“I start good, but don’t feel the game. Then not great.” -- Timofey Mozgov
As you know, the Knicks opened a new and exciting, at least for beginners, era at MSG. It may have been pre-season but the joint was jumping with the introduction of Amar'e Stoudemire and his crew to win-starved Knicks fans. Still, I am not sure what I saw in this very uneven performance by both sides, and more jagged showing by those damned intrusive referees. Fortunately, this was an unimportant loss which will vanish into irrelevance quickly. As for an analysis, I think you need to tell us what I saw, because I really don't know. However, since my brain was still active during the great LBE (Live Blogging Event which included Prince, O&B, Peaceman, Big Shon and Steady), I'll share these thoughts.
Knicks show a penchant for hustle, especially on the defensive end. However, despite their collective length they did not exhibit strong interior D on penetration and seemed a bit slow at times on switches and help, although they probably blocked and altered more shots last night than they did in the last five years at the Garden.
Offensively, the Knicks have absolutely no one collapsing defenses with penetration, except for Amar'e who would never give the ball up on a drive and who is quite frankly so strong that he shouldn't. The Knicks over reliance on the tre was bound to catch up with them. It i also tough to tell how good the Knicks were since several key Celts did not play -- Shaq, Delonte West, Big Baby Davis and the ejected Kevin Garnett.
Everybody, players, coaches and announcers (except for Clyde) are on message about the new "see evil, but speak no evil" on-court discipline policy which allows refs to tech-up players for the slightest hint of protest after a call. The draconian measure which supposedly is cleaning up the game led to a loud chorus of boos from Knicks fans when it was used to eliminate Kevin Garnett, one of the stars fans paid good money to see. Are we getting the sense that the NBA cares about the television fans more than the fans coughing up the bucks for the live performance? The rule may be smart -- the application has been idiotic during this pre-season.
The progress of his game since last year is non-existent. He is a sixth man on any other team, except the Raptors. It is probably not totally his fault because he has skills, but they will not develop with him constantly spotting up at the tre and trying to take people off the dribble from the arc. And if he is going to be a starter, who is our best shooter, then he will need to be a volume shooter like the other stars. Eight shots is not going to cut it. He scored 11 points on 2-8 shooting, which tells me that as an offensive force, he needs to play closer to the basket so he can get fouled and he needs more shots period so he can score. (He also led the team along with Randolph in rebounds.)
Still, his shot is inconsistent and his handle is suspect because he is not fast enough to get past good defenders from that far out. Post-ups and mid-range isolations would also allow him to get into the game. He was such a nice passer, it also might help him to put the ball in his hands from the top, like D'Antoni did with Lee. This kid does not need to be playing with his uncle -- he's going to be ruined.
Sorry Cooley (Don't you hate when Peaceman might be right?). So far, I am not liking his game (7 points, 6 assists and 3 turnovers in 28 minutes) as lead point for the Knicks. Period. He's a solid guy but not much of a creator nor penetrator. I also don't see him running the break as people claimed. I like Toney Douglas better for the lead spot but I dig them both on defense. Oh, except don't let Felton guard Rajon Rondo ever again, unless you give him skates.
Very glad we have him. (30 points, 5 rebounds in 27 minutes). Great to watch offensively except for those times when he tries to do too much, like lead the break or show his Zach Randolph/Al Harrington tendency to suck in the ball never to be seen by a teammate again. The debate will rage on because he will not sport Zach Randolph-David Lee type numbers but he is a different player who commands a double team and can create his own shots off-the-dribble. He is dynamic. Which is better (STAT with offensive power versus Lee and Randolph with double-double numbers) depends on their team composition and who wins games. We'll see I guess.
A project, but the potential seems to become more realized after every effort. He is so active and so big. He hit a couple of nice shallow shots and was the Knicks best hope for rebounding and interior defense. (5 points, 4 fouls, 3 boards and 1 assist in 15 minutes). Teaming him with Studdy is probably not a bad idea. If he wasn't a Knick that tech he got for cursing in Russian would have been hilarious. I didn't know the refs speak Russian too. Amazing.
Pray for him. (9 points and 5 turnovers in 20 minutes, plus those six boards). The danger of his confidence waning is great. He takes the nastiest shots I've seen a Knick take in years. So much talent, so convoluted a game. He makes it seem more difficult than it needs to be in that he constantly plays outside his game. When he is collected and patient, he looks good. He needs guidance, help and constant repetition. I don't care what anybody says, this youngster is not practicing developing his own game. Get him some help or send him somewhere where he can play. It's the same thing I said about Nate Robinson, who is now in a situation playing very well at point which too many Knicks fans said was not possible. Now Nate is playing point, going through screens and just hawking the ball on D. A change of environment is good for some players. Randolph is in the wrong one right now from what I see.
Gallo is holding his spot if this is the roster we stay with until February. If only Randolph had his basketball sense, we'd be cooking with grease.
The Knicks second best player has really developed his game and court sense. (13 points, 5 boards, 2 steals, 1 assist and 4 fouls in 21 minutes). If we could take him off the arc and teach him some of Studdy's aggression -- BAMMMM. This soft-spoken dude can play but also needs to be meaner on defense.
LOL. He's got Mase in his face now.
SO HELP A BROTHER OUT! Tell me what I missed and what really happened in this pre-season game.