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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2011 Report Card: Chauncey Billups

In a way, Chauncey Billups is a holdover from a bygone era. After the 2003-04 season — mere weeks after the Billups-led Pistons upended a fractious Lakers squad 4-1 in the Finals — the NBA rolled out rule changes that clamped down on what defenders could get away with, particularly on the perimeter.

For bigger, more physical guards like Billups, that meant no more hand-checking to make up for a lack of lateral speed and quickness. In doing so, the league was paving the way for a new era of guard-friendly, higher scoring, and less physical play. Two Steve Nash MVPs and one dizzying influx of young, uber-athletic point guards later, Billups is very much the exception to the new rule – and rulers – of today’s NBA.

As such, landing Billups in the Carmelo Anthony deal was, for Knick fans, a little like the owner of an IRL team acquiring a first-tier stock car from NASCAR: it might be a winner, and you very well could have a chance to trade it in for arguably the best Indy car out there (in this case, Chris Paul). But in the mean time, you’re basically stuck trying to fit a powerful-but-not-very-nimble machine into the winding, speed-and-quickness-dependent IRL track that is Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Square peg, round hole.

These and other unknowns aside, one thing most were sure Billups would provide was reliable, efficient  shooting. However, his injury-stymied stint in the orange and blue was anything but keeping with recent trends, as Billups saw his TS% drop by 50 points (63% to 58%) from his first 51 games in Denver. Meanwhile, his 3PT% fell by a whopping 110 points (44% to 33%).

Despite running with two elite scorers in Melo and Stat, Billups’ usage rate (21.4 to 24.3, his highest ever) as well as his FGAs per 36 (11.7 to 14, also his highest ever) both shot up noticeably. Meanwhile, his assists per 36 (6.3 vs. 6.2 career), and rebounds per 36 (3.5 vs. 3.3) went up slightly, in part due to the slightly faster pace.

More ethereally, Billlups struggled noticeably in pick and roll situations, often forcing bad shots or simply missing the open cutter. Moreover, Chauncey’s inability to find a consistent groove with Amar’e Stoudemire mirrored what seemed at times to be an over-reliance on feeding Carmelo Anthony in isolation.

On defense he had trouble containing smaller, quicker point guards, giving as much as he took in matchups with the likes of Ramon Sessions and Jameer Nelson. And with the exception of a very big one against Miami on February 27th, his Mr. Big Shot moniker seemed at times like it could have been replaced with “Mr. What the Hell Kind of Shot Was That”?

True, sustaining a deep thigh contusion (from the knee of Dwight Howard, no less) that sidelines you for six games certainly doesn’t help.  And neither does missing three of the four games of the Boston series with a knee strain. Knowing how important a solid point guard is to Mike D’Antoni’s offense, Billups’ nagging injuries may have contributed more than anything to the veteran’s stunted stretch. More importantly, it threw out of whack what was already a very fragile work in progress.

Which brings us back to the earlier point about race cars: Will the (hopefully healthy) team that shapes out over the summer and early fall look more like the one pre-Melo trade (IRL), or the one after (NASCAR)?

Will Billups work hard enough on his endurance and conditioning to handle the quicker pace?

Will another training camp help push Toney Douglas up a rung, to where we might see a Douglas-Billups backcourt for 25-30 minutes a game?

If the Knicks indeed draft a Reggie Jackson, Josh Selby or Darrius Morris, where will he fit in?

For all the question marks — and there are many — one thing is clear: a full training camp with his new teammates should go a long way in determining  whether the statistical red flags of Chauncey’s first 22 games as a Knick were an anomaly, or simply what’s to be expected going forward from a 35-year-old point guard with more than 1000 NBA games in his legs.

 

Report Card (5 point scale):

Offense: 3
Defense: 2
Teamwork: 3
Rootability: 3
Performance/Expectations: 3

Final Grade: B-

Similarity Scores:

PlayerID FLName Year Age Tm PER TS_P eFG_P PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
0 Chauncey Billups 2011 34 TOT 18.7 .617 .519 18.8 0.4 3.0 6.0 1.1 0.2 2.8
0.088 Terry Porter 1998 34 MIN 17.3 .586 .529 15.7 0.7 3.4 5.5 1.3 0.3 2.1
0.140 Jeff Hornacek 1998 34 UTA 19.3 .587 .516 16.7 1.0 4.0 5.1 1.6 0.2 1.9
0.151 Fred Brown 1983 34 SEA 17.7 .546 .529 20.5 0.8 2.4 6.1 1.5 0.3 2.8
0.152 Gail Goodrich 1978 34 NOJ 16.2 .545 .495 18.4 1.1 2.5 5.5 1.2 0.3 2.9
0.157 Sam Cassell 2004 34 MIN 22.8 .566 .517 20.3 0.6 3.4 7.5 1.3 0.2 2.8
0.185 Brad Davis 1990 34 DAL 13.7 .575 .538 13.1 0.3 2.6 6.7 1.3 0.3 2.4
0.193 Detlef Schrempf 1997 34 SEA 18.3 .592 .531 16.8 1.4 6.5 4.4 1.0 0.3 2.5
0.245 Randy Smith 1983 34 TOT 14.5 .532 .486 17.0 0.9 2.5 5.3 1.4 0.0 2.5
0.255 Mark Aguirre 1994 34 LAC 13.1 .544 .522 17.3 1.2 4.9 4.4 0.9 0.3 2.9
0.273 Earl Boykins 2011 34 MIL 17.6 .526 .482 17.0 0.6 2.3 5.9 1.6 0.1 2.2

83 comments on “2011 Report Card: Chauncey Billups

  1. latke

    I commend you for the optimism, Jim. I have no hope for a Billups/Stoudemire pick and roll ever being effective. Billups just isn’t that kind of player. He is a good decision maker in that he never panics and knows his and his teammates’ strengths and weaknesses, but he is not quick and he seems uncomfortable and unable to make quick decisions and pinpoint passes off the dribble. Part of that is that he’s just not very fast with the ball in his hands, so it’s harder for him to create the space for the kind of passes the high PnR demands, but I also think it’s just an area that he is not skilled in.

  2. BigBlueAL

    Im probably in the minority in this but I believe Billups is going to have a very, very good season for the Knicks next season.

  3. iserp

    I didn’t like the Felton for Billups swap in the Melo deal. Billups is already old, doesn’t fit, and staticians were already pushing for Ty Lawson to start instead of him. His experience still make him valuable in the playoffs, but he got injured.

    If Toronto drafts a PG (Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker might be available to them), maybe we could deal Billups for Calderon + sweeteners. This, of course, if CBA doesn’t allow us to wait for 2012. But Calderon is a PG that would make the system work. And i don’t really buy that he is so bad defensively; he is not good, but he was in a team where no big stopped anyone from penetration (i mean, if he was in a team with Dwight Howard, no one would say he is ba; and as bad as Stat is defending the P&R, he is a big upgrade from Bargnani in help defense)

    In the end, i think that Mike could do with Calderon what he did with Nash in the past. Nash was better to start with, and Jose isn’t very good penetrating defenses; but he is as efficient, and is a good decision maker.

  4. flossy

    Vescey’s column from this weekend (so, yeah… probably bullshit) contained this little nugget:

    “Other than Amar’e Stoudemire, whose numerous differences with D’Antoni when both worked for the Suns miraculously became non-issues once he joined New York for $99 million, not a single consequential Knicks thinks their coach can coach.

    One player said Chauncey Billups, especially after he got injured, did far more coaching on the bench and in the huddle during the playoffs than D’Antoni, and “made a helluva lot more sense.”

    (This is in reference to D’Antoni’s lack of job security going into the last year of his deal).

    Again, it’s probably bullshit, but there aren’t a whole lot of “consequential Knicks” outside of Amar’e and Billups who could even say that, and it does track with the impression I got of Melo and Billups not even making much of an effort to play SSOL or even anything really resembling it.

    I do hope it’s not true b/c while Billups is not the ideal PG for this system I think he could do a pretty good job if he applied himself. If he just spends the year on auto-pilot, passing exclusively to Melo and undermining the coach, then we’re going to have a real problem on our hands.

  5. flossy

    @3 I agree, if the new CBA kills all hope of Chris Paul I certainly hope the Knicks look into trading for Calderon. One of the few starting PGs outside of Nash who can easily post a season with an assist percentage and 3FG% both above 40. His defense does suck but 35 year-old Chauncey Billups is no great shakes either.

  6. Nick C.

    That’s a fair enough grade on Billups. You could almost give him an incomplete since his stint was in bits and pieces between the injuries and the ‘gelling.’ I must say he is the ugliest high TSP player I have ever seen. Those pullups that were galling when Felton was takign them were no less so when Billups was taking and missing as many if not more but getting the occasional foul call.

  7. KnickfaninNJ

    Flossy,

    I would take anything Vecsey says with a grain of salt. In that same article he writes as though Mark Jackson and John Calipari are in high demand as NBA coaches. I think that’s only in his mind. Jackson has not coaching experience and, listening to him announce, doesn’t think like a coach either. Calipari already tried the NBA and I doubt ever wants to go back.

    What Vecsey says about players not thinking of him as a good coach flies in the face of what all the players on the US national team at the FIBA championships were quoted as saying, and they are certainly consequential players. I am certain there is some grumbling on the team because the playoffs went so badly and when things go badly people always grumble; but I doubt the team thinks he’s an awful coach either.

  8. Ted Nelson

    I was thrilled with the way Billups worked out for the Knicks, when he actually played. Falling from a .638 TS% to more in line with his career numbers at .582 doesn’t mean he shot poorly for the Knicks… 58.2 TS% is pretty damn good. He fell off, but it was a 21 game sample.

    I don’t really see “statistical red flags.” He’s not the ideal fit for D’Antoni, but 21 games worth of stats is a small sample and his stats were good overall. His 3P% doesn’t fall off the way it did and I think he’s fine. He’s a 39% career 3P shooter who hasn’t shot below 34.5% from 3 for a season since 2000 (only one season since 2001 under .386). He has his weaknesses, but what are the chances he’s suddenly a 33% 3P shooter going forward.

    I will take Billups over Felton every day of the week.

  9. Ted Nelson

    Will definitely be interesting to see how Billups and Melo fit in going forward.

    It will be a real shame if they don’t at least try to buy into 7SOL and give it a try for a year. Unfortunately telling Melo to shoot whenever he gets a look is about the opposite of what he needs to be told. Hopefully D’Antoni can get him to buy into the system while improving his shot selection.

  10. KnickfaninNJ

    Hi Ted,

    My impression is that George Karl wanted Melo to take shots even when he didn’t have a look. I say this because Melo said so. He said he was often supposed to go one on one down low while being defended physically. So actually only taking shots when he has a good look would be an improvement. . .

  11. Robert Silverman

    Ted Nelson:
    Will definitely be interesting to see how Billups and Melo fit in going forward.

    It will be a real shame if they don’t at least try to buy into 7SOL and give it a try for a year. Unfortunately telling Melo to shoot whenever he gets a look is about the opposite of what he needs to be told. Hopefully D’Antoni can get him to buy into the system while improving his shot selection.

    Ted? Ted Nelson? That you, boy? For reals?

  12. Ted Nelson

    KnickfaninNJ,

    Agreed. Just frustrating to see a player you know can be better very easily not be better… I mean he’s still a very good player, but frustrating for me to watch.

    Robert Silverman,

    Yeah, Melo-drama and everything sort of sapped my enthusiasm for the Knicks… but I’m excited for the draft.

  13. KnickfaninNJ

    Ted,

    I am definitely frustrated too. I think he has a good chance to be better, and we are definitely going to need him being better.

  14. Robert Silverman

    Ted Nelson:

    Robert Silverman,

    Yeah, Melo-drama and everything sort of sapped my enthusiasm for the Knicks… but I’m excited for the draft.

    Good to have you back in the fold.

  15. Frank

    Hey Ted – good to have you back even if in some small-med-large way it was our (now seemingly pointless) arguments that may have driven you away.

    Re: Melo and Billups – my feeling is that we will be seeing a lot of Melo initiating the offense and PnR next year as opposed to Billups. IMO, PnR works best when the ballhandlers is a triple-threat – pass to cutter, pull-up, and drive. I do believe that Billups can at least passably pick up SSOL but Melo seems to have a better feel for when the pass is supposed to be made, probably has a better pull-up J when defenders go under the screen, is faster with the ball in his hands, and is clearly a much bigger threat going to the hole than Billups. He’s obviously no Lebron when it comes to passing, but I was pretty impressed overall with his skill last year. Since the Lebron/Amare plan was to have Lebron running PnR, it seems reasonable that Melo could play the Lebron role. Stick Chauncey, Extra E, and Landry/TD in the corners and on the weakside wing, and it might be interesting.

  16. stratomatic

    IMO a lot of debates are only debates because people are using different time frames in their analysis.

    Billups is a mild upgrade over Felton because he’s a more efficient scorer, but he’s not as good a playmaker or defender and he doesn’t fit SSOL at all. He’s also on the decline and could begin to have more chronic injury issues.

    Personally, I think the Knicks chance of winning a title next year are 0%. So I see no long term upside to having Billups over Felton. The short term upside is that the Knicks will win a few extra games next year before they get KO’d in the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs. More importantly, he has a larg expiring contract that could be traded to get a long term solution.

    Not that I loved Felton (his shooting was an issue for me), but part of the rebuild is going to be getting a new PG. There was at least some hope that Felton would improve his shooting and shot selection over time like many other players have and become that.

    IMO Calderon would fit well if we can’t get CP3, but he’s overpaid.

  17. nicos

    While I don’t think Billups is an ideal p & r point guard, I do think he’ll make more of an attempt to run it this coming year. One thing to remember is that playing the P & R with Amar’e takes some getting used to because he almost never actually sets a pick- he usually feints just enough to get his defender moving out away from the basket and then he slips the screen. This obviously makes things much tougher for the passer as his defender never actually gets picked and Amar’e's defender is now between him and the basket (and Amar’e as well). It becomes a real timing play- you have to hit Amar’e right as he makes his cut and with the injury and lack of practice time that timing just wasn’t there. You could see Billups waiting for the pick when Amar’e was already rolling to the hoop. While I don’t think it’ll ever be Nash-like, I do think they’ll get in some kind of rhythm- though Amar’e may have to actually set a screen now and then.

    And great to have you back Ted!! I know you keep pretty good tabs on European play- any thoughts on Jerome Jordan’s intriguing numbers (at least his crazy fg%)?

  18. stratomatic

    Frank: Re: Melo and Billups – my feeling is that we will be seeing a lot of Melo initiating the offense and PnR next year as opposed to Billups. IMO, PnR works best when the ballhandlers is a triple-threat – pass to cutter, pull-up, and drive. I do believe that Billups can at least passably pick up SSOL but Melo seems to have a better feel for when the pass is supposed to be made, probably has a better pull-up J when defenders go under the screen, is faster with the ball in his hands, and is clearly a much bigger threat going to the hole than Billups. He’s obviously no Lebron when it comes to passing, but I was pretty impressed overall with his skill last year. Since the Lebron/Amare plan was to have Lebron running PnR, it seems reasonable that Melo could play the Lebron role. Stick Chauncey, Extra E, and Landry/TD in the corners and on the weakside wing, and it might be interesting.

    I agree. Ultimately, the merit of the Melo trade is going to turn on whether he can become more than a volume scorer. We already had an efficient #1 scoring option in Amare. Swapping some possessions from Amare finishing in the paint to Melo jacking up ill advised shots is not a formula for success. But if Melo can become more of a playmaker, then it becomes a very good fit.

  19. adrenaline98

    I think Melo got even better looks as a Knick for both shooting and isos. I think he will improve his efficiency next season, and hopefully, will play consistent defense. His 3pt efficiency was way high in this offense, as compared to when he was in Denver.

    I used to see Melo as a chucker (at least statistically). I didn’t watch much out of town games. What I realized is that he has a good shooter’s stroke. His TS% jumped 30 points, and his 3pt jumped a whopping 100 pts. I think, while the sample set is rather small in a Knick uniform, he did end up taking a lot of open 3s that he never seemed to get in Denver. So within this offense, if everyone buys in, there will be more open shots and better conversion rates next year.

    Defense is really what I see this team struggling with unless D’Antoni is willing to get that defensive assistant and coach it.

    Heard something the other day that is 100% true with the Knicks and MDA. Every coach in the NBA preaches defense. Not every coach coaches defense. I just don’t think MDA coaches it. He talks a lot about it though.

  20. stratomatic

    Nicos,

    I don’t watch much European basketball, but IMO the attention that Jerome Jordan is getting (from Hahn and others) highlights how screwed up and desperate this team is after the Melo trade. We gave away a couple of bigs with upside (Mozgov and Randolph) with all our cap space. So now we are hanging our hats on a big that doesn’t start or get a lot of minutes for a very mediocre team in Europe.

    I’m not down on the kid because he’s young, but there’s no way he’s ready to make a major contribution to a high level NBA team now.

  21. adrenaline98

    Frank: Hey Ted – good to have you back even if in some small-med-large way it was our (now seemingly pointless) arguments that may have driven you away.Re: Melo and Billups – my feeling is that we will be seeing a lot of Melo initiating the offense and PnR next year as opposed to Billups. IMO, PnR works best when the ballhandlers is a triple-threat – pass to cutter, pull-up, and drive.

    MDA said this when he said “Melo can be a triple double guy.” I would assume, given a full training camp, he will attempt to reproduce what you said above.

  22. stratomatic

    I’m not sure I buy 100% into this “coaching defense” stuff.

    There are very few players that perform at a very high level at both ends of the court. The difference between coaches is sometimes just the types of players they draft, want to trade for, and play.

    Look at the Bulls.

    Tom Thibodeau is almost the complete opposite of D’Antoni.

    IMO if Kyle Korver was on the Knicks he’d be getting WAY MORE minutes and taking way more shots. D’Antoni would use him on the Bulls to help create space for Rose and Boozer to operate. He’d simply sacrifice on the defensive end to get more easy baskets. That’s not the way TT thinks. He makes the sacrifices on offense to get more stops.

    Unless you are lucky enough to get one of the true superstars on both ends of the court, I think you are more or less stuck with players that are better at one thing or the other and the team balance will reflect the coach’s preferences.

  23. nicos

    stratomatic:
    Nicos,

    I don’t watch much European basketball, but IMO the attention that Jerome Jordan is getting (from Hahn and others) highlights how screwed up and desperate this team is after the Melo trade.We gave away a couple of bigs with upside (Mozgov and Randolph) with all our cap space. So now we are hanging our hats on a big that doesn’t start or get a lot of minutes for a very mediocre team in Europe.

    I’m not down on the kid because he’s young, but there’s no way he’s ready to make a major contribution to a high level NBA team now.

    Jordan was a solid shot blocker and rebounder in college but didn’t look physically ready for the NBA during the summer league. Given the numbers he put up in Euro league play I’m not sure how far behind Mozgov Jordan is right now- it’s not like Moz was coming over as a 20/10 guy in the Spanish league. I think Jordan, like Mozgov, has the potential to be a serviceable starter. I’m just hoping that there is going to be a summer league this year because he’s going to need it if he wants to have a shot at cracking the rotation this year.

  24. flossy

    Frank:
    Since the Lebron/Amare plan was to have Lebron running PnR, it seems reasonable that Melo could play the Lebron role.

    With all due respect, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that Melo can do what LeBron James does. What makes LeBron so ridiculous is that he truly has the skills of a PG in the body of Karl Malone. His passing (and defense) are what separates him from guys like Durant and Melo, who can also score 25-30 every night but who fall far, far short of LeBron in virtually every other aspect of the game. Melo can throw a nice pass now and then but I don’t think you can say “well since LeBron and Amar’e would have made for a deadly pick and roll, it stands to reason that Melo and Amar’e would also work.” I just don’t think it works that way. It’s like saying “well, Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups are both tremendously efficient scoring PGs so maybe Billups can play the Steve Nash role with the Knicks.”

  25. Frank

    @24 – totally agree, which is why I couched the statement with “He’s obviously no Lebron when it comes to passing”. That being said, to sprinkle some Melo/Amare PnR wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in the world. They ran that a fair amount as the season went on. Stands to reason that they’ll be better at it once they have a real training camp to work on it.

  26. adrenaline98

    Again, LeBron, from day 1, has been a player playing the PG position. Since then, he has been surrounded by score first combo guards, including Dwyane Wade.

    Melo has had Iverson and then Billups. I’ve seen Melo make some really nice plays to make a PnR effective. We’ve also seen him make some good decision, and hit some nice open jumpers. In the right offense, he doesn’t need to be as much of an ISO fade-away, falling to the side, off balance jump shooter. I think he will be more efficient this year than ever before (which also comes with age). I think he easily has the tools to be a 25-8-5 guy, which certainly is no LeBron, but is very serviceable.

    If there was one area of concern with Melo playing Point Foward running PnRs with Amare, it’s his ball handling. He is pretty bad at ball handling actually. His first quick step and his length hides it pretty well since he’s pretty much making a Bee line or spinning to the basket, so his dribbling is minized. In a PnR, where handling becomes very important to split defenders or avoid help defenders, it could be a very turnover prone play.

  27. BigBlueAL

    An Orlando newspaper is reporting that Dwight Howard will sign an extension with the Magic any day now. Definitely interesting news.

  28. adrenaline98

    No one can confirm any of what the newspaper said (according to ESPN). So it’s still speclation, like Donnie’s extension. Starting to wonder if it will ever get done.

  29. Z-man

    Not to beat a dead horse, but TKB has a feature on Shumpert today. The only guy that has his kind of athleticism package is Travis Leslie, but Shumpert has some PG skills/experience, while Leslie is more of an undersized SF.

  30. Brian Cronin

    Howard might actually sign the extension and then sure, that’s big news. But the only thing being actually reported is such a non-story.

    “I’m not trying to run behind nobody like Shaq or be behind somebody else. I want to start my own path and I want people to follow my path and not just follow somebody else’s path. I want to have my own path, and I want to start that here in Orlando.”

    “I can’t do it alone. Not only do I need the right teammates, but I need the city behind me. That’s the only way it’s going to get done. We can change this small city that we have — this small market that we have — and we can make it a big market.”

    I mean, if I’m an Orlando fan, do I like the sound of that? Sure, but it is faaaaaaar from “I am re-signing in Orlando.” Faaaaaaar from it.

  31. massive

    Dwight Howard staying in Orlando is great news for us. He won’t be heading to Chicago or either team in Los Angeles. Now if Chris Paul signs an extension in New Orleans, then we’re screwed.

  32. latke

    yes, nothing has changed. If he was sure he wanted to stay, he would have signed an extension and locked in the extra dollars that came with the old CBA. He just wants people to stop bugging him about it.

  33. flossy

    Ya know, JuJuan Johnson is only a quarter inch shorter than Anthony Randolph, and his standing reach and wingspan are only 1.5″ and 1″ shorter, respectively. But his standing vertical and max vertical are 3″-3.5″ inches higher than Randolph, and his 3/4 sprint time and lane agility times are a good bit quicker as well.

    He also shot 30% from college 3 last year and was in the top 5 amongst PF/C in every single shooting drill at the draft combine, so unlike Randolph he actually has a jumper. He doesn’t try to handle the ball and he can’t pass like Randolph, but his 9.8 rebounds/40 pace adjusted as a senior is just a hair less than Randolph’s 10.2 in his one year at LSU, and they block shots at the same rate (2.7 per 40 p/a).

    He’s actually older than Randolph, so he won’t be drafted high because he has less upside I guess. But if we snag a low first/high second I’d love to try to land a bizarro version of Randolph who stayed in school for four years, gave up trying to be a 6’10″ PG, and learned how to hit a jump shot. Lanky pogo stick stretch 4? I’m into it.

  34. Truitt

    “More Ethereally?” really? Put the thesaurus away Jim, you’ve got it upside-down..

    Aside from that, great article. You really highlighted Billups’ role in one of the key questions for evaluating the Knicks; can this team be successful in MDA’s offense?

    I think a lot of the people here would say that they couldn’t, but being able to run the pn’r better next year would go a long way in disproving that argument. I guess we will have to wait for the draft to see what the FO thinks. Personally, I do not think that we should draft a PG Just because Chauncey can’t play d, and SSOL doesn’t seem to be working well with him. Toney Douglas has made improvements on both ends and will still be ahead of any draftee in the rotation, so whats the point of drafting someone to be a third string PG when there will be better prospects at other need positions available?

    Dallas has a similar PG problem in Jason Kidd, but they resolve it by adding players who can stretch the floor and clog the lane. I think the knicks should work off that model as well and target players like :Jeremy Tyler, JaJuan Johnson, Nicola Vucevic, Keith Benson, Marshon Brooks and Klay Thompson in no particular order.

  35. BigBlueAL

    According to ESPN problem for the Bulls and now the Mavs vs the Heat is that they dont have a 2nd go-to guy when Rose and Dirk were doubled. Well, at least that isnt a problem for the Knicks :-)

  36. Brian Cronin

    Ha!

    True. But I think that the problem with the Mavs really wasn’t that they didn’t have a go-to guy besides Dirk, it was more that the whole team just played awful at the end (Tyson Chandler in particular just looked lost) and Dirk acted like the idea of a team doubling and tripling him was inconceivable to him before tonight.

  37. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Ha!

    True. But I think that the problem with the Mavs really wasn’t that they didn’t have a go-to guy besides Dirk, it was more that the whole team just played awful at the end (Tyson Chandler in particular just looked lost) and Dirk acted like the idea of a team doubling and tripling him was inconceivable to him before tonight.

    I assume Terry/Barea/Peja wont shoot a combined 4 for 21 again.

  38. Brian Cronin

    I sure hope not. That’s the only thing I can hope for in the series, because boy, Dallas looked awful that last six minutes of the game.

  39. BigBlueAL

    I am SHOCKED that after the game Berman tweeted Dallas needs to play Corey Brewer. Only thing more surprising is that Isola didnt tweet that. Probably because he is still busy mentioning every single ex-Knick who was in the building tonight.

    I seriously dunno how nobody from the Knicks, a player/coach/front office person etc, doesnt punch one of them in the face.

  40. nicos

    It’s also becoming very clear that Miami is a different team with a healthy Haslem and a functional Mike Miller.

  41. Shad0wF0x

    As much as I want Dallas to win, I hope that Miami winning would make CP3 think hard about forcing a trade to the Knicks.

  42. Frank

    @41 – I sort of agree – but not only from the CP3 angle. My hope (and maybe unrealistic fantasy since I’m not sure these guys do this kind of hard introspection) is that Melo and Amare finally take a look at themselves and realize they need to be 2-way players all the time, and not just TALK about defense but actually PLAY defense. Why would it be different this time? If you look at the last 5+ years or so of NBA championships, they’ve all been won by the “old guard” – guys who were drafted in the late 90s and very early 2000s, prior to this generation of stars. Duncan, Kobe, Shaq, Pierce, Garnett, Ray Allen, etc. (although Dwyane Wade won a ring with Shaq in 2005). It probably was easy for guys like Melo and Amare to keep playing like they do because hey, none of the other guys in my generation had won rings either. But now – Lebron, Bosh, Wade — these guys were all drafted at the same time as Melo, and if Miami wins, they’ll all have rings. I think Melo especially identifies himself with those guys, as that caliber of a player, drafted in the same class.

    Time to step up your games Melo and Amare – LBJ, Wade, and Bosh have shown you how hard you need to play, and that committed star power plus some well chosen role players can lead you to the Finals.

    Another random thought – I think it was the Post that quoted Ilgauskas saying that he’d never play for the Knicks and that they need a whole new defensive system. That sounds a bit like Lebron when he emphasized during the “Decision” that defense wins championships. It would be ironic/sad/worrisome if D’Antoni was hired by Walsh to attract Lebron, when in fact D’Antoni defensive reputation basically ensured that LBJ wasn’t coming. Whether or not D’Antoni is a bad defensive coach (maybe he’s average, but he’s definitely not good) is up for debate, but his reputation around the league re: D coaching is terrible. We really need to hire a D coordinator.

  43. Tony Pena

    @Frank. I think that from a pride standpoint, and from a competitive standpoint now that the Heat are in the Finals, Melo and Stat will be commited to Defense on a much more consistent basis next season. But I can imagine that it’s a deeper transformation to their games than it might look. I mean anticipating what the guy across from you is going to do, along with his team, every possession, night in and night out, if you haven’t exactly been doing that your entire (successful) career, is going to take time to master. I mean even just physically you’ll have to kind of pace yourself, knowing that you might need some of that energy to defend right after a score.
    You know what would help them along that path though? A coach with Defensive schemes. Me I’m hoping D’Antoni is the one listening to all these press conferences and watching these games. A D coordinator? You mean firing or demoting one of the members of La Famiglia? Not a chance.

  44. Jafa

    @41

    Watching the game last night, I just kept thinking that if CP3 wants any chance at winning a ring, he has to think long and hard about coming to NY. Miami looks like they are going to win it easily (in 5 or 6 games) in their first season after enduring the level of scrutiny normally reserved for defending champions. How scary is that for future NBA seasons? Who wants to play for the right to be beaten by the Heat in the conference finals or NBA finals for the next few years?

    Hopefully, to give himself a better shot in his prime, he’ll force his way to the Knicks. However, he could go to the Lakers to achieve the same result.

  45. Garson

    Regarding Paul coming to the Knicks… I see only 2 options for this to occur… please correct me if im wrong.

    1. Paul waits till next offseason and takes less then max.
    2. Paul declares this year that he will be leaving and he only wants to go to the Knicks… no exceptions.

    If he does take the Melo route and says he wants out… he must say he wants the knicks otherwise our Douglass, Fields + the 17 pick offer doesnt compare to whaever other teams will be offering.

    Anyone see another way ? Because i honestly think both of these are longshots…

  46. Frank O.

    @44
    Jafa: I suspect a Heat series victory is good for the Knicks because it does just what you say: it forces Paul to look hard at the Knicks.

    Ted: I also felt that Billups was playing just fine when he wasn’t hurt. He is a better guard than Felton and has the stature to rein in guys like Melo and Stat.

    And nice to see Ted back.

  47. Ted Nelson

    Frank re: 15,

    Yeah, I think Melo will initiate the offense some portion of the time. I think Billups can adjust if he makes the effort, though. It’s good to have multiple guys who can initiate the offense from multiple points on the floor, otherwise it gets pretty predictable. I don’t know that either Billups or especially Melo has the Nash like quickness and passing skill to fully run the offense all the time even when the defense knows what’s coming, so splitting some of the responsibilities between them might be smart.

  48. CRJoe

    @Garson

    I think exactly the same, there are no other outs…
    And I don’t feel optimistic at all, it’s not true that L.A. & NY are Paul’s only options for a title, he could replace Jason Kidd in Dallas and put them over the top, Dallas has the assets to make a better trade than us; he could push Westbrook to play the two and the Thunder would go on to average 170 points a season… Heck, this guy could wind up in Memphis and bring a ring to the Grizzlies, he’s that good… I don’t think anyone sees L.A. & NY as the only contenders to these year finalists…

  49. Ted Nelson

    stratomatic re: 16,

    I think Billups is a lot better than Felton, and much prefer having him. Felton is a slightly better playmaker, but more than gives away that edge by being an awful scorer. Billups is still a very good basketball player, and I think he’ll fit in any system if he buys into it. Obviously D’Antoni can’t expect Billups to be Steve Nash, and has to adjust the system a little to the talent on hand… Melo is likewise not Shawn Marion…

    Billups is bad defensively, but Calderon is the answer?

    Clearly Billups isn’t a long-term solution, but I don’t think the Knicks have to force the issue on getting a PG any more than another position. Getting an interior defensive presence who can also run the floor and finish at the basket and/or hit an outside jumper (a Tyson Chandler or a Cliff Robinson, just as examples) would probably go a lot farther to improving the team than a PG upgrade over Billups IMO. Improving over Turiaf/no one just seems a lot easier than over Billups/TD/Carter.

    stratomatic: We gave away a couple of bigs with upside (Mozgov and Randolph) with all our cap space. So now we are hanging our hats on a big that doesn’t start or get a lot of minutes for a very mediocre team in Europe.

    That describes Timo before he came over as well… and describes Anthony Randolph every season of his career.
    The situation was just as screwed, in my opinion, before the Melo trade.

    stratomatic: I’m not sure I buy 100% into this “coaching defense” stuff.

    There are very few players that perform at a very high level at both ends of the court.

    I agree to an extent, but Kyle Korver is an extreme example. Minute allocation is a big part of coaching in the NBA. There is also a strategy component, though. Most NBA players are not Kyle…

  50. Tony Pena

    Hope the ‘La Famiglia’ reference wasn’t offesnsive to anyone. I also thought that they wouldn’t trade Gallo because of the countryman connection, see how that turned out. This time I hope I’m wrong.

    Personally I think two superstars is enough, Bosh is not one anyway, but if not, then CP3 is only coming here as a FA. I also don’t see how the Knicks can put a better package than anybody in the league, even rental packages should be better than what we have. Could Melo and Stat restructure their max contracts to accomodate CP3 in 2012? And in the meantime management build up the rest of the roster? Only way I see that happening.

  51. Ted Nelson

    Frank: It would be ironic/sad/worrisome if D’Antoni was hired by Walsh to attract Lebron, when in fact D’Antoni defensive reputation basically ensured that LBJ wasn’t coming. Whether or not D’Antoni is a bad defensive coach (maybe he’s average, but he’s definitely not good) is up for debate, but his reputation around the league re: D coaching is terrible. We really need to hire a D coordinator.

    The first issue on the LeBron front, though, is who else he would have hired. D’Antoni wasn’t my favorite for the position at the time, but most coaches have warts. If he’d hired a defensive-minded coach and LeBron still went to Miami, we’d be talking about how their offensive short-comings stopped LeBron from coming. If it was Adelman or someone we might be saying the same thing as with D’Antoni. Would be hard for Walsh to find a higher profile hire than Pat Riley, so I think Heat win there.

    My guess is that LeBron, Wade and Bosh knew they were playing together well before free agency. I’m not sure the Knicks really had a chance. Seems like NYK would have really had to convince Wade that they were a better organization than Miami to get the three here, and that’s a tall order given his history there.

    I would definitely be on board with a high profile defensive coordinator. I believe Dan D’Antoni has the job right now. Maybe he’s a far better defensive coach than another guy, but the possible nepotism combined with the poor results send a bad signal. Then again… I’m not sure how bad 22nd in the league on defense is given the roster and the amount of turn-over from the previous season as well as in-season. If they gel and add a bit of defensive talent to get to the middle of the league defensively… I’ll take it. #5 offense, #15 defense is something I would take from the 2011-12 Knicks, then hopefully be more competitive in the playoffs… you know,…

  52. adrenaline98

    Garson: Regarding Paul coming to the Knicks… I see only 2 options for this to occur… please correct me if im wrong.1. Paul waits till next offseason and takes less then max.2. Paul declares this year that he will be leaving and he only wants to go to the Knicks… no exceptions. If he does take the Melo route and says he wants out… he must say he wants the knicks otherwise our Douglass, Fields + the 17 pick offer doesnt compare to whaever other teams will be offering. Anyone see another way ? Because i honestly think both of these are longshots…

    This isn’t a long shot as compared with Melo. See, Melo ONLY wanted to come to the Knicks. He didn’t want to play for anyone else at all. But he wanted his max extension, which the next CBA will cut. The main difference here is that when CP3 forces the trade, there will be no CBA ‘problem’ in the equation, that is, unless, of course, the new CBA will not allow player movement like the way Melo forced this year.

    If CP3 ONLY wants to come to the Knicks, it’s a higher chance than last year, when Melo may have been forced to sign the extension elsewhere.

  53. Garson

    adrenaline98: This isn’t a long shot as compared with Melo. See, Melo ONLY wanted to come to the Knicks. He didn’t want to play for anyone else at all. But he wanted his max extension, which the next CBA will cut. The main difference here is that when CP3 forces the trade, there will be no CBA ‘problem’ in the equation, that is, unless, of course, the new CBA will not allow player movement like the way Melo forced this year.If CP3 ONLY wants to come to the Knicks, it’s a higher chance than last year, when Melo may have been forced to sign the extension elsewhere.

    Melo didnt only want to come to knicks… If that was true we wouldnt had to give up as much as we did. The fact that he never publicly took the nets out of contention , or any other team for that matter, put us in a bidding war and made us up the ante. He even said afterwards that he thought he was going to NJ.

  54. Shad0wF0x

    Would it be a safe statement that the Heat and Bulls as of right now are much better teams than when the Knicks defeated them earlier this year?

  55. adrenaline98

    Garson: Melo didnt only want to come to knicks… If that was true we wouldnt had to give up as much as we did. The fact that he never publicly took the nets out of contention , or any other team for that matter, put us in a bidding war and made us up the ante. He even said afterwards that he thought he was going to NJ.

    Melo ONLY wanted to come to the Knicks. If he took the Nets out of contention, he risks getting the max extension. See, if Melo only were willing to come to the Knicks, Denver would just say, fine, then you can sign with them with the new CBA. Melo wouldn’t give up 40 million just to play for the Knicks. Who would?

    This is why he publically never took the Nets out of contention. By doing that, the Knicks would have lowballed Denver, and then it’s a game of chicken – either you sign with them next year or you get your extension.

    By keeping the Nets involved, the Knicks would have to up their offer. This is also why Denver kept leaking rumors about the Nets. Melo could not risk the Nuggets not taking the Knicks deal and him losing out on 40 million.

    As much as Denver didn’t want to lose out on Melo and get nothing, they also knew Melo would not lose out on that extension. Any other year, we would have had Melo for 2-3 other pieces, not 4.

    Even when the Knicks get superstars, they get screwed in the process.

  56. adrenaline98

    Shad0wF0x: Would it be a safe statement that the Heat and Bulls as of right now are much better teams than when the Knicks defeated them earlier this year?

    I am not nearly as frightened of the Bulls as I am of the Heat, unless the Bulls can swing another superstar, say Noah + Boozer for Howard + a bad contract.

  57. adrenaline98

    One more thing re: the Melo-Drama. If Melo at any point would have been willing to go to the Nets, that deal would have gotten done. Since his wedding, the Knicks have been his first and only choice. As you can see by how publicized he and Amare are, this place is exactly where both wanted to be. They wanted this.

  58. nicos

    I was about to post something about how at least we have a guy who LeBron needs help guarding but then I checked the stats and saw that Melo’s TS vs. LBJ is a not-so-robust 51%. LBJ’s TS is 53% so it least it looks like Melo does a decent job on the defensive end.

  59. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98,

    You may have a point with the CBA changing the dynamics with the Paul deal compared to Melo… but you’re taking way too extreme a position. You are telling us as fact what more than one other person you don’t even know would or would not have done under hypothetical circumstances. It’s pure speculation, but you’re selling it as fact. Just say “this is what I think based on what I read” instead of presenting it as fact and there wouldn’t be a problem.

    Melo first said only NYK… then he later made it known he was signing under this CBA regardless. If the Nuggets traded him to NJ or just held him, was he not going to sign under this CBA? It’s speculation for us to say. He said he would.

    A lot of your points are spot on, but then you stretch it by saying you know for a fact what you are merely speculating about based on hearsay regarding Denver’s preferred compensation and Melo’s preference between NYK only and signing under that CBA. Even within your own narrative there’s an inconsistency between whether Melo would sign under this CBA or only in NYK.

    And leaving $40 mill on the table seems pretty excessive… His entire extension was 3 years $65 mill. Is the new max salary going to be about what the current MLE is?

  60. Garson

    Adrenaline… Theres a difference between wanting to go the knicks and saying that you will only sign with the knicks.

    If he said he would only sign with the knicks, are you saying the nuggets would have said no to 2 of the 4 vs letting him go for nothing? I cant belive that this would be true.

  61. adrenaline98

    Err, yea, the 40 mil is off. I think it was 20 mil, according to ESPN. No, I am not stating any of this stuff as absolute fact.

    I stated the following, which I believe to be true: Melo told Denver that he wanted the extension, and he only wanted it with the Knicks.

    I based this on:
    4-6 separate deals with NJ that was certain he was going there, but never did. On top of this, sources kept saying Denver was asking for more. I believe this is to make the Knicks up their offer. If at any time, Melo would be willing to play in NJ, it would have been done. But my belief is that Denver asked for more on purpose, because behind closed doors, Melo already told them he wants the Knicks.

    Think about the turn of events that followed the melo-drama. Sources were (intentionally) always sure the deal with NJ was about to get done. Denver did not want to keep an extended disgruntled superstar that wanted to play for a different team. Think about the fan backlash that already was happening mid-season. I would go as far as to speculate that Denver never dealt honestly with the Nets after Melo told them no the first time.

    Melo knew that Denver wasn’t going to let him unless they got enough in return, so he kept the Nets option ‘open’. Really? Keeping them open means “hey I’d be willing to extend there.” No one thought the Knicks’ package was better (except maybe us). So no, he MUST have said he wouldn’t sign it with NJ. Since no one else really came close to the Knicks or Nets package package (or really offered ANYTHING for CARMELO ANTHONY – think about this, no one else wanted Carmelo, when he was open to extending elsewhere?), I think it’s safe to almost 100% assume he only wanted to go to the Knicks.

    What is in contention really is only something Melo would know: whether or not he absolutely was signing under this CBA.

  62. adrenaline98

    cont.
    That is still debatable how long he would have waited. The other point was that they could have extended him up until June 30th. This was not something both sides wanted (according to Coon on current CBA, it would have been near impossible to trade Melo during the draft or something). It also forced the starry eyed Dolan to up the offer, and therefore, reports came out Walsh was pissed. Probably because he knew what was happening, but Dolan was probably too stupid to figure it out.

  63. adrenaline98

    P.S. Ted, the above was my opinion, and not in fact, fact! I’m not trying to write facts here: I’m no reporter, nor do I have sources. I am simply trying to connect the dots on what happened, that’s all. I just found it inconcievable that he was open to any other option such as the Nets when their offer was better, and somehow the deal always needed ‘more.’

  64. Garson

    If that is true and comes out officially… Then melo will go down as the biggest douchebag in NY…. He helped the Nuggets milk the Knicks of all their assets just to land his Max contract despite leaving the knicks in a no win cap situation.

    I hate to say this, But this makes Lebron look like Mother Teresa

  65. Jafa

    Shad0wF0x:
    Would it be a safe statement that the Heat and Bulls as of right now are much better teams than when the Knicks defeated them earlier this year?

    The Heat = Yes.

    The Bulls = more experienced but they have to beat us and do so handily to convince me. They may get J.R. Smith to play the 2 for them this summer, but I don’t know if that makes them better than us. I think Redd is also an option for them, but until they can stretch the floor, that offense will start and end with Rose’s efficiency. They are better defensively, but our offense seems to work well against them.

    Of course, I’m still not convinced that the Celtics are better than us at full strength. Not after games 1 & 2 of that series. I’m only willing to concede the Heat in the East.

  66. adrenaline98

    Stephen A Smith said this on his show that Melo pretty much GIFT WRAPPED himself to the Knicks. The Knicks had to do whatever it takes to get him. This I agreed with at the time and still do. I believe Melo had to get it done at the deadline if he wanted to be a Knick. In order to do so, he had to have the Knicks up the offer so that Denver would let him move on.

    Like I said, everyone, just about every single analyst, reporter, writer, believed the NJ deal was better than even the final Knicks offer. Utah gave up D-Will for it. If Melo was open to anywhere else, why wasn’t he in Jersey? It speaks for itself.

    This doesn’t mean that he milked the Knicks either (why would he want to go to a team that would lose with him?). It just means he wanted it done by the deadline, he wanted the Knicks, and since trading after the deadline (at end of season) was highly improbable, he knew the only way Denver would take the deal was if the Knicks upped their offer.

    Dolan went for it. Donnie Walsh believed in the alternative, that Denver would have swerved, so to speak, in this game of chicken, and that they would have accepted the lesser offer. This is why he was upset.

    If you iterate it one step further, if Denver did take that offer, then it would have been obvious that the Knicks would be his only choice, and none of us would be having this discussion. Donnie believed it, Dolan didn’t.

  67. d-mar

    Shaq announced he’s retiring today. I personally will miss the guy, he was always a class act, and for a guy who got the crap beaten out of him on a nightly basis, never complained to the refs or made wild, over the top gestures to indicate his displeasure with calls. Plus he was a damn funny dude too.

    Is he one of the top 10 of all time? Probably not, definitely top 15 though. Good luck, Big Aristotle.

  68. Jim Cavan Post author

    d-mar:
    Shaq announced he’s retiring today. I personally will miss the guy, he was always a class act, and for a guy who got the crap beaten out of him on a nightly basis, never complained to the refs or made wild, over the top gestures to indicate his displeasure with calls. Plus he was a damn funny dude too.

    Is he one of the top 10 of all time? Probably not, definitely top 15 though. Good luck, Big Aristotle.

    It was easy to dislike him by association, particularly on those Laker teams. But he absolutely was a class act, and will definitely be missed. I laughed my ass off when he was on Letterman over the winter, especially when he admitted he found his house by Googling “big house outside of Boston” and buying the first one he saw.

    Cliche though it may be, I think the classic Hunter Thompson quote applies pretty well here: “There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high-powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

  69. BigBlueAL

    So Toronto fires its coach and already on Twitter Wojo and Isola trying to start up a D’Antoni to Toronto rumor.

    Never mind he is still under contract with the Knicks plus Toronto is BEYOND AWFUL. D’Antoni finally has a decent team to coach next season but instead he wants to go to another rebuilding project in Toronto?? Best part is Wojo even said his source close to both D’Antoni and Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo replied with an emphatic “No” when he asked about a possible reunion in Toronto yet he still continued to push this rumor with Isola doing the same.

    I need to stop following many of these writers on Twitter….

  70. Owen

    “Is he one of the top 10 of all time? Probably not, definitely top 15 though. Good luck, Big Aristotle.”

    Is he below or above Kobe? I am going to go ahead and say that will be a hot topic of debate….

  71. BigBlueAL

    Also Yahoo reporting Rubio has reached an agreement to join the Wolves next season but no official announcement expected til Rubio’s season is done (they are in the Euro playoffs now apparently).

  72. Jim Cavan Post author

    BigBlueAL:
    Also Yahoo reporting Rubio has reached an agreement to join the Wolves next season but no official announcement expected til Rubio’s season is done (they are in the Euro playoffs now apparently).

    So that means Ridnour, Telfair and / or Flynn would in theory be up for grabs. I know Ridnour is the safe bet, but I still feel like Jonny Flynn could be a good point guard in this league. Kid’s still only 21 years old and spent most of last season recovering from a pretty nasty hip injury. 16.8 and 5.5 assists per 36 with 36% 3P% as a 19/20 year old rookie isn’t bad, even if it was on a putrid team.

    Obviously the $3.4 million owed this year is an issue. But if we package Balkman with Turiaf (if and when he picks up his option), that would leave us an extra $2.5 million to play with. At that point I feel you’d be safe in drafting Faried or even a Justin Harper to make up for the front court void, and stashing Jerome Jordan at the end of the bench and hoping he can develop playing around elite talent.

  73. BigBlueAL

    Of the potential backup PG’s who might be available now the 2 best fits to me are 2 guys who have been linked to the Knicks in the past, Sessions and Ridnour.

  74. Jim Cavan Post author

    I feel like they’ll keep Ridnour as insurance. Chances are Rubio doesn’t just waltz in and take the starting spot outright. Either Flynn or Ridnour would be fine by me, but I’m not entirely sold on Sessions. If for no other reason than he’s taken 71 three pointers his entire four year career, hitting on a whopping 18% of them.

  75. latke

    yeah I think Sessions benefited from being on a team where they were desperate for someone who could create offensively. Put him on a team where he is not the number 1 option offensively, and his atrocious perimeter shooting will stand out a lot more.

    It’s weird to think that Minny would be more willing to trade Flynn after a good rookie year, and an injury-filled 2nd year, than trade Rubio, who hasn’t proven anything at the NBA level and has seemed to regress during the last two years, but I guess if you’re talking about ceilings, Rubio’s is higher.

  76. Frank

    @78 – Isola is really the worst of the whole bunch. Actually he’s probably a hair better than Vecsey, but that’s not saying much.

    My rankings on Knicks beat-writers:
    1) Hahn
    2) close second – Howard Beck – only reason he’s 2nd is because he doesn’t seem to have the sources that Hahn has (or NYT’s editorial standards are higher when it comes to printing rumors)
    3) Chris Sheridan – he’s not bad even though he seems to be wrong a lot
    4) Berman
    Distant DISTANT #5) Isola

    Meanwhile who in the world would give up the HC job of the New York Knicks to go to Toronto? Toronto’s a great city but players don’t want to be there, the weather sucks even worse than NY, and the taxes are higher. It’s like Tom Coughlin deciding he would rather resign the NY Giants job for the Jacksonville job. Or Joe Girardi leaving the Yankees to take the Pirates job. It’s just ridiculous. It’d be one thing if he was going from the Knicks to Oklahoma City, where the players are better. But Toronto is terrible.

  77. Frank

    Speaking of NY area writers – for once I agree with Ian O’Connor. As much as Jimmer would be an interesting guy to watch, offense IS NOT THE PROBLEM with this team. Sure maybe he’s not as bad on defense as we all think, but he’s definitely not really good on defense. Unless he really shows you in workouts that he’s very talented at being the ballhandler in the PnR a la Nash, we should pass on him. Our issues are, not surprisingly, one-on-one perimeter defense at the wing positions (mostly the 2), post defense, team defense, and defensive rebounding, none of which are even remotely improved by adding Jimmer.

    I am still hoping that Chris Singleton is the guy. The DX video on him by Sebastian Pruiti was not particularly flattering, but across the board scouts are lauding his defensive abilities. At 6’9″ 230 he could be our Shawn Marion. Unless one of the true inside players falls to us (ie. one of the euro centers, Markieff Morris, Biyombo) I personally would target Singleton. I’m sure Donnie is reading this intently. The only reason I’d go for someone Selby is if Billups/Melo strongly advocate him (they’ve seen him play in person and presumably know him well) or if the FO really thinks he is currently really undervalued.

    The guy that is interesting is Marshon Brooks. His offensive #s are really impressive with an eFG of 54%, TS 58% even though he was basically the only guy who could score on his team. I know we’ve got volume scoring pretty well covered, but his athleticism is pretty apparent on video. Plus he has that huge wingspan. Reb+Stl+blocks of ~10 is pretty impressive for a 2 guard. If he shows that he has range out to 3 point land I wouldn’t be at all upset with picking him.

  78. Frank

    Will continue posting to myself…

    Re: the CP3 issue — right now the Hornets are still owned by the NBA. Would it even be conceivable for the Hornets to trade CP3 for anything less than a MeloDrama-like ransom when the team is owned by the league? Can you imagine the conspiracy theories if CP3 is actually traded to the Knicks?

    Unless CP3 straight out says he wants either FA or the Knicks, there’s no way there is a trade in-season to us. So we better hope that CP3 is willing to take a haircut in terms of salary to make his wedding toast come true.

  79. chrisk06811

    whose turn is it to go to Jared Jeffries house today and help him with his jumper? I lost track.

  80. James

    “Is he below or above Kobe? I am going to go ahead and say that will be a hot topic of debate….”

    Isn’t he above? They played on three championship winning teams together and he was the Finals MVP all three times, all with dominant performances. If one was a Kobe fan or a neutral one, one can point to Kobe much younger at the time, I suppose. Kobe’s won two in his own right but was much less impressive in doing so. Shaq has more Finals MVP and great career numbers to boot.

    With Rubio, I’m pretty confident he’s going to be a good and very fun to watch point guard. He’s shown he can pass incredibly well at very high levels of basketball. That level of excellence is going to transfer. In regard to his scoring, I think he’s going to be strictly a spotup shooter for his entire career. He’s not athletic enough nor has an innate scorer’s sense to finish around the basket and his set shot isn’t conducive in the mid-range. But his shot isn’t broken. His form is good and he’s a good free throw shooter. In time, he should be a serviceable, perhaps above average 3-point shooter.

    He’s about the closest thing to Kidd I’ve seen. The Nash and Maravich comparisons are ridiculous, the former because he can’t shoot and the latter because I think it was more because they look alike. Well, I guess they both have flair. Basically, both Rubio and Kidd are about the same size, great passers, have extremely quick hands, possess great anticipation on defense, neither can score a lick from within the three point line but are decent spot up shooters, well Rubio could be anyway. Rubio doesn’t possess Kidd’s defensive versatility, so all things being equal, he’s not going to be as valuable but I think he’s a better passer in the halfcourt.

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