Taylor Armosino is a Business major at the University of Arizona. He loves the Knicks, Raiders and A's, but mostly the Knicks. He also writes at KnicksNow.com, Saving the Skyhook, and Charged.fm. Email him firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @tarmosino
Seven games into the 2013 playoffs, the newly crowned NBA scoring champion is struggling mightily and his team has followed suit. Carmelo Anthony has yet to find his offensive stroke, recording a woeful 47.6 true shooting percentage. In large part due to the struggles of their cornerstone offensive weapon, the high powered Knicks offense of the regular season has found itself performing at the worst level of the remaining playoff teams. In fact, it’s not even close. The Knicks are scoring just 97.3 points per 100 possessions. Indiana comes in as the second worst offense. They’re scoring 101.5 points per 100 possessions, which is sizably better than their 2nd round counterpart.
Anthony hasn’t been the only Knick to struggle. Tyson Chandler hasn’t been fully healthy, hampering his mobility and ability to set good screens – a crucial part of the offense. JR Smith’s shooting has been marred in a playoff fog and Jason Kidd has fallen off the face of the Earth. Coach Woodson also deserves blame. His offensive play calling has been atrocious and his adjustments non-existent. By far the best offense has been the spread pick and roll, as it was during the regular season, but Woodson has opted for a seemingly endless amount of Anthony wing-isolations instead. The results have not been good. But that brings us back to Anthony. More
I’ve got the Knicks winning in 7. I don’t feel good about it though.
New York almost blew a 26 point fourth quarter lead Friday night in game 6 and in the process I almost wet my pants. Nonetheless it’s onto the second round, where the second seeded Knicks will face off with the third seeded Indiana Pacers. Like Boston, Indiana is a great defensive team. The Pacers finished the regular season as the league’s best defense, allowing just 96.6 points per 100 possessions. Though they got by the Celtics in round 1, the Knicks offense really struggled, scoring just 96.9 points per 100 possessions.
This series is going to be an absolute bloodbath. Like the Celtics series, we’re again going to see a contrast of regular season styles. Indiana boasts a great defense and a mediocre offense, while the Knicks boast a great offense and subpar defense. These are two evenly matched teams and there are some really interesting story lines and match-ups to look at. I’m going to break it all down. More
I have no issues with JR winning this award as I would’ve voted for him if I had a ballot. My mock ballot looked like this:
1. JR Smith
2. Ryan Anderson
3. Matt Barnes
4. Jarrett Jack
5. Jamal Crawford.
Winning 6MOY has become an award about wing scorers, and JR certainly would fit into that category, but that isn’t why I think he’s deserving of winning. If you looked at the majority of this season, he was largely inefficient shooting the ball (remember the ridiculous JR for all-star campaign?). Over the last month and a half, he’s been fantastic, but the season isn’t comprised of just it’s last month and a half. If this was an award about efficient scoring, Ryan Anderson is my runaway winner. But it’s not. More
Instead of doing normal recaps of the games, I’m going to do something different. Due to the length in-between games, I’m going to have ample time to review each game and I’ll write about things I did/didn’t like about each game.
The Knicks took out Boston 85-78 in game 1 at Madison Square Garden. It was a defensive grinder and in the end the Knicks ball security and offensive rebounding were the difference. New York finished a +6 in offensive rebounds (scoring 12 second chance points) and won the turnover battle 20 to 13. In what finished as a 7 point game, those 13 extra possessions ended up playing a huge role in the Knicks victory.
Let’s start with the Knicks defense, which was subpar in the first half. For whatever reason, they were super lazy with their rotations, allowing Boston to shoot a bunch of open corner threes. The Celtics were unable to capitalize because they can’t shoot, but the Knicks still have to clean this up.
Avery Bradley, running point for Boston by default, was a thorn in the side of both the Knicks and the Celtics. I’ll explain. Exposing a bad habit that’s been a problem all year for New York, Bradley took advantage of ball watching, bad double teams, and lazy/non-existent help defense to score on a series of cuts in the first half.
If you notice Carmelo Anthony on those plays, his help defense was pretty pitiful. Though Bradley shouldn’t have those kind of open looks to the lane, a simple close off rotation from Anthony into the lane would have negated some of those baskets. His effort was much better in the second half, as was the team’s. Bradley’s cuts weren’t an issue for New York after halftime. Regardless, look for Boston to try and manufacture some baskets throughout the series with cutters. I would. More
It feels right that the Knicks will have to go through the Celtics on the road back to NBA prominence. Though the Knicks won 54 games, this season means absolutely nothing if they flame out in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics may not be the the same dominant force we’ve seen been in recent memory, but they are certainly not a team to take likely. We’ve seen unlikely playoff runs before from Doc Rivers’ group in the past, and with the third ranked defensive in basketball another deep run is certainly possible. With all the chaos and tragedy that struck the state of Massachusetts over the last week, you know the Celtics are going to come out fired up and ready to play. All that being said, the Knicks are the much better team and should win this series handily.
Mike Woodson has been a very pleasant surprise this season – re-inventing his previously ball-sticky isolation oriented offense into a spread pick and roll attack that finished third in the NBA in offensive efficiency thus inserting himself into the conversation for coach of the year. Carmelo Anthony had the best season of his career after a wildly disappointing 2011 campaign. JR Smith is going to win Sixth Man of the Year, having transformed himself from an inconsistent long range gunner to an efficient multi-faceted scorer over the last two months of the season. This was the best Knicks season I’ve seen in my basketball watching lifetime, and it’s not close. It’s time for them to take the next step. More
Dan and I recorded the inaugural Meloship of the Ring podcast. We set out with the goal of talking basketball, which we did relatively well. We discussed the Knicks new signings, as well as the upcoming Knicks-Celtics playoff series.
*Note* We know Dan’s sound was a bit quiet and muffled. It won’t be next time.
Tonight, join us on Spreecast as James talks Knicks with the great Art Rondeau. Here is the link to that:
All-NBA Team discussions are always fun this time of year so I thought I’d chip in and put mine up here with a little bit of justification for each. Let me know if you agree/disagree with my selections.
G – Chris Paul
G – Russell Westbrook
F – LeBron James
F – Kevin Durant
C – Marc Gasol
The two spots for debate here are Westbrook’s guard spot and the center spot. More
In an effort to add players who aren’t broken and can actually play, the Knicks will sign forward James Singleton (no, not the guy we passed up for Shumpert in the draft) and release the injured Kurt Thomas. The only thing I knew about Singleton prior to writing this post is that his name was James Singleton. I’d heard of him a few times, but couldn’t recall having seen him play. I read around the inter-webs for information and here’s what I came up with:
Singleton stands 6’8 230 pounds and is a forward. He seems positionally versatile due to his size, so I could see him playing multiple positions with the Knicks. Because the Knicks have zero healthy big men, he’ll play power-forward primarily and probably some center too. Basketball-reference had him listed as a power-forward for the Wizards last year. In 12 games with Washington last season, Singleton played well. His TS% was .60 and he recorded a PER of 19.6. Small sample size definitely applies, but I like this guy. I took to Synergy to watch some film on him and I like what I saw. More
50 wins on the season. 12 wins in a row. This is fun.
ABC’s Sunday matinee featured a showdown of teams fighting for playoff position. The Knicks are trying to hold onto the 2 seed in the East, while the Thunder are trying to get the 1 seed in the West. It was a big game for both teams. Not surprisingly Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 36 points and 12 rebounds. The Knicks were hapless defensively, allowing OKC to shoot 57.7% from the floor, but they took 15 more shots and hit 15 threes. Without Kenyon Martin in the fold due to injury, the bench stepped up for the Knicks, especially in the first half. Chris Copeland, Jason Kidd and Steve Novak all played well and JR hit a few huge shots down the stretch. All in all, this was a great team win for the team. It was easily the best win of the streak and probably the best win of the season. The Knicks now lead Indiana by 2.5 games in the standings. This was a fun Sunday.