Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Can DWTDD Save NY’s Season?

In a word, no. Toney Douglas is not going to save NY’s season, but he could well have a significant impact on it.

I suspect Coach Woodson would rather Douglas did not play, but he will almost certainly need to. So, we may as well consider what he could possibly contribute. I doubt Bibby can play more than 25-30 useful minutes at both ends, and that may be optimistic. Douglas won’t take the entire remainder, but it’s hard to see him chained to the bench.

Of course, that awful stench you smell is Douglas’ descent from a useful-if-mediocre rookie to a Roger Mason, Jr. scented-turd in year three. It has been malodorous and nauseating. Douglas is a likeable guy having one of the worst seasons in the league. So it’s hard not to feel for him, coming off surgery in a lockout shortened season.

As circumstance would have it though, Douglas could be key to any chance NY has in game five. I fully expect the Heat to extend their defense with the goal of coaxing NY into continuing to stroll the ball up the floor. To this point the Heat has consistently forced NY to start its offense 3-4 steps beyond the arc, well into the shot clock, with flat-footed entry passes from awful angles. Davis and Bibby pose no threat off the dribble and have often been quick to pick it up with little pressure. DWTDD is notorious for doing killing his dribble too, so I don’t want to pitch him as NY’s salvation. Nevertheless, he might quicken the pace at which NY gets into sets, provide some useful ball-handling, and resistance on defense. He is at least theoretically capable of driving past his man. Just the threat of a drive could create an extra inch or to of floor spacing. Even if that is asking too much, Douglas can–again, in theory–play Shumpert’s designated ball-handler role. That mostly involves not picking up the dribble halfway between the half-court line and the arc to telegraph a 15 foot entry pass. Also I see a role for Douglas defending Chalmers, who seemed to run around unchecked in games 1 & 2. I’ll be happy if we can just get that.

At this point, we know WTD(cannot)D. He cannot shoot. So, let’s not have any illusions about a repeat of Chicago 2010. But, WTD(CAN)D is get the team into its sets quickly and stay in front of his man. NY is going to need a lot of that in game five.

56 comments on “Can DWTDD Save NY’s Season?

  1. Frank

    If TD sees >10 min in this game, we will lose horribly. We may lose horribly even if he doesn’t see 10 minutes, but if we are counting on him to get us into our offense, we may as well just pack up and go home. Don’t you remember how horrible he was at initiating the offense? Picking up the ball near halfcourt? Completely unable to feed the post? TD at his BEST was a mediocre-below-average PG, and really only was good at being an undersized SG. Unfortunately, in this series, he’s too small to guard Wade (who would just post him up all day long), and if he’s not going to guard Wade, then that means he is playing PG because you can’t have both him and Bibby on the floor at the same time.

    Not to be too much of a downer, and I certainly hope that TD comes through and plays well if needed, but I just don’t see it.

  2. ephus

    And this is why the rumors that Lin will be pressed into service are running rampant. TD demonstrated during the season (including his cameos after the birth of his child) that he cannot be the primary ball handler in charge of initiating the offense. He does not have the handle or the confidence to get past ball pressure, but instead moves laterally to spots where (1) he can be trapped and (2) he cannot even threaten to feed a weak-side player.

    If Woodson is going to give TD any run, it will likely be when Norris replaces Chalmers. On defense, TD has been particularly vulnerable to getting caught on screens.

    If Lin cannot go, I think it makes more sense to shorten the bench than to give TD minutes.

    Bibby – 30 minutes
    Fields – 24 minutes
    Melo – 42 minutes
    Stat – 36 minutes
    Chandler – 36 minutes

    Smith – 36 minutes
    Novak – 18 minutes
    Jeffries – 10 minutes
    Jorts – 8 minutes

  3. Spree8nyk8

    Well, sure seems like the message of the day is to not expect to see Lin. And if that is the case then we are going to need TD to come up big. And to be honest, he’s due. Not saying I would bet on it, or that I expect it. But he is capable of having a big game, and last year against boston he did hit some big shots down the stretch in games. Maybe we can get lucky and bring it back to NY, but if we do somehow force a game 6 and Lin still doesn’t play I’m going to be pretty disappointed. They need him now, this is a willis reed type moment for him, and there is no telling how much of a boost just him stepping onto the court could be for the other guys. I mean I don’t think he’ll step onto the court after not playing 6 weeks and just dominate, but I do think it could have an effect on the other players. But that said even if we don’t get that from Lin this time, I would love to see a redemption moment for TD.

  4. Z-man

    BD is done for 12 months, and probably forever. A shame, but at least he’s got plenty of $$$ to ease the pain somewhat. Farewell, Baron, you didn’t give us much, but you gave us all you had.

  5. ephus

    At the risk of repeating two things I said yesterday:

    1. The Baron Davis injury immediately reminded me of the Shaun Livingston knee explosion. It took two years for Livingston to come back and, even then, he was a shell of himself.

    2. Even though (and precisely because) I do not expect BD to ever return, the Knicks have an opportunity to use Dolan’s millions to make the Knicks a more alluring spot for veteran’s minimum candidates by resigning Baron Davis to a two-year contract (or one year with a player option) at the veteran’s minimum, after they have made their non-minimum free agent offers this off-season. Because the Knicks are already going to be over the salary cap for each of the next two years, it would only cost the Knicks money, not cap space. But, knowing that the Knicks are willing to give extra financial security to veterans who suffer career ending injury might make a Michael Redd-type more willing to take the Knicks’ minimum instead of some other team.

    I feel badly for Baron, and hope that he is able to recover enough physically to at least have ordinary mobility for post-basketball life. I expect him to be extremely successful as he transitions to being a full-time Hollywood producer.

  6. johnlocke

    co-sign x 10. The worst is that he’ll meander outside the three point line going side to side, instead of north and south. He won’t help us get into sets early and he has a shooters mentality. He feels like he’s contributing when he’s shooting. And Miami will oblige, they’ll double off him and force the Knicks / Toney to beat them with the outside shot and his 20% 3 pt shooting. Not to mention, a backcourt of Toney and Fields out there at any point in time, will mean endless doubles/triple-teams for Melo. No thanks. Play Bibby some more minutes, have JR play some point. Have Melo initiate from time to time. Sorry to say, but it’s asking a lot for a player who has struggled all season to come back and deliver in Game 5 of the playoffs against a good defensive team.

    Frank:
    If TD sees >10 min in this game, we will lose horribly. We may lose horribly even if he doesn’t see 10 minutes, but if we are counting on him to get us into our offense, we may as well just pack up and go home.Don’t you remember how horrible he was at initiating the offense?Picking up the ball near halfcourt? Completely unable to feed the post?TD at his BEST was a mediocre-below-average PG, and really only was good at being an undersized SG. Unfortunately, in this series, he’s too small to guard Wade (who would just post him up all day long), and if he’s not going to guard Wade, then that means he is playing PG because you can’t have both him and Bibby on the floor at the same time.

    Not to be too much of a downer, and I certainly hope that TD comes through and plays well if needed, but I just don’t see it.

  7. DS

    Ted Nelson, if you’re reading this, I’d like to resume our discussion on how you think Toney Douglas can be as good as Joe Dumars now.

  8. Spree8nyk8

    ephus:
    At the risk of repeating two things I said yesterday:

    1.The Baron Davis injury immediately reminded me of the Shaun Livingston knee explosion.

    It reminded me of Azubuike

  9. bobneptune

    DS:
    Ted Nelson, if you’re reading this, I’d like to resume our discussion on how you think Toney Douglas can be as good as Joe Dumars now.

    my lord…. that’s some cold *&^% :-)

  10. Z-man

    I went onto TD’s BR page and have to say, not a single guy on his career similarity score listing was recognizable to me.

  11. hoolahoop

    I never liked TD’s game. But, hey, you never know when someone can break out. His shot selection atrocious and terrible decision making give me ulcers, but he definitely has an NBA shot and a good handle. All that time on the bench gives a guy a lot of time to think and reflect. I think Lin is a great example of that.
    In this crazy season maybe it’s time for TDDWTDDsanity (it’s got no ring)

  12. David Crockett

    Frank:
    If TD sees >10 min in this game, we will lose horribly. We may lose horribly even if he doesn’t see 10 minutes, but if we are counting on him to get us into our offense, we may as well just pack up and go home.Don’t you remember how horrible he was at initiating the offense?Picking up the ball near halfcourt? Completely unable to feed the post?TD at his BEST was a mediocre-below-average PG, and really only was good at being an undersized SG. Unfortunately, in this series, he’s too small to guard Wade (who would just post him up all day long), and if he’s not going to guard Wade, then that means he is playing PG because you can’t have both him and Bibby on the floor at the same time.

    Not to be too much of a downer, and I certainly hope that TD comes through and plays well if needed, but I just don’t see it.

    “DWTDD is notorious for doing killing his dribble too, so I don’t want to pitch him as NY’s salvation.”

    So clearly, I recognize that Douglas has been horrendous. I wouldn’t count on him to play stellar by any stretch. Really, we’re getting to the point of just needing some bodies, specifically to bring the ball up and get into sets more quickly. Davis was playing around 27 mpg in games 2-4. That’s gonna be tough to divvy up and add to the number that Melo, Smith, and Bibby are already playing.

    Douglas would most likely be guarding Chalmers if he plays.

    He’s clearly not a decision-maker. The best you could reasonably hope for is for him to get the ball up the court and get into a set.

  13. mikeplugh

    I understand all the reasons that TD has a bad rap and that he stunk it up to the point where none of us ever wanted to see him again early this season…but….

    …I’ll be the unpopular voice to say he should get 20-25 minutes depending on how things start out for him while he’s on the floor Wednesday.

    The easy thing to do is expect him to be shite because, well, that’s how he played virtually every minute on the floor this year. He’s nailed to the bench with the equivalent of a bazooka-sized nail gun, and for (somewhat) good reason. That said, he is a professional NBA player. He is among the handful of people who are payed millions of dollars to wear a tank top and shorts while running around bouncing an orange ball. He didn’t just appear in a Knicks uniform by immaculate conception. He worked hard to prove that someone ought to pay him that money to play that game.

    He may have stumbled to a low point that puts his career in danger, but we’re out of options. Everyone who can still run and dribble is hurt. Toney Douglas’ remaining purpose on this (basketball) Earth is to salvage whatever is left of his NBA life in a single game that stands between his employer and his teammates and summer vacation. If he can’t be counted on to take that opportunity and run with it, our problems are FAR bigger than we’re making them out to be.

    TD was a useful and sometimes very good NBA player not that long ago. He’s not over the hill. If anything, he’s a mental wreck. It’s time for the Knicks to fish or cut bait on TD, and he deserves the chance to be a hero, or at least a contributor, in what could be the last game of the year. I’m sure I’m in the minority in thinking he deserves the shot, and that he just might surprise and do some very important things while playing.

  14. nicos

    Z-man:
    I went onto TD’s BR page and have to say, not a single guy on his career similarity score listing was recognizable to me.

    Hey, Otis Smith made his through three year similarity list, maybe he’ll take TD for Ryan Anderson!

  15. gjknick

    You put a point guard in,
    you put a point guard down,
    you put a point guard in,
    and you shake his knee about
    you do the hokey pokey and ….

    God, this has been a bizarre season. Our point guards going into this game have been most commonly referred to on this blog as a corpse and the other was so bad that for months he was purposely not mentioned by name. In terms of Lin having a Willis Reed moment, well Willis was the captain and leader of that team. Lin may become that in the future but his suiting up to inspire Amare and Melo and Chandler? I just don’t see it having that impact. Let’s just roll the dice on those previously known as corpse and he who must not be named. If we win, what a story!

  16. max fisher-cohen

    I absolutely agree you give TD a chance.

    I see the logic like this:

    1) Without Douglas, it’s virtually a guaranteed loss.

    2) With bad Douglas, it’s virtually a guaranteed loss.

    3) With good Douglas, maybe we have a chance.

  17. TelegraphedPass

    Aren’t we overdue for an “every Knick roleplaying wing knocks down all of the threes” game at this point?

  18. d-mar

    I hear the Heat are lobbying furiously for TD to play. “You mean that guy who commits horrendous turnovers by basically throwing the ball to the other team, leading to fast break dunks? Where do I sign the petition?”

  19. Spree8nyk8

    You would have to figure that JR is due to go berzerker for once. I mean he really has only had one game where he went semi nuts (portland). If he could get hot I think that could be enough to get it back to MSG.

  20. max fisher-cohen

    ruruland:
    Bruno, Simmons and Bucher discussing “heroball”: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7901542

    Problem is they equate top scorers with hero ball. So all the sudden when you criticize hero ball, everyone who scores a lot of points is a hero-baller and is overrated, or that teams shouldn’t have a go to guy or a structured offense. It’s the difference between

    A) the guy who rushes into the burning building and rescues the kitten before the firemen arrive and

    B) The guy who shoves the firemen aside, preventing them from rescuing the cat just so he can have a chance at the glory.

    It’s pretty damn ironic that Simmons, who grew up grew up watching the Bird Celtics, a team that had very balanced scoring and passed extremely well can’t identify the difference. I imagine, however, if someone compared AI or Kobe to his idol, Larry Bird, Simmons would take the exact opposite tact in his argument. That’s just who Simmons is though. He loves stories and drama unabashedly and is uninterested in the fact that stories are constantly rewritten retrospectively.

    Chris Paul I think is a primary example of a heroic player. I’m pretty sure he conserves his energy for the fourth quarter because he knows that’s when it’s toughest to score — that’s when his team needs him, and it’s in his psychological makeup that he enjoys that pressure.

    Some guys enjoy pressure, and some guys panic under pressure. Being gifted at creating offense certainly gives you more of an opportunity to have the hero mentality, but it doesn’t guarantee it.

    I’d rather save the question of where Anthony fits into this equation for another day.

  21. Robtachi

    Wow, dislocated patella, partially torn patellar tendon, complete ACL and MCL tears. That is a one-way ticket to Finishedburg. Very sad for Boom Dizzle.

  22. Brian Cronin

    Wow, dislocated patella, partially torn patellar tendon, complete ACL and MCL tears. That is a one-way ticket to Finishedburg. Very sad for Boom Dizzle.

    I know! Goddamn, that’s awful. I think I’ll give him his own post. So sad.

  23. BigBlueAL

    I really wish some of these players today who cant go 2 minutes w/o flopping played in the early 90’s. If they would watch 5 minutes of any game of the 1992 Bulls-Knicks series they would faint at the amount of contact allowed back then lol

  24. nicos

    There are some guys who are never going to get criticized- CP3 dribbles into a double team and doesn’t get a shot up in a tie game and CWebb praises him for not letting the Grizzlies get another possession.

  25. nicos

    Brian Cronin:
    Who do you think flopped tonight, Al? I didn’t notice anything.

    I think Griffin overreacts to any contact. Also complains about every call more than anyone in the league.

  26. Brian Cronin

    They did criticize him at the beginning of the overtime, though, nicos.

    But yeah, that was a terrible play by Paul. Great D by Allen, though.

  27. Brian Cronin

    I think Griffin overreacts to any contact. Also complains about every call more than anyone in the league.

    Hmmm…he definitely complains too much. I dunno if I’d say he flops. I think Duncan complains the most in the NBA. Griffin is up there, though!

  28. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Who do you think flopped tonight, Al? I didn’t notice anything.

    Just reading Twitter and watching half-time all people are talking about is the amount of flopping in this game, mostly from the Clippers.

    Ive barely watched much of this game just catching up on Twitter now lol

    I will say this, as much as I love watching CP3 play if people here think Wade and Lebron cry and flop around like crazy they are amateurs compared to CP3. Although its much more annoying seeing Blake Griffin do it considering how big and athletic he is. We talked about it with Gallo last night a bit here but since he is European its expected from him lol

    One thing gotta give Melo credit for, he gets pissed when he gets no-calls but its probably because he doesnt act like he has been shot every time he draws contact like alot of other players do.

  29. Brian Cronin

    Paul is making up for his poor play at the end of regulation with some excellent play in the overtime. 8 points to give the Clippers a six point lead with 44 seconds left!

  30. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    By the way, Stockton used to flop back in the day, to name one notable 90?s flopper.

    A little white dude like that had to especially during that era lol

    To me little guys like that almost have to, its guys like Blake Griffin and Reggie Evans doing it that drives me nuts (ditto LeBron).

  31. BigBlueAL

    Hey its the Riley Knicks in me that makes me get annoyed by stuff like this considering how physical those teams were lol

  32. Brian Cronin

    I loved the Riley/JVG Knicks, but I can imagine they were pretty annoying to watch by outside observers. JVG’s offensive schemes were…well…they make Woodson’s offense look like Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

  33. nicos

    I have to say I though Memphis was crazy when they signed Conley to that extension but he’s turned into a pretty good player- now it looks like he’s underpaid.

  34. Brian Cronin

    He really did turn the page this season. If he ever improved his shooting, he’d be even better. His improved D has been a revelation.

  35. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    I loved the Riley/JVG Knicks, but I can imagine they were pretty annoying to watch by outside observers. JVG’s offensive schemes were…well…they make Woodson’s offense look like Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

    Yeah I know, I have downloaded close to 50 playoff games from those Knicks teams and re-watching them trust me some of those games are real difficult to watch, the only thing that allowed me to watch the entire game was knowing the Knicks win in the end lol

    Although to me the biggest problems with those teams was PG play offensively. Riley’s teams were actually OK to watch offensively at times because Jax/Doc/Harper were decent at least (too bad Doc and Harper were toward the end of their careers when they joined the Knicks), watching JVG’s teams with Ward and Childs really was brutal to watch at times. Dunno how many times you would see Childs dribble the ball for almost the entire shot clock with nothing happening before they were forced to throw up some crap to beat the clock lol

  36. BigBlueAL

    nicos:
    I have to say I though Memphis was crazy when they signed Conley to that extension but he’s turned into a pretty good player- now it looks like he’s underpaid.

    He is actually a 38% 3pt shooter for his career and makes 1 per game. Always thought outside shooting was a problem of his but apparently not.

  37. Z

    Brian Cronin:
    Is it 90s or 90?s? I always forget.

    The 90s is plaural, so it doesn’t get an apostrophe, but the 90s possessed John Stockton, so it does get an apostophe. (So you were actually wrong on both tries, as it should have read “one notable 90s’ flopper” :)

  38. Brian Cronin

    Dunno how many times you would see Childs dribble the ball for almost the entire shot clock with nothing happening before they were forced to throw up some crap to beat the clock lol

    True, but if that kept happening (and it did), why didn’t JVG ever change his offense so that that didn’t happen? It was almost like he was okay with whatever they did on offense because he knew they would give 149% on defense and they’d win 72-71.

  39. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: True, but if that kept happening (and it did), why didn’t JVG ever change his offense so that that didn’t happen? It was almost like he was okay with whatever they did on offense because he knew they would give 149% on defense and they’d win 72-71.

    Yeah, it was play as slow a pace as possible and win it on D lol

    The funny thing is watching JVG’s teams they actually were very unselfish and would play in spurts some beautiful basketball believe it or not. They had alot of options too on offense so they didnt necessarily do the same thing over and over they just took so damn long to get into their offense but that was obviously the plan. They were also pretty damn skilled too, the 2000 team finished in the Top 5 in both FT and 3pt % but the problem is they didnt take enough of both.

  40. jon abbey

    that team is better without Rudy Gay, I think, a rare case where the statistical hatred of volume shooters is correct.

  41. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, it was play as slow a pace as possible and win it on D lol

    The funny thing is watching JVG’s teams they actually were very unselfish and would play in spurts some beautiful basketball believe it or not. They had alot of options too on offense so they didnt necessarily do the same thing over and over they just took so damn long to get into their offense but that was obviously the plan. They were also pretty damn skilled too, the 2000 team finished in the Top 5 in both FT and 3pt % but the problem is they didnt take enough of both.

    His offense early on was basically iso-Ewing, but after he lost Ewing, it was basically “whoever has the ball, do whatever you want.” He had talented enough players that that worked out well enough and when they were on, they were really on (Spree and Houston especially), but generally it was just an ugly offense.

    And yeah, one of the major knocks on Van Gundy was that he did not value the three ball nearly enough. I bet if he was coaching today he would appreciate it more. His brother certainly does.

  42. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: His offense early on was basically iso-Ewing, but after he lost Ewing, it was basically “whoever has the ball, do whatever you want.” He had talented enough players that that worked out well enough and when they were on, they were really on (Spree and Houston especially), but generally it was just an ugly offense.

    And yeah, one of the major knocks on Van Gundy was that he did not value the three ball nearly enough. I bet if he was coaching today he would appreciate it more. His brother certainly does.

    I checked his Rocket teams out of curiousity and its safe to say he did learn the value of the 3pter. His 3 playoff teams (his 4th team was bad due to injuries) all were in the Top 10 in 3pt attempts, makes and %. His last Rockets team was 2nd in makes while being 5th in %.

    Those teams though still were only mediocre on offense which was still better than his Knick teams offensively. Amazingly all his Rocket teams were in the Top 6 in defense, even his bad team which was the worst was 6th best (his playoff teams were 5th, 4th and 3rd defensively). His Knick teams which he coached for the entire season finished defensively 2nd, 4th, 4th, 6th and 3rd.

    The guy sure as hell knows how to coach defense.

  43. Brian Cronin

    Ha! It’s funny because I was going to look up his Houston teams because I was pretty sure he picked up the three ball, as well, but then I thought, “Eh, I really don’t feel like checking.” :)

    So that’s good to know that he learned his lesson. I can’t blame him too much for Houston’s poor offense. He had two stars, but the rest of those teams were pretty brutal, support staff-wise. T-Mac and Yao alone made those teams mediocre.

    But yeah, I don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that JVG knows how to coach defense. He’s amazing at it. To take two disparate teams and make them all play defense? He got Glen fucking Rice to play defense!!

  44. 2FOR18

    Chris Paul. Damn. I wish a more eloquent person can describe how good this guy is.

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