Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Author: Jonathan Topaz

Jonathan Topaz is a reporter for POLITICO. He can be reached at or on Twitter @JonathanTopaz.

Recent Articles

First Quarterly Review: 6-on-5

Welcome to the KnickerBlogger First Quarterly review! We are basically done with the first quarter of this futility-of-existence-confirming monstrosity season, and the Phil Jackson era is off to a bit of a rough start. The Knicks stand at 4-16, and are struggling mightily on both ends. Simultaneously horrified and unable to look away at this car crash that is the Knicks’ beginning of the season, we Knickerbloggers got together for a 6-on-5 to discuss the Triangle, Coach Derek Fisher’s lineups, and any positive developments (stop laughing!) from the past 20 games Knicks fans can cling to. 1. So, this team …continue reading

On Iman Shumpert and the Unknown

Often, when thinking about columns to write for KB, my mind invariably drifts to some grand, What We Talk About When We Talk About Iman Shumpert glass-case-of-emotion think piece. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. Amid a heaping dumpster of old players, big contracts, and forfeited draft picks, Shumpert for the last three years has been a brilliant but fleeting hologram — a young, homegrown, wildly athletic two-way player whose injury problems and maddening inconsistency make you wonder if your talent-starved eyes have been deceiving you the whole time. Russia, Winston Churchill famously said, is a riddle wrapped in …continue reading

6-on-5 Roundtable: Melo and Beyond

The Knicks and Carmelo Anthony agreed to a contract this weekend, a 5-year deal for $124 million, a player option on the final year and a no-trade clause.. The deal–which will color every move the organization and new president Phil Jackson make over the next half-decade–was such big news that we had to break out the roundtable; an illegal roundtable in basketball terms, in fact. We’re going 6-on-5 to discuss whether the Knicks overpaid, what the move says about Jackson’s reign, and what to expect from the team this year and beyond. 1. Is 5 years, $122.5 million (or so) …continue reading

Finding comps for Tim Hardaway Jr.

Not unlike the passenger in Airplane who happens upon a pamphlet of “Famous Jewish Sports Legends,” the silver linings of this cesspool of a 2013-2014 Knicks season make for some light reading. Among them: Carmelo Anthony’s 62-point game, Amar’e Stoudemire’s relatively healthy and very productive offensive season, and the emergence of Tim Hardaway Jr. Hardaway, a late first round pick, has quickly become a dynamic scorer. His remarkable athleticism and body control have allowed him to attack off the dribble and convert two-thirds of his shots at the rim. He is already an excellent shooter — 38 percent from three-point …continue reading

Trade Deadline Recap: On the Road to Nowhere

So after all that, we’re back where we started. For the past week, the Knicks reportedly flirted with trading Iman Shumpert in approximately 72 different deals. He was going to the Clippers for Reggie Bullock, Darren Collison and Knicks’ right to leave Raymond Felton on the Clips’ doorstep. He was going to the Thunder for a sure-to-be-very-late first-round draft pick. He was going to the Clippers again just for Collison, and then maybe for Matt Barnes or maybe for Willie Green too. There was, allegedly, and in this universe, a bidding war for the services of Beno Udrih. Ink was …continue reading

Preview & Game Thread: Exchanging Emails about the Knicks and Clips

The Knicks take on the excellent Los Angeles Clippers tonight at the Garden, a difficult task on a back-to-back. Ahead of the contest, I exchanged some emails with ClipperBlog senior contributor and my good friend, Fred Katz. JONATHAN TOPAZ, KNICKERBLOGGER: So we have a deal, right? We give you the 30-year-old who said he wants to be a free agent next year (Carmelo Anthony) in exchange for the phenomenal and still-very-much-improving 24-year-old superstar who is under four more years of team control (Blake Griffin). Cool? Just sign here and here. If you want, we’ll even throw in a petulant man-child …continue reading

Um, why is JR really bad this year?

JR Smith was a crucial member of a 54-win team last year. He is also just 28 years old. These things seem relevant because his awful offensive play this year is something of a mystery. The Knicks are dreadful and Smith has emerged as whipping boy for basketball purists and statheads alike. JR should be in his prime and is coming off a season in which he posted a 17.6 PER, a 52 true shooting percentage, and 19/6/3 per-36 numbers, all of which earned him 6th Man of the Year honors. Before this year, Smith was still frustrating, erratic, and …continue reading