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Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Look After 3 Games

With 3 games in the books, let’s take a quick look at how the team is doing.

* A few interesting things to notice with Amar’e’s stats. His turnovers (5.7 to/36) are more than double his career rate (2.7 to/36). His worst in Phoenix was 3.1, which he did in 2004 and 2007. Astute KnickerBlogger readers have noted that he’s getting the ball on the perimeter too often. Additionally he’s attempted 5 three pointers so far (1.7 3pa/36) which is also far above his career average. It’s possible that his perimeter play has also upped his assist rate (3.0 ast/36) which is also double his career rate (1.3 ast/36). However from what I’ve seen that rate might be from playing alongside Landry Fields (more on that tomorrow). Obviously giving the ball away 5+ times a game is awful for any player, so you’d expect that number to decline.

* Some stats to keep your eyes on for Raymond Felton as the season progresses (aka which Raymond Felton are the Knicks getting?):

3P%
2009: 28.5
2010: 38.5
2011: 33.3

TS%
2009: 48.3
2010: 52.5
2011: 52.7

* Please tell me Gallinari is hurt. He shot poorly in the preseason, and he’s continued it into the regular season. Making only 18% of your three pointers is not a trait you’d expect from him. If his shooting is being hampered that badly, he should not be on the floor, period. Without Gallo, the Knicks really lack a three point shooter. Although it seems that Bill Walker could fill the void.

* At the KnickerBlogger meet-up I yelled “David Lee” every time Landry Fields touched the ball. It’s because he, like Lee, is great at contributing without holding the ball in his hands on each possession. Actually he’s a bit reminiscent of another Knick: Renaldo Balkman. Granted the two have their differences. Balkman was a much better defender, especially with regards to shot blocking and steals. But Fields has a more refined offense, including a jump shot all the way out to three. Differences aside, Fields, like Balkman, gets most of his offense by making strong cuts to the hoop and finishing in the paint. Again, I’ll have more on this tomorrow.

* Toney Douglas is 5th on the team in minutes, earning a chunk of them at SG. He seems to clearly have the edge over Roger Mason. The former Spur has been a disappointment, and isn’t playing as you would have expected given his career stats. He’s yet to hit a three pointer, and his TS% is a unbelievably low 11.3%.

* Not much to dislike statistically about Ronny Turiaf (20.3 PER, 65.1% TS%, 4.1 blk/36, 3.6 ast/36). Ok maybe defensive rebounding is an eyesore (3.1 dreb/36).

120 comments on “A Look After 3 Games

  1. Nick C.

    Nice wirte up. Glad my senses are not decieving me about Amare both getting the ball all the time above the FT line and I don’t think I ever say him cuttign to the hoop. As everyone else mentioned I too think this is a design flaw rather than a Felton or even Amare flaw that was first put out there after game 1.
    one peeve please Lee and Balkman are gone the less we hear about them the better IMO the same goes for Nate, Trevor Ariza and any other talked about to death guys.

    mayeb its me but it seems like the paint is more actively defended and the team as a whole has a proactive approach to defense. I also like the it seems as if Felton runs rather than walks it up the court. And Wilson Chandler does a lot of things to help like board, block shots and defend…unfortunately shooting from outside is not one of them.

  2. chrisk06811

    My thoughts after 3 games:
    -We play HARD. Thank you, Mr Turiaf. 8 total blocks / game….we haven’t seen that since Marvin Webster
    -Gallo must be hurt. When he and Randolph come back, we’ll improve a lot. Mason / Walker will lose their 21 total minutes, Turiaf will lose 5, Randolph will get 26.
    – I like Fields’ effort. I’d like it better in 15 minutes as opposed to 27.
    -Chandler can rebound….10 per game. I like him coming off the bench. His D has also been solid. I hate when he feels like he has to score.
    -I can’t wait till Azubuike comes back. With he and gallo both stretching the court and Chandler slashing, Amare will get some help. All that takes the pressure off Felton to score. Felton has been pretty good.

  3. Thomas B.

    Good points. I think many people noticed that Amare is having trouble handling the ball from outside the paint. I noted that in the first game recap, I was hopeful that it might be opening night jitters, but it has been consistent through the first three. D’Antoni needs to work that out between Felton and Amare.

    I wonder which Felton we are getting as well. I was okay with 2010 Felton, but the years before that um no. This year his attempts per game are up but he is still shooting better than his career numbers. Fingers crossed.

    Don’t know if you saw this on Fields from a few days ago:
    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2010/10/29/court-vision-7/

    Did the scouting community miss the boat completely with the Knicks’ Landry Fields? That’s unfair, I realize, since there are thousands of players around the world who need to be scouted, and there is glory in finding the unknown gem. But what if an NBA-level shooting guard was playing right in front of our eyes at Stanford and only a few noticed (Fields was the 39th pick in the June draft? Just proof, I guess, that this will always be an inexact science.

    Roger Mason Jr. has made about as much impact as Anthony Roberson did back in 2008-2009.

    Not too much longer before we can see what Anthony Randolph can or can not do

  4. Garson

    “Chandler can rebound….10 per game. I like him coming off the bench. His D has also been solid. I hate when he feels like he has to score.”

    I see alot of people saying that chandler is forcing shots and action and he feels he needs to score.

    After watching the first 3 games, he is inserted with the second unit playing with Douglas, Walker and Turiaf a very offensivly challanged lineup … So he does need to score.

    Does anyone else scream NOOOOO everytime he shoots a 3 like i do.. only to see it go in and feel stupid?

  5. chrisk06811

    I guess that’s the thing w/ chandler. he plays solid d, he’s fearless. If he can develop a sound J, especially from 3, he could be really, really good. especially as a 2nd option behind amare. He could be lamar odem….he can already slash and d, if he adds the J and keeps up the blocks, that’s a fair comparison.

  6. Thomas B.

    Garson: P>Does anyone else scream NOOOOO everytime he shoots a 3 like i do.. only to see it go in and feel stupid?  

    (Quote)

    I haven’t felt stupid when I do that in the fourth quarter. Check the stats on his 4Q shooting. It is not pretty.

  7. ess-dog

    Re: Amare,

    One thought is that D’Antoni (or maybe Amar’e is taking it upon himself) is using Amar’e as a type of point-forward in certain sets.
    Higher t.o. rate, higher assist rate, deep jumpers, this speaks of players like Allen Iverson or Dwayne Wade, both of whom avg. btwn 3 and 4 t.o.s a game. The great LeBron James is averaging 6.5 t.o.s a game this year so far. Of course, there aren’t a lot of power forwards who take on this iso/distributor role, none that I can think of really.

    The way we were seeing the shovel pass to Amare set up, it did seem like this was a “planned” event. If this is the gameplan, I’m not sure it’s a wise move. Amar’e doesn’t have a history of being a great passer, let alone a good one. His handle seems about average for a power forward, maybe a shade better than average.

    He does have a quick first step and those dunks can be demoralizing to another team. And of course, Felton isn’t the ideal point guard in the halfcourt set. It seemed like Gallo would have more potential to be that point-forward for us, but that is looking less likely these days.

    According to the numbers, it doesn’t look like this gameplan is working. TS and EFG% is way down (although it should be said that his 3ptfg% is stout at .400), rebounding #’s are down… assists are triple last year’s total (from 1 to 3) per 36.

    It’s funny how everyone was talking about what Gallo and Chandler were planning to add to their game this offseason, but no one thought to ask what Amar’e was adding. Well, maybe this is how he had set out to change his game over the summer? So far, I’m not too pleased with the results.

  8. DS

    I love Chandler’s D and rebounding but from a shot selection perspective, I feel the same about him as I did about Al Harrington.

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    http://whimquarterly.com/from-the-pages/mr-smits-goes-to-washington

  9. nicos

    Yeah, the way they’re using Amare is puzzling- while D’Antoni must be on board at least to some extent, he certainly didn’t use Amare that way in Phoenix and while he did use Lee that way on occasion (especially on less mobile centers) he certainly didn’t call for it every time down the floor. My best guess is that it’s Amare seeing that the P & R is being doubled and rather than trusting his teammates to hit open shots off of the double team, taking the ball on the perimeter and trying to do it all himself. D’Antoni is certainly guilty of letting Amare get away with it but unless he’s scrapped his whole system, I don’t think he can pleased with all of the iso’s with both Amare & Chandler. Part of the blame has to go to Felton as well- he has to know he can’t just hand the ball to Amare 30 feet from the basket- even worse, he’s given the ball to Amare 30 feet from the basket on the break with a man on him on multiple occasions- each time leading to a turnover. I think it may be a case of both Amare and just as importantly his teammates thinking he’s a better one on one player than he really is- it’s D’Antoni’s job to put a stop to it.

  10. Ted Nelson

    chrisk06811: He could be lamar odem….he can already slash and d, if he adds the J and keeps up the blocks, that’s a fair comparison. 

    I see what you’re saying, but Lamar Odom is one of the best passing bigmen in the game and not a very good scorer… Not sure it’s the best comparison.

    ess-dog: One thought is that D’Antoni (or maybe Amar’e is taking it upon himself) is using Amar’e as a type of point-forward in certain sets.

    As you say, it looks like a pretty bad idea. I think he could and maybe even should be used differently than he was in Phoenix with no Nash, but this has seemed a little extreme. I agree that it looks planned, though.

    Thomas B.: But what if an NBA-level shooting guard was playing right in front of our eyes at Stanford and only a few noticed

    He’s looking like a steal, but it isn’t that unusual for a big conference player to go unnoticed (or be overrated). Carlos Boozer went to Duke, Gilbert Arenas went to “PG U,” Azu went to Kentucky as did Rondo, Budinger was at Arizona, Blair at Pitt, Brad Miller at Purdue… basically, it is an inexact science…

  11. Ted Nelson

    Nick C.: one peeve please Lee and Balkman are gone the less we hear about them the better IMO the same goes for Nate, Trevor Ariza and any other talked about to death guys.

    A lot of it depends on context… it’s pretty rare for anyone to comment on missing these guys etc. these days… They usually either come up when someone says “the Knicks haven’t had a single player who was X or could do Y in over a decade” as a way to demonstrate that it’s about team play and not individual play a lot of the time or discussing the failures of the past decade. I think you have to consider the context in which comments are made before labeling people for talking about these guys.

  12. nicos

    On second thought Amare forcing the issue is probably more wanting prove that this is his team and that he’s worth the contract as well as honestly believing that he’s going to score ever time he touches the ball, rather than a lack of trust in the other players. That he’s been overly aggressive these first three games should hardly be surprising. Hopefully, it’s only temporary (and more hopefully we shouldn’t be reading anything into his TS% falling back down to where it was during his pre-Nash first two seasons).

  13. Frank

    Ted Nelson:

    As you say, it looks like a pretty bad idea. I think he could and maybe even should be used differently than he was in Phoenix with no Nash, but this has seemed a little extreme. I agree that it looks planned, though.He’s looking like a steal, but it isn’t that unusual for a big conference player to go unnoticed (or be overrated). Carlos Boozer went to Duke, Gilbert Arenas went to “PG U,” Azu went to Kentucky as did Rondo, Budinger was at Arizona, Blair at Pitt, Brad Miller at Purdue… basically, it is an inexact science…  

    The amazing thing about the Fields thing is that he was totally OFF the radar. Boozer was very much talked about and expected to fall. Arenas was definitely on the radar and fell. Budinger and Rondo were both 1st rounders that got a fair amount of press. Fields was a totally unknown/ignored to/by everyone somehow, even as the leading scorer and rebounder in a real conference. I was following the predraft stuff pretty closely and never even saw him talked about.

  14. Ben R

    The reason why Fields fell off of people’s radar was because Stanford was really really bad and up until his senior year Fields was no where near to putting up NBA prospect stats.

  15. TDM

    I think the reason that Amare is getting the ball so much on the perimeter is because the lanes have been clogged and Felton can’t find room to feed the post. While the Knicks lead the league in 3PA (79), they are at the bottom of the league in 3P% (.291). This allows the perimeter defenders to leave their man and fill the lanes. Amare is then left with passing, taking mid-range jumpers or driving through several defenders, and when the defenders are playing zone D like Portland, turnovers are the result.

  16. Ted Nelson

    Frank: Fields was a totally unknown/ignored to/by everyone somehow

    He was ignored by the *media* and *fans*… That doesn’t mean he was necessarily ignored by all NBA teams. Some teams might have thought he was a decent prospect, but just not as good as the guy they picked. Maybe he would have been picked in the mid-2nd right after the Knicks if they passed… Or maybe most scouts/teams actually didn’t like him, but I sort of doubt they didn’t know who the best scorers in the Pac-10 was. He was drafted 39th, so there were 21 other spots he might have been drafted.

    Also, Brad Miller and Reggie Evans went undrafted from the Big 10. Azu, Chuck Hayes, and Udonis Haslem were undrafted from the SEC. John Starks and Mikki Moore from the Big 12. Bo Outlaw was undrafted from University of Houston. Those guys were ignored by every team making a draft decision. Fields went in the early/mid 2nd. It’s not that unusual for NBA teams to miss on big school prospects.

    On the other hand, they also draft a lot of big school prospects they’ve had plenty of opportunity to watch and evaluate way too high only to have them bust.

    Frank: Budinger and Rondo were both 1st rounders

    Budinger was a mid-2nd rounder… 44th (5 spots later than Fields went a year later). He was a hyped college star so he was known to the fans/media but 43 draft spots still passed without him being selected. Looks like that was a bit of a mistake (not enormous maybe) and I would have told you the same thing at draft time.

  17. Ted Nelson

    TDM: I think the reason that Amare is getting the ball so much on the perimeter is because the lanes have been clogged and Felton can’t find room to feed the post.While the Knicks lead the league in 3PA(79), they are at the bottom of the league in 3P% (.291).This allows the perimeter defenders to leave their man and fill the lanes.Amare is then left with passing, taking mid-range jumpers or driving through several defenders, and when the defenders are playing zone D like Portland, turnovers are the result.  

    Teams are crowding the middle a bit, but the reason I don’t see this as *the* explanation is that the Knicks aren’t even trying to get Amare the ball inside. Three games and it’s been almost all handing him the ball on the perimeter and isolating him. The TOs aren’t coming from forcing the ball inside to him, which is what you’d expect if the strategy was to establish him inside. The TOs are coming from his over-dribbling. Three games of doing the same thing over and over makes me think this is definitely a strategy on the Knicks’ part.

    While the Knicks have struggled from 3, Walker, Douglas, Mason, Gallo… these are 40% type 3-pt shooters you leave open at your own risk. They will make teams pay eventually if they’re sagging off them and teams know that.

    The result of having Amare on the perimeter is that defenses can sag off him fewer open 3s are open for teammates than if he were inside (even as a decoy), so it works both ways.

  18. David Crockett

    Fields had an almost perfect storm of misfortune in college:
    (1) he was a fairly unheralded signee at Stanford, where he was initially miscast as a spot up shooter (playing alongside the Lopez twins);
    (2) he blossomed as a player after the Lopez twins left and the team got worse;
    (3) his super-solid numbers were easy to discount since he played in the worst Pac-10 of a generation.

    He really just couldn’t do anything to get people to notice him. And, because the conference was really without any superstars it’s not like he could get noticed while scouts were looking at someone else.

    As for Ill Wil, my soft spot for him is that he’s always his athleticism on defense, particularly against bigger 3s and 4s. I don’t know that he’s ever going to be much more than an average overall offensive player. However, I think he contributes enough on D to be on the floor for major minutes. I think D’Antoni is using him to maximum effect.

    With Felton, his game is a little rougher around the edges than I thought (e.g., picking up his dribble, giving the ball to Amar’e on the perimeter). What I like about him though is that he really pushes tempo. He finishes at the rim probably better than anyone we’ve had since Starbury, and he rebounds.

  19. Ben R

    One thing interesting about Chandler is through the first three quaters in each game he has been fantastic, but in the fourth quarter has completely fallen apart:

    Quarters 1-3:
    28.1 pts/36 58.1% TS% 38.5% 3pt%
    Quarter 4:
    11.3 pts/36 29.4% TS% 0.0% 3pt%

    I think it is because in the first three quarters he is being aggressive, attacking the basket and playing within the flow of the offense but in the fourth quarter, while he is still trying to be aggressive, he is forcing the issue and, since the defense is tightening up, is not getting to the rim and is settling for long jumpers and bad shots. Chandler, like Amare, needs to stop forcing bad shots and realize that if the other team is focusing on stopping you someone else is open.

    We need to stop attacking the teeth of the defense and start moving the ball and finding the holes. We are making it easy to defend us.

    As for the three point shooting even those look forced and not open. If you watch a team with really good spacing and ball movement, like Phoenix, the three point shooters have their feet set and are wide open when they recieve the ball for their shots, but so far with us, most of our three pointers are coming on isos rather than good ball movement. Gallo, Walker and Douglas are not recieving a pass in a good position and shooting the three, instead they are forced to make a basketball move and shoot off the dribble.

    Part of it is bad shooting butmost of it is bad spacing and ball movement. We are missing a couple open threes a game but most of our misses are not wide open.

  20. Thomas B.

    @ 19 BenR,

    Thanks you for making the point I was too lazy to look into myself. Chandler’s 4Q shooting has been poor. Not even “He who shall not be named” could help Chandler with that. :-)

  21. Frank O.

    Not to take much credit, but I wrote back on Oct. 28:
    “Landry Fields reminds me a little of Lee, albeit in a different position. He knows how to play in the flow. He makes plays when you need them. He plays better defense than Lee, although he’ll never be able to bang for boards as Lee can.
    But don’t be surprised if the kid in two years is putting up 18 or better and 7 or 8 rebounds, plus 6 assists, which, if I’m not mistaken, are Grant Hill-like numbers. IN fact, Hill may be a better comparison for Fields. He’s that talented. I think Fields is for real.”

    I think there are fairly profound similarities.
    He’s a lot more athletic that I thought he would be. He had a few plays where he slashed to the hoop to get rebounds where he was very fast and war above the rim making plays. I also mentioned that he had a bit of Grant Hill in him. His physical make-up fits Hill more than Lee.

    But he’s turned into a fanstastic find so far.

    As for Amare, there appear to be more and more stories coming out noting how often Felton has missed PnRs with both Amare and with Mosgov and that he needs to get better.
    Felton defends himself by saying the defenses are sucking in because the knicks lack and outside threat to keep them from collapsing.
    Not having Gallo shooting well has created some real instability. It would be nice if Walker could fill those shoes, but unless he can play consistently, he scares no one. Gallo needs to rest and get his wrist right. All these last few games and the benchings can do is hurt his confidence.
    And WC would be a far better player if he stopped shooting from 3 pt., but I love him in the sixth man role and he seems to have embraced it. I think it’s good for him and suits his personality.

  22. Brian Cronin

    The thing that weirds me out is all the articles that say Gallo’s wrist is not a big deal, and the problem is all mental. I don’t buy that, because of all the coaches in the NBA, wouldn’t D’Antoni be the #1 guy to understand that if a great shooter is in a slump you let him shoot his way out of it? You don’t bench him for the majority of each half. You do bench him if you think it is physical.

    But I dunno what to believe now – Gallo apparently is hitting his shots in practice, just not in the games. Does that mean it is not a physical problem? Or is it one of those physical issues where it is not going to be noticeable when you’re just taking practice shots but will stand out during the flow of a game?

    It’s really weird stuff. I wish I knew the answer (and I really wish we could get the old Gallo back).

  23. TDM

    Ted Nelson: “The TOs aren’t coming from forcing the ball inside to him, which is what you’d expect if the strategy was to establish him inside. The TOs are coming from his over-dribbling. Three games of doing the same thing over and over makes me think this is definitely a strategy on the Knicks’ part.”

    Felton hasn’t ‘forced’ the ball inside, which explains why he hasn’t picked up the increased TOs. Furthermore, Amare isn’t dribbling off his feet – he’s getting stripped. It is only 3 games, but Gallo – who is the Knicks biggest 3P threat has a 3P% or .182 – career low. Walker (.333), Douglas (.250) and Mason (0%) are all struggling with career lows as well. If Gallo’s % was closer to his average of .413, he would stretch the defense and Felton would have more room to feed the post. Even if Felton did give the ball to Amare on the perimeter (whether or not it is a new strategy) Amare would have more room to drive to the basket.

    This may just be a ‘chicken or the egg’ analysis, but I blame the lack of a 3P threat as the reason for the lanes clogging, Felton not having room to feed the post, Amare getting the ball in the perimeter and increasing his turnovers. I don’t think it is a new strategy.

  24. chrisk06811

    How much do you figure Renaldo Balkman’s hair weighs? is there an argument to be made that if he cut it, he’d be quicker, and a better player?

  25. Brian Cronin

    This may just be a ‘chicken or the egg’ analysis, but I blame the lack of a 3P threat as the reason for the lanes clogging, Felton not having room to feed the post, Amare getting the ball in the perimeter and increasing his turnovers. I don’t think it is a new strategy.

    The Knicks are consistently giving Amar’e the ball on the perimeter, no matter the situation (even when they were hitting their outside shots). It is definitely a planned thing.

  26. Brian Cronin

    @24
    Maybe Gallo has become Chuck Knoblauch…
    :)

    Or Rick Ankiel.

    It’s definitely a scary thought.

  27. Z

    Frank O.: he’s turned into a fanstastic find so far.   

    “So far” is exactly 89 minutes.

    I know the past 20 years have made us all desperate for a draft pick of ours to become a bona fide star (see: Sweetey, Balkman, Williams, Lampe, etc…), but lets try taking baby steps with the comparisons. 3 solid games does not make Landry Fields Grant Hill. It makes him, hopefully, an NBA caliber basketball player.

    I like your enthusiasm to start the season, but seriously, Fields has a long-long-long way to go before he can honestly be compared to Grant Hill. Re-post your Grant Hill prognostication in 24 months, after Fields has won a rookie of the year, been selected all NBA, and led the league in triple doubles, and then I promise you will get major kudos. Until then, let’s just be thankful he’s actually getting playing time from a coach who doesn’t like to play rookies and has 5 other options at his position.

  28. Nick C.

    Brian, who is writing those articles b/c at a minimum Berman seems to have an axe to grind with the current regime, being a former PGs spokesperson/text message buddy. The News guys don’t seem like they are more astute either.

  29. BigBlueAL

    I think it will be interesting to see how much AR plays when he is healthy and how that affects the rotations/lineups. Does Chandler start seeing alot less time at PF??

  30. d-mar

    Regarding end of game shots: I’ve generally been a D’Antoni supporter, in large part because I thought we should withhold judgment until he got the personnel to win with. However, in his 2 seasons (plus 3 games) I have to say there doesn’t seem to be much creativity or any kind of a plan with his end of game plays. I recall watching the Spurs in their heyday, and at the end of the game Popovich always seemed to draw up a real play that resulted in a good shot off of a screen (or multiple screens) Instead, we always seem to end up with a one-on-one where the rest of the team stands around and watches. Granted, this strategy works fine when you have LeBron or Kobe, but you don’t want your power forward dribbling to the basket as your final play.

  31. Frank

    Seriously Frank O. — I nearly always agree with you and we share names, so I’m a big fan, needless to say — but you need to cool it with the Grant Hill – Landry Fields analogy. Fields looks like he has a chance to be a good player but Grant Hill was arguably a top 5-10 player in the NBA before he got hurt (again and again). He was basically Lebron without the freight train ability to run people over, but was just as effective. Like Z wrote above, let’s talk when he develops a handle good enough to be the primary ballhandler, develops the vision good enough to average 7.3 assists/game, and proves able enough to score 25.8 ppg when he is the main threat drawing double teams every night. As it is, he’s much more like a poor man’s Bruce Bowen minus the All-Defense team level of lockdown. He’s far closer to another Dukie named Battier than to a guy who was pretty much all-world back in the late 90s.

  32. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Thomas B.: @ 19 BenR,Thanks you for making the point I was too lazy to look into myself. Chandler’s 4Q shooting has been poor.Not even “He who shall not be named” could help Chandler with that. :-)  

    Not even sure which “He who shall not be named” that is. There are a lot of people I not supposed to name. I got two in this article, but I hopefully did it in a way not to spark controversy.

    BTW speaking of which, I won’t say his name, but look who is back in the states looking to catch on with a team.

    http://www.nba.com/dleague/top_prospects_101031.html

  33. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Z:
    “So far” is exactly 89 minutes.I know the past 20 years have made us all desperate for a draft pick of ours to become a bona fide star (see: Sweetey, Balkman, Williams, Lampe, etc…), …

    Wow four unmentionables in one comment!

  34. Mike Kurylo Post author

    That said I am being facetious. I think you guys have handled the comments over David Lee very well – certainly much better than we have in the past over the merits of former Knicks. Kudos to KB commenters.

  35. Thomas B.

    “He who shall not be named.” Former Knick now playing (although based on that box score vs the lakers, I’d use the word “playing” loosely) in the bay area.

    I dare not type his name lest, his devotees–The DL Eaters– rise to power again.

    I am kidding btw. My new disclaimer. :-)

  36. chrisk06811

    Randolph has to get 25 mins. Chandler has to get 30. Here’s how I’d dole out the 240:

    Amare: 38
    Felton 32
    Gallo 30
    Chandler 30
    Randolph 22
    Mosgov 20
    Douglas 20
    Fields 18
    Turiaf 10

    I think you can go w/ an 8 man set because of the versatility. You can go big w/ Turiaf, Amare, Randolph Chandler and a 1
    You can go small with 2 guards, Chandler Randolph and Amare.

    Every one above except felton and Mosgov can play more than 1 position, Chandler, Gallo, randolph and Amare can play 3.

  37. Brian Cronin

    Brian, who is writing those articles b/c at a minimum Berman seems to have an axe to grind with the current regime, being a former PGs spokesperson/text message buddy. The News guys don’t seem like they are more astute either.

    Oh, I totally agree. It was the fact that Hahn seemed to be down on the “injured” angle that made me concerned, as Hahn is one of the least biased Knick reporters we have.

  38. Thomas B.

    chrisk06811:

    Randolph has to get 25 mins. Chandler has to get 30. Here’s how I’d dole out the 240:

    Amare: 38
    Felton 32
    Gallo 30
    Chandler 30
    Randolph 22
    Mosgov 20
    Douglas 20
    Fields 18
    Turiaf 10

    What I love about your minute allocation: Roger Mason Jr. gets zero minutes. Yay!

  39. Frank

    my only issue with Randolph getting 22 minutes right off the bat is that what he brings (defense, rebounding) actually are not what we are missing right now. We actually killed the Blazers on the boards (although we did get massively outrebounded by Boston).

    What we are missing is 3 point shooting and some semblance of offensive flow, and if the preseason showed anything, it’s that Randolph only contributes to offensive chaos (and not in a good way). I’d almost throw Rautins or Shawne Williams out there at this point.

    I’d rather see Turiaf get more time because he sure does block shots. No rebounding but shotblocking good.

    We should be getting shooters more time – more Walker, Gallo, TD assuming all are healthy.

  40. TDM

    Thomas B.: What I love about your minute allocation: Roger Mason Jr. gets zero minutes. Yay!  (Quote)

    Mozzy can’t play 20 minutes – he only gets 6 fouls like everyone else on the team.

  41. Kikuchiyo

    I watched a LOT of Suns games last year, and here’s my take on Amar’e. Although the Nash-Amar’e pick and roll was an obvious constant, with often devastating results, the Suns would throw to a stationary Amar’e quite often. But this was almost always about fifteen feet out. And there were two ways that this tended to fail:

    1. Amar’e would hold the ball for a while–too long–and then make a move to the basket. This is what we have seen a LOT of so far.

    2. Bigger teams could just smother Amar’e, as the Lakers did in the conference finals. He has trouble with the trees.

    But around the All-Star break, Amar’e began to move more quickly, starting his move the moment he got the ball (an aside: Football Giants fans, this is similar to what has made Hakeem Nicks such a great receiver lately). Because it was about FIFTEEN FEET away, not twenty-two, Amar’e could take one dribble and score. We have seen some of this. Once he launches, he is very creative and has a very high rate of scoring or getting the foul. But he has to get to that spot quickly. This is not Ewing-style post play, deliberate and completely worked out. No, Stoudemire is a lightning bolt improviser.

    The bottom line is that Felton doesn’t have to be Nash for Amar’e to score, but, as is obvious, Amar’e needs to be positioned better. I do blame Gallo’s total invisibility for some of this. Also, it’s possible that Randolph will help occupy some of the defense. But with no Gallo (really) or Randolph, the offense is pretty one-dimensional.

    (BTW, I’m thinking that Gallo’s problems are in his head. Hahn said something about Gallo’s shot being beautiful before games. But he looks like he doesn’t even want to be on the floor when the game begins.)

  42. Z

    Ha. After I go and put Frank O. in his place, re: Landry Fields, Chad Ford goes and writes this today: (Something that should make Brian happy to hear :)

    “On draft night, the Knicks caught me by surprise when they took Stanford forward Landry Fields with the 39th pick in the draft. Fields was in our database ranked as the 116th-best player in the draft. He’s the first American player ever to be drafted that wasn’t in our Top 100 since we started doing this in 2003.

    Clearly, I blew it.

    Fields has earned a starting position for the Knicks and through three games is posting a very impressive 19.30 PER — better than both Blake Griffin and Cousins.

    How did I (and a number of NBA teams) miss so badly? Our Top 100 is based on the consensus of a number NBA scouts and executives. Fields wasn’t mentioned by any of them. He was so off the radar that he wasn’t one of the top 60 players invited by the NBA to participate in the Chicago predraft camp. The NBA selects participants based off of rankings by all 30 NBA teams.

    But that’s not an excuse. One NBA scout, along with a source close to the Stanford team, called me and told me I was sleeping on Fields. I pulled down some tape from Synergy and frankly, just didn’t see it. Had I thought about him specifically for Mike D’Antoni’s wide-open system — maybe. But the truth is I thought he was a good European prospect, not an NBA one.

    He’s proven me and the rest of the league very wrong in the early going. From all accounts he’s a very nice kid who’s working really hard. Here’s hoping he keeps it up over the course of his career.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/20975/hawks-next-move-wolves-feeling-love

  43. Spree8nyk8

    Looking back at WC’s game against Portland this was my review and an illustration of why TS% doesn’t always show efficiency completely IMO.

    Wilson Chandler 22 pts on 8-22 shooting (3-9 from 3pt).

    Of his 22 shots when I reviewed his shots I felt like 16 of the shots were good shots and 6 of the shots were not so good. By not so good it was either an ill advised long distance shot or a heavily defended shot).

    So from that I can say that he did take too many ill advised shots.

    However…..

    2 of his misses were when the shotclock was below 5 seconds.
    1 of his misses was a tip attempt at the end of either the first or second quarter.

    And even more importantly…..
    He rebounded his own misses FOUR times and scored on 3 putbacks. 1 time he did have his putback attempt blocked.

    From my understanding TS is supposed to show efficiency in terms of Wilson shoots on 22 Knick possessions and it would have been more effecient to go to someone else. But out of those 22 possessions he has 9 shots that count against his TS where it doesn’t accurately reflect what happened (8 of his shots could realistically be called “4″ possessions since he rebounds his own miss, if you look at it like that he goes 3/4 instead of 3/8, and add to that a tip shot miss and 2 low shot clock attempts and now he looks quite inefficient). If you change the 8 shot attempts where he rebounds his own miss creating a second shot and take away the tip attempt then he scores 22pts on 8-17 (3-9 from 3pt). I’ll definitely agree that he took a few too many 3 point attempts, but 2 of them were against the shotclock, and most of the rest were extremely good looks. I just don’t really consider that to be the least bit inefficient. I mean I could see him cut away maybe 3 of the bad attempts, but even if he doesn’t take those he’d still be 22pts on 8-19 (3-6 from 3pt) and it still would make him look far less efficient than he actually was.

  44. Ted Nelson

    David Crockett: Fields had an almost perfect storm of misfortune in college:

    I agree with everything you say. Certainly he was flying under the radar and right now looks like he was underrated. Still, though, my point is that a good number of big program players do fly under the radar. You can argue about exactly how under the radar he was vs. other prospects, but at the end of the day he got drafted pretty early in the 2nd round. Almost every year there’s at least one guy who is right in front of their noses and they miss on. One can poke hole in individual examples, but there are dozens of examples.

    Z: He’s proven me and the rest of the league very wrong in the early going.

    Anyone see a problem with Ford saying this? Like, you know, he’s not affiliated with “the league” in any way. Me and the rest of the media would be an accurate statement. He as much as admits an NBA scout told him not to sleep on Fields. Why are scouts/teams going to leak their interest in an under the radar prospect to Ford? Clearly the Knicks, for example, were pretty high on Fields and Ford apparently didn’t know anything about it.

    Frank O., before a comparison of Fields to Hill I would probably start with “In a very best case scenario…” As others have said, Hill was a top 5-10 player for 5 years early in his career. He got hurt at the end of his 27 year old season and might have been entering his prime years. He also had a lot of his success in a time when the league was more geared towards defense and less towards offense.

  45. Ted Nelson

    TDM: I blame the lack of a 3P threat as the reason for the lanes clogging, Felton not having room to feed the post, Amare getting the ball in the perimeter and increasing his turnovers. I don’t think it is a new strategy.

    When Amare rarely even goes below the FT line it’s hard to argue that they’re trying to get him the ball close. One way or another, when you give a guy the ball in the exact same spot in the exact same way over, and over, and over, and over, and over… it’s a strategy. In this case it’s a bad strategy. Not making a few shots is not an excuse for this terrible strategy. There are other things the Knicks could do, that a pro team should do, like moving themselves and the ball. There’s just no reason for 2 players to use 1/2 the team’s total possessions. None. Not when they’re using them so poorly.

    Brian Cronin: The Knicks are consistently giving Amar’e the ball on the perimeter, no matter the situation (even when they were hitting their outside shots). It is definitely a planned thing.

    Agree.

  46. Ted Nelson

    Ben R: One thing interesting about Chandler is through the first three quaters in each game he has been fantastic, but in the fourth quarter has completely fallen apart:

    Great stuff! This makes a whole lot of sense, thanks for pointing it out.

    Spree8nyk8: he has 9 shots that count against his TS where it doesn’t accurately reflect what happened

    You think LeBron James never gets the ball late in the shot clock? You think he never shoots at the end of a quarter? These sorts of things tend to even themselves out. It’s not 1 game we’re looking at here, it’s 3. And really it’s a whole career of inefficient scoring for WC. He’s been in the league 3 seasons and hasn’t been efficient scoring the ball in any of the 3. He only averages about 1.4 ORB/36 on his career, so I don’t think a lot of put-backs are the answer.

    TS% isn’t an all encompassing offensive stat. It’s not about possessions. It’s about shots. That’s why it is true SHOOTING %. Maybe Wilson Chandler can grab 6 ORB for every 37 minutes he’s in the game, but I sort of doubt it. The idea is that these things will even themselves out (and rebounding will be reflected on its own). In this case I agree that WC should get credit for the offensive rebound, put back. And he does get credit for both of those events on their own. For the Knicks offense it negates the bad shot, but WC didn’t know for sure he would get that ball back when he shot it so for him individually it’s not fair to just erase it.

    I also don’t know how you got to 9 from 4 + 2 + 1.

    Spree8nyk8: I could see him cut away maybe 3 of the bad attempts, but even if he doesn’t take those he’d still be 22pts on 8-19 (3-6 from 3pt) and it still would make him look far less efficient than he actually was. 

    It would be nice if you could just not take the shots you ended up missing, but for some reason I’m not sure that’s how it works.

  47. ess-dog

    Here is a nice bit on Chandler from basketball prospectus that is fairly telling:

    “Chandler is 5-of-19 from behind the arc so far and is actually shooting a higher portion of threes than in the past, a combination which should be an efficiency sinkhole. Chandler isn’t getting to the line more often and he’s not shooting any better inside the arc. He’s basically doing what he’s done in the past, only doing it more often. Chandler has ramped his rebounding up considerably and is sharing the ball less. He’s kind of doing what Al Harrington used to do off the bench for the Knicks. The result is a breakout season–so far–for the fourth-year swingman.”

  48. Spree8nyk8

    Ted Nelson:
    I also don’t know how you got to 9 from 4 + 2 + 1.
    It would be nice if you could just not take the shots you ended up missing, but for some reason I’m not sure that’s how it works.  

    Because I never said it was 4+2+1 but thanks for jumping to your own conclusion and then questioning my math. I said the 4 shots that he rebounded plus the 4 subsequent shots plus the 1 tip shot, which would be 4+4+1 and i’m pretty sure that does equal nine but you can double check my math there if you like Mr. Wizard….

    And I’m not saying that lebron never rebounds his own miss. But he did it 4 times that game all of them are inside shots. But if you feel better saying he’s inefficient because he takes a reasonable inside shot, misses and then puts it back in, well then I’ll just agree to disagree with you. In the meantime you keep stretchin those stats to mean whatever you like them to mean. But I don’t think very many people would look at that game and call him inefficient. Especially when looking at the whole game. I mean in your world he should make every shot he takes I guess. Honestly I said he took six bad shots in that game and that was critiquing him as hard as I could. Some of those “ill advised shots” were open looks, just not necessary. But he has been playing extremely well and I just can’t see telling someone playing well that he can’t take an open look. Either way I actually went back and looked at the game to give you respect for your opinion. I just can’t happen to agree with it.

  49. Spree8nyk8

    Also….the shots that he missed and rebounded were all good shots within five feet, which is why he was able to rebound them efficiently. Sure it would be fantastic for him to make the first attempt, but honestly what he did has the same effect except for on Wilsons statsheet where he gets punished.

    And the error you made was in assuming that I said his late shot clock shots should be taken away from his stat line. I never said that.

  50. Spree8nyk8

    ess-dog: “Chandler is 5-of-19 from behind the arc so far and is actually shooting a higher portion of threes than in the past, a combination which should be an efficiency sinkhole..”  

    I would think that most of this will be resolved by Gallinari coming out of his slump and being the person taking those shots.

  51. Ted Nelson

    Spree,

    You can think whatever you want. I’m not going to discuss things with you if you’re not going to be rational and you’re going to start making personal insults. No need for that.

  52. Z-man

    Was sorry to hear that Maurice Lucas passed away at 58. In 1976-77, he was an absolute terror as a prototypical power forward, with a nasty scowl and a frightening combination of power and finesse, maybe the best PF in the league that year as Portland (w/ Bill Walton in his short but amazing prime) went on to beat Dr. J and the 76ers in the finals.

    I’m not too worried about Chandler’s shooting right now, he shot too much early last year and then became (or was tole to become) more selective, so it is a correctable problem. He’s playing to an incredible PER right now, and I am thrilled at the development of his overall game. Honestly, I think that any player on the team that increased his shooting volume right now would probably not shoot better than Chandler. The team just has no offensive flow. I would definitely give some credit to the Celts and Portland, both teams played very good defense. This probably has something to do with Chandler’s poor shooting in the 4th, but I did not see him ignoring open shooters very much either.

    I am much more concerned with Gallo and Amar’e right now. I also think that Turiaf is making as many bad/dumb plays as good/smart ones, yet he’s playing crunch time minutes.

  53. Spree8nyk8

    The personal insult was you insinuating that I can’t add. You can’t make a snide comment and then not expect an adequate retort my friend….

    Everything I said in my argument was perfectly rational.

  54. Frank O.

    @30 and @34
    Z and Frank and later Ted:
    Agreed that I’m, perhaps, overly enthusiastic about Fields. :)
    But all I said was don’t be surprised if two years down the road he’s putting up numbers that match Hill’s career numbers. Hill early in his career was amazing, but his career numbers aren’t equal to the five years after he won ROY. He was indeed special.
    I’m only speaking to his career numbers, which are good, but not great as they were before his injury.

    I don’t apologize for thinking highly of Fields. I’m excited to see his career play out.

  55. Mulligan

    Not sure if you guys saw this, but here’s a great dispatch from our dear Moz on playing against some of his childhood heroes.

    http://chernykh.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/garnett-and-shaq-made-mozgov-laugh-for-different-reasons/

    “Kevin Garnett surprised me. I always admired him and had no idea that he could play this dirty. He was pushing me when nobody was looking, trying to provoke me.

    “It even made me laugh – a player of great skills who would use tricks like this”.

    Obviously Moz had not been following the NBA too closely prior to coming over…

  56. Z

    Frank O.: I don’t apologize for thinking highly of Fields. I’m excited to see his career play out.  

    I’m excited too. I love what I’ve seen so far. And the G. Hill comparison isn’t completely out of nowhere, though I’ll be shocked if he puts up numbers anywhere near Hill’s career averages.
    If he puts up career numbers on par with Hill’s career, he’ll be a GOTME finalist (Scottie Pippen has almost the exact same career #s as Hill, and Hill’s highest peak years were actually much better).

    For Fields, I’ll be more than pleasantly surprised if he puts up career numbers even close to Grant Hill’s 37 year old 2009-2010 season (13.5 p/36; 6.6 reb/36; 3 assists/36; TS% .561; PER 14.0).

  57. Ted Nelson

    Z-man: He’s playing to an incredible PER right now

    I agree about his defense and rebounding, but PER rewards scoring volume even if it’s at a terrible efficiency.

    Spree8nyk8: The personal insult was you insinuating that I can’t add. You can’t make a snide comment and then not expect an adequate retort my friend….

    You directly insinuated 7 shots… 2 late in the clock, 1 tip, and 4 missed shots he rebounded. Again, I don’t know where you get the 9… You don’t want to count the 3 put-backs he made and the one that got blocked? Even if you’re talking about possessions and not TS%, you have to count these. It’s 5 if for whatever reason you feel the tip should be ignored.

    I said “I also don’t know how you got to 9 from 4 + 2 + 1.” That is not a snide comment. I still don’t know where you came up with 9.

    The irrationality comes into play in my mind in that you’ve already decided you’re right. You don’t even know what TS% is, but you’re decided it’s wrong.
    You are not even engaging in a discussion on the relevant issues, just defending Wil’s honor at all costs. I don’t know Wilson Chandler and I don’t really care to attack or defend him. I am just commenting that he’s not scoring the ball well.

    Frank O.: don’t be surprised if two years down the road he’s putting up numbers that match Hill’s career numbers.

    I still think it’s pretty optimistic… Grant Hill is a very good passer. His career ast% is still 23.2. Like I said, I don’t think it can’t happen I just think you should acknowledge that it’s a best case scenario. Generally you should be surprised if the best case scenario comes true. I think Fields cwould become a better scorer than Hill (whose been up and down scoring wise), but 4.6 ast/36 is a lot.

    Z: For Fields, I’ll be more than pleasantly surprised if he puts up career numbers even close to Grant Hill’s 37 year old 2009-2010 season (13.5 p/36; 6.6 reb/36; 3 assists/36; TS% .561; PER 14.0).  

    I think that’s overly pessimistic. He’s shown that he can play so far… Not that PER is everything, but 14 is below average. Fields has shown himself to be efficient and versatile in a limited sample. It’s a ridiculously small sample, but Fields is surpassing you expectations for his career best seasons in his first few NBA games…

    Z: (Scottie Pippen has almost the exact same career #s as Hill, and Hill’s highest peak years were actually much better).

    Hill was very good and makes the GOTME discussion if he doesn’t get hurt. I think you are sleeping on Pippen bigtime by saying Hill’s peak was “much better.” Pippen was the premier wing defender in the NBA. He shared the court with the best player maybe ever. When Jordan retired, Pippen had 2 very good seasons where he was at 20+ pts/36, 8 reb/36, 5 ast/36, 3 stl/36, 1 blk/36, was the best wing defender in the league, 23 PER, .200 WS/48… I don’t think Hill had any seasons that were “much better” than that.

  58. hoolahoop

    Frank O, comparing Landry Fields to Grant Hill.
    Hahahahahhahahahhahahhahhahahahah! That’s rich!
    Where can I get some of that “gooch”?
    Hahahahahhahahahahahhahhahahhahah!!!!!!

  59. SJK

    “I am just commenting that he’s not scoring the ball well.”

    Do you think he could improve his efficiency if he just stopped taking threes altogether (unless he’s wide open)? It seems to me like Wilson is scoring extremely effectively inside the three point line, but he takes some really bad contested threes. He finished 8-22 in the Portland game, 3-9 from three. I know for a fact that at least twice he rebounded his own miss and scored off of it, and almost all of his threes were poor decisions. It seems to me he could greatly improve his efficiency by not taking three pointers.

  60. Ted Nelson

    hoolahoop: Frank O, comparing Landry Fields to Grant Hill.
    Hahahahahhahahahhahahhahhahahahah! That’s rich!
    Where can I get some of that “gooch”?
    Hahahahahhahahahahahhahhahahhahah!!!!!!  

    Right, because “the Knicks suck” and you’ve been watching so long that you can’t even remember 10 years ago when they were good. Bravo.

  61. Ted Nelson

    SJK: Do you think he could improve his efficiency if he just stopped taking threes altogether (unless he’s wide open)?

    I don’t know if it’s in this thread or the previous one, but Ben R posted WC’s stats Qs 1-3 v. Q4. He’s doing great 1-3, and horrifically Q4. This seems to mesh with observation. Ben does a better job of analyzing it in that comment, but basically he’s forcing the issue too much in the 4th. The Knicks seem to have decided that Amare and WC should take 90% of the shots in the 4th, no matter how many defenders are on them or where they are on the court. They also seem to have decided that running a coherent offense is inferior to just playground-style isolation sets, which worked so well for Isiah’s Knicks teams.

    I think it was ess-dog who also quoted a Basketball Prospectus article that claims WS is not scoring any better inside the 3P line then last season.

    SJK: I know for a fact that at least twice he rebounded his own miss and scored off of it

    I’ve been arguing about this with Spree for awhile, but 4 put-backs would not make his TS% for the first 3 games good. It would be mediocre like it was last season if you eliminate those shots, which you can’t do. He didn’t know he was going to miss and rebound them at the time he took them, and he’s not going to get 6 ORB/36 on a nightly basis. These things tend to even out over time. Other athletic wings and bigs will have the same thing happen to them. At the end of the day you’re comparing his TS% to other guys who will have similar things happen. He does, however, get credit for the OREBs and pts on put-backs, so it’s not like those plays go unnoticed.

  62. Ted Nelson

    Ted Nelson: I think it was ess-dog who also quoted a Basketball Prospectus article that claims WS is not scoring any better inside the 3P line then last season.

    *WC, not WS

  63. Spree8nyk8

    Ted Nelson:

    I said “I also don’t know how you got to 9 from 4 + 2 + 1.” That is not a snide comment. I still don’t know where you came up with 9.The irrationality comes into play in my mind in that you’ve already decided you’re right. You don’t even know what TS% is, but you’re decided it’s wrong..  

    Can’t believe I’m responding to this yet again. What I said was that 1 of the shots (the tip) wasn’t really a true shot it was a tip attempted at the end of a quarter, then you had 4 shots that were rebounded resulting in 4 more shots, that is 9 possessions where he shoots 3-9, but it is more accurately 3-5 as it effects the knicks. If he shoots 3-4 on those 4 shots it makes no change in the game.

    Anyway here is the quote from when I originally wrote it.

    Spree8nyk8: “8 of his shots could realistically be called “4? possessions since he rebounds his own miss, if you look at it like that he goes 3/4 instead of 3/8, and add to that a tip shot miss and 2 low shot clock attempts and now he looks quite inefficient).If you change the 8 shot attempts where he rebounds his own miss creating a second shot and take away the tip attempt then he scores 22pts on 8-17 (3-9 from 3pt).  

    While his TS% has been low his PER has been dynamic which I believe in his case to be much more representative of his play. I mean honestly for the most part looking back at that last game off his shots pretty much all of his inside shots were good looks. I might have given him credit for 1 bad shot inside. He shot 9 three’s, I”ve already conceded that # to be too high. But he makes 3 on good looks, misses 3 more on pretty much the same type of look. And had 3 that were rather dubious, 2 being forced shots due to the clock. I’m sure that at least 1 of his open looks I counted as a bad shot because there was like 19 seconds on the shot clock, but it was a rather open look. I just really can’t fault him for shooting an open look.

    Anyway for WC I don’t think it’s fair to examine him solely by TS% without considering his PER.

  64. Ted Nelson

    Spree8nyk8: While his TS% has been low his PER has been dynamic which I believe in his case to be much more representative of his play.

    This is exactly my point… no one said WC isn’t *playing well*. It has been said that overall he isn’t *scoring* well. I am not examining him solely on his TS%. I am examining his scoring efficiency solely on his TS%. You are absolutely right that at the end of the day a miss-OREB-put-back doesn’t hurt the team. (I disagree about a tip shot… I can see “not counting” a 1/2 or 3/4 court lob at the basket.) When you take away those 4 shots he rebounded–which again I don’t think you do because overtime he’s not going to get 6 OReb/36 and he took those shots in most cases not knowing he’s going to get the rebound, so overtime it’s going to even out… he’ll hit a lucky shot, get a foul call he doesn’t deserve, etc. and it will help his TS%–his overall TS% is still not good (53.7%, which is right where he was last season).

    As Ben R pointed out previously, almost all of this inefficiency happens in the 4th Q. The Knicks are standing around and letting WC and Amare shoot as often as possible. The defense has adjusted to their offense and their 4th Q (iso) offense is very easy to defend anyway, the Knicks need to adjust back (and run something besides this iso crap). Also, when these guys get the ball, the defense knows they’re driving/shooting and double/triple teams them or at least cheats off their man to help… there are open guys. The Knicks (D’Antoni) need to actively use these guys as decoys/playmakers in certain sets, and at other times they just need to recognize that they are drawing too much defensive attention too far from the basket to get a high % look and that all this attention often means someone else is open (or at least more open… or at least the offense can be re-set if there’s time on the clock).

    Spree8nyk8: I just really can’t fault him for shooting an open look.

    If almost all his shots were “good looks” why did he not score more points? As Ben points out, it’s mostly the 4th Q. He was 0-5.

    Again, I am not coming out of no where to say WC is playing poorly. I was responding to a string of posts that WC is the best scorer on the team so far to point out that his efficiency has actually been awful. Ben R took that a step further to say that his Q4 efficiency is what has been awful…

  65. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Spree8nyk8:Anyway for WC I don’t think it’s fair to examine him solely by TS% without considering his PER.  

    Dave Berri writes of PER:

    Hollinger argues that each two point field goal made is worth about 1.65 points. A three point field goal made is worth 2.65 points. A missed field goal, though, costs a team 0.72 points.

    Given these values, with a bit of math we can show that a player will break even on his two point field goal attempts if he hits on 30.4% of these shots. On three pointers the break-even point is 21.4%. If a player exceeds these thresholds, and virtually every NBA played does so with respect to two-point shots, the more he shoots the higher his value in PERs. So a player can be an inefficient scorer and simply inflate his value by taking a large number of shots.

  66. Ted Nelson

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Dave Berri writes of PER:

    I totally agree on PER and scoring volume/efficiency, thanks for the math. I do think, though, that Spree has a point that Chandler has been defending and rebounding very well overall, and not turning it over. Not to put words in his mouth, but I think this is part of what Spree is saying with PER: overall play. I do also agree that the point has to be made that PER overvalues volume and undervalues efficiency to a drastic and unacceptable extent. And I also think the scoring can be seperated from other aspect, because he could still be defending, rebounding, and holding onto the ball just as well and also scoring better (in the 4th Q).

  67. hoolahoop

    Ted Nelson:
    Right, because “the Knicks suck” and you’ve been watching so long that you can’t even remember 10 years ago when they were good. Bravo.  

    Now, you’re making personal attacks – and nothing related to my comment. Ironically, your criticism of my comment confirmed what I already knew. You know nothing about basketball – although you’re very good at long winded posts about the subject.
    Yes, I’ve been to a lot of Knick games over the decades. Some things you see live are not captured on tv. FYI, Grant Hill is one of the best players ever to play in the NBA. In his prime he could move laterally just as easily as forward, smoothly penetrate at will and finish.

    You seem to have very little, if any, experience playing sports. You simply don’t understand the dynamics of basketball – can’t find that in the stats. That’s why every coach has experience playing on some level.

  68. ess-dog

    Re: Wil’s scoring in the 4th quarter… this is something that will probably even itself out. It’s only been three games and opposing defenses probably weren’t keyed in on super-sub Wil Chandler. But in the 4th, everyone plays tight on everybody, so he had a tougher time of it.
    What has been impressive and even more helpful has been Wil’s rebounding. His rebounds per 36 have doubled. I think you have to credit D’Antoni for putting him closer to his natural position instead of just filling Chandler in at the 2 – something no one would’ve faulted him for.
    We went from ‘poor rebounding’ team in the preseason, to out-rebounding or being close to most teams. Throw Randolph into the mix and suddenly we look like a ‘good’ rebounding team.
    Efficiency seems to be the new problem. Chandler was never terribly efficient – I think a few people said they would be happy with a mild improvement to a 55% TS this year from Wil (which is what he’s at minus his 3 pointers.
    Gallo is off the charts bad right now so what can you really say? He looks to be injured and unfocused. I don’t think it would necessarily be bad to demote the kid. He’s only 21 and still has a lot to learn. Both he and Randolph would both probably benefit from coming off of the bench.
    The Stat issue is puzzling. I’m not ready to call it a disaster after three games, but it’s an unexpected look out of the half court set, to say the least. What would make more sense, would be to play Amar’e at CENTER with a small fast lineup and then pull him out on the wing or the top of the key. He can’t dribble-drive against smaller guys, only bigger. It seems to be a new role and there is a lot to learn. 1) he needs to be aware of where his shooters are. 2) he needs to be automatic from the elbow. 3) he needs to look for his big man to dish to off of the drive. 4) he needs to keep an eye out for help defense stripping the ball from the back. This is a lot to work on especially for a guy not known for his passing (maybe he’s been watching Nash all these years?)
    Remember how frustrating it was to see Eddy get the ball in the post and not pass it out again? Or to a lesser extent, Harrington? I just hope we’re not looking at something like that again, but at the top of the key instead of the block.
    I mean, it’s not totally uncreative of D’Antoni. It’s unexpected and I understand not wanting Felton to do all the passing out of the halfcourt set. But I just don’t know if Stat has that skill set to do this correctly – or ever will.

  69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    hoolahoop:
    Now, you’re making personal attacks – and nothing related to my comment. Ironically, your criticism of my comment confirmed what I already knew. You know nothing about basketball – although you’re very good at long winded posts about the subject.
    Yes, I’ve been to a lot of Knick games over the decades. Some things you see live are not captured on tv. FYI, Grant Hill is one of the best players ever to play in the NBA. In his prime he could move laterally just as easily as forward, smoothly penetrate at will and finish.
    You seem to have very little, if any, experience playing sports. You simply don’t understand the dynamics of basketball – can’t find that in the stats. That’s why every coach has experience playing on some level.  

    Okay, this has got to be baiting. Joe Morgan? Is that you?

  70. Ted Nelson

    hoolahoop: Now, you’re making personal attacks – and nothing related to my comment.

    It was paraphrasing exactly what you said right around the same time in the last thread. You literally said “the Knicks suck” and you literally said you have been watching the Knicks for so long that you know they will be bad every year… How is it a personal attack to paraphrase exactly what you said?

    On the other hand, the rest of your post is a direct personal attack and fairly baseless IMO… you have zero evidence to back-up anything you say. You don’t know me, why would you make all these assumptions about what I do and do not know and what I have and have not done?
    I have made zero assumptions about you. I was literally paraphrasing what you said in the last thread to respond to an unproductive and mean-spirited comment. Several other people (including myself) have pointed out how good Grant Hill was, but you are not even considering the context in which Frank O. made those comments (he said Hill’s career numbers, including injury and post injury season in Orlando and Phoenix… which are still very good, but not totally incredible… solid All-Star, not All-NBA, IMO) or the fact that Landry Fields might actually develop into a pretty good NBA player given how well he’s played though his first summer league, preseason, and 3 NBA games. I still feel the comparison is *very* optimistic, best case scenario stuff and have told Frank O as much, but not in a totally mean-spirited and unproductive way.

  71. hoolahoop

    As was mentioned to you before, you make snide comments in a passive aggressive manner. And if you’re going to play cop and good guy, be able to take the heat, and stay on the high road.

    Regarding the Landry Fields/Grant Hill comparison, any justification or explanation is laughable. Grant Hill, one of the best players ever. Landry Fields, lucky to carve out a career in the NBA. C’mon, this is a hoop forum.

  72. ess-dog

    I think most agree that Ted has a bit of a “brusque” manner to some of his arguments, but he does offer us a lot in terms of his analysis, and at the end of the day we’re all (at least I assume) Knicks fans. We’re all wounded souls so let’s try and be gentle (and remember, on’tday aysay avidday eelay.)

  73. Ted Nelson

    Ted Nelson: which are still very good, but not totally incredible… solid All-Star, not All-NBA, IMO

    The career numbers, not Orlando/Phoenix numbers… to be clear.

    ess-dog: this is something that will probably even itself out. It’s only been three games and opposing defenses probably weren’t keyed in on super-sub Wil Chandler. But in the 4th, everyone plays tight on everybody, so he had a tougher time of it.

    While I don’t think you are totally wrong, I’m also not sure that’s totally true… Chandler has been in the NBA for 3 years already and everyone knows he scored 15 ppg the last two seasons for D’Antoni. Also, evening out would also imply his Q 1-3 numbers will go down if defenses are in fact ignoring him early (which I don’t think they particularly are). Therefore the results would be the same overall, just even across Qs… He needs to improve the overall results, not even them out. Clearly Q4 is the time to improve.

    To me the reason to discuss the quarterly splits (besides where he needs to improve individually) is the Knicks team strategy. Without having quantified it, it seems to me that they are especially reliant on iso-sets for WC/Amare in the 4th.

    ess-dog: What has been impressive and even more helpful has been Wil’s rebounding. His rebounds per 36 have doubled. I think you have to credit D’Antoni for putting him closer to his natural position instead of just filling Chandler in at the 2

    You think 3 games is too small a sample to judge his 4th quarter scoring, but that his 11 reb/36 is sustainable?
    I’m not sure it’s a credit to D’Antoni as much as WC, anyway. D’Antoni did play WC at the 4 early last season and he didn’t rebound this way. D’Antoni tried him out in the sort of “Marion” role and the overall results weren’t good at the time. I think either it’s a hot streak or WC has improved. Rebounding is the #1 reason I was skeptical about using him at the 4 (along with losing the best perimeter defender and possibly exposing him to match-up problems on 4s), so I agree it’s encouraging if he keeps it up (the improvement, not 11 reb/36).

    ess-dog: We went from ‘poor rebounding’ team in the preseason, to out-rebounding or being close to most teams. Throw Randolph into the mix and suddenly we look like a ‘good’ rebounding team.

    I was never particularly worried about rebounding, but I would like to see this last a while longer before labelling the Knicks a “good” rebounding team. I have a feeling WC will not get 11 rpg, and also that Gallo/Douglas will not shoot 0% from 3 in the long-run.

    ess-dog: I don’t think it would necessarily be bad to demote the kid. He’s only 21 and still has a lot to learn.

    I’m not sure how much you can “demote” him beyond the 13.5 mpg he’s averaged the last two games… You can give him some time off to mend whatever is ailing him, be it physical and/or mental. He was about the Knicks #3 scoring option last season, though, and for the team to be as successful as possible this season I think his success is pretty key. D’Antoni ran one of his better players out of town last season (and Walsh picked up Walker as a result, I know), and I’d prefer for it not to become a trend. Walker and Mason (eventually) should be able to replace his shooting, but are probably an overall downgrade.

    ess-dog: He can’t dribble-drive against smaller guys, only bigger.

    In certain match-ups this is true, but Marcus Camby clowned him and he is a C… I would say do it less often and/or when match-ups dictate. (I mean he’s good enough to take anyone occasionally, but not when they know what’s coming, from a stand-still… So if it’s an obvious mismatch go for it, or otherwise occasionally within the offense.)

    ess-dog: he needs to keep an eye out for help defense stripping the ball from the back.

    I mostly agree with your 4 points and not doing it so often in the wrong situations, but the guards who are stripping him are often right in front of him. He’s dribbling right into the help and getting stripped (haven’t paid attention to whether it’s when he goes/is forced left or just in general… Camby forced him left and stripped him, that I remember). These have been some of the easier strips I’ve ever seen in the NBA… the guard sits there, you see he’s going to strip it, Amare dribbles waist high (or at least waist high on the G) right at the guy, the guy strips it… I feel like the Knicks have managed to turn one of the most destructive forces in the NBA into a tougher Jonathan Bender…

    ess-dog: I understand not wanting Felton to do all the passing out of the halfcourt set. But I just don’t know if Stat has that skill set to do this correctly – or ever will.  

    Agree on the skill-set. It’s not just Felton, though… If you run a coherent offense easy baskets will open up. The Knicks are standing around, and not in a lazy way but in a spacing shooters because this is the strategy way. I think there needs to be more movement in the offense, both of the ball and of players. Free some people up and swing the ball around a little. Far too often I remember one pass and shoot. I guess that’s 7SOL, but it’s not working right now (not working without Nash). Very simplistic, but generally speaking if you’re establishing good spacing around the perimeter with good/decent shooters (which the Knicks are doing), swing the ball around a bit and then hit the open J or the cutter… easy baskets. These iso, stand around, dribble around, Jamal Crawford-esque, 4/5 man driving from the 3-pt line sets are hard fought baskets. I can’t remember the Knicks getting too many “easy” baskets this season. Off the top of my head Fields and Turiaf seem to be involved in a lot of the easy baskets… maybe WC too, but he’s also involved in a lot of the hard baskets… comparing my observations to the stats… Fields and Turiaf lead the team in TS%… that’s in large part because they aren’t taking the hard shots and defenses don’t respect them, but my point is more people need to emulate Fields and Turiaf and play smart team basketball (I don’t know if Gallo’s constant statuesque position behind the 3-pt line until he gets the ball is his idea or D’Antoni’s, but this is a guy who should definitely move more without the ball… as much as WC and Amare are only getting the ball on the perimeter, Danilo has only gotten the ball on the perimeter at a stand-still for 2 years now… and he doesn’t have the greatest first-step to create separation… run him off some picks, get him cutting…). As you mention, Amare is a [great] finisher but doesn’t appear to have to skills to run an offense, same with WC… yet the Knicks are largely running their offense through these 2… I’m not saying run it through someone else, but run it *collectively*. /End rant.

  74. stratomatic

    A few thoughts:

    1. I don’t think Chandler’s shot selection and propensity to shoot 3s is entirely his own fault. After a bad start last year he demonstrated he is capable of restraint. I think D’Antoni has given him the green light and told him to shoot if he’s open despite the fact that he’s clearly way more efficient inside 15 feet. IMO they are trying to put him into the Harrington role of scorer off the bench without much regard for maximizing his efficiency. Hopefully, that won’t be a permanent state of affairs because Chandler is playing outstanding basketball other than that. He’s rebounding much better, blocking shots, getting steals etc… I think he actually has a chance to become a lock down defender too.

    Does anyone still want to trade him for Rudy Fernandez?

    2. In some strange way watching Amare reminds me of watching Eddy Curry a few years ago. Though different, both are highly efficient scorers that don’t pass well that are on teams without enough of a perimeter game (at least until Gallo gets going) to space the floor for them. Just like in the Curry days, defenses are sagging off the Knicks so they are in a position to help or double team Amare. And just like Curry, Amare is getting stripped a lot trying to do too much (skyrocketing turnovers). Just like Curry, Amare is also not a good enough playmaker/passer to find the open man consistently. Then, unfortunately, even when he does, the Knicks throw up bricks (assists out the window) and reinforce the defensive scheme designed to take him out his game. The major difference is the names. It used to be Qrich etc.. throwing up bricks now it’s Chandler, Gallo etc…

    At least Amare is a better FT shooter, rebounder, and defender (although he’s not doing much on the boards so far). The Knicks deperately need Gallo to start stroking it, Azubuike to come back and be effective from outside, and perhaps Fields to be consistent enough from outside the arc to start commanding respect. That will open things up for Amare and reduce his turnovers.

  75. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Teddy and Hoopz: A Dramatization

    [TED and HOOP stand in a

    Hoop: Nice day, huh?

    Ted: Yeah, looks like it.

    Hoop: Nicest day I’ve ever seen. Can’t believe how sunny and warm it is!

    Ted: Well, that’s true, but did you read–

    Hoop: Say, why’dya have that umbrella with you? There isn’t a cloud in the sky!

    Ted: Well, I was trying to tell you: the weather report’s calling for a downpour. Really supposed to let loose around noon. Something like an 80% chance of a storm.

    Hoop: But it’s half-past-eleven right now. How could that be? Can’t you see the sky? It’s nothing but sun!

    Ted: I see that, but the weather report tends to be fairly accurate. I’d say there a slim chance that it’ll stay this nice. I brought my umbrella just in case.

    Hoop: That’s ridiculous. If you would just trust your senses, you wouldn’t have to rely on the crude projections of others.

    Ted: I don’t take the weather report as gospel. There’s so much we don’t know about weather patterns, it’d be silly to assume 100% accuracy.

    Hoop: You have obviously never been outside. If it’s warm and sunny and clear, it’s going to stay warm and sunny and–

    Ted: Say, look over there! That cloud…

  76. Ted Nelson

    hoolahoop: And if you’re going to play cop and good guy, be able to take the heat, and stay on the high road.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but if you’re going to be a dick to everyone, say the Knicks suck without providing much of any (rational) reason why, and not add to the conversation… why are you here?

    I am trying to discuss things with you, but I’m looking to discuss the issues at hand in a rational way. Not just read broad based statements about what a passive aggressive idiot I am or how much the Knicks have always sucked every single season for as long as your memory stretches.

    hoolahoop: Grant Hill, one of the best players ever.

    You’re leaving out the part of the story where he shreds his ankle, misses years, and fights hard to come back a shell of his former self. Everyone knows he was an All-NBA guy for 5 years and a ROY the season before that. Everyone also knows he hasn’t been that guy since his ankle, except you maybe. Frank O specifically said career averages and not just pre-injury, which you are choosing to ignore.

    hoolahoop: Landry Fields, lucky to carve out a career in the NBA.

    That’s extremely presumptuous. How about we wait a few years before deciding what his career looks like. Again as far as taking things in context, Frank O specifically said that his opinion is Fields will develop into Hill’s career numbers after two seasons in the NBA. Others have disagreed, but that’s Frank O’s opinion. For the next 2 or 3 seasons it’s going to be hard to tell him he’s wrong unless Fields gets cut and/or plays awfully. Through 3 games he’s playing very well. Not sure how you can deny that and tell me I’m the one who knows nothing about basketball…

  77. stratomatic

    A few more quick thoughts:

    1. Chandler has historically been very good in the 4th quarter and also very clutch from the FT line late in games. I even recall D’Antoni calling him one of the best closers on the team last year. I think his 4th quarter shooting woes so far this year are entrely random.

    2. Chandler is playing defense on the perimeter less often so far this year. So he’s in a good position to get rebounds. While I don’t think his current rebounding rate is sustainable, if he’s going to defend PFs more often we should see a small increase in his rebounding rate even if he hasn’t improved his skill set in that area. If he has also improved his skill set, we could see a nice spike.

  78. rrude

    Last year D Lee frequently got the ball to initiate the halfcourt offense out near the three-point line. This year Amare frequently gets the ball as the team sets up in the halfcourt out near the the three point line…

  79. Nick C.

    rrude…you imply this is a coaching decision and by the way good catch. I didn’t quite occur to me. and I bettter shut up since I blabbered about “i don’t want to hear about x, y, z…”

  80. Ben R

    Though Chandler probably won’t continue to average 10+ rebs a game I would not be surprised if he ended up at 8 or so rebs a game. Same with Gallo he should average more as well, 6-7 per. I think this is partly due to improvement on Gallo and Chandler’s part but mainly due to a change in philosophy by D’Antoni.

    In the past, with both Phoenix and NY, D’Antoni has had his perimeter players release rather than crash the boards. So far this year he is not doing that. I think he sees a rebounding weakness from the frontcourt and changed his normal scheme to counteract that. That is promising because it shows some flexability on D’Antoni’s part. Last year when the offense was stuggling to run ssol he slowed it down and own offense improved dramatically.

    It gives me hope that he will see the terrible offensive sets we are running this year and how his star is stuggling and will change things around to get the most out of Amare.

  81. ess-dog

    “You think 3 games is too small a sample to judge his 4th quarter scoring, but that his 11 reb/36 is sustainable?”

    Yes it’s a small sample for everyone. Is it too small to say gallo’s in a slump? Is it too small to say Douglas is a bad 3 point shooter? You can’t really say much for certain after 3 games, BUT, a positional change from wing to post player should put the focus on things like rebounding and blocked shots. So yes, I’m impressed after 3 games.

    “I’d prefer for it not to become a trend. Walker and Mason (eventually) should be able to replace his shooting, but are probably an overall downgrade.”

    I have no faith in Mason, but I generally like Walker as a spot up shooter. The thing is, we have to have our historically good shooters shoot threes. That means Gallo, TD and Walker, not Chandler and AR.
    Gallo probably needs a bit of rest. Hopefully he’ll find his shot soon, same with TD.

    “In certain match-ups this is true, but Marcus Camby clowned him and he is a C”

    Camby is one of the best defenders there is. I can’t believe he keeps getting traded for peanuts. But regardless, that’s where Amare needs to take the elbow jumper or pass out once he gets below the basket or else he’ll get “clowned”. And frankly, Amare often get the foul call in that situation, so you want him to go up against other bigs like that most times.

    “I think there needs to be more movement in the offense, both of the ball and of players. Free some people up and swing the ball around a little. Far too often I remember one pass and shoot.”

    Agreed. Gallo, TD and Walker need to watch some old Reggie Miller footage!

  82. Ted Nelson

    stratomatic: I don’t think Chandler’s shot selection and propensity to shoot 3s is entirely his own fault. After a bad start last year he demonstrated he is capable of restraint. I think D’Antoni has given him the green light and told him to shoot if he’s open despite the fact that he’s clearly way more efficient inside 15 feet. IMO they are trying to put him into the Harrington role of scorer off the bench without much regard for maximizing his efficiency.

    I pretty much agree, but the other point I would make is that it’s not just 3-pters. Did you see Ben R’s comment on Q1-3 vs. Q4? There’s a huge discrepancy. Perhaps he is taking more 3s in Q4, but my observations/gut say it’s iso sets and forcing the issue.

    I would also say that in the pre-season he showed a propensity to hit 3s at a very high rate, which makes the green light for the first 3 games a lot more understandable.

    stratomatic: I think he actually has a chance to become a lock down defender too.

    He was the Knicks’ best defender last season as well.

    stratomatic: Does anyone still want to trade him for Rudy Fernandez?

    Not particularly, but you still have to consider your options with his impending free agency… The Knicks are at risk of having to overpay or lose him for nothing. On the other hand, they might be able to sell high if he has a hot start to the season. He seems to have increased his trade value already, that I agree with.

    stratomatic: In some strange way watching Amare reminds me of watching Eddy Curry a few years ago.

    I think there is something there… but…

    1. I wouldn’t give the defense all the credit. The Knicks are making almost no effort to establish Amare inside. They seem more than happy for entire possessions to go by where he never goes below the FT line until he has the ball in his hands and is driving. They could at least be using him as a decoy inside, driving and dishing to him, pick-and-roll with him, etc. Instead what seems like 90% of the time they just hand it off to him on the perimeter. Besides teams crowding the middle, I think it’s a strategy where he and D’Antoni thought that was a strength of his. It’s not. They need to adjust. When teams play zone and crowd the middle, why is it then a good idea to have your 4/5 man dribble into the zone? It’s not. Even if this is an adjustment to the zone/packing the middle, it’s the wrong one. You shoot over a zone and move the ball to find the open man. You don’t dribble right into a zone. What really troubles me about this whole thing is that these are fundamentals of the game you learn in elementary school. One of the thing that’s killed the Knicks since the Isiah era started is their lack of fundamentals/b-ball IQ. I was really ready for a change and a smart team with a smart coach… still waiting.

    Also, off the bat I don’t think teams were going to dare a bunch of 40% 3pt shooters (Gallo, Walker, Mason, Douglas, Fields to date) to hit open shots not knowing that all (besides Fields) would get off to piss poor starts. That’s a recipe for disaster, as 40% from 3 translates into a 60% TS%. The Knicks need to trust their shooters to come around more and shoot themselves out of slumps. Having all those 40% 3pt shooters is one of their big strengths. They should be shooting over the zone and making the other team adjust. Unless something is physically wrong or very mentally wrong (one or both may be the case with Gallo), I don’t care if Walker or Douglas or even Mason or maybe Fields is 0-fer from 3 on the night… keep shooting. History tells you they are going to hit 4 of every 10 3PAs or at least 40 out of 100, whether it’s consistent or 6 misses, 4 makes. The Knicks 4th Q strategy has been horrendous, IMO. The Blazers had I think it was a 17-3 run to beat the Knicks late…

    2. Curry always turned the ball over and there is arguably no more productive way to use his skill set than the way the Knicks tried to. He was still very efficient on the shots he managed to get up (which was a good volume, though I recognize the TOs and horific passes/missed passes have to be considered)… Amare has a .530 TS% in his role on the Knicks. There is clearly a ways you’d rather be using Amare, no matter how you split the blame for the current way between the Knicks offensive strategy and opponents’ defensive strategies. Something needs to change, and I’d prefer the Knicks pre-empt it strategically rather than playing into exactly what the defense wants them to do.

    stratomatic: That will open things up for Amare and reduce his turnovers.  

    Again, I think you are overlooking that the Knicks are a. actively looking to get Amare the ball in iso situations on the perimeter and b. that they are not making an effort to move the ball and themselves and get him better looks. Until they do that, his TOs will not go down substantially. Way to much 1 pass and shoot stuff. They don’t have Steve Nash, so D’Antoni has to adjust. He’s misusing his personnel even if you are 100% right that the Knicks are trying to establish Amare inside and can’t (which I don’t think is 100% wrong, but somewhere in between).

  83. Ted Nelson

    stratomatic: I think his 4th quarter shooting woes so far this year are entrely random.

    Subjectively, I disagree. I recall far more often in the 4th Q thinking “no that is a terrible shot” than in earlier Qs. Over time I think things will adjust, but I think WC and the coaches have to actively adjust it… not wait from him to magically turn into 40% 3P shooting, foul drawing, able to dribble through a whole (zone) defense player that he’s never shown any indication of being (there are only a handful of those guys in the world probably). Defenses are daring the Knicks to isolate WC and Amare on the perimeter and the Knicks are playing right into it.

    stratomatic: if he’s going to defend PFs more often we should see a small increase in his rebounding rate even if he hasn’t improved his skill set in that area. If he has also improved his skill set, we could see a nice spike.  

    Overall I agree, but he did play at the 4 early last season and I don’t remember a particularly significantly spike in reb%… maybe I’m wrong as I don’t remember what his reb% was or what games he played PF… just never remember noting a sizable improvement that would indicate he could rebound like a 4

    rrude: Last year D Lee frequently got the ball to initiate the halfcourt offense out near the three-point line. This year Amare frequently gets the ball as the team sets up in the halfcourt out near the the three point line… 

    And you can say the same thing about WC/Harrington. With WC is can see it for the most part, but Amare’s game is not the same as Lee’s… I think you may be absolutely right, but I’m just wondering what D’Antoni is thinking if you are and what that says about his coaching ability if he doesn’t adjust fast.

    Ben R: It gives me hope that he will see the terrible offensive sets we are running this year and how his star is stuggling and will change things around to get the most out of Amare.  

    Good points, and hopefully this last one is correct.

  84. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: The thing is, we have to have our historically good shooters shoot threes. That means Gallo, TD and Walker, not Chandler and AR.

    I agree 100%. It’s a big strength for this team that they seem to be ignoring once a few shots are missed. I’m not lobbying for him to even be in the rotation, but when he is on the court Mason is a 38% career 3P shooter. Even if Gallo is whatever, Walker, TD, Mason, and possibly Fields have to be given the chance (encouraged by the coaching staff and “great” team leaders Amare and Felton) to shoot open shots over the zone. I’m getting repetitive, but the Knicks are playing into the hands of the defenses they’re seeing by having mediocre ball handlers dribble right into them and mediocre shooters try to shoot over them.

    ess-dog: But regardless, that’s where Amare needs to take the elbow jumper or pass out once he gets below the basket or else he’ll get “clowned”.

    Agree. Probably less elbow jumper and more pass. If the Knicks actually have an NBA offense and not a playground team, once he passes doesn’t mean he’s out of the play.

    ess-dog: Agreed. Gallo, TD and Walker need to watch some old Reggie Miller footage! 

    And probably D’Antoni too… This seems pretty in-line with what QRich, Joe Johnson, Gallo and others have done for him over the years. It’s a very European model as well, with 4 and often 5 guys stationary on the perimeter. At some point when all the perimeter players are constantly standing around like statues until they get the ball… that’s the coach’s call. If you have a dynamic offense with an all-world floor general like he had in Phoenix that makes some sense. When your strengths are finishers and shooters but not playmakers, you need to manufacture the plays/easy baskets as a team.

  85. stratomatic

    Ted,

    I agree that the Knicks are sometimes getting Amare the ball in a bad position, but Amare is not a post player. They have to get him the ball in the pick and roll or in some kind of isolation at the elbow where he can drive to the hoop. They did that in Phoenix also.

    Curry would get the ball in the post and the defense would collapse and often strip him. Amare is getting the ball futher out and attempting to drive inside where the same thing is often happening.

    Neither has the playmaking, ball handling, and passing skills to find the open man on a consistent basis when that happens. So both need a lot of space to operate.

    The Knicks do have a few good 3 point shooters to help create space, but to me Gallo , Douglas, Fields, and Chandler are the keys (Azubuike when he comes back too). Guys like Mason and Walker can shoot, but they don’t bring much else to the party. So even if they were knocking down 3s and helping create space for Amare, we’d be losing something else with them. Gallo has to start stroking and Fields (or whoever is playing SG) has to command respect also.

    By the way, I’m obviously not comparing Curry to Amare. I’m just pointing out that if you are going to run an offense through a big man and make him the #1 option IMO he has to have very good passing skills and good shooters to work with. I guess that’s a back door way of saying you can’t run an offense through Amare and expecially not when the team isn’t shooting well.

  86. stratomatic

    Ted,

    We have different recollections of Chandler in the 4th quarter. I remember numerous games where he would drive me crazy all game and then play like he had ice water in his veins under pressure. I also specifically remember D’Antoni’s unique praise of him in that regard.

    He’s such an erratic shooter I’m sure he’s had some horrible game in the 4th quarter too. But I feel 100% confident that whatever is going on now is simply random or easily correctable.

  87. rrude

    I have been trying to stifle doubts about our coaching given how early it is…

    If it is by plan, it’s not working right now. D Lee was a skilled passer and that’s made putting the ball in his hands out there work. Amare seems to think he can take his man off the dribble at will and this has led to a lot of ball-handling mistakes before he can get close enough to take a decent shot. Plus the Blazers at least started predicting his moves and reacting accordingly, disrupting his moves.

    Generally I think the idea is to take whoever is guarding these players, presumably a decent-defending big, out to the perimeter to open up inside space. The problem is, the Knicks have to hit outside shots or the D can just pack it in. And of course, whoever is handling the ball on the perimeter has to have more than one possible move.

    I do feel like if Amare and Felton keep looking like they have never met each other before when these exchanges at the 3-pt line occur, we have to start questioning the coaching. I have long suspecting D’Antoni follows the ‘have good players and let them play’ philosophy a bit too much.

  88. stratomatic

    rrude,

    I agree that the chemistry between Felton and Amare has to improve because Amare is not a post player. He has to operate out of the pick and roll and with space to get to the hoop .

  89. rrude

    it’s not just chemistry, though. You can actually work on exchanges in practice, have a plan, an approach, a method. Instead of leaving it up to the players to ‘work it out’.

  90. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    What I want to know is how Nick Fazekas is still out of the NBA. Is Brian Scalabrine really worth a roster spot compared to a guy who posted a 0.148 WS/48 in 300 NBA minutes as a 22-year-old?

  91. hoolahoop

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Teddy and Hoopz: A Dramatization
    [TED and HOOP stand in a
    Hoop: Nice day, huh?Ted: Yeah, looks like it.Hoop: Nicest day I’ve ever seen. Can’t believe how sunny and warm it is!Ted: Well, that’s true, but did you read–Hoop: Say, why’dya have that umbrella with you? There isn’t a cloud in the sky!Ted: Well, I was trying to tell you: the weather report’s calling for a downpour. Really supposed to let loose around noon. Something like an 80% chance of a storm.Hoop: But it’s half-past-eleven right now. How could that be? Can’t you see the sky? It’s nothing but sun!Ted: I see that, but the weather report tends to be fairly accurate. I’d say there a slim chance that it’ll stay this nice. I brought my umbrella just in case.Hoop: That’s ridiculous. If you would just trust your senses, you wouldn’t have to rely on the crude projections of others.Ted: I don’t take the weather report as gospel. There’s so much we don’t know about weather patterns, it’d be silly to assume 100% accuracy.Hoop: You have obviously never been outside. If it’s warm and sunny and clear, it’s going to stay warm and sunny and–Ted: Say, look over there! That cloud…  

    That’s funny.

  92. Ted Nelson

    stratomatic: We have different recollections of Chandler in the 4th quarter. I remember numerous games where he would drive me crazy all game and then play like he had ice water in his veins under pressure.

    First, this is where I would say not to trust your memory. His #s last season in the clutch were awful. 14.4 pts/48 on a FG% of 33%… 2.4 ast/48, but also 2.1 TO/48… The season before that he was a lot better at 20 pts/48 on 50% FG%. Both are small samples (130-140 minutes each), but averaging them out you’re not necessarily getting “ice water.”

    I am talking about these three games this season, though, not previously. He has been totally awful 4th Q this year, I don’t think there’s a debate there. You say it’s random luck, but I mostly disagree. 28% TS% is still awful even if you make a few shots you got unlucky on. Luck might correct it to some extent with no changes (probably will), but my point was that through 3 games this season I felt like his 4th Q looks were worse than his earlier looks and the stats speak to this. I felt like part of this was because the 4th quarter became even more of the Amare and Wilson iso show then the earlier Qs. In the 4th I remember (for what that’s worth) a whole lot of times where Amare or WC would get the ball totally defended, but I had no doubt (and it didn’t seem like anyone in the building did) they would shoot or at least try to shoot before passing the ball. These guys are finishers (not in the 4th Q sense, but the finishing at the rim and not really passing much sense), but your offense is probably going to struggle any time you do almost nothing but isolate your 4 and 5 men 25 feet from the basket.

    stratomatic: But I feel 100% confident that whatever is going on now is simply random or easily correctable. 

    I don’t really understand this… I think it is correctable, and what I’m doing is suggesting how I think it can be corrected. Obviously I am not involved, but I think the Knicks need to preemptively correct this and not just hope Wilson Chandler becomes a guy you can routinely rely on to score from the perimeter even when the defense is keying on him. I don’t see any indication he is that guy. It’s not just the results of the shots (which are awful), but how the shots are coming (which is mostly awful in my recollection).

    rrude: If it is by plan, it’s not working right now.

    Agree, this is what I’ve been saying over, and over, and over, and over…

    rrude: Amare seems to think he can take his man off the dribble at will

    My point is that at some point if D’Antoni did not also think this, you think he’d let Amare know that he should stop doing it. When it keeps happening over, and over, and over… I leap to the assumption that D’Antoni is not telling him to stop (if not he’s ignoring D’Antoni which is also a problem).

    rrude: Generally I think the idea is to take whoever is guarding these players, presumably a decent-defending big, out to the perimeter to open up inside space. The problem is, the Knicks have to hit outside shots or the D can just pack it in.

    I’ve repeated this over, and over, and over… but… I don’t find this to be a logical argument. They are trying to react to packed in zones by dribbling right into them… They are in fact doing this, I don’t argue that, but my question is why on earth are they doing this? If the goal is to draw a man out with Amare/WC, you have to actually cut to the basket and find the cutter for this to work. You can’t just have Amare/WC take a low % outside J or drive at the hoop every time. The Knicks have to actually let their shooters take outside shots in the 4th, or they can’t possibly make them. Just looking at the Portland game, in the 4th Amare/WC were a combined 0-5 from the perimeter for 0 points. Walker, Fields, and Felton were a combined 3-4 for 8 points from the perimeter… So, my question is still why Amare and WC are taking 5 shots outside and the rest are talking 4…

    stratomatic: I agree that the chemistry between Felton and Amare has to improve because Amare is not a post player. He has to operate out of the pick and roll and with space to get to the hoop .  

    I wouldn’t call this “chemistry”… I would call it “strategy.” The Knicks aren’t even trying to pnr with Amare. They didn’t even try it in the preseason. It’s been, what, 9 or 10 games and they haven’t done it… At some point it’s a (poor) strategic decision. It’s not that Amare and Felton are trying to run pnr, but bad “chemistry” is fouling the play up. That’s what “chemistry” would imply to me is the problem. The problem has been not even trying to pnr or do anything else that would resemble a sound offensive strategy (IMO).

  93. Ted Nelson

    Ted Nelson: Just looking at the Portland game, in the 4th Amare/WC were a combined 0-5 from the perimeter for 0 points. Walker, Fields, and Felton were a combined 3-4 for 8 points from the perimeter… So, my question is still why Amare and WC are taking 5 shots outside and the rest are talking 4…

    To stress this point and un-jumble it from my long-winded rant… The Knicks offense took 9 Js that counted (not counting any fouls) in the 4th Q of the last game. They scored 8 points on those 9 Js. Amare and WC took 55% of those Js and combined for zero points. The other 3 guys who took outside shots combined for 8 pts on 4 FGAs…

    rrude: it’s not just chemistry, though. You can actually work on exchanges in practice, have a plan, an approach, a method. Instead of leaving it up to the players to ‘work it out’.  

    Agreed

    stratomatic: That’s sort of what I meant by chemistry. I guess that’s a bad word to use. 

    Fair enough.

  94. Frank

    I think Wilson just needs to do exactly what he did last year in December and afterward– stop with the 3 pointers (unless he’s totally wide open). If he continues to have a usage of 29 but at a TS of 55, I am totally fine with that — he would basically be a (MUCH) cheaper version of Carmelo. He has thrown up 19 3′s this year on 60 total shots, roughly 1/3 of his total. He shot only 150 3′s last year on nearly 900 shots, roughly 1/6 of his total. 1/6 or so should be about right. If he shoots the ball 18 times a game then he should have 3 3′s taken, hopefully hitting one.

    He has also shot only 6 FTs — presumably he is not getting fouled on his 3s, which means he has shot 6 FTs in roughly 40 non-3 shot attempts, or roughly 1 FT every 7 shots. Last year, it was 1 FT every 5 shots. In comparison, in 2009 Melo shot 612 FTs on 1500 attempts, or roughly 2 FTs for every 5 shots. Lebron has averaged about 750 FTA on ~1500 shots over the last few years, or 1 FTA every 2 shots (pretty amazing). Wilson needs to learn how to get to the line.

  95. stratomatic

    Ted,

    I don’t place much faith in “clutch” stats. IMO you can’t automate the description of “clutch” in order to calculate it. If you wanted to do it statistically, you’d have to have a very experienced observer subjectively noting critical shots, critical free throws, the defense faced by the player, how he performed etc… You can’t just arbitrarily say “X” minutes on the clock, “Y” score, etc… It’s very specific.

    I would simply say that if you don’t think Chandler was one of the better 4th quarter performers on the Knicks last year, you disagree with the coaching staff too. This is not a concern of mine.

    >Obviously I am not involved, but I think the Knicks need to preemptively correct this and not just hope Wilson Chandler becomes a guy you can routinely rely on to score from the perimeter even when the defense is keying on him.<

    The coaching staff is asking him to shoot and score because he's one of the few players on the bench that can put up 20 points on a fairly consistent basis like Harrington. There are other guys that can shoot better, but they can't score as well in other ways.

    We know Chandler is capable of playing with restraint. He did it last year for an extended period of time. If we want him to go back to that the Knicks are going to need another player to step up, knock down shots, slash to the hoop, create for themself etc… in the 4th quarter. Otherwise they are going to stay with Chandler shooting some 3s and shots outside 15 feet when the defense clamps down. That's not good for us.

    I think a real lot of our problems so far are "on Gallo". He was supposed to be a "go to" scorer and floor spacer but he's playing like a weak minded semi cripple. Wrist or not, he's got to start playing well. Then some of these issues will go away.

  96. Nick C.

    To be honest, I think within reason (yes I mean you Mr. Turiaf) given enough shots anyone can put up 20. Chandler needs more shots than most.

  97. rrude

    I thought we were out-coached in the Portland game. We didn’t look like we had a plan on O in the 4th beyond giving one of a couple guys the ball and letting them operate. We didn’t react well to Portland’s changing defense and we didn’t force someone other than Miller to handle the ball for a shot.

    Ted, I think our worst fears are similar. I don’t see much of an offensive plan beyond putting players out there and letting ‘em go. I don’t see consistent passing, and I think it’s because our guys aren’t naturally consistent passers (unlike PHX with Nash). Fields looks great because he does stuff like cut to the basket, but I think he just does it, it’s not a part of the set offense. I don’t think there is a set offense beyond ‘doing what you do’. Sure they may encourage individual guys to develop or curb certain habits. But when they are out there, there’s no set patterns or plays they are running. A couple bench players ran a pick and roll in the Boston game–I think it was Turiaf and Mason–and I really got the impression it was just something they tried based on previous experience, not something that was planned in Knicks practice (okay that’s a reach, but…).

    Again, worst fears. I think a great example is Toney Douglas. What exactly is the plan with him on the offensive end? Looks awfully random to me. Every team we play has players cutting through the lane, going backdoor…someone is always moving. The Knicks are mostly just standing around well away from the basket.

  98. Z

    Ted Nelson:

    I think that’s overly pessimistic. He’s shown that he can play so far… Not that PER is everything, but 14 is below average. Fields has shown himself to be efficient and versatile in a limited sample. It’s a ridiculously small sample, but Fields is surpassing you expectations for his career best seasons in his first few NBA game.   

    I think that if a mid-2nd round pick ends his career with numbers like this: 13.5 p/36; 6.6 reb/36; 2.9 assist/36; TS% .561, he has far surpassed any kind of expectations one can realistically have for him. Those are basically former #1 pick Larry Johnson’s career numbers. A solid career for anyone, especially someone who could have easily gone un-drafted and played his entire career in Europe.

    (PS– it’s somewhat ironic that KB favorite Renaldo Balkman was traded for the pick that became new KB favorite Landry Fields…)

    Ted Nelson:

    Hill was very good and makes the GOTME discussion if he doesn’t get hurt. I think you are sleeping on Pippen bigtime by saying Hill’s peak was “much better.” Pippen was the premier wing defender in the NBA. He shared the court with the best player maybe ever. When Jordan retired, Pippen had 2 very good seasons where he was at 20+ pts/36, 8 reb/36, 5 ast/36, 3 stl/36, 1 blk/36, was the best wing defender in the league, 23 PER, .200 WS/48… I don’t think Hill had any seasons that were “much better” than that.   

    We’ve had the Pippen debate before. I’ve admitted I have an anti-Pippen slant deeply ingrained into my muscle-memory. But G. Hill’s most productive seasons look a lot better than Pippen’s.

    Here’s their first 6 seasons compared:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=hillgr01&y1=2000&p2=pippesc01&y2=1993

    Granted, Pippen was a late bloomer, and most likely the superior man-defender. But other than offensive rebounds, blocks, and steals, Hill bests Pippen in every stat across the board (and the steals and blocks are closer than I thought they’d be).

    Extending to their first 9 seasons, accoutning for Pippen’s slow start and Hill’s injury ravaged years to start his Orlando career and Hill’s stats are still better across the board (except for a slightly larger gap in steals and blocks).

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=hillgr01&y1=2003&p2=pippesc01&y2=1996

    And finally, for their entire careers, Hill’s stats show him to be a more productive player than Pippen.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p3=hillgr01&y3=2011&p4=pippesc01&y4=2004

    Their are virtually tied in rebounds, assists, and blocks. Hill boasts a higher career PER, a higher career TS%, a higher career p/36 average, a higher career. Pippen remains a better offensive rebounder and stealer (though it can be argued Hill makes up for both by being a better defensive rebounder, a more efficient scorer, and better at not turning the ball over). Pippen is considered a great defender, but Hill’s Pistons were a top 10 defense almost every year he was there (and that was with Allan Houston taking the long way around sceens! :)

    Frankly, after looking at the numbers, I’m not sure why Pippen is considered a SF GOTME and G. Hill is not. (Well, I kind of do. One wears six rings courtesy of M. Jordan. The other got hurt and became a “what could have been”.)

    But I’ve digressed a long long way from the topic at hand, which is Landry Fields. Basically, to make a long post short, I hope Landry Fields becomes the next G. Hill and not the next Scottie Pippen.

    But I’d take either!

  99. Ted Nelson

    Frank: I think Wilson just needs to do exactly what he did last year in December and afterward– stop with the 3 pointers (unless he’s totally wide open)

    This ignores the 4th Q problems he’s having, though.

    stratomatic: I don’t place much faith in “clutch” stats.

    You brought the subject up by saying he “has ice water in his veins…” I don’t see how to interpret that statement other than saying it refers to clutch… He is struggling mightily in the 4th and you say “it’s a fluke he is really, really *clutch* and I can prove that because he did really well in clutch situations.” Then I point to data on how he literally did in clutch situations that contradicts your assessment, and you basically say that all data is useless anyway… See the problem there?

    stratomatic: If you wanted to do it statistically, you’d have to have a very experienced observer subjectively noting critical shots, critical free throws, the defense faced by the player, how he performed etc… You can’t just arbitrarily say “X” minutes on the clock, “Y” score, etc… It’s very specific.

    That would be way too subjective… You say this was a critical shot, I say it was not. You say he missed that should because he was triple teamed, I say he should have passed to one of his two wide open teammates because he was triple teamed. You say that wide open 3 wasn’t clutch because he was open, I say it was clutch because of the timing of it. See the problems with subjectively assigning what is clutch? We can’t have any discussion, because one person is going to disagree with another person’s interpretation.

    82games definition might not be perfect, but every shot in a close game is important. One or two shots that went differently would necessarily change the outcome of the game. Since there is presumably more pressure at the end of a close game, this is what the measure. I think it’s pretty fair. It doesn’t capture every detail, but the overall outcomes. Trends over time. That’s what stats do. We can examine why Player X isn’t a good scorer, for example, but the bottom line at the end of a game or a season or his career is how he performed.

    stratomatic: I would simply say that if you don’t think Chandler was one of the better 4th quarter performers on the Knicks last year, you disagree with the coaching staff too.

    Again, I am not opining anything. I am looking at hard data.

    stratomatic: The coaching staff is asking him to shoot and score because he’s one of the few players on the bench that can put up 20 points on a fairly consistent basis like Harrington.

    He is not doing it like Harrington, though. Harrington was a good deal more efficient, and few people think Al Harrington is the model team player you want all your guys acting like anyway. The bottom line is that the Knicks offensive strategy and execution is failing and needs to be fixed. I don’t know why you are arguing so passionately against this point. There may be reasons for doing things, but that doesn’t make them good reasons.

    stratomatic: We know Chandler is capable of playing with restraint.

    The problem is not restraint… it’s the 4th Q. 58% TS% Q1-3, 28% TS% Q4. Why are you acting like that’s totally random and hasn’t happened for 3 games now? I agree with you that it can change, but my point is that I do not expect much different results from the same plays.

    stratomatic: I think a real lot of our problems so far are “on Gallo”.

    Let’s see, we’ll blame a stagnant offense with a terrible game plan (isolate our 4 and 5 25 feet from the basket and have them dribble into a packed-in zone) on the guy who has averaged 13.5 mpg in the 2 losses, not the terrible game plan… makes sense. If Gallo were hitting shots (and again, TD, Walker, Mason, and Fields are all just as capable of shooters so I don’t see this as an excuse) it would not make handing the ball to Amare 25 feet from the basket a good idea. If WC and Amare continued to shoot every time they touch the ball, it would not even help to have Gallo on the court. And that’s the problem, if you don’t let your shooters shoot over a zone they’ll keep doing it.

    You don’t even seem to acknowledge that there is another side of the argument. Just, it’s the 3pt shooting, inspite of the fact that dribbling into a zone with your weakest ball handlers is not a good idea and letting your bad outside shooters shoot over the zone more often than your good ones is not either. Are you really ignoring the stat I threw out there that in the awful 4th Q melt down against the Blazers Amare and WC were 0-5 on Js and the rest of the team had 8 pts on 4 Js?????????????????? Can you really look at that and say the problem is that other people aren’t hitting shots?????????????????????????? They were hitting shots, they just weren’t getting the opportunity to take shots. The Blazers went on a 17-3 run with WC and Amare chucking away the offense.

    stratomatic: he’s playing like a weak minded semi cripple. Wrist or not, he’s got to start playing well. Then some of these issues will go away.  

    You have no inside info about what’s going on but you turn to personal insults, character attacks, and offensive terms??? Is this hoolahoop?

  100. Ted Nelson

    rrude: Ted, I think our worst fears are similar.

    I really can’t speculate on how much is scripted vs. ad-lib. All I can really agree with is that D’Antoni is ultimately responsible for a poor offensive game plan, as are the players executing it.

    One disagreement I have is to say that there aren’t certain patterns or plays… Perimeter players standing around like statues has got to be by design, IMO. If you want them cutting, you let them know. If they don’t you can motivate them to do so in some way. As I said, in Europe this is pretty common. You space the floor with shooters/scorers while a guard handles the ball… You move the ball around the perimeter. Most teams will be less stagnant than the Knicks, but the general concept/spacing is the same.
    Another pattern is Felton handing off the ball to Amare in virtuously the same spot over and over again.

    Z: I think that if a mid-2nd round pick ends his career with numbers like this: 13.5 p/36; 6.6 reb/36; 2.9 assist/36; TS% .561, he has far surpassed any kind of expectations one can realistically have for him.

    Once you play your first NBA game your draft status is irrelevant. No one is saying at the time of the draft that Landry Fields looks like a decent pick, must be the next Grant Hill! We’ve seen him in the Summer League against pro comp and in the preseason and 3 regular season games against NBA comp. He’s started his first 3 NBA games and done very well. I still think Frank O. is optimistic, but looking at as good a basketball player as Landry Fields and saying he’s going to get worse as he develops… yeah, that’s pessimistic.

    Z: But G. Hill’s most productive seasons look a lot better than Pippen’s

    No, they don’t. I don’t know what else to say… Look again? I don’t know. Pippen’s 2 non-Jordan prime season match up with all of Hill’s best seasons. You can say they were better, but not “a lot better.”

    Z: And finally, for their entire careers, Hill’s stats show him to be a more productive player than Pippen.

    Pippen had a long tail to his career. I think it’s pretty obvious that he wasn’t the same player by that time.

    Z: Frankly, after looking at the numbers, I’m not sure why Pippen is considered a SF GOTME and G. Hill is not. (Well, I kind of do. One wears six rings courtesy of M. Jordan. The other got hurt and became a “what could have been”.)

    Part of it is definitely Hill’s injury, he didn’t have the longevity. Part of it is that you’re underrating Pippen. He had his 2 best individual seasons when MJ was not on the team. You can easily make an argument that MJ actually hurt Pippen’s individual #s, because his numbers literally went up when Jordan left the team.

  101. Z

    Ted Nelson:
    looking at as good a basketball player as Landry Fields and saying he’s going to get worse as he develops… yeah, that’s pessimistic.  

    He’s played 89 minutes. I don’t think saying he’ll “regress” to 13.5, 6.5, and 3 for a career is pessimistic. I think it’s optimistic. It’s a good career, which is what one should hope for from a good player.

    Ted Nelson:
    No, they don’t. I don’t know what else to say… Look again? I don’t know. Pippen’s 2 non-Jordan prime season match up with all of Hill’s best seasons. You can say they were better, but not “a lot better.”.  

    Okay, fine. They were better. Point is, Hill has had a better individual career than Pippen, despite the “career ending” injuries. Hill was, still is, and should get due credit for being, a better basketball player than Scottie Pippen :)

  102. hoolahoop

    Ted Nelson: I can’t speak for anyone else, but if you’re going to be a dick to everyone, say the Knicks suck without providing much of any (rational) reason why, and not add to the conversation… why are you here?

    Ted, Again with your personal attacks.
    Do I really need to be more clear why I think the Knicks suck. Watch the games. But, I’ll put it in your language, statistics. Their winning percentage .333. They sucked last year, the year before that, and the year before that. Because they were good ten years ago (yes i remember) that doesn’t mean they don’t suck now.

    Here’s another stat. You’re 90% a–hole. I reserve the other 10% because I believe that behind every a-hole’s exterior is a nice guy with good intentions. You should work on that part of your game.

  103. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    hoolahoop,

    You’re making this place smell like the ESPN “Conversation.” Stop.

  104. Ted Nelson

    Z: He’s played 89 minutes. I don’t think saying he’ll “regress” to 13.5, 6.5, and 3 for a career is pessimistic. I think it’s optimistic. It’s a good career, which is what one should hope for from a good player.

    The 6.5 and 3 I would agree are optimistic, but 13.5 seems pretty pessimistic to me. That would have put him at 13th on last season’s Knicks’ team, between T-Mac and Sergio Rodriguez. Given that he’s got a good shot and moves well without the ball, I’d expect scoring to be more of a strength.

  105. Frank O.

    Wow. Make a comment. Walk away to work an election. Come back and all hell breaks loose.
    Hoola, Ted:
    Can’t we all get a long? :)

    Ted, I appreciate how you have recognized the nuances of my comparison of Fields to the lifetime stats of the silky smooth Grant Hill, who happens to be one of my favorite players, in part for his playing and in part because of his class. Rare to see a man go through so much adversity and yet fight his way back, accepting his limitations and still contributing in a major way. Love the guy.
    Having said that, his career stats fell well short of his ROY year plus five amazing years.

    Hoola:
    I recognize that I am being very optimistic about Fields, and I appreciate your appreciation for Hill. I’m not sure why you seem so strident about the whole thing. I have played basketball and watched it since the 1970s and recognize that, after all, we are just speculating about sports.
    I really like Fields. After going virtually unnoticed, he was the the story in summer league, managed to win a starting role on an NBA team, and managed to put up some very nice numbers against tough competition early on.
    Out of practically no where!
    A great story at least. A fascinating subplot to this season, perhaps. And I also made note of some of his physical similarities to Hill and his surprising athleticism.
    Hill’s career number, which include the post injury, are very good.
    I just think Fields could be very good. Not as good as Hill at his best, because he was sublime, but certainly 18 pts, 7-8 rebounds, 5-6 assists, are not outlandish for him.
    I mean, look at David Lee’s progression. It’s entirely possible.
    We’ll probably have a decent sense of where he’s headed in two years. All I said was don’t be surprised if he is putting up numbers that rival Hill’s career numbers. Now, Fields probably couldn’t match career numbers with Hill because he was so good over his first six, but he could build to something like that.
    Not crazy, wild-eye ridiculousness, in my opinion, or Ted’s.

    As for Ted, you know, he and I have had some fairly passionate disagreements, in particular about our friend N8 the Gr8. But by no stretch of the imagination does anyone on this board – aside from you – believe Ted doesn’t know basketball.
    I have wondered whether he is or has been an NBA scout, I confess. He knows players broadly, watches them fairly extensively from what I can tell from reading his stuff for these past few years, and has a very good understanding of advanced stats and the various systems used in basketball to assess player performance..
    Indeed, he is clinical in his posts, and has grated on more than a couple of us, but his arguments are well-constructed rationale and informed. More often than not, I find myself either swayed or in agreement.
    You don’t know me from Adam, and don’t agree with my comments about Hill. You’re entitled, but I agree with HCJ @112.

    I leave you with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater:
    Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.
    Cheers.

  106. irvin00

    The knicks will continue to suffer from bad coaching. The current team is forced to play Dantoni’s flawed system, instead of trying to exploit their strengths. Shootin 3′s at every opportunity, not moving and running away from the basket right after shooting the ball (instead of fishing for a rebound in case of a miss) is a guaranteed formula for failure. Dantoni is a coach whose philosophy may work with an exceptional group of players, but he will fail when given a less talented or uneven bunch. I can’t stop feeling that Pat Riley, Phil Jackson or even Jeff vangundy would extract about 45 wins out of this team.

  107. rrude

    It is only 3 games…I feel like I have let the dogs loose on the coaching question. But I did think watching the first few games, that the team didn’t look much different from the last two years and the main constant is the staff.

    Ted, I get your point that if the team is consistently behaving a certain way, it must be by design. I guess I’m not sure. I do feel strongly that D’Antoni has a pretty laissez faire style, and only gets involved when players aren’t playing the right way. Apparently the right way, by either of our accounts, is pretty passive and doesn’t instill me with much confidence.

  108. Ted Nelson

    rrude: I do feel strongly that D’Antoni has a pretty laissez faire style

    I’ve never played for a D’Antoni team so I really don’t feel comfortable saying… But at some point if he’s not even designing an offensive structure or giving players feedback he’s not a coach… he’s a defensive coordinator or a highly paid fan.

    rrude: Apparently the right way, by either of our accounts, is pretty passive and doesn’t instill me with much confidence.  

    Yeah, even if he “only gets involved when players aren’t playing the right way” this seems to pretty clearly be the the time to get involved.

  109. rrude

    I get not presuming to know either what’s in his head or what the players experience. I could cite some evidence for laissez faire, but since I’m guessing (unfortunately) this will be a topic all season, I won’t bother here, four threads back!

  110. Ted Nelson

    I’m not saying he isn’t hands off, I’m saying I don’t know to what extent he is. My second point there is that even if he only steps in when things are really wrong… this is the time to step in IMO.

  111. rrude

    Agreed. Actually the time was at about 6 minutes into the 2nd period of the Celtics game, when they were up 16 but the bench (overlooking the completely arbitrary idea of having 5 bench guys out at once) was starting to look a bit ragged. At that point the starters had been sitting since before the 1st period ended. Instead of immediately reacting to a bit of chaos by putting a couple starters in at this point, he waits til another couple minutes, and at least -6 points, go by. Then we get a wholesale swap of bench for starters, other than Chandler (I think Mason played a possession). By this time, though, a couple Celts were in rhythm, the Knicks starters cold, and 16 was down to nothing mighty quick.

    A lot of things I take for granted watching other teams don’t seem to apply to MDA. Nor did they apply to IT, and Larry Brown was as random as I have ever seen him as the Knicks HC. Maybe the asbestos really does make them dumber.

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