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Thursday, October 2, 2014

2011 Report Card: Ronny Turiaf

Ronny Turiaf is a strange bird. Not an enigma, like Dennis Rodman or Jack Sikma. Just, well, kind of weird. To be clear, I’m not confusing “weird” with an eclectic, worldly upbringing (born in the small Martinique town of The Robert, moved to Paris at age 15, played alongside Tony Parker, Mickael Pietrus, and Boris Diaw for the eventual Under 18 European Champions France, speaks five languages, etc.). It’s more that few players in recent Knick history have elicited a more dichotomous range of responses than the man they call “Pharoah.”

Here’s what I mean:

In 2005, mere weeks after being drafted out of Gonzaga by the Los Angeles Lakers, Turiaf had open heart surgery to fix an enlarged aortic root. Six months later, he was back playing professional basketball.

Six months!

So, on the one hand, you have a guy who defied all medical logic in bouncing back to basically full strength after one of the riskiest surgeries known to man; doing so in less time than it takes most of us to recover from a bad hangover. If that’s not tough, I don’t know what is.

And then you watch the guy play. Or not play, as the case may be (and often was this past season):

October 2010: Undisclosed injury – 3 games missed.

November 2010: Knee injury – 3 games missed.

November 2010: Knee injury – 4 more games missed.

February 2011: Ankle injury – 3 games missed.

March 2011: Knee injury – 3 games missed.

March 2011: Ankle injury – 4 games missed.

A few things stick out. First, “undisclosed injury”? What does that even mean? Was it a cobra bite? Jetpack accident?  We’ll just say it was a cobra bite.

The second thing we notice is that literally all of these bang-ups resulted in three or four games missed at a time; “nagging injuries”, essentially. He did miss 40 games the season previous, for many of the same ailments. Still, the three seasons before that, Turiaf had been fairly durable, playing in 79, 78, and 72 games, respectively. So there’s no indication that there’s something chronically wrong with Turiaf’s ankles or knees — at least not yet. That beard, on the other hand…

Ronny Turiaf, giving a presser on cobras.

Part of the gourmet pu-pu platter of players brought over from Golden State in the David Lee trade, Turiaf arrived in New York as the only semi-known quantity of the lot. Kelenna Azubuike was just beginning a long rehabilitation process on his shredded knee, and Anthony Randolph – doubtless shell-shocked after months in Don Nelson’s bourbon-scented, roofless doghouse – was basically a 6’11” question mark with a slightly straighter back. As such, each carried their own worrisome baggage. Turiaf, on the other hand, was just the kind of quintessential “glue guy” a perpetually rebuilding team like the Knicks needed.

But those who watched the Bockers with any regularity this past season can probably recall one or fifty instances where Ronny would sky for a rebound or contest a shot, land awkwardly, and crumple like a cheap lawn chair. Then he’d kind of roll around on the ground – “writhing” is probably going a little too far – before joglimping up the floor, eyes closed and grimmace-toothed. Then we wouldn’t see him for three or four games. Then he’d come back, do his uber efficient thing for a while. Rinse, repeat.

When Turiaf would stitch together an injury-free run, he was usually solid, if rarely spectacular. Despite nearly all of his per 36 numbers dropping somewhat from what he put up in Golden State, Turiaf still managed to post career highs in FG% (63%), TS% (64%) and ORtg (127). More importantly, Turiaf knew and appreciated  almost immediately his understandably limited role, and made the most of it. He seemed to “get” Mike D’Antoni’s offense relatively quickly, displaying a solid passing ability (particularly from the high post), and scoring a whopping 27% of his points on sly cuts around the basket (big shout-out to Skynet subsidiary Synergy Sports Technology for that creepy stat).

We know Ronny’s tough. We know he lays it all out there. The dude’s a workhorse, and an incredibly positive presence on the bench. What’s more, he provides Stat with some solid protection down low, allowing the latter to jazz around unburdened by the grueling demands of the five spot.

That said, we get that his whole soccer routine is probably more a reflection of sheer Euro-flamboyancy than it is an indication of lack of toughness. I for one thoroughly grasp the fact that he could hang me from his beard if he wanted to. We’re just all kind of hoping Ronny’s next year unfolds with a few less visits from the knee injury fairy, and a few more deft dishes and dunks down low.

As he’s due to make upwards of $4.4 million this year, and in the absence of any unforeseen trade, it’s hard to see Turiaf going anywhere. Which, on the whole, is a good thing: He’s a decent defender and rebounder, a capable offensive facilitator, and a great teammate. More importantly, he’ll be a valuable mentor to young whelps Jerome Jordan and Josh Harrelson — who’ll need all the fast-tracking they can get — if and when training camp begins. If neither assert themselves as rotation-ready players? Well, there are far worse things than having the title of Starting Center belong to Ronny Turiaf. Better than… never mind.

 

Report Card (5 point scale):

Offense: Dos
Defense: Trois
Teamwork: Quattro
Rootability: Four
Performance/Expectations: Whatever Creole for two is. I’m too lazy to look it up. It’s probably “deux” though.

Final Grade: B-

Similarity Scores:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS eFG PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
0.000 Ronny Turiaf 2011 NYK 13.6 64.8 63.2 8.4 2.0 6.5 2.9 1.1 2.3 1.3
0.258 Bo Outlaw 2000 ORL 15.3 59.7 60.2 7.6 3.1 8.1 3.8 1.7 2.3 2.1
0.470 Mark West 1989 PHO 12.9 64.4 65.3 10.6 3.0 9.8 0.7 0.6 3.3 1.8
0.530 Andrew Gaze 1994 WSB 10.5 61.5 58.8 11.3 0.5 3.6 2.6 1.0 0.5 1.5
0.533 Darvin Ham 2002 MIL 9.7 57.1 57.1 9.0 2.7 6.0 2.2 0.7 1.1 2.5
0.540 Clifford Ray 1977 GSW 14.1 58.7 58.4 11.3 3.6 11.0 2.0 1.3 1.4
0.542 James Donaldson 1986 TOT 13.0 62.7 55.8 9.6 2.3 10.7 1.3 0.4 1.9 1.7
0.548 Nick Collison 2009 OKC 14.8 59.9 56.8 11.5 3.6 9.6 1.3 1.0 1.0 1.4
0.553 Raef LaFrentz 2005 BOS 17.3 58.7 55.5 14.5 2.5 9.1 1.6 0.7 1.6 1.1
0.558 Robert Horry 1999 LAL 13.5 56.5 52.7 9.1 2.7 7.4 2.7 1.7 1.9 2.4
0.571 Nene Hilario 2011 DEN 20.4 65.7 61.5 17.1 2.3 9.0 2.3 1.3 1.1 2.1

46 comments on “2011 Report Card: Ronny Turiaf

  1. Nick C.

    Nice write up as usual. Only trois/tres for rootability and defense? It woudl have given him cinq for rotability and quatro for defense.

  2. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    That’s odd, I meant to give him a four for rootability. Too many languages.

  3. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Turiaf is extremely rootable! It’s one of the few things he has going for him!

  4. Matt Smith

    turiaf is the only person ive ever seen listed on an injury report as not playing because of ‘various bumps and bruises’

  5. DS

    When Turiaf was healthy, I thought the Knicks were a better team with him on the floor. I don’t understand the inability to rebound.

  6. Z

    If Eddy Curry had even a fraction of the personality of Ronnie Turiaf, even he’d get a 5 in rootability from me.

    In the “name three historical figures you’d like to have dinner with” game, my list is:

    1) Plato
    2) James Madison
    3) Ronnie Turiaf

  7. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    Z: If Eddy Curry had even a fraction of the personality of Ronnie Turiaf, even he’d get a 5 in rootability from me.

    That’s a lie and you know it.

    I mean, I totally get the whole “they’re all Knicks, so shouldn’t we all be rooting as hard as possible for them?” argument. But compared to one another, we inevitably root for some more than others. Yeah, we “rooted” for Stephon Marbury. Because he was a Knick. But Stephon Marbury was also a gigantic ass clown. If Shane Battier had been on that team, I feel like we would’ve rooted for him harder than Marbury. And to the extent that we rooted really hard for Marbury, it was done with the stinging sense in the back of our psyche that said “damn, that guy’s a gigantic ass clown”.

    So Turiaf gets a 4 and Jeffries a 3 because Turiaf himself is more enthusiastic, and therefore “likeable”…. In fact, we should probably just change it to rootability / likeability.

  8. DS

    Speaking of Jerome Jordan — how do these “he only started playing organized basketball 5 years ago” center usually turn out?

    Michael Olowokandi immediately comes to mind. But maybe David Robinson and Mutumbo were in the same boat?

    Can anyone take that one?

  9. Z

    Jim Cavan (@JPCavan): That’s a lie and you know it.

    It is a lie and I know it… But the point wasn’t that I root for all the Knicks blindly and equally. In fact, I actively root against the Knicks I don’t like (Zach Randolph, Rod Strickland, The aforementioned Stephon M., etc…)

    My point was that Ronnie Tufiaf is clearly the coolest person to ever wear the Knicks uni, and should therefore score at least a 7 out of a possible 5 on the rootability scale.

    But really, I’m just screwing around, waiting for the lockout to end…

  10. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    Z: But really, I’m just screwing around, waiting for the lockout to end…

    I thought that was the owners’ and players’ job?

  11. BigBlueAL

    Z: It is a lie and I know it… But the point wasn’t that I root for all the Knicks blindly and equally. In fact, I actively root against the Knicks I don’t like (Zach Randolph, Rod Strickland, The aforementioned Stephon M., etc…)

    My point was that Ronnie Tufiaf is clearly the coolest person to ever wear the Knicks uni, and should therefore score at least a 7 out of a possible 5 on the rootability scale.

    But really, I’m just screwing around, waiting for the lockout to end…

    Can you imagine Anthony Bonner’s rootability factor!!

  12. Z

    @10 and @11 Ha!

    Honestly, though, I found myself rooting hard for Turiaf to have a big game just so that MSG would be obligated to interview him afterwards.

  13. JK47

    If Ronny could only rebound, we’d have a really nice piece. That ugly 10.4 TRB% offsets so much of the value he creates by being efficient on offense and playing competently on defense.

    If we could become just an average rebounding team it’d do wonders for our defensive rating, but since Amar’e Stoudemire is our PF, Ronny is just kind of a bad fit here. Cool beard though.

  14. latke

    I wonder if anyone’s calculated what effect a player’s presence has on a team’s overall rebounding, like +/- but only for rebounding. This would reward guys who box out while canceling out the effect of guys who steal rebounds from teammates in order to pad their stats.

    By the way, after the zero progress in CBA talks today, I believe the real conflict is within ownership, with smaller market teams rightfully wanting to make money, and bigger market teams refusing to up their revenue sharing. This to me is the only logical reason why you’d have a majority of owners willing to cancel the season. It’s the only way they can all get what they want: minimal revenue sharing with all teams almost always profitable. I now would not be surprised if there’s no 2011/12 season.

  15. Brian Cronin

    My point was that Ronnie Tufiaf is clearly the coolest person to ever wear the Knicks uni, and should therefore score at least a 7 out of a possible 5 on the rootability scale.

    Agreed!

  16. Brian Cronin

    By the way, after the zero progress in CBA talks today, I believe the real conflict is within ownership, with smaller market teams rightfully wanting to make money, and bigger market teams refusing to up their revenue sharing. This to me is the only logical reason why you’d have a majority of owners willing to cancel the season. It’s the only way they can all get what they want: minimal revenue sharing with all teams almost always profitable. I now would not be surprised if there’s no 2011/12 season.

    Agreed, and it is the reason why I almost always side with players on these conflicts, because the players at least are always transparent about what they want. “We want as much money and security as we can possibly get.” Who can’t understand that, ya know?

    The owners, though, won’t admit their actual motives, which is “we want to make owning an NBA team idiot proof, so no matter how small a team you are, you will make money – but we don’t want to give up any of our profits to make that happen for the small teams.”

    So instead you just basically get “the players are too greedy so we can’t even talk to them right now.”

    What was awesome (in a bad way) was when Derek Fisher had his statement about how the NBA should do revenue sharing, and Stern is like, “Yeah, maybe, but first you sign this deal and then we’ll separately decide if we do significant revenue sharing in the future (we won’t). ”

    Maddening.

  17. New Guy

    Z:

    My point was that Ronnie Tufiaf is clearly the coolest person to ever wear the Knicks uni, and should therefore score at least a 7 out of a possible 5 on the rootability scale.

    Turiaf cooler than Frazier? I don’t think so.

  18. KnickfaninNJ

    Latke,

    A +/- for rebounding is a great idea. I’d love to see data like this on a lot of rebounders.

  19. ess-dog

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/6826716/nba-takes-legal-action-locked-players

    The NBA is asking all contracts to be voided. Wow, that would be interesting and yet so lame. If this lockout drags on, the NBA will lose so much fan faith that they worked so hard to gain since the Artest/Detroit fiasco. Can you imagine a league re-draft? Would the players even stand for that? Would someone try to start a new league like the XFL? Considering the economic climate, you’d think the players would have to give a little at this point. They can’t make the same money in Europe or China and most don’t want to be exiled. It’s smart leverage by the owners. You have to figure that say, the Maloof bros. for example, would be psyched to take all that money that they owe players, staff and coaches over the next 4-6 years and invest it in something else. Hell, they could start a rollerderby league where the average “player” makes $21,000 a year.

    As a fan, I’m losing interest by the week, and I’m probably a fairly average fan. I had already begun to feel somewhat distanced from the team after the Melo trade and now, moreso since Walsh resigned. It’s also highly unlikely that I’ll go to any games next year with the ticket price hike and I’m even considering getting rid of my cable to save money. Maybe if I felt great about ownership, I’d be fine riding things out. But I just can’t help but feel like Dolan is squeezing the life out of this team and it’s fans. At some point I wonder, where’s the payoff? There’s no social cachet for me to go to Knicks games, like the opera or MoMA – I go because I want to see exceptional live basketball, for the price of a really good mountain bike. I feel like I’m already more likely to follow college ball this coming year, despite always having preferred the pro game. I’ll probably change my tune if this is settled before the season starts, but who knows…

  20. stratomatic

    KnickfaninNJ: Latke,A +/- for rebounding is a great idea. I’d love to see data like this on a lot of rebounders.

    I have seen that stat. I believe it’s somewhere on 82 games.

  21. BigBlueAL

    From everything Ive read today sure seems like the NBA is toying with the NBPA as Billy Hunter is getting widely criticized for horrible strategy/leadership of the players.

  22. John Kenney

    @latke I don’t know that the smaller market owners “rightfully” want to make money, and therefore the larger owners should give it to them.
    At the draft lottery Stern admitted that there are teams in locations where, under the current system, they “cannot” make money.
    One person looks at that and says, oh the system is broken, more revenue sharing.
    Another says What the hell are you doing having teams in cities where they CANNOT make money? You know Seattle, Las Vegas, Kansas City etc all want a team right?? if you aren’t making money, MOVE!

  23. Brian Cronin

    The NBA is asking all contracts to be voided.

    They’re only asking that if the Union de-certifies like the NFL did. Basically, the owners do not want the players to de-certify, because as we saw with the NFL, that gives the players a whole lot more leverage than they had otherwise (it is a bigger risk, of course, as well). So the owners are just trying to take that option away.

  24. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    @24

    That’s oversimplifying it a bit, I think. We’re in the middle of a nasty recession, where it’s hard for any business to make money. Particularly sports franchises, which depend on filling the stands (or at least coming close) night in, night out.

    Seattle is a special case, because everyone by now knows how badly they got screwed. You could certainly make a case for any of those cities having franchises, but what’s to say that, in five years, they won’t be exactly where the NOHs and Memphises of the world are right now? You can’t just keep uprooting teams ever five years and moving them to more “economically viable” markets.

    As has been pointed out innumerable times (Nate Silver at NYT, Forbes, etc.), some of these franchises were pretty creative in how they calculated their losses. And — surprise — many of them were teams which had moved in the recent past, using the sale of the team as a perpetual loss.

    It goes without saying that the players need to give something up. But it’s also clear that these untold millions in “other expenses” piled up by some of these teams could just as easily be avoided by, say, not hiring 30 PR guys when all you need are 20. I have close to zero business background, so I know it’s far more complicated than just telling the owners “be more responsible with how you spend your money”. Even so, this biting the hand that feeds you is pretty outrageous.

    I think revenue sharing is necessary at this point. Depending on the structure of the deal, you then put in place a salary floor (ala the NFL), thereby giving the smaller market teams enough room to breathe so that they don’t continue hemorrhaging money, while assuring the New Yorks and LAs that they aren’t throwing good money after bad.

    All that said, I don’t see this getting resolved any time soon, if at all. Sam Amico (http://www.foxsportsohio.com/08/02/11/Labor-dispute-a-result-of-NBA-dysfunctio/landing.html?blockID=543615&feedID=3724) kind of has a point: this is the bed that Stern made, and now he’s lying in it.

  25. KnickfaninNJ

    Stratomatic,

    Those are interesting numbers. Many thanks for pointing them out. For Turiaf overall rebounding was +0.7% when he was on the floor. For Mozgov, despite his blocking out, overall rebounding was -0.6% when he was on the floor. For a high profile comparisons, Kevin Love was +3.1% adn Kevin Garnett was +2.2% David Lee, in Golden State was a disappointing -2.0%! On the other hand, Jared Jeffries was +1.9%.

    These numbers seem to make the Knicks front office look pretty good.

  26. latke

    stratomatic:
    I’m not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for, but at the bottom there are on/off court stats and they give rebounding percentages.

    http://www.82games.com/1011/10NYK20.HTM

    Haha, thanks strat. Every stat truly has been calculated. I’m sure there’s noise here given the fact that a lot of players have specific backups, so Garnett’s backup was mostly big baby during the regular season (or Krstic) neither of whom are great rebounders. Turiaf, meanwhile, was probably replacing Stoudemire/Chandler most of the time, which makes him look better as well.

    I just look at the offer the owners have made, with 40% of the revenue going to the players, and compare that to other sports: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/07/07/us/fivethirtyeight-0705-nba3/fivethirtyeight-0705-nba3-blog480.jpg

    All other pro leagues pay their players 55% or more of revenue, so right there, we see their offer is already a tremendous ripoff and that the players’ offer, which lowered player percentage to 54.3%, would right there give them the lowest proportion of revenue of any pro league in the US. To me, that says the players already are being generous.

    To add to the shitty financial offer, the NBA has all kinds of system changes that screw with players’ financial security — shortening contract length, and limiting max salaries… It’s just a totally unacceptable deal, which is why the players really do need to decertify, because any unbiased party is going to see that.

  27. latke

    I think my comment got caught by the spam filter, but what I wanted to post was essentially this:

    Here are the percentages of overall revenue that players in the major US pro leagues have received in the last few years:

    NHL: 53-55%
    MLB: 54-57%
    NFL: 55-59%
    NBA: 58-60%

    The NBA union’s proposal would have had this number at 54.3%. The most recent owners’ proposal would have it at an absurdly low 40%. I mean, as the Sesame Street song goes, “One of these things is not like the other.”

    Add to that that owners want to restructure the agreement to take away all kinds of security from players, shortening the length of contracts, making them less guaranteed, etc, and it becomes clear which party here is being unreasonable.

    I also wanted to thank Strat for the stat. That’s just what I was thinking of, although like all +/- stats, it’s victim to the rotation. Garnett’s backup is big baby/Krstic, with a little of Jeff Green. None of these guys are good rebounders, so that’s a bonus for him. Same goes I think for Turiaf, whose primary backups were Jeffries, Chandler and Stoudemire.

  28. Frank O.

    Ummm.
    Nate Robinson may get a try out with the Seattle Seahawks, according to tweets between Nate and head coach and GM for the Seahawks Pete Carroll.

    It all makes sense now…

  29. John Kenney

    @Jim

    What I’m saying is that even if you grant the owners their argument, that makes them look pretty stupid AND there are other options. honestly, do they really want to model their business in a similar fashion to airlines, which subsidize loser routes with ones lots of people enjoy?

  30. adrenaline98

    The problem with Turiaf on this team is that he’s really a 4. Built similar to a 4, plays and hustles like a backup 4 should. This year, hopefully, we will have a big capable of starting and really playing the 5. Turiaf I think would be a lot more useful as someone backing up Stat, keeping the team in the game when the stars are out of the game.

  31. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan) Post author

    John Kenney:

    What I’m saying is that even if you grant the owners their argument, that makes them look pretty stupid AND there are other options. honestly, do they really want to model their business in a similar fashion to airlines, which subsidize loser routes with ones lots of people enjoy?

    That’s the thing though, I’m not willing to grant the owners their argument. I simply don’t think they’re losing as much money as they claim. Like I said, I think the players will ultimately have to scale back their share of BRI to at or around 50% for this thing ever to end. Which I think they’d be willing to do, if there was some revenue sharing promised at the other end.

    As for the whole subsidization thing, I realize it’s a sensitive, political issue at its heart. But unless you’re going to contract 8 or 10 teams, there’s always going to be the risk that the bottom handful of teams lose money. That is, things staying the way they are, with basically no revenue sharing.

    I’ve posed this idea before, but I’m going to throw it out there again: Find the league-wide average ticket price (for all the areneas). Then, in every individual venue, figure out how much above or below that average a team is charging. Any team that charges above the average (Knicks, Lakers, etc.) can keep half of that profit, but have to share the other half with the rest of the league. At least this way you’re not necessarily just taking money from the “successful” teams, so much as you’re accounting for the huge disparity in market size that exists between the New Yorks and LAs on the one hand, and the Memphises on the other.

    At the end of the day, the New Yorks and LAs of the world have to play somebody. And being significantly larger than the next sized markets, I think it’s only fair to have some semblance of revenue sharing or subsidization — whatever you…

  32. latke

    John Kenney:
    @Jim

    What I’m saying is that even if you grant the owners their argument, that makes them look pretty stupid AND there are other options. honestly, do they really want to model their business in a similar fashion to airlines, which subsidize loser routes with ones lots of people enjoy?

    The question then though is would the NBA as a whole make as much money with fewer NBA teams? I think there’s a reason why all pro leagues have revenue sharing. Overall, these leagues make more with more teams, even if there is some subsidization going on.

  33. MKinLA

    Here’s some news for non-business people:

    The vast majority of owners have zero interest in maximizing pre-tax profits.

    They are all rich from other businesses. Any pre-tax profit generated by the team just gets taxed at 35-50% (depending on the state).

    The game is to lever the hell out of the business and use the resulting interest payments to offset any profit, resulting in zero / negative tax liability. You call pull out the cash tax-free that way.

    Then, b/c they’re super-levered, small %age increase in the value of the franchise feels like a huge win (b/c the lenders don’t participate in the upside).

    This is all a long way of saying that the loss numbers being thrown around by the league are BS.

  34. BigBlueAL

    Its amazing, after the best season the NBA has had since Jordan was still a Chicago Bull they are acting like idiots pissing off all the fans and media. Unbelievable.

    Of course if they miraculously avoid losing any regular season games then all is forgotten.

  35. massive

    Just wondering, how do you guys feel about Mike Woodson being interviewed for the defensive assistant job? His Hawks finished as high as 11th in D efficiency (albeit Al Horford and Josh Smith definitely helps), and he was on Larry Brown’s coaching staff in 2004. I think it has potential, but I’m not too familiar with him. Thoughts?

  36. BigBlueAL

    massive:
    Just wondering, how do you guys feel about Mike Woodson being interviewed for the defensive assistant job? His Hawks finished as high as 11th in D efficiency (albeit Al Horford and Josh Smith definitely helps), and he was on Larry Brown’s coaching staff in 2004. I think it has potential, but I’m not too familiar with him. Thoughts?

    Yeah and the real stunning part was one season under Woodson they finished 2nd in offense efficiency. He was a Knicks draft pick and played for them a couple of seasons so you have that connection lol.

    Hey Im fine with it, Im pretty sure he is a much better coach than anyone else on the staff now. He was an assistant on a championship team and if he is willing to be an assistant coach again after being a head coach, a pretty successful one during his last couple of seasons at that, then like I said above Im fine with it.

  37. BigBlueAL

    Berman was the first to report the interest in Woodson. He did so by just basically reporting it and thats it.

    Of course Isola follows that up 1 day later with a bunch of conspiracy theories behind the interest in Woodson.

  38. adrenaline98

    I come here for more reliable information and go to NYpost and NYdailynews websites for entertainment. That being said, I don’t think Woodson would really help with the Knicks’ defensive woes. I believe D’Antoni is truly a smart coach and that the Knicks D would improve if he focused on it. There are tons of reports that come out of the practice facility that basically says he spends ZERO time coaching defense and a lot of time preaching it. I think the Knicks would benefit a lot more from Paul than Woodson. I’m not comparing value of player to coach, but more that with Paul’s offensive genius along with D’Antonis, the Knicks don’t need to play defense. It’s basically Phoenix all over again except you’re swapping Melo for Marion, and Paul for Nash. Naturally, Paul is the better player, and Melo the bigger offensive weapon.

    As long as D’Antoni is at the helm, we will never see a top 20 defensive team in the Knicks by way of conventional statistics.

  39. JK47

    With the current personnel, it’s hard to see how we’re going to be a much better team defensively. Maybe a defensive coach could improve us around the margins, but I don’t know how you significantly improve the fundamental flaws of the team without some new personnel. Here’s where we rank in the defensive Four Factors:

    eFG%: 23rd
    TOV%: 10th
    DRB%: 26th
    FT/FGA%: 23rd

    Other than doing a better-than-average job at creating turnovers, that’s a pretty poor overall performance defensively. The team desperately needs a 5 who is a strong rebounder. If there were a way to shoe-horn Sam Dalembert onto the roster salary cap-wise, he would make our defense instantly better thanks to his DRB%, which is routinely at 25% or higher. The current Knick with the highest DRB% is Landry Fields, a two-guard. Unacceptable.

    A strong defensive 5 like Dalembert would significantly help us in two of the four factors: obviously DRB% but also eFG%. If there was some way to finagle a roster like this, we’d be a real contender:

    PG Chris Paul
    SG Landry Fields
    SF Carmelo Anthony
    PF Amar’e Stoudemire
    C Sam Dalembert

    Bench: Iman Shumpert, Ronny Turiaf, Bill Walker, Shawne Williams, Jorts Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, backup PG

    That is, of course, if there are ever any more NBA games.

  40. rooster_douglas

    The “song” includes the line: “Doing my best, yes that’s my promise,
    I check with my friend called Isiah Thomas.” Seriously.

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