Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

2012 Game Preview – Knicks @ Grizzlies

After picking up a huge, although ugly win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks hit the road to challenge the struggling Memphis Grizzlies. With the shortened schedule, this will be the only matchup between the two this year. New York was victorious in both meetings last season. The Knicks are winners of four in a row, meanwhile the Grizzlies are on the other side of the spectrum, losers of three straight.

The Lowdown – The Knicks are the superior team in this contest. Especially with former Knick, Zach Randolph out 6-8 weeks with a slightly torn MCL. The Grizzlies are by no means an offensive juggernaut. Rudy Gay is their high scorer but only obtains a 44.8 TS%. With an offensive rating of 97.9, Memphis ranks near the basement in that category (27th). The Knicks have bombarded teams this season with surprisingly good defense, leading to a top ten placement in defensive rating (7th). With the continuation of sound defense, I see no alternative outcome but a Knicks victory.

Key Matchup – Carmelo Anthony vs. Rudy Gay – This is the key matchup based on the fact Big Z is not battling Amar’e. Carmelo has been a Rudy killer over his career, with a TS% of 56.9% and averaging 27.1 in fourteen games. Gay, who was missing in action for both games last season due to injury issues, is a solid scorer and can get his shot off easily. On defense, Rudy’s length will bother Anthony, but he lacks the strength to deal with ‘Melo on the interior. Gay can stop penetration and prevent open looks, but is an average post defender. He will need help down low handling, so perhaps ‘Melo can go a whole game without suffering from spontaneous tunnel vision.

X-Factor – Tyson Chandler – Marc Gasol creates a matchup problem since he is deceptively strong, and has soft touch from outside the painted area. Marc Gasol has the vertical leap of a potato, and will have a tough time keeping Chandler off the glass due to Tyson’s athleticism. However, Gasol’s versatility to set up outside of the key makes him a perfect candidate for the pick and roll. His knowledge of when to roll out or cut to the basket make him and Conley a strong duo. Chandler will have his hands full again tonight defending and communicating effectively. Another factor could simply be the intensity Chandler brings. Since the Knicks have a maddening tendency to play up and down to their competition. I look for Chandler to establish some ferocity early to get the teammates to play with more energy. Tonight’s game may be one the Knicks should win, but they will need effort to get it done.

Projected Starters (Grizzlies)
PG – Mike Conley
SG – Tony Allen
SF – Rudy Gay
PF – Marreese Speights
C – Marc Gasol

Projected Starters (Knicks)
PG – Iman Shumpert
SG – Landry Fields
SF – Carmelo Anthony
PF – Amar’e Stoudemire
C – Tyson Chandler

Melo over Allen for the

67 comments on “2012 Game Preview – Knicks @ Grizzlies

  1. jon abbey

    terrible preview, sorry. you wildly overestimate NY, there’s a reason Memphis is favored by 4.5 points.

  2. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    terrible preview, sorry. you wildly overestimate NY, there’s a reason Memphis is favored by 4.5 points.

    I think Randolph being out, tho, skews this in favor of the Knicks.
    It will be close.

  3. Thomas B.

    jon abbey:
    terrible preview, sorry. you wildly overestimate NY, there’s a reason Memphis is favored by 4.5 points.

    Aw C’mon jon, give the young man a break. He is clearly better at this than I am. Also Jon, you had firsties on game preview and you did not post “Shump Shump”. If we lose we all know who to blame.
    Steve, welcome aboard. Thanks for the fine effort and a unique perspective on tonight’s action.

  4. MKinLA

    @Jon Abbey – No one gets paid to write these. If you think you can do better, volunteer. Or dispute the argument presented. Just don’t kill this dude’s work with a blanket dismissal.

  5. jon abbey

    I’m aware of that, but this is the way I am, sorry. I’m tough but fair, this isn’t good work. hopefully better next time, just stating my opinion…

    Thomas, it’s the game thread that needs to be SHUMP SHUMP’d, nothing else.

  6. jon abbey

    my mini-preview:

    NY’s undefeated-with-Shump starting lineup will be severely tested tonight by the desperate for a win Grizzlies, who are coming off a day’s rest while NY played a draining game against Philly last night. NY’s last couple of games have taken major efforts from their four core players, Harrellson helped last night, but NY will need more bench efforts like that tonight to keep the winning streak going.

  7. jon abbey

    I also disagree that last night’s win was ‘ugly’, they had trouble holding on at the end certainly, but Philly was the hottest team in the league coming in and the 17 point deficit was the largest they’d faced all year. quality win, no reason to besmirch it.

  8. JK47

    I think we match up well with the Grizz, who really struggle to get baskets. Their PG Mike Conley is playing poorly even by his own mediocre standards, they are a poor defensive rebounding team (26th in NBA), they foul a lot (25th in defensive FT/FGA) and they’ve been the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA for a while now.

    I think we win this game unless it becomes a turnover-plagued nightmare. The Grizz’ style on defense is to force turnovers and we are turnover prone.

  9. Thomas B.

    I would not call this a “should win” game. This the 2nd of a back to back for the Knicks. They looked like they had pretty tired legs last night. They did not shot that well (eFG of 45). They were lucky that the Sixers were far worse (41%).

    I’m not ready to take this to the bank. Mempis is not not Washington–a team the Knicks barely beat btw.

  10. Thomas B.

    jon abbey:
    I’m aware of that, but this is the way I am, sorry. I’m tough but fair, this isn’t good work. hopefully better next time, just stating my opinion…

    Thomas, it’s the game thread that needs to be SHUMP SHUMP’d, nothing else.

    Fair enough.

  11. jon abbey

    I mean I don’t want to keep harping on this, Steve seemed to take my criticism in stride. but I shouldn’t have to read something like this on this site:

    “With the continuation of sound defense, I see no alternative outcome but a Knicks victory.”

  12. TDM

    jon abbey: I’m tough but fair, this isn’t good work./P>Thomas, it’s the game thread that needs to be SHUMP SHUMP’d, nothing else.

    Don’t sugar coat it chippy, tell us how you really feel.

    I’m actually interested in seeing Speights. The Sixers could have really used him last night and I was wondering whether they wanted a ‘do over’ on that trade. Putting Battie and the rook from USC out there for Hawes didn’t get it done.

    The Griz have lost 3 in a row, and are 2-3 without Zebo. The two teams they beat were the Kings and Wolves. This info may be in the analysis above but I usually skip to Jon’s take on the preview before I decide to read it. ; )

  13. Count Zero

    jon abbey: then you know something that Vegas doesn’t, that should be easy money for you.

    Actually, what Vegas thinks will be the outcome of a contest has nothing to do with the line except a bit when it is first announced. The line is set to get 50% of the bettors on each side of the bet — which ensures that they will make money. So if a lot of people are betting on Memphis, the line will go up regardless of what any handicapper thinks will be the actual result of the game.

    What it actually says is: The majority of people BETTING on this game think Memphis will win it by more than a bucket or two. Which is neither here nor there. A quick search will find numerous “betting tip sites” telling you to take the Knicks +4.5 and predicting they will win by six or more.

    Steve is just as entitled to his opinion as anyone else is. :)

  14. jon abbey

    yeah, that’s kind of a semantic quibble, Count, especially since I doubt NBA lines often move a huge amount in the less than 24 hours between the previous game and this one. my point is that the preview makes it sound like we’re playing the Washington Generals, and in reality we are the underdogs.

  15. Caleb

    Even without Zach, Memphis has been the better team this year; they’re playing at home and the Knicks are on the back of a back to back. So not sure why Griz wouldn’t be favored.

    Of course that’s why they play the games!

    Anyway it’s early season NBA in an extra-ragged season, there aren’t any “lock” picks.

  16. Frank O.

    jon abbey: yes, really. a fatally flawed first attempt, I’d give it maybe a D.

    Hee Hee.
    It’s like the GOP during the Iraq war: no matter how bad it looks they keep doubling down…lol
    I think the nuanced differences between the preview and Jon’s assessment in the last string are far closer than a D grade would justify, but perhaps he might have graded more gently had you been more nuanced and less emphatic about a Knicks victory, IMHO.
    Remember, jon argued the Grizz are hurt by a lack of depth, the loss of battie, and the fact that Zach, their best scorer and possibly rebounder, is out. The basis of his difference is essentially that the Knicks will be tired and the Grizz will be hungry for a win after dropping close ones to the Lakers and Thunder.
    All of this is valid.
    But I think the match ups make this a close game. I happen to think the Knicks could prevail, but understand I could be wrong. The Knicks are still prone to uneven play, they will be tired and achy.
    I think it will be a low scoring affair and in crunch time the Knicks have scorers that the Grizz will be hard-pressed to stop. The Grizz currently have no scorer equal to Randolph. This is not the Grizz team from last year’s playoff run.
    But I think it’s funny the back and forth on the preview quality.
    Steve, welcome to the writing game. We have a quote in my family from my son, that my wife and i will laugh over until we expire. He was at the time 5: he looked very seriously at his mother after she noted he hadn’t remembered to flush the toilet again and said in a little boy voice “evweybody’s a cwitik…”
    Criticism is part of the trade and thick skin is a prerequisite. All the best, and don’t be dissuaded.

  17. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan)

    jon abbey:
    I mean I don’t want to keep harping on this, Steve seemed to take my criticism in stride. but I shouldn’t have to read something like this on this site:

    “With the continuation of sound defense, I see no alternative outcome but a Knicks victory.”

    There was — and is — a way to get your opinion across and point out the flaws in one’s arguments without being demonstrably negative and totally counterproductive.

    No one’s denying your normative right to an opinion. But don’t act surprised when you come out guns a blazin’ and people take exception with the manner in which it was expressed.

  18. Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15) Post author

    I’m still a student in Journalism so I understand I have tons to learn. I take criticism well, whether or not it is expressed constructively or not. I will continue to write previews for the vast majority of games.

    It’s too bad this comment section has become about Jon’s comments, and not the actual game itself.

  19. Nick C.

    Who was the guy who predicted the Knicks would be 9-1 basically because the Knicks were more talented (or some such synonym) than the team(s) they were playing?

  20. Thomas B.

    I for one am hoping that SHump hits maybe 2 out of the 5-7 3 point attempts he’ll take tonight. 0-6 is not good.

  21. ess-dog

    I’d say this game should be pretty even. We are on the road, 2nd game for a back-to-back, and paper thin on the bench.

    But the Grizz are also paper thin, and playing without Zach would be like the Knicks playing without Melo. I think if Tyson can blanket Gasol we should be golden unless we shoot under 40% which could always happen…

  22. PaulStreetBoy

    I don’t know what to make of these numbers that shows Knicks’ efficiency with Chandler on and off the floor. We have a point differential of +0.5 pts when Chandler is on the floor, but a whooping +4.9pts when he is off. to my European basketball trained eyes, Chandler seems to be a must have presence in Knicks back court, but then I don’t know how to explain this aberration (?)

    The only explanation may be related to STAT and how he plays without Chandler. When he plays with the second unit, STAT becomes a different animal in offense with attacking ferociously! I wish D’Antoni finds a way to carry this to 4th quarters when things become stagnant and suddenly the only play they call is ISO for Melo.

    I vaguely remember a D’Antoni post game comment I read last night that he did not want to change Melo’s crunch time play. Given how he leads the league and considering all this LeBron bashing due his lack of 4th quarter points this sounds right to me, too. However he should definitely find a way to get STAT involved in the fourth and that will be a game changer on the offensive side especially for close games.

  23. jon abbey

    Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15):

    It’s too bad this comment section has become about Jon’s comments, and not the actual game itself.

    agreed, not what I wanted, thanks for seeing through my admittedly obnoxious tone.

    Jim, I’m not acting surprised at all, this is far from the only board I post on or the only topic I discuss on forums.

  24. jon abbey

    Nick C.:
    Who was the guy who predicted the Knicks would be 9-1 basically because the Knicks were more talented (or some such synonym) than the team(s) they were playing?

    dunno, but I mocked that at the time also.

  25. Caleb

    PaulStreetBoy:
    I don’t know what to make of these numbers that shows Knicks’ efficiency with Chandler on and off the floor. We have a point differential of +0.5 pts when Chandler is on the floor, but a whooping +4.9pts when he is off. to my European basketball trained eyes, Chandler seems to be a must have presence in Knicks back court, but then I don’t know how to explain this aberration (?)

    The only explanation may be related to STAT and how he plays without Chandler. When he plays with the second unit, STAT becomes a different animal in offense with attacking ferociously! I wish D’Antoni finds a way to carry this to 4th quarters when things become stagnant and suddenly the only play they call is ISO for Melo.

    I vaguely remember a D’Antoni post game comment I read last night that he did not want to change Melo’s crunch time play. Given how he leads the league and considering all this LeBron bashing due his lack of 4th quarter points this sounds right to me, too. However he should definitely find a way to get STAT involved in the fourth and that will be a game changer on the offensive side especially for close games.

    #1, small sample size. I don’t expect that gap to continue. Or you could take a closer look at the lineups.. off the cuff, our starting backcourt has been brutal, so some of the reserve units have played better which drags down +/- for the starters.

  26. TDM

    Point per game: 95.3 (NY) to 91 (MEM) – advantage Knicks

    Boards per game: 40.9 (NY) to 42.4 (MEM) – advantage Griz

    Dimes per game 18.3 (NY) to 17.6 (MEM) – advantage Knicks

    Points allowed: 93.7 (NY) to 95.1 (MEM) – advantage Knicks

    Strength of Sched: .373 (NY) to .558 (MEM) – advantage Griz

  27. jon abbey

    TDM:

    Strength of Sched: .373 (NY) to .558 (MEM) – advantage Griz

    this is huge, and why all of the other numbers don’t matter much IMO. it’s like we’ve been competing in the WAC (or whatever the current equivalent is) and they’ve been playing a SEC schedule.

  28. Nick C.

    To me Memphis is a mystifying team Gay and Conley are to my eye not all that by advanced metrics, Gasol is good but in a lesser role, allen has a good defensive reputation, so I will accept that it is valid, Conley does seem to get a ton of steals, but Zach is the best player. Its’s still hard to wrap my head around that and how those pieces mesh to produce a .500+ team in the West. The bench is I guess Donte Cunningham (since Speights started the last game after coming off the bench for agame or two) Mayo, Sam Young and I forget who else. Again they seem like the cast from should be underachievers anonymous but they are not. I would like to think the Knicks would win as they seem to be getting a little better and more cohesive each game.

  29. Nick C.

    Separate question, the Knicks were 14th on defense according to the game preview before last night and now are 7th. It seems like a huge jump for one game so I don’t know how much to make of their ranking this early in the season.

  30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey:
    I also disagree that last night’s win was ‘ugly’, they had trouble holding on at the end certainly, but Philly was the hottest team in the league coming in and the 17 point deficit was the largest they’d faced all year. quality win, no reason to besmirch it.

    Last game of a back-to-back-to-back, missing their center who is having one of the best seasons of any player in the NBA. Yeah, quality win.

  31. Caleb

    Actually, was just looking… didn’t realize Memphis had played so badly this season! They are -4 on the point differential. Still when you factor in SoS, they’re pretty close to the Knicks. Fortunately the Knicks are heading in the right direction.

    @37 it’s the sample again – they’ve only played 10 games so the rankings are pretty volatile. A week ago we were on pace for a 27-win season (on a full 82-game sked). Now we’re on pace for 49-33. So I’d take all the season stats with a grain of salt. Rudy Gay might not be very efficient but he’s not going to end the season with a 44.8 TS%. Toney Douglas won’t end the year with a TS% of 39. At least I hope not!!!!!

  32. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Last game of a back-to-back-to-back, missing their center who is having one of the best seasons of any player in the NBA. Yeah, quality win.

    tops in the league in Hollinger’s purely performance based rankings going into the game. admittedly without Hawes, but you can only play the games on the schedule.

  33. jon abbey

    ban me if you want, Mike, you’ve known me long enough to know I’m not going to mince words.

  34. Mike Kurylo

    jon abbey:
    ban me if you want, Mike, you’ve known me long enough to know I’m not going to mince words.

    Geez, who stepped on your favorite record today?

    Nothing near bannable. You said the article sucked. Didn’t see you personally insult anyone.

    You’ve done the blogging/commenting equivalent of a Bruce Bowen here.

    Everyone move along.

  35. Z

    Don’t worry Steve– you should see the Bowen job jon did on one of Silverman’s first pieces:

    http://knickerblogger.net/an-open-letter-to-lebron-james/ (comment #26)

    Glad you have a healthy tolerance for criticism. (That may say more about a bright future in journalism than anything else!). As a newbie here, just site the fact that in a regular year this would still be the preseason, and keep at it.

    That said, I liked jon’s comments today, not because I agreed with them, but because the writers are here for the readers, not vice-versa, and jon was letting it be known (in his own special way) what he expects to read when he visits here. jon’s been here longer than just about anybody else that still posts regularly, so I like that he is doing what he can to keep it grounded in the old, even as more and more new contributors pop up. Mike has created a large and loyal following over the years by giving high b-ball IQ fans someplace to go to read about the league. He’s set a high bar– one that even commenters should feel compelled to bring their A game to!

  36. Z-man

    In essence, Steve, while I appreciate the effort, I agree with Jon in that the previews should be more informative and less predictive; let the posters make the predictions.

    Speaking of predictions, in yesterday’s preview thread, I predicted not only that the Knicks would win, but that Jorts would have a big game. Tonight I’m looking at big efforts from Amar’e, Shump and BILL WALKER in another Knicks win. I wouldn’t be surprised if Landry broke out a bit as well, he looked a bit less stilted on a pull-up J he took from the elbow.

  37. Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15) Post author

    I completely understand where the predictive criticism comes from. I apologize and from now on, will be much more informative and less going for the throat with predictions.

    I need criticism to learn, so any comments on how to improve myself as a writer and what readers are looking for are recommended.

  38. Z-man

    Of course, Steve, nothing is wrong with posting your own predictions to the comment section of your own thread. And don’t sweat it, all of us have been abbey-slapped (and have slapped back)at some time or another!

  39. Z

    Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15):

    I need criticism to learn, so any comments on how to improve myself as a writer and what readers are looking for are recommended.

    I noticed in your first preview that you cited a lot of per-game numbers. In this one you didn’t cite any, so you’ve already improved :)

  40. cgreene

    THCJ mentioned that Vegas had the Grizz favored tonight. I’m not a gambler but it would seem to me that the NBA would be a very touch league to predict this year and, hence, bet on due to the schedule, injuries and lack of practice especially this early in the season. Would be interesting to get some data on how the odds makers were doing.

    Tonight is a testament to that. Are the Grizz still currying favor with odds makers on last year’s reputation I wonder? It is no doubt a very winnable game. If the Knicks play with high energy and the same defensive focus there is no reason this should not be a victory. Stats wise and momentum wise we are the better team. Focus on shutting down Gay and keeping him inefficient would be my game plan. I don’t like that Gasol pulls Chandler away from the basket. I might even switch Stat on to Gasol and put Chandler on Speights so he can roam. Stat should have a big game.

  41. cgreene

    I know this doesn’t count for intelligent analysis but I really hope we win tonight more than most just so we don’t have to listen to Barkley rip us. Really chaps me for some reason.

  42. PaulStreetBoy

    STAT to whoever-replaces-Zbo match up will be the most important tonight. they have both Dante Cunningham and Marrese Speights in that position and they played some 43, 44 minutes between them for the past two games.

    Speights seem to line up well against STAT. he had 3 good games playing against STAT when he was in Portland and he played almost 25 minutes in each. See the stats here STAT did not seem to have great games in neither of the 3. With Cunningham however I don’t see the data being good for comparisons.

    without Gay, I think this is an easy win for the Knicks! with Gay however, STAT should step up and try to play some D on Speights and Cunningham. This time he has Chandler on this side and it should be no problem. should be a fun game to watch!

  43. daJudge

    Steve-I would have written sooner, but I can’t blog from work. I really enjoyed your piece. However, I am not the most analytical guy with respect to hoop. Many (most) of the folks on this awesome site, like Jon, are really good with that stuff. I am way too lazy and much too burnt out by the time I get home to even attempt to any intelligent analysis. But I really did like your article and I thought it flowed nicely. To me, it was simply a good read. If you want the heavy hitters to be interested, that’s cool, but keep your style.

  44. PC

    Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15): I completely understand where the predictive criticism comes from. I apologize and from now on, will be much more informative and less going for the throat with predictions. I need criticism to learn, so any comments on how to improve myself as a writer and what readers are looking for are recommended.

    Steve! Do not change your writing in any way!!!!!

    I was a journalism student and sports editor for 3 years in college. I know what you are going through. Only take advice from those you work with. Bloggers, readers and critics have zero qualifications to tell you how to write. You will learn by writing everyday and time and experience will mold your style of writing.

    Please don’t change what you’re doing. Your write up was fine. You chose the knicks and you gave us your reasons for doing so – I can’t imagine what you did wrong. Your style will emerge without you ever knowing it.

  45. jon abbey

    FWIW, I worked at Time Magazine for 10 years before starting my current career, so I’m not entirely without journalistic credentials. :)

  46. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    PC:

    Bloggers, readers and critics have zero qualifications to tell you how to write.

    The strength of this site is the fact that the readership demands such high quality. I expect that the folks here will let me (or any author) know when they feel something isn’t up to snuff.

    So I’m sorry, PC, but I heartily disagree when you say that Bloggers, etc. have ZERO qualifications. The people who write and comment here are certainly qualified to determine what does or does not make for a good KB article. Their criticism (productive criticism) is essential to what the site does, just as we don’t accept it when someone posts, “D’ANTONI SUX! MELO ROOLZ. AMIRITE?”

  47. Caleb

    PC:

    Steve! Do not change your writing in any way!!!!!

    I was a journalism student and sports editor for 3 years in college. I know what you are going through. Only take advice from those you work with. Bloggers, readers and critics have zero qualifications to tell you how to write. You will learn by writing everyday and time and experience will mold your style of writing.

    Please don’t change what you’re doing. Your write up was fine. You chose the knicks and you gave us your reasons for doing so – I can’t imagine what you did wrong. Your style will emerge without you ever knowing it.

    That is terrible advice.

    Would it support or undermine MY advice to say I’m a professional journalist?

  48. jon abbey

    yeah, if we’re really going to harp on this, I can give you somewhat more constructive criticism, but the people blindly supporting this piece are the ones out of touch with reality and causing you damage in the long-term.

  49. jon abbey

    Caleb: That is terrible advice.

    Would it support or undermine MY advice to say I’m a professional journalist?

    agreed, easily the worst post of the thread.

  50. jon abbey

    first two paragraphs are where most of my issues are:

    “After picking up a huge, although ugly win over the Philadelphia 76ers. ”

    sentence fragment, and there should be a comma after ugly. also, as I said above, I disagree strongly with calling that win ‘ugly’.

    “The Knicks hit the road to challenge the struggling Memphis Grizzlies….The Knicks are winners of four in a row, meanwhile the Grizzlies are on the other side of the spectrum, losers of three straight.”

    all fine.

    “The Lowdown – The Knicks are the superior team in this contest. ”

    really debatable, oddsmakers don’t agree, Hollinger doesn’t agree, Memphis went farther in the playoffs last year, they’re at home, Knicks are less rested, etc.

    “Especially with former Knick, Zach Randolph out 6-8 weeks with a slightly torn MCL. ”

    another sentence fragment with no verb, and an unnecessary comma before Zach.

    “The Grizzlies are by no means an offensive juggernaut. Rudy Gay is their high scorer but only obtains a 44.8 TS%. With an offensive rating of 97.9, Memphis ranks near the basement in that category (27th). ”

    there are tons of better ways to phrase that first sentence, since you go on to say how you believe they have one of the few worst offenses in the league. why introduce a negative? go with something like “The Grizzlies have been an offensive disaster so far this year.” (or an offensive offense, heh).

    “The Knicks have bombarded teams this season with surprisingly good defense, leading to a top ten placement in defensive rating (7th).”

    again, as was stated above, the strength of schedule between the two teams has been so massive as to make these rankings mostly meaningless.

    ” With the continuation of sound defense, I see no alternative outcome but a Knicks victory. ”

    this is the sentence that made me post initially, though. really? you can’t possibly see Memphis winning a low scoring game? of course you can.

    hope that helps…

Comments are closed.