Basketball is a game of split-second decisions and tiny windows of opportunity. Success hinges on doing the smallest little things correctly time and time again, failure is not so forgiving. After turning the ball over on the Knicks’ last possession last night, no one knows this better than Jared Jeffries.

In fact, he knows this so much that he admits he made a mistake last night. From the New York Daily News:

“Looking at the tape, I should have shot it,” Jeffries said, recalling the final seconds when he tried to pass, and had the ball taken away by Kevin Garnett.

“I felt like KG was coming down,” Jeffries said. “I tried to dump the ball off to Bill (Walker), and KG had his hand down. So when I tried to pass the ball to Bill cutting to the rim, he got a hand on it.”

On the plus side, at least he knows where he went wrong. Definitely should have shot the ball, considering he had Garnett on his back. It’s good he’s aware of that, I guess. On the minus side, everything else about this play. From the second Jeffries caught the ball, things started going wackadoodle.

On the catch, Jeffries does a completely unnecessary pivot when the pass was taking him towards the rim. For all his defensive accolades, Kevin Garnett is not a great shot-blocker, averaging less than a block per 36 minutes while blocking a lower percentage of shots this season than he has his entire career. If he shoots it, odds are he’s at least getting it on the rim.

But he decides to throw this ill-advised pass, and he makes it even tougher by throwing it with two hands which limits his ability to wrap the ball around KG. It’s hard to recommend a one-handed pass in a situation like this, but there’s a chance Jeffries could have gotten it off if he wouldn’t have reached across his body to throw it.

Of course, even that’s compounded by the fact that Jeffries can’t reach around KG because that stupid pivot made his right leg the one that had to stay planted. If he’s on his left foot and can step with his right, he gets a better angle and maybe Bill Walker has a layup. For such a quick play, a lot went wrong.

And really, that’s to be expected. Look at Jared Jeffries’ clutch stats. They are almost non-existent, but the ones that do exist are not very good. Carmelo Anthony made the right play here, getting the ball to a wide-open man who is headed toward the basket. Sure, Jeffries isn’t a very good finisher at the rim, but he’d made plays earlier in the game and this should have been a layup. All he has to do is shoot it.

Next time, I guess.

Comments (16)

  1. It’s not his fault. You don’t give your kid a pack of matches and then blame him for burning down the kitchen. Jeffries had no place being on the court at this point. Not after a timeout when you need to score.

    Turiaf and Shawne Williams were sitting out there, and nobody seems to know what happened to Shelden Williams (who was the Knicks’ best “big man” after the trade and didn’t get any minutes so far). I realize those aren’t exactly exciting choices either, but quite frankly, even Athony Carter would have been a better choice to run that play for.

    I like Jeffries for what he brings (and for what he brought during the game), but really it’s the coach’s shortcoming if he fails to recognize his players’ limitations and forces him into a situation like that.

  2. Credit the Boston D for forcing the ball into Jeffries and eventually into Walker and away from anyone who could actually be a scoring threat.

  3. Again, the issue is not with Melo.

    Why is Jeffries in the game? I understand he is good defensively, but I see him as a bad offensive player. I feel sorry for him. I am worried that D’Antoni might not know how to organize his unit correctly.

    That was a perfect pass.

    Knicks could, and should be up 2-0 in this series, but in game one unfortunate whistles caught up to them while in game 2 unfortunate execution proved to castrate Melo’s overall explosive play. Tis a sad day for New York fans, as they feel the definite pressure of a game 3 where Boston could win and be able to almost guarantee a second round birth.

    Those 3 guys, Melo, Stoude, and Billups? They’re special. Lets pray this series goes a little longer and those other 2 guys play more than 0 minutes in the upcoming games.

  4. Had he put that ball up, KG was going to either block it, or foul the living hell out of him. There was no way that ball was going above the rim after Garnett missed a chance to foul JJ on the layup he got in the previous possession. KG doesn’t make defensive bad decisions twice in a row. The ball wasn’t going to make it above the rim. JJ is probably the worst free throw shooter in the universe, but I guess he could hope for 1 of 2 in that situation to get the tie. Not many good options for the poor guy in that situation.

  5. Knicks insiders have always touted Jeffries as a versatile defensive stalwart. I never bought it. In the final minute of the game Jeffries folded like a house of cards on the defensive end, giving up the winning bucket, and then failed to make an intelligent basketball decision on the offensive end.

    While it’s easy to blame Jeffries for his failures on the court, Knicks brass and coaching staff should have never had him in the game. Once again, D’Antoni has enough confidence in Williams and Fields through the course of the game, but not enough to leave them in during crunch time.

    Instead he goes with Bill Walker, who was 0-11 leading up to that play. I’m not even sure he would’ve made the basket if Jeffries got him the ball.

  6. Why wasn’t Shawne Williams in the game? I was wondering this in the fourth quarter. He’s fairly tall and can stretch the floor, so Melo can drive

  7. Good comments, all of these.

    Except the one about Boston playing great D on that last possession. That should have been a bucket.

    What was great that Boston did was that Garnett hook shot that had an extremely high degree of difficulty. Color me impressed.

  8. Mathis,

    Turiaf’s knee was injured. Shelden Williams injured his ankle in the end of the regular season and hasnt healed yet.

    And also, the knicks were out of timeouts. so the 5 on the floor would have had to have been decent on defense, just in case the ball went the other way. no way to substitue offense/defense

  9. That shit was wackadoodle right from the start of the play. Check out the Knicks picking each other and then Pierce fighting his way through like Imelda Marcos at a shoe sale.

  10. Melo made the right play and Jeffries didn’t take advantage of a quick layup because of his hesitation and bad positioning. As much as that loss hurts, I can’t help but give props to KG. He pounced on Jeffries as soon as the pass was made, had his right arm in position to stuff him and left arm in position to steal the ball in the event of a pass, all executed in less than a second. Watch the closeup and see how fast he reacts. That dude is a defensive animal.

  11. After Jefferies made that last second layup to put the Knicks up, I vowed if the Knicks won the game because of Jared Jefferies’s clutch play I would never mock him again.
    Guess its not something I’ll ever have to worry about again.

  12. [...] to leave his man, get the steal, and get a fast break dunk.Carmelo’s No FoulAfter the turnover by Jared Jeffries with 4.1 seconds left, the Knicks found themselves down by one with Boston holding the basketball [...]

  13. C’mon Tracy, you think the ball ending up in the hands of the worst offensive player of the Knicks is an accident? The C’s doubled Melo ASAP and let KG to close in on the one open player that Melo had to find, how is that not good D?

  14. A tad heavy on the sarcasm, don’t you think, Trey? Tell us about all the big shots you hit in NBA playoff games.

  15. Bret, it is just Trey’s style of writing… It kinda bothered me at first too, I really thought he was going a bit overboard, but then I got used to the sarcastic and over-ironic demeanor of mr Kerby.

  16. Hm… maybe he shold have spun the other way, towards the photographers and thus leaving his right foot between him and KG… Coulda woulda shoulda :) I’m just suggesting….

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