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Saturday, September 20, 2014

5 takeaways from the 5 on the floor

With the Knicks already adding and subtracting pieces this offseason through the draft, free agency, and trades, Mike Woodson and his coaching staff are likely thinking about how they will mix and match lineups for next season. With an eye towards that, as well as better understanding what was a very successful 2012-2013 Knicks regular season, I recently took a look at the 3-man and 5-man lineups the Knicks used last year. Here, in no particular order, are my five biggest takeaways:

1. The Knicks will miss Jason Kidd more than you might think.

The Knicks had the 3rd highest offensive efficiency rating last year. The team achieved this outstanding mark chiefly because it did two things exceptionally well – make 3-pointers and avoid turnovers. Put another way, the Knicks had one elite skill to maximize each possession’s effectiveness (3-point shooting) and one skill to maximize its total number of possessions (not giving the other team the ball.)

Which brings us to Jason Kidd. The future Hall of Famer ended his career on a Baxteresque (“I’m not even mad. That’s amazing”) 10-game scoreless streak in the playoffs. That ignominious stretch of basketball, combined with Kidd’s stark scoring decline after the first two months of the season, made him something of a punch line by May.

But Kidd was a vital part of the Knicks’s offensive success because of his great ability to facilitate the offense and avoid turnovers.

There are two ways to maximize offensive possessions – getting offensive rebounds and minimizing turnovers. The Knicks had a below-average offensive rebounding rate last year. Holding onto the ball may not be sexy, and neither is creating extra possessions, but those are two skills that largely led to the team’s offensive success.

It was Kidd, even more so than site-favorite Pablo Prigioni, who is responsible for the Knicks’s great turnover rate. Kidd’s 1.3 turnovers per 36 minutes is a phenomenal mark, particularly when compared to Prigioni’s 2.5 and Felton’s 2.4. And of last season’s four least turnover-prone lineups (minimum 45 minutes played,) Kidd was the only Knick on all of them.

Kidd’s retirement, almost inexplicable in November, might have showed that even he knew his scoring days were over. But the Knicks will dearly miss his ability to maximize possessions.

2. Melo, Amar’e and Tyson actually play pretty well together

Whether these three can play together is the $25,000 question (or perhaps the $58 million question, if one looks at their salaries for next year.) The hype surrounding the trio is understandable – the Knicks are paying them a lot of money, and with the mix of injuries and mixed results, the experiment has hardly been a resounding success.

But last year, the three quietly put up some very solid numbers together in a fairly significant number of minutes. With Melo-Amar’e-Chandler lineups, the Knicks posted offensive, defensive, and total rebounding rates that would rank best in the NBA. And those lineups were also extremely efficient offensively, putting up a 115.5 offensive efficiency rating (would be best in the league) and a 58.1 true shooting percentage (would be second-best in the league, behind the Heat.)

These two elite skills – rebounding and offensive efficiency – carried these lineups to a very productive (albeit not elite) 7.9 net rating in over 200 minutes. To put this in perspective, this trio posted a better net rating last year than the following lineups (note: all these lineups had over 200 minutes played together, so there are no small sample size optical illusions below.):

A. Chris Paul – Matt Barnes – Blake Griffin

B. Rajon Rondo – Paul Pierce – Kevin Garnett

C. Norris Cole – DeWayne Wade – LeBron James

D. Steph Curry – Klay Thompson – David Lee

E. Tony Allen – Zach Randolph – Marc Gasol

F. Harrison Barnes – David Lee – Andrew Bogut

G. Josh Smith – Al Horford – Zaza Pachulia

The Knicks trio also performed just slightly worse than Pacers lineups with Paul George – David West – Roy Hibbert and Clippers lineups with Chris Paul – Jamal Crawford –Blake Griffin

Listen, the Melo-Amar’e-Chandler frontcourt unit will always have its limitations – namely that Melo and Amar’e really hurt the team defensively when on the floor together, and that both guys have such high usage rates that they need to be paired with a specific subset of players to get their touches. Given how successful the Knicks were in small-ball lineups with Anthony at the 4, and given Amar’e’s injury problems, this will never be a 30-minutes-a-night lineup.

But the high-priced trio proved they can play big minutes together at a very productive clip, and it would behoove the coaching staff and fans to pay attention to these numbers.

3. The best 5-man lineups at …

Creating turnovers: Raymond Felton – J.R. Smith – Iman Shumpert – Anthony – Kenyon Martin: 22.2% opposing turnover rate

Forcing bad shots: Felton – Kidd – Smith – Anthony – Chandler: 40.1% opposing field goal percentage

Assist-to-turnover ratio: Kidd – Smith – Steve Novak –Anthony – Chandler: 2.44

Rebounding the ball: Felton – Smith – Anthony – Stoudemire – Chandler: 57.6% rebounding rate

Defensive rebounding: Felton – Pablo Prigioni – Shumpert – Anthony – Martin: 83.3% offensive rebounding rate

Shooting the ball: Prigioni – Smith – Novak – Anthony – Chandler: 67.3% TS percentage

Minimizing turnovers: Kidd – Smith – Novak – Anthony – Chandler: 6.5% turnover rate

4. Mike Woodson did a great job in a tough season, but struggled to get comfortable with his roster

There are tons of external factors that might explain why Mike Woodson had trouble finding lineups he trusted. The Knicks sustained tons of injuries to a host of players – Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert. The team really struggled during the middle portion of the season. Major contributors at the beginning of the season, Ronnie Brewer and Rasheed Wallace in particular, either regressed or got injured. Woodson had to balance the returns of Shumpert and Stoudemire at a time when the team was thriving. All things considered, I think Woodson did an outstanding job this season.

But at the same time, just five lineups played 100 minutes or more. None of those lineups included Pablo Prigioni. Two of those five lineups posted negative net ratings, and another basically played the competition even. The Knicks’s most-played lineup – the very productive Felton-Kidd-Smith-Anthony-Chandler lineup – only played 269 minutes.

Woodson shied away from some lineups that proved remarkably productive (one particular example to come), and obviously struggled to find lineups that could defend at a consistent level. His bizarre phase of starting James White, while ultimately not that consequential (and pretty funny), proved disastrous, particularly defensively. And he even labored to trust his favorite lineup, the two-point guard, small-ball lineup mentioned above.

5. The somewhat-small-sample-size lineup that the Knicks might be able to learn from

Let’s start with the obligatory caveat that Pablo Prigioni, J.R. Smith, Steve Novak, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler only played 47 minutes together. While that is not an entirely insignificant amount, it is less than a full game’s worth, and doesn’t provide us with nearly enough data to make a fully informed judgment.

That said …

This lineup was absolutely phenomenal. It posted a net rating over 44 (133.1 offensive rating and 88.7 defensive rating, both absolutely tremendous), a true shooting percentage of 67.3%, and excellent turnover and rebounding numbers.

This is also a lineup whose success seems to make sense, in that it embodied many of the things that made the Knicks dynamic and unique: that Melo is an offensive beast at the 4 (and can actually defend power forwards reasonably well), that pairing Anthony with 3-point shooting threats makes him and his teammates more productive, that Woodson generally underused Novak, that Prigioni is a very helpful two-way player, etc.

Of course this lineup isn’t quite as good as the numbers in fairly limited minutes suggest. And Novak is now a Toronto Raptor. But the Knicks are returning all other four members of this lineup, and if the front office can get creative and find a high-efficiency shooter as Novak’s replacement (perhaps Carlos Delfino?), it sure makes some sense to see if this lineup can sustain its productivity in bigger minutes.

* Big thanks to NBA.com, whose wonderful statistical reservoir made this article possible.

191 comments on “5 takeaways from the 5 on the floor

  1. nicos

    I think people are overestimating Kidd’s impact on the offense a bit- he was terrific at swinging the ball off of kick-outs by Felton and Melo but did little to initiate the offense- in a pnr heavy offense he hardly ran any at all. It’s easy to avoid turnovers when you’re not consistently attacking the defense. His TS wound up very average so his poor last couple of months erased the benefit of his scorching first two. That swinging of the ball will be missed though, especially as it means those kick outs will be to JR’s much stickier hands or Shump whose still fairly deliberate right now though a summer of playing a lot more point should help some. I think he’ll probably be missed more on defense where his interior rotations were fantastic (though he did give back some of that with below average perimeter defense and at times atrocious transition D).

  2. ptmilo

    This article is way too optimistic on the sample size needed for good information on NBA lineups, let alone 3-man combinations. The easy pickings is the idea that 47 minutes is only a “somewhat” small sample size “that is not entirely insignificant.” 47 minutes is risibly, infinitesimally insignificant and contains the information content of a single lottery result.

    And 222 minutes, the Tyson-Amare-Anthony count, is also miles away from “fairly significant.” It is akin to guessing the weighting of a one-hundred sided die after two throws. Unfortunately, lineup data requires a lot of predictability to start to become even modestly interesting, thanks to enormous proven volatility and to the many, often nonrandom variables that can inhabit the sample.

    If you take Anthony out of the threesome and put in JR Smith, you get 289 minutes and twice as good a net rating, which unfortunately also tells you absolutely nothing.

    Here’s the thing. That same threesome played over 3X as many minutes together (794) in 2011-12 and was not productive. Not offensively, and not in total. It had an ORTG of 98.5 and a net rating of -1.8. But even this number of minutes tells you very little, unfortunately. Taking 222 minute (forget 47) three man lineup data as fairly significant is statistically similar to taking 11 or 12 MLB at bats as significant. It is a complex question as to how to think about the sample size line between informative and irrelevant, but this article is so far on the wrong side it doesn’t matter.

    The Knicks 2nd worst 3 man lineup in 12-13 with over 300 minutes played was Carmelo, Chandler, Shump at a miserable -8.1. That same lineup was very good the year before with a +6.3 in 831 minutes. The serial correlation to these things is terrible and you need a ton of minutes to get even a whiff of information.

  3. DCrockett17

    Niiiiiiiiicce!

    A thought on Kidd. I agree and disagree. Kidd is so bloody smart you can’t help but miss him. I do, however, think that his turnover rate was a function of two very different things over the course of the season.

    It was partly a historically-demonstrated elite skill but it was also a byproduct of his extremely limited offense. The ball just didn’t touch his hands as much towards the end of the season, and then only for a second as he quickly moved it. He was doing little more than not actively hurting the offense by being on the floor.

    I do agree with the overall point though. It’s hard not to expect the Knicks to decline a bit in turnover rate. I do, however, think the team can remain top 5. Many of Kidd’s (and Novak’s) minutes will effectively go to players whose turnover rates are probably likely to decline. I’d wager a tidy sum that Prigioni improves. Shump saw a HUGE improvement and can still get better. JR’s TOV% has improved every year since 07-08. Bargnani worries me, but he should benefit from lower usage.

  4. SeeWhyDee77

    Fascinating read.
    I think the team will do just fine if we can keep Stat on the floor. I mean he can’t possibly be injured like he has been for 3 straight seasons right? As long as he continues to work at being better on defense, the triumvirate of Chandler-Stat-Melo works. Realistically, all we really need is Stat at 25 mpg..a healthy 25 mpg. I think he and Bargnani are ok at the 4. What we will miss is Novak’s deadeye shooting and Kidd’s infectious hoop IQ. I worry that without Kidd and Sheed around, our communication on defense will suffer greatly as will leadership. A great leader says things like “we need to do this..” and work with his team on figuring it out. But it seems like we have more guys that would say “y’all need to do this” instead. I hope someone grows into that leadership role..I think Felton can being the unquestioned leader of a Roy Williams coached championship team in college. With the loss of Novak we will need at least one more shooter. 3 players I would love to see added is Mosgov(if we can get to him before he leaves for Russia), Extra E and Aaron Brooks. If not Brooks then Boobie Gibson will do. Other than that, my biggest worry is health. As long as Melo’s shoulder isn’t bad, he will dominate at the 3 or 4- preferably the 3 because I don’t want Shump there. Has anyone noticed how locked in, and physically in peak condition Melo was in all season long?? First time ever for him since he’s been in the league. If we can get that Melo back this season, it doesn’t matter if he’s a 3 or 4. If Stat, Bargnani, and Chandler fall apart we are in trouble.

  5. AvonBarksdale

    This is a fun read, unfortunately I think this team ebbs and flows more with how focused, determined and committed they are rather than what lineup is on the court…the chemistry is hard to maintain when players are confused about what the role is or why a player isn’t getting minutes or whose not shooting well or what breakfast cereal lala tastes like or how the refs have been calling the games…the inconsistent effort and lack of focus killed us. We needed
    Kurt Thomas to turn our season around and Kenyon to re-invigorate us, the coach had a big role in losing the team chemistry a few
    Times but injuries and shooting slumps also
    Contributed. It’s hard to pinpoint why we sucked so bad against the pacers after the all star break to start that losing streak or whatever but whatever the team mentality is, that is the shit that scares
    Me..and the coach. Go Knicks!

  6. flossy

    ptmilo: Here’s the thing. That same threesome played over 3X as many minutes together (794) in 2011-12 and was not productive. Not offensively, and not in total. It had an ORTG of 98.5 and a net rating of -1.8.

    Here’s the thing. The Knicks had possibly the worst backcourt in the NBA for many of those minutes (I would bet a large sum of money that trio’s 2nd half splits for that season when playing with Lin under Woodson look a LOT better), no training camp in which they could institute a system that actually made sense for their new roster (recall that Chandler was signed at the last minute), and Amar’e Stoudemire took months to work into shape after his back injury.

    I don’t see why the ’11-’12 sample, while larger, is any better an indication of how those three can play on the court together, unless you take it as a given that we will have totally incompetent PG play, negligent coaching and major injury issues every future season forever. The 200-something minute sample from last season may not be large enough that we can draw any definite conclusions, but it’s impossible to deny that those 3 played REALLY well together during those minutes and we’re more likely to repeat the conditions under which they played in this coming season than we are to return to the weirdness of the lockout season.

  7. chrisk06811

    I look at this like…..where will we be better or worse.

    In the reg season, we get a full year of shump, hopefully a healthy Amare. Hopefully the big we sign is more consistent than the sheed/camby/thomas mess, that didn’t sort itself out until K-Mart late in the year. Priggy was afraid to shoot…he gets a summer to work that out. AB, if healthy, is a big upgrade over last years Novak, you can’t argue how worthless he was. We lose Cope and Kidd, we get THJ plus whoever else we sign It comes down to Tyson getting back to form, can JR keep his head on straight, can Melo repeat? Felton = felton

    The prob is, by playoff time, we had our Shump and our K Mart, JR was in a groove, 3 PGs were humming. Then we got past Bos and it fell apart.

    so, my fear is, we’ve constructed a good regular season team, competing for 4th – 6th in the division. but, in the playoffs…are we screwed?

  8. ptmilo

    chrisk06811: Here’s the thing. The Knicks had possibly the worst backcourt in the NBA for many of those minutes (I would bet a large sum of money that trio’s 2nd half splits for that season when playing with Lin under Woodson look a LOT better)

    How much is a large sum? The second half splits in 2011-2012 for that trio are exactly the same as the first half splits: -1.8 in 302 minutes. And the offensive rating was worse at 96.7. And dissecting that sample won’t save your bet. The 4-man lineup of those guys with Lin was -0.7 in 258 minutes with an offensive rating of only 96.4. I think your overconfidence helps illustrate the point that at these sample sizes lineup data is utterly irrelevant. It’s fine to believe ex ante that those three will play well together irrespective of their history, but it is just not true that 222 minutes is even mildly informative as to whether that theory will hold in future minutes.

  9. DRed

    flossy: Here’s the thing.The Knicks had possibly the worst backcourt in the NBA for many of those minutes (I would bet a large sum of money that trio’s 2nd half splits for that season when playing with Lin under Woodson look a LOT better), no training camp in which they could institute a system that actually made sense for their new roster (recall that Chandler was signed at the last minute), and Amar’e Stoudemire took months to work into shape after his back injury.

    I don’t see why the ’11-’12 sample, while larger, is any better an indication of how those three can play on the court together, unless you take it as a given that we will have totally incompetent PG play, negligent coaching and major injury issues every future season forever.The 200-something minute sample from last season may not be large enough that we can draw any definite conclusions, but it’s impossible to deny that those 3 played REALLY well together during those minutes and we’re more likely to repeat the conditions under which they played in this coming season than we are to return to the weirdness of the lockout season.

    I don’t think ptmilo was saying that the ’11-’12 sample is more accurate. I think he was trying to show the flaws of looking at 3 man unit data. It’s fun stuff to look at, but the sample sizes are way too small to draw meaningful conclusions from. It’s cool to know that Raymond Felton – J.R. Smith – Iman Shumpert – Anthony – Kenyon Martin had a 22.2% opposing turnover rate, but then you realize that was over 69 minutes of basketball and it’s basically meaningless.

  10. KnickfaninNJ

    Tyrus Thomas was amnestied by Charlotte. If he clears waivers, which is likely, any team that picks him up can pay him the minimum and Charlotte pays the rest of his contract salary. His stats aren’t impressive but he is big. Should the Knocks take a look?

  11. Ted Nelson

    They might not miss Kidd as much as you lead on. You’re more likely to turn it over when you’re actually doing something with the ball. Kidd neither shot much nor created much by PG standards. His usage was 11.6 and his ast-rate was 17.8. It’s a little unfair to compare his TO/36 to someone like Raymond Felton who ran the offense and (for some reason) shot a lot more. This is why Felton and Kidd had basically the same TO-rate despite the per 36 differences.
    Overall his ball security might have helped, but I don’t think it’s really fair to compare him to PGs who are doing way more with ball.
    My guess is that a lot of Kidd’s minutes go to Shumpert, who wasn’t turning the ball over last season either. A lot may also go to Prigioni, who did turn it over a lot but also did lots of positive things. We’ll have to see where he’s at going forward after his first taste of the NBA. Maybe a FA or Hardaway picks up any remaining Kidd minutes.

    I know that you tried not to at various points and it’s an interesting exercise overall, but ultimately you are putting a lot of stock into tiny little samples. Along with the volatility that is just inherent in a 47 minute (or 200 minute) sample, it’s hard to use to project to a larger sample unless you normalize the competition. Were those 47 minutes against the Heat’s best 5 or were they garbage minutes against 3rd-stringer borderline NBA players? Over a large enough sample the competition probably evens out, but in such a small sample for an obscure unit it might not.

  12. Juany8

    Well apparently the Rockets are trying to keep Asik which would make him once again the best backup center in the league. Problem is this time he would be getting paid a ton of money to be a backup lol. Even Noah and Asik never really played together, It would suck to have such an awesome player getting 15 minutes a game. Of course if that does happen, talk of the Rockets being a real contender might be premature, unless of course Harden takes a leap forward and Howard goes back to being utterly dominant. Even then they’d need Parsons and Lin to improve just to cobble together a starting lineup.

    Luckily it’s Houston and everyone cares more about football anyways, so the rockets won’t get the kind of shit the Lakers (or the Knicks the first year) got if they underachieve.

  13. jon abbey

    chrisk06811:

    so, my fear is, we’ve constructed a good regular season team, competing for 4th – 6th in the division.but, in the playoffs…are we screwed?

    absolutely yes, and the main reason is Woodson has proven to be incapable of adjusting on the fly like almost all teams need to do against other top teams in the playoffs. there are plenty of personnel issues still too, but even if those are fixed, we’re probably screwed in the playoffs.

  14. Juany8

    Ted Nelson:
    They might not miss Kidd as much as you lead on. You’re more likely to turn it over when you’re actually doing something with the ball. Kidd neither shot much nor created much by PG standards. His usage was 11.6 and his ast-rate was 17.8. It’s a little unfair to compare his TO/36 to someone like Raymond Felton who ran the offense and (for some reason) shot a lot more. This is why Felton and Kidd had basically the same TO-rate despite the per 36 differences.
    Overall his ball security might have helped, but I don’t think it’s really fair to compare him to PGs who are doing way more with ball.
    My guess is that a lot of Kidd’s minutes go to Shumpert, who wasn’t turning the ball over last season either. A lot may also go to Prigioni, who did turn it over a lot but also did lots of positive things. We’ll have to see where he’s at going forward after his first taste of the NBA. Maybe a FA or Hardaway picks up any remaining Kidd minutes.

    I know that you tried not to at various points and it’s an interesting exercise overall, but ultimately you are putting a lot of stock into tiny little samples. Along with the volatility that is just inherent in a 47 minute (or 200 minute) sample, it’s hard to use to project to a larger sample unless you normalize the competition. Were those 47 minutes against the Heat’s best 5 or were they garbage minutes against 3rd-stringer borderline NBA players? Over a large enough sample the competition probably evens out, but in such a small sample for an obscure unit it might not.

    Agree with this Ted, it makes no sense to compare the turnover numbers of players with totally different roles, if you’re barely touching the ball you’re going to be getting less turnovers than the guy who’s driving into the teeth of the defense and trying to set people up all over the court.

  15. Juany8

    jon abbey: absolutely yes, and the main reason is Woodson has proven to be incapable of adjusting on the fly like almost all teams need to do against other top teams in the playoffs. there are plenty of personnel issues still too, but even if those are fixed, we’re probably screwed in the playoffs.

    Other than Vogel and Spoelstra, who’s better than Woodson in the East? Thibs hasn’t exactly shown a lot of flexibility in the past, Kidd has never coached before, and Rivers and the Celtics are gone. Vogel was also made to look a lot smarter than he was when the refs decided that Hibbert was the new Bill Russell and Melo’s injured shoulder prevented him from scoring one on one against Paul George. He’s a smart coach, but you have to think a healthy Knicks team is at least even with the Pacers, especially now that Woodson can’t play Kidd big minutes lol (although a healthy Knick team might be more of a dream than signing Lebron was)

  16. jon abbey

    I like the Pacers pickups of CJ Watson and Copeland, plus they’ll have Granger back. I think we’re clearly behind them currently, but we still have a bunch of spots to fill.

  17. Ted Nelson

    chrisk06811: Priggy was afraid to shoot…he gets a summer to work that out.

    He’s 36 and has been playing very competitive ball for a long time. Was not a high volume shooter before. I would expect him to get a little more comfortable in the NBA (granted that could be offset by aging and the NBA getting comfortable with him), but I would not expect him to change his game.

    chrisk06811: Then we got past Bos and it fell apart.

    so, my fear is, we’ve constructed a good regular season team, competing for 4th – 6th in the division. but, in the playoffs…are we screwed?

    I don’t really follow the logical progression here. They lost one series. How do we get from there to being totally screwed going forward?

    jon abbey: Woodson has proven to be incapable of adjusting on the fly like almost all teams need to do against other top teams in the playoffs.

    Do we care to elaborate or substantiate, Jon Abbey?

  18. jon abbey

    his (non-)use of Prigioni and Copeland against indiana (game 4 specifically), and his refusal to bench Kidd when he obviously had nothing left.

  19. jon abbey

    NY might have lost the series anyway, but Woodson had a horrendous series. I get that you didn’t pay much attention last year, trust me or read any of the lengthy threads here from that time.

  20. Ted Nelson

    jon abbey: uh, the Pacers series last year and his whole Hawks career?

    I see that years later “because I say so” is still your go to logic.

    jon abbey: his (non-)use of Prigioni and Copeland against indiana (game 4 specifically), and his refusal to bench Kidd when he obviously had nothing left.

    I thought maybe you had some Xs and Os insights. Not playing exactly who you wanted exactly when you wanted is basically “because I say so.”

  21. jon abbey

    Ted Nelson:

    I thought maybe you had some Xs and Os insights. Not playing exactly who you wanted exactly when you wanted is basically “because I say so.”

    the
    use
    of
    Copeland
    would
    have
    pulled
    Hibbert
    away
    from
    the
    basket
    just
    as
    it
    did
    on
    those
    crucial
    plays
    against
    Miami.

    Vogel even admits that, we talked about it here ad nauseum at the time. Copeland killed Indiana in a regular season game late in the year, but Woodson was too slow to change things up. by the time he did in game 5, it was too late.

  22. jon abbey

    in fact, Woodson jerked around Prigioni so much in that series, some people here were surprised he even re-signed with us.

  23. Ted Nelson

    He criticized one facet of his game plan in comparison to a much better team’s game plan, he didn’t mock him as a coach.

    Your argument so far is because I said so and because Vogel sort of said so. Whether I’m Phil Jackson or have never watched a single basketball game, you have done very little to convince me.

  24. Ted Nelson

    jon abbey: sorry, I didn’t realize I needed to spell it out for you.

    No, of course not. Just say whatever you want and everyone will agree with it, no explanation needed.

  25. DCrockett17

    jon abbey:
    his (non-)use of Prigioni and Copeland against indiana (game 4 specifically), and his refusal to bench Kidd when he obviously had nothing left.

    It surprises me how much this still makes me want to poke myself with something sharp. Our clear advantage over Indy was our bench. Sure, injuries “forced” him to play the bench a lot in the regular season but we’ve seen coaches (ahem. Thibs.) refuse to play guys like Cope and Novak regardless. That should have made him more confident in his bench, not less. Gahhh.

    I give Woody a lot of rope, but that still rankles.

  26. jon abbey

    maybe you have the time to write a thesis supporting every post you make on here, but I don’t. I gave you plenty of specifics, though, really not sure what you’re looking for, but also I don’t really care.

    this isn’t even a discussion forum, where if one takes time to make lengthy fact-filled posts they can at least be easily referenced later. that’s even ignoring the fact that most basketball stats are massively flawed, so very hard to build arguments with without any context.

    again, there were hundreds of posts about this during the playoffs. if you’re too lazy to go back and look at those, that’s on you.

  27. max fisher-cohen

    As far as the Stoudemire/Anthony/Chandler lineups go, it’s interesting to note that with Kidd, that lineup is awesome: net rating of +20.6. With Felton instead, the lineup drops to +0.2. These were the two most commonly used lineups with that trio (with Smith as the 5th man in both).

    My theory remains now what it has been since the Anthony trade happened. In order for the two to play well together…

    1. Anthony has to be an efficient three point shooter. Last year, with SToudemire on the floor, Anthony’s 3pt% dropped 6% with Stoudemire on the floor. He shot just over 30%. This year, Stoudemire’s presence boosted Anthony’s percentage about 2%.

    2. Anthony has to content himself as second option/perimeter player: When Stoudemire was on the floor this season, 15% more of Anthony’s shots were 3s (proportionally) and he used 9% fewer possessions. Last year, Anthony’s USG% did drop a lot with STAT on the floor (more than this year), but he was taking EVEN MORE inside shots. 31% of Anthony’s shots were 3s with STAT, 40% without him.

    Based on the 5 man lineup differences between Kidd and Felton, I think you see that Kidd had the clout to look off Anthony ISOs and find STAT deep in the paint whereas Felton did not. Will Anthony continue to accept a secondary role with STAT in over a longer period of time and with no Kidd to pressure him into doing so? History suggests no — after all that’s why D’Antoni isn’t the coach anymore — especially if Anthony can’t sustain the piping hot 3pt%.

    Also, here’s the image from my late March article on Stoudemire. STAT was basically a replacement player when playing with 4 of our best players. But he didn’t improve the team. This in itself is nice if you’re expectations going in were that he’d be a trainwreck, but it doesn’t really suggest that his presence will help the team.

  28. jon abbey

    DCrockett17: It surprises me how much this still makes me want to poke myself with something sharp. Our clear advantage over Indy was our bench. Sure, injuries “forced” him to play the bench a lot in the regular season but we’ve seen coaches (ahem. Thibs.) refuse to play guys like Cope and Novak regardless.That should have made him more confident in his bench, not less. Gahhh.

    I give Woody a lot of rope, but that still rankles.

    exactly.

  29. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Ted Nelson: No, of course not. Just say whatever you want and everyone will agree with it, no explanation needed.

    Welcome back. You may have missed the part a few months back where jon abbey said that a Ray Felton drive-and-a-missed-layup was essentially equivalent to him making the shot, and thus shooting efficiency statistics were declared unsuitable for use in evaluation. Mike K. rarely interjects, and ruruland writes 5,000 word comments explaining why Carmelo hasn’t been put in the optimum position to win.

    It’s been a fun time on the board!

  30. max fisher-cohen

    Regarding Woodson, I think the concern is that when his teams lose in the playoffs, they tend to lose badly. This suggests that he has trouble making adjustments when plan A isn’t working. His team’s record in series that they lost is 6-20 (a little over 1 win per series).

  31. jon abbey

    game 4 was the one NY needed to get home court back, after losing game 1 with the short turnaround after the emotional Boston series (less than 2 days, Friday night to Sunday afternoon).

    in game 4, Woodson inexplicably benched Prigioni and went to two centers with Chandler/Martin (neither of whom were playing especially well). when this didn’t work, he went back to Prigioni for game 5, but the series was already lost.

  32. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Welcome back. You may have missed the part a few months back where jon abbey said that a Ray Felton drive-and-a-missed-layup was essentially equivalent to him making the shot, and thus shooting efficiency statistics were declared unsuitable for use in evaluation.

    that is mangling my words, no surprise. I said that a drive/missed shot that draws a second defender, allowing a teammate to rebound and put back an easy basket, was exactly the same as a made shot. it is hilarious to me that you are still arguing about that, especially after it even became a commonly used term in the league this year (Kobe assists).

    but if anyone can drive me off this site, it’s Ted, so you should certainly be psyched about that.

  33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey:
    it’s so funny that you can’t process such a simple and obvious truth.

    So you’re arguing for statistics that try to describe actual on-court events?

    Like Wins Produced?

  34. DCrockett17

    Ted Nelson:

    Your argument so far is because I said so and because Vogel sort of said so. Whether I’m Phil Jackson or have never watched a single basketball game, you have done very little to convince me.

    Abbey is right on this one, even if stated a bit harshly. (I am, after all, a Woody fan.) Indy had no answer for Copeland in the late season game. Indy was still in the hunt for the #2 seed, and they were using the same defense as in the playoffs where they don’t automatically double the post. Copeland and Novak were problematic for Indy because their guards are too small.

    Where I’d quibble with Abbey is the notion that Woody can’t figure it out. He’d already figured out how to score on Vogel’s defense. The offense works. If anything, it should be harder to make regular season adjustments when the opponent is constantly changing and he did that beautifully. Woody just opted for the “conventional wisdom” that you must shorten your bench in the playoffs and the BS about how D’Antoni’s offense won’t work.

    I have to think that in his heart of hearts Woody realizes that he lost without playing to his strengths.

  35. jon abbey

    I hope you at least get paid by Berri to keep touting that silliness, since the rest of the basketball world just laughs at it now.

  36. jon abbey

    DCrockett17: Abbey is right on this one, even if stated a bit harshly. (I am, after all, a Woody fan.) Indy had no answer for Copeland in the late season game. Indy was still in the hunt for the #2 seed, and they were using the same defense as in the playoffs where they don’t automatically double the post. Copeland and Novak were problematic for Indy because their guards are too small.

    Where I’d quibble with Abbey is the notion that Woody can’t figure it out. He’d already figured out how to score on Vogel’s defense. The offense works. If anything, it should be harder to make regular season adjustments when the opponent is constantly changing and he did that beautifully. Woody just opted for the “conventional wisdom” that you must shorten your bench in the playoffs and the BS about how D’Antoni’s offense won’t work.

    I have to think that in his heart of hearts Woody realizes that he lost without playing to his strengths.

    I am not a Woody hater, but there was no excuse for him to not react more quickly in that series. this is a team with a very short window and he is too experienced to still be on a learning curve.

  37. AvonBarksdale

    Ted please rate coach woodsons performance during the playoffs if u are of the opinion he didnt suck, would you say it was favorable, good or great? I don’t know how to describe exactly why he was out coached but maybe you can describe why he didnt suck…

  38. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: So you’re arguing for statistics that try to describe actual on-court events?

    Like Wins Produced?

    If Wins Produced describes on court events, it does so with about as much accuracy as points per game. All-in-one stats are generally dumb and meaningless anyways, like a fantasy league for stat geeks, but Wins Produced does such a spectacularly bad job of predicting what’s actually going to happen that the only reasonable explanations for it’s continued use are as a troll attempt or as a cult like delusion of the supposed “truth” it provides.

  39. Juany8

    jon abbey: I am not a Woody hater, but there was no excuse for him to not react more quickly in that series. this is a team with a very short window and he is too experienced to still be on a learning curve.

    Actually I think you’re ignoring that he DID adjust, it simply didn’t work out the way he hoped. He started K-Mart didn’t he? I think we can all agree it ended up being a bad idea, it just seems unfair to call it stubborn and close minded. Furthermore, Greg Poppovich will probably spend the entire summer second guessing his decision to bench Duncan at the end of game 7, leading to 2 consecutive offensive rebounds and ultimately overtime. Woodson isn’t a fantastic coach, but I think we’re exaggerating his issues here, it’s not like he had a ton of wonderful options once Kidd, JR, and Chandler all went to shit, and even the great Frank Vogel fucked up his team’s chances by benching Hibbert at the end of game 1.

    I don’t think Woodson helps this team much, but his shortcomings only become a problem against teams with an excellent chance of beating us anyways, and he’s certainly improved over his Atlanta days

  40. Z-man

    Re: Ted, jon, THCJ…just like old times!

    Woodson is an average coach who relates especially well to the JRs and Melos of the world. While there is no way to prove it, I would conjecture that if roles were reversed, Woodson does not get the Pacers into the 7th game of the ECFs.

    That said, by the time the series started, Indiana was clearly the better team, IMHO.

  41. DCrockett17

    Juany8: Actually I think you’re ignoring that he DID adjust, it simply didn’t work out the way he hoped. He started K-Mart didn’t he? I think we can all agree it ended up being a bad idea, it just seems unfair to call it stubborn and close minded.

    Well, stubborn and close-minded may be using a *little* license but not much. Woody’s adjustment, as it were, came right out of the ESPN broadcast booth. He went ultra-orthodox and tried to counter Indy’s size because, you know, “playoffs”. Where men are men and all that.

    He hardly ever played that “big” lineup during the regular season. Even when Sheed was healthy he played a stretch four. He went to his bench with Copland/Novak. That he adjusted to something that he’d really not done, presumably because it fit conventional wisdom, was pretty stubborn after he’d won 50+ games defying convention.

  42. Unreason

    I’m not getting the emphasis on Woodson’s coaching decisions. They were frustrating. I wanted him to play Cope and Prig more also. But extra min for Cope & Prig might not have mattered that much. The series wasn’t that close. My attributions re the 2 main reasons the Knicks lost are:
    Exceptionally poor shooting by JR
    Very poor play by Chandler & KMart leading to general Pacer domination of the paint/boards

    The main bright spots were a few quarters of Knicks’ D. But, like the Boston series, it was hard to tell how much of that was the Knicks’ D shining vs. the Pacer’s O sucking.

    I wish I knew the following: Would Chandler have been dominated even if healthy? Was JR just in an untimely slump or choking or being covered effectively? Was KMart just run down?

    I suspect post season health is one of the most important factors the Knicks can manage strategically. Almost all the key players carry a large health risk because of injury history. More front court depth and a changed philosophy re reg season min mgmt might significantly minimize that risk.

  43. BigBlueAL

    I know its easy to say now that Indiana dominated the series. But the 2 Knick wins were by 26 and 10. The Knicks were 5 mins away from forcing a Game 7 (had a 2pt lead with 4 min 51 sec left until back-to-back Stephenson layups gave the Pacers the lead for good in Game 6). The Knicks also won 5 more games than the Pacers during the regular season.

    The Pacers you would think will be improved next season with Granger back and adding Watson and Cope. Not saying the Knicks are better but not sure the Pacers are so clearly better either. Plus everyone is automatically assuming the Bulls will be great again next season with Rose back but they wont have Bellineli and most likely Nate will be gone too. They already depleted their team the year before by letting Korver, Asik and Brewer go. Bulls are no lock to be a great regular season team again.

    Still would have to assume the Heat will be the 1 seed and win at least 60 games again but seeds 2-5 in the East should be a dog fight for the entire season. Should be fun.

  44. jon abbey

    Z-man:
    Re: Ted, jon, THCJ…just like old times!

    Woodson is an average coach who relates especially well to the JRs and Melos of the world. While there is no way to prove it, I would conjecture that if roles were reversed, Woodson does not get the Pacers into the 7th game of the ECFs.

    That said, by the time the series started, Indiana was clearly the better team, IMHO.

    this is probably true, but I guess the issue is that for this team to win more than a round, Woodson needs to be an asset and a plus, and I’m not sure he’s capable of that. I agree that there aren’t many very good coaches in the league, and Woodson seems to do just fine in the regular season, but he’s got to be better in the playoffs going forward for NY to have any chance, and I’m not especially optimistic about thst.

  45. SeeWhyDee77

    Woody jus needs better offensive coaching, preferably in the form of an assistant coach.

  46. maxwell_3g

    jon abbey: the
    use
    of
    Copeland
    would
    have
    pulled
    Hibbert
    away
    from
    the
    basket
    just
    as
    it
    did
    on
    those
    crucial
    plays
    against
    Miami.

    Vogel even admits that, we talked about it here ad nauseum at the time. Copeland killed Indiana in a regular season game late in the year, but Woodson was too slow to change things up. by the time he did in game 5, it was too late.

    Im not sure if this alone makes Woodson an awful coach at adjusting on the fly (an argument that his iso-Joe years in ATL do so may be more compelling), but there is NO LOGICAL RESPONSE to Abbey’s argument that Woodson was incredibly slow in this one instance. Woody has just witnessed (with the rest of us) Copeland dominate the Pacers in their last regular season meeting by playing on the paint on defense (semi effectively, I may add) and drawing the bigs outside on offense. He was not only shooting 3′s in their faces, but also driving past them and finishing. The fact that Woody took soooo long to give him a chance against the Pacers in the playoffs was very frustrating.

  47. jon abbey

    yeah, the frustration was compounded by the fact that this team has such a small window, and it seemed like they were wasting what might be their best shot. NY went 5-1 against MIA/SA this year, and while it’s pretty unlikely they could have beaten both (or either) of them, it would have been nice for them to at least get there and have a shot.

  48. maxwell_3g

    Z-man:
    Re: Ted, jon, THCJ…just like old times!

    Woodson is an average coach who relates especially well to the JRs and Melos of the world. While there is no way to prove it, I would conjecture that if roles were reversed, Woodson does not get the Pacers into the 7th game of the ECFs.

    That said, by the time the series started, Indiana was clearly the better team, IMHO.

    I agree and I actually think that he does some good things such as diagramming effective plays out of timeouts, etc. even his non stop, rage inducing switching strategy started to look almost effective in the playoffs (that God we didn’t play Chicago or Miami, who would have loved the mismatches). its the in game and between game adjustments that are key in the playoffs that have not been there, and when attempted, have either been wrong or too little, too late

  49. maxwell_3g

    Juany8: Actually I think you’re ignoring that he DID adjust, it simply didn’t work out the way he hoped. He started K-Mart didn’t he? I think we can all agree it ended up being a bad idea, it just seems unfair to call it stubborn and close minded. Furthermore, Greg Poppovich will probably spend the entire summer second guessing his decision to bench Duncan at the end of game 7, leading to 2 consecutive offensive rebounds and ultimately overtime. Woodson isn’t a fantastic coach, but I think we’re exaggerating his issues here, it’s not like he had a ton of wonderful options once Kidd, JR, and Chandler all went to shit, and even the great Frank Vogel fucked up his team’s chances by benching Hibbert at the end of game 1.

    I don’t think Woodson helps this team much, but his shortcomings only become a problem against teams with an excellent chance of beating us anyways, and he’s certainly improved over his Atlanta days

    Hes an NBA coach. Yes, he adjusted a little bit at first, but 180 degrees the wrong way. As an NBA coach, you don’t get credit for adjusting, they also have to be good adjustments. He failed epically in that regard. Going big to beat a team that was clearly always going to be bigger and whose bigs were always going to be better than your bigs was plain stupid

  50. Hubert

    Juany8: . Knicks threw away a draft pick to get rid of Jared Jeffries not too long ago, they just don’t value late picks that much. And I know many people here hate that kind of strategy, but that’s honestly the exact same thing Dallas did to win a championship, they had basically zero homegrown talent other than Dirk the year they won the championship, they just kept reloading around Dirk and paying a ton of money for the team in free agency.

    Ain’t just Dallas. Every champion since Jordan has been built around 1 guy they drafted w a lottery pick at most, and major free agent additions or trade acquisitions in which they gave up assets that guys like Presti would be scared to give up. Whether it’s the 06 Heat (Wade plus veterans), all 5 Laker titles (Kobe and free agents or trade guys), the 04 Pistons (no lottery picks), the 08 Celtics (Pierce plus).

    Next team that wins a championship in the post Jordan era by doing it “the Presti way”, without giving up young players and valuable future assets, will be the first.

    (and don’t give me San Antonio. Their acquisition of Duncan was unplanned and inimitable.)

    Thing is, in the basketball blogging community, admiring Sam Presti is like drinking some fine craft beer from upstate and admitting teams like the Knicks aren’t as stupid as everyone makes em out to be is like fessing up to being a Budweiser man.

  51. Unreason

    maxwell_3g: its the in game and between game adjustments that are key in the playoffs that have not been there, and when attempted, have either been wrong or too little, too late

    There were in-game successes; some awesome third quarters. So, overall, some good some bad IMO.

  52. Hubert

    On the article, first I think it’s an uptick in some of the recent work from new contributors here. Good work.

    Second, on the Kidd point, yes we will miss the guy who was awesome for half a season, but truth is we missed him in the 2nd half, too. That guy was gone by Feb.

    We already went through the process of adjusting to losing him, IMO. So I think we’ll survive his loss well.

  53. SeeWhyDee77

    I think it is fair to say Woodson shoulda used more Copeland AND more camby all series long. After the ouster, Woodson came out and admitted Tyson had lost what 15 pounds or so due to his late season bout with the flu? Knowing that he STILL sent Tyson out there with a wooden shield. I mean..Tyson had little help against the size of indy’s front line. I don’t know what else he knew or saw that made him think that the Knicks could win against a Pacer team with momentum, with the starters being 7’1″-6’8″-6’5″-6’3″(185)-6’1″. Indy, meanwhile, fielded starters at 7’2″-6’9″-6’9″-6’4″-6’3″. On top of that our best weapons against Indy were not used as often as necessary. Overall, Woodson proved to be a good coach for the team from the day he took over. But when he failed, he failed miserably. Kinda like the Romo of coaching. When he looks good, boy do we look unbeatable. But when he gets outclassed, he looks like the worst thing ever. No real middle ground for him.

  54. d-mar

    Woodson’s decision in game 4 to double Hibbert in the post pissed me off as much as starting K-mart. Both were reactionary, panic-type moves that completely backfired on him. He does seem like a coach who does not force the opposing coach to adjust to his moves.

  55. Juany8

    maxwell_3g: Hes an NBA coach.Yes, he adjusted a little bit at first, but 180 degrees the wrong way. As an NBA coach, you don’t get credit for adjusting, they also have to be good adjustments.He failed epically in that regard.Going big to beat a team that was clearly always going to be bigger and whose bigs were always going to be better than your bigs was plain stupid

    Well it’s not like going small eventually worked either, I think a lot of what’s being called as Woodson sucking is the simply fact that 3 of the top 5 players on the team went to shit during the series and Melo was injured. If your adjustments were to play prigs and cope a bunch of minutes, you’re admitting the Knicks were just totally fucked and hoping that players who nobody had heard of before the season suddenly played awesome in the playoffs. The Knicks weren’t going anywhere with Melo and chandler hobbled and Kidd turned into a corpse, especially with JR playing maybe the stupidest playoff series I’ve ever seen in my life.

    I don’t think Woodson is as bad as it’s being made out to be, although I do agree with Jon that a fringe contender like the Knicks needs the coach to be an actual asset, like Carlisle was for Dallas and Larry brown was for Detroit.

  56. Hubert

    Juany8: Other than Vogel and Spoelstra, who’s better than Woodson in the East? Thibs hasn’t exactly shown a lot of flexibility in the past,

    Vogel, Spoelstra, and Thibs are markedly better, and that’s enough to ruin our chances.

    Thibs is probably the best tactical coach in the league but he sucks at a really important aspect of his job (managing the pressure on his players in the reg season). But give him 7 games vs Woodson I expect he would work him like a punching bag.

  57. Brian Cronin

    and don’t give me San Antonio

    “because it is exactly what I’m asking for and I don’t want that!”

  58. Juany8

    Hubert: Ain’t just Dallas.Every champion since Jordan has been built around 1 guy they drafted w a lottery pick at most, and major free agent additions or trade acquisitions in which they gave up assets that guys like Presti would be scared to give up.Whether it’s the 06 Heat (Wade plus veterans), all 5 Laker titles (Kobe and free agents or trade guys), the 04 Pistons (no lottery picks), the 08 Celtics (Pierce plus).

    Next team that wins a championship in the post Jordan era by doing it “the Presti way”, without giving up young players and valuable future assets, will be the first.

    (and don’t give me San Antonio.Their acquisition of Duncan was unplanned and inimitable.)

    Thing is, in the basketball blogging community, admiring Sam Presti is like drinking some fine craft beer from upstate and admitting teams like the Knicks aren’t as stupid as everyone makes em out to be is like fessing up to being a Budweiser man.

    Bingo, the funniest part is that the presti method is looking more and more like it won’t ever result in a championship. They traded a top 15 player away for 2 late lottery picks who haven’t actually done anything in the NBA, have a bad coach who thinks Perkins is a good basketball player deserving of serious minutes, and they can’t get any free agents to sign with them for cheap since nobody wants to play in OKC. If the thunder fail, then the tanking model for building a contender will have resulted in a grand total of 1 finals appearance in the past 15 years. The rockets meanwhile built a team while getting the 14tb pick in the draft multiple years in a row, meaning they were supposedly in NBA mediocrity hell, too good to land high picks you can build around, too low to even get to watch a playoff round. I’ll take that over the crap Cleveland and Washington are trying to do lol

  59. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: “because it is exactly what I’m asking for and I don’t want that!”

    I don’t follow. Are you implying that San Antonio stockpiled their assets to give them a greater chance of acquiring one of the rare cornerstone superstars that come along 2-3 times in a generation?

    Because that didn’t happen.

    Following the San Antonio model would be Melo getting injured next year and us winning the Wiggins lottery and Wiggins turning out to be one of the best players in league history.

    You want to follow that model? Because we’re on that path already. Just need Melo to miss the year.

  60. daJudge

    Really nice to see you back Ted Nelson. Hope you stick around. Always enjoyed your stuff. Like most of us, Woody is good with some things with some folks, but not all things with all folks. I was pretty frustrated with him and I am saddened that he coddled JR (I am very down on him and unhappy that he is back) and kind of sh-t on Cope, but that’s the way it is. I do believe that someone to coordinate the offense would help a bit, but his defense really wasn’t so great either. Anyway, he’s our guy. This coach’s impact is minimal, compared to say the importance of Chandler being a dominant defensive player once again and Melo staying healthy. If Chandler sucks next year, we’re done. End of story. If Melo gets hurt, like him or not, we’re also done. If Stat stays healthy and Shump improves coupled with the above two contingencies, we actually have a shot. Unfortunately, what I saw from Chandler this year bums me out more than the Coach’s questionable moves by far.

  61. Juany8

    Hubert: Vogel, Spoelstra, and Thibs are markedly better, and that’s enough to ruin our chances.

    Thibs is probably the best tactical coach in the league but he sucks at a really important aspect of his job (managing the pressure on his players in the reg season).But give him 7 games vs Woodson I expect he would work him like a punching bag.

    How is Thibs the best tactical coach in the league? Because he designed a good defense? He got worked over by spoelstra in the ECF two years ago, the only reason he gets so much attention is because of the gaudy and unexpected regular season wins the bulls put up, and you yourself mentioned that is more a symptom of his being getting overworked than any tactical genius. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we’re talking about him the same way we do about D’Antoni, a brilliant but stubborn defensive mind who lost his luster once everyone in the league started incorporating his strategies. Now you have lots of teams going with that style of defense, but your coach is still overworking your players to win regular season games.

  62. JK47

    Hubert: I don’t follow.Are you implying that San Antonio stockpiled their assets to give them a greater chance of acquiring one of the rare cornerstone superstars that come along 2-3 times in a generation?

    Because that didn’t happen.

    Following the San Antonio model would be Melo getting injured next year and us winning the Wiggins lottery and Wiggins turning out to be one of the best players in league history.

    You want to follow that model?Because we’re on that path already. Just need Melo to miss the year.

    Yeah, except we already traded the pick away.

  63. Brian Cronin

    The 2005 Heat stockpiled assets and were able to acquire Shaq and won a title.

    The Celtics stockpiled assets and got KG and Ray Allen.

    The Spurs stockpiled assets and their assets turned out to be good enough to win on their own.

    The 2004 Pistons just put together a bunch of random dudes and they turned out to be good enough to win.

    Presti got a top lottery pick and built around him, just like every team does. I am saying that you’re coming up with stipulations designed specifically to make it look like teams were doing it different from Presti and I dunno why. He’s doing the same as most teams. His second-best player (one of the best players in the game) missed the playoffs a year after the team made it to the NBA Finals. How the hell is that an indictment on his model?

  64. Fleet19

    daJudge:
    Chandler sucks next year, we’re done.End of story. If Melo gets hurt, like him or not, we’re also

    Can’t you say that for every team. Cherry pick two of the best players and say if they suck or get hurt or dont perform the team is in trouble. I don’t post often and you guys are way smarter with stats, but when I read things like this I
    wonder.

  65. Hubert

    Ted Nelson:
    He criticized one facet of his game plan in comparison to a much better team’s game plan, he didn’t mock him as a coach.

    Your argument so far is because I said so and because Vogel sort of said so. Whether I’m Phil Jackson or have never watched a single basketball game, you have done very little to convince me.

    I envy the fact that you missed the Pacers series. It was one of the worst coaching performances I’ve ever seen.

    Here’s the thing: it was like watching two guys play paper rock scissors, and one guy could only throw rock (w rock being “play as many of my veterans at the same time as much as possible no matter how they perform”)

    No matter what situation he was faced with, Woodson threw rock, and Vogel knew he was going to throw rock.

    It was as bad as Jon Abbey is saying, and it’s hard to elaborate on if you didn’t see it.

  66. max fisher-cohen

    I don’t see why we’re dissing Presti here. What would you have done if you had to choose between Harden and Ibaka 2 years ago? OKC already had perimeter superstars. Harden was clearly the odd man out. And people act like everyone knew Harden could put up a TS% of 60% and score 25 a game. Pundits at the time had Harden tagged as Jamal Crawford/JR Smith/Jason Terry type player, and I’m sure a lot of the less forward thinking GMs thought the same way. This wasn’t the same situation as Anthony in Denver — a guy who was proven to score a lot of points and fill seats.

    Presti I’m sure got the best offer he could get. THe Toronto pick projected to be in the 3-7 range. It ended up 12th. That’s a bummer but let’s not rewrite history as though Presti should have known that.

    Presti’s real sins have been Perkins and Brooks, and the Perkins move is exactly the type of move you all are criticizing OKC for not making. The Thunder traded youth for a defensive center so they could matchup better with the then best team in the league: the Lakers.

    Westbrook and Durant are 24 and Ibaka is 23. That gives this team at least a 5 year window to get together a title team. I’m sure when that center/PF becomes available that would complete the puzzle becomes available and fits the team’s extremely limited financial situation, Presti will open up the coffers and move some of his young guys to complete the puzzle.

  67. Z-man

    I hope Prigs can talk Delfino into taking the rest of the MMLE, he’s probably a full MMLE-caliber player. I guess Brand should be first priority, though, but I’m doubting we get him.

  68. Juany8

    Brian Cronin:
    The 2005 Heat stockpiled assets and were able to acquire Shaq and won a title.

    The Celtics stockpiled assets and got KG and Ray Allen.

    The Spurs stockpiled assets and their assets turned out to be good enough to win on their own.

    The 2004 Pistons just put together a bunch of random dudes and they turned out to be good enough to win.

    Presti got a top lottery pick and built around him, just like every team does. I am saying that you’re coming up with stipulations designed specifically to make it look like teams were doing it different from Presti and I dunno why. He’s doing the same as most teams. His second-best player (one of the best players in the game) missed the playoffs. How the hell is that an indictment on his model?

    The indictment is that the only reason presti got those assets is because his team was bad, and most bad teams don’t luck into both getting top picks and watching them turn into stars. Essentially he got lucky, if Portland had picked Durant before oden, or the grizzlies had picked either Westbrook or harden instead of mayo/thabeet, we’d be talking about Chris Wallace like a genius, and nobody would know who the hell Sam presti was. It’s a method of team building that more often results in teams like Cleveland and Washington than good contenders, yet many people present it as the best and most obvious way of working your way towards contention.

    My counter is to look at teams like Houston, the pacers, and the Knicks, who built their teams entirely through free agency and mid to late first round picks. Memphis actually built a decent contender despite repeatedly bombing on those very early picks and giving out max contracts to players who didnt deserve them. Purposely tanking multiple seasons a la presti hasn’t worked out better than hoping to trade or sign stats outright

  69. Unreason

    Juany8: I think a lot of what’s being called as Woodson sucking is the simply fact that 3 of the top 5 players on the team went to shit during the series and Melo was injured.

    Agreed. I also think that Pacers are in a different class from the Knicks defensively. The Heat are much closer to them defensively, and are way better than the Knicks offensively and they still had a very tough time beating them. For the Knicks to do it with several key guys MIA or hobbled would required a bigger difference than coaching usually makes in a PO series IMO.

  70. alsep73

    Marc Stein suggesting Delfino is close to a three-year deal with the Bucks. If that happens, who’s the best remaining option at small forward who’ll take either the rest of our mini-MLE or the vets minimum? He’d have looked good on this roster.

  71. Z-man

    I’m not ready to put Harden in the HOF just yet. Even so, Presti has done a very nice job, OKC will be title contenders for years to come. Yeah, some luck involved, but still…

  72. Juany8

    MFC, I’m not so much dissing presti as saying he’s been put on some pedestal as the golden standard for building teams, and I think that’s overrating him. I’d still say he’s one of the top 5-10 gm’s in the league, but the guy is getting a ton of credit for things he essentially got lucky with. It’s gonna be the same with morey, he has been one of the better gm’s in the league for a while, but I was constantly having to defend the fact that he had a job just a year ago. Suddenly he lucks into harden and he’s a star gm, and a shining example of how to build a team. He didnt actually change at all, but he’s gone from feeling a bit of pressure to keep his job to probably winning exec of the year soon.

    I can’t speak for other of course, I’m just sick of watching hearing people talk about presti like he’s the best thing ever, especially now that it turns out he just lost Kevin Martin for nothing. I thought the trade was fine at the time, but now they have to hope some of their young players take big steps forward just to keep pace with all the new contenders in the west.

  73. Brian Cronin

    The indictment is that the only reason presti got those assets is because his team was bad, and most bad teams don’t luck into both getting top picks and watching them turn into stars. Essentially he got lucky, if Portland had picked Durant before oden, or the grizzlies had picked either Westbrook or harden instead of mayo/thabeet, we’d be talking about Chris Wallace like a genius, and nobody would know who the hell Sam presti was. It’s a method of team building that more often results in teams like Cleveland and Washington than good contenders, yet many people present it as the best and most obvious way of working your way towards contention.

    My counter is to look at teams like Houston, the pacers, and the Knicks, who built their teams entirely through free agency and mid to late first round picks. Memphis actually built a decent contender despite repeatedly bombing on those very early picks and giving out max contracts to players who didnt deserve them. Purposely tanking multiple seasons a la presti hasn’t worked out better than hoping to trade or sign stats outright

    If Chris Wallace had drafted better than Sam Presti, we’d be complimenting Chris Wallace?

    Yes, sounds about right.

    If you draft well, you get credit for drafting well.

  74. Brian Cronin

    I can’t speak for other of course, I’m just sick of watching hearing people talk about presti like he’s the best thing ever, especially now that it turns out he just lost Kevin Martin for nothing. I thought the trade was fine at the time, but now they have to hope some of their young players take big steps forward just to keep pace with all the new contenders in the west.

    Man, GMing is rough. Last year you were trashing anyone who thought that the trade was a bad idea and now you’re knocking Presti because it didn’t work out, even when part of it not working out was based on Westbrook missing the playoffs on a fluke injury.

  75. Hubert

    Brian Cronin:
    The 2005 Heat stockpiled assets and were able to acquire Shaq and won a title.

    The Celtics stockpiled assets and got KG and Ray Allen.

    The Spurs stockpiled assets and their assets turned out to be good enough to win on their own.

    I’m sorry, this is an alternate history and I won’t argue it. Actually I will.

    We’ve stockpiled as many – neigh more! – assets on our roster as the the Heat, Celtics, and Spurs ever did.

    The difference was luck.

    When the Heat traded marginal talent for the league’s disgruntled superstar, Shaq happened to be available. When we did, Melo was the guy. But Brian Grant, Caron Butler, and Lamar Odom was not a greater stockpile of assets than Gallo, Chandler, Felton.

    The Celtics got KG because one of their former players was an outgoing GM and did his old team a favor before getting fired. We have more assets right now than Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, & Sebastian Telfair. We just lack the idiot who will trade us a hall of famer in his prime for the flotsam and jetsam on our roster.

    And the Spurs, do you even remember the shit the Spurs used to pull? They built their team because David Robinson got hurt and they landed in the lottery and they won it and Tim Duncan just happened to be the prize. They stockpiled nothing.

  76. max fisher-cohen

    @juany

    Do guys not get props for drafting smart? BTW, the Thunder didn’t strike gold on every pick. Here are the picks they’ve had since 2007:

    #2 Kevin Durant
    #3 James Harden
    #4 Russell Westbrook
    #5 Jeff Green
    #11 Cole Aldrich
    #24 Serge Ibaka
    #24 BJ Mullens
    #24 Reggie Jackson

    They certainly all haven’t panned out into stars. And you also have to give the Thunder a ton of credit for following the less appreciated but probably more important part of the Spurs’ model, which is showing patience with your picks. Westbrook especially had a rough go of it his first two seasons, struggling badly with shot selection and turnovers, but the THunder stuck with him despite much pressure for them to move him for a more established player. You give a guy a clear role, time on the court, and supportive teammates, and that player is much more likely to fulfill his potential. Where would players DeMarcus Cousins or Andrea Bargnani (or Mike Sweetney or Channing Frye) be had they been put in situations where they could grow comfortably?

  77. Hubert

    max fisher-cohen:
    I don’t see why we’re dissing Presti here.

    I don’t mean to diss Presti. The overwhelming opinion here, though, is that we need to imitate his style of team building and hoarde all our assets but the fact advocates of this position are overlooking is that the method we’ve employed since 2010 is a method that has a far greater track record of success in the NBA.

    Presti does what he needs to do and really has nothing to do with us.

  78. max fisher-cohen

    @juany — just saw your post. Yeah, I think you’re right that he’s kind of the D’Antoni of GMs. He sees the stupidity of 35 win seasons and avoids them, but when it comes to the more nuanced aspect of putting a team over the top, he’s maybe not the best, the same way D’Antoni saw the advantage of the three ball before anyone else but struggles to adapt his personality and system to his players.

  79. Hubert

    The sentiment seems to be: oh my god you should never trade away a middle-to-late 1st round pick cuz Sam Presti wouldn’t. Sam Presti stockpiles assets and that’s why the Thunder are great.

    But every champ since Jordan retired has made the exact kinds of moves we’re making.

    So why kill them bc they don’t fit the Presti model? What’s so great about the Presti model that we shouldn’t follow the Mavericks model, the Heat model, the Celtics model, or the Lakers model?

    We don’t need to tank or hoard picks (though we could stand to value them more in trades). We just need better luck when our opportunities present themselves.

  80. max fisher-cohen

    I honestly don’t care how the Knicks go about it — whether it’s Daryl Morey style (basically searching for bargains and charging a tariff to facilitate other teams’, often the Knicks’, needs), the Presti style (tanking and accumulating picks), or the Pistons style (going after less glamorous but highly effective players), but the Knicks will need to find some way of getting a return on their investments. They can’t always buy high and expect that to be enough.

  81. Hubert

    Juany8: How is Thibs the best tactical coach in the league? Because he designed a good defense? He got worked over by spoelstra in the ECF two years ago, the only reason he gets so much attention is because of the gaudy and unexpected regular season wins the bulls put up, and you yourself mentioned that is more a symptom of his being getting overworked than any tactical genius. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years we’re talking about him the same way we do about D’Antoni, a brilliant but stubborn defensive mind who lost his luster once everyone in the league started incorporating his strategies. Now you have lots of teams going with that style of defense, but your coach is still overworking your players to win regular season games.

    I don’t disagree. Thibs and D’Antoni are a great comparison and I often call Thibs “the defensive D’Antoni”.

    I was most likely overstating his ability bc I have a lot of respect for his defensive principles.

    I would still expect him to outcoach Woodson, though. That’s he thing w Woody. I would never expect him to outcoach a top 8 team and give us an advantage. I just hope he doesn’t kill us.

  82. maxwell_3g

    max fisher-cohen:

    Presti’s real sins have been Perkins and Brooks,

    Truer words have never been spoken. Those are Presti’s 2 huge mistakes, and honestly, I didn’t realize how bad brooks was until the finals 2 years ago. The reality is that he is completely hamstrung by his market and budget. if he were with the knicks, there would have been no issue with amnestying perkins and turning him into dead money. there would have been no problem with paying Harden and the luxury tax. He was a victim of his own drafting success. losing in the playoffs this year without westbrook is not on him.
    I will say that continuing to hand the keys to brooks may be on him though

  83. Unreason

    Anyone think Mozgov will develop enough to be a useful piece? I don’t think he’s a great fit, but at 26, maybe it’s theoretically possible that he’d toughen up a bit under a more defensive-minded coach.

  84. Hubert

    JK47: Yeah, except we already traded the pick away.

    Fair point, but again it’s luck. The Spurs only had their Duncan pick because they had traded away their top pick in 96 (and 98, for that matter). They were in win now mode and were giving assets away to take chances on guys who no one else in the league thought were worth the risk.

    They were stockpiling nothing. They got lucky.

  85. maxwell_3g

    Hubert:
    The sentiment seems to be: oh my god you should never trade away a middle-to-late 1st round pick cuz Sam Presti wouldn’t. Sam Presti stockpiles assets and that’s why the Thunder are great.

    But every champ since Jordan retired has made the exact kinds of moves we’re making.

    So why kill them bc they don’t fit the Presti model?What’s so great about the Presti model that we shouldn’t follow the Mavericks model, the Heat model, the Celtics model, or the Lakers model?

    We don’t need to tank or hoard picks (though we could stand to value them more in trades).We just need better luck when our opportunities present themselves.

    I think the difference is we don’t stockpile anything. as soon as we have a young or unknown or future asset (not plural) we trade it for marginal talent before anything is “stockpiled”. If you stockpile, you are no longer getting marginal talent in return. Of course, we did empty our cabinets for melo, and I get that. Buts its not like we have been stockpiling since then. We traded draft picks with Jeffries for T-Mac. We traded a future draft pick for Bargnani. the list goes on. Some teams are certainly finding bargains in maintaining cap flexibility, keeping assets, and becoming willing accommodators/ 3rd party facilitators in trades. it just seems that, in our inpatience, we are always getting taken advantage of by the market as opposed to taking advantage of it.

  86. maxwell_3g

    Carter-Williams went for 26 on 23 shots with 9 turnovers in summer league today. that’s a very strange boxscore for him. hey, its summer league

  87. d-mar

    maxwell_3g: We traded draft picks with Jeffries for T-Mac.

    You can’t include any of Walsh’s cap clearing moves in this discussion, we went all in to get LeBron (which was the right thing to do) and T-Mac just came our way to make the salaries work.

  88. SeeWhyDee77

    I kinda like the so called Presti model. He drafts the best talent..regardless of need. Then again when u have Durant and Westbrook on ur team..that luxury SHOULD be afforded. But he drafts these assets, the team lets them grow, and he flips them for other things they need and can use later. Personally I would’ve sent Westbrook out but I can’t down shipping Harden becuz Westbrook is a superior defender. He has done a marvelous job in OKC. As far as Copeland goes…I like him..we all should. But let’s be honest..he’s 29. He’s not gonna get much better, if any better at all. It’s not like he was a young player with tons of upside. If we could have retained him, great! But we can also replace him for much cheaper. I like Grunwald’s vision..even though he threw too much at the Raps to bring in Bargnani. I think the price was good for JR too. I probably wouldn’t give him 4 years, but his skillset is valuable. With him, it’s the space between his ears. As long as he’s not our 2nd option..he’s fine. I would have rather replaced him with a cheaper option, but he isn’t a loss for the team. As long as Dolan doesn’t meddle I believe Grunwald can and will be a top exec.

  89. maxwell_3g

    my thoughts on available free agents (disclaimer: I am a firm believer in signing young guys who may improve as opposed to juwan howard types who will never be useful but may provide some “intangibles”). these guys are available, would be cheap, and seem to fit our needs:

    1) Rodrigue Beaubois- It was about 2 years ago that this guy was untouchable according to Cuban. He has atheeticism and seems to be a good developmental project as 3rd pg that may improve over the course of the year (ie, be ready for the playoffs)
    2) Luke Babbitt- 10th pick a couple of years ago. Shoots 35% from 3 and is 6’9″. Not sure if he really uses his size on d though
    3) Josh Harrelson- I like his one one one post D and toughness and can spot on offense
    4) Dontae Green- 3 D type of player who may be a bit repetitive with Hardawy, JR, and Shump
    5) Terrence Williams- I like his upside but would defer to the judgment of the experts on this one. clearly there are some issues with this guy that may turned him onto a NBA transient

    of course I would love Kaman, Will Bynum, etc, but Im talking about guys that will sign for the min. thoughts??

  90. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: The 2004 Pistons just put together a bunch of random dudes and they turned out to be good enough to win.

    Except those players also were highly, highly efficient. The 2005 Pistons had three players with more than 11 WP each. That is really, really good.

    This year’s Spurs had only one player with 10+ WP. This year’s Heat had two (LeBron, Wade). Those players weren’t just random dudes. They were awesome.

  91. maxwell_3g

    d-mar: You can’t include any of Walsh’s cap clearing moves in this discussion, we went all in to get LeBron (which was the right thing to do) and T-Mac just came our way to make the salaries work.

    agreed, to a certain extent. We had cap space for one max and one almost max. Lebron would have balked if he really wanted to play in NY? we wouldn’t have been able to take care of that right before Lebron signed if it was an issue (like The Rockets just did and the Warriors were going to have no problem doing, for Howard). I understand why it was done, but it was a bad gamble that was executed poorly.

  92. Vinny L.

    2014 Eastern Conference Seed Position Prediction:

    1. Miami Heat
    2. Indiana Pacers
    3. Chicago Bulls
    4. Brooklyn Nets
    5. New York Knicks

    I don’t see the Knicks making adjustments to their obvious weaknesses:

    1. Lack of youth, athleticism, speed and offensive aggression at that PG position.

    2. Lack of youth, length, defensive prowess, rebounding, and depth at that PF and C positions.

    3. Bad coaching…

    Let’s forget about you guys fuzzy math for a minute and recognize the fact that the Knicks half court offense is heavily dependent on Melo either scoring in isolation or drawing double teams.

    In this set up it is an absolute MUST that the team is stocked with offensively threatening wings and speedy PG’s who can spread the floor by knocking down shots, penetrating, and pushing the tempo on fast breaks.

    In this setup, the big men must know they’re freakin place when Melo is in the game: Defense and Rebounding……

    Melo and Amar’e don’t mix!
    K-Mart is old, has bad knees, and doesn’t have a backup!
    Tyson doesn’t have a backup!

    Knicks let Cope go but traded for Bargnani, re-signed JR, drafted Hardaway Jr., and we still got Shump and Felton, Ok fine. But they still have a slow 36 year old non-athletic point guard who’s scared to let it fly backing up Felton.

    They’re talking about going after Sebastian Telfair instead of something more dynamic like a Nate Robinson, Darren Collison or Will Bynum.

  93. ruruland

    I guess Topaz doesn’t read the site he’s been writing for, Frank and I have gone over that lineup data 1,000 times.

    And are you guys seriously discussing what I think you are discussing?

    This board/site is forever stuck in 2010. Getting pretty dull around here.

  94. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Except those players also were highly, highly efficient. The 2005 Pistons had three players with more than 11 WP each. That is really, really good.

    This year’s Spurs had only one player with 10+ WP. This year’s Heat had two (LeBron, Wade). Those players weren’t just random dudes. They were awesome.

    Not a single player on that 2004 Pistons team had a ts over .550.

  95. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Except those players also were highly, highly efficient. The 2005 Pistons had three players with more than 11 WP each. That is really, really good.

    This year’s Spurs had only one player with 10+ WP. This year’s Heat had two (LeBron, Wade). Those players weren’t just random dudes. They were awesome.

    Jesus, you are so boring. All of your reasoning is circular, you contribute nothing to this board.

  96. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ruruland: Jesus, you are so boring. All of your reasoning is circular, you contribute nothing to this board.

    And all of your arguments are conjectured-laden, specious, tenuous at best.

    Mr. Eyetest. Total bullshit from your e-mouth all the time.

  97. Unreason

    maxwell_3g: I am a firm believer in signing young guys who may improve… these guys are available, would be cheap, and seem to fit our needs

    Thanks for the ideas. I kind of like the approach, but I’m not sure it’s in keeping with the current win-now strategy. I give my initial reactions to each. In short, none seem very likely to pan out IMO. I don’t have a great knowledge of any of them, though. So I’d be interested to see if anyone else thinks any of them is worth a gamble.

    maxwell_3g: Rodrigue Beaubois

    Too many injuries

    maxwell_3g: Luke Babbitt

    Pass. Did not impress in the little I’ve seen. Numbers don’t either. Doesn’t look like a promising role player to me.

    maxwell_3g: Josh Harrelson

    Pass. No D or athleticism to speak of. I wish him the best, elsewhere.

    maxwell_3g: Dontae Green

    Ouch. Nope

    maxwell_3g: Terrence Williams

    Saw very little of him, but not impressed with what I saw. Obviously has terrible numbers. What upside did you see in him.

  98. ruruland

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And all of your arguments are conjectured-laden, specious, tenuous at best.

    Mr. Eyetest. Total bullshit from your e-mouth all the time.

    At what point, after the many hundreds of days you’ve spent posting here, did you plan on clicking that submit comment button with something that can’t be copied and pasted from one of the WP sites?

    You are a human spambot.

  99. maxwell_3g

    Unreason: Thanks for the ideas. I kind of like the approach, but I’m not sure it’s in keeping with the current win-now strategy. I give my initial reactions to each. In short, none seem very likely to pan out IMO.I don’t have a great knowledge of any of them, though. So I’d be interested to see if anyone else thinks any of them is worth a gamble.

    Too many injuries

    Pass. Did not impress in the little I’ve seen. Numbers don’t either. Doesn’t look like a promising role player to me.

    Pass. No D or athleticism to speak of. I wish him the best, elsewhere.

    Ouch. Nope

    Saw very little of him, but not impressed with what I saw. Obviously has terrible numbers. What upside did you see in him.

    I completely agree that there are no stars on my list. my idea comes (actually strays away from) from the first year Heatles team. Riley went and signed a bunch of useless “vets” like Magloire, Juwan Howard, etc. None of these guys improve and none are useful in the playoffs. I believe in taking a shot in young players, who have never gotten consistent time, and hope the develop with real game experience. Its a gamble, but one worth taking, expecially after seeing all of our vets amount to nothing last year in the playoffs. Obviously, the vet minimum players are not stars but they were the best I could find, except for a couple of NBDL players who have never really played in the league (Brown, Sims, Lawal). I would be most excited about Lawal out of them, I think

  100. yellowboy90

    I think Alan Anderson and P.J. Tucker should get a look but it looks bleak unless they find some Euro or DL talent.

  101. Vinny L.

    Knicks aren’t going to get any good players because they wasted the MLE on that bum Prig IMO.

  102. alsep73

    Vinny, even leaving out your comical Prigioni hatred, Delfino signed for more than the mini-MLE. So did Copeland, for that matter. Who has signed with another team for an average of less than $3 mil per whom you wanted the Knicks to sign?

  103. Juany8

    Brian Cronin: Man, GMing is rough. Last year you were trashing anyone who thought that the trade was a bad idea and now you’re knocking Presti because it didn’t work out, even when part of it not working out was based on Westbrook missing the playoffs on a fluke injury.

    I honestly had wrongly assumed that Kevin Martin would stay, he was going to be on a contender who had some room to pay him decent money. To just lose him for nothing, not even a sign and trade for a lousy trade exception… It’s stunning really. I don’t think it’s a problem that they didn’t win this year, even with Westbrook that wasn’t guaranteed, but what’s the plan now? They have no real bench to speak of, and Perkins is degrading horribly. None of their talented rookies got any playing time last season, which might just be Brooks being stubborn, but it also might be that they’re not that good. Either way it’s not a great sign going forward, and as a direct effect of the move, the 8th seed in the Western Conference might join the long list of teams with legitimate hope of winning the West.

  104. Vinny L.

    We can’t get any quality players in free agency because the Knicks wasted the MLE on Prig:

    Delfino is gone, Darren Collison is gone, Cope is gone, Will Bynum won’t go to the Knicks, Nate Robinson won’t go to the Knicks, Mozgoff won’t go to the Knicks, Brand won’t go to the Knicks… And on and on and on….

  105. Vinny L.

    We need a backup PF/C who could clean up the boards and play D.

    We can’t steal Tyler Hansbrough from Indiana because the Knicks wasted the MLE on Prig…

  106. GHenman

    Vinny L.: We need a backup PF/C who could clean up the boards and play D.We can’t steal Tyler Hansbrough from Indiana because the Knicks wasted the MLE on Prig…

    Is that you Tenebrous?

  107. ruruland

    Indiana isn’t going to play Copeland. They signed him so we wouldn’t play him against their big, slow lineups.

  108. GHenman

    ruruland: Indiana isn’t going to play Copeland. They signed him so we wouldn’t play him against their big, slow lineups.

    Don’t know if you’re being serious, but I had that same thought.

  109. max fisher-cohen

    Hubert:
    So why kill them bc they don’t fit the Presti model?What’s so great about the Presti model that we shouldn’t follow the Mavericks model, the Heat model, the Celtics model, or the Lakers model?

    The Mavericks DRAFTED Dirk. They also picked up Finley & Nash in their second years. That WAS a youth movement. Then, they used free agency and the soft cap (which is now prohibitively expensive) to put pieces around a guy who was a top five player. Just like NY did when they had their own top 5 player in Ewing. That’s logical.

    The Lakers? They won 53 games the season before Shaq came along and still decided to dump Ceballos (an all star) & trade Divac for the 13th pick – Kobe. That’d be like the Knicks trading Melo for Paul and dumping STAT for the 13th pick back in 2011. Can you see NY making that kind of move? CP3 wouldn’t have agreed to such a trade anyway since NY didn’t have 2 promising young players like LA did at the time in Van Exel and Eddie Jones, and NY never would have traded a top center in his prime for a draft pick, nor would they have bothered developing an 18 yo center in Andrew Bynum.

    After trying to play the “win now” game by trading Joe Johnson and Billups in their rookie seasons, Boston showed patience by waiting for the right option to come up before moving Jefferson and Delonte West. They didn’t jump on the first option that came available like the Knicks did. Not all youth for vet trades are equal. If you’re going that route, you better wait for the one that is as awesome a ripoff as the KG trade or the Lakers’ trade for Gasol.

  110. Brian Cronin

    When the Heat traded marginal talent for the league’s disgruntled superstar, Shaq happened to be available. When we did, Melo was the guy. But Brian Grant, Caron Butler, and Lamar Odom was not a greater stockpile of assets than Gallo, Chandler, Felton.

    The Celtics got KG because one of their former players was an outgoing GM and did his old team a favor before getting fired. We have more assets right now than Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, & Sebastian Telfair. We just lack the idiot who will trade us a hall of famer in his prime for the flotsam and jetsam on our roster.

    Lamar Odom and Al Jefferson were bigger “gets” than Gallo at the time of their respective trades. Probably shouldn’t have been, but they were. But sure, I agree, teams need to get lucky. Isn’t that the case for everything everywhere ever?

    And the Spurs, do you even remember the shit the Spurs used to pull? They built their team because David Robinson got hurt and they landed in the lottery and they won it and Tim Duncan just happened to be the prize. They stockpiled nothing.

    You said…

    Every champion since Jordan has been built around 1 guy they drafted w a lottery pick at most, and major free agent additions or trade acquisitions in which they gave up assets that guys like Presti would be scared to give up.

    Yes, Robinson got hurt, but come on, once that happened, they intentionally tanked to try to get Duncan, no different than Seattle trading Ray Allen to improve their odds at Oden/Durant. They then built around a guy they drafted with a lottery pick but did not make major free agent additions or trade acquisitions in which they gave up assets. They just stockpiled their own picks and got great players. Which is basically the “Presti model” (which makes sense, as Presti obviously based his model on the Spurs) and you said it didn’t count and I don’t think there’s a good reason to not count it.

  111. GHenman

    If the money was similar, I beleive Cope should have gone to LA. He would have thrived under D’Antoni.

  112. thenoblefacehumper

    Vinny L.:
    We can’t get any quality players in free agency because the Knicks wasted the MLE on Prig:

    Delfino is gone, Darren Collison is gone, Cope is gone, Will Bynum won’t go to the Knicks, Nate Robinson won’t go to the Knicks, Mozgoff won’t go to the Knicks, Brand won’t go to the Knicks… And on and on and on….

    Delfino and Cope both signed for more than the Knicks could offer even if they didn’t re-sign Prig. Pretty sure Collison did too (could be wrong). Answer alsep73′s question please. Although I’m not even sure why I’m doing this since it’s pretty clear you’re an anti-Prigioni troll. What a bizarre thing to be.

  113. ruruland

    GHenman: Don’t know if you’re being serious, but I had that same thought.

    I’m being serious.

    He doesn’t fit their scheme and can’t be used enough on offense for it to make sense for him to be on floor.

    He’s not going to take Danny Granger’s minutes.

  114. Douglas

    thenoblefacehumper: Delfino and Cope both signed for more than the Knicks could offer even if they didn’t re-sign Prig. Pretty sure Collison did too (could be wrong). Answer alsep73?s question please. Although I’m not even sure why I’m doing this since it’s pretty clear you’re an anti-Prigioni troll. What a bizarre thing to be.

    We had an anti-Clyde troll called “CLYDEPOLICE” during the Isiah years. That was the probably the weirdest.

  115. ruruland

    GHenman:
    If the money was similar, I beleive Cope should have gone to LA.He would have thrived under D’Antoni.

    Yeah, who knows what happened there.

  116. Juany8

    Brian Cronin: Lamar Odom and Al Jefferson were bigger “gets” than Gallo at the time of their respective trades. Probably shouldn’t have been, but they were. But sure, I agree, teams need to get lucky. Isn’t that the case for everything everywhere ever?

    You said…

    Yes, Robinson got hurt, but come on, once that happened, they intentionally tanked to try to get Duncan. They then built around a guy they drafted with a lottery pick but did not make major free agent additions or trade acquisitions in which they gave up assets. They just stockpiled their own picks and got great players. Which is basically the “Presti model” (which makes sense, as Presti obviously based his model on the Spurs) and you said it didn’t count and I don’t think there’s a good reason to not count it.

    The difference is that Presti purposely tanked to build an entire core, the Spurs drafted Ginobli and Parker one of the years they built a championship! So RC Buford was sort of forced into tanking what would have been a wasted year anyways because of an injury. Presti tore down his team to get repeated chances at the top of the lottery. Even after they got Durant, Westbrook, and Green, they got the third pick in the draft the very next year. San Antonio was picking it’s core out of the second round while winning a championship.

    So the Spurs didn’t really have a model, they just constantly made smart moves and got some luck, but they were a good team pretty much the entire time and always looking to compete, except the one year there was no real point. Presti planned to get terrible and gambled on ping pong balls and other team’s mistakes. So to follow the Spurs method is to just play smart, develop your players well, have an awesome coach, and get a bit of luck to fill out the rest. To follow the Presti model is to purposely get terrible and hope to draft stars.

  117. max fisher-cohen

    ruruland: I’m being serious.

    He doesn’t fit their scheme and can’t be used enough on offense for it to make sense for him to be on floor.

    He’s not going to take Danny Granger’s minutes.

    Assuming Granger is healthy . . . But yeah, I agree. He’s an off ball player. In a pinch he can post up, but you’re not going to get great value from that since he has eddy curry style tunnel vision. Indy would have been better off with Nate Robinson or Carl Landry — someone who can score on his own.

  118. max fisher-cohen

    Juany

    I’d say the spurs’ model is less about the draft itself and more about the post-draft process of creating a good situation for guys to learn and improve. I’ve seen San Antonio trade draft picks (that’s how we got David Lee), but have you ever seen them their younger developing players? Parker in particular was pretty bad for a while, but the Spurs stuck with him. I think the same could be said of Westbrook, who was pretty bad his first two years. Fuck, Durant was a disappointment too his first year. He won ROY, but it was more based on hype and high scoring #s. His efficiency was awful. Al Horford and Luis Scola were both more deserving.

  119. thenoblefacehumper

    DRed:
    Ruru, both Billups and Prince had a TS above.550 in 2004-2005.

    Yeah, THJC was talking about that team and ruru was talking about the championship team. I think so anyway.

  120. Vinny L.

    The reason why I’m not responding to your question is because apparently I’m not being allowed to.

  121. ruruland

    DRed:
    Ruru, both Billups and Prince had a TS above.550 in 2004-2005.

    Yep, I was looking at year they won the NBA title. Billups had a .550 TS and Prince a . 536 TS.

  122. Brian Cronin

    Except those players also were highly, highly efficient. The 2005 Pistons had three players with more than 11 WP each. That is really, really good.

    Right, but there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to how they acquired guys. That’s what I mean by them just putting together a bunch of random dudes. They lucked into both Rip and Wallace. Billups was the only guy they really went out and got and even there, it was because Minnesota was stupid and let him go.

  123. Vinny L.

    FYI

    Copeland told Alan Hahn of ESPN that the plan from the start was to take less money to stay in New York. The Knicks made no further offer to Cope after their initial qualifying offer which was short of $1 million!!! Less than what they offered Prig!!!

    SMH

  124. ruruland

    max fisher-cohen: Assuming Granger is healthy . . . But yeah, I agree. He’s an off ball player. In a pinch he can post up, but you’re not going to get great value from that since he has eddy curry style tunnel vision. Indy would have been better off with Nate Robinson or Carl Landry — someone who can score on his own.

    And it still made sense for them to sign him and ensure he wouldn’t play on the team where he could actually really hurt them.

    Vogel was, in fact, being serious.

  125. ruruland

    Vinny L.:
    FYI

    Copeland told Alan Hahn of ESPN that the plan from the start was to take less money to stay in New York. The Knicks made no further offer to Cope after their initial qualifying offer which was short of $1 million!!! Less than what they offered Prig!!!

    SMH

    He shot really well from 3pt the last two years, and that could very well be where he remains, should he even get a chance to play in the NBA moving forward, but he was a 33-35 % international 3-t shooter prior to 2012 — that’s ok for a power forward I guess.

    There’s little doubt that Bargnani is capable of a better season than Copeland had last year, and then some, so it’s more of where the Knicks were willing to commit their mini-MLE dollars.

    Bargnani and Copeland would have basically been competing for the same minutes.

  126. jon abbey

    Douglas: We had an anti-Clyde troll called “CLYDEPOLICE” during the Isiah years. That was the probably the weirdest.

    heh, didn’t that dude blame Clyde’s negativity as an announcer for NY’s poor performance? if I am remembering right, that is pretty awesome.

  127. Brian Cronin

    The difference is that Presti purposely tanked to build an entire core, the Spurs drafted Ginobli and Parker one of the years they built a championship! So RC Buford was sort of forced into tanking what would have been a wasted year anyways because of an injury. Presti tore down his team to get repeated chances at the top of the lottery. Even after they got Durant, Westbrook, and Green, they got the third pick in the draft the very next year. San Antonio was picking it’s core out of the second round while winning a championship.

    The only difference between Presti’s moves and teams like, say, the Heat (pre-Lebron) and the Celtics is that the Thunder drafted so well that there was no need to make additional trades. Plenty of teams intentionally suck so that they have a chance to rebuild. The pre-Lebron Heat did, the Celtics did, the Knicks did. Everyone does it. The Spurs will certainly eventually do it.

  128. Robtachi

    If the Knicks had offered and signed Cope for $2 million/year, we’d all be calling that contract fuckin’ dumb. Also, isn’t it obvious by now that Woodson would never give Cope enough burn to justify those dollars?

    Good luck to him in Indiana, but I’m glad the Knicks aren’t cutting him those checks.

  129. DRed

    2003/2004 was not a great year for efficient offense-league average TS was .516. So a PG with a TS% of .550 was pretty damn good.

  130. Juany8

    max fisher-cohen:
    Juany

    I’d say the spurs’ model is less about the draft itself and more about the post-draft process of creating a good situation for guys to learn and improve. I’ve seen San Antonio trade draft picks (that’s how we got David Lee), but have you ever seen them their younger developing players? Parker in particular was pretty bad for a while, but the Spurs stuck with him. I think the same could be said of Westbrook, who was pretty bad his first two years. Fuck, Durant was a disappointment too his first year. He won ROY, but it was more based on hype and high scoring #s. His efficiency was awful. Al Horford and Luis Scola were both more deserving.

    George Hill was traded away wasn’t he :p. But I actually agree with you, the Spurs are just worried about being as good as they can be in all aspects and things tend to work out well for them. There was no secret or master plan behind what they did, and thus no real way to emulate them except just doing your job well. Presti has made it seem like there can be some grand master plan to building a contender, that you just strip away your roster and pick up several stars at the top of the draft and go from there.

    Except when you look at what actually has to happen for you to get those multiple stars at the top of the draft, you realize that it is a highly unreliable method for building a team. Getting a bunch of top picks isn’t enough, you have to also hope there’s a franchise changing player in the draft, and that you actually land one of the top picks, or that other gm’s screw up the picks in front of you. You have to hope these players develop into stars, but you need them to be terrible multiple years so you can draft enough players to build a full core. It’s a freaking nightmare

  131. Brian Cronin

    Anyone hearing anything about Brandon Jennings? Do the Bucks still want to bring him back or are they moving on?

  132. GHenman

    Brian Cronin: Anyone hearing anything about Brandon Jennings? Do the Bucks still want to bring him back or are they moving on?

    Last I read thay were going to match any offer.

  133. GHenman

    Robtachi: If the Knicks had offered and signed Cope for $2 million/year, we’d all be calling that contract fuckin’ dumb. Also, isn’t it obvious by now that Woodson would never give Cope enough burn to justify those dollars?Good luck to him in Indiana, but I’m glad the Knicks aren’t cutting him those checks.

    I think $2 mil for Copeland would have been a steal.

  134. Douglas

    jon abbey: heh, didn’t that dude blame Clyde’s negativity as an announcer for NY’s poor performance? if I am remembering right, that is pretty awesome.

    Yup.

  135. DRed

    jon abbey: heh, didn’t that dude blame Clyde’s negativity as an announcer for NY’s poor performance? if I am remembering right, that is pretty awesome.

    Yeah, that guy was the best.

  136. bobneptune

    Z-man:
    Exuent dogrufus, enter Vinny…

    Exeunt…..Exeunt…. very impressive and quite apropos of the way the Knicks roster has been handled the past 3 seasons…. with a little whisp of a Shakespearean tragedy :-)

  137. bobneptune

    Z-man:
    Exuent dogrufus, enter Vinny…

    And just for the record, although I haven’t taken university courses in Shakespeare in 40 years, doesn’t the use of exeunt as a stage direction imply more than one person exiting the stage together?

  138. DRed

    ruruland:

    There’s little doubt that Bargnani is capable of a better season than Copeland had last year, and then some, so it’s more of where the Knicks were willing to commit their mini-MLE dollars.

    I’ve got 13,130 minutes of doubt that Bargnani is capable of a better season than Copeland had last year and then some, because he’s never had a season as good as Copeland’s. And Copeland wasn’t even that good last season. Bargnani has been a fucking terrible NBA player. He might be better than Copeland was next year, but there are plenty of reasons to doubt that he will be.

  139. Juany8

    Brian Cronin: The only difference between Presti’s moves and teams like, say, the Heat (pre-Lebron) and the Celtics is that the Thunder drafted so well that there was no need to make additional trades. Plenty of teams intentionally suck so that they have a chance to rebuild. The pre-Lebron Heat did, the Celtics did, the Knicks did. Everyone does it. The Spurs will certainly eventually do it.

    Brian, I get what you’re saying about teams tanking all the time, but Presti tanked AFTER getting his superstar. The Nuggets, Cavaliers, and Heat all quickly improved after the 2003 draft, Melo actually made the playoffs right away. Same with more recent guys like Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, their teams wasted no time in starting to try to win around them. The same is seen with pretty much every franchise player, once a team gets that player to build around, they immediately start trying to win and get better. The Thunder were still picking at the very top of the draft 2 years after drafting the second best player in the NBA today. They were planning on being terrible enough time to fully build a core, and managed to do so. Usually when teams are repeatedly picking at the top of the draft, it’s because they are getting bad players there. That’s why there are more teams like Cleveland than OKC, and why I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to be terrible for multiple years on purpose.

  140. AvonBarksdale

    I wish i could’ve seen Copeland on LA next season if he isn’t gonna be on the Knicks, especially if he would’ve gotten more playing time which is basically a given. Ruru did you ever do that interview with him? Anyway we can find out what the offer was compared to Indiana?

  141. ruruland

    DRed: I’ve got 13,130 minutes of doubt that Bargnani is capable of a better season than Copeland had last year and then some, because he’s never had a season as good as Copeland’s.And Copeland wasn’t even that good last season.Bargnani has been a fucking terrible NBA player.He might be better than Copeland was next year, but there are plenty of reasons to doubt that he will be.

    Meh, he’ll rebound the ball better than Copeland on defense, he can actually function defensively in a 5-out with his ability to defend in the post, and he has some semblance of rim protection and shot blocking instincts.

    If we’re simply comparing him to Copeland, a guy who was asked to defend big men last year and stretch them out on offense, than Bargnani should be an upgrade there.

    Offensively, Copeland finished really well at the rim last season. 69 percent on on 51 percent assisted is great. Bargnani finished poorly at the basket last season, but is typically in the low 60 percent range on 60 percent assisted, which is basically average.

    But Bargnani, if we look at his career as a whole, is a good shooter in every range area for a big man, going as high as 49 % in 10-15 feet and 48 % at 16-23 feet, he also finishes in the 3-9 feet area at above average rates.

    If you look at his Synergy profile, it’s pretty evident that a few adjustments in his shot distribution and he becomes a pretty damn efficient player. He has higher ft rate than Copeland as well.

    He’s been a more efficient spot-up player than Kevin Love, Bosh and Garnett the last 4 years, and basically is only been bettered as a stretch big by Ryan Anderson and Dirk. Increase Anderson’s usage to the 24-28 area like Bargnani, w/out someone to space, watch his #’s drop to very average or below average, too.

    I could easily see a .575 TS on 20 usage 47/39/83.

  142. ruruland

    AvonBarksdale:
    I wish i could’ve seen Copeland on LA next season if he isn’t gonna be on the Knicks, especially if he would’ve gotten more playing time which is basically a given. Ruru did you ever do that interview with him? Anyway we can find out what the offer was compared to Indiana?

    No, he never ended up showing at the basketball camp I had set-up to meet him at. He’s been out of phone contact since FA began, of course.

  143. ruruland

    Also, interesting to see Ryan Anderson’s efficiency slip last year without a Dwight and a usage increase.

    Percent of two point attempts way up, 3-pt percentage dropped from previous two seasons.

  144. DRed

    A 575 TS is lower than what Copeland did last year, and Copeland had a usage of 25 (which is higher than Bargnani’s career average). Copeland was really good at scoring last year. Much better than Bargnani has ever been.

    Is it possible that Bargnani has the best year of his career next season? Absolutely. Is there little doubt that he’ll have the best year of his career right after the worst year of his career? No fucking way. Is there little doubt he’ll maintain his usage rate while increasing his TS% significantly? No-not at all.

  145. BigBlueAL

    With all the decent SF’s seemingly off the market only realistic decent players that remain who the Knicks are targeting look like are Brand and KMart.

    With the lack of a real SF on the roster just cant see Melo starting at PF this season.

  146. Robtachi

    DRed:
    A 575 TS is lower than what Copeland did last year, and Copeland had a usage of 25 (which is higher than Bargnani’s career average).Copeland was really good at scoring last year.Much better than Bargnani has ever been.

    Copeland also did a majority of his scoring when the Knicks were either being blown out or were way ahead; that is to say, against 2nd and 3rd teamers who’s sense of urgency and effort on defense could easily be called into question. We really need to get past this notion that we can simply digest stats and extrapolate conclusions without also observing the situations in which these stats are accumulated.

  147. Tony Pena

    Vinny L.:
    FYI

    Copeland told Alan Hahn of ESPN that the plan from the start was to take less money to stay in New York. The Knicks made no further offer to Cope after their initial qualifying offer which was short of $1 million!!!

    Think about it, what you wanted the knicks to do was re-up the offer to something like $2 million right? So why wouldn’t any of his suitors that were willing to pay more than the measly 988k QO not easily counter with $3.1, where the knicks couldn’t match? Remember that also they have other holes. There’s just not much negotiating with $3 mil to spend… In the same vein, I think the Bargnani move was preemptive. They figured SOMEBODY was going to give Cope 3 mil, so they thought traded for someone who could somewhat replicate what he did. It’s interesting that they considered his role in the offense apparently high on their priority list.

  148. Z

    The article here deserves a better comment thread. It’s one of the worst I’ve seen a KB for a while. Spending a day discussing whether the Thunder and Spurs have good strategic models or lucky ones? Sure, every good draft pick is lucky, but every bad draft pick is because the GM sucks. Why not!

    Posters here seem to have also taken to claiming that every nba player in the entire league “sucks” at defense. If everybody sucks at defense then sucking is league average.

  149. DRed

    Robtachi: Copeland also did a majority of his scoring when the Knicks were either being blown out or were way ahead; that is to say, against 2nd and 3rd teamers who’s sense of urgency and effort on defense could easily be called into question. We really need to get past this notion that we can simply digest stats and extrapolate conclusions without also observing the situations in which these stats are accumulated.

    Right, because guys who are NBA 3rd stringers have no reason to play hard on defense. When you’re at the end of the bench earning league minimum what possible reason would you have to play hard?

    also, is it true that Copeland did a majority of his scoring with the Knicks either way ahead or way behind? When he was playing significant minutes were his numbers much worse?

  150. Tony Pena

    BigBlueAL:

    With the lack of a real SF on the roster just cant see Melo starting at PF this season.

    They’re probably going to play both, I can’t see them totally abandoning it… I feel like the Knicks should also really look at Harrellson and Earl Barron. If we want to talk about fit they’ve worked before! At SF there’s Pietrus, couldn’t he replicate the Ronnie Brewer role, is he totally washed up?

  151. Brian Cronin

    Brian, I get what you’re saying about teams tanking all the time, but Presti tanked AFTER getting his superstar. The Nuggets, Cavaliers, and Heat all quickly improved after the 2003 draft, Melo actually made the playoffs right away. Same with more recent guys like Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, their teams wasted no time in starting to try to win around them. The same is seen with pretty much every franchise player, once a team gets that player to build around, they immediately start trying to win and get better. The Thunder were still picking at the very top of the draft 2 years after drafting the second best player in the NBA today. They were planning on being terrible enough time to fully build a core, and managed to do so. Usually when teams are repeatedly picking at the top of the draft, it’s because they are getting bad players there. That’s why there are more teams like Cleveland than OKC, and why I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to be terrible for multiple years on purpose.

    I disagree that that was Presti’s plan, though. I think it was a matter of Durant just not being all that good when he first started. He was basically a much shittier version than what people accuse Melo of being. Not to mention they were playing him out of position at SG. Then they drafted Westbrook and he was terrible his first season.

    The Orlando Magic used the same plan as the Thunder (and they did it before the Thunder did it, so I dunno what you would call their model then) and they were in the lottery for two more years, as just like Durant, Howard took some time to get going.

    Griffin is weird since the Clippers had to wait a year to get him. But they were still in the lottery their first year with him (they just foolishly traded their pick).

    I just don’t think Presti’s plan was to suck for two years before becoming good. I think they just, you know, sucked for two years before they got good. If Durant and Westbrook had come out of the gate blazing, they never would have had the #3 pick and they likely would have made moves like other similar teams, like signing veterans.

  152. JK47

    I hope the Knicks can find a way to bring in both Brand and K-Mart, because we could really use both of those guys. The pickins are getting slim out there.

    Some blue light special players who could possibly provide some help:
    Marreese Speights – Could give us some rebounding and decent size at the backup C spot

    Cole Aldrich – Has never gotten a real shot but does have a career .569 TS% and good per-minute rebounding stats

    Reggie Williams – Was a really nice shooter in his two years at Golden State, has fallen off the radar after two lost years in Charlotte

    Mo Williams – Still a competent PG, would be a decent third-string guy, shot .383 from 3 last year

    Chris Wilcox – Three consecutive solid years a bench forward, good fallback option if Brand/K-Mart fall through

    Jermaine O’Neal – Old but not ancient (35), was solid rebounder in reserve role with Phoenix last year

    Daniel Gibson – Another third-string PG candidate, has a career .407 3-point percentage

    Ronnie Brewer – WP48 legend

  153. Brian Cronin

    I think K-Mart is playing the game correctly. He knows he is a last second addition guy, so he’s waiting for everything else to settle. Smart play. Hopefully he ends up back in New York. Brand will be fascinating to see where he ends up. He’d be amazing here.

  154. ruruland

    Z:
    The article here deserves a better comment thread. It’s one of the worst I’ve seen a KB for a while. Spending a day discussing whether the Thunder and Spurs have good strategic models or lucky ones? Sure, every good draft pick is lucky, but every bad draft pick is because the GM sucks. Why not!

    Posters here seem to have also taken to claiming that every nba player in the entire league “sucks” at defense. If everybody sucks at defense then sucking is league average.

    Why? The post was at best a summation and more like an unintentional regurgitation of comment threads dating back to the regular season.

    It did little to build on any decent conversation we’ve had here all summer.

    I’d say the post justified the comment thread, which was brutally redundant even for our standards.

  155. jon abbey

    I’m sure he’s out of our price range, but I’d love to see CAA turn their sights on Corey Brewer.

  156. Brian Cronin

    It sure does seem like a lot of guys are surprisingly out of the Knicks’ price range this year, doesn’t it?

  157. ruruland

    Brand or K-mart, and you have a reasonable facsimile of last year’s team, probably a bit better on paper than lasts October team was. No way to project how that team would do, you can make an argument they can be better or worse. You know which one I’ll make.

  158. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey:
    I’m sure he’s out of our price range, but I’d love to see CAA turn their sights on Corey Brewer.

    Brewer still sucks. Everyone thinks he is a good shooter now, in his 2 seasons in Denver he shot 26 and 29% from 3pt range. 69% both seasons from the FT line. He also jacks up shots left and right. TS% this past season of .506% on 23.4% Usage.

    If Knicks sign another SG/SF he has to be a real good shooter. Just not sure who is left out there for the minimum that fits that bill.

  159. jon abbey

    only one of Brand or K-Mart still leaves them too thin up front, one of them plus Jerome Jordan or someone similar would be tolerable.

    I don’t get why people keep saying we need a SF, JR can play there, Melo can play there, Shump can play there a bit, Hardaway and/or Leslie can theoretically play there, and if Amare/Bargnani ever play together, hopefully one of them will be playing there so that there is a real C alongside them.

    so two big men and a third PG (how about DJ Augustin?) and I’ll feel better about the roster. Brand/Martin/Brewer/Augustin, it’s nice to dream.

  160. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    JJ Hickson? What a weird offseason for the Nuggets.

    They were also rumored to be on Monta Ellis but now Marc Stein is saying they might sign Randy Foye instead and the Hawks and Kings are left battling for Ellis. Also mentioned a possible Teague for Jennings trade between Hawks and Bucks if Ellis goes to the Kings.

  161. jon abbey

    BigBlueAL: Brewer still sucks.Everyone thinks he is a good shooter now, in his 2 seasons in Denver he shot 26 and 29% from 3pt range.69% both seasons from the FT line.He also jacks up shots left and right.TS% this past season of .506% on 23.4% Usage.

    If Knicks sign another SG/SF he has to be a real good shooter.Just not sure who is left out there for the minimum that fits that bill.

    Anthony Morrow?

  162. Z

    ruruland: Why? The post was at best a summation and more like an unintentional regurgitation of comment threads dating back to the regular season.

    I didn’t read any of those, and I did read this.

  163. ruruland

    Z: I didn’t read any of those, and I did read this.

    I figured. That’s why KB needs a massive upgrade or its posters and writers need to migrate to a superior site.

  164. jon abbey

    ruruland: I figured. That’s why KB needs a massive upgrade or its posters and writers need to migrate to a superior site.

    let most of the writers stay here, the posters need a new site, though. start it up!!

  165. Z

    ruruland: I figured. That’s why KB needs a massive upgrade or its posters and writers need to migrate to a superior site.

    I never did understand why you don’t have your own site. I, personally, have never been very interested in what you try and sell, but you do seem to have a lot of energy and a well defined perspective, so I imagine it could be quite successful. What is keeping you from starting Ruru.org?

  166. ruruland

    Z: I never did understand why you don’t have your own site. I, personally, have never been very interested in what you try and sell, but you do seem to have a lot of energy and a well defined perspective, so I imagine it could be quite successful. What is keeping you from starting Ruru.org?

    In the works.

  167. Z-man

    Still the best site for Knicks dialogue. Seth at P&T is my favorite writer, though. The above article did nothing for me, but that’s partly because I am only interested in who fills out the roster and rookie development at this point. Unfortunately (?) I’m going on a second honeymoon starting Wednesday and will miss the summer league games. Hopefully someone will youtube them for when I come back! I really want to see what Leslie, Hardaway, and James have to offer at this point.

  168. Z-man

    re: Copeland, let’s keep in mind that nobody expected anything from him last year, so it was rather shocking to see him play so well over the year. And I dispute the notion that he piled up stats in garbage time, he played well in any situation that Woody had the temerity to use him in. In fact, he shot best when the game was within 5 points.

    The larger point is, I have to give GG the benefit of the doubt that he will find a replacement, or that we already have in Bargs. But Copeland was easily worth $2 mill a year, and what Indiana paid him is at least fair value. The guy can score.

  169. Frank

    I’m less concerned about the extra swingman than I am about a solid defensive big. With Tyson’s health issues the last few years, I’m figuring he’s only good for 70 games and 30 min/game. That’s A LOT of minutes in the middle that we have no current answer for. Hopefully Brand will let us know soon so we can pivot to KMart or whoever quickly. Not sure why a guy like Jermaine O’Neal isn’t on the radar right now– I can’t imagine he’s getting offers for above the minimum, and he’s been pretty healthy the last few years as I recall. Otherwise I’d be reasonably ok with rolling with Jerome Jordan as a backup. We have to start developing some of our own big guys.

    Re: the extra swingman – we’ve got 2 guys behind Melo that have shown they can play the 3 in a pinch – JR and Shump. Hardaway is big enough to play minutes there also. It’d be nice to have a guy who’s 6’8″ or so to help guard Lebron, but there’s no good solution for that anyway. But now that Delfino and Garcia are off the board, I’d like them to give Mikael Pietrus a call. Until he was injured the last couple years, he was a pretty good player.

    Didn’t realize until I read somewhere yesterday that Jim Todd and Hopla were Bargnani’s coaches in Toronto during his early years there. I’m sure that had something to do with this decision to bring him aboard.

  170. Z-man

    Yeh, we need bigs and a PG the most. I would love to get a change of pace-type PG (Nate?) even from the D-League or an undrafted college-type. Would love to throw a quick, running unit out there from time to time.

  171. Frank

    Berman mentioned Dahntay Jones too – I’d be perfectly fine with that. He seems to be fading a bit with his shooting but he’s a low volume guy anyway. As a vet’s minimum, I think he’d be very reasonable.

  172. danvt

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: You may have missed the part a few months back where jon abbey said that a Ray Felton drive-and-a-missed-layup was essentially equivalent to him making the shot,

    He was talking about plays like the Starks play against IND in 1994 that won game 7. It’s why basketball players are supposed to attack the hoop. Sometimes an offensive rebound is as good as an assist. It’s actually how Chandler gets many of his points.

  173. danvt

    Hubert: And the Spurs, do you even remember the shit the Spurs used to pull? They built their team because David Robinson got hurt and they landed in the lottery and they won it and Tim Duncan just happened to be the prize

    Yes, and Pop made Bob Hill coach the tank year!

  174. johnno

    SeeWhyDee77: I think it is fair to say Woodson shoulda used more Copeland AND more camby all series long.

    Camby??? People crucified Woodson for using Amare because he hadn’t played in months and, therefore, was rusty. Camby couldn’t stay healthy for more than 3 days in a row all season and hadn’t played in months was going to suddenly come in and be Bill Russell?? Rust grows on Amare but not on Camby? Makes no sense to me.

  175. Frank

    I wonder what Woodson will do for a starting lineup. The addition of Bargs makes you think he wants to go Felton/Shump/Melo/Bargnani/Chandler, but that Felton/Prigs starting lineup was just so awesome last year. Per NBAwowy- lineups with both Felton/Prigioni had an O-rtg of 119 and a D-rtg of 101. Lineups with Felton and without Prigioni were only 110.8 and 107.6 respectively. But if you start Prigs it either means Shump plays the 3 again or comes off the bench. Shump at the 3 would be interesting if he indeed gets a bunch of time at PG in Summer League – would be the equivalent of having 3 PGs on the floor.

    I could see us having 2 different starting lineups based on the matchup. For the really big teams like Chicago or Indiana, we could go with Felton/Shump/Melo/Bargnani/Chandler (or STAT instead of Bargnani) and for everyone else we go small.

  176. Ted Nelson

    Good to be back, guys, thanks.

    jon abbey: I said that a drive/missed shot that draws a second defender, allowing a teammate to rebound and put back an easy basket, was exactly the same as a made shot.

    I don’t know what the discussion was, but missing a layup while drawing a second defender being as good as a made shot requires your teammate to get the rebound and make the shot. Theoretically that might happen 5% of the time (10% of rebounds per play and roughly 50% shooting %). Could be higher in practice, but I’d have to see the research and even still would imagine 20% is the absolute highest it could be. I don’t doubt that it’s a nice bonus, but it requires actions you have little control over from your teammate and the defense. A good defender could just as easily still be in position to rebound after helping.

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