Knicks Morning News (Sunday, Mar 18 2012)

  • [New York Post] St. Hat Trick’s Day as new Knicks coach improves to 3-0 (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 05:06:43 -0500)

    INDIANAPOLIS â?? A team that couldn’t win now can’t lose.
    Carmelo Anthony, happy as a clam again, was asked last night about Danny Granger’s comment that the Pacers’ home-and-home series against the Knicks was “two very winnable games.”
    “I guess they were two winnable games,” Anthony said. “For…

  • [New York Post] Think twice before hoping Zen Master rescues the Knicks (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 04:25:49 -0500)

    You know me: I’m too professional, polite and reverential of the coaching profession to speculate about interim Mike Woodson’s successor while he still retains the Knicks’ (favorite coach) title … at least as long as he’s undefeated.
    Pressed by unfeeling editors, I had no choice but to voice…

  • [New York Post] Linsanity comes back Indy house (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 02:17:24 -0500)

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Jeremy Lin Show hit the Midwest again, and he turned Bankers Life Fieldhouse into the Indianapolis Speedway.
    Linsanity is rising from the grave. With a couple of thousand Lin fans in the house, many wearing his jersey and all cheering his every move, Lin looked like he…

  • [New York Post] Turning a mutiny into a bounty (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 01:48:36 -0500)

    INDIANAPOLIS â?? You don’t have to like the culture of entitlement that pervades the NBA, or endorse the notion that it’s a players’ league and, more to the point, a star’s league. Like it? That’s probably one of the things you detest about the NBA, about all…

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Knicks taking on new identity (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 00:41:41 EDT)

    This wasn’t supposed to be the story of the New York Knicks. Sure, this is the feel good story you expect when hearing about the success of the Sixers or tonight’s opponent, the Pacers. This is the story of a team winning with depth, balance, and a rugged work ethic. No stars, just players.
    No, this can’t be the Knicks.
    But at the moment, it is.
    On successive nights, the Knicks won despite pedestrian statistical lines by their stars — Carmelo Anthony (16 points, four rebounds) and Amare Stoudemire (16 points, eight rebounds).

  • [New York Newsday] Pacers give Lin (19 points) a tough night (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 01:14:38 EDT)

    The Knicks sounded relieved that Baron Davis' hamstring injury isn't as bad as they had feared.

  • [New York Daily News] Lin paces Knicks vs. Indiana in 3rd straight win (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 07:08:52 GMT)

    The green-clad Knicks’ balanced 102-88 victory was considerably tighter than the previous night’s coast-to-coast rout in Manhattan, but it completed the two-game sweep and moved them a half-game ahead of idle Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

  • [New York Daily News] Baron injuryALL not as bad as expected  (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 07:01:25 GMT)

    Baron Davis remained in New York after tweaking his right hamstring Friday night and remains day-to-day, but his injury is “not as severe as we thought,â? according to Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks’ effort suddenly back (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 05:15:48 GMT)

    This was the same old Knick roster out there, running the same go-go offense and employing the same transition defense. The only change, really, was that certain key members were trying harder for Mike Woodson than they had for Mike D’Antoni, hanging tough down the stretch and making smart, focused decisions.

  • [New York Daily News] Lupica: Woodson well schooled for Garden (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 04:18:04 GMT)

    It doesn’t matter how the Knicks got here, to this coaching change and to one more new beginning, even in a short season that has had a lot of those. The coaching thing was a good thing for this group, and the right thing. Mike Woodson, an old Knick out of the ’80s and not the ’60s and ’70s, but an old Knick who learned from Red Holzman, gives them their only chance to make the move we thought they were going to make in the Eastern Conference after Jeremy Lin happened.

  • [New York Daily News] Melo as Marbury 2.0? Yep, we told you so (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 03:51:00 GMT)

    I really don’t want to be writing this column. Deep down, I wished for every Knick fan that this moment wouldn’t come. And I badly, badly wanted to be wrong.

  • [New York Times] Knicks 102, Pacers 88: Knicks Beat Pacers for Second Straight Game (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 05:39:06 GMT)

    Mike Woodson, the team’s interim coach, stretched his record to 3-0 as the Knicks revived memories of Linsanity.

  • [New York Times] Woodson’s Approach Runs a Straight Line From Broad Ripple to the Knicks (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 07:39:06 GMT)

    Mike Woodson traces his philosophy in coaching and in life back to his coach in high school, Bill Smith.

  • [New York Times] P.S.A.L. AA BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ FINALS: Murry Bergtraum Claims 14th P.S.A.L. Girls’ Title in a Row (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 06:11:39 GMT)

    The Murry Bergtraum Lady Blazers of Manhattan added to their streak of Public Schools Athletic League basketball titles, and the Boys and Girls High School won its third boys’ title in a row.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Bulls, Minus Rose, Rally to Send 76ers to Third Straight Loss (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 05:39:06 GMT)

    Chris Paul scored 12 of his 23 points in the final three minutes as the Clippers pulled to two and a half games behind the Lakers in the Pacific Division race.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Wake From Slumber to Trample 76ers (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 06:10:16 GMT)

    The Chicago Bulls recovered from a sluggish start to race past the Philadelphia 76ers for an 89-80 victory at the United Center on Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Bulls Wake From Early Slumber to Storm Past 76ers (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 04:04:41 GMT)

    The Chicago Bulls recovered from a sluggish start to run past the Philadelphia 76ers for an 89-80 victory at the United Center on Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Favors Leads Jazz Past Warriors 99-92 (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 04:28:11 GMT)

    Derrick Favors, starting for Al Jefferson, had career highs with 23 points and 17 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz edge the Golden State Warriors 99-92 in overtime Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Nuggets Beat Celtics 98-91 (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 04:02:13 GMT)

    Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points and Kenneth Faried added 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds leading the Denver Nuggets past the Boston Celtics 98-91 Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Nowitzki’s 27 Lead Mavs to 106-99 Win Over Spurs (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 03:47:04 GMT)

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points, responding time after time despite being pushed and swatted at to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 106-99 victory over San Antonio on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Watson Has 20 Points, Leads Bulls Over 76ers 89-80 (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 02:58:15 GMT)

    C.J. Watson scored 20 points and Joakim Noah added 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to an 89-80 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Earn 102-94 Win Over Nets (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 02:48:22 GMT)

    Chris Kaman scored 20 points, including a key 23-foot jumper with a second left on the shot clock and 45 seconds left in the game, giving the New Orleans Hornets a 102-94 win over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Lin Leads Knicks Past Pacers (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 01:58:08 GMT)

    Jeremy Lin scored 19 points to help the New York Knicks defeat the Indiana Pacers 102-88 on Saturday night and improve to 3-0 under interim coach Mike Woodson.

  • [New York Times] Bobcats Top Raptors 107-103 (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 02:04:14 GMT)

    D.J. Augustin scored 23 points and had 11 assists and the Charlotte Bobcats held off the Toronto Raptors 107-103 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Welcome Billups Back to Staples Center (Sun, 18 Mar 2012 02:48:17 GMT)

    All Chauncey Billups had to do was show up and the mood in the locker room improved.

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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).

    50 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (Sunday, Mar 18 2012)”

    1. D’Antoni wanted to win his way,” a guy who knows Carmelo pretty well said to me this week. “People think the same thing about Carmelo, but do you really think he came here wanting to lose? He just wants to win.”

      *Scooby voice*: RuRu?!

    2. good ol’ Herb Williams has been slapped around and stomped on numerous times by the Knicks org. Herb must be desperate for a paycheck. Even Assiah Thomas has shown more pride & dignity than this – BWA HAHAHAHA

    3. OK that was impressive. Still, no trophy for a three game win streak in March. Stay hungry fellas.

    4. We are going to win all the games in March!
      As for April, we’ll win at least half of them.
      You heard it here first.
      Cheers!

    5. I posted yesterday that the “typical” Knicks would beat Indy twice, get hopes soaring, and then lay an egg at home Tues. against Toronto. No more letdowns allowed, if we really want more than the 8th spot, we have to win every single winnable game. The good news is I think Woody won’t allow them to let down.

      Also, apropos of nothing, I have to give props to Tina Cervasio. Yes, she’s hot and that’s why she got the job, but she actually does a pretty good job with the post game interviews and sideline reporting.

    6. Knicks recarnation #3 is impressive Let’s just see if Stats /Melo /Lin buy into the Woodsen/Tyler way. I’m more interested in the outcomes of the Bulls/Heat matchups in April before I get really excited again.

    7. JLam:
      I’m more interested in the outcomes of the Bulls/Heat matchups in April before I get really excited again.

      I’m waiting for the third championship, I won’t believe in this team if they only win two in a row. :)

    8. It’s hilarious that I thought of Jeff Ruland when I first saw the name ruruland.

      But just in the sense of “Oh, sort of like Jeff Ruland.”

    9. Coupla observations:
      I was happy to see Woodson coming down on Landry Fields. Fields has been one of D’Antoni’s pets and has been enabled to pretty much suck all season long without losing minutes or his starting job. That ain’t gonna happen with Woodson. Lin was told “go out and make all the mistakes you want, it’s ok” and nothing was done to rein him in. That also ain’t gonna happen with Woodson. At least, I hope.

      I get why people don’t like Melo or the trade to get him. But if the main criticism has been that he doesn’t play D and shoots too much, I don’t get how the haters can criticize anything about him these past 3 games, where he played very solid D and took 12, 12 and 13 shots while the team has won each of these games in blowout fashion. Now its “well, he’s not playing like he’s worth the max.” Look, he’s getting paid what he’s getting paid, and for the rest of the season it doesn’t matter because nobody’s getting traded. So let’s keep the game-by-game criticism real and fair.

    10. Saw Jeff Ruland play many times, hell of a center, all-star caliber, until injuries derailed his career. Old-school player with nice touch from 15 ft but extremely tough down low, kind of a Pecovic/Jorts type but a much more complete player.

    11. I was happy to see Woodson coming down on Landry Fields. Fields has been one of D’Antoni’s pets and has been enabled to pretty much suck all season long without losing minutes or his starting job. That ain’t gonna happen with Woodson. Lin was told “go out and make all the mistakes you want, it’s ok” and nothing was done to rein him in. That also ain’t gonna happen with Woodson. At least, I hope.

      I don’t see how Woodson berating Fields over a play where it wasn’t Fields’ fault is a good thing. It sounds less like “holding players responsible” and more like choosing a whipping boy.

    12. When I was watching the play, it looked to me like Fields overcommitted unnecessarily and left a 3-pt shooter wide open. What did you see?

      That said, if Fields does become his whipping boy, let him stop airballing wide-open 3’s and bricking line drive FTs (I wonder where his .598 FT% ranks among starting 2’s.)

    13. Z-man:

      I get why people don’t like Melo or the trade to get him. But if the main criticism has been that he doesn’t play D and shoots too much, I don’t get how the haters can criticize anything about him these past 3 games, where he played very solid D and took 12, 12 and 13 shots while the team has won each of these games in blowout fashion.Now its “well, he’s not playing like he’s worth the max.” Look, he’s getting paid what he’s getting paid, and for the rest of the season it doesn’t matter because nobody’s getting traded.So let’s keep the game-by-game criticism real and fair.

      Definitely agree with this. Melo’s in close to an impossible position, given what’s he’s paid vs. what he produces. Most people on this board would agree that he’s not worth what he’s paid, BUT given the choice between having him play the style that got him that max contract and a more subdued, team oriented style, I think the choice is obvious.

      Maybe the best we can hope for is Melo mostly fitting in, 13-15 shots a game, drawing fouls and playing decent defense. More like first among equals, rather than a “superstar.” That’s not worth a max contract, but it’ll work a lot better. No sense in constantly criticizing him for what he’ll never be. Save that for Dolan – he’s the one who decided to give him the contract.

    14. When I was watching the play, it looked to me like Fields overcommitted unnecessarily and left a 3-pt shooter wide open. What did you see?

      Lin blew the rotation. Lin said so to Woodson after Woodson was done shouting at Fields. It is why Fields was so pissed when the shouting happened (although Fields thought it was Amar’e who blew the rotation). It is one thing to get berated for something you did, it is a whole other thing to get berated for something you didn’t do.

    15. Z-man:
      When I was watching the play, it looked to me like Fields overcommitted unnecessarily and left a 3-pt shooter wide open.What did you see?

      That said, if Fields does become his whipping boy, let him stop airballing wide-open 3?s and bricking line drive FTs (I wonder where his .598 FT% ranks among starting 2?s.)

      Looked to me like Fields was trying to bail out Amare who, unsurprisingly, hadn’t fully committed to his rotation. I mean, maybe he shouldn’t be doing that, but STAT definitely deserves plenty of blame too (and he sat for a good chunk of the 4th, so maybe that’s the message Woodson was trying to send?)

    16. You know, we all extol the virtues of teams like Indy, Denver and Philly, who have no real true stars, but play hard and share the ball and get balanced scoring. Then, when the Knicks do just that, people come down on Melo for being an overpaid fake star. Get over his freakin’ contract, it’s not changing. He obviously cares about winning and not personal stats, despite popular opinion. Where we will need him to come up big is playoff time (assuming we make it) when it may come down to one or two possessions at the end of games.

    17. Brian Cronin: Lin blew the rotation. Lin said so to Woodson after Woodson was done shouting at Fields. It is why Fields was so pissed when the shouting happened. It is one thing to get berated for something you did, it is a whole other thing to get berated for something you didn’t do.

      Huh. Don’t remember that. I remember seeing Landry switching to STAT’s guy (and then STAT coming back) followed by both of them rotating late to Landry’s man. Don’t remember where Lin was…

    18. Sorry, I meant to note that Fields thought it was Amar’e (I’ve edited my comment to mention it). Lin said it was him (Lin) that caused the whole domino effect to happen. I’ll admit that I only saw the Amar’e bit, but I could see that Lin could have easily caused a domino effect and we only saw Amar’e and Fields.

    19. Ok, i saw it differently and will have to take your word for it. My larger point is that Woodson will criticize players when he perceives that they make a poor play and not coddle them like D’Antoni did, especially with his pets.

    20. I agree that I like that Woodson is quicker to criticize players (as he seems to be going under the impression of “Hell, I’m probably getting replaced at the end of the year no matter what, so I might as well go for it”). I just worry that he is also doing what many NBA coaches do, which is to pick a coupe of players that they’ll treat like whipping boys. You know, criticize Player X but scream at Player Y. And there, where Woodson was wrong in ripping on Fields, struck me like that. Screaming at a guy and not letting him explain that he didn’t do what you’re screaming at him for. It is not a big deal, and I don’t dislike Woodson for doing it or anything like that (as again, many NBA coaches do it), I just don’t think it is something that I’d specifically point out as a good aspect of Woodson’s coaching, ya know?

    21. Brian Cronin:
      Sorry, I meant to note that Fields thought it was Amar’e (I’ve edited my comment to mention it). Lin said it was him (Lin) that caused the whole domino effect to happen. I’ll admit that I only saw the Amar’e bit, but I could see that Lin could have easily caused a domino effect and we only saw Amar’e and Fields.

      Ah. I guess there’s most subtlety to it than SWITCH ALL THE TIME!!!1

    22. Understood, Brian, and I agree that coaches do that. Even D’Antoni rode his PGs harder than other guys.

      Some of my post is out of frustration re: Fields. I like the guy, he’s smart, he hustles, he rebounds, he’s a team-first guy, he has a refreshing innocence about him, and all that. However, there is a strange loyalty and open-mindedness about him from the Berri-philes here that is just not merited by his stats. He now has a below-average WS48, PER, TS%, etc. and I would bet his last 3 quarters stats are even worse (my eyes tell me he piles up stats in the 1st quarter.) He is also a slasher who shoots terribly from the FT line, making him very simple to defend–lay off of him, dare him to shoot from the perimeter, don’t be afraid to help off of him, make him go left, and foul him if he gets near the rim. I know Shump and JR are not perfect options either, but Fields seems to get more love here than his game merits.

    23. Love the Melo quote on “winnable games.” In yo face Granger! I’d be totally down to hate the Pacers as much as I did in the 90s.

    24. Some of my post is out of frustration re: Fields. I like the guy, he’s smart, he hustles, he rebounds, he’s a team-first guy, he has a refreshing innocence about him, and all that. However, there is a strange loyalty and open-mindedness about him from the Berri-philes here that is just not merited by his stats. He now has a below-average WS48, PER, TS%, etc. and I would bet his last 3 quarters stats are even worse (my eyes tell me he piles up stats in the 1st quarter.) He is also a slasher who shoots terribly from the FT line, making him very simple to defend–lay off of him, dare him to shoot from the perimeter, don’t be afraid to help off of him, make him go left, and foul him if he gets near the rim. I know Shump and JR are not perfect options either, but Fields seems to get more love here than his game merits.

      Smith and Shump, though, are the key to Fields’ current situation.

      You note that Fields has a below-average WS/48, and you’re correct, but he also has a higher WS/48 than both Smith and Shumpert. Smith is on the team for his shooting and his TS% is .500! Shumpert’s is 46%!

      So yeah, if those two guys improve and Fields doesn’t, of course they should play over Fields. But so far, Smith’s shooting has been out of whack and Shumpert’s offense has been as bad as his defense has been good. So when you’re offered Fields’ consistent mediocrity instead, it becomes an attractive offer.

      Also, I think Woodson sees Fields as a great counterpart to Melo, since Fields doesn’t need to shoot and when you have Lin, Amar’e and Melo out there, having a guy who doesn’t need to shoot to be effective is quite appealing.

    25. Mulligan: Maybe the best we can hope for is Melo mostly fitting in, 13-15 shots a game, drawing fouls and playing decent defense. More like first among equals, rather than a “superstar.”

      Sounds Paul Pierce-esque and I agree that would probably be the best possible outcome. It’s funny, though, that the best case scenario is for a player I kind of hate to turn into a player I… kind of hate.

    26. I hate Paul pierce too, but I love his game. If Melo can be that player for us, I’d be ecstatic!

    27. The problem Im kinda having with Melo is why is he now for Woodson accepting taking only 13 shots a game and playing his ass off on D but not for D’Antoni?? The offense the last 3 games with Woodson has looked IDENTICAL to D’Antoni’s offense despite Woodson stating it would change some.

    28. The problem Im kinda having with Melo is why is he now for Woodson accepting taking only 13 shots a game and playing his ass off on D but not for D’Antoni?? The offense the last 3 games with Woodson has looked IDENTICAL to D’Antoni’s offense despite Woodson stating it would change some.

      I think there are two answers, one cynical the other less so.

      The Cynical Answer: Now that he has no one else to blame, if he doesn’t step it up, the blame will fall on him and he knows it.

      The Less Cynical Answer: Things had deteriorated between he and D’Antoni so much that he just could not concentrate on playing the game. Now that D’Antoni is gone, he is back to doing what he needs to do.

    29. By the way, for those of you out there looking for more 1999 parallels, note how that team fired a guy who didn’t deserve it and then they came together and pulled out the last playoff spot.

      Gruenwald that season traded Starks, Mills and Cummings for Sprewell and Oakley for Camby…and he got fired for it!!!! Two great trades and he’s the one who got fired!

    30. Brian Cronin: Lin blew the rotation. Lin said so to Woodson after Woodson was done shouting at Fields. It is why Fields was so pissed when the shouting happened (although Fields thought it was Amar’e who blew the rotation). It is one thing to get berated for something you did, it is a whole other thing to get berated for something you didn’t do.

      I read it that way, too. Fields did what was needed given Lin’s missed assignment and there was no time for Stat to rotate from the paint to the 3 line.
      But Landry snapping at the new coach was probably a bad move.

    31. But Landry snapping at the new coach was probably a bad move.

      Quite possibly. I guess we’ll have to see how Woodson reacts next game. Woodson is a fiery guy, so he could appreciate the fire from Fields. Or, well, he could not. If Fields is not starting the next game, I think we’ll have our answer.

    32. I think the problem on that play was Fields rotated from his man in the corner to a big standing at the 3pt line who is not going to take that shot. Hubie Brown talks about that alot during his broadcasts, dont leave a guard open at the 3pt line to rotate to a big who is not going to shoot a 3pter.

      Is that what happened, dont remember the play exactly.

    33. Brian Cronin: Smith and Shump, though, are the key to Fields’ current situation.

      You note that Fields has a below-average WS/48, and you’re correct, but he also has a higher WS/48 than both Smith and Shumpert. Smith is on the team for his shooting and his TS% is .500! Shumpert’s is 46%!

      So yeah, if those two guys improve and Fields doesn’t, of course they should play over Fields. But so far, Smith’s shooting has been out of whack and Shumpert’s offense has been as bad as his defense has been good. So when you’re offered Fields’ consistent mediocrity instead, it becomes an attractive offer.

      yeah, this really doesn’t matter, and I’ll try to explain why.

      when Fields is out there (especially at the start of the game), he is often the 5th option on offense. NO ONE COVERS HIM, they double off him constantly, and hope that NY gives him the ball so he can be the one to shoot. last night there was one great example early on, Fields got the ball with a wide open look from 3 and there was a defender who had time to A) get in his face and leave Melo hoping someone else would get out to him or B) let Fields shoot the wide open look. of course he did the latter, and clank.

      Smith should be coming off the bench, it’s the role he’s most comfortable in and the role he’s had his whole career. he will get points in bunches (while taking shots in bunches), the perfect kind of player with a hard-nosed defensive team.

      Shumpert should be the starting SG, the only valid reason that he’s not yet is that D’Antoni and now Woodson are worried about playing him more than 25 minutes or so (in part because of his early cramping issues) and they want to ride him down the stretch of the 4th. once Baron is healthy, Fields should be the backup SF and get 12-16 minutes a game. he is the one who needs to prove he deserves more than that at this point.

    34. Mulligan: Definitely agree with this. Melo’s in close to an impossible position, given what’s he’s paid vs. what he produces. Most people on this board would agree that he’s not worth what he’s paid, BUT given the choice between having him play the style that got him that max contract and a more subdued, team oriented style, I think the choice is obvious. Maybe the best we can hope for is Melo mostly fitting in, 13-15 shots a game, drawing fouls and playing decent defense. More like first among equals, rather than a “superstar.” That’s not worth a max contract, but it’ll work a lot better. No sense in constantly criticizing him for what he’ll never be. Save that for Dolan – he’s the one who decided to give him the contract.

      A lot of this is frustration from long time Knicks fans. We just had a decade of salary cap hell, with overpaid, past their prime (or never had a prime) players taking up the cap. Not to mention the Bob McAdoo / Spencer Haywood years. Can’t we for once have a real superstar for our max contracts? – that’s the frustration.
      I’m glad he’s playing within the system, but fuck, are we talking about paying 20 mil for Trevor Ariza? Is that the expectation now?
      I want a real, in his prime, superstar for once.
      Fuck you Dolan.

    35. Yeah, that really is the frustration. It is not Melo’s fault. It is Dolan’s fault. The Knicks just can’t seem to acquire a true superstar. They haven’t had one since Ewing. Then again, plenty of other teams have gone a long time, as well. The Pacers, for instance. The Raptors. The Trailblazers. The Nuggets. The Hawks (unless you think really highly of Horford). Plenty of teams. The difference is that the Knicks theoretically are a team where players want to come play.

    36. and my (possibly implicit) point is that I’ve seen enough to think that Shumpert would be an offensive upgrade in that role. if people ignore him, he’ll definitely do more damage than Fields (in a good way), and I have to think he’ll get better at finishing around the rim at some point.

    37. Brian Cronin: I agree that I like that Woodson is quicker to criticize players (as he seems to be going under the impression of “Hell, I’m probably getting replaced at the end of the year no matter what, so I might as well go for it”). I just worry that he is also doing what many NBA coaches do, which is to pick a coupe of players that they’ll treat like whipping boys. You know, criticize Player X but scream at Player Y. And there, where Woodson was wrong in ripping on Fields, struck me like that. Screaming at a guy and not letting him explain that he didn’t do what you’re screaming at him for. It is not a big deal, and I don’t dislike Woodson for doing it or anything like that (as again, many NBA coaches do it), I just don’t think it is something that I’d specifically point out as a good aspect of Woodson’s coaching, ya know?

      This is what bad bosses do in the corporate world as well (not saying Woodson is like this – too early to tell).

    38. Brian Cronin: I think there are two answers, one cynical the other less so.The Cynical Answer: Now that he has no one else to blame, if he doesn’t step it up, the blame will fall on him and he knows it.The Less Cynical Answer: Things had deteriorated between he and D’Antoni so much that he just could not concentrate on playing the game. Now that D’Antoni is gone, he is back to doing what he needs to do.

      I’m hoping for the Less cynical answer. As someone who has been in the position of having a boss I just couldn’t get along with, I guess I can understand that. It’s just tough to accept this answer when you’re talking about someone making that much guaranteed money for playing bball, as opposed to some guy just trying to pay his bills.

    39. Brian Cronin:
      I agree that I like that Woodson is quicker to criticize players (as he seems to be going under the impression of “Hell, I’m probably getting replaced at the end of the year no matter what, so I might as well go for it”). I just worry that he is also doing what many NBA coaches do, which is to pick a coupe of players that they’ll treat like whipping boys. You know, criticize Player X but scream at Player Y. And there, where Woodson was wrong in ripping on Fields, struck me like that. Screaming at a guy and not letting him explain that he didn’t do what you’re screaming at him for. It is not a big deal, and I don’t dislike Woodson for doing it or anything like that (as again, many NBA coaches do it), I just don’t think it is something that I’d specifically point out as a good aspect of Woodson’s coaching, ya know?

      I agree with this sentiment. It struck me as odd that he received praise for taking JR Smith out of the game and visibly disciplining him at the end of the first Pacers game after he threw down the alley oop. Mike Bibby threw the lob! He’s a veteran who should’ve known better! Where was his scolding?

    40. By the way, on the Melo/D’Antoni thing. I really don’t get why Melo won’t simply concede that he and D’Antoni had problems. It’s like, dude, we know you guys had problems! Denying it is not going to make people say, “Oh, maybe we were all wrong and there was no problem between the two,” so why bother?

    41. Brian Cronin:
      By the way, on the Melo/D’Antoni thing. I really don’t get why Melo won’t simply concede that he and D’Antoni had problems. It’s like, dude, we know you guys had problems! Denying it is not going to make people say, “Oh, maybe we were all wrong and there was no problem between the two,” so why bother?

      And you “know” this how exactly? “Sources”? I try to keep it simple and see that now he is the focal point of the offense, it’s about the only change that Woody has made so far. He gets his touches, gets in rhythm, makes better decisions- being the main cog in the offense is something he’s done his whole life, it’s easy for him. Under MDA he was supposed to, idk, “get open within the system”, or be the last option when the clock was about to run out. Big difference. With thousands of repetitions in Sacramento it might’ve worked though.

      It’s not just frustration, half of it is, Melo being Melo, the guy everybody likes to talk about. I mean he’s getting trashed because he should’ve had a better poker face in the trade negotiations. And here you’re asking him to admit he had a rift with the earlier coach. Wouldn’t the pro thing to do be “nope, never any beef”- even IF there was something there?

      Re: Woodson. Given the I suppose common knowledge that coaches don’t regularly have a major impact on teams, and that they’re probably just as likely to detract 10 wins than to add them, I would say being “adaptive” is a great quality to have. It would suggest that a guy is always looking to put himself/the team in a better position, no matter the crappy hand you’re dealt. The thing I like about him is his record with ATL, steady improvement over six years, from bottom feeder to a top team. I can only read that as a real teacher of the game.

    42. psssst…hey fellas! I have it on good authority from an unnamed source that Andrea Bargnani was talking smack today at Raptors practice telling his teammates he expects their game next Tuesday against New York to be “very winnable”….please pass it on to Amar’e and Melo by Tuesday night.

      Thanks!

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