TOK Roundtable – New York Knicks Vent Edition

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Every week at Turn On The Knicks our staff will debate an issue of the week surrounding the team here in Roundtable Format. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter, and follow the site right here. Let us know if you agree/disagree.

No question – Just vent about the 3-13 New York Knicks.

Joe Caporoso - There are few things more frustrating than watching a lifeless team, who seemingly doesn’t enjoy playing with each other or for their current coach. This is a flawed roster but a roster that should probably be something like 7-9 right now, not 3-13 and a huge part of that falls on Mike Woodson who regularly adjusts to other teams, instead of making them adjust to the Knicks by sticking with what his team does best.

As for the players, JR Smith has followed up a putrid off-season with a putrid start to his regular season and is never disciplined for it. Ray Felton has regressed from last season. Carmelo Anthony has regressed from last season. Metta Ron Pasta Brawl Peace Artest has regressed from last season. Amare Stoudemire isn’t a NBA player anymore. Tyson Chandler is hurt. Hey, at least Tim Hardaway Jr is showing promise, but I’m sure he is a few months away from rubbing Jimmy Dolan the wrong way and getting ostracized Iman Shumpert style.

Chris Celletti - I’m frustrated about basically everything that has to do with the Knicks right now, but I’m most annoyed with Mike Woodson. To be fair, it’s not like many Knicks are individually playing well, as I talked about at length yesterday, but this roster has pieces that should have won more than three of its first 16 games. But a huge part of coaching is finding working lineup combinations and sticking with them, and Woodson has done a dreadful job of that this season. 

Consider this: According to NBA.com’s lineup data, the Knicks have used 126 different 5-man lineups so far this season. To contrast, the Miami Heat have used 109, the Indiana Pacers have used 99, the Los Angeles Clippers have used 123. The Clippers and Pacers, specifically, are good examples of finding working combinations and staying with them, in this case, units of 5. The Clippers’ most-used 5-man unit has logged 290 minutes together and has a Net Rating (Offensive Rating – Defensive Rating) of 7.8. The Pacers’ most-used 5-man unit has logged 279 minutes and has an insane Net Rating of 17.2.

With the Knicks being 3-13, it stands to reason that their most-used lineup has been pretty poor, right? Actually, it’s the opposite. The 5-man lineup that’s logged the most minutes so far (93) is Andrea Bargnani-Carmelo Anthony-Iman Shumpert-J.R. Smith-Raymond Felton. In those 93 minutes, that lineup has an offensive rating of 107.4 and a Defensive Rating of 93.2. That’s a Net of 14.2; the defensive rating is better than that of the Pacers’ league-leading rating of 93.5. It’s not that Woodson hasn’t found a good combination, it’s that he’s found one and isn’t using it nearly enough.

A trademark of Woodson so far during his tenure as Knicks coach has been his desire to change his style to adapt to the opponent. How about embracing who you are and forcing other team to adjust to you?

Aaron JacobsHow is this roster of virtually the same players from last years 54 win team this bad? I’m sorry, but what did you lose, 4 old guys who really couldn’t produce on the court anymore? Ok, so maybe you lost some veteran leadership, but 3-13 is way worse than anyone expected this team to be. The biggest issue in my opinion is the lack of effort and as Mike Woodson said himself lack of pride on the defensive end of the floor.

When your superstar player, who touches the ball on almost every offensive possession, doesn’t play the other side of the court, neither will the rest of the team. Carmelo Anthony, for all of the good things he does, is not a strong defender. That trickles to the rest of the team as well, not everyone, but most of the Knicks. Raymond Felton is a bad perimeter defender, J.R. Smith hasn’t played a lick of defense this year and Andrea Bargnani is trying on that end, but even at 7’0″ he’s no rim protector.

It’s sad too because it’s as simple as just trying a bit harder and every player remaining accountable for their man on the floor. Instead everyone wants to switch which creates mismatches for the other team because they don’t want to get burned. This team could turn it around, but it would require a huge turnaround on the defensive side. That’s not their only issue, but in my opinion the one that they could fix and get some W’s on the board sooner rather than later.

Kevin Smith - If it was Mac Day, I could get this done with one simple yell into the ceremonial screaming pillow, but unfortunately, I’m going to have to do a lot more to get everything off of my chest.

Where do I start? For one, I spent the whole summer laughing at anyone who told me that Carmelo Anthony was going to leave the Knicks for the broken down Lakers. Now, I can’t even hate the guy if he wanted to part ways with an organization that has nothing but quick fixes planned for the future. I went from believing this team was locked into the fifth seed at it’s worst or best to wishing it’s superstar would leave so they could break things down and build it the right way.

Just think about it like this. If Melo hypothetically decided to leave, fans would only have to endure one losing season before clearing STAT, Bargnani, and Tyson off the books and gaining a lottery pick (what a concept!). With a couple young pieces already in place in Shumpert and THJ, this is how you correctly build a team. Instead, the owner wants to trade young talent to get another marquee name to put next to Melo’s outside The Garden. Dolan will never allow a team to grow properly because throwing money at the situation is the only way to fix things. I spent what felt like an eternity waiting 2010, and now I’m ready for 2015.

I’ve barely hit the tip of the iceberg with all of this, and haven’t even mentioned the coaching (or lack thereof) and players. This is supposed to be a quick hit, so instead of going on and on about things, I’ll have a post up in a few days that’s much more in depth.

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