Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Knicks Easily Beat Magic

The Knicks showed why they'll be dangerous come playoff time, beating the Magic without JLin or Amare.  As I've stated before, this team with a healthy JLin and Jefferies will likely compete for the NBA Championship. The 4th seed is just 2.5 games away now with Boston and Phili tied. The Celtics look like the team to catch as Phili seems to be fading. The 4th seed would be sweet, with a possible Atlanta or Indiana first round matchup.

Remember, Jeremy had off season surgery to repair a partial patella tendon tear on his right knee. It looks like he may have initially hurt his left knee a few games back. Let's hope it's just tendinitis of the knee, which will get better with rest. If he comes back by the next game @ the Hawks, he'd have 5 days of rest. If he waits until after this next back to back, he'd have 9 days of rest and be back @ the Pacers.  It seems like waiting until the Pacers makes the most sense but it will probably come down to how he is feeling. We'll just have to wait and see.

36 comments:

  1. I've read places where it says it was his left knee that had a partial patellar tendon tear last year (wikipedia). If this is the case, I am wondering at this point if it is the same knee. Hoping for a quick return. I hope they at least did an ultrasound of the knee.

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    1. Ultrasound is good, I am doing ultrasound for my hip now.

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  3. I've thought since the 6-game losing streak (first half of March) when Lin did well, that the Knicks could and should win the whole thing this year, because 3 or 4 games were so close against great teams - and most of them were on the road too. That's when I knew the Knicks were having serious problems both on and off the court - everybody not being on the same page and not playing as a team (my intuition was BEFORE the news of the resignation). So the coach change had to happen; they always say it's easier to change one coach, rather than change the whole team. My spouse, who dislike the Knicks (a huge Celtics fan) was gleeful that there were obvious signs of discontent and conflict within the team. But the Knicks may have solved the problem!

    Many people on the net is now crediting Lin's absence (many forgetting to mention STAT or Jefferies) for the huge back to back wins. Thus I think taking sides will continue for a long time, which is why many of Lin's fans get the sense that Lin should start over with another team (I really hope so - Lakers? (;-))). Many people have mentioned from the beginning that Lin should play with the group of people he had chemistry with, which is the 2nd and younger team. The last 2 games without Lin has given the 1st team a very powerful motive, which can move a mountain, sort of speak (though also without Stou, they are not thinking about that as much). For the good of the team, I hope it lasts. It also shows that Melo does prefer playing with Davis.

    Thus they should be practical and make the best of it. Maybe now Woodson will go ahead and let Davis start with Melo and let Lin play with the always-good 2nd team - but it should not be viewed as "benching" Lin. Just get the job done. In my humble opinion, that would give the Knicks the greatest chance to win the championship this year. And - I truly believe that the Knicks could do it *IF* they could set aside tension and egos until the season is over. I don't care for the Knicks per se (I don't hate them either), but I root for the team that Lin belongs to. Plus, most of them seem like great guys!

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    1. The last sentence is a great point.
      To win a championship you need great character guys on a team, not a bunch of misfits. Hard working guys who pull for each other, who genuinely are good guys on and off the court. If you look at past champions, you will see these type of guys on the team. Of course you also got the superstar who is your x-factor. He can either be an egotistical malcontent or an unselfish leader who also plays good defense. The Knicks do have all the right players in place now that Lin is on the team to win a championship. It is up to the superstars which path they want to choose. All or nothing now. The season is almost over.

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  4. Check out this video reaction to Knicks vs Magic. Watch the whole thing as JLin's importance is spoke on towards latter part of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZPbBga1K_w

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  5. Ok so the Knicks won again without JLin. Melo's shots suddenly go in for some reasons, and obviously they didn't when playing with JLIN. Maybe it's the Knicks defense that won them the last two games. Although, you got to admit that the Bucks and the Magics played their worse games offensively. Anderson = 0pt at first half, come on man? I'm not a Melo's fan nor a Knicks fan, but since JLin play for the Knicks, i just have to root for the Knicks. So it's nice to see them winning games. Hopefully, JLin's injury will heal up soon because we all miss seeing him in action.

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  6. where has the GREAT WALL of Orlando gone?

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  7. I really dont understand why melo, Davis can play but Lin cant if they are all having some injury issue.

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    1. These are really case by case, they are having different type of injury. You are able to play with groin problem doesn't mean that you can play with knee problem.
      Actually Jeremy have played with his pain on his past few games (He said he started to feel the pain few games back), I believe that he is really having problem to play now and the decision should be based on advice from the medical staff.

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    2. That's right! I have hip inflammation & knee problem too, I hardly can walk! All JLin needs is physical therapy and rest, we don't want him to get worse, we still want to see him plays at playoff.

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  8. Definitely good to see Melo step it up. I really think it has to do with confidence. Chandler previous mention how Carmelo seem to get upset or mad at himself during games. It seems the effort there offensive and defensive to dominate, plus he's playing through pain. We'd all hate to go to work when we have the flu.

    Also great to see Shump and the other guys step up. A championship team needs every single player buying in and playing hard. A very, very good sign.

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    1. Shumpert (rookie who should play more) has played well consistently, likely played the best of anyone - but because he's not Hot & Cold depending on his psyche, and does not need a special motivating force to do well, he does not get mentioned as much as he should . Melo is SUDDENLY doing great, which is why everyone is taking notice of the difference; he should play more consistently for how much he's getting paid - then he would not have been as resentful of Lin as he has.

      Without Lin's contribution, the Knicks wouldn't even be in contention; and without Melo needing to prove something now (Lin-related), he wouldn't be this motivated either - thus wouldn't be in contention. Don't forget that while Melo is playing well now without Lin, he DID NOT PLAY WELL *without* Lin when the Knicks record was 8-15. Interesting, huh?

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  9. Stu,

    Despite that many sources say that Lin had surgery on his left knee over the summer, I also think it was his right knee. He's been wearing a knee brace on his right knee since the beginning of the season. There's a lot of sloppy reporting out there. And all it takes is one inaccurate report, and it gets propagated everywhere as fact. Even the recent knee injury was widely reported being his right knee, when he came out of the trainers room with a large new brace on his left knee.

    JLinFan#1,

    Do you have an article or interview to cite that shows it was Lin's right knee that he had the knee procedure?

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    1. On wikipedia it says he had a left patellar tendon injury. I am in the business of musculoskeletal medicine and I know that tendon injuries can take some time. Yeah, I agree...lots of sloppy reporting. Check wikipedia though. Makes me worry. They should have imaged his knee by now with either ultrasound or MRI to see what is going on.

      Btw, my hope is he leaves the Knicks and joins the Lakers.

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    2. No article. He has been playing with a knee brace on his right knee this whole season. So, that's what I concluded.

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  10. i hope lin comes back soon even if he only plays 10-15 mins a game. i don't want the team to start thinking they can win without lin and to stroke their own selfish egos.

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    1. The team would be stupid to think that they can win without Lin, although they did have a 4 game winning streak during Jan 6-Jan 11. I would NOT be surprise if some of the team members are saying exactly what you said. In the short term, they would be correct, but in the long term, they won't last. Lets hope that the team is smart enough to realize that.

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    2. razerrr - I totally agree with you.

      IMO, the Knicks will have a great chance (85% chance?) *IF* Lin is involved at least half the games down the stretch and most of the games during the playoffs - if he's healthy enough to play.

      Remember too, that, even if BDavis is preferred by W, he is older and injury-prone (he said he's lucky just to be able to play).

      Jeremy Lin is a good starter and a GREAT backup - as a virtual rookie. He'll get better with more experience. An unexpected find, a PG lottery. When an experienced good PG is faltering or injured (same with any other position), of course they need a replacement or rotation! Duh!!! Lin has filled that role beautifully.... Of course it's my personal opinion, but I don't think the Knicks (however haughty they feel at the moment) will even make the playoffs without Lin still playing a significant role

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  11. I'll be honest, I don't really enjoy watching the Knicks when JLin is not playing. I was born in New York, lived there 11 years on and off and have followed the Knicks all that time without really being a "fan". JLin changed that but the truth is, without him, I could take or leave the Knicks. That said, it's good to see them winning. I have concerns as to why Carmelo and Baron who were visibly in pain were given the go-ahead to play while Jeremy was sidelined for the second straight game. I'm starting to wonder if it doesn't suit Woodson right down to the ground to keep Jeremy out of the team, for now. But maybe I'm just being paranoid. As for the superstar Melo, watching him give his all and play through the pain is actually quite annoying. Why? Because the Knicks wouldn't be in the mess they're fighting out off now if only he'd given this sort of effort from the get-go. As a professional, you shouldn't get to choose which boss you give your all to and which you don't. It's smacks of ego and arrogance and I can't get behind that. For what this team had to give up to get him and what they're paying to keep him, they deserve more than a on/off superstar who decides when he wants to play with effort and when he doesn't. But whatever, guess everyone else is willing to forgive very recent, and troubling history. Winning is the cure for all things it seems.

    Of course the knives are out for Jeremy, people have been itching to stick the knife in since Linsanity started. No worries. I'm encouraged that Lin is not a petty, immature individual and he's willing to work hard and bide his time. He's going to need too. Me, I think he is an absolute gift to this team. I hope Dolan, Woodson and Melo realise that. And should New York not be the team he settles in with, it will not be him having regrets in the years to come. That much I am absolutely sure of.

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    1. Yep know how you feel...I didn't even bother watching the past 2 games cause Jeremy sat out...Well I did watch about 10-15 minutes worth each game, but just watching Baron and his slow dribble, bad passes, no penetration, and no defense makes me mad.

      I'm glad they won, but its just not the same without JLin. The intensity he brings is something else, so is watching him mature and get better game after game. He makes basketball exciting to watch again, I could have cared less what race he is, he can be purple and I'd still watch him.

      Carmelo has skills, but totally agree: He's selfish...Its funny how Knicks are starting a PR campaign around Melo now that STAT and Lin is out...I don't think any campaign would change my mind about him, watching him purposely throw games while with D'Antoni really pissed me off, total lack of professionalism, lack of teamwork. It was all about Melo...Its exactly that which turned me off of basketball years ago.

      Anyway I hope Lin gets better. Gets the rest he needs, and come back and lead the Knicks to the championship.

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    2. me also... don't enjoy watching the Knicks when Lin is not playing. I watched out of curiosity, to see if my speculations is correct (that they will play with great motivation).... To people who followed the Knicks' story this year, it should be no surprise: Basic human nature on display on a big stage, in full color: Vanity, Anger, Greed, Jealousy, Selfishness; we all have them, but it's a matter of degrees.

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    3. Actually, I think it's a good sign that they let Lin rest. Lin is young and just started, we don't want him to have chronicle issues with his knee. Get fully recovered before he gets back on the court because they will need him more involved in April and more in the playoffs (if they are going to make it). Amare is not going to be available in April and who knows what will happen to melo with his injured groin? So lin has to make sure that he is healthy by then.

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    4. displayname,
      you hit it right on point about basic human nature taking place during this past month. Obviously I'm not a pro athlete, but I would imagine that most players of this caliber have some sense of passion for winning, especially a Championship. So if they really want to win, then I would think they would act professional and take some sacrifices in order to play collectively as a team in order to make it to the final four. Humans have weaknesses in terms of the characteristics you listed, but we are also should be capable of compromising, putting aside some pride, and working collectively toward a common goal.

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    5. Without JLin, I have no ego to watch Knicks anymore, I didn't even watch the last 2 games, I am happy to know they were won, but I just no interest to watch the games without Lin.

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  12. I think Sixers and Hawks will end up at the bottom and the Knicks will take 6th, which is the sweet spot in the East if they want to go deep into the playoffs. Knicks draw the 3rd seed in round one, which looks to be the Magic now. If they get through round one, they likely will face the Bulls, winner of 1st and 8th seeds series. Meanwhile the Heats draw the winner of the 4th and 5th seeds in the second round. Between Bulls and Heats, Miami with their team speed is a tougher match.

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    1. Ummmmmmm no...
      IF the Knicks get the 6th seed and get through the 1st round, they won't face the Bulls in the 2nd round. They will face the winner of the 2-7 series, which at this point looks like it will be Miami & whoever finishes 7th. The Bulls, who look like a lock to be the East #1 seed, will face in the 2nd round the winner of the 4-5 series.

      That said, you are being VERY optimistic that the Knicks can move up to the #6 seed. They currently sit 3.5 games behind the Hawks, who hold #6 in the East standings currently. That makes tomorrow's game against them a MUST-win in my opinion if they wanna have any chance to catch them, with only about 15 games remaining. I feel their best shot to move up will be to win the Atlantic Division, which will give them the 4th seed. It will be tough though, since they will have to pass the 2 teams (Bos. & Phi.) ahead of them to do that.

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    2. Well said, being the 4th seed is actually a much better and probable scenario. The way I look at it, I'd say it's actually more difficult to surpass Boston than the Sixers, for experience reasons. The Sixers are 5-5 in the past 10 while the Celtics were 7-3 (8-2 for the Knicks). Yes the schedule are different and all, but I really respect the veterans on the Celtics and the way they execute key plays down the stretch.

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    3. I agree 100%. At this point, I would say Boston is the team that is likely to finish at the top of the Atlantic divison. Philly is still too young of a team with not much experience and they don't have that go-to-guy.
      Yes, Boston has those veterans that won't let them slip down the stretch run, but still, the divison crown is the most probable for them to move up the standings. That being said, if there's any team the Bulls or Heat dont wanna face in the first round, its the KNICKS. They have the best shot to pull out a first round upset over those teams.

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  13. Baron's hamstring was acting up last night. Maybe Jeremy does play tomorrow...

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    1. I hope not. The Hawks have lost 2 in a row and are going to be playing at home. They are going to put forth maximum effort, to try to hold onto their positioning, and getting a win would be very tough even if the Knicks were at full strength. Please note: this isn't the same injury-riddled Hawks team that was missing several starters that the Knicks blew out before the All-Star break. The Knicks are very likely to lose this game either way, and they don't need Lin the following evening against Cleveland. I say save Lin until April 3 against Indiana.

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  14. I have a theory that one defensive liability on the court can be covered by 4 other players. In other words, a team can only allow 1 defensively inept player on the court without being exploited by the opponent. This is the same reason why I probably would not start Novak because that'd mean the rest of the line-up would have to be Lin, Shump, JR/Fields, Chandler in order to cover his hole. On the other hand, Novak playing with the 2nd unit would work because he's been playing with Davis (a slow but savvy defender), Shump, JR and Jefferies. His +/- is often positive for real reasons.

    The defensive issues with the winding days of D'Antoni games were that Stat wasn't in full shape yet and Melo was half-hearted. That's 2 holes to be covered by the other 3, and Jeremy was dead tired at the time. Defensively speaking, they were doomed.

    I'm not saying Stat being injured is positive for the Knicks, but I really like the line-up defensively with Melo at 4, along with Chandler, Landry, Shump and Davis. Melo plays so much better when the spotlight is on him, including his effort on D. I don't appreciate his attitude for selective efforts but I am not gonna complain about it at this moment. I also credit Woodson for the high emphasis on defense, and really whoever that could get Melo to play with this kind of effort deserves to be applauded.

    The bottom line is, I really feel that the knicks are finally playing up to their potential now, and this at last is authentically speaking the least wanted team to face in the eastern conference playoff.

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    1. "The defensive issues with the winding days of D'Antoni games were that Stat wasn't in full shape yet and Melo was half-hearted."

      Wrong. D'Antoni's defenses have been bad on every team that he has coached, regardless of the players. D'Antoni sacrifices defense for offense, and diminishes the effectiveness of the forwards in order to highlight the guards. The Knicks were never going to reach their potential under D'Antoni no matter what Melo's attitude was. The only thing that the Knicks could have done was dramatically alter the roster. Replace the all-star forwards would role players, and get a pair of all star guards and a great sixth man for the backcourt. Even better: instead of a more traditional small forward, get one who plays more like a guard, so basically your starting lineup offensively is 3 guards and a couple of big men to set screens, get offensive rebounds, and clean up easy points around the basket that the guards set up with picks and rolls and penetration.

      But any way you slice it, the Knicks weren't going to be successful with D'Antoni's system because they didn't have the players.

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  15. My theory is that the Knicks offense runs better now because there are less Knicks players posting up in the paint. Stat, Chandler, and Melo were all playing near the basket. There wasn't room for anyone to score down low or drive in for a layup. Therefore the Knicks became a jumpshooting team (Which they are bad at.) With Stat out and Melo playing the 4 spot .... this opens up the paint for both him and everyone driving to the hoop.

    Another thing, Melo scores easily with weak defenders on him. Who was guarding him vs. Milwaukee and Orlando ? Ilyasova, Ryan Anderson, Turkoglu, not exactly elite defenders.

    I expect things to get much harder in Atlanta with Josh Smith on Carmelo.

    The Melo post up game works sometimes, but the Knicks can't go to it each and everytime.

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    1. The Knicks offense isn't "running better." The Knicks were scoring more points under D'Antoni. The reason why they are winning is because the defense has dramatically improved.

      "Another thing, Melo scores easily with weak defenders on him. Who was guarding him vs. Milwaukee and Orlando ? Ilyasova, Ryan Anderson, Turkoglu, not exactly elite defenders."

      Yeah. Totally ignore the fact that Melo is a 5 time All-Star and 4 time All-NBA. So ... that was due to weak defenders also? It is funny. Were someone to say that Lin's success over what has been less than half a single NBA season (35 games) was due to D'Antoni's system (which Woodson has yet to fully abandon offensively), fortuitous scheduling against mostly bad teams, and opposing teams not adjusting to Lin's play yet, the response would be outrage, indignation and fury. Yet is is fine to claim that the success of a guy who has been one of the better players in the NBA for 9 years is due to "weak defenders." Hilarious. Totally hilarious.

      "The Melo post up game works sometimes, but the Knicks can't go to it each and everytime."

      Red herring. Giving Melo the number of post-ups and isolation plays that his ability merits is not the same as "going to it each and every time." It is perfectly possible to design a balanced, efficient offense that involves two - and even three - guys who can score in the low post. An example of this is the Celtics of the 1980s, who had 3 outstanding low post scorers in Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish (though in practice in order to make it work, Bird did a good bit of outside shooting and Parish sacrificed his offensive game). The Lakers during that same period also had a lot of guys who could score in the low post and the high post. The Spurs fit in this category too, especially when they had David Robinson and Tim Duncan at the same time.

      A primarily half-court offense with Melo, Stoudemire and Lin SHOULD BE high-scoring, with plenty of opportunities to get the ball in the basket for all. And with strong rebounding and defensive efforts, that should create plenty of opportunities in transition too.

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  16. I think Chandler is truly the anchor of this team. He's been playing almost every game with the same consistency. And as Novak said in the last post-game interview, people like Chandler and Shumpart just inspire everyone else to step up their defensive game. I'll get worried if Chandler gets injured. Hopefully Josh Harrelson can be a good enough backup if that happens

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