Starting lineup dismal in loss to the Trail Blazers

Harris Decker

Iman ShumpertIt’s amazing that we’ve arrived at a place like this. It’s February and we’re still trying to define the various ways the Knicks are finding to lose games. Wednesday night against the Trail Blazers, the story was simple: The starting lineup is getting massively outplayed by the bench and things have to change.

While the Knicks starters, Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler scored 40 points, the bench, made up of J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Tyler, scored 50. You heard right. The four players coming off the bench scored more than the 5 players in the starting lineup. That is just ridiculous.

Smith led the bench in scoring with 18. Over his last 10 games, Smith is averaging 18.1 points per game, shooting 47 percent. Hardaway Jr. was able to put up 12 points, despite shooting 1 for 7, from behind the three-point arc. Stoudemire added 15 points and 7 rebounds in just over 21 minutes.

J.R. SmithIt was the starters that were completely ineffective. Anthony scored 26, while Felton, Prigioni, Shumpert and Chandler added 14, combined. Shumpert was 0 for 5 from the field, failing to score a single point for the second time in 2014. After scoring seven points over the first three quarters, Mike Woodson decided not to play Felton during the fourth quarter, riding Prigioni instead. Neither player was particularly effective, but at least Prigioni plays defense.

Another disturbing trend that continued on Wednesday night for the Knicks was a failure to hit threes. The Knicks attempted 21 threes as a team and no player hit more than a single one. They ended the game having shot 19 percent from behind the arc while the Trail Blazers shot 38.1 percent.

In the end, it was another loss and another night of trying to explain what happened to the Knicks who lost to one of the better teams in the Western Conference. Things don’t get much easier as they take on the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder over the weekend.




80 comments
rjv3
rjv3

small ball or not, we can't have 4 starters scoring a total of 20 points or so and expect to win games. Not working cause Felton, Shump stink and Chandler and Prigs not to far behind them.

tifoso6
tifoso6

Last year Kidd coached the team.  When he played the ball moved and the Knicks played well.  With him gone the ball has stopped moving for the Knicks but is moving over in Brooklyn.  Woodson only knows isolation offense.  Even that he does not know how to do well.   At the end of the game, with the game on the line if Melo isolates have the four best shooters on the team out there with him so he can dump it off to someone who is willing and can take the shot.


ScottE
ScottE

Everybody harps on TC, but Felton's abysmal play has a lot to do with Chandlers lackluster play this year.  Felton has always ben bad on defense, but this year he has been worse, and his offense doesn't warrant him being a starter.  Prigioni has been solid due to his smarts but is not athletic enough to keep up.  


Woodson: Why don't you play Murry?  He's shaky at times on offense, but is a terror on defense.  As a result, the team plays better offense.  Shump, JR, and Timmy get breakouts because of his defense.  Even though Murry's passing isn't pretty, the bigs get open looks because he can actually dribble drive (unlike the rest of our PGs).


I know that the roster is flawed, but how can Woodson continually go away from player combinations that are effective in favor of the same tired stuff.  We would at least be a 6 seed, and actually be watchable if Woodson had some semblance of a clue.

rgm891
rgm891

Old Knick needs to be coach and GM. That solves everything.

knickster
knickster

The best course of action is to get a good coach and see what happens the rest of the season, dedicating a lot of minutes to developing the young players to see who can be part of the future.

barnaby87
barnaby87

We need a second star in here.  If I was Mills, i'd offer Minny Chandler, Shump, JR and a 1st rounder for K-Love and cap filler.  It doesn't solve our PG woes, but at least we'd have a formidable big man who can score.

jeandd323
jeandd323

Injuries and luck have pointed the way to this clueless coach. He still does not get it. When we went to this mini winning streaks, it was not by pure chance. It was because of the players on the court :

JR, Timmy, Tyler, Toure and Melo. - even Cole !

We had a good combination of youth, athetiscism and energy


Woodson could not wait to get his boys back in the lineup and he destroyed this good thing. We have seen the catastrophic results.


As far as I am concerned, the Knicks starting line-up should be : Prigs, Timmy, Melo, Tyler and Amare. 


Off the bench should be JR, Felton, Tyson, Meta, Toure in that perking order.


Felton can anchor the starting unit. JR provide scoring and Tyson can thrive at the P&R against other teams second units.


This  starting lineup would not be perfect but it would be balanced 

  • Good scoring with Timmy, Melo and Amare
  • Gritty defense with Tyler and Prigs
  •  Good energy with Tyler and Timmy 

That is what we should do down the stretch  


lindro88
lindro88

Anyone catch Blake Griffin's act last night.  46 pts 15 rebounds.  There was some talk going on here that he was overrated.  Blake is now a legit top 15 player in the league.  Also nice to see Jamal Crawford hasn't lost anything despite being in the league close to 15 years now. 

lindro88
lindro88

sad thing is the Blazers played like garbage last night.  Aldridge was a non factor until the end,  Lillard didn't do much.  They got beat because they are bad.  The Blazers would have been blown out by any decent team in the league.  

rgm891
rgm891

Denver

@OKC

Kings

@Memphis

@New Orleans


We can not come out flat vs any of these teams.  I have no expectations anymore.  Who's next in Woodson's dog house? Herb Willams? At least when this team is bad we can make jokes about it.  Only bright point about this season.  

ds2488
ds2488

I'm pretty much at the point where I'm done with Shump.  I've defended him all year because the "coach" is pathetic and has shown no support for him, but this is just inexcusable.  The guy can not even make layups right now, he's like airballing them.  He just takes one dribble and panics.  No confidence and no skill.  


Obviously the "coaching" is just insanely bad.  Ray Felton has not earned a single minute this season.  This team is so much better with their other 3 pgs.  


As I've said all year, I wish this team would go young.  The young guys can't do any worse than the veterans.  Toure and Tyler should get the majority of minutes at the pg and center position.  Tyson should be a 20 minute guy like he was on Dallas.  He's not good enough on offense when he's not DPOY to justify 30+ minutes per game.


I don't understand why it's so hard for the "coach" to go with that Toure/Timmy/Shump lineup that has caused havoc on defense in its limited minutes.  Or when Shump sucks just play JR instead.  That lineup can get out and run and has an identity not centered around a "pg" who can't run the point nor can he stop anyone on defense.

onewhoknix
onewhoknix

A small positive that I noticed yesterday....Amare.

Like any scorer in this league, you need touches, minutes, and space. Whether you like to admit it or not, this is the closest Amare has looked like 2011 Allstar Amare in a long time. His explosion, jumper, first step, and post moves all seem to be coming together at the right time. If we need a second scorer on the team, Amare is primed to go as long as Chandler doesn't share the court and take up Amare's real estate. The fact is I think our offense can get going long before Woodson puts together anything resembling an average defense. I have seen everything from Amare this year, when healthy, that he used to do in 2011 when he was an allstar. The guy is complaining about minutes so bump him up. This is the healthiest Amare has felt in years. We didn't sign Amare for defense, we signed him to get buckets and help out on boards. You want to complain about his defense then tell me why our defense still sucks when he is out of the game. He is a vet who can still put up 18ppg on 50%+ shooting.

To sum it up: Amare has looked really great physically and that jumper is falling. The man deserves at least 14-15 shots a game as long as 28-32 mpg. 1) Prigioni 2) JR 3) Shump 4) Melo 5) Amare.

ponzies86
ponzies86

@zdiddy4nyk  This brand of Basketball is what most teams play in today's NBA, and Knicks won 54 games with this style, The problem is our guards aren't consistent this season unlike last season

Chris
Chris

@OLDKNICK  Especially when you are 10 feet off him and not ready to challlenge

ScottE
ScottE

@OLDKNICK  I was screaming at Felton to play defense during every play down the stretch of that game.  If felton is on the bench, we win that game. Period.  tough shot my azz.

ScottE
ScottE

@OLDKNICK  I REALLY hope Dolan and Mills have a subscription to the Post.

Chris
Chris

@Kiyan Carter  Disagree Melo is getting shizkicked guarding posts, sans his lack of scoring in 4th quarter. Murry and Shump are no offense no scoring as is chandler. start Ty5, Amarie4, Melo 3, JR 2, Pablo 1, bench Hardaway Tyler, KMart/Cole, Murry, and ????????

ScottE
ScottE

@Kiyan Carter  This!  Felton would also play better in the second unit with Amare.  He won't have to guard the more explosive PGs and Amare is a more versatile PnR partner than TC.

ScottE
ScottE

@Kiyan Carter  It doesn't matter who is in charge if you're always negotiating from a position of weakness.  We've been making trades out of desperation for years now.  And other GMs know this...man!

ScottE
ScottE

@OLDKNICK  The Herbivore!  Bring him on!  This team, with all it's flaws would be the best he's ever coached.  I would love to see it.

rgm891
rgm891

@OLDKNICK  Herb Williams round two.  The savior.  The east is big man.    

Chris
Chris

@OLDKNICK  You are assuming said boys can read and interpret? Big supposition  

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@OLDKNICK Come on Old Knick, last night was a perfect example of Melo not needing to be the one to score in the clutch always.  Our dumb coach should have had Melo be a facilitator or decoy since he played too many mins and hadn't score all the 4th qtr while THJr and JR hit the last two key shots.

No player should have this pressure on them and we will not go far with Melo or our dumb coach feeling like they have to be the one to do everything and not trust their team mates.


rgm891
rgm891

@Biggie  Biggie do you believe the Knicks can win a chip with this roster and coach? 

madskills
madskills

@lindro88  Blake had a great game last night. Seeing him ice his knees down while sitting on the bench wasn't a good sight though.

cj1786
cj1786

@Sandro Guedes Its kind of stupid to play these what ifs with the Knicks draft pick this year.  They traded that pick for Melo when, 4 years ago?  If Denver ends up with a high pick its easy to just say, "See, if we didn't trade for Melo we'd be getting (Wiggins, Parker, Embiid etc)".... but its also completely ridiculous to say such things because these trades and pick do not happen in a vacuum.  The Carmelo trade set in motion a whole host of other moves which culminated in this current team that will end up in the lottery.  If the trade is not made, and the Knicks keep the pick, are we seeing the same 19-30 record we see now? Answer: Who the F knows.  How could we know?  Who knows what possibly would have happened to the Knicks in the subsequent 4 years had they not made the Melo deal?  But one answer is for sure, things would be completely different.  So to act like its as simple as, if we didn't trade for Melo, we'd be in the same place 4 years later and have that same lottery pick, is just kind of stupid. 

rico
rico

@ScottE @OLDKNICK   I can't argue with benching Felton and letting him earn his minutes but that was a bitch of a shot by Knight and Felton not playing perfect D 24 feet from the hoop is not the worst transgression by a Knick this year. Most people would say "let him shoot it just don't foul him"…anyway, Bargs, Beno, JR, they've all shown bad situational judgement.



ScottE
ScottE

@Chris @Kiyan Carter  I like your lineup, but I think you have to save either of Amare or Tyson for the second unit in favor of Murry or Tyler.  You want to see desperation?  Try watching Felton and Timmy trying to make things happen with no legit bigs.

barnaby87
barnaby87

@Sandro Guedes @barnaby87 Forget about Pekovic.  Either way, we need to swing Chandler for something.  JR has more value I think than people realize; especially with playing better as of late.  Shump has a ton of value as a defender and would be thriving if Woodson utilized him properly.

ScottE
ScottE

@OLDKNICK @ScottE  Agreed. This team needs a shakeup, and woodson is the obvious choice.  No need to mortgage to future for a knee-jerk trade when a coaching change could do the trick.  If they make this move now, they still have time to make a roster move.  This team, despite it's record is MILES ahead of the team Herb coached as an interim, and he may surprise some folks.  

ScottE
ScottE

@OLDKNICK @ScottE  I detect your sarcasm, but Woodson is a dead man walking, and Herb's paid his dues.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@OLDKNICK I agree that those you mentioned are not pure scorers.  But if we had an offense that relied on ball movement, player movement and etc, these guys would be shooting more in rhythm and not just 3s. 

We run a dumb offense for the personnel we have.  Players like Shump, THJr and JR who are more athletic should be cutting more to the rim or have better movement. 

Chandler is what he is.  He is not going to become Moses Malone or Dirk. He's a team defender or help defender that understands team defense and can run the pick and roll providing he can get an alley oop or it's just oops as far him being able to score.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@OLDKNICK It's the coach but it's Melo and bunch as well. They have low b-ball IQs.  We have some talent on this team but if we play dumb, then we will not solve the problem.

In the clutch, Melo always thinks he has to be the one to score.  He has to be smart and know that he's using lots of energy playing major mins and when his teammates has it going, he has to be the able to facilitate or defer to them.

Melo is not lacking talent, it's mostly between the ears.  

knickster
knickster

@Biggie @rgm891 I'll translate: be a man and admit you were wrong in your assessment of the team. Far less stressful and would re-gain you the respect of other readers. As it is, you are the blog's clown, trying to cover the sky with one finger...

knickster
knickster

@Biggie Pretty offensive, ignorant and stupid, Biggie. There are Knicks and Yankee fans all over the world. Being "connected" (whatever that means in your bizarre retardo world) is not required to be a Knicks fan.

rgm891
rgm891

@Biggie @Sandro Guedes  You tell Chris to grow up lmao. Dude u need to grow up.  And accept the fact that you are way wrong.  You are in the minority here.  Just be a man and accept the fact that you are wrong.  Mostly everyone here thought we were going to improve over last season. Hell I even thought Bargs would help us. I was way wrong.  Obviously you're going to say there are only a few good post left because you don't agree with any of THEM, lmaoo. Constantly calling out posters such as Sandro on a daily basis because we believe we need change in order to win. Real mature man.  This season was suppose to be different.  That's why this blog and fans of the NY Knicks are showing even more anger.  We don't want to go back down the road of the Isiah years.  We want to build for next season and seasons to come.  All we want is a NBA chip. Players constantly throwing Woodson under the bus. Now Woodson throws Melo under the bus? Mike Woodson is the biggest problem next to felton and Dolan on this team. He has no motivation ability and gives up on players who go against him.  Woodson doesn't have another defensive philosophy other than switching.  No one communicates on a simple Pick and Roll.  Chandler does not help out with help defense whatsoever?  Of course the players are to blame also, but Woodson is a terrible basketball coach.  The only reason he did well was because players were motivated for change once D'antoni left and had something to prove.  He has taken his job for granted and he believes that everything will be okay.  I can't think of one player who has shown any sort of improvement during Woodsons tenure.  Isolations, switching, constant 3 point shooting.  Woodson needs to look himself in the mirror and stop blaming others, refs for the Knicks poor play.  Teams love when they have to play us.  All they have to do is out hustle us, which is so easy.  Tie ball game.  So predictable, iso melo.  Teams are stopping the Knicks down the stretch with so much ease.  Melo playing 40 minutes.  It's no coincidence that's shooting so poorly in the fourth quarter.  It's time to start fresh man.  It will good for all of us.  I rather have players who give a damn on the basketball court such as Prigioni/Tyler.  Woodson is scared.  He doesn't know how to face adversity and believes he's not the problem.  

lindro88
lindro88

@Sandro Guedes @lindro88  They are unrealistic, fairy tales.  You come up with random players that we some how could have had, and build some kind of Sandro dream team.