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Sunday, October 26, 2014

2011 Report Card: Carmelo Anthony

You know what? Melo doesn’t like you either.

That’s right. He’s looked into your advanced stats. He knows that your posts from January to April registered a blistering True Spite Percentage (TSp%, or posts / vitriolic statements) of 78%. He knows a lot of you didn’t want him – or at the very least, thought we gave up far too much to get him. He knows you think he makes way too much money. He knows his every move from now until Rapture will be dissected and analyzed more intensely than Citizen Kane.

It’s OK though. Because Carmelo Anthony’s not one to hold grudges. “The next Starbury,” “cancerous ball-stopper,” “defensive sieve” – these things just roll off his back, like so many city raindrops. You wanna know how Melo deals with the barbs? He throws on a blue garbage bag, grabs a panda, and smirks away the spite. The symbolism is unmistakable: Through the panda — a creature cursed by its own inability to adapt, grow, evolve — Carmelo is confronted with and knows his own weaknesses. If he’s going to survive in this city, evolution, adaptation, improvement — that’s the goal. More importantly, he’s doing something about it.

Tuff.

He might’ve only played 31 games in an actual Knick uniform, but for most of the 50 that proceeded his February 23rd arrival, Carmelo Anthony was the defacto 16th man (you know, if a 16th man sat at the end of the bench yelling all awkward-like about how 8 of the guys in front of him were about to be shipped out). Like an intangible specter perpetually suspended above the organization, Melo just needed an appropriate vessel to render real what had for months been the stuff of ether. That vessel finally arrived when the Knicks agreed to deal Danillo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Eddie Curry’s expiring contract (That’s it, right?), Raymond Felton (Ok, that should do it.), Anthony Randolph (Jesus, really?), and Timofey Mozgov (Are you $%#&@ kidding me!?) in exchange for Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, and this guy.

Some said we mortgaged our future for a two or three year title window. Others scoffed at taking on a contract that could look exponentially worse if  a new CBA includes a more restrictive salary cap structure. Still others laughed at this painfully funny t-shirt, one of the first off the post-trade press, which features an image of Anthony taking what appeared — rather ironically — to be an ill-advised, off-balance 22-footer. The media, in all its schizoid glory, managed to both deem the deal — any deal, at any price — absolutely necessary… before promptly demonizing it in calling for Mike D’Antoni’s firing. A full six months and one Herculean playoff performance later, the jury is still out.

Given the relatively small sample size, there’s not much to parse through when it comes to post-trade stats. We do know Melo’s TS% trended up slightly after donning the orange and blue (55% with Denver to 58% in New York). The biggest reason for this? His three-point shooting, which took a huge leap from 33% to 42%. Interestingly, his new-found outside shooting prowess reflected a 10% overall uptick (64% to 74% of his shots) post trade. Obviously this has to be viewed more in the context of D’Antoni’s system, which relies on effective floor spacing and opportunistic shot attempts. But even if he regresses half way back to the mean, a Carmelo Anthony connecting at 37-40% from beyond the arc is nothing to scoff at.

As for the worry that Billups and Melo would seek to impose their brand of isolation-heavy ball on D’Antoni’s comparatively more free-flowing offense, it turns out the numbers bear much more of a mixed bag. Indeed, while Melo’s iso rate stayed pretty much the same after being dealt from Denver, dropping only a hair from 37.3% to 37% (Synergy Sports Technology WHAT!?!?), Chauncey’s share plummeted from 25.8% to 13.5%. Meanwhile, Billups’ use of the P&R jumped nearly as drastically, from 20.75 to 36.5% after joining the Knicks. Which suggests what many have suspected all along: namely that the point-obsessed D’Antoni is far more concerned with reshaping Chauncey’s role (and his game) than he is about Melo’s.

What kind of weapon Anthony evolves into on the offensive end will be one of the more interesting narrative threads over the next few years. Towards the end of last season, D’Antoni famously suggested that Melo should be getting “close to a triple double” every single game. Which of course is just batshit crazy. But D’Antoni wasn’t saying that because he somehow believed himself capable of chiseling away and uncovering a hidden LeBron that George Karl couldn’t; rather, he was putting the onus on Melo himself. The dude’s an incredibly gifted basketball player — everyone knows that. But there’s always been the nagging sense that he wasn’t quite the all-around player he was capable of being. Maybe Mike D’Antoni can help bring it out of him (on the offensive end, anyway), and maybe he can’t. What matters is the internal gauntlet has been thrown — a gauntlet which only time will tell whether Anthony is willing to pick up and wield himself.

Does he still take bad shots? Oh yeah he does. Did he still exhibit cheesecloth defense? Yup. Are both of these things fixable? Ask Paul Pierce.

Like the really funny uncle with a healthy bourbon habit who matches every brilliant Thanksgiving story with one or two ill-advised racist jokes or boob grabs, we’re stuck with Melo. So we might as well learn to love him — quirks and all. Thing is, if you look past the albatrossian contract and entirely fixable chinks in the armor (defense, shot selection, ball-stopping, in that order), that shouldn’t be difficult to do. He was born in the city; identifies his roots within it; and, from roughly last September until late the following February,wouldn’t shut up about how badly he pined to return.

As with Amare Stoudemire before him, Melo wanted to come here. Very, very badly. And like Amare’s arrival last summer, there’s something oddly, egoistically appealing about a top-flight superstar who, for all the franchise’s long-worn woe — and for all his own flaws — sees himself as something of a savior. Rational or not, potentially destructive or not, it’s hard not to feel stroked by that. The only question now becomes: does this prodigal son’s return spell a reprise reminiscent of Bernard King, or Stephon Marbury?

Advanced stats may one day vindicate what many still believe: That, for all his undeniable offensive filthiness, Carmelo Anthony is simply too inconsistent and too unreliable defensively to be anything more than a number two option on a top flight team. Until that day comes, however, it would behoove us all to at least flirt with the possibility that – for once in this proud franchise’s perpetually-tortured present – we landed the right player at the right time, and in the right system.

Now hold that thought. Let it sink in. Breathe. Think near decade-long veteran – a scoring machine – nearing 30 and heeding the clarion call of many before him, who found in career apex a sudden commitment to defense and leadership. Think explosive turning to crafty, cocky giving way to vocal, doubted succumb to lauded. Think expected, sustained winning, clutch baskets from iced-over veins and shaking Garden rafters. Think a title. Hell, think titles.

With that, we now return to our regularly scheduled reality.

 

Report Card (5 point scale):

Offense: 5
Defense: 1
Teamwork: 3
Rootability: 4
Performance/Expectations: 4

Final Grade: A-

Similarity Scores:

 

PlayerID FLName Year Age Tm PER TS_P eFG_P PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
0 Carmelo Anthony 2011 26 TOT 21.7 .557 .487 25.8 1.5 7.4 2.9 0.9 0.6 2.7
0.043 Larry Jones 1969 26 DNR 23.5 .543 .473 25.2 2.0 5.8 3.1 2.6
0.088 Rick Barry 1971 26 NYA 22.6 .552 .476 24.9 1.5 5.8 4.2 2.9
0.089 Jack Twyman 1961 26 CIN 19.6 .532 .488 24.6 8.3 2.8
0.095 Danny Granger 2010 26 IND 19.8 .564 .498 23.7 1.1 5.4 2.7 1.5 0.8 2.5
0.103 Corey Maggette 2006 26 LAC 18.9 .584 .477 21.8 1.1 6.5 2.5 0.7 0.2 3.0
0.103 Orlando Woolridge 1986 26 CHI 19.6 .560 .497 23.2 2.4 5.6 3.4 0.8 0.8 2.8
0.103 LaPhonso Ellis 1997 26 DEN 18.2 .529 .486 21.6 1.9 6.9 2.4 0.8 0.7 2.1
0.106 Lou Hudson 1971 26 ATL 18.2 .527 .484 23.6 4.5 3.0
0.107 Tom Chambers 1986 26 SEA 17.1 .551 .473 21.8 2.2 7.7 2.4 1.0 0.7 3.5
0.110 Xavier McDaniel 1990 26 SEA 17.9 .533 .498 21.8 2.4 6.6 2.5 1.1 0.5 2.8

 

91 comments on “2011 Report Card: Carmelo Anthony

  1. d-mar

    Hey Jim, great writeup! I was one of the defenders of the Melo deal, I would have loved to have given up less to get him, but I still believe there was no way he was going to free agency and would have signed with the Nets at the last minute to avoid that.

    On his performance as a Knick, I think a 1 on defense is WAY too harsh. I think that you may have given him that score based on reputation rather than reality. Not to say he’s a defensive stud, (and I would probably give him like a 2.5) but there were moments (his defense on LBJ in the Miami road win, his block on Grainger in a win against Indy, his fairly solid D in the Boston series) that made me believe he can be a more than adequate defender going forward.

    If I could change one thing about Melo it would be that dumb smile (which can occur after a good or bad play) I want to see more of the “eye of the tiger” (for lack of a better phrase), that Paul Pierce death stare after a dagger shot rather than that goofy grin. But that’s just a minor thing, overall I think we’re gonna love this guy over the next few years.

  2. mase

    Melo is definitely the ‘man you hate to love’ because everything about him and his reputation going into the trade was isiahesque, an overpriced short term fix. However after a playoff Series performance that showed a well rounded game I think his potential on defense and as a team player is underrated.

  3. flossy

    mase:
    However after a playoff Series performance that showed a well rounded game I think his potential on defense and as a team player is underrated.

    Let the record show that Melo shot 35% from the field in the playoffs and the Knicks got swept. He had one amazing game, one okay game, two pretty bad games. Yeah, yeah, circumstances, injuries, he had to carry the whole team, whatever. He’s getting paid like someone who ,i>should be able to do that.

    Meanwhile, this…

    “Through the panda — a creature cursed by its own inability to adapt, grow, evolve — Carmelo is confronted with and knows his own weaknesses. If he’s going to survive in this city, evolution, adaptation, improvement — that’s the goal.”

    … is bloody brilliant. What does Kevin Durant’s panda picture symbolize, I wonder? That everyone finds Kevin Durant freakin’ adorable?

  4. micdan

    the question is if the knicks would have known that deron williams was available they would have been better trading for him than for melo. it was a lot better to trade for him than melo. williams was more cheaper than melo and we would have been in a better position next year to take william and howard. i think that a team of william stoudmire and howard would’ve been great. now we just have melo(who we surrender a lot to get him and no or mediocre defense) and stoudmire (who is great but no defense) and a weak supporting cast (because all went to denver in melo trade).

  5. mase

    Flossy
    I think you have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I thought he played well in the playoffs. Remember we had a lineup of mason, shawne, Melo, td, ? For the the playoffs and we almost won two games it’s not as bad as you make it sound.

    Micdan
    I am still in shock about the deron trade, where the he’ll did thatcome from !?

  6. micdan

    mase
    i was in shock too but I still believe that if the knicks didn’t fell in love with anthony they would have investigate it more and could have found out about deron. but they were obsess with anthony that didn’t see others options. I believe that anthony is a good player but now we are stuck with those two and with no much option to get paul or howard. let’s see what happens

  7. mase

    Yes but as a knick fan I want Melo and deron together not amare and deron but see your point… At the end of the day I think you still take Melo over deron, it’s q tough call

  8. micdan

    well my opinion was that if the knicks knew about that before the trade i would have chosen williams because it was more cheaper and we still would have more talent. and also we would have been able to go after howard in 2012. with william stoudmire and howard we cover two of the most difficult position to fill pg and c and still have some depth. hope that this move don’t cost us too much because i still not completely sold on anthony

  9. micdan

    well cheaper on the aspect that maybe we would not have to trade a lot of player to get william. we practically trade half of a team for two useful player (billups and melo). if we traded for william maybe we could have saved gallo, felton or even mosgov.

  10. micdan

    well i think that they were more oportunistic than us, but still i think that we have a minor chance of getting paul or howard let’s see what happens it all depends on what happens with the lockout

  11. citizen

    I don’t really understand the notion that people have of Williams being available for the Knicks. Consider what the Nets gave up to get him:
    – Devin Harris
    – Derrick Favors
    – 2 1st round picks

    Whereas the Knicks got Melo, Billups, and change for:
    – Gallo
    – Felton
    – WC
    – Mozgov
    – 1 pick

    Would that package have enticed Utah? Gallo may be better than Favors now but he’s off his rookie contract 2 years sooner. Felton and Harris are basically similar in value I think. Would you take 2 picks (from a likely lottery team) or WC + Mozgov + 1 pick (from a likely not lottery team)? Recall that Chandler’s contract is expiring too.

    I’ve left AR & Curry’s contract out of the equation because the Knicks would have to give them up in a similar deal to make the cap room for D-Will.

  12. Robert Silverman

    Serious kudos to Jim for keeping great content flowing this summer.

    I’m too effing pissed off at the lockout to write anything more coherent than, “GIMME BASKETBALL NOWWWWWWW!”

  13. Z-man

    Ditto, Jim. And RS.

    I’ve raised the Melo-Pierce comparison a few times already. The main difference between the two seems to be from the neck up.

    Useless to bring up Deron at this point. Besides, he’s not signed with the Nets. In any case, a “similar” deal for Deron still would have left a few gaping holes. We’d probably be the Utah of the last few years.

    Bottom line is, we are a mid-level playoff team for the next 4-5 years as currently comprised and barring serious injury. Who we ultimately become depends mainly on two things: 1) the CBA, and 2) the development of who we already have: Shumpert, Fields, Jordan and Williams (assuming he sticks.) If we got Williams, the issues would probably be the same. It is also possible that if we didn’t do the Melo deal, some other team might have stepped in with a better offer, and we’d have neither. I think we gave up too much, but am also a believer in Melo’s abilities. He is still pretty young and has room for (emotional) development.

  14. Z-man

    Oh, I forgot about Jorts, I think he will be a factor, and of course, TD, who is still developing.

  15. Brian Cronin

    A similar deal for Deron would have the Knicks in a lot better position than they are now, as Amar’e would put up monster numbers with Deron Williams getting him the ball. Plus, of course, Deron Williams being Deron Williams (which is to say “a better player than Carmelo Anthony”).

    I just don’t believe a similar deal for Deron was ever a real possibility (as I think Utah really wanted Favors plus the high lottery picks over anything the Knicks could put on the table).

  16. max fisher-cohen

    I believe Utah basically said “we decided to offer deron to whomever lost out on the Anthony sweepstakes for whatever package they’d last offered for ‘Melo.” They believed that making Williams’ availability public would make there more of a buyer’s market, driving down the offers for Anthony and Williams. It also would have made it likely that Williams would start doing what Anthony did — making a list of those teams he was willing to play for.

    I still think if we offered ‘melo for williams, NJ would take it though since it would guarantee them a star for the long term. The knicks wouldn’t do it though because A) Dolan has no basketball vision and would see D-Will as the lesser player due to his lower profile, and B) It would make the team look foolish for not having made such a trade in the first place C) It would be viewed by some as a betrayal (although I think that’s bull since unlike Amaré, we gave up a ton for Carmelo).

  17. flossy

    Brian Cronin: I just don’t believe a similar deal for Deron was ever a real possibility (as I think Utah really wanted Favors plus the high lottery picks over anything the Knicks could put on the table).

    Of course the Nets could offer a better deal, but assuming they spent that package to land Carmelo, the Knicks would be the last potential trade partner left (or at least, the last team that had publicly demonstrated a willingness to trade a bunch of pretty decent and/or promising young players plus picks and cap relief for a 2nd star player). Sure, Utah probably preferred Favors and lottery picks, but how badly did they want to get rid of D-Will and get some return before he became even more of a headache? The world will never know.

  18. Brian Cronin

    I’ll certainly admit that my take on it is based on supposition, because you’re right, we’ll never know for sure what would have happened had Melo been dealt to New Jersey. My take on it is that Utah was surprised by New Jersey’s offer and felt that it was not a great one for a team that did not want to rebuild (like Denver) but it was great for a team that did want to rebuild (them) and they were confident that Melo would ultimately end up in New York, meaning that that deal would be on the table for them.

    In other words, I don’t think it was D- Will being on the block so much as that offer compelled them to put him on the block.

  19. Z-man

    Brian Cronin:
    A similar deal for Deron would have the Knicks in a lot better position than they are now, as Amar’e would put up monster numbers with Deron Williams getting him the ball. Plus, of course, Deron Williams being Deron Williams (which is to say “a better player than Carmelo Anthony”).

    I just don’t believe a similar deal for Deron was ever a real possibility (as I think Utah really wanted Favors plus the high lottery picks over anything the Knicks could put on the table).

    Amar’e would certainly not have put up batter numbers than he did with Nash and Phx, and he was having a pretty good year here with the likes of Raymond Felton until he broke down physically. I don’t agree that the Knicks are definitely a better team with Deron instead of Melo, and certainly wouldn’t say “a lot better position.” They still need a defensive presence in the middle more than anything else. I also think Shumpert is going to surprise a lot of people and will play significant minutes at PG, if we ever get a season going :-)

  20. Brian Cronin

    Not better than Nash, certainly, but A. better than he would with Felton and B. way better than he would than he did with Billups and Melo.

    “Not quite as good as Nash” is still pretty darn good, and as we saw with Nash/Amar’e over the last few years, if you have a coach like D’Antoni, a great passing first point guard and Amar’e Stoudemire, they can carry a weak supporting staff (like the Suns when Nash/Amar’e took them to the Western Conference Finals in 2009-10).

  21. SeeWhyDee77

    Ehh..I like D Will..he’s nice. Mad nice. But Stat or no Stat, if u give me the option of adding Melo or D Will, then i’m pickin Melo. I’ve always been partial to PG’s, but I’m not sold on D Will as a Knick. I just don’t think his game will allow him to thrive like CP3 would or even Felton did. I could be wrong, but NY doesn’t need a scorer at the 1. How many scoring PGs thrived in NY? Imma repeat this..D Will is great. But Melo is one of the few unstoppable scorers in the league. The only thing that trumps that is a dominant PG capable of controlling the game on every level and carrying and making his team better. CP3 is the only one that does that. The only way D Will carries his team is by scoring. CP3 does it all. Hell, he took a rag tag bunch and almost ousted LA. I’m not tryina say D Will’s not a good player..just tryina illustrate the difference between him and CP3. I’d be happy either way, but Melo gets my vote here. This dude is capable of getting that 42 and 17 almost nightly..and he’s not so much of a ball hog as advertised. Are u kidding me?? 42 and 17 with 5 plus assists? As the only threat on the floor? I wasn’t very big on Melo as a Knick early on, but he has me sold. The one advantage D Will has is the fact Stat NEEDS great PG play to excel. I must admit tho, a D Will/Stat P&R would be flat out deadly. But Melo is still my pick. Also, I’m a little concerned with D Will’s adaptability after excelling in relative obscurity in Utah and NJ. Would he WANT everything that comes with playing in NY? Does he have that same mentality that Stat and Melo has whereas constantly playing under that bright of a light wouldn’t negatively effect him the way it did Marbury? U also gotta consider that a PG already has alot on his plate bein the main decision maker on the team. Just a thought..

  22. Brian Cronin

    Huh?

    D-Will’s career Assist Rate is 42%!!! And it is only that low because of his rookie season.

    His Assist Rate by season:

    28.6
    41.6
    43.6
    47.8
    44.5
    45.9

    He’s certainly not Chris Paul (who has a career 47% Assist Rate), but that’s an excellent assist rate, so he is not just a scoring point guard (of course, on that note, he has a career 57% True Shooting). In fact, it is the second-highest current Assist Rate in the NBA! Ahead of Steve Nash, even (who also had bad early years)!!!!

    He is definitely one of the top passing point guards in the game.

  23. Brian Cronin

    That said, of course, if Chris Paul somehow ends up as a Knick, then the Melo trade was awesome.

  24. BigBlueAL

    My only concern about DWill is his wrist injury. If it affects his shooting for the rest of his career that would be a big negative obviously. He proved even with the wrist injury he can still get his assists but it really affected his shooting %’s.

    The man has averaged over 10 asts/g each of the last 4 seasons so thats not a problem for him but yeah aint Chris Paul but obviously nobody is.

    As most who read this site recently should know Ive been a big defender of Melo and really enjoyed watching him play toward the end of the season. Im admittedly probably just being a real homer and maybe am not being realistic but Im really looking forward to the next few years of watching him play. Obviously what the rest of the roster looks like will determine how far exactly this team can go but its nice knowing that for the next few seasons we will be able to see 2 of the most exciting players in the NBA on a nightly basis and just making the playoffs is no longer the goal. Sure beats what we went through for the past decade.

  25. Mike Kurylo

    Well Basketball Prospectus is redrafting the NBA, and D-Will has been picked 10th. So far no mention of ‘Melo, 16 picks in. Considering that Amar’e has yet to be selected, I’m guessing that it may take a few more days before Anthony’s name gets selected.

    Of course if you’re wondering why the Knicks overpaid for ‘Melo, maybe this article might shed some light on the issue: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6874079/psychic-benefits-nba-lockout

    Also I stand by ‘Melo’s defensive rating of 1. Giving a D-rating over 1 for a couple of plays (games?) is like giving Jamal Crawford a O-rating of 5 any year he managed to drop 50. It’s an average, which means you have to take the good & the bad, not just cherry pick the potential.

  26. iwannatalktosampson

    Brian Cronin: Huh?D-Will’s career Assist Rate is 42%!!! And it is only that low because of his rookie season. His Assist Rate by season:28.641.643.647.844.545.9 He’s certainly not Chris Paul (who has a career 47% Assist Rate), but that’s an excellent assist rate, so he is not just a scoring point guard (of course, on that note, he has a career 57% True Shooting). In fact, it is the second-highest current Assist Rate in the NBA! Ahead of Steve Nash, even (who also had bad early years)!!!!He is definitely one of the top passing point guards in the game.

    Sometimes its not about #’s. D-Will had just about the same amount of time Melo had to show leadership, just a change in environment really. Basically He wouldn’t be able to embrace playing in the Garden the way Stat and Melo do. The thought of getting D-Will cheaper than Melo and acquiring the best C in the league in Howard in 2012 to fully assemble our frontline; well yeah we’d all take that any day. Melo over D-Will in my opinion though. Paul Pierce is a prime example to show faith in your boy to gain skills on D.

  27. massive

    I’m glad we have Carmelo Anthony. I saw something in him during his time here that makes me believe that he’ll have some really good seasons here (by Knickerblogger standards). I also saw some things (mainly on defense) that led me to believe he didn’t really have the work ethic of a LeBron, Durant, or Kobe.

    For all of the talk about us being undermanned, a starting line-up of Billups, Fields, Melo, Stat, and Turiaf with Douglas, Extra E, Jeffries, Jorts, and Shumpert off of the bench employs 3 All-Star level players, 2 above average role-players (Fields and Turiaf), 2 average players (Extra E and Douglas), a below average player in Jeffries, and 2 rookies. To me, that puts us above the Hawks and right below the Celtics. Pretty good for an undermanned team.

  28. Brian Cronin

    Sometimes its not about #’s. D-Will had just about the same amount of time Melo had to show leadership, just a change in environment really. Basically He wouldn’t be able to embrace playing in the Garden the way Stat and Melo do. The thought of getting D-Will cheaper than Melo and acquiring the best C in the league in Howard in 2012 to fully assemble our frontline; well yeah we’d all take that any day. Melo over D-Will in my opinion though. Paul Pierce is a prime example to show faith in your boy to gain skills on D.

    Why wouldn’t D-Will be able to embrace playing in the Garden? What has he shown in his career to support that take on him?

  29. BigBlueAL

    I really wished this site was around during the 1990’s. This site wouldve absolutely ripped every player on those teams except for maybe Ewing (I say maybe because he had his seasons with poor shooting numbers which wouldve been brought up over and over again here) and I assume Oak since he didnt shoot much and rebounded well and obviously wouldve loved Camby too. Even as they advanced in the playoffs there wouldve still been posts ripping Ewing, Starks, the PG’s, Houston and Spree etc lol.

    I guess as much as I love advanced stats (much more in baseball though) I still have too much old-school in me which is why I actually enjoy watching guys like Melo and Amar’e (although Amar’e and his defense does piss me off, Melo not so much because I honestly never saw him get exposed on D like many here claim he was). Sure Id rather see ugly but winning basketball like I did in the 90’s but again man after these last 10 years Im happy to have 2 starting All-Stars on the team right now regardless of how flawed or overrated they are since at least they arent old and overrated (at least not yet lol).

    But as I have stated many times Im just a big a Yankee fan as I am a Knicks fan so I get all my winning expectations filled with them and dont need those same expectations with the Knicks to enjoy watching them. Unfortunately I guess it has lowered my expectations and standards for the Knicks no doubt but I still enjoy watching individual players with great skills in the NBA and we certainly have a couple of them now.

  30. Brian Cronin

    If the 1990s Knicks had embraced advanced stats at the time (and certain strategies that have evolved due to advanced stats, like shooting more threes), they likely would have won a title.

    But honestly, even back then, there was a certain segment of the audience who were noting that Starks, Spree and Houston were overrated (Hollinger, for instance, has been writing about the NBA for well over a decade).

    But yeah, even now, knowing that the trade for Melo was not particularly good (unless it was a precursor to CP3 coming to New York), it doesn’t make it any less fun when Melo had that awesome game in the playoffs. Objectively noting stuff doesn’t detract from enjoying the actual games. For instance, I knew back then that Houston was a one-dimensional player who wasn’t even all that good at the one dimension he had, that didn’t make me like him any less. Heck, even more recently, I know all of us were thrilled with Jamal’s random great games when they happened. It didn’t make him a good player, but it was still fun to watch.

  31. SeeWhyDee77

    I just think that scoring is D Will’s greatest asset. Sure he can pass..but coming outta Utah an NJ, i’m not sure he would be able to handle all that responsibility of Knicks starting PG without cracking. But like I said, I could be wrong. However, if we got D Will now..then all my arguments are null and void as he wouldn’t hafta score as much with Stat and Melo. Make no mistake, we would still be a top 4 team in the east with D Will and Stat. But to me, D Will just doesn’t elevate everyone else’s game enough to justify taking him over Melo. Of course Melo doesn’t elevate other’s games enough either, but in this scenario i’d rather go with the unstoppable scorer.

  32. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    If the 1990s Knicks had embraced advanced stats at the time (and certain strategies that have evolved due to advanced stats, like shooting more threes), they likely would have won a title.

    But honestly, even back then, there was a certain segment of the audience who were noting that Starks, Spree and Houston were overrated (Hollinger, for instance, has been writing about the NBA for well over a decade).

    But yeah, even now, knowing that the trade for Melo was not particularly good (unless it was a precursor to CP3 coming to New York), it doesn’t make it any less fun when Melo had that awesome game in the playoffs. Objectively noting stuff doesn’t detract from enjoying the actual games. For instance, I knew back then that Houston was a one-dimensional player who wasn’t even all that good at the one dimension he had, that didn’t make me like him any less. Heck, even more recently, I know all of us were thrilled with Jamal’s random great games when they happened. It didn’t make him a good player, but it was still fun to watch.

    Yeah but thats my point, there wouldve been a bunch of criticism of teams that in 9 straight years made it to the 2nd round every year, conf finals 4 times, NBA Finals twice and won at least 50 games 6 times. Those teams quite frankly if looked at by an advanced stats perspective would be average at best yet look at how good they were (granted defensively 92-93 and 93-94 are arguably the best defensive teams in history).

    I couldnt imagine this site during the 1999 playoffs. No way for advanced stats to explain how the hell that team went on the run they went on lol. Again I do apologize because I dont mean to mock advanced stats since Im a strong advocate for them but I still think they lag way behind baseball in terms of their usefulness in determining a team’s future performance.

  33. ess-dog

    Mike Kurylo:
    Well Basketball Prospectus is redrafting the NBA, and D-Will has been picked 10th. So far no mention of ‘Melo, 16 picks in. Considering that Amar’e has yet to be selected, I’m guessing that it may take a few more days before Anthony’s name gets selected.

    To be fair, I don’t think in reality a team would pick Manu or Duncan over Stat or Melo b/c of age. I think our 2 guys fall into that 15-22 range realistically. Maybe Stat was top 10 at one point and maybe Melo will climb higher (I hope) but I think we clearly have 1B talents instead of 1A LBJs or Howards. But of course two 1Bs plus a 1A (CP3) would be soooooooo nice. I really hope Paul makes it to Free Agency, and I think he might. Who wants to buy the Hornets in that putrid market? And moving the team would take a whole season at least. I guess I’m putting all of my chips on that.

  34. d-mar

    Mike Kurylo:
    Well Basketball Prospectus is redrafting the NBA, and D-Will has been picked 10th. So far no mention of ‘Melo, 16 picks in. Considering that Amar’e has yet to be selected, I’m guessing that it may take a few more days before Anthony’s name gets selected.

    Of course if you’re wondering why the Knicks overpaid for ‘Melo, maybe this article might shed some light on the issue: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6874079/psychic-benefits-nba-lockout

    Also I stand by ‘Melo’s defensive rating of 1. Giving a D-rating over 1 for a couple of plays (games?) is like giving Jamal Crawford a O-rating of 5 any year he managed to drop 50. It’s an average, which means you have to take the good & the bad, not just cherry pick the potential.

    Regarding the 1 rating, I wasn’t implying that by virtue of a few stellar defensive plays Melo was therefore a good defender. My point was that if you just take his Knick body of work, I don’t think he merits a 1. A 1 rating to me basically says the player plays basically no defense and gets burned by pretty much everyone he guards, which I don’t think was the case with Melo.

  35. iserp

    That Prospectus draft is absurd. Kobe and Pau were taken by the same guy, the same as Duncan and Manu. And the guy who took Love said he wants to pair him with Howard… this is kind of a fantasy thing more than anything well thought.

    I also contend the 1 in Defense for Melo. He should be doing much better, being so athletically gifted, but he is average at least, and he has shown he is a capable defender sometimes, but he likes the will to do it everyday. OTOH, Amare looks more willing, but he is just lost in the middle of opponent plays.

  36. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the draft was weird to me, as well. I mean, obviously I do think that D-Will is better than both Amar’e and Melo, so that part I agreed on, but at this point in their careers, no way would I draft Tim Duncan that far ahead of either STAT or Melo. I also wouldn’t pick Wade over Paul, either. Even Nash is a weird case. Based on the 2010-11 season, yeah, Nash is still either the best or the second best point guard in the NBA (and he didn’t get nearly that much credit for his achievements last season – the level of play he was achieving was extraordinary, and he didn’t even make the All Star team!), but he’s still 145 years old, so depending on him to have another great year seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    That said, I agree with ess-dog that STAT and Melo are roughly in the 15-22 area (with STAT being higher pre-Melo), so I guess there’s still a chance they both go by #22!

  37. spydermaan

    Ok first of all kudos to Jim for a fantastic, well written and fun piece to read. I obviously agree on all accounts especially on the 1 rating on defense, I would however say though that that rating should be directed to team defense. If you go to YouTube and search for bball breakdown they have an in depth video of Melo’s overall defense and I would say that after watching that and watching MELO from his Denver days that his is a good 1 on 1 iso defender but very bad on team defense ergo switching, weakside D, p&r defense stuff like that, MELO comes up big in big 1 on 1 iso D situations eg LBJ in the reg season Miami games, yeah although STAT ended up with the block, Melo’s footwork and hands were great, also on the Danny Granger block in the Pacers away game. More evidence of this was shown in the playoffs when Mr. All swag Paul Pierce disappeared in the first two games because of Melo’s great 1 on 1 D. MELO plays D and can play superior D but I think he needs to address the team defense factor like the celtics have and by which Paul Pierce is now projected as a great defender. Now that’s outta the way, let’s talk MELO or D Will and my answer to this is what a dumb question. I am big hater of Advanced Stats and Stats overall because like everything Stats lie a lot. That’s is why I hate all the stat blogs and stat drafts n all. Yes stats are important but I have a big problem when they become the basis of player ratings. I believe in rating players on their ABILITY!!! and their measure of such abilities. Now on the matter of MELO and D will and cos of my clear bias on ability and not this prisoner of the moment stats and advanced stats, I think the Knicks, made the right choice, maybe traded away too much but at the end of the with or without chris Paul the Knicks have a chance to go toe to toe with Miami in the battle of the East. D will for all his acclaimed passing ability and superior scoring ability, in my opinion does not do any of these things well…

  38. spydermaan

    Contd. As seen Utah in the Jerry Sloan p&r or the Dwill/Boozer p&r was not all that great and Dwill’s game does not elevate the rest of his team mates. I am also not sold on Dwill’s scoring ability, yes he can create his own shot and is a good three point shooter but he is not as good as MELO on offense. And what about Defense, I have not heard anybody on here talk about Dwill’s defense oh yes Melo’s defense is questionable but deron’s defense is not even mentioned because there is none. And for those who thought the D will trade would have been cheaper, mind you Dwill didn’t even know he was traded until he saw it on TV and is on the verge of free agency, would NY really want to deal with FA parade which really affects the focus of the team as shown in the MELO drama in Denver. MELO was by far the good choice because he is the best at his ability, he is simply the best offensive player in the league, and check out his ability, he can post up, shoots 42% from the 3(stat guys), a superior mid range game (name anyone but pierce who excels as much in this category), can drive, can assist and yeah can rebound, check his Knick averages, and u guys are telling me u wouldn’t want this, I think the only reason why LBJ’s talent is a little better than MELO is cos of his superior speed and his athletic ability, according to the 2k sports player simulation of 2k games, the most important attribute of an athlete is speed, not quickness ppl, MELO has quickness, it’s speed and I think that’s the only thing MELO lacks from LBJ, speed makes u quicker on d, faster on loose balls, faster on cuts, faster to recover and all. So u have a player who is a very good offensive player who lacks a lil bit in speed and by the way MELO is not a poor man’s LBJ. Lebron got shutdown by a zone D because they took all his inside abilities away and said shoot the ball, now guys, do u think Dallas could have done that with MELO, Please. And btw Amare for all his athletic ability can’t…

  39. mase

    That bball prospectus list is seriously lacking… I’m taking any of the following( rondo, steph curry, westbrook) over Nash at this point in his career.. Im taking iggy, granger, gallo over Manu at this stage…
    Lee, Bynum, kaman,
    O

  40. spydermaan

    I mean Amare can’t and still doesnt even know how to play with his back to the basket, but needs point guard play to be lethal. look at Dwight he learnt this and he was arguably the MVP if the season, but mind u prisoner of the moment stay fans, MELO has been “I DOing this” these things for years and doesn’t need point guard play but cp3 will be a luxury since I think he will tweak MELO on D. So yeah to me my fellow Knick fans, MELO is our guy, he has done enough to prove it and continues to do it and the thought of cp3’s game raising ability and leadership; attention to detail and work ethic plus MELO’s superior offensive prowess and Amare LBJ like athletic ability makes me drool, so Knick fans shut up and get ready for the smoothest of rides to come. Rome wasn’t built in one Day and Knickerblogger nation would write about not 1, not 2 but maybe 3 championships with our Yankee like 3 stooges, in A rod – MELO, Jeter – Amare and Mariano – CP3. the toast will come to pass haha.

  41. iserp

    About D-Will not elevating other’s players game… Boozer has played worse with Rose than with Deron. It’s true that he has had an injury, but which season hasn’t he?

  42. spydermaan

    I’m sorry but personally I don’t think Rose is better than Deron, it’s a Deron MELO arguement not a Deron Rose argument, plus rose is an offensive player, I don’t really see him as a point guard, maybe it’s cos of his position on his team as the loan wolf but when it comes to true point guard, floor general play, I think Dwill is better than Rose, just saying.

  43. SeeWhyDee77

    iserp:
    About D-Will not elevating other’s players game… Boozer has played worse with Rose than with Deron. It’s true that he has had an injury, but which season hasn’t he?

    Boozer was more a product of the system than D Will elevating his game. Booz was there and playing well before D Will was drafted. And in Sloan’s system, both guys found room to excel. So i’m not sure D Will would elevate Stat’s game. Good point on the Rose/Booz connect tho.
    But u know what? I think Stat puts us in quite the conundrum. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate his near hereculean efforts as a Knick. But he needs too much protection. If we keep him, we need to add a big man who can play D and a PG to accentuate his strengths. With a possibly more restrictive CBA, that might be VERY hard to do. So will trading him. I believe he’s not untradable, but the front office will hafta work some magic to move him. After the season he had, I think teams will still take him even with the breakdown by season’s end, but it would be hard to get back value for him due to his deal. So do we keep him and build around him and Melo (ie: praying CP3 lands in NY), or trade him for a couple players? Teams I believe will take him in a trade are Orlando(if they’re convinced Howard wants to leave and the Lakers don’t offer Bynum), GS (Lee would assuredly hafta be a part of the deal) and maybe N.O. (package centered around CP3, Okafor, Billups and Stat). All of which would require some serious persuasion. Clearly Melo is the Alpha Dog here, and rightfully so. Now if Stat can adapt to bein #2 and focus more on defense and rebounding as well as play inside more, then there’s no worries about keeping him.

  44. spydermaan

    Yep I agree with u Iserp. I wish STAT would get with Hakeem or even MELO and play with his back to the basket more like Dwight, I think he really has the talent level and the athletic ability to be the second coming of the Dream and it will reduce his chance of injury too.

  45. max fisher-cohen

    BigBlueAL: I really wished this site was around during the 1990?s. This site wouldve absolutely ripped every player on those teams except for maybe Ewing

    I think the level of criticism is inversely proportional to team success. The knicks got swept by a Boston team that hadn’t played great ball for since Shaq went down. They were very average post-trade. Basically, the knicks have done nothing to suggest that the future that the anti-melo trade crowd (or at least those opposed to giving up as much for ‘Melo) predicted will not come true. They look like a slightly improved but severely flawed team that, due to severely reduced flexibility, will require a huge dose of luck to ever compete for a championship. Could that change? Absolutely. With some big-time luck, it could.

    spydermaan: As seen Utah in the Jerry Sloan p&r or the Dwill/Boozer p&r was not all that great and Dwill’s game does not elevate the rest of his team mates.

    Look at Brook Lopez’s #s post trade and when D-will played: Just by eying box scores, I’d estimate he averaged about 24ppg in the healthy d-will games on about 54% FG shooting. For the season overall, Lopez averaged 21ppg on 49% FG shooting.

  46. BigBlueAL

    MFC my point about the criticism the 1990’s Knicks wouldve gotten from a site like this is due to the complete devotion to advanced stats.

    I mean look at the stats for those teams, especially the 1999 and 2000 Knicks who went to the NBA Finals and Conf Finals respectively yet for sure this site wouldve been just bitching and moaning about the type of players they didnt have all the while the team was coming close to winning it all with a bunch of players that except for Camby advanced stats experts wouldnt touch with a 10 foot pole lol. 2 bad PG’s, overrated SG and SF, old past their prime starters at PF and C. The only decent players were the 2 backup bigs in Camby and Kurt Thomas. Yet those 2 teams did pretty damn good and gave many of us memories that will last a lifetime.

    Im still trying to get a real good grasp on advanced stats in basketball. I like looking at old teams/players that were good in the 80’s and 90’s and seeing what their advanced stats looked like and there are many examples of teams like the 90’s Knicks who when you look at their rosters player for player you are like how the hell was this team good?? So basically I havent totally bought into advanced stats in basketball like I have in baseball lol.

  47. Brian Cronin

    The 1999 team is an odd one to bring up in relation to advanced stats, as they did not become a really good team until they started giving big minutes to the guy that advanced stats said was clearly the best player on the team but Van Gundy for whatever reason didn’t want to play (speaking of Camby, an understanding of advanced stats also would have kept the Knicks from dealing Camby even straight up for McDyess, let alone trading him along with the number eight pick in the NBA Draft!!).

    And the 1994 team was filled with players with great advanced stats (especially Ewing and Oak, but Hubert Davis and Derek Harper also had strong years, Starks had one of his better years, advanced stats-wise and Mason had a decent year, advanced stats-wise).

  48. BigBlueAL

    The 1994 team has great advanced stats because of their win shares and since they won 57 games thats obviously gonna happen.

    Starks and Harper had a TS% slightly below 52% and Mason was barely above 52%. Starks’ is especially bad considering he had the 2nd highest Usage % on the team behind Ewing although he did have one of his best assist seasons. Ewing/Oak/Mase had great rebounding numbers as they always did which is one of the 2 reasons those teams were so good the other being their amazing team defense but c’mon individually all those players offensively are pretty bad but since they won so many games they get all these great WS/48 numbers especially due to their defense.

    BTW Hubert Davis did have a couple of 60+ TS%’s but 1994 wasnt one of them although 56% isnt bad at all. Also I know most of you guys could care less about PER but only 3 players on that team had above 15.0 which is considered league average and 2 of those in Starks and Oak barely were above 15.

    I dunno I mean to me it all depends on which stats you use and how you interpret them I guess. Apparently all those players mentioned above had great advanced stats yet none of them except Ewing can come close to having stats anywhere near as good as Stat/Melo/Billups had last season with the Knicks. I mean hell look at Felton’s stats from his time with the Knicks compared to Harper’s in 1994 yet Harper’s WS/48 was much, much better I mean seriously??

    This is almost as confusing as the different versions of WAR used by Fangraphs and Baseball-reference not to mention the way defense is calculated by UZR lol. I think I need to go back to the way I looked at stats when I was growing up, much simpler and easier to understand :-)

  49. BigBlueAL

    Also back to some actual news about the current Knicks Mitch Lawrence wrote the Knicks are ready to hire Mike Woodson as the defensive asst coach and of course he mentions he comes recommended by Isiah and that this hiring will fuel speculation about D’Antoni’s future with the Knicks.

    I sure as hell hope if they do eventually let D’Antoni go it aint to hire/promote Mike Woodson to head coach.

  50. Nick C.

    I tried, albeit, briefly, to find the league TSP #s for the past seasons. My hunch is that they were lower back then (the FGP and 3% seemed close) than now which would make those 52%s not as sucky as they seem.

  51. flossy

    @BBA: Mike Woodson was Larry Brown’s main defensive assistant coach on some very, very good defensive Philly and Detroit teams. If he can do nothing else (and watching the Hawks ISO themselves into oblivion for a few years, that may be the case) he can be a high-quality defensive-minded assistant. If Pringles is really on board with this and the two of them can work together, I can’t imagine how this could be anything but a win for the Knicks.

    That being said, hell no to Mike Woodson replacing Mike D’Antoni.

  52. spydermaan

    Mike Woodson??? I dunno about that. Failed in Atlanta and not just but failed on defense. Why is that all these coaches who fail all the time get second chances so quickly after maybe doing some tv for a little bit. I mean I wouldn’t count Mike Brown a failure per se since he was a product of the LBJ thing, well a by-product to be more exact. He had winning seasons in Cleaveland, won coach of the year and his team was built on defense. I like that, but looking at these guys like Lawrence Frank and Mike Woodson whose teams did fairly ok but failed in their area of coaching expertise as with the Nets and Hawks who were not known for their defensive prowess. In the case of LF, please do not tell me that he coached the celtics defense to another good playoff run, cos I think he was just reaping the remains of Coach Thib’s footprint left on the Celtics before he bolted to Chi-town. I think we should let new guys in, check the coaching crop in college, the d league and maybe the tv crews(lmao rolls eyes). All I’m saying is give some new guys a chance and get rid of all these Failures. Mike Woodson? Come on gimme a break, get some hard nose tough buttoned down guy that MELO would be scared to answer to if he doesn’t chase Delonte West down the court to foul with seconds on the clock. Mike Woodson? Really? shake ma damn head.

  53. spydermaan

    Oh and I like the Isiah Crap, it’s good crap for me, cos it keeps Dolan in check, I think he always knows that we fans are on to him cos we got dirt on him. It’s like the MJ, Kwame Brown marriage, it keeps MJ motivated to fix himself and looks like he’s doing something about it. Trading mid level talent, going through the draft and positioning himself with cap room for some big names in the future. So yes I like this Isiah Crap. I love it. Keep it coming guys.

  54. Brian Cronin

    I tried, albeit, briefly, to find the league TSP #s for the past seasons. My hunch is that they were lower back then (the FGP and 3% seemed close) than now which would make those 52%s not as sucky as they seem.

    Yeah, True Shooting Percentages and Effective Field Goal Percentages were lower back then because of the relative lack of three-point shooting. The Rockets led the NBA in threes attempted (another area where advanced stats would have helped the Knicks in 1994 – they had one of the most dominant big men in the league and yet were ninth in the league in threes attempted. San Antonio, who was disappointing during the playoffs that year, was even worse ) and yet their total would be good for 21st in the NBA last season. And the Rockets were one of only two teams that would even be in the top 28 in the NBA last season (Orlando, another team with a dominant big man, was the other). Three other teams would be 30th in the league ahead of the 2010-11 Memphis Grizzlies, who, as everyone noted last year, definitely played an “old school” type of system, with Randolph and Gasol playing back to the basket all game long. So they amazingly took less than 1,000 threes last year!

  55. Brian Cronin

    And Mike Woodson as a defensive coach works for me!

    But yeah, my reaction is the same as flossy’s – “This is fine, so long as he isn’t being looked at as a replacement for D’Antoni.”

  56. BigBlueAL

    I wouldnt say Woodson failed in Atlanta at all, the team improved every season under him starting off with a horrible 13 win season and winning 53 games in his 6th and final season as their head coach. He also did get to the 2nd round twice and in his other playoff appearance pushed the eventual NBA champs Celtics to 7 games in the 1st round.

    The funny part is he is often criticized for his horribly ISO-heavy offense yet in his final season with the Hawks they were 2nd in the NBA in offensive efficiency. His teams never were in the Top 10 in defensive efficiency despite his reputation as a defensive minded coach.

    I could care less if he is hired as a defensive asst and I had read reports earlier that he and D’Antoni had meetings with each other earlier in the summer so if he is on board with the hiring so am I. But the notion that he could be a viable replacement for D’Antoni as head coach yeah that doesnt exactly get me excited.

  57. Jax

    I have been reading this blog for awhile and finally registered because I think some of the comments here are way off base.

    1. First, this talk about Melo vs DWill is ridiculous. If you followed what happenned on the Jazz at all you would know he was such a cancer on that team that he caused one of the best coaches in the last 30 years to retire. Second of all there are several other top flight point guards we have a shot at (as remote as it may be), and there are no other 1A closers in the game that are coming available in the next five years. You may argue against Melo’s defense, but even your “advanced statistics” show he is a top 3 closer.

    2. The Pierce vs Melo comparison is also a joke. Give melo the best defensive big man in the game (at the time), the best jump shooter in the game, a top level point guard and a solid post defender and tell me he would not be wearing a ring right now.

    3. The guy played about 30 games for the knicks, is still learning the system and STILL brought it in the playoffs. I know his shooting percentage was low, but there is no one in the league who would have done any better in that spot. His supporting cast was the worst in NBA history for a playoff game. You could have taken any other starter off Lebron’s Cavs teams and they would have been the second best player on the knicks squad.

    The knicks have their major holes, coaching questions and other issues and Melo needs to prove he can play D every night. But to already be calling the Melo trade a bust is just not ridiculous. Give him a chance.

  58. Brian Cronin

    If we penalized great players for not getting along with great coaches, well, the list of penalized players would be quite long (and it would include Carmelo Anthony and his future Hall of Fame coach, George Karl).

    Paul Pierce has had an excellent NBA career. He’s a nine-time All-Star with four appearances on the All-NBA team (he and Melo are eerily similar, All-NBA-wise. Both have four appearances, three 3rd teams and 1 2nd team). Not really seeing any slight to Carmelo Anthony by comparing him to Paul Pierce.

    As for the playoffs, Melo “brought it” in two of the four games as the Knicks got swept in four games. Seems weird to want to give Melo credit for getting swept. I certainly don’t blame Melo for them getting swept, as he had that one phenomenal game, another strong game, one mediocre game and one awful game. It wasn’t his fault (Game 1 would be the closest you could come to saying it was his fault, as the 1a Closer missed all of his shots, had the ball stolen and picked up a bogus offensive foul in the last five minutes of the game). But to give the guy credit for getting swept? That doesn’t seem right. Give him credit for the phenomenal Game 2, though. That game was awesome. One of the all-time great games.

    And also, do note that no one has ever called the trade a “bust.” That would be silly. I think the harshest assessment of the trade in this particular thread was by me, and I said “not particularly good” with, of course, the familiar caveat of “unless it directly leads to CP3 coming to New York, in which case it was an awesome trade.”

  59. John Kenney

    I think it’s pointless to argue with anyone who puts advanced statistics in quotations. It’s a game of numbers.

  60. SeeWhyDee77

    U know..I was excited upon hearing of Woodson’s hiring. Until I read this line, “Woodson was highly recommended by Isaiah Thomas..”. Whoa. This dude’s like a bad cold in the middle of winter. We just can’t shake this dude!! No matter how much NyQuil I take I still don’t feel better in the mornin cuz I keep wakin up to some combination of “Isaiah-Knicks”!! Nevertheless, I am excited about bringin in a guy with some defensive coaching chops. As flossy said, he did run LB’s defense in philly. Granted, he had better defenders to work with…but still it’s a glimmer of defensive hope at the very least. But I too hope that he won’t be considered to replace D’Antoni. Allow me to use a NFL comparison. I don’t consider him a failure in ATL because he’s like Wade Phillips. Great at coordinating, not so great at bein in charge of EVERYTHING. Still, he was a decent Head Coach. And I will say this for him, his ATL squad was poorly put together. Joe Johnson AND Jamal Crawford?? Marvin Williams? Horford forced to play the 5?? The only pieces that looked good to me was Johnson and Smith. IMO, Smith would be my 4, Johnson my 3 and I would have a defensive 2. I would have also moved Horford for a legit 5..Bynum or Marc Gasol…somethin like that. Woodson would have fared much better with a more logical lineup. Anyway..Woodson’s hiring shows some logic in the sometimes illogical plug-n-play habits we’ve been used to as Knick fans.

  61. James

    It’s hard to argue against the advanced stats for Melo because they’re so underwhelming all around. His True Shooting and eFG percentages are only average, his assist percentage has never cracked 20 once, although it was close one time and has trended down the last three seasons, his Otg and Dtg are equal for his career, which you never see for elite players and his WS/48 has never been higher than .153. You can see the bad shot selection, lackadaisical defense and erratic long-range shooting in those numbers.

    Ability-wise, he should be a lot better though. He is a really really talented passer. As far as vision goes, I think he’s as gifted as Lebron but he forgets about keeping his teammates involved. The shooting stroke is good, he has touch, basketball IQ seems alright as far as I can guess…it all leads me to believe that he can turn it around. On the other hand, players rarely overhaul their statistical profiles this late into their career even if they’re still young. I can’t figure how his career will go.

    As for Pierce vs Melo. It’s commonly thrown around about Pierce having Garnett and Allen and that’s true but he didn’t exactly ride their coattails. Along with his scoring and playmaking, it was his defense that was key to beating the Cavs and Lakers in their championship run. Without him shutting down Lebron and Kobe for long stretches, they would not have won it all. Melo has never played that kind of defense for more than a couple of quarters in a seven game stretch.

  62. slovene knick

    Adolphus to Krka(Slovenia).
    I’ll see him play live. He is in good hands.
    And he always picks a team owned by a pharmaceutical company. The man is an addict – or knows where the money’s is well guaranteed:))

    Does anyone know Curtis Stinson(Iowa State 2006) a New -Yorker also playing with Krka?

    And a very good series Mr. Cavan!

  63. mase

    I have to admit that I was rooting for the Knicks to get a big name and once they did that in acquiring Melo I lost interest… It’s not a lot of fun to watch a isolation bball. I could see that at any park in America.

    That’s what we lost when we traded gallo, Wilson etc. Watchable team oriented ball which I wouldve preferred to watch nightly.

  64. KnickfaninNJ

    I am not sure why people assume that because Isiah was a lousy GM a recommendation of a coach from him is suspect. He was horrible at the business side of things, but he was a good judge of talent and is known for that. Even Knick fans who hate him aren’t citing his hiring of two hall of fame coaches (Brown and Wilkens) as GM disasters. If he thinks Woodson is good at defensive coaching, he could be right.

  65. Nick C.

    I can’t believe anyone still feels the need to defend Isiah. The worry is that he still is a part of the decision making factor. And I don’t think the way he treated the HOF coaches once he hired them is something in his favor.

  66. KnickfaninNJ

    I just read someone in this forum saying we shouldn’t hire Woodson if Isiah thought he was good. I was responding to that. I don’t want Isiah back as GM or advising us either (except maybe on drafting), but we should nt’ let his judge ment cloud ours either.

  67. Brian Cronin

    I didn’t like either head coaching pick at the time, honestly. Wilkens was basically like Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s while Brown did not fit the roster Isiah had just put together (it was such a bad fit that Isiah, of all people, was able to do a better job with the same group of players than Brown did).

    Woodson, on the other hand, seems like a good pick.

  68. Nick C.

    KnickfaninNJ: I just read someone in this forum saying we shouldn’t hire Woodson if Isiah thought he was good. I was responding to that. I don’t want Isiah back as GM or advising us either (except maybe on drafting), but we should nt’ let his judge ment cloud ours either.

    gotcha

  69. BigBlueAL

    BTW in this Basketball Prospectus draft of geniuses Hedo freakin Turkoglu went 28th.

    Melo went 22nd and Amar’e 25th. Bosh went 32nd which is where they left off at. I saw Pelton tweet a link to this on Twitter today so thats how I saw it lol.

  70. mase

    What would be a bigger coup for the knocks, signing phil Jackson to coach the current roster or adding Nash for billups and Iman?

  71. BigBlueAL

    Yeah no thanks to trading Billups and Shumpert for Nash. Billups in his final year of his contract and we cant afford to trade another 1st round pick. Plus unlike most here I still think Billups is very good and will be very good next season.

  72. Brian Cronin

    This is where things are going to get a little crazy for me because of how I drafted in the first couple rounds. I really want to have thre- point shooting threat to play around Duncan’s post-up ability, Chris Paul’s decision making, and Russell Westbrook’s explosiveness. However, because I plan on playing Paul and Westbrook at the guard spots, the players that I’d ideally take here, Ray Allen or Steph Curry, aren’t an option. That leaves me with Hedo Turkoglu. He fits, and it is now being apparent that this team is going to lead the league in pick-and roll-plays, having three different players who can bring the ball up and play PNR (although play it very differently) with Tim Duncan

    I don’t like that logic. Clearly Westbrook and Paul should not have both been drafted.

  73. GHenman

    Javaris Crittenton

    GHenman: Jarvis Crittenden wanted for murder. I guess he won’t be getting a shot with the Knicks.

    Javaris Crittenton

  74. SeeWhyDee77

    lol..hahahahaha..not at Crittendon’s sitchew..but the comments..lol. It’s sad tho cuz he had so much promise. I think that he would be a nice compliment to Toney off the bench had we not drafted Shump and Crittendon’s troubles hadn’t risen to bite him in the ass. I mean..he HAD to have learned something playin with Kobe and Arenas (when he was good) rite? Oh well..sad for him cuz he’ll problee never play pro hoops again. In other news, the Knicks have this kid named Iman Shumpert on the roster who appears to be a great defender capable of scoring and playing the point guard spot lol. O wait..didn’t they say the same about Crittendon? Nevertheless i’m still anxious to see Shumpert as a Knick because of his athleticism. Probably the 2nd best athlete on the team behind Stat..amd not by much. That alone puts him head and shoulders above Crittendon.

  75. SeeWhyDee77

    Hey listen..I live in MD..so Irene is gonna visit before those of u further up the coast. I’m assuming that a good percentage of u are further up the coast. I’m on the eastern shore of MD where it’s gonna hit the hardest in the state. For those who see her before me..I hope everything is as well as it can possibly be. For those further up the coast..be safe and godspeed. Real spit…

  76. jon abbey

    John Kenney:
    I think it’s pointless to argue with anyone who puts advanced statistics in quotations. It’s a game of numbers.

    it really, really isn’t. partly, sure, but nowhere near totally.

  77. Z-man

    Agree, Jon. It is well established that even the most “advanced” of advanced stats have limitations. Indeed, we can cherry-pick the stats to accentuate perceived strengths and weaknesses for all but the best or worst players. Carmelo and Kobe are two players who can be glorified or vilified depending on the stats you cite. At the end of the day, predicting individual or team success is still far from perfect, and to feel that stats are infallible and that the eye test is always wrong when not substantiated by advanced stats takes some of the joy out of the game.

    Jason Terry is a great example. Statistically, he has been a somewhat above average player his entire career. Yet for a 21 game playoff stretch, he played like a HOFer and was the deciding factor in Dallas’s first championship. At the end of the day, once a team makes the playoffs, it comes down to whether they can rise to the occasion or not. Those first two games the Knicks played vs. the Celts have me feeling really good about our prospects.

  78. spydermaan

    Totally Agree with the advanced stats haters, stats don’t tell the whole story and u can bed stats in your favor for a players strengths or weaknesses. This is not baseball, stats work in baseball, but I’m sorry in basketball they don’t. This is not a what have u done for me lately, this is a league of Ability. Yes MELO has some bad shot selections, but most of these shots are makable. I watched Dirk and I could also make the argument that he takes the most bad shots in the NBA but he also makes them. Stats lie. Your stats say MELO can’t play D but the eye test from watching games and melo’s proven ability shows that he can. And when you guys talk about Defense there are so many kinds of D people, there is team D where u have switching, p&r d, help d, weakside d, deny ball, pressure passing lanes, off ball defense and there is one on one, iso defense where u can play tight, sag off, have your hands up, get steals, move with agility & quickness and all that. So when u stats guys so “oh MELO doesnt play defense” which kind are u talking about. I know he doesn’t play good team defense but the whole Knicks team don’t either, they are often lost on switches, don’t pressure passing lanes, boxing out, denying the ball on for eg like Ray in the Playoffs n all but MELO can and does play very good on ball one on one D, he is big, quick, agile, great hands and great footwork. You talk about Pierce go and look at him, I’m sorry boys check your stats, pierce never shutdown LBJ or Kobe, unless Direct Tv lied to me. LBJ even still had a triple double on pierce and he couldn’t even get a steal or a tipped pass, gimme a break son. Mike Woodson welcome to Ny. Teach my team how to play some team D please. Plus I think the whole celtics team and the whole Boston brand is over hyped anyways, the Celtics just won 1 and everyone acts like they won 5. I’m out. Lunch is over.

  79. ess-dog

    Well Woodson is officially on board. I hope he can teach Amare how to defend the pick & roll….

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