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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Amar’e Makes 2nd All NBA Team, ‘Melo Just Misses 3rd Team

According to the NBA:

The All-NBA Second Team consists of guards Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, forwards Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, and center Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks.

The All-NBA Third Team includes the San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul at guard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph at forward, and the Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford at center.

The All-NBA Teams were chosen by a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

Position 2010-11 All-NBA FirstTeam Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward LeBron James Miami (119) 595
Forward Kevin Durant Oklahoma City (69) 492
Center Dwight Howard Orlando (118) 593
Guard Kobe Bryant L.A. Lakers (98) 551
Guard Derrick Rose Chicago (118) 593
Position 2010-11 All-NBA Second Team Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward Pau Gasol L.A. Lakers (2) 259
Forward Dirk Nowitzki Dallas (47) 437
Center Amar’e Stoudemire New York (2) 258
Guard Dwyane Wade Miami (24) 392
Guard Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City 184
Position 2010-11 All-NBA Second Team Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge Portland 135
Forward Zach Randolph Memphis 67
Center Al Horford Atlanta 62
Guard Manu Ginobili San Antonio 106
Guard Chris Paul New Orleans 157

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first team votes in parentheses): Rajon Rondo, Boston, 68; Paul Pierce, Boston, 55; Carmelo Anthony, Denver-New York, 53; Kevin Love, Minnesota, 48; Tim Duncan, San Antonio, 43; Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers, 36; Tony Parker, San Antonio, 27; Kevin Garnett, Boston, 22; Deron Williams, Utah-New Jersey 19; Steve Nash, Phoenix, 17; Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee, 13; Monta Ellis, Golden State, 11; Nene, Denver, 11; Andrew Bynum, L.A. Lakers, 9; Kevin Martin, Houston, 7; Tyson Chandler, Dallas, 7; Joakim Noah, Chicago, 5; Marc Gasol, Memphis, 3; Al Jefferson, Utah, 3; Kendrick Perkins, Boston-Oklahoma City, 3; Andrea Bargnani, Toronto, 2; Chris Bosh, Miami, 2; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia, 1; Emeka Okafor, New Orleans, 1; Eric Gordon, L.A. Clippers, 1; Gerald Wallace, Charlotte-Portland, 1; Jason Kidd, Dallas, 1; Luis Scola, Houston, 1; Luol Deng, Chicago, 1; Ray Allen, Boston, 1

It appears that Camelo Anthony missed the third team by 14 votes, although he wasn’t the first reserve forward (which instead was Paul Pierce). Also it’s noteworthy that Amar’e got 2 votes for the “First Team” which seemed to have gone to only 9 players in the league.

129 comments on “Amar’e Makes 2nd All NBA Team, ‘Melo Just Misses 3rd Team

  1. Thomas B.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:

    No first team votes for Chris Paul? Insane.

    Well can you really argue with that considering who placed ahead of him on the first and second team? jon abbey has been posting about Paul being behind Westbrook and Rose for quite some time now. It seems voters agree with him. Bully I say. Maybe now we can get Paul on the cheap.

  2. ess-dog

    Lamarcus had a fine year but I think Carmelo deserved third team ahead of him not to mention Love or Pierce or Griffin….

  3. Brian Cronin

    Agreed, Chris Paul is only third team All-NBA! What do you expect to get for him, New Orleans?!

    Then again, since the Knicks just gave away an entire team for someone who wasn’t even third team All-NBA, I guess that might not be the best argument…

  4. Brian Cronin

    By the way, an important piece of history just took place. Tim Duncan missed the All-NBA team for the first time in his career.

  5. outoftowner

    I think being considered as a center really helped Amare since after Dwight Howard everyone just throws up their hands as to who is #2. Al Horford should be ahead of Amare, and I’m partial to defensive bigs so I’d put Chandler and Noah ahead of him too, maybe Nene. But I could see why Amare got the nod as #2 center.

    Its shocking though that Amare got 2 first place votes – that means as a F/C 2 people listed him ahead of either Howard, Lebron, or Durant. ?!?

    Carmelo’s rank here would make him the 4th best SF in the league, which I think is about right. Luol Deng only got one vote, I think he’s undervalued – I’m not sure Carmelo’s better than he is.

  6. flossy

    outoftowner:

    Carmelo’s rank here would make him the 4th best SF in the league, which I think is about right.Luol Deng only got one vote, I think he’s undervalued – I’m not sure Carmelo’s better than he is.

    I’m not Melo’s biggest fan, but yeah… I’m sure as hell sure he is better than Luol Deng.

  7. massive

    Wow. Russel Westbrook over Chris Paul? Russel Westbrook had the 2nd best season this year at point guard in the NBA? These people see a point guard who can dunk a basketball and get amazed.

  8. massive

    But, congratulations to Amar’e! I know he sort of fell off towards the end of the year, but he was the catalyst to a New York resurgence, and I’m glad he’s being honored as one of the league’s best players.

  9. The Sominator

    First time poster but long time follower; was reading through Ted Nelson’s monologues and Tenebrous similiar attempts.

    It is a great accomplishment that Amar’e attained 2nd team All-NBA status. He single handlily returned pride back into NYC basketball and I am glad that he represents the orange and blue with so much pride.

    I am a life long Knicks fan but I am elated to watch the end of Isiah Thomas’s JV basketball teams. I hope he and Melo improve their chemistry this off-season. Hopefully we get Kemba or Faried.

  10. outoftowner

    flossy: I’m not Melo’s biggest fan, but yeah… I’m sure as hell sure he is better than Luol Deng.

    I know it sounds crazy but if you look at the numbers Melo is a better scorer and a slightly better rebounder. We don’t have numbers for defense but Deng subjectively seems like an elite perimeter defender, I’d say top 10, maybe top 5 (behind Tony Allen, Lebron, DWade, Pierce, maybe a few others I’m forgetting). So if Melo’s better at offense and Deng is better at defense and they’re roughly similar at rebounding… its not that crazy is it?

  11. d-mar

    Amen to @11 and 12. Amare made basketball at MSG relevant again, and his consecutive 30 point game streak was nothing short of incredible. He has his flaws (pick and roll defense being the biggest), but you can’t question his competitive fire and leadership.

    I think he will have a monster season next year, when he plays a few less minutes and doesn’t have to shoulder all of the scoring load.

  12. adrenaline98

    If you think Luol Deng is in the same stratosphere skillwise as Carmelo, you’re insane. Maybe if you cite a bunch of stats, put him in Thibideaus scheme of things, and have him as a third option, he can produce some fine stats. But we’ve all seen what happened when he was the first option a few years back after signing that ridiculous 11 mil (?) per season contract. He was terrible.

    If you look at pure skills alone, Carmelo is, indeed, awesome compared to Deng. His penetration, shot, post up ability, rebound, and when he actually plays hard defense, is as good as Deng.

    He’s just way more skilled in just about anything on the court, and this is why, he puts up better numbers than Deng as even a first option. Sure, if you want to ignore the actual game happening, Deng is possibly comparable.

  13. rooster_douglas

    @12
    yes it is crazy. First, defense, especially on the perimeter, is not nearly as valuable as offense. Your argument is fundamentally flawed. Being a great defender and garbage on O will get you a quick trip to the D league. Being great on O and terrible on D and you can be a perennial all-star: see Nash, Dirk, Amare, and many, many others. Second it just doesnt pass the eye test – Deng is as good as Carmelo? Let’s get serious.

  14. outoftowner

    You guys are probably right but the difference between Melo and Deng is a lot less than stratospheric.

    adrenaline98:
    If you think Luol Deng is in the same stratosphere skillwise as Carmelo, you’re insane. Maybe if you cite a bunch of stats, put him in Thibideaus scheme of things, and have him as a third option, he can produce some fine stats. But we’ve all seen what happened when he was the first option a few years back after signing that ridiculous 11 mil (?) per season contract. He was terrible.

    I agree Melo is our first option and Deng is a 2/3 option for the Bulls. But if Melo is your best player, you aren’t winning a championship. Melo is the 2nd or 3rd best player on a championship team. So that’s the role we should be evaluating these guys in. I would argue that a major knock on Melo’s game is that he needs to be the first option to play well – most/all of his big games with us came with Amare out of the lineup.

    adrenaline98:
    If you look at pure skills alone, Carmelo is, indeed, awesome compared to Deng. His penetration, shot, post up ability, rebound, and when he actually plays hard defense, is as good as Deng.

    Deng has a higher rebound rate than Melo, for his career. I agree that Melo is more skilled offensively, but how often does he use his skills vs. just jacking up 20 footers? Melo posted a TS% roughly equivalent to Deng’s this year on a much higher volume – but for a team to win a championship I don’t know if it can be with Melo using 30% of possessions. And as for defense – you said it yourself – “when he actually plays hard”.

  15. outoftowner

    rooster_douglas:
    @12
    yes it is crazy. First, defense, especially on the perimeter, is not nearly as valuable as offense. Your argument is fundamentally flawed.Being a great defender and garbage on O will get you a quick trip to the D league. Being great on O and terrible on D and you can be a perennial all-star: see Nash, Dirk, Amare, and many, many others. Second it just doesnt pass the eye test – Deng is as good as Carmelo? Let’s get serious.

    Again I know I’ve taken the unconventional side of this argument so most will disagree with me but oh well. If perimeter offense is so valuable, shouldn’t having an elite perimeter defender at the 3 be important? I don’t agree that being great at D and bad at O = d league – look at what Tony Allen has accomplished in these playoffs. Or Tyson Chandler. You listed 3 offensive all stars, but what about Ben Wallace (4x all star), Dennis Rodman (2x all star), or the greatest champion in the game, Bill Russell.

    Offense will always be more likely to win awards because it is quantitative, while so far defense is subjective.

    As far as the eye test, I’ve watched Melo play almost all his games with the Knicks, and I’ve seen him do amazing things, but I’ve also seen some horrible shots, pouting and yelling at teammates when he doesn’t get the ball, mediocre vertical leaping ability, and some really cold streaks (1/11 second half of game 1, 4/16 in game 3).

    To be fair I really like Melo. I just don’t think he’s in that elite realm. And I think Deng is very underrated. Comparing Lebron to say Rudy Gay would be totally crazy. Melo to Deng? Melo probably comes out ahead but its not crazy to talk about.

  16. cgreene

    On a different note I think it’s good that Amare got All NBA and Melo got shut out. Amare definitely has his flaws but focus and effort aren’t it. He’s just a bad instinctual defender and rebounder. His work ethic and leadership and effort are unquestioned. I think the questions surrounding Melo are Amare’s strengths. If Melo adopts Amare’s work ethic he can be a top 8 player with his skills.

  17. jon abbey

    yeah, Paul had a lot of terrible games this year, regardless of who his teammates were.

    what’s pretty fascinating about this to me is how closely the top two teams (so ten players) correlate with the remaining teams in the playoffs. assuming CHI finishes tonight and OKC wins their series, six of the top ten players are on the final four teams, and each has at least one. SA and Boston didn’t have any, and they’ve both been eliminated. and if Gasol had played anywhere near the level of a second-team All-NBAer, the Lakers might still be alive. the top players succeed in the postseason in the NBA a remarkable amount of the time.

  18. Brian Cronin

    and if Gasol had played anywhere near the level of a second-team All-NBAer, the Lakers might still be alive

    The same could be said for if Kobe played anywhere near the level of a second-team All-NBAer, and Kobe was first team (not that Gasol did not suck worse than he did, as he did, it just seemed odd to single him out when Kobe was not good either and Kobe was first team).

  19. DDH

    the top players succeed in the postseason in the NBA a remarkable amount of the time.

    There’s a bit of a causation problem here, jon abbey. Same as the MVP voting. It’s not that the writers get it “right” and it shows in the playoffs; the writers have a huge bias towards players from the best teams.

  20. Brian Cronin

    True. If you switch the records of the Hornets and the Bulls, there is no way that Paul is not the MVP (and first team All-NBA) instead of Rose.

    Rose would still be above Westbrook for second team, though.

  21. jon abbey

    except the voting takes place before the playoffs start, and #1 seed in the West San Antonio still had no one on the first two teams, same with #3 in the East Boston. OKC on the other hand was the #4 seed in the West and had two guys on the top two teams.

    the point is just that as maligned as the star system has been for favoring individuals over teams, it’s the best players in the league who win playoff series and titles, more than the best teams. this has been true virtually every year since the Magic/Bird era started, the only exceptions were the Billups-led Pistons (and even that was more about the Lakers disintegrating) and maybe the Garnett/Pierce Celtics, although Garnett was close to MVP level that year.

    somehow this fact, which is to me probably the single most crucial, fundamental observation one can make about the last three decades of the NBA, often gets lost or ignored.

  22. BigBlueAL

    Listening to the radio down here in Miami since beating the Celtics they all think its a piece of cake from here on out. The Bulls are a non-factor apparently and the Mavs are considered a joke down here because of 2006.

    Man I really hope the Heat somehow lose in one of the next 2 rounds because its not just the Heat players but everyone down here really thinks that the Celtics series was the NBA Finals.

  23. daJudge

    As hard as it is to watch, maybe it is better for the Knicks if the Heat really kick butt, dominate and win it all. Perhaps that lends credibility to the three star cluster theory and will be a factor regarding CP3’s future decision.

  24. Brian Cronin

    As hard as it is to watch, maybe it is better for the Knicks if the Heat really kick butt, dominate and win it all. Perhaps that lends credibility to the three star cluster theory and will be a factor regarding CP3?s future decision.

    While I would prefer it if the Heat lose to either the Mavs or the Thunder in the Finals (preferably the Mavs), I can live with the Heat winning for that very reason.

  25. Brian Cronin

    I do think, by the way, that the Eastern Conference Finals will be a bit like the 1993 and 1997 NBA Finals, where Jordan was like, “Seriously? You people thought this guy was more valuable than me?”

  26. d-mar

    After watching some of the Bulls-Hawks closeout game, and seeing the absolutely ferocious defense being played by Chicago, I was thinking about Thibodeau (and BTW, his intense screaming at the players the entire game may wear thin over time) If Thibodeau had been the coach of the Knicks this season, where would we have ended up? I guess the question is, could a coach like Thibodeau have made the Knicks into a top defensive squad, or is it more about having the right players to do that? (And of course, with the revolving door of players the Knicks had, that task would have been that much more difficult)

  27. Brian Cronin

    Guys like Thibs can make any team pretty good defensively, I think (and you know he would have made great use of Randolph).

    I think there are certain coaches who can cobble together good defenses with any personnel and I think there are those who need specific types of personnel.

    Thibs, Van Gundy and Skiles I would put in the former and Larry Brown in the latter.

    Skiles took a team that was dead last in defense and made them 15th in one season. Then 2nd the following season (granted, that was after he changed personnel).

  28. Brian Cronin

    Van Gundy took the Rockets from 14th to 5th in one season.

    Thibs took the Bulls from 11th to 1st in one season.

  29. Brian Cronin

    By the way, I am probably being unfair to Brown. Looking at his career, the Knicks just stand out as the exception. The Knicks got worse defensively under Brown.

    But everywhere else he has been…

    Denver – 4th to 1st in one season.

    New Jersey – 15th to 2nd in one season

    San Antonio – 22nd to 13th in one season.

    Clippers – 9th to 5th in one season.

    Indiana – 21st to 8th in one season.

    Philadelphia – 26th to 18th in one season

    Detroit – 4th to 2nd in one season

    Charlotte – 20th to 7th in one season

    So it was probably just how messed up the Knicks were that he went 25th to 26th in one season.

  30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey:
    the point is just that as maligned as the star system has been for favoring individuals over teams, it’s the best players in the league who win playoff series and titles, more than the best teams. this has been true virtually every year since the Magic/Bird era started, the only exceptions were the Billups-led Pistons (and even that was more about the Lakers disintegrating) and maybe the Garnett/Pierce Celtics, although Garnett was close to MVP level that year.

    somehow this fact, which is to me probably the single most crucial, fundamental observation one can make about the last three decades of the NBA, often gets lost or ignored.

    Absolute caca. It’s not a fact, it’s a claim. And you’re wrong. Kobe between Shaq and Gasol couldn’t get out of the first round of the playoffs. Wade between Shaq and LeBron didn’t have it any easier. Kevin Garnett? A loser until he had a good team around him. Robinson without Duncan, Duncan without Manu, Shaq without Kobe, Garnett without Pierce, Pierce without Garnett, Ray Allen without any of them. None of them could win on their own. Not even LeBron, who is by far the best basketball player since Jordan, could win it all without a second “star.” It’s not the best player, it’s the best players. Having star players (legitimate star players, not chuckers like Carmelo) lead to championships. Having one star player leads to a second-round playoff loss.

    And re: your observation about Paul putting up a greater number of “terrible” games compared to Rose:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/paulch01/gamelog/2011/

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/rosede01/gamelog/2011/

    This a crude evaluation, but Paul had 12 single-digit win score games; Rose had 11. Also, win score favors scorers. If you notice, Paul’s ten worst games all came in losses. Rose’s team…

  31. jon abbey

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Absolute caca.

    plenty of examples the other way too, but I will defer to the king of caca.

    the entire league was shocked after game 1 of the LA/NO series that Chris Paul was still capable of playing a single game on that level (he had a total of two in him, game 4 also). no one was shocked when Rose singlehandedly won a huge game in Atlanta by scoring 44, because he’d been playing on that level all year.

  32. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The entire league can be shocked all they want, but he’s still the league’s highest rated PG according to WS/48 and WP/48. But hey, he doesn’t score the basketball as much as Rose does, so how could he be as valuable? I guess most of the time if you score more points than your opponent, you win the game. Not sure though.

  33. massive

    Derrick Rose may not get much help scoring the ball or creating offense, but it’s absolutely foolish to say he single-handedly won a playoff game for the Bulls. Rose is greatly helped by the best defensive team in the NBA, and there have been nights when Derrick Rose will shoot his team out of a game. He’s overrated in my book. Not denying that he’s great, but he’s not the MVP if Kevin. Durant doesn’t regress from last year, Orlando doesn’t suffer from bad management, or if LeBron doesn’t play on the same team as Dwyane Wade.

  34. etsuke

    Let’s look at the last 2 years Deng vs. Melo:

    Deng:
    2009-10
    Per 36: 16.7 pts, 7 rb, 1.9 ast, 0.9 stl, 0.8 blk
    16.1 PER, .531 TS%, 21.9 USG%

    2010-11
    Per 36: 16 pts, 5.3 rb, 2.6 ast, 0.9 stl, 0.5 blk
    15.5 PER, .549 TS%, 20.9 USG%

    Anthony:
    2009-10
    Per 36: 26.6 pts, 6.2 rb, 3 ast, 1.2 stl, 0.4 blk
    22.2 PER, .548 TS%, 33.4 USG%

    2010-11
    Per 36: 25.8 pts, 7.4 rb, 2.9 ast, 0.9 stl, 0.6 blk
    21.7 PER, .557 TS%, 32 USG%

    2 Year Adjusted +/-

    Deng: 6.33
    Anthony: 2.35

  35. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Absolute caca. It’s not a fact, it’s a claim.

    It’s pretty close to fact though – if you go back and look, 2+ superstar (ie. HOF- or close-to-HOF level players) teams have won every championship except for the Billups-era Pistons. There just have been very very very few teams with 5 “above-average” players that have beaten teams with 2 real superstars + 3 average players in the postseason (it’s happened already this year when Memphis beat the Spurs, although all of the Spurs’ big 3 are probably past their prime). You’re right though – the 1 superstar team with complementary parts probably is not good enough anymore. Makes you understand why Lebron left Cleveland, frankly – although it doesn’t excuse the WAY he left.

    Re: Paul vs. Rose – this is really a pointless argument. MVP is just a popularity contest, so who really cares? We’re not taking one team and adding Rose to it, or adding Paul to it, and seeing who takes that 1 team farther. IN some ways, Rose is the most valuable because he was the best/highest usage/scoring etc. player on the best team. In other ways, Chris Paul was able to take a bunch of scrubs into the playoffs. It’s like Scott Skiles taking a crappy Bucks team to the playoffs vs. Phil Jackson who takes the best players and wins championships – which one is the better coaching job? Who knows (cares)?

    @38 – not sure if you’re making a point here or just listing stats?

  36. New Guy

    Brian Cronin:
    I do think, by the way, that the Eastern Conference Finals will be a bit like the 1993 and 1997 NBA Finals, where Jordan was like, “Seriously? You people thought this guy was more valuable than me?”

    But who’s Jordan in this scenario? I feel like you’re talking about LeBron (b/c he was in the running for MVP), but he doesn’t have that type of nature. Wade does, though.

  37. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    2+ is different from 1. That’s the point I was trying to make. One player alone will not win a championship. LeBron’s the only one to even come close. Dwight Howard in ’09, maybe.

  38. ess-dog

    Based on the win shares of last year’s championship Laker team, it’s looking unlikely that we will ever win the way we are currently constructed. Even if we get Chris Paul, we would still likely need another exceptional player.

    Gasol .220
    Bynum .188
    Kobe .160
    Odom .143

    Now if we add Paul .232 to Amare .134 and Carmelo .138, we’re still missing a big minutes player that is more efficient than our two current stars. Now it wouldn’t be that hard to build a better bench than those Lakers, but as of now, we still need a high impact player and a pretty good player to go along with Stat and Melo. Billups could qualify as the pretty good player, but he’s so damn old that he’ll undoubtedly fall off a cliff soon. Other possibilities include Amare regaining his form and becoming a great 2nd star and maybe Fields improving (not implausible with CP3 coming in) or for Melo to really take off in our system.

  39. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Without a doubt NBA individual awards are based on team winning percentage. Does anyone think in a vacuum that Rose is anywhere near as good as LeBron, Wade, or Howard? If you do, please say so now, before Chicago squares off against Miami. (Personally I think Wade & James are going to pay particular attention to Rose due to his shiny new hardware.)

    The truth is that Rose benefited from his teammates (and coach) and his team’s high winning percentage. Is he a part of that? Absolutely. Does he deserve all the credit? No way.

    Ironically this is the exact same thing people accuse Berri of doing. Berri’s formulas, in essence, attribute defense to defensive rebounds. Therefore a player with high defensive rebounds are overrated in his system. In more general terms, the system takes something that is the result of the entire team, and gives the credit to one individual. This is exactly what writers that give MVP credit/adulation/awards to players like Rose are doing. Imagine for a second that Rose/Paul swap teams. (Or more specifically Noah/Thibideau/Boozer for Okafor/Williams/West.) Anyone think for a second that Rose would be the media darling/MVP?

    THCJ nailed it with his list of 1st NBA Teamers that couldn’t do it alone. The NBA is based on star players, no doubt. But it’s a team effort to be among the elite, which makes it appear as if it’s solely the will of the star that does it all (see Jordan, pre-Pippen/Jackson).

    Kobe between Shaq and Gasol couldn’t get out of the first round of the playoffs. Wade between Shaq and LeBron didn’t have it any easier. Kevin Garnett? A loser until he had a good team around him. [David] Robinson without Duncan, Duncan without Manu, Shaq without Kobe, Garnett without Pierce, Pierce without Garnett, Ray Allen without any of them. None of them could win on their own.

  40. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Mike Kurylo: This is exactly what writers that give MVP credit/adulation/awards to players like Rose are doing. Imagine for a second that Rose/Paul swap teams. (Or more specifically Noah/Thibideau/Boozer for Okafor/Williams/West.) Anyone think for a second that Rose would be the media darling/MVP?

    Even better analogy: swap Westbrook (2nd team) & Paul (3rd team).

  41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    New Guy: But who’s Jordan in this scenario?I feel like you’re talking about LeBron (b/c he was in the running for MVP), but he doesn’t have that type of nature.Wade does, though.

    LeBron doesn’t have a killer instinct, just because he went to Wade’s team since Wade’s team had the cap space? Puh-leaze. Dude put up a 0.399 WS/36 in 14 games during the ’09 playoffs. If anyone can single-handedly dominate a series, it’s him. He can chew his fingernails and blubber about on nat’l TV about where his talents are going all he wants. He’s the best basketball player alive, and you can’t be that way without being dominantly aggressive.

  42. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: LeBron doesn’t have a killer instinct, just because he went to Wade’s team since Wade’s team had the cap space? Puh-leaze. Dude put up a 0.399 WS/36 in 14 games during the ’09 playoffs. If anyone can single-handedly dominate a series, it’s him. He can chew his fingernails and blubber about on nat’l TV about where his talents are going all he wants. He’s the best basketball player alive, and you can’t be that way without being dominantly aggressive.

    LOL for once we agree again. Have we all forgotten him scoring 25 points in a row against the Pistons defense however many years ago?

    Although I think what New Guy means is that I’m not sure he WANTS to be that guy even though he can be if he needs to be. I think he’s more than happy deferring to Wade at times. My feeling is that he is very competitive, but not Kobe/Jordan-like in his singular focus.

  43. Shad0wF0x

    That last Heat vs. Celtics game was strange though. In the 1st 8-9 minutes of the 4th quarter, LeBron looked hesitant in the same way he was being hesitant against the Celtics a year ago. By that I mean it didn’t look like he was trying. There was a lot of dribbling for 20 seconds and then passing to Jones or Chalmers for a desperation heave. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t taking Pierce off the dribble. Suddenly in the last 3 minutes or so, he decides to take over and hits 2 3pt shots (if I remember correctly). The steal on Pierce with that theatrical look back just felt staged in someway. Like he was toying with them and wanted to make the end more dramatic.

    This is kinda scary that at a moment, James just decided to go into berserk mode and take over.

  44. Shad0wF0x

    @46

    I think what makes LeBron the best player alive is that he doesn’t even seem to need to give 90% of effort to be dominant.

  45. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank: LOL for once we agree again. Have we all forgotten him scoring 25 points in a row against the Pistons defense however many years ago?

    Although I think what New Guy means is that I’m not sure he WANTS to be that guy even though he can be if he needs to be. I think he’s more than happy deferring to Wade at times. My feeling is that he is very competitive, but not Kobe/Jordan-like in his singular focus.

    Kobe’s cultivating a persona. Yes, he’s competitive, but he makes himself appear to be the MOST competitive because it gives him an advantage in the media markets. Jordan cashed in, and Kobe wants to, too. Do you think Tiger Woods wears red because it reminds him of the hunt? No. He does it because it’s a symbol that people can identify with. He’s a businessman. So’s Kobe. LeBron wants to be seen as an alpha-dog, too, because it’s good for business.

  46. Ben R

    Can we please stop using the Billups era Pistons as the no-superstar example. During his 6 years on the Pistons Billups was a superstar. He only had a WS/48 below .200 once (had a .198 his 2nd year) and actually topped .250 twice (a feat Kobe and Wade have never accomplished and LeBron has also only done twice) In fact Billups had the fourth highest ws/48 in the entire league during his 6 years with the Pistons. (Behind Dirk, Duncan and Garnett) His PER over that span was 21 and his TS% was 59.2%.

    No matter which metric you use and how you look at it Billups was a top 10 player during his time with the Pistons. They were not a superstarless team.

  47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Ben R:
    Can we please stop using the Billups era Pistons as the no-superstar example. During his 6 years on the Pistons Billups was a superstar. He only had a WS/48 below .200 once (had a .198 his 2nd year) and actually topped .250 twice (a feat Kobe and Wade have never accomplished and LeBron has also only done twice) In fact Billups had the fourth highest ws/48 in the entire league during his 6 years with the Pistons. (Behind Dirk, Duncan and Garnett) His PER over that span was 21 and his TS% was 59.2%.

    No matter which metric you use and how you look at it Billups was a top 10 player during his time with the Pistons. They were not a superstarless team.

    BAM!

  48. Owen

    “Can we please stop using the Billups era Pistons as the no-superstar example.”

    Yep. And Ben Wallace wasn’t awful, leading the league in defensive rating three times in that same span.

    You don’t win the NBA championship without having great players. It wasn’t luck the Pistons beat the Lakers. They were the better team that year.

  49. adrenaline98

    This may seem a bit early, and off topic but…

    If the Knicks offer Orlando Carmelo for Howard, wouldn’t they have to say yes? They get a locked up superstar for one that isn’t staying.

    Then if the Knicks can have Paul and Howard take a little less to play together, wouldn’t they be the favorites?

    Amare
    Paul
    Howard
    Fields
    Extra E

    Paul would complement Howard and Amar’e far better. Then you got the 3 point shooting too.

  50. adrenaline98

    Think about this, Paul could average 15 assists a game, dishing to Fields and Extra E for 3s. His PnR with Amar’e would include a lot of Amar’e dunks, or Paul probing, while Amar’e is rolling, then throwing alley-hoops to Howard. It’d be insane. He’d average 15/15/5/3 easily. Amar’e and Howard would both be averaging 25 a game. Amar’e would be dominant offensively, while Howard would be dominant defensively. It’d be a far better version of Randolph/Amar’e that the Knicks were ‘thinking about’ earlier this year.

  51. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Owen: Yep. And Ben Wallace wasn’t awful, leading the league in defensive rating three times in that same span.

    You don’t win the NBA championship without having great players. It wasn’t luck the Pistons beat the Lakers. They were the better team that year.

    Is there any doubt that Ben Wallace, in his prime, was a top 10 NBA player? He made 2nd team All NBA three times. Four time DPOY. It’s a shame that his first three years Big Ben was playing behind Juwan Howard, George Muresan, and Otis Thorpe.

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    adrenaline98:
    Think about this, Paul could average 15 assists a game, dishing to Fields and Extra E for 3s. His PnR with Amar’e would include a lot of Amar’e dunks, or Paul probing, while Amar’e is rolling, then throwing alley-hoops to Howard. It’d be insane. He’d average 15/15/5/3 easily. Amar’e and Howard would both be averaging 25 a game. Amar’e would be dominant offensively, while Howard would be dominant defensively. It’d be a far better version of Randolph/Amar’e that the Knicks were ‘thinking about’ earlier this year.

    Keep dreaming. I have no doubt that that team, including Fields, would win 60-65 games, but it’ll never happen.

  53. latke

    The discussion is sort of circular. You have to have good players to win, yes. The more interesting question seems to be do you have to have “stars” to win? In other words, do you have to have guys labeled as stars to win a championship. The problem is there’s no real way to quantify how players come to be defined as stars since a lot of it I think has to do with the players’ ability to do incredible things. Consistency, defense, and less glamorous forms of scoring all get underrated.

    Chauncey Billups is the perfect example. He’s not fast, he can’t jump, he’s not a nifty passer. He’s simply good at getting dudes to foul him and takes good care of the ball. His per game numbers were never amazing either. In 05/06, his highest WS/48 year, he only averaged 18.4 points and 8.6 assists. Yes, those numbers are good, but they weren’t enough to make anyone think “wow, Chauncey Billups is a superstar,” even though he had the second highest WS/48 in the league that year.

    The test IMO should be based on all-star appearances or number of all-nba appearances. These are the only good way to measure whether players are thought of as stars, and I’d be willing to bet good money that the roster of the 2004 Pistons has far and away the fewest combined appearances on those lists. That’s what makes them interesting.

    IMO the reason this is a “stars” league has two major causes:

    1) The CBA structure. Due to the max salary of the CBA, the best way to get good value out of a player is to sign one that is really damn good. If Lebron James and Dwayne Wade made the salaries they deserved, they’d be playing with scrubs.

    2) Revisionist history. The Bulls are a perfect example. Rose is being deified by the media because it’s much more exciting to have a player to root for as the hero who carries his team to victory.

  54. Z

    latke:

    The test IMO should be based on all-star appearances or number of all-nba appearances. These are the only good way to measure whether players are thought of as stars, and I’d be willing to bet good money that the roster of the 2004 Pistons has far and away the fewest combined appearances on those lists. That’s what makes them interesting.

    How much good money?

    (The 2004 Pistons roster has a combined 17 All Star appearances (Billups 5; Ben Wallace 4; Rasheed Wallace 4; Rip Hamilton 3; Memet Okur 1). The 1994 Rockets only had a combined 14 appearances (Olajuwon with 12, Sam Cassell and Otis Thorpe with 1 each)).

  55. Brian Cronin

    I love that Otis Thorpe and Memet Okur both made All-Star Teams. That’s hilarious.

  56. latke

    Hmm, alright — nicely done, Z. I may owe you some knickerbucks.

    If you go by All NBA teams, though —

    ’94 Rockets- 13 total all-NBA appearances
    Hakeem Olajuwon: 12x All-NBA
    Sam Cassell: 1x All-NBA

    ’04 Pistons — 8 total all-NBA appearances
    Ben Wallace: 5x All-NBA
    Billups: 3x All-NBA
    Rasheed Wallace: 0x All-NBA
    Rip Hamilton: 0x All-NBA
    Tayshaun Prince: 0x All-NBA

    If you weighted it by first/second/third team, the difference would be even bigger, since Olajuwon was a first teamer 5 times, while none of the Pistons have ever been.

    The Heat have 15 combined All-NBA appearances (counting Juwan Howard’s one appearance), and they are all 8-10 years younger than the old Pistons squad.

    I’m guessing the team with the most all-NBA appearances was the Olajuwon/Barkley/Drexler Rocket team from 96/97 with 29 combined (Olajuwon — 12, Barkley — 11, Drexler — 5, Kevin Willis — 1), but they were all well past their primes then, so it’s not strange they didn’t win it all.

  57. daJudge

    The fact that there are a few aberrations to the star trend kind of proves the theory. I’m sure I am missing something, but why should we be surprised that a team with more ‘stars’ usually wins more games? I would be surprised if it were the other way around. Maybe the real issue is whether the ‘star’ is more of a media creation, or more a function of the system in which he plays, or more a function of the surrounding players or really one of those guys who individually produces numbers and makes his team better. I do see CP3 in this later category, assuming he is healthy. I think he would be an absolute godsend for the Knicks. I think Rose is awesome, and while shooting a lot, clearly makes his team much better. Colin Cowert, who I listen to occasionally, made a case for Rose and Iverson as comps. I’m not sure I agree, but it was interesting and based primarily on Usage Rate.

  58. Owen

    “Is there any doubt that Ben Wallace, in his prime, was a top 10 NBA player? He made 2nd team All NBA three times.”

    I think there is plenty of doubt. Not on my part though. People forget how good he was.

    “The discussion is sort of circular.”

    It is. I think it’s tautological right? Which is one of the two words (along with solipsism) which I believe I can use correctly in a sentence but which I can’t exactly define.

    But the construct, great players win in the playoffs, so if you won in the playoffs you must be a great player, that idea. It covers most of the bases I think but is not a perfect rule in every case…

    Where is a philosophy major when I need one…

  59. Z

    The ’94 Rockets are an example of a “one star system” that won a championship. They were literally 1 superstar surrounded by a bunch of generally unimpressive role players. Some of their starters were legitimately terrible (Mad “Vernon” Maxwell).

    Of course that season comes with an asterisk, but still– people love to single out the 2004 Pistons as the exception to the super star rule, but in reality the 1994 Rockets are the team that simply doesn’t make sense in the scheme of the master plan for building a championship franchise. (but then one sees that Robbert Horry was on the team and it suddenly all makes sense…)

  60. d-mar

    bockadoo:
    z-bo = poor man’s willis reed?

    I’m sure sometime in the next few days Berman will revisit his “Knicks should regret trading Randolph” BS. (Of course, you don’t hear anyone talking about Crawford any more after he shot about 10% the last 2 games against the Bulls) I’m very happy for Zach, and his game has truly elevated, but out of the 6 games vs. OKC, he’s had 2 great performances, 2 so-so and 2 pretty bad. So we need to calm down a little about Z-bo.

  61. Ben R

    latke: I’m guessing the team with the most all-NBA appearances was the Olajuwon/Barkley/Drexler Rocket team from 96/97 with 29 combined (Olajuwon — 12, Barkley — 11, Drexler — 5, Kevin Willis — 1), but they were all well past their primes then, so it’s not strange they didn’t win it all.

    Actually this years Celtics had 32 all-nba appearances, and the top team I believe is the 2003-2004 Lakers with Kobe, Shaq, Malone, and Payton they had 50 all-nba appearances. (Shaq – 14, Malone – 14, Kobe – 13, Payton – 9)

  62. bockadoo

    z bo can’t jump over a phone book, but he gets a lot of garbage points, great rebounder, can make 20 footers, a 20-10 guy…he’s a helluva damn basketball player and was/is still young. What was so bad about him that we HAD to get rid of him? He was a “cancer”? Him, Melo, and a defensive center would be a great frontcourt. I love Amare’, but just give Z-bo his due. The guy might be carrying his team to the finals.

  63. art vandelay

    Not sure if someone mentioned this already, but 94 rockets who beat the knicks in 7 didn’t have 2 or more superstars….much like the knicks with Ewing….each team had 1 superstar and a bunch of solid role players and strong defenses….but definitely not 2+ stars.

  64. Shad0wF0x

    The main problem with Knicks Z-Bo was that for some reason he wanted to go into Rasheed Wallace 3pt shooting mode.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh2fn01cngg

    I have no idea why he wasn’t in the low post more often.

    I think this entire, roster All-NBA or All-Star appearance count has to be rendered irrelevant when people pass X age. Karl Malone and Gary Payton were 39 and 35 if I remember correctly back in 2004.

  65. d-mar

    bockadoo:
    z bo can’t jump over a phone book, but he gets a lot of garbage points, great rebounder, can make 20 footers, a 20-10 guy…he’s a helluva damn basketball player and was/is still young.What was so bad about him that we HAD to get rid of him?He was a “cancer”?Him, Melo, and a defensive center would be a great frontcourt.I love Amare’, but just give Z-bo his due.The guy might be carrying his team to the finals.

    I’m not trying to hate on Zach, he’s had some monster games in the playoffs. But over the six games vs. OKC he’s shooting around 40%, which is just not that good for a guy who supposedly gets his points close to the basket.

    I just think the media tends to overhype the great individual playoff performances and ignore the duds (see Rose, Derrick)

  66. adrenaline98

    Looking back at Z-Bo, it’s fairly obvious that the Knicks SUCKED with him, Marbury, Crawford, etc.

    It’s great to look back and say “We should have built around him” but mostly because Berman is a fucking moron. Build around WHAT? You think Grizzlies BUILT around Z-BO? Hawks BUILT around Crawford? They are role players that fit into a new system. Gasol is a fine big that allows Z-Bo to play his game. Curry didn’t. Crawford is a sixth man who has severe flaws to his game, evidenced by the fact that he didn’t show up for the last two games. Hinrich would have a made a huge difference for them, especially his defensive presence.

    The Knicks SUCKED. They went nowhere. They were going NOWHERE. I can’t believe the memory of Berman and others who are even looking back at Z-Bo and Crawford.

    Bottom line is that the Knicks SUCKED. Blame it on the coach, the system, or the pieces around them. But if you do, remember, that is why Donnie blew it all up. Because the Knicks SUCKED.

    P.S. They SUCKED, for nearly 10 years, THEY SUCKED.

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    d-mar:
    I just think the media tends to overhype the great individual playoff performances and ignore the duds (see Rose, Derrick)

    Small sample size. Not many players can put up 60% TS every night. In fact, none.

    But yes, you’re right. We remember the incredible and forget the mundane. Jim Joyce found that out first-hand last year.

  68. citizen

    Shad0wF0x:

    I think this entire, roster All-NBA or All-Star appearance count has to be rendered irrelevant when people pass X age. Karl Malone and Gary Payton were 39 and 35 if I remember correctly back in 2004.

    Agreed. Or when a player hasn’t yet reached all-star/all-NBA status. So one potential alternative would be to look at total number of all-star or all-NBA selections for a team in the 5 year range (2 years before, 2 years after) around their championship season. This limited parameter would help us get to the core of the issue. But even if we find a high correlation it still does not imply causation; there’s so much reverse causality here (maybe winning championships makes players into “stars”) and we must not fall for the inductive fallacy that 2 stars always make a championship team and no stars makes no championship team (to make that argument we need to see how many 2-star teams actually won a championship)

  69. Shad0wF0x

    While it’s mostly true that a championship team needs to be able to compete against a variety of styles, I still think that it’d be nice to have a favorable path towards the goal. Players and coaches only put up a public persona of “Oh it doesn’t matter who we face,” but if you match up well against a certain team, I think they all secretly would rather face team X than team Y. I’d much rather face a team which maximizes my strengths and limits exposures to my weaknesses.

  70. latke

    BTW, I think the Nuggets could easily have been the center of this discussion about the potential success of starless teams. Three of their four losses were by 4 points or fewer, and that was with Kevin Durant playing out of his mind. If Durant had played like he’s played so far in Memphis, I think Denver would have won in 6. Durant’s TS% on the series was 62.7%. Versus Memphis it has been 54.7% that difference is worth 3-4 points a game. You have to figure that with several guys that have the length and speed to bother Durant (Chandler, Gallinari, Afflalo) he should have at least shot a bit below his season’s average TS% (58.9%).

    Add to that the fact that Denver mysteriously lost the ability to make free throws (shooting below 71% in all but one game), and you have the difference.

  71. outoftowner

    latke:
    BTW, I think the Nuggets could easily have been the center of this discussion about the potential success of starless teams. Three of their four losses were by 4 points or fewer, and that was with Kevin Durant playing out of his mind. If Durant had played like he’s played so far in Memphis, I think Denver would have won in 6. Durant’s TS% on the series was 62.7%. Versus Memphis it has been 54.7% that difference is worth 3-4 points a game. You have to figure that with several guys that have the length and speed to bother Durant (Chandler, Gallinari, Afflalo) he should have at least shot a bit below his season’s average TS% (58.9%).

    Add to that the fact that Denver mysteriously lost the ability to make free throws (shooting below 71% in all but one game), and you have the difference.

    Tony Allen gets credit for being a beast perimeter defender, maybe the best in the game right now. Chandler/Gallo can’t hold a candle to him defensively. Afflalo is good, but only 6’5″, more of an SG than an SF.

    Denver is really good though. Maybe Nene should be considered a star?

  72. flossy

    bockadoo:
    z bo can’t jump over a phone book, but he gets a lot of garbage points, great rebounder, can make 20 footers, a 20-10 guy…he’s a helluva damn basketball player and was/is still young.What was so bad about him that we HAD to get rid of him?He was a “cancer”?Him, Melo, and a defensive center would be a great frontcourt.I love Amare’, but just give Z-bo his due.The guy might be carrying his team to the finals.

    Is that a joke? You think Carmelo Anthony is forcing a trade to the Knicks in order to play with Z-bo and a defensive center to be named later? C’mon son.

  73. nicos

    latke:
    BTW, I think the Nuggets could easily have been the center of this discussion about the potential success of starless teams. Three of their four losses were by 4 points or fewer, and that was with Kevin Durant playing out of his mind. If Durant had played like he’s played so far in Memphis, I think Denver would have won in 6. Durant’s TS% on the series was 62.7%. Versus Memphis it has been 54.7% that difference is worth 3-4 points a game. You have to figure that with several guys that have the length and speed to bother Durant (Chandler, Gallinari, Afflalo) he should have at least shot a bit below his season’s average TS% (58.9%).

    Add to that the fact that Denver mysteriously lost the ability to make free throws (shooting below 71% in all but one game), and you have the difference.

    At the same time you could really see how much they missed Melo late in those games- they seemed really tentative on O late at times- the difference (or one of the differences) was OKC had a go-to guy and Denver didn’t. To me you can make the argument that Denver’s struggles- and yes it was close but they lost in five in the first round so they idea that they might have been competing for a title is a real stretch- show the need for a legit star who can create his own shot or get to the line (ala Durant) late in games. As good as they are neither Nene or Lawson is that guy. Maybe Lawson or Gallo can become that guy but if they do then they’ll probably be considered stars and the point is moot.

  74. ess-dog

    I think we really need to look at a point guard at 17 this year because a. the bigs that low are either not that good or not real bigs and b. we have a real need for a back up pg/mentee for Billups who is old and fragile.

    The pg options at 17 aren’t bad: maybe Jimmer, Darius Morris, Reggie Jackson, Josh Selby, could all be potential steals and guys that we could even trade down for while accumulating other assets. The “bigs” that might be there aren’t that great: maybe a Morris, Faried, Thompkins, Johnson, Williams, Singleton… these are all smallish forwards and not a real centers. We could always use a backup pf, but a distributor is a greater need IMO.

  75. citizen

    ess-dog:
    I think we really need to look at a point guard at 17 this year because a. the bigs that low are either not that good or not real bigs and b. we have a real need for a back up pg/mentee for Billups who is old and fragile.

    The pg options at 17 aren’t bad:maybe Jimmer, Darius Morris, Reggie Jackson, Josh Selby, could all be potential steals and guys that we could even trade down for while accumulating other assets.The “bigs” that might be there aren’t that great:maybe a Morris, Faried, Thompkins, Johnson, Williams, Singleton…these are all smallish forwards and not a real centers.We could always use a backup pf, but a distributor is a greater need IMO.

    Our “distributors”:
    Billups
    TD
    AC
    Rautins??

    Our “bigs”:
    Turiaf
    Extra-E?
    Jeffries??
    She-Will??

    Also keep in mind that in our offense Melo does a lot of the handling.
    And why exactly is distributor a greater need?

  76. citizen

    By the way, any chance we can get Azubuike on a cheap deal? if he works out then he’d be a nice piece for a trade, or to keep around.

  77. latke

    nicos: At the same time you could really see how much they missed Melo late in those games- they seemed really tentative on O late at times- the difference (or one of the differences) was OKC had a go-to guy and Denver didn’t.To me you can make the argument that Denver’s struggles- and yes it was close but they lost in five in the first round so they idea that they might have been competing for a title is a real stretch- show the need for a legit star who can create his own shot or get to the line (ala Durant) late in games.As good as they are neither Nene or Lawson is that guy.Maybe Lawson or Gallo can become that guy but if they do then they’ll probably be considered stars and the point is moot.

    This is true — they lacked a guy who could score on his own, but I think that’s more a problem of the roster than of the lack of the superstar. There are plenty of guys like Ben Gordon Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, or James Harden who aren’t stars but are at least capable of getting decent percentage shots off without help from their teammates.

    Also, Denver got matched up against the team that has proven to be one of the top two teams in the Western Conference, not to mention that that team had played particularly well against them in the regular season. If they had been carmelo-less througout the regular season, they might still be in the playoffs now.

    citizen: Our “distributors”:
    Billups
    TD
    AC
    Rautins??

    Our “bigs”:
    Turiaf
    Extra-E?
    Jeffries??
    She-Will??

    The problem is even Turiaf is a question mark with his injury problems. We know that at a minimum both Billups and Douglas can be acceptable when given starter minutes. There’s also the question of trading Billups’ contract. What position will we most likely be able to upgrade with it?

  78. tenebrous

    I’m beginning to think that even a Howard, amare, melo, Paul, and ____ won’t win a thing as long as the fans keep using such wonderful language as d_mn for one.

  79. Shad0wF0x

    I think in some previous post, someone pointed out that Amar’e at C and Chandler at PF was the best lineup we had at some point. I think if the PG pushes and the offense is more of a “get a good shot in 10 seconds.” the offensive efficiency might go up. From what I’ve seen, Amar’e isn’t that much better at defending PFs than Cs. If we do encounter the few C’s that can post up (Bynum, Howard, Bogut etc.) we send the 2 Nazr Mohammed bench C equivalents at him.

    For most Centers, if we punish the slow moving center with a fast offense, it’ll more or less neutralize them. Let’s just say we have Wilson back. The PG will run up the middle, Amar’e and Chandler run at opposing sides to the basket, Anthony and Fields/Walker can take the midrange or 3.

    If the fast-break fails, setup Melo in the low post, Billups around the same corner, Amar’e at the high post. Chandler/Fields/Walker/Williams at the other side. Or if we have a PnR PG then go do that.

  80. massive

    ess-dog:
    I think we really need to look at a point guard at 17 this year because a. the bigs that low are either not that good or not real bigs and b. we have a real need for a back up pg/mentee for Billups who is old and fragile.

    The pg options at 17 aren’t bad:maybe Jimmer, Darius Morris, Reggie Jackson, Josh Selby, could all be potential steals and guys that we could even trade down for while accumulating other assets.The “bigs” that might be there aren’t that great:maybe a Morris, Faried, Thompkins, Johnson, Williams, Singleton…these are all smallish forwards and not a real centers.We could always use a backup pf, but a distributor is a greater need IMO.

    I believe fully that Markieff Morris can play center in this system. He has NBA 3 point range, is a good rebounder/defender, and is 6 foot 10. I do like Darius Morris though, he’s the kind of player that I think will really excel playing behind Billups.

  81. BigBlueAL

    massive: I believe fully that Markieff Morris can play center in this system. He has NBA 3 point range, is a good rebounder/defender, and is 6 foot 10. I do like Darius Morris though, he’s the kind of player that I think will really excel playing behind Billups.

    I think the only player who should be a 100% lock to get picked if he is still available at #17 is Markieff Morris.

    I say that because of reading the different mock drafts and stuff on the draft. Obviously there are better players than him but they have no chance of dropping to the Knicks.

  82. Owen

    Morris looks interesting. Anyone who has put up the third best WS/40 in college would be a great gamble at 17. If he puts up the same kind of statistics it will be fun to argue what they are worth.

    Speaking of WS/40 who the heck is Arsalan Kazemi? Rates out incredibly on all the efficiency stat metrics, though not in this years draft…

  83. massive

    Where do you guys get these college advanced statistics? I’ve looked occasionally and couldn’t find anything of substance.

  84. daJudge

    If we are considering drafting centers because they can hit the three, the issue needs to be seriously reframed. Might as well draft a 1 who can toss the outlet. Might as well fawn over a two that can rebound really well, for a 2.

  85. citizen

    latke: This is true — they lacked a guy who could score on his own, but I think that’s more a problem of the roster than of the lack of the superstar. There are plenty of guys like Ben Gordon Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, or James Harden who aren’t stars but are at least capable of getting decent percentage shots off without help from their teammates.

    The problem is even Turiaf is a question mark with his injury problems. We know that at a minimum both Billups and Douglas can be acceptable when given starter minutes. There’s also the question of trading Billups’ contract. What position will we most likely be able to upgrade with it?

    My point exactly. That’s why I think they have to go big with their pick. Also (this is just an impression and not statistically backed), it seems like rookie bigs that perform poorly in their first season(s) retain more of their trade value than do PGs that do the same.

  86. BigBlueAL

    daJudge:
    If we are considering drafting centers because they can hit the three, the issue needs to be seriously reframed. Might as well draft a 1 who can toss the outlet.Might as well fawn over a two that can rebound really well, for a 2.

    Markieff Morris is not just a 3pt shooter. From Chad Ford, who attended a private workout that both the Morris twins:

    Who will go first? Most likely Marcus because of the skill level, but it really depends on what you want. If you want a pure post player, rebounding or defense, Markieff looks like the better prospect. If you want buckets or a hybrid 3 or 4, Marcus is the better choice.

  87. BigBlueAL

    Also Markieff is listed at 6’10 and 245 lbs. As mentioned above he is considered to be a post player who is a good rebounder and tough defender but can also shoot 3pters. Earlier in the piece from Ford he said how shocked he was at how good both Morris twins shot the NBA 3pter with ease during their workout.

  88. citizen

    BigBlueAL:
    Also Markieff is listed at 6’10 and 245 lbs.As mentioned above he is considered to be a post player who is a good rebounder and tough defender but can also shoot 3pters.Earlier in the piece from Ford he said how shocked he was at how good both Morris twins shot the NBA 3pter with ease during their workout.

    Unfortunately, it seems like we’ve heard nothing but positive reports about Markieff since the workouts started…he probably won’t be left when we’re on the clock

  89. BigBlueAL

    citizen: Unfortunately, it seems like we’ve heard nothing but positive reports about Markieff since the workouts started…he probably won’t be left when we’re on the clock

    Yeah I know. Chad Ford’s 1st mock draft had him going to the Knicks but when Jones dropped out of the draft and Ford revised his 1st mock draft and he had Morris moving up a couple of spots already.

  90. daJudge

    Thanks for the info on Markieff Big Blue Al. He sounds like a nice player and probably doesn’t make my case. My only point is I would rather start looking at players who fit more traditional roles. This is just my own preference as I’ve never been a huge fan of the Coach’s unorthodox system (sorry taggert4800). Of course a nice stretch player would be a real threat and helpful under any scenario/system/protocol/scheme.

  91. bockadoo

    I think if Faried is there at 17 we have to take him. He’d be a perfect rotation guy as the other forward when Amare’ or Melo is on the bench, and perfect when Amare’ is playing center. Nasty rebounder and shotblocker. Then we pick up an early second rounder and get Reggie Jackson, Darius Morris or Charles Jenkins from Hofstra. Jerome Jordan should be ready for 10 minutes, and we pick up a defensive center to complete the front court. 55 wins.

  92. ess-dog

    I think D’Antoni has the frontcourt he wants. He wants Amare at center, or at the very least, a mobile center who can shoot next to him. Clearly we need some frontcourt help, but we’ve already got Amare, Turiaf, Shawne and Jerome Jordan. We can pick up a cheap rebounder/defender in Europe or the D-league.

    I’m not against the idea of Marikeff but he will likely be gone. I also love Faried. But if we can get a point guard that can really run the offense they way it is supposed to be run, this team could be unstoppable. Yes, CP3 is that pg but there are no guarantees we’ll get him. TD is a great shooter and defender, but he’s not a point guard. Chauncey a great guard but not on the p&r or the break.

    I know some of you will say well we have a top 5 offense already, but a more efficient offense would make us unstoppable.

  93. ess-dog

    Also, what do you do if Jimmer is sitting there at 17? He’s a tempting shooter/ballhandler, but his lack of defense is disconcerting. Personally, I think Utah will pass on him since they will be able to get better talent with both of their picks. I think there’s a chance he drops to us.

  94. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Dave Berri on Faried back in January:

    Of these, Faried is a player who should generate quite a bit of conversation. Faried is the subject of an article in the January 24 issue of Sports Illustrated. As the article notes, Faried is a monster on the boards. But he also plays at Morehead State. So will he be a productive pro? Well, rebounding is a number that translates from college to the pros. In other words, players who rebound well in college – or don’t rebound well in college – tend to follow this pattern in the NBA. Then again, players from bigger conferences tend to do better as well. Faried is currently listed as a potential lower first round pick. So my guess is that he has the potential to join a contending NBA team – and assuming we get a 2011-12 season – could be a factor for a 2012 playoff team.

  95. BigBlueAL

    bockadoo:
    I think if Faried is there at 17 we have to take him.He’d be a perfect rotation guy as the other forward when Amare’ or Melo is on the bench, and perfect when Amare’ is playing center.Nasty rebounder and shotblocker.Then we pick up an early second rounder and get Reggie Jackson, Darius Morris or Charles Jenkins from Hofstra.Jerome Jordan should be ready for 10 minutes, and we pick up a defensive center to complete the front court.55 wins.

    Reggie Jackson will not be around early in the 2nd round. Hell he may not even be around at #17 for the Knicks to consider drafting.

  96. Z-man

    Anyone think Justin Harper might be a decent pick? Seems like a D’Antoni-style big.

    I’m not sold on Faried, he’s too much of a risk at that height with no offensive game. Why not just play Balkman?

  97. massive

    Z-man:
    Anyone think Justin Harper might be a decent pick? Seems like a D’Antoni-style big.

    I’m not sold on Faried, he’s too much of a risk at that height with no offensive game.Why not just play Balkman?

    I agree. He’s a great rebounder, but who’s to say he’ll be more productive than a guy like Reggie Evans (who requires no draft pick or long-term commitment)? I’d rather see the Knicks make this 1st round pick really count, because we don’t have another one for quite some time. If the Knicks think Faried really is the next Dennis Rodman, then we should trade up for him lol. Otherwise, I don’t see the point in picking him.

  98. Ben R

    ess-dog: TD is a great shooter and defender, but he’s not a point guard.

    TD is a point guard. When Chauncey went down after the all-star break TD did a great job “running” this team. I think with Melo taking ball handling pressure off the PG TD can more than capably run this team. TD cannot run a team like Steve Nash but not every team needs a ball dominant PG. We have Melo, Melo needs the ball to be effective, it would be a waste of his talents to bring in a ball dominant PG and turn Melo into nothing but a finisher. When you have a dominant wing player (Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Melo, etc) the role of the PG is alot different than on a team with role players at the wing.

  99. flossy

    Ben R: We have Melo, Melo needs the ball to be effective, it would be a waste of his talents to bring in a ball dominant PG and turn Melo into nothing but a finisher. When you have a dominant wing player (Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Melo, etc) the role of the PG is alot different than on a team with role players at the wing.

    Career AST%

    Jordan: 24.9
    LeBron: 34.2
    Kobe: 23.9
    Wade: 33.3
    Melo: 15.5

    Ball-dominant wing =/= good playmaker. I really, really hope the Knicks long term plan is not “turn Melo into a kind of PG” because he’s just not a playmaker the way those other players are. We need a genuine, play-making PG if we’re going to stick with Mike D’Antoni as our head coach. Neither Melo nor Toney Douglas fit the bill. Hell, Chauncey Billups barely qualifies.

  100. BigBlueAL

    flossy: ueled | Log

    Billups has a career AST% of 28.5 and with the Knicks last season it was 27.4 so he passed better than it seemed.

    Would hope with a training camp under his belt that he will be more comfortable next season running the offense and push his AST% over 30 which he did every year under Flip Saunders and his offense.

  101. Z-man

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1180942/1/index.htm

    This article from SI re: Faried has probably been posted before, but if anyone missed it, the most compelling praise came from Billy Donovan, who basically called him the next Rodman. The author points out that this is high praise from a guy who coached Horford, Lee and Noah.

    He has to be at least as good as a guy like Joel Anthony. I take back my criticism @105, he definitely plays bigger than the 6’7″ he probably is.

  102. massive

    Ben R: We have Melo, Melo needs the ball to be effective, it would be a waste of his talents to bring in a ball dominant PG and turn Melo into nothing but a finisher. When you have a dominant wing player (Jordan, LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Melo, etc) the role of the PG is alot different than on a team with role players at the wing.

    The way I see it, I’d rather have Steve Nash or Chris Paul maximizing Amar’e’s and Landry Fields’ respective values than have them have to fit into an isolation offense with Melo and Billups that’s been out of the 1st round of the playoffs once.

  103. ess-dog

    D’Antoni’s point guard during all of his successful seasons has a career assist % of 41. Clearly we’re never going to find that (unless we get Nash himself) but we better damn well find the next best thing and hope that Melo’s iso ability and Amare and Fields’ ability to finish make up the difference.

  104. flossy

    ess-dog:
    D’Antoni’s point guard during all of his successful seasons has a career assist % of 41.Clearly we’re never going to find that (unless we get Nash himself) but we better damn well find the next best thing and hope that Melo’s iso ability and Amare and Fields’ ability to finish make up the difference.

    Hey, there’s always Jose Calderon! Just kidding… (or am I?).

  105. d-mar

    The Bulls defense is RIDICULOUS. makes the Celtics D look average. And when their bench comes in, their defense gets even better. Scary.

  106. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Joel Anthony is terrible.

    That would be a worst-case scenario for Faried’s rookie year, imo. Anthony does play significant minutes on a team in the conference finals. (Didn’t work out that well for him tonight, though!)

  107. BigBlueAL

    Z-man:
    Barkley just said that the Bull’s D is the best he’s ever seen.

    Did he forget he played in the 90s vs the Knicks, Bulls, Sonics and Heat??

    The 1992-1993 and 1994-1994 Knicks are statistically probably the 2 greatest defenses of all-time. Especially the 1992-1993 Knicks. I remember Hollinger even stated this so it must be true :-)

  108. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    19 offensive boards for the Bulls. It’s not defense, it’s rebounding.

  109. Brian Cronin

    Barkley just said that the Bull’s D is the best he’s ever seen.

    Hyperbole seems to be the key to being a sports commentator.

  110. massive

    It’s gonna be really interesting building a team to compete with the Bulls and Heat going forward. We need to build a team that can push the tempo against the Bulls (because no team in the NBA will beat their half court defense), and a team that can stop Miami’s transition game. We need to figure out a way to keep our core of Fields/Melo/Stat intact, add Paul, an above average center (like Gortat-ish level), and an All-NBA level wing defender (like Tony Allen level). Doesn’t sound easy at all.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man:
    Barkley just said that the Bull’s D is the best he’s ever seen.

    Barkley’s an idiot. The Bulls shot worse than the Heat. What does that make the Heat?

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310515004

    +13 o. rebounds
    +4 steals
    +5 FTA

    So at an average of 1 point per extra possession, and .8 pts/FTA, that’s 21 points. Exactly the margin of victory.

    This is not about defense. It’s about rebounding. Again. Rebounding.

  112. Shad0wF0x

    I agree it’s about rebounding but aren’t you still on defense until you get possession? I’ve always hated how many O. Rebs the Knicks give up.

  113. Z-man

    In my book, reounding, via denying the other team posessions, is a subcategory of defense.

  114. iserp

    flossy: Hey, there’s always Jose Calderon! Just kidding… (or am I?).

    Well, he may be worth trying. He is the type of PG that our offense needs, (and the type of PG or defense doesn’t need)

  115. flossy

    iserp: Well, he may be worth trying. He is the type of PG that our offense needs, (and the type of PG or defense doesn’t need)

    Yeah if the new CBA ends up turning out to really limit our ability to sign Chris Paul in 2012, I’d be really interested in seeing if the Raptors would agree to a deal based around Calderon (and throw-ins) for Billups. Calderon is basically Nash-lite, and I don’t think the Raptors want to pay him for several more years since that team is going nowhere, fast.

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