Quick Recap: Knicks vs. Bulls

Wow. That was really a beating.

The Knicks administered a beating. Our Knicks. Take that in for a second. I wrote in the game thread that the two teams facing off tonight lost their tough somewhere along the way. The Knicks lost it a long time ago and the Bulls are in the process of coping with their loss just now. I think they may be in the denial stage.

Kristaps Porzingis was an ace tonight with his first double double of the Rambis era. He looked sharp and engaged and while he made some silly late game mistakes, he was the answer for the Knicks all night long. He can do it all. Someone else who did it all tonight was Arron Afflalo. I’ve been very hard on Afflalo for most of the year, but he came through with 12, 8, and 7 in a big win. If he gets the ire after losses, he deserves praise when he contributes across the board.

Nikola Mirotic. I mean….are you serious. I like his game for the most part, although he’s been a bit of a disappointment this season, but he was hitting silly threes all game long. If he misses just a couple of those the game is even more ludicrously lopsided. Both teams shot far too well for a quality NBA contest with the Knicks at almost 52% from the field and 56% from three, and the Bulls around 46% from both. That’s not good basketball so much as it’s two teams that didn’t care enough about defending. I’ll take it. The two teams face off in less than 24 hours at MSG and we’ll all be there.

Revel in the glory of victory Knickerbuddies! You deserve it.

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39 thoughts to “Quick Recap: Knicks vs. Bulls”

  1. I just caught a glimpse of Woodson on the Clipper bench and – just for a second- I actually missed him as HC.

    Good God Rambis is terrible. We won despite his buffoonery and I will believe that about every win as long as he’s on the bench.

  2. I knew it was going to be a poorly played game, as both teams have been awful lately, but I thought it was going to be an unentertaining awful game, but it turned out to be a really fun poorly played game. And a Knick win – against the Bulls! Awesome!

    As long as this isn’t taken as a reason to bring Rambis back. I always feel weird about celebrating wins only in terms of “Will this give Jackson an excuse to bring Rambis back?” I fear that greatly.

  3. Kahnzy,

    I’ve stopped commenting simply because my commentary would be repetitive and negative, but your comment made me chuckle.

  4. Boy the Bulls are awful. Thibs must really be a good coach. And Jimmy Butler is a shell of what he was earlier this year. When Sasha is shutting you down there is a big problem.

    Admittedly I haven’t been watching the games as much, but did manage to catch most of it last night. I feel like KP had more corner 3 attempts last night than the entire rest of the season combined. Has that been a thing recently or is that a new wrinkle? And he sure was setting a lot of weak side screens last night.

  5. That was a refreshing game. Lopez really is a lot better than I thought he was. I guess because he’s so team oriented and has such a high defensive IQ, teams never showcased what he can do. All the more reason for the team to not rush KP into gaining weight, but instead having him gain core strength and stick at PF until he’s at least 26. The Lopez-KP tandem up front is really intimidating. They also are more mobile than I expected and have such great chemistry. I’m convinced the team can win with Melo. The team’s not necessarily better with him scoring less, but his willingness to trust his teammates more is huge. A healthy Wroten, an inking of maybe a Batum, and a consistent role for OQ plus a shooter or 2 and another season of Lance and Williams off the bench could possibly do the trick next season. Maybe I’m dreaming way too big because of an unexpected showing last night. Imagine how good this team could be next season if Phil was able to trade Melo and sign Durant and Batum somehow. Hell..just adding Durant would be enough considering his age and less worrying injury history. I can’t wait to see what Phil is able to do this offseason.

  6. Maybe I’m dreaming way too big because of an unexpected showing last night

    Well, you cited “a healthy Wroten” as if it were a good thing, so probably. ;)

    But yes, as your major point about RoLo, I agree that he’s great. I was always in favor of the Lopez signing, since he’s actually young enough to be part of the next good Knicks team.

  7. Odd fact about Tony Wroten that I never knew – he’s cousins with Nate Robinson. Go figure. There are some serious athletic genes in that family.

    A healthy Wroten may or may not be a good thing, but one can pray for a Lance Thomas-like offseason for him. Just being able to hit 3’s at even a below-league-average rate, like 32% or something, would be huge for him (and us).

    Are there any contract numbers for him? Is this going to turn into a showcase season for him in 16-17 and then he has a big year and goes somewhere else afterward?

  8. Wroten is 2 yrs non-guaranteed (1m next year) and becomes an unrestricted FA in 2017.

  9. Will be interesting to see what happens with Langston Galloway this offseason. He has been truly awful for a while now – not just his shooting but his shot selection also – so really bad long 2’s out of rhythm last night. We have EB rights on him. Not sure he will be worth even that at this point.

    If I’m Phil (and really in this for the long haul), I save my $ this offseason, give out 1 year contracts or so, the go big in 2017. The list of FA’s in 2017 is ridiculous.

  10. Gallo diatribe (though not really)…

    I tend to watch Gallo off the ball because of my SJU roots and my hopefulness that he does start playing better again… he does a lot of good things off the ball on defense… i still think he’s a contributor on that end…

    On offense, i think he’s been completely neutered… and i say this because i know how they play at St Joes as well… so with LG, the guy follows the rules… hes going to run the plays exactly as he’s told because he listens, and hes just a good guy… i actually think Grant is the same way… at St Joes, Martelli runs a pretty awful offense, and in that offense, Gallo would look just as $hitty at times… not sure anyone paid attention to SJU v Oregon on Sunday night, but with the game seemingly, nearly in control, they managed to squander it away, thanks in most part, to awful atrocious offensive sets… back to Galloway… the Knicks… SPECIFICALLY the triangle… he is a Phil Jackson robot out there… and what might be really pathetic and sad to watch, is for the Knicks to abandon him after all he did was exactly what they wanted him to do…

    I think we see (saw) Gallo play his best down the stretch of games, where things tend to NOT go according to the plan or the playbook…

    as for his shooting, that is odd…. i would have never said he was a great shooter in college, or today, but something is up… he is not THE cog that is supposed to shoot so it feels like he’s always out of rhythm when he is shooting… and when you see him shoot early in the shot clock, he is forcing it I think, in hopes that he gets it going again… :-(

  11. Galloway is just playing devoid of confidence right now as far as his jumper is concerned. He seems like he’s waiting a little longer on his jump to release it because he’s aiming the ball instead of just shooting it. If he can find that stroke again, he’s made some serious strides at finishing at the rim, so he could hover around league average efficiency at that point. Considering we have matching rights on him and he can’t get more than $5.7m in the first 2 years of any deal, bar some overpay he’s somebody to keep around. He’s very close to being a quality combo guard off the bench.

    Knicks offense worked well yesterday because Chicago’s perimeter defense was awful and they either couldn’t or didn’t apply any pressure to Jose or Sasha which is the consistent factor when we struggle. The goals for this summer should be to bring in a 1 and 2 that can handle and break past on ball pressure. When that happens the Knicks are good. Grant’s recent play has been encouraging in this regard.

    I was also dead wrong about KOQ. His numbers belie his stupidity on the floor. If possible the Knicks should move him off the books this summer and look for another back up big or roll the dice and let Willy spin, assuming he comes over from Spain.

  12. as for his shooting, that is odd

    Good post. I think Galloway is a legit NBA player, a third guard who is a plus defender, can take ball handling responsibility, rebound well, push the pace a little, shoot 3s reasonably well, and never turn it over. A Pat Beverley type. Sure he’s got some drawbacks like not being a playmaker or really much of a passer at all and constantly running into picks for fun and profit, but anyone who has watched Knicks as much as we have knows that that this doesn’t stop him from being a solid defender and a huge improvement over Calderon and Afflalo on that end. He has pretty good versatility on both ends despite his size, which is a good trait to have as a third guard.

    Beverley took 4/24 (yes the cap was lower but the salaries are actually declining into a cap that was known to be rising at the time) and I would be totally cool giving Galloway something like it, and I don’t think it’s necessarily wishful thinking even given the great player scarcity we will see this summer.

  13. On a separate note – I’m sure you guys have been discussing this while I’ve checked out – the installation of Rambis as coach has irrevocably damaged my trust in Phil as an executive.

  14. @20

    I don’t think it’s a big deal as long as he’s not hired full time. Seems like that had a lot more to do with PJax not being in to Fisher, more than faith in Rhombus long-term, but we’ll find out shortly. I thought they should have just let Fisher coach out the season and then dumped him if they were leaning in that direction, but placing Rhombus as the interim is just an annoying short-term move imo.

    Fwiw while his minutes management with Grant and the guards overall has annoyed me, I do think Grant has played much better under him than he did under Fisher. Not exactly a high bar to clear in terms of his level of play or the coaching received, but it’s something I guess.

    Hoping we get Thibs or Blatt in the summer. I’m totally out on PJax if we persist with Rhombus or Shaw.

  15. On a separate note – I’m sure you guys have been discussing this while I’ve checked out – the installation of Rambis as coach has irrevocably damaged my trust in Phil as an executive.

    Bingo. I couldn’t agree more.

  16. I don’t think it’s a big deal as long as he’s not hired full time.

    I think it is. It doesn’t matter if you were only a meth head that one year, or if you only had unprotected sex with African prostitutes on La Rambla once, or if you only let Kurt Rambis coach your basketball team for 4 months. There are some things that a person with good judgment will never do, and if you ever do them, I can’t trust you.

  17. Saw this today

    Knicks Off. Rtg. 2011-12 (rank) 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
    With Anthony 102.5 (14) 110.5 (1) 106.8 (9) 105.1 (10) 104.8 (8)
    Without Anthony 99.9 (23) 105.3 (9) 101.3 (23) 92.7 (31) 97.8 (29)

  18. That’s right but in the interest of symmetry it’s also true that since Melo has been a Knick:

    Defensive rating without Melo: 106.8 = 16th in league
    Defensive rating with Melo: 108.8 = 25th in the league

  19. That number from this year has to be off. Knicks have a 105.0 ORtg for the season on BRef.

    Melo’s on court ORtg is 107.5 and off court is 100.5, again according to BRef.

  20. That number from this year has to be off. Knicks have a 105.0 ORtg for the season on BRef.

    Different sources vary in calculating offensive rating but his data works on the relative and league curves which is what matters. For example the 107.5 used by BREF with Melo on the floor still puts us about 8th this year.

  21. @29

    Ahh ok cool. Was just surprised, because of the difference, but that makes sense. Were those rating from NBA.com/stats?

  22. Were those rating from NBA.com/stats?


    “Melo’s on court ORtg is 107.5 and off court is 100.5, again according to BRef.”

    Yeah there is still a 7 point difference for both. So I guess there is probably one missing factor in comparing the two sites

  23. So we are two points worse on defense but seven points better on offense when Melo plays.

  24. I think nba.com defines it as just points per possession while bref uses dean Oliver’s formula. The correlation is extremely high so it’s usually not a problem as long as you don’t mix and match.

  25. Most of that defensive difference is due to our phenomenally shitty starting defensive backcourt pairings. For example RoLo is also a +1.5 on defensive net rating even though it’s pretty obvious, at least to me, that he’s a plus defender.

    Fixing the backcourt makes this a clear playoff team next year, but easier said then done I guess. We’ve been talking about the backcourt as a weakness for over half a decade now.

  26. Glad to see Porzingis finally have a game. Couldn’t watch it. He just hit a bunch of shots? Anything different from him?

    If we could just end the season without him getting Rambised I would be happy….

  27. No I don’t think so, single year plus minus is often useless, for example Melo was helped in the past by his high correlation to chandler’s minutes, just as he is hurt by Jose now. The ridge regressed numbers over a meaningful sample size all say he is a negative on defense.

  28. @ptmilo

    I’m not saying he’s a stud or anything, but he’s not the guy getting lit up every night by the opponent’s PG. He might be a negative on that end, but he’s not the reason why we can’t prevent guard penetration.

    Either way I think he provides enough of a plus on offense that it far outweighs his defensive shortcomings.

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