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Props Slaps
 4 years ago '04        #9821
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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 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        #9822
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
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        #9823
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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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        #9824
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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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        #9825
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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        #9826
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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        #9827
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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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        #9828
AC_89 165 heat pts165
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Kidd hasn't made a TWO point basket at all in the playoffs.


 4 years ago '04        #9829
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Knicks are undefeated (6-0) in the playoffs when they hit more 3's than their opponents
 4 years ago '10        #9830
SwooshWonder 12 heat pts12
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We need to use the younger cats....


Last edited by SwooshWonder; 05-17-2013 at 07:16 AM..
 4 years ago '04        #9831
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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        #9832
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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        #9833
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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        #9834
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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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        #9835
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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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        #9836
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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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.
 4 years ago '07        #9837
Chief|m 53 heat pts53
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GOONIN AND COONIN
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 4 years ago '04        #9838
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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$42,056 | Props total: 3437 3437
all day, errday
 4 years ago '04        #9839
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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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        #9840
Born_Loser|M 98 heat pts98
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Berman

INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday night, the Knicks either take a giant step toward South Beach by forcing a Game 7 at the Garden or their season is over.

The Knicks didn’t break their 40-year championship drought Thursday night in a season-saving 85-75 victory, but coach Mike Woodson may have found the formula to beat Indiana and zoom into the Eastern Conference Finals in Miami.

Woodson discovered a new second-half rotation that lacks Jason Kidd and a rusty Amar’e Stoudemire with rookie scoring ace Chris Copeland and point guard Pablo Prigioni taking their places. It spread the floor and made the Knicks look like themselves again.

Perhaps the basketball gods are finally smiling on this cursed franchise as the Knicks try to become only the ninth team to ever rally back from a 3-1 hole.

The status of Pacers point guard George Hill for tonight’s Game 6 or Monday’s Game 7 is a mystery, potentially a big break for the Knicks. Hill suffered a concussion and missed Game 5, and his availability is complicated by being forced to take tests under the NBA’s new concussion policy before being cleared.

The Knicks trail the Pacers 3-2 in this best-of-seven series, and are 0-4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season.

“We’ve got to validate what we did [Thursday] night,’’ Woodson said Friday. “That was a must win. Our backs were against the wall and still is. We lost Game 1 [at home]. We knew right then and there the only way to get out of this series is you’ve got to go get a game in Indiana and this is our last chance.’’

Carmelo Anthony, who didn’t have a field goal in the fourth quarter in either of the two losses at Indiana, played solid late in Game 5. He scored 28 points and looked more like himself, as did J.R. Smith, active on both ends even if his shot-making isn’t all the way back.

“We are trying to get a huge win on the road,’’ Anthony said. “We have proven we can win on the road but it’s a matter of who wants it. Indiana is definitely a tough place to win, but we feel like we have an opportunity to do something special.’’

Woodson said he’s sticking with what worked in Game 5 — politics and salaries be damned.

“Those two guys just got to be ready to play,’’ Woodson said of Kidd and Stoudemire. “At this point, it’s about winning. We played a different rotation [Thursday]. It worked. We’ll look at that rotation again. We won the game. And that’s all that should matter.’’

Woodson admitted he was a confused coach during the two losses in Indy.

“We did a lot of mixing and matching trying to find combinations,’’ he said. “The [expletive] didn’t work.’’

The Pacers’ offense was a wreck Thursday, partly because Hill, who has been excellent this series, wasn’t running the show. The Pacers aren’t deep at point guard and D.J. Augustin was overwhelmed. Lance Stephenson occasionally handled the ball as did Paul George.

The Knicks’ pressure on the ball had its effect. The Pacers shot 36.2 percent and committed 19 turnovers.

“We’ve been doing that all year,’’ Woodson said of the defensive pressure. “That’s nothing new. We’re one of better teams in the league in forcing turnovers. We have to continue to keep pressure up the floor with or without [Hill]. We’re preparing like he’s going to play.’’

After being out of the rotation mostly since Game 1 against Boston, Copeland played 19:25 in Game 5, scoring 13 points and draining 3-of-4 3-pointers. He’s a weapon Woodson can no longer ignore and Stoudemire is a risk the coach can no longer take. He still needs to shed more rust.

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy told The Post recently Stoudemire is a very good player, but the question is would he be a very good fit? In this series, the answer is no. Stoudemire is not rebounding enough or being efficient in the low-post. Copeland even secured four rebounds Thursday.

“He helped out a lot in terms of spacing and being able to be a shotmaker,’’ Woodson said of Copeland.

Smith was his vibrant self — either spurred by a post-practice talk with John Starks or a message on Instagram from Rihanna that alleged his playoff downfall is because of him being “hung over.’’ Smith had an efficient 13 points, six rebounds, two a.ssists, three steals and one block.

“There’s no question he can do a lot more, [but] I thought he took a positive step forward without a doubt,’’ Woodson said. “He was much more alert, really ready to play. He made plays early. He was a big part of us winning that game. He made a very positive step forward.’’

As the Knicks can again Saturday night.
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