2016 FA Roundtable: Brandon Jennings

PLUGH: I really don’t like Brandon Jennings’ game. People sometimes pine over the memory of Jordan Hill being selected two slots ahead of him, but not me. Jennings has a lot of jittery, herky jerky moves and he slings up three pointers in bunches. Most of the time it’s out of the flow of the offense and totally inefficient. It’s like Jamal Crawford on acid. The Knicks reportedly wanted to trade for Jennings at the deadline last year, but the idea of giving anything up for him is sickening. I’m being really harsh in my assessment of Jennings game, but there’s no way to paint the picture kindly. If you look at his shot charts he’s dismally below average in almost every spot on the court. It’s amazing, though, how perceptions change when situations change. With Derrick Rose in tow, Brandon Jennings looks like a nice flier on a one-year, $5 million deal off the bench. Nothing about him changes as a player, but the number of gambles the Knicks have made in other areas makes this feel like a “why not” type of move. If Rose is inefficient as the starter, but plays fast to some positive effect, Jennings doesn’t pose any new problems. If the two of them fail to make a positive impact next year, they can both be jettisoned in favor of bigger fish. I’ll never be a fan of Jennings inefficient style of play, but in this particular spot, I’m not mad.

CRONIN: It seems awfully fishy that this dude couldn’t beat a one-year/$5 million contract out there. It makes me worried that everyone thinks his injuries are just too much. Hopefully not. The upside of the deal is also a bit off. I mean, $5 million for a rotation guy who has had at least a half-year of strong play (before suffering a major injury) is not bad, but when the Knicks are going to be really tight with cap space next year (especially since the NBA is now saying that the cap will be $5 million lower than expected next year), there seems to be little chance of him coming back even if he has a decent year. Let’s hope he has a decent year, though!

MA: Jennings has had good games as recently as March, so I don’t mind taking the risk. Unfortunately, if it does pan out, the Knicks could easily lose him. He’s not the most efficient scorer, but he showed in Detroit and Orlando that he could be a distributor. Defensively, I’ll just look away.

UDWARY: It’s a one year, cheap contract for a likely awful player. Not really much else to say. He is one of the very few guys we could have backing up the PG position that will make you hope Rose can play lots of minutes, though.

FISHER-COHEN: Brian, it could be that Jennings is betting on Rose getting hurt, and even if he doesn’t, who’s he competing with for bench minutes? There’s no more Rambis to stuff Vujacic down our throats, so that leaves just Justin Holiday. In any case, I find it hard to care about Jennings given it’s a one year deal, but here’s my best attempt: I would be less surprised to see Jennings repeat that streak he put up in Detroit before the injury than to see Noah outperform his 14/15 numbers or Rose put up NBA average numbers. He’s still just 26. Even in that hot streak, he couldn’t finish at the rim (like the rest of the Knicks!), so it’s not like he was reliant on quickness and leaping ability back then.

KURYLO: If you want to know how I evaluate a player, unless they’re a defensive juggernaut, the first thing I check is their ts%. Jennings’ career is 49.7%. “Yikes”, I think to myself, “maybe he was bad earlier in his career, and has gotten better.” So I then look at the ts% by season. Brandon’s last 4 seasons were 51.0%, 48.6%, 52.2%, and 49.1%. Some years were better, but nowhere near the league average which usually hovers around 54%.

But I’m curious why Jennings is such an inefficient scorer. Career-wise he’s 35% from downtown, which isn’t an Achilles Heel unlike Rose (30.3%). Next I scan free throws wondering if he just doesn’t convert from the line much. Negative — 3.1 makes per 36 and he makes him at just a tad under 80%. Not great numbers, but well enough.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Then I look at the final component of true shooting percentage, his 2P%. HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL! WHAT THE HECK IS THIS KID DOING ON THE COURT? I COULD PROBABLY — OK I COULDN’T — BUT STILL! HOW MANY NBA MINUTES HAS HE GOTTEN??? ALMOST 15,000! AND NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO GET HIM TO SHOOT PROPERLY? Well maybe he doesn’t shoot that often — 15.8 fga/36. WHAT THE @#@*(@#)*!!!!!

Brandon Jennings shoots two point shots at 41.3%. How bad is that? Let’s answer with a trivia question.

In the 3-point era (1980 season), how many NBA players have amassed 14,000 minutes but have only managed to hit 41.3% of their 2 point shots?
A. 5
B. 10
C. 25
D. 50

[Extra credit name the two Knicks – one player and one coach.]

So my parting thoughts are — how many nights will I be throwing stuff at the tv because Knicks point guards are having “an off night”?

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

141 thoughts to “2016 FA Roundtable: Brandon Jennings”

  1. I would be less surprised to see Jennings repeat that streak he put up in Detroit before the injury than to see Noah outperform his 14/15 numbers or Rose put up NBA average numbers. He’s still just 26.

    lololol. Jennings had a really catastrophic injury for a basketball player (achilles rupture) and is not even 1.5 years removed from it. Rose had (by current standards) a relatively common NBA injury (ACL) and a really common NBA injury (meniscus). Both of Rose’s types of injuries have a long history of players coming back and playing well, whereas barely any players who have had achilles tears have been recognizable as players afterward (see here). The mitigating factor for Jennings is that he’s only 26… but Rose is only 27. And yet you think Jennings (who played well for not even a full season) has a better chance of returning to that level of play?

    Noah is another story because he’s older, we don’t have any idea what his knee injury was, and he really was pretty bad offensively in 15-16 even before the shoulder. Seems like his rebounding etc. was still ok. He’s now 2+ years removed from the knee surgery so we can have some hope I guess.

  2. So you guys think Jennings stinks. In fact, you make it sound like the Knicks back court is one of the worst in the NBA. Is it worse than last year’s Calderon-Grant Knick mess? I can’t wait to see the answer to Mike’s quiz. I have no clue.

  3. I’ll give a (Derrick) rose-ier take on Jennings:

    1. PG is a notoriously difficult position to master in the NBA, with many solid PGs taking several years to acclimate to the demands of the position. Jennings seemed to be figuring it out offensively.
    2. Jennings played reasonably well in his 41 games prior to his achilles injury…40% asst%, WS/48 of .136
    3. Jennings is making less than Calderon on a 1-year flier.
    4. Hornacek is good with PGs
    5. Jennings is really, really happy to be here.

    I love the signing. And for the record, I was highly critical of Jennings and felt it was justified to pass him over, even when the great Donnie Walsh was angry with his scouts for missing on him. I would also have been (and would still be) OK with giving Lawson a similar deal. Then we could have both guys that everyone was upset about not drafting that year.

  4. I actually think the Jennings signing is a good one. Surgical techniques and rehab are getting better all the time. Wes Matthews wasn’t great last year but he did get through an entire season even though he got back on the only 6 months after his injury. So I have hope for Jennings.

    Most of my post was directed at the arbitrary judgments some make about injury recovery and age etc., and the generalized bias (sometimes justified!) against high usage players. We all know Rose has been pretty awful the last 2 semi-healthy seasons, but the dude WAS the MVP before his (relatively common for NBA players) injuries. Yes, maybe he didn’t totally deserve MVP but he was a really really good player. If you think Brandon Jennings can come sustain his 40 games of above average play even though he has very little history of being even an adequate NBA player and had literally the worst injury an NBA player can have (maybe micro fracture is worse, but probably not), but think Rose has no chance despite them being basically the same age, then I have no choice but to call that a totally non-objective stance.

  5. Hard to understand how this is a move that gets panned by the roundtable. Not sure what you’re getting at point for $5m on a 1-year flier that’s better.

    http://bkref.com/tiny/2C4Vn

    The dude is Nick Van Exel. If he’s your starter that really sucks, but as a backup he’s probably going to give your team a little boost. I think this is a good signing given the resources at our disposal and that they got him to agree to a 1-year deal to boost his FA value for next summer.

  6. Brandon Jennings would be a decent backup PG for a middle-of-the-pack team: not a terrible player, not a good one, either.

    The biggest problem I have with him is that he represents everything that is wrong with the latest ‘plan’ for bringing the Knicks back into relevance: apply bandaids everywhere and hope the cancer goes away.

    PJ should be trying to fill positions long-term, even if that appears like a slow process. Reconstructing the roster every year with mediocre or physically questionable talent will keep the Knicks in their sorry state for another decade.

    PJ’s one-year-contract ‘strategy’ is childish at best: if the player does well, we are forced to overpay or lose him for nothing. If he sucks, we don’get anything for taking the risk. And even if the ‘migrant basketball worker’ strategy somehow ‘succeeds’, our ceiling is Mike Woodson’s Atlanta teams. Why not aim higher?

  7. Not sure what you’re getting at point for $5m on a 1-year flier that’s better.

    See I think this is where my argument from the other day comes in.

    The only PGs on the Knicks roster right now are Rose & Jennings. Both are inefficient scorers and they may miss chunks of games this year. My back of the napkin calculation says the Knicks will have 10 games where neither one will be available. Heck, there’s a good chance that one will be hurt for 20+ games.

    So if you were a smart organization, what would you do? Get another veteran that you know sucks?

    No. Get some young unproven guys in and give them a chance. Do it before these guys get hurt so you have an idea of what you’re getting when they do, or if you need to go to the next guy. It’s called planning ahead.

    I’d rather have a guy that might turn into something than another veteran who had potential but that ship has sailed.

  8. Overall agree with Mike K – I think the Jennings signing is fine but I would prob rather have gone with Seth Curry (I’m sure he would’ve accepted the same contract) who at least has no injury concerns given the uncertainty about Rose’s health.

    I do think you need someone backing up Rose who has at least shown he can be playable at the NBA level- i.e. Not a D-league or Euro guy who’s really a flyer at this level. So Jennings is fine but not ideal IMHO.

    The long game here is almost certainly CP3 or Westbrook, so anything to get through this season with competent PG play and without long term obligations is fine by me.

  9. No. Get some young unproven guys in and give them a chance. Do it before these guys get hurt so you have an idea of what you’re getting when they do, or if you need to go to the next guy. It’s called planning ahead.

    They still have a roster spot open which seems likely to be filled by some PG.

    Also before Jennings’ injury he was a fairly durable player and he missed zero time once he came back last year, putting up numbers just slightly below his career averages. Not that his career averages are great, but it demonstrates that even after such a catastrophic injury he came back and performed to normal standards rather than playing well below like Wes Matthews who suffered the same injury.

    PJ’s one-year-contract ‘strategy’ is childish at best: if the player does well, we are forced to overpay or lose him for nothing. If he sucks, we don’get anything for taking the risk. And even if the ‘migrant basketball worker’ strategy somehow ‘succeeds’, our ceiling is Mike Woodson’s Atlanta teams. Why not aim higher?

    Okay so who was this PG we should have signed for lots of years this summer that would have been really good? This PG class in free agency was shit and the Knicks were at least smart to take fliers on a couple of guys who will be off the cap next summer when a much better PG class is available in both the draft and in FA. That’s not to say the Rose trade was amazing or that signing Jennings is a stroke of genius, but that those are the type of players you should take a shot on for a year rather than commit to like Matthew Dellavedova to start for you the next 4 years.

  10. I don’t get these ideas that whatever bad moves are made today don’t matter because Westbrook or Chris Paul will magically join the Knicks whenever we need them.

    Why on earth would those guys want to come here?

  11. @10 – Dellavedova is not an answer either. For a good reply to your question, read Mike K’s post (#7) carefully. It says everything you need to know.

  12. I wasn’t aware that Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are the only PGs in the league that could possibly help the Knicks.

    And yeah I read Mike K’s post it outlines a strategy without identifying a specific player. I don’t disagree with the strategy, but who is this young PG we should go after that was going to be a long-term solution. I’m all ears.

  13. I think Jennings will excel here as a distributor and a three point shooter but the guys biggest problems are huge for the Knicks. He’s a bad defender and he’s too small to be a reliable finished at the rim. That being said, Jennings will spot start for us where Rose can’t go and we could honestly do worse (like Jerian Grant).

    Between Jennings and Rose, we have two guys who can get to the rim but can’t finish. It’s weird, but if Rose gets fouled more and shoots more threes, we may have a shot at an okay offense.

    PS: I think Rose is in for a career year. Between Hornacek, the distance from his surgeries, my Knick fandom, and his age, there is a chance we see a Derrick Rose who puts up Jeremy Lin’s Knick efficiency/usage/assist rate combo with half the turnovers.

  14. Jennings signing was one of great value. No one thought that Phil could pull it off. The world was amazed when it happened. And then you guys got a hold of it.

  15. we would have been better off keeping galloway and signing d-will to that one year deal he got and let LT walk and forgoing jennings…

    in isolation the jennings signing is a good one … 1 yr 5mm is a small risk for what could be a really decent backup…. and the difference between this and rose is that we didn’t have to give up anything for jennings….

  16. And if you want some tangible people how about:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gutiejo01.html (still a FA)
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/mcraejo01.html (was available — just signed by Cleveland this summer)

    It took me all of 10 minutes to find these two guys. Although I imagine NBA front offices with their future technology and teams of people scanning the league for diamonds in the rough should be able to come up with dozens of viable names.

  17. @12 – see, the thing is the Knicks’ are not one or two free-agency moves away from solving their problems. That’s exactly why the current strategy does not make sense: PJ gives out all these one-year contracts to very questionable veteran talent because he is supposedly keeping the money for the big agents ‘next year’. Durant was a possibility, remember? So were Aldrich, Drummond and several others. Right now, the solutions are Chris Paul and Westbrook. In the meantime, there is no organic, sustainable growth (as in taking a chance on young, unproven talent). To me, the Knicks should try developing a real base of young talent and only then bringing the hired guns. To save time: no, Philly is not the way or the only way. Golden State is. But it takes patience and a good long-term plan. Looking for a single young ‘name’ in free agency is myopic.

  18. These were the choices, DJ Augustin, Jeremy Lin, Aaron Brooks, Ty Lawson, Steve Blake, Norris Cole, Shane Larkin, Mario Chalmers,Kirk Heinrich, Andre Miller, Beno Udrih, Ronnie Price, Pablo Prigioni, Austin Rivers, Jorge Gutierrez, Bryce Cotton, Jordan Farmar, Rajon Rondo in Free Agency. Or, keep the worst Point guard tandem in the NBA, Calderon and Grant. Or, Pay 128 million for Mike Conley over 4 years. Or trade Porzingis or a future first round pick for a point Guard not named Steph Curry or Westbrook or Chris Paul. So which one of these Roundtable Geniuses were going to make any of those moves?. Or how about a few more 17 win seasons so we can lose the first pick in the Lottery again? That was fun. It had been well established that Rose and Jennings are not the Knicks point guards of the future, and it was a horrific crop of PGs available this summer. And Melo is not Lebron James. And Porzingis is not Karl Anthony Towns. And Noah is not Boogie Cousins, And Courntey Lee is not Klay Thompson. Why beat a dead horse?. Basketball is a team game. Knicks may make the playoffs if they stay healthy and Coach gets the players to play unselfishly on both sides of the ball. Not rocket science.l

  19. That’s great Mike I like some of those guys too. We can still sign one of those guys or Chasson Randle or Will Cummings or somebody else that isn’t getting any NBA run right now. Still don’t know what any of that has to do with signing Jennings to be the backup or why that’s a terrible move when his durability seems fine given his performance last year after returning.

    PJ gives out all these one-year contracts to very questionable veteran talent because he is supposedly keeping the money for the big agents ‘next year’.

    Good thing we don’t only need to sign star free agents to improve our PG position. We also have all of our first round picks moving forward and two second round picks in a draft that is projected to be very deep. Both the Houston and Chicago 2nd rounders we have next year could be high 2nd round picks.

  20. Mike K:
    Nearly every PG in the NBA (even 3rd stringers) could probably dominate at the D-League level. Not every PG that dominates at the D-League level is capable of becoming a productive NBA player. I think the guys on your list ate legit candidates for 3rd string PGs worth a minimum flyer, similar to Jeremy Lin when we signed him. But Jennings’ most recent pre-injury stats are solid backup PG stats and there is little harm in taking a flyer on an established NBA player while not precluding signing one of the guys you mentioned. More guys like that will come along, and there are several guys on the roster that can be jettisoned to open up a roster spot without long-term consequences if that happens (including Jennings and Rose.)

    I know that you and the round table vehemently disagree with the win-now direction of the team, and pretty much any decision that Phil has made other than drafting Porzingis. Any GM that would have preferred one of your guys for the backup role over Jennings would have probably not traded Chandler, or signed Melo to the NTC near-max deal, or made the Rose trade. Given the current reality, it’s more useful to compare signing Jennings to options that Jackson might have realistically considered. Context is important.

  21. Phil also has brought in some younger guys like Ndour, Hernangomez, Plumlee (like the contract, hate the player’s ability and potential) and potentially Baker who all fit the bills as the “type” of players we should be filling out our depth with. I’m hopeful that with our 15th spot we will add a PG since we only have 2 on the roster right now and I agree that it should be the type of player Mike illustrated further up in his post. I mentioned Randle and Cummings, but maybe Bryce Cotton is another one as well.

  22. Nearly every PG in the NBA (even 3rd stringers) could probably dominate at the D-League level. Not every PG that dominates at the D-League level is capable of becoming a productive NBA player. I think the guys on your list ate legit candidates for 3rd string PGs worth a minimum flyer, similar to Jeremy Lin when we signed him. But Jennings’ most recent pre-injury stats are solid backup PG stats and there is little harm in taking a flyer on an established NBA player while not precluding signing one of the guys you mentioned. More guys like that will come along, and there are several guys on the roster that can be jettisoned to open up a roster spot without long-term consequences if that happens (including Jennings and Rose.)

    If they were the same price, the Knicks would take Jeremy Lin over Jennings. It’s a no-brainer. So since you can’t get Jeremy Lin for $5M, you look for the next Jeremy Lin.

    Jennings is a stop-gap solution. It’s taking the flat tire you patched with glue and using it as the spare. Seems like a good idea, until you get a flat. The Knicks should be kicking the tires on some young fliers to see if they can get a rotation-worthy PG. Best case scenario they hit upon a kid that can stick in the league and sign him to a cheap deal. Worst case scenario they go through some PGs giving them 5-10 min per night.

    The Knicks will need a PG (or two) before the year is done. There’s no doubt about that.

  23. Here’s a list of young PGs who had a cup of coffee in the NBA for whatever reason and in general didn’t stick:

    http://bkref.com/tiny/FhKUF

    When you’re in win-now mode, do you want to risk backing up your starting PG with someone on this list?

  24. Reub is right, the signing of Jennings got great reviews. A reasonable backup for that price is a good deal. Phil is acting as though indeed “injuries are the market inefficiecy”. I hope he’s right. It’s certainly the case that some players come back full efficiency, for example, Bernard King and Kevin Durant, to name two.

  25. But Mike, your analogy is based on a false dichotomy. By patching up your spare, you know exactly what you have…a stopgap. You are suggesting that you ditch the patched tire pull a free tire off the scrap heap on the hope that it’s as good or better than your patched-up spare, when it might go flat the minute you pull away. I’m saying that you can have both the serviceable patched-up spare AND the scrap-heap gamble. Why do you seem find the two ideas mutually exclusive when they clearly aren’t?

  26. Bernard King is not a great example of coming back to “full efficiency.” He came back to all-star level but was never close to the same player he was (top-2 or 3 in the NBA) before he got hurt. Durant is a better example, but a healed bone is different than healed soft tissue. Paul George had a gruesome injury, but because it was only bone with no associated cartilage/tendon/ligament issues, he came back full strength.

    But that said, if we got a “Bernard King” result out of Rose, I’d be thrilled!

  27. IMO, the Knicks unquestionably need another PG, but I like the Jennings signing. At the time they signed him, they were lacking 2 things.

    1. a backup PG
    2. scoring off the bench.

    Jennings gives you both.

    It’s not like I think he’s a starting caliber PG and I know he’s not especially efficient, but I do think he’s a pretty solid backup when healthy and we got him on a very good deal.

  28. Also, to be fair, Durant always played well when he was on the court during his injury/convalescence period. Rose has played poorly in all seasons since getting hurt.

  29. I’m not a Jennings fan (nor Rose), but Jennings on a 1 year “hold the fort” deal for $5m when a nice FA class of PG comes out next year is an excellent signing.

    If I’m not mistaken, aren’t there also a few pretty good PG prospects coming in the draft next year in addition to free agency? The Knicks do have the first rounder…

    No one here will like this, but maybe the Knicks view Sasha as the 3rd string PG? Hey, if both Rose and Jennings go down, might as well punt the season…

  30. BJ aka “The Pterodactyl” has a 7 seasons nba career with:
    15,5pts – 5,9as – 3,1reb – 1,3stl on 32,3min per game
    Also he started on 416 of his 460games.
    His fg% may not be so good but at least he’s a 80%FT shooter.
    He’s experienced, he’s “hungry”, he loves to play for NY and he may be a spark on our bench and a good component to our team’s chemistry this year.

    Isn’t that worth 5mil for 1 yr?
    i think it does.

  31. Jennings is OK. The issue is where is the core of the team going forward. Every season the roster seems to turn over except for Melo and one or two other players. We do have Porzingis, and who else, that might be NBA starters in three years? Melo? Possibly Willy H, Baker, Randle or the euro whose name I cannot spell. It’s not a lot for three+ years. These hampster wheel moves and necessary to fill out a roster but that is all they really are, nothing but packfill.

  32. @34 – exactly!

    What is being accomplished with these moves? What is the long-term plan? It seems there is none beyond overhauling the roster every year and going for barely making the playoffs with an assortment of veterans whose best days are long gone.

  33. But Mike, your analogy is based on a false dichotomy. By patching up your spare, you know exactly what you have…a stopgap. You are suggesting that you ditch the patched tire pull a free tire off the scrap heap on the hope that it’s as good or better than your patched-up spare, when it might go flat the minute you pull away. I’m saying that you can have both the serviceable patched-up spare AND the scrap-heap gamble. Why do you seem find the two ideas mutually exclusive when they clearly aren’t?

    To make the analogy correct, you have an expensive tire that’s suspect and can blow any minute (Rose) $150. Your spare is also used, and has just been patched up (Jennings) $50. You have plenty of room in your trunk, so why not grab some $10 brand new tires from companies you’ve never heard of (Goodyar, Machelin, Piretti, etc.). They might just blow the minute you put them on, but one of them might outperform the $150 tire for what amounts to $30.

  34. Mike K–

    Is it Mike Woodson and Quintin Richardson? (Though Greg Anthony was probably pretty Brandon Jennings-esque, so maybe I should guess him. But I don’t think I ever saw Q make a 2 pointer once he came to the Knicks).

  35. phil’s plan is pretty simple… winning as much as you can without giving up any future assets(picks, cap space)….

    the plan isn’t bad… you need to get some wins on the board so that you build some credibility to at least see your vision through… that’s kind of the part that hinkie missed with his tankathon plan…. you don’t get to intentionally lose for a number of years without someone/everyone being all up in arms over it…

    the problem is that he’s probably not winning much now….. and the high conviction long term bets aren’t going to look good in another year….

  36. BJ aka “The Pterodactyl” has a 7 seasons nba career with:
    15,5pts – 5,9as – 3,1reb – 1,3stl on 32,3min per game

    Per game stats are meaningless. Try again with per minute stats.

    His fg% may not be so good but at least he’s a 80%FT shooter.

    fg% is pretty meaningless. Try using ts% or eFG%.

  37. Is it Mike Woodson and Quintin Richardson? (Though Greg Anthony was probably pretty Brandon Jennings-esque, so maybe I should guess him. But I don’t think I ever saw Q make a 2 pointer once he came to the Knicks).

    Nope on both accounts. Good guesses though.

    I’ll give you a hint on the player – he was a bad all around shooter (didn’t take many/any threes).

  38. Let’s just hope that Jennings gets more open looks and cleaner paths to the rim than he did anywhere else. I think that as an instant offense 6th man, he’s good. I just hate his shot selection. I don’t really think that he can’t shoot. He just takes God-awful shots. He never was the quickest or most explosive guard. He wasn’t slow before the injury either. I think that as a 6’1″ 170 lb lefty whose game kinda resembled Kenny Anderson, people expected more quickness and ball handling prowess. He has adequate quickness, and being a lefty helps him somewhat..but Kenny Anderson he is not. Kenny drove and controlled the pace. Brandon takes shots out of rhythm. Maybe Hornacek can coach it out of him. If he can, Jennings is a steal for 5 mil.

  39. Here’s a list of young PGs who had a cup of coffee in the NBA for whatever reason and in general didn’t stick:

    http://bkref.com/tiny/FhKUF

    When you’re in win-now mode, do you want to risk backing up your starting PG with someone on this list?

    The main guy I would target (given my 20 minutes of research) is Gutierrez, who is on your list. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gutiejo01.html

    Jenkins actually seems like a decent SG (1800 minutes, .562 ts%, 36.3% 3p%, 84.6% ft%)
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jenkijo01.html
    Troy Daniels too. (948 min, 58.5% ts%, 43.0% 3p%!!!)
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/danietr01.html

    Btw I’d like to point out that I’m not saying day 1 these guys are your main backups. You try them out until one of them looks like a rotation level player. But you need a backup by December/January anyway (or are we going Sasha as PG when one sits out?) Who do you sign to “win-now”? Andre Miller? Jamaal Tinsley? Chauncey Billups? Earl Watson?

  40. BJ aka “The Pterodactyl” has a 7 seasons nba career with:
    15,5pts – 5,9as – 3,1reb – 1,3stl on 32,3min per game

    Per game stats are meaningless. Try again with per minute stats.

    I’m not familiar with per min stats but i’d say that i find BJ’s career per game stats pretty solid for 5mil a year.

    Where can i find per min stats and why are the “per game” meaningless ?

    His fg% may not be so good but at least he’s a 80%FT shooter.

    fg% is pretty meaningless. Try using ts% or eFG%.

    Why ts% and efg% are valid while fg% is meaningless ?
    Is fg% so faulty ?

  41. On this board, there’s always some kind of pessimist vs optimist thing going on. And usually the pessimists claim they have the “realistic” case on things. In this case, it’s taking on Jennings and his poor advanced stats, vs. taking a flier on a young guy. That’s a false dichotomy right there, as noted above, and plus it’s a stopgap 1 year flier because there’s not much else to take on the market.

    Which is where I take the whole PESSIMIST=REALISTIC thing and throw it out. Because almost none of these pessimists have a realistic sense of what else you WOULD do. Not saying Mike K is wrong (at all) but looking at his list of players, you have Gutierrez at 27 years old, played for 5 different teams, is a career 17% 3pt shooter with a great TS% but averages 2 shots a game. Or McRae, who averages 3.4 shots a game, so what the f do I make of his 548 TS?

    These aren’t realistic alternatives to Jennings at $5M. Because the alternatives Phil had were Conley for the max, and Chalmers for what used to be the max.

    Maybe these moves will bring us up to mediocrity, and I’m not defending them, but (a) we have had scant draft picks in the past forever, (b) scant great free agents ever come to a below-average team like ours, and (c) we had scant young players worthy of developing. (See: Cleanthony, Grant, Thanasis, etc etc). So maybe getting better while taking 1-yr fliers on maybe’s, and longer contracts on good players like Noah and Lee are how we can get better.

    Because if the alternative is sucking forever like the 76ers, I wouldn’t take that.

  42. I’m not familiar with per min stats but i’d say that i find BJ’s career per game stats pretty solid for 5mil a year.

    Where can i find per min stats and why are the “per game” meaningless ?

    Per game stats are meaningless, like the number of correct forecasts a weatherman in a week.

    Go here:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jennibr01.html

    Look for “Per 36 Minutes”

    Why ts% and efg% are valid while fg% is meaningless ?
    Is fg% so faulty ?

    FG% doesn’t account for three pointers or drawing free throws.

    Player A hits 3 of 6 layups.
    Player B hits 2 of 6 three pointers
    Player C hits 3 of 6 layups, but all of those are and-1s which he makes.

    Player A & C have fg% of 50%.
    Player B has fg% of 33%.

    Yet A & B have the same amount of points (6) in attempts (6).
    Also Player C has the most points (9), but the same fg% as A.

    That seems unfair.

    by TS%:
    Player A: 50% (6 points on 6 shots)
    Player B: 50% (6 points on 6 shots)
    Player C: 61.5% (9 points on 6 shots)

    That seems more accurate.

  43. Question- at which point do you say “sample size is too small” to even look at the TS? I mean, the guys we talked about before averaged very few shots/game. I understand that all stats would equally be skewed, but is there any you would use more in that case?

    The whole Cole Aldrich is good (oh but only at <10% usg) thing is coming back to me now. (and Tyson Chandler)

  44. Oh my god, is this a basketball round table or a support group for depressed trauma survivors? There is literally no downside to getting Jennings on a 1 year deal. He is going to be punching above his weight as a back-up, he’ll enable Hornacek to play uptempo for 48 minutes, he can spot start for Rose when needed, he is obsessed with the Knicks and hungry to win… and if things don’t work out, we have no obligation to him! The guy was playing at borderline all-star levels in Detroit before his injury… it’s hardly crazy to think that after a few years as a young player on bad teams/situations he was beginning to find his stride and will be good with the Knicks. If we want to keep him around after this season really badly I am quite confident Phil can make that happen.

    Durant was a possibility, remember? So were Aldrich, Drummond and several others. Right now, the solutions are Chris Paul and Westbrook. In the meantime, there is no organic, sustainable growth (as in taking a chance on young, unproven talent).

    Some of you seriously need to reality test. No, Durant was not a possibility. He wants to win now, which is apparently anathema to you folks. Drummond was an RFA and the Pistons would never have let him go, and if I never have to watch fucking Cole Aldrich suck wind after four minutes of lumbering up and down the court and throwing hook shots into the fourth row, it will be too soon.

    It’s funny how in the alternate reality that some of you inhabit, a team with four quality starters signed to multiyear deals has no long term plan, and we are not developing any young talent (aside from nascent star Porzingis, Hernangomez, N’Dour, Baker and Plumlee).

  45. Not saying Mike K is wrong (at all) but looking at his list of players, you have Gutierrez at 27 years old, played for 5 different teams, is a career 17% 3pt shooter with a great TS% but averages 2 shots a game. Or McRae, who averages 3.4 shots a game, so what the f do I make of his 548 TS?

    Again per game stats are completely meaningless, especially in this context.

  46. Duhon and Herb? (Herb must have been able to make a 2 pointer, though. What else was he doing out there?)

  47. I’m going to guess Chris Dudley for the player. I’m confused about the “coach”. Did he play for the Knicks or was he a head coach?

  48. In baseball you can give fringe prospects who may have shown glimmers of being undervalued a few at bats because it doesn’t affect the $20 million/year player’s craft, i.e. his preparation/routine/performance.

    In basketball you can’t hand the keys to an inexperienced journeyman point guard–a player who’s setting up the offense for Melo, KP, etc.–because there’s a one in 20 chance you’ll find a rotation player. It’s even an inefficient way to use the limited practice time during the season.

    It’s fun to talk about market inefficiencies and finding the next useful, inexpensive player, but this stuff just doesn’t matter. It’s the nature of the NBA. The nice discoveries like Prigioni, even Galloway, don’t change things in the NBA. We need KP to make the jump to elite status and we need to sign CP3 or Westbrook next year. If that happens, then we’re in business.

  49. As a one-year stopgap at the bargain basement price of $5M, Brandon Jennings will do just fine. He’s not a guy that is going to move the needle but he should provide non-black hole minutes as the backup PG. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he ends up having a more productive season than the guy who is going to be starting for the Knicks.

  50. Look for “Per 36 Minutes”

    So you mean that “per min” stats are valid while “per game” are meaningless ?

    Don’t you consider actual playing time on court as something earned by a player that worths mentioning ?
    “Per min” don’t show that.

    As for TS% and efg% how do you see how good a player is at 2pointers at 3pointers and at FTs ?
    Are those 2 very general or am i missing something ?

    For example how can i instantly see that a player has a big problem on FTs like DeAndreJordan/Drummond through his TS ?

  51. So you mean that “per min” stats are valid while “per game” are meaningless ?

    Don’t you consider actual playing time on court as something earned by a player that worths mentioning ?
    “Per min” don’t show that.

    Yes, that is what a lot of the regular posters here believe. It’s what accounts for the obsession with per-minute superstars like Cole Aldrich who look amazing by efficiency and per-minute stats but are in reality incapable of sustaining that kind of play over enough minutes to actually make them valuable rotation players.

    Which is not to say that per36 numbers are useless. But when you use them to project per-game numbers for guys who barely play in the first place it kind of falls apart. But for example, I expect Porzingis to average something like 18 and 9 this season, because those were his per-36 numbers last year and I expect him to play more than last year’s 28 mpg this coming season.

  52. Mike K-

    I don’t care about per game or per 36. I was saying that the list you came up with to back up our oft-injured Rose, is filled with extremely low-volume players. At 2 shots per game, values like True Shooting may be meaningless.

  53. Dear Mike i can understand “per36” as a useful tool to find the JLins and HWhitesides of tomorrow while they re still unknown and cheap but calling “per game” stats as meaningless looks slightly…too much.

    i mean getting into an NBA rotation is not so easy.Why not be able to know that for a player from his stats.
    ‘Min per game” shows if you’re a starter, a bench player, a sixth man or a player that sees the court every christmas and Thanksgivingsday.

    Not to say also that playing between 25-35min per game means that you’re usually play against starters while playing 0-15 min means playing against bench players or even in garbage time.
    Isn’t that valuable for someone to know it ?

  54. Woj reports that the NBA is on the verge of pulling the All-Star Game out of Charlotte. Wow, good for the NBA.

  55. Don’t you consider actual playing time on court as something earned by a player that worths mentioning ?
    “Per min” don’t show that.

    Both weatherman were right about the rain twice last week.

    Looking at rain correct per 7 days if it was the weekend guy he was 7 correct / 7 days. Looking at the weekday guy he was 2.8 correct / 7 days.

    Per game stats doesn’t account for opportunity. If you want to account for that, just look at minutes played or even mpg.

    Again per minute stat levels the playing field so we can compare players. Per game stats puts starters at a higher pedestal than bench players because they have more opportunities.

    As for TS% and efg% how do you see how good a player is at 2pointers at 3pointers and at FTs ?
    Are those 2 very general or am i missing something ?

    For example how can i instantly see that a player has a big problem on FTs like DeAndreJordan/Drummond through his TS ?

    TS% is good at telling you who is good at scoring. FT% just tells you the percentage they hit free throws at. Additionally it doesn’t tell you who is good at getting to the line.

    I’d rather have a guy that hit 80% of his free throws if he takes twice as many, than the guy that shoots 90%. TS% captures that.

  56. Late to the game. Good job Unreason!

    @58 – KYN
    I like Per36 but I think there is some value in per game stats. It shows how much a coach relies on the player. IMO, stats must be looked at with context. That’s why Mike values Per36 only with significant playing time. Low usage invalidates the stat. You could also say that a player has great Per36 stats but that he faced 2nd or 3rd team players when he put up those numbers.

  57. Yes, that is what a lot of the regular posters here believe. It’s what accounts for the obsession with per-minute superstars like Cole Aldrich who look amazing by efficiency and per-minute stats but are in reality incapable of sustaining that kind of play over enough minutes to actually make them valuable rotation players.

    Completely wrong. The study I linked to yesterday (that I did a thousand years ago) proves that players per-minute stats stay constant with an increase in minutes. Additionally Cole Aldrich does very well statistically in the games where he gets lots of minutes. Of course if the human eye watching him is predisposed to think the contrary, he’ll always fail the eye-test.

    For fun, I calculated Cole’s per minute stats in games he had 25+ minutes:
    12.0 pts/36
    12.3 reb/36
    2.6 blk/36

    These numbers are nearly identical to his career numbers.

  58. Knew Your Knicks, here is the problem with per game stats and why per minute stats are better. Per game stats will tell you that a guy scores 20ppg is better at scoring than a guy who scores 10ppg. But what if I were to tell you that the 20ppg scorer plays 36 minutes per game, while the 10ppg scorer plays 10 minutes per game? If you looked at their per36 stats, you would see that the 20ppg scorer scores 20pts per36, while the 10ppg scorer scores 36pts per 36. This would then suggest to you that the 10ppg scorer should get more than 10 minutes per game, because he scores a point every minute he’s on the court.

    Per36 stats are useful precisely because the suggest what a guy will be able to do if given more playing time. They aren’t necessarily that useful if you only consider guys who play 35-40 minutes per game, because then they will be about the same as those guys per game numbers. But like Mike has said, they level the playing field between guys that play a lot and guys that don’t.

    You say “i mean getting into an NBA rotation is not so easy.Why not be able to know that for a player from his stats.” But the point of per36 is that it can help you identify good players before they start to get big minutes. Obviously not every player that puts up 36pts per36 in 10mpg will continue that scoring if you increase his minutes, but like Mike’s data from the last thread showed, a lot of players will.

    No stat is perfect. You always have to consider all the factors at hand. But per36 is a hell of a lot better than per game because it factors in the amount of minutes that guys played to accumulate their stats.

  59. Mike K-

    I don’t care about per game or per 36. I was saying that the list you came up with to back up our oft-injured Rose, is filled with extremely low-volume players. At 2 shots per game, values like True Shooting may be meaningless.

    Again you’re using per game stats. Gutierrez averages 2 shots per game, because he only averaged 10 minutes per game. If he got 20 minutes per game, you’d expect him to have more shots per game, no?

    That said he is low on the fga (7.9/36) but McRae and Jennings are nearly identical (15.8 & 14.4). You can’t compare per game stats if two players are vying for the same spot and had previously had much different minutes per game.

    Here look at the per-36 for the three.
    http://bkref.com/tiny/Wp0Kb

  60. @44 – PJ did have alternatives beyond Rose and the list of unknowns that Mike K presented and you reject: Rondo + Lopez + Grant at 29.5M per year for the next two years is a much better deal than Noah and Rose at 39M. Rondo even agreed to a mutual option on the second year!

  61. I’m all about per 36, but it has to be based on a reasonable sample size. That’s just basic scientific method – a TOTAL of 150 minutes is absurd as any kind of indicator. Which is why the list of guards reveals exactly what we’re saying: there were no reasonable other options. (And Rondo, are you freaking kidding me?)

    I bet you’d argue against the hot-hand theory in favor of the reliability of statistics over time…so why would you essentially take a “h0t-hand” theory when evaluating other potential signings? They could have been really hot in those brief minutes played, or they could have been way under what they’re capable of – either way, we can’t possibly know. THE SAMPLE SIZE IS TOO SMALL TO JUDGE.

  62. Even Rondo, Aaron Brooks, Lopez and Grant at 32M per year were a better, safer bet than Rose, Noah and Jennings at 44M.

  63. Just in case: I’m not a Rondo fan, but at this point he is a much better value/risk than Rose’s corpse.

  64. DJPhan: phil’s plan is pretty simple… winning as much as you can without giving up any future assets(picks, cap space)….

    The problem with this plan is it falsely compartmentalizes assets. What is the difference between trading your $50k gold necklace for a week at a fancy resort and spending $50,000 from your savings to do the same thing? There is no freakin’ difference. In the same way, you can ask yourself, “How much 2016 cap space would I have given up to get another 2017 first round pick?” Well, that cap space is the gold necklace and the $50k is the pick. They’re the same thing. You’re just using different currency.

    Therefore, the only sensible way to think about the Knicks’ choices as far as their commitment to the future is on a spectrum. How much of the value on their team did they choose to expend this season on appreciating assets vs. depreciating assets?

    They are pretty far tilted towards the depreciating assets side of things.

    And as far as this unending debate about whether we could have/should have found young players rather than signed vets, the response a lot of people seem to have is that “you need to pump your value up and get wins under your belt.” But what you’re really saying is you need to get more depreciating assets. Look at the teams that have won major FAs like the Spurs and Warriors. Did they start out by saying, “we suck. Let’s make some really short term moves to try to convince free agents that we’re good?” No, they built teams internally by slowly and methodically investing in young players.

    What you’re suggesting is the equivalent of saying, “I want to be a millionaire, so let me just take a cash advance on my credit card so I can go from having $100,000 to $150,000 net worth. That will help!”

  65. @59 Why?

    My understanding North Carolina’s bathroom law vis a vis transgenders is at the root of NBA threatening or actually pulling the All Star Game out of Charlotte.

  66. Fwiw,

    Rose shot 66/148, 44.6% from October-December on drives.

    He shot 119/215, 55.3% from January-April on drives.

    So it seems like the double vision from the orbital fracture really did fuck him up for awhile until he took the mask off at which point he finished at a still suboptimal level, but much much better than he did before and about on par with the level at the rim he was at in 14/15 over 51 games. He also took 30% of shots at the rim last year (8.9 drives per game) as compared to 26% in 14/15 (7.2 drives per game), so he was able to get to the rim more last year which is a good sign in terms of his quickness and speed.

    Now if he can get a better whistle at the rim than his absurdly shitty free throw rate the last couple of years we could actually see a reasonable improvement to league average starter from Rose. Hopefully that happens.

  67. Slightly off topic..
    I’ve been seeing a lot of reports about Melo’s leadership with Team USA. They’re all saying he’s really vocal and supportive, AND leading by example. Hopefully he brings that back to the Knicks. That would be awesome.

  68. He also took 30% of shots at the rim last year (8.9 drives per game) as compared to 26% in 14/15 (7.2 drives per game), so he was able to get to the rim more last year which is a good sign in terms of his quickness and speed.

    I don’t think Rose’s athleticism is going to be a problem. There’s a video of him at the 2014 Team USA scrimmage (the Paul George broken leg game), right after both his most significant knee injuries, where he cuts down the lane and throws done a huge two-handed tomahawk. I don’t have time to find the video of it right now.

    The issues are two-fold: a) will he ever be able to trust his knees enough to play the way he once did, i.e. going straight to the rim attacking contact, etc. b) if he does play that way, will he knees actually hold up?

  69. He was trusting his knees more last year is what that tells me. Now he needs to get better at drawing fouls again when he actually gets to the rim.

  70. @Lavor

    This is how NBA tracking defines drives:

    Any touch that starts at least 20 feet of the hoop and is dribbled within 10 feet of the hoop and excludes fast breaks.

    When you look at Rose’s post All Star Break shot chart, you see he was quite bad at finishing at the rim, so what’s probably happening is Rose is shooting pretty efficiently on pull ups and floaters in the 5-10′ range, but those don’t lead to fouls that often. When it comes to the drives where he actually goes all the way to the rim, he’s not able to get off the floor and force contact or finish, which is why he doesn’t draw fouls or finish from there anywhere near like he used to.

  71. @70- look i’m in total agreement on building towards the future and i said as much… i don’t agree with 95% of his moves but i can understand the reasoning behind it…

    the problem is that all these moves amounted to about 42 wins… if all we did was replace afflalo with anyone out of a group of a dozen better sg’s on the market we would’ve gotten there organically without committing the years and money to noah and thomas for that matter…

    we effectively rearranged the chairs on the titanic….

  72. Woj reports that the NBA is on the verge of pulling the All-Star Game out of Charlotte. Wow, good for the NBA.

    Right as they fine a bunch of WNBA players for speaking out about violence. Because “uniform policy.”

  73. Mike K – have been thinking a bit about your per-min PER study, not totally convinced by its methodology and your choice of control.

    The major issues with per-minute stats being extrapolated from “role-player minutes” to “starter minutes”, like you said in your post, is that generally speaking, only players who are expected by their coach to remain or be increasingly productive would be given more minutes to play.

    Your control group, as far as I can tell, is just a random group of players who played 10-25 minutes/game. Your test group is not necessarily related to the control group — ie. they’re not the same players with an increase in minutes like in what’s called a case-crossover design where the player is his own control. In fact, they’re specifically NOT the same players since you chose the 2 groups specifically to not overlap. So I’m not sure that the “control” group in your study is appropriate. Please let me know if I’m thinking about this wrong.

    In addition, I’m not sure about your choice of “>+5 min/game from the year before”. For someone playing 10 minutes/game to go to 30 min/game is really a 300% increase in minutes, whereas for a player playing 10 minutes –> 15 min is far less a difference, yet both would fall within your criteria. The amount of effort/fitness involved in those two situations is, of course, completely different. By your criteria, the separation between the 2 groups is probably minimal, so any differences (or lack thereof) are less meaningful.

    Overall it’s a very difficult thing to prove or disprove. You could even take single players and compare their stats in games with >20 minutes played and <15 min played — but that in itself is probably biased in that if the player is playing poorly they might get pulled quickly, and if they're playing well, they keep playing.

  74. @77

    The area that shows him shooting poorly encompasses more than at the rim shots though. It definitely includes shots from outside of 0-3 feet. All I’m saying is looking at BRef he was getting to the rim more than the previous year by far and his percentage on drives improved from totally terrible to start the year to still not the best, but acceptable from January onwards.

    What you’re saying could be right and that would explain the lack of fouls being drawn but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he became appreciably more efficient from the field after his orbital fracture healed.

  75. Even if your study does have the right conclusion (there’s no correlation between minutes played and PER), it doesn’t mean that a player’s PER may not decrease given more minutes. it just means that roughly the same amount of players had their PER go up as go down (or stay the same), and so minutes in and of themselves are not the determining factor in PER.

    it doesn’t prevent or disprove the statement, for example, that Cole Aldrich is completely out of shape and I think he’ll have a heart attack if he has to play more than 17 minutes in a basketball game, and as such, I can’t justify paying him anything more than what’s appropriate for a 3rd big man.

  76. Oh my god, is this a basketball round table or a support group for depressed trauma survivors? There is literally no downside to getting Jennings on a 1 year deal.

    Did you miss the part about opportunity cost?

    Tomorrow on Knickerbocker: is it good when the shots go in?

    We have had this discussion here, when it was, “Is it really so bad when the shots don’t go in?” and there were mixed responses. Not sure anything’s changed.

  77. if all we did was replace afflalo with anyone out of a group of a dozen better sg’s on the market we would’ve gotten there organically without committing the years and money to noah and thomas for that matter

    Such as? Who were these SGs that didn’t get years or dollars that would have improved us?

    And you wouldn’t have brought Lance back, because why?

  78. @Lavor, I don’t question that Rose could be better next year than last year overall. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he replicated the 20 games of improved play post ASB. The problem is he was still just an okay bench type player in that span, so what you’re really betting on top of the reasonable possibility that he repeats last season post orbital issues is he upgrades from okay bench player to above average starter which is a huge leap.

  79. @85 – aaron afflalo age 30 ws48 0.55
    vs
    troy daniels age 24 3 yrs 10mm ws48 .110
    seth curry age 25 2yrs 5mm ws48 0.097
    gerald henderson age 28 2yrs 18mm ws48 0.068
    wesley johnson age 29 ws48 .076

    i don’t even mind the lee signing but there were some slightly better options…

    in regards to lance thomas:
    career ws48 .041
    age 27 ws48 .062
    age 26 ws48 -.014
    career high in games played 62

  80. Sorry I was just using the ladies room (because I felt like it) and it caused a little commotion with the unreasonable women already in there. Have I missed anything here?

  81. I just hope Rose can get close to being somewhere between (2012)Felton and Reggie Jackson while that’s not great it would be an improvement.

  82. so what you’re really betting on top of the reasonable possibility that he repeats last season post orbital issues is he upgrades from okay bench player to above average starter which is a huge leap.

    No, you’re betting on him being even more recovered from his previous injuries. The only thing keeping him from being an above average starter is diminished physical ability due to knee damage. You’re betting on that damage to be largely recoverable and in the past (like George) rather than permanent and/or likely to recur during the contract period (like Stoudemire.)

    Just pointing out that only the health, not the game has to improve. Alternatively, Rose would have to adjust his game to his new reality (“stable” but with diminished physical ability) which is much more difficult for a PG with a mediocre perimeter game. We all know that those extra few inches/feet that opposing guards can lay off the jump shot has serious repercussions for all but the very best passers, e.g. Kidd. It is noteworthy that Kidd is a guy who improved his 3pt% on higher volume late in his career. It is also noteworthy that he had microfracture surgery in 2004 but played 9 more years (and 84 playoff games) at a high level. There are other similarities, although Kidd is one of the most cerebral, team-oriented players in history, while Rose is more of a me-first guy on the court.

  83. @87

    They signed Lance to a contract commensurate with his play. He probably could have got more money elsewhere and chose to stay and he’s a good perimeter defender that can defend multiple positions. He also has a herky jerky but weirdly effective off the dribble game in close outs and was a proficient 3 point shooters.

    I like Daniels and Curry but neither has proven themselves to be a starting caliber 2 and neither is a good defender. I don’t buy any of those SG options being better right now though maybe Curry can develop a bit more.

    @latke

    Yeah I am betting on that improvement but honestly even acceptable bench PG is better than what we ran out at point last year. My optimistic hope for Rose is probably 52 TS% on 23-25 USG% and a jump to 32 AST%. If he does that in say 65-70 games that will be good for a 1 year rental and should be a big improvement for us in terms of PG production.

  84. @74 – Totes, Thank you for changing the subject. I feel like we’re arguing about whether the earth is flat or not.

    Melo has stepped up his voice big time. It’s not just how he’s showing up with Team-USA, I like that he got his buddies to join him on stage at the ESPY’s to discuss BLM. I don’t want to get into the political debate but the act is one of tangible, vocal leadership. He seems energized and I’m hoping that his knees and shoulder are fine too. What I want to see on the floor is a vocal, passionate, selfless team that works together in the system. It’s one thing when there’s a single voice, but I think Noah will be right there with Melo and that’s the sort of team we need.

    @72 Lavor

    Rose shot 66/148, 44.6% from October-December on drives.
    He shot 119/215, 55.3% from January-April on drives.

    These are the type of factors that we should be looking for when qualifying Rose’s poor stats from last season. It’s clear looking at his month-by-month stats on FG% that he was affected:

    October: 37%
    November 35%
    December 41%
    January 47%
    February 44%
    March 46%

  85. Sorry I was just using the ladies room (because I felt like it) and it caused a little commotion with the unreasonable women already in there. Have I missed anything here?

    Oh boy, please continue.

  86. ‘Min per game” shows if you’re a starter, a bench player, a sixth man or a player that sees the court every christmas and Thanksgivingsday.

    There have been players that have had all-star level /36 numbers that couldn’t get playing time, and, once they did, went on to be all-stars (what?!).

    Jermaine O’Neal played 400, 800, 300, 800 mins in his first 4 seasons. He averaged roughly 10 rebounds and 2 1/2 blocks per 36. Then in year 5 he gets traded to Indiana and plays 2600+ minutes and averages 10 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He goes on to maintain that productivity, be a 6 time all-star, and play for 18 years.

    Ben Wallace was another guy that bounced around and struggled to find minutes, despite putting up amazing /36 rebounding and block numbers. Once he started playing 3000 mins, he continued to put up the same numbers, on his way to leading his team to multiple finals and multiple all-star games.

    The thing these guys have in common? Neither were big scorers, either by rate or by raw stats. But /36 saw their value, while per game, eye test, and pointz disciples missed them.

  87. Rose/Jennings is the best PG duo the Knicks have had since Ward/Childs.

    With such faint praise, let’s consider them damned.

  88. @92 – i’m sure thomas could’ve gotten more money elsewhere… but i probably would have thanked him for his contributions and let him go…. guys like lance are huge gambles.. we’re basically banking on his 3pt shooting to be real… if not we’re just totally screwed…. and best case that it is… he probably should be more like your 10th man….

    and the point about the sgs wasn’t that they were leaps and bounds better than lee… they’re probably in the neighborhood or worse… but they were leaps and bounds better than afflalo was last year and that we could’ve done just about anything… including signing lee that would have been effectively the same….

  89. You rapscallion. I bet you are a real pro at Facebook comments.

  90. I know it’s totally insane but TS% isn’t the first thing I look at when evaluating point guards- I want to see an assist rate at least above 25% (preferably 30+) without crazy turnover numbers. Granted, Jennings shoots enough that his low TS% bothers me- I wouldn’t want him as a starter- but he’s an actual point guard who has had actual decent seasons in the NBA. Having guys best suited for the 2 like Calderon (at this point in his career) and Gallo play the point throws a major wrench into your offense.
    As DRed mentioned Jennings is very Felton-esque (spookily so http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=feltora01&p2=jennibr01&p3=&p4=&p5=&p6=) almost identical numbers with Jennings shooting more (that’s bad because neither one of them can shoot) but turning over less. But on the plus side both guys have at least a decent understanding of how to run an offense. I get the attraction of taking a flyer on a guy who might wind up being a better player but when your point guards don’t play like point guards it makes it really difficult to evaluate anybody else on the offense because it forces other guys to do things they’re probably not suited best suited for doing.

  91. I don’t get it, does sample size really not matter? The guy playing 5 min of NBA basketball every third game in garbage time with a TS of 562 should have been hired instead of Jennings, even though that’s only on 10 min/game (5 min last year, 12 games played)? I just described Jorge Gutierrez.

    Ridiculous.

  92. By the way, watching and hearing about Melo at the Olympics has been…. weird. I mean, guys like Klay Thompson, DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, even Jimmy Butler, have been talking about Melo as if he’s Kobe or something. He really, really has some kind of pull in the league with players. Or it’s all just PR, but I doubt it.

  93. I don’t get it, does sample size really not matter? The guy playing 5 min of NBA basketball every third game in garbage time with a TS of 562 should have been hired instead of Jennings, even though that’s only on 10 min/game (5 min last year, 12 games played)? I just described Jorge Gutierrez.

    Ridiculous.

    Ofcourse !
    And if you don’t agree you better stay away of this blog or the per36ers will get you !
    [;-P]

  94. @95
    Donnie i can see per36’s value but i’d say that good players will find their way finally and play in this league big minutes one way or another.
    I’m used to check the old “per game” stats, i’ll start using “per36” too and i think that i’ll get better info using both than using just the one of those two.

  95. There are various reasons (conditioning, different energy output, etc.) why any given player may not replicate their per minute production. However, the general trend is that they do, as Mike K has demonstrated. For this reason, it is well worth signing them to contracts that will look like bargains if they are able to maintain their production in increased minutes. Worst case scenario they’re unable to and at least you have a fine bench/lower minutes piece.

    For a team far off from contending, this is a much better strategy than signing players at ages typically associated with decline and hoping they maintain their existing value.

  96. Donnie i can see per36’s value but i’d say that good players will find their way finally and play in this league big minutes one way or another.

    Sure, that may be true, but if you are a GM, you’d really rather have these players find their way and play big minutes BEFORE you trade them.

    Jermaine O’Neal was traded as a 22 year old for 31 year old Dale Davis. The two played the same position. The next year Davis played 2100 mins and averaged 7.2 pts, 7.5 rebs, and 0.9 blks per game. O’Neal played 2600 mins and averaged 13 pts, 10 rebs, and 2.8 blocks per game. Wouldn’t Portland have been better off keeping O’Neal, not just that year, but every year for the next 10 years?

  97. Sure, that may be true, but if you are a GM, you’d really rather have these players find their way and play big minutes BEFORE you trade them.

    True
    Sometimes GMs do dumb or “strange” stuff…
    Especially those Portland ones !
    What’s your opinion about letting go LamarcusAldridge,NBatum,WMathews and RLopez ?

  98. I’m not saying /36 isn’t a good metric. How else do you compare the 20 min/game player to the 30 min/game player. BUT – sample size is important. The players listed above as ‘replacements on the wire’ for Jennings had ridiculously low sample sizes.

    Why no one ever concedes a subtlety on this board amazes me.

  99. Some humor for y’all. Since Jowles pointed me to reddit for my blatherings, I’m really starting to enjoy reading some of this stuff. They roast a different team every day, and yesterday was the Knicks turn. Here’s a few good ones:

    – The twin towers rebuilt faster than the Knicks

    – Wasn’t the Knicks’ roast two days ago? (The Bulls were roasted two days ago)

    – I never realized that #Knickstape referred to bandages

    Rebranding the Knicks logo

    – Penn Station is located directly underneath Madison Square Garden, which is fantastic for noted train enthusiast Derrick Rose.

    – Knicks are the best team in the NBA on the same paper that Rose’s knees are made of

    – Proposal for a special Knicks GM mode in NBA videogames:
    Can only trade picks for unathletic big men, unless it’s a package deal where half your top players get traded.
    Keeping a promising young or athletic point guard for over a year is forbidden
    Mediocre players get a 10% bonus “Knicks kicker” added to their salary.
    If you don’t spend up to the salary cap James Dolan fires you and you lose.
    Players must be added in a way that keeps starting 5 average age at 30+
    You’re not allowed to draft in the top 10 more than once every three years: picks must be traded to keep this condition or Dolan fires you.
    You win if you get to the second round of the playoffs once every 10 years

    – ‘If you weren’t a fan when we were down by thirty, don’t be a fan when we’re down by twenty’

    – I know there’s a lot of hate for the Knicks in here but keep your heads up Knicks fans! Your 15 wins are gonna look great under the new cap.

  100. @109
    As long as spectators that hit the halftime’s halfcourt shot were not listed as possible replacements for Jennings i’m ok !

  101. More!

    – New Unis! Home Away Postseason

    – I’m happy that my dad’s a Knicks fan so I’m not the biggest disappointment in his life.

    – A team that hasn’t been relevant since the 90s with a system that hasn’t been relevant since the 2000s with players that haven’t been relevant since 2013. What could go wrong?

    – I had a top comment ready for this roast, but I traded it away for Andrea Bargnani.

    – The New York Knicks had to cancel their website because they couldn’t string 3 W’s together

  102. True
    Sometimes GMs do dumb or “strange” stuff…

    Exactly. But a cursory look at the /36 numbers of O’Neal and Davis could have made Portland do something smart instead of dumb.

  103. – I had a top comment ready for this roast, but I traded it away for Andrea Bargnani.

    – The New York Knicks had to cancel their website because they couldn’t string 3 W’s together

    Good stuff….sadly.

  104. I’m all about per 36, but it has to be based on a reasonable sample size. That’s just basic scientific method – a TOTAL of 150 minutes is absurd as any kind of indicator. Which is why the list of guards reveals exactly what we’re saying: there were no reasonable other options. (And Rondo, are you freaking kidding me?)

    In my study, the minimum number of minutes for a player om a season was 410.

  105. Your control group, as far as I can tell, is just a random group of players who played 10-25 minutes/game. Your test group is not necessarily related to the control group — ie. they’re not the same players with an increase in minutes like in what’s called a case-crossover design where the player is his own control. In fact, they’re specifically NOT the same players since you chose the 2 groups specifically to not overlap. So I’m not sure that the “control” group in your study is appropriate. Please let me know if I’m thinking about this wrong.

    There’s lots of overlap. The first group is 10-25 minutes in even years. The second group is odd years where they had 10-25 minute the year before (an even year) and increased by +5 mpg. Every player in the second group was in the first group.

  106. Overall it’s a very difficult thing to prove or disprove. You could even take single players and compare their stats in games with >20 minutes played and <15 min played — but that in itself is probably biased in that if the player is playing poorly they might get pulled quickly, and if they’re playing well, they keep playing.

    You know what’s difficult to prove? Evolution.

    Evolution started as a theory, like most scientific discoveries. And lots of people come up with lots of reasons for it not to be true (can you have a painting without a painter?). Yet people would do studies and find things that support evolution. Fossil records, carbon dating, genetic commonalities, common traits in embryos, etc. And after a while, science tipped toward evolution because the evidence supported it.

    The same thing with per-minute study stats. Study after study supports it. So at some point it becomes (became) the default position.

    Let’s think about this for a second. Injuries happen in this league, and often time reserves become starters, and bench warmers get reserve minutes. Given all the times this occurs, lots of low-minute players have been given minutes that they wouldn’t see otherwise. So if per-minute stats wilted under more minutes, we’d be seeing that constantly. It would be there in the data somewhere. Yet we only see the opposite.

    Although I fear if the data doesn’t move you, a worded logical approach won’t either.

  107. I understand the value of all kinds of statistics, traditional and advanced, per game and per 36. My problem is that some people on this site look at numbers only, to the exclusion of all other factors which, if you are a GM, can get you into real trouble. For example, what if there was a 20 year old 7 footer who, in 19 minutes a game, averaged 19.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per 36, while leading the entire league in FG%, eFG% and TS% (despite shooting only 62% from the foul line) and putting up a .107 WS48? Looking at those numbers, my bet is that most people here would be thrilled if they read that the Knicks were talking about trading for that guy — think about the upside on a guy like that! — at least until they realized that that guy was Eddy Curry. The point is that numbers tell a story, but never the whole story.

  108. Although I fear if the data doesn’t move you, a worded logical approach won’t either.

    Mike- I happen to agree with you for the most part. I believe in per-min stats as long as the sample size is large enough. I just don’t think the study you did (while I’m sure it was tons of work, which I do applaud you for doing, and probably ultimately comes to the right conclusion) would pass statistical review by an actual statistician. If your answer to my questions about the methodology is basically “if you can’t figure it out, how can I explain it to you”, then it’s hard to bring that study down as a hammer onto people who disagree.

    And re: the real science you’re talking about — evolution, fossils, climate, etc — there is absolutely very robust review that sometimes takes years before a journal will accept it for publication. And saying “if the data doesn’t move you, a worded logical approach won’t either” to reviewers would probably immediately result in rejection. (of course this is your website so of course you can publish anything you want! =)

    look, my point wasn’t to talk down to your statistics. i literally just wanted to understand what you did.

  109. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgEOOikrOAI

    This Kuz guy is intriguing. On one hand he looks like he has a toughness about him when attacking the rim and posting up. At the end of this video, he goes right at NBA vet and NYK former draft pick Maciej Lampe and dunks in his face.

    On the other hand, I wonder if it translates to the NBA or will he get flattened when he goes hard to the rim. I mean, the league he played in has to be better than the D-League, right?

    The DX reports from 2011 were not kind to him, but maybe he matured, filled out and toughened up.

  110. look, my point wasn’t to talk down to your statistics. i literally just wanted to understand what you did.

    My apologies then.

    And re: the real science you’re talking about — evolution, fossils, climate, etc — there is absolutely very robust review that sometimes takes years before a journal will accept it for publication.

    True. But this has been going on for years. And I’m not trying to prove the formation of life on our planet, just that basketball players perform just about the same while on the court independent of how much they play.

  111. I understand the value of all kinds of statistics, traditional and advanced, per game and per 36. My problem is that some people on this site look at numbers only, to the exclusion of all other factors which, if you are a GM, can get you into real trouble. For example, what if there was a 20 year old 7 footer who, in 19 minutes a game, averaged 19.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per 36, while leading the entire league in FG%, eFG% and TS% (despite shooting only 62% from the foul line) and putting up a .107 WS48? Looking at those numbers, my bet is that most people here would be thrilled if they read that the Knicks were talking about trading for that guy — think about the upside on a guy like that! — at least until they realized that that guy was Eddy Curry. The point is that numbers tell a story, but never the whole story.

    Ah yes. Except a numbers guy hated his trade (with a damn witty title), while the non-numbers guy made perhaps one of the worst trades in our history to acquire him.

    Here’s Curry’s averages in Chicago: 7.6 reb, 0.9 ast, 1.4 blk, 2.9 to, 18.4 pts. The points are pretty good, but the rebounds are a huge red light (so are the lack of assists for a guy that scores so often). So the numbers showed that he was a flawed player, not a franchise center.

  112. Looking at those numbers, my bet is that most people here would be thrilled if they read that the Knicks were talking about trading for that guy — think about the upside on a guy like that! — at least until they realized that that guy was Eddy Curry.

    You would be wrong. The advanced stats crowd hated Eddy Curry because of his pedestrian rebounding and shot blocking.

  113. That old thread from 2005 is pretty hilarious. You have a bunch of optimists who are all psyched about the core group of talent– Marbury, Curry, Q-Rich, Crawford, Channing Frye, Jerome James, Malik Rose… The optimists are annoyed that the pessimists are complaining about this group.

    That team ended up winning 23 games.

  114. You mean the same stat that said that GS was nuts for not giving up Thompson for a chance to get Love?

  115. I have to admit that I was a little reluctant to click on the thread about the Curry trade because I thought for sure that I’d find a bunch of posts that I wrote defending the trade. My two favorite comments were the guy who said that the Knicks didn’t get ripped off because they only gave up two first round picks instead of three and the guy who thought that Jerome James and Eddy Curry were an awesome pair.

  116. I have it on good authority that reub is a trump voter who thinks Obama is mentally ill. Sadly unsurprising.

    Jennings is a smart acquisition looking at it from Phils perspective but Phils vision for the team is terrible we should be growing organically not shoehorning in veterans etc etc etc

  117. You mean the same stat that said that GS was nuts for not giving up Thompson for a chance to get Love?

    For a chance to get another player who is fully capable of starting on a championship team? Yeah, uh huh, that guy.

    Love put up a game during the ECF where he shot .989 TS% on 28% USG. He also had a higher WS48 than Thompson during the playoffs. He had a bad Finals showing, but eh, so did Steph Curry, and he’s the undisputed best offensive player in the game.

    I might want Thompson at this point, but at the time, it was a foolish non-trade. I know you think that you can’t judge anything that hasn’t happened yet, but you are continuing to dig your heels in on the dumbest fucking arguments and I don’t understand how you can be so wrong for so long and still think that you know anything about basketball.

    But don’t worry! This season, you will bow to your shogun. I promise you: it is coming.

  118. You’re funny, Jowles. You are so wrong on the Love/Thompson thing it actually is comical (in a tragic sense) that you would defend it in any way, shape or form. But admitting you are wrong about anything doesn’t come easy, does it? Even when it’s the honorable thing to do?

    But yeah, I’m definitely riding the Rose Express full steam ahead until it derails, so get used to it. If you want to gloat when that happens, more power to you and the rest of the box score geeks.

    http://www.nba.com/2016/news/features/lang_whitaker/07/21/confidence-high-on-knicks-season-for-derrick-rose/

  119. Mike –

    Your condescension is a little depressing. I literally began my post with “I’m all about per 36.” I believe in the stat. It’s very useful. But essentially mocking me (and others) because we differ on nuance doesn’t seem like a great way to make your point. You should be proud of your study, but if you really want to approach the question scientifically, you’d start with a selection of players an order of magnitude larger. That would be probably be an adequate sample size…probably.

    My feeling is that 11 games (what 400 minutes roughly translates to for the average NBA starter) is not enough to know what a player can contribute. I did NOT do a study involving analysis of 300 anonymous players randomly chosen whose minutes have gone from, say, 10 minutes per game to 35 minutes per game. What I did do is think about the many counter-factuals where players had streaks – like Linsanity or vice-versa, when a player like LeBron was briefly off his game. Those streaks can easily be 11 games long, and any of those streaks can be shown not to be fully representative of the player. Players play through injury; players are distracted because of off-court issues; players play hot because they recognize it’s their one chance and they leave it all out on the court; players try not partying every night because they are in a contract year, etc. Those sorts of streaks happen all the time, and you can’t really know whether the streak – positive or negative – is representative of what the player has to offer unless you have context that stats do not provide.

    If you want to argue that you can see still in a streak like that whether a player may be able to contribute, fine. I agree. But it isn’t dogma. It isn’t a proven fact. It is still a theory, and even good theories based on solid data have outliers – which, if you choose wrong, are not the exceptions that prove the rule, but the exceptions that cost you your job.

  120. So again, I THINK THAT PER 36 IS A VERY GOOD STAT. In the absence of other information, I’d weight it heavily in making a decision. But I can believe that while at the same time not be a fool for also believing that it is not a perfect predictor when looking at a small sample. Judging a player’s season by one month is risky or perhaps even foolish; I don’t know why signing a player based on one month wouldn’t be. (And, by the way, that’s not even taking into account the defensive side of the ball, which is still difficult to measure and where stats are inadequate, and yet is still half the value a player can provide.)

    For the record, I argued vociferously against the Curry trade, saying that Chandler was the player we should have been pursuing – on the NYT basketball blog. When they shut that down I moved here.

  121. Is ‘per36’ a crystal ball ?

    I respect Mike’s study and i can understand that good players start by playing lesser minutes and while increasing their minutes their stats follow their growth analogically.It’s like celebrating your 10th birthday exactly 1 year before your 11th and 2 years before your 12th ! It’s logical. It’s inevitable.

    Active Players have 3 ways to go.Improve their game,Decline or keep it steady.
    “Per36” is a good[ok great, don’t hit me!] indicative/projective stat that shows what a player could do if given more playing time.
    However players get injured, have sex/erotic problems, problems with food/drugs/clubs/alcohol, get lazy, lose their will to win or decide to become something else than a succesful nba player.

    Can you predict if a player will improve,decline or remain steady by just checking at his annual per36 stat line ?

    I doubt that.

  122. I have to admit that I was a little reluctant to click on the thread about the Curry trade because I thought for sure that I’d find a bunch of posts that I wrote defending the trade. My two favorite comments were the guy who said that the Knicks didn’t get ripped off because they only gave up two first round picks instead of three and the guy who thought that Jerome James and Eddy Curry were an awesome pair.

    That actually predated my discovering this site buy about a year. To me the me the funniest stuff was back then in 2005 there were posters (no longer posting, at least under those names) who were all in in the idea that KG (Kevin Garnett) was coming to the Knicks because of cap space, “Knicks” and who knows I gave up skimming. The more things change apparently the more things stay the same: KG, LeBron, the wedding party toast, Durant, now Westbrook/Paul. Good times.

  123. How about this stupid article?

    Sam Amico had an article on that today, as well. I don’t get it. Even if they wanted Monroe, how would it even work?

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