Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Knicks

Darius Soriano —  January 26, 2014

Note: I am a game-time decision today with flu-like symptoms, so excuse the short preview.

The Lakers’ seven game trip comes to a close today against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. A game like this is where Kobe would typically try to bring an even greater effort, playing in front of the fans in New York in that historically great arena. Instead, Kobe is relegated to wearing that familiar black suit on the sideline and marketing his newest iteration of his signature shoe (which is releasing two limited edition colorways in New York today before the national release).

The Lakers are 2-4 on their trip so far, starting off strong and fading as the length of the trip and tired legs due to a lack of bodies has caught up with them. In a way, then, this venture away from Los Angeles has been a nice metaphor for the Lakers’ season to this point. They are still playing hard, but as the great John Wooden used to say, don’t mistake activity for achievement. The Lakers are not making winning plays and after a loss to a pretty bad Magic team, both Pau Gasol and Nick Young spoke about how this iteration of the Lakers has zero margin for error and can’t take struggling teams for granted thinking they will win simply by showing up.

(As an aside, assuming Pau and Nick’s comments have merit, how this team would ever think that is mind-boggling. Two of the rotation players were in the D-league at the start of the season. Another key rotation player was widely considered a lottery bust before having a semi-resurgent year this season. Another rotation player was the final pick in the draft the year he was selected. This is not a team of high profile, overly talented players. They will win by playing hard and smart for a full 48 minutes and on many nights even that won’t be enough. Anything less will almost surely result in a loss.)

Today they face a team who has struggled about as much (and maybe even more) than they have. The Knicks are one game better than the Lakers in the loss column (27 to the Lakers’ 28) and have the same amount of wins. They have lost 5 of their last 6 games. Their last game was a W, and it was a special one with Carmelo Anthony scoring a franchise and Madison Square Garden record 62 points against the Bobcats. Melo had 56 points through 3 quarters in that game, scoring from all over the floor and bombing away from deep. It was one of the better moments in what has been a fairly dreadful Knicks’ campaign that has seen players throw their coach under the bus and the coach fiddle with rotations and not play the types of lineups the team had success with last season.

So much for the big market, high profile teams, huh?

In any event, winning this game will likely come down to which team buries the most outside shots most efficiently. Both teams are over-reliant on the three ball this year and both have inconsistent players up and down their rosters attempting those shots. If Meeks, Young, Johnson, Kelly, and Marshall can hit from deep at a better clip than Felton, Smith, Carmelo, Hardaway Jr., and Shumpert the Lakers will probably win. If the opposite is true, the Knicks will likely celebrate their second consecutive victory.

On the individual match ups, I’m very much interested in seeing how Pau does against Tyson Chandler on the block. Chandler doesn’t have a lot of weight in his base to uproot Pau, but is a skilled and long defender who is active in the paint. Pau has been on a bit of a tear lately and Chandler represents a nice defensive challenge. If Pau can put up his typical line of late (20 points on 50% shooting with double digit boards) it will be further evidence that he is pretty much all the way back as one of the better low post practitioners in the league.

Where you can watch: 12:30pm start time out west on ABC. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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75 responses to Preview and Chat: Lakers vs. Knicks

  1. BOTTOM LINE: LAKERS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO AMP IT UP ON DEFENSE, PARTICULARLY AT THE RIM, IN ORDER TO BEAT ANYBODY.

  2. What’s crazy is that it was very much within grasp to be 4-2 at this point, or maybe even 5-1.

    Absolutely correct in the assessment that the Lakers CAN win many games if they play smart for 48 minutes, but that hasn’t happened often. Mental lapses and general bad decision making have kept this (completely injury-ravaged) team from reaching their potential.

    At the beginning of the season, the Lakers (minus Kobe and Nash) were still a fun and exciting team to watch. Right now, it’s very hard as a Lakers fan but, as I always say, at least our starting 5 doesn’t include Smush Parker and Kwame Brown!

  3. Sorry for being ignorant, but what was Pau and Nick’s comments?

  4. Casual: The translation of the comments is that we are a bad team (are what we are) yet somehow we take certain teams for granted and come to games not ready to play. It is a devastating combo.

  5. If Lakers give up 100 today if will be 12 games in a row. Not since 1988 has it happened.

  6. This is going to he a stinkfest and MDA decides to bench Wesley Johnson and put Kelly on Melo. Ohhh Boy.., but considering Melo horrible D night bot be a bad idea at all.

  7. I have to agree the idea that this team could take ANY team for granted is preposterous. I add embarrasingly stupid. Cant wait for summer cleanup…

  8. Wining on the road in the NBA is difficult – even for talented teams. The Lakers are low on talent this year so their road woes are understandable.

    The key to beating the Knicks is making Melo have an inefficient game. He’ll shoot a lot – just need to push him out of his comfort zone.

    Question for those in the know – given Pau’s impressive run this calendar year aren’t you a little curious that there are zero rumors about him being moved? Or, is the silence actually a sign that Mitch is working the phones. I don’t want to see him go as I think he could be a be a better than average center through Kobe’s extension. But Pau needs to be in the right situation to shine and the Lakers are far from that now.

  9. darius: here’ hoping the H1N1 is not part of your flu like symptoms nor a smilar excuse used by our weary lakers over at madison square garden today. either way, both are excusable on this, a sunday, heretofore a day of rest.

    Get well soon.

    Go lakers

  10. It’s been said many times by others, but this small ball is killing me! How can we start R. Kelly over someone like Hill, or eve Kaman. Apparently, he’s there to stretch the floor, but he hardly connects from deep anyway. I would much rather have the defence and rebounding (and even scoring) the other two provide. C’mon Lakers.

  11. Missed first 5 minutes. Please tell me he didn’t ‘t start Kelly on Anthony! No?

  12. Kelly on Anthony?

    Ha ha ha

  13. I would be just fine with CA on Lakers.

    Boy has Wesley gone off the cliff on outside shooting. What happened and do Lakers have a shooting coach since Hodges was fired?

  14. Jordan Hill with 5 pts and 5rb’s and also played nice defense against Melo–but only got to play 11 minutes. I’m sure MDA will make sure that he doesn’t make that PT error in the second half, and will play JH half that much. I’m predicting a line of something like 10 points, 8 rebounds and a +/- of +15 (he was +8 in the first half) but only 19 minutes….

  15. Kelly played only 6 minutes, gee i wonder why. I dont like to criticize the coaching but the decision to put Kelly who cant guard anybody on Melo coming off a career game its beyond me. MDA just dont give a fliying “@&$ about defense.

  16. Kelly and Sacre again ZERO points but 4 fouls.

    Kamen had the same amount of points.

    Does the FO watch the games?

  17. Boy has Wesley gone off the cliff on outside shooting.

    As noted in preseason, Johnson’s career 3p% going into this year was around 33%. To be a player, he needs to be at around league-average at least, and he is still near that–.366 entering today. But it bears watching, because other than spot-ups and finishing in transition, Johnson has no offensive game. His future, if he has one, is as a 3/D guy.

  18. I dont like Rose but im glad for that warm glass of “shut the hell up” he served to Simmons that Celtic homer, talking about how terrible the Lakers are while his team is 15-30. I really despise that guy

  19. The 3rd quarter of doom is upon us.

  20. Anyone else find Bill Simmons annoying in the studio? His book was good as is Grantland.com but can’t stand him as a commentator. Jalen Rose grates as well. Thank goodness Doug and Hubie are on the telecast.

  21. MD is the most clueless coach in Laker history.

    Kelly?

    No points
    No rebounds
    20 minutes

    I give up

  22. Ko….
    Agree about Johnson…he is my candidate for most disappointing Laker this season. Kid has so much potential. He really needs to learn to put the ball on the floor and create something in the mid-range…it’s either a 3 or a dunk with him.

  23. Boy has Wesley gone off the cliff on outside shooting.

    Although, career-wise, he’s never been known as much of a shooter, I can still understand your frustration. It’s gotten to the point, for me personally, where as if it’s not a dunk, I would prefer that he didn’t shoot.

  24. Wonder if the MSG fans gave MD’A a warm ovation? Think he and Melo hugged?

  25. Much respect to Jodie Meeks, who continues to play hard and play pretty well, too. He’s pretty much carrying us on offense this game

  26. Lakers shooting 54% and down by 2.

    Keep shooting Jody!

  27. I have a comment stuck in moderation in regards to Wes Johnson, but I see that Double R beat me to the point.

  28. Manny Harris is a bright spot today. Showing his wares!

  29. Manny Harris is having a nice game including a block on Carmelo Anthony. Lakers with a chance to close out the Grammy Trip with a win.

  30. He put jelly back in on Anthony?

    Amazing

  31. Ugh terrible execution

  32. Please fire the coach today. 2nd chance points 19 and he plays Kelly at end and sits Hill.

  33. Geez, Kelly on Melo…

    I woke up early in the morning just to see this?!

    Ain’t not right.

  34. One would think that they would do any and everything to take the ball out of Melo’s hands down the stretch instead of leaving the youngin on an island with him.

  35. Pau is a paper tiger… Nice statistics, little impact.

  36. if moral victories were a nba statistic, we’d be leading the league; by far.

    and if luck were omitted from all languages, better miracle versus the pacers tuesday night at staples.

    Go lakers

  37. Seventeen ninutes for Hill. LA gives up a swarm of OREB’s again and something around 20 second-chance points.

    (Sidebar–yet another game where LA meets or exceeds the opponent in nearly every stat category except for FGA’s because the Knicks shot 15 more beacuse of all of the offensive rebounds)

    Is MDA (1) stupid; (2) pathologically stubborn (as in, risking never getting another NBA gig stubborn); or (3) under orders to tank–or at least not play Hill too much because he’s a trade “chip” in the near future?

  38. Another well coached game by the Mensa brothers.

  39. Please, before it was that Pau wasnt producing now its that he is all statistics, what is gonna be? He is doing his job, the team is injury riddled and it stink.

  40. So you feel having Kelly playing more mintes then Hill with 1 rebound is smart Fern?

  41. Second chance points 21 by the Knicks on 16 offensive rebounds really hurt the Lakers. NY had 15 more FG attempts 90 to LA’s 75.

  42. Holding strong (or weak) at 6th worse. Go Boston and Sac!

  43. Z-pack Darius it saved me

  44. MDA will never believe in defense and rebounding, just keep shooting fast and 3’s hahahaha
    Best ploy was to keep Kelly on Anthony….
    Guy’s defensive stance gives much room for Anthoy to either pull up or blow by. Bent too low, so much space, with hands flailing like he has no idea where the ball is.
    MDA clueless

  45. mindcrime: I posted in the last thread that I think #3 is not realistic as it brings “integrity” issues into play and the Lakers are above that. I will let rr discus whether it is 1 or 2 as he is much more diplomatic than I am.
    Ko: They quoted the stat you cited pre-game on the National telecast (giving up the most straight 100 point games since 1988). So – this means we did not even do this during the “90s”. How many more of these we gonna do this year? T-wolves 22 game losing streak snapped against us. Worst points per 100 possessions relative to league avg since 1959, we lost 10 of 11 for the first time since 2005. etc

  46. I’m speechless… MDA is simply a bad coach!

  47. Let’s not be so hard on Mike D’onaghy… I mean, D’Antoni.

  48. Robert
    Also only team to lose to Orlando, Mil, Knicks and Phil in the NBA.

    Truly a epic team for the ages!

  49. @Robert and mindcrime.
    I believe that it has to be #3. It truly looks as if MDA has been given directives to “make it look good.” How else can you explain his rotations sometimes?

  50. By the way it was announced the Lakers made $66 million net last year . And we get the watch the worst team ever in Laker history?

  51. No Ko i did not thought it was smart but it was so crazy i tought it would work considering Melo horrible D and the fact that Wesley Johnson is not giving anything on offense and he would get torched by Melo anyways,

  52. It’s the one rebound that bothered me more . They win this game if Hill and Kamen get those minutes based on the 21 second chance points.

    It’s almost like he is trying to lose these games.

  53. Why people are so desperate? We all knew the team stinks especially as depleted as it is. Yeah they make 66 million last year and? The Lakers need to get out of the cap penalty, they made 66 million but they had to pay like 30 million in cap penalties the team that followed in those penalties paid like 13 million. Unless people here are willing to foot the bill, well you know. Its been talked ad nauseum why the Lakers are triying to get out of the penalties and that it may take a while but a lot of people are just pannicky spoiled instant gratification fans. Like i said in another post sometimes i wish we go thru 10 or 15 straight losing seasons l. I been spoiled myself but im parient and i been a fan long enough to see all this stuff happen before.

  54. If Hill and Kamen play or not i dont care anymore, even with them playing significant minutes we still stink. Nothing will change that. With every loss we improve our chances in the draft and raise my hope that we might pick something worthwile and start the rebuilding thats going to take a couple of seasons at least.

  55. KenOak–I tend to agree that it must be some variation on #3, i.e., tanking or protecting the health of potential trade chips. We can all make fun of MDA’s coaching acumen from our easy chairs but the guy has been a coach for a long time and hasn’t been given the most loaded hand at this point. I have a hard time believing in the stupidity explanation, and his flexibility issues notwithstanding, he showed some willingness to alter his game-planning last year when necessity dicated. I hope its protecting health and not outright tanking….

  56. Fern,

    There were a fair number of people here who saw this team as 43-48 win fringe playoff team, not one of the worst teams in the NBA, and were pretty vocal about that. You yourself were talking some about how people shouldn’t underrate the Lakers, due to their depth, when the team was playing better early in the year.

    So, it’s that, plus three other things, IMO:

    1. The Lakers are a very bad rebounding team, and MDA has a good rebounder, Hill, who only plays about 15-18 MPG. It is an easy thing to focus on.
    2. The guys MDA is using, Sacre and Kelly, are young, but not very impressive athletes or prospects. Sacre is an 11th-12th man and Kelly’s ceiling is a rotation player.
    3. It is easy enough to say that the fans are greedy and spoiled due to the franchise’s history, but if you look at the the last three years:

    a. Phil era ends with a one-sided pasting, capping getting swept in the Conference semis
    b. Unpopular coaching hire
    c. Veto
    d. Lamar melts down/cut loose/Fish traded

    e. Huge excitement after Howard/Nash acquisitions
    f. Nash breaks leg
    g. Unpopular coaching hire Part 2
    h. Injury insanity Part 1
    i. Dr. Buss passes
    j. Kobe ruptures Achilles
    k. Playoff Sweep #2
    l. Howard leaves
    m. Nash hurt again
    n. Injury insanity Part 2
    o. Kobe goes down again

    Add that to Phil and Magic sniping at Buss in the media; Jim vs. Jeannie, etc…and I think it is understandable that some in the fan base would be a little grumpy right now.

  57. No one on this team can play defense and they don’t take the challenge. First year in a while where I haven’t seen a hard foul and it’s been half the season already. Does anyone on the team have a flagrant foul? Just a bunch of softies this group.

  58. YES! We fallen to the 6th worst record in the NBA as of this writing. Must give credit to ownership, FO, coaches, and players. Job well done. We just may get that 1st lottery pick after all.

  59. Its a weird year where we are kind of hoping they lose as much as possible.

    really hoping we have one of our worst years followed by a great pick and a new coach. if im the nets id wonder if they would go for the gasol Lopez swap that was turned away a while ago – it could help them this year go for it and then clear their cap a bit next year – I know they lose the younger piece but he is so injury prone I could see them doing it.

    id also love for us to gut anyone we can for future picks near the deadline – the cubbords are bare and I believe magics teams outside of Kareem were all draftees – would be fun to watch guys grow into their game like in 08

  60. Thank you Rr

    BigCity

    What makes you think a 1 st round pick will change anything as long as the coach or imitation of a coach is around. He talks about defense and rebounds post game and does nothing to correct.

    As we know doing the same thing over and over with the same results is called. ???? You got it!

  61. So, what would Popovich have done? I realize that this is speculation, but–that’s OK–let’s speculate anyway. If Greg Popovich, the great coach of the San Antonio Spurs, had coached the Lakers in today’s game against the Knicks, this is what I think he might have done differently.

    1) He would not have asked Ryan Kelly to guard Carmelo Anthony…at all;
    2) He would not have started Kelly;
    3) He would not have played Kelly 20:52 (Kelly had only one rebound in nearly 21 minutes and, on defense, was abused mercilessly by Anthony); Kelly, who seemed totally overmatched in this game, might have played 10-12 minutes, if that;
    4) He would would have played Jordan Hill 25-28 minutes (foul-situation permitting), rather than 17:07;
    5) He would have had Jordan Hill, whose defense on Anthony was brilliant and who was responsible for cooling Anthony off after he had torched Kelly early in the game, play the final 6 minutes when the game was on the line and he would have had Hill guard Anthony all the way;
    6) He would not have played Sacre at all (in his last 2 games, Sacre has a total of zero points, 2 rebounds, and zero asists);
    7) He would have played Chris Kaman (I think, probably 20-24 minutes), often in conjunction with Jordan Hill, to provide rebounding while Hill was busy chasing Carmelo around the perimeter to contest Melo’s mid-range and 3-point jump shots; and
    8) He would have put Wes Johnson on Tim Hardaway, Jr. who hurt the Lakers badly.

    These are not, you will notice, matters of style but matters of substance. If I’m at least half-ways right in my speculations, then this underscores D’Antoni’s glaring strategic weaknesses as a coach and his lack of insight in managing talent.

    One final note: to reinforce the above-mentioned points, the radio announcers (especially Mychal Thompson and Abe Martinez) were incredulous when they learned that MDA would be assigning Kelly to guard Carmelo. Thompson especially was beside himself and at one point stated, “That’s just D’Antoni being stubborn!” Even John Ireland, who is usually extremely cautious with his opinions, stated that keeping Kelly on Anthony–especially when the game was on the line–was truly baffling. Abe Martinez stated that in the last 5 minutes of the game, Twitter “blew up” with commenters wondering why in the world MDA would have Ryan Kelly guard Carmelo Anthony, especially in crunch time.

    So, what would Popovich have done?

  62. rr this team should had won between 40-45 games barely making the playoffs IF healthy not missing 5 of its top 6 rotation guys, if we get the guys back we should improve but we will miss the playoff by a mile, of the stuff that you mention some of ot its been blown out of proportion, the Brown hiring was a cathastrophe we all knew he wasnt a good coach in Cleveland so why in the hell, MDA? I dont know but its not as bad as Brown, PJ would not save last year team and i was kinda sour on him when it was reported that he didnt wanted to go on the road with the team at least that was reported. He is done coaching people need to get over it. The Jeanie and Jim thing? Blown out of proportion and Jeanie have absolutely no clue how to run a basketball team and if she gets the keys PJ would be running the show, something Jim Buss will not allow ever. Nash hiring, Dwight leaving and Lamar whinning and even Kobe’s achilles and the Lakers plummeting from contender status? The VETO,Fisher trade? Long overdue he was a even bigger liability than before and we got Hill . I give more weight to what PJ say to the media than what Magic says i love him but he is an hipocrite. Last year he was naming Jim Buss executive of the year, it didnt work out so its cool to bash the man, total fair weather hipocrite.Under all of this the team has a plan and tried to field not a great team but a competitive team but injuries demolished the team. What remains STINKS and reading Gasol comments after the Orl debacle about this piece of crap team taking opponents for granted, well i cant wait for the summer to see most of these “good guys” gone, obviously Kobe and keep Marshall, Henry, Young and Meeks, Sacre and Kelly aint going nowhere, the rest? Good riddance, ypu talk about grumpy? Im furious at this team.

  63. Ok, the team stinks, as currently playing. However, you have to admit the blog comments are just about as stinko and repetitive as the team is right now.

  64. Fern,

    The point was that nothing has really gone right for the Lakers in about three years, and whatever one’s tastes as a fan, and however one feels about any individual event on that list, there is something about which to be frustrated. It has been a bumpy ride since May 2011, and it is nowhere near ready to smooth out.

    As for myself, I expected the team to be very weak this year, and to lose around 50, so this has not been that bad for me. I have serious doubts about the FO, but I am willing to see what they do over the next two years.

  65. Fern

    Not much we can do to change things but by expressing our feelings perhaps someone in Lakerland will see and feel the fans anguish.

    Lower Time Warner rating and no playoffs can mean less money. That might cause concern. Or we just keep spitting in the wind.

  66. Im in venting mode right now, u know what really really irks me right now is that Rambis should be charged with grand theft bc he is stealing money there. You see him sitting on the bench doing nothing, and these profesional players, when i played i wasnt close as good as any of those guys but i know i could defend better than any of them the sickening disgusting barrage of layups,mid range long range, you name it its open, it makes me sick to my stomach, i dont mind the losing bc with all the injuries and the personnel it was bound to happen but these guys have been playing ball since childhood they should know what a freaking boxout is, any defensive mistake that can be done they do it over and over, this is were Rambis stealing money comes in. I forgot what game it was( for good reason) when we let a 6’1 pg grab 11 rebounds? We can start Hill and Kaman and we would stink the same so it make no difference to me if they play or dnp-cd. Like i said its not the losing, is allowing 200 points a game and getting outrebonded by more than 10 rebounds on a nightly basis, and lets not forget that any mediocre big man from any opponent is salivating when playing the Lakers bc odds are he is having a career night. End of venting

  67. Ko and rr, its been more bad luck seconded by external forces than anything else. If the FO got away with what they tried to acomplish since that fateful December 2011 day, We would had a jugernauth of a team, younger with money to spend didnt work out, even after that mess they moved swiftly and tried agan, willing to take a huge hit on cap space to keep a contender, didnt work out for the reasons we all know, now its time to play the patience game, not the most popular one but the most sensible one. I have no problem whatsoever with that, i have fate that the team will be back where it belongs in the next 2 to 3 years. If anything despite a few questionable decision Jim Buss and Mitch has tried to make bold decisive moves and i dont doubt when the timing is right they will pounce again. My main gripe is with the players on the floor.

  68. Craig W.,

    You are right. I think we need to talk less about MDA and more about something else. However, it’s fairly difficult to do so when every time we have a game we are reminded of this roster’s lack of ability and MDA’s lack of coaching skills and unwillingness to make common sense adjustments.

    Some posts on FB&G do allow us to talk about something else but most of game previews and post game considerations will lead to the same subject, because it’s the most obvious topic of discussion. Maybe some pieces about former Lakers or maybe even on tactical adjustments that other teams make (some stuff we could actually emulate) would allow us to change the topic.

    On Ryan Kelly: it’s possible to play PF and only get 1 rebound in 21 minutes. If you’re guarding a prolific wing scorer, it will be hard to be close to the rim by the time he shoots the ball. You will be contesting a long jumper and won’t be able to recover back to the rim if you’re boxing said player out. Now, if you’re not getting any rebounds then you better be playing some lockdown D and making that player go 4 for 17 from the field or something. You better not allow him to get by you for a layup or a dunk. And you better keep him off the offensive glass. Kelly did neither…

  69. I wonder if anyone has a stat on this but Jordan Hill doesn’t protect the rim at all. He’s also foul prone. Don’t get me wrong, I love this kid as much as the next guy but there’s a big hole in his game that needs polishing.

  70. Rim protectors nowadays are hard to come by. The Marcus Camby types from way back. Milwaukee has 2 of them and one is overpaid.

  71. Kelly is in there to stretch the floor. He is a decent 3pt shooter, he can dribble penetrate if closed out on and he passes the ball if he doesn’t have anything. On offense he is really all you could ask for out of a non-elite player. On defense he lacks lateral quickness to really lock down opponents. But he does have the smarts to play better on defense then his physical gifts might otherwise dictate. I like Kelly a lot, I don’t think hes the long term future starting PF but he is definitely a good player to have on the roster.

    Jordan Hill, has a unique nose for the ball. He is way over hyped overall on defense. He is not a lock down defender either. He has the speed and power but is at best a mediocre defender. He lacks an outside shooting touch which MDA wants. However, Hill is better used on offense like a Center hanging around the rim and cleaning up at the rim. This doesn’t allow for as much spacing on the court unless Hill is playing Center with another stretch PF.

    Sacre is Sacre. He is a not so bad 3rd string center. He plays hard has been developing. I can’t complain too much about him.

    Kaman is a mystery to me. He is definitely good enough to get on the court. I can understand him not being in a lot due to overlapping skills with Gasol. But constant DNP’s? Play him or trade him, the guy is better then DNP.

  72. Did Pau really say they can’t just expect to win against bad teams? LOL. Come on, that is the old mentality. New mentality should be….we may have a chance!

  73. Warren,

    Hill is not a good rim protector because he lacks length and/or jumping ability and is not a great help defender. He is a good rebounder, a good PnR defender and still a better one-on-one defender than anyone else taller than 6’7” on the roster. That alone should’ve granted him more minutes against Carmelo than those that Kelly had.

  74. Im just baffled

  75. Fern,
    Me too! Shouldn’t the Hill/Kaman combo be playing 2nd string, instead of Hill/Sacre, with Sacre getting occasional spot minutes? We can argue all we want about starters, but the backups seem to be particularly poorly managed.