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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Baron Davis, High Reward?

It’s official that the New York Knicks have signed Baron Davis, but there are conflicting reports whether they used their mini-mid-level exception or if they inked him to the veteran’s minimum. Either way, at this late stage in free agency, there aren’t many players available with the name recognition of Baron Davis.

The initial reaction is that it’s a “low risk, high reward” signing. Optimistic Knick fans are expecting one of two things from the acquisition. Either the allure of a championship and the bright lights of New York revitalizes Davis, or the former All Star metamorphoses into a Stockton-esque pass-first point guard. I can’t speak for either of these, since they both are based on the hypothetical with little supporting evidence.

However what I can measure is the production of former All Stars that have come to New York years after from their heyday. The most recent examples are Steve Francis (1.5 seasons removed from his last All Star appearance), Tracy McGrady (2.5 seasons), and Anfernee Hardaway (5.5 seasons). Most Knick fans recall these player’s tenures unkindly because not only did they fail to return to their All Star play, but none were even worthy enough to make a positive short term impact.

All three players relied on their athleticism and were unable to adjust later in their careers when their physical abilities waned because none featured a reliable jump-shot. Francis was the best career three point shooter of the bunch connecting on only 34.1% of his attempts, while McGrady averaged 33.7% and Hardaway managed a pithy 31.6%.

Meanwhile Baron Davis’ last All Star appearance (2004) was 7 years ago, much longer than the triumvirate of former Knicks I mentioned earlier. Similarly, Davis’ shooting isn’t a strength. His career 3P% is a mere 32.1% (which considering he’s averaged a prodigious 5.2 3PA/36 is a ghastly percentage) and he hasn’t topped 34% in any of his last 8 seasons. He averaged 17.1 pts/36, but at an anemic 50.2% TS%.

Granted Davis is a skilled passer at 7.6 ast/36, however if that asset is tied to his shooting, then New York isn’t getting much of a positive in return. In other words if the Knicks have to suffer through Baron’s attempting to score at a rate of Chauncey Billups but connecting at a rate of Raymond Felton, then any court time could be a detriment.

For Baron Davis to be high reward for the Knicks, he’ll need to have his best year shooting (53.0% ts%, 2007), get healthy, and be made happy by D’Antoni (see Hughes, Larry). A slightly less compensating situation is one where Davis is limited to 10-20 minutes a night and severely cuts back on shot attempts while upping his three point percentage to his Charlotte days (35.6% 3P% back in 2002!) due to more open looks.

Unfortunately if Baron plays similar to what he’s done over the last few years, the Knicks may be saddled with either an inaccurate shooter dragging their offense down or a malcontent upset at his lack of minutes. Baron Davis could help the New York Knicks, but he’s not likely to return to his 2004 self. His path to success is to become more of a role player which would minimize his inefficient scoring.

131 comments on “Baron Davis, High Reward?

  1. chrisk06811

    How do you hope we divy the minutes, before and after Baron is healthy? Here’s my pass:

    Before Davis is healthy:
    PG: Douglass: 30, Bibby: 18
    SG: Fields: 22, Shump: 26
    SF: Melo: 38, Fields: 10
    PF: Amare: 30, Jeffries: 18
    C: Chandler: 38, Amare: 10
    That’s a 9 man, sitting Walker and Jordan.

    After Davis:
    PG: Davis: 32, Douglass: 16
    SG: Fields: 20, Shump: 22, Douglass: 6
    SF: Melo: 36, Fields: 12
    PF: Amare: 30, Jeffries: 18
    C: Chandler: 38, Amare: 10
    Bibby sits, it’s hard to give everyone enough minutes. Nice problem to have for a change.

  2. Nick C.

    If past history is anything Jeffries is getting those center minutes and Melo is playing some 4 with Fields or Walker at the 3.

  3. Grymm

    I don’t see Davis playing 32 minutes. Right now, he’s out of shape – not had a lazy offseason out of shape but hasn’t given a crap in 3 years out of shape. He’s not going to be able to work on that too much with a herniated disc. Say he’s only out 6 weeks from today and then needs 2 more weeks to get in some kind of shape. That puts him on the court February 14th in game 29 having had 1 practice. His next practice comes betweem Feb 23 and 29th. I would see Melo around 36, Amare 32-34, and Chandler 30 for total minutes. Amare cannot play 40 minutes a night and Chandler can’t play 38.

  4. d-mar

    Mike, I think that’s a pretty fair analysis of the Baron Davis situation, except that I don’t think you can compare his arrival to those of T-Mac, Stevie Franchise, etc. The Knick teams that those guys were joining at the time were truly awful, and desperate Knick fans looked to those players as saviors (remember the crazy ovation T-mac got in his first game?). And the coaching staff in turn gave them a lot of minutes hoping to catch the proverbial “lightning in a bottle.”

    If Davis turns out to be a shell of his former self, it would definitely suck, but he would just have his minutes cut and we’d still be a pretty good team.

  5. Spree8nyk8

    Wow kinda shocked lately that people don’t see Walker as a rotation player. With extra E gone I think Walker is gonna get a lot more burn than last year.

  6. flossy

    I don’t expect Baron to be a disaster.

    First of all, he may not jump out of the gym anymore but at 32 he’s a big, strong PG, which bodes well for a protective few more years. PGs in the Jason Kidd/Chauncey Billups mold tend to suffer less of a precipitous decline past 30 than the little guys who need to be quicker than their opponent. This assumes that he’ll heal up and get himself on a treadmill once in while during his Knicks tenture, which, well… we’ll see.

    Second, the skills he brings that we so desperately need (a strong ball-handler, a prodigiously talented passer, and a lead guard with some experience and cojones) are not the kind of skills that atrophy with age. He may be a bit, er, headstrong, but I think D’Antoni would muuuuuch rather butt heads with a healthy Baron Davis than try to coax decent PG play out of Toney Douglas, bring Mike Bibby back from the dead or convert Melo into the primary facilitator for the offense. Ya know?

    Most importantly, Baron *has* to realize that this is his last and best opportunity to contend for a championship. Even his detractors admit he is a very smart guy, he couldn’t possibly be setting himself up to be reviled by loafing, eating himself out of the rotation, or freezing out two of the best (the two best?) scoring forwards in the league in favor of hoisting up 17 shots every night. If that’s really what he wants, why bother? Why not work hard, drop 10 dimes a night without breaking a sweat while having the biggest market in the country wrapped around your little finger?

  7. jon abbey

    that’s an odd kind of analysis, but if you want to go down that road, Derek Harper and Doc Rivers looked pretty good in NY running the point similarly removed from the peaks of their career. and what about Billups?

    but none of them are good comparisons IMO for Baron, who turns it off and on like the 2000 Yankees down the stretch. we will all be pleased, as opposed to obvious corpses like Penny and McGrady.

  8. Matt Smith

    I think people aren’t getting the point of the phrase ‘low risk, high reward.’

    First, ‘low risk’ – people seem to be skipping over this part, when the fact is we paid (at most) 2.5 mil for him (though I’m hearing it was vet’s minimum). The type of player a team under normal circumstances is a solid bench player with some big gaps in his game. Very rarely do these players turn out to be gems in the rough, like, say, Extra E – although I stand by the fact that what we saw last year from him was overperforming due to an offense with really only two scorers on it (pre-Melo). Even if I’m wrong with him, I think we can agree that those players/acquisitions are rare. If/when BD doesn’t pan out, we’re likely not losing out on a spot that would’ve been filled with a high-impact player. If you weren’t satisfied with our core after the Chandler trade, what we did with this money wouldn’t have been a panacea for your woes with the team’s structure. He WAS low risk by definition of how much money we spent on him.

    Second, high reward. My understanding of the phrase is that high reward is really POTENTIAL for high reward, which I think we have here. Personally, I think he’s over the hill, and his cumulative injuries will prevent him from being effective. He’s way over-hyped in my book. However, I do recognize that there is a (pretty decent) chance that he recovers well and, if so, I think he’s a smart enough player so he can adapt his game to more of a support role. I’ve also heard positive reports about his personality, and at this point I’d appreciate that kind of leadership for our team.

    Overall, I think it was money well spent, even if it doesn’t pan out.

  9. Matt Smith

    I’d also have to agree that the comparison to our other vet acquisitions isn’t really fair when the others that you mentioned didn’t have anywhere close to the amount of talent we have now. That helps them in two ways: 1) It acts as a strong motivating tool (armchair psychology, I know, but I think it’s a fair argument to say people are more motivated when they believe they have a chance at winning). 2) It takes the pressure off of them so they can be more of a low-use, higher-efficiency player.

  10. sisterray

    PF:Amare:30, Jeffries: 18
    C:Chandler:38, Amare: 10

    I really don’t see Amare averaging 40 minutes per game on this condensed schedule. Walker, Balkman and Harrellson (and Novak?) are going to have to contribute more.

  11. jon abbey

    Matt Smith:
    I’d also have to agree that the comparison to our other vet acquisitions isn’t really fair when the others that you mentioned didn’t have anywhere close to the amount of talent we have now. That helps them in two ways: 1) It acts as a strong motivating tool (armchair psychology, I know, but I think it’s a fair argument to say people are more motivated when they believe they have a chance at winning). 2) It takes the pressure off of them so they can be more of a low-use, higher-efficiency player.

    exactly, plus distance from last All-Star appearance is a really rough measuring stick (although one that can be done quickly, which I get at this time of year).

  12. sisterray

    I appreciate the dose of reality, but I’m still more optimistic than you. BD is still an amazing passer and playmaker, and Knicks really don’t need much shooting from him. The recipe for success here is convincing him to focus on playmaking instead of just chucking up off-balance 3s. He’s already announced an interest in that, which is why I’m optimistic.

  13. iserp

    And it’s not like he was stelar before and now has had a steep decline. Baron Davis hasn’t been really good to start with, and has been a journeyman this last years; but he was still producing at a reasonable rate. I think we can expect *decent* (and not more) PG play from him. And what we have to ask him is not to force shots too much. I am OK if he sometimes forces some of them, i like the veterans to be active, and that means taking the initiative; and as usual, that means getting things right or wrong depending of the situation. What i don’t want is if Baron Davis just walks the ball and takes no responsabilities (like Mike Miller and Bibby last year with the Heat).

    His back is a bit worrisome, but if he heals, i think we can expect 26 min of a nice productive PG.

  14. Z

    McGrady, Francis, and Hardaway were making a combined $40 million a year for their washed up services. Francis is the only one of the bunch that was brought in solely to play basketball (and not because of his contract). Sure, Francis was bad, but a) we gave up a young talent for the honor of paying him $26 million; b) we had a guy on the roster already who did everything he did already; and c) though Davis is similar to Francis for his career, Davis is a much better passer (2 more assists/36 and an assist% 8 points higher), turns the ball over a lot less (half a turnover less per 36), and defender (a lot more steals, better defensive rating, etc…)

    These areas: passing, taking care of the ball, and defense are the “Stocktonesque” skills that are exactly what the Knicks need this year. They don’t need a primary option. That is the supposed up-side.

  15. Frank

    I think the question is not whether Baron Davis will be the savior and be like the Baron davis of 2002, but whether he will be:

    a) better than Toney Douglas at running the point – I say yes
    b) good enough in his role that TD can go to his ideal role, which I think is scoring spark off the bench.

    Our pre-Baron weaknesses were frontcourt depth and backcourt experience. Baron clearly addresses the latter, and all for the vet’s minimum. Can’t ask for anything better – it’s not like we’re choosing between Steve Nash and Baron Davis. It’s whether we want to have Blake Ahearn-like guys *throws up in mouth* for the vet’s minimum instead.

  16. iserp

    As i said, BD was never a star, but he hasn’t declined too much; if he is able to be more of a pass-first PG while still being aggressive when given the chance, we have hit the jackpot.

  17. Frank

    Some promising things from 82games re: Baron –
    Cleveland was 7.2 points/100 poss better on offense with him on the floor – significant considering his backup was Sessions, who actually can play. The eFG on the team was 51.4 with him on the floor and 46.8 with him off – this in large part was due to his career best shooting during his time with the Cavs (54.8 TS, 52.2 eFG). It was pretty much a wash with him on/off court in terms of D.

    On the flip side, with the Clips the offense was the same with him or without him, but the D was 5.5 points/100 poss better with him on the floor. The eFG of the team was better with him on the floor than off even with him personally shooting with an eFG of 45.9 at a usage of 23.5. What that tells me is that he made everyone else’s offense better but that he was shooting way too much.

    So – reason for hope, although lately this board has reminded me of what Nate Robinson famously said about Larry Brown – “he’s trying to take my joy away”.

  18. PC

    The analysis is all relative to Toney D. How much of an improvement will Davis be over Douglas at the point? If it is a lot (unlikely), then we have a GEM. If it is a little (unlikely), then its still justifiable because it was low-risk (cheap as well). If it is by a decent amount (likely), then we nailed the pick up and we have a nice stop gap before we get a real point guard next season (I have to imagine they make a push to get Nash).

  19. ptmilo

    I agree, and I think you could describe it as a kind of agency risky. The risk is that D’antoni is the coach, and there is some reason to wonder if he might overplay a guy like Davis even if he very inefficient on offense and/or plays poorly on defense such that he was a net detriment. Chris Duhon comes to mind. If you had a ton of confidence in your coach’s minutes allocation, the risk would here would still be almost nil. That’s not to say it’s a terrible risk; I think overall it still might be a good risk-reward given how badly the Knicks lack point guard skills, but it’s not a free option.

    Now, Steve Novak. There’s a free option. I’m only half kidding. I’ve been surprised he hasn’t found a legitimate niche on a good team. He is not a good shooter, he is a deadly shooter (97.4% from the free throw line as a senior at Marquette). And his height does help him get his shot off (even off screens). Yes, he is pretty bad at most everything else, but…he is not quite as terrible a defender as you would imagine. He is smart and plays hard, though admittedly with the lateral quickness of Eddy Curry’s torso atop Jonathan Bender’s knees. I think there is some chance he could fill a role on a team like this that could use a genuine deep shooter. And it is more genuinely a case of zero downside.

    Final thought: James Posey from two-three years ago would have been a perfect addition to this team, but I think that player is gone forever. I am not excited about getting the current and likely future Posey.

  20. njasdjdh

    From Hollinger’s Baron Davis player card:

    “Davis had the most valuable assists in the league last season, and it wasn’t even close. Among players with at least 300 assists, Davis’ average assist was worth .841 points, well ahead of the league average of .667. And lest you think that was all from having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan slamming down dunks, consider that Davis’ assist value didn’t change at all after the trade to Cleveland. More than half of Davis’ assists were layups or dunks, according to Hoopdata.com, compared to the league average of 38 percent; conversely, only 26.3 percent of his dimes were “bad” assists that led to 2-pointers away from the basket.”

  21. Gamecockerbocker

    Just a question. Who else was available at point guard on the cheap like Davis? 1 year at either the mini-midlevel or the Vets minimum is pretty much the definition of low risk and for a player with playoff experience and the possibility (like 22 said) to be better than our other options at PG right now, Baron Davis certainly can be a high reward player at the price we paid for him.

  22. Frank O.

    Hahn confirms that Davis took the vet minimum intentionally to enable the Knicks to pick up a forward.
    Also, it appears Davis wanted to be a Knick, so he and his manager did what they could to enable the Knicks to get him.
    And he appears to be saying the right things:
    “For me, it was just the opportunity to play in New York, play at the Garden, for these fans and to play on this team . . . My love for this city and for the fans and their appreciation for basketball pretty much made it a no-brainer,” he said. “I mean, how can you not want to play in the Garden every game?”

    If there was concern that he was perhaps coming to the Knicks unhappy, I think this undercuts that concern.
    And if there is concern about him being a bit of a chucker, he again appears to be saying the right things:

    “I know a lot of people don’t consider me a passer — in my career, I’ve had to do a lot of scoring — but I’ve always prided myself on passing it and being an unselfish player,” he said. “So I think it will give me an opportunity and a lot of people an opportunity to see my passing skills and see how I really direct the floor and be a leader out there on the floor.”

    As for his fitness, Amare seemed to address this pretty directly:
    “I think he feels that championship vibe,” Stoudemire said. “He understands what we’re after, how guys are really taking care of themselves and getting themselves prepared for a pretty compact season.”

    For the vet minimum, this is an outstanding pick up. And it is a bad comparison with Francis, McGrady and Hardaway, who had horrible contracts, and were desperate attempts at legitimacy.
    Davis is joining a team that will win a lot of games. He is a facilitator.

    I think the Knicks turning Billups into Chandler and Davis is an enormous success story. No down sides from where I sit.

  23. Frank

    @26 – Beck also wrote in his NYT piece that Baron looked very slim even with the back injury. So hopefully he’s already gotten into some sort of reasonable shape.

  24. Mike Kurylo Post author

    jon abbey: the gym anymore but at 32 he’s a big, strong PG, which bodes well for a protective few more years. PGs in the Jason Kidd/Chauncey Billups mold tend to suffer less of a precipitous

    Take a look at a comparison of the three players: http://bkref.com/tiny/CHSOu

    TS% at age 31:
    Rivers: 53.9
    Harper: 54.4
    Davis: 50.2

    Doc & Derek were (relatively) efficient scorers prior to getting old. Davis is not. Are we to expecting Baron to become one as he approaches his mid-30s?

  25. Jafa

    Frank,

    I couldn’t agree more. I love every move we have made so far this off-season, especially since we picked up Bibby and didn’t sit on that. Instead we got BD who could make Bibby irrelevant in the 2nd half of the season.

    And yes, the big understatement is that we turned Billups into Chandler and Davis (technically). I’ll take that anyday.

  26. jon abbey

    Mike Kurylo: Take a look at a comparison of the three players: http://bkref.com/tiny/CHSOu

    TS% at age 31:
    Rivers: 53.9
    Harper: 54.4
    Davis: 50.2

    Doc & Derek were (relatively) efficient scorers prior to getting old. Davis is not. Are we to expecting Baron to become one as he approaches his mid-30s?

    you’re comparing two guys who played hard every game to one who turns it off and on when he wants, overall numbers just don’t help you much here.

    check out Peter Vecsey’s column today, with numerous anonymous takes on Baron from insiders, this one echoes what I’ve been saying:

    “Baron turns it on and off like no one I’ve ever seen. But he’ll help the Knicks because he can create for everyone. He’ll get into the creases and get Tyson, Amar’e and ’Melo uncontested layups or dunks. He has great vision. The bigger the game, the better he’ll play.”

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/garden_smarties_NUgbdrFmy17ZT9sTLyGaJP

  27. Jafa

    Mike Kurylo: Take a look at a comparison of the three players: http://bkref.com/tiny/CHSOu

    TS% at age 31:
    Rivers: 53.9
    Harper: 54.4
    Davis: 50.2

    Doc & Derek were (relatively) efficient scorers prior to getting old. Davis is not. Are we to expecting Baron to become one as he approaches his mid-30s?

    Mike,

    All we want Davis to be is an efficient distributor of the ball (AST% = 36.3%), play good team defense and shoot if they leave him wide open. I’m not worried about his scoring efficiency as we are not relying on him to carry the load offensively for us.

    From a shot perspective, most of our shots should (hopefully) come from:

    Melo: TS% = 54.5%
    Amare: TS% = 59.9%
    Douglas (either from a starting PG role or bench scorer role): TS% = 54.7%

    If BD is 4th or less in shot attempts, we should be fine.

  28. jon abbey

    njasdjdh:
    From Hollinger’s Baron Davis player card:

    “Davis had the most valuable assists in the league last season, and it wasn’t even close. Among players with at least 300 assists, Davis’ average assist was worth .841 points, well ahead of the league average of .667. And lest you think that was all from having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan slamming down dunks, consider that Davis’ assist value didn’t change at all after the trade to Cleveland. More than half of Davis’ assists were layups or dunks, according to Hoopdata.com, compared to the league average of 38 percent; conversely, only 26.3 percent of his dimes were “bad” assists that led to 2-pointers away from the basket.”

    also, this shouldn’t be buried, good find here.

  29. A Voice of Reason

    The fact that there are Knicks fans down on the addition of B Diddy is bothersome for me. We signed him for $1.4m, at his own behest, in order to continue to add pieces. The comparisons to the old knees trio of Penny, Francis, and T-Mac are also baseless reaches for cynicism, with respect to the arguments. He was never those guys, and wont be asked to be what those guys were asked to be. His physical condition needs to allow him to be an apt defender, finish at the rim, and throw accurate passes. I think BD can do that better than any guard we had before signing him. His passing skills are in the Kidd, Paul, Nash category. Check the tape. Passing is a skill that does not decline with time, it improves with experience.

    Great post by Frank @26, because this is exactly what we are getting…a motivated playmaker who can just make plays without the pressure to finish them. If you liked your job, but hated where you worked, your bosses, and your peers, how would you perform? Not to mention all the fingers pointing at you when the team fails… As opposed to the same job in a prime location with a great system around you and low pressure on yourself? It’s called being human. If its “lob city” in LaLa land with CP3, its at least “lobville” in NY. Give me a better front line for finishing at the rim than what we have? I was supremely excited for this season before him, I am positively jumping on my bed now.

  30. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    Frank:
    Interesting tweet from Hahn today – that Melo is running the point full-time at practice.

    Point god?

  31. jon abbey

    A Voice of Reason:
    If you liked your job, but hated where you worked, your bosses, and your peers, how would you perform?

    I basically agree with your post, but I always hate this specific line of reasoning. if I was getting paid an 8 figure salary, I’d do my best regardless of circumstances as I think anyone should.

    but that’s a moot point here going forward, Baron picked NY over anyplace else, so clearly he should be as motivated as he can be.

  32. A Voice of Reason

    Good point Mr. Abbey. I think the pressure can turn 8 figures into 8 headaches if its strong enough. I remember the two games where Cleveland destroyed us with BD at the helm. He made JJ Hickson look like Amare. If we can get just one third the player he was in those motivated spurts, we can be really good. If we get two thirds, we could be scary. MSG motivates guys like BD. I just love that this is the type of debate Knicks fans are having. Better than who sucks more, us or NJ

  33. Frank O.

    Frank:
    Interesting tweet from Hahn today – that Melo is running the point full-time at practice.

    I’ve been saying this for a while. If anyone believes TD is going to run this offense most often, you’re just not paying attention. D’Antoni is going to put the ball in Melo’s hands and run the offense through him. Does anyone think David Lee would do this better than Melo?
    D’Antoni ran the offense through Lee before.
    But Melo can create his own shot. He can knock down the 3 better than most of us thought, and he is a strong passer, albeit under utilized. :) And he demands a double team, creating opportunities for Amare and Chandler. I am kind of jazzed unreasonably to see him do this.
    Expect his assist per 48 to jump from 4 last year to probably 6 or 7 this year.

  34. Frank O.

    jon abbey: I basically agree with your post, but I always hate this specific line of reasoning. if I was getting paid an 8 figure salary, I’d do my best regardless of circumstances as I think anyone should.

    but that’s a moot point here going forward, Baron picked NY over anyplace else, so clearly he should be as motivated as he can be.

    And it’s a contract year for him with probably one last chance at a big contract after this year. he’s a rucker park guy, and this is the best team he’s played on for a long time…incentives to play hard abound for him.

  35. Ben R

    People seem to think that because Baron is in a place he wants to be and playing with talented scorers he will shoot less. I don’t buy it. Chuckers don’t run down the court and take shots they know are bad and they think they’ll miss. Every shot a chucker shoots is going to go in and is a good shot until it misses. I really don’t think any player runs down the court and decides to throw up a terrible shot. It is not something they can just turn off. Sometimes better shot selection can be learned but it is a long process and a rare occurance.

    Baron has not shot less than 14.5 shots per 36 since his 3rd year in the league, he is going to shoot the ball. He is going to shoot the ball more often per 36 than any knick other than Carmelo and if we are lucky Amare. He could still be a productive and useful player but he is not gong to come here and shoot 9-10 shots per 36 at an efficient rate because that is not who he is or ever was. He will chuck up a lot of bad shots and dominate the ball and be inefficient. Hopefully his passing and motivated defense will offfset that enought to make him an upgrade but he is who he is. Have we not learned anything from years of Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford and others that players don’t change just because we want them to.

  36. TDM

    Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta): Point god?

    Coincidentally, I was watching a documentary on Melo last night and they were saying that he played pg in high school, but then hit a growth spurt and shot up 5 inches which, with the ball handling skills he developed, put him on the radar of scouts in the area. It wouldn’t be totally crazy given the Knicks backcourt.

    On the subject of pgs, did anyone catch Darius Morris last night? He looked pretty good. A little out of control at times, but he has swagger, and knocked down a few tough shots. I know alot of Knickerbloggers were high on him around draft time.

  37. iserp

    Ben R:He is going to shoot the ball more often per 36 than any knick other than Carmelo and if we are lucky Amare.

    I don’t buy that. He comes to a team with an established hierarchy. I expect him to defer much more, and be a more willing passer.

    It is reasonable if he shoots 9-10 per 36 at his usual efficiency. I don’t think he is gonna increase it; but as it is, is enough to keep defenses honest. If he reduces his role to just a passer and shoot only when open, it will be very hard for Melo and Amare to keep all the offensive load (see the PG production for Miami in the playoffs… and the consequences)

  38. A Voice of Reason

    Jamal Crawford was our option 1, had a green light, and he also scored 50. Eddy Curry does not have any bearing on an argument for BD because he was NEVER GOOD! I can understand the concern about him being a “chucker” and its relevance to whom he has been in the past. However, if he was not “chucking” would GS have completed the biggest playoff upset in NBA history? He was unhappy in LA, and played to the level of his competition. A team with Melo and STAT wont tolerate chucking for long, assuming that BD is coming here thinking its his team, which he clearly isnt.

  39. Frank

    Ben R:
    People seem to think that because Baron is in a place he wants to be and playing with talented scorers he will shoot less. I don’t buy it.

    You might be mostly right but it’s not like this is an absolute rule. I thought about this for about 10 seconds and came up with 2 names already who moved from a bad team to a good team (or had good players added to their existing team) and had their usage drop.

    Paul Pierce had a usage rate around 30 for the 7 seasons prior to the addition of Garnett and Allen – he subsequently has dropped to a usage of 23-25, with shots/36 decreasing from ~17.5 to ~13.5.

    Derek Harper joined the Knicks after having had a usage rate of ~24 with the Mavs – in his 3 seasons with NYK it was about 18. His shots decreased from ~17 per 36 to 13 per 36.

    Chris Bosh did much the same thing last year with Miami.

    So sure – most of the time the Iversons of the world will just keep shooting. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Baron will have a usage rate around 20 and not 27. It’s been done in situations just like this.

  40. Nick C.

    On Baron Davis, I think Nate Archibald with the Celtics is the best case scenario of a high scoring PG dialing it back as an older coming off injuries player.

  41. Frank O.

    iserp: I don’t buy that. He comes to a team with an established hierarchy. I expect him to defer much more, and be a more willing passer.

    It is reasonable if he shoots 9-10 per 36 at his usual efficiency. I don’t think he is gonna increase it; but as it is, is enough to keep defenses honest. If he reduces his role to just a passer and shoot only when open, it will be very hard for Melo and Amare to keep all the offensive load (see the PG production for Miami in the playoffs… and the consequences)

    He’s also going to have a ton more open looks in this offense.

  42. Frank O.

    Frank: You might be mostly right but it’s not like this is an absolute rule. I thought about this for about 10 seconds and came up with 2 names already who moved from a bad team to a good team (or had good players added to their existing team) and had their usage drop.

    Paul Pierce had a usage rate around 30 for the 7 seasons prior to the addition of Garnett and Allen – he subsequently has dropped to a usage of 23-25, with shots/36 decreasing from ~17.5 to ~13.5.

    Derek Harper joined the Knicks after having had a usage rate of ~24 with the Mavs – in his 3 seasons with NYK it was about 18. His shots decreased from ~17 per 36 to 13 per 36.

    Chris Bosh did much the same thing last year with Miami.

    So sure – most of the time the Iversons of the world will just keep shooting. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Baron will have a usage rate around 20 and not 27. It’s been done in situations just like this.

    Especially for a guy who also generally has a good to very good assist rate to go along with his lots of shots.
    He is a good passer, period. This team will only enhance that part of his game.

  43. steveoh

    Isn’t the idea of a “point guard” a bit old school?

    Teams need a Creator, someone dominate the ball and decision making in order to make plays for those around them. Most of the time it is the point guard, but not always. LeBron and Kobe are the creators. So was David Lee.

    I’ve got no problem with Melo in that role. He’s going to draw double teams, and it’s up to him to make the right decision for us to exploit it. That’s what SSOL is about, really. Put the defense at a disadvantage and make them pay for it. It just so happens that D’Antoni had Nash be the creator – and play it perfectly.

    And I feel Baron, even not 2007 Playoffs Baron or 2002 Baron, but 2011 Baron, will be able to fill in that role to take some pressure off Melo.

  44. Frank O.

    I’ve also read some complain about Davis’ defense.
    His PER against is pretty high, slightly better than 20.
    But he also had no help and played on two terrible defensive teams, most recently.
    But he was 4th among PGs for blocks and 10th in steals, which would indicate some pretty sound man-on-man D.

    Further, With the clippers when Baron was on the court his team’s points per 100 possessions were 111.7 compared to 104.1 when he was off the court, meaning his team was 7.5 points better with him there.
    When Baron was on the court his team’s defense gave up 112.4 per 100 possessions compared to 109.6 when he was off the court, meaning his team was 2.8 points worse with him there.

    Making his being there a solid +4.7 overall.
    I’ll take that.

  45. New Guy

    Does anyone on this board truly believe that Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire are going to sit there and let Baron Davis hog the ball and chuck up ill-advised 3′s like he’s done in the past?

  46. JK47

    This Knicks team just feels like is has the right attitude and a real desire to win. If BD plays like an old, fat Iverson I’m sure our team leaders and out coaches will not stand for it. D’Antoni is coaching for his job and he’s not going to keep running BD out there if the guy is sucking.

  47. jon abbey

    JK47:
    This Knicks team just feels like is has the right attitude and a real desire to win. If BD plays like an old, fat Iverson I’m sure our team leaders and out coaches will not stand for it. D’Antoni is coaching for his job and he’s not going to keep running BD out there if the guy is sucking.

    exactly, if he became a cancer of any kind, NY could just release him, but I really don’t see that happening (the cancer part).

  48. JK47

    Another thing is that Baron will allow us to play a credible version of SSOL, which works really well with the right personnel. He won’t be able to run as well as Steve Nash, but he can run it as well as Ray Felton. Everybody here seemed to be in love with last year’s early Knicks team and lamented the loss of SSOL. Well, here it is again. It may not be the most conventional SSOL lineup but Davis’ passing abilites will allow us to play much more in that kind of style.

    All Baron has to do is play at the same level he did last season, and he’ll help on both ends of the floor. If he keeps his assist rate the same and lowers his usage, well then he’s quite frankly a miracle at the vet minimum.

  49. Frank

    i’m getting way ahead of myself here, but on the off chance that Baron is really good for us, does anyone know how bird rights work on the amnestied players? is he officially a free man after this year with no bird rights of any kind? or did we somehow assume his bird rights when we signed him? my guess is that he’s a free man and we will no bird rights.

    95% it’ll be Nash here next year anyway.

  50. Jafa

    BD was only “chucking” 12 shots a game last year for LA and Cleveland (Melo chucked 20 a game and Amare threw down 19). Even if he remains at that level, we have a potential breakdown of:

    Melo – 20 shots (using last year’s average)
    Amare – 19 (same measuring stick)
    BD – 12
    TD – 12 (was 9 last year, but with a starting role and primary off the bench role when BD is healthy, its reasonable to expect this. Also Billups, last year’s starter, was doing 12 a game).

    Nobody else broke double digits that is currently on our roster today (Chandler did 5 a game for Dallas last year).

    So at best, BD is our 3rd leading chucker and at worst our 4th.

  51. Jafa

    Frank:
    i’m getting way ahead of myself here, but on the off chance that Baron is really good for us, does anyone know how bird rights work on the amnestied players?is he officially a free man after this year with no bird rights of any kind? or did we somehow assume his bird rights when we signed him?my guess is that he’s a free man and we will no bird rights.

    95% it’ll be Nash here next year anyway.

    If BD helps us get to the Finals, do you really think we will walk away from him and give the keys to Nash? Even if we just get to the ECF, it may not be that simple.

    If we get to the ECF, Mike D probably has a contract extension (and I think if we don’t get that far he is gone). He may not be as desperate for Nash then as he may be right now.

  52. ess-dog

    steveoh:
    Isn’t the idea of a “point guard” a bit old school?

    Teams need a Creator, someone dominate the ball and decision making in order to make plays for those around them. Most of the time it is the point guard, but not always. LeBron and Kobe are the creators. So was David Lee.

    I’ve got no problem with Melo in that role. He’s going to draw double teams, and it’s up to him to make the right decision for us to exploit it. That’s what SSOL is about, really. Put the defense at a disadvantage and make them pay for it. It just so happens that D’Antoni had Nash be the creator – and play it perfectly.

    And I feel Baron, even not 2007 Playoffs Baron or 2002 Baron, but 2011 Baron, will be able to fill in that role to take some pressure off Melo.

    This is why I feel that even if BD is a total bust and we just run with Toney, we’ll be ok. It’s not like Toney turns the ball over very much. And he’s a pretty good outside shooter. Sure, he’s not the ideal point guard at all but he plays pretty good D, can shoot and won’t turn it over. If Melo can work as the primary distributor in the halfcourt, we’ll be fine.

  53. jon abbey

    Jafa: If BD helps us get to the Finals, do you really think we will walk away from him and give the keys to Nash?Even if we just get to the ECF, it may not be that simple.

    If we get to the ECF, Mike D probably has a contract extension (and I think if we don’t get that far he is gone).He may not be as desperate for Nash then as he may be right now.

    not sure how it would work financially, but there’s always a possibility of Baron moving to the 2 a la Billups for the Clippers.

    I think the Finals is still pretty unlikely, I think this is probably a second round team right now. it’s going to be hard to develop chemistry with virtually no practices this year and with Baron being added in in a month or two. that should help the teams who bring back cores from last year and hurt teams like NY.

  54. alsep73

    Yesterday, we were discussing why Kris Humphries hadn’t signed anywhere yet. Woj reporting that he’s going to sign a one-year deal with the Nets:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-wojnarowski_kris_humphries_nears_nets_deal_122011

    I guess he’s just been in limbo on the Dwight Howard thing, and everyone decided to just do a year for now and worry about everything else later.

    How will this affect NJ’s ability to trade for Dwight, though? They can’t trade Humphries for a while, so how would they take back Turkoglu, which seems a requirement in any deal Orlando makes?

  55. BigBlueAL

    Doc Rivers said today Paul Pierce wont play in pre-season game tomorrow (didnt play in 1st game) and he is concerned Pierce wont be able to play on Sunday.

    If Pierce doesnt play on Sunday, the Knicks definitely better win lol

  56. ess-dog

    Man, speaking of Melo… this on bizarro Melo:

    “The offense will also maximize the ability of Danilo Gallinari, who was one of the better passing big men in Europe before coming to the NBA.

    “With (Danilo) Gallinari, people are going to realize this year what a great passer he is,” Welch said. “He’s really underrated as a passer and a playmaker. Everyone knows he can get to the rim and make the 3. So we should be a hard team to guard.”

    Read more: http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/217697/Nuggets_Using_Version_Of_Dribble_Drive_On_Half_Their_Possessions#ixzz1h6peU9Og

    Nuggets should be fun to watch this year.

  57. Unreason

    Is he a big patch of quicksand with a shiny NBA championship trophy dangling over it?
    As a person, he’s clearly very interesting, bright, and likable. As a player, he has plenty o game left. That’s what worries me. I am trying to steal myself against his charms. He’s not in the evil Svengali zone of Derrick Coleman’s unstoppable-whenever-he-wants-to-be early career, but he has similar powers over my untrained eyes.
    Hopefully, D’a will take his flashes of brilliance in stride and use him in a rational disciplined way. I’d have trouble with that. Even last year when he was out of shape, when he tried, he seemed so freakishly gifted as a play maker and defender that, to me at least, he looked like he could be a top 5 pg if he would only stay focused. I worry that he’ll have stretches where he’ll look so impressive and so obviously better than TD & Bibby that:
    a) everyone will inwardly cringe whenever he hands either one the ball and their already shaky confidence will whither and die
    b) D’a and I will half-consciously delude ourselves into believing a highly implausible “different this time” story
    c) he’ll gradually loose focus and motivation but we won’t snap out of it until it’s too late and half the team is in a funk because he mailed in a string of key games and no one held him accountable

    Even if I’m more easily deluded than most, which is a safe bet, I’m guessing he’ll spawn many entertaining “eye vs. stat” threads.

  58. Jafa

    From ESPN:

    “[Eddy] Curry is out with a strained left hip flexor he injured during the second practice of training camp.” He did not play in the first preseason game and will not play in the second one or be ready to start the season.

    Same story, different team. Glad to know that Curry is not our problem anymore.

  59. Frank O.

    Jafa:
    From ESPN:

    “[Eddy] Curry is out with a strained left hip flexor he injured during the second practice of training camp.”He did not play in the first preseason game and will not play in the second one or be ready to start the season.

    Same story, different team.Glad to know that Curry is not our problem anymore.

    when you’re fat and out of shape, you get injured.

  60. Mike Kurylo Post author

    jon abbey: I basically agree with your post, but I always hate this specific line of reasoning. if I was getting paid an 8 figure salary, I’d do my best regardless of circumstances as I think anyone should.

    Funny thing is, most millionaires I’ve met or dealt with don’t. Not that hard working millionaires don’t exist, but rather I’ve seen plenty that loaf it, so it’s not just a professional athlete thing.

  61. Caleb

    I think the point of this analysis is to say that the potential reward is not as HIGH as many people think. i.e. the best-case scenario is not that we’ll have an All-Star point.

    Mike, i think this is mostly on-target but incomplete. One big difference between Davis and the other over-the-hill guys, is that at his peak Davis has been a great defender. The others were brutal even in their All-Star years. If Davis is healthy and motivated, that’s a big plus. Whether his assists are reliant on his ball-hogging, is a good question. Hollinger’s take suggests “no,” but I’d be interested to see someone take a closer look.

    @31 I don’t take it as a positive that the guy has turned it off and on for his career. At some point, when your skills and athleticism have slipped, you can’t turn it on.

    And, I’d forget about Davis at the 2. Whatever value he has on offense, is running the show and passing. As an off-the-ball shooter, yikes. Billups on the other hand is deadly.

  62. Frank

    jon abbey: not sure how it would work financially, but there’s always a possibility of Baron moving to the 2 a la Billups for the Clippers.

    I think the Finals is still pretty unlikely, I think this is probably a second round team right now. it’s going to be hard to develop chemistry with virtually no practices this year and with Baron being added in in a month or two. that should help the teams who bring back cores from last year and hurt teams like NY.

    I think ECF has to be the goal. Probably not reasonable to EXPECT to beat the Heat this year, but I sort of feel like we should be able to compete with Chicago and at least make the ECF. Second round would be a probable end to the season though.

    I think ECF playoff seeds look like this:
    1- Miami
    2- Chicago
    3- NYK
    4- Orlando
    5- Boston
    6- Indiana
    7- Atlanta
    8- Philly? Wizards?

    Amazing how top heavy the East is 1-5 compared to the West, where any of the 8 teams could realistically compete for the #1 seed.

  63. nicos

    ess-dog:

    “With (Danilo) Gallinari, people are going to realize this year what a great passer he is,” Welch said. “He’s really underrated as a passer and a playmaker. Everyone knows he can get to the rim and make the 3. So we should be a hard team to guard.”

    Read more: http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/217697/Nuggets_Using_Version_Of_Dribble_Drive_On_Half_Their_Possessions#ixzz1h6peU9Og

    Hard to underrate the passing skills of a SF who averages 1.7 assists per 36 for his career. I know it’s tough to pick up a lot of assists when your role is to stand behind the arc and wait for a kickout but he put the ball on the floor a lot more last year and his assist numbers didn’t budge. Unless they plan to to play him in the mid-post a lot I can’t see him making any significant improvement in his poor assist numbers.

  64. Unreason

    Frank: I think ECF has to be the goal.

    Goal as in realistic projection or as in best case scenario? My best case scenario is Knicks as NBA champs. Not pre-season favorites to win, obviously. The Heat will be favored to take the East, but they were last year too. With some luck don’t you think we have a realistic chance at least. Every teams has weaknesses after all.

  65. BigBlueAL

    Today ESPN.com had Hollinger’s and the BP’s SCHOENE regular season records predictions for the West. Gonna be interesting to see their East predictions tomorrow including the Knicks.

  66. Joamiq

    You leave out an important piece of context: Davis is going to be replacing TD as the starting PG. Douglas is not exactly a pass first point guard either. Last year after the Melo trade, he would routinely take 14+ shots in a game. So I don’t think Davis needs to cut back on the shots a whole lot in order to be an upgrade there, given his far superior ability to pass and run an offense. (Douglas will of course continue to take shots, but probably with fewer minutes and mostly with the second unit, so he won’t be taking opportunities away from Melo and Amare.)

  67. Ben R

    Last year in Cleveland, Davis averaged 16.9 shots per 36, in LA he averaged 14.6. Billups and Toney both averaged about 14 per 36. So best case scenario he will shoot he same amount as Douglas and Billups worst case he shoots more and steals shots away from Amare.

    The big difference is with Douglas and Billups you didn’t mind them shooting because both are efficient players, Baron is not. Even with a bum shoulder Toney shot better last year at both TS% and 3pt% than Baron has in any season of his career.

    People keep making statements like “if Baron reduces his shooting load”, “if he tries every game”, “if he is healthy”. Baron has not shot less than 14.5 fgs per 36 since his 2nd year, he has never been a consistant effort player even in his prime and he has only played more than 67 games once in the last 9 years. Stop with the “ifs”.

    People need to stop hoping Baron will be a different player than he’s ever been. He’s been productive but as players age their weaknesses generally become more pronounced not less.

    I will be shocked if Baron is anything but the 3rd most prolific shooter per 36 on our team and wil be shocked if he is not the least efficient player, other than maybe Jeffries.

  68. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Yesterday, we were discussing why Kris Humphries hadn’t signed anywhere yet. Woj reporting that he’s going to sign a one-year deal with the Nets:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-wojnarowski_kris_humphries_nears_nets_deal_122011

    I guess he’s just been in limbo on the Dwight Howard thing, and everyone decided to just do a year for now and worry about everything else later.

    Yeah, that was pretty much what I was thinking he would get (a one-year deal for big money) when he didn’t find any long-term suitors out there. Ah well, he would have been a nice fit!

  69. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Shit, Darrell Arthur out for the year. That sucks for Memphis. He was a good guy and I was pleased that he had his big breakout season last year.

    Oh, by the way, what the heck is up with the Mavericks and their whole ” I want more respect!” nonsense. You won the title! Be happy!

  70. citizen

    re: Darrell Arthur, how many other players have ever improved their FT% by 25 percentage points in one season?

  71. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Great question. Not for nothing, but Arthur only took 30 free throws the previous year, ya know? His first season he hit 67% of the 60 free throws he took. But still, 81.3% of 134 free throws is pretty amazing last year.

  72. Ben R

    With Humphries signing I think our best option at backup PF is Diogu for the minimum and then try to sign Martin when he comes back from China with the room exemption.

  73. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin):
    Great question. Not for nothing, but Arthur only took 30 free throws the previous year, ya know? His first season he hit 67% of the 60 free throws he took. But still, 81.3% of 134 free throws is pretty amazing last year.

    Wilson Chandler was the first player to immediately come to mind.

    I had to look it up to see and his rookie year he shot 63% (34 for 54). Next season he shot 79.5% (171 for 215). I just remembered being surprised at how good a FT shooter he was in his 2nd season because I thought from seeing his rookie year and how bad a jump shooter he was he was always going to struggle from the FT line.

    Heck the next 2 seasons he shot 80.6 and 80.7% from the FT line so he has proven to be a very good FT shooter.

  74. llcoolbp

    Question:

    I just registered and payed for league pass broadband (the one where you can choose 5 teams). I live in New Orleans and don’t have cable TV. I pay for high speed internet through COX cable. Will my league pass broadband work without a cable TV subscription? I only want to watch games online. So far I have no success in launching league pass for broadband. Will it only launch once the season has started? This is very frustrating. NBA has already taken the first 29.95 from my credit card. I don’t even know if this will work. Anyone else having the same problems as me? Advice would be appreciated for a die hard fan here who just moved out of NYC for the fist time in his 36 years on this earth.

  75. Spree8nyk8

    You don’t need cable tv, you’ll be fine. I don’t think lpbb has any games to broadcast until the 26th. All the opening day games are on national tv and lpbb does not carry national games.

  76. llcoolbp

    Spree8nyk8:
    You don’t need cable tv, you’ll be fine.I don’t think lpbb has any games to broadcast until the 26th.All the opening day games are on national tv and lpbb does not carry national games.

    Thanks Spree,

    it would be nice if they had a better platform, that was more user friendly and self explanatory. I still have not chosen my 5 teams, and have no idea where and when I will be able to do this. We shall see. I am basically paying to get about 38 knicks games (26-28 are national TV games) I hope I get those 38 games. I am interested in some other teams, probably will choose:

    Knicks
    Clippers
    Lakers
    Golden State
    Heat?
    Knuggets?
    Bulls?
    Celtics?

    that last team is up in the air. I’m not sure.

  77. daJudge

    Ben R, I think your points are well taken. However, assuming BD is a less efficient shooter than Tony, what about his much more effective ability see the court and pass, garner assists and just make the music that much sweeter. His passing efficacy is based on stats that I don’t think are subject to legitimate debate. So, if he takes a few more shots than TD, is it really a big deal if the motor runs more efficiently? Also, our offensive rebounding will improve and I dare say that some of the misses will be converted this year. So possibly his shots per 36 is not very significant in the scheme of things.

  78. Caleb

    @82 I am more bullish on the BD signing, because Toney’s going to play either way – BD would effectively take minutes from Bibby and our 2nd/3rd string 2-guards. If BD is remotely what he used to be, that’s a plus. But Ben is right, he’s going to chuck it.

    My guess is Bibby gets 10-15 minutes a night until BD shows up, Landry starts at 2-guard unless he falls on his face, and Shumpert gets spot minutes. If BD is solid, he’ll play lead guard for 30-35 minutes, Toney will take the rest and also play 10-15 at shooting guard.

    It’s rare to see a guy truly change his game to shoot less, not due to age or injury. I think about Ron Harper when he landed with the Bulls. Yes, he hurt a knee before that and was getting older, but physically he was still in good shape when he transformed himself into a low usage, defense-first complementary player.

  79. Caleb

    @83 no.

    re: the big picture, I’d seed the Knicks #3 if I had to pick right now. Boston is clearly in for a fall, and I won’t be shocked if Orlando falls out of the playoffs altogether. The Magic is going to be in turmoil all year, the non-Howard roster is old and pretty weak and they could have to trade Dwight mid-season. On the other hand, people are sleeping on the Bulls – they’re a young team that will only get better, and they won 60 last year. That took some luck, but you have to consider them solid favorites over the Knicks right now.

    As far as surprise teams go, I’ll take Philly & Milwaukee, if Bogut is healthy.

    No shocker from me, call it a tropical storm finals: Heat over Thunder.

  80. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    daJudge:
    In other news, Earl Barron waived.Any takers?

    Alas, the new CBA restricts each team to one “Baron” per roster. The restriction is to prevent the # of Baron-based puns one can tweet or read in the NY Post.

  81. Spree8nyk8

    llcoolbp: Thanks Spree,

    it would be nice if they had a better platform, that was more user friendly and self explanatory.I still have not chosen my 5 teams, and have no idea where and when I will be able to do this. We shall see. I am basically paying to get about 38 knicks games (26-28 are national TV games) I hope I get those 38 games. I am interested in some other teams, probably will choose:

    Knicks
    Clippers
    Lakers
    Golden State
    Heat?
    Knuggets?
    Bulls?
    Celtics?

    that last team is up in the air. I’m not sure.

    it’s actually quite friendly as far as the user interface goes, check your email you should have a link to go and sign in, once you sign in it will ask you to choose your five teams and all of that. Once you have done that just make a bookmark at the login screen and it will be very easy to navigate after that.

  82. daJudge

    Caleb, thank you for the response. I’m trying to get better with stats so this is what I meant. If Tony takes 90 shots over 6 games and BD takes 96 shots over 6 games, does it have a significant impact, given the other variables. I’m sure that I am not being clear, but what I am trying to say is that the chucker issue may not be that important. Given his new role, it may be a red herring and I’m not saying he is going to morph into Steve Nash. One last point, if BD was in the role as the Man, he might have been compelled to take more difficult shots, perhaps at a higher volume than Toney. This is not a rip on Toney, but rather a context within which to evaluate BD’s stats and how they may actually dramatically differ playing with Amare, Melo and a very large Chandler (with good hands and instincts). This doesn’t even account for an opportunistic cutting Fields. Hey, who knows. Maybe we will have more Hieronymus Bosch than Monet, but I have my fingers crossed and I am cautiously optimistic.

  83. llcoolbp

    Spree8nyk8: it’s actually quite friendly as far as the user interface goes, check your email you should have a link to go and sign in, once you sign in it will ask you to choose your five teams and all of that.Once you have done that just make a bookmark at the login screen and it will be very easy to navigate after that.

    spree,

    thanks for responding. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. And the nba.com customer service is garbage. I signed up for league pass. They sent me an email. It gives me instructions how to launch league pass for broadband. Unfortunately every time it takes me to a page asking for my cable provider and my cable bill ID number. Not sure why it is doing this. I have navigated the entire site, and I still can’t seem to get to a page that allows me to select my 5 teams. Very frustrating.

  84. daJudge

    Robert, the CBA, upon my careful review provides: Rule 10, Section 5, subdivision iii. Rule10(5)(iii) was finally agreed to after a week of contentious hectoring. “Each team has the privilege, but not the right or obligation, to sign more than one player named ‘Baron’, so long as each player named Baron sports a beard that is longer than 3 inches long at the start of the season.” I guess the idea is to encourage bad Bearded Baron puns, like this one

  85. Frank

    just to remind us how much we love Iman and hated anyone who was fat, out of shape, and just collecting a paycheck, here’s the video of Iman’s reaction to getting drafted by us – worth watching again, I’m sure everyone’s seen it….

    http://www.twitvid.com/F4CRP

  86. daJudge

    Wow. I absolutely loved that video. I did not see it previously. Frank, thanks very much for posting it.

  87. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    daJudge:
    Robert, the CBA, upon my careful review provides:Rule 10, Section 5, subdivision iii.Rule10(5)(iii) was finally agreed to after a week of contentious hectoring.“Each team has the privilege, but not the right or obligation, to sign more than one player named ‘Baron’, so long as each player named Baron sports a beard that is longer than 3 inches long at the start of the season.” I guess the idea is to encourage bad Bearded Baron puns, like this one

    Thanks Judge. I can’t believe I whiffed on “The Baron Rule” in the new CBA so badly. My heart is baron.

  88. Z-man

    Here’s some eye-candy for the WoW groupies:

    http://wagesofwins.com/2011/12/20/how-carmelo-and-amare-may-con-the-voters-for-another-year/

    I would say that this year is an excellent test of the predictive abilities of WP48 as it pertains to the Knicks, being that the team should be relatively stable for the year for the first time in ages and that everyone is hyped up. WoW predicts roughly 38 wins for this team (38-28). Mike, is it time to roll out the annual prediction thread?

  89. Z-man

    I am a fan of Baron at this price. The guy is a prodigy who has had basically a star-crossed career. This is his big break, and I am expecting the Baron to electrify the Garden with passes we haven’t seen since Mark Jackson in his first stint with us. Baron has brass cohones and a magic handle. Even at his age (not exactly ancient and he played well at times last year) he is at worst a rich man’s Raymond Felton. He’ll probably teach Shump a few things (hopefully not how to launch excessive shots!)

  90. d-mar

    Z-man:
    Here’s some eye-candy for the WoW groupies:

    http://wagesofwins.com/2011/12/20/how-carmelo-and-amare-may-con-the-voters-for-another-year/

    I would say that this year is an excellent test of the predictive abilities of WP48 as it pertains to the Knicks, being that the team should be relatively stable for the year for the first time in ages and that everyone is hyped up.WoW predicts roughly 38 wins for this team (38-28). Mike, is it time to roll out the annual prediction thread?

    Man I’d be very disappointed with 38 wins, that’s equivalent to 47-35 over a full season. we should be better than that

  91. Z-man

    Me too, I’m thinking anything under 40 would be a downer. I’m going for 44-22 and a 3rd-seed in the East.

  92. cgreene

    Z-man:
    Here’s some eye-candy for the WoW groupies:

    http://wagesofwins.com/2011/12/20/how-carmelo-and-amare-may-con-the-voters-for-another-year/

    I would say that this year is an excellent test of the predictive abilities of WP48 as it pertains to the Knicks, being that the team should be relatively stable for the year for the first time in ages and that everyone is hyped up.WoW predicts roughly 38 wins for this team (38-28). Mike, is it time to roll out the annual prediction thread?

    The basis of the article is that Amare and Melo are over-rated because they have a bad steal to turnover ratio? Really? Steals are barely an effective stat period. A ball that is tipped by one player and lands in the hand of another player the player who retrieved the ball is credited with the steal. Melo had a higher off reb, def reb and assist rate than the “average” small forward and is going to win us 4 games. Amare Stoudemire is 40% WORSE THAN THE AVERAGE PF. This article is the best evidence the WP/48 is an ineffective stat than most of the ones I’ve read. Still don’t think Knicks win much more than about 40 or 41 based on new team/lack of practice, fewer minutes for “stars”/deeper rotation/mediocre bench. Wins in this season, Z, will be a bad barometer and predictor of playoff success a la ’99 rendering the predictive power of WP/48 questionable again IMO.

  93. Z-man

    PS Kenneth Faried, Mr. WP 40 himself, has yet to play a minute in preseason. Chris Singleton has played but has not done much of anything. Might as well gloat about Shump for a few days before the law of averages catches up and Faried and Singleton return to form.

  94. daJudge

    Over and out dudes. Going to shlafen now and a very merry One Chanukah to those that celebrate same and your children and Amare.

  95. alsep73

    Z-man:
    PS Kenneth Faried, Mr. WP 40 himself, has yet to play a minute in preseason.Chris Singleton has played but has not done much of anything.Might as well gloat about Shump for a few days before the law of averages catches up and Faried and Singleton return to form.

    I’d been wondering how they were doing, but was afraid to ask and stir up more trouble. Thanks, Z-man.

  96. massive

    He finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds (5 OREB) in 16 minutes. That translates to something north of 22 points/36 and 12 rebounds/36. Pretty impressive, but let’s wait until February-March before we start praising Berri.

    Shumpert vs Faried shall be glorious!

  97. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    BigBlueAL:
    Especially impressive considering it came against the Suns backups :-)

    Not the toughest competition, but I watched the game. He’s impressive. Think Rodman if Dennis had another 30-40 pounds of muscle and 1/10th the crazy.

    (Before anyone freaks out. I’m not saying Faried IS Rodman or ever will be AS GOOD as Rodman, just that that’s Faried’s type of game — hustle boards, great athlete, plays w/ferocious energy. Caveat ended.)

  98. massive

    Jim Cavan (@JPCavan):
    Just thought everyone should know that Shumpert went about 200 spots above what was projected in tonight’s fantasy draft.

    In other news, Jared Jeffries was not drafted.

    Jared Jeffries is quite possibly the worst fantasy player ever. I actually know somebody who picked Darren Collison and Caron Butler with his first two picks. What an idiot. He said something about “sleeper picks,” and that he was going to prove everybody wrong. The ignorance that comes with youth lol.

  99. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    massive: Jared Jeffries is quite possibly the worst fantasy player ever. I actually know somebody who picked Darren Collison and Caron Butler with his first two picks. What an idiot. He said something about “sleeper picks,” and that he was going to prove everybody wrong. The ignorance that comes with youth lol.

    Worse than Jerome James?

  100. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan)

    massive: Jared Jeffries is quite possibly the worst fantasy player ever. I actually know somebody who picked Darren Collison and Caron Butler with his first two picks. What an idiot. He said something about “sleeper picks,” and that he was going to prove everybody wrong. The ignorance that comes with youth lol.

    I want to meet this man / woman / three-year-old.

  101. massive

    But back to Baron Davis. Jason Kidd’s WS/48 last year was .116. I think that’s very possible for Baron Davis. FWIW, the top minute getters on last year’s Dallas Maverick team were Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Dirk, Shawn Marion, and Tyson respectively. Their WS/48? .116, .100, .213, .120, and .218 (totaling .767) I think our top 5 minute getters (Melo, Amar’e, Chandler, Fields, Douglas/Baron) should be able to produce around .767 in terms of WS/48. However, I think it would be more balanced than have two guys producing roughly 4/7′s of the work. That team won 57 regular season games, or 69.5% of the total games played. Using my (admittedly baseless) assumption, would 45-46 wins be unreasonable to expect from the Knicks this season? I think it’s a bit more complicated than this, but I want to go on record saying that I expect the Knicks to be somewhere around 42-44 wins this season, which is about 55 wins in an 82 game season.

    Are my expectations too high?

  102. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    Yes. Your math/logic isn’t the problem. Given a full training camp/normal season, maybe it’d be possible. But the Kidd/Terr/Dirk/Shawn group had been playing together for 2 seasons before they added Chandler. That unit had the whole year plus camp, plus practices to figure it out.

    This Knicks team really has no experience at all. Melo and Amare got what, 28 games together last season and training camp’s been sliced to the bone. Now they’re going to add Davis in a month? It’s waayyy too chaotic to expect this team to win 70% of their games in the reg. season.

    Best case scenario – like the ’99 Knicks, they have an up and down reg. season and hit their stride in the playoffs.

  103. bobneptune

    Ben R:
    People seem to think that because Baron is in a place he wants to be and playing with talented scorers he will shoot less. I don’t buy it. Chuckers don’t run down the court and take shots they know are bad and they think they’ll miss. Every shot a chucker shoots is going to go in and is a good shot until it misses. I really don’t think any player runs down the court and decides to throw up a terrible shot. It is not something they can just turn off. Sometimes better shot selection can be learned but it is a long process and a rare occurance.

    Baron has not shot less than 14.5 shots per 36 since his 3rd year in the league, he is going to shoot the ball. He is going to shoot the ball more often per 36 than any knick other than Carmelo and if we are lucky Amare. He could still be a productive and useful player but he is not gong to come here and shoot 9-10 shots per 36 at an efficient rate because that is not who he is or ever was. He will chuck up a lot of bad shots and dominate the ball and be inefficient. Hopefully his passing and motivated defense will offfset that enought to make him an upgrade but he is who he is. Have we not learned anything from years of Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford and others that players don’t change just because we want them to.

    earl monroe sez hai :-)

  104. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I think 38 wins is a bit low, but by a bit, I mean, like, 1 or 2 wins low. I’ll split the hermaphroditic baby and say 39.

    38-28 is pretty darn good, really.

  105. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    It is a new rule in the CBA that rewards players for doing really well during their rookie contract. Essentially, if they hit certain criteria (I believe it is All-NBA twice, All-Star starter twice or winning an MVP) then their max salary becomes higher than it otherwise would (from 25% of the cap to 30% of the cap). In Durant’s case, he actually signed a contract that rather than assigning him a specific salary, it just said that he would be paid “the most that he can make under the rules,” so that is why his salary has increased. Rose is apparently close to signing an extension that will reward him under the same rule.

  106. Unreason

    I’m going with 40:
    Chance of
    Team Games Winning
    Boston 4 0.5
    Warriors 1 0.65
    Lakers 2 0.6
    Kings 2 0.65
    Toronto 4 0.7
    Charlotte 4 0.7
    Wizards 3 0.7
    Pistons 3 0.7
    Sixers 3 0.6
    Gizzlies 1 0.55
    Thunder 1 0.5
    Magic 3 0.55
    Suns 1 0.65
    Bucks 4 0.6
    Nuggets 1 0.65
    Cavs 4 0.75
    Heat 3 0.45
    Rockets 1 0.6
    Bulls 4 0.5
    Nets 3 0.75
    Jazz 1 0.65
    Twolves 1 0.7
    Hornets 1 0.7
    Mavs 2 0.45
    Hawks 3 0.55
    Blazers 1 0.55
    Pacers 3 0.65
    Clippers 1 0.5
    Total games: 39.95

  107. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I dunno, Unreason, your odds are now making me reconsider 39. Because your odds seem a bit too favorable in a few places (like the Heat being the only team that the Knicks would be underdogs against) and if that comes out to 40, then 38 probably is more accurate than I first thought.

    Hmmm…nah, I’ll stick with my initial guns and still say 39!

  108. Unreason

    Well Heat and Mavs, but I’m sure you’re right. We should be slight underdogs against the Bull too I suppose… but then we played them very well last year and our upgrades seem as good as theirs to me. Who else do you think we’re underdogs against? I don’t doubt that I’m being overly optimistic, but the other clearly better teams aren’t obvious to me.

  109. carlhil2

    Some great Baron stats, per John Hollinger at ESPN:

    “Davis had the most valuable assists in the league last season, and it wasn’t even close. Among players with at least 300 assists, Davis’ average assist was worth .841 points, well ahead of the league average of .667. And lest you think that was all from having Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan slamming down dunks, consider that Davis’ assist value didn’t change at all after the trade to Cleveland. More than half of Davis’ assists were layups or dunks, according to Hoopdata.com, compared to the league average of 38 percent; conversely, only 26.3 percent of his dimes were “bad” assists that led to 2-pointers away from the basket”.[i stole this from another forum!]

  110. BahoPuwet

    Baron need to lose some excess fat. It’ll do wonders for his back.
    Is Heri suing Jerry sandusky too?

  111. Z-man

    Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta): Not the toughest competition, but I watched the game. He’s impressive. Think Rodman if Dennis had another 30-40 pounds of muscle and 1/10th the crazy. (Before anyone freaks out. I’m not saying Faried IS Rodman or ever will be AS GOOD as Rodman, just that that’s Faried’s type of game — hustle boards, great athlete, plays w/ferocious energy. Caveat ended.)

    He looked like Renaldo Balkman + steroids – cannaboids

  112. jon abbey

    carlhil2: Hoopdata.

    you could have stolen it from post #22 of this thread also, or post #30 when I reposted it so people wouldn’t miss it. :)

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