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Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Return of Reggie?

Danny Ainge has apparently confirmed speculation that he has approached noted Knick-killer Reggie Miller to come out of retirement at the age of 42 to join the Boston Celtics.

This is rather…strange news, to be kind.

Miller was still an effective player when he last played, two years ago, for the Pacers. However, he couldn’t play a lick of defense by that point in his career, so it’s a wonder how poor of a defender he is now, over two years since he last laced up his sneakers in the league.

However, from the Celtics’ standpoint, it makes sense only in the sense of, if they can get him cheap, he’s an improvement over, say, most players from the NBDL. Like I said, Reggie was still a good scorer when he retired, and while he will certainly have lost some ability, it is unlikely that he’s lost ALL of it, so he will probably still help the team out. Not enough to be a starter, but for a team with as thin of a bench as the Celtics currently have, every little bit could help.

From Reggie’s standpoint, he want a ring. Is this his best shot for a ring?

Might very well be.

Should be interesting to see how it turns out, either way.

Allan Houston – keep your phone line open!

87 comments on “A Return of Reggie?

  1. danmajerle19

    As a Reggie’s fan, I would love to see him coming back in the NBA.
    But I don’t think that he will get his ring, this team won’t win a championship immediately, even if Pierce and Allen were working all this summer on their ‘less than stellar’ defence.

  2. dave crockett

    yeah, this infatuation between reggie and the celts is hard to decipher on both sides.

    for the celts, if they’re looking for depth and instant offense they’d be better off with a guy younger than ray allen. i can envision no set of circumstances where i’d prefer reggie to take a shot over ray allen right now.

    ainge should be looking at young, cheap alternatives like von wafer, former lakers 2nd rounder, who shot 45% from 3 (57% eFG) with colorado in the NBDL. wafer could probably provide scoring and minutes during the regular season, lowering the wear and tear on ray allen.

  3. mase

    Allan Huston is coming back too!
    i heard him in an interview basically say that he would sign with the highest bidder, what a loser!

  4. Frank O.

    Having an experienced guy on the bench is always useful.
    Have a guy that can shoot from anywhere on the court for 10-15 minutes a night also is useful.
    Celtics have gone all in on a win now approach.
    Reggie shoots better than most of the second and third tier talents the Celtics would be looking to hire at this point to people their bench.
    And while Reggie is older, I would bet a lot of money he still is one of the better shooters in the league.
    If they can get him cheap, it’s like hiring another coach who can give you 6 to 10 a night from the perimeter and help to develop the young guys you have left on the bench.

  5. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Allan Huston is coming back too!
    i heard him in an interview basically say that he would sign with the highest bidder”

    Scott Layden is an assistant coach with Utah. You think the Jazz will be the first to offer $100M?

  6. KFFL

    haha i would’nt be surprised if Houston ended up with Utah…layden clearly has a crush on Houston…I mean Allan Houston wasn’t worth anywhere CLOSE to the $100M even in his prime…which he was riding the tail end of when he signed the contract that put us in this cap hell…jesus i liked houston..he was one of my favorite knicks(which isn’t saying much..this team is better)…but come on layden what were you smoking when you signed that contract????….gimme’ some…haha have a good evening fellow KFFL’ers

  7. Matthew

    I think the potential Mutombo signing is a bigger deal for the Celtics. On a per minute basis, Mutombo is still one of the best centers in the league.

    But now they’re saying that the Celtics are backing off the Mutombo thing.. big mistake IMO.

  8. daniel

    why don’t the Knicks flip Zach Randolph for Richard Jefferson from the Nets—seems like it would be a good, productive and easy trade for both teams…..

  9. daniel

    starting lineups would be:

    Knicks:

    Steph, Richardson, Jefferson, Lee, Curry (with Crawford and then Balkman coming of the bench)

    Nets:

    Kidd, Cater, Randolph, Kistic, Magloire

    I mean, doesn’t that really help both teams…

  10. Owen

    If we could have traded Randolph for someone better, we would have just done a three way trade at the start. No point in bringing him here otherwise. Randolph is definitely going to be a Knick next year.

    As someone who believes in Balkman and Richardson, I don’t think Small Forward is really a problem. With power forward, its probably our greatest strength. If we were going to trade Randolph, I would hope it would be for someone who could play center, sg, or pg much better than our starters from last year. Of course, if those kind of players could be gotten for Randolph, they would be in Portland right now….1

  11. brian quinnett's left nipple

    i would think that with allen, pierce and garnett, the celtics have enough scorers.

    not that they couldn’t use miller, but i’d think they’d need to fill out the roster with defenders, rebounders and ball movers.

    then again, nobody every really accused danny ainge of knowing what he’s doing.

  12. Mike C

    Celtics signed Scot Pollard, they ARE desperate, tho i do like the comedic factor of a team with both Scallibrine and Pollard

  13. Frank

    anyone think that it might be a good idea to sign Houston?

    Maybe we could trade Crawford then for draft picks or something?

  14. mase

    i wouldn’t trade Z-bo for Jefferson, bad deal for the Knicks!

    by the way we have an awesome frontcourt and I expect them to play defense since this is NY and fans expect it!
    …its the backcourt that worries me most.

  15. Frank O.

    Okay, wait.
    How is it that Dikembe is still one of the better performing defense centers in basketball and the Knicks couldn’t wait to trade him away?
    Have I forgotten something?
    Also, why is it that we trade away players, I can think of a few, who leave us and then become solid citizens/contributors wherever they go?

  16. jon abbey

    Mutumbo wasn’t very good when he was with us, he’s roughly 900 years old and can’t really do anything on offense. as for your last statement, I’d say it’s the reverse, that for the number of players Isiah has moved, it’s kind of amazing how few of them would have been worth hanging onto. just because someone can be a role player on a top team (McDyess, Dikembe, Kurt Thomas) doesn’t mean they were worth keeping during our rebuilding phase. again, our problem isn’t lack of quality contributors, we’re probably one of the few deepest teams in the league. it’s that our best few players aren’t as good as most other team’s best few players.

  17. Owen

    Yeah, you are right there Jon, but he has been a superb backup center for the Rockets. Perhaps being on a competitive team is necessary to bring the best out of him.

  18. Z

    “for the number of players Isiah has moved, it?s kind of amazing how few of them would have been worth hanging onto.”

    This is true, and admittedly overlooked by Isiah detractors. I guess the only real risks when it came to dealing players with upside were Sweetney and Ariza (and Lampe and Frank Williams, I guess). Other than the TBD Ariza, he has been conservative with the young players, and so far has gambled pretty well.

    But most of Isiah’s moves have been lateral moves (Van Horn for Thomas, Weatherspoon for Norris, Norris for Mo Taylor, Doleac for Nazr, etc…), so “for the number of players Isiah has moved, it?s kind of amazing how few of [the ones he's brought in] have been worth hanging on to” too.

  19. jon abbey

    Sweetney has been a total dud since leaving NY, Frank Williams was almost immediately out of the league. the only real loss has been Ariza (and possibly still Jackie Butler), and we’ve all been through how that was Larry the Antichrist’s deal, not Isiah’s, too many times already.

    and the silver lining on that deal is that if we didn’t deal Ariza, we probably draft Marcus Williams or Rondo instead of Balkman, who has a good shot to be the best of the four when all is said and done.

  20. Z

    I left off Frye, who probably has his best days in the league ahead of him. Like Ariza he’s a TBA, but unless he becomes an All Star out west and Lee turns out to be “fool’s gold” (Inot to be taken as an invitation to remind everyone how magnificent he really is…), dealing him away will probably not be looked at with much regret.

  21. ben

    TOTALLY OFF TOPIC but i feel like telling people my plans for the knicks to get better. i think that the knicks should get rid of marbury jamal and curry. trade them both for Money, draft picks, and a small forward or power forward kind of player. one who could to both would be good. the team would be like this

    point Mardy Colins and Nate Robinson-Nate does need to dribble less tho

    Shootin guard Q who hopefully wont be hurt and Nichols and sometimes we could put nate here when we really need someone to make their own shots

    Small Forward would be balkman who deserves 25-30 minutes and the others would be taken from Q Or people we get from tradin Steph and Curry

    Power Forward David lee should play most of the game because he is amazing but Randolf could get some time and if the team wanted to play small ball they could put balkman here for a little while and people we get from Curry and Steph could help

    Center would be Zach Randolf and Morris as his backup Eventually once zach is worn out morris will be a great center in his prime

    I can just see that this would be a whole new team. The current knicks have even more talent then them, but they have no chemistry. this new team doesnt have 5 ball hogs on the court at a time. the one improvement that could help is mardy gettin a bit of a jumper. he would only need to hit open shots though. if we made him into a main option the offense wouldnt work as well.

    now we will have a point guard who doesnt control the ball like ours does now. if nate plays like he did in the summer league he will be an option for offense but he would focus more on involving the team

    our team used to have 4 players who needed the ball to help the offense and jamal comin off the bench to be exactly the same as them.

    Now all we have is Zach who will be our number one offensive option. we will have a good small/power forward from trades who will be a number two kind of option.

    our point guard shooting guard and small forwards dont make as much offense but they all play great defense, and are able to make open shots and sometimes create for themselves

    It will b a nine man rotation but morris wont play that much. that even seems like too many people to me but it will work out im sure. the team only has two people who demand the ball and now we have people who can help without touching the ball. i wouldnt see the team going to the playoffs next season but in one or two they will be pretty good. also i havent been thinking of what we could get with curry steph and jamal. a great future could come with the draft picks we could get, and we would go way down on our huge salary.

  22. Caleb

    Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you probably couldn’t give away Curry, Marbury or Crawford for NOTHING to any team in the league. No one wants the contracts, no matter what.

    Maybe someone would take Marbury for a complete loser with 3 or more years left on a contract. Next year, when his deal is running out, his trade value might rise above zero. Ditto for Curry, once he only has two years left and can say he’s played for three years without having a heart attack.

  23. Gabe

    Reggie is better than anyone on the C’s current roster not named Allen, Pierce, Garnett, Rondo, or Perkins.

  24. Owen

    Not saying much, since the only players that don’t fit the bill are Olowakandi and Scalabrine. There is no way Reggie Miller can produce at 42. Not possible. He was almost average his last year in the league, but two years out, impossible. Nice story though…

  25. Neil

    The Celtics probably aren’t going to be asking much from Reggie (a bold guess on my part). He doesn’t even need to be average. Just be clutch at times, hit some threes from the corner or rub off some screens now and again and hit some Js. No need to dribble or upfake guys and take a beating. Both Garnett and Pierce are very good passers; giving them another deadeye shooter in addition to Ray Allen could be something.

    Championship teams have always had that one extra player besides the main stars who has hit big shots at the end of games. Gary Payton in 2006, Robert Horry seemingly every year, Brian Shaw and Ron Harper, etc… The Celtics don’t have anybody on their roster who fits that bill. Reggie Miller, even at 42, would. It wouldn’t be surprising at all, if the Celtics make it far, that he ended up hitting one of the biggest jumpers in their run. He would be a valuable addition.

  26. thefatkid

    Caleb, you realize that Curry and Crawford are two of the most reasonable contracts in the league, right? To say that you couldn’t give away either of those two is not only completely untrue, but ridiculous.

  27. Z

    Marbury, Curry, and Crawford can all be moved, theoretically, but not for cash, picks, and prospects. They can be moved for other players with similar $$ and longer terms to their respective deals.

    The Blazers probably would have taken Marbury with Frye had Francis not been around.

    Curry and Crawford have relatively reasonable salaries, but their pacts run for a long time (both through 2011). If there was much trade value for Crawford I think we’d know it. As for Curry, who knows what his value is because he is “untouchable”.

  28. Caleb

    Let me rephrase… if you hung up a sign, saying, “Fire Sale – These Guys Must Go. Name Your Price” – no one would make an offer.

    Curry would be semi-tradeable if he didn’t have an uninsureable heart condition.

    I might be exaggerating about Crawford, but not by much. He’s lucky to be in the rotation of a 33-win team, and makes $8m a year. That’s one of the most reasonable contracts in the league?

    Seriously… the only players anyone would offer in return are big $$ busts – Kenyon Martin, anyone? And even there, I don’t Denver would trade him for Marbury or Curry.

    Zach for Francis was a flippin’ miracle. It only happened bc of Frye, anyway.

    You probably could trade Crawford for someone on the level of Tim Thomas or Speedy Claxton or Adonal Foyle, or Larry Hughes if we threw in a player or a short deal like Malik.

  29. thefatkid

    “If there was much trade value for Crawford I think we?d know it.”

    And why is that? Isiah Thomas has never shopped the guy and probably won’t. Why are you looking to deal him?

    “Curry would be semi-tradeable if he didn?t have an uninsureable heart condition.”

    Not true at all. Curry’s heart has been checked out by every single leading cardiologist in the country and they’ve all given him a clean bill of health. Why are you so hung up on this? Are you a member of the Paxson family?

    “I might be exaggerating about Crawford, but not by much. He?s lucky to be in the rotation of a 33-win team, and makes $8m a year. That?s one of the most reasonable contracts in the league?”

    All this nonsense about Crawford. Lucky to be in the rotation? He’s one of the most productive players on the team. If his contract is so awful, why not list a few more productive players that make less? Shouldn’t be hard for you.

  30. Caleb

    “If his contract is so awful, why not list a few more productive players that make less? Shouldn?t be hard for you.”

    Nate Robinson, for starters.

    Almost every starting 2-guard in the league.

    I won’t rehash all the back-and-forth that this site has seen over the past season, but to sum up: JC is a 40-percent shooter, taking more shots than anyone on the team, and plays no defense. Based on plus-minus, the team is significantly better when he’s on the bench.

    re: Curry, I might be guessing a little bit as to other team’s motivations, but it’s been reported several places that his contract is not insured.

  31. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    tfk: on what basis is Crawford more productive? Nate shoots at a higher percentage and scores more per minute. He’s averages more steals, more rebounds, and less turnovers. The only thing Crawford does better is pass, but at the expense of all those other things. I could understand all those things if Crawford was a good defender, but he’s awful there as well (Knicks were 3.3 points worse on D with JC on the floor).

  32. Caleb

    FG%
    Crawford .400
    Robinson .434

    3-pt%
    Crawford .320
    Robinson .390

    FT%
    Crawford .838
    Robinson .777

    FTA/40
    Crawford 4.95
    Robinson 4.10

    TS%
    Crawford 51.7
    Robinson 55.2

    Ast/TO
    Crawford 1.60 / 1
    Robinson 1.25 / 1

    Ast/min
    Crawford 4.71
    Robinson 2.65

    Rebound/min
    Crawford 3.44
    Robinson 4.78

    PER (the Hollinger stat – 15.00 being average)
    Crawford 14.60
    Robinson 15.28

    WP48 (the Dave Berri stat – .100 being average)
    Crawford .019
    Robinson .070

    Defense – the stats aren’t too exciting, but I doubt anyone is arguing that Crawford is a decent defender.

    Age
    Crawford 27
    Robinson 23

    $$
    Crawford $7,200,000
    Robinson $1,185,000

  33. xduckshoex

    “If his contract is so awful, why not list a few more productive players that make less?”

    Stephen Jackson
    Devin Harris
    Deron Williams
    Chris Paul
    Nate Robinson
    Tony Allen
    Ben Gordon
    Anthony Parker
    Jose Calderon
    Kevin Martin
    Brandon Roy
    Leandrinho Barbosa
    Mike Miller
    Maurice Williams

    Plus there are all of the guys like Kobe, Manu and Hamilton who make more than Crawford but are also much more productive.

    And those are just the guards. If we include forwards that list gets way too long.

  34. thefatkid

    How could I forget who I was dealing with? To think that someone might measure productivity with actual stats and not Hollinger/Berri? Perish the thought!

    I’ll just say that Hollinger was convinced Sweetney was an amazing talent based on PER and had him being comparable to Curry. But you guys don’t even like Curry, so why use that example?

    Here’s a minor hint. The stat geek formulas that you guys are in love with wildly overrate shooting percentages and rebounding. David Lee isn’t the best player in the league or even the best player on the Knicks. Sorry to tell you.

    And regarding the Crawford question, don’t be ridiculous and list a bunch of guys on rookie contracts. Obviously we’re talking actual contracts for veteran SGs.

  35. Caleb

    fatkid,

    what stats would you look at to judge them? As you can see, Nate is better in almost every traditional category (and barely better in PER).

    I agree that Berri overrates rebounds (to simplify the problem with his formula) but the distortion shows up in the big guys with big rebound totals – it’s pretty irrelevant re: Crawford and Nate.

    PER (in)famously does NOT overrate shooting percentage – a big gripe is that your PER goes up the more you chuck, regardless of whether it goes in. And unless you’re arguing that Crawford is an impact defender, in a way that doesn’t show up in the box score, I’m not sure what you’re basing your case on, aside from , “damn, he looked good that game when he dropped 53.”

  36. Z

    “‘If there was much trade value for Crawford I think we?d know it.’

    And why is that? Isiah Thomas has never shopped the guy and probably won?t. Why are you looking to deal him?”

    Crawford was originally part of the Francis deal. Orlando balked because of the additional salary they would have to take on. Isiah pulled the trigger anyway.

    Here’s an exerpt from the news that day (ESPN.com 2/14/06 (1 week before trade occured):

    “New York was believed to be offering Penny Hardaway, Jamal Crawford and at least one other player, likely Trevor Ariza, David Lee or Nate Robinson, in a deal in which the Knicks would also take back center Kelvin Cato, whose $8.64 million salary comes off the cap at the end of the season.”

    Ironic that the Knicks signed Cato, and Orlando used their cap relief on Rashad Lewis (whom Isiah no doubt offered Crawford for this summer in a sign and trade)…

  37. Caleb

    p.s. I don’t mean to suggest that Nate is vastly better than Crawford… just that he’s already somewhat better, makes 1/5 the salary and is only 23 and still improving, rather than 27 and maxed out.

  38. thefatkid

    I don’t compare starters and bench players using P40M stats. Obviously a 20 MPG player is not going to produce a the same rate when he plays 40 MPG while a 37 MPG is likely to produce similar stats. For comparison purposes, I use nice, old fashioned PPG, RPG, APG, etc. And on that basis, the real life basis, Jamal Crawford is a much more productive player.

    Z, you honestly believe that Isiah Thomas was looking to deal his shooting guard for cap relief? Cap relief that wouldn’t even put the team under the cap? Or that Isiah Thomas was interested in not only giving Lewis a 9-figure deal, but that he was willing to give up players to do so?

  39. Michael Redd

    “Obviously a 20 MPG player is not going to produce a the same rate when he plays 40 MPG while a 37 MPG is likely to produce similar stats.”

    Is this really true? I might disagree.

  40. Earl Boykins

    ?Obviously a 20 MPG player is not going to produce a the same rate when he plays 40 MPG while a 37 MPG is likely to produce similar stats.?

    I would quibble with that as well…

  41. Z

    “Z, you honestly believe that Isiah Thomas was looking to deal his shooting guard for cap relief? Cap relief that wouldn?t even put the team under the cap? Or that Isiah Thomas was interested in not only giving Lewis a 9-figure deal, but that he was willing to give up players to do so?”

    I honestly believe Orlando nixed the inclusion of Crawford because of the length and cost of Crawford’s salary, which was the point that I was making.

    Crawford doesn’t have much value on the trade market. It’s just a reality. Which I don’t even mind too much because I actually like him and really want him to succeed here in NY. Truth is, so far, he hasn’t.

    (And by the way, yes, I “honestly believe that Isiah Thomas was looking to deal his shooting guard [to at least get something more than Francis out of the Francis deal] for cap relief? Cap relief that wouldn?t even put the team under the cap? Or that Isiah Thomas was interested in not only giving Lewis a 9-figure deal, but that he was willing to give up players to do so? [definitely]“).

  42. thefatkid

    Nate Robinson has already reached his potential, just as Crawford has. He’s a 20 MPG energy guy who can shoot and score. He’s a poor decision maker with the basketball, and he’s unable to run an offense. He’s a 5’9″ shooting guard, which makes the ceiling pretty low. Good player, but he’ll be an Earl Boykins-style situational role player for his career.

    Crawford is a much more complete player. He understands how to run an offense, he’s a vastly superior passer, he’s the only Knick who can actually make entry passes consistently, and he’s a big-time scorer.

    Unless you’re married to Hollinger, I can’t fathom how anyone would be able to make a case for Robinson being a better player than Crawford. What is the rationale? He shoots a higher percentage and he’s more productive per 40 minutes?

  43. Nick

    ?Obviously a 20 MPG player is not going to produce a the same rate when he plays 40 MPG while a 37 MPG is likely to produce similar stats.?

    This is true, isn’t it? Bumping a 20 MPG to 40 MPG involves a lot of projection and different scenarios: facing starters versus backups; mental and physical endurance, ie, having to pace yourself; playing with teammates with more prominent roles. Meanwhile, you only have to project 3 extra MPG for a 37 MPG, which isn’t a projection at all really. Isn’t this what he’s saying or am I reading it wrong?

  44. Caleb

    “I can?t fathom how anyone would be able to make a case for Robinson being a better player than Crawford. What is the rationale? He shoots a higher percentage and he?s more productive per 40 minutes?”

    Uh… yes.

    At least we agree on one thing: he’s a 5’9 shooting guard with no point guard skills. But I don’t see any reason to think he’s maxed out; he could easily reach Barbosa level. Unlike Boykins, Nate is a good shooter – the best 3-pt guy on the Knicks. He also has the physical tools to be a pretty good defender, a la Muggsy Bogues (though I admit – he hasn’t done it yet).

    re: Crawford, does it bother you at all that he shoots a worse percentage than any of the other players on the floor? For such a well-rounded, complete player, shouldn’t he let someone else take the shots? He may be a better and creator than Nate, but that doesn’t make him a point guard. Big-time scorer? It’s no great shakes to score 17 a game, when you play 37 minutes and lead the team in shots.

  45. Caleb

    ?Obviously a 20 MPG player is not going to produce a the same rate when he plays 40 MPG while a 37 MPG is likely to produce similar stats.?

    That’s probably true, but there’s no reason (evidence) to suggest it’s a huge dropoff. It’s not like Crawford’s #s were a lot better when he was playing fewer minutes, earlier in his career.

  46. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    ?Obviously a 20 MPG player is not going to produce a the same rate when he plays 40 MPG while a 37 MPG is likely to produce similar stats.?

    This is true, isn?t it?

    It’s absolutely not true. Take a look at the per minute stats of guys that saw an increase in playing time. Per minute stats stay very even from year to year, and a few studies showed that a player’s per minute stats will go up slightly with an increase in minutes.

    Eyeballing those guys above, it seems to be true. Boykins’ pts/40 went up from 14.7 to 19.2 when he went from 11 min/g to 19. Ben Wallace’s rebounding went up 2REB/40 when he went from 24min/g to 34. Jermaine O’Neal went up in a few key stats (pts, reb, blk). Redd’s pts/min went up every year his minutes increased.

  47. Caleb

    “It?s absolutely not true. Take a look at the per minute stats of guys that saw an increase in playing time. Per minute stats stay very even from year to year, and a few studies showed that a player?s per minute stats will go up slightly with an increase in minutes.”

    Do you have a link to the studies?

    It’s hard to separate the effect of playing more minutes, from the effect of a player getting older and better and earning the minutes. But it seems safe to say that a player’s number’s won’t go down dramatically with more minutes. In other words, per/40 stats are a reasonable way to look at things.

  48. thefatkid

    Nick, I’m glad someone else understands the argument against using P40M stats for everything. You simply can’t make apples and oranges comparisons using a skewed statistical measure.

    For some simple Knick examples, look at Channing Frye and Michael Sweetney. Those two were golden boys as reserves. Once they were given starting roles, the P40M productivity went down the tubes as did the overall productivity. If posters here got their way, David Lee would be the next unfortunate soul down this path. Fortunately for Knick fans, Isiah Thomas realized this and obtained an eminently capable starting PF.

    Regarding Crawford, his percentages could be better but they are hardly a major concern. I’m more concerned with seeing him play consistent defense. Crawford is an intelligent player and a valuable part of the Knicks, something he’s proven many times. Robinson may improve, but to suggest that he’s better than Crawford? You’re drastically overrating a decent role player and giving a very good starter little or no credit.

  49. xduckshoex

    “And regarding the Crawford question, don?t be ridiculous and list a bunch of guys on rookie contracts. Obviously we?re talking actual contracts for veteran SGs.”

    Well then you remove a good chunk of the League from the equation…obviously you’re asking a loaded question that you don’t really want answered.

  50. thefatkid

    Mike K, Earl Boykins’ productivity, both absolute and projected, decreased as his minutes went up and his role increased in his move from Denver to Milwaukee. His time with the Bucks showed, if anything, that he wasn’t capable of being a starting player in a featured role. He’s a perfect example of a role player who expects and demands a larger role while lacking the skills to meet his own demands. If you’re wondering why he hasn’t generated any interest or received any contract offers, that’s the short answer.

  51. thefatkid

    Rookie contracts can’t be used in any discussion of reasonable salaries. They aren’t negotiated deals based on a free market. If you’re looking to establish a market price on a player, why would you use non-market metrics?

  52. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Mike K, Earl Boykins? productivity, both absolute and projected, decreased as his minutes went up”

    Really? We’re talking about this Earl Boykins:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/boykiea01.html

    From 2002, his minutes increased steadily from 11min/g to 26min/g in 2005. His pts increased from 14.7 to 18.7 per 40 minutes. His assists decreased slightly (less than 1ast/40), but every stat stayed exactly the same.

    So Early Boykins more than doubled his minutes and became more productive.

    As for Frye, he played 24 min/g as a rookie and 26/g as a sophomore. So it wasn’t the increase of minutes that made him a worse player.

  53. Caleb

    “For some simple Knick examples, look at Channing Frye and Michael Sweetney. Those two were golden boys as reserves. Once they were given starting roles, the P40M productivity went down the tubes as did the overall productivity. If posters here got their way, David Lee would be the next unfortunate soul down this path.”

    Those are some weird examples…

    David Lee’s #s exploded when his numbers tripled (he played more minutes than Frye, whose game was supposedly wrecked by being a “starter”)

    Mike Sweetney had his best #s, by far, in 2003-2004, the year he played the most minutes. Not that he was ever on the road to superstardom, but his real problem was gaining 75 pounds.

    Frye is a weird case… as noted in his KB comment, his second-year collapse was virtually unprecedented.

  54. xduckshoex

    “Nick, I?m glad someone else understands the argument against using P40M stats for everything. You simply can?t make apples and oranges comparisons using a skewed statistical measure.”

    You should probably take a look at this:

    http://sonicscentral.com/apbrmetrics/viewtopic.php?t=1323

    It’s a study which shows what happens when bench players are given starter minutes. The difference in production is minimal across the board and increases in most categories.

    “For some simple Knick examples, look at Channing Frye and Michael Sweetney. Those two were golden boys as reserves. Once they were given starting roles, the P40M productivity went down the tubes as did the overall productivity.”

    Really? This past season Frye played what was arguably his best ball of the year in December, when he played 35 mpg. As a rookie, the first two months of the season where his best, and they were also the months in which he played the most minutes per game.

    As for Sweetney…the guy has never played starters minutes for an extended period of time; in fact, he’s never even made it through a month averaging more than 24 mpg.

    It seems like you’re just making stuff up.

  55. Nick

    If Robinson is given starter’s minutes, I don’t doubt he’ll put up better numbers. He’ll probably average double digits, notch some assists…numbers perhaps similar to those of Jameer Nelson (13/4). But at what cost though? Would he really make a good starter? What position does he even play? If he’s at point, I’m not sure I want him controlling a huge chunk of the decisionmaking for 40 minutes. And two-guard is out of the question because of the defensive matchup issues. At least off the bench he can give you spurts. The coach can deploy him for the right situations. But if he’s on the floor for all situations, then over the course of the season he would be too much of an liability. So while his stats might look the same, I don’t think a team could win with Robinson as a starter.

    Robinson’s game reminds of a shorter Ben Gordon.

  56. Nick

    Also about Robinson, he’s a style-specific player. He’s best when the game is hectic and open. Team him up with Balkman and Lee and possibly Chandler and that unit will run and Robinson could get free to go on an offensive barrage. It’d be a fun unit. But in a half-court setting, when defenders can hone in on him and he has less room to operate, he’s not as effective. I personally wouldn’t play him for 40 minutes a night.

  57. thefatkid

    Mike K, you need to look at 2006. The transition from 10 MPG reserve to 20 MPG reserve is nothing like the transition from role player to starter. When Boykins was expected to carry the load, he floundered. That is what is important and germane.

    Sweetney was significantly less effective as a starter so he was put back in his previous role, where he continued to produce at the same rate.

    Frye was a highly productive backup center who was a disaster as a starting PF. As a backup center, he was quick and agile with a strong perimeter game. As a starting PF, he was weak and unable to play inside and no longer quick enough to create separation on the perimeter.

    That link is a study that indicates that a bunch of consistent minute players were equally productive in the same minutes, regardless or whether they were classed a starter or reserve. That hardly seems profound or even relevant, given that we’re discussing the difference between 20 MPG and 37 MPG.

    Frye was most productive in December when he received heavy minutes. You’re making a tail wagging the dog argument. Obviously Frye played more minutes when he was more effective. His MPG were a byproduct of his effectiveness, not the converse.

  58. xduckshoex

    “That link is a study that indicates that a bunch of consistent minute players were equally productive in the same minutes, regardless or whether they were classed a starter or reserve. That hardly seems profound or even relevant, given that we?re discussing the difference between 20 MPG and 37 MPG.”

    Equally productive in the same minutes? I guess where you’re from, 22 mpg is the same as 31 mpg, but where I’m from that is a significant difference.

    “Frye was most productive in December when he received heavy minutes. You?re making a tail wagging the dog argument. Obviously Frye played more minutes when he was more effective. His MPG were a byproduct of his effectiveness, not the converse.”

    This directly contradicts your claim that Frye produced less when played more. In each of his NBA seasons, his most productive months were the ones in which he played the most minutes, so how can you say that playing more hurt his production?

    And with Sweetney…the guy has NEVER consistently played starter minutes. Again, the most MPG he has ever averaged for a month in his career is 24 mpg.

    You’re incorrect on both counts.

  59. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Mike K, you need to look at 2006. The transition from 10 MPG reserve to 20 MPG reserve is nothing like the transition from role player to starter. When Boykins was expected to carry the load, he floundered. That is what is important and germane.”

    OK I’ll bite. Let’s look at 2006. Boykins split the season in DEN/MIL. He averaged 28min/g in DEN, 33 min/g in MIL. His per minute stats are the same except in two major stats: pts/40 and fga/40. Now you can look at that in two ways: either Boykins was unable to handle 5 extra minutes a night or his role in the offense decreased so his shots attempted and points declined. I have a hard time believing a 5-5 player that can bench press 315lbs can’t play an extra 5 minutes a night without getting winded.

    I’m more inclined to believe 4 straight years of Boykins improving/staying the same with greater minutes than a half season on a new team with a decline due to a new offense.

    “we?re discussing the difference between 20 MPG and 37 MPG.”

    I’m still waiting for your response about Redd, O’Neal, and Ben Wallace. All these guys went from 20-something minute guys to 30 something minute guys without any decline. And I’ll throw one more in there: Kurt Thomas. Thomas went from a 23mpg bench guy in 1999 to a 33mpg starter in 2002. His scoring went up 3 pts/40 in those 2 years.

  60. thefatkid

    Again, obviously Frye played more minutes because he was playing well. He didn’t play well because he received more playing time. How you can actually argue that a player is better because he has more playing time simply boggles the mind.

    Boykins’ P40M stats were the same? Uh, which stats? From my chair, his FGAs, FTAs, assists, rebounds and scoring all decreased. The argument has nothing to do with strength or conditioning so I’m not sure why you brought that up. Boykins is a change-of-pace player. He’s an energy guy. When he played as a starter, he wasn’t as productive. It seems fairly straightforward to me.

    As far as Redd, O’Neal, and Wallace are concerned, I’m not even going to bother looking at the stats. If you think using a bunch of heavy minute All-Stars is at all relevant to Nate Robinson, you’ve clearly missed the boat completely.

    Kurt Thomas had one of the worst seasons of his career in 99-00 and of his best in 02-03. Aside from that cherry-picked statistical aberration, his production was basically constant for his career.

    Rather than continue down the path of analyzing every Knick past and present and their P40M stats let’s get back to Robinson and Crawford. Is there anyone who actually believes that Robinson is a better player than Crawford?

  61. Z

    I think Robinson has more trade value than Crawford. He is a good show, marketable, and other teams may not know how annoying he can be that he may be able to be packaged with Malik Rose for a proven starter with a lot of baggage (that plays in the capital city of California).

    Both Nate and Jamal are immensely talented individuals. Nate’s flaws are more tangible. Jamal is a mystery to me, and I’d love for him to figure it all out because I think he could be a huge part of a winning team.

    Salary aside, I’d keep Jamal over Nate. But thefatkid an I are probably in the minority on this.

  62. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Kurt Thomas had one of the worst seasons of his career in 99-00 and of his best in 02-03. Aside from that cherry-picked statistical aberration, his production was basically constant for his career.”

    Cherry pick? That’s ludicrous.

    year min/g pts/40
    1999  23.6  13.7
    2000  24.6  13.0  
    2001  27.6  15.1
    2002  33.8  16.5
    2003  31.8  17.6

    Any way you slice it, Kurt Thomas got better as he received more minutes going from a bench guy to a starter.

    “As far as Redd, O?Neal, and Wallace are concerned, I?m not even going to bother looking at the stats.”

    That’s all I needed to know.

  63. thefatkid

    Or maybe, as I’ve already suggested many times in this thread, as have others, Kurt Thomas received more minutes because he improved, not the other way around. Again, you’re arguing that the tail wags the dog.

    If you think a bunch of All-Stars are good comparisons to Nate Robinson, I won’t call you names for it. But some people might view that as ludicrous.

  64. xduckshoex

    “Again, obviously Frye played more minutes because he was playing well. He didn?t play well because he received more playing time. How you can actually argue that a player is better because he has more playing time simply boggles the mind.”

    When did anybody argue that? That’s a really good job of twisting what was actually said…

    The fact of that matter is that production does not drop off with increased minutes as you claim. That is why per-possession and per-minute stats are a perfectly valid means of comparison.

  65. Caleb

    fatkid, you’re missing the point. Yes, players got more minutes because they improved. Players who are 23 almost always improve. Nate Robinson will improve. He’s already better than Crawford.

    It may not be a huge difference, but it’s an easy comparison – they’re pretty similar players in their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone here can look at the stats and judge for themselves. But it’s a weak argument to say that Nate would be much less effective if he played more minutes.

    I disagree with Nick saying Nate would only be effective in a wide-open, freestyling game. Sure, he’s great in the open court, but he’s a versatile scorer who will be fine in the inside-out game the Knicks are going to play with Curry & Randolph; for two years he has a better 3-pt percentage than any other player on the team, despite being a high-volume shooter.

    The biggest challenge would be defensive matchups. We’d always have Marbury, Collins or Crawford on the floor at the same time, running the point. Collins is 6’5 and can handle most 2-guards just fine. Marbury, I think, is better defensively against 2-guards than against smaller, faster point guards. In any case, Nate & Marbury isn’t any worse a defensive backcourt than Crawford & Marbury. Faint praise, I know.

  66. thefatkid

    How is Nate Robinson better than Crawford? He can’t run an offense, he can’t pass, and he rarely plays any defense. He’s a better player because he shoots for a higher percentage? What sort of nonsense is that? Is Eric Piatkowski somehow a good player in your mind?

    And why are you so insistent that Robinson will improve? Do you have any factual basis to support this? Is the man going to somehow develop PG skills in the offseason? He certainly hasn’t ever shown any signs of change in his game. His summer league performance was even exactly the same this year as it was before he entered the league.

    Robinson and Crawford aren’t in the least bit similar. Robinson is a pure energy guy who makes copious mistakes when given heavy minutes. He can’t run an offense, he can’t make passes, and he doesn’t have court vision.

    Robinson is no worse than Crawford on defense? Have you watched these two play or looked at the defensive stats? Crawford was one of the most effective Knick defenders last season while Robinson was one of the worst.

    Robinson is an effective player at what he does. But this farce of calling him better than Crawford? I know you love Hollinger and Berri, but this is bordering on sublime.

  67. xduckshoex

    Just because I’m curious…which defensive stats make Crawford one of the Knicks most effective defenders?

  68. Z

    Are there really stats that truly say if a guard is a good defender? Other than steals, which is a rather ambiguous stat (as many poachers get burned; or, for every steal he got who knows how many times Sprewell came up empty and left his man openly driving to the basket). I know people have tried to devise defensive performance formulas, but in all reality do those formulas carry much credibility? Defense is a team concept, and perimiter defenders are only as good as their interior and vice versa.

    Just from watching the team play it is safe to say Crawford isn’t a good defender. Nate’s probably as good a defender as he can be, but he’s matching up against guys a foot taller than him. Unfortunately he’s playing a tall man’s game, which doesn’t effect him much on O, but he’s a liability on D, especially at the end of games. Mugsy was lighting fast and had the lowest center of gravity this side of the moon, but he was still a liability as teams forced a switch and posted him up. He never made it out of the 1st round did he? It’s easier to bulk up, have better conditioning, and increase foot speed than it is to increase height.

    All in all, it’s probably a wash between Jamal and Nate when it comes to D.

  69. xduckshoex

    “All in all, it?s probably a wash between Jamal and Nate when it comes to D.”

    I’ll agree with that, I don’t think one is significantly better than the other. If pressed, however, I would go with Nate for the simple fact that the Knicks defense improved when he stepped on the floor while the Knicks defense got worse with Crawford out there.

    Hardly definitive, but definitely suggestive and since I can’t find anything that suggests Crawford is superior that’s good enough for me.

  70. thefatkid

    I still measure man-to-man defense in the most basic way – how much did the opposing man produce? And as far as that measure goes, just look at the 82games.com data. Jamal Crawford may be a terrible defender according to all the pundits, but his men don’t produce, which is what matters to me.

    This comes back to the basic fundamental question of defense. Most players are either “good defenders” or “bad defenders” based on reputation and little else. Curry has been labeled a horrendous defender for years, but do other centers put up numbers against him? No, they don’t. Frye was deemed a good defender, but every PF in the league was having a great night against him.

    And statistical +/- is a highly ambiguous metric. Is David Lee really an amazing defensive player, or does he tend to share floor time with other good defenders whilst playing against the second unit? Likewise, is Jeffries’ defense awful, or is he usually on the floor with weak defenders while matched against starters?

  71. Caleb

    Am I reading this wrong?
    http://www.82games.com/0607/06NYK4C.HTM

    Doesn’t it say that opposing 2-guards did fine against Crawford? An eFG% 3 points higher than his, though shooting less than he did?

    I never heard anyone accuse Frye of being a good defender…. until now. But not just fatkid… Jon Nichols has come up with a 2.0 version of his defensive composite ratings over at 82games.
    http://82games.com/nichols2.htm

    Frye actually rated above average.
    - Balkman (87th percentile)
    - Lee (74th)

    Everyone else below average, though, Crawford, surprisingly to me, not by much. (45th percentile)
    Collins (42nd percentile)
    Richardson (39th percentile)
    Curry (36th percentile)
    Francis (35th percentile)
    Jeffries (21st percentile)
    Robinson (19th percentile)
    Marbury (18th percentile)
    Rose (3rd percentile)

    The best defenders in league, by this rating, were Duncan, Joel Przybilla & Bruce Bowen. The worst “name” player – if you call it a name – was Kyle Korver.

    This system is extremely complex, and has some of the same weaknesses as adjusted plus-minus, but it seems well thought out and a better defensive measurement than any I’ve seen. Thoughts?
    http://82games.com/nichols2.htm

  72. Caleb

    As far as Nate and Crawford being similar players… they’re shooting guards whose main strength is scoring. They have similar usage rates (Nate 20.5, Craw 23.1).

    “Robinson is a pure energy guy who makes copious mistakes when given heavy minutes…”

    Despite his rep as a wildman, Nate turned the ball over on only 9.6 percent of his posessions, significantly better than average for a shooting guard (and much better if you want to consider him a PG). Among the guys who did worse were Kirk Hinrich, Larry Hughes and Joe Johnson.
    Nate’s TO rate of 9.6 was also down by a third from his rookie year, a nice sign of improvement.

    Crawford’s TO rate was 11.4.

    “How is Nate Robinson better than Crawford? He can?t run an offense, he can?t pass, and he rarely plays any defense.”

    He may not be a point guard (Crawford can’t run an ofense full-time, either), but his assist totals aren’t wretched and his A/TO ratio is only slightly worse than Crawford’s. (1.6 vs 1.3 / 1)

    He’s also good rebounder, for a guard, which adds some value. And of course he is a much better shooter than Crawford.

    There are plenty of other posts on the defense, and Crawford may be better than I thought, but there’s no evidence he’s actually good.

    “Why are you so insistent that Robinson will improve? Do you have any factual basis to support this? Is the man going to somehow develop PG skills in the offseason? He certainly hasn?t ever shown any signs of change in his game.”

    Nate improved in every category from his rookie year. Beyond that, virtually every player in the league gets better from age 23 to their late 20s. It doesn’t mean he will become a point guard, or a shot-blocking center, but he will almost certainly become a better shooting guard.

  73. xduckshoex

    “I still measure man-to-man defense in the most basic way – how much did the opposing man produce? And as far as that measure goes, just look at the 82games.com data. Jamal Crawford may be a terrible defender according to all the pundits, but his men don?t produce, which is what matters to me.”

    Well if his mean don’t produce, then neither does Crawford because his own production is marginally better than that of his opponent. So if that makes him a good defensive player, you have to consider him a bad offensive player.

  74. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “I still measure man-to-man defense in the most basic way – how much did the opposing man produce? And as far as that measure goes, just look at the 82games.com data. Jamal Crawford may be a terrible defender according to all the pundits, but his men don?t produce, which is what matters to me.”

    Good point, but there is one caveat. Opposition PER (oPER) isn’t that reliable either. It doesn’t always pick the correct defender by position (sometimes last year Marbury defensed the SG with JC on the court), and it doesn’t account for help defense. It also doesn’t account for rotations on defense due to a breakdown. For instance a player’s defender may get past him, but he may neither get the assist nor score as the defense rotates and the ball swings around to an open player. You could argue the merits of +/- versus oPER all day. Personally, I like to look at both.

    Nonetheless Crawford did post a respectable 14.8 oPER against other SG last year. However The year before his oPER was 18.0, and the year prior to that it was 18.2. So either Crawford became a good defender last year, or we’re looking at a statistical outlier. I’m inclined to believe the latter, but I’ll keep an eye on his oPER and his performance on the court

  75. thefatkid

    I’d hardly say eFG% is a good measure of defense. Caleb, you seem to view shooting percentages as one of the most, if not the most, important statistic in basketball. I would suggest that you lessen your emphasis on this statistic and focus more on the broader picture.

    Robinson’s turnover rate per possesion declined significantly for the same reason his assist rate declined significantly. That is to say, Robinson was utilized as an off-guard more and relied on less for passing and playmaking. Hinrich, Hughes, Johnson and Crawford are all playmaking guards whose involvement in the game is much more significant than that of Robinson.

    Robinson isn’t a playmaker. His assist numbers are mediocre. There is no possible argument for Robinson being a superior passer and playmaker for Crawford. It’s a major part of guard play and Robinson doesn’t have it.

    Robinson is a marginally better rebounder than Crawford. He’s hardly a good rebounding guard like Richardson. Realistically, on a Knick team that was one of the best rebounding teams in the league and one of the worst for assists, is this of importance?

    Robinson’s eFG% improved because of the aforementioned change from PG to SG. His assist numbers went down and every other statistic was virtually unchanged. Robinson still plays he same style and he’s shown no signs of improvement. Aside from your belief that all players who are 23 years old improve, I don’t find any evidence to support your theory that Robinson will improve.

    Why are people using the positional stats to rate his defense? Why is Crawford’s time at SG the relevant statistic? If you’re using overall numbers, this season is hardly a statistical aberration.

  76. Caleb

    As for shooting percentage and shooting efficiency in general – yes, it’s an extremely important stat; it has limitations but if you depend on per game numbers you are largely measuring playing time – not whether it was deserved.

    I’m not a Berri disciple who says efficiency is everything. For example, David Lee plays a very different role from Eddy Curry; it’s not a straight comparison and just because Lee’s eFG% is higher doesn’t mean he’s a better offensive player. But Nate and Crawford play the same position, the play similar roles in the offense, they take a similar number of shots and a similar mix of outside shots and jumpers. Nate just makes more of them (except for slightly fewer free throws). It’s an easy, apples to apples comparison.

    Shifting to shooting guard has nothing to do with his eFG%. You are correct that TO rates tend to be slightly higher for point guards than shooting guards, but Nate still isn’t turnover-prone at all. His rate is better than 2/3 of all NBA shooting guards (it would be top 10 for PGs). Crawford’s higher rate might be due to his extra ballhandling duties, but it’s not like he was our full-time ballhandler – he plays shooting guard, too.

    re: defense, you’re the one who brought up the opposition SG #s on 82games, and Mike correctly points out that last season WAS an aberration for Crawford.

  77. thefatkid

    You actually believe that the better offensive player is the higher eFG% player? Wow, I was making a joke about Eric Piatkowski but now I’m worried you might actually think he’s a decent player. What do you think of Kyle Korver?

    Why would you use SG exclusively for #s? Is Crawford being classed at other positions somehow unrelated? Last season was only an anomlay is you use SG exclusively, as it skews the stats against Crawford.

  78. Caleb

    I don’t understand, are you saying JC isn’t actually a shooting guard? You act like he’s Steve Nash. Age, potential and salary aside… per 40 he offered about 1 1/2 more assists than Nate, plus marginally better defense, while turning it over more and shooting 40 percent.

    I pledge to say no more about Seattle-area shooting guards. (At least until training camp)

  79. Caleb

    I’m already breaking my pledge… just this once, I promise… but NR actually outscored JC per 40 mins. Just barely – 19.0 vs. 18.9 – but still. Eric Piatkowski?

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