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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2008-9 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Grizzlies

The Knicks are already 0-1 on their “teams that we should actually be able to beat” road trip, so let’s see if they can make it 1-1 tonight against the Grizzlies.

This will be our first up-close look at the Grizzlies’ two promising rookies, Marc Gasol and OJ Mayo. The Knicks actually lost both games against Memphis last year.

107 comments on “2008-9 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Grizzlies

  1. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    I expect Duhon to cover Mayo to start but I’m more interested in who covers Gay. I suppose Q would do it but I’m sure Chandler will get a shot eventually but that would leave the team even thinner at PF/C.

  2. BigBlueAL

    Yeah, great night for NBA watching.
    League pass is honestly the best money I think I have ever spent.

    I second that!! League Pass and Extra Innings are the best value possible. For a Knicks/Yankees fan living in Miami, I thank God for both packages!!

  3. cwod

    I think it’s probably the right call to shut down Gallinari for the year. I’d rather have his back healthy for next season than risk anything this year. But on another note, if Gallinari is indeed out for the season, should the NBA do something about having guys like Tractor Traylor playing in summer league?

    I’m looking forward to seeing Mayo and Gasol tonight.

  4. Brian Cronin

    But on another note, if Gallinari is indeed out for the season, should the NBA do something about having guys like Tractor Traylor playing in summer league?

    What do you mean?

    Traylor was trying to get back into the NBA – that sounds exactly like the sort of player who would be playing in the Summer League.

  5. Owen

    Wasn’t this game supposed to start at 830?

    Hanging in there so far, Gasol looks like a pig at the trough….

    and a very nice baseline jumper from Lee…

  6. Duff Soviet Union

    Slam dunk by Greg Oden!! Two points, two boards and a block in 2 minutes. I wonder what his PER is.

  7. BigBlueAL

    Honestly, I cant for the life of me understand how in the world a scrub like Malik Rose makes the money he does and actually has a couple of championship rings. Only in America….

  8. Owen

    Nate is going to kill my fantasy team. Kill it dead. He looks like he is going for 45….

    Great block from Chandler…

  9. Owen

    Unbelievable, Chandler actually handed the ball off on the fast break to Randolph….

    I would have bet 1000 he was going to shoot it…

  10. o_boogie

    we looked so flat till nate came in. now 13 pt lead. way to go nate!

    ps: marc gasol looks pretty solid so far. a few more years in the league and he may be an allstar.

  11. BigBlueAL

    To make sure they dont blow this lead, I suggest putting Duhon on Mayo in the 2nd half so he doesnt go off. Man if only the Knicks couldve gotten the 3rd pick in the draft and gotten Mayo, the kid would be PERFECT for D’Antoni’s system.

    Although gotta admit, Duhon/Jamal/Nate have been a very nice 3-guard rotation for this team and is certainly this team’s strength.

  12. TDM

    Gotta feel good about an 11 pt lead at the half. It looked pretty shaky about half way through the first. I know we are hitting 50% from 3-range, but we aren’t drawing any fouls and getting to the line. I’d like to see a little more balanced attack.

  13. David Crockett

    Just walked in at the end of the first half. Nice shooting night from deep so far. I love how the Knicks are competing on the boards.

  14. David Crockett

    Coming out of the half, a Memphis assistant raved about the Knicks’ spacing. Having only seen a handful of plays here and there of the team since D’Antoni’s arrival, that is immediately obvious. The floor looks a lot more open than it did last year.

  15. cwod

    Chandler seems to be playing under control. When he gets the ball on the perimeter, he doesn’t just barrel into the paint as he had been doing earlier in the season.

    Like TDM, I would like to see the Knicks drawing more fouls.

  16. David Crockett

    What a shame. This is the kind of game where Gallo would get some minutes.

    Bulging disk is what I’m hearing?

  17. Owen

    Good to see Chandler is finally responding to our concerns about his true shooting percentage.

    His currently stands at 118% for the game….

  18. ess-dog

    Who are these guys? Is Zach actually playing post defense? Well??? Q even looks good. If we had gotten Mayo instead of Gallo, I swear we could end up the 6th seed this year in the east. Craw still bothers me, and we need more post D (but Chandler is filling that gap a little) but this team is coming together.

  19. Owen

    Lol, and Nate Robinson, ts% for the game of 138%.

    Just a ridiculous night…

    Not a good night to be facing a squad starting Nate Robinson…

  20. BigBlueAL

    Most amazing part about tonight was that this was the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Not to mention how horrible they played offensively last night to come right back the next game and play like this is a great sign. Granted Memphis’ D aint like the Spurs but still, great night for the Knicks.

  21. Owen

    Dude, league pass, sick, Joe Johnson cans the three to take the lead.

    Paul Pierce ices the game with an 18 footer with Horford hanging in his face.

    Unbelievable….

  22. Owen

    And the Hornets are coming back against the Lakers…

    Rudy is going off against Miami….

    I need five tv’s

  23. nj hoop

    Would it be heresy to suggest that Crawford could actually be an All Star this year? I mean he’s been pretty damn explosive since his 0-6 night, and making a high percentage of his 3′s, you couldn’t ask much more from the guy.

  24. cwod

    I mean he’s been pretty damn explosive since his 0-6 night, and making a high percentage of his 3’s, you couldn’t ask much more from the guy.

    Rebounding? Defense? Converting layups?

    He’s playing great right now.

  25. daaarn

    Would it be heresy to suggest that Crawford could actually be an All Star this year? I mean he’s been pretty damn explosive since his 0-6 night, and making a high percentage of his 3’s, you couldn’t ask much more from the guy.

    I think it’s still too early to talk about it, but generally I think it’ll depend on how consistent he can be for the time remaining till the All-Star game as well as the Knicks’ record. If they can sustain both, then I think he might have an outside chance.

  26. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    Would it be heresy to suggest that Crawford could actually be an All Star this year? I mean he’s been pretty damn explosive since his 0-6 night, and making a high percentage of his 3’s, you couldn’t ask much more from the guy.

    Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Joe Johnson. He has to wait in line but he definitely has a better shot than say, Iguodala, at this point.

  27. daaarn

    Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Joe Johnson. He has to wait in line but he definitely has a better shot than say, Iguodala, at this point.

    You probably also have to throw in Iverson, possibly at a starting position due to fan voting. That being said, I don’t think Allen’ll make it again this year, and I think Calderon will definitely be in the mix given the dearth of true PGs in the East this year. Oh, and Arenas could possibly be up there in votes too. So yeah, now that I think about it, Crawford really doesn’t have much of a chance.

  28. jon abbey

    and we have a positive point differential for the season now, thanks to the blowout, for the people who care about that (I think it’s a somewhat overrated indicator personally).

  29. Ben R

    Great game. Really an impressive performance coming off a back to back.

    Looking closer I have realized something, our team lives and dies purely on our offense. When our shots are falling we win and when they don’t we lose. Our defense has been consistant throughout the season actually posting our two best games in losses, while our offense has been all over the map.

    In wins we have had a tremendous offense and have posted above the league average in TS% in all five games and have been above 58% TS% in four of the five.

    Wins:
    NYK – 114.8 pts, 60.6% TS%
    OPP – 104.6 pts, 55.5% TS%

    In losses our offense has been really bad and we have failed to break 50% TS% in any of the three games. On the other hand our defense has been just as good, if not better. (we posted our two best defensive games in losses)

    Losses:
    NYK – 84.3 pts, 45.1% TS%
    OPP – 100.7 pts, 53.8% TS%

    It does not seem to matter who our opponent is because overall the quality of the defenses we faced in losses has been about the same as in wins.

    I do not know exactly what it means but clearly if we can get consistant on offense we could have something. I just thought you all would find it interesting.

  30. Thomas B.

    only seven teams in the league with a better record than our heroes. YA GOTTA BELIEVE!

    Now you people want to believe? Where was this excitement a month ago when I wrote the Knicks could suprise everyone and win 40 games?

    “Thomas B., you are crazy”
    “If Thomas B. invites you to a party, don’t drink the Kool-aid.”
    “You have no knowledge of basketball.”

    I’m paraphrasing above, but I took some shots for saying the Knicks could be better than bottom 8 in the East. 35 wins to go on the 40 win counter, so maybe I’m not so crazy after all.

    Anyway, get used to this. This is our team: you will never know what you will get from game to game. This is a team that plays it best defense by having a good offense. Since the offense is streaky (like the offensive components) the results will be streaky. Hence, a 52 point swing in one night. Following a road loss with a road win on a back to back? Not last year’s Knicks. It’s gotta be the shoes.

  31. Brian Cronin

    I’m thinking that the $10 tickets for MSG might not be available much longer, as damn, this is getting to be a fun team to watch.

  32. UK Knick

    Wow. Yesterday I woke up to watch a replay of the Spurs debacle (another thank you for League Pass – International version) but just managed to make sure that it didn’t ruin the rest of the day.

    Today? Caught the end of the second q onwards and am still marvelling at the turnaround. Massive kudos to Mike D for the way he’s got this team, er, working as a team. Playing for each other. As Chandler said after the game, everyone is seeing the ball and it makes them want to work for each other.

    Some great numbers posted (and 100% frees – yay!), 5 players in double figures, 3 were 20+ and all against a team that hung us out to dry last season and have added Mayo since then.

    Even better than that, I got to yell ‘Make it 30!’ all down the stretch rather than biting my finger nails down to the wrists or storming off to the bathroom as usually happens.

    Still lots of work to do – e.g. we need to be able to learn from the Spurs game and be able to breakdown big D teams. The Boston game coming up will be a good measure of how much smarter we are/need to be. – but things are looking rosier in the Garden. And on the road too…

  33. ray

    Im not quite ready for the Knicks to be winning like this. Im still hoping for a high draft pick in June…..we have to find a balance to keep everyone happy.

  34. Ted Nelson

    “At one point, during a time out right after Rose had badly missed a long jumper, Antoine Walker was walking over to a team huddle from the Grizzlies’ bench grimacing, making a shooting motion with his hand, and mouthing “Malik Rose?” If there were a thought bubble over his head at this moment, it would have said something like this: “Malik Rose is out there taking jumpers and I’m on the bench in street clothes? Malik Bleeping Rose?””

    Say that on hoopshype from a Grizzlies blog… thought it was pretty funny.

    Also saw the Daily News reported Miami might be interested in Curry.

  35. Z-man

    I was very impressed by Gasol. He seems like a legit NBA center in the making.

    Considering how much I hyped Mayo a couple of days ago, I was frankly disappointed at what I saw. I found his performance curiously passive on O, where he seemed to spend lots of time hanging around on the perimeter weak side. He did not exhibit much explosiveness, but seemed able to create space for himself in traffic to pull up for a J. Reminded me a bit of a young Allan Houston.

    There is definitely talent on the Grizzlies. They do not seem particularly well coached, although youth is obviously a factor.

  36. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    and we have a positive point differential for the season now, thanks to the blowout, for the people who care about that (I think it’s a somewhat overrated indicator personally).

    Is there any stat you think is not overrated?

  37. jon abbey

    hehe, sure. raw points per game by an individual I think is underrated, no one seems to take that seriously anymore, and I don’t think it’s without meaning.

  38. TDM

    Also saw the Daily News reported Miami might be interested in Curry.

    Its amazing what a few wins will do.

    Frank Isola is reporting that Miami and San Antonio are interested in Curry. He opines that Miami may consider a Marion for Curry swap.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2008/11/12/2008-11-12_danilo_gallinaris_back_future_up_in_air.html

    Alan Hahn is reporting that the Nugs, Bulls, and Cavs are interested in Randolph.
    http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/blog/2008/11/zach.html

    I don’t think we’d need a show of hands on who would pull the trigger on a Marion for Curry swap. The salaries (and talent) don’t match, so the Knicks would probably have to sweeten the deal. I think I’d make the deal if it were Curry, James and Lee for Marion and Chalmers.

  39. njhoop

    “There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear” How many 2nd games of back to backs last year did we even compete in? You could mark down a certain loss, usually a blowout, no matter who we played. I’m amazed that after that Spurs beatdown we could come out with the energy we did last night. Take care of business tomorrow we’re 6-3, and who cares how easy or hard the schedule has been? No one in their wildest dreams would have put us down for 6 wins after 9 games and ahead of teams like Toronto and Philly. I know it’s a long season, but getting off to a good start at least lets us know this team will not lay down like last year.

  40. Italian Stallion

    Coming out of the half, a Memphis assistant raved about the Knicks’ spacing. Having only seen a handful of plays here and there of the team since D’Antoni’s arrival, that is immediately obvious. The floor looks a lot more open than it did last year.

    IMO, spacing has been a massive problem for the Knicks for the last TWO seasons (especially when Curry was playing well offensively way back when and drawing double and triple teams down low). A lot of credit has to go to D’Antoni and his staff for getting the players to move the ball better and get better shots, but there has been noticeable shooting improvement from downtown and even midrange (Lee is more willing) from several players regardless. In addition, several of the Knicks most efficient players in the last couple of years have done virtually all their scoring around the rim. That looks nice on the stat sheet, but not being a legit outside scoring threat doesn’t draw defenses out to keep things honest and/or allow an occasional easy offensive rebound put back score or good pass inside to get an easy bucket here or there.

    This is one reason I was so down on QRICH last year and so high on Gallinari at the 3 for this year.

    Well OK, QRICH is playing better than I expected (I hope it lasts) and Gallinani may be done for the season (please say it ain’t so), but the idea is the same. Chandler is doing the same thing at PF. If you give him space he’s not shy to shoot and has his moments (like we saw last night WOW!!!!). If you don’t give him space he’s athletic enough to create a shot if need be. Obviously there’s lot to improve on his game and decision making, but at his age last night he looked the real deal again.

    The only negative I can see that IMO is immediately fixable is that Zach still shooting too many 3s. The fact that he has a decent outside game is a plus, but he uses it too much at times (especially from way outside) and needs to be kept in check. He’s not 20, learning, and getting better. This is his game and the coach needs to maximize it as it is. Other than that, he’s working hard and playing well.

    It’s hard to believe we are 5-3 with no contribution at all from Curry, Gallinari, Marbury, or Jeffries.

    Oh yea, I guess I have to take back any positive things I had to say about Mardy Collins a couple of weeks ago. IMO, he did look a lot better in summer league and pre-season. Like Coach D, I thought he earned a diversified backup role on the team with his defense and ability to drive to the hoop etc…. but he’s been dreadful so far. Unless he’s under the weather, he’s mostly useless except during junk time or when there are injuries. Oh well.

  41. Ted Nelson

    hehe, sure. raw points per game by an individual I think is underrated, no one seems to take that seriously anymore, and I don’t think it’s without meaning.

    You’ve been reading this blog too much, in general I think most fans/media still consider PPG to be the holy grail of basketball stats.

    Without going into a long reply, are 25 points scored in a game the same whether a guy took 25 shots to get them or only 10 shots?

    I think I’d make the deal if it were Curry, James and Lee for Marion and Chalmers.

    I would have to consider it, but Marion has been terrible thus far in Miami, is going to be 31 years old probably looking for a 5 year max-salary deal this offseason, and D’Antoni seemed only too happy to run him out of Phoenix. My first offer would probably be Curry/Jeffries straight up (I’ll bet Walshtoni would go Curry/James first) then try to bargain to Curry/Rose. While this is a huge talent coupe for the Knicks, I see Marion as little more than an expiring contract (he might get the Knicks the 1st round playoff exit we’ve been dreaming about, but not much else this season and I’m not sure I’d support giving him 5 years in the offseason). Miami doesn’t have much bargaining power right now considering how poorly he’s playing and that his contract expires.
    Maybe a 3rd team could take Marion or the Knicks can turn around and more him before the deadline…

    I don’t think Chalmers has much chance of being a significant upgrade over Duhon.

  42. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    Great game. Really an impressive performance coming off a back to back.

    Looking closer I have realized something, our team lives and dies purely on our offense. When our shots are falling we win and when they don’t we lose. Our defense has been consistant throughout the season actually posting our two best games in losses, while our offense has been all over the map.

    In wins we have had a tremendous offense and have posted above the league average in TS% in all five games and have been above 58% TS% in four of the five.

    Wins:
    NYK – 114.8 pts, 60.6% TS%
    OPP – 104.6 pts, 55.5% TS%

    In losses our offense has been really bad and we have failed to break 50% TS% in any of the three games. On the other hand our defense has been just as good, if not better. (we posted our two best defensive games in losses)

    Losses:
    NYK – 84.3 pts, 45.1% TS%
    OPP – 100.7 pts, 53.8% TS%

    It does not seem to matter who our opponent is because overall the quality of the defenses we faced in losses has been about the same as in wins.

    San Antonio and Milwaukee are some of the slower teams in the league. In fact, they played each other last night and neither got 80 possessions (the Knicks average 99). That’s why the defense looks better in losses – and if Philly didn’t blow the Knicks out, it’d look really good in losses. The real question is can the other team slow the pace of the game cause that’s when the Knicks offense struggles.

  43. Count Zero

    Agreed — Marion is an expiring contract. And I would do Curry / James or Curry / Rose for it. But I don’t think I would do what is essentially Lee for Chalmers.

  44. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Without going into a long reply, are 25 points scored in a game the same whether a guy took 25 shots to get them or only 10 shots?

    I’d like to add whether it took 30 minutes to get them or 40. And I’d like to hear an answer to both questions.

  45. Z

    I’m thinking that the $10 tickets for MSG might not be available much longer, as damn, this is getting to be a fun team to watch.

    I hope that the goal for the season doesn’t change with the team’s early success. D’Antoni was, presumably, hired to make players look good and thus make them tradable. He has done that with Randolph, if Newsday’s report of interested teams has any accuracy. I hope the fans who are falling in love with Randolph won’t argue we should now keep him so we don’t trade our “best player” as we compete for 8th seed. The problem with trying to sell an a bad player to others is that you may end up drinking your own Kool Aid. Problematic (and why I’d still have given him to LA Clips for nothing).

    I agree with Ray– the worst thing that can happen to a rebuilding team is to win a few games early and stoke passion in the fans. It’s nice to have something to cheer about, but there will be infinitely more to cheer about down the road if we can just dump the horrible players that have plagued our franchise this decade.

  46. caleb

    Ben R makes an interesting point about consistency… it’s not pace, as someone suggested… I don’t see the offensive efficiency #s, but comparing TS% between our wins and losses, there’s a 15-point difference on offense and just a 2-point difference on D.

    Off the top of my head, I’d guess that defensive #s are always more consistent than offense.

    I’d also guess that jump-shooting teams (like the Knicks) are streakier. We have no post scorers (unless you count Zach), and no high-FT guys.

    But those are just guesses.

    I predicted before the season that D’Antoni would make everyone better — every player he’s ever had has had a career year and/or defied age — but so far they are really outperforming. Crawford and Robinson both at 60 TS%? Q at 57? Chandler pushing 55?

    I expect they’ll come down to earth a bit, but still…

    The defense ain’t bad either, for everyone who said D’Antoni would ignore it. We’re 14th in the league in offensive efficiency, and 17th on defense.

    I don’t want Shawn Marion if we have to trade anyone we actually want on the team next year. I’d only offer Curry, Jeffries or Randolph, none of which will be enough to move Miami. (Maaaaybe Zach). Marion will be 32 next year, is declining fast and wants a huge contract that will cap us out through 2013. He’ll be overpaid next year, much less when he’s 36.

  47. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    Curry and Rose for Marion would be great cause it accomplishes three things:

    1) Gets a useful player for two that don’t provide anything.
    2) Moves a terrible contract and frees up cap – that’s Donnie’s plan after all and combined with Steph, it’s $39 mil off the books this summer.
    3) Frees up a roster spot for Ewing Jr or whoever else they want to bring in.

    For Miami, they still get $7 mil expiring, though that’s enough to make a run at Boozer. And Marion clearly isn’t working out for them.

    Still, I think they could get a better deal for Marion.

  48. Ted Nelson

    Gian, Off/Def Efficiency already accounts for pace, they’re per 100 possessions. Teams that are able to slow down the pace and make the Knicks work for their shots probably will hurt the Knicks offense, though.

    Z, If the Knicks are legitimately contending for the playoffs at the deadline they can really go either way with Zach: trade him to a desperate team who wants him now and is willing to give up a pick(s) without thinking or wait until the offseason when the Knicks have made the playoffs or come close and teams are more willing to give up pieces they can replace. There’s the risk he gets seriously injured (or arrested) at the end of the season, but I think that’s pretty minimal.

    Caleb, “Defense ain’t terrible either, for everyone who said D’Antoni would ignore it.” Personally, I didn’t think D’Antoni would ignore D, I just didn’t think the Knicks had the horses on their roster.

  49. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    Gian, Off/Def Efficiency already accounts for pace, they’re per 100 possessions. Teams that are able to slow down the pace and make the Knicks work for their shots probably will hurt the Knicks offense, though.

    I had no idea and stand corrected. I was just trying to say that Milwaukee and San Antonio have done the best job on us defensively so far which is why it doesn’t surprise me that the Knicks lost both games.

  50. o_boogie

    The way Crawford is playing, there is a distinct possibility he will opt out after this season assuming he keeps playing the way he has to this point. If I were his agent, I would tell him to.

    Do we just let him walk and take the 9 mill coming off the books or do we try and swing him for some picks and expiring contracts. Philly can use shooting, but they are in our division. Cleveland could always use better shooting. I am sure Mark Cuban would trade for Crawford because he is impulsive and loves running the Mavericks kinda like the Yankees.

    The thing is, everyone keeps talking about moving Curry or Randolph. How does our situation change if Crawford’s $$$ comes off as opposed to Randolph or Curry. Ultimately I would rather see Curry or Randolph go and keep Crawford, but does this put us under the cap in 2010?

    —–

    “I think I’d make the deal if it were Curry, James and Lee for Marion and Chalmers.”

    This one is a no brainer.

    —–

    “San Antonio and Milwaukee are some of the slower teams in the league. In fact, they played each other last night and neither got 80 possessions (the Knicks average 99). That’s why the defense looks better in losses – and if Philly didn’t blow the Knicks out, it’d look really good in losses.”

    Good point. Through 3 quarters, SA was putting up just as many bricks as us. The 4th quarters was a different story.

    —–

    “I hope that the goal for the season doesn’t change with the team’s early success. D’Antoni was, presumably, hired to make players look good and thus make them tradable. He has done that with Randolph, if Newsday’s report of interested teams has any accuracy. I hope the fans who are falling in love with Randolph won’t argue we should now keep him so we don’t trade our “best player” as we compete for 8th seed. The problem with trying to sell an a bad player to others is that you may end up drinking your own Kool Aid. Problematic (and why I’d still have given him to LA Clips for nothing).”

    I am kinda drinking the kool aid because of the polarity of our success from last season. It is fun to win, and I forgot how it felt for a long time; especially winning in the fashion of D’Antoni’s system. However, I have been confident in Walsh since day 1 and I think we will stick to the gameplan. I was frustrated we didn’t move Z-bo to the clippers, but Walsh knows that with a handful of good games and better timing, we could get something in return.

  51. Italian Stallion
    Without going into a long reply, are 25 points scored in a game the same whether a guy took 25 shots to get them or only 10 shots?

    I’d like to add whether it took 30 minutes to get them or 40. And I’d like to hear an answer to both questions.

    I think these are questions to which there are extremely obvious answers!!!

    The tougher questions are what happens to the efficiency of a low scorer if the team NEEDS HIM to put more points on the board because of a lack of other solid offensive weapons, injury to key player etc… or to the efficiency of the very high scorer that is suddenly surrounded with so many other offensive weapons his scoring burden is reduced.

    IMO, there’s a optimal balance in there that maximizes results and it’s defined by makeup of the team, offensive system, needs of the team at any point in time, individual skill sets etc…

    No easy answers.

    That’s where the meeting of the minds between the extremes on these issues need to be improved.

    OK, back to brain surgery recover. ;-)

  52. Thomas B.
    so maybe I’m not so crazy after all.

    even a stopped clock is right twice a day. :)

    Not if the clock is digital. I’ve never heard of a blank o’clock or an 88:88 o’clock. But I get your point. Blind man hits bullseye with enough darts thrown.

    I am looking very wrong about ATL taking a step back after losing Childress and wasting a pick on S. Williams. Jury still out on Miami under 35 wins. But the Knicks don’t look as awful as everyone-except me-thought they would look.

  53. Ben R

    Gian – While you are right the pace has been slower in the losses to San Antonio and Milwaukee if you look at the TS% we held both those teams to they are our two best of the season.

    Milwaukee shot a TS% of 49.9% and San Antonio shot a TS% of 51.2%. They are the two best marks we have held teams to all season, our next best mark is against Miami who we held to 54.0%. So it is not just the slower pace that has our opponents scoring less but also our improved defense. The key is I think we contest shots a little better when the pace slows unfortunatly our offense seems to grind to a halt and really struggle when we slow down.

    The fact that our offense stuggles in losses is not a surprise, of course a team plays better in wins and worse in losses, the thing that stands out is the huge divide in performance. In wins our shooting has been Pheonix like, shooting a TS% over 58% in all but one win and over 54% in the other while we have yet to crack even 49% TS% in losses. That is a huge difference.

    My worry is that consistantly shooting over 58% TS% seems a bit unrealistic, but fortunatly so does consistantly shooting below 50% TS% so I am curious to figure out the realistic number for this team.

  54. Caleb

    How does our situation change if Crawford’s $$$ comes off as opposed to Randolph or Curry. Ultimately I would rather see Curry or Randolph go and keep Crawford, but does this put us under the cap in 2010?

    We really need to move 2 of those 3, to be under the cap by 2010. Or move one of them and Jeffries… or move one of them and don’t resign Lee.. no good options.

    We would be foolish not to trade Crawford before 2010. He can score, but doesn’t do anything else. He’s godawful on defense. He’s not incredibly overpaid at $10 million, but if losing him gives us $10 million or more to spend on a FA, we can do a lot better. Obviously, it would be stupid to let him walk for nothing — a trade is the way to go. He’d have a lot of value — depends on the teams looking for help, but I’d bet he would fetch multiple picks, or a lottery pick, or a lottery-level player with a rookie deal. (along with an expiring contract).

    Of course, if he ends the year scoring 22 ppg on 60% TS, I’ll eat my words.

  55. njhoop

    Randolph Morris (on the Hawks, who knew?) line last night:

    4 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 TO, 4 fouls

    How’d we let this guy go?

  56. jon abbey

    Without going into a long reply, are 25 points scored in a game the same whether a guy took 25 shots to get them or only 10 shots?

    Ted, you’ve been here long enough to hopefully know I’m not an idiot. obviously those aren’t the same, and obviously the minutes matter also (to answer Mike’s question). my point was that I see too many people totally ignoring the raw totals these days, and I think there’s also some validity to those, hence my citing them as an “underrated stat” when Mike asked me for one.

  57. Bob Cook

    OBSERVATIONS:

    A blow out win? On the road? Second game in two nights? I quote Clyde, “who are these guys?” Going back to last year we NEVER blew anyone out. I think our 23 wins were by an aggregate of 15 points. I know that seems mathematically impossible, but these are our Knicks.

    Remember Pettino’s “bomb squad”. They’re baaaaaaack. And it makes for entertaining basketball.

    Intersting that the forum is still bashing Randolph. All during the off season, his head was being demanded. Trade him for a collection of Iron Man comics, it was urged. I posted that just maybe it ain’t so easy to get 20 pts and 10 bounds a game and that with new coaching, he might be a keeper. He is. He’s fourth in the bleeping NBA in rebounding and look at his game last night while trying to move a Spanish mountain.

    I’m sad to state that the forum’s “best player”, D Lee is not getting there. It’s cool that he’s got a little jumper going and hits his foul shots but you can’t help but notice that two years ago, if he was near a rebound, he got it. No more. Rebounds are taken from him. And watch him on defense. He doesn’t even get his arm up; he kind of points at the guy he’s guarding. He remains a good passer but in total not a quality NBA starter. And so he doesn’t start for D’Antoni. Chandler shoots much better, is a wildly better defender (and shot blocker) and boards about as well. Hey, I’m disappointed too. I remember when I thought Frye was the second coming.

    On the other hand, FINALLY Nate Robinson realized he can become a defensive pest and get steals. He’s in the top 10 now in that stat. He are Crawford are why we’ve had some wins.

    Eddie Curry: it’s all good. Maybe he heals, loses 30 pounds and adapts to Mike’s system the way Z bo has. If not, some dumb team will give up a bunch for him as everyone loves a center. Just like we did. It’s ironic. When we got him, the idea was he’s great except for maybe a bad heart. Well, yeah, but in a different way.

    And the Italian styrofoam pony? Bad luck with the back, it looks like this year is flushed. But if he’s not the next Frederick Weis, he could blossom for us next year and by not playing help us get a better pick this year…when we still have a pick.

  58. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)
    Without going into a long reply, are 25 points scored in a game the same whether a guy took 25 shots to get them or only 10 shots?

    I’d like to add whether it took 30 minutes to get them or 40. And I’d like to hear an answer to both questions.

    I think these are questions to which there are extremely obvious answers!!!

    Not when someone is asserting that team point differential is overrated and player points per game is underrated.

    Let’s take this to the Billups/Iversion discussion from last week. Iverson’s per game stats look great in comparison due to him playing almost 10 more minute per game. He has more points, assists, rebounds, assists, etc. But when you look at a per-minute level, Billups has him beat in all those save for points.

    http://tinyurl.com/6x3rfx

    If Jon’s assertion is that points scored per minute (not game) is overlooked with regards to WOW (or even PER), then I can buy into that. But points per game is probably the first thing that anyone who delves into basketball statistics finds as overrated. It’s like RBIs in baseball, a stat that is highly dependent on another (in baseball’s case where you hit in the lineup & who hits in front of you, in basketball how many minutes you play and how many shots you attempt).

  59. Caleb

    Randolph isn’t playing better than last year, but Crawford and Robinson are. It’s especially nice to see on defense — a guy that quick and strong should be able to make some kind of impact. At least approach being average. Muggsy Bogues was a good ballhawk, and actually pretty tough to post up, if I remember. Nate towers over him…

    David Lee? Whether it’s a Rick Ankiel head case, or an injury like the bone spur that’s been reported, something is obviously wrong. Very wrong.

  60. Italian Stallion

    Lee is not getting as good stats (probably partly because he’s been hurting), but he’s also not competing with Eddy Curry for rebounds anymore. LMAO

    As a starter he was asked to defend and board against bigger, better, and faster players this year (including at times competing for boards with Chandler on his own team etc….)

    If you set aside the impact of the injury both offensively and defensively, IMO he’s a better player this year due to his greater willingness and ability to shoot and MAKE a jumper here or there. His stats will adjust upward as he gets healthier.

    I have no worries about Lee. He’s a better player this year if you look beyond the numbers (and basic visuals) to date and the injuries that have slowed him a bit on both ends.

  61. Z

    “Interesting that the forum is still bashing Randolph. All during the off season, his head was being demanded. Trade him for a collection of Iron Man comics, it was urged. I posted that just maybe it ain’t so easy to get 20 pts and 10 bounds a game and that with new coaching, he might be a keeper. He is. He’s fourth in the bleeping NBA in rebounding and look at his game last night while trying to move a Spanish mountain.”

    Zach Randolph will never win a championship as a Knick.

    And the only way that he wins a championship at all is as a role player off the bench on a team with two superstars.

    He is not a keeper.

    He is a catch-and-releaser.

  62. Ted Nelson

    o_boogie, You won’t hear me complain if they get a decent deal for Crawford. See above for comments on why Marion isn’t a no-brainer.

    IS, The obviousness was to shed light on the fact that PPG are overrated and not underrated.
    I don’t disagree that some guys (say Mikki Moore) are not meant to be high usage players, but can be valuable in their role. Or that a lot of high-usage/low-efficiency guys would benefit from taking less shots–hence why I was begging WC to shoot less–but I also don’t think a .500 TS% guy (esp. perimeter player) suddenly becomes a .600 TS% guy just by shooting less. Some guys just can’t shoot, or at least can’t sustain it for 82 games.

    I think the question is about how valuable lv-he guys are vs. hv-le guys. If you have no hv-he player, which once Jamal returns to earth the Knicks won’t really, I’d say you’re best served by spreading the ball and moving it very well, rather than letting Zach Randolph heave a bunch of bricks.

    Jon, I still don’t see your argument in favor of raw totals, by saying you agree with both me and Mike you seem to be saying they are not that important.

    Bob, As Caleb said, Randolph is not playing better than last season. He’s scoring worse and rebounding better, and looks to be defending better. Maybe he’s playing a bit better overall, but still not great and certainly not worth his contract. If he were putting up the exact same stats and the Knicks were 3-5 he’d be run out of town. Jamal, Nate, etc.’s hot starts plus his (overrated) per game stats have made him look good.

    Come on guys, after 3 seasons of evidence about what kind of player he is it seems very obvious to me that Lee is injured. I brought this up before the bone spurs thing was announced: he’s on fire playing like an All-Star then misses a preseason game with an ankle injury and when he gets back he looks 10x worse??? He has almost no explosiveness, it’s been pretty obvious to me from watching him play.

  63. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    Lee played 29 mpg last season and the season before, good starters play 35-40 mpg, so 21-16 of his minutes the last two years were against good starters. Curry was the Knicks 3rd bigman last season (in mpg) so Lee was also competing with Zach Randolph who he often subs in for now, so he’s not competing with him but Wilson Chandler for stretches. WC is a piss poor rebounder for a PF.

    Lee’s career TS% is .616 and he’s at .525 this season, his career reb-rate is 18 and reb/36 are 11.1 this season he’s at 11.9 reb-rate and 7.9 reb/36. His defense is noticeably worse. His assists are up but right where they were 2 seasons ago. Even his FT% is well below his career average. Are you kidding me, your brain must be hurting if you think Lee is better this season than on his career.

    Visually, he’s clearly hurting. He shot better on jumpers last season than Zach Randolph, so emphasizing the MAKE part is very odd.

  64. o_boogie

    Ted,

    As far as said trade, I wouldn’t resign marion if we acquired him. Let his monster salary come off the books. I would be happy with just chalmers. He is 5th in the league in steals, has an asst-to-turnover ratio greater than 2, and can be clutch (ask derrick rose). His fg% is pretty bad, but I have a feeling he is still adjusting. This trade would give us a backlog at the guard position and we would be real thin frontline, but I can live with that if we clear up 17 mill, get rid of curry, and jeffries returns healthy.

  65. Italian Stallion

    IS,
    Lee played 29 mpg last season and the season before, good starters play 35-40 mpg, so 21-16 of his minutes the last two years were against good starters. Curry was the Knicks 3rd bigman last season (in mpg) so Lee was also competing with Zach Randolph who he often subs in for now, so he’s not competing with him but Wilson Chandler for stretches. WC is a piss poor rebounder for a PF.
    Lee’s career TS% is .616 and he’s at .525 this season, his career reb-rate is 18 and reb/36 are 11.1 this season he’s at 11.9 reb-rate and 7.9 reb/36. His defense is noticeably worse. His assists are up but right where they were 2 seasons ago. Even his FT% is well below his career average. Are you kidding me, your brain must be hurting if you think Lee is better this season than on his career.
    Visually, he’s clearly hurting. He shot better on jumpers last season than Zach Randolph, so emphasizing the MAKE part is very odd.

    Ted,

    I don’t have an exact location, amount of defense on him at the time, or hit/miss stats for every jumper Lee took (or refused to take last season despite being wide open) vs. this season (and the ones you mention don’t address my point) but IMO, it’s so darn obvious he is more willing to take outside shots this year than last year its not even a conversation. He was quoted last year as saying “I am starting to realize I am hurting the team because I’m passing up on too many open mid range shots”. (approximate quote) He said this year that he worked on it all summer and is getting better. It’s looks that way to me too.

    IMO, that can only help the rest of the team. At times last year it was comical in the other direction.

    On the other subject, we will again have to agree to disagree. Lee played plenty of minutes against starters last year too, no doubt. When you play that many minutes you play against top players too. But this year he has frequently been guarding top shelf starting Cs and PFs right off the bat that are making him look goofy at times. He was getting tougher matchups on both ends of the court for him more often this year than last year right at the start of the game. He was also sometimes being defended by an entire starting unit at times. At the margin, that makes it more difficult for him to execute a board and score inside.

    I totally AGREED THAT the injuries are probably hurting him and contributing to the weaker overall stats, but there’s more than just going on going on and that’s partly why he’s back on the bench. That’s the only major point I made.

    They did remove part of my brain (a balance nerve etc..), but they didn’t remove the part that can watch a game without having to argue the total obvious. If there is an argumentative nerve, you should have yours evaluated. ;-) Please I’m too sick to have this stupid a conversation.

  66. Caleb

    IMO he’s a better player this year due to his greater willingness and ability to shoot and MAKE a jumper here or there. His stats will adjust upward as he gets healthier

    He’s a better player, even though he’s playing much, much worse. hmmmmmm…

  67. Ted Nelson

    o_boogie,

    I like Chalmers and definitely think he fell too far in the draft. I’d try to do everything I could to move Curry for a short contract without giving up Lee, though, because I think Lee’s value at this point is a whole lot higher than just Mario Chalmers straight-up (bone spurs and all).
    If it were clear that Marion would come in here and be an All-Star/All-NBA player for 1/2 a season before leaving maybe I’d just say, “screw it give Lee to get him.” However, he’s playing terribly in Miami, is 30, and while D’Antoni’s system brought out the best in him they seem to hate one another. If all we’re looking for is a pre-2010 expiring contract, Curry seems to have at least some trade value and I have confidence he can be moved in a better deal.
    Besides whether they actually want to trade Marion for Curry/Lee, Miami would also be giving up their starting PG in this deal without replacing him…

  68. Ted Nelson

    IS,

    This is a stupid conversation: David Lee had started 27% of his NBA games before this season (36% last season).

    If you agree that he’s injured (I mean that’s what they’re telling us), doesn’t that explain part of why he looks “goofy?” He went up against these same guys the last three seasons and held his own, now he looks goofy… is it because he became a worse basketball player or because he has tiny bone chips rattling around in his ankle?

    Beside starting 27% of his games, if Lee was closing tight games in the past he was going against the other team’s 5 best. It’s also not always the case that starters are better defenders or rebounders than back-ups, anyway, as some back-ups are in the NBA specifically for their defensive or rebounding prowess (Diop/Reggie Evans).

    It’s not at the margin, he’s gone from 11.1 reb/36 to 7.9 on a higher paced team. He’s clearly not a C, but most PF’s rebound rates go UP when they have to slide over to C to fill a need for their team, they don’t fall by 40%.
    As always, if your argument is that moving from the bench to the starting lineup has a significantly negative impact on a player’s stats, there are plenty of examples that you can check to see if it’s the case.

    Lee is taking 30% jumpers this season for an eFG% of .188 as opposed to 26% jumpers last season for .405 eFG%. Is the extra 1/2 of a jumper per game–(0.3*8.5)-(0.26*7.6)–really the cause of a 200 point drop in eFG% on jumpers? It would only explain about 100 points even if he missed every single one of the extra jumpers he’s taking.
    The really telling stat, IMO, is that he’s taking only 6% dunks this season (in an offense that should generate more dunks) as opposed to 18% last season. The guy has no explosiveness (my guess is due to the bonespurs in his ankles). It’s obvious every time he fails to even jump for a rebound.

    Maybe it’s just a slump, but it seems like a huge coincidence to me that Lee starts the preseason with 22-9, 19-15, 17-7-7 then has a bad game, misses the next game with a “DNP – right ankle injury”, and hasn’t been himself since. Mardy Collins also looked great in preseason, but he doesn’t have the NBA track-record Lee does.

    “His stats will adjust upward as he gets healthier” This I agree with. He’s actually only taking 1 more jumper every 2 games, but if he could put up his career stats while also adding a mid-range game then he’d be, well, an All-Star. I’ll settle for a good player without much of a mid-range game, though.

  69. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    As a starter he was asked to defend and board against bigger, better, and faster players this year (including at times competing for boards with Chandler on his own team etc….)

    Lee played 29 mpg last season and the season before, good starters play 35-40 mpg, so 21-16 of his minutes the last two years were against good starters.

    I would say that starting big men average less minutes per game, 32-36 minute range. Which means even starters may face other starters for only 20 minutes a game.

    But are we really at this point arguing that starters only play against starters and reserves play against reserves? This was debunked. Or have all NBA coaches suddenly begun to substitute 5 players at a time?

  70. Nick C.

    Mike – you’re coming up with that specious argument again to pat yourself on the back. Who debunked it you? And no one is claimign that it is starters v. starters and reserves v. reserves so I don’t get your point? You watch enough to know that at least for the first and thoird quartetrs the starters play more or less the first 5 minutes to the whole quarter. If you start for that time you have are matched against starters. I do notice D’Antoni brings in Nate and Lee more or less at the same time so yes coaches do bring in the bench 2-3 at a time unless ther is fould trouble. You are correct that coaches dong have two platoons but you are the only one claiming that and then wuickly denying its true so I’m not sure what point you are trying to make with any basis in reality. Starters will play a higher proportion of their minutes against starters than reserves will it’s hard to argue with a straigth face otherwise. Whetrher this means starters are going 25-35 v. the Garnett’s and Kobe’s of the world while reserves are going 5-10 vs. them while spending the rest of their time fattening up on Leon Powe,Glen Davis or Sahsa Vujacic is quite a different matter and one that I think is implied but not necessarily true.

  71. caleb

    The starters vs. scrubs question was asked & answered a long, long time ago. Maybe there should be a permalink.

    It’s possible that some of Lee’s problems come from playing out of position – he’s spending more time against centers, instead of forwards. But there’s no way that would account for such a huge, huge dropoff. More likely it’s the injury, or a bit of random variation. He had sort of a slow start last year, too.

  72. nick c

    It came up a year or two ago in the same David Lee context but I don’t think there was an answer just Mike asserting that they don’t play only starters v. starters and bench v. bench which is no answer at all or resolution.

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