Sheridan: Empty 39 for ‘Melo, and WTF Woody?

Mike_Woodson_KnicksSome quick thoughts on the New York Knicks’ loss to the Indiana Pacers, who are going to give the Miami Heat some problems but will lose the Eastern Conference finals if they shoot free throws and have as many unforced turnovers as they did against the Knicks.

First of all, Carmelo Anthony will not live this one down for a long time. He was 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter with two turnovers before making his first shot of the final period. As I discussed with Adam The Bull in the podcast below on CBS Sports Radio, that’s not the kind of thing that happens to LeBron James. (It used to, but it doesn’t anymore).

On the subject of Woodson, I don’t really have a major problem with him sitting Amare Stoudemire and Jason Kidd throughout the second half, but it leaves him open to some serious second-guessing. I thought he should have had Pablo Prigioni on the floor instead of Raymond (0-for-7) Felton down the stretch, and he overused J.R. Smith, IMHO.

Also, Woodson didn’t play the foul game during the final minute when he was out of timeouts but trailing by only four points. The Pacers had been missing free throws all night (they finished 34-for-46), and the Knicks needed the extra possessions that the fouling game would have produced.

Also, it bears mentioning that Marcus Camby did not sniff the floor in this series, not was he ever a factor all year. Glen Grunwald gave up a lot to get him, including Jared Jeffries, who I am astonished to say would have been more useful in this series than Camby or Stoudemire was.

More on the Knicks, the Pacers, and the Spurs-Grizzlies series in the broadcast with Adam the Bull below. Enjoy.

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  1. RS says

    Who can explain this:

    Tonight – Knicks 34 fouls, 18 foul shots; Pacers 16 fouls, 46 foul shots

    Series total – Knicks 162 fouls, 105 foul shots; Pacers 116 fouls, 171 foul shots!

    Is it really possible to legitimately have this kind of disparity. Is Indiana so much better at playing defense without fouling than New York?

    WTF?

    • Brian says

      The answer is simple. The Pacers play a style that draws fouls and the Knicks do not. The Pacers are in attack mode at the rim while the Knicks shoot from the outside the majority of the time. It is hard to draw fouls shooting 3s. While the Pacers every time down have the goal of attacking the nail and getting in the paint that kind of style will draw fouls.

      The Knicks don’t have the personal or style to draw fouls and that won’t change. That style is nearly impossible to win with. Live by the 3 but what is more likely is dying by the 3 like the Knicks did.

      Just watch how the Pacers play. Anyone who complains about the difference in fouls clearly doesn’t watch the games.The Pacers earn the FT difference. In the next series vs the Heat it should be pretty close FT wise. The reason being the style. Lebron attacks the nail all game and forces contact. Drawing fouls is a skill and a much needed one to win in the playoffs.

      • says

        Gotta agree with Brian. Watched every second of Game 6 and never got the sense that the whistle was unfairly tilted. Byron Scott may have said it best on NBA TV – Pacers have played this way all season, so referees are used to their style. Knicks can’t decide, “Oh, it’s time to get physical” and not experience some blowback from refs who know that’s not their MO.

        No excuses for Knicks. Pacers defend opponent’s post player (with Hibbert) and best wing (with George) 1-on-1 ALWAYS, which reduces number of rotations, helps, help-the-helpers, bad closeouts, poor defensive position and poor boxout position. So answer to RS’s question is, “Yes, Indiana is better at defense without fouling.” Grizz are same way.

        Also, Indiana’s starting five and Mahinmi and Hansbrough all are plus rebounders for their positions. How they play may not be fun to watch – at times it’s downright ugly – but it is effective. Don’t think they can beat Miami, but I believe Heat will know they were in a series once it’s over.

        Thanks for reading.

        • Arky says

          I suppose the question is whether or not they are content to let George go one-on-one with LeBron or not, and how they handle Hibbert being dragged out to the perimeter by Bosh.

          I’m willing to bet they sag off Battier until Battier finds his shooting touch, though. Indiana has to gamble to win, and gambling on Battier to stay cold is one of their better gambles.

  2. steppxxxz says

    melo beats up bad teams. He simply is a very limited player but for some reason journalists gush about him. Big market and a scorere equals lots of ink. There are ten better forwards in this league, if not more. (Kobe, LeBron, Durant, Tim, Paul george, dirk, aldridge, Zbo, greg monroe, and honstly, Iguodala, galinari, hayward, AD (ifnot now, soon), josh smith, boozer and probably jeff green…….) …..i mean who wouldnt you take ahead of melo.? The guy does not win. CP3 wants to win, Melo wants to be star. Tim Duncan cares about winning, and i just dont think Melo does. People will say,oh, scoring champ, how can gordan hayward or jeff green be better? Because they play hard and involve their team…….and play defense consistently. Another post season choke for Melo.

    • says

      This is a bit harsh but I get the gist. I think George Karl was right years ago when he compared Melo to Glenn Robinson, another somewhat efficient scorer and plus rebounder who never “evolved” into a full understanding of the team game. Melo still has time and took some steps this year. But in his mind he cannot envision winning a championship without being the sole reason why he won it.

      • Arky says

        Melo is the king of being able to make bad shots. The trouble is they’re still bad inefficient shots. He demands too many possessions where the first, last and only goal is to take a jumper off the dribble. The other trouble is all this takes a lot of energy and so he doesn’t play D consistently either.

      • Eric says

        Chris, I’ve read many of your posts on this site and expect more intelligent comments than this one. Melo cannot envision winning a championship without being the sole reason why he won it? You said you watched Game 6 – why was he passing the ball in the 4th quarter? Trying to get JR involved or trying to win it solo?
        The ignorant non-observer will say Melo can’t win, but people who watch know that Melo was the reason the game was even close.

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