Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Mar 17 2012)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Novak: First quarter D will win us games (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 01:10:08 EDT)

    NEW YORK — During shootaround at the Knicks’ training facility Friday morning, Mike Woodson called for a brief meeting. But it didn’t entail a film or strategy session to prepare for the Pacers. The Knicks’ new interim head coach, who the players view as a very matter-of-fact guy, had a message for his team.
    “He just came in and basically told us how good he knows we can be,” Steve Novak said. “He just told us we need to focus in and we need to take advantage of this time that we have as a group like this, because you can be on a lot of teams and never really feel like you have a special group.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks doing it on defense (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 01:06:25 EDT)

    AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
    For the past two games, the Knicks have been defending the rim, denying on the perimeter, getting to loose balls and creating turnovers.
    Just call it the Mike Woodson way.
    “For 3 1/2 quarters, I thought our defense was as good as it’s been all year,” Woodson said after the Knicks’ win on Friday night. “It was kind of like a playoff atmosphere defense.”
    That ‘playoff atmosphere defense’ has been on display for the past two games at Madison Square Garden.

  • [New York Post] Knicks destroy Indiana for 2nd straight win (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 03:31:12 -0500)

    Forget Mike D’Antoni’s speedball. This is Mike Woodson’s winning ball.
    The Garden felt something special was coming, chanting “De-Fense” in the opening minute. The Knicks responded with a second straight sensational performance in blowing out the resurgent Pacers, 115-100, at the Garden in a game they once…

  • [New York Post] Davis’ injury solidifies Jeremy’s starting status for Knicks (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 02:58:09 -0500)

    Don’t throw dirt on Linsanity’s grave just yet.
    Before last night’s Knicks’ win over the Pacers, interim coach Mike Woodson said point guard Jeremy Lin would start the rest of the season with Baron Davis as his backup. That idea then looked even more realistic when Davis…

  • [New York Daily News] It takes losing D’AntoniALL for Knicks to find â??D’  (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 06:51:53 GMT)

    Before the Knicks took the court against the Pacers on Friday night, interim coach Mike Woodson said the changes he would make to the team that he took over on Wednesday after Mike D’Antoni stepped down would be minimal.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks go 2-0 under Woodson; Davis out (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:42:28 GMT)

    With the Knicks utterly embarrassing the Indiana Pacers 115-100 Friday night and improving to 2-0 under Mike Woodson, the drama that has become the team’s point guard position took an unexpected turn.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks get 2nd blowout win under Woodson (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 00:18:46 EDT)

    Mike Woodson said he hasn't made major changes to the Knicks' system, but their play the last two games has changed dramatically.

  • [New York Newsday] Jeremy Lin will continue to start under Mike Woodson (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 00:05:02 EDT)

    Mike Woodson's offense isn't as fast moving as Mike D'Antoni's, but the Knicks' new interim coach said to slow the talk that Jeremy Lin's days as a starter are numbered.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 115, Pacers 100: Knicks Beat Pacers for Second Win Under Woodson (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:24:06 GMT)

    Five Knicks players scored in double figures as the team picked up its second victory since the resignation of Mike D’Antoni, beating the Pacers handily.

  • [New York Times] Heat Survive Scare and Beat 76ers 84-78 (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:32:59 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 29 points, Dwyane Wade had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Miami Heat held on to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 84-78 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Miami Heat Hold Off Philadelphia 76ers (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:40:05 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 29 points, Dwyane Wade had 12 points and 10 rebounds and the Miami Heat held on to beat the host Philadelphia 76ers, 84-78.

  • [New York Times] Sessions Debuts, Lakers Beat Wolves for 19th Time (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:11:59 GMT)

    Kobe Bryant scored 28 points, Ramon Sessions had seven points and five assists as a reserve in his Los Angeles debut, and the Lakers beat Minnesota 97-92 Friday night for their 19th consecutive victory over the Timberwolves.

  • [New York Times] Monta Ellis Beats Warriors 120-98 in Bucks Debut (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:09:01 GMT)

    Monta Ellis returned to Oracle Arena in his much-hyped Bucks debut and finished with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists as one of six Milwaukee players in double figures in a 120-98 win over the Golden State Warriors that was plenty emotional for both sides.

  • [New York Times] Howard’s Magic Touch Leads Orlando Past New Jersey (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:54:00 GMT)

    Dwight Howard displayed his loyalty to the Orlando Magic by leading a balanced attack to a comfortable 86-70 win over an understrength New Jersey Nets to the delight of an appreciative home crowd at the Amway Center on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Dudley, Frye Lead Suns to 109-101 Win Over Pistons (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:54:17 GMT)

    Jared Dudley scored 23 points, and Channing Frye added 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 109-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Kings Pound Celtics 120-95 (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:54:18 GMT)

    Marcus Thornton hit five 3-pointers scored a season-high 36 points and the Sacramento Kings snapped a three-game losing streak with a 120-95 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Build Big Lead, Hold Off Thunder 114-105 (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:57:00 GMT)

    Tony Parker scored 25 points, Tim Duncan added 16 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat Oklahoma City 114-105 on Friday night to inch closer to the first-place Thunder in the Western Conference standings.

  • [New York Times] Lin Told to Curb Attacking Instincts Under New Regime (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:03:32 GMT)

    It may be the end of “Linsanity” as we have known it but Jeremy Lin was alive and well at Madison Square Garden on Friday as the New York Knicks made it two easy wins in a row under new coach Mike Woodson.

  • [New York Times] Bayless Scores 28 as Raptors Top Grizzlies in OT (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:00:01 GMT)

    Jerryd Bayless scored five of his 28 points in overtime and added nine assists to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 114-110 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Blazers Topple Bulls 100-89 (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 02:54:00 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points and Wesley Matthews added 18 and the revamped Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Chicago Bulls 100-89 on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Howard’s Magic Touch Leads Orlando Past New Jersey (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 02:27:01 GMT)

    Dwight Howard displayed his loyalty to the Orlando Magic by leading a balanced attack to a comfortable 86-70 win over an understrength New Jersey Nets to the delight of an appreciative home crowd at the Amway Center on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Roll Again, Crush Pacers 115-100 (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 03:21:21 GMT)

    Tyson Chandler scored 16 points, Jeremy Lin had 13, and the New York Knicks rolled to their second straight dominant victory under Mike Woodson, beating the Indiana Pacers 115-100 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Johnson Scores 34 as Hawks Top Wizards 102-88 (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 01:55:19 GMT)

    Joe Johnson matched his season high with 34 points, including the first two baskets of a decisive 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Washington Wizards 102-88 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Did History Play a Role in D’Antoni’s Departure? (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:08:52 GMT)

    Why did Mike D’Antoni really quit as coach of the Knicks?

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Will Lin Start? The New Coach Says Yes (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:20:07 GMT)

    With the “end of Linsanity” declared in practically every New York-area publication on Friday, some took that to mean the end of Jeremy Lin not only as the Knicks’ starting point guard.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: Deron Williams’s Future With Nets Clouded by Dwight Howard (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:24:06 GMT)

    Dwight Howard’s decision to waive the opt-out clause that was supposed to land him with the Nets has raised concerns about Deron Williams’s future with the team.

  • [New York Times] Howard Leads Magic to Easy 86-70 Win Over Nets (Sat, 17 Mar 2012 01:51:03 GMT)

    Dwight Howard scored 18 points, Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis each had 13 and the Orlando Magic easily beat the New Jersey Nets 86-70 Friday night.

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    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).

    91 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Mar 17 2012)”

    1. The most encouragng thing is that I don’t see anything heroic in the performances of the last 2 days. Each player is doing things that are consistent with his individual skillset. I love the defensive pressure on the ball at the time line. I love the better balance of hedging/switching on screens.

      Most importantly, I love the look of the offense and the defense overall. The Melo-haters and doubters have been wringing their hands over how ugly and boring the “iso” style of basketball would look, and how it ultimately wouldn’t work. The game played by Melo and Amare at their worst is nowhere near as ugly as what the great Knicks teams of the ’90s played.

      First, the team is constructed right now in a way that allows it to play pretty much any system depending on the situation, so they needed a coach that would fully utilize this flexibility. Second, love or hate Melo, love or hate Amare, they are the team’s stars and as they go, the team will go, period. Two weeks of Linsanity should not have fooled a coach into making him the focal point of the offense at the expense of the max players. Through all of the criticism, Riley and JVG never lost sight of who the meal ticket was. Nelson tried to change Ewing’s role and lost his star and the team.

      Bottom line is that the team looks much more focused and relaxed because the strategy now fits the players, and not the other way around.

    2. I love NYK but I’m officially off the bandwagon. I expect them to go in tonight overconfident and lose. Over the last ten years I’ve never seen this team be able to handle any success. Maybe with Chandler it’ll be different, but, there’s no margin for error.

      No one on this team or in this city should be happy unless we win the next five.

      I’m still thinking no playoffs this year and it sucks. Too little too late. FU Melo.

    3. danvt: I love NYK but I’m officially off the bandwagon. I expect them to go in tonight overconfident and lose. Over the last ten years I’ve never seen this team be able to handle any success. Maybe with Chandler it’ll be different, but, there’s no margin for error.No one on this team or in this city should be happy unless we win the next five. I’m still thinking no playoffs this year and it sucks. Too little too late. FU Melo.

      Glad you are leaving. Anyone that is that disgruntled after two beautiful blowout wins, or that trashes Melo after 2 games of him playing stellar team basketball, is not worth engaging in conversation.

    4. I agree this is another roller coaster ride Win a bunch get over confident then lose one get down on ourselves and then another losing stretch. This is a bipolar team. Need to ride with the punches. Inject some Lithium to the team

    5. Oh, I’ll be thrilled to get back on the bandwagon. I’m just saying I don’t buy it. I’m glad you’re happy though. Really. Maybe they’ll beat the Raptors once also. That’ll be like Christmas morning for you I imagine.

      Z-man: Melo after 2 games of him playing stellar team basketball,

    6. We shall see. The fact is, these dudes have pride and they legitimately can miss the playoffs if they don’t bring it every night. That kind of desperation has a way of focusing and motivating teams, much more so than veteran leadership or coaching. Ultimately, no one can make you want to do anything you don’t want to do. I think everyone on this team wants to make it to the playoffs.

      By the way, (I missed this, but read about it on twitter) apparently Jared Jeffries dragged J.R. Smith back to the team huddle when he was sitting by himself on the bench? That’s what I’m talking about.

    7. I think these guys could legitimately go 9-0 over the next 9 games. There are 3 legitimately tough matchups (Orlando, Milwaukee and Philly) + Indiana and Atlanta, both of whom we’ve blown out. We’ve been talented enough to beat many of these teams. It’s really about effort and focus at this point.

    8. Mulligan:
      I think these guys could legitimately go 9-0 over the next 9 games. There are 3 legitimately tough matchups (Orlando, Milwaukee and Philly) + Indiana and Atlanta, both of whom we’ve blown out. We’ve been talented enough to beat many of these teams. It’s really about effort and focus at this point.

      No one is eschewing optimism, by any means. But, it helps to observe trends, and now that this group has 43 games under its belt with mostly the same cast, we’ve seen that they rely more on external motivation and random circumstance than they do on internal drive (with the exception of Chandler). I was upbraided last night for continuing to criticize “max guys” and praise “ego-less” players. That’s reductio ad absurdum. In fact, team cohesion is all based on consistency through reps, not reps alone. What will be the consistent approach of the team going into the playoffs? Capricious defense and careless turnovers or attacking the basket and raining threes in transition? It’s too hard to tell, at this point, and that is frustrating when we consider seriously the glut of talent on the squad. I refuse to celebrate that our best players finally playing worth their salt after 40 games. I will celebrate playoff wins when they come; and as it stands, we’re staring at a potential ONE-WIN playoff year.

    9. I think some players need a yelling every once in a while to get them motivated again. So as well the Knicks play now the real test is when we lose one with poor effort, how will Woodsen react? I think MDA just did come hard on the players when there was no rebounding or defense.

    10. I think Z is too wise for this blog, cudn have said it better

      Z-man:
      The most encouragng thing is that I don’t see anything heroic in the performances of the last 2 days.Each player is doing things that are consistent with his individual skillset. I love the defensive pressure on the ball at the time line.I love the better balance of hedging/switching on screens.

      Most importantly, I love the look of the offense and the defense overall.The Melo-haters and doubters have been wringing their hands over how ugly and boring the “iso” style of basketball would look, and how it ultimately wouldn’t work.The game played by Melo and Amare at their worst is nowhere near as ugly as what the great Knicks teams of the ’90s played.

      First, the team is constructed right now in a way that allows it to play pretty much any system depending on the situation, so they needed a coach that would fully utilize this flexibility. Second, love or hate Melo, love or hate Amare, they are the team’s stars and as they go, the team will go, period.Two weeks of Linsanity should not have fooled a coach into making him the focal point of the offense at the expense of the max players. Through all of the criticism, Riley and JVG never lost sight of who the meal ticket was.Nelson tried to change Ewing’s role and lost his star and the team.

      Bottom line is that the team looks much more focused and relaxed because the strategy now fits the players, and not the other way around.

    11. The reason I don’t think those 2 blowouts were some kind of fluke was the way they played defense. Lin said after the game that everyone was communicating, calling out screens, switching only when necessary, etc. They didn’t win because some unsung scrub got hot from 3 point range or the other team was missing their best player, they won because they showed a defensive mindset and intensity that we only saw in prior games in the 4th quarter when they were down by double digits.

      There’s no reason to think that the defensive intensity we’ve seen the last 2 games can’t continue the rest of the season.

    12. BTW, love that those defensive stalwarts the Boston Celtics gave up 41 points in the 3rd quarter to the Sacramento Kings.

    13. d-mar: The reason I don’t think those 2 blowouts were some kind of fluke was the way they played defense. Lin said after the game that everyone was communicating, calling out screens, switching only when necessary, etc. They didn’t win because some unsung scrub got hot from 3 point range or the other team was missing their best player, they won because they showed a defensive mindset and intensity that we only saw in prior games in the 4th quarter when they were down by double digits. There’s no reason to think that the defensive intensity we’ve seen the last 2 games can’t continue the rest of the season.

      Exactly.

    14. This team looks really F’ing good. I was really bummed about D’Antoni at first, but it’s clear that Woodson’s style fits these players better.

      Of course, this is mostly about effort. Can they keep it up? Who knows. And like Z said, Woodson’s team is more fun to watch than I’d expected.

      And finally, some of you need to take nyc media with a grain of salt. Lin’s not going anywhere. Yes, Woodson is a different person than D’Antoni, but he’s not a fool. Lin does lots of good things, regardless of the system or his age. Stat is slowly working his way back into shape, and sure, JR Smith is sort of a bonehead, but it’s not the end of the world… the guy’s streaky, but he can ball.

      I’m not a polyanna, I still think we’re a 2nd round out at best. But at least we should have a competitive team.

    15. danvt: March 17, 2012 at 9:18 am
      Oh, I’ll be thrilled to get back on the bandwagon. I’m just saying I don’t buy it. I’m glad you’re happy though. Really. Maybe they’ll beat the Raptors once also. That’ll be like Christmas morning for you I imagine.

      I’m not suggesting that we are definitely out of the woods. That remains to be seen. I am saying that the way they are playing is sustainable, and that the herky-jerky way they have played has had something to do with 1) the coach and 2) the flux of the personnel this year.

      In contrast, Linsanity was not sustainable. He’s an OK player at a great price, and glad we found him and all, but anyone who thinks that what we were doing during that streak was sustainable, or that the team was better off benching Melo and Amare on the basis of that freaky run, was beyond deluded. Nothing happened in the last 2 games that reeked of delusional expectations for a rookie or a scrub, or all the BS that Melo and Amare are just incapable of playing winnng basketball. Melo didn’t jack up 30 shots, Amare didn’t have 5 blocks, Fields didn’t go 5-5 from 3-pt range, Shump didn’t have 10 steals or assists, Lin didn’t have a 20-20 game with zero turnovers. There was no over-reliance on either iso-ball or SSoL.

      So tell me, what did you see that was misleading?

    16. drewbreez: . I was upbraided last night for continuing to criticize “max guys” and praise “ego-less” players. That’s reductio ad absurdum.

      Not sure what you mean there.

      drewbreez: No one is eschewing optimism, by any means. But, it helps to observe trends, and now that this group has 43 games under its belt with mostly the same cast, we’ve seen that they rely more on external motivation and random circumstance than they do on internal drive …. In fact, team cohesion is all based on consistency through reps, not reps alone. What will be the consistent approach of the team going into the playoffs? Capricious defense and careless turnovers or attacking the basket and raining threes in transition? It’s too hard to tell, at this point, and that is frustrating when we consider seriously the glut of talent on the squad.

      To take a page out of ruru’s book, I would say that we are only beginning to see who this team is. The first 23 games were without an even remotely steady hand at PG, with two of our best defenders injured for stretches (shump and jeffries), our 2nd best scorer still working his way into shape and all without a training camp. More injuries (Melo, Chandler), new players (Lin, Smith & Baron, more playing time for Novak) and I would say we’ve only seen this team for about 13 games or so. They’ve shown flashes against more experienced teams, but it’s hard to build chemistry when you’re thrown into the fire. Bands don’t write their songs while they’re on tour – they practice and then start playing live. Same deal here. If you move to fast under pressure, it doesn’t work, you start questioning your band mates and try to go it alone. At least there’s a clear hierarchy now so folks can do their jobs.

    17. Mulligan:
      I think these guys could legitimately go 9-0 over the next 9 games. There are 3 legitimately tough matchups (Orlando, Milwaukee and Philly) + Indiana and Atlanta, both of whom we’ve blown out. We’ve been talented enough to beat many of these teams. It’s really about effort and focus at this point.

      Haha. Remember the guy who predicted we’d open the season 9-1? Remember the guy who predicted we’d sweep the Celtics in the first round last year? (remember the hundreds of people over the years who have come here with optimism about the Knicks, only to slink away, wounded by misplaced hope and faith?).

      In the words of Pete Seger: “When will we ever learn?”

      I’m with you, danvt. See you at the OccupyMSG rally.

    18. Tonight will be a very good test. You can bet that Indiana will come out with fire after getting totally embarassed last night. It almost helps that Milwaukee lost so that the coach can play the “We’re still out of the playoffs” card. I’m looking for us to grind out a win like Chicago did against us last week.

    19. The knicks have a great oportunity amidst the struggle that’s ahead of them this season. To make the the playoffs, they are going to have to stay red hot for the remainder of the season. That bodes well for them because that’s exactly how you want to enter the playoffs.

    20. Gideon Zaga: I think Z is too wise for this blog, cudn have said it better

      Z, people keep confusing us. It should be obvious to everyone that I’m more man than you.

    21. Gideon Zaga:
      I think Z is too wise for this blog

      Haha. Z is definitely not too wise for this blog. He’s a cantankerous grump, here only to piss on the optimism of the tortured and the weary!

      Now, Z-Man on the other hand… He always makes well reasoned posts. (he was even at the Garden when Willis limped out of the tunnel, I think :)

    22. Z: Haha. Remember the guy who predicted we’d open the season 9-1? Remember the guy who predicted we’d sweep the Celtics in the first round last year? (remember the hundreds of people over the years who have come here with optimism about the Knicks, only to slink away, wounded by misplaced hope and faith?).

      heh, remember the Zach Horst game preview where a win at Memphis was a close to sure thing? :)

      I am optimistic, though, but there is not much margin for error anymore.

    23. jon abbey:

      I am optimistic, though, but there is not much margin for error anymore.

      Exactly. You’d have to be a fool to forget about the myriad ways this team fails to realize its potential time and time again, but it’s just as hard to give up on them as it is to hold out hope. What can I say? I’m a Knicks fan. I’m used to having my hopes and dreams crushed time and time again. That feels way more natural than turning my back on them.

    24. Z: Now, Z-Man on the other hand… He always makes well reasoned posts. (he was even at the Garden when Willis limped out of the tunnel, I think :)

      Close, I was watching it in snowy black and white on tape delay with the dial on channel 7 and extra aluminum foil on the rabbit ears. Good times, good times…

    25. drewbreez: No one is eschewing optimism, by any means. But, it helps to observe trends, and now that this group has 43 games under its belt with mostly the same cast, we’ve seen that they rely more on external motivation and random circumstance than they do on internal drive (with the exception of Chandler). I was upbraided last night for continuing to criticize “max guys” and praise “ego-less” players. That’s reductio ad absurdum. In fact, team cohesion is all based on consistency through reps, not reps alone. What will be the consistent approach of the team going into the playoffs? Capricious defense and careless turnovers or attacking the basket and raining threes in transition? I will celebrate playoff wins when they come; and as it stands, we’re staring at a potential ONE-WIN playoff year.

      That’s a fair outlook, honestly.

      Melo and Amar’e should be upbraided by the new staff if they don’t play at this same level defensively moving forward. And by all appearances this is a staff that’s willing to do it. When guys mention accountability as much as they have after MDA, it’s typically not sports-speak tripe.

      You asked a few pointed questions last night. I wasn’t sure if you were trying to be facetious or not, because the timing was rather odd.

      But if you want an honest discussion let me know.

    26. Mulligan: Exactly. You’d have to be a fool to forget about the myriad ways this team fails to realize its potential time and time again, but it’s just as hard to give up on them as it is to hold out hope. What can I say? I’m a Knicks fan. I’m used to having my hopes and dreams crushed time and time again. That feels way more natural than turning my back on them.

      Well said Mulligan, we may even come out tonight and spank Indy, raise hopes to an all time high, and then come out with a piss poor effort against Toronto at home on Tues. and lose. But that has to change because there can be no more bad losses, margin for error is gone.

    27. d-mar:
      The reason I don’t think those 2 blowouts were some kind of fluke was the way they played defense. Lin said after the game that everyone was communicating, calling out screens, switching only when necessary, etc. They didn’t win because some unsung scrub got hot from 3 point range or the other team was missing their best player, they won because they showed a defensive mindset and intensity that we only saw in prior games in the 4th quarter when they were down by double digits.

      There’s no reason to think that the defensive intensity we’ve seen the last 2 games can’t continue the rest of the season.

      Play like this, especially in an environment where the team is trying to set a new standard of how it plays, can sort of establish a new threshold that you don’t go too far below.

      I’m not sure I can remember any team that played this well defensively going back to playing poorly on a consistent basis under brand new circumstances.

      There will be bad defensive games, but not like what we saw under MDA.

    28. Wait , Z and Z-man are 2 different characters. Wow but they come across polar opposite on each debate and make sense. I thought it was one guy playing both sides of the fence. Kudos to you both, love the insight.

      Z: Haha. Z is definitely not too wise for this blog. He’s a cantankerous grump, here only to piss on the optimism of the tortured and the weary!

      Now, Z-Man on the other hand… He always makes well reasoned posts. (he was even at the Garden when Willis limped out of the tunnel, I think :)

      Z-man: Z, people keep confusing us. It should be obvious to everyone that I’m more man than you.

    29. I woke up optimistic. As others have said, the team won because of defensive intensity in the first half. Chandler dominated Hibbert at both ends of the court. Amar’e played physical defense on West. Melo forced Granger off of his spots, and distributed the ball to all the right spots. Because Chandler did not need help in the post, everyone else was able to help Lin keep Collison from getting to the rim, even though he was able to get into the paint.

      Even without Baron Davis, the bench made great contributions. JR Smith found his shot, Shumpert played great defense and made good decisions and Novak continued to rain 3 pointers. Jeffries (in very limited duty) took a charge, blocked a shot and made a forty foot drive to the hoop for a finger roll.

      A healthy Chandler is a huge difference maker. Ever since he got the brace off of his wrist, he has been catching the ball on entry passes and rebounds and converting baskets at his pre-injury rate.

      What adjustments should we expect from the Pacers tonight? (1) Barbosa should be available. I expect the Pacers to try to use Barbosa and Collison’s quickness advantage against Lin (particularly since Davis is out) by picking up full court, (2) Expect lots of West/Barbosa or West/Collison PnR – they will want to force Amar’e to make more decision on defense, (3) Hibbert will be told not to help off of Chandler, which should open up room for ‘Melo to operate.

      Tonight, Melo breaks free for 25+ points and 10+ rebounds.

    30. With Baron out tonight, I’m concerned about the 12-15 mins. when we won’t have a pg on the floor who can dribble. Hopefully Jeffries and Shump can make up for that on D during those mins.

    31. Wow I love this team. They just dont send us into spirals each season with wins and losses but also with the unending drama from the locker rooms.Feels like one of the soap operas my ex wife forced on me. I have to be honest, I was the biggest Dantoni hater and I harped the most for him to be fired. However, even I did not expect this in his absence. Reading the game thread last night I was amazed people were talking about the inverse relationship of the coach firing and the renewed energy as we saw in Portland well. But I believe that to be just one of the many media driven fallacies, if this was so tell me why the same didn’t happen in DC earlier this year and in Utah last year. Although I’m a McMillan fan, that team had worse luck than the Knicks in the past two decades; im talking about sam bowie over jordan and oden over durant as well as roy(so sad). Our Dantoni problem was a case of bad coaching, no attention to detail, lack of accountability, lack of versatility and lack of creativity.Never forget that. Dantoni had the same problems in Phoenix when he got shaq. Yeah i know, the wrongest player for his one play system. Plus I also believe it could have worked if Melo had not been injured during Linsanity; and the latest debacle of the newspaper people shows how much faith we should place in the NY media. On this note I want to say Fuck you Marc Berman, such lazy journalism. I am hopeful that woodsanity will be sustainable since everyone is part of it, no one on the outside looking in, well except Bill Walker. Btw when will Dolan fire Mike Breen, im starting to believe he is a poor man’s Anderson Cooper. Cheers.

    32. Gideon Zaga: Wait , Z and Z-man are 2 different characters. Wow but they come across polar opposite on each debate and make sense. I thought it was one guy playing both sides of the fence. Kudos to you both, love the insight.

      I sometimes get Frank and Frank O confused. Then there are a couple of spree’s and ruru’s out there…it’s all good. I’m expecting a rosy glass-half-full guy named Jock Cowles to sign up any day now :)

    33. ephus:

      Tonight, Melo breaks free for 25+ points and 10+ rebounds.

      I’ve never seen Melo held down this long. He’s had a few decent offensive games. but nothing like what he’s capable of.

      It reminds me so much of ’08. It was the year Denver traded for Chauncey and totally changed their culture. They were developing into a really good defensive team,and Melo was at the heart of it — his commitment and energy helped spearhead change from the entire roster allowing everyone to buy into the team’s new identity– just as I hope happens with this team after the change. There’s muscle memory there for Melo and I honestly feel like he knows you can’t win in an offense-only environment. I think that’s part of his skepticism with MDA and why he’s embraced Woodson to the extent he has…..So much more buy-in than with D’Antoni.

      Anyway, that year Melo was shooting 39% in November and early December,dealing with wrist and elbow injuries as the team was trying to figure out how to build its offense (it eventually built it primarily on Melo isos)….

      It was mid-December and another game where Melo was struggling….And then this happened:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg00xVSrkgQ

      His team needed that win and needed that amazing quarter. It kick-started a run for Melo that ended abruptly against Indiana when JeffFoster broke his hand on a drive. (A game in which Melo had 21 pts on 8-12 shooting with 9 assists in the first 23minutes)…

      It took some time for Melo to get over that second injury, but by the time mid-March came around he was putting in two-way monster games. His 35/9 (on 10/17)against the Spurs, his 38 on16/26 against Portland, and his 43/11 ( on 18/29) at Dallas helped set the stage offensively for Denver’s deep playoff run that year.

      The defense was always there (Denver was 8th in efficiency without a rim-protecting…

    34. I don’t think that D’Antoni is a bad coach, but this team is not consistent with his style and his window of opportunity had passed. I do think that the team will ultimately benefit from his coaching. The P&R stuff is imprinted on the team so that they can do it no matter who the coach is. That will make Woodson’s job easier. Also, coaches can learn and get better as well (Doug Collins, anyone?). Theoretically, Woodson might be better now than he was with the Hawks specifically as a result of working closely with D’Antoni.

    35. big man.

      But I’ve never seen Melo go this long without a break-out, and break-out typically leads to at least at a two week stretch of awesomeness,sometimes lasting a few months.

      You saw a mini-one last year during the Knicks7 game winning streak at the end of the year–his 36against Charlotte lead to two 39pt games in a row (must-win games) and a very solid stretch in the other 5 straight games the team won.

      Melo needs a break-out game to kick start him,and given how much he’s struggled this year I have a feeling it could be the best he’s ever had.

      That will be a fun night.

    36. Z-man:
      I don’t think that D’Antoni is a bad coach, but this team is not consistent with his style and his window of opportunity had passed. I do think that the team will ultimately benefit from his coaching.The P&R stuff is imprinted on the team so that they can do it no matter who the coach is. That will make Woodson’s job easier.Also, coaches can learn and get better as well (Doug Collins, anyone?).Theoretically, Woodson might be better now than he was with the Hawks specifically as a result of working closely with D’Antoni.

      http://deadspin.com/5894047/mike-woodson-says-carmelo-wasnt-the-problem-but-he-is-the-solution?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=Sport+Feed

    37. Gideon Zaga:
      Wow I love thisteam. They just dont send us intospirals each season with wins and losses but also with the unending drama from the locker rooms.Feels like one of the soap operas my ex wife forced on me.I have to be honest, I was the biggest Dantoni hater and I harped the most for him to be fired. However, even I did not expect this in his absence. Reading the game thread last night I was amazed people were talking about the inverse relationship of the coach firing and the renewed energy as wesaw inPortland well. But I believe that to be just one of the many media driven fallacies, if this was so tell me why the same didn’t happen in DC earlier this year and in Utah last year. Although I’m a McMillan fan, that team had worse luck than the Knicks in the past two decades; im talking about sam bowie over jordan and oden over durant as well as roy(so sad). Our Dantoni problem was a case of bad coaching, no attention to detail, lack of accountability, lack of versatility and lack of creativity.Never forget that. Dantoni had the same problems in Phoenix when he got shaq. Yeah i know, the wrongest player for his one play system. Plus I also believe it could have worked if Melo had not been injured during Linsanity; and the latest debacle of the newspaper people shows how much faith we should place in the NY media. On this note I want to say Fuck you Marc Berman, such lazy journalism. I am hopeful that woodsanity will be sustainable since everyone is part of it, no one on the outside looking in, well except Bill Walker. Btw when will Dolan fire Mike Breen, im starting to believe he is a poor man’s Anderson Cooper. Cheers.

      Love this post. I’m not getting Breen’s appeal either. He’s decent as a national guy I guess.

    38. GREAT LINK ruru. If that had happened in NY the whole world will hear.

      ruruland: I’ve never seen Melo held down this long. He’s had a few decent offensive games. but nothing like what he’s capable of.

      It reminds me so much of ’08. It was the year Denver traded for Chauncey and totally changed their culture. They were developing into a really good defensive team,and Melo was at the heart of it — his commitment and energy helped spearhead change from the entire roster allowing everyone to buy into the team’s new identity– just as I hope happens with this team after the change. There’s muscle memory there for Melo and I honestly feel like he knows you can’t win in an offense-only environment. I think that’s part of his skepticism with MDA and why he’s embraced Woodson to the extent he has…..So much more buy-in than with D’Antoni.

      Anyway, that year Melo was shooting 39% in November and early December,dealing with wrist and elbow injuries as the team was trying to figure out how to build its offense (it eventually built it primarily on Melo isos)….

      It was mid-December and another game where Melo was struggling….And then this happened:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg00xVSrkgQ

      His team needed that win and needed that amazing quarter. It kick-started a run for Melo that ended abruptly against Indiana when JeffFoster broke his hand on a drive. (A game in which Melo had 21 pts on 8-12 shooting with 9 assists in the first 23minutes)…

      It took some time for Melo to get over that second injury, but by the time mid-March came around he was putting in two-way monster games. His 35/9 (on 10/17)against the Spurs, his 38 on16/26 against Portland, and his 43/11 ( on 18/29) at Dallas helped set the stage offensively for Denver’s deep playoff run that year.

      The defense was always there (Denver was 8th in…

    39. “Haha. Remember the guy who predicted we’d open the season 9-1? Remember the guy who predicted we’d sweep the Celtics in the first round last year? (remember the hundreds of people over the years who have come here with optimism about the Knicks, only to slink away, wounded by misplaced hope and faith?).”

      lol, harsh but so so true…

    40. Breen’s the ultimate professional. Great voice and highly competent. His chemistry with Clyde is great, especially when they go off on weird tangents like talking about Clyde’s sailing trips on the Mediterranean.

      However, he’s a pro to the point where he becomes an anti-homer. He has this patrician perspective on the game – everyone knows that he probably supports the refs more than anything else.

      His basketball opinions aren’t so great. He’s only paid to be the play-by-play guy. Fortunately he only gives them during blowouts when he has to fill up air time.

    41. I not fond of Breen. He will stay with MSG as long as he isn’t critical of the Knicks when they are playing badly. He knows what happen to M Albert

    42. Doug:
      Breen’s the ultimate professional. Great voice and highly competent. His chemistry with Clyde is great, especially when they go off on weird tangents like talking about Clyde’s sailing trips on the Mediterranean.

      However, he’s a pro to the point where he becomes an anti-homer. He has this patrician perspective on the game – everyone knows that he probably supports the refs more than anything else.

      His basketball opinions aren’t so great. He’s only paid to be the play-by-play guy. Fortunately he only gives them during blowouts when he has to fill up airtime.

      Breen is very competent and professional, but if I hear him say one more time “and Clyde, what Stoudemire and Anthony have to do for this team to be successful is not only provide scoring, but they have to give the same effort on the defensive end of the floor”

      Thanks, Mike for that valuable insight (for the millionth time this season)

    43. 2FOR18:
      With Baron out tonight, I’m concerned about the 12-15 mins. when we won’t have a pg on the floor who can dribble.Hopefully Jeffries and Shump can make up for that on D during those mins.

      Shumpert was great in this role last night, and I still think he might be better at getting Amare the ball in positions where he can be most effective than either Lin or Baron.

    44. I picked the Knicks as #3 seed before the season, and that was before we’d heard of Lin, so I know there’s a lot of talent. And they’ve played pretty good D all year. But hard to start ramping up expectations until they keep this up a bit longer.

    45. Exactly he tends to be anti-homer and anti-star players when he does MSG but he’s totally different on nat TV. What about Berman, what do you make of him Doug?

      Doug:
      Breen’s the ultimate professional. Great voice and highly competent. His chemistry with Clyde is great, especially when they go off on weird tangents like talking about Clyde’s sailing trips on the Mediterranean.

      However, he’s a pro to the point where he becomes an anti-homer. He has this patrician perspective on the game – everyone knows that he probably supports the refs more than anything else.

      His basketball opinions aren’t so great. He’s only paid to be the play-by-play guy. Fortunately he only gives them during blowouts when he has to fill up airtime.

    46. Actually the Knicks “should have been” 9-1 to start and swept the Celtics if not for injuries. But thank God they didn’t and D antoni is gone. If they beat Boston Dantoni gets an extension. And Im starting to get off the Dantoni made Lin bandwagon, sheesh Dantoni only played him when he had to and Look at Nash’s line from last night, give him STAT and Melo and the Heat will not win not even 1,.. This team is way better than its record. The gel needed Dantoni gone to kick in.

      Owen:
      “Haha. Remember the guy who predicted we’d open the season 9-1? Remember the guy who predicted we’d sweep the Celtics in the first round last year? (remember the hundreds of people over the years who have come here with optimism about the Knicks, only to slink away, wounded by misplaced hope and faith?).”

      lol, harsh but so so true…

    47. Doug:
      Breen’s the ultimate professional. Great voice and highly competent. His chemistry with Clyde is great, especially when they go off on weird tangents like talking about Clyde’s sailing trips on the Mediterranean.

      However, he’s a pro to the point where he becomes an anti-homer. He has this patrician perspective on the game – everyone knows that he probably supports the refs more than anything else.

      His basketball opinions aren’t so great. He’s only paid to be the play-by-play guy. Fortunately he only gives them during blowouts when he has to fill up airtime.

      I love Breen and Clyde. I lived in Boston for 7 years and Knicks fans are truly, truly lucky. Most fans only get to hear the sickening homerism like that displayed by Tommy Heinsohn and Mike Gorman for the Celtics.

      Diversity of opinions is a luxury that we are fortunate enough to enjoy. Clyde and Breen just love good basketball and are not afraid to compliment the other team when they do well and, in all honesty, that is how it should be. I have never heard Heinsohn or Gorman say one positive thing about an opposing team or player. It is really nauseating to listen to. The Celtics do their fans a disservice by putting those blowhards on the air.

    48. I am on this blog to learn; I really appreciate all your comments.
      Clyde and Breen are fine, but I really like Hubie Brown. He is educational similar to John Madden about NFL.
      Cheers

    49. Caleb:
      I picked the Knicks as #3 seed before the season, and that was before we’d heard of Lin, so I know there’s a lot of talent. And they’ve played pretty good D all year. But hard to start ramping up expectations until they keep this up a bit longer.

      yeah, 2 games is not enough… I’ll be optimistic when we win 6, 7 tough games.

      Woodson’s Atlanta team have always been decent, but just that… he says that this is the most talented team he’s even been a part of, and it’s probably true, but our stars have the same sort of shortcomings their stars do … I don’t see us ever getting over what Atlanta achieved (2nd round) with this roster and this coach.

    50. Gideon Zaga:
      Exactly he tends to be anti-homer and anti-star players when he does MSG but he’s totally different on nat TV. What about Berman, what do you make of him Doug?

      I lump Berman in with Isola, Lupica, Vecsey, Sheridan and all the other “big name” New York sportswriters. They are all awful.

      With New York teams, it’s about finding the few writers you can trust. For the Knicks it used to be Hahn, now it’s Howard Beck.

    51. Breen should stick to play by play. At the Net game when Lin came into the game as the first sub in the first quarter he actually said that T Douglas was a better offense and defensive player than Lin. Of course this was just prior to Linsanity.

    52. Degree_Absolute: I love Breen and Clyde.I lived in Boston for 7 years and Knicks fans are truly, truly lucky.Most fans only get to hear the sickening homerism like that displayed by Tommy Heinsohn and Mike Gorman for the Celtics.

      Diversity of opinions is a luxury that we are fortunate enough to enjoy.Clyde and Breen just love good basketball and are not afraid to compliment the other team when they do well and, in all honesty, that is how it should be.I have never heard Heinsohn or Gorman say one positive thing about an opposing team or player.It is really nauseating to listen to.The Celtics do their fans a disservice by putting those blowhards on the air.

      Seriously. Not having MSG for a few months and being forced to endure the endless parade of garbage that passes for other teams’ announcers was just brutal. But Heinsohn is really in a league of his own. Mike Breen is generally fine, he’s a good straight man next to Clyde and frankly I like it that he calls out our own players when they play like ass. But Spero Dedes has been okay filling in for him this year; nothing like the massive drop-off that occurs when Bernard King takes over Clyde’s duties for a night.

    53. I listened to one of those Celtics games when NBA TV was free for a month. There was nothing I could recall where they even remotely criticized Boston. Everything either seems to be a foul on the opposing team or the refs made a bad call against the Celtics.

      As much as Breen repeats certain phrases over and over again, I’d much rather have him be critical of our players than think of them as flawless entities.

      Unless if you can get Gus Johnson back, the Mike and Walt duo should be the main team.

    54. I love the way he does “Bang!” It’s like you get to re-live the shot going in when you hear him say that.

    55. I spent eight years in New England in the late 80s and early 90s, and having to endure Heinsohn extol the greatness of Ed Pickney and Dino Radja was almost too much. Even in New Hampshire and Maine, you could get the Knicks games on FAN at night.

    56. jon abbey: Shumpert was great in this role last night, and I still think he might be better at getting Amare the ball in positions where he can be most effective than either Lin or Baron.

      Shumpert looks more comfortable with the decision-making required to get the ball into the post, and he’s more explosive moving off the entry pass their either Lin or Davis. Creates more options for the defense to cover, opening up space on the block.

    57. Anything but Gus Johnson he was a huge suck up during the Isaiah years. I’m also not big on the screamer style announcers.

      As for the team I love the defensive energy. It seemed like even Lin looked decent at keeping Collison from getting into the paint. Shooting will come and go but defensive effort should not.

    58. Nick C.:
      Anything but Gus Johnson he was a huge suck up during the Isaiah years. I’m also not big on the screamer style announcers.

      As for the team I love the defensive energy. It seemed like even Lin looked decent at keeping Collison from getting into the paint. Shooting will come and go but defensive effort should not.

      Gus Johnson would also completely disregard when the Knicks were getting their butts kicked. “Crawford for 3, pure!! And the Knicks trail by 25”

    59. Z-man: I’m expecting a rosy glass-half-full guy named Jock Cowles to sign up any day now :)

      Howdy! Im feeling quite good about the team right now…loved the Melo trade, digging the B-Diddy signing so far, and shucks I’m just glad to be here.

      Also, I just came across an article by some Dave Berri guy…what a quack!

    60. Hahahah guess the Mayans were right, this world is truly coming to an end.

      jock cowles: Howdy! Im feeling quite good about the team right now…loved the Melo trade, digging the B-Diddy signing so far, and shucks I’m just glad to be here.

      Also, I just came across an article by some Dave Berri guy…what a quack!

    61. I can’t believe anyone would have a problem with Mike Breen. He’s a great announcer, as I think any amount of time spent sampling on other announcers on League Pass will tell you…

      Just keeping track here of our bet Ruru, Melo has had 28 points on 27 true shots in the last two games. Harden had 37 points on 23.32 shots. Let’s add his 9 turnovers to his shot total and call it 37 on 32.32 shots.

      Still waiting for Melo to blow past him, any second now I am sure…

    62. ruruland: big man.But I’ve never seen Melo go this long without a break-out, and break-out typically leads to at least at a two week stretch of awesomeness,sometimes lasting a few months.

      I am certain that will not happen this season. Woodson will not allow it to happen.

    63. Owen:
      I can’t believe anyone would have a problem with Mike Breen. He’s a great announcer, as I think any amount of time spent sampling on other announcers on League Pass will tell you…

      Just keeping track here of our bet Ruru, Melo has had 28 points on 27 true shots in the last two games. Harden had 37 points on 23.32 shots. Let’s add his 9 turnovers to his shot total and call it 37 on 32.32 shots.

      Still waiting for Melo to blow past him, any second now I am sure…

      and that’s when Melo is playing “really well” by all measures, comparing to his performance before the Portland game….

      Harden has a .231 WS48 right now, 43 games into the season… my god.

    64. Loved that Novak, in the postgame interview, gave credit not just to the guards who pass him the ball, but to Jeffries…he claims he gets free much more when Jeffries is in the game.

      Just out of curiosity, has anyone on Knickerblogger pointed this out before?

    65. @66

      he might command a max contract when his deal is up, OKC will have some trouble keeping this roster together… but thanks to Presti’s genius, they’re guaranteed this year and the next one with this core.

      they won’t be able to keep Ibaka too, though.

    66. Z-man: So tell me, what did you see that was misleading?

      Much respect Z-Man. I’ve enjoyed these last couple of games and I agree with your points. If you look back at my, mostly forgettable posts, you’ll see that I’ve defended almost every mediocre Knick. I just want to be wrong on the other side and guard against the inevitable pain that optimism for this team always causes me. I think it’s highly ironic that Carmelo starts playing team ball for coach W and I’m pissed that it took coach D’An stepping down for him to get down to business. Meanwhile, I don’t care about any of that if we just win consistently from here on. Tonight I’m expecting the self satisfied, “we got this” attitude and a loss. I hope to god I’m wrong and, if I am, I might again believe we have a playoff run in us.

    67. Bruno Almeida:
      @66

      he might command a max contract when his deal is up, OKC will have some trouble keeping this roster together… but thanks to Presti’s genius, they’re guaranteed this year and the next one with this core.

      they won’t be able to keep Ibaka too, though.

      Harden will most certainly not be demanding a max contract. He may be looking at something in the low 8 figures like what Gallo got, but I doubt he gets more than that. Max contracts, historically, have gone to high usage scorers in the starting line-up that are also good-very good at another part of the game that appears in the stat-sheet (i.e. rebounding).

    68. let’s get a game thread started on time today. if we can’t show up for every game on time, how can we expect our team to do so?

      (ok, maybe they get paid a bit more than us, but still)

    69. massive: Harden will most certainly not be demanding a max contract. He may be looking at something in the low 8 figures like what Gallo got, but I doubt he gets more than that. Max contracts, historically, have gone to high usage scorers in the starting line-up that are also good-very good at another part of the game that appears in the stat-sheet (i.e. rebounding).

      What about Melo?

    70. You are probably right.

      The other Thunder who will be demanding max contract is Westbrook not Harden.

    71. massive: Harden will most certainly not be demanding a max contract. He may be looking at something in the low 8 figures like what Gallo got, but I doubt he gets more than that. Max contracts, historically, have gone to high usage scorers in the starting line-up that are also good-very good at another part of the game that appears in the stat-sheet (i.e. rebounding).

      I agree with you that generally this is the way it happens, but this is an entirely different case.

      Harden isn’t a high usage scorer simply for the fact that he plays alongside two ultra-high usage scorers… he might resign early and for a cheaper price than he’s worth with Oklahoma City, but I seriously doubt that NBA GMs are so dumb that nobody with cap space will see the potential there and try to make a larger offer.

      also, he’s averaging almost 20 ppg per 36, is the clear frontrunner for 6th man of the year and has nice assists and rebound numbers for his position (not to mention the really good rate he gets to the line), which are all things that have historically driven up a player’s contract.

      I agree that, right now, he won’t demand a max contract, but it’s not that far from being a possibility in two years.

    72. MSA:
      You are probably right.

      The other Thunder who will be demanding max contract is Westbrook not Harden.

      Westbrook already has his, he resigned earlier this year.

    73. Jon, I hope they are as revved up for this one as you are (assuming you are, of course), unlike the Dallas game!

    74. MSA: What about Melo?

      Melo fits the high usage scorer in the starting line-up bill. He’s also a good rebounder for his position, so that’s why he’s received two max contracts in his career.

    75. Bruno Almeida: I agree with you that generally this is the way it happens, but this is an entirely different case.Harden isn’t a high usage scorer simply for the fact that he plays alongside two ultra-high usage scorers… he might resign early and for a cheaper price than he’s worth with Oklahoma City, but I seriously doubt that NBA GMs are so dumb that nobody with cap space will see the potential there and try to make a larger offer.also, he’s averaging almost 20 ppg per 36, is the clear frontrunner for 6th man of the year and has nice assists and rebound numbers for his position (not to mention the really good rate he gets to the line), which are all things that have historically driven up a player’s contract.I agree that, right now, he won’t demand a max contract, but it’s not that far from being a possibility in two years.

      Is he better than Durant right now? I don’t think he gets the same defensive attention, and it’s nice to be able to mac on second units. But Durant should be a better playmaker for that team.

      Harden seems to play much more under control,with better passing awarness and anticipation. He makes the right play — the simply play–every single time it seems.

      His +/-profile is far superior to Durant’s as well.

      I actually think he has the kind of game where you can greatly increase his usage and get better assist numbers.A lot of shots are transition and semi-transition so I’m not sure he can maintain his efficiency, nor do I think he’s a .660 TS player moving forward, that’s crazy.

    76. art vandelay:
      Jon, I hope they are as revved up for this one as you are (assuming you are, of course), unlike the Dallas game!

      they so rarely are. :)

      I need to get Mike to let me start game threads, we need to get some protocol going here.

    77. massive: Harden will most certainly not be demanding a max contract. He may be looking at something in the low 8 figures like what Gallo got, but I doubt he gets more than that. Max contracts, historically, have gone to high usage scorers in the starting line-up that are also good-very good at another part of the game that appears in the stat-sheet (i.e. rebounding).

      We’re also looking at a 40 game sample of greatness. I understand the theory of jumping to a new level in that third year…butit’sa big jump from lastseason.

    78. Bruno Almeida: I agree with you that generally this is the way it happens, but this is an entirely different case.

      Harden isn’t a high usage scorer simply for the fact that he plays alongside two ultra-high usage scorers… he might resign early and for a cheaper price than he’s worth with Oklahoma City, but I seriously doubt that NBA GMs are so dumb that nobody with cap space will see the potential there and try to make a larger offer.

      also, he’s averaging almost 20 ppg per 36, is the clear frontrunner for 6th man of the year and has nice assists and rebound numbers for his position (not to mention the really good rate he gets to the line), which are all things that have historically driven up a player’s contract.

      I agree that, right now, he won’t demand a max contract, but it’s not that far from being a possibility in two years.

      Personally, I don’t think it will happen this way at all. It very well could, but any GM that wants to take Harden and pay him “superstar” money would be foolish for the same reason anybody who wants to pay Ryan Anderson “superstar” money is foolish; they’re good players playing next to a top 5 NBA player. Those guys usually elevate the play of those around them. No doubt, those guys are worth a pretty penny. But, I don’t think either guy can carry a team, which is why I don’t think Harden (or Anderson) can garner max money. FWIW, James Harden is one of my favorite basketball players, I just don’t think he’s good enough for a max contract. A 6th man of the year with no All-Star appearances or All-NBA selections doesn’t get a max deal.

    79. While we obviously can’t just ignore the stats or throw them out this season, just as we might forgive or at least explain away certain sub-par seasons for normally excellent players (e.g. STAT) during this lockout-shortened season, isn’t it possibly that those who came into camp in great shape, motivated and having worked really hard on their games during lockout might benefit from slightly inflated stats this season because the level of competition is down across the board and those like Harden and LBJ (who already have a talent advantage to begin with) just in this particular season are playing against a lot of out of shape, rusty players.

      I think Harden is an outstanding player, but next year will really show me if he is top tier or on a slightly lower level.

    80. massive: Personally, I don’t think it will happen this way at all. It very well could, but any GM that wants to take Harden and pay him “superstar” money would be foolish for the same reason anybody who wants to pay Ryan Anderson “superstar” money is foolish; they’re good players playing next to a top 5 NBA player. Those guys usually elevate the play of those around them. No doubt, those guys are worth a pretty penny. But, I don’t think either guy can carry a team, which is why I don’t think Harden (or Anderson) can garner max money. FWIW, James Harden is one of my favorite basketball players, I just don’t think he’s good enough for a max contract. A 6th man of the year with no All-Star appearances or All-NBA selections doesn’t get a max deal.

      I’m obviously with you on Anderson. I’m not convinced that’s true with Harden. I think there are aspects of his game he can develop to take on the burden of higher usage.

      Frankly, I think he has a chance to be a superior version of Manu Ginobli in his prime. And I think in a different situation Manu would have been a clear-cut max guy.

    81. ruruland: We’re also looking at a 40 game sample of greatness. I understand the theory of jumping to a new level in that third year…butit’sa big jump from lastseason.

      James Harden is a starter on every NBA team that doesn’t have Kobe, Ginobili, or Wade on it; he’s that good. I think if you put Harden on a team like Golden State, Philly, Indiana, or Washington, you’d have an All-Star. I think he’s going to get an Iggy/Deng/Granger/Ginobili salary. Not a Melo deal.

    82. massive: James Harden is a starter on every NBA team that doesn’t have Kobe, Ginobili, or Wade on it; he’s that good. I think if you put Harden on a team like Golden State, Philly, Indiana, or Washington, you’d have an All-Star. I think he’s going to get an Iggy/Deng/Granger/Ginobili salary. Not a Melo deal.

      Ginobli doesn’t start, but I understand your point. His next deal obviously won’t be amax. But if he chooses a place where he’s the first or second option, I’m saying his game is good enough, or can be good enough, to warrant a max deal on his second contract based on the stipulated criteria.

    83. ruruland: Ginobli doesn’t start, but I understand your point. His next deal obviously won’t be amax. But if he chooses a place where he’s the first or second option, I’m saying his game is good enough, or can be good enough, to warrant a max deal on his second contract based on the stipulated criteria.

      I agree; James Harden is the truth. He’ll be worth every penny of his next deal. But so far in his career, he doesn’t have the production worthy of a max deal.

    84. It will be interesting to see. NBA GMs are getting smarter, in general.

      Also its easy to say he shouldn’t get max because he’s not as good as the best players in the league, but the max is set artificially low by the salary cap. LeBron is obviously worth a lot more than the max, in a free market. So Harden might be worth the max (I’m not saying he is or isn’t).

    85. jock cowles: Howdy! Im feeling quite good about the team right now…loved the Melo trade, digging the B-Diddy signing so far, and shucks I’m just glad to be here.Also, I just came across an article by some Dave Berri guy…what a quack!

      That’s some funny shit!!!

    Comments are closed.