The Good, The Bad and The Walt Clyde: Week 11

Ben Kopelman

Every Knicks fan struggles with the optimistic angel on one shoulder (we got Eddy Curry!) and the ever-depressing devil on the other (we still have Eddy Curry??!!). After each week this season, we will offer up the positives and negatives of the last seven days in Knicks-land to help sort it all out and put your mind at ease. 

Record during the week: 3-0
Game results: Win vs. Detroit (89-85); Win vs. Miami (102-92); Win @ 76ers (102-92)
Overall record / Games Behind: 14-22, 4.5 GB

THE GOOD

Shining When The Spotlight Is Brightest: The one constant about the Knicks this year is their ability to show up for big, prime time games. As I count it, an early season loss to Chicago, an OT thriller against the Pacers, a thrashing of the crosstown Nets, and Thursday’s game against the Heat have been the team’s four juiciest of the season. Despite a 2-2 record in these contests, the team has proven that it will show up for the big games. Whether this carries over into a playoff series is another question altogether, but it is good to be reminded that the troops know how to rally when the lights are on.

If The Season Ended Today: The Knicks would miss the playoffs by a mere half game!! Sad that that is a good thing, but the current winning stretch has the team within striking distance of a playoff spot. When you start the season at 3-13, a record of 14-22 is something to celebrate. Baby steps, everybody, baby steps.

STAT: How much fun was watching STAT during that Sixers game? Amar’e turned back the clock and looked like his old, young self with 21 and 5, on 8-10 shooting. Box scores aside, Stoudemire looked strong and assertive in a way we have not seen in what feels like three years. It is amazing what a rejuvenated STAT (and a 5-of-6 game streak) can do for a fans’ psyche. Remember that bumbling old man who couldn’t even jump? Me either.

THE BAD

Late Game Play Calling: At the end of the Pistons game, the Knicks came out of a timeout and drew up the following play: Felton hands the ball off to Melo on the right side, Melo dribbles for 20 seconds and puts up a one-dribble-jab-step jumper. If that is what the team gets after running a designed play, fine, so be it, Melo is great because he can make something out of nothing with a shot clock winding down. But is that the play the team practiced? The play Woodson diagrammed and called? At the very least run Melo off a screen so that he either has a step on his man or gets a weaker defender to switch over. If the Knicks ever find themselves in a playoff game where they need a late bucket (aka: every playoff game), I really hope they have something better than that. It is scary that I doubt they do.

J.R. Smith: Shoelace-gate was pathetic. JR’s response to the media after his benching was equally absurd. Smith’s nerve to suggest the team betrayed him shows a lack of understanding I once believed only existed in movies. Somehow, in a matter of months, Smith’s reigning-6th-man-of-the-year-$6-million-a-year deal has become a toxic asset. I know he played well against the 76ers, but JR’s fall from grace — going from key cog in the wheel to third SG on the depth chart — is staggering. The only good thing regarding JR right now is how the Knicks handled the situation. When getting benched is the only positive associated with your name, things are not going well.

THE WALT CLYDE

The Coolest Guy In Town:  While the rest of New York was freezing their collective asses off, Walt Clyde was strolling across Sixth Avenue jacket-less. Clyde revealed that he does not wear a coat. Ever. Mike Breen admitted that in all their years working together he has never seen Clyde in a coat. “It’s just too much of a hassle,” explained Walt. I guess? I say we Kickstarter to buy him this. Like he can resist that collar?! I’ll believe it when I see it.


You can follow Ben on Twitter @bkop2000

10 comments
Caroline Rios
Caroline Rios

Can we get a real starting PG this year? is that even possible? I love Raymond, but to me he isn't a starter. He'll be a great backup. I just think in order for the Knicks to be successful going along, we're gonna need PG. We saw that with Lin when he was in NY. I want a pass first PG, but also someone who can create his own shot. Is their anyone out there like that? didn't the suns want Shumpert last year for Dragic? man that would be good now!

josey
josey

When is Tommy Dee coming back this place is pathetic since he left .

ds2488
ds2488

One of the most shocking things this season has been the late game play calling.  Last year it was a strength of Woody's and the team always looked like they knew what they were doing and wanted to do.  This year?  It's been a total joke.  Sort of shocking to see what "plays" (and I hesitate to call them that) the "coach" (and I hesitate to call him that as well) has been drawing up. 


I've said it several times, but down the stretch in close games, it always seems as if the team doesn't know what they're doing.  Guys just looking at each other, Melo can't decide if he wants a screen or doesn't want one, it's amazed me this whole year that out of a timeout, the team seems that lost and disoriented.


Really been a very poor coaching job all year by Woody, but his late game play calling is by far the worst aspect of it.



VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Caroline Rios He's not a starting PG of a team looking to contend.

For that matter, is George Hill such a PG?

Felton's a decent enough playmaker to make the offense run a hell of a lot smoother thatn it looked with Beno.


Obviously, I'd love to get a top tier PG to NY, but it seems like tremendously lost cause. No one's available, and the asserts we have are slowly finding their groove.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@ds2488 The coach just doesn't have the chops. There's a reason why he has not been able to shake his "regular season coach" status.

In the playoffs everything is played at a different level. Every aspect is critical. Perhaps the most important is game to game adjustments. Woodson lacks this in every facet of the word.

It is now clear to me that a lot of Woodson's success last season came from the help he received from the savvy of guys like Kidd and KT. Not only do those type of minds help to balance a locker room, but certainly helped Woodson tactically.

Ratso Rizo
Ratso Rizo

@ds2488 I think Woody has been faking the funk and kissing azz all these years to get and keep jobs. Now being in NY he is being exposed and forced to actually learn how to coach. He is lucky to have Melo to lead this team and to teach him a thing or two. If you watch the huddles many times Melo reexplains what was just said. Woody is experiencing trial by fire being here in NY--The Hardest Place to Play and Coach in the NBA.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

@ds2488 I agree. Last year, that was a strong suite. Is it the lack of IQ of our players to execute the play or is it coaching? Or both?