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2011 playoffs

Though it was nearly a year ago, the memories of a 24-2 drubbing at the hands of the Giants in the NFC wild card playoff are still fresh in Falcons players? minds.

The whole focus heading into that game was how on earth would the Giants stop Matt Ryan and the potent Atlanta offense featuring Roddy White, Julio Jones, Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez.

Not only was this offense held scoreless (only points were a safety), but the Giants also torched the Falcons? defense en route to the big win.

Tags: 2011 playoffs, 2012 New York Giants, 24-2 giants falcons, Atlanta, big blus, Falcons, giants falcons playoffs, NY Giants, playoffs, Editorial Aside, wild card playoffs
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The following is TKB's draft big board in order of overall talent as of May 22, 2011.

1. Derrick Williams

2. Enas Kanter

Tags: 2011 Draft, 2011 Playoffs
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Via CHARGED Magazine
I believe health, match-ups and home court advantage are incredibly important to playoff success, but it's obvious how important defense is in the early rounds. Of the 8 first round match-ups, 7 teams with a better defensive rating advanced with the exception of the Atlanta Hawks, who were 13th in defensive rating to the Orlando Magic's 3rd. In total, 7 of the 16 teams were outside the top 10 in defensive rating with just one advancing (Atlanta).

In the second round, things changed a bit. In the Western Conference the Mavericks (8th) got past the Los Angeles Lakers who statistically ranked higher than them in both offensive (6th) and defensive (6th) rating and who possessed home court advantage. The Thunder (15th) got past the Grizzlies (9th) in 7 games thanks in most part to their offense, which is ranks 5th in the NBA. In their 4 victories, which included a 133 point performance in triple over time, the Thunder averaged 111 ppg, and 101.75 points in regulation, some 4 points higher than the Grizz gave up on average (97.6) throughout the year. more.

This is strong evidence that getting into the top 4 in the east is essential for D'Antoni next year. There is no question that the Knicks need to improve defensively, and when you look at these numbers they will have to move closer to the top 5 defensively if they are to compete with the Bulls and HEAT moving forward. That is, unless they can get into the top 10 defensively yet live at the absolute top offensively.

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Yes, there have been those who have chirped from the back of the classroom that the Knicks should have kept Zach Randolph, who is enjoying a solid emergence in this season's playoffs.

You know, those know-it-all cool kids who are never wrong yet never really turn out alright?

The fact is the Knicks had a plan and stuck to it. And they have two pieces to the puzzle in their prime years.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs, Donnie Walsh
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viewNode("3fd0d658115f0", {"server_detection": true, "width": 480, "height": 274, "player_profile": "link"});
Tags: 2011 Playoffs, TKB.tv
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Via Bergen Record
Amar?e Stoudemire said today his injured back ?feels a little bit worse? than it did before he played Game 3 against the Celtics on Friday and ?has to get better? for him to play Sunday in Game 4.

?There?s definitely a risk? of further injury if he plays, the Knicks? big man said, but in the 26 hours from the time he spoke today to Sunday?s tip-off, he hopes to improve enough to play in a game that, if the Knicks lose, would end their season.

Obviously, long term injury makes no sense in a series down 3-0.
Tags: 2011 Playoffs, Amar'e Stoudemire
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/alanhahn/status/61844771689349120[/tweeted]
Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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This is a great read by Jason Keidel of WFAN. If I told you that the Knicks would have had to play with that lineup before game 1, during the entire second half of game 2 you would have told me that they would have lost the game by 20. They are right there, but can't close it out. I'm very excited for game 3.
No matter your tri-state sporting allegiance, it?s splendid to have an important basketball game played in New York City, the sport?s ancestral home. It?s too painful to recall and repeat the fact that the Knicks haven?t won a playoff game in a decade, rendering MSG morbid and muted since. One win will change that.

New Yorkers have an odd relationship with the Knicks. Carmelo gets the credit when the team thrives, while all defeats are on D?Antoni. Even worse, the Kool-Aid drinkers and Carmeloholics are blaming the refs, saying the zebras have zeroed in on their beloved Knicks, shoving them into a 2-0 hole. Some are even saying the games are fixed.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/alanhahn/status/60677441584238592[/tweeted]

Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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James Hauser is a friend who played his high school ball at Archbishop Molloy under Coach Curran. He now coaches up in the Boston area. He sent me this hyper-analysis that he's learned over the years and used it for last night's game. I'm hoping he will continue do these for each game...

"Execution in the fourth quarter was the difference in yesterday's Game 1 matchup between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.? What you will read here is a different kind of summary.? I will take you through the fourth quarter of the game possession by possession.? The data for this summary is not recorded from watching film.? The data is recorded via a shorthand technique which records every pass, dribble, shot, rebound, foul - mostly everything that happens with the ball.? This shorthand produces a score sheet which is essentially a play-by-play transcript of the game.? It is extremely time consuming, but as a dedicated basketball coach and student of the game it has taught me critical thinking skills that allow me to analyze the ebb and flow of any game at any level, and more importantly which players are producing at the most important moments of the game.? You will not be reading the shorthand, but rather its translation into terms everyone can understand.?

As you go through this summary you should know there were 96 possessions in the first half and 98 possessions in the second half - for a total of 194 possessions in the entire game.? I would bet that the average basketball fan would not know there are this many possessions in a game. ?In the fourth quarter there were 47 total possessions.? The Celtics had 25 possessions and the Knicks had 22.? When a team grabs an offensive rebound or when the ball is knocked out of bounds it is recorded that a new possession begins.? The Celtics +3 margin in possessions will become evident when you see their pursuit of offensive rebounds and the Knicks continuous failure to complete the defensive possession with a block out and rebound.? We start at #50 which is the fiftieth play of the second half, THE FIRST PLAY OF THE FOURTH QUARTER.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs, Xs and Os
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It's a topic been discussed here often, and you'd think the decision to bring one in will be decided based on this playoff performance. In my opinion the coordinator position should be filled either way. I wouldn't tap a coach with NBA head coaching experience. That would undermine what D'Antoni was hired to accomplish. Coach Frank fits in perfectly with Boston because he can step in with knowledge of the Celtics systems if Rivers decides to walk away.

Via Hahn

D'Antoni's departure from Phoenix was partly motivated by former general manager Steve Kerr 's insistence that D'Antoni hire an assistant to coach the defense, which, coincidentally, is something Rivers has done in Boston . He had Tom Thibodeau , a highly regarded defensive coach, on his staff during the previous three seasons. When Thibodeau left to become the Bulls' head coach, Rivers brought in former Nets coach Lawrence Frank to run the defense.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, this again could come up as an issue for D'Antoni in the offseason. Donnie Walsh has maintained firm support behind D'Antoni throughout the season, which included three six-game losing streaks, but the need to improve the team's defensive focus and preparation might require an experienced assistant coach (i.e., Mike Brown) who can focus on that full-time. That would allow D'Antoni to do what he does best: coach offense.My guy would be an assistant who is close to a head coaching position, like Thibodeau was, but who stays under the radar. The first guy on the top of the list who I'd throw a ton of money at would be Elston Turner.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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I'm toying with this NBA statscube thing that I was directed to when was reading this Xs and Os take by KnicksVision. While Pierce's mid range game could be a factor, to me, the key is guarding Kevin Garnett in that area because a big that can pull another big away from the basket creates optimal space on offense. Patrick Ewing's jump shot, even Oakley's or Kurt Thomas' for that matter, were always critical to the Knicks success in the half court. In the NBA the court shrinks in the 1/2 court especially in the playoffs. A big who can shoot allows for space to be created from high above the floor, which can be as effective and proper lateral ball movement in finding an open jump shot.? See Tim Duncan using the backboard from many different angles.

Ideally, you'd like to force every player to the mid range area, seeing that players who specialize there are a commodity. In their only match up of the season, Pierce outperformed Melo on the offensive end when both were matched up together. Pierce is 4-6 vs 3-8 in the mid range area versus Melo. Also, down the stretch, overall Pierce looked to make passes when he was isolated, averaging 4 assists in the last 5 minutes of the game. Keep in mind about Melo that he posts up in the mid range area and uses his jump shots to set up drives to the basket.

What is obvious, or at least has been during the regular season match ups, is that Garnett enjoys the space Amar'e Stoudemire gives him when he is on the floor. The question becomes how often will STAT be guarding KG? If these numbers are any indication, you would hope not that many.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs, Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony
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There is nothing more important in the NBA than home court advantage. It's that simple. It's the reward for competing every single night in the NBA. It's critical for game 7 of the Finals as much as it is Game 1 in round 1. The 90s Knicks enjoyed their fair share of calls because they sat in the top 4 seemingly every year.

Now we know this isn't March Madness, where if you play one poor game your season is over, but if you play poorly in game one and lose said home court advantage, it can make for a longer road to the eventual goal. The more games played the more wear and tear a team goes through.

Yesterday, the Pacers played a perfect game for 45 minutes. They were making shots, taking charges and pulling down rebounds. They let Derrick Rose get his and defended well in other possessions. Then they stopped making shots. The problem was they weren't getting to the foul line, while Rose, himself, attempted more FTs (21) than the entire Pacer team (17). The legend of Joe Crawford struck again when he branded himself on the game in giving a technical foul to Pacers coach Frank Vogel after blowing an obvious foul call. Of course, when the Pacers did get to the line they didn't do themselves any favors, case in point was Darren Collison missing a different technical free throw given to Deng for pushing Tyler Hansbrough midway through the 4th quarter. The Bulls went on a 15-1 run after that.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/daldridgetnt/status/59309008472911872[/tweeted]
Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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The Rangers had a chance to steal a ton of momentum in last night's series opener in Washington and let the opportunity slip away. They played well and they played hard but lost in frustrating fashion. You could see the look of defeat from the bench when the steady Marc Staal failed to clear the puck from his own end, resulting in the bang-bang winner. Can the Rangers erase that with a strong effort in Game 2? Absolutely, but it's going to take a seriously focused team to overcome last night's loss.

The Knicks need to show Boston that they plan on being in this series from the get go. And they need to win one of the first two games to send a message that this thing can go the distance. If the Celtics give the Knicks the opportunity, they can't miss free throws or turn the ball over in critical situations. If they force a missed shot from the Celtics in a one or two possession game late, they must secure the rebound. And of course offensively, they must execute and make shots.

It's an uphill battle being the underdog and things have to go completely right in order to win playoff games. As you saw with the Rangers, the playoffs magnify every single play down the stretch and the Knicks have to be ready.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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[tweeted]http://twitter.com/alanhahn/status/58216977486983168[/tweeted]
Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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Via SI
Ah, the playoffs. New York will make its return to the postseason for the first time since 2004 this weekend, against Boston. Privately, the Celtics wanted this matchup. They are hoping the Knicks anemic defense will give their equally anemic offense a jolt and the intensity of a New York-Boston series will stir the competitive juices that have been dormant since the Kendrick Perkins trade in February.

The Knicks want it, too. They have lost three straight to the Celtics -- the series finale is an utterly meaningless JV game the two teams will play Wednesday night in Boston -- but two have been by four points or less and the third, a 10-point loss last month, was a game New York dominated for three quarters before choking the game away in the fourth.

"Right now we are playing with a lot more confidence," Anthony said. "That winning streak came at a great time going into the playoffs."

Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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I remember when the Knicks tradedstrickland-to-spurs-for-cheeks.html"> Rod Strickland for Mo Cheeks in February of 1990 and Knicks fans went nuts. Most couldn't believe how they could trade a young up-and-coming PG for a 33-year-old veteran impressive resume or not.

It turns out that Cheeks was part of knocking down a Celtics dynasty that was virtually on its last legs, leading the Knicks to a 5 game playoff series victory including a memorable Game 5 victory on the Garden parquet. I'd me remiss if I didn't mention Charles Oakley's 20/20 game that day as well. If memory serves he had 22 points and 25 rebounds, or something in that range.

Fast forward some 20 years later and the Knicks are led by another veteran point guard Chauncey Billups who possesses a similar veteran acumen that Cheeks did. Both won championships and lived, for years, in the second season. Both nearing the end of their careers who want one last shot at the big time.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs, charles oakley, Chauncey Billups, Retro Knicks, Text
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Via Chicago Tribune
??A win is a win. But right now we?re not moving in the right direction,?? Rose said. ??If we?re trying to do something special, playing like this at home, we can?t do that.??

And though the Bulls lead the NBA in rebound differential, they were outrebounded for the third time in five games Tuesday night.

??I?m concerned any time we?re outrebounded,?? Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. ??But everybody in the league is going through the same thing. So it?s our ability to concentrate and focus, to be ready. We have to get to a point where we can play 48 minutes.??

Tags: 2011 Playoffs
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We hit on this a bit yesterday through tweets and recaps, but it's clear to me that without question Shelden Williams needs to start for this team and be in the rotation come playoff time. He's very good at reading the pick and roll, however if he's guarding a jump shooting or pick and pop big man he could get into trouble because he often chooses to sag into the paint. But he did give the Knicks a valuable presence yesterday in the middle and, maybe just as important, offensively. He even canned a baseline jump.

Anthony Carter is another player whose must be included in the rotation as well. His experience will be in valuable, but more importantly, he is a good counter to either Toney Douglas or Chauncey Billups, should the team they are matched up against try to go small. I think Billy Walker is also making a strong case as he continues to hit timely three pointers. He's 6 for his last 13.

Which brings up the ultimate question and why I may be getting ahead of myself. The playoffs are all about matchups. Right now it would appear that the Knicks will be facing either the heat or the Celtics. First, the heat are new at this playoff thing and have had difficulty this season closing down the stretch when the pressure is on. The Celtics have the big 4 and big baby, and also seem to have the Knicks' number, but they are very thin up front especially sans Shaq and Krstic, who may be out for a little while.

Tags: 2011 Playoffs, Mike D'Antoni
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