Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bucks 105, Knicks 95

New York Knicks 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Milwaukee Bucks

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Andrea Bargnani, PF 25 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -25

Yes, it’s an utterly flawed stat, but let’s saunter over to the poor ol’ plus/minus category and see what we…DEAR GOD. Yes, that’s a negative twenty-five. Yes, that’s entirely reflective of how badly the Knicks played when he was on the court, especially in the ongoing Michelson-Morley experiment that is the 4/5 pairing with Melo. There were some nifty post moves smattered hither and yonder, but those were mostly offset by the hilarity of watching him try to take Larry Sanders in the post, resulting in two consecutive turnovers He can’t be in the starting lineup this time on Wednesday. He just can’t (more on this in a jiffy).

Carmelo Anthony, SF 36 MIN | 8-23 FG | 4-7 FT | 9 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 22 PTS | -10

You know when you get your zipper snagged oand your face is curled into a little fist of desperate, inchoate rage as you pull and tear, zip and unzip, your fingers too big to dislodge the surrounding bit of fabric and so you just end up dumbly pulling the entire garment up over your body, lest another human being walk by and see you spastically trapped by a straightjacket of your own devising? Well, that was Melo’s evening in a nutshell. He seemed unsure of where to isolate (and when he did, to limited success), kvetched relentlessly about fouls that were and were not called. He did locate open ‘mates en route to seven assists, and the offense was so discombobulated as a whole, it’s hard to totally fault Melo, but tonight’s game brought back icky memories of last season’s winter of team-wide mediocrity.

Tyson Chandler, C 17 MIN | 3-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -12

Scant action tonight for Tyson, none of it particularly good. As we know all too well, outside of a PnR-centric offense, he tends to disappear. He also looked like a man trying to chase a pen full of agitated barnyard chickens, what with all the times that a Stag got past his original defender. After the game, he unleashed these pearls of wisdom:

Sounds like a great plan, Tyson. You’d probably have better luck to trying to teach Quantum Mechanics to a Pygmy Marmot Marmoset [h/t Seth at P&T, Lord and Protectorate of all hoops-wildlife references], but your heart’s in the right place, and hey, YOLO! Actually, if Tyson’s forced to scramble all season as much as he did tonight, he may suffer a stress-induced cerebral hemorrhage. So, you know, give it a try, but you do only live once.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 17 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -7

A slew of pest-astic moments, but he seems out of sorts working outside of the two-PG offense (yes, we’ll get there soon. I promise. Now stop fidgeting in the backseat or I’m turning this recap around and we’re all going home). I think some of his lackluster play can be ascribed to whatever illness or malady kept him out of Monday’s game — the Argentine Flu, perhaps? Early in the first quarter, he seemed to sort of limp/stagger off, with Clyde posting the notion that he was hurt. I dunno about you, but the though of a Prig-free ‘Bocker squad made me scurry down to my survival bunker and start busting out the survival seed packets and heavy armaments. Luckily, he returned later in the half, fresh as a daisy, smelling of unicorn farts and seducing ladies and gentlemen both with a devilish, insouciant twinkle in his eye.

Iman Shumpert, SG 29 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -18

Remember the media day quote where Shump expressed his distaste for his personal calling card, stating he’s only prone to perimeter thievery because he so desires the spheroid object, longing nothing more than to return in to the cylinder that is its natural resting place? (I may be paraphrasing a bit.) We got a few of those scintillating moments tonight, plus a nifty two handed putback and a couple of smooth jumpers off the bounce. And for all our fretting about his emotional state after yet another public tongue lashing from Woody, Coach is right: He overpursues like a fiend. OJ Mayo should probably send a sweet presentation gift basket for all of the unimpeded paths to the tin Shump’s overeager lurching provided.

Ike Diogu, PF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2

IKE DIOGU PRESEASON ANAGRAM: I OK. GUIDE

C.J. Leslie, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2

Wait, did C.J. play? Insert “He’s so skinny (How skinny is he?)…that when he stands sideways he gets counted absent,” joke here.

Metta World Peace, SF 22 MIN | 3-12 FG | 3-6 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +9

Nothing new under the sun. Some solid individual and team defense. A Smithian ropensity to pass up an easier shot in favor of an off-balance runner/fadeaway/ill-advised drive. Of course, his burgeoning friendship with Iman Shumpert is as heartwarming as mewling baby kittens and as terrifying as those self-same cats, now fully grown, in heat, hissing and trying to claw your eyes out.

Cole Aldrich, C 14 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +20

I guess it was Cole’s turn to spin the backup-big-who-might-make-the-roster-assuming-Murry-and-Tyler-have-assured-themselves-of-making-the-roster wheel. And hey (Larry David voice), he looked prettttty good, pretttttty good. He’s still got moves around the basket that look like he’s just a relatively tall bit actor from Hoosiers and/or Glory Road (the goofy fumble of a pick and roll feed from Urdih, only to grab what appeared to be a well-lubricated pig in lieu of a leather ball, followed by a bricked dunk being Exhibit A), but he snaggled more than his share of offensive rebounds and actually provided a presence in the middle as opposed to what occurred when Tyson was sitting on the bench working on his scrapbooking and the large Italian fellow played the position with all the grace, speed, purpose, and effectiveness of a 50-lb wheel of finely-aged Parmesan cheese.

Beno Udrih, PG 31 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -3

Such a chucker. And yet another Knick that seems to think a 15-20 footer is the absolute bees-knees, shot selection wise. When they go in, great, but it’s worth noting that Indiana and Chicago led the league in encouraging said midrange shots. You know, the best defenses in all the land. an

Toure’ Murry, SG 13 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -4

Despite the Knickerbockers attempt to build themselves yet another point out two-guard parts they pilfered from various graves, (See Shumpert, Iman) Toure’s not a floor general. His handle’s too wobbly and really thinks creating means “find a lane for an improbable floater.” His defensive instincts are solid, but he’s still learning how to react to the speed of an NBA game. That said, if the Knicks sacrifice him at the alter of CAA or brotherly love or some shady, under-the-table/Devil’s agreement with the mafia clan that is the Smith family, we’re all gonna throw a major league hissy fit.

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 34 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +4

Looks like opposing teams (or at least the Bucks) popped a couple of tapes from the previous couple of games into their Betamax. They were closing a lot quicker on Timmy Jr., so it was neat to see him look to drive on a few occasions. There’s a lot to like here, especially when he’s surrounded by actual rotation players — he’s definitely got the athleticism to be a solid finisher, he gets in a good, low crouch on defense (though his lateral movement isn’t the greatest), and he’s a hellion on the break.

Five Things We Saw

  1. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m running out of “It’s only preseason…” smiley-face stickers to plaster over what is becoming a permanent sour expression. Granted, last year ’round this same time, we were similarly fretting about the rotation and how all these disparate, ill-fitting pieces could ever possibly work together once they finally recovered from injuries and maladies ranging from “nagging” to “needs a trip to Lourdes.”
  2. So yeah, that turned out relatively well. But tonight, the offense once again looked brackishly stagnant. There werew wayyyyyy too many isolation sets for Melo (7 dimes notwithstanding) and very few moments when the ball rotated from the strong to the weak side. The defense remains an ongoing mystery. They were absolutely torched by Mayo, Butler, Ridnour, et al, and it didn’t even look particularly difficult. One pass or half-decent screen and the Milwaukeeans had a wide open look — both on the perimeter and in the paint. Hell, at times it seems that the goal of all the switching and unecessary doubling is to encourage open threes. Part of it is certainly due to the lack of familiarity with Woodson’s system, which if it’s going to work, requires at lot of moving parts to be in harmony. That’s clearly not the case right now. A set rotation would certainly help a ton, but this Rube Goldberg device isn’t going to be made whole till we know who’s the mouse eating the cheese and who’s the little metal ball that the bobbing-head duck bonks into the cup.
  3. I get wanting to experiment with a big lineup (even if it’s really just a tall lineup). But all of this feels like a dumb overreaction to what happened in Nap Town in the playoffs (like an extended sooper-stoopid to start Martin in game 4). There’s an old line about “generals are always preparing to fight the last war, instead of preparing for the new, different one that is yet to come.” The Knicks found an identity last year. Now’s the time when they should be building on that. You have a top 5-ish offense and a defense that’s going to drive a sturdy man/woman to drink/put a lot of dents in rich mahogany desks. That’s okay. There’s something to be said for trying to cobble together a more balanced unit, but they’re risking robbing Peter absolutely blind in order to toss a spare nickel into homeless Paul’s sad, bedraggled hands as they clutch a disposable coffee cup. Please, Son of Wood. You did say you could go back to the two PG lineup if need be. Well, it really, RILLY needs be. This (whatever ‘this’ is supposed to be) isn’t working. Start with Prigs-Felt-Shump-Melo-Tyson. I don’t care if STAT and Bargs have overlapping skill sets. You have no idea how often the latter’s going to be able to suit up, no matter how many times he says his balsa wood knees feel ‘great’ (and it’s not like Bargs has been the bastion of health either). Please?
  4. So in the midst of all this hand-wringing, I have yet another concern, if slightly less grave. Woody’s beard. I fear that it has become self-aware and is trying to devour the rest of his head.
  5. And that’ll do it. One more preview and then this wobbly theatrical construct opens on Broadway. And if you’re really upset about this game (like I was), read this article about Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’ll put all of this First World Problems ish to rest, tout suite.

    Until Friday, then. Go Knicks!

120 comments on “Bucks 105, Knicks 95

  1. Frank

    I laughed also when watching Bargs try to take LARRY SANDERS! into the post. Someone should get in Andrea’s ear and tell him his value on this team especially at the C position is GETTING LARRY SANDERS!!! out of the paint. NOT trying to post up maybe the best interior defender in the league. That was painful to watch.

  2. thenamestsam

    I still think it’s way too early to worry about the starting lineup/rotation choices. It’s the preseason for goodness sake. Nobody has gotten hurt, some of the fringe roster guys have looked pretty good, and we haven’t given any roster spots to sub D-league level talent purely for the sake of nepotism (yet). That’s a successful preseason. Once the real games start we’ll start to feel out the rotation, but getting panicky about who is and isn’t starting in Game -2 is a bit silly. We really need the real games to start.

    Also apropos of nothing, but it warmed my heart a little bit to see clips of Greg Oden back on the court last night. Not too many guys have had a rougher go of it than him and it’s pretty cool that he made it back, even if only for a few preseason minutes. I hope he gets a few moments in the sun, and I hope that when he’s done he gets to go out on his own terms.

  3. d-mar

    I can’t get too worked up about anything that happens in preseason. TH Jr. is not playing 34 minutes in a regular season game, and 14 minutes for Aldrich is 14 more than he will see in any game without garbage time.

    Now if they lose to that crappy Bucks team next Wed., then it’s time to be concerned.

  4. gransoporro

    Just to be precise, Parmigiano Reggiano wheels have to be between 24kg and 40kg (53 and 88 pounds, respectively), and the most common format is 38.5Kg (85 pounds). So if it is a 50-lbs wheel of cheese it is not Parmigiano Reggiano. After all, Bargnani is from Rome… Other cheeses.

  5. JK47

    So far I don’t see a lot of Bargnani in this “new role” that’s supposed to make him a passable NBA player. He looks like the same old shitty Andrea Bargnani to me.

  6. ruruland

    FWIW, AB with a 55.5 TS on 63.6 assisted baskets in preseason (85 percent of AB’s baskets assisted with Melo in game).

  7. er

    ruruland:
    FWIW, AB with a 55.5 TS on 63.6 assisted baskets in preseason (85 percent of AB’s baskets assisted with Melo in game).

    the only thing i need him to do better is to make quicker decisions and hit the open Js with more consistency

  8. ruruland

    I think in this offense Bargs with the kind of looks he’ll get AB needs to be around Copeland’s efficiency last year (580) to be effective.

    He’s done a great job of getting to the basket/fouled, and inside 15 feet he’s deadly.

    It’s those unnecessary 16-23 foot shots he needs to cut down on quite a bit (even though he’s above average at them). They accounted for 40 percent of his attempts the last two years.

    For example, less than 25 percent of Melo’s shots came in that range last year.

  9. lavor postell

    ruruland:
    I think in this offense Bargs with the kind of looks he’ll get AB needs to be around Copeland’s efficiency last year (580) to be effective.

    He’s done a great job of getting to the basket/fouled, and inside 15 feet he’s deadly.

    It’s those unnecessary 16-23 foot shots he needs to cut down on quite a bit (even though he’s above average at them). They accounted for 40 percent of his attempts the last two years.

    For example, less than 25 percent of Melo’s shots came in that range last year.

    If he were to shift those attempts down to say maybe 25% of his overall attempts all into threes, even in his shitty current shooting form what would his TS% go up too?

  10. ruruland

    lavor postell: If he were to shift those attempts down to say maybe 25% of his overall attempts all into threes, even in his shitty current shooting form what would his TS% go up too?

    It’ll take me a bit to come up with that. It depends on what he replaces it with. In theory, he should be able to increase his 3-pt shots and assisted rim attempts — we’ve seen the latter in preseason but not the former.

    What’s really encouraging about his performance in the preseason is his assisted basket percentages with the first unit. We’ve seen very little isolating with Melo in the game.

    I really think with Bargs’ ability to create contact he can make it to that 57-58 TS range, perhaps above if he shots it well.

    When he had a 56 TS in 2009, only 27.6 percent of his shots were from 16-23 feet and 70 percent of his inside shots were assisted — he can better those numbers in Melo lineups.

    In 2009 he posted a 56 TS despite down years in the 3-9/10-15 foot shot ranges.

    At that point he’ll definitely be a better player than Copeland or Novak.

    Anything around league average and he’s probably hurting you.

  11. ruruland

    I forgot to mention, in the preseason AB has a James Harden-like FTR of .509, which is outstanding, allowing him to post a solid TS despite shooting quite poorly.

    Most of those free throws have come attacking close-outs, which is what a lot of us envisioned he would do in a different role. It’s a great indicator.

    AB’s career best in FTR was .36. Melo’s career high is .43. Durant’s career high is .53. Harden has posted .59 and .6 the last two years (SMDH).

  12. Frank O.

    It is hard to read much into the preseason. The Knicks are testing out several new parts.
    Winning preseason games is not that important. Sucky teams focus on winning preseason games because they are trying to build confidence because they have sucked. Teams that have won their division aren’t trying to build confidence; they’re learning about new pieces and developing familiarity and continuity.
    When Melo and Tyson, Felton and Shump, and JR and MWP are up to their 30 minutes plus, and Amare and Bargs and Prigs and Hardaway are getting their 10 20 plus minutes, this team will start to hum.

  13. lavor postell

    ruruland: It’ll take me a bit to come up with that. It depends on what he replaces it with. In theory, he should be able to increase his 3-pt shots and assisted rim attempts — we’ve seen the latter in preseason but not the former.

    What’s really encouraging about his performance in the preseason is his assisted basket percentages with the first unit. We’ve seen very little isolating with Melo in the game.

    I really think with Bargs’ ability to create contact he can make it to that 57-58 TS range, perhaps above if he shots it well.

    When he had a 56 TS in 2009, only 27.6 percent of his shots were from 16-23 feet and 70 percent of his inside shots were assisted — he can better those numbers in Melo lineups.

    In 2009 he posted a 56 TS despite down years in the 3-9/10-15 foot shot ranges.

    At that point he’ll definitely be a better player than Copeland or Novak.

    Anything around league average and he’s probably hurting you.

    Interesting. I’ve had hope for Bargs since his arrival, but the pressure is really going to build on him if his jump shot doesn’t come around. If he can hit at a league average rate from 3 that would be massive for the team’s success.

  14. ruruland

    Robert Silverman: Yep, he can score. Rebound, defend…not so much.

    The only question that matters to me is can he replicate Copeland’s efficiency on offense? He’s a better rebounder and defender than Copeland/Novak (clearly), and will play Copeland’s role/position on this team.

    He’s only useful as a center if he can force an opposing rim protector out of the game. Larry Sanders is probably too mobile for that.

    Otherwise he’ll be playing in the same position Copeland played in basically all of the same lineups.

    Really, the Knicks have replaced Copeland and Novak with Bargnani and MWP.

  15. ruruland

    lavor postell: Interesting.I’ve had hope for Bargs since his arrival, but the pressure is really going to build on him if his jump shot doesn’t come around.If he can hit at a league average rate from 3 that would be massive for the team’s success.

    There will be so many different lineups the Knicks can use if AB is a lemon.

    It’s really a no-lose situation if they can stay somewhat healthy.

    Woodson has eventually pulled the plug on every player that’s struggled, including Kidd.

    I think AB will get a lengthy trial run, but Woodson won’t force feed him with so many options… He has his own job security to worry about.

  16. DRed

    If Bargs plays like I expect he will, I think Woody will have no choice but to eventually bench him. Or Bargs will get hurt. But what annoys me to no end is that Woody seems to think Bargs deserves a trial run. He’s sucked his whole career. Now, it’s certainly possible that something about the Knicks will make him better-be it the system, the players, the coaching-whatever. But wouldn’t it make sense to start him out nailed to the bench?

  17. Robert Silverman Post author

    ruruland: The only question that matters to me is can he replicate Copeland’s efficiency on offense? He’s a better rebounder and defender than Copeland/Novak (clearly), and will play Copeland’s role/position on this team.

    He’s only useful as a center if he can force an opposing rim protector out of the game. Larry Sanders is probably too mobile for that.

    Otherwise he’ll be playing in the same position Copeland played in basically all of the same lineups.

    Really, the Knicks have replaced Copeland and Novak with Bargnani and MWP.

    Yeah, but we weren’t counting on Cope/Novak to play 25+ mpg. Or start. That’s my issue. If he was playing the Novak/Cope role off the bench, that’d be one thing, but despite he and Melo finding some synergy (and the lineup may change as soon as tomorrow night), but force-feeding him into a prominent role seems like a bad, bad idea.

  18. ruruland

    DRed:
    If Bargs plays like I expect he will, I think Woody will have no choice but to eventually bench him.Or Bargs will get hurt.But what annoys me to no end is that Woody seems to think Bargs deserves a trial run.He’s sucked his whole career.Now, it’s certainly possible that something about the Knicks will make him better-be it the system, the players, the coaching-whatever.But wouldn’t it make sense to start him out nailed to the bench?

    C’mon. The guy is really talented. 7-footers that can defend the post relatively well, stretch the floor/knock down open 3s, attack close-outs, get to the line and create their own shots off the dribble and in the post are pretty rare.

    If he reaches his potential, which means playing very efficient offense (his presence should help the offense) and adequate defense (granted at this point seems a somewhat unlikely prospect) he becomes a very good player, representing a significant upgrade over Novak and Copeland.

    With the Knicks resources, he was the best upside they could get.

  19. er

    Robert Silverman: Yeah, but we weren’t counting on Cope/Novak to play 25+ mpg. Or start. That’s my issue. If he was playing the Novak/Cope role off the bench, that’d be one thing, but despite he and Melo finding some synergy (and the lineup may change as soon as tomorrow night),but force-feeding him into a prominent role seems like a bad, bad idea.

    are you sure about that mpg? I recall Novak finishing with about 15-20 mpg last year

  20. er

    Robert Silverman: Yeah, but we weren’t counting on Cope/Novak to play 25+ mpg. Or start. That’s my issue. If he was playing the Novak/Cope role off the bench, that’d be one thing, but despite he and Melo finding some synergy (and the lineup may change as soon as tomorrow night),but force-feeding him into a prominent role seems like a bad, bad idea.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/n/novakst01.html

    yep 20 mpg for novak in 81 games

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/copelch01.html

    copeland 15mpg for 56 games

  21. ruruland

    Robert Silverman: Yeah, but we weren’t counting on Cope/Novak to play 25+ mpg. Or start. That’s my issue. If he was playing the Novak/Cope role off the bench, that’d be one thing, but despite he and Melo finding some synergy (and the lineup may change as soon as tomorrow night),but force-feeding him into a prominent role seems like a bad, bad idea.

    I think the idea is that Bargnani would be best served playing a complimentary role to Melo and Chandler. His versatility in the pick and roll could really enhance the Knicks most used play from last season. You also want him playing the 4 on defense with Chandler.

    Bargs off the bench seems all too similar to his situation in Toronto, and it doesn’t work when he’s the focal point of the offense.

    To me, he, JR and STAT fighting for the dominant role off the bench is a really bad idea.

    The Nuggets used a lot of these starter-in-name only lineups over the years with Melo. The Knicks used them last year with Brewer and White. I think AB will get more burn than those guys, but somewhat similar idea.

    MWP/Shump/Jr are the guys who’ll finish the game.

  22. massive

    I just need Bargs to get 6 boards. The whole 1 rebound in 20+ minutes is alarming. That’s not what we need. I do wonder if there is a +/- stat for rebounding though. I don’t see how he affects the glass other than negatively, but it’s worth a shot to see how many more possessions the Knicks gain or lose when he’s on the court.

  23. ruruland

    The Knicks rebound rate dropped by 2.2 percent with Novak in the game. It dropped by .2 percent with Copeland.

    Last year, both players posted rebound rates lower than AB’s career low.

  24. stratomatic

    Naturally, you are going to want Bargnani to be as efficient as possible. But the major problem with Bargnani has never really been his TS%. The problem is that he plays C or PF and you need solid rebounding and interior defense from those positions. Otherwise, you lose more value in those areas than you can make up from a floor spacing scorer unless he’s an absolutely ELITE shot maker.

    It’s the same kind of tradeoff we were making with Novak, but at least with Novak, he was a SF and a “great” spot up shooter. Teams had to plan to lock him down. And at SF, his lack of rebounding and defense was less of an issue.

    IMO, evaluating the value of a player is not just about evaluating his skill set or the ways in which he can score. Bargnani has more skills than Novak. But Novak was a more productive SF than Bargnani is as a PF or C.

    There is almost no chance whatsoever than Bargnani can be a productive member of the team unless he can grab 8-9 boards a night per 36 and defend PFs and Cs because he’s not going to suddenly become an elite shooter. I don’t care if he can score in more ways at average efficiency. Scoring at average efficiency does not create value. It’s very easy to replace average efficiency scoring. What’s tough to replace is guys that are great at something.

  25. ruruland

    stratomatic:
    Naturally, you are going to want Bargnani to be as efficient as possible. But the major problem with Bargnani has never really been his TS%.The problem is that he plays C or PF and you need solid rebounding and interior defense from those positions. Otherwise, you lose more value in those areas than you can make up from a floor spacing scorer unless he’s an absolutely ELITE shot maker.

    It’s the same kind of tradeoff we were making with Novak, but at least with Novak, he was a SF and a “great” spot up shooter. Teams had to plan to lock him down. And at SF, his lack of rebounding and defense was less of an issue.

    It’s leveraging those skills to create a more efficient player. It happens every year across the league.

    Some players have a variety of skills but their situations make them more likely to use those inefficient play types more frequently.

    Some players have limited skills and therefore static efficiency statistics over their careers. Some players have habits that can’t be altered by coaches, situations or teammates. And of course everything in-between.

    I think there’s a decent chance AB increases his TS 1-3 points above his previous career high in the situation he’s in.

    And Novak/Copeland played a ton of PF, which is what AB will primary play.

    One thing advanced metrics won’t capture is the value AB has over, say Novak, when he blow by his rotating defender.

    When Novak turns down a shot and the offense resets, it’s far more likely the Knicks get a worse shot than what they’d be able to with a basket-attack.

    Just like with Chandler, individual efficiency fails to capture overall offensive impact.

  26. KnickfaninNJ

    Robert Silverman: Yeah, but we weren’t counting on Cope/Novak to play 25+ mpg. Or start. That’s my issue. If he was playing the Novak/Cope role off the bench, that’d be one thing, but despite he and Melo finding some synergy (and the lineup may change as soon as tomorrow night),but force-feeding him into a prominent role seems like a bad, bad idea.

    By saying this you are implying that we wouldn’t have wanted to play Copeland or Novak more and get the same productivity per minute from them. But the actual debate about those two players was would they be just as productive if they got more minutes and/or started and played against the other team’s best players. Bargnani is already playing those extra minutes and being just as productive per minute offensively as they were. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.

  27. DRed

    ruruland:
    The Knicks rebound rate dropped by 2.2 percent with Novak in the game. It dropped by .2 percent with Copeland.

    Last year, both players posted rebound rates lower than AB’s career low.

    And the Raptors decreased -2.9% with Bargs on the court. He’s a terrible defensive player and a horrible rebounder. There’s no way to spin your way out of that.

  28. ruruland

    Chandler of course has a positive impact on the offense, so did/does Novak, but I would strongly disagree that their respective ratings/efficiency numbers are commensurate with their actual offensive values.

    Copeland was a better offensive player than Novak last year and could be used in the playoffs despite having far inferior efficiency numbers.

  29. stratomatic

    Ruruland,

    I respect your knowledge of the game and the amount of effort you put into studying it. But I think you are confusing skill set (especially as it pertains to scoring) with productivity.

    IMO the way a player creates value is by doing somethings better than the average player “at their respective position”. The more things he does at an above average level, the more value he will create. But “position” is a critical part of the formula.

    Bargnani has a diverse set of skills (especially for a 7 footer), but he’s not really good at anything and he’s clearly way below average at several things relative to the average PF or C.

    IMO, it’s a mistake to take an inventory of all the ways he can score and think that means he’s good. Scoring is very easy to replace unless it’s done at a very high level. His scoring is a non event, but his lack of rebounding and other drawbacks relative to typical Cs and PFs are a major negative.

    IMO he’s a wildly EV- negative player. The best thing that could happen to the Knicks is that he either gets hurt or Woodson figures that out quickly. Not only should he not start, he should not even be a rotation player unless there are injuries. If the Knicks lack scoring so badly that they need to play Bargnani, then the team was built very poorly.

  30. ruruland

    DRed: And the Raptors decreased -2.9% with Bargs on the court.He’s a terrible defensive player and a horrible rebounder.There’s no way to spin your way out of that.

    Yes, with Bargs at center. It would be like playing Novak/Copeland at center.

    Bargs rebounding won’t change at PF, watch. And he’ll be a better rebounding PF than Copeland or Novak. Also, expect Melo’s RR to rise to the 12 percent area now.

  31. Brian Cronin

    Watching the Grantland team previews, Bill Simmons just noted that he voted Paul Pierce for third team All-NBA last year. That’s something.

  32. ruruland

    stratomatic:
    Ruruland,

    I respect your knowledge of the game and the amount of effort you put into studying it.But I think you are confusing skill set (especially as it pertains to scoring) with productivity.

    IMO the way a player creates value is by doing somethings better than the average player “at their respective position”. The more things he does at an above average level, the more value he will create.But “position” is a critical part of the formula

    I agree that if AB’s scoring efficiency is average (in this situation) he’ll be negative impact player, just as Copeland would be if he had average efficiency. He’ll never be an average rebounding PF.

    As I mentioned above, AB will have a positive impact greater than Copeland or Novak if he comes close to Copeland’s offensive efficiency, given that he’s better rebounding and defending.

    HE has the skills to do that and will be immersed in lineups where those skills can be maximized.

    What about MWP taking his minutes?

    He has been below average by almost all advanced/conventional metrics since he came into the league, yet has consistently had some of the highest +/- numbers.

    He’s done it in hundreds of lineups on five different teams.

    What are the odds of that being a coincidence?

    AB and MWP are at different ends of the spectrum in this debate, one produces in ways that advanced metrics don’t yet capture, the other has the ability to produce more efficiently that projections solely based on advanced metrics fail to account for.

  33. stratomatic

    ruruland: Yes, with Bargs at center. It would be like playing Novak/Copeland at center.

    Bargs rebounding won’t change at PF, watch. And he’ll be a better rebounding PF than Copeland or Novak. Also, expect Melo’s RR to rise to the 12 percent area now.

    IMO, Copeland, for all his scoring prowess, was wildly overrated by fans. He was a horrible defender and rebounder for a PF/C. I know a lot of people were disappointed to see him go, but there’s a reason it took him so long to break into the NBA. IMO he’s going to ride the bench in Indiana for the very reasons I’m outlining (at least if they are smart).

    Novak, despite is limitations, could at least play some SF. He was atrocious as a PF, but at SF it was less of an issue.

    The idea here is not to compare Bargnani to two wildly flawed former Knicks. The idea is to evaluate Bargnani. IMO he’s a terrible PF/C. At the price, he’s one of the worst contracts in the NBA.

  34. stratomatic

    Ruruland,

    MWP has been undervalued by most advanced metrics because they don’t do a very good job of measuring individual defense. At his best MWP was always considered a lock down defender and candidate for DPOTY. So whatever various models were saying about him, you had to add quite a bit of value for that.

    I wonder what Bargs value would be if we added individual defense at the PF/C position into the formulas. My guess is it would look even worse.

  35. massive

    I disagree that Novak’s defense wasn’t a huge problem last season. Teams used to go on 7-0 runs when they isolated Novak and literally ran their offense through him. At least you can’t target Bargnani one on one in the post because he’s pretty good there.

    The rebounding and spatial defense, though. That’s a problem because Tyson Chandler isn’t the recovery freak he was 2 seasons ago.

  36. ruruland

    stratomatic: IMO, Copeland, for all his scoring prowess, was wildly overrated by fans. He was a horrible defender and rebounder for a PF/C. I know a lot of people were disappointed to see him go, but there’s a reason it took him so long to break into the NBA. IMO he’s going to ride the bench in Indiana for the very reasons I’m outlining (at least if they are smart).

    Novak, despite is limitations, could at least play some SF.He was atrocious as a PF, but at SF it was less of an issue.

    The idea here is not to compare Bargnani to two wildly flawed former Knicks. The idea is to evaluate Bargnani. IMO he’s a terrible PF/C. At the price, he’s one of the worst contracts in the NBA.

    His contract doesn’t matter at all given the Knicks cap situation.

    AB only matters in comparison to Copeland and Novak. The Knicks are/were extremely limited increasing their upside until 2015.

    AB can’t be evaluated in a vacuum. It’s a good deal if he produces more and impacts the game in a more positive fashion in the minutes his predecessors used last year, he’s not if he doesn’t.

    And you really think Novak was better guarding SFs than Copeland?

    Have to strongly disagree there.

  37. ruruland

    stratomatic:
    Ruruland,

    MWP has been undervalued by most advanced metrics because they don’t do a very good job of measuring individual defense. At his best MWP was always considered a lock down defender and candidate for DPOTY.So whatever various models were saying about him, you had to add quite a bit of value for that.

    I wonder what Bargs value would be if we added individual defense at the PF/C position into the formulas. My guess is it would look even worse.

    MWP has continued to post extremely high +/- numbers despite losing the lock-down label the last few years.

  38. johnno

    DRed: And the Raptors decreased -2.9% with Bargs on the court.

    Do you have the stats for how the Raptors did in rebounding rate with AB on/off the court for the three years prior to last year? Also, what were the offensive and defensive efficiencies with him on/off the court for the three years prior to last year?

  39. Mike Kurylo

    October musings over whether the new 7 footer the Knicks acquired has enough offense to make up for his rebounding and defensive shortcomings. It feels like 2005. Time to fire up some Franz Ferdinand.

  40. DRed

    johnno: Do you have the stats for how the Raptors did in rebounding rate with AB on/off the court for the three years prior to last year?Also, what were the offensive and defensive efficiencies with him on/off the court for the three years prior to last year?

    I can look later, but I can assure you that they sucked.

  41. KnickfaninNJ

    Brian Cronin:
    Watching the Grantland team previews, Bill Simmons just noted that he voted Paul Pierce for third team All-NBA last year. That’s something.

    When it comes to Boston Simmons is an unabashed homer. I think it’s part of his appeal that he reveals his inner fan persona instead of keeping it in check, but it does lead him to always evaluate possible trades, GM stuff or anything about the Celtics from a fan’s viewpoint. He’s still mad at Rivers for deserting Boston, even though from a GMs point of view it was great to get rid of an unneeded expensive coach for a rebuilding team and get a pick in return.

    I am watching his preview too. They are definitely fun to watch. His one for the Knicks I thought was spot on, and placing them 10th in the league probably not too far off either.

  42. Owen

    And the answer to this question, difference in rebound rates for the past three years…

    -3.5 %
    -1.6%
    -3.7%

    The best I can say about Bargnani is that he was much more horrible last year than the year before. So there is upside.

    Sidenote, he and Carmelo share an agent, don’t they?

    DRed: I can look later, but I can assure you that they sucked.

  43. Will the Thrill

    Okay, so say MWP takes Novak’s minutes (probably more though. This leaves Bargnani with 15 minutes. There is no way Woodson plays him so little until he finds out he can’t replicate Copeland’s offense. Would anyone want a worse shooting Copeland playing 20-25 minutes?

    ruruland: Really, the Knicks have replaced Copeland and Novak with Bargnani and MWP

  44. EB

    If Bargnani is a horrible 4 then let’s just call him a sf. There problem fixed.melo is our4 bargs our 3. Bargs is therefore better than Novak. The position distinction is meaningless.

  45. DRed

    EB:
    If Bargnani is a horrible 4 then let’s just call him a sf. There problem fixed.melo is our4 bargs our 3. Bargs is therefore better than Novak. The position distinction is meaningless.

    Why is position distinction meaningless?

  46. EB

    DRed: Why is position distinction meaningless?

    They’re just labels we put on people in order to communicate the game but there’s no actual meaning to them. If we call Melo a 4 or a 3 it doesn’t make him any better or worse except in the context of the other 4 players on the court. That is to say the positions don’t mean much of anything especially when we consider a front court that’s interchangeable with melo or bargnani. Bargnani will play the same role next to melo that Novak did, some ambiguous position that stands near the three point line and can’t defend anyone

  47. Owen

    It’s all some statistical mumbo jumbo…..

    This is the new NBA, where the most important thing a front court player has to be able to do is stretch the floor with his jumpshot, not rebound or defend.

    DRed: Why is position distinction meaningless?

  48. DRed

    EB: They’re just labels we put on people in order to communicate the game but there’s no actual meaning to them. If we call Melo a 4 or a 3 it doesn’t make him any better or worse except in the context of the other 4 players on the court. That is to say the positions don’t mean much of anything especially when we consider a front court that’s interchangeable with melo or bargnani. Bargnani will play the same role next to melo that Novak did, some ambiguous position that stands near the three point line and can’t defend anyone

    Say Bargnani was on the Knicks last year, and we could either replace either Chandler or Novak for 10 minutes with Bargnani. Would it make a difference which one he replaced?

  49. ruruland

    Owen:
    It’s all some statistical mumbo jumbo…..

    This is the new NBA, where the most important thing a front court player has to be able to do is stretch the floor with his jumpshot, not rebound or defend.

    Why do you do that?

  50. er

    DRed: Say Bargnani was on the Knicks last year, and we could either replace either Chandler or Novak for 10 minutes with Bargnani.Would it make a difference which one he replaced?

    What kind of question is that?

  51. er

    DRed: How do you know that?

    I watch basketball. Who is the four on the heat battier or lebron? Who’s the four on Houston? Or golden state ? It only matters if you have traditional 3 n 4 like Indiana or Bulls

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How does one place a bet with Vegas odds? I want to put a substantial sum of money on the Knicks’ under at 49.5.

  53. DRed

    er: What kind of question is that?

    You can only play 5 guys at once. The guys who you could be playing instead of the guy on the floor matter. If Bargnani tends to replace a center or a power forward, you lose a ton of rebounding and help defense when you put him on the floor. That’s why positional adjustments matter.

  54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    massive:
    I disagree that Novak’s defense wasn’t a huge problem last season. Teams used to go on 7-0 runs when they isolated Novak and literally ran their offense through him. At least you can’t target Bargnani one on one in the post because he’s pretty good there.

    The rebounding and spatial defense, though. That’s a problem because Tyson Chandler isn’t the recovery freak he was 2 seasons ago.

    Remember that article last year that showed that Novak was performing incredibly well against isolations because his opponents were given the green light to shoot against him, and they ended up taking low-percentage shots?

    I think you’re speaking anecdotally here, man.

  55. lavor postell

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    How does one place a bet with Vegas odds? I want to put a substantial sum of money on the Knicks’ under at 49.5.

    I’m sure you can figure out how to use a sports book. It’s not too complex a process.

  56. er

    lavor postell: I’m sure you can figure out how to use a sports book.It’s not too complex a process.

    It’s funny he was this sure last year the Knicks were gonna stink and was surprisingly silent for most of the season

  57. EB

    DRed: Say Bargnani was on the Knicks last year, and we could either replace either Chandler or Novak for 10 minutes with Bargnani.Would it make a difference which one he replaced?

    Yes it would but if you put Novak out there with Chandler melody felton and shump it doesn’t matter what you call Novak call him a point center for all I care. Or a better way to frame the question is what is the difference between Novak and bargs that makes one a 3 and one a 4? Bargs after all is replacing Kidd or prigs in the starting lineup, so does that make him a point guard or a sg? The answer is no. Positions are arbitrary assignments. If I get promoted from vice President to co-vicepresident but none of my responsibilities powers or income change what is the difference. Semantics

  58. er

    DRed: You can only play 5 guys at once.The guys who you could be playing instead of the guy on the floor matter.If Bargnani tends to replace a center or a power forward, you lose a ton of rebounding and help defense when you put him on the floor.That’s why positional adjustments matter.

    Well I think we were talking about forwards

  59. DRed

    Bargs is much bigger than Novak. He tends to defend the opposing teams bigger players, and he plays close to the basket on defense (and occasionally on offense).

    Jason Kidd averaged around 6 rebounds a game over his career. Is that good or bad?

  60. er

    DRed:
    Bargs is much bigger than Novak.He tends to defend the opposing teams bigger players, and he plays close to the basket on defense (and occasionally on offense).

    Jason Kidd averaged around 6 rebounds a game over his career.Is that good or bad?

    Novak is 6’10 bargs is 7’0 huge diff wowsers

  61. lavor postell

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Remember that article last year that showed that Novak was performing incredibly well against isolations because his opponents were given the green light to shoot against him, and they ended up taking low-percentage shots?

    I think you’re speaking anecdotally here, man.

    I guess we could have just put Novak in the game anytime we needed a defensive stop. The guy is pretty much Michael Cooper out there.

    Bargnani might well and truly suck, but come playoff time if he’s a non-factor it’s irrelevant since Novak and Camby did jack shit for us last year in the playoffs and Novak was simply repeating his performance from the 2012 playoffs against Miami.

    Remember how Novak was such an offensive monster in the playoffs against Indiana and Boston? His offensive rating went up from 125 to 134. Somehow though amazingly enough nobody on the Knicks would pass him the ball right?

    Or was it that Novak couldn’t do anything against a disciplined Pacers team that closed out quickly and made him actually do something offensively other than shoot? Generally for Novak that’s some useless pass to somebody at the top of the key forcing the possession to reset, but at the end of the day we know the guy is an elite player because of his amazing marksmanship and truly phenomenal low turnover rate.

  62. max fisher-cohen

    @EB, that would be awesome if Bargnani could guard SFs, but he’s too slow for that, so he has to guard PFs and Cs, who play closer to the basket, giving Bargnani more chances to be outrebounded.

    This is why even if Gallinari and Bargnani were identical in their offensive stats (they’re not even very close…) then Gallinari would be the better player.

    Bargnani has the classic tweener forward problem. People just don’t see it because they see that he’s 7 feet tall, but he plays like he’s 6’5″ on offense, which is great, but unfortunately can’t fulfill the defense and rebounding responsibilities of any NBA position — too slow for wing players, too crap of a rebounder to hide up front.

    If you look at the rebounding numbers by position on 82games.com, you can see this. Here are rebounds/48 by position for Copeland, Novak and Bargnani. DIfferential compared to player defended is in parentheses:

    SF:

    Copeland: 5.7 (-2.2)
    Novak: 4.6 (-2.0)

    PF:

    Copeland: 7.3 (-1.6)
    Novak: 4.6 (-7.1)
    Bargnani: 5.5 (-6.0)

    C:

    Copeland: 20.9 (+10.5) in very limited minutes
    Novak: 3.3 (-8.8) in limited minutes
    Bargnani: 6.9 (-8.4)

    Novak was an embarrassment although interestingly the team had a positive +/- even when he was at center, Bargnani was nearly as bad, and Copeland was actually the best rebounder of the group in this comparison although you could argue that Bargnani spent more time playing alongside stronger rebounders, which made him look worse.

    If you go back to 11/12, Bargnani’s numbers do look better, probably marginally better than Copeland’s, so there is hope, but no matter how good his offense is, if he’s the 12/13 version of himself on defense again this season, he will be pretty hard to keep on the floor.

  63. DRed

    lavor postell: I guess we could have just put Novak in the game anytime we needed a defensive stop.The guy is pretty much Michael Cooper out there.

    Bargnani might well and truly suck, but come playoff time if he’s a non-factor it’s irrelevant since Novak and Camby did jack shit for us last year in the playoffs and Novak was simply repeating his performance from the 2012 playoffs against Miami.

    Remember how Novak was such an offensive monster in the playoffs against Indiana and Boston?His offensive rating went up from 125 to 134.Somehow though amazingly enough nobody on the Knicks would pass him the ball right?

    Or was it that Novak couldn’t do anything against a disciplined Pacers team that closed out quickly and made him actually do something offensively other than shoot?Generally for Novak that’s some useless pass to somebody at the top of the key forcing the possession to reset, but at the end of the day we know the guy is an elite player because of his amazing marksmanship and truly phenomenal low turnover rate.

    Novak played 8 minutes against the Pacers.

  64. lavor postell

    DRed: Novak played 8 minutes against the Pacers.

    Gee I wonder why. He managed 42 against the Celtics again without having any impact.

  65. Z-man

    DRed:
    IBut wouldn’t it make sense to start him out nailed to the bench?

    Well, why? If the theory behind trading for him was to see if there was a way to unlock his hidden potential, why not give him a real opportunity early and see how it goes? His main competition for minutes comes from STAT and K-Mart, who are both going to need to be eased in. JR is out for 5 games. This seems like the perfect time to throw him into the fire.

    Seriously, if the team starts losing and Bargnani stands out as an obvious part of the reason, are people actually worried that Woody won’t phase him out of the rotation?

  66. Z-man

    max fisher-cohen: If you go back to 11/12, Bargnani’s numbers do look better, probably marginally better than Copeland’s, so there is hope, but no matter how good his offense is, if he’s the 12/13 version of himself on defense again this season, he will be pretty hard to keep on the floor.

    Agreed, but considering his injury problems the past two years, isn’t it more likely that he will play to his pre-injury numbers?

  67. Z-man

    I think that once the bright lights of the Garden shine on this team in meaningful games, starting with opening night next Wednesday, Bargnani will have to produce enough to not cost his team wins. If we win and he plays to his career stats, he will probably keep getting chances. But once we start losing and he is identified as a culprit, he will sit more and more, barring injury to alternatives. Optimistically, I can see him playing a steady 20-25 minutes a night and not hurting us much in certain lineups and against certain opposing lineups.

  68. max fisher-cohen

    Agree, Z-man. A repeat of last year is the low end of reasonably likely scenarios while IMO matching his best year is at the high end.

    I also agree that if he bombs, there are other guys who can replace him and allow NY to stay respectable. However, IMO the only way NY matches or supersedes last season is if Bargnani has far and away his best season and all the other question marks pull through — JR gets healthy quickly and puts together a good season, Amar’e doesn’t distract, Woodson is wise with rotations, etc. Bargnani is NY’s biggest x-factor IMO, even more of an x-factor than Shumpert.

  69. flossy

    I think I like the Knicks more when some of Felton, JR Smith, Amar’e and K-Mart actually, you know, play. If Bargnani’s not getting it done, those first three guys at the very least will be *more* than happy to take his shots. Bargnani will have a chance to prove people wrong, but if Amar’e and K-Mart are healthy enough to play 30-40 combined mpg this season, they and MWP will end up taking all of his minutes if he doesn’t kill it.

  70. DRed

    Z-man: Well, why? If the theory behind trading for him was to see if there was a way to unlock his hidden potential, why not give him a real opportunity early and see how it goes? His main competition for minutes comes from STAT and K-Mart, who are both going to need to be eased in. JR is out for 5 games. This seems like the perfect time to throw him into the fire.

    Seriously, if the team starts losing and Bargnani stands out as an obvious part of the reason, are people actually worried that Woody won’t phase him out of the rotation?

    He’s been a bad player for the last 7 years. It is more likely than not that he will continue to be a bad player. Therefore, it’s dumb to play him big minutes off the bat, as it is likely he will hurt the team. There is, however, a chance that we can teach him to play in a way that makes him more efficient. Given that it’s probably going to take time to unlearn the bad habits of the last 7 years, wouldn’t it make more sense to bring the guy along slowly? The games at the start of the year count just as much as the ones at the end. There’s no reason to throw away wins by playing Bargnani now to see how it goes. It’s going to go badly.

  71. DRed

    lavor postell: Gee I wonder why.He managed 42 against the Celtics again without having any impact.

    Novak is what he is. He can’t get open. But that’s the job of the shot creators-they draw the double teams or collapse the defense so Steve can do his thing. Right?

    And if we’re going to be making broad conclusions about Knicks based on what they did in the playoffs last year (and I’m talking about guys who averaged a lot more than 5 minutes a game), we need to blow up the team right now and start all over.

  72. lavor postell

    DRed: Novak is what he is. He can’t get open.But that’s the job of the shot creators-they draw the double teams or collapse the defense so Steve can do his thing.Right?

    And if we’re going to be making broad conclusions about Knicks based on what they did in the playoffs last year (and I’m talking about guys who averaged a lot more than 5 minutes a game), we need to blow up the team right now and start all over.

    What broad conclusions do you draw from a team that lost in 6 games to the Pacers that involve blowing up the roster? Kidd, JR and Tyson basically gave us nothing in that series while playing major minutes and we still were competitive and had a shot in game 6 to escape with a win. JR and Tyson both apparently were slowed by their injuries as well.

    Maybe if Novak could do anything off the bounce other than shoot when a defender is rotating on to him he could have utilized the doubles Melo was seeing. I’m not saying Novak was THE reason we lost, but he certainly will never be the solution in the playoffs against a quality opponent that prevents him from spotting up and forces him to put the ball on the floor, which past the first round is going to be almost any team we would ever play.

  73. Brian Cronin

    I would rather work Bargs into the rotation when he proves he can hit the outside J with enough regularity to be helpful, but eh, whatever, I guess with the money they’re paying him, they sort of feel like they have to give him some big minutes to start.

  74. DRed

    Carmelo, Tyson, and JR all played like shit in a lot more than 8 minutes against the Pacers. Ergo, they can’t get it done in the playoffs so it’s time to get rid of them and rebuild.

  75. lavor postell

    DRed:
    Carmelo, Tyson, and JR all played like shit in a lot more than 8 minutes against the Pacers. Ergo, they can’t get it done in the playoffs so it’s time to get rid of them and rebuild.

    Melo maybe played like shit because A) he had a bum knee and B) with JR shooting 9% he was the only person on the team who could reasonably create for themselves. I’m not a huge fan of Bargnani, but I can at least understand the logic behind the move. I don’t think he moves the needle much in terms of the Knicks odds of winning a title. The only guy we can expect to have the impact to put this squad over the top is a health Amar’e which I doubt we’re going to see. Either way the point was simply that Novak is not a good defender regardless of what his isolation numbers say. If he was I guarantee you he would have played a whole lot more than the whopping 50 minutes he did in the playoffs last year. Bargnani is also not a good defensive player, but he’s not nearly as useless on that end as Novak.

  76. flossy

    You guys, it’s the PREseason and the guys who would be the 2nd-4th options after Melo on the Knicks offense have either not played whatsoever (JR, Amar’e) or hardly played (Felton). Likewise, the best defensive big men on the Knicks have barely/disinterestedly played (Chandler) or not played at all (K-Mart).

    Bargnani has been a Knick for about ten minutes and has been pretty much whatever everyone expected, giving plenty of grist for the “ugh he sucks” mill as well as the “he/this has potential!” folks. Ultimately, unless all of the above-mentioned other player on the team all miss massive amounts of playing time during the regular season, this year will not ride on Bargnani’s massive improvement. If it does, we’re fucked, but we’d be fucked if he were Novak/Camby, too, so who cares.

  77. EB

    DRed: Say Bargnani was on the Knicks last year, and we could either replace either Chandler or Novak for 10 minutes with Bargnani. Would it make a difference which one he replaced?

    Did you even read what I wrote?

  78. EB

    max fisher-cohen:
    @EB, that would be awesome if Bargnani could guard SFs, but he’s too slow for that, so he has to guard PFs and Cs, who play closer to the basket, giving Bargnani more chances to be outrebounded.

    This is why even if Gallinari and Bargnani were identical in their offensive stats (they’re not even very close…) then Gallinari would be the better player.

    Bargnani has the classic tweener forward problem. People just don’t see it because they see that he’s 7 feet tall, but he plays like he’s 6’5? on offense, which is great, but unfortunately can’t fulfill the defense and rebounding responsibilities of any NBA position — too slow for wing players, too crap of a rebounder to hide up front.

    If you look at the rebounding numbers by position on 82games.com, you can see this. Here are rebounds/48 by position for Copeland, Novak and Bargnani. DIfferential compared to player defended is in parentheses:

    SF:

    Copeland: 5.7 (-2.2)
    Novak: 4.6 (-2.0)

    PF:

    Novak was an embarrassment although interestingly the team had a positive +/- even when he was at center, Bargnani was nearly as bad, and Copeland was actually the best rebounder of the group in this comparison although you could argue that Bargnani spent more time playing alongside stronger rebounders, which made him look worse.

    I appreciate you actually reading and addressing my post. I in some ways agree with the analysis but I don’t know that Novak guarded SF. I remember watching and I thought they just kinda stuck him on whoever was the most useless offensive player whether that was a SF or PF or even a SG or C on occasion. I’m also not certain having Bargnani at the 4 would seriously affect the number of rebounds the knicks get.

  79. lavor postell

    DRed:
    How do you know Bargnani is not as bad? I think he’s even worse than Novak defensively.

    Cool.

    flossy:
    You guys, it’s the PREseason and the guys who would be the 2nd-4th options after Melo on the Knicks offense have either not played whatsoever (JR, Amar’e) or hardly played (Felton).Likewise, the best defensive big men on the Knicks have barely/disinterestedly played (Chandler) or not played at all (K-Mart).

    Bargnani has been a Knick for about ten minutes and has been pretty much whatever everyone expected, giving plenty of grist for the “ugh he sucks” mill as well as the “he/this has potential!” folks.Ultimately, unless all of the above-mentioned other player on the team all miss massive amounts of playing time during the regular season, this year will not ride on Bargnani’s massive improvement.If it does, we’re fucked, but we’d be fucked if he were Novak/Camby, too, so who cares.

    I agree with this completely.

  80. nicos

    DRed:
    How do you know Bargnani is not as bad? I think he’s even worse than Novak defensively.

    Novak is literally the worst interior help defender for his size that I’ve ever seen- any time he had to rotate inside was disasterous. Of course AB is probably going to be asked to rotate inside more often so the results might not be all that much better.

  81. Jack Bauer

    Z-man:
    I think that once the bright lights of the Garden shine on this team in meaningful games, starting with opening night next Wednesday, Bargnani will have to produce enough to not cost his team wins. If we win and he plays to his career stats, he will probably keep getting chances. But once we start losing and he is identified as a culprit, he will sit more and more, barring injury to alternatives. Optimistically, I can see him playing a steady 20-25 minutes a night and not hurting us much in certain lineups and against certain opposing lineups.

    -25, Yikes ! That is B A D…

  82. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    lavor postell: Maybe if Novak could do anything off the bounce other than shoot when a defender is rotating on to him he could have utilized the doubles Melo was seeing. I’m not saying Novak was THE reason we lost, but he certainly will never be the solution in the playoffs against a quality opponent that prevents him from spotting up and forces him to put the ball on the floor, which past the first round is going to be almost any team we would ever play.

    Novak might have been a reason that the Knicks (not we) lost that series, but where’s the blame for Mr. Anthony for being terrible during the playoffs as well?

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201304280BOS.html

    This is one of the worst playoff performances in league history. It is virtually impossible to win a game when one of your players shoots .286 eFG on 50% usage.

    I promise you that passing the ball to Novak, whether guarded or not, is better than the shit-bricks that Carmelo floated during that game.

  83. ruruland

    Shit bricks?

    Should I post Chandler’s game one against Miami?

    Melo definitely had his struggles in the playoffs. I’m not sure the torn labrum and rotator cuff mattered at all, or the pinched nerve for Tyson, but they’ll both need to be better next year to make it to the conference finals.

    I’m sure you were under the impression Chandler had a monster postseason, what with his .576 ts (on 9 usage) and that 14.9 rebound percent (allowed Hibbert to get more offensive rebounds than he had defensive rebounds in three games), and those incredible 14 blocked shots in 12 playoff games.

  84. lavor postell

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Novak might have been a reason that the Knicks (not we) lost that series, but where’s the blame for Mr. Anthony for being terrible during the playoffs as well?

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201304280BOS.html

    This is one of the worst playoff performances in league history. It is virtually impossible to win a game when one of your players shoots .286 eFG on 50% usage.

    I promise you that passing the ball to Novak, whether guarded or not, is better than the shit-bricks that Carmelo floated during that game.

    Yes, we lost that game primarily because Melo jacked up a lot of bad shots no doubt, but we won that series. When Novak has 1/100th of Melo’s ability to be the center of an NBA offense we can compare the two. Until then you can continue to live in your fantasy world where Novak is a far more productive player than Carmelo Anthony.

  85. DRed

    Steve Novak was second on the team in offensive boards in that game one against miami and was an assassin from downtown, shooting a robust 1.000. But we claim he can’t play in the post season.

  86. Owen

    I have been thinking about this. And it’s hard to get behind the under. I could see the Knicks winning 45-47. But I could see them winning 50-52.

    The Rockets went off at 33.5 last year I think. That’s the kind of bet to be making.

    Everything that happens in the preseason is pointless. And drawing conclusions from preseason is stupid.

    That said, I can still confidently project Andrea Bargnani will be the most annoying thing about this season. It’s true that he isn’t all that much worse than the duo he replaced. It’s also true that when he sucks we have enough talent to bury him deep on the bench.

    But the idea of him will be a rusty nail in my foot all season long.

    A former top pick whose only notable skill is scoring and who shares an agent with Carmelo should not have been our primary offseason acquisition. It’s classic Dolan.

    Anyway, go Knicks. Can’t wait for this season to get started, despite all the grumpiness….

    mokers: http://www.sportsbook.ag/livesports/nba

  87. Brian Cronin

    I absolutely agree that the preseason is meaningless. Whatever I think about Bargs, I am not basing it on preseason at all as the preseason is meaningless. Except, of course, in deciding which end of the bench guy to go with. In that case, preseason is also meaningless if you’re related to a friend of James Dolan.

  88. lavor postell

    DRed:
    Steve Novak was second on the team in offensive boards in that game one against miami and was an assassin from downtown, shooting a robust 1.000. But we claim he can’t play in the post season.

    Did he record those before or after we were down by 35 and the game was over? What did he accomplish in the rest of the series? Or in the other two playoff series from last year?

  89. Owen

    Yeah, the Chris Smith thing is stupid. Also classic Dolan….

    I like Aldrich. He has shown flashes of being a useful NBA player at least Seems like a far better option.

    Brian Cronin:
    I absolutely agree that the preseason is meaningless. Whatever I think about Bargs, I am not basing it on preseason at all as the preseason is meaningless. Except, of course, in deciding which end of the bench guy to go with. In that case, preseason is also meaningless if you’re related to a friend of James Dolan.

  90. Unreason

    For some reason I can’t get too worked up over how AB, MWP, Beno etc. will or won’t replace guys lost since last season. What I can get worked up about is how the whole team as currently constructed is likely to match up with the Nyets, Pacers, Bulls and Heat. And of those the one I care most about for some reason is the stinkin’ Nyets.

    I like a healthy and revived TC vs. Lopez; Melo vs. PP
    I’m hopeful that this year’s Shump will shut down JJ
    I’m somewhat desperately looking for reasons to like pretty much any other match-up including the Knicks’ very deep bench vs. their (even deeper?) bench.

    I’d just feel really merry and bright if the Knicks razed the Barclays Center and salted over the earth where it once stood. I think that would be nice.

  91. nicos

    DRed:
    Andrea Bargnani is literally the worst interior help defender for his size that I have ever seen.

    AB at least lucks his way to a block now and then and actually has a shot of grabbing a rebound in off chance someone misses (his defensive rebound rate isn’t great but it’s miles better than Novak’s). And while he hardly lays the hammer down, AB can’t give weaker fouls than Novak.

  92. Z-man

    DRed: He’s been a bad player for the last 7 years. It is more likely than not that he will continue to be a bad player.Therefore, it’s dumb to play him big minutes off the bat, as it is likely he will hurt the team.There is, however, a chance that we can teach him to play in a way that makes him more efficient.Given that it’s probably going to take time to unlearn the bad habits of the last 7 years, wouldn’t it make more sense to bring the guy along slowly?The games at the start of the year count just as much as the ones at the end. There’s no reason to throw away wins by playing Bargnani now to see how it goes.It’s going to go badly.

    DRed:
    Carmelo, Tyson, and JR all played like shit in a lot more than 8 minutes against the Pacers. Ergo, they can’t get it done in the playoffs so it’s time to get rid of them and rebuild.

    OK so now we all know that you hate the current roster and want to rebuild immediately, and that you think that Bargnani should never play, ever. Now, how about posting something that is grounded in reality? Two truths:

    Bargnani is surely gonna play early on

    The roster essentially is what it is for the rest of the year

  93. Z-man

    argnani has started all of preseason, but there may be momentum for Woodson to start thinking of Metta World Peace as the starting small forward, shifting Anthony to the 4 and using the Italian big man as a shooter off the bench.
    “I’m trying to help him with that,” Chandler said of Bargnani’s rotations. “I’m constantly telling him he doesn’t need to be a great lockdown defender. He needs to be a great team defender. No offense to my great friends, [but] if Dirk [Nowitzki] could do it, he could do it.’’

    From the NYPOST. Sounds like having Bargnani out there with Chandler is a good idea…

  94. thenamestsam

    The season really, really needs to start. People always get so antsy right before with all that energy that comes from a new season, but no real outlet for it.

  95. johnno

    DRed: Andrea Bargnani is literally the worst interior help defender for his size that I have ever seen.

    Serious question — prior to this preseason, have you ever actually watched Bargnani play? For that matter, have you really watched the preseason games or have you just watched a few minutes of a few games, glanced at box scores and read articles and posts on this site about how terrible he is? If you are anything like me (and I think most fans), prior to the trade, you didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Andrea Bargnani. I’ve watched good portions of most of the preseason games and, when I have, I’ve focused specifically on him. As I’ve said in other posts, he isn’t the quickest defender and occasionally misses rotations but, overall, he’s not bad. In fact, in one on one situations in the post, he is very good. Overall, he is light years ahead of Novak as a defender and quite a bit better than Copeland, both of whom were bad at rotating and bad at covering a guy in the post. (It’s not even worth arguing over who is the best rebounder of the three because that argument is not really about who is best but, rather, about who is the least bad.)

  96. johnno

    er: Novak is 6’10 bargs is 7’0 huge diff wowsers

    Height doesn’t necessarily = size. For that matter, weight doesn’t necessarily = size either. I am one inch shorter than Marvin Hagler and we are about the same weight. If there was a picture of me standing next to him with our shirts off, there is little doubt who you would think was much bigger. If you could find a picture of Bargnani standing next to Novak, there would be little doubt in anyone’s mind that Bargnani is much bigger.

  97. er

    johnno: Height doesn’t necessarily = size.For that matter, weight doesn’t necessarily = size either.I am one inch shorter than Marvin Hagler and we are about the same weight.If there was a picture of me standing next to him with our shirts off, there is little doubt who you would think was much bigger. If you could find a picture of Bargnani standing next to Novak, there would be little doubt in anyone’s mind that Bargnani is much bigger.

    i agree with you for the most part. But these two guys have literally the same body type and he is 2 inches taller than Novak and outweighs him by 15 lbs so that was my point. The size diff is really not that much

  98. thenamestsam

    I have to agree with johno, and that’s not a criticism of DRed. Outside of the Knicks, the 2 or 3 teams who are on national TV the most, and teams that make deep playoff runs, how many times do most people on here watch a team during the NBA season? Seriously how many raptors games did people here see that they think they have a good handle on how good Bargnani’s help defense is? I probably watched the Raptors play maybe 6 times last year and I don’t think Bargs player more than 50 minutes maybe in those games total. And he’s pretty clearly bad on defense even in 50 minutes. But to say “he’s the worst in the league” or “he’s the worst I’ve ever seen” I think would take a lot more evaluation time than that. And from the level of some people’s feelings about the guy it almost sounds like some people were watching 82 Raptors games a year, which I kind of doubt.

  99. JK47

    You watch Bargnani for about 10 minutes, and it’s pretty obvious that his defense is slow and soft. Whether he’s “the worst help defender in the history of everything,” well, I don’t know that. But one thing I like to do is check out the blogs of opposing teams during the season. And let me tell you, Raptors fans HATE them some Andrea Bargnani. They talk regularly about how Bargnani’s defense is some of the worst they’ve ever seen, particularly the help defense variety. The general consensus is that he’s slow to react, clueless about the finer points of strategy and plays tentatively, which results in him giving off an “I-don’t-give-a-shit” kind of vibe. This is not a few isolated comments– this is a long running narrative over a period of many years with these fans. And then you watch him, and… well, you know. He’s as bad as they say.

  100. KnickfaninNJ

    In my watching of preseason games so far, I would say that Bargnani’s worst games were in Toronto. I think that’s not coincidence. It can’t be easy being booed all the time. Even if you expect the booing, you still probably try to hard to make your shots and think about what you do too much and end up over aiming and under reacting instead of just shooting and playing.

    I hope Knick fans give him a break for a while and just let him see what he can do.

  101. Owen

    What JK47 said. Ask any raptors fan, they will confirm what Knicks fans are about to discover. Bargnani is one of the worst interior defenders in the NBA. They were ecstatic to be rid of him.

    Frankly, just the fact that the first thing Masaii Ujiri set out to do was jettison bargnani sort of says it all. That guy is my pick for smartest young gm in basketball.

    Clearly he knows how to play the Knicks like a fiddle.

  102. johnno

    JK47: But one thing I like to do is check out the blogs of opposing teams during the season

    And that’s because the fans of a losing team are so objective and unemotional? The fans of winning teams trash their own players. Did you read the Thunder blog last year after the Knicks beat the Thunder? People there were bitching about how “soft” Durant is. If you are going to trust the fans of other teams, you should be ecstatic that the Knicks have Melo instead of LeBron because, on the Laker blog, they took a poll of who the fans wanted the Lakers to sign if they could only sign one star, and the respondents to that poll chose Melo by a large margin over LeBron. Please forgive me if I don’t put much stock in what the fans of other teams post on their blogs…

  103. Donnie Walsh

    johnno: Please forgive me if I don’t put much stock in what the fans of other teams post on their blogs…

    Then why do you read this blog, if you don’t put stock in the opinions of fans?

  104. thenamestsam

    I think the fan things can cut both ways. If you want to get a sense of what a large number of watchers of a team think there’s no better way than in a comments section, but you should also recognize the biases in play. Toronto fans hate, hate, hated Bargnani, but I think a lot of that had to do with crushed expectations. When your team drafts a guy at #1 overall there are huge expectations that go along with that. Hell, look at the beating Ewing took among some sets of Knicks fans over the years. People expect that to be a guy who leads you to a championship. And Bargnani was obviously a huge disappointment to them. Even when he was at his absolute best he wasn’t close to that kind of franchise level player. I think that caused a lot of Toronto fans to be hyperbolic about his performances.

  105. ruruland

    Owen:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKJC8kCVxeQ

    I don’t know, I can’t really think of any fanbase making a video like the one above.

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Bargnani has been the worst rotation player in the NBA while he has been in the league. And we traded for him.

    Yes, that’s a stretch. The worst rotation players in the league don’t get asked to carry 20 + percent of a team’s offense every season.

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish with such bombast.

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