It was fun while it lasted, but Knicks’ playoff hopes all but dead

Sam Spiegelman

Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Miami Heat all but buried the New York Knicks and their chances of making the playoffs this season.

The eight-game win streak, defeating the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets, and temporarily occupying the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference instilled hope in all of us. But reality kicked in a harsh way, as Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder injury and a two-game deficit behind the Atlanta Hawks essentially closes the book on the Knicks’ 2013-14 season.

With two weeks remaining in the NBA’s regular season, the Hawks host Detroit and Boston before traveling to Brooklyn. They close out the season against Miami, Charlotte and Milwaukee. Given how the team has played against Cleveland and Indiana this past weekend, only the game against the Heat looks like a loss.

The Knicks, on the other hand, coming off losses to the defending champs and Wizards, have four games remaining — two against Toronto, as well as Chicago and Brooklyn. Sure, the games are “winnable” in theory, but the hole the team has created over the weekend is likely too great to overcome. The Knicks would need to go 4-0 while the Hawks undergo a monumental breakdown.

In order for the Knicks to play that well, Melo would need to be healthy. And he’s clearly not.

The deep bruise or sprain of his right shoulder has obviously effected the All-Star, as he scored 23 points over the past two games. I mean, he’s scoring 27.5 points per game, so he’s got to be hurting pretty badly.

It’s a tough way for the Knicks to end their season. Their super star, an impending free agent, is in pain and his squad will be watching the playoffs from their couches. Whether ‘Melo even plays these final four games is in question, and if he doesn’t, then did he just play his last game in the blue and orange in another loss to LeBron James and Co.? Will that be his final memory of being a part of the Knicks?

The Knicks’ season is over. And with playoff hopes ended, are fans just hoping the team can retain Anthony?




130 comments
bkinghof
bkinghof

It was never fun while it lasted, because it was never fun, and it is still lasting.

It's going to be a tough off-season; no playoffs, no 1st round pick, no cap space.

The most fun we'll have this off-season is seeing what kind of moves Phil makes. Let's hope he can roll some lucky sevens and rid us of some expiring contracts and get us a top 10 PG, and find some key players who can blossom in his system. There will also be addition by subtraction by getting rid of Woody, which will improve the team immediately.


The big elephant in the room is Melo. Will he stay or will he go?

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

"Fun?".

Oh, Lawd....that's not the word I'd use to describe this train wreck.


- Never have I seen a coach do such an awful job with a group. From a tactical standpoint, from a man management point of view. Never have I seen such regression on a coach. 

- The coach was a detriment to the team in every sense of the word. Calling players out publicly. Blaming others for his own shortcomings, giving players way too much rope when they didn't deserve it. 


Players don't go without blame. None of them.

- Chandler was the first one to give up on this coach, as it was pathetically evident from his lackluster effort throughout the season.

- I don't think I've ever seen a team mail in so many games and lose in such embarassing fashion to bottom feeding teams. This is a true testament to the lack of commitment, heart, pride, and professionalism this team displayed throughout the season. This "fun stretch" was nothing more than a group trying to save face after becoming the most disappointing team in the NBA.


Nope. This season has not been fun at all.

tifoso6
tifoso6

It was not fun while it lasted.   It was a doomed team from the beginning.  Weak point guard and weak coach equals a weak team.

Woodson cost this team as least ten games with bad coaching.   The last game I watched and will watch was the Washington game in which the coach could not diagram a good play.   Melo and Felton bumping into each other and wasting time.  At the end of the game in the NBA the ball should go to a good point guard who will drive to the basket or pitch out to his shooters.   It was agony watching them all season.  I went to the first game with my friend who played point guard in college and we laughed at the lack of discipline in the team and watching Bagnani not knowing  how to play.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

The New York Post also reported, citing a league source, that Shumpert is still “part” of the Knicks’ future.

Jackson mentioned Shumpert by name when speaking with reporters last week, praising the third-year guard’s effort on the defensive end in the Knicks’ win over Brooklyn.

Why would Phil love Shumpert?

One source with knowledge of Jackson’s thinking says he likes how Shumpert could fit into his triangle offense and serve as a catalyst for the Knicks on defense.

Jackson has used big guards in the triangle in the past. The name most often mentioned when talking about the 6-foot-5 Shumpert is Ron Harper.

Jackson also stressed in his chat with reporters last week how much he values players applying pressure on defense. Shumpert’s widely regarded as one of the top perimeter defenders in the league.

According to a new metric that measures a player’s defensive value, Shumpert is the third-best defender among shooting guards in the NBA.

“I think Phil sees his value on both ends of the floor,” the source said. 



espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/55756/opening-tip-shump-in-phils-future-plans


Happy to hear this...hope Shump gets his confidence all the way back...you can be a supreme talent or have certain abilities in any sport..but if your head isn't in it, and lack confidence you might as well not show up to work.

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

That list johneco posted shows the work that HAS NOT been done to develop many of these players defensive skills. It is rare that a player comes to the league with premier defensive acumen. Such as they tell the player "Move your feet" you gotta "step slide" which is quicker and more efficient than just moving your dam feet. Many of these guys don't step slide.

You gotta have a great support system. The coaches have to be spot on in their abiltiy to show, teach and make sure the player gets the fine points of playing D. 

Anticipation is key so bball smarts play a large part in D skill. Example is Rodman. He had fantastic anticipatory skills---the man knew where the ball was going and he went and got it. 

DESIRE and EFFORT have to be there as well.


johneco
johneco

ESPN now publishes real-plus-minus (it's been around for a while elsewhere, but hard to find for free - it's basically +/- but tweaked to remove the effect of the other players you play with, using multivariate analysis).  The results for the Knicks are very interesting.  Out of 435 players analyzed:


Rank   Name   offense   defense   total

28 Tyson Chandler      0.16  3.45  3.61 
52 Carmelo Anthony     3.27 -0.60  2.67 
61 Pablo Prigioni      2.18  0.30  2.48
96 Iman Shumpert      -0.26  1.73  1.47
105 Kenyon Martin     -2.68  3.83  1.15
115 J.R. Smith         1.82 -0.96  0.86
141 Raymond Felton     1.58 -1.26  0.32
207 Toure' Murry      -1.19  0.10 -1.09
255 Beno Udrih         0.02 -1.69 -1.67
283 Cole Aldrich      -1.87 -0.12 -1.99
389 Jeremy Tyler      -2.61 -1.37 -3.98
399 Andrea Bargnani   -3.04 -1.40 -4.44
420 Tim Hardaway Jr.  -0.81 -4.41 -5.22  (7th worst defender in whole NBA, the worst is Jimmer)
428 Amar'e Stoudemire -3.25 -2.59 -5.84

Out of 435 total players! 


People like to bash Tyson and Iman, but that just shows they only see half the game (offense).

Amazing how many of our major players are at the very bottom of the nba list.

The biggest surprise to me was that Bargnani and Amare were worse on offense than on D!

Chris
Chris

This season was not fun as a fan at all. The playoff surge that you speak of was more to me like why now, why not in December. I place the entire blame of this season on the FO, and the coaching staff. Starting with what turned out the signings, to the firing, to the lack of any semblance of a pre season camp this team and the organization have been dysfunctional from the outset. The players on the court played as if they had never seen each other before, they ran the court like they had done no preseason conditioning and the coaching was totally abysmal from day 1. I have never seen young players regress as they did under this coaching staff sans Hardiway, and my thought is that his Dad had more to with that then our staff. And you say this was fun? This was one of the most unenjoyable seasons I have suffered through since I was a young boy rooting for this team in 1950

johneco
johneco

I think we are likely to trade THJr.  He's our most tradeable player, and he's overvalued right now.  Trade him to some loser team that only values offense and will overlook his atrocious defense (like most of the people on this blog).

tommy2b
tommy2b

Betting on sports, playing poker and being a Knicks fan?  Sandro you are headed for a hard life.

miracle33d
miracle33d

Pretty depressing watching this finals game knowing that any of these guards would be an improvement over RF and the Knicks are without a draft pick.

frankieboy
frankieboy

Im assuming we are done. Id rest Melo because its pointless to risk further injury. Sends a positive message . 


Moving forward I hope Phil talks Melo into opting in so that next summer when everyone is a UFA we can build our team and structure salaries to build a contender. Melo must understand that if he goes for a brew deal we don't have the same leverage that other team swill have and everyone will be looking to build super teams. 


Its up to Melo. He is no dummy. He know how Miami was built . He know Lebron , Wade and Bosh took pay cuts . It was the only way for the 3 of them to play together. 


Phil will easily be able to explain that . 


Im going with Heat vs Spurs Pt 2 Finals. Hate to say it but Indian imploded after trading Grainger and bringing in Turner and Bynum. Miami will pull it together and I am not happy to say that !

bkinghof
bkinghof

@MeloStat301 Pete Myers also comes to mind as that kind of defensive specialist who can clamp down on the perimeter, pressure the ball handler, and harass you defensively. I couldn't stand that guy when the Bulls played the Knicks (among others I hated, lol). He was tenacious defensively.

tommy2b
tommy2b

@johneco  I'm surprised that Amare's recent play hasn't moved him up into at least Beno territory.  I would have guessed Bargnani was #435 out of 435.

Ray Jorge
Ray Jorge

@johneco God bless you for posting this!!! This is why Phil wants to keep Melo Iman  Tyson & JR because he knows that putting those players in a system will simplify the game & adding a good point guard tandem also trading Hardaway for the Cavs Waiters will bring us back to contention!

Ray Jorge
Ray Jorge

@johneco ABSOLUTELY!!! THE CAVS HAVE A PROBLEM WITH WAITERS NOT GETTING ALONG WITH KYRIE! MAKE THAT TRADE ASAP!!!

tommy2b
tommy2b

@akamarb  Careful.  Biggie's gonna call you out as a hater and throw you out of the TrueFans(tm) club.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Armand N Berdynaj  

Mills will probably get some transfer to VP of Marketing or some shiz like that

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Biggie  

The problem with building solely through free agency is that you can't always sign the targets you want.  Sometimes you end up overpaying for left-overs.  The problem with building solely through trades of draft picks is that you can potentially be left without sufficient assets to construct a contender-worthy team (which after all, is the end game - not just landing a star player).  


Also, life.


#CrapShoot


All venues - draft, trade free agency - can play a role in constructing a contender.

miracle33d
miracle33d

@Biggie Doubt it would take 3 to 4 yrs.  But even if they had to get up to NBA speed, Randle and Napier look like they would get there eventually.  That's more than can be said about a lot of the Knicks' roster, which are now beyond getting up to speed ever again.

tommy2b
tommy2b

@Biggie  Dude I could use a laugh.  Can you make some more predictions?

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@Jerry Gee   The definition of bravery:  the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening : the quality or state of being brave.


How many times has a sportscaster stated " that was a dangerous pass." It is risky to take on the responsibilty of a team. That's what I'm saying. Then you go and take it out of context and start talking about war. That is a desperate attempt to try and prove yourself right.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@tommy2b @johneco  That's because his D is so atrocious. When Amare's not scoring efficiently, everything else is exposed, like his weak ball handling that often lead to turnovers, lack of rebounding, and easy buckets for opposing teams.


The +/- however, imo, is a misleading stat. 

Bball is a team sport. Obviously certain individuals have bigger impact than others, but there's those "intangible" players that always shine in the +/- section, because they deflect balls, take charges, etc.

Remember, Jared Jeffries was the +/- master, yet his overall presence wasn't really what his +/- indicated.

chudogz1
chudogz1

@XpectTheWorst. Same thing they said about Kemba tho

johneco
johneco

@Kiyan Carter Wade in his prime was a top 3 player.  Melo has never been that high IMO.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@XpectTheWorst @akamarb  

The officials had other plans that series, lol...that series and that D-Wade free throw parade against the Mavs in '06 were two of the most suspectly officiated playoffs I've seen.

Chris
Chris

@Sandro Guedes @Kiyan Carter  Then don`t respond to my posts either hater. Look at Wade pre Shaq, this will be the first year a team Melo was on is not in the playoffs, and it is not on him

sundevil32
sundevil32

@Kiyan Carter  time to realize carmello is a joke, a very low percentage shooter with shooting his best skill!  ouch! lifetime in the thirties for fg % in the playoffs!

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Kiyan Carter  

Lol, just a joke.  

To be honest, I have no clue what y'all are arguing about.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@XpectTheWorst @BigChiefTriangle @Biggie  

At his presser, Phil Jackson said, “and we’re going to have to work the coming years as we do go forward and get draft picks and get a chance to build this team.”

It's good to have an adult in the house.  I don't think Jax will devalue the draft as much as the Knicks have in recent years.  I certainly can't see him co-signing a trade like the Bargnani one.

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Biggie  

It's also the cheapest crapshoot that still leaves room for the free agency option (assuming you maintain flexibility.   

(And before someone chimes in with "but no one will sign here unless there's already a star!", well, refer to Amar'e in 2010.) 

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Mel Brown @BigChiefTriangle @Sandro Guedes @Kiyan Carter  

Maybe he's trying to take the "To teach is to learn twice" approach, lol...

BigChiefTriangle
BigChiefTriangle

@Biggie  

Ok.  Being perfectly honest, I didn't know - if it's confirmed.

Chris
Chris

@Jerry Gee  That is pure BS, you have no clue about what you are talking about go back in your hole. In war it is kill or be killed, not about so much bravery. The brave ones I knew are dead

knickgirl35
knickgirl35

@Jerry Gee  Melo saying that --- sacrificing his body for the team is bravery.

Guess what. Woody could've subbed Tyler for Melo. Melo has argued about coming out of the game before. Woodson didn't want him out.