Nets 98, Knicks 92

Brooklyn Nets 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
93 New York Knicks
Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 37 MIN | 6-10 FG | 5-7 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +6

I mean, sure. Why not start STAT. At this point, I’m going to assume that Fisher generates a lineup and subsequent substitution patterns by writing out every Knick’s name on an index card and plops them down on the plush shag carpeting, cranks the heat in his office up to 100 degrees, puts on three heavy nylon tracksuits, does calisthenics till he’s sweating like a…like a…like an Ira, immediately shucks off all his clothes and drops to to the floor, rolling around like he’s having a petit mal seizure. Whichever five cards stick to his perspiration-drenched, gleaming, naked body, that’s who starts.

Anyhoo, Stoudemire did some decent work in the post, but he couldn’t for the life of him snag a defensive rebound or stop Brook Lopez from going full Galactus. In fairness, niether could anyone else in orange and blue.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 43 MIN | 7-22 FG | 5-5 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -3

Some fine, quick work in the pinch post, but he went 1-9 in the 4th, possibly because he never left the game in the second half. This nifty Chris Herring piece outlines a chunk of the ‘Bockers’ failures in close contests, including the fact that Melo had been beasting with the game on the line. But maybe, just maybe, playing him 41 freaking minutes on Sunday (even though he just recovered from a particularly nasty bout of back spasms) and then 43 minutes tonight is going to cause Melo to run a tad low on giddyup by the fourth quarter? But what do I know.

Or maybe if he wasn’t working longer and more brutal hours than a seamstress at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, he’d be able to summon forth the energy to get back on defense instead of engaging in Socratic debate with the goddamn arbiters. Nah, even if properly rested, and perhaps given a nice foot massage, magazine and beverage during timeouts, he’d still be screaming in futility at a ref like he was complaining to an internet provider’s customer service department while the Nyets happily raced up court.

Samuel Dalembert, C 15 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -11

Samuel Dalembert looks like The Leader. Defended Lopez about as well as The Leader too.

leader_detail in

Jose Calderon, PG 32 MIN | 7-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | -8

More boffo shooting and deft passing, but I lost track of the number of times he went under a screen giving Neckbeard Williams plenty o’ room to drain a trey. Then there’s the fact that when the Knicks are able to secure a rebound–it’s a rarity, I know–he scoots upcourt, only to find that he’s the only Knickerbocker that seems to think “running” is swell idea. There seem to be two solutions here:

1) Other people could run.
This doesn’t seem likely. This is a painfully slow team, and the ones that are (Hi Shump!) have no idea what to do when moving faster than 5mph. That includes Melo–possibly the worst finisher in transition of any “star” in recent memory. Timmy Jr. and Sharkin are the exception that proves the rule here, but those two are rarely in the same five as Jose, so…
2) He’ll stop pushing the pace eventually.
Sigh.

Iman Shumpert, SG 23 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -12

I have no idea what’s wrong with him, save for the fact that his early-season hot streak was just that, and this is just a particularly brutish regression to the mean. All the terrible, sloppy habits on D seem to have come along for the ride, along with their terrible remora, a generally pissed-off vibe.

Quincy Acy, SF 10 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -9

The Acy-est moment from tonight’s “Battle for the most annoyingly dull squad in the five boroughs” came in the second quarter, when Quincy barreled into the most Aryan member of the Plumlee clan, flung the ball directly into the seats, and proceed to yap at the offending official like the latter had taken his mother or sister out for a lovely surf n’ turf dinner and then never called her again. At one point, I started chatting with some e-chums on twitter dot com, trying to decide if one had more faith in the success of either A) a wide open Quincy Acy midrange jumper or B) a Jason Smith low post heave. This is the best answer, methinks.

This is pretty good too.

Cole Aldrich, C 18 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -2

Hi Cole! Since my name is printed right there in the Guinness Book as “The World’s Biggest Aldrich stan” it’s only fair that I point out that while he was able to snaggle the occasional bound, he’s more or less useless down low, and will shoot a hook shot no matter what laws of physics must be shredded in order to do so. Somehow, on his lone bucket, he managed to toss up a Tommy Heinsohn special, even though there wasn’t a Small Batch Artisanal Hipster anywhere near his person.

Shane Larkin, PG 18 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +4

I dunno about you, but there’s something about Shane’s threes that make me start praying to any deity I can find, as if the sheer psychic force of my hope-y hopes will give his shot the extra inch that it needs to make it past the front rim. He’s scrappy, in a treacly sitcom kind of way, where you half expect Lou Grant/Ed Asner to waddle down from celebrity row after he’s snatched the rock from a ballhandler in traffic, tousle his hair and say…

Pablo Prigioni, PG 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +8

Pablo Pablo’d. Hit some big threes midway through the fourth, just as New York was mounting the latest iteration of their beloved, long-running play, Oh Now You’re Going to Start Playing With Energy After You’ve Fallen Behind By Double Digits? This Comeback’s Going to Fall Short. You Know It. The Fans Know It. Everyone And Their Brother Knows It. Speaking of which, let me just leave this right here.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 14 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -2

He’s not getting his feet set before he shoots and is weirdly lilting to the left when he does go up for a shot. It’s a thing we saw in the preseason way back in 2013. That’s it. No snarky jokes or pop culture references. I diagnosed a basketball thing. I can do that.

Derek Fisher

This is real. He actually went full Woodson. (Never go full Woodson.)

Five Things We Saw

  1. A Nets superfan with a prosthetic leg was booted from the Garden. I’m serious. This isn’t a set up for an arch joke/extended metaphor; they dragged a dude with a missing limb from his seat. Take a look

    And here’s an official statement from the powers that be.

    .

    Which seems a tad overzealous, then again:

    Nice work by Kenny Ducey, a worthy Twitter follow and the Woodward and Bernstein of ProstheticSuperfanMSGLeg-Gate.

  2. At one point, Breen was regaling MSG viewers with an amusing anecdote about Joe Johnson and his fondness for Yoga. The gist of it was, he doesn’t have a personal, private Sramana to assist him in unleashing his kundalini and getting his citta-v?tti-nirodha? on, he just goes to classes willy-nilly, even if that means interacting with the peasantry, including, say, a housewife or two. Clyde’s witty one-liner? “Maybe that’s why he goes.” [rim shot] B35U-5bCQAAKObb
  3. This was a loss like pretty much every other loss in the now five-game losing streak, though I doubt bopping Philly should even count as a “win.” Weird lineups. Listless play, Terrible or even non-rotations on defense leading to wide open threes. And of course, they got absolutely walloped on the offensive glass. Which, yes, gathering in a wayward carom is the last step in completing a successful defensive possession. They’re not close to being good enough to give up multiple looks, so when Bogdan Bogdanovic is literally performing a rebounding drill till he finally puts back a layup, you know things have gone terribly, horribly wrong. And like so many of this team’s problems, I can’t really see a solution. When Prigs is grabbing five boards, and Jose Calderon’s led the team on multiple occasions, that’s not good. More to the point, this is a borun, un-fun team. We were promised fun. We were told that even if there were losses and struggles with the triangle, that it would be the kind of team you could root for. But they’re dull, and hatefully predictable right now. I’m not pining for the migraine-inducing madness of 2013-14, but I’m bored to tears right now. I’m even bored of saying how boring this all is. My boredom is painfully boring and repetitive and dull.

    BORED. BORED. BORED. BORED. BORED. BORED. BORED. BORED. BORED.

  4. So yes, the timeout that wasn’t. Down by three, 14 seconds left on the clock, Melo’s got the ball, and Fisher tries to call time. The ref did look his way, but since he wasn’t screeching and gesticulating like he’d been soaking in bath salts, it wasn’t called. Roll that beautiful bean footage…

    Yeah, it should have been called, but for the love of Pete, this is the second or possibly third time that Fish has tried to call time in the middle of a play. You can totally say that Melo should have known, or–nutty idea–been told to call a TO beforehand. But once it’s reached the point that Melo’s doing his feint-/jab/dance thing at the three point line, it’s too late already. Stop doing that, Fish.

  5. This is our new spirit animal.

    B3av2mSIcAAwQHE

    Embrace it. Not too tightly, mind you. Don’t want to hurt the nice critters. And the LeBrons are next. All hail Tankopia!

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Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

50 thoughts to “Nets 98, Knicks 92”

  1. The Nets beat to the knicks to every loose ball, dominated the boards with extra effort, played more spirited defense and moved the ball better. The knicks don’t lose because they have less talent. They just get outplayed and out coached.

    If Amare plays like this for the rest of the season, he’s going to sign another whopping contract. Deservedly.

  2. Amare played with a lot of physicality and hustle down the stretch… and his overall offensive game was pretty diverse throughout the game…it was good to see…

  3. You know all these other teams are using their newfangled tanking strategies – drafting injured players, trading their stars, stashing Euros, coaching shenanigans. It’s not right. We, on the other hand, are sucking the way basketball teams are meant to suck. The way your father’s team sucked, and his father’s team before them. We suck, not because we’re “tanking”, but for the good, old-fashioned reason that we have no good players. It gives me heart to see a team going about trying to acquire the #1 pick the way it was meant to be done – a team built around overpaid terrible players, a team that plays with no energy or heart, a team that plays an asinine system offensively and has no talent defensively. Yes, this is a terrible team we can all be proud of. 63 games to go….and we’re on pace to win 13 of them.

  4. The one comment I have about last night’s game is about Fisher. He’s the anti-NYer. I mean, if it was me on the court trying to call a time out there would be no mistaking it. I mean, jeeze, I would have a coronary out there. Then, in the post game interview he says “That wasn’t the worst shot” (referring to Melo’s attempted 3-pointer). When asked about the ref his answer was precious “He said he didn’t hear me” It was deadpan. He said it with a shrug. Me? I’d be looking at a 6-figure fine having used language that would make Rex Ryan blush. Are you kidding me? I guess that’s a good thing – at least for Fisher’s health.

  5. The saddest thing to me about these home losses is hearing the crowd begin the “DE-fense” chant when the Knicks make one of their fruitless comebacks, and then an opposition player hits a wide open 3 or an uncontested layup.

    Defines the word “buzzkill”

  6. I know the Sixers are going to end up with the first seed, but it’s not that unusual for a second seeded team to raise a championship banner, so to speak

    The Knicks were a .550 team last season in the 40 games Bargnani sat out (22-18). With him they were a .350 team (15-27). His injury was the starkest illustration of addition by subtraction we’ve seen since Ford was traded for Nixon.

    This year the Knicks are a .200 team without the Malone from Rome…

    Don’t count us out of the pong pong ball top seed yet!

  7. After falling in love so hard with great defensive basketball watching the 90’s Knicks, it is such a drag to see them play bullshit defense for periods of time that can be measured in decades. It’s like having a hottie of a wife in your 20’s who just says “fuck it” one day and goes on a 20-year Twinkie/Whopper/Big Gulp binge.

  8. You know – the Triangle is great in theory. Everyone touches the ball, feels part of the offense, gets the same kinds of shots each game etc. etc. The problem is, there’s a reason that guys like Dalembert and Jason Smith never touch the ball in other systems: they don’t know what to do with it, don’t know how to protect possession.

    The amount of standing around in the post trying to find the next pass is absolutely killing the offense. When you have Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom playing the 5 and 4, it’s great.

    This team just does not have the personnel to play the triangle the way Phil wants to play it.

    The good news is that with a few more losses, I’m pretty sure Phil is going to be a hard seller once Dec 15 hits. Dalembert will be gone, and with him hopefully JR, Jason Smith, etc. etc. Maybe we can even convert Shane Larkin into a draft pick. And as much as I love Pablo, there should be a pretty robust trade market for a guy with his experience shooting 50% from 3 and with a partially non guaranteed contract for next season.

    Then we can tank with the best of them.

  9. The Knicks are already doing a great job of tanking. They are below average in just about every facet of the game of basketball. In terms of the Four Factors, they’re terrible in 3 out of 4 on offense, and 3 out of 4 on defense. They’re an okay offensive rebounding team somehow, and are okay at causing turnovers, but terrible in offensive eFG%, offensive turnovers, offensive FT/FGA, defensive eFG%, dead last in defensive rebounding and horrible in defensive FT/FGA. They’re a dumpster fire of a trainwreck, they’re the Hindenburg crashing into the Titanic. Their awfulness is broad-based and completely sustainable.

  10. The knicks don’t have a great roster, but saying the reason for their pathetic record is because the players suck, is unfair.
    Amare and Calderon had solid games last night. Larkin and Prigs played well, too.
    But, when the team superstar takes more than double as many shots as the next most prolific shooter, makes 30% overall and goes 1-7 from three, that’s where to look when you lose by a basket or two.
    It’s imperative that Melo plays smarter, rather than just playing hard. Repeatedly putting your head down and bull rushing three defenders, then complaining about not getting the call is crappy basketball. . . and makes the difference between winning and losing close games. Don’t blame Jason Smith.

  11. Of course, getting more loose balls and rebounds, and playing lock down defense is imperative, and can’t understand why they always get beat in these categories.
    Paging Phil Jackson.

  12. @10
    who in hell would give up a pick for shane larkin? He is a very small 2nd string pg at best, guys like him you can pick up anyday for the vet min. He is young, but not even signed for next season.
    His trade value is close to zero I’d think

  13. Amar’e is putting up decent stats and so is Calderon, but they give all of that back with their execrable pick and roll defense. They are one-way players, lousy on defense. The players on this team are bad AND the team does not play hard.

  14. Larkin is an end of the bench, emergency PG on pretty much any NBA team. The Knicks would rather not have him back next year than have him back on a contract that pays peanuts, because he is not very good.

  15. The good news is that with a few more losses, I’m pretty sure Phil is going to be a hard seller once Dec 15 hits. Dalembert will be gone, and with him hopefully JR, Jason Smith, etc. etc. Maybe we can even convert Shane Larkin into a draft pick. And as much as I love Pablo, there should be a pretty robust trade market for a guy with his experience shooting 50% from 3 and with a partially non guaranteed contract for next season.

    I’m sure he will be a hard seller but who the hell is going to want anything on this roster? My view of this roster is the only players with trade values above “future 2nd round pick” are: Melo (no-trade clause, 15% trade kicker); Calderon (35-years old, terrible defensively); maybe Shumpert and Hardaway (big maybe); Dalembert maybe to a good team absolutely desperate for a big man; and Prigioni.

    JR Smith is playing the worst basketball of his career. Jason Smith is straight up terrible. Amare has a huge, difficult to move contract and is a massive injury risk. Bargnani is as bad or worse than Jason Smith and he can’t even stay healthy. And there’s no one else on the roster even worth mentioning.

    The only way we’re getting anything good back in a trade is if we use Bargnani’s and/or Amare’s expiring contracts to take on other teams’ worse contracts plus assets. Detroit has Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. Boston has Gerald Wallace and Jeff Green. Brooklyn has Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson though they’ve traded all their picks to Atlanta and Boston. And there are probably a few other teams/players that I’m forgetting.

  16. 1. Let Amar’e and Bargs and the other terrible contracts expire.

    2. Move Heaven and Earth to trade JR Smith. If you can’t trade JR, pull a Marbury on him and tell him he is never going to play another minute for the Knicks, not this year or next, and hope he opts out.

    3. ??????????

    4. RINGZZZ

  17. The knicks don’t have a great roster, but saying the reason for their pathetic record is because the players suck, is unfair. Amare and Calderon had solid games last night. Larkin and Prigs played well, too.

    The point is that if your standard for a player “playing well” is 8 points (on only 5 FGA), 2 assists, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers and a steal in 18 minutes with mediocre defense then that player basically sucks (that’s Larkin’s line by the way). Ditto Prigioni’s 6 points(4 FGA), 5 bounds in 17 minutes.

    Those guys played fine by the standards of what they can do, but 35 minutes at PG that nets you 14 points on good shooting numbers with decent rebounding numbers, low assists and bad defense isn’t exactly moving the needle in a positive way. And those are the guys you singled out as playing well! I think it’s safe to say these guys suck.

    Also, on an unrelated note, the Knicks are about to start the tough portion of their schedule. *Gulp*

  18. I’m sure he will be a hard seller but who the hell is going to want anything on this roster? My view of this roster is the only players with trade values above “future 2nd round pick” are: Melo (no-trade clause, 15% trade kicker); Calderon (35-years old, terrible defensively); maybe Shumpert and Hardaway (big maybe); Dalembert maybe to a good team absolutely desperate for a big man; and Prigioni.

    Even this is probably being generous. I don’t see a single contender where Pablo would even be close to starting, and for most he would even be a pretty lateral move at backup PG. Even those where he would represent an upgrade, the change is minor enough that I can’t see anyone giving up much value, esspecially considering his age and chances of retiring mean it’s strictly a single season upgrade. He has “future 2nd round pick” (or fringey prospect) written all over him.

    Ditto Dalembert. There’s always going to be a market for a 7-footer who can walk and chew gum, but I can’t see any team where he’s fetching a first rounder. Maybe, maybe the Cavs with all their extra picks get desperate if (when) Varejao gets hurt, but I think if they get desperate enough to start shopping those picks there will be other better options available to them. I think hoping for more than scraps for Dalembert is slightly wishful thinking.

  19. The point is that if your standard for a player “playing well” is 8 points (on only 5 FGA), 2 assists, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers and a steal in 18 minutes with mediocre defense then that player basically sucks (that’s Larkin’s line by the way). Ditto Prigioni’s 6 points(4 FGA), 5 bounds in 17 minutes.

    Those guys played fine by the standards of what they can do, but 35 minutes at PG that nets you 14 points on good shooting numbers with decent rebounding numbers, low assists and bad defense isn’t exactly moving the needle in a positive way. And those are the guys you singled out as playing well! I think it’s safe to say these guys suck.

    You’re not going to have five guys scoring 20 points. Amare and Calderon went 13-19 for 36 points. Larkin and Prigs shot a good percentage and hit big shots off the bench with a couple of steals. That’s what you want from those guys. Not volume scoring. If Melo plays his role efficiently OR the knicks out hustled the Nets for loose balls and rebounds OR the played intense, lockdown defense, they win the game.
    Don’t blame Larkin or Prigs, or J. Smith.

    All I want is for the knicks to be the team that out hustles their opponent to loose balls and rebounds, plays fully committed defense, and move the ball to get the best shot. That would make them a 5-7 seed in this pathetic conference and a lot more fun to watch.

  20. @20

    One more loss and this will be the worst start in knicks history!!!!!!!!!

    Don’t worry they face Cleveland next.

    @23
    +1
    You know it’s a bad season when it’s barely December and we’re already at haikus.

  21. You’re not going to have five guys scoring 20 points. Amare and Calderon went 13-19 for 36 points. Larkin and Prigs shot a good percentage and hit big shots off the bench with a couple of steals. That’s what you want from those guys. Not volume scoring. If Melo plays his role efficiently OR the knicks out hustled the Nets for loose balls and rebounds OR the played intense, lockdown defense, they win the game.
    Don’t blame Larkin or Prigs, or J. Smith.

    You may not have 5 guys score 20 points, but what about 10 points? My whole point is that when two of the guys you’re singling out as having good games had 8 and 6 points respectively (and I don’t want to make it seem like this is all about bulk scoring, but it’s not like they filled up the rest of the stat sheet as I pointed out) that probably means that not very many players are playing well. Which is generally because your players suck. Which, again, ours do.

    I’m not “blaming” Larkin, Pablo or J. Smith (I’m not even really sure what that means), but they’re just not that good. They’re respectively D-league fodder, a decent backup PG, and an end of the bench big who are averaging a combined 59 minutes a game. We have mediocre players playing a lot of minutes because the talent level on this roster sucks. I just really don’t buy the story that this team just needs to play harder – if anything they seemed too fired up at times last night (e.g. losing their cool with the officials). They just aren’t good.

  22. Umm, call me an idiot, but I don’t think we should be playing this bad with this roster.
    Granted, between Carmelo, Amare, THJr, JR, Sharkin, Calderon, Jason Smith, and Bargnani, we have essentially a lot of different sizes/talent levels of the same product: scorers with poor defensive habits.
    But, this team just is NOT as bad as the Sixers. I refuse to believe that. They should be winning more with this roster. Amare, Calderon, and Melo are all better than their top players, MCW, Embiid, etc.
    So please, PLEASE, PLEEEEAAASE, someone explain to me why in heck we do the following, because these are not things that require talent or genius. And I really mean these questions, they are not rhetorical.
    – Why do we not guard our men? All we have to do is stick to our men. All it takes is 2-3 passes, and wow, there’s a wide open man. (I am not asking about individual talent, just freakin’ being there near your man)
    – Why can’t we get any rebounds?
    – Why is every Triangle play the slowest, most boring, and predictable sequence of passes that lead straight back to Melo/Amare, every time? And when it does not, it never leads to a Calderon 3/ THJr layup, etc, but to a crappy Jason Smith 15 ft’er/Wear 20 ft’er/Acy 3?
    – Why is Fisher putting out drek rotations? This does not require much thought.

    I hope they unload everyone this December and get anything else.

    /rant

  23. Why don’t we guard opponents better? Because we have shitty defensive players, many of whom are terrible because they lack size, athleticism, lateral movement or all three.

    Why don’t we get rebounds? Because we have shitty rebounders, many of whom are terrible because they lack size, strength, jumping ability or all three.

    We suck because we suck.

  24. – Why is every Triangle play the slowest, most boring, and predictable sequence of passes that lead straight back to Melo/Amare, every time? And when it does not, it never leads to a Calderon 3/ THJr layup, etc, but to a crappy Jason Smith 15 ft’er/Wear 20 ft’er/Acy 3?

    You forgot the reliable once-a-game iso-Jason Smith fadeaway brick from 10 feet.

  25. “We’ve talked about it before there are some big teams in the Eastern Conference” and Bargnani being a big part of what the knicks do…. That was a joke? Fisher didnt seriously say that, please tell me he really really didnt say that

  26. I want to hear Fisher say that he’s not going to kick something to the curb at the end of the day, just so I know he’s trolling us.

  27. Why don’t we guard opponents better? Because we have shitty defensive players, many of whom are terrible because they lack size, athleticism, lateral movement or all three.

    I think the point of the original question was that those excuses are invalid. Amar’e lacks none of that stuff and is still a bad defender. Same with Hardaway. And Acy. And Anthony, and JR Smith. These are all “athletic” players who aren’t undersized at their positions, and are able to put one foot in front of the other.

    Most of us watched Starks, Mason, and Oakley play lock down defense despite being legitimately undersized and under athletic. Defense requires none of the things you list. They help, but they’re not required. Effort, intelligence, and an aversion to losing make people good defenders. Those are the traits these Knicks lack.

  28. That’s why I said “just freaking being there near your man.” I’m legitimately asking why people are being left wide open. Is it lack of caring? Because I don’t think Calderon, Melo, and STAT lack caring. They want to win. And THjr, JR, and even Shump at times look like they don’t care. But they all do. Being horrid on defense is fine in my book as long as you make an effort. Why don’t they?

  29. THJ does not move well laterally. That has been a part of his scouting profile since day one. Ditto Calderon– he has poor lateral quickness. Larkin is undersized and has short arms; he may have less length than any player in the NBA. Acy is undersized for a power forward. Stat has been in the NBA for a million years and still has no clue how to defend the pick and roll, and the Knicks use him at center, where he is hopelessly overmatched physically. Jason Smith has the athleticism of a loaf of bread. The elements of a good defensive team are just not here.

  30. Sixers-Twolves started on the wrong sides and they had to stop the game and start over. Thank god. The reverse tank is a dastardly hazardous maneuver that shouldn’t be attempted in a public arena.

  31. The elements of a good defensive team are just not here.

    Is so much talent needed to stick with a man? I don’t care about lateral quickness, short arms, etc.

    I’m asking why it is that after two passes, a man is left completely open.

    On every play.

  32. Our guys almost all suck at defense. Melo is a pretty shitty defender, and he’s generally one of the best defensive players we have on the court.

  33. Defense is mostly about effort and mindset. Sure, if you’re athletically gifted, it will be a little easier to stay with your man, but not as important as defending with the same intensity that Pete Rose wants to be safe at first base, second base, third base or home plate. He’d run through a brick wall to not get tagged out.
    Same with loose balls and rebounds. The guys who want it most, get more than their share.

    Don’t tell me Melo is not athletic enough to be a great defender. He has plenty of energy when going to the hoop to score. Not so much on the other end of the floor.

    Then again, are these guys dying to stay in orange and blue? Maybe not. In the Melo documentary (which basically sucked) one point he stressed was how impressed he was with how professional and intent on winning Chicago was, something in sharp contrast to the knicks culture of losing.

    After a few losing seasons, you can say it’s the players that didn’t step up. But after decades of utter ineptness, you have to look at the organization and culture. PJ’s time hear is rapidly moving along. I didn’t expect the knicks to win the title this season, but c’mon, the worst record to begin a season in knicks history????

  34. Dalembert and Shump are the only players on the roster with any kind of reputation defensively. I would say Dalembert’s best years are long past and Shump fouls too much and has, to me, always been pretty overrated, defensively and in general.

    Tyson Chandler is the only great defender this team has featured in the last 20 years that I can think of, so it’s not exactly a surprise they are so awful. Being bad on defense is part of what we do here. This year though they have taken things to another level.

    Luckily, Bargs is on his way back.

  35. Even this is probably being generous. I don’t see a single contender where Pablo would even be close to starting, and for most he would even be a pretty lateral move at backup PG. Even those where he would represent an upgrade, the change is minor enough that I can’t see anyone giving up much value, esspecially considering his age and chances of retiring mean it’s strictly a single season upgrade. He has “future 2nd round pick” (or fringey prospect) written all over him.

    Ditto Dalembert. There’s always going to be a market for a 7-footer who can walk and chew gum, but I can’t see any team where he’s fetching a first rounder. Maybe, maybe the Cavs with all their extra picks get desperate if (when) Varejao gets hurt, but I think if they get desperate enough to start shopping those picks there will be other better options available to them. I think hoping for more than scraps for Dalembert is slightly wishful thinking.

    Oh, I was definitely being generous. With Prigioni the only teams I can really think of are GSW and OKC where they could play Prigioni at PG and allow Curry/Westbrook to play off the ball at times.

    With Dalembert I’m thinking back to the Nazr to SAS for Malik Rose and a 1st round pick that we made back in the day. A warm body who won’t embarrass himself at center for 20-25 mpg is valuable to certain contenders. Of course, Nazr then was much better than Dalembert is today.

    BTW, I just looked up Nazr’s stats to make sure I was correct in calling him better than Dalembert. Did anyone know that Nazr has played 4 games for Chicago this season? And he played 80 games for them last season? I swear to God I thought he retired, like, 5 years ago.

  36. Maybe not 20 years, Owen. I know it feels that way, but we actually had some awesome defensive players 20 years ago. Now, 15 years ago-that’s about when things started to go south.

    Effort obviously helps, but these dudes just suck at defense. Some of them are physically limited (I bet Pablo could D it up 8 years ago), and some of them just lack the certain je ne sais qua that lets some guys react better/faster than others. It is what it is. I’d love it if we were something like the 8th worst defensive team in the NBA in the second half, but my natural optimism is starting to wane.

  37. I don’t see a single contender where Pablo would even be close to starting, and for most he would even be a pretty lateral move at backup PG.

    Beno Udrih has played almost 300 minutes for the Grizzlies. The Mavs backup point guards are Jameer Nelson and Ray fucking Felton. Jason Terry gets minutes on Houston. The Bulls have already suffered through 400 minutes of Aaron Brooks. I can keep going, but Pablo crushes those dudes. I was joking the other night about Pablo being our best player (he’s sadly too old), but he’d be a big upgrade as a backup PG for a host of contenders. And I hope we deal him to one, because I love Pablo, and I want him to be set free.

  38. I think Pablo is best as a 2. He turns the ball over too much and can’t penetrate that well, but he’s awesome at keeping the ball moving and hitting open shots. Dude has a near .700 TS% and that’s not really too much of a fluke at this point.

    Calderon-Prigs-Shump-Melo-Dalembs. Bring Stat in when Melo goes out and hope our offense can reach the top 10, the only way we’ll be decent. Alternate: Take out Dalembs and put in COLE!!!!!

  39. Quite a line for Jeremy Lin last night – 0/10 from the field, 4 turnovers, although he did have 4 rebs and 5 assists.

    Overall I’m happy for him – he’s turned into a reasonably average NBA player, which is, I’m sure, all he ever really realistically wanted. Averaging 15.6/4/7 per 40 on a TS of 57 is pretty good for a guy from Harvard, right?

  40. Quite a line for Jeremy Lin last night – 0/10 from the field, 4 turnovers, although he did have 4 rebs and 5 assists.

    Overall I’m happy for him – he’s turned into a reasonably average NBA player, which is, I’m sure, all he ever really realistically wanted. Averaging 15.6/4/7 per 40 on a TS of 57 is pretty good for a guy from Harvard, right?

    He is a FA this year. Comeback? I wonder how much will he get…

    I guess the Lakers will pay him more than what we can reasonably afford if we want to sign another max FA.

  41. Beno Udrih has played almost 300 minutes for the Grizzlies. The Mavs backup point guards are Jameer Nelson and Ray fucking Felton. Jason Terry gets minutes on Houston. The Bulls have already suffered through 400 minutes of Aaron Brooks. I can keep going, but Pablo crushes those dudes. I was joking the other night about Pablo being our best player (he’s sadly too old), but he’d be a big upgrade as a backup PG for a host of contenders. And I hope we deal him to one, because I love Pablo, and I want him to be set free.

    The problem with Pablo is that he’s a very unique player. All of the guys you named can do some more traditional PG, pick and roll stuff that is the bread and butter of 99% of offenses in today’s NBA. They are all reasonably quick. They have all been known to venture inside the 3 point line on occasion, and even penetrate to the basket. Pablo doesn’t bring any of those things to the table. He’s a really good 3 point shooter when left open, and consequently his TS% is through the roof, but you need to have other perimeter players on the court handling the majority of the PG tasks (or run an offense that doesn’t need those things, i.e. the triangle) or it won’t work. Regardless of how he stacks up on talent with Felton and Nelson for example, he’d basically be an anti-fit with everything the Mavs offense is built around. There is no chance they would prefer Pablo to those guys.

  42. The problem with Pablo is that he’s a very unique player. All of the guys you named can do some more traditional PG, pick and roll stuff that is the bread and butter of 99% of offenses in today’s NBA…. Pablo doesn’t bring any of those things to the table. He’s a really good 3 point shooter when left open…but you need to have other perimeter players on the court handling the majority of the PG tasks… or it won’t work.

    So Pablo played nearly 1000 minutes as the primary PG on the floor last year (ie. no Felton on the floor, no other PG on the floor) in an offense that was pretty much all PNR or iso (ie. most offenses in the NBA). During that time he averaged 10.8 assists per 100 poss (to put that in perspective Kyle Lowry is averaging 10.2 assists/100 poss) and posted a 4:1 assist:TO ratio. The team had an offensive rating of 110 with Pablo on the floor (with no other PGs) and 107 with Pablo off the floor (ie. with Felton) (and D-rating of 110 also, which is pretty much what nbawowy has for them as a team with or without Pablo on the floor).

    Now if you think the offense was so good because he was on with Melo all the time, then I’d tell you that Pablo played 385 min with BOTH Melo and Felton OFF the floor, and in those lineups Pablo averaged 11.9 assists per 100 possessions with a still very good 3.3/1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Oh, and had a TS of 75%. Team’s O-Rtg (with Pablo as PG and no Melo on the floor) was 109, pretty much the same as it was with Melo + Pablo on the floor.

    by the way, all lineups without Pablo or Melo on the floor had a ORtg of 99. The offense cratered without Pablo when Melo was off the floor also.

    Even this terrible year Pablo has a net +3 rating. Lineups with Pablo+Melo have a net +10 rating.

    Pablo is just a great player. Maybe he can’t play starter’s minutes, but any contending team should want him. And it’s just inexcusable that he’s not playing 25 min/game

  43. Yeah, Pablo is the shit. If you’d rather have Beno Udrih or Ray Felton as your backup PG you have no business running an NBA team.

  44. Trade idea:
    Kings get Pablo (~500K guaranteed for 2015) and JR (6.4MM guaranteed for 2015)
    Knicks get Sessions (2.1MM guaranteed for 2015) and Derrick Williams (expires this year) and a 2nd round pick or something

    we get 5MM in 2015 cap savings and a second round pick, and improve tanking prospects by trading one of our best players. Kings get another wing on a reasonable contract and get the backup PG they need badly if they’re planning on making a playoff push. Shockingly, Darren Collison has a net rating of +22 for them, mostly because his backups (Sessions) have been so God awful.

  45. Yeah, Pablo is the shit. If you’d rather have Beno Udrih or Ray Felton as your backup PG you have no business running an NBA team.

    I don’t want to be the Pablo hater here, because I’m not a Pablo hater. He’s my favorite Knick by far. But I’m talking about realistic value here. I’m not saying he’s worse than Beno Udrih because he’s not. He’s better than Beno, significantly better even. But Beno plays 18 minutes a game, and given Pablo’s age etc. that’s probably a realistic amount for him as well. The question here isn’t whether they’d rather have Pablo but how much they’re giving up to get a half season of a guy who is an upgrade, but is also 37 and an awkward fit in terms of his skills. Ultimately I think the answer to that question is “Not much”. The whole discussion started with whether we could get more than a 2nd rounder for Pablo, so I guess my question is if you think the answer is yes, than how much more? Are we getting a first rounder for him? There’s no chance.

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