer gave the Washington Wizards a 103-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night, even with an injured John Wall reduced to cheerleading, and a 21-point lead that had dwindled down to nothing.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: Playing Through Pain Can Be Selfless, as Well as Senseless (Sun, 10 May 2015 01:35:40 GMT)

    Derrick Rose, the Bulls’ superstar, has faced mountains of criticism from fans and the sports media for putting himself and his health first, but he has pushed back.

  • [New York Times] Pierce Buzzer-Beater Lifts Wizards Past Hawks (Sun, 10 May 2015 01:29:56 GMT)

    Forward Paul Pierce banked in the winning jumper at the buzzer as the short-handed Washington Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks 103-101 in Game Three of their Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series on Saturday.

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    48 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.05.10)”

    1. Demarre Carroll said that Bud put him in to defend in the final Wiz possession but he “didn’t feel comfortable.” Maybe he had some semi-embarrassing physical thing going on he’s not looking to broadcast (or just a normal injury he wants to hide from the Wiz) but from the odd tone I wonder if he Scottie Pippin’d it for being benched in Q4. That would be too crazy to contemplate, so probably not.

    2. So heartwarming to see Pierce, a guy who never calls attention to himself, a man who goes about his business with dignity and understated grace, hit a lucky game winning shot.

      Yuck.

    3. Yeah, God forbid a man hit a giant shot to win a play-off game and put his underdog team up in the series and then celebrate it. How dare he!

    4. Yeah, God forbid a man hit a giant shot to win a play-off game and put his underdog team up in the series and then celebrate it. How dare he!

      C’mon Kahnzy, there’s celebrating and then there’s the Paul Pierce version – stick your chin out and act all angry like you’re somehow entitled to success. Watch Derrick Rose’s reaction in the exact same situation and you’ll see the difference.

    5. C’mon Kahnzy, there’s celebrating and then there’s the Paul Pierce version – stick your chin out and act all angry like you’re somehow entitled to success. Watch Derrick Rose’s reaction in the exact same situation and you’ll see the difference.

      I understand what you’re saying, and that’s one of the reasons Duncan has been one of my favorite players since he came into the league. But I’m also not gonna get down on the guy for being excited in this sort of situation, even if he goes over the top. Because, quite frankly, almost all of them do; Pierce is just better at it than most.

    6. Gimme the Paul Pierce John Starks Reggie Miller caricatured ferocity over Derrick Rose’s spaced out civility eight days a week.

    7. I hates me some Paul Pierce, but its all good theater to me. I have to say, these playoff series are very compelling. Normally I’m pretty checked out by now when the Knicks aren’t involved, but these conference semis have been fun. Atlanta seems like a team that hasn’t learned how to win tough playoff games yet, same with GS. Washington has some swag, so does Memphis and the Clips.

      One thing that has gone unnoticed thus far is the impact of Doc’s coaching. Winning game 1 w/o Paul after a monster upset of the Spurs in game 6 and an epic nail-biter in game 7 is definitely a reflection of his ability to inspire his players. He out-coached Pop and is making McHale look like an idiot. I’m not the biggest Doc fan (due to a 4+-decade history of deep Celtic hatred) but have to give him his props right now. If Paul can hang on and get reasonably healthy, Doc could wind up with another title on his resume. Clips-Griz at full strength would be a monster WCF series!

    8. I find it hard to hate Doc, because I still remember how he helped the Knicks in the early 90’s. Too bad he got hurt!

    9. I’ve just never liked people who call attention to themselves, business world examples would be Donald Trump and Mark Cuban. I have a lot more respect for people who succeed, but don’t feel the need to be in your face about it.

      There’s nothing wrong with celebrating, but with Pierce it seems to be about “hey everyone, look at me, I made a big shot, I am the man, screw you all!”

    10. A side-effect of the Carmelo Anthony trade and a series of Dolan related disasters is the change in my fanhood. I will hate watch the Knicks until Dolan relinquishes his ownership of the team and forever root for former Knicks that have been subjected to Dolan inflicted injustice.

      Go mozzie (I’ve always believed in him.).

    11. Duncan is the exception, Pierce the rule. Would take either over Melo’s stupid grin in perennial defeat.

      Other “exceptions” – Griffin, Durant, Leonard, Parker, Ginoboli, Nowitzki, Rose, Paul, Gasol, Harden, Butler to name a just a few

    12. Yeah, fuck Paul Pierce but his archvillain demeanor (in a reduced role) is quite compelling.

      Fuck LeBron.

    13. Noah looks like one of those tall kids on your high school basketball team who hustles a lot and the coach loves him, but can’t make a layup to save his life.

    14. I am maybe a 4 out of 10 on this board’s never-ending how good is Tyson Chandler debate scale, but watching Noah play in these playoffs is about as good a testament to the value of supposedly non-created interior efficiency as I can imagine. I can’t think of a single NBA player over 6’7 who you wouldn’t rather see finishing the PNR. Yes, Travis, that means you.

    15. Noah used to be the worst traded draft pick for me. Too bad he fell off a cliff.

    16. Terrible loss by Chicago. James was terrible , Kyrie can’t walk, Love isn’t playing and you lose. Smh. Worst loss of the playoffs.

    17. That game is why I picked the Cavs, even without Love. They are worse than the sum of their parts, and Thibs might be the most overrated coach in the league.

      Though, I have to agree with what JVG was saying. Cleveland got a free timeout as they went to review a play they didn’t really need to review. That needs to be changed.

    18. Yea. Idk I guess they have to create a bullpen area or something. Good game by JR I still have love for him even though he’s a dickhead.

    19. Postgame quote from LeBron: “To be honest, the play that was drawn up, I scratched it. And I told coach, ‘Just get me the ball.’ … I was supposed to take the ball out, but I told coach there was no way I was taking the ball out, or I might shoot it over the backboard.”

      They might as well just neuter David Blatt and get it over with.

    20. I think McHale is actually doing this to get it changed, so it stops happening to Howard.

    21. 28 FTA for Jordan in one half. Our boys in blue & orange shot had more than 28 FTA for the entire game exactly 8 times this season. yet the games were actually less fun to watch than this debacle.

    22. Oh my god, Shaq makes the TNT crew unwatchable. Not only does he never say anything insightful, he also actively interrupts the relatively interesting trialog between Kenny, Ernie and Charles.

      When are they going to fire this clown? I can’t imagine that even the dumber folks watching enjoy his contributions.

    23. Oh my god, Shaq makes the TNT crew unwatchable. Not only does he never say anything insightful, he also actively interrupts the relatively interesting trialog between Kenny, Ernie and Charles.

      When are they going to fire this clown? I can’t imagine that even the dumber folks watching enjoy his contributions.

      I could not agree with you more.

    24. I agree about Shaq, but I think he might be right about the Hack a Jordan not working. Jordan shoots 42% on free throws so 24 free throws amounts to 10 points. The Rockets gave those 24 shots to avoid 12 full Clipper possessions. If the Clipper’s used those possession and scored 1 point per possession, they would have gotten 12 points instead of the 10, so the Rockets gained 2 points. But they also went into the penalty deliberately, so three or four of the fouls they would normally give became shooting fouls when they wouldn’t have been otherwise. That easily means more that 2 extra points for the Clippers. By this logic they should hack Jordan when they are already in the penalty, but not before.

    25. I get Hack-a-Shaq because Shaq was unguardable and unstoppable without hitting him with a 300 pound hammer. So since you’re fouling him anyway, it makes sense.

      But d’Andre Jordan is thoroughly stoppable via traditional defensive techniques, and fouling him 34 times is an example of overthinking the game (to the detriment of every fan in the world).

    26. “Clippers just seem to be better than Houston.”

      I completely agree. Beverly was a huge loss for them in this series with Paul(and Austin friggin Rivers) carving them up. But they have been slaughtered in 3 games. I dont think LAC is 30 points better. I think its a situation where LAC is snatching the life away from them.

    27. I get Hack-a-Shaq because Shaq was unguardable and unstoppable without hitting him with a 300 pound hammer. So since you’re fouling him anyway, it makes sense.

      But d’Andre Jordan is thoroughly stoppable via traditional defensive techniques, and fouling him 34 times is an example of overthinking the game (to the detriment of every fan in the world).

      The Hack-a-Jordan isn’t a scheme to stop DeAndre Jordan. It’s a scheme to stop the Clippers offense.

    28. Maybe so, but it didn’t seem to stop their offense last night.

      I thought the Rockets biggest problem was that they couldn’t get offensive rebounds but they gave up a ton of them to the Clippers after the first quarter.

    29. This 538 article seems to show that hacking Jordan is, at best, a break-even proposition:

      http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/intentionally-fouling-deandre-jordan-is-futile/

      Most statistical work that evaluates hacking seem to think that it’s not that great of an overall strategy. What this article in particular doesn’t quantify is the impact additional rest has on the Clippers starting unit, which is especially important given their horrible bench. It also ignores how putting your team and players into the penalty helps open up the game for the opposing team (this isn’t that quantifiable but it’s still something that happens). I think in the vast majority of cases hacking is bad strategy (including when it was used against Shaq), and it’s certainly bad from a fan’s perspective.

      Hacking DJ may have lost Pop the series against LA. Just for that I hope they get rid of it so I can watch the Spurs in everything.

    30. It’s a good article, and it doesn’t even include the problem of sending your team into the penalty, foul wise as a factor.

    31. Houston fouled the shit out of Jordan in the first half and went into the break trailing by 6. He shot 4 FTs in the 3rd quarter and the Clippers wound up leading by 24.

    32. Yeah but that one data point doesn’t really mean much. Furthermore that advantage could derive from the freshness of the Clippers starting 5 and the high amount of fouls already distributed among the Rockets as a result of hack a jordan. Or it could be that the Rockets simply played horribly the in the 2nd half for some complex of reasons–either way, the fact that they were doing better in this limited sample of hack a jordan doesn’t imply that hack a jordan was a good, or even better strategy than playing standard Rockets basketball–there are too many confounding factors to assert that rigorously.

      As it stands if you accept the adjustments Ezekowitz makes to the expected PPP in the article (they’re fairly reasonable imo) then the Clippers PPP is actually higher when Jordan is hacked, which doesn’t really mean you’re “stopping the Clippers offense” at all–quite the opposite, in fact. Even if it was certainly better in this one instance (which I doubt) it was still a bad dice roll as a matter of strategy. And you should avoid bad dice rolls pretty much all the time.

    33. The best case for hacking that I can see is when you have a high powered offense that’s behind while relatively short on time and you want to take advantage of the clock stoppage and high variance that hacking brings while playing more offensive lineups. I could see it working on teams like GS or SSOL Phoenix or teams with good offensive players who also excel at defensive rebounding (to make up for the fact that if you take out you’re defensive center you lose out on rebounding and would presumably increase the other teams ORB%).

      But even then I think it’s highly situational and matchup-dependent and the Rockets didn’t seem to be using it smartly at all.

    34. The Hack-a-Jordan isn’t a scheme to stop DeAndre Jordan. It’s a scheme to stop the Clippers offense.

      If you need to resort to such tactics, then you’re pretty much conceding that you’re not as good as your opponent. (Which is weird, considering the Rockets tried hacking Jordan in the regular season and lost, then abandoned the strategy and won the next two.)

    35. If you need to resort to such tactics, then you’re pretty much conceding that you’re not as good as your opponent. (Which is weird, considering the Rockets tried hacking Jordan in the regular season and lost, then abandoned the strategy and won the next two.)

      Uh, what? If I know I can score 1.2 PPP on average and my opponent can either score 1.0 PPP through regular play or .65 PPP through an alternative strategy like hacking, why wouldn’t I go with the more efficient strategy?

      It’s professional basketball, not a pure ego-trip. Winning trumps everything.

    36. a) I think that the “spirit of the law” precludes fouling a guy on purpose 30 times in one half.

      b) I think it is competitive cowardice by a team that won 56 games, had home court advantage, and wasn’t the underdog going into the series.

      c) I think that if you’re going to do it, it’s best not to lose, and if you do lose, it’s best not to lose by 30 points. (Sure, winning trumps everything, but we’re not talking about winning. We’re talking about losing to superior teams either with dignity or without it).

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