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Battle of the Least: Pistons at Knicks

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (14-20) at New York Knicks (11-22)
  • Date: January 7, 2014
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

Is there a team more interesting than the New York Knicks in the NBA? Noticed I said interesting and not entertaining.

James Dolan reportedly stated he believes the Knicks had the pieces needed to win a title and well, the team has gone out of its way to prove him wrong by suffering a nine-game losing streak during the 2013-14 campaign.

Further exacerbating matters, Carmelo Anthony has made it known he intends to shop himself to the highest bidder when the summer hits given his free-agent status. That sounds great, however, Anthony is the best player on a team with a bad record even by Eastern Conference standards.

He will still command a maximum-level contract, but one can only wonder if his prospective departure is affecting the team. Melo recently made by headlines by harshly responding to a fan’s criticism on Twitter and then later issued an apology.

Things off the court make New York compelling, but the issues on the hardwood make them a comedy show of sorts. Indeed, J.R. Smith had a game earlier in the season where he scored 19 points and attempted 17 treys. His play this season has been subpar and many are wondering what’s prompted his struggles.

With that said, the most comedic performance belongs to Andrea Bargnani. The blunders of Mike Woodson’s group highlight just how bad the situation has been in the Big Apple. And yet, I keep hoping for the team to acquire JaVale McGee via trade to boost up the Knicks’ interest value.

The Knicks would immediately become an 82-game Shaqtin’ a Fool experiment. And yet, for all of New York’s shortcomings, the team has some talent to work with. Anthony is enjoying the second-best statistical season of his career and leading the league in minutes per game.

Iman Shumpert is a menacing 2-guard with what occasionally resembles elite defensive instincts, especially with Chandler protecting him. The players do not always complement each other, but on the nights they do, Dolan’s team looks somewhat formidable as evidenced by their road wins against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks on the Texas trip they just completed.

Still, the evidence suggests that New York is simply far too inefficient in its makeup to truly be taken seriously unless their identity drastically changes. Indeed, the Knicks have one of the worst offenses in the league because they take some of the worst shots in the sport.

They are a bottom-third unit in terms of shot attempts per game at the rim as well as corner 3-pointers attempted on average. Teams that hunt these shots typically produce good if not great offenses because they are the money shots in basketball.

New York simply has too many players enamored with dribbling the ball and then firing up contested jumpers from mid-range or from above the break. Per NBA.com, the Knicks rank in the league’s top-five teams in mid-range shots taken per contest.

The man that encourages this behavior is none other than Anthony, who embraces the isolation game. The former Denver Nugget has a penchant for going to the mid-range area and looking to take his defender off the bounce. When that fails, he gladly settles for the long 2-point shot off the bounce.

SportVU tracking data tells us that Melo is among the league’s top 10 most active pull jump shooters (any jump shot outside of 10 feet where a player took one or more dribbles before shooting). Thus, the Knicks’ offense will go through ups and downs depending on the group’s ability to convert low-percentage attempts.

That in turn probably makes the Detroit Pistons the better team tonight despite the fact that some sports books actually list NYC as the favorites. The Pistons will spend the majority of the contest attacking the interior through drives, post-ups and offensive rebounds, which will yield a relatively efficient scoring output.

The Knicks on the other hand will put all of their eggs in the mid-range basket and hope to come away with a victory. That formula has worked roughly a third of the time for the Knickerbockers, which suggests the odds actually line up with the road team tonight.

Read about the Knicks

28 Comments

  • Jan 7, 20148:46 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    Pretty ugly game so far.  The Pistons look like the better team.  Too much Bynum and Billups. 

  • Jan 7, 20149:12 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    no effort , what a bunch of jokers 

  • Jan 7, 20149:20 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    bunch of jerks playing… too many turnovers… jennings not shooting well

  • Jan 7, 20149:22 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Yeah the coach sucks, but so does lazy, dysfunctional players. Can’t seem to make a decent post move, begging the Damn refs for calls every Damn play, 7 footers playing like a guard with no size. THIS ENTIRE TEAM AS CONSTRUCTED AND COACHED SUCKS!!!!!

  • Jan 7, 20149:22 pm
    by Hook Shot

    Reply

    This is awful. bad coaching poor body language. The team has quit. Dumars better have his resume updated. At rhis rate there will be a major bloodletting at the end of the season. Gores will not be patient for long. Even a novice fan knows bad basketball when he/she sees it. Just awful. 

  • Jan 7, 20149:27 pm
    by James

    Reply

    A front court consisting of Monroe, CV and Singler? Really?

  • Jan 7, 20149:29 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    Charlie V…..why???

  • Jan 7, 20149:31 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Wow

  • Jan 7, 20149:36 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Call Jennings whatever you want, but he is 3rd in assists in the east. Harness him with the right coach and he is Definitely better than what we had last year. That front court tho, I’m beginning to hate that combination of lackluster attitudes, useless athleticism at times, and the stumbling Monroe can go away as far as I’m concerned. Brad Daugherty 2.0!

  • Jan 7, 20149:39 pm
    by mythx

    Reply

    Hey give them credit. They really showed they have moved up their timetable this game
     
    They waited until way before the 4th quarter to collapse

  • Jan 7, 20149:42 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Lmao, pretty much.

  • Jan 7, 20149:54 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    damn it…. why did charlie v missed the first freethrow! that should’ve tied the game! now we need one stop and finish the game with a win! good defense please!

  • Jan 7, 20149:58 pm
    by Parsons

    Reply

    Smith just gave it away. Why did he shoot? What a moron.

  • Jan 7, 20149:58 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    oh crap…. melo got offensive foul and our team didn’t call a timeout?!! WTF… we lost another possession

  • Jan 7, 20149:59 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    Wow Josh Smith. 
    got the Knicks in the penalty, down by one. All you have to do is get into the paint and get fouled, you airball a long two.
    Oh yeah lets get rid of Monroe!

  • Jan 7, 20149:59 pm
    by James

    Reply

    How in the hell does Smith end up with a Damn JUMPER as the last shot? What an effen joke, COACH AND PLAYERS.

  • Jan 7, 201410:01 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    Dam this team lacks some BBALl IQ 

  • Jan 7, 201410:02 pm
    by domnick

    Reply

    ^ we didnt call a timeout to map out the play… this is stupid! now they called a timeout? what the hell.. too LATE!

  • Jan 7, 201410:17 pm
    by Windy

    Reply

    Brutal brutal brutal…something has to give here

  • Jan 7, 201410:19 pm
    by Windy

    Reply

    This whole team is falling apart at the seems…coach is clueless which we already knew…just tank for wiggens

  • Jan 7, 201410:20 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Not a bad game! Remember the Knicks were supposed to be the third best team in the east. They are playing good recently.
    Also why can’t we pull the trigger and trade for a star.  
    Rodney Stuckey, Charlie V, Greg Monroe and throw in some picks! 
    For Carmelo Anthony 
    Idk if the Knicks would accept that deal, but the Pistons should defiantly try to acquire Melo…you never know he might like it in the D. 
     

  • Jan 7, 201410:38 pm
    by mythx

    Reply

    That last shot IS Josh Smith. 
    It is everything wrong with him summed up in a single possession.  He is a negative. Flat out. I would take cap space at this point just to be rid of him.
     
     
     
     

    • Jan 7, 201410:49 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      Dude you forget about all the good things he did and focus only and the mistakes. It is not like he had a clear path to the basket. Somebody else could have shot it and missed it!

    • Jan 7, 201411:47 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Yep

  • Jan 7, 201410:41 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    WE WON THE 4th QRT! 

  • Jan 7, 201411:10 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Another game, another loss. Henceforth, I will be referring to Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum respectively… That is all. Enjoy your night, everyone

  • Jan 8, 201412:48 am
    by domnick

    Reply

    14-21 :P fire cheeks please

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