Sunday, March 4, 2012

Knicks @ Celtics Post Game Analysis

First off, obviously it wasn't a great game for JLin. However, after watching the game tape closely, it looks like he had a very good game. He started off on the wrong foot with early foul trouble. He gets called for the block on Pierce when he clearly beats him there and is out of the restricted zone. The previous play, JLin crosses over Rondo and makes a good pass to the rolling Chandler who gets called for the offensive foul even though Bass has at least one foot inside the restricted area. His third foul was another rookie, non-all star call as even though he had his off hand out on the drive to the basket, he never clears the defender away with it. This should have been a non call. Now for his turnovers. He had three bad turnovers. One in the first half where he was a little out of control on the break and slipped and had to pass. In the 2nd, he had two bad passes on the break where he got in the air and no one was really open. What I love is no more silly ball handling turnovers. The turnovers he had were from being aggressive. Also, I love that he is trying the mid floater and not getting caught too far under the basket anymore. Once he gets that floater going consistently, he will be even tougher to stop. As usual, Jeremy stepped up his game in the 2nd half. His stretch of "free throw, steal, finish with the left, then 3 pointer" in the 4th was clutch as was his earlier made shot to stop an 11-0 run. He did force a few bad shots in the 4th quarter, but I just love his moxy and not being afraid to fail. This is just the training grounds for true greatness. Think about it. LeBron has had 9 years and he is still afraid to take the last shot. Jeremy doesn't have that problem. On the defense side of the ball, Jeremy was put into a few mismatches with no help coming. This is just things the team needs to work out. Come playoff time, they'll have it figured out. As for the rest of the team, I really liked what I saw especially in Carmelo. It looks like Stat and Baron are getting into better shape. However, it's pretty obvious that the Knicks don't have a true starting two at this point. Shumpert has the athleticism but can't make a jumper. JR is JR. Let's give Boston some credit too. Rondo and Pierce played out of their minds. Watch and see how they play after this. Seems like the Heat after getting up for JLin like it was a playoff game have let down a little going 1-2. I bet the same thing happens here for Boston. So, even though you'll see headlines of doom and gloom and Lin-sanity fading, don't believe the media. These guys never saw it coming and they can't see it now that it's right in front of their face. Every time he doesn't have a great game, they'll throw out crazy stuff like Baron's gonna take over. Jeremy said it himself, he has to do it over and over and over and over and over and over.

Knicks Now - Lin Postgame: BOS 115 NY 111


  1. Considering Melo could have won the game on the last shot. Lin did enough to win, but had a horrible shooting night especially in the OT. Several shots that needs to go. The open 3, the several lay-ups. And that missed dunk put back turned the OT period completely around.

  2. As far as I'm concerned, Linsanity is getting STRONGER.

    Lin is playing great as an elite point guard. His teammates are still learning how to play with him.

    All new NBA players, even Michael Jordan, have to endure some inconsistency as they learn the NBA. I expect Lin to continue playig inconsistently into his 2nd year, as that's how long it'll take for him to play against every NBA team at least once.

    1. I think the way Jeremy exploded onto the scene have really raised the expectations of him which is really unfair considering he just became the starter recently. Another reason why I wasn't too fond of all the media attention he was getting cuz it was just setting him up to look bad in games where he isn't getting 20 points and 10 assists. We also have to acknowledge the subpar performances of Amare and Melo(he did have a strong game for the most part yesterday). If these two were playing their A game there would have been NO overtime!

  3. It's just a learning curve, and Jeremy has improved under on-ball pressure and double/triple teams. The only thing that I would criticize was the careless passes in the 2nd quarter when the momentum was rolling; I can relate to the atmosphere and when you are the point guard and you see teammates flying down the court, you really would love to finish the play, but those consecutive plays were definitely too sloppy and unnecessary.

    The refs definitely had a role in today's game, but that's how it is in an away game. Jeremy could had easily had 4-6 more FT attempts if it wasn't for the no calls.

    In the winding seconds of overtime, Jeremy was buried completely. He had no choice but to give the ball to Melo. I wish Melo would had taken just one more dribble since he had had Pierce half a step behind him. There was sufficient time on the clock to make that play much easier, but I understand it's very difficult to when you're the player knowing the buzzer could sound at any moment.

    I actually like that 3 he took in the OT, he was open and it would had cut the deficit to 1. Except I felt he rushed it as his body was still going forward from the fast break, and thus the ball bricked just that much more.

    For all and all, as long as this L doesn't demoralize the team, I really like what I'm seeing with the team and the way they are putting up fights against tough opponents. As they mature (why are they so immature at times, UHHH!) down the line, they should be the team that nobody wants to face in the first round at playoff time.

  4. I think the 2 early fouls really cost him. He couldn't be as aggressive on defense, and he wasn't getting any foul calls driving into the paint. So on offense he had no other choice but to feed the ball to Melo and Amare, who weren't finishing inside.

    I think the worst momentum changers were, Lin overthrowing the ball the full length of the court to Carmelo and Amare on the break, when they are not very fast to begin with. That was very Tim Tebow-esque decision making. And then there was Melo's unnecessary foul on Rondo with only 0.4 seconds in the half. That sent him to the FT line for 2.

    Add together all these little mistakes, and it means defeat against a veteran team that doesn't make unforced mistakes.

  5. The Knicks should have won the game in regulation. When you're up by 3 with less than a possession remaining, you should foul. Or at least defend the 3 pt line and allow the 2. The Knicks did neither, so that's on D'Antoni's coaching.

    Lin didn't have a good game, but it wasn't awful either. Like others said, the turnovers did not come from bringing the ball up or being trapped. Don't forget that Baron had 6 turnovers too. Give credit to the Celtics defense, they defended the pick and roll and passing lanes extremely well, whether it was Lin or Davis.

    Bottom line, Lin played well enough for the Knicks to win. Lin's drawing double teams, so the other all stars need to be taking advantage of it (especially Melo, Amare). They're not.

  6. Lin hasn't adjusted yet to the top teams learning to attack him on offense and stop him on defense. His attacking style has also been dampened with Anthony and Stoudamire's return. Movement and spacing have been hurt by their return and the paint has become crowded (indicator: the disappearance of Landry Fields's movement and spacing dependent game). Chandler and Stoudamire, with their defenders, look like they're running into each other in the paint. The formerly attacking, swaggering, high-energy, clutch-shooting Lin has become deferential and passive, floating on the perimeter like Mike Bibby. The Knicks seem undecided whether Lin should be pass-first or creating off his own scoring. Lin has looked more comfortable creating off his own scoring.

    The most troubling aspects of Lin's recent play are his defense and dribble. Lin looked like a solid defender with quick hands and feet at the beginning of his February run, but his inability to stay in front of point guards or get over screens has forced the Knicks to overhelp, thus breaking down the defense. The subpar defense of Anthony and Stoudamire are culprits as well. Lin was also praised in February for maintaining his dribble and penetration, but as teams have refined their scouting report on Lin, he has reacted by backing out and picking up his dribble early. Lin is no longer controlling the tempo or creating. Worse than losing the games, Lin looked out of his depth at PG against the Heat and Celtics. Lin just doesn't look confident anymore, unlike the aggressive PG who took it to the Lakers and Mavs last month.

    To improve spacing and movement, add shooting and quickness to the 1st team, and open the floor to help Lin as a playmaker, I'd like to see Anthony moved to the Shawn Marion role at 4, Stoudamire come off the bench, and Smith start at the 3. The defense should actually improve because Anthony would not be worse defending PFs than Stoudamire and Smith is a better defender than Anthony at the 3.

    1. Not a bad idea.

      Just be careful of starting natural 3s at the 4 spot. Indiana tried that with Danny Granger and it failed miserably. Marion is a much more willing and active defender than Anthiny was, but opposing PFs like Al Jefferson had a tendency to score 30 and grab 20 against Marion's Suns.

      I'd leave Anthony at the 3, have JR Smith start at the 2, and sub Stoudemire quickly for Jeffries (defense) or Novak (offense). Then I'd do what NY and Phx did with Stoudemire: play him at the center position at the end of the 1st quarter and for a bulk of the 2nd quarter.

    2. Honestly, I feel like your comment about his lack of aggressiveness seems to lack some context - that is, if you actually read the freaking analysis you would that know Jeremy couldn't be as aggressive yesterday because he got into early foul trouble which definitely stymied his offensive game throughout. This was a bad game, but it wan't entirely his fault. I'm sure if Pierce didnt make that amazing 3 and the Knicks had won, there wouldn't be as much pressure/negative spotlight on Lin so look past this game and expect better things to come.

    3. I think you are right when you point out the spacing problem with the big three (A'mare,Melo and Chan). Lin needs a 3-point shooter in the line-up to kick the ball out and to free up the lane.

      The Knicks had much better spacing when A'amre and Melo were out. I would sit A'mare and let him come in for Chan. Two PnR players at the same time create too much traffic in the lane. If the ego are too big, play Lin with the second unit.

      I think Lin has a chance to be an all-star, but the coach needs to create the best line-ups. Having your five best player start, may not be your best team.

    4. j: The Heat and Bulls are the standard for Lin because they're the likeliest 1st round play-off opponents. You're right: Lin is essentially a rookie. The jump in expectation from almost cut to play-off PG may not be fair, but Lin brought that on himself by pulling his team into the play-offs.

      KHuang: I agree not every SF can be an athletic undersized PF, but Anthony is a hybrid forward who played well as the Redeem Team's PF. D'Antoni's system would allow him to go outside-in and use his quickness and skills against opposing PFs. Anthony wouldn't be a Shawn Marion clone - they're different players - but on offense I believe Anthony could do more with the role than Marion did. On defense, Anthony wouldn't be a stopper, but he also wouldn't be worse than Stoudamire. My rationale for moving Stoudamire to the bench mainly is to separate Chandler and Stoudamire. Stoudamire and Jefferies could be offense/defense complements at the 4/5. The problem is Stoudamire was effective as an undersized D'Antoni center when he was quick and explosive and he's not quick and explosive right now/anymore.

      Richard: Foul trouble can justify tentative defense but not passive offense, especially not passive offense in a system that relies heavily on the PG controlling tempo. Lin wasn't in foul trouble the entire game. After his 2 early fouls, his 3rd foul was on the clear-out on Wilcox at the end of the half and his 4th and final foul was at the end of OT.

      Lin's inability to stay in front of opposing PGs has been a longer trend than the Heat and Celtics games. I don't expect Lin to be a shutdown defender, only to keep up with his man. It's disappointing because at the beginning of his hot streak, although Lin wasn't shutting down opposing PGs, he was keeping up with them. For that matter, Lin's help defense seems to be worsening, too. At first, Lin wasn't hurting the Knicks on defense; now he is. Lin is quick enough to be an average defender. Since opponents have learned Lin's weaknesses, however, he's just fallen behind on the adjustment curve in terms of awareness, anticipation, and technique.

      RioFan: Yep, Chandler and Stoudamire both under the basket with Anthony at mid-range too often means the paint is congested with 8 bodies when Lin drives in there with his defender in tow. Lin has some tunnel vision and telegraphing issues passing (one reason I believe he's more off guard than point guard), but if only 1 player is a credible outside shooting threat, a smart defender will be able to read his kick out passes that much more easily.

    5. It's a lot simpler than all that.

      Lin is facing the "Jordan Rules". That's essentially a scheme where 5 guys load up on Lin.

      To beat the Jordan rules, the other Knicks have to play well enough to make teams pay. But that is not going to happen since the Knicks are Chandler Stoudemire Anthony and a bunch of minimum wage castoffs. Guys like JR Smith are not suddenly going to turn into great players that can alleviate the pressure on Lin.

      It's easy to blame Lin for most of the Knicks problems, although I don't think Lin is the true cause.

    6. The PG is automatically going to be spotlighted as the engine of D'Antoni's system. Lin, as the PG, gets the credit and the blame. The heightened dependence on the PG in D'Antoni's system is why Lin got his shot (team losing badly because the other PGs failed), why the Knicks went on a winning streak (team won because Lin played well), and why the Knicks are struggling again (teams adjusting to Lin and the changed mix for Knicks stifling Lin).

      The right mix matters a lot. I'm reminded of the harm Shaq did to Nash's Suns. The point of D'Antoni's offense is that individual stars aren't needed everywhere, though a good PG is necessary. Good shots are supposed to be created by movement and spacing. Role players have thrived in D'Antoni's offense, at least until the deep play-offs. But it has to be the right mix on the floor with the right PG to generate the needed movement and spacing. Or else, JR Smith goes back to being a wildly inconsistent gunner, Fields becomes too slow, and Novak becomes a single-skill liability again.

    7. I live in Phx, though I do not consider myself a Suns fan (I like traditional big man basketball). I don't remember all the details of Shaq's time in AZ.

      What I DO remember is that right before the Marion Shaq trade, Grant Hill had hernia surgery. He rushed back in two weeks and played awfully. Hill could not score double digits despite having great scoring runs AFTER that season, got lit up on defense by everybody, and hobbled up and down the court like a guy who just had surgery. Hill played terribly that season through the playoffs and Shaq took the blame.

      The season after, our very own Amare Stoudemire went down with a major injury. I seem to recall the Suns having a pretty good record until Amare went down. Shaq was playing great that year, but losing Amare was too much and the Suns missed the playoffs.

      Here's what I'm getting at. It's easy to blame specific guys like Lin and Shaq for losing when their teammates are not producing or are injured. However, I won't do that because I've been blamed for other people's failures and I think it's unfair.

      Lin is an elite NBA pg, but there are 14 other players on the Knicks that have a hand in the team's record. Most of those players have not produced for other teams, some of which are better than the Knicks. Other teams don't just scout Lin - they scout the other players too.

      For better or worse, Lin is THE MAN for the Knicks. Everybody except for Carmelo Anthony and to a lesser extent Tyson Chandler relies on Lin on both ends. However, Lin cannot do his job AND theirs.

  7. there were some terrible calls by the ref and in a way it impacted how lin played most of the game. lin made some great plays down the stretch to help the knicks win at the end and get in overtime. not a good game by his standards since the bar is relatively high but not a bad one either. his teammates were not that helpful to dropping passes that could have been points from lin. alot of time i'm quick to judge on him in the early parts of the game but i should know its how you finish games that matters.

    1. I believe that Lin will get an increasing number of those superstar calls.

      Once the refs feel that Lin has "paid his dues", he'll start getting officiated normally.

      Because of the gigantic imbalances in refereeing that make the NBA almost unwatchable for me, I am content if Lin plays well despite the refs taking the game away from him.

      Bad refereeing isn't going to stop opponents from giving Lin the ultimate respect by triple teaming him and roughing him up. Besides, Lin is more than capable of keeping the Knicks in any game until the very end.

    2. Lin probably won't get those all-star calls .... unless we vote him into the 2013 All Star Game next year.

      So be sure to support him.

    3. He's got to learn the Euro flop. Study Ginobili tapes.

  8. Each game is a learning experience. Vs. the Celtics he looked like a bench point guard playing against a savvy veteran team. The Knicks team defense has gotten much worse with the new lineup, they are switching on everyone now, leaving Lin to guard Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce ... when he should never be in that mismatch.

    As far as Lin's defense, he wasn't that bad, and not much worse than Baron Davis or Steve Nash. The problem was his defense in transition, he wasn't slowing down Rondo in the back court, he was allowing Rondo to dribble the length of the court unmolested, only to contest his layup 5 ft. from the basket.
    He should have put some pressure on Rondo at the beginning of his dribble, to at least give the Knicks time to get back in transition.

    1. this knicks team is still not very good defensively. guys over rotate leading to bad matchups, guys out of position for rebounds, and there's no transition defense. i thought the two quick fouls on lin was affecting his defense as rondo just blew by him on some plays as he didn't want to get more fouls.

  9. Lovin' all the paragraph breaks in the comments section.

    Hint, hint JLinFan#1 :)

    Wall of text aside, appreciate the work you put into this blog, bloggers. Thanks!

  10. To be honest, I really don't think Lin's game is going to change much. He will always be turnover prone. He was turnover prone since high school and college. He is a high risk high reward type of player. The only thing I hope he can improve on is really in his ability to finish and strengthening his handles. He took A LOT of shots last night at critical junctures of the game which if he had made them, he'd be a hero. But he didn't so he's the goat. The question is how often will he make big shots compared to not making them. That's what separates the stars from the rest of the pack.

    1. You got a point. If we trace back to his scouting report in Harvard, he was criticized for being TO prone as well. Despite not going to change his style of play, I believe Jeremy will tune it down to upgrade his game. Tuning it down may means going from 6 per to 3-4 per, and that could be 3-4 points per game, enough to decide the outcome of the game.

      He didn't have that tear drop in the past, so that aspect of the game will certainly continue to improve. Big shots? I think for Jeremy to be "the man" his whole life, I don't have any doubt he'll be just fine in that aspect.

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  12. Lin also got fouled a lot on drives to the basket. No fouls called. Instead he gets called for an offensive foul after he made a layup. With that kind of officiating, what else can he do besides settle for the outside jumper and pass the ball around the perimeter ?

    On one play Rondo went to the rim on a fast break, turned around and made a circus shot without getting any contact, and the refs gave him an and-one to make the Boston crowd happy.

    He needs to develop a high percentage pull up jumper, so he doesn't have to go to the rim and over penetrate every time. Make his decisions to pass or shoot in the middle of the paint.

    1. The calls will be there once his All-Star status is established. It's sad and unfortunate for the game of basketball, but oh well, it's the reality.

    2. lin's got the floater which he's been using to great effect off the glass. that's a shot that instantaneous and almost impossible to block even for a big man once he starts nailing it down. derrick rose featured that shot to the mvp last year.

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  14. Most of Lin's turnovers weren't the result of bad ball handling.

    One was a questionable offensive foul, where he supposedly pushed off on Brandon Bass for a layup attempt. The basket was waived off and Lin got his 3rd foul in the 2nd quarter. Got it, don't hook with the off arm, during a road game, officials will call that an offensive foul.

    Two or three TO's were full court passes to Carmelo and Amare for the fast break. He over threw them ... thinking they can run as fast as Shumpert. That's easily correctable for next time, take an extra dribble and then hurl the ball.

    Two turnovers were bad passes while driving the lane. The Celtics were good in shutting down the paint, because they know the Knicks can't shoot from outside. So they packed the paint. Lin was too deliberately trying to feed Carmelo, they anticipated this and cut off the passing angle. Lin needs to penetrate more like Baron Davis, he doesn't use his speed, rather he just dribbles casually inside, and waits for a passing angle to open.

    One TO was a Turnover of "Passion" in the 1st Quarter. Lin got too deep near the basket, pump faked, got blocked by Garnett, which led to a Rajon Rondo fast break layup. Jeremy was consumed by revenge, so he dribbled recklessly full court ... only to run straight into Paul Pierce, he tried to stop and slipped on the floor, lost control of the ball and turned it over ... leading to another Celtic fast break layup.

    Lin is an emotional player, he has a bad habit of trying to retaliate immediately on the other end, after someone scores on him. "If he burns me, I need to do the same thing to him, no matter how tough the defense is."
    If his man drills a 3-pointer in his face, he tries to hit a contested 3 with a hand in his face the other way (Usually missing it).
    This attitude needs to be fixed (And it can be fixed).

    A player cannot allow himself to be blinded by emotion. It leads to bad shots and poor decisions which will hurt the team.

  15. Here is what I see the biggest issue to the Knicks losses against elite teams, the Knicks defense and high turnovers you can not let an average and above NBA teams score over 100 points and expect to win them...
    For example Miami Game scored 100 points, and the Boston scored 103 before the overtime
    In the Boston Game Knicks scored 103 points,
    In Miami games Knicks 88 points possible more if they did not turnover 19 times and they held these games to under 90 points/per they would have won these games.
    I understand the Jeremy is considered a rookie and trying still learn where his teammates are at times..But take care of the BALL!!! Jeremy Simply put...
    Defense and low turnovers will turn around their season.. if not, they will just be a average team barely making it to the plays off.
    Take a look the Elite teams: They above average defensive team with very low turnovers.

  16. OK!!!!!

    But Jeremy Lin cannot play defense all by himself. Nor can he beat triple teams all by himself.

    To somebody that has tunnel vision, Lin looks like a total failure in the Knicks losses. That's a good fantasy, but it isn't REALITY.