The Wizards went 12:09 without a field goal against the Knicks Friday night. Twelve minutes. Tuhwellve-oh-nine.
That’s just sad. Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad. But Knicks fans didn’t find it sad. They found it funny. And chant-worthy. From FoxSports.com:
At one point toward the end of the run, with the Wizards still stuck on 47 points, the Garden crowd even started chanting Washington’s point total.
“I was looking for a jersey,” Novak said. “Who’s No. 47?”
Novak said it with a laugh. But the Knicks’ new defensive approach is no joke.
via Knicks win laugher; their D is no joke| FoxSports.com
Around the eight minute mark, if you’re Wizards coach Randy Wittman, aren’t you tempted to instruct your players to cherry pick just to get that monkey off the back? Because that’s a long time without a field goal. I’ve done my taxes in the amount of time it took Washington to manufacture a field goal. Yikes.
Lost in the talk about Mike Woodson and Mike D’Antoni and Carmelo Anthony and hero ball and Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin and everything else is that the Knicks play the type of defense you want if you’re going into the playoffs. Tough, physical, constantly contesting and constantly swiping at the ball. Attacking the dribble is an underrated element of so many defenses that are predicated on position management and shot manipulation. Yes, the Knicks force you into poor shot selection, but they also constantly try an disrupt the dribble, pry the ball free, stop movement of any kind and send the ball splattering in the opposite direction.
The Knicks won’t force their opponent to miss an entire quarter’s worth of time without a field goal in the playoffs, but the model is sound. And there’s a good chance that after a rough year, the Madison Square Garden crowd will have something to chant about.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.