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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bring on Boom-Dizzle: Baron Davis commits to signing with Knicks

Boom-Dizzle

Baron Davis can be many things. He can be a comedic actor. He can be an overweight, disinterested point guard. He can be a headache, making you wish a million times he wasn’t on your team……if you’re a small-market team, or lack the right pieces around him.

But when you give him someone who can throw down almost any pass tossed his way…..he can make magic happen. With picture perfect passes, over, and over, and over^10 again.

And when you give him a crowd that won’t let him give anything less than his best, a crowd that energizes him, a crowd that pushes him to his absolute limits…. that’s when something truly incredible can happen.

ESPN’s Marc Stein  is reporting that Davis has officially decided to join the Knicks. Are there risks attached to this signing? Certainly. Davis looks to be out about a month with a back injury. His career TS% is just north of 50%. His highest WS/48 was for the 2006-2007 season at a .139.

But his AST%’s from last year – 39.9% with the Clippers, 45.4% with the Cavaliers – dwarf DWTDD’s 19.5%. And Toney did little to dispel the notions that he’s not a PG during the first preseason action of the year. With Amar’e and Carmelo requiring so many shots, it’s imperative the Knicks have someone who can get them the ball in the right spots. So while I still trust in TD’s ability, and hope that he will improve, this signing is a great gamble by the Knicks. If things go poorly, Baron can sit at the end of the bench on a one-year, $2.5 million contract. But if things go well, and Baron’s ooping to Amar’e, and the Garden is rocking- well, then we might remember this as the moment we grabbed our starting PG for the 2012 playoffs.

Do you believe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

102 comments on “Bring on Boom-Dizzle: Baron Davis commits to signing with Knicks

  1. Frank

    I’m all for this signing. Very low risk, potentially high reward move. This amnesty thing is working out very well for us. He gives us playoff experience, a real PG (when he wants to be), and also something the stats don’t measure well – he’s a GREAT defender.

    Lots of ifs though – healthy? motivated? in shape?
    but a one year deal for an exception that no one else wanted? sign me up!

  2. jon abbey

    hated the Francis move when they made it (and they gave up Ariza in that deal! still pissed about that), love this one. once Davis is healthy, I have to think this pushes Fields to fighting for backup SF minutes:

    Davis
    Shumpert
    Melo
    Amare
    Chandler

    Douglas
    Bibby
    Walker/Fields
    Jeffries/Balkman/Jorts

    now if they could just somehow add one legit big body who could play 15-20 minutes when the matchup required it, then this team will be deep enough to compete.

  3. nicos

    I posted this on the last thread but will repost here: Not a huge Baron Davis fan. Even at his peak he was a crappier version of Marbury- a point guard who’s more than happy to pound the ball for 18 seconds and then drive to the hoop and hope something good happens. The last thing the Knicks need is an(other?) inefficient ballstopper with a 24+ usg%. If he’s willing to be primarily a distributer (and early in the clock), great- he might really help. But he’s never done that, his effort level and general demeanor has been very questionable, and he’s had health issues so I’d say he’s a pretty long shot to be a difference maker. I should add that he does run the break well and that might be the biggest plus he could give us.

  4. jon abbey

    stats are a terrible way to judge Davis, maybe more than anyone in the game. he is an entirely different player when he’s motivated, I think he’s still got at least one good season left in him.

  5. DS

    @4 – It’s too bad Turiaf’s good attitude will keep him from being one of those players who can whine his way into getting cut and then return to his old team after he’s traded.

  6. JK47

    This is a great signing, a no-brainer. We are in desperate need of a point guard who can pass and who knows how to run the break. If Baron can get healthy enough to play, this pushes several Knicks to the right on the skills spectrum into roles they are more suited for: TD as combo PG/SG, Shumpert as SG, Fields as SG/SF swingman.

  7. bluemax

    If nothing else, we finally got a PG that can run a high tempo (SSOL or other) game and who loves the big stage. Now if he can just lay off those ill advised three’s we might just be in great shape, assuming he has anything left.

  8. JK47

    There are three weapons in the lineup that are deadly pick-and-roll options: Stat, Melo and Chandler. If this pans out we should be able to PnR a whole lot of teams into submission.

  9. John Kenney (@JohnbKenney) Post author

    Hollinger when talking about Davis said that his assists were far and away more valuable than the average assist last season, with a ton of his assists leading to lay-ups and dunks. and, astonishingly, that number stayed the same from LA to Cleveland.

  10. flossy

    To the hot tub time machine!

    (Seriously though, fat Baron Davis could still out-PG Toney Douglas in his sleep.)

  11. DS

    @15 – Speaking of Hollinger on Davis, he said earlier: “Nonetheless, you can safely rule out New York, Miami and L.A. There’s a 0.01 percent chance Davis slips through this auction without a bid.”

  12. Spree8nyk8

    I love the pick up but for the love of god we’ve seen Toney play one preseason game so far. We have a soft first ten games of the season. Toney should get a shot at the job first. Don’t be so quick to judge Toney.

  13. joe

    this is a good pick up because one thing that BD does add to this team now if nothing else is more vet leadership which we need with stat melo tyson bibby and now BD we have someone to speak to all our positioned players and help them grow…..now as far as his game BD is not bad when he focuses with mike d and woodson (and we know woodson dont take alot of b.s) BD will get his act together plus like i have said in other threads this is a another addition to mike d’s system cause baron can perform the pick and roll he can shoot as well as run and gun……………give it time yall plus Jorts hes gonna take jarred jefferies stop mark my words hes a big man who can run and shot rebound and play D o yea!!!!

  14. joe

    @jon abbey dude look at this jarred jefferies does get run but in all reality Jorts is way better than him!!! just think about it

    jon abbey:
    hated the Francis move when they made it (and they gave up Ariza in that deal! still pissed about that), love this one. once Davis is healthy, I have to think this pushes Fields to fighting for backup SF minutes:

    Davis
    Shumpert
    Melo
    Amare
    Chandler

    Douglas
    Bibby
    Walker/Fields
    Jeffries/Balkman/Jorts

    now if they could just somehow add one legit big body who could play 15-20 minutes when the matchup required it, then this team will be deep enough to compete.

  15. Caleb

    re: Baron, like I said yesterday, it’s a no-brainer. There’s no one else out there for $2.5 mil or less that’s going to be more than an 8 or 9 guy in the rotation. Baron might be awful, or injured, but he might be a good or decent starter at the position where we have a hole. I think Toney is a solid player but he’s not a PG and Bibby can’t play more than 10-15 minutes without lighting the defense on fire.

  16. d-mar

    Looks like we might have the NY sports stage to ourselves pretty soon the way the Giants and the Jets are going

  17. BigBlueAL

    d-mar:
    Looks like we might have the NY sports stage to ourselves pretty soon the way the Giants and the Jets are going

    Its the mid to late 90’s all over again lol

  18. jon abbey

    Caleb:
    @4 why would you think Fields would be behind Shumpert, Walker & Bibby in the scramble for PT?

    because I think he’s a lousy player, worse than the first two and Bibby will get the backup PG minutes. I hope he proves me wrong, I’m not holding my breath. he may beat out Walker for the 9th man backup SF, but the sooner he is no longer starting, the better IMO.

  19. Z

    jon abbey: because I think he’s a lousy player, worse than the first two and Bibby will get the backup PG minutes. I hope he proves me wrong, I’m not holding my breath.

    He already did prove you wrong. He was really good last year.

  20. jon abbey

    Z: He already did prove you wrong. He was really good last year.

    he was terrible for the last few months, and that’s the guy I saw again yesterday.

  21. jon abbey

    basically I think that his dreadful (non-) performance in the playoffs is representative of his true talent level. again, I hope he proves me wrong.

  22. ess-dog

    It has only been one pre-season game, but I think it’s clear that Fields is better off at the 3.
    He doesn’t have the side-to-side quickness to cover real guards. Morrow, who is very average, handled him easily in the 1st quarter.
    He doesn’t have the best handle in the world and very average passing skills. His game is blocking out for rebounds, shooting open, standstill threes, and flashing w/o the ball to get easy buckets.
    I love the guy but would be glad to see Shump become the regular 2.

  23. jon abbey

    I’d be OK with Fields as the backup 3, although if we need scoring on the second unit, Walker is probably a better option.

  24. SeeWhyDee77

    The great thing about this signing is the fact that we don’t need to lean on him like GS and the Hornets did. As long as he’s healthy and motivated, we just need him to bring stability to the PG spot. Which, if he realizes his role and doesn’t try 2 do 2 much, should make a much more efficient Baron Davis. Still very dangerous, but he will not have a scoring load on his shoulders like he did at previous stops. He’s a smart PG so I fully expect him to take advantage of the fact there’s less pressure on him to score. When he’s on..that guy is a load to handle. Imagine what will happen if he’s healthy and defenses no longer can double him. Wow. Take however long u need to get healthy Baron, because ur gonna be incredible as a Knick. We’ll get by without u til Feb. JUST GET HEALTHY!!! Barron next? I don’t trust JJ x2 to be primary 4-5 back ups yet.

  25. jon abbey

    one thing we can (probably?) all agree on is that the Davis signing ends any chance of Arenas landing in NY, and that’s a good thing.

  26. SeeWhyDee77

    JK47:
    This is a great signing, a no-brainer. We are in desperate need of a point guard who can pass and who knows how to run the break. If Baron can get healthy enough to play, this pushes several Knicks to the right on the skills spectrum into roles they are more suited for: TD as combo PG/SG, Shumpert as SG, Fields as SG/SF swingman.

    Agreed

  27. SeeWhyDee77

    At some point Shump will be the starting 2..it’s inevitable. No knock on Landry..Shump is that good. Fields’ best position is problee the 3 with some 2 guard sprinkled in. So if BD gets healthy, what do we do with Walker? I’d rather keep Landry over Walker even tho Walker’s a better shooter. Walker’s too one dimensional..very useful..but not the offensive threat Landry is. Plus Landry’s a better defender and rebounder.

  28. xduckshoex

    I have a beard, pot belly and I can’t hit an NBA three consistently; it’ll be nice to have player on the Knicks I have so much in common with.

  29. Frank O.

    Shump starting over LFields is not inevitable.
    Again, Fields is a second year player that has had to adjust to three distinctly different teams in that time.
    In the one period of stability, he was a ROY caliber player.
    I understand people would be frustrated. But you have seen one decent game from Shump, and you’re ready to discount almost 60 games of excellent play by Fields. That seems a bit fickle. Everyone is entitled to their feelings. I just can’t disagree more.

  30. xduckshoex

    I agree that Shumpert starting over Fields is not inevitable, but I think Fields’ problems go beyond having to learn to play with a new team as the principles have been largely the same each time. In the preseason game thread somebody pointed out that Fields isn’t very good at putting the ball on the floor and that his troubles seemed to coincide with teams starting make more of an effort to chase him off the three point line and I’m inclined to agree with that.

    Playing with new teammates all the time certainly doesn’t help because there is a lack of continuity, but at the same time basketball is basketball. Fields just needs to develop one reliable move when being closed out on aggressively and a couple of post moves wouldn’t hurt either as he has a size advantage over a lot of shooting guards these days.

  31. SeeWhyDee77

    I don’t discount what Fields has done thus far. I just think Fields will do much better as a backup swing on this team than he will as a starting 2. I think it’s inevitable that Shump starts because he’s a better defender, athlete, and ball handler with an improving jumper. Whether we start Douglas or a motivated and healthy Davis at the 1, combining either of them with Shump will set the tone defensively. Also..Fields will have more freedom to do his thing on that 2nd unit. Either way Fields will get big minutes as he should. On that second unit he can get back into his pre Melo groove. Also his game fits more at the 3 than the 2. Now as long as Shump’s on that second unit, he’ll problee be asked to do more scoring than he’s problee ready to. If he starts, his biggest responsibilities are moving the ball, hitting open shots, and defense. I trust Fields in that second unit offense role becuz this is his second year and he’s a really heady player. Shump’s a rookie who has a rep for takin bad shots..why not minimize those bad shots by stickin him in a lineup of scorers and telling him to move the ball, play good D, and make open shots? Fields, Bibby and Douglas/Davis are reliable enough offensive threats on that second unit..we will need a rebounder though. But my point is, I trust Fields more as a back up swing with this roster and Shump’s gonna be a better option at the starting 2 given his abilities.

  32. SeeWhyDee77

    SeeWhyDee77:
    Fields, Bibby and Douglas/Davis are reliable enough offensive threats on that second unit

    I left out Ball Wilker..sorry..he’s a threat too

  33. Z-man

    Here’s what I have to say about Baron:
    1. He has never played on an elite team or anything close, so he might see this as his last, best chance at a title
    2. He played reasonably well last year
    3. He has played better in the playoffs than he has in the regular season
    4. He doesn’t seem fazed by pressure
    5. He led the league in steals per game and was in the top-seven several times
    6. He costs less than a long list of current NBA scrubs are making right now
    7. He can take Shump under his wing, as he has more in common with him than Bibby does
    7. He has the same birthday as me!

    Yeah, he’s got some attitude/conditioning/health concerns, but his upside for us is WAY higher than it was for Jamal Crawford, at half the price. I’m all in on this one!

  34. philj

    If he is healthy he should be a plus. This is a low risk signing and worth a shot at this stage of the pre-season. We simply must hope for the best.

  35. flossy

    danvt:
    Yeah, if he’s healthy, we’ve essentially replaced Billups for 1/5 the salary.

    Replaced him with a FAR better passer (much worse shooter, but hey nobody’s perfect) who actually wants to be here. For 1/5 the salary.

  36. d-mar

    All I know is when Baron was in his prime (and I know he’s far from that today) he scared the CRAP out of me when we played whatever team he was on, especially in crunch time. He could pull up and hit a 3, make a crazy move to the hoop and convert or get fouled, or beat his man off the dribble and then deliver a perfect alley-oop pass to a teammate.

    If he is half that player he will definitely help us.

  37. jon abbey

    also Davis is 2 1/2 years younger than Billups, although he’s had much more of an injury history.

  38. danvt

    Chauncey Billups for Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis. Is Grunwald executive of the year?

    Anyone know anything about Baron’s type of injury? I’m thinking about how long it took Gallo to get back and Quentin Richardson as well. Not just them having to sit but then seeing them struggle to regain their quickness. What’s up with a bulging disk? If he hits the ground running we are gonna kill people.

  39. daJudge

    I’m thrilled with this move. The comparisons to Marbury only make me happier. Marbury had issues, but he was no Eddy Curry. He could ball without question. If we sign a 1 with some of Marbury’s skills for $$2.5…come on….no downside. Also, TD has not had anyone on this team that could teach him other than Billups. From everything I have read about Baron, he will work well with our team, will love New Jack City and will be a nice veteran influence. He is also buddies with that new big guy, our center,… forgot his name. This is a great signing with no disrespect to TD. From what I hear, BD is a pretty bright dude and an interesting guy. Perhaps he is thinking about his legacy at this stage of his career. If so, bring it. I think Landry will also pay very close attention to his game as well. Maybe Landry will find that one killer move.

  40. danvt

    March 4th 2011, in a win over the Knicks, Baron went 6 for 15 with four 3 pointers for a total of 18 points. He had three rebounds, five assists in 26plus minutes. Toney Douglas had a nice game too. 5 for 9 for 11 and 5 asts and 5 rbs in 31+. I’ll take production like that from our guards. I’m sure we’ll see a good bit of them on the floor together.

  41. daJudge

    Sorry to post twice. A bulging disc is not a herniated disc. I have had the later, from a B-Ball injury, and had fusion surgery with screws. I was back playing (albeit at a very low level of competition–my norm) in 12 weeks. Still not 100% after two years post op, but OK. I play 2-3 per week and I’m 55. A bulging disc often requires only conservative treatment, rest, message, pain killers. If it’s only a bulging disc, which I believe he has had previously from looking this up, he’ll be playing in 2-4 weeks. He should be able to put together a good 20-25 minutes per with rest during back to backs.

  42. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Who could really have a problem with this move? Davis is still a good passer and that is what the Knicks need at the PG position. And if he sucks, then no harm, no foul. It is not like they’re committing to a big contract.

    Also, my wife needs a new player to call “Beardy.” I already showed her pictures of Davis. She noted his beard was not as cool as Turiaf’s, but she admits it is better than nothing (I am not letting my hopes get up for Balkman being involved, so I won’t tell her about him).

    My wife bought a Knicks sweatshirt today. She’s pumped for this season!

  43. Z-man

    Davis is a good passer, but not always a willing passer; in that way, more similar to Marbury than I would like. Still, he has that “it,” that swagger that all great PGs have. Unless his back is shot, he is like 100X better than Felton.

    The Knicks of the 90’s did pretty well with two declining PGs running the show, Rivers and Harper. A healthy Davis is better than either of those guys.

  44. daJudge

    Awesome Brian–quick story. Way back when, my wife and I marched a banner through the Garden that read, in great big letters, “MAURICE is a POWER forward”. Great memories. Great player. Better wife.

  45. jon abbey

    the reason I think the Marbury analogy is a bad one is that Baron is much smarter, Marbury was always an idiot who turned increasingly insane towards the end (I have never seen a player on a NBA bench look more like a homeless person on the subway who won’t shut up). Davis has always struck me as a smart guy (like Billups), hopefully his body holds up.

    something that may be worth noting is total minutes these guys have put on their legs in their careers (regular season/playoff/total):

    Billups: 31674/5206/36880
    Bibby: 33405/3366/36761
    Davis: 27998/1755/29753

    so assuming all are relatively healthy (maybe a big assumption), Davis has two full less seasons of minutes on his body than those other two. I like the veteran leadership, and Jah help me, I even like Mike Bibby in a backup role behind Davis. as someone said earlier, Davis’ presence allows all of their guards to now play their preferred positions.

    so what’s his timetable at now? think Stern would let him play on Christmas? :)

  46. jon abbey

    daJudge:
    Really cool interview with Chandler in the Post. God, this guy gets it big time.What a dude.

    the core personnel right now are really likable (except maybe Melo), a long ways from the Marbury/Crawford/Z-Bo/Curry era.

  47. sisterray

    @danvt

    “Yeah, if he’s healthy, we’ve essentially replaced Billups for 1/5 the salary.”

    As you may recall, Billups was not healthy for a whole lot of his time in NY. Even if he’s NOT healthy, we’ve essentially replaced Billups for 1/5 of the salary.

  48. daJudge

    It’s interesting Jon Abbey when you talk about ‘likability’. This is very important to me as a fan. I’m not trying to be a wise guy and respect your opinion, but what don’t you like about Melo (non game stuff)?

  49. New Guy

    @52 I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure a bulging disc IS a herniated disc. I had one, too, though it didn’t require surgery. My doctor often called it both terms and told me they were the same thing.

  50. daJudge

    I guess my doc told me something that was different from your doc. Both injuries are also quite distinguishable in the context of damages in personal injury litigation. One really doesn’t qualify as “serious injury” per se. Whatever–who cares–love to see Baron playing with us real soon and that was my point. I’m also glad you didn’t need surgery New Guy.

  51. jon abbey

    daJudge:
    It’s interesting Jon Abbey when you talk about ‘likability’.This is very important to me as a fan.I’m not trying to be a wise guy and respect your opinion, but what don’t you like about Melo (non game stuff)?

    I’m just on the fence a bit for now, he’s a little smug without always fully backing it up. one thing I do love about him is that he is in LeBron’s head somehow, their career head to head record always amazes me.

    but Amare and Baron I’ve pretty much always rooted for, and Chandler is the kind of guy you love the second he’s on your team.

    funny quote from a Baron/Rick Carlisle verbal altercation last year:

    “He started cussing me out,” Davis said. “I told him, ‘Go have some lunch.’”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4673887/rick-carlisle-vs-baron-davis-awesome

  52. Thomas B.

    So does anyone really think that Baron Davis is capable of dunking on anyone that way these days? He hasn’t been a strong player since 07-08.

    He had a bad knee from the start, now 12 years later at 32 he has a bad back. Can someone tell me a player that overcame a bulging disc after 30 to have a strong career? The only one I can think of was Larry Johnson. And Larry had to completely change his game to make that work. Enough of the bad, on to the good.

    The good is that it is better than overpaying JJ Barera. Yeah that’s it.

  53. rohank

    @66 RE: Bulging disc

    Everywhere I look for treatment and prognosis for bulging discs, the answer seems to be rest and anti-inflammatory drugs and pain drugs, with rest usually lasting “several weeks”. That sounds less than 8-10. ALSO, usually this happens to elderly patients, so for a professional basketball player who is young and for whom this is his SOLE worry, it should almost certainly be less than that. Plus he’s had it for a little while already. Without looking at it or knowing specific symptoms etc., I’d estimate that he’ll be ready by mid-January.

  54. KnickFanInCelticLand

    Yes, a herniated disc is a bulging disc. The distinction is herniated versus ruptured disc. A herniated one is like that old basketball with the “bubble sticking out of one side. Rupted is when the ball goes flat. Herniated discs also respond to cortisone or sclerosing agent injection therapy. Baron could help himself by watching his diet as extra weight around the gut is a risk factor for this condition. I am sure the rehab staff will work on strategic isometric strenthening, maybe some proprocetive neuromuscular stetches as well as some of the treatments mentioned earlier in this thread. Surgery is mostly indicated if the disc ruptures which should not be this case.

  55. daJudge

    Appreciate the response Jon and I kind of know what you mean about Melo. He’s not that spontaneous and unfortunately smiles a lot like Zeke. He also went to Curse, I mean ‘Cuse. But he’s a young man and I will suspend judgement on his rootability for now. Grew up tough and dad died early. No excuse, but it takes time to learn how to be a man, especially when you’ve been the man since 2. Loved his passing yesterday btw.

  56. KnickFanInCelticLand

    Rohank,

    It looks like Mayo likes to make a distinction between the two with different nomenclature. Other health institutions call them grade 1 and grade 2 herniations. The treatments remain virtually the same for both.

  57. latke

    ess-dog: It has only been one pre-season game, but I think it’s clear that Fields is better off at the 3.

    SeeWhyDee77: Also..Fields will have more freedom to do his thing on that 2nd unit.

    @ess dog — The problem here is that much of the love Fields gets is due to his rebounding. Last season, he was 1st by nearly 2 rebounds/48 among shooting guards. If he was at the 3, he’d be third. That’s still good, but because that is his one elite skill (or one of two if you count shot selection/TS%), the drop is critical to his overall value.

    This is why it sort of weirded me out that Fields decided to bulk up over the summer. What he really needed to work on was his agility.

    @ SeeWhyDee — Have to disagree here. The problem is that Fields is incapable of doing more with the ball. The only way Fields makes sense is as a 5th option in a lineup loaded with scorers. My guess is he’d have an even tougher time as a backup. He really needs to develop a second option in terms of scoring. Right now, if he gets run off his spot, he gives up. If he could just get comfortable/efficient giving a headfake and stepping in for an open 20 footer, it would make it a lot more difficult for defenses to recover to him.

    SeeWhyDee77: At some point Shump will be the starting 2..it’s inevitable.

    In the tiny sample we have, Shumpert looks like he’ll be a decent 2 way player. To be more than just a starter though (i.e. a borderline all-star type) he’ll have to really work on his shot selection.

  58. yoda4554

    You all are aware that Chauncey Billups at his best (as recently as two seasons ago) was one of the best all-around players in basketball, due to his incredibly efficient scoring and athletic, intelligent defense, and that the only reason he is no longer one of the best all-around players is that his age has made him not quite healthy enough to play consistently or fast enough to be a top-level defender?

    You are all also aware that Baron Davis has taken ten bad shots a game every game of his entire twelve years in the NBA, no matter how many better scorers he had on his team, has played 65 games in all of three seasons with since he was 22, and hasn’t played good defense in at least four years?

    Look, you could do a lot worse for what we’re paying him. And if D’Antoni gets it through Davis’s head that his job is to throw lobs and run p-and-rs–the only thing he’s good at anymore–and that at the moment he thinks about putting up a shot other than a lay-up or a wide-open jumper he sits–then yes, this actually might be a hell of a good team that can seriously contend.

    But if he plays, you know, like he’s always played everywhere else, he makes our offense much worse and probably doesn’t help our defense. We might start seeing him and ‘Melo engage in nightly off-balance-twenty-footer contests as Amar’e struggles to find his way to the basket in a sluggish half-court game, while the other team plays 5-on-Tyson-Chandler on the other side of the court. We might see D’Antoni continuing to throw Davis out on the court for the same reason he did Duhon–because he’s the only true point we have–leading to losses and clashing egos between the half a dozen stubborn personalities on this team, which the NY media will delightfully stoke until people start getting fired and traded.

    It’s lucky we’re in the East, because even in the latter case I can’t imagine us falling out of the playoffs. We should have a formula by then that works. But this…

  59. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Like I said, I think the Davis move is a good one, but I do agree that Davis and Billups have little in common, basketball IQ-wise. Davis really is like Marbury. But a player like Marbury, if they’re motivated and willing to take a smaller role on the team, really is helpful, especially for $2.5 million.

  60. Thomas B.

    I have noticed this:

    Nobody who supports the move can speak about Davis very long without using the word “if.”

    If he is motivated.
    If he is in shape.
    If his back is okay.

    Wow the crop of available points must have been really bad for folks to be happy get Baron Davif.

  61. Z

    jon abbey:
    basically I think that his dreadful (non-) performance in the playoffs is representative of his true talent level. again, I hope he proves me wrong.

    I have to say, I really don’t understand you sudden dislike of Fields. He was truly terrible in the playoffs, but why is 4 games against Boston a better representative of his true talent level than the first fifty games of the regular season, when he was really, really good? It just doesn’t make sense to be down on Fields after 1 preseason performance, especially coming from a guy who wrote this during that game:

    jon abbey:
    stop drawing conclusions from 1/2 of one preseason game. it’s going to take a month or two of regular season play (at least) before we have an idea of what we’ve really got here.

  62. massive

    Having Baron Davis should make Landry Fields more comfortable. He’s the kind of ball-handler and passer that can maximize Landry cutting to the basket and draw enough attention to get him open in the corner for 3. Hopefully we get the good Baron to help us get deep into the playoffs. We’ll be a dangerous team, and we’re already in LeBron’s head with Melo. I can’t wait for the season to start.

  63. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I have noticed this:

    Nobody who supports the move can speak about Davis very long without using the word “if.”

    If he is motivated.
    If he is in shape.
    If his back is okay.

    Wow the crop of available points must have been really bad for folks to be happy get Baron Davif.

    Exactly, Thomas. Davis is just the best of an awful batch of options. And he does have upside, which some of the other guys do not.

  64. Z

    jon abbey:
    I think the Marbury analogy is a bad one is that Baron is much smarter, Marbury was always an idiot who turned increasingly insane towards the end (I have never seen a player on a NBA bench look more like a homeless person on the subway who won’t shut up). Davis has always struck me as a smart guy (like Billups), hopefully his body holds up.

    This I agree with 100%.

    I was lamenting the loss of Turiaf, who’s personality can never be replaced. But Davis is very charismatic, and like you said, very smart too. I get that he’s been tagged with motivational issues, but I think that comes from the odd situation he found himself in with the Clippers. He wanted to go to LA and start a production company with Elton Brand. He was the FIRST free agent the Clippers have ever successfully recruited. I’m sure they worked hard on him, saying the pieces were in place to contend. Then, out of nowhere, Brand runs off to Philadelphia and Baron was stuck playing for a horrible franchise with disgruntled fans and it just wore off on him. That’s my best guess, as he really is not at all like Marbury from the neck up.

  65. jon abbey

    Z: I have to say, I really don’t understand you sudden dislike of Fields. He was truly terrible in the playoffs, but why is 4 games against Boston a better representative of his true talent level than the first fifty games of the regular season, when he was really, really good? It just doesn’t make sense to be down on Fields after 1 preseason performance, especially coming from a guy who wrote this during that game:

    you’re right to call me out on that, but it really is something that was building over the second half of last season culminating in the playoffs. his major strength was that he was a very good rebounder for a guard, but now that we have a much better rebounding frontline, that’s less necessary. I’m just not really a believer and I think that once Davis is available, we’ll have better options. I wouldn’t mind him as a bench player, but I’ll be very happy when he’s not starting anymore.

  66. bobneptune

    Spree8nyk8:
    I love the pick up but for the love of god we’ve seen Toney play one preseason game so far.We have a soft first ten games of the season.Toney should get a shot at the job first.Don’t be so quick to judge Toney.

    we’ve watched him for 2 seasons. he’s a fine back up 2 and an excellent 3 point shooter. he lacks quintessential point guard/distributor skills.

    i want to know who was shumpert’s workout guru. he was flashing guns that would have made nate thurmond proud.

  67. dmull

    The only thing I don’t like here is that the PG position has become a muddled mess. As has been noted repeatedly, toss B-Diddy’s stats. Is he a chucker? He can be. Is he temperamental? Absolutely. Is he a fine player when motivated and in rhythm? No doubt about it.

    How many good seasons does he have left? Who knows. Who cares?

    The two month injury might be a blessing in disguise…even less time for him to find something to whine about…

    Again, the only issue I have is that it could really muddle the whole position. Bottom line is this, if he comes in and plays nearly as well as he is capable our lineup just looks a whole lot more deadly and will be a more serious contender come playoff time…if not in actuality, at least on paper. I know that doesn’t matter much, but it does mean a little at least…hard to complain about signing ANYONE to a 1-year deal. When it’s a guy as talented as B-Diddy…just take a cue from Bob Marley…

  68. jon abbey

    I think it does the opposite, it takes a very muddled position and makes it really clear. Baron is the starter, Bibby is the backup. Toney is an undersized SG, not a PG.

  69. JK47

    What would everyone here say if we were offered the chance to bring back Ray Felton on a one-year deal for $2.5M? You’d all say that was a pretty good deal, right? Well, unless Baron Davis’ back injury seriously slows him down, we are essentially getting exactly that– Baron is VERY similar to Ray Felton.

    Height
    Baron: 6’3″
    Ray: 6’1″

    Midsection
    Baron: flabby
    Ray: flabby

    TS%, career
    Baron: .502
    Ray: .499

    AST%, career
    Baron: 36.3
    Ray: 32.0

    TOV%, career
    Baron: 14.5
    Ray: 16.1

    USG%, career
    Baron: 24.7
    Ray: 21.2

    Just last year, when Baron Davis was supposedly unmotivated and awful, he bested Ray Felton in assist percentage and turnover percentage. He slightly trailed Felton last season in WS/48 mainly because of Felton’s edge in TS%, but they were close– Felton at .094 to Davis’ .081.

    The way I see it, they are very similar players.

  70. nicos

    JK47:

    Just last year, when Baron Davis was supposedly unmotivated and awful, he bested Ray Felton in assist percentage and turnover percentage.He slightly trailed Felton last season in WS/48 mainly because of Felton’s edge in TS%, but they were close– Felton at .094 to Davis’ .081.

    The way I see it, they are very similar players.

    Point taken but one difference between Felton and BD is that with Davis you do risk him becoming the same lazy malcontent he was his three years with the Clippers if he becomes unhappy. While he’s not quite Eddy Curry he’s not exactly the guy I’d want mentoring TD and Shumpert.

    Also last year the corpse of Mike Bibby still managed a win score of .085 and put up a .104 the year before when BD put up .086 (though I do think BD has more left in the tank than Bibby).

  71. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Marbury has got to be the comparison. He and Davis are nearly identical, except Marbury was a better shooter.

    Look at Marbury and Davis’ comparison:

    Height
    Baron: 6’3″
    Marbury: 6’2″

    Thought he should take the big shot every game?
    Baron: yes
    Marbury: yes (remember the All Star Game where Marbury hit the game-winning three? He was probably the only person in the building who thought he should be the one taking that shot)

    Shots taken per game, career:
    Baron: 15.1
    Marbury: 15.7

    TS%, career
    Baron: .502
    Marbury: .528

    AST%, career
    Baron: 36.3
    Marbury: 36.1

    TOV%, career
    Baron: 14.5
    Marbury: 14.2

    USG%, career
    Baron: 24.7
    Marbury: 25,4

    Usage rate, career:
    Baron: 24.7
    Marbury: 25.1

    Rebound rate, career:
    Baron: 6.3
    Marbury: 7.1

    Look at those numbers! They’re practically identical!

    While Davis was obviously the better defender (early in his career, that is – since his injuries, he’s no longer a good defender), you don’t get much more similar on offense than Stephon Marbury and Baron Davis. And I think it isn’t a problem. If Stephon Marbury were to join the Knicks at the same state of his career as Baron Davis currently is in and was willing to take a smaller role in the offense, he’d be worth $2.5 million, too.

  72. Ben R

    I don’t care for Baron he overdribbles and always wants to be the one making the play. The best offenses move the ball, they have constant ball and player movement but that’s not how Baron plays. He doesn’t like to just move the ball around he likes to get assists and will hold the ball and dribble as the offense stagnates waiting for an opportunity to make a great pass.

    For the minimum I can live with Baron as long as he is taking Bibby’s minutes and not Toney’s. Toney is not a pure point but if given the chance and time he will get better. He is a plus defender, a good rebounder and a good scorer. The passing will get there. Besides I don’t want our point guard dominating the ball making tons of plays, the ball needs to move. On top of that we have two highly paid players who should have the ball in their hands a lot more than a 3rd year combo guard or one of two over the hill PGs with defensive issues.

    On a side note Balkman needs to play 15-20 minutes he is better than Walker, Jeffries, Jorts, Jordan. He has played well everytime he has gotten a serious chance.

  73. Frank

    Since it’s the holiday season, this is what I think about all you nay-sayers out there – stop looking at our gift horse in the mouth! Or maybe – beggars can’t be choosers. SERIOUSLY.

    Do we really think Toney Douglas is the answer at PG for a championship team? I’m reserving judgment but nothing he has done makes me feel COMFORTABLE that he’s the guy. Maybe he’ll grow into it. Or maybe Melo will be good enough at point-forwarding that Toney can be a young Derek Fisher to Melo’s Kobe. Trouble is, we don’t know, and if we polled 50 basketball people probably 45 of them would say he’s not a real point guard. He’s Bobby Jackson 2.0:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=douglto01&y1=2011&p2=jacksbo01&y2=2005

    Baron’s out for a month. That’ll give him time to watch film, learn the system, and get himself healthy and back in shape. But also – it’ll give Toney a chance to show us what he can do. I think there’s almost zero chance that Toney shows us enough that Baron doesn’t start within 2 weeks of being activated, but we’ll need this evaluation time to decide what to do next year — are we going all in with Toney and using our exceptions on frontcourt depth, or are we going to chase Nash for 1 or 2 years, or someone like Sessions.

    Last thing about Baron and Marbury. On offense maybe they’re similar, although I think Baron is a better passer. Whatever. But on defense, Baron is a lockdown defender even at this stage in his career (he’s only 32), and given our sudden depth at the PG position he won’t need to play 36 minutes/game.

    If by March Toney can give us 15 competent PG minutes and 15 competent SG-type minutes, while Baron gives us 25 PG minutes and Bibby the rest, I’ll be very happy. Will keep everyone fresh and maybe give us the best of what these guys are capable of.

    Meanwhile, I’m like jonabbey – not a Fields believer. Hopefully he proves us both wrong.

  74. Z-man

    Good analysis, Frank. I would disagree on whether Baron is a “lockdown” defender, especially against the likes of Rose, Wall, etc., but he is definitely a plus defender.

    Re: Fields, I think that we sometimes underestimate the mental side of the game. Landry is a guy that wasn’t in the top 100 in the draft on most prognostications besides Berri. His success in the first 2/3 of last year was based his ability to adapt to a role: a big, hi-rebounding, low-volume efficient 2 guard.

    However, he now has a different role, one that absolutley requires hitting the open 3 with regularity. In the preseason game, he missed several open looks. That will get better because Landry will work at it tirelessly, same way David Lee improved first his FT shooting and then his range. Landry may never be a top defender at either the 2 or the 3, (as Lee is neither at the 4 or the 5) but to conclude that he will always suck because he got torched by one of the most savvy 2’s of all time as a rookie in the playoffs totally dismisses both the value of hard work and intellect, and the value of experience. I am confident that he will improve, find his new niche, and be a very valuable role player for us at 20-30 mpg.

  75. bobneptune

    Z-man:
    Good analysis, Frank.I would disagree on whether Baron is a “lockdown” defender, especially against the likes of Rose, Wall, etc., but he is definitely a plus defender.

    Re: Fields, I think that we sometimes underestimate the mental side of the game.Landry is a guy that wasn’t in the top 100 in the draft on most prognostications besides Berri. His success in the first 2/3 of last year was based his ability to adapt to a role: a big, hi-rebounding, low-volume efficient 2 guard.

    However, he now has a different role, one that absolutley requires hitting the open 3 with regularity.In the preseason game, he missed several open looks.That will get better because Landry will work at it tirelessly, same way David Lee improved first his FT shooting and then his range.Landry may never be a top defender at either the 2 or the 3, (as Lee is neither at the 4 or the 5) but to conclude that he will always suck because he got torched by one of the most savvy 2?s of all time as a rookie in the playoffs totally dismisses both the value of hard work and intellect, and the value of experience.I am confident that he will improve, find his new niche, and be a very valuable role player for us at 20-30 mpg.

    as much of a feel good story as fields was last season , the fact of the matter is he isn’t a starting level player an an nba team with playoff aspirations.

    he has 2 nba level skill for a 2 guard as he is a plus rebounder and a capable spot up 3 point shooter. he doesn’t shoot off the dribble, penetrate, create his own shot, create mismatches or defend at a plus level for a 2 guard and most of them at a minus level.

    he’s a nice career back up who doesn’t shoot himself in the foot, but if he is playing anywhere near 31 minutes a game, the knicks are in deep do-do.

    shumpert will be starting and getting the major minutes at the 2 by the…

  76. massive

    I’m pretty sure Landry Fields can start on a playoff team if Derrick Fisher was a starter on a team that won championships.

  77. Z-man

    @94 Saying he doesn’t, and saying he will not be able to, are two different things. A good comparison for me is Shane Battier, who has made himself into a better player over time. Fields and Battier had similar rookie seasons, Battier better on D and slightly on passing, Fields the much better rebounder and more efficient shooter. Battier could start on a playoff team in the right role, and may be a pivotal playerfor the Heat. Why are you so sure that Fields can’t develop in this way? It’s not like he isn’t athletic enough or has a low b-ball IQ.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=battish01&y1=2002&p2=fieldla01&y2=2011

  78. bobneptune

    massive:
    I’m pretty sure Landry Fields can start on a playoff team if Derrick Fisher was a starter on a team that won championships.

    yeah and kurt rambis can start on an nba championship if you surround him with magic, kareem , worthy et al. I don’t see those guys on this roster.

    my point being even though he was drafted by the beloved knicks, he is a way below average starting nba 2 guard. just like TD is a way below average nba starting point guard.

    that is why knick management obsessed over a losing player like jamal crawford and practically fellated him to get him to sign and have been raking the garbage cans for bibby and a crippled davis.

  79. jon abbey

    massive:
    I’m pretty sure Landry Fields can start on a playoff team if Derrick Fisher was a starter on a team that won championships.

    Derek Fisher is a really underrated player over the course of his career, and even in recent years he was a guard version of Robert Horry, seemingly saving all his baskets for the biggest occasions.

  80. The Surprisingly yet Cautiously Optimistic C. J., #1 Gentleman

    Derek Fisher is a really underrated player over the course of his career, and even in recent years he was a guard version of Robert Horry, seemingly saving all his baskets for the biggest occasions.

    No he’s not. ’09 playoffs: 8.5 PER, .068 WS/48, TS% .50, and so on. He played with some of the league’s best players in a system that doesn’t require stellar point guard play. How could you possible think he’s overrated? If they had even an average point guard, there would be no reason for late-game heroics. How does this not make sense, Jon Abbey?

  81. bobneptune

    Z-man:
    @94 Saying he doesn’t, and saying he will not be able to, are two different things. A good comparison for me is Shane Battier, who has made himself into a better player over time.Fields and Battier had similar rookie seasons, Battier better on D and slightly on passing, Fields the much better rebounder and more efficient shooter.Battier could start on a playoff team in the right role, and may be a pivotal playerfor the Heat. Why are you so sure that Fields can’t develop in this way? It’s not like he isn’t athletic enough or has a low b-ball IQ.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=battish01&y1=2002&p2=fieldla01&y2=2011

    i would agree that battier and fields might make a reasonable comparison although their games are different. battier sports a lifetime 13.2 per which makes him a below average nba player. That doesn’t mean he can’t be useful to the right team in the right spot, much like fields.

    you ask if he can’t improve. i don’t know, but he was a 4 year player in college and worked his balls off to get this far. his game isn’t predicated on great skill…. it is predicated on smarts and hustle which are great, but they will only take one so far.

    someone compared him to david lee. lee was a far better athlete. he was the mc donald’s high school slam dunk champ and had lift for a big white guy before he injured his ankles. he was a total non shooter who taught himself to shoot from distance as a pro. fields shot 39% from 3 this past year. do you thin he’s going to improve that to 45% for his career. i think not. is fields going to mysteriously going to pick up quickness? probably not.

  82. jon abbey

    The Surprisingly yet Cautiously Optimistic C. J., #1 Gentleman: No he’s not. ’09 playoffs: 8.5 PER, .068 WS/48, TS% .50, and so on. He played with some of the league’s best players in a system that doesn’t require stellar point guard play. How could you possible think he’s overrated? If they had even an average point guard, there would be no reason for late-game heroics. How does this not make sense, Jon Abbey?

    there’s so much you will never understand about hoops, and so many of the metrics that you rely on that I could give a shit about. there’s really no point in you and I debating anything.

  83. A Voice of Reason

    Landry Fields is a good problem to have. An efficient thinker from baseline to baseline, a quality that is severely underrated in the NBA, and a +rebounder for his position. The rebounding battle usually is won by the winning team, so these qualities are useful on a team with two immovable alphas. He is a +help defender, but lacks the quickness to be dominant in one on one situations against most of the league’s 2’s.

    I like the comparison to Battier in this regard: Battier’s career became solid when he began to shoot the 3 consistently. If Mr. Fields could develop a few spots on the floor (corner, wing, etc) where he is money with the jumper, he is an invaluable member of this starting unit. His IQ at his age is also very high, and he needs to begin cutting and spotting up more effectively, ala Rip Hamilton, who doesn’t historically hold the ball more than a few seconds before his shot attempt.

    There are ways to be a good player without all the tools, and I think that Mr. Fields is smart enough to sharpen the ones he has. With that said, the allure of having a defensive stalwart in the making at the starting 2 in the east is appealing, and if Mr. Shumpert plays well enough, he deserves to be there.

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