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Sunday, April 20, 2014

2011 Report Card: Shawne Williams

Extra E demonstrating his toughness by winning the War of the Williams'

On the day the Knicks announced their 2010-2011 roster, the inclusion of Shawne Williams was notable mostly because of the name he displaced- Patrick Ewing Jr. Your fifteenth man is there to be a good cheerleader and locker room presence, and the son of a former Knicks great seemed much more likely to fit that description than Williams. After flopping in stints with the Pacers and Mavericks, Shawne- a former #17 overall pick- was seen as a non-factor.

How, then, did we end up in a world where he was being asked to start at center against Dwight Howard?

Cynics might answer, “Because Mike D’Antoni doesn’t care about defense.” Others might respond, “No, it’s because the Knicks didn’t have a center.” The answer I’m interested in? That we ended up in that world because he wasn’t there to be a cheerleader, he was there to prove himself.   Because, locker room presence be damned, he would fight Ball Wilker in a practice if that’s what it took to see some playing time.  Because he was shooting lights out game after game after game. And because when given an opportunity, he grabbed it like a life vest and never let go.

Williams’ was the perfect player for the pre-trade Knicks, a forward with good size who could knock down the open 3. His pre-All-Star-break 3P% of 47.5% was laughably good, the most unexpected of gifts from this player whom had barely made the roster. Unfortunately, this number would trail off after All-Star weekend (I wonder why? Maybe we could ask Landry). He would shoot only 33% from three-point land after the trade, losing his touch at a time when the team most needed him. Yet looking back, I fail to be bothered at this dip in performance. Could he have played better? Yes. His rebounding was suspect (7.2/40min). His defense wasn’t always great (often, albeit, against larger opponents.) I got the same feeling when he drove the lane that I get when Jared Jeffries takes a shot.

But what I keep remembering is that Shawne Extra E Williams was gritty. He would defend whatever position you wanted him to as best he could and scrap and claw for every inch. As Marvin Williams learned, he would stick up for himself even when a game was already decided. He was tough. He had a checkered past. He had to fight for everything he got. He kept pushing on through his struggles. What more could we ask for from a player selected to represent New York?

Report Card (5 point scale):

Offense: 3
Defense: 2
Teamwork: 2
Rootability: 3
Performance/Expectations: 4

Final Grade: B+

Similarity Scores:

PlayerID FLName Year Age Tm PER TS_P eFG_P PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
0 Shawne Williams 2011 24 NYK 12.2 .558 .536 12.4 1.6 6.5 1.3 1.1 1.4 1.3
0.067 Rasheed Wallace 1999 24 POR 16.7 .566 .522 16.0 1.5 6.1 1.5 1.2 1.4 2.0
0.077 Brian Howard 1992 24 DAL 13.0 .557 .524 14.8 1.9 5.8 1.6 1.2 0.9 1.7
0.080 Bill Willoughby 1982 24 HOU 13.1 .541 .520 13.2 2.6 6.4 1.8 0.8 1.4 1.9
0.092 Eddie Robinson 2001 24 CHH 17.9 .559 .533 14.9 1.8 5.9 1.8 1.5 1.0 1.3
0.095 Dorell Wright 2010 24 MIA 14.5 .567 .536 12.3 1.2 5.7 2.2 1.3 0.8 1.3
0.103 Shane Battier 2003 24 MEM 15.0 .597 .559 11.4 1.9 5.2 1.6 1.5 1.3 1.0
0.104 Mickael Pietrus 2007 24 GSW 13.0 .590 .567 14.9 1.5 6.1 1.2 0.9 1.0 2.0
0.104 Semih Erden 2011 24 TOT 10.3 .593 .559 9.9 2.2 7.1 1.2 0.9 1.5 2.1
0.106 Paul Millsap 2010 24 UTA 16.7 .573 .538 15.1 2.9 8.8 2.1 1.0 1.6 1.8
0.106 Jake Tsakalidis 2004 24 MEM 12.5 .532 .504 11.5 2.5 8.6 1.2 0.6 1.5 1.6

73 comments on “2011 Report Card: Shawne Williams

  1. Jim Cavan

    I remember being puzzled that the Knicks would choose to screw with karma like that and sign Ewing Jr., only to dump him weeks later. Luckily Extra E made it a happy ending. I had no idea he and Bully used to get into fights. Really wish there was footage of that somewhere.

    Nice work, John.

  2. Nick C.

    Nice write up. I remember the consternation on the board (such as it was) about him making the team over PEJ. Hopefully the fall off is related to that hand (?) injury rather than him just coming to Earth.

  3. John Kenney Post author

    I have a feeling he and Landry both shot so poorly from 3 due to the worse spacing/ switch away from SSOL we had post-trade. Hope I’m wrong and they rebound.

  4. BigBlueAL

    Remember, Extra E played the final month of the season with a ruptured tendon in the ring finger of his shooting hand. I believe he did it in the game at Milwaukee on March 20th. At the time he was still shooting 44% from 3pt range, 41% since the Melo trade but for the rest of the month of March after that game he shot 3 for 20 from 3pt range and in April shot just 32% from 3pt range.

    He did shoot 6 for 14 from 3pt range in the playoffs. But I think its safe to say the injury to his finger is what derailed his 3pt shooting at the end of the season not the Melo trade.

  5. latke

    The injury certainly had something to do with it. I’m with John though on the major problem being lack of SSOL, at least before the playoffs (he seemed really hurt then). I remember reading a blog article that detailed 3 point percentages and their relationship to openness and whether the player is in rhythm (a good rhythm being defined I believe by time of possession before the shot — whether the player simply has to shoot or he has to throw a head fake or dribble or whatever). There was a marked difference for most players for both of those situations.

    With the post-melo knicks, the three pointers always seemed more contested and more out of rhythm. I think ‘Melo’s hot shooting throughout his few months as a knick would raise the overall average, but if you excluded him, you’d see a SERIOUS drop in 3pt % from all knicks.

  6. BigBlueAL

    I just dont get why alot of people here try to make it seem like the Melo trade made the offense worse because it shifted away from SSOL. The Knicks offense IMPROVED after the trade yet people still seem to try to make it look like the Melo trade affected the offense negatively.

    People seem to believe that because Fields struggled on offense after the trade that the offense in general was worse which was far from the case. I know many here didnt like the trade and dont like Melo but he was so good offensively for the Knicks that it didnt matter how horrible Fields was or Extra E was the offense was better after the trade thanks mainly to Melo. Also saying all the Knicks 3pt shooting suffered big time after the trade is completely ignoring the fact that TD lead the NBA in 3pt makes after the All-Star break which coincided with the Melo trade. TD shot 42% from 3pt range in March and 39% in April, his highest 3pt %’s for any months during the season.

  7. Brian Cronin

    I just dont get why alot of people here try to make it seem like the Melo trade made the offense worse because it shifted away from SSOL. The Knicks offense IMPROVED after the trade yet people still seem to try to make it look like the Melo trade affected the offense negatively.

    Because it did not improve the offense enough to make up for the negative effect it had on the defense. The theory was that Melo and Billups playing SSOL would improve the offense enough to make up for the defensive hit.

    It did not do that. Instead, it did improve, but only by token of adding two really good offensive players who are bad defenders. Melo and Billups are good enough offensive players in their system that adding them alone made the Knicks a better offensive team even though their other two top offensive players suffered as a result of Melo and Billups joining the team (and not playing SSOL). However, the improvement in offense was just equal to the…whatever word means opposite of improvement…in defense. If those two really good offensive players would play SSOL, then the Knicks two other good offensive players who are bad defenders (Amar’e and Landry) would not see their offense take hits, so the whole team would be playing at a really high offensive level, making up for their collective awful defense instead of essentially breaking even (which is what happened – the Knicks basically ended up where they were before by improving their offense and weakening their defense in equal measures).

  8. Brian Cronin

    Another way of phrasing it…

    Let’s say that Chandler, Gallo and Felton were a 4 (all numbers out of 10) on offense and a 4 on defense. Melo and Billups were a 9 on offense and a 2 on defense.

    Amar’e and Fields under the old offense were 8 on offense and 2 on defense. Under the new offense they were a 5 on offense and still a 2 on defense.

    (Turiaf, Extra E and Sheldon are all basically 0s in this discussion – not impact players)

    So you went from 12 on offense (roughly #9 in the league) and 6 on defense (roughly #19 in league) to a 14 on offense (#7 in the league) and a 4 on defense (#21 in the league).

    Now if you could keep Amar’e and Fields playing at an 8, even if means bringing Melo and Billups down to an 8 (and it shouldn’t, as Melo should do well under SSOL) then you’d have a 16 on offense (#2 or #3 in the league) and a 4 (#21) on defense.

  9. The Formerly-Congenial Cock Jowles, #1 Gentleman

    Brian, thank you for the least coherent post this side of spree4nyk. F*** the heck?

  10. BigBlueAL

    I luv ya Brian, but that last comment with all those numbers confused the heck out of me and gave me a headache lol.

  11. BigBlueAL

    Also if Im not mistaken the offense improved much more than you are giving it credit for. Wasnt it a Top 3 if not actually the best offense in the league after the trade?? The numbers they put up on offense in the 7 game winning streak was mind boggling (in a good way).

  12. Brian Cronin

    Also if Im not mistaken the offense improved much more than you are giving it credit for. Wasnt it a Top 3 if not actually the best offense in the league after the trade?? The numbers they put up on offense in the 7 game winning streak was mind boggling (in a good way).

    The offense did not improve by any significant difference than the defense…unimproved (what is the correct word here? worsened sounds wrong).

    They were a top 10 offense before the trade and ended up the #7 offense (or, if you choose to go with Hollinger’s rankings, they were Top 7 before the trade and top 5 after the trade – I trust Mike and basketballreference’s rankings more than Hollinger’s).

    And yes, they put up strong numbers during their winning streak. They also put up weak numbers during their losing streak.

    Now if they had Melo and Billups at a high level while still having Amar’e and Landry at the high level they were before the offense went away from the “spread the court” system, then things would have been a lot different (in a good way).

    I do agree, though, that Extra E’s shooting problems shouldn’t be read as being related to Melo/Billups’ arrival. The injury plus the fact that he was likely shooting over his head earlier in the season are both too notable to ignore when looking at his shooting problems.

  13. Brian Cronin

    Brian, thank you for the least coherent post this side of spree4nyk. F*** the heck?

    Hehe, how about:

    decent offense, mediocre defense replaced by good offense, terrible defense
    and
    good offense, terrible defense replaced by mediocre offfense, terrible defense
    equals
    basically the same results both ways

  14. Brian Cronin

    By the way, you should check the pre-trade/post-trade splits – they are eerie in how similar they are, which is what a lot of us figured – the catch, of course, is that the trade might have been necessary to get Chris Paul or Deron Williams to come play here, in which case it would be a major success if that happened.

    I guess, in that regard, the trade might still be better than what I thought it would be on its own merits. Because I thought the team would basically be the same quality level either way (so, in other words, don’t trade away all your players to lock in one guy to an obscene amount of money unless it is going to clearly improve your team), but I thought the increase in the offense would be via Melo improving due to SSOL. Since the offense improved just by importing the Melo/Billups system of iso-ball (with a simple change of “hey Melo, maybe you should take more threes, like every other scorer in the universe”), there is still a good chance that the team can improve even more when (if?) they (really just Billups, as I’m sure Melo has no problem doing SSOL, as it would be very beneficial to him) both buy into SSOL over the break.

    And, of course, there is always the chance that Melo being here causes D-Will or Paul to force his way to the Knicks, in which case, huzzah!

  15. BigBlueAL

    Yeah I just found some team pre/post trade stats. They werent advanced stats just basic stats but did find some interesting stuff by looking at them.

    They averaged 1 ppg more after the trade and did it by turning it over less and making an extra 3pter per game while shooting them at a better % and also making and taking a couple of ft’s more per game and also shooting them at a better %.

    Their overall FG% dropped after the trade. One thing I was surprised about was they basically averaged the same amount of assists per game which I thought wouldve been much lower after the trade but it was only .3 lower. They didnt have opposing stats which I wouldve loved to have seen. Im pretty sure their point differential was better after the trade too but not totally sure about that.

  16. BigBlueAL

    Also obviously the trade will really be easy to evaluate once we see the roster for the 2012/2013 Knicks. Although again I firmly believe (rightly or wrongly) that the current roster can and will win 50 games next season while the pre-trade Knicks not sure if that group could do the same.

    Of course thats not the point of the trade which we both agree, its about how the trade affected the roster in the future.

  17. latke

    First of all, Carmelo shot the lights out. When you have a player who has a .575 TS% and a 31% usage rate, that is going to drag your offense upwards no matter how poorly the peripheral players perform. He did this in SPITE of the fact that as a result of whatever “system” the post-melo knicks played caused the efficiency of everyone else on the team to suffer. Fields, Stoudemire, and Williams all became significantly less efficient on offense.

    It follows then that the insular offense that Billups and Melo brought with them and were either unwilling or unable to let go of in New York CARRIED New York’s offense. When I say carried, I mean the non-melo/billups offense was like the dude on the rainforest hiking trip that catches dengue fever. Every now and then it did coherent, but most of the time, Melo and Billups just took turns slinging it over their backs, determined to get down to the Amazon River even if the rest of the offense died along the way.

    The problem then is why the hell do we have a supporting cast (in support of melo/billups) of guys who also make their living on offense when they are largely unnecessary to the offense? Billups and Melo don’t need the same degree of floor spacing to perform, so why don’t we just trade for some guys who play good d?

    I am not a proponent of this, but if you thought the offense was OK after the trade, then you should be, which is fine. It’s a valid perspective. Just know that IMO this means you should also be in favor of trading Fields and Stoudemire.

  18. BigBlueAL

    To me you guys are vastly overrating how much the trade “hurt” guys on the Knicks roster.

    For one ignoring TD’s tremendous improvement post-trade is not fair at all considering he actually played more minutes after the trade than Fields did. He was 4th on the team in minutes post trade so his huge improvement had a pretty significant effect on the team. Landry shot 3pters basically the same after the trade and improved his FT shooting and made/took the same amount of both per game in 4 less minutes. What was affected was his 2pt shooting % and rebounding.

    I mean hell check out Mason Jr, he actually had some pretty good offensive numbers after the trade. The only player whose numbers got significantly worse was Extra E and as I mentioned above that all came from the games played after he injured his finger. Amar’e's slight drop on offense should to me also be attributed to health. He even mentioned how he felt exhausted and not anywhere near 100% at the end of March/early April. His FG% went from 51 to 49% while he actually improved his FT% though he took 1 less per game but he also took 1 less FG per game and turned it over 1 less time per game after the trade so he wasnt necessarily hurting the offense alot more after the trade. Where he really took a hit was in his rebounding and shot blocking.

    So the trade significantly weakened Extra E, slightly weakened Fields and Amar’e and significantly improved TD and Mason plus you added the phenomenal offense from Melo and while Billups struggled somewhat on offense his numbers were still much more efficient compared to Felton’s as a Knick.

    Sorry for continuing to harp on this, unfortunately we got nothing else to discuss and I have found myself defending the Melo Knicks alot lol.

  19. Z-man

    Midseason trades are usually disruptive, so I can’t read anything into the pre-post trade analysis as it pertains to SSoL. This is especially true for young guys like Landry and Shawne.

    It might be the case that Shawne also hit the “rookie wall” since he never played as much (or more importantly, as hard) as he did last year. Whatever the case may be, he had a phenomenal (Amar’e's favorite word) year compared to expectations and can be a very solid bench player if he keeps in shape and motivated. Monster find by Donnie.

  20. SeeWhyDee77

    Good ole Extra E. My take? Good kid. Even better role player. It seems like he’s not your typical NBA Player. I mean this guy scrapped for everything since his career almost turned to ashes. The thing I love most about this story is he doesn’t let his ego take total control. As in, I used to be a star player in HS and college, I was drafted #17..Imma go out here and show that i’m that same dude regardless of the established pecking order!!”. He literally fought for a spot, then perfected his role. Not only that, but he works very hard at defense even though he’s not a great defender. I believe the talent that got him drafted #17 is still there, but he has the humility to excel at his role and only flash that talent when we need him to. As long as he keeps doing that as well as improve on what he already has, and we don’t ask him to guard bigs anymore- he will be an integral piece to our championship puzzle. I can’t say enough about his humility and work ethic, I really can’t. To be honest his turnaround is really shocking. As a Stretch 4/Small Forward coming off the bench behind Stat and Melo..what more can you ask for? Maybe better rebounding. But as long as he doesn’t try and do too much, which he’s been able to do thus far, he is an ideal rotation player for Mike D. Other than Nash and Amar’e..and maybe Diaw, I don’t think i’ve seen a better fit for coach’s rotation. I don’t wanna overhype Extra E..because he’s not a great player by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just tryin to illustrate that he’s a great piece for this puzzle. Call it blasphemy, but I think he’s even a better fit than Rooster..and that’s probably because of the expectations I had for both players. Scratch that..Rooster was a great fit as well, so maybe Extra E as good a fit as he was as well-especially given his role on the team. I really believe in this roster yal, especially if the roles can be accepted and mastered. And of course a defensive big can be added.

  21. Z-man

    CYD77,
    I generally agree, and your point about Gallo is well taken. Gallo has more upside and draws more fouls, but Shawne’s unexpected good play made losing Gallo slightly less painful, being that their role would be similar.

    The one glaring weakness I saw with Shawne is his inability to get to the rim. Hopefully this is a focus for him this off-season.

  22. SeeWhyDee77

    RE: The Melo Effect. I wouldn’t even call it the Melo Effect. Maybe the CHauncey and Melo Effect, lol. Here go it. Pre Melo we had more of a pass first PG and only 1 dominant scorer- allowing for the ball to flow more freely and spread shots around more as well as let the Fields’ and Extra E’s to actually touch the ball more. Also collectively, Felton/Chandler/Rooster are better overall defenders than Melo/Billups. Post trade we now have another dominant scorer and a PG who is more of a scorer. Of course when u add those guys midseason the offense is gonna improve and other guys are gonna get less touches and be thrown off because the incoming players don’t know the incumbent’s games like the outgoing ones did. Now..provided there will be a season that starts on time, those guys will have an actual training camp to focus on learning each other without having to force it midseason. Which is why I think Fields’ and Williams’ performance post trade is much ado about nothing. Those 2 guys are the types of role players you’d want alongside Stat and Melo. Well and real defenders too. From the outside lookin in, I can see how some might think that those guys had enough time to blend. But u gotta understand that midseason, the focus is on games and getting to the postseason and beyond. Preseason, there’s more of a focus of learning and improving what u have..until the real games start. Even Miami didn’t develop until around midseason with all the parts they added..and they had a training camp. When ur mixing great players u really hafta massage them in. U can’t just stick them together and say go..this is not the olympics where stats don’t matter and MVP’s and All Star appearances factor into how a guy might play- because that directly affects his contract moreso than olympic gold. Those guys will be fine..

  23. John Kenney Post author

    To clarify: I didn’t mean to imply that I thought the Knicks offense got worse. I did mean to say some Knicks players did worse post-trade, and if they had kept up their percentages our offense would have been even more potent.

    His hand injury certainly impacted his shot, but would we have been playing players with torn labrums / hand injuries so many minutes if it weren’t for the trade? just a thought.

  24. latke

    For reference — pre/post trade numbers (with difference in parentheses)

    Amare Stoudemire

    TS%: 57.02 / 55.27 (-1.75)
    points lost due to reduced efficiency: 0.74/game

    Landry Fields

    TS%: 61.5 / 56.4 (-5.1)
    points lost due to reduced efficiency: 0.82/game

    Shawne Williams

    TS%: 57.5 /52.0 (-5.5)
    points lost due to reduced efficiency: 0.80/game

    Total points lost: 2.36/game

    Approximate overall effect according to pythagorean wins of lost points on wins over course of season: -10 wins

    In theory, Anthony and Billups’ offensive prowess should be drawing more attention from defenses than the Chandler/Felton/Gallinari trio did. THis should result in more open looks for our role players (thus a higher TS% from them) as long as spacing and ball movement remain at the same level. As the reverse has happened to the tune of what is equivalent to 10 fewer wins, I conclude that the ball movement and spacing has gone to shit, and I blame that largely on the fact that Chauncey is not a real point guard.

    Certainly, injuries and tiredness have played a part in this decline, but IMO it is so dramatic in comparison to what we should have expected that you have to figure there is something more to it.

  25. Brian Cronin

    Generally agreed, latke (I mean, obviously I was going to agree, right?), but I would say that with Extra E’s injury being such a major one (or at least theoretically major), I don’t think it is necessarily right to lump him in with Fields and Amar’e.

    Those two, though, I definitely blame their post-trade problems on Billups (and, I guess, to a lesser degree on Melo for not pushing Billups to change things up – almost certainly because the way Billups plays is the way Melo is used to playing so he was in no rush to mix things up).

  26. Jafa

    latke,

    Agree with everything you said but for one thing: Chauncey “is” a real point guard. He simply is not an ideal point guard for the system the Knicks run.

  27. adrenaline98

    Another thing to consider is that the system was created on the fly, implemented on the fly, and especially with the March schedule, there were almost zero practices being ran.

    Things to also consider regarding Amare taking a step back were the sheer number of minutes he played this season, the sheer number of back to backs he had to play as well.

    Things to consider when talking about Fields is he went from playing a 30 game college schedule with 20 minute halves to an 86 game schedule. He’s young but even young legs need some time to adapt to the NBA game.

    Williams as mentioned already was injured. Billups was running the system half the time due to his injury. There’s tons of factors here at work, and I don’t think we can pinpoint any one particular thing (except Extra E’s shooting hand injury) as to why players performed poorly after the trade. I also get Brian’s point about the offensive improvement/defensive step back. But I believe it won’t happen with a full training camp. The problem is will there be one? I fully expect Fields to improve and Williams to stay as is. If anything, both need to improve their intangibles and tangibles other than shooting/scoring.

  28. adrenaline98

    P.S. Did Turiaf even play much after the trade? I kind of find it difficult to believe that the Knicks offense improved and defense worsened, considering they were giving more minutes to Jeffries and Turiaf after losing Mozgov. That seems counterintuitive.

  29. BigBlueAL

    Am I the only one who saw TD playing after the trade?? Same with Mason Jr?? I understand the 3 players above didnt play as well after the trade but again to completely ignore the fact that there were a couple of players who seemed to have benefited greatly from the trade is totally unfair, especially when one of them (TD) played more minutes than 2 of the 3 guys who are being harped on for being negatively affected by the trade.

    Im not talking about the team defense or any other factors. Im just talking about the offense after the trade which apparently turned every player still on the team into a scrub which is completely false. Also with the lack of passing after the trade as I mentioned above the team basically averaged the same amount of assists per game (just .3 less) and turned it over almost 1 1/2 times per game less.

  30. latke

    Mason Jr. was a nonentity pre-trade, which seemed to me to be a result of head issues (he was missing EVERYTHING), so it’s hard to make a comparison there. With Douglas, most of his minutes came with Billups on the bench. In fact, most of Douglas’s best post-trade games came with Billups hurt. I think Billups is the root of the problem, so when he’s out, I expect for everyone to do better.

    I agree, Jafa, “Real” was the wrong word to use. He is just a bad pick and roll point guard (slow, not a great off the dribble passer).

  31. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Toney Douglas’ strong play (at times) made me even more irked at Billups, because if TD (who, let’s face it, isn’t the highest basketball IQ player that there is) can figure out how to get Amar’e involved – you know, only one of the best finishers in the entire freakin’ NBA!!! – then why the hell can’t Chauncey “one of the smartest point guards in the NBA” Billups do it?

    The obstinance of Billups was way irritating, especially as how it was like Billups was pissed off that D’Antoni would even question his approach. Like, “Listen, Melo and I got this – we know how to score points, we don’t need to adapt. We’re good.” You could see that in his interviews after the season, where he was very non-vocal in his support for D’Antoni.

  32. Brian Cronin

    In addition, like Extra E (only in reverse), I think you have to credit Toney’s health more than anything with his improved play – when he was healthy and coach played him in 2009-10, he was good (because he hit shots). At the beginning of the season, he was playing with the hurt shoulder and was bad (because he started missing shots) then he got healthy during the break and became good again (because he hit shots) and then he re-injured his shoulder and was terrible (because he missed shots).

    I think post-surgery TD will be like he played post-break in 09-10 and 10-11, in which case he should be a very strong trade chip in getting someone like Chris Paul (if Paul, of course, insists on coming to New York – otherwise, no way is TD a good enough trade chip to entice a team to deal the Knicks someone like Chris Paul).

  33. gregory arkadin

    I never thought I’d live to see the day when Chauncey Billups would be the scapegoat for all that ails a team…

  34. BigBlueAL

    gregory arkadin:
    I never thought I’d live to see the day when Chauncey Billups would be the scapegoat for all that ails a team…

    It is pretty funny. But its just people who detested the trade and will continue to do so until this team makes further moves and hopefully reaches championship contender status which I do understand. The trade wasnt a no-brainer and I too hated to see the Knicks give up so much but Im admittedly a homer so I quickly moved on from it and tried to just look at the positives.

    At least all the blame has moved on from Melo to Billups lol.

  35. Brian Cronin

    Well, I mean, it’s because of Melo that the Knicks have Billups, so it certainly does trace back to Melo in the end. In addition, if Melo wasn’t tacitly supporting Billups the whole time, it presumably would be easier to get Billups to change his ways – but so long as one of Billups’ two plays includes “give it to Melo to iso” (with the other one being “I keep it and do iso”), Melo seems happy with Billups.

    But yeah, it is surprising that Billups was so obstinate about changing. Hopefully this changes if there is a season this year. It is hard to get a guy to change, though, when he and Melo have had such success playing their style of ball. However, as someone else noted (latke?), they had success playing their style with players who supported that style – guys like Camby and Nene. They have, like, the opposite of that type of player in the middle now with Amar’e, and yet they’re still playing like they have Nene or Camby in the paint.

  36. BigBlueAL

    If you wouldve told me in 2007 that in a few years we would be bitching about Billups and Melo being on the Knicks I wouldve slapped you in the face lol.

  37. massive

    I don’t really like the Billups part of the Melo trade either. He seems like an old dog too stubborn to learn a new trick, which could hamper the offense. However, I believe that if you give a good offensive coach good offensive players, you’ll get a (in our case, great) good offense. Heck, the only players on our roster that were above average offensively in 2010 were Al Harrington, David Lee, and Gallo but we were 16th in O-rating and 9th in eFG%. If we have a season (and a training camp/pre-season), there’s no way we won’t be a Top 5 offense with Melo, Stat, and Billups as our main offensive cogs.

  38. Brian Cronin

    If you wouldve told me in 2007 that in a few years we would be bitching about Billups and Melo being on the Knicks I wouldve slapped you in the face lol.

    In 2007, if you told me Mike D’Antoni was going to coach Billups, Melo and Amar’e, I’d have told you the same thing I (and others) said before this trade happened – it is not an obvious match for D’Antoni’s system but if they buy into the system, it should work out okay (on offense, at least). Once Billups does so, I believe/hope that it will. We just don’t know if he will, as he sure didn’t seem all that interested in doing so this past season. If he does, though, this should be an amazing offense – forget top five, it should be in the top three easily.

  39. BigBlueAL

    Brian, is their a way to find out where the Knicks offense ranked after the trade?? I know they went from 9th to 7th in BBR and from 8th to 5th in Hollinger’s stats. To move up like that in 28 games would mean I assume that they mustve been in the Top 5 if not higher on offense after the trade.

    The only reason I continue to harp on this is because if they were a Top 5 if not higher offense after the trade then how can you say Billups has to change so much for this offense to be Top 5 or better if they actually were Top 5 or better after the trade?? Especially considering the fact he shot so poorly from 3pt range (by his usual standards) yet still put up a TS% of 58% and actually raised his Asst% and lowered his TO% from his stats in Denver in the 1st half (though is WS/48 dropped a bit).

    I agree with you that he needs to play better and as Im sure you know by now I fully expect him to do so since I believe this will be a 50 win team next season even w/o any major moves prior to next season. But he still played pretty good for the Knicks and had a positive effect on the offense compared to Felton.

    I apologize again for this continued back and forth on this topic lol.

  40. Frank

    I think (assuming we get a full training camp in) that the offense will be totally fine this year. For all his faults, D’Antoni does have a great reputation as an offensive coach — he’s got great pieces and I trust that he’ll figure it out.

    Re: Chris Paul – I sort of highly doubt that Paul will be traded anywhere this year for anything but a Melo-like ransom. He is still playing on a team that is owned by the NBA, and I just can’t imagine the league signing off on a pennies-to-the-dollar deal. This is actually a good thing for us, considering we don’t have much to give towards a fair trade package.

    Meanwhile, what are the chances that any teams actually get together to practice during the lockout like Jets West? Seems like zero. I hate to join the bandwagon bashing NBA players, but it sure seems like these guys enjoy playing pickup games AAU-style and flying back and forth to places in their G5′s and helicopters than any sort of team-building/team unity like the Mark Sanchez-led Jets. (I don’t mean they are not working out/rehabbing – I’m sure they are, just that TEAMS don’t seem to be getting together to work on stuff). We need Amare/Melo/Billups to call all the guys under contract, find a non-NBA-payroll coach to work on some principles with them, etc.

  41. flossy

    I think the problem with the way Billups played after the trade is that it essentially renders Amar’e a liability (though it’s also true that Amar’e was hampered by aches and pains, but I digress). Amar’e is good at one thing, scoring. He’s average at rebounding (for a PF) and terrible at defense.

    If he isn’t either the focal point of the offense and allowed to create his own shots as he was prior to the trade, or (even better) playing with a PG who is constantly seeking to get him the ball as he’s headed toward the basket, he becomes basically a terrible defending, average rebounding, jump shooting big. Who makes $20mm/year. Felton, for all his flaws, did everything he could to run the offense in a way that maximized Amar’e's value. Billups does not, and (though this isn’t a substantive criticism) you get the sense that he feels like he’s somehow “above” trying to get Amar’e involved. But who knows–maybe he just wasn’t comfortable shifting gears so drastically mid-season. But if he doesn’t try to make the PnR with Amar’e a priority next season, then Stat’s salary is pretty much going to waste IMO.

  42. Ted Nelson

    Guys… correlation is not causation. You can’t just say: Shawne Williams and Landry Fields shot worse once Melo and Billups arrived; therefore, the change is to blame. Lots of rookies hit a wall and guys with broken fingers struggle to shoot the ball. The iso-offense MAY have hurt those players, but it could just be the ups-and-downs of a season. Simply showing the correlation doesn’t prove causation.

    Brian Cronin: They were a top 10 offense before the trade and ended up the #7 offense

    Brian,

    I didn’t see anywhere where you proved that the defense got a lot worse or that Billups and Melo (and whoever else ate their minutes) are worse defenders than Felton, WC, and Gallo. That’s a huge part of your theory… and I didn’t see you prove it, though I didn’t read every word on the thread so I may have missed it.

    Showing the relative rank of the offense doesn’t even do that much to quantify how much better the offense got. And if Fields and Williams struggles were not caused by the trade… the offense might have gotten a lot worse in the 2nd half with the status quo.

    Basically… 1/2 a season is too small a sample to prove much.

  43. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin: In addition, if Melo wasn’t tacitly supporting Billups the whole time, it presumably would be easier to get Billups to change his ways

    Billups has accomplished a whole lot in his career… I think it’s a bit presumptuous to paint him as Melo’s bitch. Guy is known as a strong leader.

    Learning a system on the fly isn’t easy nor is integrating new center-pieces into a system, so D’Antoni might have catered to their strengths as much as they refused to buy into the system. Hard to say from the outside.

    The rumors are that Billups doesn’t think D’Antoni can coach… not just that he doesn’t buy into the system. He’s supposedly claimed that during the playoffs he was dong more/better coaching in the huddle than D’Antoni. So it could get interesting. Then again, Billups has an expiring contract and could be trade bait shortly.

  44. Ted Nelson

    And as much as people are crediting Melo with carrying the offense post-trade, Billups also played very well.

  45. latke

    flossy:he becomes basically a terrible defending, average rebounding, jump shooting big. Who makes $20mm/year. Felton, for all his flaws, did everything he could to run the offense in a way that maximized Amar’e’s value. Billups does not…

    Yes, I have an article in the queue that says essentially this (except far less succinctly). Well put.

    Ted Nelson: Guys… correlation is not causation. You can’t just say: Shawne Williams and Landry Fields shot worse once Melo and Billups arrived; therefore, the change is to blame. Lots of rookies hit a wall and guys with broken fingers struggle to shoot the ball.

    I agree… mostly. Not only does correlation not equal causation, but as you point out, the sample size is small. Billups could adapt. If the rumor is true though, it’s unlikely that he will, and I don’t think it’s rocket science to say that when you have a player whose value is pretty much entirely in his pick and roll play, you have to have a point guard (or a 2 like J. Terry) who has the proper skillset to play PnR with that player. Perhaps the best comparison is that of Amare’s statistical decline after coming to new york. Minus Nash, he became a significantly less efficient player.

    A player has to be quick turning the corner (forcing hard rotations), a good shooter (forcing switches), and a good off the dribble passer to succeed in PnR. Billups can shoot, but in the other two categories he is average or worse. Combine this with his apparent disinterest in playing PnR, and I think it’s fair to suggest that he is a bad fit for this offense. In a way, he is just playing to his strengths. He’s good at taking care of the ball and scoring, and high PnR involves making risky passes and turning down shots Billups can convert with efficiency.

  46. BigBlueAL

    “In a way, he is just playing to his strengths. He’s good at taking care of the ball and scoring, and high PnR involves making risky passes and turning down shots Billups can convert with efficiency.”

    So playing to your strengths, not making risky passes and therefore not turning it over while taking and making shots at a high efficiency level is a bad thing????

  47. BigBlueAL

    I just dont get this backlash against Billups at all, especially coming from a site that is so statistically oriented. Everyone here still loves Felton whose advanced stats even as a Knick were pretty bad (horribly inefficient, a bit turnover prone, WS/48 below .1). Yet Billups, a player who even though played a bit below his usual self was still a very good player as a Knick and much better than Felton was, is getting criticized?? Especially when you consider his pedigree as a player??

  48. SeeWhyDee77

    BBA..I wouldn’t call it backlash against Billups..at least from my point of view. I don’t think anyone here is suggesting he’s a bad player. I think we’re all just saying he’s not the right pg for the stars to excel. My point in all this is he is less of a passer than we need at the starting point. Also that when u add 2 scorers to ur team at midseason, especially scorers who do it at an all star level, of course the rest of the team’s rhythm is gonna be thrown off momentarily. Maybe D’Antoni should show he’s a good coach by getting the most out of our ‘big 3′s’ strengths instead being stubborn enough to continue 2 force Billups to play his way. Billups is a veteran, championship PG..he knows how to play and involve other people. Maybe the p&r doesn’t fit him athletically..but I’m sure Billups can find a way to make it work. Or coach should trust in Melo an Stat and let them 2 run the p&r with Billups spotting up. I realize Melo’s not a great passer, but It’s worth a shot, no? Especially in camp..if there is one. But think of how dangerous that p&r would be if Melo makes the right pass or turns it over less..ppl already fear his scoring ability so they really won’t wanna be stuck deciding on who to collapse on

  49. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, exactly, Billups is a great offensive player. He and Melo basically played 2 on 5 on offense and still improved the Knicks offense. You can’t do that without being a great offensive player, which they both are.

    Things would be better, though, if they played 4 on 5 (possibly even 5 on 5) by working in the other players into their offense, particularly since both Billups and Melo are weak defensive players, so by playing them the Knicks are even worse on defense than they normally are.

    Amar’e is the biggest one, of course. I mean, the stats support it and our eyes as well, he becomes an outside shooter when he plays with Melo and Billups, and while that is obviously part of Amar’e's offensive game, it sure is not the reason why he has been such a great player in his career. And on the rare times he gets the ball with his back to the basket, it is typically top of the key where he has to back in and that is not his strength, either.

    His strength is finishing around the basket – there are few players in the NBA better than him at finishing when he gets the ball in the post. He’s Blake Griffin good. Heck, you could argue that Griffin is Amar’e good.

    And here’s the kicker – playing to Amar’e's strengths would also be playing to Melo’s strengths, as well! Ball movement would make Melo even better than he is! It would also help Fields and presumably TD and Extra E and even Walker.

    The one guy it likely wouldn’t help would be Billips, and unsurprisingly, he is the guy who seems least motivated to change his game. And the fact that A. he hates the coach, B. is a one year rental and C. might not even get a full training camp are all things that do not seem to bode well for his willingness to adapt.

  50. BigBlueAL

    The defense thing is going to be interesting, Im curious to see if they really do hire a defensive asst coach. Im not sure Billups is that bad on defense, although obviously he is at an advanced age and had some stinkers on D during the season. To me his strength is his ability to play good team D which is obviously something he did very well in Detroit with Carlisle and LB as his coaches. He constantly talked about the team not being on the same page on D, I think his problems with D’Antoni if there really were any was on the team’s strategy/principles on D more so than on offense.

    Not surprising I dont think that their best defensive effort of the season to me came in Game 1 vs Boston. They had a few days to practice and come up with a specific scheme vs Boston and Billups covering Rondo for the majority of the game held him to his worst game of the series by far. Same with Melo, he at times played some very good D and can rebound like a monster when motivated. Im sure he too would benefit from a real solid defensive structure. The year Denver went to the West Finals they were a Top 10 defensive team (obviously having Nene/KMart/Birdman as bigs and Dahntay Jones at SG helped lol) but Melo and Billups averaged the most minutes per game on the team so they can be part of a good defensive team together.

    Also Im pretty sure if there is a way to break down Amar’e and his type of baskets after the trade I dont think it is as big a difference as you suggest. Amar’e was getting some layups and dunks in Game 1 vs Boston w/o any problems lol. Well honestly I only remember 3 (the crazy layup and dunk toward end of the game and the wide open dunk Melo got him earlier). Seriously I would be curious and love to see the difference if possible of Amar’e and the shots he made/took before and after the trade. 82games.com doesnt seem to have splits for pre/post all-star break.

  51. BigBlueAL

    I totally agree with Ted btw with the fact that everyone here is just equating the trade and Billups/Melo with their style of play for the reasons that certain players performances suffered after the trade. Yet you completely ignore and try to make the significant improvements in the play of TD and Mason as just luck or happen stance or health or whatever. Their improvements come with asterisks but the poorer play of the others is automatically because of Billups and Melo??

    If the lack of ball movement was a problem and other guys werent getting good looks then why did Fields 3pt shooting stay basically exactly the same after the trade and TD and Mason both shot 40% from 3pt range, TD doing so while making over 2 3pters/g?? The team averaged a whopping .3 asts less per game after the trade and as I mentioned above Billups improved his Ast% and lowered his TO% when he came to the Knicks. Not to mention how much Melo improved his 3pt shooting and while he did make some crazy “hero” 3pters most of them came off ball movement and his catch and shooting on wide open 3pters.

    Its one thing to say that Billups needs to improve and adapt a bit better in the system because of course he can and I assume probably will. But I mean the comment of Melo and Billups playing 2 on 5 basketball Im sorry is pure bullshit point blank. Fields and Amar’e didnt exactly become Jeffries out there on offense. Turiaf actually raised his FG% a bit after the trade and Shelden Williams went from 45% in Denver to 54% with the Knicks in FG%.

    I need to go on vacation again. I didnt have any internet connection for over a week and now that I am back I am debating meaningless stuff. What we need is this stupid lockout to end so we can look forward to next season and not still looking back ad nauseam at last season lol.

  52. Brian Cronin

    I’m not blaming Melo/Billups for Extra E.

    Just Fields and Amar’e (and even there, “blame” is a bit of a stretch – as really, if Coach D can’t get them to change their ways, isn’t that more on D’Antoni than Melo and Billups who, as noted, were both really, really good on offense as Knicks?).

    And I’m not crediting them for TD for the same reason I’m not blaming them for Extra E. Both TD and Extra E clearly had medical problems that if not the reason, sure is a big enough of a deal to consider it likely that their medical problems (or lack thereof, for TD, for a time) affected their shooting.

    Heck, Melo and Billups might very well be the reason Shelden improved. Or Mason. What the heck, I’ll give you both of them. Melo and Billups made Shelden Williams good and made Mason not quite so awful as he was. Fine. I think we have noted during the season that familiarity with the system Melo and Billups play was a big reason Shelden and Carter both looked better than expected – they knew how to play with Melo and Billups.

    Still, that system also made Amar’e worse, which is a much bigger deal than anything else.

    And yes, D’Antoni did seem to make a point of forcing them to involve Amar’e in a motion offense set-up in Game 1, and it was awesome. And really, that’s my point – the one time they did it, it was awesome! So if that’s what they’re going to do in the regular season, then that’s great. I hope they will do that, and not revert to what happened in the last 2:47 of that game, where Amar’e scored (giving him 12 point of the 4th quarter on 6/7 shooting) and then didn’t take a shot the rest of the game (granted, on the very next possession they did give him the ball and he turned it over, but then not another shot from that point on, while Melo and Billups took and missed three of the next four shots – the only make for the Knicks being a TD three. On top of that, Melo turning the ball over twice – one for real and one a bogus turnover that the refs blew the call on).

  53. BigBlueAL

    That turnover was huge too, it was the charge call on Amar’e which if they wouldnt have called anything TD hit a 3pter from the corner off the pass from Amar’e which wouldve made the lead 7 with a little over 2 mins left in the game.

    I hate that call because it happens all the time in college and think is stupid to call it in the NBA. If a player passes the ball basically to avoid the charge why call a charge?? Its bad enough it has gotten to a point where everything is a charge but if a player isnt even attempting to take a shot than for the love of God give the offensive player the benefit of the doubt.

  54. nicos

    But part of the reason Amar’e was so effective in game 1 vs. the Celtics was because he had skipped 3 games (and played limited minutes in the finale against Boston) so he was fresh for the playoffs. Amar’e had no legs down the stretch so it’s tough for me to put his drop in TS all on Billups/Melo. I agree that Billups’ attempts to run the P&R seemed half-hearted at best but it’s a timing play (esp. with Amar’e who slips the screen probably 75% of the time) and given no practice time and both guys less than 100% for a portion of their games together, it’s tough to kill Billups for it. If it carries over into next season then it’s obviously going to be a problem but it seemed to me that when Amar’e was moving well he got the ball.

  55. Brian Cronin

    I will certainly concede that next season will be the true indicator of how it will all shake out. If Billups adapts, wonderful. Like I said, this should be a top 3 offense easily if he does.

  56. BigBlueAL

    To what nicos pointed out, many times here in March and April we all commented, especially Hahn on Twitter during the games, on how it looked like Amar’e had no lift whatsoever. He even talked about it himself blaming the heavy load of games in March for some of his struggles especially rebounding wise.

    I heard all this talk about how Amar’e struggled after the trade and I assumed it was like he averaged 20 ppg on 45% shooting or something like that. He averaged 23.5 ppg on 49% shooting compared to 26.1 ppg on 51% shooting prior to the trade. Nowhere near the decline I expected to see in his stats. He averaged identical minutes (36.8) and the difference in his ppg was basically attempting 1 less fg and ft per game.

    Check this out too, in January he shot 46% (he did shoot a bit over 50% in the pre-trade games in Feb). In the 3 games in Feb after the trade along with all his games in March he shot 50%. In March he scored over 40 once and over 30 a few other times. What really killed him was he shot 43% in his 4 April games, one of which was the final game of the season when Melo and Billups didnt play and he shot 6 for 15. The last game he played prior to that one was 4 games before vs Philly which was the game he sprained his ankle in which he shot 7 for 19.

    Dont worry Brian, if they struggle next season you can talk crap to me all day about Billups hurting the offense lol. Good thing is I know you want them to play well and succeed unlike some here who would root for them to fail so their point is proven. I think Im gonna go listen to the Stat & Melo remix on my iPod now.

  57. Brian Cronin

    latke already did the splits for Ama’re:

    TS%: 57.02 pre-trade
    55.27 post-trade
    (-1.75)

    That is significant.

    As a comparison, Melo, who we all agreed shot the lights out as a Knick, raised his TS% by 2.80%.

    So Melo went up 2.80 and Amar’e went down 1.75.

    Again, the Knicks end up ahead in that trade off, which is mainly why the offense did improve (well, replacing Felton’s .025 TS%…or maybe it just felt like that, with Billups’ .584 sure helped, as well), but Amare’s TS% should not have dropped that much, not when he was now playing with a guy who should make it easier for Amar’e to score, by drawing doubles.

    But yes, as we have gone over a number of times, Billups hopefully will improve in getting Amar’e the ball on pick and rolls and Amar’e's TS% should go up, hopefully to even higher than pre-trade levels.

    Also, it would be nice if Fields, TD and Shumpert played well enough to make that trio look like a non-sickening return on Chris Paul!

  58. BigBlueAL

    You think the odds are better to trade for CP3 or signing him in 2012?? Obviously the salary cap situation for 2012 is crucial but Ive read alot that with the NBA still owning the Hornets that there is no way they will trade CP3 while they are owned by the NBA.

    Espn just had one of their 5-on-5 roundtable articles and one of the questions was about who will be traded between CP3/Dwight Howard/DWill:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-110714/confidence-key-2011-12-nba-forecast

  59. Brian Cronin

    My problem is that unless the salary cap structure changes dramatically, Paul would have to take a pretty significant pay cut to sign with the Knicks as a free agent. The cap structure might very well change and that will then be exactly what happens, but if it doesn’t, then asking Paul to do what Amar’e and Melo wouldn’t do seems to be a tough sell.

    Perhaps if he is convincing enough that he would take the pay cut they’ll agree to do a sign and trade?

    By the by, the Hornets are going to be without David West, right? That’s gotta make Paul even more willing to leave.

  60. Brian Cronin

    By the way, I like the fellow in the above link who says that hey, maybe 2 out of Deron Williams. Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will be playing for the Lakers next year. Suuuuuuuuuure….

  61. BigBlueAL

    Isnt West a free agent but had major knee surgery late in the season? Maybe he will be forced to re-sign for 1 year and prove he is healthy and be a free agent again in 2012?

  62. flossy

    BigBlueAL:
    You think the odds are better to trade for CP3 or signing him in 2012??Obviously the salary cap situation for 2012 is crucial but Ive read alot that with the NBA still owning the Hornets that there is no way they will trade CP3 while they are owned by the NBA.

    Espn just had one of their 5-on-5 roundtable articles and one of the questions was about who will be traded between CP3/Dwight Howard/DWill:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-110714/confidence-key-2011-12-nba-forecast

    Oh brother. Denver is mentioned as a “possible contender” in the West, the Clippers are noted as a possible trade destination for Chris Paul, and the Knicks… are not mentioned whatsoever, in any answer to any of the questions. Thanks, Worldwide Leader!

  63. iserp

    Brian Cronin: By the way, I like the fellow in the above link who says that hey, maybe 2 out of Deron Williams. Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will be playing for the Lakers next year. Suuuuuuuuuure….

    I think they will play in Los Angeles …. Clippers, if Sterling doesnt mess it too much. What happens if the Clippers offer NOLA Mo Williams, Al-farouq Aminu, Minnesotta’s 1st round pick and their own pick? It will very hard for NO to find a better offer; and CP3 might agree to an extension since they would have cap space for Howard.

    CP3/Gordon/?/Griffin/Howard? Take that Miami!

  64. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin: particularly since both Billups and Melo are weak defensive players, so by playing them the Knicks are even worse on defense than they normally are.

    You keep asserting this as fact and not doing anything to back it up.

    Generally your argument is not well supported by stats. Small samples in some cases and just a complete absence of stats in others. You can introduce it as a hypothesis, but why myself and others are having problems with it is that you’re introducing it as irrefutable fact.

    Brian Cronin: I’m not blaming Melo/Billups for Extra E.

    Just Fields and Amar’e

    Fields was a rookie who was playing way, way better than anyone expected and then hit a wall… that could have had to do with the trade, but it could have nothing at all to do with it.

    Likewise a 2 point drop in TS% could have as much to do with some blown layups and a worse FT%, for example, as anything. He could have had a nagging injury. Anything.

    Brian Cronin: TD and Extra E clearly had medical problems that if not the reason, sure is a big enough of a deal to consider it likely that their medical problems (or lack thereof, for TD, for a time) affected their shooting.

    Unless you’re the team doctor I don’t know what value your medical opinion has.

    Brian Cronin: Heck, Melo and Billups might very well be the reason Shelden improved. Or Mason. What the heck, I’ll give you both of them.

    You’re missing the point 100%. SSS changes can’t be credited/blamed 100% on teammates. That’s the point.

  65. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin: That is significant.

    Again… you do nothing to prove it’s significant except say it is. A marginal change in TS% over a small sample of games would seem to be to have a good chance of being due to random chance, and thus not significant. If a career 57% TS% guy has a 55% half season… people aren’t really going to bat an eye. On the Knicks Amare was a 57% TS% guy up to that point. I’d like to see you do something to show it’s significant rather than relying on the “because I say so” line of reasoning.

    You haven’t done anything to show the components of TS%. If his 2P% went down or especially if his close shots went down as a % of FGAs… that would help your case a lot. If his drop in TS% was due to FT% and/or shooting worse on jumpers… not so much.

    I am not a big Melo fan, nor was I a big fan of the trade. At the same time I am not a big fan of your argument about teammates being 100% responsible for players’ performance without much more than anecdotal evidence to back it up. I absolutely think the Knicks could play better on both sides of the ball and hope they’ll do it this season (if there’s a season). I just don’t like you presenting as fact that teammates are the reason for a rookie 2nd rounder to struggle or a star to suffer a marginal decline in scoring efficiency or that two guys are bad defenders because you say so.

  66. Brian Cronin

    I think they will play in Los Angeles …. Clippers, if Sterling doesnt mess it too much. What happens if the Clippers offer NOLA Mo Williams, Al-farouq Aminu, Minnesotta’s 1st round pick and their own pick? It will very hard for NO to find a better offer; and CP3 might agree to an extension since they would have cap space for Howard.

    CP3/Gordon/?/Griffin/Howard? Take that Miami!

    With those other four players, they literally could just send out an actual question mark at small forward and still win 60 games. “What’s that question mark doing out there? It’s just standing around!”

  67. Brian Cronin

    Isnt West a free agent but had major knee surgery late in the season? Maybe he will be forced to re-sign for 1 year and prove he is healthy and be a free agent again in 2012?

    It definitely is a possibility, but if he wanted to do that he could have just accepted the one-year option New Orleans held. By turning that option down, it seems like he thinks that the dearth of good forwards on the free agency market will make him look attractive enough that some other team will still pay him (someone like New Jersey, for instance).

  68. Brian Cronin

    Hah!

    Yeah, you have to figure Randolph is a top guy to be moved on that team if Nelson took over (Beasley is also likely gone no matter what), but I think they’d be able to get more from another team than anything the Knicks could offer.

  69. massive

    If the Clippers end up with Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul, I’m think I’m done with basketball. Donald Sterling does not deserve them. James Dolan may be an idiot, but at least he’s not a racist and doesn’t insult his players.

  70. Brian Cronin

    I still can’t believe Sterling actually started heckling his own player. That truly was nuts.

  71. SeeWhyDee77

    Brian Cronin:
    I still can’t believe Sterling actually started heckling his own player. That truly was nuts.

    Are Sterling and Wilpon somehow related? Sorry..couldn’t resist. Sad thing is..I’m a Mets fan..

  72. Grymm

    For reference, I looked at the numbers pre/post trade and as a whole didn’t see much.
    Pretrade (FG/3pt/FT):
    Knicks .459/.364/.802 Opp .469/.370/.757
    Post trade:
    Knicks .452/.372/.821 Opp .477/.373/.773
    Offensively, points ticked up to 106.8 from 106.4. Defensively, teams scored 105.8 after, 105.6 before.

    To illustrate how much sample size influences the numbers, one can’t really argue that the Knicks free throw defense got any worse though the league shot 1.6% better over the post trade sample. TOV numbers did look much better post trade.

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