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Saturday, August 30, 2014

2013 Report Card: Chris Copeland

Similarity Scores

PlayerID FLName Year Tm PER TS_P eFG_P PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
0 Chris Copeland 2013 NYK 16.8 .583 .557 20.3 1.4 5.0 1.1 0.7 0.5 2.1
0.101 Jamaal Wilkes 1982 LAL 16.5 .554 .525 21.5 1.9 4.9 1.8 1.1 0.3 2.0
0.124 Tracy Murray 2000 WAS 14.1 .555 .517 16.0 1.2 5.3 1.4 0.9 0.5 1.7
0.126 Jason Richardson 2009 TOT 16.7 .571 .544 18.1 1.2 4.8 2.2 1.1 0.4 1.4
0.137 Carl Landry 2012 NOH 18.2 .577 .503 18.4 2.8 7.7 1.4 0.5 0.4 2.3
0.139 Peja Stojakovic 2006 TOT 16.7 .570 .517 17.9 1.1 5.7 1.9 0.6 0.1 1.4
0.140 Al Harrington 2009 TOT 15.9 .547 .509 20.8 1.4 6.4 1.4 1.2 0.3 2.3
0.144 Glen Rice 1996 CHH 17.8 .584 .537 19.6 1.0 4.3 2.7 1.0 0.2 1.9
0.145 Rashard Lewis 2008 ORL 16.7 .591 .554 17.3 1.1 5.1 2.3 1.2 0.4 1.6
0.149 Hakim Warrick 2011 PHO 16.5 .581 .512 17.0 2.2 7.5 1.8 0.8 0.2 2.0
0.150 Andres Nocioni 2008 CHI 13.6 .549 .504 19.2 0.9 6.1 1.7 0.4 0.8 2.4

The first time I saw Chris Copeland in person was in the Garden locker room after the Knicks 12/2/2012 game against the Suns. Copeland got dressed with hardly anyone around him. To the reporters, he might as well have been a ball-boy or janitor. When he finished, he donned his princess backpack, a sign that he was being hazed by the team, and walked out the door.

What stuck in my mind was not that an N.B.A. player went unmolested in a room full of scribes, but rather it was that backpack. There were a number of princesses on the bag, and I had a moment of pride knowing I could name all of them. I didn’t see many Disney movies as a child, and a number of royals had been created after my youth had passed.

Knowing the names of the Disney princesses is a skill I only learned a few years ago, and if I didn’t have my own children, I probably would be unaware of such a fact. It’s not that people don’t have the capacity to recall names of cartoon characters. However sometimes people need exposure to showcase such a skill.

The same could be said of Chris Copeland.

Chris Copeland started off his professional career in the D-Leagues, and followed that up with a couple of seasons in Europe. By the time I saw him that December, he had not seen much action for the Knicks. Against Phoenix that night, he only managed nine and a half minutes of court time. Few people thought he was worth much. The next day I penned a small piece for the New York Times about Chris Copeland’s potential, but it fell on deaf ears. Only a few comments here at KnickerBlogger even mentioned Cope, all of which were derogatory:

“Copeland looked great in the first half yesterday, but I still think he’s about 14th on the depth chart if everyone is healthy.”

“You fella’s are all on tranquilizers! Copeland is slow can’t play defense too big and slow to play John Havlicek and too small and not strong enough to be Elvin Hayes.”

No one came to Copeland’s defense.

Two games later Copeland played 18 minutes against Cleveland, and the game after he managed 28 minutes of court action. Near the end of December he’d rack up 40 minutes in a loss against the Kings.

But Amar’e would cut into Copeland’s time, just as I had predicted in that early December article. Knick #1 came back in January, and the neophyte forward played sporadically until March, when Amar’e Stoudemire’s knee gave out. From that moment forward, Copeland was a main fixture with the team. Cope managed nearly 21 minutes per game from that point forward.

Copeland averaged an impressive 20.7 pts/36 with a ts% of 58.6% in that stretch. Take a look at the people 6-9 or taller who put up those kinds of numbers over the last 20 years. His group of comparable players is more grounded, but is still an impressive mix of borderline All Stars, starters, and 6th men.

Despite his strong play, Copeland was largely ignored in the playoffs. Coach Woodson managed to only find 10 minutes per match for his emerging forward, and in none of those did he manage more than 20. Cope only saw meaningful minutes when the Knicks were already in despair.

In a word, Copeland is a “scorer”. A third of his shots came from downtown, and another third from at the rim. Despite his size, he didn’t contribute much in terms of rebounding or defense. If you had to describe Copeland to a friend who just came out of a coma, you could use some of the names above: Harrington, Rice, Lewis, depending on how high your opinion is of him.

After signing with Indy this summer, Copeland joins the ranks of one-year wonders who left the Knicks for greener bank accounts. When Jeremy Lin and Shawne Williams escaped from New York, it appeared as if the team made a huge mistake. However in Lin’s case the Knicks found adequate replacements, and Shawne pretty much played himself out of the league last year. So you may snicker at my pessimistic view concerning Cope’s desertion, and you’d have history on your side.

On the other hand, Copeland’s similar players are far superior to Extra-E’s, a sign that the former was a much more productive player. Unless his shooting was a fluke, he’ll likely eek out a respectable career in the States. And unlike when Lin left, the Knicks may have trouble filling his role. Obviously Bargnani was brought in to take over as big-man “scorer”, but look at his comparable player list (below) & compare it to Copeland’s. Clearly the player the Knicks brought in (and paid for with money, players, and prospects) is inferior to the one that left.

Grades (5 point scale):
Offense: 5
Defense: 1
Teamwork: 3
Rootability: 5
Performance/Expectations: 20 (as in points per 36 minutes)
Final Grade: B+

PlayerID FLName Year Tm PER TS_P eFG_P PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
0 Andrea Bargnani 2013 TOR 11.2 .482 .444 15.9 0.9 4.6 1.4 0.8 0.8 1.9
0.029 Gerald Green 2013 IND 9.9 .465 .435 14.0 1.0 4.7 1.7 0.6 0.8 1.8
0.066 John Wallace 2002 PHO 13.7 .493 .446 17.0 2.0 6.2 2.1 0.8 0.7 2.1
0.076 Predrag Drobnjak 2003 SEA 12.5 .459 .431 14.0 2.0 5.8 1.6 0.9 0.7 1.2
0.077 Brian Cook 2008 TOT 8.6 .489 .468 13.6 1.6 6.2 1.5 0.7 0.7 2.2
0.077 Rafael Addison 1992 NJN 10.9 .477 .449 13.6 2.0 5.1 2.1 0.9 0.9 1.4
0.077 Jay Vincent 1987 WSB 13.2 .493 .447 17.6 1.8 5.5 2.2 1.0 0.4 2.0
0.086 Sam Mitchell 1991 MIN 12.3 .505 .441 13.8 2.2 6.0 1.5 0.8 0.7 1.2
0.088 Ron Mercer 2004 SAS 9.3 .446 .431 13.6 0.7 3.4 1.5 1.0 0.3 1.8
0.089 Raja Bell 2004 UTA 12.7 .500 .447 16.3 1.1 4.3 1.9 1.1 0.2 2.0
0.092 Lamond Murray 2001 CLE 13.9 .490 .456 16.1 1.7 5.5 2.0 1.3 0.4 2.3

127 comments on “2013 Report Card: Chris Copeland

  1. GHenman

    Good guy to have coming off the bench or for a spot start. Always seemed to be focused and ready, even in garbage time. I think Indiana is a terrible place for him and I doubt he gets much playing time.

  2. KnickfaninNJ

    I’m not sure it’s fair to use Bargnani’s injury plagued 2012-2103 season as a comparison to Copeland. The Knicks clearly didn’t trade hoping to get that Bargnani. How would the similarity scores look if you picked 2011-2012?

  3. GHenman

    We should have signed him to a two year deal initially like we did Leslie. Second year could have been non guaranteed. Oh well…

  4. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    There’s no way that the narrative machine of the media could be responsible for Bargnani’s perceived value and Copeland’s perceived lack.

  5. flossy

    DRed:
    Pick whatever season you want-Bargs has never played as well as Copeland did last year.

    I don’t like Barngani, but let’s see Chris Copeland play 2000+ minutes against other team’s starters as the 1st or 2nd option on offense and sustain his sexy TS% and shooting volume.

    I remember salivating over a young player whose per-36 numbers in limited minutes screamed “Kevin Garnett Jr.” Anthony Randolph, anyone?

  6. DRed

    Look at Copeland’s lineup data on 82 games. He was the number one or two option on offense most of the time he was on the floor.

    In any event, I’m not saying even Copeland could replace what Copeland did last year. I realize 800 minutes of basketball doesn’t mean that 2012 was Copeland at his true talent level. But he did do that, and that production does need to be replaced if we’d like to be as successful next year. Bargnani is not a good bet to do that.

  7. KnickfaninNJ

    Remember that we didn’t lose Copeland because the Knicks chose Bargnani instead. The Knicks used up most of their available salary dollars to sign Prigioni because they needed a point guard more than a scorer. Copeland was worth too much money for the Knicks to sign him at all. So he was basically gone, with or without the Bargnani trade.

    Even if Bargnani is worse than Copeland next year, it’s still good that the Knicks found some way to replace what Copeland was giving them. Copeland was a remarkably efficient scorer last year. It will be interesting to see how he does with the Pacers.

  8. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy: I don’t like Barngani, but let’s see Chris Copeland play 2000+ minutes against other team’s starters as the 1st or 2nd option on offense and sustain his sexy TS% and shooting volume.

    I remember salivating over a young player whose per-36 numbers in limited minutes screamed “Kevin Garnett Jr.” Anthony Randolph, anyone?

    1. I never like the “garbage time” argument. I think I debunked this years ago, and I will have to dig that up. It’s not both teams instantly remove all starters off the floor at the same time. Starters play 30-35 minutes a game. Copeland played 20. There aren’t 55 minutes in a game. There has to be overlap.

    Look at his last 2 games against Indy. Plenty of overlap with Hibbert/West.
    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130516&game=INDNYK
    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130518&game=NYKIND

    2. Anthony Randolph’s stats haven’t gotten worse with more play. He’s just never gotten the minutes. His stats are amazingly similar, year to year.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/randoan01.html

  9. flossy

    Mike Kurylo: 1. I never like the “garbage time” argument. I think I debunked this years ago, and I will have to dig that up. It’s not both teams instantly remove all starters off the floor at the same time. Starters play 30-35 minutes a game. Copeland played 20. There aren’t 55 minutes in a game. There has to be overlap.

    Look at his last 2 games against Indy. Plenty of overlap with Hibbert/West.
    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130516&game=INDNYK
    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130518&game=NYKIND

    2. Anthony Randolph’s stats haven’t gotten worse with more play. He’s just never gotten the minutes. His stats are amazingly similar, year to year.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/randoan01.html

    Look, if you think defenses were focused on Chris Copeland, game-planned to stop Chris Copeland, assigned their better defenders to Chris Copeland, that’s… an opinion. Not one that I share, but whatever. Andrea Bargnani was undeniably a centerpiece, and sometimes THE centerpiece, of the entire Raptor’s offense for many years. That’s a much bigger burden than just jacking up a lot of shots in 800 minutes scattered across 56 games. It really is a total apples/oranges comparison.

    As for Randolph, who cares whether his per-36 stats have remained consistent? What’s also remained consistent is that he gets nailed to the bench because every single coach he’s ever had has wanted to strangle him. You can put up sterling per 36 numbers and still be completely unfit play…

  10. flossy

    flossy: As for Randolph, who cares whether his per-36 stats have remained consistent? What’s also remained consistent is that he gets nailed to the bench because every single coach he’s ever had has wanted to strangle him. You can put up sterling per 36 numbers and still be completely unfit play…

    Huh, that got mangled. What I meant to say is that you can put up sterling per-36 numbers and still be completely unfit to be a solid 2000+ minute contributor to a good team. Anthony Randolph has been a bad decision maker and bad player in Golden State, NYC and now Denver. He’s not a good player no matter how awesome his per-36 numbers. Play Chris Copeland 2,000 minutes and I have a feeling you’ll start to see the warts a lot more clearly.

  11. Hubert

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    There’s no way that the narrative machine of the media could be responsible for Bargnani’s perceived value and Copeland’s perceived lack.

    Yeah, that’s right. The media loves to talk up Bargnani’s value. I’ve been reading lots of outlets this summer talking about how smart we were for trading for him and how stupid Indiana was for blowing $3mm on Copeland.

  12. Hubert

    With the Knicks it came down to short term (Prigioni plus Artest) vs long term (Copeland). Not surprisingly, we chose short term.

    We’re better off next year for it. I expect the loss of Copeland to sting in two years, though.

    Question: was there any sort of CBA rule that prevented us from sticking a team option for the 2nd year on his contract, or did we just mess that up?

  13. EB

    Hubert: With the Knicks it came down to short term (Prigioni plus Artest) vs long term (Copeland). Not surprisingly, we chose short term.

    We’re better off next year for it. I expect the loss of Copeland to sting in two years, though.

    How do you figure? In two years Copeland will be 31 and he can’t rebound or play defense. Not the sort of player I’d want.

  14. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy: Look, if you think defenses were focused on Chris Copeland, game-planned to stop Chris Copeland, assigned their better defenders to Chris Copeland, that’s… an opinion. Not one that I share, but whatever. Andrea Bargnani was undeniably a centerpiece, and sometimes THE centerpiece, of the entire Raptor’s offense for many years. That’s a much bigger burden than just jacking up a lot of shots in 800 minutes scattered across 56 games. It really is a total apples/oranges comparison.

    Here are his most common 5 man units.
    1 Prigioni-Shumpert-White-Copeland-Novak
    2 Felton-Kidd-Smith-Copeland-Anthony
    3 Felton-Kidd-Smith-Copeland-Novak
    4 Prigioni-Smith-White-Copeland-Novak
    5 Kidd-Smith-Copeland-Novak-Chandler 50

    Other than lineup #2, it appears that Copeland is pretty much option #1 or option #2 whenever he was on the floor.

    Every team knows that Copeland isn’t out there to rebound and block shots. The guy pretty much jacks up the ball whenever he gets it. And it’s not as if players were just letting him score. That just doesn’t happen in the NBA. Additionally, no one is game-planning on Shumpert and Novak and letting Copeland run wild. Cope’s role going forward will likely be the same as it was for the Knicks – 1st or 2nd option – much like most 6th men scoring types. I don’t see a huge drop-off for him.

    As for Bargnani, he could see an increase in efficiency with a reduced role. But that’s the best case, isn’t it?

  15. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy: Huh, that got mangled. What I meant to say is that you can put up sterling per-36 numbers and still be completely unfit to be a solid 2000+ minute contributor to a good team. Anthony Randolph has been a bad decision maker and bad player in Golden State, NYC and now Denver. He’s not a good player no matter how awesome his per-36 numbers. Play Chris Copeland 2,000 minutes and I have a feeling you’ll start to see the warts a lot more clearly.

    You can be unfit for other reasons (defensive lapes, not listen to coaches, etc.) but it’s not like the stats would drop off. Anthony Randolph could be a complete idiot goofball, but that doesn’t mean his stats would drop off with more minutes. In fact I, and others, have proved this time and again. You’re confusing the fact that per-minute stats are pretty constant with what makes a good NBA player that isn’t captured in stats. (and/or how dumb some NBA coaches are to not be able to figure out which players would actually be good).

    Also we can argue Anthony Randolph all day, but can we add more good per-minute guys to the discussion. I mean just go back to the David Lee threads from a few years back. We discussed this ad naseum.

    One final thing – if 2000 minutes is the only way to determine if a player is suitable to be in the NBA, doesn’t this make the case against Bargnani?

  16. flossy

    Mike Kurylo: Here are his most common 5 man units.
    1 Prigioni-Shumpert-White-Copeland-Novak
    2 Felton-Kidd-Smith-Copeland-Anthony
    3 Felton-Kidd-Smith-Copeland-Novak
    4 Prigioni-Smith-White-Copeland-Novak
    5 Kidd-Smith-Copeland-Novak-Chandler 50

    Other than lineup #2, it appears that Copeland is pretty much option #1 or option #2 whenever he was on the floor.

    The most used line-up in that sample played 41 whole minutes together. Forty. One. I mean, really, we’re going to draw conclusions based on that? Give me a break.

    And spare me the whole “he’s not just a garbage time phenomenon” line, too–three of those five line-ups feature Steve Novak at center. Steve Novak at center is the definition of garbage time.

    You cannot possibly think the per-36 numbers of someone with such a laughably short resume can realistically be compared to the career numbers–however underwhelming–of someone who has played 13,000+ NBA minutes as the #1 or #2 option on offense for his team.

  17. flossy

    Mike Kurylo: You can be unfit for other reasons (defensive lapes, not listen to coaches, etc.) but it’s not like the stats would drop off. Anthony Randolph could be a complete idiot goofball, but that doesn’t mean his stats would drop off with more minutes. In fact I, and others, have proved this time and again. You’re confusing the fact that per-minute stats are pretty constant with what makes a good NBA player that isn’t captured in stats. (and/or how dumb some NBA coaches are to not be able to figure out which players would actually be good).

    Also we can argue Anthony Randolph all day, but can we add more good per-minute guys to the discussion. I mean just go back to the David Lee threads from a few years back. We discussed this ad naseum.

    One final thing – if 2000 minutes is the only way to determine if a player is suitable to be in the NBA, doesn’t this make the case against Bargnani?

    Let’s not draw too many conclusions from the Anthony Randolph comparison aside from “good per 36 stats =/= a good NBA player.”

    Since per 36 stats and a garbage-time-heavy TS% compiled in 800 whole minutes are basically Copeland’s only calling cards at this point in his career, I think there’s not much of a case to be made that he’s anything close to a sure bet. And however nice his numbers look, they are plainly not comparable to Bargnani, which is not a defense of Bargnani but just an insistence that you can’t legitimately compare the two.

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Since per 36 stats and a garbage-time-heavy TS% compiled in 800 whole minutes are basically Copeland’s only calling cards at this point in his career, I think there’s not much of a case to be made that he’s anything close to a sure bet. And however nice his numbers look, they are plainly not comparable to Bargnani, which is not a defense of Bargnani but just an insistence that you can’t legitimately compare the two.

    What are you advocating? That we disregard the numbers because we don’t have enough factors to tell if they’re “valid?”

    I’ve never insisted that stats are the end-all-be-all. The only thing I’ve insisted is that they’re a hell of a lot better than whatever alternative you want to propose. If you can gets some really nice SportVu arguments, I’d love to reconsider. But if you want to tell me that Bargnani has a “sweet stroke” and is being misused and underutilized and that Copeland is only good because teams “don’t gameplan him,” as if that means that everyone on the floor ignores when a 6’9″ guy with long arms has the ball in the post — you’re crazy.

    You say “this stuff is inconclusive” and propose what in its place?

  19. Robert Silverman

    Hubert: Yeah, that’s right.The media loves to talk up Bargnani’s value.I’ve been reading lots of outlets this summer talking about how smart we were for trading for him and how stupid Indiana was for blowing $3mm on Copeland.

    Really? From serious NBA writers or random blogs (Not to universally dismiss ‘blogs’ as unworthy/not serious. Many are quite, quite good. Others, not so much.) As far as I can tell, every site I trust has lauded Indy for nabbing Cope and ripped the Knicks for the Bargnani trade.

  20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Robert Silverman: Really? From serious NBA writers or random blogs (Not to universally dismiss ‘blogs’ as unworthy/not serious. Many are quite, quite good. Others, not so much.)As far as I can tell, every site I trust has lauded Indy for nabbing Cope and ripped the Knicks for the Bargnani trade.

    He was mocking me. Sarcasm.

    What’s his salary again?

  21. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: What are you advocating? That we disregard the numbers because we don’t have enough factors to tell if they’re “valid?”

    I’ve never insisted that stats are the end-all-be-all. The only thing I’ve insisted is that they’re a hell of a lot better than whatever alternative you want to propose. If you can gets some really nice SportVu arguments, I’d love to reconsider. But if you want to tell me that Bargnani has a “sweet stroke” and is being misused and underutilized and that Copeland is only good because teams “don’t gameplan him,” as if that means that everyone on the floor ignores when a 6’9? guy with long arms has the ball in the post — you’re crazy.

    You say “this stuff is inconclusive” and propose what in its place?

    Where have I defended Bargnani’s game, except that to say that he’s played about 16x as many NBA minutes as Chris Copeland in what is clearly a different role, and therefore their respective per 36 minutes are not a legitimate basis for comparison?

    I think it’s utterly laughable that on a site devoted to statistics buffs that anyone would cite a set of line-ups that max out at 41 minutes total as evidence that Chris Copeland’s role on an NBA team is comparable to the role Andrea Bargnani has had in his 13,000 minutes of NBA action. I am not, I repeat, not defending Andrea Bargnani or saying he’s a good player.

    I am saying that you cannot take it as a given that Chris Copeland’s TS% would remain high if asked to lead an NBA team in FGA over a full season, simply because he performed well on offense in a minuscule sample. There is no reason to believe that Chris Copeland would average 20 pts/36 is if he actually played 36 mpg on a consistent basis. Did we not go through this last summer with Jeremy Lin, future perennial all-star?

  22. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Flossy,

    May I introduce you to this:

    http://knickerblogger.net/one-more-nail-in-the-anti-per-minute-arguments-coffin/

    In the end what does this prove? Specifically this study removes the correlation between the role player group and players that saw extra minutes due to improvement. It debunks the thought that there is some kind of division between per minute stats, where the per minute stats of high minute players are more a representation of actual talent than those who play few minutes per game. But combined with the past works of Hollinger, Kubakto, and Ziller, among others, it makes an overall stronger statement. Players who receive 10 or more minutes per game are likely to keep the same per minute stats no matter what the increase in playing time is. Therefore per minute stats remains far superior to per game stats in terms of comparing and evaluating players.

    The point that I am trying to make is:

    “Good per minute stats in low minutes” is likely to have “good per minute stats in high minutes” and is likely to be “a good NBA player.” It doesn’t work 100% of the time. Some players don’t keep their per-minute stats. And some with good per-minute stats don’t turn into good NBA players.

    Yes there are Anthony Randolphs and Renaldo Balkmen. But there are also Jermaine O’Neals and David Lees. If you’re throwing this out because it doesn’t work all the time, then under what basis are you doing so? What’s the justification?

    These are scientific theories, as much as evolution or atomic theory. But just because monkeys aren’t instantly evolving or nuclear fizzle occurs doesn’t mean we throw out the facts at hand.

    Copeland could fail. 800 minutes is not a lot; certainly players have gotten hot for 800 minutes. But if you’re postulating that someone who has been mediocre for 13000 over Cope, you don’t have much to hold up that argument.

  23. flossy

    Mike Kurylo: It doesn’t work 100% of the time. Some players don’t keep their per-minute stats. And some with good per-minute stats don’t turn into good NBA players.

    Yes there are Anthony Randolphs and Renaldo Balkmen. But there are also Jermaine O’Neals and David Lees. If you’re throwing this out because it doesn’t work all the time, then under what basis are you doing so? What’s the justification?

    Uh, ok, you said it yourself. Sometimes the per 36 stats hold, sometimes they don’t. You’re basing your assumption that Copeland will maintain his sky-high level of production on the role he supposedly occupied within line-ups that played 41 minutes together, and extrapolating that over he course of a what would be well over 2,000 minutes if he were to play the “Barngani-on-the-Raptors” role for a full season. Do I even need to explain why that’s ridiculous?

    Mike Kurylo: Copeland could fail. 800 minutes is not a lot; certainly players have gotten hot for 800 minutes. But if you’re postulating that someone who has been mediocre for 13000 over Cope, you don’t have much to hold up that argument.

    Literally the FIRST WORDS I posted on this comment thread were “I don’t like Barngani.” Who is advocating for Barngani? Not me! I am simply pointing out what should be obvious to everyone, which is a) the roles Bargnani and Copeland have played for their respective teams are dramatically different and b) there is 1/16th the amount of available evidence from which one can draw conclusions about Copeland relative to Barngani, enough to merit major skepticism about any conclusion reached from such a small sample.

  24. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: What are you advocating? That we disregard the numbers because we don’t have enough factors to tell if they’re “valid?”

    This is actually a pretty succinct summation of the THCJ ethos: If there are numbers, draw a conclusion, no matter how fucking retarded it sounds.

  25. mokers

    None of the money that went To Bargnani could have gone to Copeland. Anytime willing to spend $1 more than the mini-MLE could have taken Copeland from the Knicks. As much as it sucked seeing Copeland go, and he didn’t get a fair chance in the playoffs while other members of the team were providing negative value, using the miniMLE on Prigioni was the call. The quality of the Bargnani deal, how much he sucks, etc, did not affect signing Copeland. If your beef is with Cope not being on the team, point to Prigs and Artest, because they received the miniMLE.

    Now it’s possible that we could have given Copeland the entire miniMLE and he stays in NY because he’s close to home and likes being here. Then we are offering up our pupu platter to get a guard on a terrible contract. Except at least we have the forward depth to suffer through crappy Bargs. Did we all want to see 38 MPG of Felton because our backup PG is Bobby Brown? Hope that Nate Robinson takes vet min?

    Overall, I still think the Knicks season success is going to be dependent on having a 100% Chandler, STAT and Melo in the playoffs. Arguing over whether Dolan pays 3 million or 12 million for the 8th/9th man is probably missing the bulk of the discussion. Still don’t think there is a good plan for the team if Tyson misses time. Don’t think Kenyon could hold up to starter’s minutes for very long.

  26. DRed

    flossy: Uh, ok, you said it yourself.Sometimes the per 36 stats hold, sometimes they don’t.You’re basing your assumption that Copeland will maintain his sky-high level of production on the role he supposedly occupied within line-ups that played 41 minutes together, and extrapolating that over he course of a what would be well over 2,000 minutes if he were to play the “Barngani-on-the-Raptors” role for a full season.Do I even need to explain why that’s ridiculous?

    Literally the FIRST WORDS I posted on this comment thread were “I don’t like Barngani.”Who is advocating for Barngani?Not me!I am simply pointing out what should be obvious to everyone, which is a) the roles Bargnani and Copeland have played for their respective teams are dramatically different and b) there is 1/16th the amount of available evidence from which one can draw conclusions about Copeland relative to Barngani, enough to merit major skepticism about any conclusion reached from such a small sample.

    But at the same time Bargnani has sucked for years. Where’s the evidence that he’ll be better playing in the same role as Copeland? (that’s the role where he increases his usage, but gets more selective because he is no longer the alleged focal point of the defense and makes lots of easy baskets while the defense focuses on JR Smith and Pablo Prigioni)

  27. flossy

    DRed: But at the same time Bargnani has sucked for years.Where’s the evidence that he’ll be better playing in the same role as Copeland?(that’s the role where he increases his usage, but gets more selective because he is no longer the alleged focal point of the defense and makes lots of easy baskets while the defense focuses on JR Smith and Pablo Prigioni)

    When have I ever made that argument? I’m not particularly confident that Bargnani will replicate Copeland’s numbers if given Copeland’s role on the Knicks, just like I’m highly skeptical that Copeland would have dramatically outplayed Andrea Bargnani if asked to be the #1 or #2 option on offense for the past 7 season in Toronto.

    I certainly hope Bargnani can become more efficient in reduced minutes as 4th/5th-ish leading shot-taker on the Knicks, because at the very least that seems to be a significantly easier role than being the #1 scorer on a talent-deficient team, but I’m not making any promises because don’t have much confidence in Bargnani.

    If you’re sore that we lost Copeland and acquired Barngnani, scroll up and read mokers comment again. We didn’t trade one for the other. Copeland got offered more money that we could afford to pay him if we wanted to keep Prigioni, which has nothing to do with whether or not we traded for Bargnani.

  28. DRed

    I don’t really care that we lost Cope. I’m unhappy we got Bargnani, who even at his best has been a poor man’s Chris Copeland. Best case sceanario is that we gave up a useful player and 3 picks to replace Chris Copeland with Chris Copeland

  29. nicos

    flossy: Look, if you think defenses were focused on Chris Copeland, game-planned to stop Chris Copeland, assigned their better defenders to Chris Copeland, that’s… an opinion.Not one that I share, but whatever.Andrea Bargnani was undeniably a centerpiece, and sometimes THE centerpiece, of the entire Raptor’s offense for many years.That’s a much bigger burden than just jacking up a lot of shots in 800 minutes scattered across 56 games.It really is a total apples/oranges comparison.

    This. I’d be really surprised if opposing coaches spent more than a minute or two game planning for Copeland. Novak had pretty much a free pass his first year here until Miami completely shut him down in the playoffs. This year it was pretty clear that teams made damn sure they knew where he was at all times and both his usage and efficiency took a hit. I do think Copeland may still fly under the radar this coming season and even if doesn’t he’ll still have value as a floor spreader. He does have quicker release and is more mobile than Novak but I’m pretty skeptical that he can put up the same numbers once/if teams start actively game planning for him.

  30. flossy

    DRed:
    I don’t really care that we lost Cope. I’m unhappy we got Bargnani, who even at his best hasbeen a poor man’s Chris Copeland.Best case sceanario is that we gave up a useful player and 3 picks to replace Chris Copeland with Chris Copeland

    Who is Chris Copeland? Some amalgamation of Jason Richardson/Glen Rice/Rashard Lewis/Peja? Or 28-year Euroleague novelty act who put up gaudy numbers in garbage time before catching a hot streak at the end of the season before the rest of the league caught on? Or somewhere in between? I don’t like Bargnani, but I’m also not hung up on Chris Copeland because he was so little used by the Knicks that a) there’s not much to replace and b) it’s impossible to conclude with any certainty that he’ll be able to sustain his scoring success in a role larger than “borderline irrelevant.”

  31. Jack Bauer

    Here are Copeland’s 2012 season stats from the Knicks website :

    GP GS MIN PPG OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG
    Chris Copeland, SF 56 13 15.4 8.7 0.6 1.5 2.1 0.5 0.29 0.21 0.9

    Not to defend Bargnani, who’s about as popular here as A-Rod, but hasn’t he averaged over 20 points a game more than once in his career? I think the guy will bounce back and more than adequately replace Copeland’s 8.7 points per game. He will likely get more minutes and perhaps be less efficient, but let’s not jump off the Verrazano over this issue just yet. And despite all the constant negativity towards Grunwald, he has had a pretty good offseason given the constraints he has to work with (salary cap, Dolan, unrealistic expectations, etc…) NYK will be better overall next year than last.

  32. danvt

    Like Extra E and JLin before him, Cope was discovered by GG and blossomed into an intriguing enough prospect to price himself out of the salary range where we originally acquired his services. Sad to see a good prospect go but a team does need to have priorities.

    Per 36 stats seem to miss out on every aspect of the specific situations that make a player successful. Cope was successful in the situations coach Woodson put him in last season. Would he have been successful in the situations coach Woodson did not put him in? According to a lot of people here the answer would be yes. To me, if the coach doesn’t play him there’s probably a very good reason which his per 36 stats belie.

    To me, he just seemed slow and not particularly strong. So, not really a three and not really a four. Who does he guard? Paul George or David West? Dwayne Wade or Chris Bosh? His shooting was impressive. His post play was glacial in pace. His P&R timing with Prigioni was terrific. I think he’ll continue to be everything he is if used in the same way but there are matchups that won’t favor him. His stats will stay consistent because he won’t play in situations where they wouldn’t

  33. Jack Bauer

    Ok, I was wrong. AB’s best 3 seasons were 21, 19.5, & 17 ppg.

    I still think he’ll bounce back, score enough to be worthwhile, and not be any worse at defense and rebounding than the awesome Chris Copeland………

  34. BigBlueAL

    NBATV will be showing a 1 hr replay of Steph Curry’s visit to MSG at 8pm (NBATV has been showing this week the 10 best games of the season so I assume this game was one of them). Always fun watching replays of Knick games knowing they win in the end lol.

  35. mokers

    DRed:
    I don’t really care that we lost Cope. I’m unhappy we got Bargnani, who even at his best hasbeen a poor man’s Chris Copeland.Best case sceanario is that we gave up a useful player and 3 picks to replace Chris Copeland with Chris Copeland

    The knicks could not give any of Bargnani’s salary (or JR’s salary for that matter) to Copeland. The knicks only had the miniMLE to spend. If you are saying the Knicks should have used the miniMLE on Copeland instead of Prigs, I would like to hear that argument. If you are saying that Copeland didn’t fit into the Knicks plans and that was stupid, that is probably something a lot of people would agree with. Saying the knicks scrambled to get Bargnani because they don’t believe in Cope is stretching things quite a bit.

  36. danvt

    I guess Shawne Williams was a Donnie Walsh find.

    Seriously, though, don’t you think the reason guys stats don’t change much has to do with the way they’re used by the coach? Once a coach finds a niche for a player why would he change the way the player is utilized? Wouldn’t the player’s subsequent coaches try to duplicate the conditions for his success?

    Anthony Randolph can look better than he is because when he’s in it’s almost always a situation where he can be successful. That’s never going to be against Blake Griffin in the 4th quarter of a playoff game. His per 36 stats might be similar to someone who would be in that situation though, no?

  37. danvt

    Also, saying that Bargnani is a terrible player might (I repeat might) be unfair. He was good enough to be in a starting lineup for quite a while. He earned tough match ups with the best players. Maybe his stats belie how good he really is.

    Copeland = good per 36 #’s = bad player seems better than he is?
    Bargnani= bad per 36 #’s = good player seems worse than he is?

  38. SeeWhyDee77

    GHenman:
    Good guy to have coming off the bench or for a spot start.Always seemed to be focused and ready, even in garbage time.I think Indiana is a terrible place for him and I doubt he gets much playing time.

    Yea especially with them addin Scola. I kinda feel bad for him now. But I think Bargnani > Cope+Novak+Q+late picks. If he’s healthy and motivated. I sure hope he finds his game with less attention from defenses and that he hangs with LJ, Mason,MWP for the rest of the summer and brings back a mean streak. Seriously he’s lucky to be behind Melo, Stat, and JR on the defensive attention meter. Maybe that will bring him closer to what Toronto saw when they made him the #1 pick. Anyway..good luck to Cope tho. He’s gonna hafta be twice as hungry as he was in NY to crack that rotation. Indy just way overpaid for garbage time. That’s all he’s gonna get with Granger back and Scola in tow. I have a feeling they are gonna try and showcase Granger early in hopes of moving him. I don’t really like George as a 2 but I love him as a 3. He can play the 2 of course but he is much better as a 3 to me.

  39. SeeWhyDee77

    Meanwhile..it is being reported that the Knicks are not interested in Delonte West. Instead, Grunwald has his sights on Haddadi, Beno Udrih and Bobby Brown. Udrih would be a serious coup. I’d still rather have West because he’s better defensively and seems to have the mindset that he has to work his way back. Which means he’s probably more liable to do the dirty work. Nothing against Udrih, I really like him. Would like him more for this team if Prigioni wasn’t there. As far as Haddadi goes, he’s even more limited on offense than Chandler. But he is big and should provide positive post defense in a limited role. Which means Tyler HAS to be on the roster if Haddadi signs. Injuries shook us bad last season so I understand the interest in Haddadi. But we’ve already got Stat, Bargnani, and Kmart vying for minutes behind Chandler and Melo, is that not enough? Why not prepare for the future and add Tyler and Jennings to develop behind those guys? Or does the FO really think Stat is done? Hence, the interest in another veteran big?

  40. DRed

    mokers: The knicks could not give any of Bargnani’s salary (or JR’s salary for that matter) to Copeland. The knicks only had the miniMLE to spend. If you are saying the Knicks should have used the miniMLE on Copeland instead of Prigs, I would like to hear that argument. If you are saying that Copeland didn’t fit into the Knicks plans and that was stupid, that is probably something a lot of people would agree with. Saying the knicks scrambled to get Bargnani because they don’t believe in Cope is stretching things quite a bit.

    No, what I’m saying is that I don’t really care that we lost Cope. That’s why I said I don’t really care that we lost Cope.

  41. DRed

    Jack Bauer:
    Hereare Copeland’s 2012 season stats from the Knicks website :

    GP GS MIN PPG OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG
    Chris Copeland, SF 56 13 15.4 8.7 0.6 1.5 2.1 0.5 0.29 0.21 0.9

    Not to defend Bargnani, who’s about as popular here as A-Rod, but hasn’t he averaged over 20 points a game more than once in his career? I think the guy will bounce back and more than adequately replace Copeland’s 8.7 points per game. He will likely get more minutes and perhaps be less efficient, but let’s not jump off the Verrazano over this issue just yet.And despite all the constant negativity towards Grunwald, he has had a pretty good offseason given the constraints he has to work with (salary cap, Dolan, unrealistic expectations, etc…) NYK will be better overall next year than last.

    I’m sorry, I thought you brought up points per game like it was a useful stat.

  42. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    danvt: Seriously, though, don’t you think the reason guys stats don’t change much has to do with the way they’re used by the coach? Once a coach finds a niche for a player why would he change the way the player is utilized? Wouldn’t the player’s subsequent coaches try to duplicate the conditions for his success?

    Dude, there are so many assumptions without any evidence whatsoever that I have no idea what to say in response.

    I don’t think anyone on this board has ever appealed to authority as much as you have.

  43. DRed

    flossy: Who is Chris Copeland?Some amalgamation of Jason Richardson/Glen Rice/Rashard Lewis/Peja?Or 28-year Euroleague novelty act who put up gaudy numbers in garbage time before catching a hot streak at the end of the season before the rest of the league caught on?Or somewhere in between?I don’t like Bargnani, but I’m also not hung up on Chris Copeland because he was so little used by the Knicks that a) there’s not much to replace and b) it’s impossible to conclude with any certainty that he’ll be able to sustain his scoring success in a role larger than “borderline irrelevant.”

    I’m sure we’ve gone over this before, but if it’s so easy to put up gaudy stats in garbage time, why doesn’t everyone do it?

    And who is hung up on Copeland? Copeland wasn’t even that good. The annoying thing isn’t that we lost Chris Copleand. What’s annoying is that Bargnani is even worse, and we gave away things of value to get him.

  44. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy: let’s see Chris Copeland play 2000+ minutes against other team’s starters as the 1st or 2nd option on offense and sustain his sexy TS% and shooting volume.

    This is perhaps your most salient point. TS% is more volatile than other stats. Especially considering team/role.

    flossy: Look, if you think defenses were focused on Chris Copeland, game-planned to stop Chris Copeland, assigned their better defenders to Chris Copeland, that’s… an opinion. Not one that I share, but whatever.

    flossy: Since per 36 stats and a garbage-time-heavy TS% compiled in 800 whole minutes are basically Copeland’s only calling cards at this point in his career, I think there’s not much of a case to be made that he’s anything close to a sure bet. And however nice his numbers look, they are plainly not comparable to Bargnani, which is not a defense of Bargnani but just an insistence that you can’t legitimately compare the two.

    Yeah I have a problem with this. Your assertion is that Copeland faced garbage time players which inflated his numbers. I’ve refuted this in the past. If you have a study that shows this to be incorrect (and saying Anthony Randolph’s name over and over again isn’t a study), I’d like to hear it.

    flossy: What I meant to say is that you can put up sterling per-36 numbers and still be completely unfit to be a solid 2000+ minute contributor to a good team.

    I admitted this much. However it’s likely that if you put up great per-min numbers in 800 minutes, you’re more than likely to put them up in 2000+ minutes. Again if you have a study, I’m all ears.

  45. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Flossy,

    If you want to make your point, here are 2 questions you should answer:

    1. Show me a study that shows what a player does in their first 800 minutes in general isn’t indicative of their future performance.

    2. Show me that players who only see 800 minutes (and average 20+ MPG over 6 weeks) play only in garbage time and have their numbers inflated.

    Because this seems to be the crux of your argument. Or at least the parts I find to be invalid.

  46. flossy

    Mike Kurylo:
    Flossy,

    If you want to make your point, here are 2 questions you should answer:

    1. Show me a study that shows what a player does in their first 800 minutes in general isn’t indicative of their future performance.

    2. Show me that players who only see 800 minutes (and average 20+ MPG over 6 weeks) play only in garbage time and have their numbers inflated.

    Because this seems to be the crux of your argument. Or at least the parts I find to be invalid.

    Show me how a player’s purported role while playing 30-40ish minutes total in line-ups that feature Steve Novak at center has any predictive qualities about how he’d do as the featured player in an entire team’s offense for a full season, or permits a comparison to players who do actually play that role.

  47. danvt

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I “assume” coaching has an effect on player statistics. If you’re used consistently won’t you produce consistently? Not such a big assumption and not more than one assumption.

    As to “appealing to authority”, yes that’s true, I ask more questions than most people on this blog. I want to know the answers. Couldn’t coaching have a lot to do with what a player does and doesn’t do on the court? Why wouldn’t that be relevant to this thread?

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Dude, there are so many assumptions without any evidence whatsoever that I have no idea what to say in response.

    I don’t think anyone on this board has ever appealed to authority as much as you have.

  48. danvt

    I mean, I remember Charlie Ward and Chris Childs as our PGs and Van Gundy defending their play. Meanwhile, you have John Stockton and Tim Hardaway and guys like that. Charlie was limited, Childs was more well rounded but their job was to get it to Ewing in the post. They did that well, was what Van Gundy was saying. Ask them to be a dynamic pick and roll partner with a Karl Malone type PF or to devastate people with penetration like Hardaway and their efficiency dies, along with NYK’s offense.

    I see players output being stable and their roles being stable. Yes, maybe on average a guy will do the same in a 2000 minute season as he will in an 800 minute season but how often do we see that actually happen? Rarely and when we do it’s mostly with breakthrough performances for players who prove over the course of a season that they deserve the time over an incumbent at their position. I think most guys who’s production will go down with two and a half times the minutes never get the chance to prove it.

    Conversely, I think there’s a better chance that production increases with less PT and with a player put in more specialized situations tailored to them.

    Again, I’m just asking, not really assuming I’m right. How likely is it that Chris Copeland doubles his minutes next year? If it’s money in the bank that he’ll be just as effective in twice the minutes the why’s he going to be between 10-15 on the depth chart. If he’s 1996 Glen Rice, how’s that going to happen?

  49. Jack Bauer

    DRed

    DRed

    I’m sorry, I thought you brought up points per game like it was a useful

    Everyone seems to think Bargnani plays like one of Jerry’s Kids on the telethon. Averaging close to or over 20 ppg multiple times would seem to indicate some level of skill that might translate to next year. Vs. “he’s the worst player in the league” which has been mentioned on this site several times. Cope’s “per 36″ might have been great, but 8.7 ppg is still 8.7 ppg. Just sayin’

    (Quote)

  50. DRed

    Points per game is a terrible way to measure how good someone is on offense. That being said, over his career Bargnani has been decent on offense. He hasn’t come close to being good enough to compensate for his incredibly poor rebounding and bad defense. Last year he was probably the worst starter in the nba. Granted, he was hurt, but he’s had injury problems two years in a row, so he’s not a great bet to be healthy next year either. The guy has been a really bad basketball player his entire career. It’s great he averaged over 20 points a game 3 years ago, but he still sucked that season.

  51. Jack Bauer

    As opposed to Cope’s incredibly poor rebounding and defense ?

    I liked Cope and wished they could have kept him, but the money just wasn’t there. All I’m saying is perhaps Bargnani can score enough to make his minutes worthwhile. It is possible, we’ll have to wait and see.

  52. mokers

    DRed: No, what I’m saying is that I don’t really care that we lost Cope.That’s why I said I don’t really care that we lost Cope.

    Of course you do mention cope and bargnani (auto corrected to bargain -ha!) including your first post which complained bargnani was never as good as Copeland. You later said we gave up a decent player and picks to replace cope with an inferior version.

    The move for bargnani may end up proving everything you imagine about the Knicks front office, but in absence of that move there would still be Copeland playing for the pacers next year.

  53. iserp

    Mike Kurylo: 1. Show me a study that shows what a player does in their first 800 minutes in general isn’t indicative of their future performance.

    Don’t have a study right here… but just about everyone, right? Your first 800 minutes as a rookie might or might not translate to the rest of your career. Most of them improve with time, others struck gold and then go south (Tyreke Evans, Landry Fields, ….). There is some kind of correlation, of course, but the variation is quite large, IMHO.

  54. iserp

    I guess we could make the study for older rookies, since they aren’t expected to improve as usual, and it may be more telling.

  55. ruruland

    DRed:
    Points per game is a terrible way to measure how good someone is on offense.That being said, over his career Bargnani has been decent on offense. He hasn’t come close to being good enough to compensate for his incredibly poor rebounding and bad defense.Last year he was probably the worst starter in the nba.Granted, he was hurt, but he’s had injury problems two years in a row, so he’s not a great bet to be healthy next year either. The guy has been a really bad basketball player his entire career.It’s great he averaged over 20 points a game 3 years ago, but he still sucked that season.

    You’re turning into the late great Vinny.

  56. ruruland

    Mike Kurylo:
    Flossy,

    If you want to make your point, here are 2 questions you should answer:

    1. Show me a study that shows what a player does in their first 800 minutes in general isn’t indicative of their future performance.

    2. Show me that players who only see 800 minutes (and average 20+ MPG over 6 weeks) play only in garbage time and have their numbers inflated.

    Because this seems to be the crux of your argument. Or at least the parts I find to be invalid.

    Why does one need to only play in garbage time for one’s numbers to be inflated?

    When I looked at Copeland’s performance last year, breaking it down by time splits and point differential, nothing really stood out.

    Copeland performed well in basically every situation last season.

    But I would imagine that his shot distribution changed depending on scenario. Copeland has a sneaky way of finishing at the basket that I feel would be exposed by more traffic slanting toward him if he ever became a featured player, which he won’t.

    I would have liked to have seen Copeland back, and I maintain, despite Robert Danger’s Twitter patronizing ;0, that at least part of the reason the Pacers signed Copeland was to ensure the Knicks wouldn’t get a second chance to extend him as a center in a playoff series.

    One can argue that the Heat were able to beat the Pacers because in key moments and large game-changing stretches, they were able to get Hibbert out of the game by going small.

    The Pacers are basically a .500 caliber team with Hibbert on the bench, it’s evident throughout their on/off numbers.

    When we simply look at that aspect of this, Bargnani could very well be more able to pull Hibbert out of a game entirely.

    He’s a MUCH better post defender and better rebounder.

  57. ruruland

    Pacers were +10.4 net rating with Hibbert during the regular season.

    In the playoffs, they were an INCREDIBLE + 22.4.

    During the Knicks series, New York outscored the Pacers by 16 points over the 62 minutes Hibbert was off the floor.

    During the regular season, when Hibbert went to the bench against the Knicks, New York had a net +26 rating!!!!!

    In my view, most of the things the Pacers do well on defense can be attributed to Hibbert. I believe George’s entire defensive approach is based on the best rim protection in basketball. I personally think PG is severely overrated on defense. He is Trevor Ariza 2.0, a guy that eventually was exposed as a “stopper” once he left rim protection.

    Frank Vogel insinuated that had the Knicks been “smart” they would have played Copeland a lot more, which I think ultimately would have forced Vogel’s hand.

    We saw in the Miami series that Vogel will pull Hibbert if you go small.

    Copeland was a player on a rival team in conference that could force Hibbert out of a game. Hard to deny how much weaker that makes Indiana.

    Even if Bargnani plays 800 minutes next year and is less effective than Copeland, I think Woodson would be more likely to trust him in a playoff series against the Pacers.

    Bargnani is certainly capable of torching sloth centers like Hibbert.

  58. Nick C.

    For Hibbert to guard him wouldn’t that Bargnani have to be the only big on the floor? He’s not gonna run out to guard Bargnani with Tyson or K-Mart on the floor. Amare or Melo in the low block. Certainly if it is Bargnani, Melo, JR/Shump/THJ as the front line, I could see that. Otherwise its just fantasy.

  59. Frank

    iserp: Don’t have a study right here… but just about everyone, right? Your first 800 minutes as a rookie might or might not translate to the rest of your career. Most of them improve with time, others struck gold and then go south (Tyreke Evans, Landry Fields, ….). There is some kind of correlation, of course, but the variation is quite large, IMHO.

    yeah I periodically make this argument to Mike K but never get any response to it. The “studies” that he cites do NOT say that a particular player’s per-min production will not change with more minutes. What they DO say is that there is no clear trend towards an increase or decrease in per-min productivity (measured by PER of course!!) when given more minutes when you look at the entire study population. But there is significant variance — many players end up with worse productivity with more minutes, many end up with more productivity with more minutes, and some stay the same. Taken as a whole there is no statistically significant trend towards getting better or worse, but these studies cannot tell you whether a particular player will be one of the 30% that got better, 40% who stayed the same, or 30% who got worse with more minutes. And they definitely can’t tell you WHY someone got worse or better or not.

    (not to mention that there is an inherent selection bias when you look at players who get more minutes — if they sucked, they wouldn’t get more minutes. Theoretically, only the players who would be expected to be just as or more productive would get those extra minutes.)

  60. Nick C.

    I found that study to be somewhat suggestive that productivity is constant with playing time, but by no means as definitive as Mike does. If 10 is totally proves the point and 0 is totally proves the opposite I would put it @6.

  61. er

    Nick C.:
    For Hibbert to guard him wouldn’t that Bargnani have to be the only big on the floor? He’s not gonna run out to guard Bargnani with Tyson or K-Mart on the floor. Amare or Melo in the low block. Certainly if it is Bargnani, Melo, JR/Shump/THJ as the front line, I could see that. Otherwise its just fantasy.

    I actually think woody will try the lineup of bargnani, melo, mwp

    Its pretty intriguing, if you remember barngani is a good one on one post defender. If we have MWP to help in the low post on d, it could work in stretches

  62. DRed

    ruruland: You’re turning into the late great Vinny.

    How about giving us a preseason prediction for the number of times you melodramatically announce you’re done posting here this season?

  63. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Frank – We have talked about this. Yes there is variance. Yes there is no way to indicate which players will be in which category.

    But if the weatherman says there’s a 70% chance of rain (70% stay the same or better), you’re going to grab an umbrella before heading to work, no?

  64. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy – you seem to be ignoring everything else I say until I rectify the 82games.com data.

    Yes 41 minutes is not a lot, but I took an example of his top lineups in an attempt to disprove your assertion that he was not a prime option on offense. If you look all they list (top 20), it accounts for 424 of his minutes. In 87% of these minutes, he’s the 1st or 2nd option.

    Again showing that your assertion of his production being due to garbage time is inaccurate.

  65. DRed

    You can also look at NBAwowy and see who he shared the court with most often if that’s easier to deal with than 82games (82games site design is awful). Aside from JR, he was generally on the court with lower usage players. Copeland’s role on the court was to score, which makes sense, because it’s the only thing he’s was good at.

  66. Z

    iserp:
    I guess we could make the study for older rookies, since they aren’t expected to improve as usual, and it may be more telling.

    I don’t know if it means anything at all, but Copeland’s rookie year produced almost identical stats to Drazen Petrovic’s… same # of minutes, same TS%, same per/36 scoring… (and they appear to be the only players in the modern era to average 20pts/36 on .580% in their 900 or so minute rookie years).

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=copelch01&y1=2013&p2=petrodr01&y2=1990

  67. flossy

    Mike, I’m not ignoring everything you say, I’m insisting that your argument is based on what amounts to statistical noise and a seemingly deficient understanding of player roles.

    You’re asserting that Chris Copeland could maintain the 20 pts/36 scoring with a TS% of around 58 levels he achieved in his 800 minutes in NBA, regardless of the amount of minutes he played or what his role/teammates were. In effect, if he were asked to play the Andrea Bargnani role on the Raptors, which we’ll define as 2,000 minutes played in season and at least top-2 on the team in FGA, he’d do substantially better than the 18 pts/36 and .535 TS% that Barngani has managed for his career.

    You have two arguments to support this: 1) an assertion that in general, per-36 stats stay consistent and 2) that Copeland’s role on the Knicks during is substantially similar to Andrea Bargnani’s on the Raptors. The 1st assertion seems pretty specious, the 2nd completely clueless.

    Re: assertion 1, don’t see how anyone who has recently witnessed Landry “the next Hondo” Fields, ascendant NBA superstar Jeremy Lin, and Shawne “NBA player” Williams come out of nowhere to play way better than expected over their first few hundred minutes and subsequently fall way back to earth on other teams or in other contexts… could still cling to the notion that a player’s per-36 numbers from their first 800 NBA minutes are reliable indicator of future production.

    Re: assertion #2, do you seriously not understand that being the “first or second option” in random line-ups that feature Steve Novak at center or James White at small forward, line-ups that played only tens of minutes together all season, is fundamentally different than being a team’s actual first or 2nd option on offense? Chris Copeland was rarely guarded by another team’s best defender and didn’t see a double team all season. This argument is totally invalidated both by sample size (which you should know) and…

  68. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy

    OK now it seems we’re getting somewhere.

    #1 is a straw-man argument. You’re comparing Copeland to Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, and Shawne Williams. Let’s go 1 by 1, starting at the easiest.

    A. Shawne – I addressed this in the article. Let me repeat: “On the other hand, Copeland’s similar players are far superior to Extra-E’s, a sign that the former was a much more productive player.”

    Shawne’s similar players: Rasheed Wallace, Brian Howard, Bill Willoughby, Eddie Robinson, Dorell Wright, Shane Battier, Mickael Pietrus, Semih Erden, Paul Millsap, Jake Tsakalidis. Does this really look like NBA 6th men/ scorers? Does this look anything like Copeland’s? No, and no.

    B. Landry Fields – I’ll give you Landry Fields. As I said before this method doesn’t apply to every player. Fields played 2000+ minutes his first year, and sucked afterward. Do I note this could be the case with Copeland in the article? Yes. (“Unless his shooting was a fluke, he’ll likely eek out a respectable career in the States.”)

    C. Jeremy Lin – Lin’s TS% went from 55.2 to 53.8. That’s pretty similar. I think you’re trying to prove my point…

    “could still cling to the notion that a player’s per-36 numbers from their first 800 NBA minutes are reliable indicator of future production.”

    It’s pretty factual, actually. As Frank/Nick C. pointed out, it’s not perfect. But it true more often than not. You may have a bias against it, much like people hate the weatherman because he’s often wrong. But that’s because they only remember the times he said it’d rain and it didn’t (Landry Fields) and not all the times the brought an umbrella and it did rain (David Lee, Jermaine O’Neal, Chris Copeland – oops too soon.)

  69. Frank

    Mike Kurylo:
    Frank – We have talked about this. Yes there is variance. Yes there is no way to indicate which players will be in which category.

    But if the weatherman says there’s a 70% chance of rain (70% stay the same or better), you’re going to grab an umbrella before heading to work, no?

    actually, what the weatherman is saying in this case is that he really has no idea what will happen. Could rain, might not rain, might be cloudy. What I’d probably do is look for another source of information that could tell me more. Which is (in basketball now) where situational statistics, lineup data, video analysis, or even the dreaded “eye-test” etc. come into play.

    I for one think Cope will be great. He’s a remarkably versatile offensive player, being able to shoot from deep (and shot 40+% from 3 point range for years in Europe), play PNR or PNP, can isolate reasonably well against the guys that are usually assigned to guard him, and even has a post game. I see no reason that his offense will drop off unless he truly becomes a focal point of the offense, to the point where teams truly assign their best defenders to him, don’t sag off him when he’s behind the 3 point line, etc– but even if they do that, it’ll mean holes open up for other players. I think it’s really unfortunate we lost him. (Defense is, of course, another story).

    In comparison — Landry Fields always felt like a mirage. He was not known to be a good shooter in college (career 34% from 3P land, 67% FT%), so him shooting 39.3% from 3 and 77% from the line felt awesome but possibly not real. Now one could of course say the same thing about Shump — but at least Shump’s shot LOOKS nice! (there’s science for you)

  70. massive

    Jeremy Lin’s WS/48 went from .140 in a 940 minute sample to .99 in a 2640 minute sample. That’s a substantial drop, and it’s not like you can say he had worse teammates. A Harden/Asik/Parsons trio is better (statistically) than Melo/Chandler/Shumpert. The Rockets, one of today’s most stat-oriented front offices, are trying to get rid of him because they realize that he’s not living up to the promise of his per minute numbers. For one, he regressed. Secondly, being statistically similar is not a good thing for a 24 year old point guard. He should be improving until age 28. That’s what the stats say, I believe.

    But today’s news is that Chris Copeland had knee troubles at the end of the season and is now out 2 months after a knee scope procedure. So maybe Mike Woodson isn’t as strategically challenged as people thought. That’s also a pretty good reason to not resign him; the Knicks had to choose which bum knee to pay between JR Smith and Chris Copeland.

    And probably the best news of the day, the Knicks will be reshuffling the medical staff per Isola. The strength and conditioning coach is going back to Orlando, so hopefully we kidnap the guy in Phoenix.

  71. Frank

    meanwhile, it’ll be awesome when we play the Pacers and Vogel puts Cope in to draw Tyson away from the hoop, and they go on a layup drill against Bargs and Melo.

  72. Frank

    hmm. looks like I am in trouble since both my most recent comments are “awaiting moderation”?

  73. DRed

    Flossy, Copeland essentially played the Bargnani role, at least by useage. True, he may not have been guarded by the other team’s best defender (although sometimes he might have been). But was Bargnani? If we’re making baseless assertations, I’d say no coach in the nba stays up at night scheming how to shut down a player widely regarded as one of the biggest busts in league history.

  74. flossy

    You’re just choosing to completely ignore the sample size for Chris Copeland’s production, and how little can be gleaned about his role from the fairly random samples his scattershot useage over one season gives us.

    The weather man might be spot-on if he tells you that it’s cold in December and it’ll be cold next December, but you’d be an idiot to assume it’ll still be cold in December once you move to Argentina (or the weather man would be an idiot to say so).

  75. Z-man

    I should clarify: I agree that CC will be a productive player in a limited role, and is probably worth a short-term MMLE deal. I think his numbers won’t change bc his role won’t change. If he played 36+ min a game, he’d probably be a huge liability.

    For players with limited games, role is super-critical. Trevor Ariza is a great example of this.

    Re: Cope, let’s not forget that he has many thousands of minutes in inferior leagues and only got to the NBA after playing well enough overseas to merit attention. How would he have done if he was logging 2000+ minutes in the NBA at age 21-26?

    Re: Lin, don’t forget to point out that Beverley outplayed him in nearly every statistical category. Does this mean that these afterthoughts that make good should not be overpaid because they are easy to replace (Lin) or are exposed for what made them overlooked in the first place (Extra E, Novak, Fields?)

  76. flossy

    DRed:
    Flossy, Copeland essentially played the Bargnani role, at least by useage.

    Seriously? Strictly “by usage” he also played the Kevin Durant role. Back on planet earth, he was an afterthought, a non-factor in other team’s strategy. Some of you guys really need to get a clue.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Seriously?Strictly “by usage” he also played the Kevin Durant role.Back on planet earth, he was an afterthought, a non-factor in other team’s strategy.Some of you guys really need to get a clue.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6liM3yatAI

    Find me one possession where the defenders treat him like anything but a 6’9″ NBA player who can score the basketball.

    I love how you assume that because he doesn’t carry the name recognition of Carmelo Anthony, teams treat him like he’s impotent. The very definition of conjecture.

  78. SeeWhyDee77

    Ok ok can we please stop comparing Bargnani and Copeland? 2 different players. Bargnani is 7′ 256 so he’s a different kind of talent. Cope played a very limited role last year so no one can really say whether he can put up 17-20 ppg like Bargnani has. But just for shits and giggles lets say they are comparable. Copeland looked really good with Chandler and Melo flanking him didn’t he? No one thinks Bargnani will look just as good? At least we already know Bargnani can put up 15+ ppg consistently. Bargnani has more of a shot at bein successful this season than Cope does in Indy. I would even say Bargnani is a more versatile offensive weapon because he is a legit 7 footer and has shown capable of scoring from the C, PF & even SF spots. We haven’t seen as much from Cope so its not fair to compare the 2. If anything we will break even at the least with losing Cope and Novak while gaining Bargnani. I never expect him to be the go to guy here so I have hope for him because he’s done it with Chris Bosh. For anyone to think he can’t put together a solid season with Melo and Chandler around him (not to mention a hopefully healthy Stat and JR) would be kinda silly

  79. SeeWhyDee77

    SeeWhyDee77:
    I never expect him to be the go to guy here so I have hope for him because he’s done it with Chris Bosh.

    Meaning he’s put up 15-19 ppg with Bosh

  80. BigBlueAL

    Greg Oden signs with the Heat, Twitter declaring the Heat a lock for 72 wins because Oden for sure will make such a huge impact.

  81. DRed

    BigBlueAL:
    Greg Oden signs with the Heat, Twitter declaring the Heat a lock for 72 wins because Oden for sure will make such a huge impact.

    It’s hard to root against a guy who has had such bad injury problems, but I suppose I’ll have to dig deep and just root for him to stay healthy but suck.

  82. nicos

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6liM3yatAI

    Find me one possession where the defenders treat him like anything but a 6’9? NBA player who can score the basketball.

    I love how you assume that because he doesn’t carry the name recognition of Carmelo Anthony, teams treat him like he’s impotent. The very definition of conjecture.

    You’re right, they did pay attention to him but Melo, JR, Felton, and Chandler (and Amar’e) all sat out that game so who exactly were they going to focus on? And he was guarded by immortals like Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack, not Horford or Josh Smith who both sat out. And here’s the kicker- his TS% for that game? .507! Find me a game that wasn’t the last game of the season and with a lineup full of scrubs and you might have a shot at making a convincing argument but that clip is absolutely meaningless.

  83. Zema

    NY wasn’t getting CP3 for Camby & Novak. The point of the trade was getting someone who can give significantly more than those 2 and clearing cap space for 2015 when everyone except Swish, Felton, Shump, and Tim Hardaway Jr. will be off the books. Additionally, AB’s contract will be a valuable trading piece by then as an expiring. Smart trade. Not sure why he isn’t being compared to who he was aquired for.

    P.S. – Flossy, you’ve got your b-ballogy down!

  84. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6liM3yatAI

    Find me one possession where the defenders treat him like anything but a 6’9? NBA player who can score the basketball.

    I love how you assume that because he doesn’t carry the name recognition of Carmelo Anthony, teams treat him like he’s impotent. The very definition of conjecture.

    W-w-w-wha… is that.. the eye test?!! Can someone please pass the smelling salts?

  85. flossy

    Andrea Bargnani averages 30 mpg for his career. Over a 70 season game, that’s 2100 minutes.

    Do you know how many players last season who played 2000 minutes or more scored as many or more than Chris Copeland’s 20.3 pts/36? Fifteen: LeBron, Durant, Harden, Westbrook, Curry, Kobe, Wade, Melo, Tony Parker, Brook Lopez, Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyrie, Jamal Crawford, and DeMarcus Cousins. So that’s 12 All-Stars, Jamal Crawford, Curry and DMC.

    Of those 15, how many posted a TS% that was even as good as 2 full percentage points lower than Copeland’s .583? Only nine (Durant, LeBron, Harden, Curry, Parker, Wade, Kobe, Brook Lopez and Melo).

    Do you see what I’m saying?

    Mike, repeat after me: “I seriously believe per 36 stats almost always remain constant, and that Chris Copeland could easily be the #1 or #2 scorer on an NBA team if given the minutes since that’s the role he already played on a per minute basis. I believe this so strongly that I will state that if Chris Copeland were traded to a bad team and averaged as many minutes as Andrea Bargnani over a full season, he’d be an absolute surefire lock to make the All-Star team even if his TS% dropped two full points.”

    That is seriously what you apparently believe. Incredible. Some of you are so enamored of statistics you seem to have no capacity for critical thinking.

  86. SeeWhyDee77

    I happen to think per 36 is a good gauge but I think it has some serious grey area too. Per 36 is a whole lot different when defenses aren’t scheming to stop u. As far as Cope, this is the NBA. Therefore if u give him the minutes and the shots, of course he’ll put up a nice scoring average. This one’s a tough conversation to have because we don’t really know how good Cope really is at 29 and no real consistent opportunities against season long starters. Cope may be Derozan type who can just score and not much else. Derozan is probably a bad choice cuz doesn’t shoot as well as Cope, but I think you all know what I mean. However, I have not seen enough out of Cope to have faith in him as a team’s top scorer. Bargnani, on the other hand, I have. In the end Bargniani may or may not be better than Cope. But one thing’s for sure, he is proven (for what it’s worth) whereas Cope(at 29 yrs of age already)isn’t. Since Bargnani is 7′ tall, I side with picking him over Cope with his skillset. Even as a extremely poor man’s Dirk, he is more valuable because of his versatility at that size. Cope and Melo are the same size but Melo has the strength and game to play either the 3 or 4 consistently. Bargnani has enough strength and game to be a consistently viable weapon at the 4/5. With Cope, it’s more about the matchup. He doesn’t have the strength to leave in as a 4 if teams switch the matchup. In the ATL game, the moves he was making would not have been good enough against guys who are used to big minutes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the team is better off on the floor. We still have to wait and see. In both cases last season is a bad reference point. If Bargnani even recaptures some of his earlier form he’s better than Cope and Novak, as I don’t think he’s as easy to stop as he was his last 2 injured seasons..but I don’t think Bargnani OR Cope are all stars either. Best thing about it? Neither team needs them to be

  87. SeeWhyDee77

    I will say this about Cope. He has more heart than Bargnani. In today’s NBA, I can’t understand being 7′ 256 and labeled soft. It’s a mindset issue with Bargnani. Maybe Bargnani isn’t hungry anymore. Toronto picked him #1 and paid him a lot early. Maybe playing against Stat, Melo, Kmart, Tyson, and MWP everyday will get his stomach growling again.

  88. DRed

    flossy:
    Andrea Bargnani averages 30 mpg for his career.Over a 70 season game, that’s 2100 minutes.

    Do you know how many players last season who played 2000 minutes or more scored as many or more than Chris Copeland’s 20.3 pts/36?Fifteen: LeBron, Durant, Harden, Westbrook, Curry, Kobe, Wade, Melo, Tony Parker, Brook Lopez, Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyrie, Jamal Crawford, and DeMarcus Cousins.So that’s 12 All-Stars, Jamal Crawford, Curry and DMC.

    Of those 15, how many posted a TS% that was even as good as 2 full percentage points lower than Copeland’s .583?Only nine (Durant, LeBron, Harden, Curry, Parker, Wade, Kobe, Brook Lopez and Melo).

    Do you see what I’m saying?

    Mike, repeat after me: “I seriously believe per 36 stats almost always remain constant, and that Chris Copeland could easily be the #1 or #2 scorer on an NBA team if given the minutes since that’s the role he already played on a per minute basis.I believe this so strongly that I will state that if Chris Copeland were traded to a bad team and averaged as many minutes as Andrea Bargnani over a full season, he’d be an absolute surefire lock to make the All-Star team even if his TS% dropped two full points.”

    That is seriously what you apparently believe.Incredible.Some of you are so enamored of statistics you seem to have no capacity for critical thinking.

    I don’t think anyone is saying Cope would be a surefire lock to produce at an AS level on offense over 2000 minutes. (obviously, with his other deficiencies, he wouldn’t deserve an AS nod even if he did maintain his production on offense) What I’m saying is that there’s more evidence that Chris Copeland can maintain a high level of scoring efficiency at a high usage rate than there is that he can’t. There were 36 guys who played between 800 and 1000 minutes last season. Cope was 4th among them in…

  89. DRed

    Now, if what you’re saying is true, and the only reason Cope scored so well is that it was garbage time, nobody payed any attention to him, and he got lucky, why didn’t those other guys also light it up like Copeland did? Nobody was paying attention to them, right? Most NBA teams apparently only pay attention to 2 or 3 guys on offense and just let the rest of the players do their thing. We have real evidence that Cope can score at a high level in the NBA. What’s the evidence that he can’t if he gets more playing time?

  90. Brian Cronin

    I for one think Cope will be great. He’s a remarkably versatile offensive player, being able to shoot from deep (and shot 40+% from 3 point range for years in Europe), play PNR or PNP, can isolate reasonably well against the guys that are usually assigned to guard him, and even has a post game. I see no reason that his offense will drop off unless he truly becomes a focal point of the offense, to the point where teams truly assign their best defenders to him, don’t sag off him when he’s behind the 3 point line, etc– but even if they do that, it’ll mean holes open up for other players. I think it’s really unfortunate we lost him. (Defense is, of course, another story).

    Agreed.

    I think “let’s see you do it in non-garbage time” is a reasonable request. I think there is something to be said for guys doing well in limited time in garbage minutes and then not doing well once given more. I was on the record last season thinking that of Cope. “Let’s see him do it in in non-garbage minutes.” I didn’t think he would be able to do it. And then he…did it. I was totally wrong. He played pretty much the same once they started giving him legit minutes against good teams. He played really well against Indiana in the playoffs, as well. And really, when the team who beats you in the playoffs makes it a point to sign away a guy from your team? That’s usually a very good sign about the player in question.

    We’re not talking Jerome Jordan putting up great numbers in five minutes a game for the Knicks two years ago. We’re talking about a legit member of the rotation who did very well in garbage time and earned more playing time and then did really well in the extended playing time, as well, including the playoffs.

  91. ruruland

    DRed, why do you and Jowles continually twist other poster’s arguments?

    “He got lucky?”…. let the rest of the players “do their thing.”

    C’mon, man. Red herrings.

    Why can’t you debate this with the same level of intelligence and thoughtfulness Flossy and Mike K have demonstrated throughout this thread?

    I just can’t deal with people who steer good conversations the way that you and a few others do around here.

    Apparently we need to argue each of the underlying premises.

    1. Are all NBA players defended the same at an individual and team level?

    2.Are all NBA players matched up by generic position labels? In other words, would a small forward always guard the opponent’s small forward?

    3. Is there any difference across the league in individual defense? In other words, are all defenders equally capable/incapable of defending the opponent?

    4. Do different game situations (score, time on clock, role in offense) have different situational value?

    If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then there MUST be a discrepancy in the value of production/efficiency, just by simple deductive reasoning, a difference in production value.

    Note I said production value and not (raw) production/efficiency.

    If a player sees more defensive pressure and plays against the opponent’s best defenders, it will be inherently more difficult for him to score at the same efficiency and produce as much (meaning, opportunities where the player does not attempt a score go up) as he would against lesser defenders.

    This is very simple logic that Berri-ites consistently fail to wrap their heads around.

    Part of the reason there is relative stability in player efficiency and production is because players rarely change roles. That is to say, as Dean Oliver showed with his skills curve, players are rarely put in position to do things they don’t do well.

  92. ruruland

    Of course, we know that it is actually impossible for all players to be equal defensively.

    Why? Because of all the extremely strong correlations between team defense and the individuals that compose the team over long periods of time.

    Defensive efficiency is not random. Therefore, there are variables imposed upon an offense, constituted by individuals playing together, that affect an individual’s efficiency and output.

    Defenses do gameplan for individual players. They change their team defense to limit the strengths of the opponent at the individual and team level.

    Defenses are composed of defenders with varying levels of ability. Teams will use their best defender on the opponent’s best offensive player.

    If you don’t believe that makes a difference, then you don’t believe there is any variance in individual defensive ability, which you implicitly argue for and which should have gotten you and Jowles laughed off this board a long, long, long time ago.

    A player can produce very efficiently when exposed to certain situations for a majority of his minutes. But when he is exposed to a different situation (more frequently) where the variables imposed on him make it more difficult to score as efficiently, then he will either score less efficiently or add skills/ability to adapt to that environment which is less conducive to high efficiency.

    If a player demonstrates the needed skills to operate at high level in that environment (and that high level is not just average efficiency across the league) then it is more likely he will be put in those situations more frequently.

    If not, then he will continue in the role he played previously, where his likely to continue to have roughly the same efficiency as he had before.

  93. DRed

    Who is Chris Copeland? Some amalgamation of Jason Richardson/Glen Rice/Rashard Lewis/Peja? Or 28-year Euroleague novelty act who put up gaudy numbers in garbage time before catching a hot streak at the end of the season before the rest of the league caught on? Or somewhere in between?

    That to me is saying Cope was lucky. Maybe I misunderstood what flossy was saying, like I misunderstood you all those times you said you were done posting here. If you can’t deal with people like me, I’d invite you to back up all your self pitying bullshit and fuck off somewhere else.

  94. iserp

    Mike Kurylo: But if the weatherman says there’s a 70% chance of rain (70% stay the same or better), you’re going to grab an umbrella before heading to work, no?

    I’ve got an issue with this. It is a bad way to look at statistics. At the end of the day it rains or it doesn’t, but you can have many numbers for the “probability” you give for rain tomorrow in seattle. The weatherman statement doesn’t mean: “the cloud will throw a 10 sided dice, and will rain if it gets 7 or lower”, but “the 70% of the times i say ‘there’s 70% of probability of raining tomorrow’, it will rain tomorrow”. It seems very stupid, but it is really important, because it means that the probability of raining tomorrow is not an intrinsic property of the cloud, but a property of the collective of the study. And that means i can give many more numbers that are equally right.

    As i feel really stupid trying to put an example with weather, i will put the classical one (numbers totally made up): The life expectancy for women is 78 years, and for men 75, for smokers 71 years, for non smokers 80 years, for regular beer drinkers 73 years, for non regular beer drinkers 84. I am male, don’t smoke, and drink beer, how much will i live?

    I don’t have a life expectancy, i will live a set number of years. However, if you study me in the context of certain group, you can assign me a life expectancy. We can agree, that the more specific the group, the more you can separate the details of the variance from the mean, the better your prediction will be. However, sometimes you even have incompatible information, i drink and don’t smoke, but i haven’t got a number for drinkers that don’t smoke.

    Back to Copeland, your 70% number is right. But so is other info, even the one coming from eye test. And in some occasions, eye test will be the finer detail, the one that tells you if it is…

  95. iserp

    0% or 100%. Obviously, eye test has failed many many times, but some times, it can give predictions like the weather man. Of all the times my heart says “this player will improve” X% i am right. And this X% might depend if you are a fan or a shooting trainer. And i won’t blame the knicks if they also follow that route, because it is more info, and just because it is harder to quantify, it doesn’t mean it is valuable.

    Remember, Copeland won’t throw a 10 sided dice, and improve if it is 7 or less. He will improve or he won’t. Probably we won’t know till next year, but there’s more than looking at the statistics of the rest of the league (which is important to do, too)

  96. flossy

    DRed: I don’t think anyone is saying Cope would be a surefire lock to produce at an AS level on offense over 2000 minutes.

    Nobody is saying those words explicitly, because it exposes how ridiculous Mike K’s position is, but yes, that is what he’s saying. You can’t insist that

    a) PER 36 stats remain constant regardless of playing time or team context, and that

    b) Chris Copeland and Andrea Bargnani already occupy the same role as a high-usage scorer role/primary or secondary option on offense (which is idiotic, but hey’s it’s your argument)…

    and then back away from the only logical conclusion, which that if Chris Copeland merely increased his playing time (and therefore his stats) to the same 30 mpg level that Bargnani has sustained throughout his career, he’d be a top 10 offensive player in the NBA and virtural lock to make the all-star team.

    And yeah, that does sound stupid. You guys sound stupid making this argument. I feel much more confident in the “got lucky” thesis (namely, that Chris Copeland’s offensive talent, while not negligible, has been blown way out of proportion by a combination of small sample size and extremely favorable playing circumstances) than I do in the notion that Copeland’s first 800 minutes in the NBA indicate that he is a top-10 elite offensive player who just needs more minutes to join the ranks of his fellow All-Stars.

  97. Zema

    DRed: I’m sure we’ve gone over this before, but if it’s so easy to put up gaudy stats in garbage time, why doesn’t everyone do it?

    And who is hung up on Copeland?Copeland wasn’t even that good.The annoying thing isn’t that we lost Chris Copleand.What’s annoying is that Bargnani is even worse, and we gave away things of value to get him.

    Not at all. They gave up a late 1st round pick that belonged to the Nuggets. Moreover, big markets like NY don’t build through the draft if they can be more flexible in free agency. That’s what shedding Camby & Novak’s contract does for NY. If you only knew how much they saved for the 2015 season. What does Cope being better than AB have to do with anything? You should be comparing Prigioni to Cope because that’s who NY gave Cope’s money to.

  98. Zema

    DRed:
    Flossy, Copeland essentially played the Bargnani role, at least by useage. True, he may not have been guarded by the other team’s best defender (although sometimes he might have been).But was Bargnani?If we’re making baseless assertations, I’d say no coach in the nba stays up at night scheming how to shut down a player widely regarded as one of the biggest busts in league history.

    Sure, they were. AB saw Bosh, Hibbert AND David West, double-teams etc. Why, because when he was healthy, he would drop 30 on you in his sleep. People knew that if they could shut him down, they would win because not many others were that much of a threat. Such is not the case with Cope.

    NY gave up things that are of little value to them (a late 1st round pick that belonged to the Nuggets and some 2nd round picks) to save an extra $4 million in 2015 (by shedding Camby & Novak’s contracts), when AB’s contract expires, along with every other player on the team except Swish, Felton, Shump, and Tim Hardaway Jr.

    This, so that they could be more flexible in free agency. AB, STAT and Tyson will all have expiring contracts next summer, which really increases NY’s ability to re-tool after this season because those are 3 of the biggest contracts on NY’s books. That’s like $65M.

    Lastly, what’s wrong with trading “Cope for Cope” as you put it, if they knew Cope wasn’t coming back because they were planning to give his money to Pablo? Without AB, who’s gonna drag bigs (Hibbert) out of the paint like Cope did? AB will do that because you HAVE to (and Indy does, even if you don’t) respect his jumper.

    That’s one of the ways you beat teams like Indy.

  99. danvt

    Mike Kurylo: Oh ye of so little faith.

    I’m amazed anyone is with me. Much respect Z-Man

    Z-man: I should clarify: I agree that CC will be a productive player in a limited role, and is probably worth a short-term MMLE deal. I think his numbers won’t change bc his role won’t change. If he played 36+ min a game, he’d probably be a huge liability.

    This is my thought too on Cope. He could be great though. The Spurs have brought along guys and they’ve had very valuable crunch time minutes or been dynamic in starters minutes in single important games. See, KB sweetheart Danny Green (sigh).

    I think if Cope had wanted to average 20 points a game and be a lead player he would have wanted to choose a less established team. So, I think we could see a jump in his minutes from this year, at the same production, making the per 36 numbers hold up but I don’t see starters minutes on a consistent basis unless there are a rash of injuries.

    So, not a candidate for the all star game most likely. Situations where he’ll struggle most likely, which he’ll most likely be kept out of, but consistent production likely as well. See, we’re all happy!

  100. Hubert

    Frank:
    meanwhile, it’ll be awesome when we play the Pacers and Vogel puts Cope in to draw Tyson away from the hoop, and they go on a layup drill against Bargs and Melo.

    Well, we could just have Melo or AB guard Copeland instead.

    If we can’t, that means Copeland is at the 5 and Hibbert is on the bench and Cope is guarding the rim for Indiana. Seems like we win in that scenario.

  101. Mike Kurylo Post author

    DRed: I don’t think anyone is saying Cope would be a surefire lock to produce at an AS level on offense over 2000 minutes. (obviously, with his other deficiencies, he wouldn’t deserve an AS nod even if he did maintain his production on offense) What I’m saying is that there’s more evidence that Chris Copeland can maintain a high level of scoring efficiency at a high usage rate than there is that he can’t. There were 36 guys who played between 800 and 1000 minutes last season. Cope was 4th among them in…

    Thank you for not putting words in my mouth, or overstating my case. Of course, by using this method you’re at the disadvantage of not having a straw man to rail against.

  102. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy,

    Can we have this discussion without you calling me an idiot or saying I have no capacity for critical thought?

    I had a nice weekend, would like to keep it that way.

  103. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy: Mike, repeat after me: “I seriously believe per 36 stats almost always remain constant, and that Chris Copeland could easily be the #1 or #2 scorer on an NBA team if given the minutes since that’s the role he already played on a per minute basis. I believe this so strongly that I will state that if Chris Copeland were traded to a bad team and averaged as many minutes as Andrea Bargnani over a full season, he’d be an absolute surefire lock to make the All-Star team even if his TS% dropped two full points.”

    Why do you continually put words in my mouth to replace what I’m actually saying??

    Here is what I’ve actually said.

    “His group of comparable players is more grounded, but is still an impressive mix of borderline All Stars, starters, and 6th men.”

    “Cope’s role going forward will likely be the same as it was for the Knicks – 1st or 2nd option – much like most 6th men scoring types. I don’t see a huge drop-off for him.”

    I don’t think I’ve said he’s “an absolute surefire lock to make the All-Star team” and that’s a pretty far stretch to infer that from what I’ve said. I’ve said he’s better than Shawne and Bargnani. Basically, I’ve called his ceiling as Al Harrington or the Orlando version of Rashard Lewis.

    If he got a ton of minutes and is put to use the same way he was in NY, would he likely score a lot of points at a good rate? I’ll say all stats point to yet. Would his team suffer because he’s not a very good rebounder or defender? Probably yes. Will he probably ever see enough minutes to make him sniff an All Star ballot: not likely.

  104. flossy

    Mike Kurylo: Why do you continually put words in my mouth to replace what I’m actually saying??

    Here is what I’ve actually said.

    “His group of comparable players is more grounded, but is still an impressive mix of borderline All Stars, starters, and 6th men.”

    “Cope’s role going forward will likely be the same as it was for the Knicks – 1st or 2nd option – much like most 6th men scoring types. I don’t see a huge drop-off for him.”

    I don’t think I’ve said he’s “an absolute surefire lock to make the All-Star team” and that’s a pretty far stretch to infer that from what I’ve said.

    It’s actually not a stretch at all. It’s the crystal-clear logical conclusion of the points you’ve argued separately here in the comments, namely the season-to-season consistency of Per36 stats and their scalablity.

    My original premise was that Copeland’s per 36 stats don’t permit a comparison to Barngani because their roles (9th man vs. team’s primary scoring option) are so dramatically different. You claimed that was not true, that per 36 #s are consistent as a rule and that Copeland’s production is scalable because he and Bargnani “do the same thing” based on [ridiculous] inferences from his most-used line-ups.

    I then demonstrated quite clearly that if Copeland’s per 36 numbers were scaled up to the kind of playing time Bargnani has averaged over the course of his career, it would put Copeland exclusively in the company of All-Stars, even if his TS% dropped by as much as 2%. So you can try to talk around your own argument by saying things like “If he got a ton of minutes and is put to use the same way he was in NY, would he likely score a lot of points at a good rate? I’ll say all stats point to ye[s]” but what you’re actually saying is that you think Copeland is a top-10, maybe top-15 scorer in the NBA.

  105. flossy

    As for the point about his minutes being limited by his defensive issues, that is completely irrelevant to the argument hand, which revolved around a comparison of Copeland and Bargnani’s respective offensive production and whether per-minute offensive production can be used to compare two players who provide such dramatically different data samples.

    You and DRed resorting to dissembling about “oh well, but you know his defense…” is both irrelevant to the discussion and ridiculous on it’s face, since we’re talking about a comparison to Andrea Bargnani for Christ’s sake. If Copeland had top-15 offensive chops as, again, is the only logical conclusion from your own arguments, then he’d get plenty of minutes, defense be damned.

  106. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy – Comparing Copeland to Bargnani (mid-20s both F/C that score and can’t rebound) is “ridiculous” but comparing him to Anthony Randolph (a 21 yo, SF/PF who primarily rebounded and blocked shots, never had a league average TS%, turned the ball over considerably more and only played 127 minutes in a Knick uniform) is reasonable?

    If I had to guess where Copeland’s stats will be a year from now, I’d say TS% of 56-60%, 19-21 pts/36. Either could be further off, because TS% is pretty volatile, and who knows precisely what his role will be in Indy (and he has the same freedom to shoot like he had in NY). Quite honestly I could see Vogel tying him to the bench behind Scola/Mahinmi given Scola’s higher name recognition and the Pacers’ defensive commitment. Also throw Solomon Hill into the mix, and heck Cope might not even see 800 minutes there either.

    Anyway, feel free to come back in a year and tell me I was wrong.

  107. flossy

    Mike Kurylo: Comparing Copeland to Bargnani (mid-20s both F/C that score and can’t rebound) is “ridiculous” but comparing him to Anthony Randolph (a 21 yo, SF/PF who primarily rebounded and blocked shots, never had a league average TS%, turned the ball over considerably more and only played 127 minutes in a Knick uniform) is reasonable?

    I cannot imagine you actually believe I was comparing Chris Copeland’s came to Anthony Randolph. I’m sure you are astute enough to understand the reference to Randolph was just one example of a player who puts up good-to-great per36 numbers yet is has been deemed unfit to play significant minutes by four consecutive coaches because his play hurts his team.

    I similarly cannot believe you continue to fail to grasp the core concept of role scalability, which is to say that two players are not comparable simply because their per-minute stats or USG% are similar. If I increased Chris Copeland’s playing time 300-400% to get him up to a standard minutes load for any team’s #1 or #2 scorer, he would have to be a top 15 scorer in the NBA to sustain his per 36 numbers and efficiency.

    You (and others) compared Chris Copeland favorably to Andrea Bargnani. I have, at this point, exhaustively demonstrated to you why that comparison is invalid. The chances that Chris Copeland is capable of playing Bargnani-level minutes as an offensive focal point while sustaining that kind of production are vanishingly small, and if he is, then Indiana just signed him to the deal of the century and would have to be insane not to play him 30 mpg.

  108. flossy

    Moreover, trying to pretend you were never comparing him to Bargnani is not arguing in good faith.

    Simply saying “I think his per 36 stats will be similar next year and anyway he probably won’t crack 800 minutes” is asinine, sorry. I mean, who cares? NBA games are not played on a per-minute basis. It actually does matter how many points/PPG you actually score, and how many minutes/MPG you actually play. If a player cannot sustain their per-36 stats over a larger real minutes load or is incabable for other reasons of playing more than a relatively tiny amount of minutes by the standard of NBA rotation players, then lauding that player on the basis of his per-minute production is, frankly, quite dumb. Sorry.

    It is not at all useful or interesting to say “I think player A is better than player B on the basis of their per minute production, even though player B would have to be a top-15 scorer in the NBA to sustain that rate of production at Player A’s minutes load, and he’ll never get there anyway because he’s so bad in other areas of the game that he may not crack 800 minutes on his new team.”

  109. Z-man

    I’m falling sort of between these arguments. Re @117, it is perfectly fine to compare the two and to hypothesize whether/how their per-minute production and other stats would change given a change in role/minutes. I also see nothing wrong in using available numbers to do so. However, I agree with flossy in that all such conclusions are merely not-so-educated guesses, and that the “numbers don’t change with situation/role/teammates” hypothesis is a dubious statistical tendency with a gazillion outliers. To use Mike K’s weather analogy, it’s more like predicting the weather ten days out. Still, I agree with Mike K that if the tendency is there, it should be respected as a more likely outcome than the opposite.

    Re: Bargnani, suppose that he stumbled into the league a la Copeland, and produced gaudy Cope-like numbers in Cope’s 800 minutes (I could easily imagine that scenario since their overall games are quite similar.) Would any team then sign him to a deal and make him the focal point of that team’s offense? Probably not, given his defensive liabilities. Had he been given that larger role, I could imagine his TS% and other efficiency numbers dropping off to what they were in his 2000+ minute years in Toronto, and his PT being reduced over time.

    Bargnani has never played in a role well-suited for him, and being drafted #1 forced Toronto to keep playing him in an unsuitable role in the hope that he would justify their faith in him.

    Copeland didn’t have that problem. He went undrafted. Now, imagine that Copeland was a #1 overall pick out of Colorado at age 21. How would his NBA career have gone? Could you imagine him being a huge disappointment and withering under the pressure of unmet (unrealistic) expectations? I sure could.

    We’ll probably never solve the Cope part of the riddle, he simply won’t get the minutes. As to Bargs, I look forward to his punching another gaping hole in the “role/PT/teammates/situation don’t matter” theory.

  110. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Z-man,

    I agree with what you say. I think it’s flossy who keeps throwing words in my mouth. I don’t think I ever said Copeland is a sure fire All Star. He’s somewhere between borderline All Star and 6th man. There’s no guarantee that he’ll put up the same numbers, but to disregard them and throw him down Anthony Randolph’s career path is disingenuous. Sure there’s the possibility that on a new team with a different coach his role may change, and hence his usage and efficiency. This is entirely possible, and I think I’ve said it a couple of times.

    I don’t think that teams just let him score this year, and ignored him entirely in their game plan. I don’t think that Copeland’s stats are inflated due to garbage time. He averaged 20 min/g that last 2 months. I don’t think teams play in shifts, and hence Carmelo Anthony plays against bench guys at times and Copeland plays against starters at times.

    I do think that 800 minutes are reasonable to judge a player’s ability, although a player might do better or worse. I do think that I did compare him to Bargnani, and I don’t think I denied this.

    Anyway I think I’ve said my points over and over again. Not much else to say. I’ll leave it to flossy to have the last word and revisit this when Copeland is on the All Star Team (just kidding!).

  111. Z-man

    To emphasize, I don’t think enough is made of the fact that Cope was a 29yo rookie after 4 years of division I college ball, a D-league stint and a bunch of years overseas. Statistically, players tend to revert to the players they were established to be. Players like Copeland, Novak, Extra-E, etc., tend to remain who they are…limited role players with very little upside who could never be competitive starters in 2000+ minute seasons. Bargnani has established that he is not a first or second option as an NBA starter, and probably not a starter on a contender except in the most favorable of situations. But he has a much better chance of becoming the next Andray Blatche than Cope does of being the next Rashard “soon to be maxed” Lewis. Can Bargnani become for us what Turkoglu or Lewis was to 07-09 Orlando? For 2 years, I’d bet on Bargs over Cope every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  112. Z-man

    Mike Kurylo: He’s somewhere between borderline All Star and 6th man.

    Mike, I agree with everything you said except for this. The 6th man is often really a starter in disguise, playing way more minutes and having far greater impact than one or more of the starters. Are you stating that the most likely outcome is that he will (or could, given the minutes) be in the range of players from JR Smith and Jamal Crawford, to James Harden ’11-’12, Anthony Mason, Vinnie Johnson, Kevin McHale, John Havlicek, Bob McAdoo, etc.?

    Would you really feel comfortable as a GM/coach of a contender penciling him into that role?

    I could agree with a “solid rotation player, spark off the bench and spot starter.” 6th man as a floor, borderline all-star as a ceiling? For a guy that couldn’t even get a single minute of NBA burn for 7 years after a 4-year college career?

  113. BigBlueAL

    What I dont get is how all that is being talked about is his scoring. How about you know passing, rebounding and defense?? Cope is listed at 6’9 and averaged 5 rebs/36. He averaged 1.1 ast/36. You know the things people love to rip guys they hate like Melo and now Bargs about. Since all he does is score just a slight drop in efficiency would make him pretty useless.

    Also to the borderline All-Star talk by Mike, I would think if someone who averages 20 ppg with 5 reb/g and 1 ast/g (Cope’s per 36 min averages) made an All-Star team it wouldnt exactly be praised as a good selection.

  114. flossy

    Mike Kurylo: I don’t think I ever said Copeland is a sure fire All Star. He’s somewhere between borderline All Star and 6th

    Yeeeap, I rest my case, folks. I think you can just about turn the lights out on this one.

  115. Igno-Bot 3000

    Z-man:
    To emphasize, I don’t think enough is made of the fact that Cope was a 29yo rookie after 4 years of division I college ball, a D-league stint and a bunch of years overseas. Statistically, players tend to revert to the players they were established to be. Players like Copeland, Novak, Extra-E, etc., tend to remain who they are…limited role players with very little upside who could never be competitive starters in 2000+ minute seasons. Bargnani has established that he is not a first or second option as an NBA starter, and probably not a starter on a contender except in the most favorable of situations. But he has a much better chance of becoming the next Andray Blatche than Cope does of being the next Rashard “soon to be maxed” Lewis. Can Bargnani become for us what Turkoglu or Lewis was to 07-09 Orlando? For 2 years, I’d bet on Bargs over Cope every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    Not to change the subject here (although I wouldn’t mind, as Chris Copeland will not be on the 12-13 Knicks…), but has there historically ever been a case like Andray Blatche? Typing that I feel dumb…I’m sure there has. I’m just looking at his stats now, blown away by how he improved in almost every major statistical category with really no precedent of it. Did he have a different workout routine or something? Even going to a different team and playing a different role..he still went to a team that had two coaches and wasn’t exactly loaded with “high character” guys.

    I realize that a situation like that is an absolute best-case scenario for Bargnani. As a “stats guy” it’s hard to see a role change like that would cause such a big improvement, but is that the case? Is there something else I’m missing in his improvement last season?

  116. danvt

    Boy this thread just wouldn’t die. Great reading, thanks boys! Mike K nice to have you in these conversations. Very persuasive. I don’t know about all star but I’m pretty convinced that Copeland will make us rue the decision not to re-sign him at some point though I think all in all we’re a stronger club than we were heading into last season and I’m happy with Prigioni / MWP for the MLE so I don’t know if I’d change anything.

    Amazing that Lin, basically in the same situation as Copeland, good production in a small sample size, got twenty five million and was expected to become an all star. Copeland has a lot less pressure on him than that.

    Prigioni and Artest really need to play well. Watching the Yankees has been sad with all the age on them and then seeing young players across the league I’ve never heard of tear the cover off the baseball. NYK needs to stay healthy this year. Everyone needs a career year. Losing Cope in this “trade” does carry a bit of risk I think though neither Prigs or Artest are really old and Cope isn’t really that young. Still I’m a Knick fan and it’s Murphy’s rule for sure.

    Meanwhile, I think the point was made that we should be primarily concerned with 1-8 on the depth chart and less so with 9-15. I mean, no one really cares who the 10th man on the Heat is. It’s almost like as Knick fans we expect to be running on fumes by April. CHI was lucky to have Nate Robinson way down the bench when they lost everyone else but there’s a limit to how obsessed you can be with those type of contingencies.

  117. Z-man

    Igno-Bot 3000: Knicks…), but has there historically ever been a case like Andray Blatche?

    I can think of two Knicks castoffs that went from bums to super-subs (or decent starters at times) in Doug Christie and Matt Barnes. Obviously it’s unusual but it happens.

    Blatche was drafted right out of high school late in the 2nd round. Came into a bad team situation that just got worse and worse. I think the combination of growing up a bit, being humbled by losing and getting blamed for it, landing in a better role/team/situation for a second chance, and possessing size and talent finally turned him around. Keep in mind that he had just turned 26 when the Nets picked him up. Bargs may be a good comp, a bit older and less off-the-court issues, but equal in size and skill, similarly bad team situations, similar work-ethic concerns.

    For Barnes and Christie, they worked hard until they got an opportunity, then capitalized. Didn’t have the work ethic/character/b-ball IQ issues that Blatche did, but didn’t have his size and natural ability either. Cope is more like these guys, imo.

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