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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Quick Look at Knicks Draft Prospects, Part II

Click on the link to see part I.

I’ll take a look at four additional players that may be available when New York selects at #17. As in the previous version, stats per season courtesy draftexpress.com.

6. Tyler Honeycutt, G/F, UCLA

Numbers that matter: true shooting (55%, 52), ft/fg (47%, 30), Rebs* (9.6, 8.1), Asts* (4, 3.2), TOs* (3.6, 3.4)
* pace-adjusted per 40 minutes

Honeycutt is a very intriguing and perplexing player to me. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him slide to round 2. Nor would it surprise me to see him as a consensus lottery selection in next week’s mock drafts. He fits the profile of a fast-riser in the draft: athletic wing player, long-limbed, with three-point range.

For reasons that are unclear to me Honeycutt transformed himself from a slasher to a three-point gunner after his freshman season. He dramatically increased his three-point attempts with a slight increase in accuracy, but his declining ft/fg more than offset any efficiency gains from becoming a gunner. I don’t know if Honeycutt’s transformation came at the request of his coach or by his own assessment of his draft prospects. Either way, he became less efficient as a sophomore.

Still, there’s a lot to like about Honeycutt (and I like him a lot). He has length, and he has a frame that should hold more weight. He has plenty of athleticism and he has skill. He even set the offense for UCLA at times. If I have a criticism in the handful of times I have seen him play, it is that he will at times forsake the simple play for something more grandiose. (For instance, he missed a layup in UCLA’s tournament game versus Florida trying to avoid contact and make a spectacular finish rather than absorbing contact and shooting free throws.)

7. Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU

Numbers that matter: true shooting (55%, 60, 62, 59), ft/fg (20%, 36, 51, 37), Asts* (3.6, 5, 5.7, 4.5), TOs* (2.4, 3.1, 3.3, 3.7)

I first saw Fredette when he dropped almost 50 on my beloved Arizona Wildcats as a junior. He put the ball on the floor and drove past solid perimeter defenders. He shot from range. He got to the line. I think it’s interesting that he is so polarizing as a prospect. I don’t think it’s about his game, which translates fairly straightforwardly to the NBA I think. He’s a college star whose limitations will keep him from NBA stardom, but who could become a very good NBA player–eventually a candidate for 6th man of the year even–in a reduced role. It is unlikely that he can be a primary scorer for a playoff-caliber NBA team. He is a backup combo guard for a screen and roll oriented team whose bread-and-butter is his jump shot. Fredette probably fits best in a structured offense where he is not the only ball handler, where he can space the floor and can come off screens. I suspect Utah’s highly-choreographed offense is the best fit (assuming they keep it). However, I think he could play for D’Antoni and contribute. My fear about New York drafting him is the out-sized rhetoric coming from both his supporters and his detractors.

8. Lucus Noguiera, C, Brazil

Numbers that matter: N/A

Right now, some question exists about whether Noguiera will remain in the draft. Even if he does, some questions remain about whether he is ready and/or willing to come to the NBA this coming season. He is an intriguing but uber-raw prospect; all arms, legs, and potential.

9. Justin Harper, F, Richmond

Numbers that matter: true shooting (54%, 52, 57, 64), ft/fg (21%, 28, 25, 26), Rebs (6.4, 8.3, 8.7, 9.1), TOs* (2.1, 2.7, 2.2, 2.0)

Do you judge a prospect by what he does or what he should be expected to do? That is the question, and Harper is the proverbial prospect that polarizes people on the question. Harper has been an efficient offensive player, particularly over his last two seasons at Richmond (a quality program that improved in large part because of him). He’s been a steadily improving, if unspectacular rebounder. He improved his free-throw shooting from wretched to quite good. He stands a shade under 6’9” with long arms. He is a jump shooting combo forward, not unlike Kyle Singler but better. A good pro comparison is probably Extra E. He has the kind of size and shooting ability that would be welcome in New York. He is a quintessential stretch four.

So what’s not to like? Well, unlike Kenneth Faried, Harper may have actually suffered from the standard college practice of adding an inch (or two) to a player’s height. I saw Harper listed everywhere from 6’9”- 6’11” while at Richmond, and when combined with his chiseled frame and long arms he suffered the type-casting that comes with that kind of perceived size. According to combine measures Harper is in fact heavier and taller than Faried (though it is worth noting that Faried is a smidgen longer-armed). But their games couldn’t be more different. People look at Harper, then look at Faried and think, “If Harper only played with Faried’s intensity…” Scouts and analysts have continuously questioned Harper’s motor, but I think most of that is a function of their expectations that he should be a more physical player.

Right now, Harper is one of my favorite prospects in terms of potential and fit for New York. The only reason he’s not higher on this list is that I am hoping people continue to see him as a late first/early second pick. That way New York may be able to trade down, pick up a second, and still get him.

165 comments on “A Quick Look at Knicks Draft Prospects, Part II

  1. TDM

    Extra E has already indicated that he would give the Knicks a hometown discount. I’d question picking Harper with the 17th and paying him double the amount ExE was paid last year, especially when he is likely not as ready to contribute next season.

    I really think the Knicks need a guy with a FG3% over 40% to spread the floor and keep opposing defenses honest. Fredette could be that guy, but there are probably proven veterans that could be had for or near the vet min. Guys that come to mind to fit that role include Mike Dunleavy, Kapono, Radmanovic, Stojakovic, possibly Michael Redd. That said, I wouldn’t be disappointed with Fredette – I just wish Walsh had given him a committment last year when he may have been able to get him with the second round pick he gave to Rautins.

    One word comes to mind when I think about Honeycutt: prospect. I agree that he may slide to the second round. Personally, I’d pass. If we are going for prospects for the future, there are other guys with a higher ceiling that could be had at #17.

    I’d be very disappointed if the Knicks chose Noguiera.

  2. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Choosing a player based on “athletic ability or potential” is the best way to waste a draft pick. You’re either good at basketball, or you’re not.

    The Knicks should choose someone like Faried — based on stats, not the eye-test.

  3. ess-dog

    TDM, I think Fredette definitively wanted to be a 1st rounder, so a commitment with a 2nd round pick wouldn’t have made a difference.

    I agree on Harper. Shawne (though his percentages went down as the season went on) should be at least as good as Harper, especially if he works on his game. He should also be in better conditioning next season.

    It’s interesting that Markieff has fallen out of the top 20 on Chad’s big board. What is the reason for that?

    If we take a perimiter player at 17, I would begrudgingly be ok with Klay Thompson. It sounds like he had a good camp. I’d be ok with Fredette as well, but I agree he doesn’t seem like a starter to me thanks to his tweener status, but a great player off the bench. The problem is, we already have someone like that who plays pretty good defense in TD. If Fredette is definitively a point guard, then sure, but otherwise, it seems redundant. And it wouldn’t be easy to trade TD post surgery.

  4. Jim Cavan

    The only guy here who intrigues me is Harper. Like Landry, he improved noticeably every year to become one of the dominant players in his conference. He would probably be a serviceable rotation player off the bat. Noguiera is a multi-year project, and I just don’t see Fredette providing anything more off the bat than what TD can give us with another training camp under his belt. Honeycutt does have potential, but he still needs to bulk up big time, and his outside jumper isn’t reliable enough for him to squeeze Shawne or Walker out of significant minutes.

    The more I look at it, the more Faried just seems like the safe bet. If we’re going to take a risk, I’d take it on a Darius Morris or Reggie Jackson, assuming the latter is even around at 17.

  5. ess-dog

    Some stats:

    Knicks rank 24th in o-reb%, 26 in opponent o-reb%. We rank 22nd in team defense, 23rd in opponent efg. We rank 3rd in TOs. All our offensive rankings are top 9 or higher.

    We clearly need someone who can rebound and play defense. To me, that means Faried, or Tristan Thompson or Markieff if they’re there. Or if we do go wing, I hope we at least get a rebounder/defender in the 2nd round like JaJuan Johnson or Jordan Williams.

    But Faried seems like a prodigy. That being said, I bet Indana nabs him.

  6. bockadoo

    We have made our bed and need to build around Stat and Melo. We need players who do what they don’t do and/or feed them easy buckets. Faried has to be the pick. Grittiness, hustle, defense on 3′s or 4′s. We have enough scoring. We’re building a team here, not a collection of talent. If Faried’s gone, then Markieff for rebounding and D, maybe Jeremy Tyler for his size – sounds like a Deandre Jordan type. Morris from Michigan looks like a young Clyde – big natural point guard.

  7. cgreene

    Of all the people being talked about I like Morris from Michigan and Faried as well. Seems like Selby is getting a lot of insider support from Melo and Billups as well.

    So can LeBron guard Dirk?

  8. Garson

    It seems Morris is slipping to late first round, early second round. Is there anyone that would sell us there pick? A Farried , Morris Draft doesnt get better in my opinion.

  9. bockadoo

    It would also be nice to have someone to guard the other team’s big scoring guards. Hell, maybe Faried could even do that. TD is nice out there on the perimeter, but too small for Pierce, JJohnson, Wade, etc… Malcolm Lee might work – 6-5, can play some point…

  10. ess-dog

    bockadoo:
    It would also be nice to have someone to guard the other team’s big scoring guards.Hell, maybe Faried could even do that.TD is nice out there on the perimeter, but too small for Pierce, JJohnson, Wade, etc… Malcolm Lee might work – 6-5, can play some point…

    Justin Holliday would be a nice pickup in the 2nd round:

    Via draftexpress:

    “He could fit nicely as a bench player who could come in and play either wing spot alongside a shot-creating wing or point guard, and be a fourth or fifth option type of player offensively, if he’s able to consistently knock down perimeter jump shots and spread the floor. Being on a team that likes to play at a faster tempo would also play more to his strengths, as any opportunity for him to utilize his length and athleticism would be a bonus.

    Most importantly, Holiday will be coveted by teams for his abilities on the defensive end, where he looks to have great potential as a wing defender who could cover shooting guards and most small forwards. He has nice size at 6’6” and excellent length with a 7’0” wingspan, to go along with very good athleticism.”

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Justin-Holiday-6336/#ixzz1NNgsdfXC
    http://www.draftexpress.com

    Seems like a good fit for D’Antoni.

  11. bockadoo

    ess-dog – he sounds perfect – another one to research, thanks for the link. i love this stuff – almost better than the games themselves.

  12. Frank

    I think we need to be resigned to the fact that the big shotblocking/rebounding center we need is NOT coming in this draft, unless we think JTyler is the real deal (I actually think he’ll kill it in workouts and be gone by #17 anyway). Short of that, what do we need? We need long athletic perimeter defenders that have the ability to prevent guys from getting to our weak front line. Watching Lebron and Wade close on shooters, get in passing lanes, and generally just cause havoc makes me feel like we really need to get more athletic on the wings. Melo will be what he is on defense, which is meh most of the time and above average when he really tries. He is, at least, long and athletic. Landry tries hard but doesn’t have the suddenness of guys like Lebron, Tony Allen, Wade, or Kobe, and doesn’t yet have the smarts (or length) of someone like Battier.

    I think my preferred pick (if he drops to us) is Chris Singleton, although he’ll probably be gone by our pick. Any guy whose ambition is to be a “modern day Scottie Pippen” (hopefully minus the crazy grooved head) is someone we need on this team — as opposed to guys who want to be McGrady, Iverson, etc.

    Re: Faried – his stats look great but they haven’t been particularly impressive against better competition if you look through his gamelogs. It’d be nice to think Paul Millsap but Millsap is a bit taller and is 30 lbs heavier than Faried, which makes a big difference while playing amongst the trees. Faried’s rebounding #s in college are better than Millsap’s (although Millsap led the NCAA for 3 years) – but it should be noted that Millsap has not been a great rebounder in the pros – with a career rebound rate of only about 15 and a 2010-11 RebR of 13.4, just slightly better than Josh McRoberts.

    I just worry that if Faried is not the next Dennis Rodman (which he probably isn’t), then who is he? Dominic McGuire?

    I guess I wouldn’t be too upset if he was the pick, but not excited either.

  13. Frank

    We should also target the #20 TWolves pick for a $Dolan Dollars swap as well as these 2nd rounders:

    #35 – Sac
    #37 – LAC
    #39 – CHA
    #41 – LAL
    #46 – LAL
    #47 – LAC

    Guys that I would like to target in round 2 would be:
    Jon Leuer (could be our Anthony Bonner type)
    Justin Holiday
    Keith Benson
    Iman Shumpert

    just based on size (Benson/Leuer), defensive ability (Holiday, Shumpert), and the fact that any player in this system needs to be able to shoot (all but Benson).

  14. Shad0wF0x

    As far as I remember, the LeBron/Mike Brown Cavs were pretty good on defense. Is there any chance of making Brown the defensive assistant?

  15. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Choosing a player based on “athletic ability or potential” is the best way to waste a draft pick. You’re either good at basketball, or you’re not.

    The Knicks should choose someone like Faried — based on stats, not the eye-test.

    Tell that to the teams who “wasted” draft picks on Garnett, Kobe, Jermaine O’Neal, T-Mac, Rashard Lewis, Tyson Chandler, Amar’e, LeBron, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, Josh and JR Smith, Montae Ellis and Andrew Bynum.

    Of course there are just as many if not more busts as draft picks who came out of high-school but all the above players were drafted based on their “athletic ability and potential”. There have been plenty of college players with amazing college stats who were scrubs in the NBA as well.

  16. flossy

    If we want Bargani we should just hope Montejunas falls to us. More or less the same strengths and weaknesses, and Montejunas is younger, cheaper, less ugly.

  17. Robert Silverman

    Via Ford in his chat on Nix/Jimmer:

    Q:Would love to see Jimmer end up on the Knicks. That type of guard in the D’Antoni system could really help change it up from Chauncey during the games.

    FORD: The Knicks like him … a lot. I’m not sure he gets by Indiana at No. 15 however. If he’s not there, I think the Knicks have focused in on Josh Selby … though I hear Marshon Brooks and Nikola Vucevic and Klay Thompson are also options for them.

  18. BigBlueAL

    Robert Silverman:
    Via Ford in his chat on Nix/Jimmer:

    Q:Would love to see Jimmer end up on the Knicks. That type of guard in the D’Antoni system could really help change it up from Chauncey during the games.

    FORD: The Knicks like him … a lot. I’m not sure he gets by Indiana at No. 15 however. If he’s not there, I think the Knicks have focused in on Josh Selby … though I hear Marshon Brooks and Nikola Vucevic and Klay Thompson are also options for them.

    Vucevic is an intriguing player. Legit 7 ft Center who can score in the low post and can shoot the college 3pter too (plus is a good FT shooter). Also averaged 10 rebs per game. Played in the Pac-10 too so not from a small school.

  19. ess-dog

    What is the Knicks aversion to drafting a pure point guard as opposed to a combo guard? Who is the last real pg the Knicks drafted?

  20. flossy

    ess-dog:
    What is the Knicks aversion to drafting a pure point guard as opposed to a combo guard?Who is the last real pg the Knicks drafted?

    I agree as far as past years are concerned, but what pure point guards are available to us at 17 this year? Darius Morris, possibly? I wouldn’t hate that pick I guess but his upside is limited by his lack of elite athleticism, and his jump shot is frightening as well (though that could be improved).

    In this draft I’d be happy for the Knicks to take a combo guard with massive upside (i.e. Selby) instead of a more limited but purer PG prospect (i.e. Morris). I’m not inspired by Reggie Jackson (also a combo) and Fredette would be a disaster.

  21. Garson

    ess-dog: What is the Knicks aversion to drafting a pure point guard as opposed to a combo guard? Who is the last real pg the Knicks drafted?

    Could it be Frank Williams ? …. if so , very sad.

  22. Robert Silverman

    Garson: Could it be Frank Williams ? …. if so , very sad.

    I so thought Frank Williams was going to be a solid starter for years.

    I was going to say “Rod Strickland” before you reminded me about Frank.

  23. nicos

    flossy: I agree as far as past years are concerned, but what pure point guards are available to us at 17 this year?Darius Morris, possibly?I wouldn’t hate that pick I guess but his upside is limited by his lack of elite athleticism, and his jump shot is frightening as well (though that could be improved).

    I can see Morris turning out to be an Andre Miller type guy- he probably needs to get a little stronger to take advantage of his size but I’d say the Knicks could use a guy with court vision and basketball IQ more than a guy with a killer crossover. Unfortunately I can also see Morris being Sergio Rodriguez part 2: blindly pushing the ball and throwing crazy behind the back passes into the stands. One advantage Morris would have over SR is the presence of Amar’e and Melo who’d both wring his neck if he got too out of control.

  24. latke

    If we go for a wing defender in the 2nd round, my vote is for Damian Saunders. He had the best score at the combine in lane agility. From DX:

    Defensively is where Saunders has made a name for himself, and why he may be an intriguing prospect for a team to look at in the second round. Saunders is an extremely versatile defender, using his length and great lateral quickness to effectively defend perimeter players. He’s also a very good weak-side help defender, as evidenced by his 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes pace-adjusted, particularly impressive when combined with his 2.5 steals and only 2.5 fouls…

    He does a very good job for a player of his size moving his feet on the perimeter and playing smaller, quicker players off switches. According to Synergy Sports Tech, opposing players are averaging only 0.588 points per shot in isolation situations when he’s defending, and he’s in the top 97th percentile in defending the pick and roll.

    He improved from 19% to 36% last year on college threes. He’s a likely late 2nd rounder due to his offense — poor ball handling and very low usage.

  25. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the reason teams go after athletic ability is because when it pays off, it pays off big. I can’t blame them, really.

  26. Z-man

    As Clyde would say, the Knicks can ill afford to pick a lemon in this draft. Obviously this is a weak draft and #17 is always an iffy spot, but we can’t whiff on this one. Faried is almost certainly going to be rotation-worthy in the next year or two, as best as statistics can predict. Can anyone say that about Selby? Tyler? These two are projects that are far from being NBA-ready. If you’re gambling that Selby will be the next Jrue Holiday or Demar Derozan, you’d better be right. I suppose it means something that Billups and Anthony like Selby, but damn, has anyone looked worse in his freshman year than him reltive to his HS hype? I also sis not like what I saw out of Tyler in the Japan videos, he looks like an Olawakandi or Yinka Dare waiting to happen. I’d rather go with Jerome Jordan for a while than risk a bust on #17, our only #1 pick for the next 2 years and probably our highest for the next 5-6 years. Faried is going to be a good rebounder and defender, and will at least be marketable. Comparing him to Balkman is unfair, since Balkman really was not expected to go anywhere near as high as Faried.

    I don’t agree with the comparison between Harper and Shawne, other than they can both stroke from 3. Shawne is more of a 3 and Harper is more of a 4 with range.

  27. latke

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, the reason teams go after athletic ability is because when it pays off, it pays off big. I can’t blame them, really.

    Yeah, and the problem is that with good management most players are replaceable. Even in the mid lottery, you often end up with a player that is wholly replaceable:

    Here are the 7/8 picks for the most recent 5 drafts from which we have enough distance to judge: Corey Brewer, Brandan Wright, Eric Gordon, Joe Alexander, Randy Foye, Rudy Gay, Charlie Villanueva, Channing Frye, Luol Deng, Rafael Araujo.

    Of those 10 guys, only three of them have a shot of ever making an all-star team.

    Gordon @ 19 years old: 21 points, 1.57 PPS, 1.3 steals
    Deng @ 19 years old: 15 points, 1.26 PPS, 7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.1 blocks
    Foye @ 22 years old: 20.5 points, 1.23 PPS, 6 rebounds, 1.4 steals
    Brewer @ 21 years old*: 15 points, 1.38 PPS, 4 assists, 2.2 steals
    Wright @ 18 years old*: 18 points, 1.54 PPS, 7.8 rebounds, 2.2 blocks
    Alexander @ 21 years old*: 18.5 points, 1.28 PPS, 7 rebounds, 1.8 blocks
    Gay @ 18 years old*: 14 points, 1.28 PPS, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks
    Villanueva @ 19 years old*: 17.7 points, 1.38 PPS, 11 rebounds, 2.5 blocks
    Frye @ 22 years old*: 17.5 points, 1.42 PPS, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks
    Araujo @ 23 years old*: 20.8 points, 1.5 PPS, 12 rebounds, 1.7 steals

    *adjusted because he played fewer minutes

    Taking age into account along with numbers, I would have picked in this order: Wright, Gordon, Villanueva, Gay, Deng, Brewer, Frye, Araujo, Alexander, Foye.

    That’s a heckuva lot better than simply taking the player who’s most proven (Araujo!). This is mid-lottery. I think later down the draft, you really have to start looking for other ways to get an advantage — looking at things like how compatible the player’s game will translate to the NBA and where that player’s physical tools might…

  28. taggart4800

    For all the Josh Selby love out there, i’m not saying he doesn’t have potential but I really don’t like the outcome of this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elHuklpl8ic&feature=related

    45pts, just one assist makes the highlight reel

    Oh and they lose. I’m not saying he would be a bad pick its just that Baltimore evidently does appear to be a state of mind and I am not sure I like it.

  29. Brian Cronin

    Oh and they lose. I’m not saying he would be a bad pick its just that Baltimore evidently does appear to be a state of mind and I am not sure I like it.

    That’s a hilarious line.

  30. JK47

    Josh Selby: hell no. A shoot-first guard who doesn’t shoot well? No, no, no, no, no.

    I can understand a guy having an off year, but Selby’s season at Kansas was HORRIFIC. Couldn’t throw it into the ocean, was horrible at getting to the line, showed zero court vision… I mean, he’d be my dead last choice out of all the possible guys that the Knicks might be considering. The guy hit a brick wall when his level of competition stepped up from HS to college level– why would anybody expect him to be able to play in the NBA?

    As a second round pick, sure, okay, take a flyer on him. But at #17 there will be lots of better options around.

  31. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How could you play D-1 basketball and not be able to bench 185 once? Even tall guys, who have a tougher time moving weight, can work up to it.

  32. flossy

    JK47:
    Josh Selby: hell no.A shoot-first guard who doesn’t shoot well?No, no, no, no, no.

    I can understand a guy having an off year, but Selby’s season at Kansas was HORRIFIC.Couldn’t throw it into the ocean, was horrible at getting to the line, showed zero court vision… I mean, he’d be my dead last choice out of all the possible guys that the Knicks might be considering.The guy hit a brick wall when his level of competition stepped up from HS to college level– why would anybody expect him to be able to play in the NBA?

    As a second round pick, sure, okay, take a flyer on him.But at #17 there will be lots of better options around.

    Nah, Selby won’t be around in the 2nd round, and with good reason. His stats from Kansas should basically be ignored. Not only was he unable to play or practice with the team for the first quarter of the season due to an NCAA suspension (for receiving improper benefits… so who cares), he also suffered a stress fracture in his right foot which torpedoed his production for much of the latter half of the season (hard to shoot well or get to the line or do anything, really, with a bum foot). In between, he was shuffled between PG and SG and asked to find a role in a walk-it-up offense centered around the Morris twins. If he’d had even an okay year, he’d be a top 10 pick or better. We (if we pick him, which we should) should be thankful that his only year of school was ruined largely by factors beyond his control or that have no bearing on his ability to play in the pros.

    Selby’s not a finished product, but’s a Rondo/Rose/Westbrook-level athlete and very good playmaker, if not terribly sophisticated about the finer points of running an offense. I think a year of growing into the role backing up Billups might be just what the doctor ordered.

  33. ess-dog

    Frank:
    Interesting results from the combine athletic testing:

    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/2011-NBA-Combine-Athletic-Testing-Results-3725/

    Looks like Jimmer may be a better athlete than originally thought. Vucevic looks sort of stiff-ish — not good when you make every bottom-5 list.Norris Cole looks like an athlete – maybe would be a good 2nd round pick as a backup PG – DX seems to indicate he’s a good PnR guy.

    This doesn’t change much for me. Makes me feel a little better about Jimmer and confirms that Tristan Thompson will probably be a great defender in the league.

    I wouldn’t be against giving Cole a look in round 2. Goudelock looks like he can hit a three from anywhere on the court and play the point reasonably well. Not sure he can defend at the position though.

  34. ess-dog

    This is a pretty interesting article giving credence to D’Antoni’s desire to use a stretch 4:

    http://basketball.realgm.com/blog/213865/The_Important_Of_Jump_Shooting_Big_Men

    The problem is, Amare’s not really a good enough shooter to be the stretch 4, nor is he an aggressive enough rebounder/defender to play the center. But the stats show that we are better off with him as a center.

    In his 1st year, Shawne didn’t play well enough to start consistently at the 4. Maybe he can improve? Or we might look to draft a Harper/Harris type? Or can Amare learn to shoot threes?

  35. Tony Pena

    So we have our building blocks, Stat and Melo. The rest of the team should compliment them right? To me that sounds like a defending/rebounding/decent scorer at the 5, an efficient scorer/sound defender at the 2(maybe Landry Fields?), and a headstrong true point guard that feeds Stat & Melo while keeping the rest of the team involved.
    Out of those three possible players it looks like a good big will benefit everybody the most, including the, ahem, offesnsively-minded coaching staff. But it looks like that might be thin by the time the Knicks pick (I’ll be honest I dont follow college basketball like that though). I agree with earlier comments that Vucevic looks soft, doesn’t impress, there should be something better at 17. If Markieff Morris is available, looks pretty good option to me, looks like he has high basketball IQ. One cat that looks good is this Keith Benson, very damn good actually. What do scouts look for? He can score, rebound, block, play D, and is athletic but yet he’s a second rounder??? Looks good to me. Anyway isn’t Jerome Jordan supposedly coming?
    The route I think we should go with is at PG. We have a great opportunity with Billups and D’Antoni being able to groom a young 1. It looks like there might be some agressive, headstrong pure PG’s in this draft. Reggie Jackson is an obvious one that’s been talked about enough, I would definitely snatch him up before anyone else. Next on the list for me is Iman Shumpert. Looks like Iguadala running the point to me. Explosive, assertive. Then there’s Charles Jenkins. Can score, is strong and looks level headed. Wouldn’t be mad at all if the knicks picked any of these three.
    With SG at #17, you never know. Scoring is not the most pressing need here, especially with Chauncey hopefully staying healthy next year. I would give Fields a chance to re-prove himself again next year.
    Faried= good but why waste a 17 on a backup 4? Selby= sexy but we should pass. Jimmer= I wouldn’t be mad, but one…

  36. jhans5

    If Jimmer’s there they would be stupid to pass on him. He’s proven to score as well as anyone in college history and he won’t be the player he was in college but he’ll still contribute nicely and shoot better than anyone on the team. If Jimmer’s gone i say take Faried we could use the rebounding help.

  37. Jafa

    Tony Pena: “So we have our building blocks, Stat and Melo. The rest of the team should compliment them right?”

    If this was correct, the rest of your analysis would be right on point. But it isn’t, apparently. Were two-thirds of the way to a three headed super star monster model, pioneered by the Celtics and perfected by the Heat. That is why whomever we pick has to be considered from a trade value standpoint more than from a fit standpoint. That player has to be able to come in and put up numbers in the first three months, so that they look attractive come trade deadline time. This means no projects. That why names like Jimmer and Faried are being thrown around in connection with the Knicks.

    It dosen’t matter what position they play or if they duplicate a talent we already have, this draft will be all about best available talent that can produce from day one.

  38. nicos

    Jafa:
    .That is why whomever we pick has to be considered from a trade value standpoint more than from a fit standpoint.That player has to be able to come in and put up numbers in the first three months, so that they look attractive come trade deadline time.This means no projects.That why names like Jimmer and Faried are being thrown around in connection with the Knicks.

    It dosen’t matter what position they play or if they duplicate a talent we already have, this draft will be all about best available talent that can produce from day one.

    Yes and no, the risk with Jimmer of Faried is that if they struggle (or don’t play at all) their trade value will plummet whereas if Selby struggles he may still have some value based on “potential” alone. You really want a guy that NO is going to find intriguing regardless of how he plays- especially when you may not have a summer league and possibly a short training camp so the chances of a rookie learning the system and getting minutes at the back end of the rotation could be less than normal.

  39. ess-dog

    I think at 17, we’re not going to find “CP3′s replacement”.

    Selby’s a huge risk – about as much as the dude that played in Japan.

    You have to think long and hard before picking him. Pro: Billups worked out with him and liked him. But live game experience is what really counts.

    He calls himself a “combo” guard and a “scorer”above all else, which I just don’t see fitting with Melo and Stat unless he takes over the TD bench scorer role. In fact, he seems like a smaller Melo to me: ball-dominant scorer from Baltimore.

    I’d hate to ruin team chemistry in order to get parts for a trade that may never happen.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jafa:
    Were two-thirds of the way to a three headed super star monster model, pioneered by the Celtics and perfected by the Heat.

    If you think Stat and Melo align with either of those teams, you’re delusional. Chris Paul or Dwight Howard are the only soon-to-be FA players who could thrust the Knicks into elite territory. Stoudemire had a terrible year by his standards: barely an above-average player. Carmelo, despite his great performance in the playoffs, is still not on the LBJ/Wade/Pierce/Garnett level. He’s more of a third-tier player like Bosh. Amar’e could become a great, efficient player again with the right point guard, but that’s not exactly a superstar-like trait. If we wanted to win, we would have signed Tyson Chandler and drafted Ty Lawson. We wanted “superstars,” and we got ‘em.

  41. Tony Pena

    Jafa: I really hope that’s not where they’re trying to go. So what, another season where waiting for “the guy that’s gonna put us over the top”? I really don’t like that strategy. We’ve been chasing superstars the last few years, and we finally got some. If Walsh is staying hopefully that means that they’ll continue to do what they were doing before the Melo trade, steadily building the team up. Get Chris Paul and then what? Doesn’t guarantee a championship, we’ll still need more pieces, and again we’ll be thin at the bench. So that’ll be another summer looking for maybe those pieces, by then Stat will be in his third year of this run’ and gun’ offense which has to take a toll on you, not everybody is built like Steve Nash… I say try to plug in all these holes we have with young talent and legitimately try to build a championship contender, if the opportunity presents itself, then yeah, I’ll take CP3, Deron, D12, whoever, but it’s enough of this waiting game… Man the Denver trade cost a lot of players, picks and two years of planning. On that same note look at OKC, CHI, Dallas, they got to the conference finals with one superstar and deep benches, I guess Dallas winning will benefit us in showing that it’s still a team game…
    I really dont like the Selby pick, reminds me of… The rookie from the Pacers that did not even play this year. I suppose Selby is more athletic though. And Jimmer, there’s a good chance he can average 16-17 ppg under D’Antoni, but his defense is suspect supposedly, remind you of anyone? (See Stat & Melo) Wouldn’t be a bad pick though, he’s not gonna all of a sudden forget that sweet stroke.

  42. BigBlueAL

    “Carmelo, despite his great performance in the playoffs, is still not on the LBJ/Wade/Pierce/Garnett level.”

    Tell that to Pierce who needed double and some times triple teams to help him try to cover Melo during the playoffs :-)

  43. Tony Pena

    BigBlueAL:
    “Carmelo, despite his great performance in the playoffs, is still not on the LBJ/Wade/Pierce/Garnett level.”

    Tell that to Pierce who needed double and some times triple teams to help him try to cover Melo during the playoffs :-)

    While you’re at it, call Garnett, and elite 4 defender, who in game one looked dizzy trying to cover STAT… We got two guys who most of the time are unguardable, we just need complimentary pieces around them. Look at Nowitzki.

  44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t care about Garnett now. I care about Garnett when he won a title. We don’t have Amar’e at 25 when he could have won a title (were it not for that brawl). We have Amar’e at 28.

  45. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I don’t care about Garnett now. I care about Garnett when he won a title. We don’t have Amar’e at 25 when he could have won a title (were it not for that brawl). We have Amar’e at 28.

    Garnett was 31 when he won a title. Actually he was 32 by the end of that season.

  46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How are the TV guys not freaking out about this? They ended the game on a 15-2 run. That’s insane. That’s the (second?) best team in the East, right there. Absolutely ridiculous.

    I’m pretty sure the Heat could sweep any team in the league.

  47. massive

    BigBlueAL:
    Judging by these playoffs I think Id much rather have Melo than Derrick Rose lol.

    Derrick Rose has to have put up the worst MVP season ever. People complain about LeBron not being “clutch,” but Derrick Rose has to be the most disappointing player in the league in the 4th quarter not named Jared Jeffries.

  48. BigBlueAL

    At least the Knicks currently have the 1 player in the NBA who LeBron for some reason always loses against in Melo lol.

  49. Robert Silverman

    BigBlueAL:
    It’s tough when your only go-to scorer is your PG.

    While watching the last OKC-Dallas game, all I could think was, “This team can’t win until they get a real PG.” If I was Sam Presti, I’d call up NO and offer Westbrook and cap goodies for Chris Paul ASAP. That’s the best offer they’re gonna get. Chicago might wanna do the same thing with Rose.

  50. latke

    Derrick Rose is not that good… I’ve been saying this all year. He is Russell Westbrook except much nicer and not as good a defender (say what you will about Westbrook shooting too often, he played excellent defense especially on Conley, who shot below 30% from the field in the final 4 games vs OKC). If Billups in his prime was on the current Bulls, I’d bet on them to win the championship. They needed a guy who could complete their defense, calm them, and get baskets when they need them. He couldn’t even do the latter, which was his only value to the team to begin with.

  51. BigBlueAL

    Robert Silverman: While watching the last OKC-Dallas game, all I could think was, “This team can’t win until they get a real PG.” If I was Sam Presti, I’d call up NO and offer Westbrook and cap goodies for Chris Paul ASAP.That’s the best offer they’re gonna get. Chicago might wanna do the same thing with Rose.

    CP3 with OKC, holy shit thats one helluva scary thought. CP3 with Durant/Harden/Ibaka would be unstoppable.

  52. BigBlueAL

    Well, I guess the only real competition the Knicks have in the East next season is the Heat :-)

  53. massive

    BigBlueAL: CP3 with OKC, holy shit thats one helluva scary thought.CP3 with Durant/Harden/Ibaka would be unstoppable.

    I think I’d cry if this happened.

  54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’d feel bad for Chris Paul for having to play basketball, again, in OKC.

  55. Z-man

    This was much more about how absolutely great LeBron and Wade were than how bad Rose is. He didn’t deserve MVP, but he is still on his way to a HOF career and lost in the conference finals with a deeply flawed team vs one of the greatest 1-2 punches ever. Rose could play for my team anytime.

    Really, look carefully at Chicago. Boozer, Deng and Noah are fringe all-stars at best, Noah is a rich man’s Jared Jeffries offensively. For LeBron to be able to guard Rose means that nobody else on the team was worth guarding.

    I’m picking Dallas in 7, they have just destroyed mighty LA and the damn good Thunder, and are a smart, deep, veteran team with lots of offensive weapons. LeBron ain’t shutting down Dirk.

  56. JK47

    Dallas is no pushover. This should be a good series. Both of these teams are quite good on both sides of the ball. I think the Heat will win, unfortunately. They’re just a little bit better than Dallas at just about everything, four-factors wise. Miami in 6.

  57. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the “problem” with Rose is the same thing that used to happen with Kobe. It was not that he was not a great player, as he was, but he kept getting over-hyped to being “the best.”

    If Rose was not wrongly named the NBA MVP, then I don’t think he’d nearly get the same backlash that he has gotten.

    Notice that Lebron gets tons of hype and he doesn’t get the backlash here – because he actually is as good as his hype.

  58. Nick C.

    Sadly … this will come down to 4th quarter whistles again mark my words. Replay the last few minutes of most of those games … now if LeBron keeps making like Reggie Miller with the 3s late and close the series won’t be. David Stern will do everyhting in his power to make sure he never ever has to give that trophy to Mark Cuban.

  59. Brian Cronin

    By the way, I’ll certainly concede that Deng and Boozer are fringe All-Stars at best, but Noah is a legit All-Star. The Bulls teams was flawed, but “deeply flawed”? No more than pretty much any other contender (save Miami). Lebron and Wade just were awesome (and Bosh came up big for once, too). No shame in Chicago losing to that. I think we all knew all season that Miami, when they were in their groove, was unbeatable (as seen during their various long winning streaks). They’re just too good of a mix of great offense and great defense. I mean, seriously, who would you think would win if you didn’t know anything about the teams but the following: The #5 defense and #3 offense versus the #1 defense and #11 offense. You’d obviously pick the former team, right?

  60. Brian Cronin

    Dallas, by the way, is the #8 offense and the #8 defense.

    OKC was #5 offense and #15 defense (but Perkins presumably made them better than their season ranking by the time the playoffs came around).

  61. massive

    I’m going with Dallas to win it all. How many games is something I’m unsure of, but I just don’t see Dallas losing this series; they’re the deepest team in the league, and Dirk has to be the hardest player to guard still playing. Its hard to go against LeBron and Wade, but they just don’t have enough talent supporting them to win an NBA championship. At least I hope not. If the Heat win it this year, they’re winning the next 4 or 5 straight.

  62. Frank

    Rose is a really nice player – I’d certainly like to have him – but latke’s right – he’s a slightly better shooting but shorter and worse defending Russell Westbrook. He’s a slightly more athletic, better finishing, less crazy Stephon Marbury:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=rosede01&y1=2011&p2=marbust01&y2=2000

    Interesting thing about Noah – dude is “untouchable” and the Bulls wouldn’t consider moving him at all for Melo, but Noah didn’t even play most of the 4th! Taj Gibson, KThomas, and Boozer all played ahead of him in crunch time. Say what you will about Melo’s chuckerness – given the talent Chicago has on the front line (Gibson, Boozer, Asik), I wonder if exec of the year Gar Forman might have been better off trading Noah, Deng, and a pick for Melo. I think defensively Chicago would be a little worse (not a lot worse since Gibson and Asik are so good defensively), but much more versatile offensively.

    The series turned in the 4th quarters when Spoelstra put Lebron and Rose – Lebron basically shut Rose down 1-on-1, and when Rose is shut down 1-on-1, the entire Chicago offense falls apart. If Chicago had a true wing scorer (ie. Melo), then there’s no way that Spoelstra puts Lebron on Rose and lets Wade, Mike Miller, Bosh, or Haslem get completely abused by Melo.

    Meanwhile, there was some ridiculous Twitter conversation between Manish Mehta (the NYDN Jets beat writer) and someone else about who they would want to “start a franchise” — Lebron or Rose. That seems like such a ridiculous conversation now. As much as I can’t stand Lebron’s decision, there should be no question now that he’s the best player in the league by a WIIIIIIDE margin (with Howard #2). Play PG? sure. Play SG/SF/PF? Sure. Defend the post? Sure. Defend the reigning MVP super-athletic D Rose? Sure. Drive to the basket and draw and-1′s? Sure. Hit backbreaking 3′s? Sure. Turnaround buzzer-beaters? Sure. Dude does it…

  63. Frank

    That being said – I really hope Marshon Brooks doesn’t fall to Chicago. He is exactly what they need.

    Should be a very interesting finals. Dallas’s amazing ball movement may be enough to overcome Miami’s crazy defensive athleticism, and I would assume that Jason Kidd won’t make all the stupid passes that Rose et al. made during this series (seriously, how many jump in the air passes with nowhere to go did CHI make during the series? Clyde must have been going crazy). Will be interesting to see what Carlisle does to match up with Wade/Lebron. Stephenson on Wade and Marion on Lebron? Does Corey Brewer get dusted off?

    As much as I hate to say it, I think Miami wins this series in 5 or 6 games. Dallas did beat Miami both times they played this year, but that was Dallas + Caron Butler and Miami without Haslem and Mike Miller. Blah.

  64. Frank

    via @jeskeets:

    “Via ESPN Stats: “Derrick Rose shot 6.3 % from the floor in the series when defended by LeBron James”

  65. Frank

    I’ll just keep talking to myself –

    Does anyone think that an anti-flopping rule is warranted? Either retroactive fines after video review or retroactive technical fouls? Only for egregious ones, not for the borderline flops. The two that bring this to mind are the Harden non-elbow from Tyson Chandler and the LBJ flop last night – where he even winked at D Rose afterward. This kind of stuff is meant to fool officials, who are only human after all – 20K fine or a technical foul seems reasonable to me.

  66. Jafa

    Wow! Guys on this board are picking Dallas to win the Finals? They play well, but they beat a Lakers team that was beating themselves by not playing together and utilizing their weapons properly, and they beat OKC which actually gave away the last 2 games at the end (epic meltdowns by a young team). This qualifies them to beat the Heat, which out-executed a polished, veteran and well-coached Celtics team, and out-defended the best defensive team in the league this year (which had the MVP and COY)?

    Did somebody say Dallas is deep? Wasn’t this what was said about Denver, before they promptly lost to OKC in 5? Dirk is the hardest player to guard left in the playoffs, but so was Rose before Miami figured out how to stop him.

    Miami is just too good. Poised in the clutch. Great defense. Solid offense. Role players who know their roles and play it well. Like someone said, the team with the #3 offense and #5 defense is going up against a team with the #8 offense and #8 defense. Who do you really think will win?

  67. Jafa

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: If you think Stat and Melo align with either of those teams, you’re delusional. Chris Paul or Dwight Howard are the only soon-to-be FA players who could thrust the Knicks into elite territory. Stoudemire had a terrible year by his standards: barely an above-average player. Carmelo, despite his great performance in the playoffs, is still not on the LBJ/Wade/Pierce/Garnett level. He’s more of a third-tier player like Bosh. Amar’e could become a great, efficient player again with the right point guard, but that’s not exactly a superstar-like trait. If we wanted to win, we would have signed Tyson Chandler and drafted Ty Lawson. We wanted “superstars,” and we got ‘em.

    Dude, what has happened has happened. Quit crying over spilled milk. Let the cat lick it up and move on. You sound really bitter about the sub-optimal decisions your team has made in the past. Well, wake up, your a Knicks fan. Our team set the bar for sub-optimal decision making. Should have signed Chandler, should have drafted Lawson, should have hoarded all our cap space and waited for D-12 and CP3, …should have been a fan of a team that makes perfect decisions all the time…oh wait, that team doesn’t exist.

    I didn’t say Stat, Melo and CP3 are as good at Wade, LBJ and Bosh or Pierce, Allen and KG, I simply said we are pursing that same team building model. Will it win us a championship? Who knows? Maybe in the next 5 years we get lucky and Wade has a season ending injury one year that creates an opening for us to get that trophy (kind of link the Rockets in 94 and 95 with MJ being out of the league and all – as very few would concede that they win both titles if MJ doesn’t retire during that time).

  68. Owen

    Frank – I was thinking of you last night as Rose missed that end of game free throw. And also the other night when Westbrook missed two free throws at the end of game 4. They won’t have those end of game makes inflating their ts%. Certainly with Rose, slightly different situation, but you can’t take for granted that they will make them all. And it’s a good example in Westbrook’s case of how a miss in that situation can come back to haunt you.

    It was ludicrous that Rose won the MVP as has been said 1000 times on stat blogs across the web. This series really brought that out. The MSM can’t resist a good narrative and doesn’t understand even the basics of advanced statistics. They got suckered into Rose.

    I have been thinking watching OKC how amazing it would be for Chris Paul to be in control of that offense and actually distributing the ball to Durant and throwing alley oops to Ibaka. But I think Westbrook is good enough, cheap enough, and young enough that Presti might think twice. It was a very disappointing performance from Westbrook to be sure though, I expected better. I think it’s becoming clear that Westbrook needs a lot of the ball to reach his max potential.

    I think it will be a pretty even series. Marion looks as motivated and effective as I have seen him in years. He might slow Lebron down a bit. It will be an interesting series for sure but I think home court advantage and Miller and Haslem’s return has to give an edge to the Heat.

  69. taggart4800

    Love the anti-flop rule idea. I have always thought that to give the refs another measure of control a referral system could be introduced. Each team gets 2 referrals per game, these can be rescinded for foul language and other such things that would normally receive a technical.
    A kin to tennis and cricket you would keep successful challenges and lose unsuccessful ones. Obvious flops could then be called as well as blatant hacks or travels. We don’t need anything to slow the game much more but it would certainly keep things honest.
    Also, how about a loan system like in soccer. Teams could rent players off each other to fill needs at times of injury or to fill needs. I am not going to go into too much detail about the ins and outs of the soccer loan system but it works really well for the lower level teams in the premier league. This could work well if you had too many guys on the roster. There are lots of permeations to the idea, I just think its intriguing…

  70. adrenaline98

    A lot of posts about Selby’s risk. He almost seems like Crawford to me again.

    The risks associated with Selby are not that he’ll be a bust, but that he has potential maturity issues. He barely played a lick last season too. But he’s also friends with Melo, and Billups worked with him at that combine iirc. One thing about a kid who’s growing up is that they are looking for that rolemodel. I’m not sure Carmelo/Billups’ game matches that of Selby, but as a character role model, I think he’ll do fine in NYC with those mentors. He’ll feel more comfortable too. He could potentially be an amazing pick if he works out.

    It’s more of a feeling that anything else that is tangible. I’m not looking at stats here, I know.

    However, think about it: Selby and Melo have a relationship. Selby’s playing in NY. Melo’s got his back. You really feel more comfortable with a Reggie Jackson? or Charles Jenkins (who by the way, if you watched him at Hofstra, really lacks some serious NBA caliber athleticism)?

    I’d be more comfortable with Melo’s friend being able to make it here. The rest have bust written all over them too, except maybe Faried (but only because of the rap song dedicated to him).

  71. d-mar

    These Finals games will likely be tightly contested and low scoring, and will come down to who can execute with under 3 minutes left. Both teams showed a remarkable ability to do this in the Conference Finals, but Miami has 2 players to go to and Dallas has only 1. This, I think, will be the difference in the series. Miami in 6.

    PS Has anyone else felt their Miami hatred slowly dissipate since “The Decision”? I still don’t like LeBron much, and that indifferent to hoops city truly doesn’t deserve an NBA championship, but somehow the idea of the Heat winning it all doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.

  72. adrenaline98

    Jafa: Dude, what has happened has happened. Quit crying over spilled milk. Let the cat lick it up and move on. You sound really bitter about the sub-optimal decisions your team has made in the past. Well, wake up, your a Knicks fan. Our team set the bar for sub-optimal decision making. Should have signed Chandler, should have drafted Lawson, should have hoarded all our cap space and waited for D-12 and CP3, …should have been a fan of a team that makes perfect decisions all the time…oh wait, that team doesn’t exist.I didn’t say Stat, Melo and CP3 are as good at Wade, LBJ and Bosh or Pierce, Allen and KG, I simply said we are pursing that same team building model. Will it win us a championship? Who knows? Maybe in the next 5 years we get lucky and Wade has a season ending injury one year that creates an opening for us to get that trophy (kind of link the Rockets in 94 and 95 with MJ being out of the league and all – as very few would concede that they win both titles if MJ doesn’t retire during that time).

    Btw, Melo, CP3, and Amar’e would be better than any of those teams, given the right surrounding players. In fact, Fields is one of them. A Marcus Camby type would be the other.

    They are way more balanced than the other ‘big 3s’.

    Let’s not forget that the Celtics are the Celtics BECAUSE of Rondo, despite what THCJ thinks about Pierce (who consequently, has never been that good).

    Rondo and Perkins were the reason the Celtics were pushed over the top, given a Big 3.

  73. adrenaline98

    I shouldn’t have used the word “never” describing Pierce. Meant to say before the Big 3 arrived. Let’s not forget all those seasons of him doing nothing as the lone ‘super’star.

  74. TDM

    Chris Sheridan comparing Jerome Jordan to Antonio Davis:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/5111/jerome-jordan-the-next-antonio-davis

    Not a whole lot of tape out there on Jordan, but you can see him in a few plays in the first quarter of this game. A couple of missed blocks, but at least he gives the effort.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLwmTZPE6Kk

    And here is a fairly athletic play for the big guy in which he also gets an And1. Free throw looks a little flat but he still makes the shot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2NlOYZ9jKo

  75. adrenaline98

    He was fairly active in summer league too. The effort surely was there. But he committed like 8 fouls a game too.

  76. Brian Cronin

    PS Has anyone else felt their Miami hatred slowly dissipate since “The Decision”? I still don’t like LeBron much, and that indifferent to hoops city truly doesn’t deserve an NBA championship, but somehow the idea of the Heat winning it all doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.

    My take is that them winning makes CP3 more likely to come to New York, so while I’d prefer Dallas winning, I don’t mind Miami winning.

    Also, the best player in the league being on the team that wins the title also has a sort of…if not fairness, then perhaps “reasonableness” is the word I’m looking for…to it in my mind.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    adrenaline98:Let’s not forget that the Celtics are the Celtics BECAUSE of Rondo, despite what THCJ thinks about Pierce (who consequently, has never been that good).

    Rondo and Perkins were the reason the Celtics were pushed over the top, given a Big 3.

    Crazy. Pierce, as a 33 year old SF, in 2700 minutes, put up a career high TS% (a ridiculous .620) and a 0.201 WS/48. Never been that good? Kobe’s surpassed that WS/48 only twice in his career.

  78. Count de Pennies

    I, too, went into the season as a confirmed Heat Hater but after watching them in the playoffs- particularly against the Bulls – they’ve at least earned my grudging admiration.

    I mean, they’re a superstar team whose superstars do many of the little things that many NBA “superstars” are frequently loath to do. Additionally, the much anticipated Clash of the Egos between LeBron and Wade has been largely a non-story for them. Consequently, they’ve managed to render obsolete the idea that every team needs a clearly established offensive pecking order in order to be successful – as someone here astutely pointed out the other day. As things have turned out, either one – or both – of those guys is more than capable of fulfilling the Alpha Dog role in crunch time – as we clearly saw at the end of Game 5 against the Bulls.

    Needless to say, if and when next season gets underway, I’ll return to being a full-fledged Heat Hater again.

  79. Frank

    I guess I feel about the Heat the same way that non-Yankee fans hate the Yankees. It feels like a pre-packaged team, as opposed to a team that was built piece by piece. The way the “Decision” went down, not to mention that ridiculous preseason celebration only made the whole thing worse.

    Someone in the media also mentioned way back when that it felt as if you were at a pickup game, and all the best players decided they were going to play together, instead of the normal situation where the teams are made to be competitive.

    Just seemed like an anti-competitive move. But yes, my hatred of them has sort of waned.

  80. nicos

    Brian Cronin:
    By the way, I’ll certainly concede that Deng and Boozer are fringe All-Stars at best, but Noah is a legit All-Star.

    I do think Noah got exposed a little bit in the series- he really has no offensive game at all outside the paint and struggled defensively when Bosh pulled him away from the basket. I’d still love to have him but I don’t think he’s a perennial All-Star type guy. And to bring this back to the draft- I think Faried projects as a poor man’s Noah- not a bad pick at 17 but a guy that is going to struggle to get on the floor in big spots due to a lack of offense. You could see that the extra possessions Noah got them on the offensive glass couldn’t make up for the fact that he destroyed their floor spacing by allowing Anthony/Haslem to basically stand in the lane on D and cut off driving lanes/pick and rolls. Of course, this didn’t get exposed until the conference finals (and against the quickest defensive team in the league) but it still gives me pause re:Faried.

  81. ess-dog

    nicos: Of course, this didn’t get exposed until the conference finals (and against the quickest defensive team in the league) but it still gives me pause re:Faried.

    I had thought this too nicos re: Faried. You really do need all 5 players to be able to contribute in crunchtime in the NBA. Or course, they wouldn’t have gotten that far in the first place without Noah.

  82. Z-man

    ess-dog: I had thought this too nicos re: Faried. You really do need all 5 players to be able to contribute in crunchtime in the NBA. Or course, they wouldn’t have gotten that far in the first place without Noah.

    Not fair to Noah. He is not the reason the Bulls lost. I disagree with this statement, because it’s been debunked many times over. There are many combinations that can win titles in the NBA. The most common is probably the 2-3 superstar model, but a guy like Noah is not going to hurt a team’s chances. You need better supporting players to get past a team like Miami, and Rose made lots of youthful mistakes down the stretch. I agree that he is not a true all-star, but he’s a winning player on the right team (imagine him on the Heat instead of Joel Anthony, who also has no offensive game.)

  83. Z-man

    To continue, this is why Faried should not be disqualified for that reason. If he’s the next Ben Wallace or Dennis Rodman, he can win a title with the right group of guys. Remember, at #17 in a weak draft, the odds of getting a super-stud all-around contribute immediately player are slim. PS, Chicago blew leads at the end of games 4 and 5 of the ECFs because LeBron/Wade was undefendable and Rose was completely shut down by the best player on the planet. They had those leads for a reason, though, and Noah was a significant part of the reason. I think he should have been left in the game for offensive rebounding/tip-outs, so taking him out was a coach’s call, and not a good one, imo.

  84. Brian Cronin

    I do think Noah got exposed a little bit in the series- he really has no offensive game at all outside the paint and struggled defensively when Bosh pulled him away from the basket. I’d still love to have him but I don’t think he’s a perennial All-Star type guy

    If that’s “exposing” Noah, then Dennis Rodman and Ben Wallace were both exposed repeatedly. Noah might not be as good as those guys, but he is close (and they were both dominant players).

  85. ess-dog

    But seriously, minus injuries, Boozer/Noah is a great frontcourt. If LBJ had that in Cleveland, I imagine they would’ve won a title.
    Really amazing players make the difference.
    Rose isn’t there yet but he could work on his game and come back even better next year, who knows? But this year, he couldn’t carry his team the way a Wade/LBJ could. The same can be said for Melo in Denver. Melo is a 3rd best player on a championship team right now.

    Re: Faried, I still like him but like a few players better. Thompson, Tobias Harris and I’m intrigued by Motiejunas.
    If those guys are gone, I’m torn between Faried, Jimmer and Vucevic.

  86. Brian Cronin

    Melo is a 3rd best player on a championship team right now.

    I think he could be the 2nd best player on a championship team (as soon as I said that I totally blanked on the last championship team whose second best player was worse than Melo, so I might be mistaken – I guess 2006 Shaq was worse than 2011 Melo, though, right? 07 Manu, 08 Pierce, 09-10 Gasol were all better than 2011 Melo).

  87. nicos

    Brian Cronin: If that’s “exposing” Noah, then Dennis Rodman and Ben Wallace were both exposed repeatedly. Noah might not be as good as those guys, but he is close (and they were both dominant players).

    He’s nowhere close to Rodman- Rodman was a far better rebounder and a much, much better man defender. Wallace maybe, I think was a better defender by a good margin though it may just be the difference of being paired with Sheed rather than Boozer (whose defense was Amar’esque esp. in p&r’s). As I said, I’d love to have him on the Knicks and I think you could certainly win a championship with him at center I just agree that he’s a borderline all-star rather than a perennial one.

  88. Tony Pena

    Looking at Jerome Jordan’s highlights from Tulsa, and assuming he’s progressed some while overseas, I say a Turiaf/Jordan/serviceable, young 7 footer (Dalembert, Aaron Gray, Kristic, Barron or other D-leaguer, get creative Donnie!) platoon at Center might not be bad at all.

  89. Tony Pena

    Oh yeah and forget D’antoni and playing 6’8 guys at the 5! Maybe Billups and Melo are a blessing in disguise for him. Might finally have to draw up some sets that are not based on “chuck it if you’re semi-open!”

  90. BigBlueAL

    Tony Pena:
    Oh yeah and forget D’antoni and playing 6’8 guys at the 5! Maybe Billups and Melo are a blessing in disguise for him. Might finally have to draw up some sets that are not based on “chuck it if you’re semi-open!”

    Make fun of D’Antoni’s offense all you want but watching teams like OKC and Chicago play offense should make you respect D’Antoni and his offense alot more.

    D’Antoni’s offense has excellent spacing and much more off the ball movement and picks than most NBA teams use. Plus he runs those curl plays for Amar’e and Melo which are tough to cover.

    Depending on which website you use only 2 teams in the East were in the Top 10 in the NBA in offensive efficiency (Heat and Knicks with Orlando 10th in Hollinger’s stats but not Top 10 in bballreference). The East in both sites featured the 5 best defenses in the NBA which the Knicks had to face 19 times making it that much more difficult to have a Top 10 offense in the NBA like the Knicks had (5th or 7th depending on which site you look at).

    Watching many of these teams struggle mightily in the playoffs on offense makes me appreciate D’Antoni’s offense that much more.

  91. Tony Pena

    Big Blue: I definitely give D’Antoni his props. I was able to see the man’s chops in his first year as Knicks coach. For the first time in a while I saw pretty good sets coming out of timeouts. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for his spontaneity on defense. How many times this year did you see teams run the exact same play, over and over over all the way to a win. And all the strategy we hear after games is “guys weren’t hustling…” C’mon man! That sequence in the playoffs when Rondo and KG ran the same exact play back to back, out of a timeout I think, is a perfect example.

    I digress though, I think he’s a good basketball mind. But it’s amazing that most of the called out plays really seem to be geared towards shooting in ‘ssol’, even if it doesn’t actually happen that way. It’s all about getting an open jumpshot with Mike, nothing set for scoring in the post besides a pick and roll. I’d like to see some more ingenuity, some plays that actually take some time to develop. And I’m not talking about running those all game, but c’mon mix it up. He has elite athletes now, I think what they’re running is meant for just-good players, based on speed and the element of surprise. That’s why he’ll sacrifice defense just to have an extra shooter in the floor at all times. And not to mention the extra possessions and rebounding we give up by emphasizing speed all the time, with every opponent. To be fair though, they didn’t have training camp, played only 30 games together, etc. He has no excuses next season though.

    I like D’Antoni, but he’s a hardheaded man. You can tell in his relationship with players. We all know once you’re in the doghouse, it’s going to be hell for you to get out. And sometimes you might be in the doghouse based on, I don’t know, film?? (See Brewer, A. Randolph). He knows he’s on the ropes now though, so hopefully he steps it up.

  92. taggart4800

    @115
    I think this was why D’Antoni became so frustrated with the bad defense card. Teams have to seriously chase the Knicks on defense to close the space and consequently wears them down. I think that was why the previous team prior to the trade was so successful (relatively speaking) Physically they were very well conditioned and were able to ramp the defense up in the final 8-10 minutes. Chasing that team on defense was hard enough and then when they tried to lock you down in the final minutes must have been hard for the older teams. I genuinely believe they would have beaten the Celtics purely by running them into the ground.
    A team prepared the same way as last summer, irrespective of the players on the roster, will cause trouble next season.

  93. Z-man

    nicos: He’s nowhere close to Rodman- Rodman was a far better rebounder and a much, much better man defender.Wallace maybe, I think was a better defender by a good margin though it may just be the difference of being paired with Sheed rather than Boozer (whose defense was Amar’esque esp. in p&r’s).As I said, I’d love to have him on the Knicks and I think you could certainly win a championship with him at center I just agree that he’s a borderline all-star rather than a perennial one.

    Let’s not forget that Noah is 25 years old. At that age, Rodman was a rookie and Wallace was a nobody. Noah has plenty of room for improvement, and he is longer than Rodman or Wallace, and a pretty smart guy.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=noahjo01&y1=2011&p2=rodmade01&y2=1987&p3=wallabe01&y3=2000

  94. Z-man

    In looking at highlights of Tobias Harris, it seems that he always goes right. I would pass.

  95. ess-dog

    Z-man:
    In looking at highlights of Tobias Harris, it seems that he always goes right. I would pass.

    If you believe win shares, which is a fairly good predictor, Harris matches up very well to other past freshmen. In the 2010 draft, his win shares for his freshman year were higher than both Aminu’s and Evan Turner’s freshmen years. In 2009, his scores were higher than Derozan’s, though not Harden’s or of course, Griffin’s. In 2008, his score was pretty close to Brandon Rush’s score.

    He’s not going to be a star, but he will be a valuable starter or rotation player most likely, and by all accounts he works hard and stays out of trouble. And his value has been pretty even on offense/defense.

  96. Z-man

    Yeah, but at the next level, if there is a major flaw in one’s game, it will be exposed. Considering that this is said to be a weak draft and the consensus seems to be that he is not a top-20 pick, I am guessing that others have picked up on some issues.

    On the other hand, has anyone checked our Shumpert’s combine measurements? Ridiculous. Jumps like Nate and Vince, bench presses near the top of the list, great speed. Needs a good, hard look just on that basis.

  97. ess-dog

    I think Harris and Thompson (and to a riskier extent Selby) would be a good choice as someone that can get a trade done for a CP3 type because of their higher ceilings. I think most 18 year olds need to work on their off hand. The talent is clearly there. Chad Ford has him as the 16th best prospect (he has Selby at 18th.)

    The question is, do you take a guy like Harris, who most likely won’t contribute right away but would look good to a trade partner, or do you go for a guy like Fredette or Faried who should come right in and help your team as role players?

    Of course it’s not so black and white, but with Amare and Melo, we clearly have a window and not a lot of time to groom prospects. I think you have to take they guy who’s the best player right now and that’s probably Fredette or Faried.

  98. taggart4800

    Love the Cavs, Pistons, Wolves trade for the Cavs.

    There squad would be
    Irving
    Hamilton
    Williams
    Hickson
    Varejeo

    with Baron Davis still to come off the bench. Playoffs would not be a bad shout if they could swing a couple more trades

  99. ess-dog

    Sounds great for the Twolves too. Instead of just Williams they can get two of Kanter, Valenciunas, Biyombo, Vesely, Kemba, Kawhi….

  100. ess-dog

    They could start the year with:

    Kanter
    Love
    Vesely
    Johnson
    Rubio

    with Beasley and Randolph off the bench.

  101. BigBlueAL

    taggart4800:
    Love the Cavs, Pistons, Wolves trade for the Cavs.

    There squad would be
    Irving
    Hamilton
    Williams
    Hickson
    Varejeo

    with Baron Davis still to come off the bench. Playoffs would not be a bad shout if they could swing a couple more trades

    If the trade happens Hamilton will be bought out by the Cavs.

  102. citizen

    taggart4800:
    Love the Cavs, Pistons, Wolves trade for the Cavs.

    There squad would be
    Irving
    Hamilton
    Williams
    Hickson
    Varejeo

    with Baron Davis still to come off the bench. Playoffs would not be a bad shout if they could swing a couple more trades

    can’t Detroit move Hamilton without giving up a lottery pick?

  103. taggart4800

    @126 Hadn’t read that sorry. I think that would be a shame with such a young core. Veteran presence wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  104. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, moving a lottery pick just to get rid of Hamilton? That’s absurd.

    The deal is brilliant for Minny and Cleveland, though.

  105. ess-dog

    You would think the Pistons would at least get the #20 from the Wolves.

    I’m not sure who the Wolves would take really. Their swingmen positions are a mess and it’s not really a strength in this draft. Clearly they could have their choice of Biyombo/Kanter to put next to Love, but then what? If I’m them, I try to package the #8 with Beasley or someone to get an Iguodala type.

  106. Brian Cronin

    Oh yeah, my guess is that Minny is only getting the picks to deal them again, only this time to a team with something other than more picks to deal. #4 and #8 should be able to get you pretty much any available player you’d like, even in a weak draft. The thing is, what player is available that would work for Minny?

  107. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Wow, the Cavs getting two of the best multi-skilled shooters in the NCAA? Scary.

  108. latke

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Wow, the Cavs getting two of the best multi-skilled shooters in the NCAA? Scary.

    It’s amazing how easy it is to make yourself look smart when you aren’t under such great pressure to win now. Then again, the Pistons proved that even the early stages of rebuilding aren’t idiot-proof.

  109. nicos

    Interesting- Cleveland would basically be paying 25+ million to move from 4 to 2. Normally I’d say that’s kind of crazy- especially when I think Williams has the potential to be Beasley without the mental issues which ain’t worth that money. Unlike most teams picking that high Cleveland still has a ton of current season ticket holders who might be convinced to re-up with the excitement generated by the two top picks coming to town. They still drew good crowds this season and it might be worth 25 mil to keep the momentum going in terms of ticket sales.

  110. Z-man

    I’ve been checking out Iman Shumpert more extensively and am geting more and more impressed with him. I would love to see us nab this guy with a late 1st round pick, don’t think he’ll last until round 2.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    nicos:
    Normally I’d say that’s kind of crazy- especially when I think Williams has the potential to be Beasley without the mental issues which ain’t worth that money.

    Derrick Williams put up some of the most impressive numbers I’ve seen in NCAAB.

    http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/w/willide16.html

    .690 TS% in 1100 minutes? Mental. Led the league. And yeah, Beasley put up a .610, which was good for 4th in the league while he was there, but .080 is a huge gap.

    I’d guess that Beasley’s mental issues are the thing that’s keeping him from being a serviceable starter in the NBA, so if a team gets a better version of him who wants to work hard instead of blow smoke rings, I’d say they’d be doing alright. (And while I have no problem with marijuana, you have to be out of your mind to smoke anything as a top-tier athlete. If a 5% increase in production can triple my earning potential, you better believe I’m gonna do what it takes to get to that point.)

  112. ess-dog

    Beasley wasn’t as efficient as Williams and more importantly, his rebounding didn’t translate that well to the next level, which was a large part of his game. With his three point shot (and not being really that much of a rebounder anyway), it seems like Williams should have an easier time moving to sf than Beasley did. Williams could have issues on defense though, regardless of his position.

  113. The Infamous Cdiggy

    just a slightly off-topic thought: If the Heat do indeed win the Title this year (I’ll be rooting HARD for Dallas though my head tells me the Heat will win), does that alter how the Knicks plan to further their team? I understand the prevailing thought process is to try to get Paul to team with Melo and Stat, but I just witnessed LeBron and DWade DOMINATE the last 2+ minutes of an “elite” defensive team plus play all-world defense themselves. Plus Bosh has proven to be no slouch in these playoffs as the 3rd superstar. They have an elite 2-way 2guard, an elite 2-way 3forward, and a legit offensive 4; 2-3-4.

    I heard someone say once that in any sport, you want to be strong up the middle. Could one way to counter the Heat be to build a team 1-3-5? I’m thinking an elite 2-way PG (Paul), the elite offensive 3 that CAN play D when motivated (Melo) and a elite 2-way C (Howard). Notice I didn’t mention Amare – what I’m saying is, as much as I enjoy and appreciate what he’s done in wanting to come to NY and embrace the city and his role, if I could flip him for Howard, I would. Thoughts?

  114. nicos

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Derrick Williams put up some of the most impressive numbers I’ve seen in NCAAB.

    http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/w/willide16.html

    .690 TS% in 1100 minutes? Mental. Led the league. And yeah, Beasley put up a .610, which was good for 4th in the league while he was there, but .080 is a huge gap.

    I’d guess that Beasley’s mental issues are the thing that’s keeping him from being a serviceable starter in the NBA, so if a team gets a better version of him who wants to work hard instead of blow smoke rings, I’d say they’d be doing alright.

    I agree that Williams has a high ceiling- I’d say his max is Paul Pierce which would be worth the 25 mil but you had better be sure. 25m gets gets you three years of a proven starter in free agency or two years of a fringe All-Star. Is Williams going to be better than that guy plus the number 4 pick? If he’s Pierce yes, if he’s Beasley + 5% probably not. As I said, I think Cleveland’s position is unusual for a bad team- they’re not trying to build a fan base from scratch, they just need to keep their existing fans interested and towards that end the excitement of Williams’ potential probably trumps Kanter or Valanciunas plus a solid free agent.

  115. Brian Cronin

    Notice I didn’t mention Amare – what I’m saying is, as much as I enjoy and appreciate what he’s done in wanting to come to NY and embrace the city and his role, if I could flip him for Howard, I would. Thoughts?

    If you could do it, of course everyone here would flip him for Howard (whether Paul was coming here or not). I don’t believe you could do it, though.

    By the way, in a Paul/Howard/Melo team, boy would Melo be marginalized.

  116. Brian Cronin

    By the way, Detroit apparently is not willing to give up the #8 for just shedding Rip’s contract. It will be interesting to see who they ask for. Anthony Randolph would be a great fit on Detroit.

  117. nicos

    Brian Cronin:
    By the way, Detroit apparently is not willing to give up the #8 for just shedding Rip’s contract. It will be interesting to see who they ask for. Anthony Randolph would be a great fit on Detroit.

    If you’re Minnesota would you rather trade AR or the 20th pick? If you’re Detroit? It’s a weak draft and I think AR remains intriguing enough that he’s worth more than the 20th pick. In this draft I’d say swapping 8 for 20 would be a fair deal to get 25 million off the books.

  118. Brian Cronin

    Well, what’s interesting is the question of which team is the one that should throw in the sweetener? Cleveland or Minny? Who is getting the better deal in this – Cleveland or Minny?

  119. ess-dog

    Detroit’s giving up a lottery pick and Cleveland is spending 25 mil (although they could just keep Hamilton) so I think Minny has to pony up something.

  120. Brian Cronin

    They’re giving up the “prize” in all of this, though, the #2 pick. If Cleveland wants that pick so bad, then perhaps they should be the one who throws in the sweetener. With Irving and Davis on the team, Sessions might be the odd man out. Would Detroit be interested in a Sessions/Stuckey back court?

  121. ess-dog

    Right. The Twolves have the least to lose here. They could just keep the #2 and all of their players. So really Cleveland and the Pistons should be motivated here. I guess if Detroit wants more, Cleveland could give the Pistons their very high 2nd rounder. For a team crying poor, 2nd rounders are gold. That would give Detroit the 2 and 3 pick of round 2. Get a few projects in Tyler and Shumpert, save 25 mil. Not bad.

  122. JK47

    By the way, in a Paul/Howard/Melo team, boy would Melo be marginalized.

    Really– marginalized? I would think that on a team with Paul and Howard that Melo would get tons of easy buckets and would lead the NBA in scoring. I mean, Melo would clearly be the third best player on that team, but he would still be an extremely useful player.

  123. The Infamous Cdiggy

    JK47:
    By the way, in a Paul/Howard/Melo team, boy would Melo be marginalized.

    Really– marginalized?I would think that on a team with Paul and Howard that Melo would get tons of easy buckets and would lead the NBA in scoring.I mean, Melo would clearly be the third best player on that team, but he would still be an extremely useful player.

    100% Co-sign on that. Melo would be the #3 star but #1 scorer because that would be his primary role vs Paul (distributor extraordinaire first, on-ball D + 18-20 ppg) and Howard (premiere rebounder first, shot blocker/defensive anchor 2nd + 19-22 ppg).

    Someone tell me that lineup (plus the right role-players) couldn’t counter the Heat and their makeup??? Excuse me while I salivate a lil at such a dream.

  124. jon abbey

    And while I have no problem with marijuana, you have to be out of your mind to smoke anything as a top-tier athlete.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half the league smokes pot, I’ve seen estimates of up to 70 percent. I also don’t think there’s much reason to believe that guys like Balkman or Beasley would be better if they didn’t smoke; it certainly didn’t seem to hurt Robert Parish or Iverson or Webber or Barkley, etc.

  125. Brian Cronin

    Melo would certainly still score a lot of baskets, but they’d be almost entirely on kick-outs, hence the “marginalized” part of it. He’d play the Jason Richardson/Vince Carter role from Orlando. He would certainly still score, he just wouldn’t have the role that you would think he would want (which is the #1 or #2 option).

  126. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey: I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half the league smokes pot, I’ve seen estimates of up to 70 percent. I also don’t think there’s much reason to believe that guys like Balkman or Beasley would be better if they didn’t smoke; it certainly didn’t seem to hurt Robert Parish or Iverson or Webber or Barkley, etc.

    Oh, we can talk about Iverson’s playing ability all day.

    Seriously, though, unless they were packing ice bongs or eating special brownies, the smoke wasn’t helping their games.

  127. danvt

    D. Rose lost because he’s just not such a great shooter yet. Really that has been the story with LBJ as well, who, despite being able to make it from half court in practice, went clank in big games the last few years. He seems to have turned the corner now, though, and also has the confidence of having Wade and Bosh. Lebron might be challenging for a title even if still in Cleveland. He’s ready now.

    I love Noah. He’s just great. His offensive game will round out as will Rose’s and they’ll be dangerous for years. It just takes time before you’re at that ultimate level.

    Dirk is also ready and, in a way, it seems like, naturally, it’s his time. The Heat seem to be ahead of schedule. I always get my popcorn out around this time of year and get ready for a massive 50 point performance from one of these guys and usually am disappointed to see someone trying too hard and a serious lack of fluidity. I half think this may happen to Lebron again. The Heat, however, have been able to make up for this type of thing by playing unbelievable Riley style (really Chuck Daly style) defense. They’re just a great franchise, it pains me to say. With a great GM who we should have never let leave NY.

    Knicks would be stupid to pass on Jimmer. He can play for them right now and they need, you know, real players. He probably won’t last to 17.

  128. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Brian Cronin:
    Melo would certainly still score a lot of baskets, but they’d be almost entirely on kick-outs, hence the “marginalized” part of it. He’d play the Jason Richardson/Vince Carter role from Orlando. He would certainly still score, he just wouldn’t have the role that you would think he would want (which is the #1 or #2 option).

    I disagree with this because Melo is better than both of them. In addition, even for people who just think Melo is a chucker-supreme (I don’t – he’s a gifted scorer), imagine such a “chucker” with more open looks due to Howard and Paul…

  129. Brian Cronin

    Yes, he’s better than them, but he’d still fill that role on the team. If you have Chris Paul and Dwight Howard on the team, Melo simply is not going to be creating offense for himself (unless both of those guys are on the bench). The team would be so good that I’m sure he’d be fine with it, though (as, again, he’d still score a lot).

  130. Truitt

    How do people feel about Jeremy Tyler, or marshon brooks, I think both of these kids will become players in the league and have a skill that could help the knicks right away.. Also does anyone know how Jerome Jordan is doing in Europe? We have hisrights and knowing whether or not we are goin to bring him over could have a large effect in their decision come draft time..

  131. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    Good points about the Knicks needing defense and I am also a big Justin Holliday fan.

    In terms of “pure PGs”… Isiah was pretty set on Marbury as his PG, and there just aren’t always that many “pure PGs” coming out of college. A lot of times PG draft prospects are the best scorer on their college team and have to show off their scoring skills more than PG skills, and it’s not that easy to see PG skills in an empty gym or even pick-up game at a workout/combine. The Jordan Hill pick seems to be the only one where Walsh really passed on a PG. Gallo over Augustin, maybe, but Augstin is a bit of a combo-guard.

  132. Ted Nelson

    Truitt: How do people feel about Jeremy Tyler

    I’ve heard a first hand account that his work ethic was crap when he was still in the US… A 16, 17 year old (at the time of that report) can certainly mature and he at least had the ambition to turn pro and go overseas in an unconventional but smart move… Failing out in Israel and ending up in Tokyo doesn’t really help his case. I couldn’t really fault the Knicks for taking a shot on him #17 in a weak draft class if their first choices are off the board, but I would be a bit apprehensive if that was their pick.

  133. Ted Nelson

    re: Melo playing with Paul and Howard…

    As much as I doubt that will ever happen, I think he’d still do alright. If his coach chose to marginalize him by making him a pure jump-shooter… no, he wouldn’t do alright. He’d probably stink, IMO, because he has poor shot selection and is a mediocre shooter. Shawn Marion played with Nash and Amare for D’Antoni in Phoenix, though, and was not marginalized into a jump shooter. He did get kick-out looks, but D’Antoni also played him to his strengths as a slasher. Melo’s strengths aren’t exactly the same as Marion’s were, but I could see D’Antoni fitting his strengths in between a PG and big just like he did for Marion. If you played those 3 with two strong jump shooters Melo might actually benefit by finally stopping his chucker ways.

  134. Truitt

    Thanks Ted, I hear what you are saying. In Tyler, I see a young athlete with an NBA body, who has endured a lot of hardship in the past, and who may be motivated to put in the required work to succeed. Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see, but he does have the advantage of his unique experience…if that is an advantage…

  135. James

    “A 16, 17 year old (at the time of that report) can certainly mature and he at least had the ambition to turn pro and go overseas in an unconventional but smart move”

    I wouldn’t give him props for thinking outside the box. If he had handled the experience like he wanted the challenge of going up against grown men and treating basketball like a profession, he should be lauded but he didn’t. He acted like a kid who just wanted to get away from his parents, get paid and live with his girlfriend because that’s basically all he did. He lived in an apartment with his girlfriend, pissed off his neighbors, didn’t listen or apparently even respect his coaches, failed to impress in games and got cut. I think he thought he would dominate from day 1 because Israeli basketball had never seen anything like him, a top American big man prospect. Man was he wrong.

    Compare him to Jennings’ Euro experience and it’s night and day. Jennings went over with his mom and younger brother, went to practice everyday on time, complained a bit towards the end but for the most part kept his mouth shut about not playing and by most accounts, was a standout in practice. He handled his time in Italy about as well as one could expect him to except for actually playing well.

    It’s promising that Tyler comported himself better in Japan and that his coach has good words for him. But still, it was the Japanese league, a very inferior league and he didn’t dominate. A future NBA top 3 big with his gifts should dominate over there despite his youth.

    Nearly every recruiting class there is always talented, highly ranked big men who amount to nothing. He has the look of one.

  136. James

    “I’d guess that Beasley’s mental issues are the thing that’s keeping him from being a serviceable starter in the NBA”

    I don’t know if it’s mental but I think a large part of why he hasn’t met expectations is because he doesn’t want to take the pounding. In college he went to the line 8.5 times a game, a great number but in three seasons as a pro, he’s only gone to the line 3.0, 3.1 and 4.0 times a game. It’s not a matter of him not being able to get by his man because he can, he just goes out of his way to avoid contact around the rim when he isn’t pulling up for a jumper. If he was willing to take the punishment that Melo does, that Lebron and Wade and all the other top scorers do, he would be at least a 25 point game scorer with the variety of shots he has. But for whatever reason, maybe because basketball isn’t important enough to him, he hasn’t shown the physicality he showed at KSU.

    As for Derrick Williams, I’m not feeling the Pierce comparison. To me, he’s a PF all the way. First of all, his jumper his way too slow to get it off comfortably against wings and he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to shoot off the bounce. I can’t see him handling it on picks or juking guys on the perimeter and hitting stepback jumpers. His lateral agility to guard wings also looked suspect. As a PF though, he profiles really well as a pick and pop player who can take his man off the dribble and also rebound and fight in the post. I really liked his physicality and strength and with his skill level, I think he’s a pretty safe, borderline all-star player. I’ve read a Granger comp (ridiculous), a Jamison with physicality (pretty good) and even a Shareef Abdur-Rahim one. I like the Shareef one myself.

  137. Ted Nelson

    James,

    A lot of that on Tyler is hearsay and the rest is speculation. It raises questions about Tyler’s character… but if you actually read my comment you’ll notice that I also raised those questions. I simply said that a young person can mature and that it showed some desire to go pro… he could have also just taken money to play in HS and NCAA like most other top recruits. I never said he was some visionary with a great work ethic. I said basically the opposite, and feel you misrepresented my comment.

    Jennings almost quit Rome… your narrative about each individual is a bit too neat and tidy. Jennings has his flaws, just as Tyler has his strengths. You can be a lazy NBA bigman who never realizes nearly his potential and still be a solid #17 pick by putting in just enough effort… especially in a weak draft class like this one.

    Everyone matures at different rates and different skill sets come throw in different ways. The Knicks don’t need Tyler to be a high volume scorer, so a more complete scouting report on his trip to Japan is necessary than “he’s not dominating.” Guys who dominate in Europe do not always translate to the NBA game, while sometimes lesser players’ skills do translate.

  138. James

    Ted, after watching video of Tyler, I’m highly impressed with his potential. It’s not everyday you see 6’10, 260 pound guys with his agility and footwork. Too often I think the word athletic freak gets tossed around for guys who have bad footwork that prevents them from unlocking their athletic ability on the court, but he seems to have it.

    As for my comments about Tyler being hearsay and speculation, I just went off a Nytimes article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/sports/basketball/08tyler.html?ref=sports

    A couple of quotes that caught my eye:

    “Asked about his reluctance to work and listen to his coaches, he said he was skeptical of their knowledge and methods.”

    “During a practice in late October, Ashkenazi ejected Tyler from a drill. Tyler turned away from the court and said, in colorful language, that his coach did not know anything about basketball.”

    Directly from the horse’s mouth, he didn’t respect his coaches and their methods, which makes me wonder why he went over there in the first place. If it was to better himself, unconventionally, against grown men, why do it if you have so little respect for foreign basketball. It leads me to speculate whether he was just sick of high school and wanted to make some money, thinking it was going to be easy in some way. Since he would have been a senior at the time, a year younger than Jennings, I cut him some slack but come on, the quotes are just ridiculous. Less is known about his time in Japan but from the sounds of it, he worked harder and at least didn’t piss off his coach.

    Since his jumper looks okay and he can finish around the basket and he’s huge, it’s possible to dream on him and visualize ways he can make an impact. But personally, from articles and a video interview, hardly extensive material I know, he just sounds like a guy who twenty years from who is going to blame everyone else for why he failed. The great phenomenon turned into the great victim.

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