Good afternoon! We'll get to some pre-game stuff for Knicks-Pacers in a few hours. In the meantime, I've found a few things I think you guys might like to read.
- The kokako is a really charming, almost flightless New Zealand bird that, like many defenseless local birds, almost went extinct because of nasty introduced mammals like rats and possums. Here a couple of great kokako videos (2009 Bird of the Year!).
- Pretty much all Jonathan Abrams profiles are worth reading. THIS one is about Rasheed Wallace (and Jerry Stackhouse), so it's doubly worth a look. A selection:
In practice one day, Wallace took an ill-conceived 15-foot baseline shot too early in a possession for Smith. The famed head coach blew his whistle and halted the practice immediately. "Do you think that's a good shot?" Hanners remembers Smith asking Wallace. Wallace replied that he did. "Well, let's see you make 10 of them in a row," Smith challenged him. Wallace drained eight straight from the same spot before Smith told him to stop.
- Ian Levy's numbers illustrate something I think a lot of us have noticed: Without Raymond Felton, the quality of shot attempts the rest of the Knicks are getting has dropped significantly. For all his foibles, Felton's drive-and-kick game provides for open looks New York badly misses without him (unless J.R. Smith is in a certain mood).
- Meanwhile, Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith have been just as effective a tandem as Kidd and Felton have.
- Which Knicks would like to be coaches someday? (I would have assumed Sheed would want no part of coaching, but Chris Herring's article and the note in the previous Abrams article about Sheed assisting Darvin Ham for a little bit give hope).
- Amar'e Stoudemire's really, really bad defense (and rebounding, but mostly defense) was one of several reasons I was distressed to see him on the floor in the fourth quarter of that Boston loss.
- The Knicks have been the most efficient post-up team in the NBA, in part because they pretty much only go to it (well, at least before Amar'e returned) when Carmelo Anthony's the one on the block. I was surprised to see what a large percentage of Melo's possessions are of the post-up variety.
- "Egraphs" are a thing, and Steve Novak's on board.
Them's the links! Any good lunches out there?