Pistons 98, Knicks 95; Knicks Lose To Winless Team – Retroactively Forfeit All Previous Wins, 1973, 1970 NBA Titles

With their win tonight, the Pistons pick up their first victory of the season, leaving just the Sixers and Lakers as the only winless teams, so that’s a big feather in the Knicks’ cap.

With their loss, the Knicks sit at 2-3 and have lost two consecutive games. If that trend continues for the rest of the season, they will finish at 2-80, which will be the worst record in NBA history (assuming the Sixers and Lakers eventually win three games).

Here’s what happened:

New York Knicks 95 FinalRecap | Box Score 98 Detroit Pistons
Carmelo Anthony, SF 39 MIN | 5-21 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -3Rough night for Melo. His 5-for-21 from the floor only saw the blow softened by Josh Smith’s 2-for-17. It was not exactly a night of shot-making. Carmelo went without scoring from the floor in the first half for the first time since 2012, and you can’t really even give him much credit for “defending” Josh Smith. The best thing you can say about Melo was that his defense was poor enough to encourage Smith to keep shooting, which I suppose in theory would benefit New York in the long run.

Samuel Dalembert, C 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8Dude needs to stop shooting, yo.

Jason Smith, C 26 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | -8This is one magnificent son of a bitch. He was by far the best J. Smith on the floor, and while he’s not a rookie, and thus can’t match Wes Unseld’s feat of winning Rookie of The Year and NBA MVP in the same season, at least he’s proving himself to definitively be New York’s best two-way big man and will almost certainly make Andrea Bargnani irrelevant. Although, these *are* the Knicks, so…

Shane Larkin, PG 32 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +5It was too bad to see how bummed Larkin was after the late turnover that put the game out of reach. It was a bad ending to what was otherwise a half-decent game – he played more minutes in the second half following Prigioni’s injury than they were probably expecting him to and he didn’t exactly crap the bed. The loss wasn’t Larkin’s fault, it was the whole “falling behind by 18 thanks to getting out-rebounded by 12 despite playing big the whole game” thing.

Iman Shumpert, SG 36 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +3He played a few spot minutes at point guard and didn’t suck, and his shot looks a lot better than it ever has. So at least he’s got that going for him? Uncharacteristically poor defense tonight – he lost Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a few times early for open threes.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 22 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +8Not a terrible game from Amar’e, but his as-usual piss-poor defense and rebounding cropped up at the worst possible time – needing a stop late, he got isolated against Greg Monroe, and Monroe made him look silly with an up-and-under that pushed the Detroit lead to seven with just over a minute remaining. If the Knicks get a stop there it might be a different result.

Cleanthony Early, SF 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +3He played well late. #NailedIt

Quincy Acy, SF 14 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -6I don’t have much to say about his game tonight, but his after-practice shooting contests with Samuel Dalembert must take forever.

Travis Wear, SF 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3He played basketball.

Cole Aldrich, C 11 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +1He also played basketball.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6I am going to hunt D.J. Augustin down and make him pay for what he did to my Pablo. If Prigioni misses a day of practice Augustin should be suspended for the year and face criminal charges.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 27 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +3His shooting stroke is on point but things like “dribbing,” “passing,” “rebounding,” and “playing defense” largely remain foreign concepts. It wasn’t exactly a shock that he was gunning in a game where his father is the assistant coach and I can only imagine a large contingent of family and/or friends were in attendance. But he got results, so you can’t exactly kill him for it.

Derek Fisher
Fisher has looked like a competent coach over the first two weeks of the season, which, after last season, is roughly a 7000 percent improvement over the previous head coach. He made the most of a bad situation – Carmelo wasn’t making shots and Prigioni’s injury threw an already-thin backcourt (sans Earl) into a bit of havoc, but they were still able to make a game of it in the second half. It would have been nice to see the Knicks play small a little bit more, considering that despite playing big they were getting killed on the boards anyways (although there’s something to be said for the fact that the perimeter depth wouldn’t allow for it, given the aforementioned injury to Pablo and suspension to J.R.) and they were having trouble defending the three point line. But still, not terrible.

Three Things We Saw

  1. This
  2. Tonight’s game was way too last year-ish. Inexplicably stagnant offense early, inexcusably terrible defense against a far-too-predictable offense, a furious rally late, only to come up short thanks to a handful of classic blunders.
  3. It bears repeating – Josh Smith was 2-for-17 from the floor and the Knicks still managed to lose.
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Jeremy Conlin

Jeremy Conlin has been blogging about the NBA since 2031, the same year he discovered time travel. He has traveled to every non-glacial continent and hated one of them, but in the interest of national security has been asked not to divulge that information.

60 thoughts to “Pistons 98, Knicks 95; Knicks Lose To Winless Team – Retroactively Forfeit All Previous Wins, 1973, 1970 NBA Titles”

  1. cant say that i agree with the grades. i thought shump was better and dalembert, in limited minutes, was quite good (despite the elbow j’s). amarecould go for 50 on 25 shots and i dont know if it would make me ok with his defense

  2. We all like to kill Amare. He did have 8 rebounds, wheareas Dalembert and Smith combined for 5. When one of the topics is getting killed rebounding, you would thing he would not be the guy called out for lack thereof.

  3. Amar’e Stoudemire led the Knicks in rebounds despite only playing 22 minutes. His rebounding wasn’t the problem, but his defense was per usual. And Jason Smith’s shooting touch was great, but those 3 rebounds from the starting power forward will not cut it. And Sam Dalembert needs to stop shooting the ball. Immediately.

    It’s nice to see that Melo can get you 8 assists and 6 rebounds on a night where his shooting touch seemed to have left him. Hopefully he can come close to those numbers while being an excellent scorer again.

    One thing I hate about this team is their relative impatience on offense. I hate settling for non wide open mid range twos with double digits left on the shot clock. I also hate it when the Knicks get super excited after an offensive rebound and go 1 on 3 around the basket instead of being patient and resetting the offense. These are things the Knicks need to get better at.

    Greg Monroe had a great tryout game against us. He’s going to be a UFA this off season, and he sure gave the Knicks some incentive to keep tabs on him this off-season. If his performance against us is anything close to what he can do consistently when featured in an offense (albeit it was Amar’e Stoudemire who was given the task of guarding him), I wouldn’t mind having him through his prime years.

  4. Greg Monroe had a great tryout game against us. He’s going to be a UFA this off season, and he sure gave the Knicks some incentive to keep tabs on him this off-season. If his performance against us is anything close to what he can do consistently when featured in an offense (albeit it was Amar’e Stoudemire who was given the task of guarding him), I wouldn’t mind having him through his prime years.

    Another one-dimensional all offense/no defense player? Pass. Although, getting actual rebounding from our PF position would be a nice change of pace. So I’ll revise my statement to: He’d certainly be better than any PF currently on the roster, but I’d hate to see us pay big money for him just because we can’t get anyone else…again.

  5. One thing I hate about this team is their relative impatience on offense. I hate settling for non wide open mid range twos with double digits left on the shot clock. I also hate it when the Knicks get super excited after an offensive rebound and go 1 on 3 around the basket instead of being patient and resetting the offense. These are things the Knicks need to get better at.

    I have not seen the game… but if Prigioni is injured, we are severely lacking in ball distribution, and i am not surprised if the teams reverts to its Iso ways.

    Let’s hope Calderon and Prigs come back soon.

  6. This was a pretty sad game. Both teams sucked really, really hard. The only good thing about the game really was learning that Clyde grows multiple varieties of mangoes at his offseason home. Everything else was bad.

    We could really, really use Calderon back. Right now there just isn’t enough offensive firepower on nights when Melo isn’t cooking. Some secondary guys stepped up to a certain extent but the offense was basically impotent until the game was out of hand. Not going to get it done with the way this team defends and rebounds.

    I was rooting for the Knicks and I still kind of wanted to murder Josh Smith. His teammates must really, truly despise him. What a horrendous basketball player. Makes JR looks like a freaking rocket scientist.

    I don’t think it’s going to be easy finding 8 playoff teams in the East this year. Pistons looked freaking awful last night, the Nets have looked bad, we’re not better than mediocre, Charlotte wasn’t impressive. And there’s whatever’s going on in Cleveland too. I mean it’s not breaking news, but the East is bad, man.

  7. Boooooooo!!!! LOL Last night was a battle of two shit teams. J Smith, Jennings,Drummond, and Caron Butler combined to shoot 9-43 to more than offset Melos shitty shooting night. What kills the Knicks night after night is the FT disparity -20 last night and offensive rebounds to large front lines. Right now nothing will suprise me from the Knicks…they could finish top 4 or last in the East

    https://vine.co/#/v/MAeePtZd1Oz

  8. Worth mentioning that Amar’e did have a strip on Monroe late that led to a THJ runout (I think) and a block on the play where the ball went out off of Monroe’s head. For most part I think that Amar’e’s defense has been below average but not as horrid as it usually is thus far this season even when he’s played the five. He’s probably been more of a detriment on offense where the combination of the guards not being able to make good entry passes and his stubborn refusal to clear out of the post when they need to reset the triangle has gummed up the works a bit.

  9. If his performance against us is anything close to what he can do consistently when featured in an offense (albeit it was Amar’e Stoudemire who was given the task of guarding him), I wouldn’t mind having him through his prime years

    Yeesh. I guess this is what the Knicks do best? Make people look good so that they can overpay them? Chris Childs. Ray Felton. Andrea Bargnani. Hopefully this regime manages to watch games other than the ones on MSG (defies Dolan’s ban on employees watching non-cable vision programming!)

  10. I was rooting for the Knicks and I still kind of wanted to murder Josh Smith. His teammates must really, truly despise him. What a horrendous basketball player. Makes JR looks like a freaking rocket scientist.

    I wonder if Josh Smith knows how to count. Like, can he read his box score numbers? He sucks at shooting 3’s. He’s bad at shooting long 2’s. Why does he keep taking them? It’s seriously mind boggling, because at one point he was a pretty good basketball player.

  11. I don’t think that Carmelo is going to continue being one of the worst starters in the league, but if he does, and that 46% TS stays, I reeeeeeeeally hope that ruruland comes back for good.

  12. Carmelo always has that streak to even things up (in April)… he’ll probably drop 46 next game

  13. Also, is it somewhat comforting that we can put this loss and maybe even the Wizards loss on Carmelo having a bad game? Or is it something about aggressive defenses strangling our offense and Carmelo at the same time. Hope it’s the former and not the latter

  14. It is clear to me that there are very few 2015-16 free agents that won’t make someone here puke for some reason.

  15. @15 I dont think Melo was as bad as he was against Was. He only had 1 TO and 8 ast. His shot was putrid. This was a perfect game for JR to score 15 points to make up for melo .d

  16. It is clear to me that there are very few 2015-16 free agents that won’t make someone here puke for some reason.

    I think everyone concedes Gasol is awesome and well worth a max salary (a 30-year-old Defensive Player of the Year who is also a great offensive player? Yes, please!). The issue with him is just the same issue with Melo. You’re banking on winning early when you sign a guy on the other side of 30 and yet the Knicks don’t seem built to win early so, well, there’s the rub.

  17. I said it often last year and I will keep saying it as long as it is true: Shumpert is an AWFUL dunker for a guy who gets that far above the rim. He consistently blows dunks. I facetiously suggested that he spend the summer touring with the And1 team, but he has to change something. Either start shooting layups at the rim or get better at dunking. Because he is about a 70% shooter on dunks.

  18. Yeah, I just can’t get over how bad Shump is around the basket. It’s been like this from his very first game (didn’t he miss, like, four shots around the rim on one possession in his first game?).

  19. I wonder if Josh Smith knows how to count. Like, can he read his box score numbers? He sucks at shooting 3’s. He’s bad at shooting long 2’s. Why does he keep taking them? It’s seriously mind boggling, because at one point he was a pretty good basketball player.

    He can count and do simple equations. Like 15.4 ppg * eye-test = $54M.

  20. The crazy thing about Smith is that if he just went back to playing around the rim only he’d be a good player and still get paid a lot of money. He, though, foolishly thinks he is a ball-handling, outside-shooting combo guard or something like that.

  21. Don’t overlook the lockdown d Melo played on josh Smith

    LOL 2-17 god. What a dolt 20 foot bomber.

  22. He, though, foolishly thinks he is a ball-handling, outside-shooting combo guard or something like that.

    Maybe he was a big fan of Anthony Randolph growing up?

  23. I was seriously just about to bring AntRan up. Unlike Smith, Randolph could only devote a single season to playing by the rules, which is why he’s done as an NBA player while Smith makes over $50 million. Smith, coaches can at least pretend will play by the rules, and are therefore far more willing to put up with his antics.

    I’d seriously love to see what kind of player Randolph is in Russia. Is he smart enough to put his shit together now that he’s out of the NBA entirely? The only way he ever returns to the NBA is if he turns his game around in Russia, but will he do so? I doubt it.

  24. I think the Pacers coach at the time said something about benching Artest “for conduct detrimental to winning” when his shot selection was dubious. Josh Smith is the poster child for this.

  25. @18 and there you have it. Even Mark Gasol has a blemish – and watch him get resigned by Memphis

    Let’s be realistic. We need a lot of players since we’ll start next season with only Melo, Calderon, JR Smith, Pablo, THJr, and Early. They’ll probably pick up Acy’s contract and maybe Wear’s. So we’ll need about 7 or 8 players.

  26. I’m obviously just assuming here but I’m guessing SVG the coach is giving Josh a long leash in the hope that he’ll score enough to make him attractive enough for SVG the GM to deal him. SVG is a sharp guy and he has total control there. I can’t imagine him putting up with that crap unless it was part of a long-term plan to get rid of the guy. I t’s the only explanation I can think of.

  27. I’m obviously just assuming here but I’m guessing SVG the coach is giving Josh a long leash in the hope that he’ll score enough to make him attractive enough for SVG the GM to deal him…

    …to the Knicks!

  28. Please, please, please let us have three J. Smiths on the roster. The other team will need Keanu Reeves to beat us.

  29. The discussion about HGH and Lebron is very interesting. It reminds me that Carmelo also slimmed down this off season.

    As for JR’s suspension, I saw the replay. Maybe he was not aiming for anything, or maybe he was just doing his best Dwayne Wade impression. Either way, he didn’t deserve the night off.

  30. What HGH discussion?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Irving were gone by midseason. He obviously doesn’t want to pass the ball, and it’s not going to work if he doesn’t. I just wonder what they can get for him, considering that they have no other assets and there aren’t many PG available on the market.

  31. What HGH discussion?

    Oh, didn’t you hear? LeBron slimmed down during the offseason, so obviously he must have been on PED’s all of this time because actual evidence is for ninnies. Surely there can be no other more reasonable and rational explanation for why a world-class athlete might have more muscle mass in his 20’s and might want to lose some of that mass as he gets closer to being on the wrong side of 30.

  32. @34 +1 on the J-Smith trio.

    @36 & 37 I’m with you on JR’s suspension. That was simply a basketball play, warding off a defender with an outstreched arm. Totally bogus.

    I love the panic in Cleveland.

    @27 You said…

    Unlike Smith, Randolph could only devote a single season to playing by the rules, which is why he’s done as an NBA player while Smith makes over $50 million. Smith, coaches can at least pretend will play by the rules, and are therefore far more willing to put up with his antics.

    I’m note aware of AntRan breaking some rules. What am I missing?

  33. I’m note aware of AntRan breaking some rules. What am I missing?

    Same stuff with Smith. He was a post player who hated playing in the post. There was only one season where a coach was willing to put the time in to force him to play in the post (Don Nelson) and he played well. Since then, coaches have mostly been like, “Whatever, dude. If you’re too stupid to know what’s going on, we’re not going to work on it.”

  34. Didnt Irving sign a 5yr-90m extension this off-season?? That should make him even more difficult to trade I would imagine.

  35. Didnt Irving sign a 5yr-90m extension this off-season?? That should make him even more difficult to trade I would imagine.

    He was also the MVP of the Olympics, so I imagine they’d be able to trade him easily.

  36. He was also the MVP of the Olympics, so I imagine they’d be able to trade him easily.

    I agree. Cleveland could probably get a great return if they decided to trade him. Hell, I imagine they could probably start a silent bidding war between a number of teams.

  37. Everyone needs to calm down about Cleveland. They will be good a month from now, monstrous after 3 months, and will continue to improve over the next few years.

  38. Who are they going to trade for Irving? Calderon and…? Calderon and…?

    The Knicks have a garbage roster.

  39. If Denver decides to blow it up in 2 months (which is looking like a smart play), and the Cavs don’t want to be patient with Kyrie, maybe they should try to go after Lawson somehow. What they really should be doing is dumping Dion Waiters for anything and telling Lebron to start calling Ray Allen like 20 times a day. Kyrie is way overpayed, but there’s a decent basketball player (who still has some real upside) in there-Waiters is fucking garbage.

  40. So when Waiters stayed behind after the team’s morning shootaround Tuesday and worked out for another 40 minutes, after the bus and rest of the players were long gone, it wasn’t surprising to watch him working primarily on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. Yet when I asked him about focusing on that this season, he dismissed it.

    “That’s not my game,” he said. “I can do it, but you know what I’m effective at: pick-and-roll and things like that.”

    That’s a guy you dump ASAP. He got that Josh Smith disease.

  41. Oh, didn’t you hear? LeBron slimmed down during the offseason, so obviously he must have been on PED’s all of this time because actual evidence is for ninnies. Surely there can be no other more reasonable and rational explanation for why a world-class athlete might have more muscle mass in his 20’s and might want to lose some of that mass as he gets closer to being on the wrong side of 30.

    I don’t necessarily think Lebron is on PEDs but I really really wouldn’t be surprised. In a league of athletic freaks, he is/was in another stratosphere by himself. He played in Miami, ground zero for PEDs over the last decade. And suddenly he decides to lose weight, which is fine, but it does feel a little weird that all the weight loss is happening juuuust as the NBA and other professional leagues are getting serious about HGH

    NBA- August 2013: http://www.si.com/si-wire/2013/08/13/adam-silver-nba-hgh-drug-blood-test-biogenesis

    NFL Sept 2014: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000393562/article/nflpa-approves-new-drug-policy-hgh-testing-included

    MLB Jan 2013: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8832309/mlb-players-union-reach-deal-test-hgh

    And meanwhile per Tom Haberstroh Lebron has already been blocked 5 times in 4 games and is shooting basically a career low of 44% inside the paint after shooting 73% from the paint last year.

    Small sample for sure but there definitely is some smoke to this story IMHO.

  42. @55 as i said before it looks like he has declined physically. Whether that has to do with elicit drugs or turning 30 its happened. Now he needs to adjust his game. Thats one of the advantages i thought that melo had over him as they age into their 30s is that his offensive game relies more on footwork and quick movements more than brute force and raw athleticism.

  43. Kobe’s the most expensive player in the game, he’s really old, he’s coming off a terrible injury, and he’s a real dick. Don’t nobody want to trade for Kobe.

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