We have to start with Dolan. He's one of the worst GMs in the league, the man doesnt care about championships, he just cares about making his money. We need to get his ass outta NY for us to have any chance to contend.
Knicks magic number is 5 to make the playoffs. Thought I would post some positive news around here.
Like I was telling a friend (and I think I posted on here too), this team, even when they were playing well, are not chip contenders. Neither are the Nuggets, so I don't wanna hear about what could have been with a roster full of "pretty nice" players.
The formulas are set. Proficient post player(s) + phenomenal wing player(s) = ability to get 16 wins after the final game of the regular season; or you can go the other route, and have two top-5 talents on one team, with the roster filled out with gritty defenders, rebounders, and 3-pt specialists.
So I agree, it's horrid to see the team going thru what they're going thru...but lets be real, this team was gonna be sitting at home in late May/June right along with the other teams that can't cultivate easy shots in a slower paced, playoff, series against the same team you already played 3 times in the last 7 days.
Swinging the ball and shooting was only going to work until the shots stopped falling. Melo and JR are really the only two dynamic finishers off of the dribble, so if you close out on Kidd/White/Novak/even Felton sometimes, you get that one-dribble rhythm shot that's still clanking off the rim.
STAT or (STANK, as I affectionately call him) was playing beyond well, I liked the extra firepower he provided, but he was absolutely no help to the starting 5(obviously). We need a low post presence in the starting 5. If you noticed the few times STAT was in the post, and Melo was operating on that side of the court, the D played them straight up. No double on Melo, STAT had his guy sealed, and there was no "stopper" to load that side of the court. Only problem is that if STAT is playing against someone who can guard the post, it's advantage defense, so had he stayed healthy...that wouldn't have helped.
This is the reason why there really is very little parity in the NBA. Almost every season you have the "Cinderellas" and the "darlings of the season. They play lights out, then get smashed in the playoffs by Duncan/Parker/Ginobli--Kobe/Pau/Bynum--Wade/Shaq/Alonzo--KG/Pierce--Kobe/Shaq. When the Knicks need to slow it down, to eat up some shot clock, limit possessions, win game after April 17...who were they ever gonna go to?
This Knicks team at it's absolute best wasn't as good as the 60+ wins LBJ Cavs teams, or even the Bulls the last few years (not counting the Bulls last year). But with their defensive prowess, MVPs, and inability to get easy shots when the defense dictated a slower pace by scoring with high% shots, and getting back...what happened to those teams?
Our half court offense is HORRID by design, and by personnel. Same reason why the Nuggets, Warriors, Pacers (unless Granger has a miraculous recovery), and Bulls, even with a 100% Rose, are going home.
This is EXACTLY why I said the Knicks needed to do their best to try to get Pekovic this past offseason, and I would have made a move for Milsap at this trade deadline. Folks were telling me that I was insane for wanting Nikola on this team over STAT because "he's not a big name" or some ****, but that dude owns the low block when he's on the court. It's his....get the **** outta his way, or at least that's the way he plays. Imagine that operating on the same side of the court with Melo over there, plus Tyson is on the other side of the lane...you'd need 6 guys to defend all of that.
So our options are, have another player sprout into a top-5 caliber player overnight, have a player develop a comfortable post game where he has natural counter moves, and is lethal....not learning the post and trying to master the footwork at the age of 30....make a savvy move and acquire something that thrusts the team in the right direction.
Or just settle for a really good regular season team, that's always drafting 20-27, but no rings.
Basically, it comes down to can your team be schematically stopped, or is the only hope to get them "out of their rhythm" and pray.
Right now, you can easily load the side of court where Melo is, make him move the ball, promote perimeter shots, and if they don't fall then the Knicks are out of options. Teams don't respect Felton's shot enough, so they're not stepping up on the PnR, and he has nowhere to go in the half-court and you can't throw lobs all game, especially when a big is looking at you, daring you.
This team has been super mediocre since like Dec 15th. The NBA catches up. It's more than how hard you play, it's do you have the right pieces and the proper strategy. If you're playing a game of chess, I don't care how hard you try, how much you care and want it, you can give all the effort in the world...but you're gonna lose if you have a board full of pawns, a castle, and one bishop and your king.
I accepted Stat's uptempo transition game over Zach Randolph halfcourt-set game (Melo & Zach would make great teammates, both play slow-ball and cant score on a fastbreak).
The Knicks 23 point loss to Denver uptempo transition game is something the Denver Nuggets never did or had with Melo as a Nuggets.
Melo's best high scoring performance does not fit into the new Denver Nuggets transition system that beat us by 23 points. The Denver Nuggets that beat us had better ball movement, better passing skills, and confidence in sharing the ball (3 to 5 touches before the shot), plus Denver always had 3 players moving without the ball on every offensive play, even when they went into SSOL transition.
How come coach Karl could not run that same uptempo transition system during his 5 seasons coaching Melo?
How come coach Woody does not run the uptempo transition system he ran in Atlanta with Joe Johnson & Josh?
We all watched Dantoni DNP practically the entire roster for two straight seasons and not get fired, what did it take to get Dantoni fired? my bad! what made Dantoni resign?
I see things (the mistakes) in a more long-term and short-term way. If we were going to build on a formula then lets agree the formula has a Superstar usually a legit scorer; low post defense and rebounds (bigs), three point shooter(s), and someone to control the flow (PG) (depth too). Your analysis (that I enjoyed) neglected to mention the Mavs where I think the argument could be made that we were modeled after currently (in theory). But to digress...
The long-term mistakes took place years ago:
Hiring D'antoni who didn't and doesn't appreciate bigs (a necessary ingredient to go from good to great).
This lead to a slew of mismanaged and misevaluated players that we had and yet to come. I say this because who knows what would have happened since. We can start with Marbury who was benched because he got into an shouting match in a preseason game vs Boston. He was hype, came back looking strong, the rest is history.
Then there's Jordan Hill. I heard Hahn mention this list of could've had(s): Jennings, Holiday, DeRozen, Lawson, Teague, Collison, Gibson, etc... and it saddens me as the formula includes a PG who is solid. Yet we let D'Antoni convince us that Nash was the only one who would suffice despite both never winning a chip.smh :thumbsup:
I have to agree with signing STAT but I can argue that using the amnesty on Billups to get Tyson was also partly a mistake. The mistake there was STAT already hurt his back (I'm leery of knees and backs) and the opportunity arose and the coach we had (which later turns out to be a blessing) didn't know how to use him. Again pointing to big bodies but this time it's about use.
Chandler's use became obvious when coach D'Antoni had no choice but to play Lin. Lin knew no other way than to play conventional regardless of D'Antoni SSOL (LOSS) system; drive and dish. This lead to us going inside and basically featuring Chandler on offense with Melo out. It also indicated that we still had team players willing to pass the rock just like pre Melo. This begins our short term errors.
You take off the D'ANtoni lens and the player valuation (evaluation) changes. Woodson being conditioned under D'Antoni, obviously valued Melo, but like his predecessor devalued Lin and Chandler (offensively). I agree Lin needed defensive help but we saw how Shump made up for that. I say the error here is not managing Lin properly to maximize his worth.
Then just as in the past, coach is forced to make adjustments due to injury. But recall STAT was a starter so any change should have been temporary. He bumps knees and has an MRI on one knee and not the other. Mistake.
Then like in the past coach falls in love with small ball; Melo at the 4; three's galore. He too goes against conventional wisdom and negates and neglects using our big(s) in the post and devalues defense. Now Brewer who was slumping (even though he gave us more than expected... off an injury) is first sat in favor of less than desirable replacements then traded. This was after it was obvious we could overcome our three point bonanzas and little to no rebounding with our team defense. Which is mind numbing because the FO and coach basically systematically reduced our power with their self defeating decisions.
Lets do the math. IF everyone pre Brewer trade were healthy, and I said name the best most reliable defenders on the Knicks who would you name? TC, Shump, Wallace, Brewer, and to a degree Kidd. Well IF we stick to the formula, and had we learned our lesson going 18-5, we would see that IF we surround Melo with some defense and shooters off the bench we could compete. So who did we have healthy? TC/one + Brewer/two. Thats it... we had two reliable defenders and one Shump coming back. If the plan was to replace Brewer, even with Brewer off-the bench we would have maintained defense at the two.
The MAVS formula had a reliable defender at the 2. Hello? And one was already hurt.. hello? Is there any wonder what happened to the defense.
After that the problems for 2 months now have been cyclical IMO. Melo gets hurt is no surprise. JR shooting us in and out of games. Have you heard any announcers say that JR and the Knicks are undisciplined and need to drive the ball more? Why hasn't coach dictated this? He was checking dudes now he looks dumbfounded. It should be Play his way or else... or is this his way? Shouldn't a good coach realize when something has developed and cultivated it, especially if it was working? Wouldn't you adjust your formula and try to adhere to the same principles that got you this far?
I see how we squandered many opportunities to not be "a top four team" but to over achieve and compete on a consistent basis. I see a coach who has made bad worse by not planning. Fail to plan, plan to fail.
A competitive team, not a 63 point, undisciplined, devoid of leadership team. That's the most we could ask for. Make the best decisions given the options to put us in a position to win, like acquiring Martin as soon as a Camby and Wallace go out with overuse injuries; don't wait. I have documented that coach is losing this team.
Whoever is a leader, including coach, needs to step up now.
Having that homegrown young talent + a ton of cap space + all of our draft picks would have been nice. Who knows what kind of team we could have built.
Ultimately though, we, as Knick fans, have to shoulder a good portion of the blame. We are a fickle, impatient fan base and demand change immediately if success isn't shown immediately.
We just have to ride this current roster out and enjoy it as much as we can. In two years maybe we'll rebuild the right way, and with some patience.
I love the way this forum blows up and suddenly everyone crawls out from under their rocks to bitch and moan because suddenly the season has turned upside down.
Where were you all during the good times huh? Most of you can f*ck off quite frankly imo.
Stat + Melo = epic fail. I didn't see that coming but after these past few seasons I came to the realization that for this team to win anything, we need to re-build and not reload.