2010 Game Thread: Mavs at Knicks

Dallas Mavericks

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 93.7 106.3 50.7 15.3 23.4 19.4
Rank
9
20
11
12
28
28
Dallas Mavericks-Defense 92 104.9 48.7 15.2 25.6 19.6
Rank
19
11
9
18
9
1
New York Knicks-Defense 93.7 107.9 50.6 15.6 26.8 22.2
Rank
9
19
21
13
17
13
Dallas Mavericks-Offense 92 107 49.5 14 25.1 22.1
Rank
19
14
18.5
3
21
20

By the standings the Mavs are one of the West’s premier teams, but perhaps they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be. Dallas is 3rd in the Western Conference, but their point differential is only 8th best. From a four factors standpoint they’re just above average on defense and average on offense. When the Knicks have the ball, don’t expect to hear a lot of whistles. New York is 28th at drawing fouls, and Dallas is the best team in the league at denying their opponent free points. On offense Dallas is great and holding onto the ball (3rd in four factors turnovers), but they don’t do anything else particularly well. For their reputation as an offensive juggernaut, their eFG is sub par (tied for 18th) and worse than New York’s (50.7% to 49.5%).

Mid Season Youngins Report

With 41 games in the books, I thought I’d check in on the youngins and see how they’re doing.

Wilson Chandler’s stats are quite similar to last year’s with a few worthwhile exceptions. Before the start of the season I said Chandler would have to increase either his free throw attempts or three point shooting percentage to be a successful NBA player. Unfortunately Wilson has regressed in both areas (FTA/36 2.8 to 2.2, 3p% 32.8% to 27.2%). These stats are important for his development because Chandler settled for the three pointer too often and didn’t connect often enough from downtown. Instead Chandler has reduced the number of three pointers attempted (3PA/36 4.1 to 2.6) and consequently his TS% has risen to 52.5%, good enough to be his best season. Chandler has given up chucking threes to taking the action to the hoop. NBA hotspots shows Chandler taking a high percentage of his shots from the paint (234 of 536 FG attempts). Granted he isn’t drawing contact and getting to the charity stripe, but this is a shift in the right direction for the 22 year old.

Limited to being a three point specialist in his first season, Danilo Gallinari has shown his athleticism in his sophomore campaign. Gallo has improved his free throws (2.4 to 3.5 fta/36), rebounding (4.8 to 5.5 reb/36), blocked shots (0.3 to 1.0 blk/36), personal fouls (4.2 to 2.4 pf/36) and points scored (14.9 to 16.7 pts/36). Overall he’s improved in multiple areas, which is exactly what you’d want from an underaged #6 pick.

Neither player in the Knicks draft class of 2009 has made an impact. Toney Douglas is 9th in minutes on the team and Hill is 11th, which in D’Antoni’s rotation means neither is playing consistently. At the start of the season, it seemed as if Toney Douglas would be in the rotation and Jordan Hill would be on the outside looking in. There was even rumors of Hill being sent to the D-League to see some action. But recently Hill has crept into the end of the Knicks rotation, and Douglas has seen his minutes reduced. To the eye Douglas has been quick on the defensive end, but he’s lost the play making ability that he flashed in the preseason. Meanwhile Hill has shown his athleticism on both ends of the floor, but he’s settling for long jumpers too often for a F/C. Finally Marcus Landry has been limited strictly to garbage time (72 minutes played on the year).

Of the five, Danilo Gallinari is the only one that’s given the inkling of becoming a future All Star. Down the stretch it’s important to see if Gallo can take a bigger role in the offense and not defer to his teammates. Chandler has improved, but he still need to produce more to be an above average NBA starter. As the season progresses we should monitor Chandler’s efficiency. For Douglas, Hill, and Landry, it’d be good for them to get significant court time, but the Knicks pursuit of a playoff spot could hamper such an opportunity.

2010 Game Preview & Thread: Knicks v. Pistons

Knicks (16-24, 9-11 home) host the Pistons (14-26, 4-16 Road) in the annual MSG MLK Matinee.  The season series is even at 1-1 with the Pistons taking it to the Knicks in Auburn Hills last week. 

The Knicks find themselves in a bit of a funk going 1-4 in the current five stretch after going 4-1 in the previous five game stretch.  The biggest difference in the two five game stretches is the offensive numbers.  During the 4-1 stretch the Knicks scored over 100 in 4 of 5 games.  During the 1-4 stretch the Knicks reached 100 in 1 of 4 games.  So what’s the problem?  Well the easy answer is to point to JJ and his time in the starting line up, but actually JJ is doing okay.  JJ’s eFG% over the last five games is 53.3% (15-30, 2-7).  The lowest eFG% of all starters in the last five game belongs to Duhon at 25.8% (6-29, 3-19).  Duhon’s offense has been so poor, D’Antoni was forced to dust off Larry Hughes, who has not made a field goal in his last four games.  I’d rather see Toney Douglas get some playing time, he may not be a great distributor but he cant be as turnover prone as Nate Robinson has been of late. 

I am curious to see how D’Antoni rights the ship.  The Pistons have been a poor defensive team all year, particularly on the road.  If the Knicks are going to get the offense clicking, this would be the game to do it.  Of course, with a 1 o’clock start time, I doubt Duhon had time to nap before the game.  Oh well, we shall see.

2010 Game Preview and Thread: Knicks v Raptors

New York (16-22 overall, 9-10 at home, 11-14 in conference) on the heals of a stolen win in Philadelphia looks to get to .500 at home.   Toronto (19-20 overall, 7-14 on road, 13-13 in conference) has dropped its last two games.  Toronto is not a strong road team.  Toronto is 5-13 in conference road games with only 1 win against a team with a record above .500.  Toronto is 4-3 on the road against conference rivals with records below .500.   Yeah, I’m not sure what the point of all that is either.  But it’s doubtful anyone reads this anyway.  Oh well, to the stats!

Knick Offense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 106.2 50.8 15.3 23.2 19.2
Rank 20 11 10 29 28
Knick Defense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 107.6 50.7 15.8 26.6 21.7
Rank 19 23 13.5 15 12.5
Raptor Offense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 110.9 51.1 14.7 25.6 27.5
Rank 5 6.5 7 20 2
Raptor Defense EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
Stat 113 50.7 14 28.7 26.1
Rank 30 22 28 27 26

What to watch for: Toronto defense

Toronto ranks in the bottom third of the NBA in every defensive four factor.  The team is dead last in defensive efficiency (113) and they are near the bottom in turnovers forced, and defensive rebounds secured.  Toronto’s defense plus their poor road record gives the Knicks a good shot tonight.  Of Toronto’s 4 road wins against sub .500 conference foes, 3 wins came against teams in the bottom third of the NBA in offensive efficiency (Chicago, Washington, and Detroit). Toronto dropped road games to the Pacers (27th in offensive EFF) and the Milwaukee (25th).  So with this defense, the Raptor can lose on the road any given night.  Let’s hope tonight is one of those nights.

What to watch for 2: 5 on 4 and a half?

I don’t think Jeffries is as much a hindrance on offense as he appears to be.  Do I think JJ is a talented offensive player? By no means.  Does JJ struggle to score on a consistent basis? Sure.  So why do I not view JJ as an offensive hindrance?  Well, I remember watching two other offensive talents grind the Knick offense to a stop: Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry.  Zach Randolph has vast offensive talent, but his poor shot selection, reluctance to pass, and this killed the New York offense in his tenure.   Eddy Curry has a turnover rate above 30.  Sure, Jeffries’ turnover rate of 14 isnt great, but next to Curry Jeffries is Jason Kidd.  Plus Jeffries rebounds, something Curry never did well.  In defense of Jeffries I’d like to note that JJ has the lowest USG-r on the team at 9.3.  Curry’s is 26 and the team was getting nothing out of it. At least JJ tries to limit his drag on the offense.  JJ had one of his better games as a Knicks against the Sixers.  Given Toronto’s poor defense, he may have another strong showing all while rebounding, playing defense, and helping out in anyway that he can.  The point is that JJ is not as bad as he seems, at least not in comparison to Randolph and Curry.

In game thoughts here.