- RT @dmorey: Best draft interview answers ever part 1: player, can you pass a drug test? [grabs table] TODAY?!? 2 days ago
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Just messing around, getting triple doubles
Category Archives: New York Knicks
May 1, 2012Posted by on
Alright, today’s post is a consolidation of madnesses from Sunday and Monday; and make no mistake it has been mad; at least someone’s mad. We’ve witnessed referee’s being loosely assaulted, Caron Butler breaking his hand, an impossible 27-point comeback and Amar’s Stoudemire punching out a pane of glass and in the process shredding his hand. If you’re not getting kicked out of games or getting hurt, you’re not doing your part.
Utah at San Antonio, game one, Spurs won 106-91, lead 1-0: Tony Parker did that Tony Parker thing he does where he uses speed and timing to invade the opposition’s defense at will. That the Spurs now play to his strengths instead of Duncan’s is impressive and a credit to all parties involved. The Jazz took one of four games against the Spurs in the regular season and will be fortunate to do better in the playoffs.
Random fact: Gordon Hayward attempted a career-high twelve free throws in game one and hit all twelve.
Denver at Lakers, game one, Lakers won 103-88, lead 1-0: Andrew Bynum is big, tall, long, talented, occasionally immature and more. To the Nuggets, he was the boogeyman in the paint, a giant protecting his lair. Ten blocks in the playoffs? Tied Hakeem Olajuwon and Mark Eaton for most blocks in playoff game history? Yep, that’s Andy. While Dwight’s temporarily crippled by a herniated disc, Bynum looks like an invincible force doing battle with children.
Boston at Atlanta, game one, Hawks won 83-74, lead 1-0: It was yet another battle in years’ worth of battles for these two franchises. The Hawks overcame a historically dismal shooting performance from Joe Johnson (see random fact below) to control this game and hang on for the win. The story that ruled the day was Rajon Rondo’s little chest bump into the ref. The timing and reaction were both overboard and could result in Boston dropping into a 0-2 hole. With Ray Allen’s health in question, the momentum Boston had built in March and April is vanishing in acts of immaturity and inevitability.
Random fact: Joe Johnson joined three other players in playoff history in three-point shooting ignominy with his 0-9 performance. His fellow culprits: John Starks, Rashard Lewis and Derrick Rose.
Clippers at Memphis, game one, Clippers won 99-98, lead 1-0: Watching this game was like watching a movie where you expect one thing to happen, but then the director/writer throws a knuckleball that leaves you disoriented and questioning the events of the previous two hours. Did it add up? Was it believable? Did I enjoy being befuddled or did the director just play a joke on me? There wasn’t a script to Sunday night’s game unless the big director in the sky is a Nick Young fan. What happens from here is anyone’s guess, but I can confidently say the Memphis Collective (players, coaches, fans, employees) looked helplessly nauseous in that fourth quarter.
Random fact(s): Reggie Evans’s 13 rebounds in 21 minutes put him in rare company with five other prolific playoff rebounders who’ve grabbed at least 13 boards in 21 minutes or less: Danny Schayes (14 in 21), Kurt Rambis (14 in 21), Scot Pollard (14 in 21), Jeff Foster (13 in 21), Maurice Lucas (14 in 19).
New York at Miami, game two, Heat won 104-94, lead 2-0: Once again, anger steals the headlines. Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t take too well to the Knicks’ second straight loss in Miami and took it out on a pane of glass covering a fire extinguisher. David Aldridge proceeded to take the event far too seriously, treating it more like Stoudemire had severed his femoral artery and was at risk of bleeding out instead of addressing it for the loss of control that it was. All this really does it take away the focus from what was another strong Miami performance and further reinforced the fact that the Knicks are simply overmatched the way blind Chinese dissidents are powerless against their government … oh, wait.
Orlando at Indiana, game two, Pacers won 93-78, tied 1-1: This game is being relegated to the NBA TV slot which essentially makes it the least interesting series in the playoffs. Ratings considerations aside, Monday night’s game was the familiar storyline of a tale of two halves. After falling behind by two at the half and being firmly bullied, the Pacers responded appropriately with a 30-13 third quarter. I wish things were different, but I struggle to find intrigue in this series.
Random fact: The Pacers are 33-2 on the season when leading after three quarters.
Dallas at OKC, game two, OKC won 102-99, up 2-0: Combined score after two games 201 – 197. The Mavs have had their chances, but unlike last season when they couldn’t miss in crunch time, Dirk and Jason Terry have come up short two games in a row and are dangerously close to seeing their title defense end early. Being pushed to the brink is nothing new for this Dallas crew, but in small spaces of their group consciousness, questions are being asked. Notable observations:
- I’m not a Brendan Haywood fan, but the more I see him, the more I feel Shaq was justified in referring to him as “Brenda.”
- Does Billy Hunter watch NBA games and if so, does he openly cheer against Derek Fisher? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, last night had to be particularly bitter for him.
And that concludes three days of playoff basketball. We’ve had anger, controversy, pain and loss. Negativity is the overwhelming theme and I look forward to exploring the more affirmative aspects of these games in the coming days.
April 29, 2012Posted by on
It didn’t take long for the big red balloon of optimism to pop over the city of Chicago and rain down tears in the shapes of dripping red-hued question marks. All the finger pointing in the world (at Thibodeau, at the shortened season, at Derrick’s delicate 2012 body) won’t put Derrick’s ACL back together again, so let’s march on for a quick review of Saturday’s agonies and ecstasies:
Philly at Chicago, game one: The Bulls were their controlled, dominant selves with Rip Hamilton flashing and dashing off baseline screens and running Philly defenders ragged like it was 2004 all over again. If the Bulls, sans Rose, can somehow continue to score close to 100 points, this series won’t last long. They know how to behave with C.J. Watson at the helm and will continue to execute Thibodeau’s air tight game plans, but can Doug Collins’s squad find a way to step up their defense and put points on the board against a stubborn Bulls team? I don’t know, but I’m guessing Lavoy Allen is not the answer.
Random fact: Chicago was 22-0 when scoring 100 points or more this season.
New York at Miami, game one: 100 to 67? So much for the hype machine, Melo vs. Bron, Amar’e vs. Bosh, Shumpert vs. Wade (?) and New York’s three-point bombing bench. This was supposed to be the matchup we were all slobbering over, but instead game one had that dreamlike falling feeling, but we never woke up; or at least the Knicks didn’t wake up. Since no one really knows who the Knicks are (Knicks included), it’s impossible to imagine what we’ll get in the next three to six games, but my buddy Bug made a great, although mostly unrelated, point: Miami with Tyson Chandler instead of Chris Bosh would be a nightmare.
Random fact: Miami finished the regular season 18-0 when shooting over 50% as a team. Translation: LeBron and Dwyane: Don’t give into temptation, avoid the three.
Tragic ending: To Iman Shumpert’s season. Like Rose an hour or so before, the rookie who’d been somewhat prematurely anointed as one of the league’s top perimeter defenders (already?) tore his ACL as well.
Orlando at Indiana, game one: Here’s another one I caught on the highlight reel. The stories of this game: Danny Granger wet the bed, Roy Hibbert blocked nine shots (life’s a lot simpler when you get Big Baby instead of Dwight Howard) and Stan Van Gundy continues to build support in the ongoing Dwight vs. Stan feud.
Random fact: The Magic is 10-1 all-time when winning game one of a series.
Dallas at OKC, game one: The legend of Kevin Durant continues to grow. He got a true shooter’s bounce to win the game for OKC and send the bench and hometown fans in euphoria. Even though some of the names and faces have changed and James Harden’s beard takes up a little more mass, it felt like carryover from last year’s Western Conference Finals—minus Dirk being perpetually en fuego.
Rejected!: OKC led the league in blocks per game and their 8.2bpg is the fifth most per-game total in league history. They tallied eleven blocks on Saturday.
Sunday’s games added more piss and vinegar to the mix (we see you, Rajon). I’ll be back here tomorrow with another recap. And in the meantime, leave us all to ponder if anyone plays with a Marc Gasolian zeal for the game. It’s like he took all that energy his brother has channeled into primordial roars and re-directed it to positivity and an acknowledgement that he’s paid to play basketball for a living.
December 6, 2011Posted by on
*The following was contributed by the homie Milton
When I think of the New York Knicks, the word that first comes to mind is trying. There’s been a lot of trying going on in New York for years but very little to show for it.
Sure, they’ve got two of the biggest names in the NBA under contract and fans are willing to pay admission to see them put up gaudy offensive stats and brutalize opposing defenders from 16 feet and closer, but where has this all really gotten them? In order to go forward with this team, we need to review how they got here.
When the Knicks landed Amare Stoudemire as a consolation prize in free agency 2010, the NBA was abuzz with the upcoming Stoudemire/Mike D’Antoni reunion. Amare did his part early in the 2010 season by putting up MVP numbers – 30 points in nine consecutive games is impressive. What matters more perhaps is that eight of those nine games were Knick wins and in the 9th (a home loss to Boston) Amare’s just-a-split-second-too-late-3 from the top of the key would have been the game winner. Stoudemire has never been known for his rebounding, but he was doing plenty of that early last year reaching double-digit boards in 16 of 32 games and 8+ in six more.
The cast around Amare was playing well too. Danilo Gallinari emerged as a guy that can’t be left open. Notorious fat kid and crybaby Raymond Felton was enjoying a career year. Lightly-sought-after rookie Landry Fields (Isaiah’s apologetic olive branch to NYK?) looked like a legit ROY candidate and Wilson Chandler did what he does – play good basketball and keep his mouth shut. It all seemed too good to be true. And it was.
One thing was clear from the beginning with this team: They weren’t supposed to be good yet. James Dolan’s vision of the Knicks’ return to Eastern Conference supremacy needed two things: more time and more money spent.
Carmelo Anthony made it very clear he wanted a trade to the Knicks and would only sign an extension with them. Denver, not wanting to get left with nothing in return, found itself in a bad spot. No team would give them meaningful pieces to rent Melo for the remainder of the season but Denver wasn’t going to just give him away either. For weeks the back and forth went on, the speculation in the media clearly bothered Denver and George Karl. When the deal was finally done on Feb 22nd, the Knicks gave up three key pieces (Felton, Chandler and Timofey Mozgov) for Melo, Chauncey Billups’s ball and chain of a contract, and a few other players. The Minnesota T-Wolves were involved in the deal as well, but giving David Kahn any space in this post would be wasteful, so we’ll just move on.
The results for the Knicks were nothing spectacular. The pre trade 5-man starting unit of Felton-Fields-Chandler-Gallinari-Stoudemire won 62.8% of its games while the 5-man unit of Billups-Fields-Anthony-Stoudemire-Turiaf won 50% of its games. In fact, no 5-man unit post Melo trade won more 55% of its games and each unit had a positive net turnover percentage (giving up more TOs than taking from the opposition). The Knicks made the playoffs and were promptly swept by an aging Celtics team that showed little fight in a 2nd round smothering at the hands of Lebron and D Wade. That’s all fine with Dolan and D’Antoni. 2011 was never supposed to be the Knicks’ year. This was just another season of trying because incremental improvement can be sold to fans.
As for the 2011-12 season, there’s really not too much to say about this group. They drafted Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech – a player who rocketed up the draft board the way freak athletes do following absurd NFL combine performances but doesn’t have a true position. They’re still largely the same team that Boston swept in Round 1: Chauncey Billups is a year older. Landry Fields should be better and in my opinion is the most interesting player on this team. Melo and Amar’e will get buckets and thrill the crowd, but won’t guard anyone. And it won’t matter because Mike D’Antoni doesn’t care if they guard people. He’s been trying to win with an ill-suited system for several years. 7 Seconds or Less sounds like fun to play in but, in my view, it won’t win any rings. As constructed, I don’t think this is even a playoff team and I’ve got them penciled in for #3 in the Atlantic behind Boston and Philly.
The Knicks want Chris Paul. CP3 wants the Knicks too, in the worst of ways. If you spend any time online, you’re aware of this. If you follow the NBA, you know the Knicks don’t have the hustle to get it done. Stoudemire ($16.4 mil), Melo ($17.1 mil) and Billups ($13.1 mil) make up the vast majority of the payroll – there’s just one other player under contract set to make more than $4 million and that’s Ronny Turiaf. Zeke mortgaged their future to get guys like Eddy Curry and Jerome James so they have no picks to throw in. The only way CP ends up in a Knick uniform this year is if a third team is willing to get involved. If that’s to happen you can bet a lot of real shitty contracts will be on the move … Or CP3 can wait until next year and sign with them for dirt cheap. Not likely.
If Dolan can find a way to keep building without giving up too much of the future, the only chance they have to compete for titles is to find a coach that values both ends of the floor and all aspects of the game including developing a bench (D’Antoni is known for playing his starters heavy minutes – even in blowouts). Maybe the Knicks’ endgame is luring a highly successful, recently-retired coach back to the franchise he helped to win titles with as a player…