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 4 years ago '04        #9821
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Berman

INDIANAPOLIS — Knicks center Tyson Chandler emphatically said his critical comments after Saturday night’s game and after Sunday’s practice were not directed at Carmelo Anthony.

“I pulled Melo to the side. I’m a man of my words,’’ Chandler said. “None of the words were directed at him. I didn’t want him to take it like, that. I would never want to cause a problem with any of my teammates in the locker room. I wanted him to understand the comments were directed at the team. Most of the time I’m speaking about myself first. I didn’t want to add any extra pressure to his game.’’

After Game 3, Chandler said the club was “playing like individuals’’ and ripped the offense even more the following day when he said the Knicks were not passing enough and isolating too frequently.

Anthony responded Monday by saying he’d like to talk to Chandler. They did.

Chandler said he “wanted to clear it up.’’

“I wasn’t directing my comments at Carmelo Anthony,’’ Chandler added. “I was directing it at the Knicks. If I had a problem with Carmelo or anybody else, I’d discuss that closed doors, in-house.’’

* Iman Shumpert’s knee scare is over after he took an MRI exam yesterday that showed no structural damage and started last night in Game 4. He had a tough outing, going scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting, including four misses in the first quarter when the Knicks started off 2-of-14. Shumpert was held to just 16:13 of playing time.

“I decided to play him under 20, and it didn’t have to do with anything,’’ coach Mike Woodson said.

Shumpert didn’t attend the morning shootaround and the Knicks put his status as questionable while their team orthopedist, Answorth Allen, flew to Indianapolis to examine Shumpert’s surgically repaired left knee.

Woodson said there was concern yesterday morning because Shumpert’s soreness and swelling had not gone away when he awoke yesterday. By last night, Shumpert reported good news.

“We were just making sure, taking precaution,’’ Shumpert said. “I guess there’s still some swelling, but I feel a lot better.’’

Shumpert’s ACL, which he tore last April, was not a factor. He took two spills in the second half Saturday, one in the third quarter after getting fouled by George Hill. The other came in a scramble for a loose ball with Paul George.

Shumpert started at shooting guard — his preferred position — as Woodson finally elected to go with a big starting lineup.
 4 years ago '04        #9822
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Berman

INDIANAPOLIS — Carmelo Anthony spoke in a whisper. J.R. Smith took blame for this collapse. Tyson Chandler had no criticism, just praise for the Pacers. Mike Woodson seemed stunned their shotmaking has gone so wayward, so quickly.

The Knicks have sunk in a deep hole, a series deficit from which the franchise never has recovered. The Knicks offense has collapsed — along with their once-promising season. Their first second-round appearance in 13 years is turning into a nightmare.

The Pacers routed the Knicks, 93-82, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to jack their second-round series lead to 3-1. The Knicks never have rallied from a 3-1 deficit — just eight NBA teams have in history.

“I take the blame for this whole series,” Smith said. “I’ve been letting my teammates down, I’ve been letting my coaches down, and it doesn’t feel good.”

Smith, still playing with the remnants of the flu, shot 7-for-22 for 19 points to extend his miserable slump. In six games since his suspension for an elbow in the first round, he is 26-of- 91.

“I believe, I really believe we can to do something special,’’ Anthony said in a low voice. “We must win [tomorrow] and we got to believe in ourselves. At this point, it’s do or die. No need to hang heads at this. We got to do it being very confident.’’

It took Anthony all the effort he can muster to try to remain optimistic. Game 5 is at the Garden tomorrow, where the Knicks season may end against the tall, burly Pacers.

“We got to put these [past] two games behind us,’’ Woodson said. “We have an uphill climb. It’s still doable. I can’t lose hope.’’

Anthony scored 24 points but went scoreless in the fourth quarter and fouled out with 2:00 left battling for an offensive rebound. Anthony, who shot 9-for-23 after going 0-for-4 in the final period, can’t get enough help as the Knicks were plagued with fouls and couldn’t compete on the boards again.

“I thought our offensive flow wasn’t bad but we couldn’t make shots,’’ Woodson said. “We got to find guys who could put the ball in the hole.’’

The Pacers’ size and strength have proven too much. Woodson started with a big starting lineup, adding Kenyon Martin at power forward, moving Anthony to small forward, but it didn’t help.

Indiana slaughtered the Knicks, 54-36, on the boards to continue a series-long trend. The Pacers collected 16 offensive rebounds, leading to 19 second-chance points.

“They’re pinning their ears — five guys crashing the boards,’’ Chandler said. “For the defense after making the stop, it’s a backbreaker.’’

Chandler and Anthony cleared the air over Chandler’s critical comments about the selfish offense. Anthony claims he wasn’t offended.

“I didn’t take it like he was throwing a jab at me,’’ Anthony said. “Our offense has been [crummy]. We haven’t been effective.’’

Pacers 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert wasn’t an offensive threat but rebounded terrifically, collecting 11, with three blocks. Hibbert again was a force in the middle stopping the Knicks’ penetrations.

“The way they play defense, the bigs sit back in the paint,’’ said Anthony, who picked up his fifth foul midway through the fourth and lost his mojo. “We have to have confidence in taking the shots we normally take and make. We’re passing up on open shots. We have to take those shots and be confident taking those shots and knowing you can make them.’’

Jason Kidd went scoreless for the eighth straight game, going a hesitant 0-for-2 in 15:46. He even blew a breakaway layup and was seen chuckling on the Knicks bench. Kidd took away minutes from the benched Pablo Prigioni, who had started since late March.

Amar’e Stoudemire played 11 nondescript minutes in the second game of his comeback, picking up four fouls and four points.

“We haven’t played well since Game 3 in Boston,’’ Kidd said. “We have to just let it fly. Stay tough, stay positive.’’

The ball moved. The ball didn’t go in.

“It’s frustrating to talk about our offense and not being able to score the basketball with the weapons we have,’’ Anthony said.

The greaseboard in the locker room read afterward: “Stay the Course. Win one, change everything.’’

Easier said than done.
 4 years ago '04        #9823
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Ian O'Connor

INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Knicks want the ball, but they are not worthy of receiving it. They do not belong on the same postseason stage with their star, Carmelo Anthony, who deserves better than he's gotten from a supporting cast that's too busy crumbling around him.

Down 3-1 after Tuesday night's 93-82 defeat, the Knicks are almost certain to lose their second-round series to an Indiana Pacers team thriving without its best player, Danny Granger, a development that would normally reduce Anthony to the easiest of news media and message board targets, a piñata in a headband.

But this will be a whole new blame game if the Knicks fail to make good on their puncher's chance, fail to take three consecutive sudden-death games from a bigger, stronger and more aggressive opponent. The standard default position -- It's all Melo's doing -- isn't going to cut it this time. Not with Anthony's teammates looking about as comfortable in this series as Sergio Garcia looked on Sunday on the 17th tee.

Only that's exactly what the Knicks are right now -- a team desperate to be saved from itself. Tyson Chandler called for more ball movement after Melo took a grand total of 16 shots in Game 3, called for it after Roy Hibbert made Chandler look Nate Robinson small, and the few extra passes didn't matter in the least in Game 4.

Kenyon Martin went 0-for-3 in 29 minutes. Iman Shumpert, going on a bum knee, went 0-for-6 in a lousy 16 minutes. Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni went a combined 0-for-2 in 19 minutes, 16 of them played by the 40-year-old Hall of Famer-to-be who missed a layup and could really use a couple of weeks in the tub.

"We've got to understand we've got nothing to lose at this point," Kidd said.

Nothing but the 2012-13 season, one that will go down as a major disappointment if the Knicks fall to Indiana, and one that J.R. Smith will take to his grave.

"I take the blame for this whole series," said Smith, who shot 7-for-22 Tuesday night, and who has missed 91 of his 137 shots in this postseason.

"I've been letting my teammates down. I've been letting my coaches down."

Just about every Knick could say the same. Woodson made a significant move before Game 4, starting Martin in Prigioni's place and sending a message to Indiana that the Knicks were ready to play with the big boys underneath. If it wasn't exactly Joe Torre benching Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill, and Wade Boggs for Game 3 of the '96 World Series, it was a nervy call by Woodson all the same.

And he didn't have Torre's touch with it. Not even close. Still slowed by the same bug that got to Smith first, Martin didn't score a point and contributed five rebounds to a Knicks team that grabbed 36, or 18 fewer than the Pacers grabbed.

"We got hammered on the boards again," Woodson said.

They got hammered in every way an alleged contender can be hammered, coach included. Only 29 seconds after Chris Copeland sank a three early in the fourth quarter, cutting the Indiana lead to 10, Woodson inexplicably summoned him to the bench in favor of the returning Anthony, leaving the rusty and ineffective Amar'e Stoudemire (four fouls, four points in 11 minutes) on the floor. Woodson needed offense there, needed to go small with Melo and Copeland, and by the time Stoudemire was subbed out the Knicks were down 16.

Stoudemire and Chandler picked up early, silly technicals, and the Knicks spent too much time and energy complaining about the officials' calls, a losing proposition every time. No longer interested in taking a wide-open shot, Kidd over-passed his way into a 24-second violation at the end of the second quarter. In the third, Indiana's lumbering Ian Mahinmi beat Smith to a loose ball on the baseline he won on pure desire, nothing more.

"I have to play more efficient," Smith said at his locker, disarming the encroaching media mob by ripping himself to shreds. "I have to rebound the ball. One rebound, two rebounds is not enough. Paul George is out there getting 13, 14 rebounds. As a wing player like myself, it's pretty much unacceptable." Losing this series would be pretty much unacceptable, too. The Knicks are the No. 2 seed, the team with home-court advantage, the team expected to face Miami in the conference final, the team with the healthy star in Anthony to operate in ways Indiana only wished the down-and-out Granger could.

But the Pacers are the ones attacking the basket with a purpose; they shot 30 free throws to the Knicks' 14. "They're just pinning their ears back," Chandler said. "It's not just one or two guys; it's five guys crashing the boards, and we have to make them pay for it."

This time around, Chandler was calling for more points on the fast break and for more shooters to knock down open looks. He said that the ball moved better in Game 4, and that he never meant to incriminate Anthony after Game 3 when he campaigned for a more team-centric approach from offenders he didn't identify.

"I wasn't directing my comments at Carmelo Anthony," Chandler said. "I was directing my comments at the New York Knicks."

It was hardly a convincing claim, and chances are Melo didn't totally buy it, either. But the two said they talked and straightened it out, no blood, no foul.

"I didn't take it like he was throwing a jab at me," Anthony said. "Our offense has been s---. He has a right to say that."

Whatever. But after scoring 24 points on 23 shots, some of which he was all but forced to take, Anthony also has the right to ask for a little help here, help he's not likely to get. The team's fundamental (and fatal) flaw is its casting of Smith in the role of best supporting actor, the pseudo-Pippen to Melo's pseudo-Jordan. J.R. just isn't good enough, or consistent enough, to handle the responsibility.

"I want J.R. to shoot," said Anthony, who fouled out with two minutes left. "He can't take his shots with him. I need J.R. to shoot."

He needs J.R. to make them. "I really believe that we can do something special here," Melo maintained.

"I still do believe that we are the better team."

Written on the grease board in the losers' locker room was this message: "Stay the course. Win one, change everything."

Maybe the Knicks can get this series back to a Game 6, maybe not. But if they lose to Indiana in the end, Carmelo Anthony won't be their fall guy. People will understand that even LeBron James, even Jordan, couldn't have carried this sorry supporting cast.
 4 years ago '08        #9824
AC_89 147 heat pts147
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Even with jr taking the blame media will somehow still roast melo if we lose this series
 4 years ago '04        #9825
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
 dj ac said:
Even with jr taking the blame media will somehow still roast melo if we lose this series
just funny how you always hear ppl and "experts" say Melo is not on LBJ's level but in the same breath have to compare the two (you figure that one out).

Melo will get roasted for the simple reason of him being part of that specific draft class (mainly the top 5 picks of it

Darko won it first (had NOTHING to do with them winning)
Wade won it second (he did carry the team but you had Shaq before his decline)
Bron & Bosh had to come to Miami and form Voltron to get theirs
Melo for the most part has been a dude on his own island but fu*k logic, it's all Melo's fault
 4 years ago '04        #9826
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Jared Zwerling

While the Pacers clearly pose problems for the Knicks, the 'Bockers are beating themselves in certain ways by not adjusting. That goes for the coaches and the players.

Here are five head-scratchers from the Game 4 loss on Tuesday and how the Knicks could look to overcome them as they try to stave off elimination on Thursday night:

1. No Pablo in the second half. Starting point guard Pablo Prigioni, relegated to the bench as the Knicks went to a larger lineup, played only three minutes in Game 4. Jason Kidd, who hasn't scored a point since April 23, even checked in before Prigioni.

Mike Woodson should've called an audible at the start of the third quarter to abandon the big lineup and get Prigioni in the game, because Pacers point guard George Hill was going off on Raymond Felton in pick-and-rolls. Prigioni's full-court pressure and swarming ball presence could've helped.

Hill finished with a series-high 26 points. While the Pacers finished 40.8 percent from the field, their pick-and-roll ball handlers (mostly Hill) shot 58.3 percent.

2. Why only 16 minutes for Iman Shumpert? If it was knee-related, that would be one thing, but Woodson said Shumpert's limited playing time had nothing to do with that. So what then? Meanwhile, his regular defensive a.ssignment, Paul George, became the first Pacers player since Mark Jackson in 1998 to have at least 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven a.ssists in a playoff game.

When Prigioni and Shumpert aren't in the game together, the Knicks lack backcourt defensive pressure. It was the perimeter that got the job done offensively for the Pacers, whose center, Roy Hibbert, scored just six points.

3. Quick hook for Cope. Fifty-two seconds into the fourth quarter, Chris Copeland drained a 3-pointer that cut the deficit to 10. About 30 seconds later, he was on the bench with Carmelo Anthony replacing him. But they should've played together.

The Knicks needed to maintain their scoring momentum, and Copeland's 3-point shooting and offensive versatility would've been helpful. Woodson should've also considered playing Steve Novak. The Pacers' bigs, especially Hibbert, have gotten comfortable laying low in the middle; a more spread-out offense could force them to commit.

4. No offensive creativity. Holding the ball too long is exactly what the Pacers want J.R. Smith to do. It stalls the Knicks' offense, giving the Pacers, a great defensive team, time to set up. The Knicks need to utilize Smith more as a traditional 2-guard, running him off more screens to get him catch-and-shoot opportunities.

When Smith and Anthony are attacking, they need to examine the entire court. Anthony talked all season long about trusting his teammates more. The Knicks will win Game 5 only with offensive balance.

5. Why the slower pace? After Game 4, Amar'e Stoudemire said, "We're not getting into our offense fast enough, no pace. [The Pacers] are great in half-court sets defensively." The biggest problem with this statement? The Knicks have played this way in all their losses. The Knicks need to make every defensive rebound count and look to push. The Knicks have enough speedy guards to capitalize in transition. The team's overall lack of intensity has been disastrous to their defensive and offensive flow.
 4 years ago '04        #9827
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Alan Hahn

There has been finger-pointing going on within the #Knicks recently. But where are the fingers pointing? More:

At themselves.

J.R. Smith stood up after yet another maddening performance and made it clear who he believes is the reason why the Knicks are in a 3-1 hole in this series.

"I take the blame for this whole series," he said.

As if he'd been reading every newspaper story, blog post and tweet about him since his Game 3 elbow incident, he continued with his candor.

"It started off with Game 4 in Boston-- or Game 5," he said. "I haven't been playing my part. I've been letting my teammates down. I've been letting my coaches down."

He concluded his confessional saying "It's unacceptable."

Mike Woodson, who has, at times, looked brilliant for his work in turning Smith into a Sixth Man of the Year and yet has lately been burned for his loyalty to the wildly inconsistent player, shook his head at Smith's comments.

"I'm the head coach," he said. "Blame it on me."

Woodson pointed to the "slippage" in Game 1, where the Knicks lost home court advantage, and said "we're feeling pretty good about ourselves" if they don't lose that critical game. Both teams had just one day to prepare for Game 1 and the Knicks looked like a team that wasn't ready to play as they were out-worked in the pivotal loss.

Now, the next loss means the end of the season.

"It's my job," Woodson said, "to get us out of this hole."
 4 years ago '04        #9828
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Berman

J.R. Smith took all the blame and he probably is doing so because of the domino effect the elbow to Terry's head had on the season. If the Knicks lose to the Pacers in this series, the elbow will serve as the seasons' turning point. Not for the suspension, the Knicks probably would’ve swept Boston in four games. That would’ve allowed the Knicks valuable rest before the Pacers’ series and given Amar'e Stoudemire extra scrimmages to be ready for Game 1 and not be immersed in the middle. Instead they went six games, had one day off and Woodson had them unprepared emotionally in the Game 1 Garden loss, losing homecourt. Woodson admitted yesterday how that Game 1 losses turned the series. “We win Game 1, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,’’ Woodson said. “It would be in our favor going into Game 5. We let the one game slip away. That’s what you play for when you venture out to play playoff basketball. Now we’re in a hole and we got to dig our way out of a hole by winning a game (tonight). If we can, the series goes back (to Indiana) we got to see what they’re made of in Game 6.’
 4 years ago '04        #9829
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Berman

Kenyon Martin didn’t join his teammates in shooting practice Wednesday because of an apparent new wrist injury.

Tuesday night in the visitor’s locker room in Indianapolis, Martin sported either a black soft cast or wrap on his right wrist. Martin, who also has the flu, was nowhere to be found in the gym.

According to a league source, Martin’s protective wrist wear is “precautionary’’ and his sore wrist isn’t considered extensive.

The Knicks didn’t list Martin on the injury report before Thursday night’s Game 5. He had a poor Game 4 and has had a mediocre series against the Pacers, not imposing his will against the burly Pacers as hoped. Thrust into the starting lineup at power forward Tuesday, Martin was scoreless (0-for-3) with five rebounds — none on the offensive glass — in 28:54.

The addition of Amar’e Stoudemire to the rotation could have affected Martin. Stoudemire isn’t a good rebounder and the two haven’t made a good rebounding tandem. Stoudemire, in his second game back, played just 11:17, scored four points, hauled in four rebounds but also committed four fouls and a technical.

Asked if he will stick with the rusty Stoudemire, coach Mike Woodson said, “Stat, he’s only playing 10-12 minutes. He’s played in two games. His minutes have been pretty positive. I just thought last night we got into a shoving war in terms of unnecessary fouls. It was just ridiculous. That’s what put us behind in the second quarter. The shoving, pushing, technicals. Those things have got to be eliminated.’’

***

The Knicks were a conference-best 31-10 at the Garden this season. The Pacers are 1-3 at MSG this season.

“It should be a big factor,’’ Woodson said of returning home. “We’ve been pretty good on our floor this season. For them to come in here and try to get a win has got to be tough. We have been tough at home. We secure that game and put the pressure back on them in Game 6.’’

***

With the 3-point shooting woes, there was a fan furor over Woodson’s handling of rookie Chris Copeland and Steve Novak.

They are the two purest 3-point shooters on the club. Copeland didn’t play until the third quarter in the Game 4 shellacking and made two of three 3-pointers, playing just 11:52.

Novak was inserted for the final 1:06 of garbage time and made his lone 3-point shot. They represented three of the eight 3-pointers made by the Knicks, who shot a dismal 8-of-28. The Knicks set the NBA record for most 3-point makes this season.

“It’s kind of been a roller-coaster ride with that [in the playoffs],’’ Woodson said. ‘‘[Tuesday] night we took 28 3’s and we didn’t make them. Prior to that, we were struggling to get them up.’’
 4 years ago '04        #9830
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Berman

The Knicks went big in Indianapolis — and lost big. Now embattled coach Mike Woodson is ready to admit his mistake.

The Knicks are expected to go back to small-ball tonight in looking for their season’s most giant victory in do-or-die Game 5 at the Garden. Carmelo Anthony will head back to his customary power forward position as he tries to save the season from becoming a disaster.

The Knicks, looking to become the ninth NBA team to rally from a 3-1 deficit, need three straight victories over the big and burly Pacers to secure an Eastern Conference finals showdown against the Heat. A Knicks trifecta, considering the way they have lost confidence all at once, seems as unlikely as LeBron James winning the mayoral election in Cleveland.

Woodson is expected to reinsert Pablo Prigioni into the starting lineup and take out Kenyon Martin, who started at power forward in Tuesday’s 93-82 Game 4 debacle at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The big lineup of Melo-Martin-Tyson Chandler didn’t help their rebounding woes and certainly didn’t help their offense.

The Knicks were 16-2 with Prigioni in the starting lineup in the two-point guard alignment that began in Utah on March 18. The popular Prigioni, who could be playing his final game as a Knick tonight, logged just 3:26 off the bench as Woodson stuck with Jason Kidd, who set a record by going scoreless for his eighth straight playoff game.

Woodson had wanted to combat the Pacers’ size and was also influenced by Iman Shumpert’s iffy status because of his sore knee. Woodson thought Shumpert wouldn’t play and was set to replace him with Martin, who went scoreless in 28:54 and had just five rebounds. He was also playing with the flu and a possible wrist injury.

“I’m contemplating doing that,’’ Woodson said of his return to smallball. “That lineup has been great for us for a couple of months. I went away from it [Tuesday] night to go big and a lot of that was based on guys not being in practice and not too sure about Iman. That lineup has been good and there’s a strong chance we go right back to that lineup.’’

After practice, the struggling J.R. Smith huddled with Knicks executive John Starks and they spoke for about 10 minutes. Starks, who is in alumni relations, rarely attends practice, but these are desperate times.

The Knicks probably are concerned with Smith’s mental state after he took full blame for the Knicks’ collapse amid his massive shooting slump. Yesterday, Woodson tried to deflect the attention from Smith.

When asked about Smith’s bold declaration, Woodson said he is the one to blame and indeed has been outcoached by Indiana’s Frank Vogel.

“It’s not about all of that,’’ Woodson said. “Again, I’m the head coach. Blame it on me. I don’t look at it in that light. The bottom line is we’re all trying to do the right things to win basketball games. If we don’t have the slippage to start the series, we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. But right now our backs are against the wall and my job is to get us out of this hole.’’

After the loss, Smith said, “I take the blame for this whole series. I’ve been letting my teammates down, I’ve been letting my coaches down, and it doesn’t feel good.”

Yesterday, Smith continued to answer questions, while Anthony, Chandler, Kidd and Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t make themselves available to the media.

“I’m very disappointed to be in the position that we’re in, but we’re still not out of it,’’ Smith said. “We’re still in a good position to where we can still make some noise.’’

“We embrace the challenge,’’ Shumpert added. “We just got to win. It’s been done before.’’

It’s not too farfetched to blame almost all of it on Smith. His 26-of-91 shooting slump coincided with returning from a one-game suspension for elbowing the Celtics’ Jason Terry that may ultimately be viewed as the season’s turning point.

The Knicks probably would have swept Boston in four games if not for Smith’s suspension. That would have allowed the Knicks valuable rest before the Pacers’ series. Instead they went six games, had one day off and Woodson had them unprepared emotionally in the Game 1 Garden loss, losing home-court advantage.

“We win Game 1, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,’’ Woodson said. “It would be in our favor going into Game 5. We let the one game slip away. That’s what you play for when you venture out to play playoff basketball. Now we’re in a hole and we got to dig our way out of a hole by winning a game [tonight]. If we can, the series goes back [to Indiana]. We got to see what they’re made of in Game 6.’’
 4 years ago '04        #9831
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Hahn

Jason Kidd's shooting, at this point, should be factored in misses. The numbers are stunning. More:

The 40-year-old veteran has missed 87.5% of his shots (21 of 24) in 10 playoff games. And if you consider that he started out hitting a respectable 3 of 7 in the first two games of the postseason, that leaves a drought of 17 straight misses over the last eight games.

His last made basket came in Game 2 against the Celtics. But that's just the tip of this very, very cold iceberg.

Kidd hasn't made a TWO point basket at all in the playoffs. Including a failed layup in Game 4 in Indiana, Kidd is 0-for-7 from inside the arc. In fact, his last two-point hoop came April 7, in that impressive win at Oklahoma City.

And doesn't that game now feel like an eternity ago.

Since that shot -- a layup off a pass from J.R. Smith with 4:24 left in the third quarter -- Kidd has missed nine straight shots inside the arc, including the playoffs. So obviously, he doesn't take a lot of shots inside the arc.

But he had been pretty effective when he has taken two-pointers, as few as they were this season. He made 38 of 84 attempts from inside the arc, which is 45.2%. He shot 35% from three-point range (114 for 325).

Kidd's offense is troubling, especially with the Pacers now leaving him to shoot shots that they know, and Kidd knows, he doesn't want to take. Kidd's hesitation to shoot screams out the lack of confidence he has in his shot.

But despite signs of a swift and depressing decline in the future Hall of Famer's skills, Mike Woodson still sees value in Kidd on the floor. He is averaging 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 a.ssists and 1.1 steals in 23.5 minutes per game in the playoffs.

"I will never kick J-Kidd to the curb, man," Woodson said. "I mean, Kidd has been a positive for our club, our franchise, these players that play around him. We all still believe in Kidd.

"My thing is, I still think he does some of the intangibles that might not show up, in terms of scoring the ball, to help you win."

Kidd isn't shooting a high volume (2.4 FGA per game in the playoffs), but his shooting woes allow the Pacers to drop him on their list of defensive priorities. And since his 40-year-old legs don't allow him to go to the basket anymore with much success, he can be viewed as a liability if he can't make a shot.

But he's still Jason Kidd. Is there still a part of you that believes he still has a few big shots left in him?
 4 years ago '08        #9832
AC_89 147 heat pts147
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$33,795 | Props total: 5530 5530
Kidd hasn't made a TWO point basket at all in the playoffs.


 4 years ago '04        #9833
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Knicks are undefeated (6-0) in the playoffs when they hit more 3's than their opponents
 4 years ago '10        #9834
SwooshWonder 11 heat pts11
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$24,435 | Props total: 2508 2508
We need to use the younger cats....


Last edited by SwooshWonder; 05-17-2013 at 08:16 AM..
 4 years ago '04        #9835
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Berman

Chris Copeland, a training-camp long shot who spent part of the season lugging around a pink knapsack as part of rookie hazing, may turn into a very attractive piece on the free-agent market.

Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald likely hopes Copeland will be part of the team’s future plans, especially after coach Mike Woodson finally turned to him in the crunch of a do-or-die Game 5 and he delivered 13 points and four rebounds in his 19 unexpected minutes in the Knicks’ 85-75 win over the Pacers Thursday night at the Garden.

Of all the summer additions, Copeland became the biggest revelation — even if Woodson refused to use him in the playoffs until Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Considering his numbers, versatility and a changing league bent on 3-pointers, Copeland may seek Steve Novak money, according to a person familiar with the situation. Novak landed a four-year, $16 million package last summer. Copeland has become a more versatile scorer — a 3-point specialist who can put the ball on the floor and score in the post.

Novak got the big number from the Knicks because, through an appeal with the Player’s a.ssociation, they were awarded Novak’s early Bird rights.

The Knicks won’t have any such rights in retaining the obscure Belgian Leaguer. The only other team that sent a scout last season to the Belgian League to watch Copeland was Miami, according to a source. It was quite a find by European scout Kevin Wilson, who is regarded highly in the organization.

The Knicks will extend Copeland his $900,000 qualifying offer to keep him restricted so they can match an offer. But they may be prohibited from matching any offer more than $3 million.

They would have to use one of their precious exceptions — the $1.9 million biannual exception or the $3 million mini mid-level exception given to luxury taxpayers. The Knicks don’t have the full $5 million mid-level because of their lousy cap situation. Copeland makes the league minimum, $473,000, this season.

* Amar’e Stoudemire played six minutes and none in the second half, finishing with two points without a field-goal attempt. He was not available for comment after the game. ... The Knicks committed just 10 turnovers. The Knicks’ 3-point shooting, which had been a weak spot recently, was much better last night. They made 7-of-18 attempts. ... Indiana’s Lance Stephenson had a rough night. Not only did he get slammed to the floor by Tyson Chandler on a dunk attempt, he finished 1-of-7 from the field.
 4 years ago '04        #9836
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Ian O'Connor

NEW YORK -- Mike Woodson might have been a game or three too late to show this side of his character, the cold, unforgiving side that left Jason Kidd and Amar'e Stoudemire on the bench for the entire second half of a playoff game the New York Knicks had no choice but to win.

But show it Woodson most certainly did Thursday night, when he effectively told two prominent stars -- including one of the greatest point guards of all time -- that they might as well get comfortable in their chairs, butter up their popcorn and watch an ex-D-Leaguer who had chased his hoop dreams all over Europe play for their season.

Chris Copeland, 29-year-old rookie, is a zillion-to-one character borrowed from a Hollywood script, his long braids flying along with his longer jumpers. It's hard to believe in a Chris Copeland, cut twice from second-division teams in Spain, a guy not even pulling in half a mil, and so Woodson didn't believe in him in Game 4. The coach removed Copeland 29 seconds after he made a 3 early in the fourth quarter, and he was rightfully ripped for it.

Woodson wouldn't make that same mistake again in Game 5, not with the Indiana Pacers holding a 3-1 series lead and not with all of New York prepared to pounce on the man who had done so much good work after replacing his overmatched boss, Mike D'Antoni. In fact, the Knicks' coach wouldn't repeat any of his unforced errors from earlier in the series, when it felt like Frank Vogel-Mike Woodson was as big a mismatch as Roy Hibbert-Tyson Chandler.

The Knicks gave away the second-round opener at home, didn't come to play after surviving their emotionally draining series with Boston, and that was an indictment of Woodson. So were the nonadjustments to Indiana's size, the premature burial of Pablo Prigioni on Tuesday night, the inability to inspire J.R. Smith, the lineup change that didn't change anything, and the failure to match Indiana's desperation and intensity.

Oh, and the insistence on playing Stoudemire and Kidd, too. Jason Kidd was sort of understandable because he's Jason Kidd, the NBA's resident Yoda. But Stoudemire, back from a second knee surgery and promising to be as rusty as he appeared upon his first return in January? Woodson's allegiance to him made little win-or-else sense.

So there Woodson stood inside Madison Square Garden for Game 5, staring at the potential for complete humiliation. If the Knicks lost this one, they would have lost the series by surrendering two home games to a lower-seeded opponent that reminds nobody of the world champion Miami Heat. Sure, Carmelo Anthony would have a.ssumed some blame as a franchise player with a miserable postseason past, but Woodson's credibility would have taken a bigger hit.

He was 0-8 in two second-round series as coach of the Atlanta Hawks, a record that got him fired. A quickie five-game loss to the Pacers wouldn't have cost Woodson his job with the Knicks, but it would have raised serious questions about his ability to lead a team deep into the playoffs.

Maybe that thought hit Woodson like a blind pick at halftime of what would be an 85-75 victory. The Knicks were up six, but it felt like they should have been up more.

Anthony had picked up an early technical, so he was one blown fuse from ejection. Kidd had missed his only shot, a breakaway layup that cruelly spun in and out and extended an amazing scoreless streak that dates back to April 23. Stoudemire had made a couple of foul shots and grabbed a couple of rebounds in his 6:34 of playing time but looked like an old man shooing a pigeon in the park when trying to scoop a ball he kicked away.

Right then and there, Woodson decided Kidd and Stoudemire could reminisce about their 15 combined All-Star Game appearances for the balance of the night while Copeland and the rest played on.

"I'm the coach," Woodson said after he'd successfully booked Game 6 in Indianapolis. "Coaching is a feel, man. I mean, it's not always what the players want. At the end of the day it's about winning. That's all I'm in it for.

"I'm sure Kidd and Amar'e probably wanted to play, but I don't think that they're going to complain about anything."

No, the complaining came from the visitors' side of the Garden. The Pacers outrebounded the Knicks by only three this time, and they missed 14 of their 33 foul shots. "If we make our free throws," Vogel said, "it's a different ballgame."

And if Game 4 hero George Hill hadn't been KO'd by a concussion suffered in that game, maybe the Pacers already would be talking about taking their talents to you-know-where.

But South Beach and the conference finals remain on hold. "I think we've got plenty to beat the Knicks with or without George Hill," Vogel maintained.

He'll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, Lance Stephenson was pulling a J.R. Smith and blaming himself for a Game 5 that saw the Lincoln High legend out of Brooklyn miss six of seven shots.

"We blew it," Stephenson said. "This was a big game in their building, and we didn't bring it."

For a change, Woodson's team was the one that brought it. Anthony scored 28 points (although on 28 shots), Raymond Felton played a strong floor game in the second half, and Copeland sank three of his four 3s, scored 13 high-energy points and tucked his 15 minutes of fame inside nearly 20 minutes of playing time.

Smith? He didn't quite bust out of his own slump, but he did take a few baby steps in the right direction hours after Rihanna, a reported love interest, posted a message to a Knicks fan on Instagram that said the sixth man kept misfiring because he was "hungover from clubbing every night during playoffs!!"

Asked before Game 5 about that posting, Woodson said, "That's the unknown. When you're coaching, you try to keep everything in house and nice and neat, and sometimes it gets away from you. J.R.'s had his ups and downs here of late, but J.R. is still a big piece to our puzzle."

A piece that came unglued in the Boston series and hasn't been the same since. The Smith ejection and suspension hardened the perception that the Knicks, Woodson's Knicks, are too quick to lose their composure when things go south.

The coach didn't get tough with Stoudemire after he punched the fire extinguisher case in Miami last spring, and he didn't get tough with Stoudemire through the first two and a half games of his latest comeback, when a slow and uncertain Amar'e did little to help his team.

That changed for Woodson and Stoudemire in the middle of Game 5, just as it changed for Woodson and Kidd. "I will never kick J-Kidd to the curb," the coach had sworn the day before he kicked the Hall of Famer-to-be to that same curb.

So Woodson showed New Yorkers the kind of toughness he didn't get a chance to show them as a first-round pick of the Knicks in 1980, a year before they traded him to the Nets. Woodson had a good career as an NBA player, and so far he's had a good career as an NBA coach.

But he's said more than once he wants to be great, not good. And truth is, all Mike Woodson did in Game 5 was redeem his earlier second-round sins.

If the coach scores two more victories over the Pacers, he'll do a lot better than that.
 4 years ago '04        #9837
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Ian Begley

Brushing off allegations made by Rihanna about his excessive partying, J.R. Smith insisted on Thursday night that he has focused on basketball, not social media.

"I'm not worried about Instagram, I'm worried about the playoffs," Smith said after the New York Knicks' Game 5 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Smith faced a question about Rihanna on Thursday night after the pop star alleged on her Instagram account that Smith has been "hung over from clubbing every night during the playoffs."

Smith, the NBA's Sixth Man award winner, has struggled mightily in the postseason.

He's shooting 22-for-75 (29 percent) in five games against Indiana.

Smith and Rihanna were rumored to be dating and, according to a report in the New York Daily News, had been spotted at a club together after the Knicks' Game 2 win over Indiana.

Smith scored 13 points on 4-for-11 shooting against Indiana in Game 5.

"Hopefully the little bit of rhythm [I found in Game 5] carries over," Smith said.

No Amar'e, Kidd in second half: A day after saying he wouldn't kick Jason Kidd to the curb, Knicks coach Mike Woodson played the veteran point guard just 5 minutes, 20 seconds in Game 5. Kidd did not play in the second half. Neither did Amar'e Stoudemire. Stoudemire played 6:34 on Thursday, totaling two rebounds and two points.

Asked about not playing either player in the second half, Woodson said, "Coaching is a feel. It’s not always what player's want. Today it’s about winning. That’s all I’m in it for. I’m sure Kidd and Amar'e wanted to play but I don’t think they’ll complain about anything."

Kidd has not scored in his past eight games. He missed a layup in the second quarter of Game 5. It was his only shot attempt.

Chandler, Felton OK: Tyson Chandler said his back, neck and wrist were in pain after he hit the floor hard following a fourth-quarter spill. But the center said he will be fine for Game 6. Same goes for Ray Felton. Felton tweaked his ankle late in the game. It appeared that it was stepped on as he went after a loose ball and came up with a steal at the end of the third quarter. He limped to the podium in his postgame news conference. "My ankle is sore, but I'll be ready to go on Saturday," he said.

Double screen, double trouble: In the first half, Felton was 1-for-4 from the field and had only two points. So coming into the third quarter, Woodson had a game plan to get his best attacking point guard going. The overall strategy was to run a variation of double-screen sets for Felton to go from one wing to the other and then quickly turn the corner to explode for the layup or pull up for the jump shot.

In the second half, Felton ran the play about four or five times, some sequentially, and he scored on three of them. It surprised the Pacers, congesting their defense in the middle of the paint. Not only did Felton capitalize, but Chandler and Martin had their best performances of the series as roll men.

"We found a play that worked," Martin said. "With a team having difficulty guarding one play, you want to milk it as much as you can to see what you can get out of it."
 4 years ago '04        #9838
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Berman

Was there any other way to respond?

J.R. Smith celebrated his improved performance (13 points, six rebounds, two a.ssists, three steals and a blocked shot) in the Knicks’ 86-75 Game 5 win over the Pacers by responding to singer Rihanna and his critics with an Instagram meme.


[pic - click to view]




"#LMFAO I had to do this!!!! #GreatMorningWorld!" Smith wrote in the caption below the photo.

For those of you not familiar with “Men in Black,” that’s Will Smith from the movie and the contraption in his hand erases people’s memories.

“I’m not worried about Instagram,” Smith said after the win that forced a Game 6 Saturday in Indiana. “I’m worried about the playoffs.”

Well, apparently he’s still a little worried about Instagram.
 4 years ago '04        #9839
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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$40,638 | Props total: 2138 2138
Berman

Mike Woodson gave strong indications he will stick with the same rotation for tomorrow's do-or-die Game 6 that didn’t include Jason Kidd in the second half but the Knicks coach still supported the future Hall of Famer who appears to be running on fumes.

Ama’re Stoudmire also was benched in the second half in last night’s victory but his rustiness is obvious and expected. Kidd’s sudden decline is shocking. Kidd was scoreless for the ninth straight game, his blown layup his only shot attempt in 5:20.

But Woodson still thinks Kidd is ready to make something big happen soon, even if his minutes appear to be on the decline. Pablo Prigioni is the flavor of the moment. He logged 18:50 and was back in the starting lineup for victorious Game 5. The Knicks remain down 3-2 and facing elimination.

“Jason’s going through a tough stretch,’’ Woodson said on today's conference call. “But do I have confidence in putting Jason on the basketball floor? Absolutely. That will never go away. Jason played early on in the game and our lead grew when he was in the game. Those are the things that go unnoticed. Everyone’s so focused on him making a shot. Eventually he’s going to pop loose and make a big one. And we’re all going to say, OK, that’s the Jason we know. ‘’

Kidd hasn’t been as active defensively and he had zero rebounds last night – one he bobbled and allowed the Pacers to maintain possession. Still, Woodson sees little things he’s still doing.

“It’s the other intangible things he brings to the table, the leadership that’s more important to me when he’s on the floor than making a shot,’’ Woodson said. “I know he’s capable of making it. He’s had his struggles but still I’m not going to be hesitant on putting him in the game. ‘’

However, when asked if his rotation that didn’t include Kidd and Stoudemire in the second half will remain intact, Woodson said, “Those two guys just have to be ready to play. At this point, it’s about winning. We played a different rotation right now. It worked. We’ll look at that rotation again. We won the game.’’

Woodson wouldn’t address Stoudemire’s situation directly but it’s clear Chris Copeland is the better fit right now because he spaces the floor and even is more active on the boards than a rusty Stoudemire.
 4 years ago '04        #9840
Born_Loser|M 81 heat pts81
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Johnette Howard

Tyson Chandler, get ready to take your mulligan. J.R. Smith and Jason Kidd? You too. The luckiest thing about where the Knicks found themselves when they woke up Friday -- wait, has Rihanna tweeted yet if Smith ever went to sleep at all? -- is despite nagging asides like Smith's shooting struggles and Chandler's difficult series and Kidd's mind-blowing 24-day streak without a field goal, the Knicks still gouged out the right to play on.

The Knicks stayed alive Thursday in their Eastern Conference semifinal series by having just enough guys revert to their season-long identity in Game 5. And they better be ready for the Pacers to revert to theirs now that they're back in Indy. Because the Pacers are better there. And the Knicks' situation in Game 6 Saturday in Indianapolis is still beat the Pacers again or go home.

Knicks HC Mike Woodson says, "Guys can't worry about minutes. It's what you do on the floor when you get minutes."

"It ain't scientific and it ain't no secret. We need to go down there and win a game."

The Pacers got their first three wins in this best-of-seven series because their big men, starting with 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert, turned those games into the sort of physically pounding nights that the Knicks (and especially Chandler, lately) can't match.

Chandler has been so frustrated and off his game, it was tempting to wonder what physical problems were bothering him even before he strode off the court Thursday and headed straight to the Knicks' locker room after a season-saving 85-75 win. Chandler didn't even bother to join the brief, on-court postgame huddle that the Knicks held to celebrate. Chandler has had a bad neck for weeks, and now he says he also has a barking back.

Either way, Chandler needs to play better. Smith has to be even better than the 4-for-11 shooting he provided Thursday. Raymond Felton needs to exploit the Pacers' backcourt whether or not Indy is again without starting point guard George Hill.

Hill was outplaying Felton in this series before he was a scratch Thursday with a late-diagnosed concussion. But that wasn't the only matchup the Knicks weren't dominating. All the Knicks have to play better. And they have to keep reminding themselves of this: As timely and gritty as Thursday's win was, they still only led by four with 6:40 to play. They still won by only 10 on a night the Pacers committed 19 turnovers and shot only 36 percent from the floor and missed 14 free throws and saw Hibbert lapse into foul trouble.

If the Pacers fix just one of those stat lines, it's a far different game.

No wonder the Pacers were highly frustrated and hissing at themselves afterward for not closing out the Knicks.

"We blew it," Lance Stephenson said.

"The game was right there for us," David West added.

"We played soft," Hibbert muttered.

The Pacers won't play that way again in Game 6. They're likely to roar out and slam the Knicks around.

And when they do, the Knicks also have to remember the pattern of this series is the team that's been most successful at imposing its style of play is the one that wins the game.

If the Knicks are going to get their first win of this season in five tries on the Pacers' home court they can't dither around like they did in Games 3 and 4 there, getting crushed in the rebounding battle or having Woodson tinkering with a bigger lineup in an effort to be something they're not.

"Our pace was much faster," Carmelo Anthony said after Thursday's win. "We sped the game up. I thought that was the key."

The Knicks need to trust if they play good defense and space the floor and pass the ball and create good shots that way, they'll win. They can't let the pace slow to a half-court game and stand around watching Hibbert play like an All-Star at both ends of the floor.

It's obvious Chandler can't take on Hibbert alone right now. The only thing that's really stopped Hibbert in this series has been foul trouble. The Knicks' better chance of bothering Hibbert is making sure Anthony -- sore shoulder and all -- remains willing to take the sort of pounding he did Thursday by going into the paint again and again, and putting Hibbert and Paul George into foul trouble almost by himself. (Celtics head coach Doc Rivers praised Anthony's ability to do the same thing to Boston's big men in the last series.)

Thursday, Anthony allowed during his postgame interview on TNT that the shoulder bothers him at times, but he's trying not to let it.

Later in the Knicks' locker room, he spoke about still believing the Knicks can become just the ninth NBA playoff team to roar back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series.

But to do that, Chandler, Smith, Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland need to milk the extra chances the Knicks earned by staying alive.

To get this series back to the Garden for Game 7, the Knicks have to keep rattling the Pacers' backcourt into disorganized offensive possessions and turnovers.

Woodson already used his mulligan for straying from the Knicks' season-long style in Game 4 but fixing it just in time for Game 5. His mistake was acting as if the team's small-ball style was the problem -- not a few no-shows among the players playing it. Thursday, he finally got tired of that and committed more time to Prigioni and less to Kidd; more to Copeland's scoring potential, and less to rusty Amar'e Stoudemire.

The Knicks still aren't out of danger.

As clutch as their win was, all it did was get them (and especially their struggling players) another chance.

Now let's see what they do with it.

"The difference in the games they've won is second-chance points and hustle points," Woodson said of the Pacers. "We've gotta win the battle of the boards ... All five guys"

The Knicks have no mulligans left.

Being merely good in Indy won't be good enough.
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