Two steps forward, one step back

Harris Decker

Raymond FeltonAfter a short two game winning streak, the Knicks came back down to earth on Sunday in disappointing fashion. They shot just 34% from the floor and opened the game on the wrong end of a 12-0 run. Everything in the game was stagnant but I don’t think it’s worth overreacting. It was one game and hopefully, won’t drive us back toward the “trade Melo” and “fire Woodson” story lines.

All of that said, I was upset with the team yesterday. The Boston Celtics are not a great team and even though the Knicks haven’t looked like a great team either, it seemed like a winnable matchup coming off two blowout wins in the past week. What we saw from the Celtics was a calculated, balanced attack led by Jordan Crawford and Jared Sullinger. Notice, once again, that it’s a guard and a center hurting the Knicks. Those are the positions that are weak and other teams know that.

It’s become very clear over the last week that as Raymond Felton goes, so go the Knicks. Last night, Ben wrote about how Felton has been bad, but that’s only the case in the losses. In wins, Felton has looked great, distributing the ball and hitting open threes with pinpoint accuracy. Still, as Felton goes, so goes the offense. Everyone from Carmelo Anthony to Andrea Bargnani requires a point guard capable of moving the ball around and when that’s not happening, things like losing to the Celtics by 41 points happen. Felton was 0 for 6 from the field and worse than that, registered just 2 assists. That is unacceptable for a starting point guard in the NBA.

One thing worth pointing out has been the play of Iman Shumpert. While he was (like Felton) 0 for 6 from the field, he has shows a propensity to get the ball up the court quick and make defenses respect his ability to both drive to the basket and shoot from the outside. If Felton continues to struggle, there might come  a point in this season where Shumpert could play a little point guard. We know he doesn’t want to but it might be what the Knicks need.

Ball movement is the key. When the ball moves, the team wins. When the ball doesn’t move, the team loses. It’s really that black and white and unless Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Beno Udrih can get things moving for the Knicks, things could continue to spiral out of control.




65 comments
Leor Reginiano
Leor Reginiano

Wonder what they're asking for a guy like Lowry(which is obviously a huge upgrade over Felton)

@RealGM: Kyle Lowry Expected To Be Raptors' Next Trade Candidate -- http://t.co/holByGdjko

rgm891
rgm891

4 games in 5 nights. Cleveland Chi-town Celtics Hawks. This is going to be an interesting stretch of games.

Kojo1111
Kojo1111

We have some problems that a coach with some savvy and an imagination can remedy. The players are playing out of position. We have turn over King Raymond for a point guard--this guy should play the 2. We have players wasting away on the bench. The rotations stink, the switching stinks and on and on with the Woodson strategy.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

I think everyone's getting way too ahead of themselves.

You ask me, we're in the same position we were before we beat 2 subpar teams without their key players.

- We're still a team with inconsistent performances 

- We're still a team that has trouble finding motivation,

- We're still a team without a clear cut identity

- We're a still a team that breaks down way too easily on D

- We're still a team that lacks cohesion and chemistry

- We're still a team that depends way too much on Felton bringing his B+ game every night (which he hasn't been able to do consistently thus far)

- We're still a team that has a coach tinkering with rotations and is unable to find role for players that can be important for us (Prigs, MWP, Timmy JR - all these guys see their minutes go up and down ridiculously). No way to help them find their rythm with a coach that has no idea how to handle his players.

- Overall, we're still a team that needs better coaching.


Many got ahead of themselves (and rightfully so, from afar it seemed things were looking up), but it just so happened that against to way lesser teams, we were hitting shots and executing. But the team's lack of consistency and motivation won't let this team do more than that. And we saw yesterday, the second we play against a moderately well coached and disicplined teams, we're done.

Brian Webster
Brian Webster

You say 1 game shouldn't drive us back towards the "trade Melo" and "fire Woodson" storylines. I say it was ridiculous to be so quick to jump off those topics after only 2 games vs terrible teams after how awful the Knicks had been for so long before that. So I suppose if they lose tomorrow then it'll be ok?

Kojo1111
Kojo1111

For those who take up for W. Can anyone give me even one good coaching quality Woodson possesses.

cole3244
cole3244

its interesting that those that have been critical of the team, players, and their super star (i am one) are called trolls while those that keep saying that the refs, coach, league, uniform colors, afternoon starts, conspiracy, these are to blame for the losses, until a victory or two improves their outlook again, they are geniuses, go figure. 

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Cavs Tuesday

Bulls Wednesday

Friday Celtics

Hawks Saturday

4 games in 5 days with K-Mart's status unknown and Amar'e unable to play back to backs. That is what we are facing. I'd say K-Mart's absence was far more critical than Raymond Felton yesterday. We were crushed on the boards and had no interior defense. All these teams can go very big and pound the ball inside. Plus, we face Irving and the very underrated Teague. 

I'd say that 2-2 would be about the best we can do and 1-3 probably more likely. 

ds2488
ds2488

You talk about "Fire Woodson" being a :"storyline" that we're coming back to?  This terribly disappointing team so far is now 5-14.  We're basically a quarter of the way through the season and so far this is one of the worst teams in the league.  How can we not be coming back to the "Fire Woodson storyline"?  And you were only "upset" with the Knicks yesterday Harris?  They had the biggest margin of defeat in the NBA so far this season in a game they never even bothered showing up to.  I think "upset" is a bit of an underreaction honestly.


And you're also talking about how Shump playing a little point is somewhat of a novel idea...but it's really not.  I for one have been asking for this all season.  It reminds me of the Bibby/Toney Douglas/Jeremy Lin situation back with Dantoni.  Why is it taking so long to try an obvious move?  


If it fails, it fails.  Doesn't mean it isn't worth a shot when Felton has been THIS BAD to start the year.  


And also, please don't throw Pablo in with Felton/Beno.  Pablo is doing a fine job as our backup pg and the ball noticeably moves much more with him on the court than it does with Felton.   

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Lowry makes north of $6 million, so it would be a difficult trade for the Knicks to match salary wise, unless Toronto wants JR or Felton.

Brian Webster
Brian Webster

@Leor Reginiano Felton and Shump for Lowry worked on the trade machine. Doubt Tor would do that deal though since Felton's deal has 3yrs left.

rgm891
rgm891

@Leor Reginiano don't know much about his game? What are his strengths? Can he defend? Doubt they go after him anyways.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Yes, but will it be good interesting or bad interesting? That is the question. Which games will Amar'e sit out and will K-Mart be able to play?

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

I'm not a supporter of Woody, but he is only part of the problem. We need to get a basketball man in charge of the team at the GM level. As long as we become a destination for CAA signed players and have Dolan making decisions, we won't get far.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@cole3244 After multiple TKBers defended Carmelo's defensive performance in that Pelicans game, I learned that there some individuals beyond any form of criticism here.  It amazes me that so many on TKB put individuals (Carmelo, Felton, Woodson) before the colors (orange and blue).

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Knicks_Fanatic Yes, the loss of K-Mart is huge.  Woody is often left with no option but to trot out the 3 blind mice frontline of Carmelo, Amar'e, and Bargnani, one that offers NO defensive communication nor weakside rim protection.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@kneggyknik Dolan gave Isiah 5 years to turn it around, and he would've lasted even longer if not for Stern.


This team has a culture of hitching their wagon to the wrong horses.  Dolan/CAA is loyal to Woody.  Woody is loyal to Ray and JR.

joeknix
joeknix

@OLD_KNICK Hey, a turd is a turd regardless if you are decide to put sprinkles on it before flushing or drop it from the bathroom of the Waldorf Astoria . . . doesn't matter, it still a turd.   The Knicks are still the same flawed and lethargic team one trick pony team with or without the orange on . . . .even if they all came out in dressed in Knicks City Dancer gear for the next game . . . doesn't change a thing.  


Seriously, the Knicks use Melo at the point forward spot and it works flawlessly for two games.  Then the C's put Brandon Bass on Melo and he guards him one on one effectively so what is Plan B?  Wait, we don't have one unless you call contested 18 foot jumpers a strategy.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@ds2488 If the Knicks can land a legitimate penetrating PG (via miracle), Pablo makes the best backup PG (yes, we know he is not a starter) out of those 3.  Each of our 3 PGs have their weaknesses - Pablo's weaknesses (inability to penetrate) seem to hurt the team less than those of Felton (running an offense like a chicken with his head cut off, turnstile defense).  Pablo is solid as a backup - Ray needs to be replaced.

Leor Reginiano
Leor Reginiano

Quick, can get to the paint at ease, very good 3pt threat, as for his defense, I think he's decent but compared to Felton it's an obvious upgrade.

rgm891
rgm891

@Knicks_Fanatic All good points man. I always thought Amar'e should of played against the bulls earlier this year for more low post scoring against the bulls. But what do I know. It's going to interesting haha for sure.

Leor Reginiano
Leor Reginiano

Will Wiggins has said his first choice is to go to Toronto... Looks like they're in full tank mode after trading Rudy

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@BiggieSmalls No one said it would. I mentioned it yesterday. If the pland are leaving the lackeys in charge, it is not better for the squad.

Unless there's good optopn lined up, we're stuck with Woodson. 

Kojo1111
Kojo1111

@BiggieSmalls Professionalism? Really? The way he used to yell at the players.does not display professional behavior. In practice yes--in public no. These guys are men not his children.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

The other problem is that we end up with a 5 out offense and no one to get an offensive board or put back. K-Mart, totally unnoticed, is shooting 52% from the floor. You do have to account for him. 

We have the 28th rated defense in the NBA, that will get you to 5-14.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Irving is going to be a restricted free agent in 2015. The Cavs will tender him an offer and then match any contract he signs.

Leor Reginiano
Leor Reginiano

If we had any chance to get a guy like Rondo, Teague or Kyrie trust me I'd be all for it... But Kyrie is a more realistic option now and I'm pretty sure his contract is up by 2015 anyways... You get the point right?

rgm891
rgm891

@Leor Reginiano No questions man. Interesting to see if they even look at him or no. Knowing the knicks they are looking to go big or go home to please melo with their assets.

rgm891
rgm891

@zdiddy4nyk @rgm891 Yeah that's exactly what we don't need. But it's definitely worth a look if we can him manning the pg spot on felton for cheap.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

If Dolan "got weary" that would have come to fruition in the last decade. Everyone hates being criticized. Dolan has the comfort of his wealth to get over it.

Kojo1111
Kojo1111

@Knicks_Fanatic Dolan will get weary of taking the blame for this mess. Rich folks hate being criticized. 

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Why would that be a start? It would be like getting a new Captain on the Titanic. The composition of the roster is flawed. James Dolan is the man who put this team together. Who would come in to work for Dolan without any kind of authority?

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

If Pop can yell at Tim D, Parker, and Ginobli in public, then so can Woodson.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@VernonZee @BiggieSmalls A chip cannot be guaranteed, but a smart GM+coach tandem can launch us into legitimate contention.  A chip is up to the basketball gods, but I want a legitimate contender.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@VernonZee @DolanitisDr I agree.  I was reaching for a "positive" quality, and that was the best I can do.  "Accountability", "in-game adjustments", and "defense" are certainly not on his list of positive attributes.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Knicks_Fanatic Putrid indeed, but I don't consider Martin a bigtime offensive rebounder.  I place more weight and have more belief in Martin's ability to run back and help defend in semi-transition situations, where communication and effort are must-haves.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

I was going after the 4 offensive rebounds against the Celtics versus their 39 defensive rebounds. That is pretty putrid after missing 48 shots.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Knicks_Fanatic I've always thought the rebounding was a secondary issue to the defense, and any offense that involves Martin shooting the ball from 15 feet out (like we've seen in many of these losses) is asking for trouble.


But yes, the defense has been so, so bad.  Tyson only helps hide the flaws; we can only hope for mediocrity even when he returns.