Timberwolves 115 Knicks 99

New York Knicks 99 FinalRecap | Box Score 115 Minnesota Timberwolves
Carmelo Anthony, SF 27 MIN | 7-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | -13Carmelo’s gotten his groove back on offense. That’s nice. There will be many things in this ‘cap that aren’t nice. Melo=Buckets tonight is one of them. He still hasn’t totally figured things out, as he shot just two free throws, but he continues to look more comfortable in the offense. Three more…er…threes too boot. His knee soreness, which apparently comes and goes as it pleases, didn’t seem to bother him–no grimacing or limping or joints creaking. Due to the lopsided score, Melo only had to play 27 minutes, which I would assume helps with that sort of thing.

Personally, I think the Knicks should just shut him down for the rest of the season and embrace tanking. Put him in one of those cryogenic sleep chambers, like in Interstellar, and wake him up at the start of next training camp. He’ll be fresh and ready to go and won’t have wasted a season of his prime playing for this garbage fire of a professional sports team. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are going to do this.

Quincy Acy, SF 32 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -4Acy played 32 minutes tonight, which is 22 minutes more than he should ever play in a game that his team is trying to win. He’s fine in spurts as an energy guy, but he’s just too limited offensively for this much PT.

Samuel Dalembert, C 8 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -13I wrote “Dalembert is terrible” three separate times in my game notes. He played eight minutes.

Shane Larkin, PG 29 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -15At one point, Larkin caught the ball with the court well spaced and the paint unclogged. Really, it happened! I don’t have photographic evidence or nothing, but take my word for it. He put the ball on the floor, drove right past his defender (Mo Williams, if memory serves), and gently deposited the biscuit in the appropriate basket. I felt bad for him after watching this. You saw the potential he has to make plays and then you realized that he’s exactly wrong for this offense.We know the triangle minimizes the role of a point guard anyways, but Larkin really doesn’t have the skills to fit. He’s not a great three point shooter and he’s not a savvy passer. Rather, he’s a guy who can use his speed in space to create going towards the rim and in the pick and roll. Unfortunately, neither of those things are really asked of him, and so he disappears for long stretches of games. He’s also not good enough on defense because guys just shoot over him. That happened a few times, and also made me sad.

Iman Shumpert, SG 28 MIN | 1-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 3 PTS | -21We knew there was a regression game coming. Shump’s shooting had been awesome, but also unsustainable. That doesn’t mean he’s not improving, but the odds of him shooting over 50% from three for an entire season is less likely than me getting hitched to Alison Brie.

It’ll be interesting to see how he plays over the next few games. As Clyde has brought up on more than one occasion, one of Phil’s critiques of Shumpert was that he never shoots the same shot twice. You hope that this game doesn’t carry over into future games and drive him into a funk. Shumpert has also yet to diversify his offensive game. He can’t score in post ups – although he tried, unsuccessfully, to do it once tonight – and he almost never gets to the free throw line. Without his jump shot, he was pretty much useless offensively. I have no idea if that carried over to his defense at all, but he was pretty bad on that end as well. He wasn’t running Kevin Martin off the three point line at all and would sag way too far off of him in help defense. Lots of this can also be attributed to the scheme – more on this later.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 20 MIN | 7-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | -8Offensively, Amar’e dominated a depleted Wolves front court. Against Gorgui Dieng, STAT was able to face up and use his quickness to get around him or draw fouls. Poor Robbie Hummel got forced into backup center minutes and had no chance. Stoudemire got good low post position whenever he wanted and was physically overwhelming. That is, until he committed back-to-back offensive fouls in the third quarter and then got T’d up, effectively ending his night. Defensively, Amar’e was Amar’e. Basically, tonight was best case scenario for Amar’e this season. He came off the bench and scored well. On the right team, with a good defensive infrastructure, you can see how he could contribute, albeit in a limited role. Unfortunately, that’s not this year’s Knicks. He’s a liability, but he should play as long as he’s healthy. He’s probably the best big on the roster right now (not including Carmelo), which is horrifying.

Travis Wear, SF 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 4-5 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +8Wear seems to have a good grasp of the triangle and should probably have taken some of Acy’s early game minutes tonight. During the game, there were times when he was giving pointers and advice to guys like Acy and Jason Smith. I don’t want to do the whole “YEAH LEADERSHIP!” thing, but Wear seems to know what he’s doing, which is more than can be said for some other dudes.

Jason Smith, C 11 MIN | 4-5 FG | 6-8 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -10I don’t think Jason Smith is going to play anymore when Bargs gets back. That’s a horrifying sentence on so many levels.

Cole Aldrich, C 8 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +7Cole got forced into taking a contest jumper tonight as the shot clock expired. It was not pretty. All of his minutes came in garbage time, so there isn’t a whole lot to say about him. It’s too bad his offensive game is so raw. He’s not a great defender, especially against guys with a lot of speed and quickness, but he’s solid. I like Cole. If you don’t like Cole, you’re history’s greatest monster.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -1Pablo can do no wrong.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | 0Tim is young and needs minutes, but holy cow is he struggling right now. When he’s not making it rain from three or scoring in transition, he’s useless. The T’Wolves had him running through screens and it looked like he’d never been screened before. He fouled the screener on one possession and got completely turned around on another that led to a wide-open Martin three.There were other plays that were just as silly and/or groan-inducing, but I think you get the point.

J.R. Smith, SG 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -10JR came in and committed three quick fouls in nine minutes, and he never really got into the rhythm of the game.

Cleanthony Early, SF DNP RIGHT KNEE INJURY MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Miss you, Cle.

Derek Fisher
Fisher doesn’t have a whole lot to work with here, but is adjusting the defensive scheme too much to ask? The Knicks are abhorrent at guarding threes, and what’s so galling is that it’s essentially by design. They have to protect the rim at all costs!!!!! Well tonight, the cost was having Kevin Martin go off for 37 points on 14-20 shooting and 7-11 from three. A lot of those points came from wide open looks because the Knicks were sagging off of him so far. As a team, the Timberwolves hit 11-22 shots from three. In a related story, the Wolves came into the game dead last in three point attempts, but someone must have shown them some game film or perhaps some kind of magic incantantation. Either that, or being left so laughably wide open. It doesn’t so much matter for this season: the Knicks are going to be terrible regardless, but moving forward it might be. We’re only 13 games into the Phish-era. He’ll learn things and he’ll (hopefully) get better. The fact that he experiments with lineups suggests he’s not nearly as bullish as his predecessor. But teams aren’t going to magically stop shooting threes. If anything, teams are going to be shooting MORE threes in the years to come. Sooner or later, he’ll realize this. Maybe? Lawdy, I hope so.

Five Things We Saw

  1. One selling point of the triangle is that (supposedly, or at least, when run properly) it prevents opponents from bringing double-teams. The rationale is that because the spacing is how it is, and everyone has a role to play, a double-team should leave the defense vulnerable to giving up an easy shot. That may still be true, but the Knicks haven’t quite figured out how to counter double-teams. In particular, Carmelo looks wildly uncomfortable every time teams bring another man. It happened a few times tonight. He just panics and shoots, or holds the ball too long and either turns it over or calls a timeout. The Knicks don’t have that offensive synergy yet to where a double can come and Melo, or whoever, can make a quick decision and get the ball out to the right man. Until they figure it out, teams will start sending more and more doubles at Melo because he has no idea what to do when that happens.
  2. Has anyone else noticed that Pablo is less hesitant to shoot this year? Maybe it’s because of the offense, he doesn’t feel like he has to be the distributor. Either way, I want him doing more of it. In fact, Pablo should just start chucking Kobe-style every game. It’d make these games at least semi-entertaining. Pablo is the best. More Pablo. Pablo.
  3. So Tina Cervasio was reporting that Calderon was going to “huddle” with Knicks doctors sometime this week and decide if he’s ready to come back and play. That seems good.
  4. So it’s also been reported that Bargs will be back soon, possibly Saturday. That’s not as good. However, with him and Calderon coming back, it’ll be interesting to see if Fisher nails down a set rotation. It feels like he’s just been treading water until those guys get back. It’s pretty clear that Fisher plans to start both of them, so it does kind of make some sense that he experimented with all these different lineups and player combinations until they returned. It’ll be interesting to see who plays and who doesn’t. My guess is that Cole, Jason Smith, Acy, and either Larkin or Pablo, will fall out of the rotation completely. Oh god, it probably will be Pablo. I am angry now.
  5. There is no fifth observation. This game was terrible. Is that an observation. Sure it is. Actually, scratch that. Here’s one thing. Please, please, stop blaming losses on “lack of effort.” I know the players say this is the issue themselves, but frankly, it’s an easy answer. It’s easy to say to one’s self, “Oh, I could do this difficult thing if only I tried harder. Sometimes, you’re just not good at things. You know, like the Knicks and defense. They can’t just make themselves good defenders by bootstrap-pulling and good ol’ American hard workin’. It’s an easy thing to say, if only because you can’t tell the press, “Amar’e and Timmy and J.R. and a lot of other dudes are shitty defenders and as long as they’re on the roster, the Knicks are going to struggle on that end of the court.” Don’t believe me? Well, here’s Chris Herring saying pretty much the same thing. Anyhoo, next up is a matchup against the winless Sixers. FAAAAAASCINATING.

 

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47 thoughts to “Timberwolves 115 Knicks 99”

  1. So the “we don’t have our starting PG” (and gif creator) explanation is officially dead. Minnesota was without Rubio and Pekovic as well as Thaddeus Young.

  2. I don’t think the offense is right for Larkin at all but d think he is a good enough shooter behind the arch. He is just to small and lacks the length to play D or make the right passes when stationary. He is a PnR guard all the way.

    In regards to Melo and double teams. It seems to change night to night against the bucks I thought his passing was great out of the double teams. I would like more movement when teams double/zone Melo in the post though.

  3. As much as I don’t want to see this season go completely into the shitter (although I guess it has already) I’m starting to get pumped to be in the draft next year and even have a chance for a high pick. When was the last time we actually could talk about the top prospects and know we had a chance to snag one of them?

    So, I hate losing, but…..

  4. I don’t think the offense is right for Larkin at all but d think he is a good enough shooter behind the arch. He is just to small and lacks the length to play D or make the right passes when stationary. He is a PnR guard all the way.

    Okay, I’m buying the part where Larkin’s skills aren’t a good fit for this offense, but he also a. can’t finish at the rim and b. doesn’t pass well in traffic and off the dribble. That doesn’t sound like he’d make a very good pick and roll PG either. I buy that if you had a D’Antoni style offense with perfect spacing and running the PnR constantly he’d look okay because he’d get a lot of clean drives to the rim (and probably even finish some of them) but as we have repeatedly learned, basically every PG looks good in that offense (paging Raymond Felton). Basically what I’m saying is that he’d be better in that offense but no better than dozens of other guys, some of whom probably have the height to play defense effectively. I think Shane Larkin may just be a D-League/Europe/China PG all the way.

  5. To honor former Knick Michael Ray Richardson and his “Beginnings” episode please see the exchange that he had with a reporter a few years back.
    —-The following exchange occurred with Michael “Sugar” Ray Richardson.

    Reporter: What do you think is happening to the team?
    Richardson: The ship be sinking.
    Reporter: How far can it sink?
    Richardson: Sky’s the limit.

  6. Hey guys, what’s with all the negativity?

    If someone had told you a month ago that we would have the same record as the Oklahoma City Thunder after 13 games, we would have jumped for joy! Have some perspective.

  7. Not many bright spots, not much to do to improve the team. I think we have to sign Shump and hope he doesn’t regress. I think if we can trade Timmy for a medium 1st rounder we should do it. We have so little else of value. It’s not the triangle, it’s the total lack of defense.

    I’m amazed Aldrich can’t get any time, but I am confident Fisher sees things that we dont

    Calderon will help the flow of the O, but won’t play any D. I’d prefer to see some of him and Pablo at the same time. barg’s will get Smith and Wear’s minutes; that’s really not a net change. At least on the rare occasions where he is on he can stretch the floor.

  8. Larkin seems like he would be ideal for a team that had a second unit that pressed. I think the last one was Pitino’s Celtics maybe with Mike James and Lindsey Hunter years ago. That style of play is no longer in vogue.

  9. I agree that Larkin might be a less bad point guard than he’s been, if they ran the fake triangle and put baby in the corner like the Bulls did with BJ Armstrong. Instead they’re running the real triangle in which Larkin’s job is to hurtle toward the rim with neither pick nor roller, which would be effective for a 5″ 10 170 guys if this was Australian rules football and the baseline approach was good news. Either that or reverse the ball to JR when the shot clock is running down and it’s time to break the glass. But I still think he ends up being a bad NBA player even in a good system with lots of nice skills and effort. Like Barea.

  10. This team is a miserable defensive team across the board.

    They’re 25th in eFG% allowed, thanks to surrendering an absurd .433 shooting percentage on 3 pointers. I had to keep repeatedly looking at that statistic to make sure it wasn’t wrong. To demonstrate how awful that is, keep in mind that Kyle Korver’s career 3-point percentage is .427.

    They’re dead last in defensive rebounding, and 29th out of 30 in FT/FGA. Out of all the shitty defensive teams we’ve watched over the years, this one may be the absolute worst. This team is right there with the Jamal Crawford-Eddy Curry-Zach Randolph-Nate Robinson Knick team of 2007-2008 when it comes to sheer defensive ineptitude. But don’t worry– reinforcements are coming! The two guys who are probably the two worst defensive players on the entire roster, Bargs and Calderon, haven’t even suited up yet.

  11. the big question for me watching Fish isn’t if he will adjust his defensive schemes right now — we’ve been playing theoretically shitty teams, so I can see him giving himself a bit more rope to see how this scheme goes and if guys will learn to stop floating in no mans land, even though we all know how that’ll turn out.

    The big question is at what point during the December from Hell schedule coming up (against teams who will REALLY put up tremendous 3 point numbers vs us that dwarf what we’ve seen these mediocre teams do) does he concede and adjust.

    If he chalks these last 10 games up to unsustainable shooting by bad teams, and then the inevitable December ass whoopings up to inevitable good shooting but good teams, THEN I will worry. Is this entirely likely and something woodson would do? Yep. :-/

  12. and yea like every one has says, even with a diff scheme we will still be ass at defense…just in a slightly more watchable fashion? lol idk

  13. does anyone think we could trade Dalembert to cleveland for something? like Brendan Haywood’s non guaranteed 2015-16 contract and a couple 2nd round picks? Or even just a bunch of 2nd round picks?

    Cleveland is desperate for any sort of rim protection. Dalembert isn’t very good but he’s way better than anyone else they have behind Varejao.

  14. @13 I don’t know but we should look into it. And we should seriously start thinking about a full on tank/fire sale. Trade whatever assetts we have for picks and expiring contracts. STAT and Bargs can stay on the books till the end of the year bc I wouldn’t want to take back anything long term for them anyways. But Pablo, JR, Dalembert, and even Calderon (who might be hard to move but he is a good player) we should all look to move for whatever we can get back (picks and prospects). We need to restock the cupboard with whatever assetts we can get our hands on. Id be totally cool with having everyone but Melo and a resigned Shump on the books for next year. Maybe keep Hardaway but he might still be movable at this point for a first round pick or he might be what you gotta throw in with JR to get rid of JR.

  15. They’re dead last in defensive rebounding

    If only they had an awesome defensive rebounder on the bench. Oh well-Bargs a’coming! He’s tall-maybe he’ll get the rebounds.

  16. we should seriously start thinking about a full on tank/fire sale. Trade whatever assetts we have for picks and expiring contracts.

    I don’t think there’s any hurry for this. The current roster is only 2 games up on the 0-11 Sixers, so it’s not like the Knicks are hurting their lottery chances by standing pat. As of now they have the second most ping-pong balls in the league!

    (Also, you pretty much have to wait until December 15th to start dealing because that’s when 2014 contracts become moveable.)

    Id be totally cool with having everyone but Melo and a resigned Shump on the books for next year

    I agree, though I don’t think you mean what you have said. (I think you’d like everyone off the books, right?) I like your presumed typo, though, because I think the Knicks can’t get any value for the trash on their roster, but can for Melo and Shump. Obviously, Melo isn’t going anywhere without forcing gee matter personally, so NY has to live with that. But they should find a good trade partner for Shumpert. His value is rising, but I am highly skeptical that his value will stay high, and if he signs a long term contract for $10+ million in NY Knickerbloggers will rue it sooner rather than later.

  17. This is pretty bleak.

    If I were Phil, I would talk to Melo privately and tell him, “we appreciate you re-signing with us, but this isn’t going to get better any time soon. I will get you to a team you are willing to waive your NTC for, this year, if you just don’t say or do anything to ruin my leverage. No one will think you turned your back on us, you can say you would have stayed, there will be no PR hit for you. Everyone wins.”

    Then I’d call Chicago, Houston, the Lakers, and anyone else he’s willing to go to who might take him, and get the best package available. Whatever that is.

    If we don’t do that, eventually Melo will get fed up, demand a trade, dictate his terms, and we’ll get nothing.

    And obviously let’s move Shumpert, too, while he’s off to a blazing start.

    We’ll give Philadelphia a run for their money, but this needs to be done.

    EDIT… major downside: we will be one of the worst teams in the NBA next year and not have our draft pick.

  18. When can we trade guys we got this summer? We could maybe get a 2nd round pick from a contender thin in the middle for Dalembert. I think our main priority now should be getting JR points so we can dupe some sucker into tacking him off our hands.

  19. And btw, remember when one of the defenses of the Bargs trade was that we had already given Denver the right to swap picks and BOTH teams would have to suck for that draft pick to be really good?

    Well here we are.

  20. If I were Phil, I would talk to Melo privately and tell him, “we appreciate you re-signing with us, but this isn’t going to get better any time soon. I will get you to a team you are willing to waive your NTC for, this year, if you just don’t say or do anything to ruin my leverage. No one will think you turned your back on us, you can say you would have stayed, there will be no PR hit for you. Everyone wins.”

    The only person they really need to trade is JR right….i mean everyone else is on a rookie deal or is Calderon right?

  21. still think JR is gonna opt out…Meeks got 8, Shump is about to get 10+, JR cant get more than 6.5?!? or 5-6 for 2-3 yrs??

  22. I’m surprised that Fisher doesn’t have this team playing harder. That’s the one thing every player is capable of, regardless of talent. I saw an interview with Michael Strahan. He said it’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest guys that are the best. It’s the guys that have the strongest will. Reminds me of something Pat Riley said when he starting coaching the knicks. He vowed to have his players be first to every loose ball.
    That extra, superior effort, is something that hasn’t characterized the knicks in a long long time, except maybe briefly when Amare first came here and played with all the young guys. They didn’t have a ton of talent, and win or lose, they gave great effort. Maybe that’s why we all liked that team so much.

    The knicks culture has grown soft and lazy.
    That’s something I expected PJ and and Fish to put a quick end to.
    Who, among us, wouldn’t play our hearts out to play in Madison Square Garden in front of sell out crowds every night for millions of dollars?

  23. That extra, superior effort, is something that hasn’t characterized the knicks in a long long time, except maybe briefly when Amare first came here and played with all the young guys. They didn’t have a ton of talent, and win or lose, they gave great effort. Maybe that’s why we all liked that team so much.

    I loved that effort… it was a young, goofy team that inspired fans for the first time in a long time… we’re back to $hit now… uninspired team, uninspired fans, grasping at anything… we’re collectively pathetic, and yes, I will speak for everyone… ;-)

  24. OMG.
    While this is worse that I thought it would be, it’s not dooms-day. We were all in 100% agreement that this is not a good team – too many 1-way players. The worse we are (tank-you very much) the better our lottery pick. There are so many new parts to this team and the starting point guard hasn’t played a minute yet.

    What bugs me is what Hoolahoop says, they’re not putting forth the effort. That should never happen and it is. They’re not crashing the boards or hustling on defense. That pisses me off.

  25. Most of the core members of this team have the problem of being not very good at basketball. This roster has, by my count, probably seven guys on it who are end of roster, 13-15 types: Jason Smith, Shane Larkin, Cleanthony Early, Andrea Bargnani, Travis Wear, Quincy Acy and Cole Aldrich (sorry Cole). The next bunch of guys talent-wise is guys like Tim Hardaway Jr., Amar’e Stoudemire, Sam Dalembert, and JR Smith guys who are marginal rotation players. That’s eleven out of 15 players who are not really very good NBA players. The best players on the team are Carmelo Anthony, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert and probably Jose Calderon if he ever suits up. That is a pitiful talent base.

  26. “If I were Phil, I would talk to Melo privately and tell him, “we appreciate you re-signing with us, but this isn’t going to get better any time soon. I will get you to a team you are willing to waive your NTC for, this year, if you just don’t say or do anything to ruin my leverage. No one will think you turned your back on us, you can say you would have stayed, there will be no PR hit for you. Everyone wins.”

    IMO either this happened when the Melo signed the contract, or it won’t happen at all. Nothing has changed since Melo re-signed. In fact, the outlook for next year looks better the more the Knicks lose.

    Wojnarowski had an article after Melo re-signed that his mentality was to just get the money and find the winning team later. To me, it’s entirely possible there was a convo between Jackson and Melo where Melo requested to be S&T’d to CHI or LAC. Jackson tried, but neither team offered enough to make it worth his while, so he told Melo he wouldn’t do it but that more deals would be possible in December.

  27. IMO either this happened when the Melo signed the contract, or it won’t happen at all. Nothing has changed since Melo re-signed. In fact, the outlook for next year looks better the more the Knicks lose.

    Wojnarowski had an article after Melo re-signed that his mentality was to just get the money and find the winning team later. To me, it’s entirely possible there was a convo between Jackson and Melo where Melo requested to be S&T’d to CHI or LAC. Jackson tried, but neither team offered enough to make it worth his while, so he told Melo he wouldn’t do it but that more deals would be possible in December.

    You should write novels. Complete fiction.

  28. December 15 is the day we can trade guys acquired this Summer.

    December 15th is when the summers’ free agents can be traded. The players acquired via trade (like Dalembert et al) can be traded now. (For example Ellington was traded for Acy). They just can’t bring back contracts that were signed his summer until after December 15th.

  29. Has anyone else noticed that Pablo is less hesitant to shoot this year? Maybe it’s because of the offense, he doesn’t feel like he has to be the distributor.

    Clyde noticed and commented on it. He said during one of the recent games that he or someone else had talked to Pablo about it. Pablo said something to the effect of that last year there wasn’t enough ball motion so he would try and create it, and that limited how many shots he would take.

  30. @JK47 has it right. Our roster is in serious need of talent and 2 way players. I like how you segmented our talent (or lack thereof). Haven’t commented much as of late b/c there’s only so many negative things I can say about this start.

    The lack of effort is really frustrating but we just have some of the worst defensive players and low IQ players in basketball on our team – as key contributors (JR, THJ, Jason Smith, Amare, etc) The only people on the team who seem to give consistent effort on the defensive end are Shump, Larkin (even though he’s not that good) and Dalembert. That’s it — we have 3 players trying hard on defense.

    Happy they’re passing more but really hard to root for these guys right now. Not a great time to be a Knicks fan :/

  31. Ive actually contemplated the idea that maybe Melo and Phil made some sort of under the table agreement that he would try to trade him to another team come December 15th (or this off season). I know a lot of people here don’t think Melo is worth the contract, but he is considered a top tier All star player by his peers and most coaches around the league and with the rising CBA his contract, if he can maintain his current level of production, looks pretty good. He’s been an all star every year of his career, an Olympian, top scorer in the league, good rebounder, etc. Chicago and The Lakers couldn’t pay him as much as we could, for example, but they could trade for his contract after he signed it with us. So I don’t see why its “complete fiction” to think this was the agreement made (at least under the pretense if things really don’t go well). Now do I think something like this will happen at December 15th, so quickly after he’s signed his new contract? No. But I could see it happening this off season or sometime next year.

  32. I think the Knicks need to suit up Carmelo’s stunt double against the Sixers on Saturday (since nobody will be watching), and in the opening minute he needs to go flying head first into the station, causing Real Carmelo to have to miss the rest if the season. The Knicks can then chalk 2015 up to “bad luck” and officially turn their sights to next year. Everybody wins, including Melo, who gets $25 mil for a paid vacation and comes back rested in the fall.

    Get it done, Phil!

  33. @36 Yeah, I mean if things keep up the way they are Melo definitely needs to get “injured” and rest for the season so we can pull a Spurs 98 and draft the next Duncan to go with him. Won’t exactly be the Twin Towers with Duncan and Robinson. But Melo in his prime with Okafor or one of those UK studs plus 36 million in cap space sounds nice to me.

  34. We can lose a fuckton of games with Melo just fine. But there really is absolutely no reason he should be playing through even the most minor injuries.

  35. The Knicks’ organization really needs to take this year and suck because everybody is totally cool with it and there are a lot of good big men in the draft. But then again, when James Dolan is at the helm, it’s very likely that your team won’t logically arrive at the right solution.

  36. I’m sure the Knicks will go on a meaningless winning streak at the end of the season to finish with like 28 wins instead of 25, and the last impact player in the draft will go to like the Lakers or something.

  37. I actually believe the NBA is going to throw us a bone and give us the 1st pick in the draft this year since it’s the 30th anniversary of the Ewing Draft. Then we’ll get to read all of the stories about how Melo and Jahlil Okafor/Karl Anthony Towns will be like if Ewing and Bernard King were able to play together blah blah blah.

    I really do think so. If there’s any year for us to be bad, it would be this one.

  38. As much as a lack of talent, I think the good teams move the ball so much better and play hard nosed, lock down, team defense.

    JR is one of most athletic guys in the league and would be a consistent 25 point man and all defense team guy if he had his head screwed on right. Melo, Shump, Amare, Hardaway are all talented. But the team’s lack of cohesiveness (good ball and player movement) and unwillingness to play balls to the wall defense causes them to lose games that are winnable. This should be a 42-44 win team. At this point they’ll be lucky to win 32.

  39. A Paris comic convention is flying me out to do an exhibit of my Comic Book Legends Revealed, so at least I won’t be able to watch the Knicks/Sixers game (or the rockets game). Shit, wait, the Sixers and a possibly Dwight-less rockets?! If they go on a winning streak while I am gone, it is not my fault!!

  40. The really great coaches simply don’t tolerate selfish basketball (Doc Rivers, Popovich, Lebron) . . . and demand defense.

  41. why would JR be 25 pts a game, and why would he be all defense? I know he’s not using his talent, but does he have that much to start with? is he a better all around player than kevin martin? he may have more defensive talent, but he can’t shoot like Kevin Martin. I understand your point is he is a head case, but being an all star is above his ceiling. He’s may get 25 in practice with Timmy guarding him.

  42. Ball movement hasnt been a problem for this team, they are 2nd in the league in assists per game (1st in 3pt % but only 20th in attempts) and their offensive rating is up to 16th already, with Calderon coming back if Melo stays healthy it will probably be a borderline Top 10 offense pretty soon

    But yeah there is no fixing this pathetic defense, though Fisher could start preaching guarding the 3pt line once in awhile.

  43. From an athleticism point of view, JR is superior to Kevin Martin. Sure, KM is a long distance sharp shooter when left open, but JR can shoot well too. But, JR has a much better handle, can create his own shots, and has uncanny agility, even in the air. His talent is sky high. We’ve seen it, but only in spurts.

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