Quick Reaction: New York 114 v. Denver 119

Denver Nuggets 119 Final
Recap | Box Score
114 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 45 MIN | 10-30 FG | 4-6 FT | 10 REB | 5 AST | 25 PTS | -9

As I understand it, this is how a quick reaction is supposed to work:
Something, something, funny analogy, something, twitter meme, pop-culture reference, something else. Well that was easy.
25 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists sound like very good numbers until you realize that Anthony needed 30 shots to get there. Furthermore, the best ball movement during the game came when Anthony was on the bench. Not good.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 45 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | 0

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
1-5 in 3 quarters and two overtime periods. Poor defensive rebounding after Chandler fouled out. Missing a crucial free throw down the stretch. I think we need to realize the truth. STAT is the spoon and he really isn’t here.

Tyson Chandler, C 36 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +1

Once again Chandler did everything he should do. Solid work on the boards, great defense around the rim and on his man. This must be infuriating for him.

Landry Fields, G 46 MIN | 8-14 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | -7

It seems that he has started to figure out how to be a bit more effective in the offense. Outside of that charging call in overtime, I’m pleased with 18pt and 7 dimes from Fields. It is good that his on the court scoring has improved, because his off the court scoring is well…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT5vyVm4wJM

Iman Shumpert, G 41 MIN | 7-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 18 PTS | +8

Speaking of guys who are figuring it out, Shumpert may have had his best game as a Knick. He has put up bigger scoring numbers in other games, but when your rookie point guard plays 41 minutes and only has two turnovers with 7 dimes and 2 steals, you have to be pleased. Additionally, he really played his usual solid defense limiting Lawson (3-12fga) on offense.

Jared Jeffries, PF 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -17

He had a Jeffrightened lay-up in the 3rd that I called a “lay-oops” when I saw it. He gets a solid C for having the sense not to do it again.

Toney Douglas, PG 30 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | -10

10 shots from the floor, nine of them were three point attempts. At least he made 3 of them.

Bill Walker, SG 11 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +5

Bill Walker was well on his way to having a great night. 5-5 in the second quarter with 3 3pfgm. I would have given him an A but he didn’t play much in the second half and he bears some of the blame for that. He should know by now that anyone who looks anything like Balkman runs the risk of becoming invisible to D’Antoni. For the sake of your career Bill, cut your hair!

Josh Harrellson, F 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +4

Well I won’t have to complain about his three point shooting for a while. A fractured wrist will keep him out maybe 8 weeks according to early reports.

Renaldo Balkman, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |

If he ever gets out of the Phantom Zone, the son of Jor-El will pay.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Let’s not panic yet.
  2. The backcourt is showing signs of figuring it out.
  3. Perhaps that will result in getting the ball to Stat more often.
  4. Perhaps Melo’ will stop going 1 on 3.
  5. Perhaps my AOL stock will rebound soon.
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Thomas B.

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34 thoughts to “Quick Reaction: New York 114 v. Denver 119”

  1. That’s what I like to hear from Melo, and Amar’e. Even though Melo was AWFUL this game. The only way the offense will run correctly is if Melo changes how he plays the game of basketball, and it sounds like he may be willing to do that, if it results in wins. I always knew Amar’e wouldn’t care about his numbers or even touches as long as they get the win, so I think the team will eventually involve him more in the offense. BTW..how long would it take to lose about 20 pounds of muscle? Because he definitely should be looking into that.

  2. Unfortunately the “Knuggets” won’t have much of a chance to contend for a while either. Gallo is starting to earn quite the contract, and you have to wonder if they can afford to build a team playing nearly $40 million a year to Gallo, Afflalo, and Nene. No way they also keep Lawson and all that great depth. Cleveland might honestly have a better 5 year outlook than either the Knicks or Nuggets when you consider all the lottery picks they’ll keep adding the next year or 2. Trying to build a top heavy team through free agency only works if you get Lebron and Wade it seems, although building around a bunch of good role players doesn’t take you all that far either.

  3. Came home to catch the end of the fourth and both overtimes. Some good signs, really. It was nice to see Melo drive instead of taking jumpers. Well, for awhile at least. But still, better some than none! And I love the fact that he at least is saying out loud what we already knew. The next step is to see if he actually acts upon it. As for getting Amar’e involved, I don’t really mind him being sort of a decoy player, really. If the ball movement continues, he’ll eventually get his. Heck, he almost helps the team more by just not doing stupid things with the basketball.

    Really, they played some of their best ball of the season against the best team they’ve faced so far this season. Not a bad showing.

  4. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    Heck, he almost helps the team more by just not doing stupid things with the basketball.

    That is an excellent point. I did forget how many times last year he’d catch the ball 18ft from the hoop then have to drive. He’d turnover the balll, pick up a foul on a charge, or take a bad shot just as often as he would score. And he almost never found a cutter. Thanks for reminding me of that. But we were winning some of those games were we not?

  5. Unfortunately the “Knuggets” won’t have much of a chance to contend for a while either. Gallo is starting to earn quite the contract, and you have to wonder if they can afford to build a team playing nearly $40 million a year to Gallo, Afflalo, and Nene. No way they also keep Lawson and all that great depth. Cleveland might honestly have a better 5 year outlook than either the Knicks or Nuggets when you consider all the lottery picks they’ll keep adding the next year or 2. Trying to build a top heavy team through free agency only works if you get Lebron and Wade it seems, although building around a bunch of good role players doesn’t take you all that far either.

    What the heck? “The Knicks may be bad, but the Nuggets might not be very good in three years, either!” What kind of point is that?

    Also, Nene makes $13 million, Afflalo makes $7 million. So how would those two and Gallo make “nearly” $40 million combined? You really think they’re going to max Gallo out? Especially since he is a restricted free agent (although I definitely agree that they mishandled Afflalo’s contract – they should have played hardball with him).

    In addition, Lawson will not be a restricted free agent for two more seasons. The Nuggets are currently under the cap. They can afford to re-sign Gallo (who, again, will be a restricted free agent – who’s going to pay Gallo more than $11 million out there?) and not be over the luxury cap. If they do not resign Miller, that’s $7 million they can play with right there. They have tons and tons of cap flexibility. Perhaps they cannot go 10 deep for multiple seasons, but so what? They can keep their core players for the foreseeable future and as you saw in this game, Karl only played seven guys, so it is not like their depth is all that important.

    Cleveland might hit a home run with one of their upcoming lottery picks, or they might not. I’d sure as heck prefer to have the #2 team in the Western Conference playing .700 ball with none of the players on the team going anywhere any time soon (and 2 of the team’s 3 best players being under 25 years old – did you know that Miller and Harrington are the only Nuggets who are 30 years or older? That’s nuts. The Nuggets starting lineup has a 23 year old, a 24 year old, a 25 year old, a 26 year old and old man Nene at 29 years old) than having a team like Cleveland that is bad enough to miss the playoffs but not bad enough to get a top #3 pick any time soon (there are six teams in the NBA with sub .300 winning percentages – the Cavs are over .400). Heck, if the season ended today, the Cavs would be the #7 seed in the East!

  6. That is an excellent point. I did forget how many times last year he’d catch the ball 18ft from the hoop then have to drive. He’d turnover the balll, pick up a foul on a charge, or take a bad shot just as often as he would score. And he almost never found a cutter. Thanks for reminding me of that. But we were winning some of those games were we not?

    They won some games, but mostly they lost games when he did that. Then he and Felton started clicking and (playing “Selective Endpoints”) if you toss out those first 12 games and say that they were just “learning to play together,” the Knicks went 26-18 until the trade. Amar’e so far this season has looked a lot like the Amar’e of those first 12 games. Tonight he looked more like the Amar’e of those 44 good games, only without a point guard to reward his movement. If the movement continues, you figure the guards will eventually reward him (or Davis will show up – whichever comes first).

  7. Juany8:
    Unfortunately the “Knuggets” won’t have much of a chance to contend for a while either. Gallo is starting to earn quite the contract, and you have to wonder if they can afford to build a team playing nearly $40 million a year to Gallo, Afflalo, and Nene. doesn’t take you all that far either.

    just out of curiosity….. how do you figure afflalo, gallo and nene are going to cost “almost 40 million a year” moving forward? nene is signed @ 13M for the next 5 yrs and afflalo is signed @ 7.62 M for the next 4 and the fifth yr option @ a whopping increase to 7.75M. are you saying gallo is going to get a 100M for 5 yr contract? not very likely. and if for some reason he actually turns out deserving one, then the knicks made the worst trade in the history of the world! also, they have their point guard locked up for this and the next 2 seasons on the cheap @7.8M TOTAL.

    we are locked into melo, amar’e and chandler for 50M this year, 53M next, 57M in 13/14 and 61.5 million in 14/15.

    who do you think has the better outlook????

  8. who do you think has the better outlook????

    To be fair, while I found his position lacking, he was not saying that the Nuggets were worse off than the Knicks. He was just saying that they while the Knicks were not in good shape that the Nuggets were not in great shape, either (heck, he even used that specific word – “either”). I disagree with that, but I think it is important to note that he was not comparing the Nuggets unfavorably to the Knicks. He compared them unfavorably to the Cavs, though (which I disagree with).

  9. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): they mishandled Afflalo’s contract – they should have played hardball with him…

    I could be totally wrong about this, but I think Denver needed to reach the salary floor after the Chinese situation complicated their salary structure. Afflalo doesn’t make any raises– just a solid $7.5 every year. I think it’s more of a technical threshold thing than a bad contract (sort of like Brian Cardinal’s old deal, but attached to a good player, not a stiff).

  10. The $40 Million was a mistake, I thought Afflalo had the $40 million over 4 years, although it’s not totally unlikely that Gallo makes close to $13 Million, pushing the total to the 30’s in the next couple of years. And although Lawson is still going to be cheap 2 more years, he’s turning out to be quite the point guard, and the Nuggets have overpaid quite a few players to stay in Denver before. I honestly don’t feel the Nuggets are all that great with a core of Lawson, Afflalo, Gallinari, and Nene, they have some room for improvement, but that team has a ceiling of mostly second round exits with maybe a lucky Finals appearance in a down year. The Cavaliers may never contend, but I like their draft picks and they will have a ton of cap space going forward. The Thunder went from being the worst team in the league to the best pretty quickly with a similar strategy. For the next 1-2 years the Nuggets will definitely be better than the Knicks and Cavaliers, but I like the ceiling for both the Knicks and Cavaliers better 3+ years from now, especially when you consider that we’re pretty fortunate when it comes to getting free agents and we constantly nail late draft picks.

  11. Also I’m not sure why everyone feels I’m attacking the Nuggets, I like the team and love Gallo and Lawson, but I’m a Rockets fan, I’ve seen what it’s like to try to built a team around talented, but limited, players who you have to eventually overpay to keep. Scola, Martin, Lowry, and Dalembert, with a deep bench, feels like it would be a good team too but I know the team has a very, very limited ceiling. I’d rather take a chance on Carmelo starting to play better team ball and us finding a point guard than I would on Gallo or Lawson turning in to All NBA players.

  12. Juany8:
    I honestly don’t feel the Nuggets are all that great with a core of Lawson, Afflalo, Gallinari, and Nene, they have some room for improvement…

    I almost hate myself for saying it, but according to Cock Jowles Kenneth Faried is going to be the best player in the 2011 draft. Normally one man that I’ve never met’s opinion isn’t usually worth much to me, but I couldn’t help but be reminded recently that he is always right. So the core should read: Lawson (excellent and under-rated), Gallinari (depressingly still full of excellent potential), Afflalo (very good), Nene (very good), and Faried (the next Dennis Rodman).

    And their salary situation is healthy.

    And they have all their draft picks.

    And they have the Knicks 2014 and 2016 first round picks.

    My god, this is depressing. Gallo, Moz, Wilson Chandler, Lawson, Faried, our first round picks…

    …Meanwhile Carmelo Anthony heads further and further into Zach Randolph-like hatred for me….

    :(

  13. After not passing out of double teams last night when the guards were finally playing decently, I’m sort of jumping into the Melo for Deron bandwagon.

  14. Yeah, Carmelo’s saying all the right things, but I wonder if we went back and looked at all his quotes following 10-30 games over his career if he always says “I gotta stop going 1 on 3 and shooting fade-away 19 footers while my teammates are open”. Maybe being embarrassed by the guy he demanded to be traded for really was a wake-up call. But I’ll wager he’s going to come back tomorrow the same old Carmelo.

  15. Z:
    Yeah, Carmelo’s saying all the right things, but I wonder if we went back and looked at all his quotes following 10-30 games over his career if he always says “I gotta stop going 1 on 3 and shooting fade-away 19 footers while my teammates are open”. Maybe being embarrassed by the guy he demanded to be traded for really was a wake-up call. But I’ll wager he’s going to come back tomorrow the same old Carmelo.

    This is the first time this year he has made quotes anywhere near resembling what he said tonight. He has never had to make quotes like this before because Im pretty sure he probably never suffered thru 6 game losing streaks in Denver and certainly was never 6-10 to start the season there.

    This is the first time in his career his team and especially his offense has been this bad and has cost his team games. Instead of automatically dismissing his quotes maybe you know give him the benefit of the doubt that he isnt some stupid idiot like some here have called him lately and he really is seriously trying to figure out what is wrong and is willing to try to fix it.

  16. Remember last season when the Knicks struggled after the trade it was 95% the defense’s fault, the offense wasnt the problem and has been documented before the offense did actually improve after the trade last season.

    You are right that actions speak louder than words and if he continues to play the same way than by all means he deserves to continue to get criticized but shit lets at least wait and see what happens next week and especially once Baron Davis comes back. Howard Beck tweeted that the hope is for BD to practice on Monday.

  17. Yeah, maybe you’re right BBA. Forgive me, though, if I don’t believe everything I hear, especially from athletes, especially from superstar athletes. This week may have been the first time he was booed by his home crowd and he handled his 11-26 performance yesterday by not addresing the media at all. 24 hours later his PR people probably handed him a script that said: “10-30 even worse, act humble.”

    Sorry if I’m not giving him the benefit of the doubt, but watching Gallo tonight really put melo’s game into perspective– even on a night when Melo hit the game tying shot, he was everything we feared he would be, while Gallo was everything we once dreamed he could be. It was a really bad night or Gallo to score 37 points on 19 shots, and a really, really bad night for Anthony to miss 16 of his first 19 shots.

  18. Players like Faried tend to be role players, he’s more likely to end up as a reggie evans or amir johnson than a dennis rodman, who was a total monster at what he did. He hasn’t even played on a team that plays Al Harrington heavy minutes at power forward. If that’s the player that’s supposed to complete Denver’s roster… again I’d rather have faith in Carmelo, Chandler, Baron, and Amar’e, who have all done amazing things in the past and have issues with consistency and direction more than talent issues. Even then, I don’t think many teams compare to the teams the Thunder, Bulls, Heat, and Clippers have going forward in the next few years, and even those teams have major issues that can be exploited. None of those issues are as problematic as a big man rotation of Nene, Mozgov, and Harrington, or a guard rotation of Shumpert, Douglas, and Fields.

  19. BigBlueAL:
    Howard Beck tweeted that the hope is for BD to practice on Monday.

    Oh, that’s nice to hear. Honestly, I like Davis a lot and believe he will help immensely. That is good news, and with that I will now go to sleep and have dreams of Baron Davis, not nightmares of Carmelo Anthony :)

  20. Z: Oh, that’s nice to hear. Honestly, I like Davis a lot and believe he will help immensely. That is good news, and with that I will now go to sleep and have dreams of Baron Davis, not nightmares of Carmelo Anthony :)

    Just do what you always do and dream of an Anthony Bonner comeback :-)

  21. Z:
    It was a really bad night or Gallo to score 37 points on 19 shots, and a really, really bad night for Anthony to miss 16 of his first 19 shots.

    Great post. It really was a nightmare. I think I had strange nightmares last night where I was the one who made the trade and the whole city was coming down on me….

    Yet in the light of the next day, there were good signs last night. More good play from Landry. The defense is pretty damn good. Stat mostly held his stupid shots in check. TD showed signs of life. Shump impressed.

    Jorts is out but maybe we’ll see Jordan/Balkman. Baron will help the passing.

    Gallo got something like 20 free throws and Melo got like 6 on our court. That should be a wake up call more than anything.

    I just hope we turned some kind of corner with this game.

  22. There are some silver linings. Melo sounds like he’s at Step One of Chuckoholics Anonymous. No kidding, I think he is actually pondering his game and role on this team. Whether he changes is another question and, if he does, will it be for the better? His game could get worse if he over thinks it, trying to be an offensive conduit. I have less concern about this since we will have a pretty fair PG on the floor soon. With Fields and Shump playing better, I think Melo will not need to be a conduit and could go back to a more familiar role, albeit with more passing. I am somewhat optimistic and I have to remember how my Giants got it together this year. They were putrid at times, but came together as a team. I know the sports are not the same, but believe me, watching the Giants at times was as bad as watching the Knicks. So, keep the faith. Just think, with a few adjustments, we win last night’s game.

  23. Juany8:
    The $40 Million was a mistake, I thought Afflalo had the $40 million over 4 years, although it’s not totally unlikely that Gallo makes close to $13 Million, pushing the total to the 30?s in the next couple of years. And although Lawson is still going to be cheap 2 more years, he’s turning out to be quite the point guard, and the Nuggets have overpaid quite a few players to stay in Denver before. I honestly don’t feel the Nuggets are all that great with a core of Lawson, Afflalo, Gallinari, and Nene, they have some room for improvement, but that team has a ceiling of mostly second round exits with maybe a lucky Finals appearance in a down year.

    You’re talking about the team with the 2nd best record in the Western Conference and the best point differential in the entire league. They have their star point guard under rookie contract, and what looks like the highest rated player in the draft who hasn’t broken the rotation (for some stupid reason) but who has played extremely well in the limited minutes he’s been given.

    And their outlook looks bad?

  24. I know it’s the NBDL, but dang, Lin and Jordan had huge games last night!

    “Jeremy Lin had 28 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, and Jerome Jordan scored 26 points as Erie beat Maine 122-113 on Friday night in the NBA Development League.”

  25. By outlook looking bad, I mean that I think they have no chance of winning a championship with this core. Futhermore, I’m not convinced that it’s better than the Chauncey-Melo-Nene team that made the WCF and had the number 2 record in the west for a long time the next year. They still have size issues totally unrelated to their perimeter scoring, and Nuggets fans themselves don’t seem to have as bright an outlook as you do by reading through the Nuggets Truehoop blog. They’re going to be a nice team that’s fun to root for, but there’s a clear line between teams like the Nuggets and teams like the Heat, Chicago, and Thunder, who have significantly better cores built mostly of young players. They all have lots of room for internal improvement, and they’re more likely to get veterans for cheap.

    Also, if Faried turns out to be the best player in this draft, I’ll be willing to agree that I know nothing about basketball, but if entire explanation for Faried being great is that he rebounded a lot and shot at a high percentage in college…. Let’s just say I’m not surprised Reggie Evans 2.0 isn’t lighting up the NBA, and this is a coach that played Gary Forbes (undrafted rookie) pretty serious minutes last year.

  26. But Juany, when did I say the Nuggets were better than the Heat, who have two (possibly 3, if they can win a few championships) Hall-of-Famers still in their twenties?

    The Nuggets did all of this roster building through shrewd drafting and trading. They didn’t do it through free agency. The Thunder are one of the best teams in the game, and we can also talk about them as a from-the-ground-up organization (Westbrook, Durant, Ibaka, and Harden all being excellent picks).

    The difference is that Carmelo kept them just good enough to make the playoffs while keeping them out of the lottery. As we saw in Cleveland, one top selection can change a franchise’s direction. One single selection. The Nuggets have done it long-term, and only now it seems that they’re getting wise to the Carmelos and AIs of the league. We’ll see if Faried gets burn, but there’s no reason he couldn’t be an 8th man during this truncated schedule.

  27. We’ll see if Faried gets burn, but there’s no reason he couldn’t be an 8th man during this truncated schedule.

    What gets me is that they do have issues with front court depth and yet he doesn’t get a chance. I mean, Al Buckets has been surprisingly good, true, but still.

  28. We have the Garden crowd to thank . . .

    For Melo’s recent post-game comments. Think about this, all throughout Melo’s career his coaches have never dared tell him that he shoots too damn much and doesn’t pass enough.

    However, last night at the Garden, when the crowd chanted “pass, pass, pass” whenever Melo touched the ball, I seriously believe that was the FIRST time in his career that he has ever heard such an order.

    It is clear that Wusstoni doesn’t have the balls to tell him, and I think it was WONDERFUL that Knick fans took it upon themselves to coach this team. I love it !!

    Collectively us fans know what’s wrong with this team and how we can fix it. I am not positive, but I bet Melo never heard chants in Denver like he heard last night !!

    To all the die hard Knick fans out there that will be attending Knick games in the future, I beg you to PLEASE continue to keep the chanting and the coaching going. It IS definitely working which is evident from Melo’s comments, and we all know Wusstoni won’t do it so KEEP IT UP KNICK FANS !!!!

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