Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Mar 24 2012)

  • [New York Times] Raptors 96, Knicks 79: Raptors End Knicks’ Winning Streak at 5 (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 05:24:13 GMT)

    The Toronto Raptors beat the Knicks on Friday, handing the interim coach Mike Woodson his first loss since taking over for Mike D’Antoni.

  • [New York Times] 76ers 99, Celtics 86: 76ers Top Celtics 99-86 as Collins Gets 400th Win (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 04:40:05 GMT)

    Elton Brand scored 20 points, and Spencer Hawes had 12 points and 10 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers remain in first place in the Atlantic Division.

  • [New York Times] Lakers Benefit Royally From Sessions Time (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 06:50:10 GMT)

    The Los Angeles Lakers may have lost their coolest head in veteran Derek Fisher last week but they have gained a red-hot facilitator in fellow guard Ramon Sessions.

  • [New York Times] Jazz Easily Beat Nuggets for 6th Straight Win (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 05:47:03 GMT)

    Al Jefferson had 23 points and eight rebounds, Gordon Hayward chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and the Utah Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets 121-102 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Sessions, Bynum Power Lakers Over Blazers (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 05:23:06 GMT)

    Andrew Bynum had 28 points and nine rebounds, point guard Ramon Sessions had 20 points and 11 assists in his first start for the Lakers, and Los Angeles beat the Portland Trail Blazers 103-96 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beat Mavericks Without Injured Parker (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 03:17:04 GMT)

    Manu Ginobili had 11 points and seven assists while starting in place of an injured Tony Parker, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 104-87 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Survive Love’s 51, Outlast Wolves in 2OT (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 04:53:15 GMT)

    When Kevin Love drilled the most dramatic of his career-high seven 3-pointers during his first 50-point game over Russell Westbrook, he gave his former UCLA buddy a good ribbing.

  • [New York Times] Heat Make ‘Hoodie’ Protest Over Florida Teenager Death (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 02:29:25 GMT)

    Miami Heat basketball players posed in “hoodies” in a picture published on Friday to protest against the Florida shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer who said he was acting in self-defense. Leading Heat player LeBron James posted a picture on his Twitter account showing the National Basketball Association team in their training tops – all with the hoods raised over their heads in the fashion reportedly worn by Trayvon Martin on the night he was shot last month.

  • [New York Times] Smith Scores 30 as Hawks Hold Off Nets, 93-84 (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 02:29:11 GMT)

    Josh Smith had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 93-84 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Heat Beat Pistons 88-73 for Fourth Straight Win (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 02:41:12 GMT)

    LeBron James had 17 points and 10 assists to lead the Miami Heat to their fourth straight victory, 88-73 over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Gortat, Nash Lead Suns Past Pacers, 113-111 (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 02:29:12 GMT)

    Marcin Gortat had 23 points and eight rebounds, Steve Nash added 12 points and tied his season high with 17 assists, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Indiana Pacers 113-111 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] DeRozan Scores 30 as Raptors Cruise Past Knicks (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 01:47:02 GMT)

    DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points before leaving with an injury, Andrea Bargnani had 21 and the Toronto Raptors routed the Knicks 96-79 Friday night, snapping New York’s five-game winning streak.

  • [New York Times] Bucks Hammer Bobcats Inside, Win 112-92 (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 02:44:03 GMT)

    Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles knows not to get too excited about his team’s 112-92 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Magic Fight Off Howard Fouls, Beat Cavs 93-80 (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 01:35:09 GMT)

    Ryan Anderson scored 17 points, Dwight Howard added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-80 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Heat Players Wear Hoodies as Statement in Martin Slaying (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 03:05:22 GMT)

    The Miami Heat posed for a team photo wearing hoodies as a statement in the case of slain teen Trayvon Martin.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks suffer 1st loss under Woodson (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 00:26:39 EDT)

    Mike Woodson was treated to the kind of performance that was maddening when Mike D'Antoni coached the team. The Knicks couldn't shoot, were careless with the ball and were handed a 96-79 drubbing by the Toronto Raptors.

  • [New York Newsday] Chandler: Knicks didn't quit on D'Antoni (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 00:21:45 EDT)

    Tyson Chandler said if he wasn't on the Knicks and saw how differently they've played for Mike Woodson since he replaced Mike D'Antoni, he would think the team stopped playing for its former coach.

  • [New York Post] Ailing Baron to be limited (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 04:16:55 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? There may be a reason Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson has done everything but put on a Linsanity T-Shirt the past week.Woodson said he is not sure backup point guard Baron Davis ever will be 100 percent this season, citing his hamstring strain and chronic back issues, saying…

  • [New York Post] Melo feeling out of rhythm (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 04:16:55 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? Carmelo Anthony’s deep shooting slump hasn’t been reversed by the coaching change, and last night he admitted his defense looks a lot better than his jump shot.
    In the Knicks’ 96-79 dud, Anthony scored just two points in the second half, shot 6-of-15 and finished with 12…

  • [New York Post] Amar’e, Carmelo sport hoodies to honor Trayvon Martin (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 01:28:34 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony took up the cause of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, wearing hooded sweatshirts in his honor and to make a statement.
    Stoudemire wore a gray hooded sweatshirt during pregame warm-ups. Anthony tweeted a picture of himself to his nearly 2 million followers in a…

  • [New York Daily News] Amar’e, LeBron’s Heat tribure slain Trayvon Martin (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 06:50:54 GMT)

    Amar’e Stoudemire wore a hoodie for a portion of pre-game warmups as the Knicks prepared to take on the Raptos Friday night to show his support for Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black Orlando teen who was gunned down Feb. 26.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks get Rap’d up in Toronto (Sat, 24 Mar 2012 05:19:49 GMT)

    The Knicks played in Toronto for the first time since Jeremy Lin hit a shot heard round the NBA on Valentine’s Day. But there was no Linsanity on Friday night in Air Canada Centre – only a lot of ineptitude.

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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).

    67 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Mar 24 2012)”

    1. You know when you were a kid and you saw that really cool rollercoaster ride, with all the up shoots and dives and spirals, and all the kids and grown ups are laughing and screaming, and you tell your parents you want to go on the ride, and your mom gives you that look, but you don’t care and you go anyway?
      And then the ride starts and the first dive is cool, but then the spiral feels weird, and the next dive is terrifying and you just want off, but there is still four more minutes of this hell and each new turn makes you want to blow big, soaking smelly chunks on the fat kid in front of you, who keeps laughing as what you think is spit drizzles on your face?
      Yeah, that’s what this season feels like.

    2. You know when you’re hanging out with your buddy, and he starts dating this girl that you know is trouble: history of cheating, superficial, the whole works. And he goes out and spends all of his time and money on this girl and commits to her long-term, and you say, “Hey man, you should really think twice about what you’re doing; she’s cheated once, she’ll probably do it again,” and he’s like, “You can’t predict that. The situations in the past are too complex and we have no way of knowing whether she was justified in doing it. Who knows? Maybe something made her be that bad. Maybe her cheating actually made her relationships better! You don’t know that! But what I do know is that she’s super hot and awesome and I can see that with my eyes, and if you can’t, you just don’t know anything about women, or relationships.” And then, sure enough, a year later he’s treading water; she’s milking him for all he’s worth; he stops being friends with one of his buddies because his buddy tells him to trade in this girl for one that appears a bit better; and he’s moderately unhappy with no possibility for improvement, but he can’t do much to change it because he’s already given her a ring and announced to the world that he’s enamored with her. Then you go on a message board and bitch about it because, even though you were absolutely right about it, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Oh, and people are going to tell you you’re wrong, even though you’re clearly not.
      Yeah, that’s what this season feels like.

    3. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      You know when you’re hanging out with your buddy, and he starts dating this girl that you know is trouble: history of cheating, superficial, the whole works. And he goes out and spends all of his time and money on this girl and commits to her long-term, and you say, “Hey man, you should really think twice about what you’re doing; she’s cheated once, she’ll probably do it again,” and he’s like, “You can’t predict that. The situations in the past are too complex and we have no way of knowing whether she was justified in doing it. Who knows? Maybe something made her be that bad. Maybe her cheating actually made her relationships better! You don’t know that! But what I do know is that she’s super hot and awesome and I can see that with my eyes, and if you can’t, you just don’t know anything about women, or relationships.” And then, sure enough, a year later he’s treading water; she’s milking him for all he’s worth; he stops being friends with one of his buddies because his buddy tells him to trade in this girl for one that appears a bit better; and he’s moderately unhappy with no possibility for improvement, but he can’t do much to change it because he’s already given her a ring and announced to the world that he’s enamored with her. Then you go on a message board and bitch about it because, even though you were absolutely right about it, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Oh, and people are going to tell you you’re wrong, even though you’re clearly not.
      Yeah, that’s what this season feels like.

      Yeah, but the sex was great (Linsanity!)

    4. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      You know when you’re hanging out with your buddy, and he starts dating this girl that you know is trouble: history of cheating, superficial, the whole works. And he goes out and spends all of his time and money on this girl and commits to her long-term, and you say, “Hey man, you should really think twice about what you’re doing; she’s cheated once, she’ll probably do it again,” and he’s like, “You can’t predict that. The situations in the past are too complex and we have no way of knowing whether she was justified in doing it. Who knows? Maybe something made her be that bad. Maybe her cheating actually made her relationships better! You don’t know that! But what I do know is that she’s super hot and awesome and I can see that with my eyes, and if you can’t, you just don’t know anything about women, or relationships.” And then, sure enough, a year later he’s treading water; she’s milking him for all he’s worth; he stops being friends with one of his buddies because his buddy tells him to trade in this girl for one that appears a bit better; and he’s moderately unhappy with no possibility for improvement, but he can’t do much to change it because he’s already given her a ring and announced to the world that he’s enamored with her. Then you go on a message board and bitch about it because, even though you were absolutely right about it, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Oh, and people are going to tell you you’re wrong, even though you’re clearly not.
      Yeah, that’s what this season feels like.

      this is the best post in recent memory on this board.

    5. Frank O.:
      You know when you were a kid and you saw that really cool rollercoaster ride, with all the up shoots and dives and spirals, and all the kids and grown ups are laughing and screaming, and you tell your parents you want to go on the ride, and your mom gives you that look, but you don’t care and you go anyway?
      And then the ride starts and the first dive is cool, but then the spiral feels weird, and the next dive is terrifying and you just want off, but there is still four more minutes of this hell and each new turn makes you want to blow big, soaking smelly chunks on the fat kid in front of you, who keeps laughing as what you think is spit drizzles on your face?
      Yeah, that’s what this season feels like.

      We tell our parents we want to go back to that fair ride called Linsanity but its down for repairs. The park is going to close soon and we want to use up our ride tickets.
      Consider the safe Thomas the Train ride but that’s for babies. We want a adult ride so we find another one with more twist and turns. We find one called Woodsanity.
      Parent ask “where your friend Mike D?”. We tell mom that “he felt nauseated and dizzy after the last ride and went home instead of going with me to another ride”
      As we get on the box goes up and up and up ….like an elevator ride then we get this sinking feeling is coming, but we’ll already on the ride and we can’t get off.

    6. and THCJ, tell us more about the genius of the Nuggets as they continue to spiral downward.

    7. jon abbey:
      and THCJ, tell us more about the genius of the Nuggets as they continue to spiral downward.

      I know THCJ is a big believer in statistics, what’s the probability of a THCJ post after a Knicks’ loss vs. a Knicks’ win? I’m no statistician, but I would guess somewhere around 100% vs. 0%?

    8. This team has 4 games in 5 nights and you guys question why they didn’t put in as much effort in fucking Toronto? I’m glad some people are capable of having perspective, if the team played at a torrid pace every game for the rest of the season they wouldn’t have shit left for the playoffs. Can you imagine if this team somehow had Poppovich as a coach? He’d give up on games and rest starters and this board would take it as a betrayal of all that’s holy in basketball. Other than Novak, the team shot 0% from 3 and 55% from the free throw line. Even a 30% 3FG and a 70% FT (both terrible numbers) would have probably won the game, no team in the league is playing all out against Toronto on a road game in the middle of a 4 games in 5 nights streak.

    9. Juany8:
      This team has 4 games in 5 nights and you guys question why they didn’t put in as much effort in fucking Toronto? I’m glad some people are capable of having perspective, if the team played at a torrid pace every game for the rest of the season they wouldn’t have shit left for the playoffs. Can you imagine if this team somehow had Poppovich as a coach? He’d give up on games and rest starters and this board would take it as a betrayal of all that’s holy in basketball. Other than Novak, the team shot 0% from 3 and 55% from the free throw line. Even a 30% 3FG and a 70% FT (both terrible numbers) would have probably won the game, no team in the league is playing all out against Toronto on a road game in the middle of a 4 games in 5 nights streak.

      Rest for the playoffs? Uh– thanks to losing to the torontos and charlottes of the league too many times we’re probably not even making said playoffs. (they can sleep when they’re dead).

    10. “this is the best post in recent memory on this board.”

      Don’t know about that but I will definitely give it an enthusiastic +1

      Jon – You would trade the Knicks roster for the Nuggets roster without blinking. If they were in the East they would probably have 30 wins right now and be a solid four seed.

    11. And how is this for amazing, Gilbert Arenas got picked up on a THN blogger’s say so….From Yahoo today…

      “And on Wednesday’s show (a week removed from refusing to comment in the slightest on his team’s interest in the player), Wallace admitted to getting the idea for Memphis’ Gilbert Arenas signing from the blog Three Shades of Blue.

      Here’s Wallace’s surprising confession:

      “I’m going to admit this, I’m going to come clean. I’ll be honest about it, okay? … I’m in the office of [President of Business Operations] Greg Campbell, he says, ‘You outta read this thing that’s on a blog today.’ And I don’t read the blogs, but this guy wrote this case for Gilbert Arenas, and I read the thing and said ‘Greg, you know something? This guy makes some sense.’

      “I thought about it and said, you know, we gotta look into it a little further.

      “So I called his agent up. I’m willing to admit it — I pride myself on being open-minded — and you look at the finances involved, and the group of players involved, and why not?”

    12. Actually THCJ’s rant in @2 is a direct rip off of Bill Simmons who writes about rooting for sports teams as analogous to relationships all the time. Not that I disagree with the idea. I just don’t want to give our resident curmudgeon credit where it’s not due.

      Tonight is an absolute must win I believe.

    13. I don’t read Simmons aside from the yearly Trade Value column. Maybe Simmons is a hack who doesn’t have original ideas, just like me.

    14. jon abbey:
      and THCJ, tell us more about the genius of the Nuggets as they continue to spiral downward.

      I’ll tell you about a team that has a ton of cap space next year, and draft picks, and plays in a difficult conference.

      Or I could tell you about a team that has no cap space for three years, and no draft picks, and plays in a division that they could win with a 35-31 record.

    15. The Nuggets are obviously getting steadily worse as the season progresses. They’ve stopped playing defense. They’re 13-17 in their last 30 games. Opponents are shredding them for a .511 eFG% and it’s gotten steadily worse as the season has progressed.

      They gave up a .636 eFG% last night to Utah, .595 the game before to a bad Detroit team, .595 to Dallas the night before that… Utah demolished them in the paint last night, scoring 64 points against the Swiss cheese frontcourt of Mozgov, McGee, Faried and Harrington. As much as they stink guarding the post, they’re even worse guarding the perimeter, as they allow a three-point shooting exhibition by their opponents pretty much every single night. They’re dead last in the NBA in 3PT% allowed.

      They’re not as good as people think they are.

    16. Owen:

      Jon – You would trade the Knicks roster for the Nuggets roster without blinking. If they were in the East they would probably have 30 wins right now and be a solid four seed.

      hmm, I’d have to think about it at least a bit. did they use their amnesty yet? if not and I could dump that Harrington deal, then yeah.

    17. I agree with those in the camp that last night’s win was forgivable in this crazy stretch of games. They looked tired and off rhythm. But the difference between them now and before is the bounce back game versus the downward spiral. Lose tonight and you’ve given back too much of what was earned in the 5 game win streak. Win tonight and you had a glitch in the middle of a good stretch. That’s the difference between the Knicks and the good teams. With the Knicks one loss always leads to 2.

    18. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’ll tell you about a team that has a ton of cap space next year, and draft picks, and plays in a difficult conference.

      Or I could tell you about a team that has no cap space for three years, and no draft picks, and plays in a division that they could win with a 35-31 record.

      two teams that are never going to win a title, same as they were before the trade. much ado about a sideways move…

      oh, and Denver has virtually no cap space after the Gallo and Chandler deals, you need to update whatever you’re looking at.

    19. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      I don’t read Simmons aside from the yearly Trade Value column. Maybe Simmons is a hack who doesn’t have original ideas, just like me.

      He’s definitely out of them now. He’s like a TV show that’s gone on too long. Occasional good episode but too much same shit. Either way your idea was unoriginal but true.

    20. Denver seems to be around $50M for next year before picking up the McGee option and any draft picks, so probably a few million under the cap, but not enough to do anything.

    21. Hopefully Detroit will not unleash a stealth weapon such as a zone defense. How could we possibly prepare for that? Not that it’s too important, but I didn’t think THCJ was stating or implying that he thought up the relationship analogy in the sports context. Anyway, Jon I’m whining about last night’s loss because this team has lost so many of these winnable games and is coming dangerously close to missing the playoffs. Also, last night was not just an aberration occasioned by missing shots on the road. Just frustrated a bit.

    22. I know, it’s frustrating and undoes a lot of the good from the Philly game, plus it makes these next two must-wins.

    23. Right. At least tonight’s game is meaningful, you know? That’s really all I’m asking for; meaningful games, where we stand a shooter’s chance to win. I’ve got a twelve pack of fresh Red Hook IPA, a pool table with new green felt and some friends coming over to watch the game. It’s almost as good as hanging out in Brooklyn with my buddies, watching the game in some dive.

    24. As shitty as last night’s loss was, I wouldn’t trade it for the Philly win, I think that game said a lot more about our team than the Toronto game.

      But we still absolutely have to have the next 2, a loss in either one would be a serious setback.

    25. Owen:
      Not sure, I thought the Nuggest cap situation was pretty good….

      they’ve signed Afflalo, Gallinari and Chandler to extensions this year, and they’re going to need to extend Lawson at some point.

    26. My thing about the Nuggets is that I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t talk about which team is better, as the deal was done a long time ago, we really ought to move on. And there shouldn’t be gloating when Faried has a great game.

      And yet, when the Nuggets have a bad loss, the same folks who don’t want to talk about them when they’re doing well suddenly do want to talk about them. It can’t be both. Off-topic when they’re doing well and on-topic when they’re not.

    27. heh, yeah, guilty, sorry.

      I just hate to see THCJ gloating about anything, it’s like being proud of predicting that the sun would come up in the morning.

    28. I think Denver has made some silly decisions with mid-level talent recently. I do think that Gallinari is a potential superstar, but he’s old enough that he should have shown it by now, and he doesn’t have the elite scoring efficiency that the LeBron James and Kevin Loves are able to put up. That said, his signing was a bit of a reach. I doubt he gets that kind of money anywhere else. Afflalo is good, but not elite. Overpaid. Chander is overpaid, too. McGee’s going to require some money to stick around, and Harrington is a terrible contract.

      Still, they’re — right now — better than the Knicks, and they do have picks and cap space to work with. So, sure, you can keep hanging your hopes on Carmelo breaking out and reaching All-NBA quality play, but hey, at least Nuggets fans can look forward to the draft each year, where they seem to pick up a great player at a tough spot in the 1st round…

    29. jon abbey:

      So predicting that the Knicks would be a sucky team despite their max salary players has the same likelihood as the sunrise each morning? I don’t get it.

    30. jon abbey: Denver seems to be around $50M for next year before picking up the McGee option and any draft picks, so probably a few million under the cap, but not enough to do anything.

      Right, people don’t see the Nuggets being in a good positon because of cap space but flexibility. The idea that they have so much depth, and so many of their players are young and not really overpaid.

      However, they also have a coach who wants to prove to the world that a star-less team can win in the playoffs. So far, it’s been a disaster and it’s about to get a lot worse.

      They have good athletes, but they don’t play any defense. Melo teams were much more serious on that end of the floor.

      They may not make the playoffs this year.

    31. I don’t really mind people coming on this blog and criticizing Melo, the Melo trade, D’Antoni, etc. It wouldn’t be very interesting if we were all rah rah Pollyannas.

      What I do mind is people who ONLY come on after Knicks’ losses, then you’re just being a dick.

    32. cgreene: I agree with those in the camp that last night’s win was forgivable in this crazy stretch of games. They looked tired and off rhythm. But the difference between them now and before is the bounce back game versus the downward spiral. Lose tonight and you’ve given back too much of what was earned in the 5 game win streak. Win tonight and you had a glitch in the middle of a good stretch. That’s the difference between the Knicks and the good teams. With the Knicks one loss always leads to 2.

      Yes.

    33. d-mar: I don’t really mind people coming on this blog and criticizing Melo, the Melo trade, D’Antoni, etc. It wouldn’t be very interesting if we were all rah rah Pollyannas.What I do mind is people who ONLY come on after Knicks’ losses, then you’re just being a dick.

      And it’s not just that they post after Knicks losses, it’s the tone and content of their posts that show they really would prefer the Knicks to lose to prove whatever misguided point they’re trying to make.

      I’m not sure if they’ll ever move beyond the trade. Their identity as “fans” hinges on it failing the way they predicted.

    34. JK47: The Nuggets are obviously getting steadily worse as the season progresses. They’ve stopped playing defense. They’re 13-17 in their last 30 games. Opponents are shredding them for a .511 eFG% and it’s gotten steadily worse as the season has progressed.They gave up a .636 eFG% last night to Utah, .595 the game before to a bad Detroit team, .595 to Dallas the night before that… Utah demolished them in the paint last night, scoring 64 points against the Swiss cheese frontcourt of Mozgov, McGee, Faried and Harrington. As much as they stink guarding the post, they’re even worse guarding the perimeter, as they allow a three-point shooting exhibition by their opponents pretty much every single night. They’re dead last in the NBA in 3PT% allowed.They’re not as good as people think they are.

      Not close. Last year’s 15-3 was a perfect storm. And they miss Kenyon, clearly, even if they’ve gotten significantly better rebounding the ball without him.

      They may not only miss the playoffs, they could be under .500

    35. Owen: “this is the best post in recent memory on this board.”Don’t know about that but I will definitely give it an enthusiastic +1Jon – You would trade the Knicks roster for the Nuggets roster without blinking. If they were in the East they would probably have 30 wins right now and be a solid four seed.

      This is total nonsense.

      Might be time to get your head out of the spreadsheets and watch them a few times.

      For one, they’ve played 27 home games compared to 21 road games. Their home record is worse than any in the Melo-era, many years where the West was so good that the 8th seed in the conference was a 50 game winner, and 45 game winners were commonly bounced out.

      The West isn’t as good as in years past, and the East is much closer than it’s been in a long, long time.

      Their expected w/l, Hollinger, nothing points to the idea that they’re better than their record. In fact, I think it’s quite clear they’re worse than their record indicates.

      Take their last home stretch where they were supposed to turn things around.

      –They beat Sacramento in overtime after Afflalo gets fouled on a 3pt shot at the buzzer and makes all of the free throws.

      –They beat Atlanta in overtime when career .810 ft shooter Kirk Hinrich misses a game-winning free throw in regulation.

      –They beat Detroit in regulation in a game in which they blew a 22 point lead by getting a four point play with five seconds left.

      They were also pretty fortunate to beat the lowly first iteration of the Knicks team (when the Nuggets were at full health) with that Andre Miller 30 footer in second overtime, the foul calls in the first overtime, too.

      They’ve been fortunate this year. And now they have to go on the road. The Suns and Jazz are close to pushing out of the playoffs. And that hasn’t happened since Melo was leaeding “Cuse to a national…

    36. I will reiterate: The Nuggets are 27th in the NBA in eFG% allowed. Good luck trying to win anything with defense like that.

    37. A .101 WS/48 is the definition of average. I give Afflalo a solid bump up for his defense, which is generally rated quite highly.

      Re the Nuggets – As Ruru said, I do think all of those contracts are eminently moveable. Maybe not Lawson, but certainly Chandler. When they need cap space they can get it. Not so much us.

      I stand by what I said about the Nuggets in the East. And they have also dealt with a ton of injuries this year, another reason to believe they are better than their record.

      Not sure what we pessimists are supposed to do. If we post after wins we are being negative nannies killing the party. If we post after losses it’s piling on.

      “they really would prefer the Knicks to lose to prove whatever misguided point they’re trying to make.”

      First of all, you really operate like the power of positive thinking on this board can lift the Knicks to victory. It might be true in the Garden. On a message board not so much.

      And I would submit that the notion that Melo is a dramatically overrated player is looked anything but misguided right now. He could play like Lebron the rest of the way and still not be at an all star level for the year….

    38. One thing that I have disagreed with vigorously is the illusion of flexibility that a team like Denver has over the Knicks. Sure Denver has more market type deals but unless they can add an all NBA level player to that mix and play better D they aren’t going to be playoff competitive. (I always thought Wilson to be over rated). Knicks have a few assets and some good market contracts. Shumpert, Fields, Lin (next deal), Harrelson, Smith are all good deals that can be moved if needed. Chandler’s contract is market and he’s been nothing short of the 3rd best center in the league this year. Melo could certainly be moved at 27 years old if they decided to trade him. The only thing that hurts is the picks and they still have their 2013 if things go really south next year again.

    39. Melo’s offensive numbers this year are like Jared Jeffries’, but with double the usage. Jeffries is of course a far better defender, so you could really make the argument that minimum salary Jared Jeffries has outplayed maximum salary Melo and that would be a pretty difficult argument to refute.

      He has stunk out the joint pretty much all year long. He’s had a sub-.500 TS% in 22 of his 38 games. He has been, overall, an unmitigated bust this season.

    40. The Amare contract is bad but he’s certainly not the player he was a month ago when it was conceivable that his career as an impact player might be over.

    41. JK47:
      Melo’s offensive numbers this year are like Jared Jeffries’, but with double the usage.Jeffries is of course a far better defender, so you could really make the argument that minimum salary Jared Jeffries has outplayed maximum salary Melo and that would be a pretty difficult argument to refute.

      He has stunk out the joint pretty much all year long.He’s had a sub-.500 TS% in 22 of his 38 games.He has been, overall, an unmitigated bust this season.

      Who are preaching to? Who is disagreeing with you?

    42. Owen:

      I stand by what I said about the Nuggets in the East. And they have also dealt with a ton of injuries this year, another reason to believe they are better than their record.

      Not sure what we pessimists are supposed to do. If we post after wins we are being negative nannies killing the party. If we post after losses it’s piling on.

      “they really would prefer the Knicks to lose to prove whatever misguided point they’re trying to make.”

      First of all, you really operate like the power of positive thinking on this board can lift the Knicks to victory. It might be true in the Garden. On a message board not so much.

      By what measure is AAA’s defense highly regarded? His career defensive rating is 110. His +/- defensive profile is atrocious (Nuggets are 7.6 points better with him off the floor this year and 3.1 points better last year)

      His opp. PER at the position is below average.

      Heuristically, I actually see him as a decent positional defender, but there’s no consistency in your arguments because what people observe on this board has no value.

      The Knicks have had injuries this year, too. And the Nuggets, with their depth, were supposed to be much more capable of sustaining those injuries.

      Moreover, they haven’t had the kind of astonishingly dramatic under-performance from their highest usage players, unless of course you believed that Nene, Lawson and AAA were actually going to replicate their success in a post-Melo world.

      Speaking of which, Nene’s injury was actually a benefit for them because all of their bigs have outplayed him this year.

      So, that really leaves you with Anderson-light, the Nuggets are 14-11 when he plays, because you know, because he’s generally good at staying away from any kind of offensive situation which would hurt his efficiency, forcing Karl to play Harrington and Miller as…

    43. JK47:
      Melo’s offensive numbers this year are like Jared Jeffries’, but with double the usage.Jeffries is of course a far better defender, so you could really make the argument that minimum salary Jared Jeffries has outplayed maximum salary Melo and that would be a pretty difficult argument to refute.

      He has stunk out the joint pretty much all year long.He’s had a sub-.500 TS% in 22 of his 38 games.He has been, overall, an unmitigated bust this season.

      No question he’s been awful this year. But let’s not sit here and pretend that Melo’s presence on offense is in any way similar to Jeffries, nor are their looks in any way similar. There’s that whole 20% assist rate thingy, too.

      Melo’s been shit this year. But it’s interesting that I’m the delusional Pollyanna for emphasizing the 7 years of data that tells a much different story. You have the supposedly stats-oriented people emphasizing Melo’s recent 30 game sample as to determine which team they’d prefer.

      I know we don’t like to talk about it in this way because it’s positive, but if Melo and Amar’e (and JR) can play closer to their career norms, than this team is REALLY good, clearly better than the Nuggets.

      Amar’e is beginning to make that return. And many on this board didn’t believe he would. Melo and JR can, too. Then these folks really won’t have anything to talk about.

    44. cgreene:
      One thing that I have disagreed with vigorously is the illusion of flexibility that a team like Denver has over the Knicks.Sure Denver has more market type deals but unless they can add an all NBA level player to that mix and play better D they aren’t going to be playoff competitive.(I always thought Wilson to be over rated).Knicks have a few assets and some good market contracts.Shumpert, Fields, Lin (next deal), Harrelson, Smith are all good deals that can be moved if needed.Chandler’s contract is market and he’s been nothing short of the 3rd best center in the league this year.Melo could certainly be moved at 27 years old if they decided to trade him.The only thing that hurts is the picks and they still have their 2013 if things go really south next year again.

      Right… And the question becomes how long before you start reaching diminishing marginal returns by not being able to play all of these guys, thus negatively affecting their value moving forward.

      What good is it to have all of these picks and assets when you really have 3-4 guys who should be playing more minutes already on the team, and the entire roster is void of an excellent player.

      That’s why building a 12-deep team of just solid players will never get you anywhere, and the longer you have that roster the less valuable it becomes….You have to make a risky move to try to get one of those really good players, even if it means the total value of the outgoing package is worth more than the incoming one…. because as it stands, the guys on the team aren’t adding any value because they can’t get on the floor.

      All of this depth and all of these picks are only good if you can move them, and right now, it’s hard to pinpoint the player that might be available…

      So, you en up just staying in one place while your players value depreciates.

    45. I know we don’t like to talk about it in this way because it’s positive, but if Melo and Amar’e (and JR) can play closer to their career norms, than this team is REALLY good, clearly better than the Nuggets.

      I agree with this completely, especially considering that this team has proven it can play defense, to the tune of #6 in the NBA (and improving) after 48 games.

    46. ruruland: Right… And the question becomes how long before you start reaching diminishing marginal returns by not being able to play all of these guys, thus negatively affecting their value moving forward.

      What good is it to have all of these picks and assets when you really have 3-4 guys who should be playing more minutes already on the team, and the entire roster is void of an excellent player.

      That’s why building a 12-deep team of just solid players will never get you anywhere, and the longer you have that roster the less valuable it becomes….You have to make a risky move to try to get one of those really good players, even if it means the total value of the outgoing package is worth more than the incoming one…. because as it stands, the guys on the team aren’t adding any value because they can’t get on the floor.

      All of this depth and all of these picks are only good if you can move them, and right now, it’s hard to pinpoint the player that might be available…

      So, you en up just staying in one place while your players value depreciates.

      Exactly. Who are they packaging these assets for in order to become a top 5 team? Not only that, without a real defensive identity there is not a bright future with depth. You’re not running the Heat or Thunder out of the building… ever.

    47. The simplest argument for the Nuggets being better in the East is their record.

      26-22 overall, 36 games against the West, 13 games against the East.

      Their East record? 12-1.

      So if you swap it to be 13 games against the West and 36 games against the East, how would their record not be better? I guess saying they’d pick up 4 wins is a bit of a reach, though, but the “solid 4” seems pretty simple to achieve.

    48. Lol the Nuggets are about to find out what happens when you build around a bunch of role players without a single elite talent in the whole bunch. I was hopeful about the Rockets having a lot of young, high quality players that would lead to flexibility and possibly a super star. Even with arguably the best gm in the league, it turns out no one wants players like Kevin Martin, Gallinari, Scola, or Wilson Chandler unless they are on rookie deals. It also turns out having a bunch of above average players means they eventually bitch about their minutes, especially since the super flexibility idea means a team doesn’t have time to develop some chemistry to where guys would be ok with sacrificing for wins.

      The Nuggets might not make the playoffs in a year where a bunch of statisticians predicted they’d be a top 3 team in the West, and people want to blame injuries? The Clippers, Grizzlies, Spurs, and Mavericks have dealt with far worse, while the Lakers finally look like a legit contender now that they have a point guard. The sad thing is the Rockets are better than them now that they have Camby, even if the Nuggets make the playoffs they’re not beating anyone, and no one is trading good value for those new extensions they just gave 3 similar wing players. If you can get 90% of the skill set Wilson Chandler gives you by paying Chandler Parsons 2 million, who the hell trading anything of value for him?

    49. Owen:
      And how is this for amazing, Gilbert Arenas got picked up on a THN blogger’s say so….From Yahoo today…

      “And on Wednesday’s show (a week removed from refusing to comment in the slightest on his team’s interest in the player), Wallace admitted to getting the idea for Memphis’ Gilbert Arenas signing from the blog Three Shades of Blue.

      Here’s Wallace’s surprising confession:

      “I’m going to admit this, I’m going to come clean. I’ll be honest about it, okay? … I’m in the office of [President of Business Operations] Greg Campbell, he says, ‘You outta read this thing that’s on a blog today.’ And I don’t read the blogs, but this guy wrote this case for Gilbert Arenas, and I read the thing and said ‘Greg, you know something? This guy makes some sense.’

      “I thought about it and said, you know, we gotta look into it a little further.

      “So I called his agent up. I’m willing to admit it — I pride myself on being open-minded — and you look at the finances involved, and the group of players involved, and why not?”

      This is an amazing find, Owen. I’m so conflicted because the blogger was PRO Gilbert Arenas, of all things. I would love to see that blog post.

      As a short aside to the Nuggs vs. Knicks roster, there’s really no winning that argument. What we DO know is that neither team is a real contender because neither team either literally or figuratively won the lottery (Pau Gasol trade, Bulls getting the #1 pick for Rose, the Miami Thrice crew, Spurs’ Robinson goes down and then they win Duncan, etc, etc.)

      A lot of luck is involved and the rest of the teams just do what they can…

    50. If we don’t make the playoffs this may just be the most frustrating Knicks season I have ever been subjected to. So much underperforming, so much falsely perceived talent, and I really don’t know what they can even do moving forward besides keep this team together and try to make it work.

    51. Will the Thrill:
      If we don’tmake the playoffs this may just be the most frustrating Knicks season I have ever been subjected to.So much underperforming, so much falsely perceived talent, and I really don’t know what they can even do moving forward besides keep this team together and try to make it work.

      You must have missed Charles Smith.

    52. If the Knicks gave only half the effort they have been doing on the 5 win streak I wouldnt be so pissed off.
      Knicks took the night off.
      Listening to the post game comments and Lin, Melo and Woodson gave themselves a free pass. I like Stats’s attitude and his post game comments. He felt losing was unexcusable.

    53. Brian Cronin:
      The simplest argument for the Nuggets being better in the East is their record.

      26-22 overall, 36 games against the West, 13 games against the East.

      Their East record? 12-1.

      So if you swap it to be 13 games against the West and 36 games against the East, how would their record not be better? I guess saying they’d pick up 4 wins is a bit of a reach, though, but the “solid 4? seems pretty simple to achieve.

      Ok. I suppose you can make that argument. But solid fourth in the East means you’re one losing streak away from missing the playoffs. The overall record of the East top 8 is four games better than the West’s top 8, but the West makes up a lot of ground in those non-playoff spots.

      Overall, it’s much closer than it’s been in the past.

    54. JLam:
      If the Knicks gave only half the effort they have been doing on the 5 win streak I wouldnt be so pissed off.
      Knicks took the night off.
      Listening to the post game comments and Lin, Melo and Woodson gave themselves a free pass. I like Stats’s attitude and his post game comments. He felt losing was unexcusable.

      You liked Stat’s postgame where he started out smiling from ear to ear?

      http://www.msg.com/our-teams/knicks/knicks-postgame-loss-to-raptors-323-1.86085

    55. ruruland: Ok. I suppose you can make that argument. But solid fourth in the East means you’re one losing streak away from missing the playoffs. The overall record of the East top 8 is four games better than the West’s top 8, but the West makes up a lot of ground in those non-playoff spots.

      Overall, it’s much closer than it’s been in the past.

      dunno, there are a ton of gimme games at the bottom of the conference, not that NY has been able to capitalize on those at all this year.

      but yeah, Denver seems to be getting worse recently.

    56. ess-dog:

      As a short aside to the Nuggs vs. Knicks roster,

      Winning the argument either way? Probably not. The ultimate success of the trade for both teams is, was and will be contingent upon further moves.

      For the Nuggets, success or failure of the trade will be determined by the caliber of player they’re able to get in a future trade, and what essential role players they keep or are forced to give up.

      For the Knicks, success or failure of the trade (assuming Stat and Melo come back towards their 3,5, or 7 year averages) will be determined by how they manage the periphery of their roster, where they can find hidden gems around their core of 5-6 good players, with the potential for an excellent top 4 (Chandler, Melo, Stat, Lin).

      Basically, the organizations have flipped positions. All these years Nuggets fans lamented the fact that they could never get that rim-protecting big, one they felt, perhaps quite rationally, would put them on the Lakers level.

      This is important: The Nuggets owner, Stan Kroenke, was not willing to go into luxury tax for the Billups/Melo team (they could have signed Al Jefferson and a couple other bigs, and let go of Camby)

      The Knicks owner, through all of his faults, is willing to do that on a yearly basis.

      I believe finding role players is easier than landing a star player (even though Melo hasn’t played near that in this 30 game sample) and that the difference in a willingness to spend puts the Knicks in a better position moving forward.

      For Knicks fans, the worst case scenario is that Amar’e and Melo never return to the players they had been hundreds of games prior to this 30 game stretch, they’ll have the flexibility in a few years to start-over…..

      The Nuggets might not be able to make that move for a year or two…..

    57. ruruland: it’s interesting that I’m the delusional Pollyanna for emphasizing the 7 years of data that tells a much different story. You have the supposedly stats-oriented people emphasizing Melo’s recent 30 gamesample as to determine which team they’d prefer.

      Ruru– I’m not sure how much you read this particular blog BEFORE the Melo trade, but I hope you understand that this conversation has been going on for years– long before you joined it. Owen and almost all the other stat-guys here– people who have built up years and years of credibility by making statements, often bold ones, only to be proven right– have been saying for years that Carmelo is overrated, isn’t worth max money, isn’t somebody a championship caliber team is built around. They are only using the past 30 games as evidence because it has been presented to them on a shiny platter by Carmelo himself, to prove the point they’ve been making since he came into the league.

    58. Z: Ruru– I’m not sure how much you read this particular blog BEFORE the Melo trade, but I hope you understand that this conversation has been going on for years– long before you joined it. Owen and almost all the other stat-guys here– people who have built up years and years of credibility by making statements, often bold ones, only to be proven right– have been saying for years that Carmelo is overrated, isn’t worth max money, isn’t somebody a championship caliber team is built around. They are only using the past 30 games as evidence because it has been presented to them on a shiny platter by Carmelo himself, to prove the point they’ve been making since he came into the league.

      Maybe they aren’t right as often as you think, and in that sense, are just as overrated as Carmelo is. What metric do we have to show how right they’ve been, and how much do we perceive their correctness due to rhetoric and polemics?

      I respect their opinions. But they are just that. The book isn’t closed on most of the “predictions” I’ve seen them make.

    59. The Honorable Cock Jowles: You know when you’re hanging out with your buddy, and he starts dating this girl that you know is trouble: history of cheating, superficial, the whole works. And he goes out and spends all of his time and money on this girl and commits to her long-term, and you say, “Hey man, you should really think twice about what you’re doing; she’s cheated once, she’ll probably do it again,” and he’s like, “You can’t predict that. The situations in the past are too complex and we have no way of knowing whether she was justified in doing it. Who knows? Maybe something made her be that bad. Maybe her cheating actually made her relationships better! You don’t know that! But what I do know is that she’s super hot and awesome and I can see that with my eyes, and if you can’t, you just don’t know anything about women, or relationships.” And then, sure enough, a year later he’s treading water; she’s milking him for all he’s worth; he stops being friends with one of his buddies because his buddy tells him to trade in this girl for one that appears a bit better; and he’s moderately unhappy with no possibility for improvement, but he can’t do much to change it because he’s already given her a ring and announced to the world that he’s enamored with her. Then you go on a message board and bitch about it because, even though you were absolutely right about it, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Oh, and people are going to tell you you’re wrong, even though you’re clearly not.Yeah, that’s what this season feels like.

      Wish I would have read this about 8 months ago. damn you.

    60. ruruland: Maybe they aren’t right as often as you think, and in that sense, are just as overrated as Carmelo is. What metric do we have to show how right they’ve been, and how much do we perceive their correctness due to rhetoric and polemics?

      I respect their opinions. But they are just that. The book isn’t closed on most of the “predictions” I’ve seen them make.

      Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, Jordan Hill, etc…

      Like I said, they’ve been doing this for years. And there was a Ruruland of 2006 that said Stephon was the answer; and a Ruruland in 2007 that said Curry was a franchise center.

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