About Dan Goldstein

Posts by Dan Goldstein:

What Would Ryan Lochte Do? “Pilot”

Ryan Lochte did some stuff on TV yesterday and you might have tragically missed it. Here’s the recap!

ryan-lochte-face-wwrld

We’ve decided to give the Knicks a break here at the Meloship and provide some essential writing on the wonderful national treasure that is Ryan Lochte. So begins a weekly thing, for better or worse, where I will write recaps of episodes of “What Would Ryan Lochte Do?” in an attempt to make Mondays a little less terrible. Or more terrible. We’ll see. Jeah, this should be interesting.

We begin the inaugural episode of What Would Ryan Lochte Do? (WWRLD) with our hero and a large group of people called the “Lochterage” (Spectacular wordplay. We’re already off to a great start.) walking down the streets of Gainesville, Florida getting ready to play quite possibly the most intense game of flag football ever. Quickly, we are introduced to Lochte’s assistant/BFF Gene and his younger brother Devon. Devon, of course, is rocking a tuxedo shirt. Ryan, not to be out-bro’d, is wearing a tank-top that says “LochteNation” on it and keeps saying that over and over again to describe the group. The teams split into a shirts-vs-skins game, and shockingly, the real-life Aquaman quickly takes off his shirt. Some things to know about the game: More

Knicks Sign Quentin Richardson

qrichEarlier today, basically out of the blue, the Knicks signed Quentin Richardson, closing the open roster spot they had from cutting King Solomon Jones. Richardson played with the Knicks from 2005-2009, and holds career averages of 10.3 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, and is a 35% three point shooter. This move isn’t that significant, or at least lets hope it isn’t that significant. Also, Richardson is playoff-eligible. Some brief thoughts:

  • Once a Knick Always a Knicks! It looks like the Knicks are becoming very committed to this slogan. However, I was kinda hoping that players from Knicks teams we try so, so hard to forget would be, um, forgotten from this new campaign. If the Knicks bring back Jerome James, look for them to have a 10 year anniversary night for the 2005-2006 Knicks, where every fan in attendance gets a replica NBA Draft Lottery ping-pong ball.
  • Here’s Q-Rich blowing a dunk against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
  • For those of you that weren’t following the Knicks during those terrible years (and god bless you, really) or have drank enough alcohol to forget them, you may not know that Q-Rich is not a big fan of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett. That being said, I’d very much like for those guys not be extra-angry when playing the Knicks. 
  • And here’s Richardson and Garnett getting into a skirmish.
  • Hopefully Richardson doesn’t have to play unless the Knicks are up by 25 and Woodson clears the bench. If he gets burn in a situation other than that, I guess he can’t really be worse than James White. So there’s that.
  • Headbands! Melo and K-Mart are already avid wearers of headbands, and I can’t remember Richardson playing for the Knicks without one. I suggest a rule change for the playoffs where the team with the most headbands wins.

And that’s it! The Knicks close out the regular season against the Hawks tomorrow, and then get ready to play the Celtics on Saturday, time still to be determined.

Knicks 90, Pacers 80, 2nd Seed Clinched, Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

jrpacers15th win in the last 16 games, locked up the 2-seed in the East…fun times to be a Knicks fan, everyone. (Furiously knocks on all of the wood.) Indeed, the Knicks defeated the Pacers today in a relatively ugly, slow, Pacers-y game. Shorthanded in the frontcourt with Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin (and every other tall guy on the Knicks) suffering from death many different nagging injuries, the Knicks were beat up on the glass 45-32 (and 13-8 in offensive rebounds). However, even with this disparity, the Knicks took 17 (!) more shots than the Pacers, as the Pacers decided to start throwing the ball everywhere but to their own team, even hitting poor Mike Woodson with one en route to 26 turnovers. Carmelo Anthony poured in 25 points while sitting out the 4th with a shoulder contusion (nothing serious according to him, he is still alive), JR Smith added 15 off the bench, and Chris Copeland scored 20 himself as he made up for his poor rebounding with stellar shooting (8-12 from the field). Some notes:

  • King Solomon Jones got the start at center, and played pretty poorly but it really doesn’t matter. He over played some hedges defending the pick-and-roll, was constantly getting thrown to the ground by Roy Hibbert, and took a 7 foot jumper off the pick-and-roll that went about 5 and a half feet. Cool name, though.
  • Steve Novak missed a layup off the pick-and-roll and had he made it I would  probably be dead.
  • Melo started off hot, scoring the first 9 points for the Knicks, but cooled off mightily after that. He started getting frustrated with the officials after the physical play escalated and was guarding Hibbert and West down low and taking a beating. After getting fouled hard by David West on the shoulder and favoring it for a couple of minutes, Melo threw down an alley-oop from Kidd and then hit a catch-and-shoot three pointer and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
  • The Knicks benefited from Paul George being severly off his game (3-12 from the field) and basically everyone on the Pacers either not being able to throw or catch the ball. I don’t think I’ve seen that many passes flying to no one in particular in a while.
  • Jason Kidd, a game leading +17, missed a spot up three pointer by about 35 feet, then on the same possession took a runner from the corner as the shot clock expired and missed the rim by slightly less. Then he airballed his next three-point attempt long. Whatever. Kidd came up with 4 steals today, ripping the ball from poor Lance Stephenson as he attempted to drive on Kidd, then stealing a couple of over-the-top entry passes by playing the basketball version of a free safety.
  • Playing the majority of the game at center, Copeland actually did a decent job fighting with Hibbert for position down low. This, coupled with Hibbert’s relatively bad post up game and the Pacers refusing to throw him the ball when he was in *great* position right under the basket, led to Hibbert having 4 points on 2-5 shooting.

That’s basically it. I mean, this was a pretty sloppy game from about midway through the first quarter on. Looking forward, the Knicks now have their highest seed since 1994, will play the Celtics in the first round, and can/will rest their starters for the final two games o the regular season. The issue with the last thing is that the Knicks currently have 10 healthy players, and 8 of them are currently rotation players. If it were up to me, the Knicks would play Solomon Jones and James White, and throw in Jim Todd and Herb Williams occasionally. Alas, NBA rules require you to play 5 players at a time, so I guess they can’t do that. Anyway, the Knicks clinched the two-seed. I’m going to run around like a maniac for a while. This picture describes my emotions right now:

tumblr_lq78hk199G1r19yjuo1_500

Clippers 93, Knicks 80

cp3feltonWell, that sucked. The Knicks kept their losing streak alive, getting beat pretty badly the Clippers. Missing Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler (and Amar’e Stoudemire, but whatever) the Knicks got thoroughly out worked on the glass (-12 in that department) and got a really, really, really, terrible game from JR Smith, who they needed to pick up the majority of the offensive load. Notes ‘n’ stuff:

  • The aforementioned JR Smith was horrible, shooting 4-20 from the field and getting blown by really badly by Clipper guards. The Knicks needed him to have a good game to have a chance at winning, and in typical JR-up-and-down fashion, he followed up his 33 point night against the Blazers with whatever the hell today was.
  • Quietly, Raymond Felton had a good game. His defense wasn’t horrible, though he did make some odd rotation choices. (In fairness, the Knicks as a team make odd rotation choices.) Offensively, he made some lovely feeds to big men in space and should have finished with more than 9 assists if any of those big men could finish layups. Once again though, he had an inefficient 16 points on 15 shots. Still, a step in the right direction.
  • Chris Copeland started, played 26 minutes, got lost on dozens of rotations, missed some terrible shots, made some terrible shots, finished with 13 points.
  • Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had many terrifying dunks and I’m happy no one on the Knicks was killed by them.
  • Once again, Mike Woodson buried Pablo Prigioni on the bench until the fourth quarter. Between adamantly refusing the play Pablo, constantly playing JR Smith, and having started James White for two weeks, Woodson’s lineup and rotation decisions have been putrid.
  • Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby kept getting jumped over by Blake and DeAndre, and then Chris Paul almost murdered Kurt Thomas with a crossover. Turns out kids don’t have respect for their elders anymore.
  • Kenyon Martin put up quite possibly the worst shot of all time (a fadeaway that hit the top of the backboard) and committed 5 hard fouls, one of which was a flagrant.

Overall, the Knicks played with effort today. Their were painfully overmatched, and couldn’t score without JR having a good game. Good news: With the exception of Kurt Thomas potentially moving the cobwebs around in his knee, nobody on the Knicks lost a limb! The Knicks play the Jazz tomorrow, and hopefully the knees become fixed by then.

Revisiting Knick-Warriors… With Pictures!

curryshotWhew. That was fun, wasn’t it? It took me a little while to full comprehend exactly what happened during the Knicks 109-105 win over the Warriors, but I think I’m good now. Steph Curry went unconscious in the middle of the second quarter and stayed that way throughout, finishing with 54 points on 18-28 shooting and 11-13 from beyond the ark. Luckily for the Knicks, no one else on the Warriors contributed much, and the Knicks actual won a game in which someone dropped 50 in the garden on them. Carmelo Anthony had 35 points and 8 assists as the Knicks ran the majority of their offense through him, and JR Smith added 26 on 10-19 shooting and 6-11 from deep.

The Warriors shot 50% from the field as opposed to the Knicks’ 41%, made more 3s (15 to the Knicks’ 11) and shot a better percentage from deep (55.6% to 32.4%) and lost. This was, in major part, to the Knicks dominance on the boards and in the turnover department. Tyson Chandler had 28 rebounds, and the Knicks outrebounded the Warriors 46-38, adding 16 offensive boards to just 5 for the Warriors. Chandler grabbed 10 rebounds in the first 7 minutes, and finished with 13 in the first quarter alone. A lot of this was David Lee being suspended for the Warriors, however the effort was clearly there from Tyson.

Instead of doing a normal, bullet-by-bullet recap, I’ve decided to break down some important plays from the game. While Curry went absolutely insane, and the Knicks only won by 4, I thought that they played much better defensively than they have in the past few weeks. They kept their switching to a minimum, didn’t do a whole lot of doubling in the post, (probably because the Warriors were missing Lee), and played with a lot of effort. They had some breakdowns which led to some open looks for Curry, but he probably wouldn’t have missed if he got hit with a car battery. Anyway, to the game: More

76ers 97, BullDucks 80

This video just about summarizes the Knicks loss to the Sixers: Disorganized, annoying, and involving a duck. (Yes I spent 15 minutes looking up duck videos)

Oh, hello there. I assume you’re here because you want to read a recap of the Knicks game. In that case, allow me clean up the pool of vomit that has gathered on my floor. Ok, done. Where were we? Oh, right. The game went a little like this:

Knicks fans were very excited for the return of Raymond Felton, and the starting lineup of Felton-Kidd-Shumpert-Anthony-Chandler. Then the Sixers started out 6-6 from the field, with Jrue Holiday leaving scorched earth behind him as he went to the basket and suddenly Knicks fans were much less excited. Melo forced a lot of shots inside the paint while often double or triple teamed. The pick-and-roll we hoped that would spark the Knicks never got going, as Felton didn’t make many attempts to pass the ball to Chandler. Moreover, a lot of the Knicks plays went to Melo or Amare post ups. Jason Kidd missed some 3s. Iman Shumpert missed some 3s and some 2s. JR Smith missed the rim a couple times. Bleh.

The Knicks effort defensively wasn’t good, as they gave up many dribble penetrations and failed to rotate and help. In fairness not even Iman Shumpert could stop Jrue Holiday from getting in the paint. Holiday had his way with Felton, Kidd, and JR Smith as well, and took a strong stance against missing shots. Conversely, the Knicks had no qualms about missing shots. Melo finished 9-28, JR was 0-8, Shumpert 0-6, and Felton 2-8. As a team, they shot 34%, and were 4-17 from three point land (14%). The Sixers? They shot 50% from the field. Yeah, the Knicks sucked tonight.

The only bright spot was Amar’e Stoudemre. Using an array of post moves, some creative finishes and a couple jumpers, STAT went 8-13 and racked up 20 points. This was by far his best game of the year, as he even got the Sixers to start doubling him in the post while Melo was on the floor. He was quick off the face-up, and managed to get around his defender a couple times, too. He didn’t have much pick-and-roll action as the Knicks mainly went to him or Anthony in the post. He did, however, have one monster block coming over from the weak side and helping out a guard who got beat.

Yep, that’s about it. The Knicks had about a thousand shots go in-and-out, but that doesn’t excuse the lack-luster defense. Ultimately, I’m not too worried about this game. Philly made a lot of their jumpers (most of them open) and the Knicks, while having very good ball movement to start the game, missed their open looks. The Knicks have a game tomorrow against the Hawks, and hopefully the shots go down this time.

This is as far as I’ll go, because to go any farther with this recap is to admit this game happened. Let’s all pretend it didn’t.

Shump 102, Pistons 87

shump1Evening Knick fans! I hope everyone enjoyed the Knicks 102-87 victory over the Pistons. I’ve recently picked my jaw up off the floor from the sheer sight of seeing Iman Shumpert play basketball again, and will now attempt to recap what happened when Shump took over London. I’m hoping to do so coherently, but if I don’t just know that it’s because my brain is melted from seeing Shump Daddy play and/or I’m illiterate. Anywho, lets begin:

The Knicks started the game off on a 16-2 run, filled with ridiculous Carmelo Anthony three pointers and punctuated with a beautiful cross-court pass from Melo to Shumpert that resulted in a corner three that Shump buried. I made a loud shrieking noise. So did you, probably. Add another Melo un-godly three pointer and a couple other baskets and the Knicks were ahead 29-17 after the first quarter. In the second, the Knicks did their best to pull away, at one point going up by 18 and finishing the half with a 15 point lead. The majority of the Knicks scoring this quarter came from pick-and-rolls in which Amare Stoudemire either got fouled on the shot or finished around the rim. Then came the dreadful third quarter. The Pistons cut into the Knicks lead–at one point getting it to 4–due to poor pick-and-roll defense, stagnated offense, and missed jumpers. Chandler picked up a quick 4th foul, forcing Woodson to play STAT at center, and in turn having the defense deteriorate. Amare had trouble defending Greg Monroe inside, as well as helping in pick-and-rolls. On the offensive end, Melo resorted to shooting fallaways over double teams instead of passing out of them. The Knicks, as a whole, began getting very careless with the ball as a result of the Pistons big men aggressively doubling pick-and-rolls and turning it over like crazy. (They finished with 16 total.) The Knicks did, however, end the quarter on an 8-0 run and were up 12 going into the final period. The score differential remained around 12 for the majority of the quarter, with each team exchanging baskets. Melo made some lovely passes out of double teams; one to Novak in the corner and one to a cutting Amare that led to a foul. Then, Melo spun from the left block, identified the double in mid-air, and threw a quick pass to Prigioni under the basket. Pablo then threw a tasty touch pass to Tyson who threw down a dunk. That was a pretty cool sequence. Anyway, the Knicks ended up pulling their starters shortly thereafter and ended up winning by 15. Some specific notes: More

Knicks 99, Suns 97 Recap

knicks-suns1

Greetings fellow Knicks brethren! I hope everyone had a good Christmas Day J.R. Smith Day. The Knicks defeated the Jared Dudley led Suns (Boy is that an awkward statement.) 99-97 on a game winner by Earl III Smith, and I ran outside and immediately jumped into the snow that built up on my backyard. The Knicks were without Ray Felton (welp) and Carmelo Anthony (Please be ok, Melo.) which opened the door for James White to get his first start with the Knicks and had Kurt Thomas reinserted into the starting lineup. The Knicks and Suns decided to take a strong stance against playing defense in the first quarter, and the Suns ended the frame with a 29-27 lead. During the second quarter, the Knicks tightened up their defense, holding the Suns to just 15 points while scoring 27 themselves. Marcus Camby played good minutes backing up Chandler, the ball moved well , and the rotations where on point, leading to the Knicks taking a 10 point lead into halftime. Also, J.R. undercut Goran Dragic on a layup attempt that led to Dragic taking a scary fall and J.R. receiving a flagrant foul. Dragic did not return. The Knicks got out to a 14 point lead in the third quarter, but then silly shots and turnovers, coupled with bad rotations led to the Suns tying the game up going into the fourth. In that final quarter, both teams exchanged small leads until the final seconds. The Knicks, down two, with a little more than 30 seconds remaining, ran a play out of a timeout that the Suns defended perfectly and resulted in a J.R. Smith isolation at the top of the three-point line. Earl was harassed by P.J. Tucker for 5 seconds and then threw up a ridiculous 20 foot turnaround fadeaway that had almost no arc but went down. I proceeded to screech like a little girl.  On the following Suns possession, Sebastain Telfair was forced out-of-bounds after Tyson Chandler chased him like a madman over a pick leading to the Knicks getting the ball back with one second remaining. And finally, to end the game in the proper “WTF”-manner it deserved, J.R. hit a leaning fallaway jumper from the corner as time expired. Swishsanity? Indeed. Some notes:

  • Jason Kidd–-basketball magician, wizard and connoisseur–-was absolutely wonderful. 23 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds on 8-16 from the field and 5-8 from three-point land. Also, he was a game high +13. There may not be enough crow left to eat after everything he’s done, but if there is I’ll gladly have another helping. I could try to describe all the things he did, but it would just be incoherent rambling because there was no rhyme or reason as to how he was doing them. Also: Kidd got switched onto Michael Beasley at one point, leading to a match-up of arguably the smartest basketball player ever versus Michael effing Beasley. The result? Kidd tying up Beasley on a drive leading to a jump ball. Jason Kidd is 15 years older than Michael Beasley. 
  • As mentioned EARLier, (Puns!) JR was great. Sure, he took his fair share of bad shots, but without Melo playing, he had to. JR helped the Knicks out-rebounded the Suns (6 bounds), had some nice pocket-passes to Chandler off the pick and roll, and came up with back-to-back steals that led to the Knicks tying the game and then taking small lead.
  • Tyson Chandler bounced back very nicely, recording 14 points and 12 rebounds while providing some great help defense all over the court. Also, he swatted away a Marcin Gortat three-point heavy as the shot clock expired and it was glorious. Good stuff, Tyson!
  • Krazy Eyes Kurt Thomas started, played 12 minutes in total, made two mid-range jumpers and wore orange shoes. Nothing new here.
  • Ronnie Brewer finished a nice layup, but also got called for a carry at half court and missed two jumpers pretty badly. Regression, thy name is Ronnie.
  • Marcus Camby played some nice minutes for the second straight game, grabbing 9 boards in just over 12 minutes and sending a Telfair layup into a camera man/media person sitting under the basket. Camby missed a couple jumpers, shooting with his ridiculous motion that made me laugh every time I saw it. Having someone like Camby to back up Chandler is going to be a big help for the Knicks defense, which has been pretty bad of late.
  • Not starting but still playing 30 minutes off the bench was Chris Copeland, who was 6-12 from the field for 14 points, including some very timely buckets. He continued to get lost on rotations, leaving many a Sun open in the corner for a three. Still, Copeland has been shooting the lights out of the ball recently, and canning a lot of catch-and-shoot threes. Good job Cope!
  • Side note: The Suns court is horrible. After seeing the Knicks all-orange Christmas uniforms yesterday, my eyes to exception to the bright orange key on the hardwood . That combined with Flight White’s bright orange kicks has made me scarred by the color orange. It might be the worst color ever.
  • The Knicks often ran a new set, where Tyson Chandler gets the ball in the high post, and the two guards ran different types of action around him. The set worked very well, and as pointed out by the great Jared Dubin on the ol’ twitter, it was a set that the Lakers ran against the Knicks just two night ago. Make sure to follow Jared if you aren’t already here.

Well, that seems to be it. The Suns aren’t a good team, however the Knicks were missing their top two scorers and managed to pull out a win. Twas’ entertaining to say the least. The Knicks play the Kings led by totally-not-suspended-but-still-kinda-suspended Demarcus Cousins on Friday.

Knicks-Nets: What to Watch For

netsknicks2

In less than an hour, the Knicks will be facing off against the Brooklyn Brooklyns Nets in Madison Square Garden. It will be the first time these teams play each other in MSG, so in the words of Terrell Owens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3SdjqNz85M. A couple of things to watch for:

  • The Knicks are coming in a little injured, and by “a little” I mean “battered, beaten and wounded.” Carmelo Anthony will play, after missing the past couple of games with a sprained ankle. (An injury that could have easily been avoided if Dwight Howard wasn’t a moron. Seriously, screw that guy.) Steve Novak is out with the flu, because it’s quite cold outside in New York right now and he forgot to bundle up. Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace are out with plantar fasciitis and oldness, respectfully.
  • Getting more playing time because of these injuries? Chris Copeland and James White, probably. That should be interesting.
  • Having Melo back will certainly help the Knicks, but I’d like to see Woodson keep his minutes down tonight if Melo really looks bothered by that ankle. Or at least not play him the entire second half, like he did the last time these teams played.
  • Raymond Felton has had some horrific games against the Nets this year, mainly because he starts shooting long 2s at an alarming pace and trying to do too much off the dribble. I pray to my Festivus Pole that he settles down, doesn’t do this, and attacks the Nets big men of the pick and roll.
  • I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Knicks lost to the Rockets for the second time two days ago. The Knicks had plenty of issues, mostly on the defensive end. They were horrible yet again in getting back after missed baskets, and they gave up an absurd amount of dribble penetrations and easy baskets at the rim. In fact, this has been a trend for the majority of the season. The transition defense should be better simply because the Nets don’t get out and run (they’re currently last in pace, averaging 90.44 possessions a game) however the half court defense will be a major concern. Speaking of…
  • Joe Johnson has been playing much better recently, averaging 20.8 pts and shooting 49% over his last five games. The Knicks will probably start out with Jason Kidd on him, which is a favorable matchup for the Nets. Johnson has 6 inches on Kidd, and is 8 years younger. Last time these teams met, Johnson took advantage of Kidd in the post during the first half and drew double teams that had the Knicks defense scrambling.
  • As mentioned earlier, the Knicks are thin in the frontcourt tonight. Rebounding will be a big issue, with the Nets having Brook Lopez back, as well as Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries and Andray Blatche. Krazy Eyes Kurt Thomas will likely play some minutes at center, and I will likely throw things during those minutes.

The previous game between these teams was a nail-bitter that the Knicks managed to pull it out due to Melo being engulfed in flames for the majority of the game and Jason Kidd being a 39 year old basketball wizard. However, the Nets were missing Brook Lopez and have him back tonight. Keeping Tyson Chandler out of foul trouble will be important for the Knicks, and having Lopez back will make it much more difficult for Chandler to stay foul-free. This is a game the Knicks can win, and might depending on Melo’s health and Felton’s decision making. Tipoff is a little after 7pm EST. Enjoy!

Follow Dan on the Twitter @thedanstein 

Knicks 102, Bucks 88 Recap


Hey now! The Knicks defeated the Milwaukee Bucks  102-88, overcoming an incredibly potent and efficient back court of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, as well as freakishly athletic Larry Sanders and his formerly popular television show. (I was told that I had to get at least one Larry Sanders Show reference per post.) The Knicks were down 23-26 at the conclusion of the first quarter, but then proceeded to make a nice run to close out the half and take 58-48 lead into the break. In the third quarter, the Knicks exploded, in major part because of Mike Woodson changing up the starting lineup and bringing in Steve Novak for Kurt Thomas. The Knicks built up a 20 point lead very quickly in the third. The Bucks fought back a bit and brought the lead down to as low as 14, but ultimately the Knicks kept them at arms length and left with a win. Below are some notes n’ things: More