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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Anthony Randolph: Enigma

Rumors have been floating around for several months that the Knicks will trade Anthony Randolph to either the Pacers, the Timberwolves, or the Trailblazers, for a first-round pick to be used in any Nuggets-Knicks Carmelo trade. The latest trade rumor made me wonder: If the Knicks will include Randolph in a trade, why, exactly, would the Nuggets prefer a draft pick instead of him?

Randolph oozes with potential. He has filled up box scores and highlight reels against some of the best teams in the league. Golden State fans hated his inclusion in the David Lee trade. He is coming off an injury-riddled season and has played nowhere near the minutes required this season to adequately evaluate his current ability. It is a fair point to question if the argument proposed by Coach d’Antoni has some circular logic behind it. “He won’t play until he’s ready to help the team win,” but what if he needs to begin playing in real games again to become re-acclimated to the league? How could anyone know how good he might be if he never is given minutes? And finally, if three teams are apparently willing to give up a first-round pick for the player, why are neither of the teams who are principals of the proposed trade anxious to hold on to him?

As is well documented on the comment threads of most Knickerblogger posts, many Knicks fans wish that Randolph could be given more playing time, but are alright with the idea of including him as piece in a Carmelo trade, if only for the reason that they doubt d’Antoni will ever give him the playing time required to show his potential.   I asked Jeremy at Roundball Mining Company to offer his perspective on the proposed trade, and what he had to say is pretty interesting.

Knickerblogger: I had one question regarding the new TWolves-Knicks-Nuggets trade scenario- as a Nuggets fan, would you rather have a 1st round pick from Minnesota, or just have Anthony Randolph instead?”

Roundball Mining Co.: “Personally I am a pretty big Anthony Randolph fan, much more so than most. If Denver is serious about the rumored trade, they would be sacrificing a major aspect of any Melo trade they have been working for and that is acquiring a young player with big time potential.  Chandler is fine and still has room to grow, but he is not a prospect that could turn into an all-star some day and make the trade a win for Denver.  Plus I do not think he wants to stay in Denver longterm and in order to keep him this summer, or whenever the next free agent period is, the Nuggets will have to pay him.  The Knicks do have a young, cheap potentially great player they are willing to trade and that is Randolph… If the pick from Minnesota is unprotected, I could see making a case for the pick over Randolph, but the player I have personally wanted from the Knicks roster from the start has been Randolph.”

And thus the enigma that is Anthony Randolph: a player whom two franchises don’t seem eager to hold on to, with fan bases of those franchises both wanting to give him playing time. The reasons why he is benched are not completely off base : he’s shown a propensity for horrific turnovers, and his shooting percentage is quite poor from mid-range. It may also be true that Donnie still values Randolph highly, but views him as a necessary cost in a trade for Carmelo. But I have a feeling that several years from now, we may be left ruing his loss. The more resigned I become to to the fact he would probably be included in a trade for Melo, the more I just wish that Knicks fans could be the ones to see what he’ll become.

106 comments on “Anthony Randolph: Enigma

  1. DS

    Interesting stuff John, thanks!

    A couple of points though, reportedly Denver is not willing to pay Curry, so in order to involve Eddy’s contract the Knicks need to offer an asset like Randolph to a team like Minnesota.

    Also, the Knicks have an average point differential of .5 ppg. I didn’t go through their schedule and see how many close games they’ve played, but suffice it to say there are prob. a lot. It’s no “enigma” that AR’s “horrific turnovers” and the fact that his “shooting percentage is quite poor from mid-range” would may have too big of an impact in the standings for D’Antoni, Walsh, and esp. Dolan. These guys have boards, the media, and customers (fans) to answer to. Which consequently, is why the team would get Carmelo today than (A) wait 4 months for him (B) risk losing him. That would be risky business for Cablevision.

  2. Kikuchiyo

    I don’t see the AR conundrum as all that puzzling. It turns out that he’s very, very green. I don’t think anyone here has wholly given up on him, but, by the same token, he has not shown much when he’s had (admittedly brief) chances. It also turns out that the team is not in a position to wait. They are either too good to lose games with experiments (because they are likely a playoff team) or not good enough to have ten minutes a night for on-the-job training (because they will have to fight to get a decent seed).

    We’ve seen three types of green in the last few years:
    1. The David Lee, Landry Fields tier: guys that will get better day by day and guys who seem to “get it” from day one.
    2. Gallo and Chandler tier: guys who have raised questions all along the way but who seem to truly show signs of the next level. Indeed, these two have been the keys to most of the wins and losses this years. On good days, they have reached this next level.
    3. Jordan Hill/Renaldo Balkman, possibly Nate tier: guys that just aren’t working out in this setting.

    We’re all hoping that Moz is tier 2, but we can only pray that AR is. And, yes, you can argue that it’s all about playing time, but I am saying that these players showed these glimpses with even scant time. (And, okay, I hate putting Nate here. I always liked him and I see him contributing to the Celts.)

  3. NateRobinson

    Great piece by Mr. kenney. And the accounts that state that Randolph oozes with potential are correct. Call me crazy, but if he were in Minnesota playing the same minutes as Love he would be their leading rebounder. His length, his knack for reading bounces cannot be taught. He had those since he was an 18 year old rookie with GS who weighed 210 soaking wet.

    Within two years of steady gameplay in a good team I think he can be a Lamar Odom type of player without the passing. As a matter of fact I see him more of a cross between the good Odom and Camby. And his chances of reaching that potential is high imo.

    Dont worry Knick fans, Donnie will continue to lowball the Nuggets and the trade will not happen (but we will end up with Melo). Shawn William will unfortunately be out of the rotation, his 2pt FG% is below 40% and his 3pt shooting is returning to average which will prompt MDA to give AR some burn. And he will become a staple in the rotation.

  4. Jimmy C

    Nice insight. And while we’re on the topic of AR:

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4d7fdf5

    Been reading musings that the T-Pups want to get a little more in return if they’re going to play ball on this deal. Here they get Headcase Smith, who will at least provide an offensive punch that Brewer cannot.

    We get a legit backup PG who, while he’s been hurt and nowhere near last year’s appex, could still very well blossom into a good player, particularly in this kind of system. We also get another backup C. Don’t know much about Koufos, but he’s the only one that made sense to shed from Minny’s soster.

    Obviously the elephant in the room is KAAAAHHHHHHHHNNNN’s assertion that Flynn is destined to be an All Star one day — just like Darko — and would thus be unwilling to include him. Assuming they’re not ready to give up on Flynn just yet — the whole Rubio situation is really what will decide his fate I think — you could give us Ridnour in place of Flynn, in which case we’d include Rautins in the haul for Minnesota. That one works too.

    Either way, what do you guys think?

  5. Caleb

    @8 TWolves make out fine on the proposed deal. Kahn I’m sure would love to have Randolph in exchange for a mid-1st -he’s just bluffing if he wants any more. It’s up to the Knicks and Nugs. But yeah, if they can get JR Smith out of it, and dump Flynn instead of their mid-1st draft pick (Jazz or Grizz – Minny’s own pick is going to the Clippers) – then hell yeah, he’d do it.

    Not sure I like this better for the Knicks. Flynn might be better than Douglas as a backup but I’m not sure we couldn’t spend the $3 million better in free agency. Sad, really, for a guy who went #6.

    Would I rather give up Walker than our 2014 pick? I dunno.

  6. Jafa

    @8

    Kahn may make irrational and illogical draft picks, but I wouldn’t call him a daft trader. He’s having a hard time giving up Brewer and you expect him to give up Brewer, Flynn & Koufos to get J.R. Smith in return? I don’t think so. Not from a guy who stole Beasley from the “Executive of the Year” for a 2nd round pick in a trade. I’d give him more credit when it comes to making trades.

    And why exactly would Denver want Toney Douglas? They already have their PG position set.

  7. Jimmy C

    Jafa: And why exactly would Denver want Toney Douglas?They already have their PG position set.  

    Good point. Although I think he’d actually do better as good a defensive stopper / scoring combo guard off the bench, no longer burdened with the pressures of running a unit all the time. But assuming you’re right, perhaps this makes more sense.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4lyeuv3

  8. NateRobinson

    I doubt it happens. For anything to happen Donnie would have to dish out a combination of Chandler, Fields, AR, or Gallo, Chandler, AR and I don’t see that happening.

    Plus in 3 team trades there would be conflict of interest and Minnesota does not have much to offer the Nuggets beside picks. If so they would want a good asset from the Knicks (Gallo, Fields, or Chandler). Something the Nuggets would also want for one of the best players in the league.

  9. Frank O.

    Jafa: @8Kahn may make irrational and illogical draft picks, but I wouldn’t call him a daft trader.He’s having a hard time giving up Brewer and you expect him to give up Brewer, Flynn & Koufos to get J.R. Smith in return?I don’t think so.Not from a guy who stole Beasley from the “Executive of the Year” for a 2nd round pick in a trade.I’d give him more credit when it comes to making trades.And why exactly would Denver want Toney Douglas?They already have their PG position set.  

    TD’s really a deuce

  10. JK47

    There’s no way Denver is doing any of these trades where all they get is RFA Wilson Chandler, bad-at-basketball Ronnie Brewer, a 2014 draft pick and expiring contracts. That is truly a poo-poo platter and I think their fans are right in saying they’d rather let Melo walk and get nothing.

  11. Brian Cronin

    TD’s really a deuce

    Even if you believe that, you can’t do a Lawson/Douglas backcourt. That’s be way too tiny.

  12. d-mar

    Hahn reporting that Melo’s a no-show at shootaround. Don’t know if this means something’s imminent or he’s just being a malcontent. Not sure why Denver wouldn’t just wait till the 11th hour to do anything, so I think the no-show probably doesn’t mean anything (trade-wise)

  13. Kikuchiyo

    Win shares leave me cold, especially if they lead to comments like this: “Kevin Love – Head and shoulders the best player in the league right now.”

    Don’t you need WINS to get win shares? Sure, like most Knicks fans, I’ve rooted hard for a white guy rebounding phenom who was under-appreciated by the average fan. But come on.

  14. JK47

    @17

    I’m not a fan of Win Shares either. It’s very bad at quantifying defense. Defense is a pretty big part of basketball, and Kevin Love is bad at it, 15 rebounds per game notwithstanding. He’s their center. They’re 26th in defensive rating. He’s not a complete player.

    He’s valuable, but best player in the NBA he ain’t.

  15. BigBlueAL

    Kikuchiyo: Win shares leave me cold, especially if they lead to comments like this: “Kevin Love – Head and shoulders the best player in the league right now.”Don’t you need WINS to get win shares? Sure, like most Knicks fans, I’ve rooted hard for a white guy rebounding phenom who was under-appreciated by the average fan. But come on.  

    Kris Humphries, the 5th best player in the East!!

  16. cgreene

    You know what’s funny. I really have no doubt at all that Isola is planting this story to make it harder for the Knicks to trade Wilson. That’s what a scum bag this guy is. Citing secret sources on the Knicks that Chandler needs another surgery AFTER the season. What a joke. I would get in this guy’s face if I ever had the chance.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2011/02/07/2011-02-07_wilson_chandlers_sore_ankle_could_hurt_knicks_chances_of_trading_for_nuggets_car.html?r=sports%2Fbasketball%2Fknicks&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fsports%2Fbasketball%2Fknicks+%28Sports%2FBasketball%2FKnicks%29

  17. BIG STAT

    I’m starting to think this Melo thing just is not going to go down. The knicks are not going to give fair value, and Denver has already proved itself to be very stubborn. I’m going to be laughing when he walks away this summer and Denver gets nothing. Unfortunately for Melo, he’s probably going to be really pissed when this doesn’t go down. I wonder what the dialogue between him and the owner has been/ will be this year

  18. BIG STAT

    cgreene: You know what’s funny.I really have no doubt at all that Isola is planting this story to make it harder for the Knicks to trade Wilson.That’s what a scum bag this guy is.Citing secret sources on the Knicks that Chandler needs another surgery AFTER the season.What a joke.I would get in this guy’s face if I ever had the chance.http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2011/02/07/2011-02-07_wilson_chandlers_sore_ankle_could_hurt_knicks_chances_of_trading_for_nuggets_car.html?r=sports%2Fbasketball%2Fknicks&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fsports%2Fbasketball%2Fknicks+%28Sports%2FBasketball%2FKnicks%29  

    This is why all trades are pending physicals. I don’t think a deal is going to happen anyway.

  19. John Kenney Post author

    @DS – it may be true that Denver values the savings from not getting back curry more than they value AR. If I were a Denver fan, however, that would bother me.

    @kiku: I think AR is definitely above tier 3 in your system (although I think Nate is too.) Jordan Hill and Renaldo Balkman didn’t have the kind of games which AR has produced. The problem is consistency- he might give you one great game and one horrible one, and the point that we can’t risk him having horrible games may be a good one. But I do think this sample size is way too small for us to be sure. He hasn’t played meaningful minutes since before his injury. Sometimes guys respond. I think he’s definitely at least tier 2, and Gallo and (pre-trade-rumors) Chandler have been working out pretty well.

  20. Jimmy C

    cgreene: You know what’s funny. I really have no doubt at all that Isola is planting this story to make it harder for the Knicks to trade Wilson. That’s what a scum bag this guy is. Citing secret sources on the Knicks that Chandler needs another surgery AFTER the season. What a joke. I would get in this guy’s face if I ever had the chance.

    It’s either him or Vecesey, although Vecsey hasn’t had that kind of access in years (Jesus, remember when he was a staple on NBA on NBC? Weird). Either way, after 2 surgeries, this is definitely a cause for concern if you’re Denver. I don’t think it’ll cause Walsh to up the ante though, so maybe this is a blessing in disguise.

    John Kenney: and Gallo and (pre-trade-rumors) Chandler have been working out pretty well

    As someone pointed out — hilariously — during the last game thread, Chandler looks like he’s about to cry even when he’s nailing triples. I don’t believe him for a second when he says the talks aren’t affecting him.

  21. NateRobinson

    “Coach rarely discusses with us anybody’s personal future, game-wise. All the more, he doesn’t do it before every game. But he’s much more willing to do this when talking to the media. I guess the nuances of the NBA and the coach’s profession concern working with the media too. For example, I have just learned it from journalists that I should start in our next game vs. Philadelphia – because I wasn’t too bad playing against Brand on defense.”

    “The schemes are the same. The goals are the same too. Only the nuances are a little bit different. I rarely rebound on the defensive glass, There, my goal is to box out. On the offensive glass – why box out? So I’m just crashing the boards.” Timo Mozgov, Rush n’ Hoops

    Interesting take on the rebounding by Timo. Apparently hes responsible for just boxing out on defensive boards. Why is this the case is beyond me, most knicks are bad at boxing out in the first place so I would prefer Timo to just flat out go for it.

    Also I dont like MDA choice of telling the media anything before he tells his players. It creates a distant relationship or trust between players and coaches.

  22. Brian Cronin

    Man, how annoying would it be if Gallo or Fields suddenly got swapped with Chandler in the proposed deal?

  23. NateRobinson

    @ 28

    I would be really pissed because somehow I feel that Melo signing with the Knicks as a FA is a near guarantee.

  24. jon abbey

    if the deal is going to happen before the deadline, it’s going to include Fields. I just don’t see how Denver could agree to it otherwise.

  25. latke

    Kikuchiyo: They are either too good to lose games with experiments (because they are likely a playoff team) or not good enough to have ten minutes a night for on-the-job training (because they will have to fight to get a decent seed).

    I know we’re all salivating for the playoffs after such a long drought, but would it be such a disaster to miss the playoffs? There’s no sense really throwing the season since Houston can swap picks with us, but if we end up with 37 wins (around where Houston is headed), that can only help our long term prospects. Our pick is top 5 protected, so if we ended up moving up via ping pong balls, Houston couldn’t swap. IMO giving Randolph 15MPG would not have this effect though, and it could end up helping us record-wise this season.

    MDA sort of reminds me of Steve Jobs. They both sort of have visions for how their product should look and are perfectionists about it. They are almost artists in how doggedly they try to realize their visions. Jobs wants a perfect user interface, and MDA wants a perfect SSOL offense. They often put that vision of perfection ahead of the practicalities (knicks wins or Apple overall user experience).

    Jobs, for example, locks the iPod to iTunes because he wants EVERYONE to have that seamless experience, even if they would prefer to use their iPod differently. MDA has to have 3 shooters on the floor at all times because that is the what makes his system work best, nevermind the fact that this often results in him playing inferior and one-dimensional players (Walker, Williams) over more talented players (randolph).

  26. latke

    Another thing to note re: Minnesota getting Curry. We’re nearly 2/3s of the way through the season, so Curry has already made nearly 2/3s of his year’s income. That means Minny would only be paying him about $4 million this year. If NY sent Minny $3 million cash, the cost to them would be nearly negligible.

  27. NateRobinson

    good point latke. We err MDA should be more of a realist and understand that developing the Knicks young players is more important than this years regular season success. We are not getting far with this roster so burning out Amare and Felton for 4-6 extra wins will only hurt us in the long run. The Now thinking is what hurt Isiahs regime in the first place.

    MDA also sacrifices the most crucial thing in the NBA (defensive rebound) for 9 extra points on the offensive end while giving up 12 on the defensive end on offensive boards and lack of size/intimidation on the interior. Thus wasting good defensive possessions.

  28. NateRobinson

    Im more interested in drafting a future pg than anything. Maybe Brandon Knight or Jimmer would be a perfect scenario since MDA doesnt believe in big men.

  29. prezs2reprsntme

    long time lurker, sometime poster on postingandtoasting, first time poster here

    (27) regarding rebounding vs boxing out. I wish there were more people on the comments who could explain these things. It’s one of those things that is something basketball players know that many casual fans dont.

    think it through–if all the big men on one team box out on a possession, they likely get the rebound. it is JUST as important to PREVENT opposing players from getting o boards as it is to get D rebs.

    and lets go further–the knicks defense is predicated (yes it has predications and purposes despite popular opinion haha) on negating possessions rather than making possessions shitty. I.e., blocks steals vs traditional good defense. The reason is the knicks would rather limit and lower the opponents number of possessions per game, thus giving them less room for error with regards to hot shooting etc.

    and one way to do that….stopping really good offensive rebounders from giving their teams extra possessions. like elton brand might do if timmy was not boxing him out :D

    i know that was kind of rant-ish but i had to do it

  30. prezs2reprsntme

    last thing–its like when you see a coach teaching young kids to play bball. you teach them to find their man and box out, or if its too late, find SOMEONE and box them out. rather than go ball hunting

  31. flossy

    @33 Doesn’t that just seem way too good to be true? If we could pick up Aaron Brooks for just Azubuike? I mean, what’s to think about? Last year at 25 he started 82 games and put up Chauncey Billups numbers. This year he’s been injured and shooting poorly, but he’s fast, his AST% of 27 blows Toney Douglas out of the water, and if he returns to his career 37% he’d be a fantastic back-up for Felton. And if it works out, we can match any offer on him next summer, which could be quite useful.

  32. BigBlueAL

    Yeah great idea, lets not try to make the playoffs for the remote possibility of winning the lottery in what might be the weakest draft in NBA history.

    Sounds like a perfect bring back Isiah plan.

  33. Jafa

    @31 and 34,

    Are you guys for real? Give up on a playoff season so we can give AR some burn? How long have you been a Knicks fan? Seriously!

    Let me get this straigth – AR is sooooo talented that he can’t crack the rotation on the merits of his own skill set and needs us to give up on a winning season so that he can get playing time, while 2nd Round draft pick rookies, 15th men and Russian imports are making the rotation by working hard and doing the things needed to earn the playing time? The extent we will go to on this blog to get AR some playing time is mind boggling.

    Is AR talented? Yes. Do we need to baby him and make excuses for him and give up on winning this year just so he can develop his talents? No. Will this current Knicks team win the championship this year? No. But that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be treated to some playoff bball, especially when we could get a favorable 1st round matchup. Then next year, we can build on that experience and look to have a deeper run, possibly with Melo in tow.

    So excuse me for not wanting to give AR a hand out and expecting him to earn his stripes the old fashion way. Don’t mean to take it out on you guys, but I’m just sick of the pampered pooch treatment AR is getting from us stat heads.

  34. Spree8nyk8

    @ 40 and 41, thank you so much for pointing out how asinine that idea was. I think we should be exploring all ideas for how to make it to round 2, not giving up round 1 to basically cheat the system. We’ve been perfectly good at missing the playoffs for long enough now to where passing up the playoffs is ridiculous.

    Get Melo, get him acclimated, see how far we can go. I really really hope they don’t give up fields to get him. But if that happens we’ll survive. Melo put up 50 last night and I just can’t wait to see him having those games in blue and orange.

  35. latke

    First of all, I never advocated for us to sit Amare for the rest of the season. I’m talking about risk vs. reward. AR has the potential to put up #s of a top 5 prospect in the entire league. What player who is 21 or younger is more promising than him? Blake Griffin is the only one I can think of for sure. Tyreke Evans? I can’t think of any other player who is 21 or younger and has the ceiling of Randolph.

    Jennings and Holiday are PERHAPS better now, but also have lower ceilings.

    Rose, Westbrook, Love, Curry, Beaubois are all older than him.

    This guy is really young and incredibly gifted. If he’d stayed in college, he might be the #1 pick of the draft last summer. How would you feel if the knicks had lucked out and won the lottery and now were not playing their number one pick? He has that level of promise. How’s this for trivia?: In a week’s time, Blake Griffin will have played more NBA minutes than Randolph, so don’t try to come back with the argument that he’s had his chances. He has not. Injuries and two schizophrenic coaches have prevented him from getting the kind of minutes upon which you can judge a player’s NBA potential.

    Some people don’t seem to recognize how hard it is to win an NBA championship. Do you realize how serendipitous the Spurs dynasty was…? David Robinson just happened to get hurt and miss an entire season when the player of a generation was entering the draft. The Celtics managed to orchestrate a sequence of trades that, if you believe in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, only happened in about twenty of the infinite different realities.

    Switching from the scientific to the spiritual realm (they are growing ever-closer, so it’s not much of a jump), for an inarguably mediocre team to not do its best to grow a talent with so much potential is to me the karmic equivalent of taking a shit on the Dalai Lama. Chances are, the universe is going to plop a much larger shit back on your head.

  36. jon abbey

    some things I know:

    1) Carmelo dropped 50 tonight, and a very efficient 50, but Denver still lost at home to Houston.

    2) the Knicks are not going to win a title unless they get Dwight Howard or LeBron.

    3) the Knicks are not going to miss the playoffs this year.

    4) the Knicks are not going to make the second round of the playoffs this year.

    5) Denver is not going to trade Melo for that pupu platter of meh.

    6) Melo is going to end up in NY anyway by the start of next season.

    7) this will make our team even more entertaining going forward.

    8) but still not a title team, unless Dwight Howard decides to join the party (Paul or Williams plus a Kendrick Perkins type also might do it, if that was in any way possible under the cap).

  37. massive

    @33,

    A Paul or Williams/Brooks PG tandem would be one to watch if it ever happened.

    Re: Randolph, I wonder why D’Antoni hasn’t used him as a Boris Diaw type of player. He can pass, rebound, and run the floor right? I think there’s a place for AR on this team. He should be a Lamar Odom-Boris Diaw hybrid here. He’s probably just making too many mistakes, or just has a low morale right now.

  38. massive

    jon abbey: some things I know:1) Carmelo dropped 50 tonight, and a very efficient 50, but Denver still lost at home to Houston.
    2) the Knicks are not going to win a title unless they get Dwight Howard or LeBron.  

    8) but still not a title team, unless Dwight Howard decides to join the party (Paul or Williams plus a Kendrick Perkins type also might do it, if that was in any way possible under the cap).

    1) Yeah, Melo really had a great night. But, Nene was out, so that’s probably why they lost. Kevin Martin also had 37 points and 7 assists, so that probably had something to do with Houston’s success.

    2) Not sure I agree.

    8)This much I can agree with. Chris Paul and Kendrick Perkins/a healthy Greg Oden would win us an NBA championship or two.

  39. BigBlueAL

    16 for 24 FG, 2 for 3 3pt, 16 for 18 FT for Melo’s 50. Also 11 rebs (10 defensive) and 3 blocks. 0 asts though with 4 to’s.

  40. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey: some things I know:1) Carmelo dropped 50 tonight, and a very efficient 50, but Denver still lost at home to Houston.2) the Knicks are not going to win a title unless they get Dwight Howard or LeBron.3) the Knicks are not going to miss the playoffs this year.4) the Knicks are not going to make the second round of the playoffs this year.5) Denver is not going to trade Melo for that pupu platter of meh.6) Melo is going to end up in NY anyway by the start of next season.7) this will make our team even more entertaining going forward.8) but still not a title team, unless Dwight Howard decides to join the party (Paul or Williams plus a Kendrick Perkins type also might do it, if that was in any way possible under the cap).  

    4) If the Knicks face the Bulls I really believe they have a chance to beat the Bulls and Im talking about a really good chance with or w/o Melo. They play great defense yes but the most important thing is their offense is pretty bad, barely Top 20.

    Look at how the Knicks defended the hell out of them on Christmas. They are a very easy team to defend. Now obviously with both Boozer and Noah playing rebounding will be a problem but the Bulls are not a team who can score 110 easily on the Knicks like the Celtics/Heat/Magic can.

    If the Knicks play any of the trio I just mentioned I doubt they would win more than 1 game vs them, maybe Orlando they could extend the series to a 6th or possible 7th game but unlikely. The Bulls though I really think they can not only win 2 or 3 games but straight up beat them in a series.

    If they get Melo for nothing then I would actually expect them to beat the Bulls and maybe the Magic too since their defense isnt as strong now and they would have no answer for Melo. Miami and Boston though still wouldnt expect more than 1 win.

  41. jon abbey

    I just don’t see how we could match up with both Boozer and Noah. it would take a lot of Mozgov, certainly.

  42. Ben R

    I want AR to play, I think he should play, but I do not think D’Antoni has some vendetta. In fact I can see D’Antoni’s logic, I don’t necessarily agree with it but I think it is reasonable.

    Randolph is a 3 or a 4 he is not a 5. Playing him at the 5 would be a poor move, in fact it would be even worse than playing shawne at the 5 because at least Shawne can punish big centers with his three point shot. Plus I think we need to have a real 5 on the court for at least half the game, probably more because playing the 5 wears down Amare.

    Our four best players are 3’s or 4’s. Fields is already playing a little out of position at the 2 and with Gallo, Chandler and Amare all getting minutes at the 3/4 there is not alot of minutes left to go around. Even if Amare gets half his minutes at the 5, there is still not alot of minutes. Right now Shawne is getting the left over minutes at the 3 and 4 and he has played well, and D’Antoni would have a hard time benching Shawne when he is playing solid defense, shooting a league leading 3pt% and doing everything he is being asked to do.

    I think right now Randolph is stuck on the outside looking in. I hope he gets a chance to shine but it’s not like last year when Douglas and Nate were sitting while Hughes and Duhon were horrible. No one playing in front of Randolph is playing poorly, no one in front of Randolph deserves to be benched. He might be better but it’s awful hard to bench a productive player in the hopes that your raw, prospect puts it together.

  43. Ben R

    For what it’s worth I think we stand a good shot against the Bulls as well. Their rebounding is great but there is a limit to the extent in which we can be outrebounded and that’s the only huge advantage they have on us. Other than that I think our offense is stronger than their defense and our defense should be able to do enough to slow them down and steal us some games.

    I think the Mozgov/Turiaf tandom would be quite effective vs Noah.

    We’re 2-0 for a reason. It would be a tough series but we have a legitimate shot.

  44. BigBlueAL

    Hollinger just wrote an article about the Bulls and their defense regressing to the mean. Apparently Batum called out Rose after the game for playing no defense and Thibs called out Boozer for his lack of defense.

    Obviously missig Noah hurts their defense but again I truly believe this current Knicks team can beat the Bulls in a best of 7 series. Now I think the Bulls are clearly a better team right now and would give the Big 3 of the East a much tougher series than the Knicks would by a mile but I think the Knicks style matches up well with the Bulls and the style they play.

  45. jon abbey

    no one has really seen the Bulls at full strength yet, Boozer said the other day he and Noah haven’t been healthy at the same time yet. if they are both healthy and they have time to develop chemistry (which admittedly they’re running out of time to do this year), none of their previous results, against us or anyone else, will have much to do with how strong they will be in the playoffs.

    and, yes, in a real shocker, the Bulls without Noah are lousy on D sometimes. in other breaking news, Orlando’s D would be worse without Howard and Dallas’ O would (and did) suffer with no Nowitzki. come on, people.

  46. Frank

    massive: Re: Randolph, I wonder why D’Antoni hasn’t used him as a Boris Diaw type of player. He can pass, rebound, and run the floor right? I think there’s a place for AR on this team. He should be a Lamar Odom-Boris Diaw hybrid here. He’s probably just making too many mistakes, or just has a low morale right now.  

    Diaw and AR are basically opposite players. One is athletically average or worse but has a very high basketball IQ – the other is off the charts athletic but has my basketball IQ.

    I know we all want AR to be the greatest, but isn’t it possible that he’s just not that good? There are lots of examples of guys who put up very promising advanced stats and/or have amazing athletic ability but never make it for some reason. Sweetney, Stromile Swift, Eddie Griffin, etc etc. I definitely want him to succeed but this is 2 coaches now who have basically exiled him to the bench. And it’s not like D’Antoni is not giving burn to players that he feels deserve it.

  47. Brian Cronin

    but isn’t it possible that he’s just not that good?

    The odds of him just not being good are very slim, especially since he was already good last year, at the age of 20.

    He might never be the player many of us hoped he could be, but there is pretty much no chance of him just never being good at all. Stromile Swift was never as good as AR was last year, and Swift entered the NBA at 21. Sweetney, we all know from watching him, was a special case. Not many players eat themselves out of the NBA.

    Griffin, though, is an interesting comparison. I think it’s an unfair one to AR, as Griffin wasn’t just dumb, the dude was an addict, but I will at least note that Griffin did show a lot of the same potential as AR.

  48. Spree8nyk8

    latke: In a week’s time, Blake Griffin will have played more NBA minutes than Randolph, so don’t try to come back with the argument that he’s had his chances. He has not. Injuries and two schizophrenic coaches have prevented him from getting the kind of minutes upon which you can judge a player’s NBA potential.  

    Did it ever occur that maybe there’s a reason for that? I mean you’re making this statement as if this kid has been wronged. But what would be the upside of doing this? If he’s a limitless player with an unimaginable ceiling why did his former coach bench him, and why has his current coach not let him off the bench? Isn’t it possible that there are problems that you don’t necessarily know about? Maybe he’s not the same since the injury. Maybe he dogs it in practice. Maybe his attitude sucks, I mean who knows. You could go on with millions of reasons none of us would ever know. But to this point he’s had a lot of time to earn his minutes and MDA hasn’t felt like he has earned them. And before anyone goes on about MDA being stubborn and overbearing, let’s look closer.

    Mozgov- started the season at center, played horribly. Not many here saw any potential in him. Hands like bricks, very little to offer. Well currently he seems to have possibly won back the center job. MDA gave him a second shot.

    Shawne Williams- started season as last man on team. Got very little time to play early on. Slowly earned PT, currently getting quality time.

    Bill Walker- in and out several times, always seems to be given another shot.

    Turiaf- given time any chance he’s healthy enough.

    I mean for the most part there are 4 guys who really don’t get any time. Rautins, too green. Curry too fat, Mason, a bust. And Randolph. Well, if MDA could find a way to work back to moz, find a role for williams and walker what’s really…

  49. Brian Cronin

    By the way, using Mike’s similarity scores, here are the players AR was similar to coming into this season (listed from most similar to least similar):

    Joe Smith 1996
    Elton Brand 2000
    Shawn Kemp 1990
    Tyrus Thomas 2007
    Tracy McGrady 2000
    Kevin Garnett 1997
    Josh Smith 2006
    Chris Bosh 2005
    Amare Stoudemire 2003
    Andrei Kirilenko 2002

    And he can’t even get off of the bench.

    By the way, you’ll note that almost all of them are post players, which is almost certainly why D’Antoni doesn’t play him, as D’Antoni wants wings, and I’ll admit, AR at the wing is not a good fit.

  50. Brian Cronin

    His last coach “buried” him to the tune of 22.7 minutes per game.

    Here, he’s under 8 (and effectively none in months).

  51. Spree8nyk8

    I mean yeah they could throw him minutes and try to make something out of him. But I mean maybe it’s just not there. I mean look at Milicic. #2 overall pick seemed right at the time. And yes, he’s done a little better in minnesota. But come on. He’s a bust. Randolph may end up being one as well. He’s not alone. There are tons of project players out there that never reach what was thought to be there potential. And when you have a team that is starting to flip the gears, it’s too late for projects. LAST YEAR we could have done that. LAST YEAR would have been fantastic to have him.

    If your going to move into a new place and you wanna get a dog, you don’t wait till you go to the new place, you train him at the old one so he doesn’t shit on your new rugs and potentially screw up your new house. And if you bring him to the new house and he poops, he’s probably not staying long. He may end up learning at the next house and being a fantastic dog. But hey, can’t fuck up my new shit for a dog that “might” end up being great…..right?

  52. Spree8nyk8

    Brian Cronin: His last coach “buried” him to the tune of 22.7 minutes per game.Here, he’s under 8 (and effectively none in months).   

    My point is that there simply MUST be a reason to that. This coach has given everyone he has a reasonable opportunity except this kid. He wouldn’t do it for no reason, it makes NO SENSE.

  53. Spree8nyk8

    Brian Cronin: And he can’t even get off of the bench.
    By the way, you’ll note that almost all of them are post players, which is almost certainly why D’Antoni doesn’t play him, as D’Antoni wants wings, and I’ll admit, AR at the wing is not a good fit.  

    Ok, well if he’s not a good fit for our system then what is the point?

  54. Brian Cronin

    Darko was a bust, sure. Darko also never played anywhere near as well as AR did last season in any of his seasons in the NBA, let alone at the age of 20.

  55. Brian Cronin

    Ok, well if he’s not a good fit for our system then what is the point?

    The point is that D’Antoni should be adapting his system, especially when the biggest deficit with the system is AR’s biggest strength (rebounding). It’s not like D’Antoni has never adapted his system before. The dude had the Suns trade for Shaquille O’Neal, for crying out loud! He can add Shaq to his system but he can’t let AR play off of the perimeter?

  56. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    The point is that D’Antoni should be adapting his system, especially when the biggest deficit with the system is AR’s biggest strength (rebounding). It’s not like D’Antoni has never adapted his system before. The dude had the Suns trade for Shaquille O’Neal, for crying out loud! He can add Shaq to his system but he can’t let AR play off of the perimeter?  

    Truth is – MDA has exiled a few players since he’s been here – Fat Eddy, Larry Hughes, Marbury, N8, Mason, Rautins, and now AR. Fat Eddy, Hughes, Mason, and Rautins are no brainers. Marbury was a nutball cancer. Nate has been essentially a bit player on a great team in Boston. So MDA’s probably been right on 6 out of the 7 players, with AR the one maybe. Perhaps we should give the coach some leeway?

    I maybe would like to see AR play with a lineup where Amare is the 5. Maybe Amare, AR, Gallo, Fields, and Felton, so Gallo can play 4 on offense and take the corner 3’s that usually go to Chandler. Lots of offense on the floor so AR can concentrate on dirty work. The Amare-at-C lineups seem to get dominated on the boards so maybe it would work.

  57. Brian Cronin

    Perhaps we should give the coach some leeway?

    4 of the 7, as you said, were no-brainers, so why would they go towards leeway? What coach in the NBA would not bench Curry, Mason and Rautins?

    So really, it’s at best 1 out of 2, with Randolph to be determined. I don’t think D’Antoni has earned any leeway out of that. I’m not saying that he doesn’t have good reason to bench AR (I doubt he has good reason to bench AR, but I can’t say it definitively), but I don’t think his previous benchings show any sort of “Well, he obviously knows what he is doing when it comes to benchings, so best not to question him!” allowance.

  58. Caleb

    AR hasn’t played this year so it boils down to whether you have faith in D’Antoni: is there a reason not obvious to the fans, that he’s not playing the guy?

    Many people think there is, but I don’t see it. (although in hindsight it sure looks like were off-court reasons with Balkman, that I missed at the time). But with AR, it seems obvious: MDA values outside shooting ability above all. That’s why Williams & Walker are getting burn ahead of Randolph. Period. Playing AR now is not a develop the kids approach, it’s a make-your-team-better-now approach. You sacrifice some outside shooting but get more rebounding, more shot-blocking, more defensive-length on the perimeter, more fast breaks and more open court scoring. You hear a lot about turnovers but AR’s rate is only slightly higher than Williams, even though he handles a lot and Extra-E is mostly a catch-and-shooter. (They’re actually an interesting side by side comparison, now that Randolph has 2000 career minutes and Extra-E has 2273).

    MDA has communication issues, but no reason to think he has a personal vendetta. I do think benching Randolph is a mistake, a big one, and bigger than this particular decision. In the long run, a system-over-player attitude will ruin a franchise.

    Like someone pointed out last week – it’s hard enough to find good players. It’s virtually impossible to find enough of them if they have to be a certain “type” of good player.

  59. Caleb

    @65 It’s hard (impossible?) to defend his treatment of Nate. That Nate has a small role behind two All-Stars on a title favorite doesn’t mean he should have sat on the bench for six weeks behind Chris Duhon and Larry Hughes.

    Coach D also sat Jordan Hill behind Jared Jeffries for four months. Not that Hill is star material, but that one is totally inexplicable.

    All in all it does look like he has personality clashes with guys – he likes players who “look” serious and mature. Don’t we all? But he also seems to confuse that with what’s happening on the court.

    p.s. I should say – I agree that Randolph next to scorers (Stoudemire & Gallo) is the right mix, especially when the opposing center is small enough for Stat to guard (with bigger guys, and real post scorers, you might rather put Mozgov out there)

  60. ess-dog

    Caleb:
    I should say – I agree that Randolph next to scorers (Stoudemire & Gallo) is the right mix, especially when the opposing center is small enough for Stat to guard (with bigger guys, and real post scorers, you might rather put Mozgov out there)  

    The AR thing is pretty fascinating. In retrospect, he does not seem to fit the system that well, since outside shooting around Stat is so important. But efficiency-wise, letting AR loose for 40 minutes a game at small forward would be akin to, well, letting Melo loose for 40 minutes a game at small forward and – whoops! – we’re trading for him (maybe.)

    Now clearly AR is lacking a lot of scoring skills that Melo has – post moves and a mid-range to name a few – but he’s proven to definitely have Josh Smith potential on offense and defense. If I remember correctly, Atlanta fans were both wowed and frustrated by Smith who was jaw-droppingly electric at times, but just not a smart player. Well a few years ago, he got it. And I can imagine AR getting it eventually too.

    So maybe he doesn’t get “it” yet. Big deal. He’s young. I think if we keep him (and that’s a big if) then he kind of slides into Chandler’s role of wing/post defender who runs the floor and gets to the rim (minus the three point shot.) Clearly Chandler will bolt if we attempt to get Melo after the season, and AR can try to give us what we had in Chandler. Or he’ll go to Denver or Minny at the trade deadline.

  61. cgreene

    Lakers offering Bynum for Melo apparently. Love to see the Knicks sneak in and get Nene if that deal goes down.

  62. Caleb

    The Dolan news is very depressing. Big props to Donnie for ignoring it, publically. But how long will he want to take this crap? I won’t be surprised if he either doesn’t get or won’t sign an extension, and this trade deadline is his last meaningful moment in NY.

    @69 – Call me nuts, but I won’t be surprised if AR is as good or even better than Melo in 3 years. Maybe 50-50. But it will be in a different way – he is a sprinter, open-court player, who will make his impact on D and on the boards. Josh Smith, Kirilenko, Camby, Odom, even Garnett. Some mix of those guys would be “high-end” Randolph. But even now he’s an average NBA player who happens to offer what the Knicks need.

    Smith is great example – I live in Atlanta, so have seen his frustrating years, and his good ones. Like AR he has a great handle for a big guy, and he is off-the-charts spectacular (like he showed against the knicks 10 days ago). He used to be an offensive liability because he wanted to play like a guard. Eventually he stopped taking 3-pointers and long 2s. He’s still not super-efficient (TS @53), but he’s not a liability. Oddly enough, this year he suddenly started taking 3-pointers again, except that now he can make them – about 35 percent. The point is, whether or not he could was irrelevant – it was all about his decision-making.

    He also improved a lot as an on-ball defender. He used to gamble a lot, and used to be skinny enough where big guys would push him around. But I would expect AR to get savvier and stronger with age.

    Right now I think MDA could get a lot of value using AR the way he used Jeffries – guarding multiple positions, disrupting the other team’s offense, crashing the boards – except AR would do it twice as well.

  63. Caleb

    cgreene: Lakers offering Bynum for Melo apparently.Love to see the Knicks sneak in and get Nene if that deal goes down.  

    That’s an interesting move. From Denver’s perspective it obviously begs a followup…

  64. Caleb

    Better than Knicks’ offer? Depends whether you like Bynum and his knees… and whether or not you like Chandler.

    If I were them I’d take Bynum. But would Melo sign in LA, when he’s this close to his beloved Knicks? He could scuttle it.

  65. ess-dog

    Caleb: Better than Knicks’ offer? Depends whether you like Bynum and his knees… and whether or not you like Chandler.
    If I were them I’d take Bynum. But would Melo sign in LA, when he’s this close to his beloved Knicks? He could scuttle it.  

    Bynum and Nene would be tough frontcourt. Maybe the can get Shannon Brown and dump Al Buckets as well? I can’t imagine Melo turning down a big three of Kobe, himself and Gasol… if he wants a title. If NYC is that important to him, it won’t happen.

    This also begs the question, does Donnie have back up plans if Melo falls through?

  66. latke

    cgreene: Lakers offering Bynum for Melo apparently.Love to see the Knicks sneak in and get Nene if that deal goes down.

    That’s an interesting move. I’m sure they’d have no problem taking back Andersen as well. I was rather hoping though that they’d offer Bynum for Marc Gasol. Watching two loping 7′ foot spaniards lope up and down the court would be epic.

    I’m not going to get back into the AR thing again. Just ya’ll note that I’ve stated my opinion in no unclear terms. I have every right to come and rub it in later. IMO I won’t even have to though, because Sportscenter will on every night that his new team plays.

  67. ess-dog

    latke: When asked what he knew about Blake Griffin, Mozgov replies, “Too much.”http://twitter.com/#!/stackmack/status/34725207482568705  

    God I’m so sick of hearing about that dunk. It was an amazing physical feat by Griffin, but I just don’t think it was such a posterizing of Moz. Mozgov met him far enough out that Griffin couldn’t get to the rim with his hand, which is better than most. Also Griffin propped himself up with his off hand which refs let him get away with often.

  68. d-mar

    Caleb: Better than Knicks’ offer? Depends whether you like Bynum and his knees… and whether or not you like Chandler.
    If I were them I’d take Bynum. But would Melo sign in LA, when he’s this close to his beloved Knicks? He could scuttle it.  

    While Denver would probably like to stick it to Melo and not send him to NY, do we really think ownership would ship him to a western conference rival that would immediately be favorites for another championship? And for a guy with a litany of injury problems? I just don’t see it, unless there are other pieces we’re not hearing about.

  69. NateRobinson

    I fail to believe offense is the problem. Turiaf is non existant on broken plays. Jeffries was nothing short of amazingly putrid on the offensive end. We are still going through some growing pains with Timo so I cannot put a finger on the real reason.

    AR is 6’11” 230. They can cross match STAT and him with the bigs depending on matchups, GS played him at C when he had 200 pounds soaking wet. So I see no issue in that regard either.

    I see it more of an attitude issue concerning AR with him not being very expressive. MDA also has communication issues that players do not like at all. Even Timo found awkward to find out he was going to start through the media.

    PS I never suggested that we should throw in the playoffs to give AR some burn. Never thought 10-15 a night would do that.

  70. KnickfaninNJ

    I honestly think most of you are giving D’Antoni too hard a time for not playing AR. I saw him play a couple of times either in pre season or early in the season and he made a lot of mistakes. And he may be an impact player in potential, but when he gets in a game in say, garbage time, he isn’t an impact player, and that’s against the other teams second string. Having watched D’Antoni work for two plus seasons now, I would say that for someone to crack the rotation and get playing time three things have to be present. They have to be able be able to follow D’Antoni’s system reasonably well and not make too many mistakes. They have to impress in practice. And, there has to be an opportunity for them because either the Knicks are playing badly or there is an injury and there is a hole to fill. To stay in the rotation, they have produce something off value while they are in there.

    Honestly these seem to me to be fair criteria. In practice bench players probably go up against the Knicks starters, who comprise a roughly 0.500 NBA team. They ought to be able to be good in at least spurts against this competition to earn time in regular season game. I think the players understand this and this is why there isn’t a lot of public grousing. From this persepective it’s clear why Williams and Mozgov got playing time first. Press reports clearly indicate they worked hard and impressed in practice. My guess is AR hasn’t done as well. So I think he has only himself to blame. Hopefully he is learning something. He did look better and more controlled last time he got on the floor in non garbage time minutes, which I thought was a good sign.

  71. ess-dog

    NateRobinson: I fail to believe offense is the problem.   

    Agreed. Gallo could become an efficient #2 scorer for us. And Chandler could bring good scoring off the bench. Then we could aim for CP3/Williams in 2012.
    But for this deadline, we should perhaps look to take advantage of Curry’s expiring and possibly Chandler. Not sure of the demand out there for Chandler though.
    I mean, everybody’s in love with Wes Matthews and how “great” he is this year, but he’s older than Chandler and about equal in terms of offense (not sure of how his defense stacks up) and Matthews makes 9 mil, right? Maybe something like Arthur and Gasol Jr. for Chandler and Moz and Curry makes sense?

  72. NateRobinson

    @ 85

    It’s getting so obvious that Denver is trying to gain leverage that it even looks desperate.

    Donnie hang in there dont budge, even with Dolans inept carcass following your every move!!

    I get so ticked at the Isiah talks, it feels like torture everytime they mention his relationship with Dolan and the chance that he might return. Sometimes I wish Isiah had an NBA job with another team already…

  73. BigBlueAL

    I know this is meaningless to all the AR fans but I remember during training camp and pre-season all the beat writers talked about how unimpressive he looked and even back then talked about how he might not even be in the rotation once the regular season started.

    Obviously their opinions are pretty meaningless I know but none of them ever bring him up as someone who should be playing. Even Hahn mentioned right before Mozgov played vs Detroit that he had a feeling Mozgov was gonna get another chance soon because of how well he had reportedly been playing in practice.

  74. Brian Cronin

    The way D’Antoni is handling AR would be like if the Knicks signed Amar’e Stoudemire for $100 million, then D’Antoni decided to play him at point guard, saw Amar’e do terribly at it, then benched him after 8 games (8 games!! I thought it was more like 10 or something, but nope, it was 8 games!), with the justification being “He looked terrible out there.”

    Although, really, Donnie has to take some of the blame, in a roundabout way. It was a great move to get Randolph, but Donnie has to realize what kinds of players D’Antoni likes to play. and AR isn’t it. Unless Donnie got him strictly so that he could trade him.

  75. NateRobinson

    It has to be about practice because by the logic that its because of how he looked out there. Timo would have not gotten another chance by the way hes looked on the floor until recently.

    My theory is that:

    A) MDA sees AR as a wing because of his skill set and lack of strength.

    B) He requires wings to make buckets of 3s and take buckets of 3s.

    C) AR needs to improve in some kind of area not basketball related (directly).

  76. HoyaSaxa33

    Peeps need to stop referring to Randolph as AR because when I read AR, I think of Andy Rautins.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Wait, did people actually think that the Lakers would give up a 22-year-old 7′ center for a past-his-prime, taller version of Kobe?

  78. latke

    Let’s not rewrite history about how Mozgov got his chance. Chandler and Williams were both hurt and Turiaf got in foul trouble almost instantly every time he was in the game. Finally, Mozgov was set to check out for Randolph in the Detroit game, but then he got fouled and was at the line, so Randolph replaced someone else. If not for the confluence of those four factors, Mozgov would never have gotten the minutes he got and might be right back on the bench like Randolph. The minutes had little to nothing to do with MDA thinking “wow he’s practicing so well,” and everything to do with the fact that he had no other choice. By the time he could have subbed Moz out, he’d made too many good plays for MDA to take him out.

    If anything, Mozgov’s emergence is further evidence of MDA’s stubbornness, his monomaniacal obsession with having 4 shooters on the floor at all times. It is evidence that AR’s lack of PT probably has little to do with how he’s performed in practice. We are giving MDA credit for something he played no part in.

  79. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Wait, did people actually think that the Lakers would give up a 22-year-old 7? center for a past-his-prime, taller version of Kobe?  

    I understand all the Melo skepticism, but past-his-prime? Really? Dude is younger than Amar’e and a lot younger than Kobe himself.

  80. flossy

    flossy:
    I understand all the Melo skepticism, but past-his-prime?Really?Dude is younger than Amar’e and a lot younger than Kobe himself.  

    Moreover, Andrew Bynum’s knees are about 42 years old.

  81. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy:
    I understand all the Melo skepticism, but past-his-prime?Really?Dude is younger than Amar’e and a lot younger than Kobe himself.  

    He’ll be 27 before the playoffs are over. That sure ain’t young in this league, especially since players peak individually around 24 or 25.

  82. Frank

    latke: Chandler and Williams were both hurt and Turiaf got in foul trouble almost instantly every time he was in the game. Finally, Mozgov was set to check out for Randolph in the Detroit game, but then he got fouled and was at the line, so Randolph replaced someone else. If not for the confluence of those four factors, Mozgov would never have gotten the minutes he got and might be right back on the bench like Randolph. The minutes had little to nothing to do with MDA thinking “wow he’s practicing so well,” and everything to do with the fact that he had no other choice. By the time he could have subbed Moz out, he’d made too many good plays for MDA to take him out.If anything, Mozgov’s emergence is further evidence of MDA’s stubbornness, his monomaniacal obsession with having 4 shooters on the floor at all times. It is evidence that AR’s lack of PT probably has little to do with how he’s performed in practice. We are giving MDA credit for something he played no part in.  

    Wow the whole 2nd part of this post (starting at “if not for the confluence….”) is just speculation upon speculation upon speculation presented as fact. Alan Hahn had already noted a week prior to that game that Mozgov was playing extremely well in practice and was likely to get some playing time soon. We really have no idea why AR is not playing more other than D’Antoni doesn’t think he’s ready to help the team right now. We’re playing armchair quarterback judging the coach for something we really have no direct knowledge about.
    Don’t get me wrong -I’d like to see AR get some burn also – but for all we know, he’s dogging it in practice, not giving hit his all, and maybe D’Antoni just doesn’t want to reward that – putting team culture-building over advanced stats at GSW. Oh wait – there goes speculation again!

  83. Frank O.

    Just a side note on the the Carmelo trade front:

    When was the last time anyone remembers the Knicks being in such a strong bargaining position?
    None of this would have been possible without Walsh getting the Knicks cap-healthy and young talent.
    Without these factors, Carmelo wouldn’t even be in the discussion.
    Further, with Carmelo basically demanding a trade to the Knicks, it appears the Knicks have the ability to get him at a relatively low trade cost, or in free agency at no major cost to the current roster.

    How nice for us. :)

  84. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    He’ll be 27 before the playoffs are over. That sure ain’t young in this league, especially since players peak individually around 24 or 25.  

    I don’t think teams worry too much about trading for 27 year-old players, especially ones with no significant injury history. If Amar’e, Bosh, LeBron, Wade, and Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, David Lee et al (all the same age or older than Carmelo) could command between $80-120 million each this summer, I think that suggests pretty strongly that 27 is not seen as past a player’s prime by most GMs.

  85. ess-dog

    Frank:

    Don’t get me wrong -I’d like to see AR get some burn also –but for all we know, he’s dogging it in practice, not giving hit his all, and maybe D’Antoni just doesn’t want to reward that – putting team culture-building over advanced stats at GSW. Oh wait – there goes speculation again!  

    I’m pretty sure AR, or A-Dolph, was benched for refusing to cut down on Gummi-worms. It’s also highly plausible that he has been benched due to his terrible D’Antoni impression: “eh whatsamattau? u-a no like-a my Pringles?”

  86. JK47

    Mozgov’s emergence does somewhat blunt the need for Randolph’s rebounding.

    Mozzie was not rebounding the ball well in his early-season audition, but the “new” Mozgov is putting up solid TRB% numbers so far. In the four games of the Mozgov Renaissance, he’s had three games with solid TRB% numbers and one clunker in which he only played 15 minutes. In those three good games he’s had a TRB% of 16.9 or better.

    Now, of course, this is an its bitsy sample size and all caveats apply and all that. But if the Russian can maintain a 16.9 TRB%– which, mind you, was the number in the weakest of those three games– then he’d be the best rebounder in the rotation. You’d have three guys out there who are at least solid rebounders: Amar’e, Fields and Moz.

    Plus, Moz is an advocate of boxing out, and is a legitimate 7′ behemoth who can at least put a body on opposing big men. He had turnover problems early in the season, but in this little four-game run he’s turned it over only 4 times in over 100 minutes.

    I’m not saying Randolph can’t play, because a look at his game logs in GS confirm that he can fill up a box score. I think MDA doesn’t play him because Randolph simply gives too many possessions away. Those games where Randolph went for double-doubles in GS almost invariably come with low shooting percentages, and box scores don’t show how many times a guy misses a defensive assignment or take low-percentage jumpers when there are better options available. Randolph’s defense, by all accounts, is erratic. He’s a great shot blocker but he can’t really guard big guys in the post. He’s a toolsy player, but the tools just don’t seem to add up to a lot of actual in-game value at this point.

    Even with all the rebounding he would bring, MDA has to feel there are too many downsides to giving him minutes. Moz seems like a better fit for this club and that’s why he’s getting minutes.

  87. JK47

    The top 5 guys in minutes played on last year’s championship Lakers team were all 29 or older.

    Four of the top five guys in minutes played on the 2009 championship Lakers team were 28 or older, the fifth was Trevor Ariza.

    The three key players on the 2008 championship Celtics team were 30 or older, but were definitely helped a lot by 21-year old Rajon Rondo.

    Eight of the top nine players on the 2007 championship Spurs team were 29 or older.

    The Heat team that was handed a gift-wrapped title in 2006 did have a 24-year old Dwyane Wade, but the best player on that team was 33-year old Shaquille O’Neal, and much of the supporting cast was built out of veterans: Mourning, White Chocolate, Antoine Walker, Gary Payton.

  88. rama

    latke: Let’s not rewrite history about how Mozgov got his chance. Chandler and Williams were both hurt and Turiaf got in foul trouble almost instantly every time he was in the game. Finally, Mozgov was set to check out for Randolph in the Detroit game, but then he got fouled and was at the line, so Randolph replaced someone else. If not for the confluence of those four factors, Mozgov would never have gotten the minutes he got and might be right back on the bench like Randolph. The minutes had little to nothing to do with MDA thinking “wow he’s practicing so well,” and everything to do with the fact that he had no other choice. By the time he could have subbed Moz out, he’d made too many good plays for MDA to take him out.If anything, Mozgov’s emergence is further evidence of MDA’s stubbornness, his monomaniacal obsession with having 4 shooters on the floor at all times. It is evidence that AR’s lack of PT probably has little to do with how he’s performed in practice. We are giving MDA credit for something he played no part in.  (Quote)

    You are way, way, way off base. D’Antoni said to the media about two weeks before Moz started playing again that he had “maybe rushed him into the rotation a little bit” when he wasn’t yet prepared, but that he was going to “work him back in” soon. Sure, injuries dictated how soon “soon” was, but calling the timing further “evidence of his monomaniacal obsession” is just flat wrong, contradictory to published information to the…

  89. latke

    rama:
    You are way, way, way off base.D’Antoni said to the media about two weeks before Moz started playing again that he had “maybe rushed him into the rotation a little bit” when he wasn’t yet prepared, but that he was going to “work him back in” soon.Sure, injuries dictated how soon “soon” was, but calling the timing further “evidence of his monomaniacal obsession” is just flat wrong, contradictory to published information to the…  

    Yes, he said nearly a month ago that he wanted Mozgov to play some, but again, he never backed that up. It wasn’t until he had no choice that he gave Mozgov another chance. He had ample opportunity to play Mozgov, but he chose instead to play Shawne Williams at PF/C despite the fact that we were consistently getting slaughtered on the boards. Coaches and GMs come out all the time and say things they don’t mean, and in the case of Mozgov, the comment could easily have had more to do with trying to up Mozgov’s spirits. MDA’s rotation decisions suggest that Mozgov wasn’t going to get minutes. That’s what I’m going by. Sure, it’s still speculation, but isn’t all of this speculation?

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