Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Can Peace Go Home Again?: A conversation

By all accounts, the signing of Metta World Peace was a good thing. Low-risk, high-reward, cathartic and karma-mending — it pretty much covered all the bases. But not everyone was pleased. The following is an email exchange I had with a self-described “fan of the blog” who insisted that the conversation be reproduced only under the strictest anonymity. So here it is.
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Rab Sliverman: Winners. Champions. The true greats of the sport. Men who transcend the game; who come to define the era in which they play. You can list them with surname-free bliss.

Magic. Michael. Wilt. Kareem. Isiah. Hakeem. LeBron. Kobe. Bird.

Is Bird a surname? Okay, it is. But it doesn’t really sound like one and animals don’t count so my oh-so-salient-point and the song remains the same.

And to this hallowed registry of unfathomable athletic splendor, you think the New York Knickerbockers Professional Basketball Club and Traveling Medicine Show should ad…METTA?

I am appalled. Shocked and appalled. You dare to besmirch the memory of James Naismith himself. Men named Metta do not ply their trade in the Mecca of Basketball. These hallowed halls, upon which have trod the finest cagers in the sport, and you…you…

It’s repugnant is what it is. Metta may be a New Yorker by birthright, but the real denizens of this town know, his act won’t play. Not on Broadway, the Bowery, the Bronx or Staten Island too. Uptown, Downtown, crosstown…like the kids say, we ain’t down with World Peace.
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Cavan: Yes, let’s talk about some of these legends, shall we? One of them cheated on his wife with enough women to violate an Applebee’s fire code. Another routinely punched his own teammates in the face and just named his brother Emperor of Charlotte. One guy appeared in Conan the Destroyer. Children out of wedlock; a former SOCCER player, for crying out loud; a Los Angeles Laker; and Isiah Thomas: check; check; check; check.

Ahh, “class”. The last refuge of a sports scoundrel.

Metta World Peace will never outrun the Malice monsters; never do near enough to make people understand the name change. Partly because it wasn’t just the Malace, and it wasn’t just the name change. Partly because we as a society are quicker to forgive monsters of true power than mere men at play. He is, however, coming back to the one place where hearing his old name could conjure a memory apart. Good memories. Memories of home and a playground concrete’s tautest roots.

Don’t we — not just New Yorkers; but everyone — owe him that much?
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Sliverman: I’m glad you brought it up– the Malice in the Palace.

It sounds so benign, doesn’t it? No harm done. Just a bit of Malice, like that lovely movie with that bloviating lie-bral gasbag has-been, Alex Baldwin. But it was no mere bit of moral-free cinematic flotsam from the soulless cesspool that is “Holly-wood.” Oh no, it was an insult to everything I hold near and dear.

A man (if I dare to use such a word). A trained, sculpted athlete. 6 foot 7 inches and two hundred and fifty pounds of coiled fury. His sense, barely tethered together by his taut, sinewy, glistening, oiled, muscular, oily-muscled man-frame. At the merest provocation — a cup of lager mind you — goes tearing into the stands like wild Bengal tiger, blood and/or saliva dripping from his curled lips, his eyes shot red with unfettered rage, red as the blood that courses, nay throbs, with pugilistic fervor through every throbbing vein in his chiseled frame.

He has only one thought (if you can call it that): revenge. He wants to feel the flesh of another man against his white knuckled fists. Pounding his supposed tormentor again and again, harder and harder, faster and faster, his mind a blur, until the helpless victim is reduced to a pulpy heap.

And do you know who witnessed this atrocity?

Children. Young Children. Some as young as six years old. And do you know who possibly witnessing this atrocity right next to the young children barely six years old? Even younger children.

Won’t somebody please think of the children!
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Cavan: We overdraft our bank accounts to make sure Junior’s Christmas morning includes a nice three-hour session of Call of Duty IX: Mow Down the Foreigners on XBox 360; drag him to parades in baking heat, hand him a sparkler, then tell him to cheer humans shooting and stabbing and lighting other human beings on fire. And Ron Artest clocking some drunk shithead is grounds for shipping him to Attica?

OK.

He was 24 years old when the Malice went down. Twenty-four. When I was 24, I could barely be bothered to put pants on. I would go months — literally months — without washing my shower towel. I ate cheese six, sometimes seven times a day. I wore glasses repaired with a wad of duct tape the size of a June bug because my weekly expenses for the $300 I made working in a kitchen included rent, food, gas, drugs, and more drugs, and not saving up for a pair of glasses that didn’t melt to my face on hot days. I lived in a walk-in closet on the third floor of Washington, D.C. row house. I was seriously into Arcade Fire. In most pre-Columbian societies, I would’ve been sacrificed to the corn gods during a GREAT harvest.

He’s 33, has a chip, was sent off from LA with heaps of heartfelt praise, and is looking to close out a very, very good career by helping his childhood team take that next step — the team that overnighted him a parcel of malaria-laced elephant shit on Draft Night, by the way.

I’m all in.
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Sliverman: Fine. Let’s leave Ron’s crimes in the past where they belong. Though I notice your youthful follies did not merit incarceration. You certainly needed a good, strong bath, a colonic and a stern talking-to, but as much as you might have been (and might still be, a no-goodnik punk who’s what’s wrong with this country — where’s your work ethic and making something of yourself and bootstrap-pulling and elbow grease and putting your grimy, possibly drug-filled and -fueled nose to the proverbial grindstone?)

And he’s called Mr. Artest, not Metta or World Peace [chortles]. Snoop Doggy Dogg is Snoop Doggy Dog. Not Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion. Puff Daddy is not Puffy is not P. Diddy is not George Sand.

Where was I? Oh yes, you ruffian kids are useless with the eye-phones and the twitterers. But enough of all that.

Let’s talk about basketball, if your substance-addled mind can still recall the rules set down by the great James A. Naismith on stone tablets and passed to Cousy to Russell to West to Havlicek to Erving where it was translated into the Elvish language of Quenya by Shane Battier.

Artest’s supposed defensive prowess has been ever-dimishing with age. The footspeed that allowed him to ably guard small, big and medium forwards alike is as much a relic of the past as my trusty rotary phone and prized IBM Selectric Typewriter.

If you think he can spread the floor, recall that he shot a putrid .403 from the field, and that was under the kindly eyes of Mike D’Antoni. He hasn’t cracked .414 since ’08 and he’s a Bargani-esque .342 from deep. If you’re expecting a Three and Dee guy, Ron ain’t it, pardon my use of low-class argot.

Want more?

I’ve got some pockmarked, asthmatic intern here by my side wielding a protractor and a Ventolin inhaler. He says these numbers is no good. He’s got new numbers. FANCY numbers. And lo! They’re terrible too! A Tee-Ess of .517 and an E-Eff-Gee of .488 and win shares? What’s that? Speak up boy! Assert yourself. You’ll never make it in this biz we call ness if you don’t learn to announce your presence in bold, robust, baritone…er…tones.

I aught to dock that boy’s salary. What? He doesn’t get one? Well, problem solved. Hmph. That’s what you get with a Princeton grad.

Right-o. Win Shares. He doesn’t get many or something. Purr? No he doesn’t purr, boy! Artest is not a cat, striking high cheekbones and devilish, vaguely Asiatic eyes notwithstanding.

Intern-kid here says his purr is no good. Hmph. Sounds licentious if you ask me.

So there you have it. A fading defensive player who only exacerbates the team’s…JUST SAY IT STOP WRITING NOTES LAD. JIM CAN’T HEAR YOU…spacing issues.

What a great addition. And that’s assuming he isn’t wearing a straight jacket and drinking from a sippy cup with his shoelaces and belt taken away for his protection while he ‘rests’ at the local loony bin by December.

Thus endeth the lesson.
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Cavan: No, he’s not a beacon of efficiency. Even after 14 seasons, his jumper’s release still displays all the grace of a broken windhsield wiper. He hasn’t had a PER higher than 15 since 2009, and and his 106 DRtg a year ago was the second worst of his career.

Still, I feel like some context is in order here. You remember last year’s Los Angeles Lakers, right? One more regular season loss, FEMA aircraft are sent to Southern California. Darius Morris played serious point guard minutes. DARIUS MORRIS! During one stretch in mid-February, they rolled out a starting lineup of World Peace, Andrew Goudelock, Earl Clark, and George Mikan. That was it — those were the only four players they had. Everyone else was in the hospital. George Mikan has been dead for eight years.

Here are the facts: MWP has one of the most intense, well-respected offseason regimens in the league; he enjoyed a bounce-back season a year ago; and he really, really wants to be here. Don’t think that doesn’t count for something.

Will he revert to Captain Bonehead between two and five times a week? Probably. Will he get ejected for sitting on someone’s head? Ten-to-one, tops. Will there be drama? Yes. Just, Law & Order Drama and not, like, Steel Magnolias drama, you know? Quick-hitting and intermittent.

You’ll come around, Rab. We’re talking about arguably the greatest New York City product of his generation; a guy who bleeds concrete and oozes 90s tough. He’s going to fit, he’s going to work, he’s going to teach, preach, and reach, and he’s going to be a blast to watch.
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Sliverman: But I jus–
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Cavan: Sorry, Rab, we’re out of time.
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Sliverman: Oh come on, on mor–
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Cavan: Sorry, this isn’t a February Bobcats game recap. Gotta keep it under 2000 words.
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Sliverman: Well can we make it a 10-part series?
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Cavan: Fine.

48 comments on “Can Peace Go Home Again?: A conversation

  1. Frank O.

    He’ll be a useful Peace.
    A bargain Peace.
    He also brings a toughness the Knicks need against a team like the Pacers.
    A, to be honest, everything I have read about the guy from other players and execs is he’s eccentric, sure, but a fun, good, light-hearted lockerroom guy.

  2. Juany8

    Frank O.:
    He’ll be a useful Peace.
    A bargain Peace.
    He also brings a toughness the Knicks need against a team like the Pacers.
    A, to be honest, everything I have read about the guy from other players and execs is he’s eccentric, sure, but a fun, good, light-hearted lockerroom guy.

    I heard some… Interesting stories when he was here on the rockets and it can be a nuisance, but he won’t be a problem in the locker room. Kind of like Sheed

  3. ephus

    Juany8: Kind of like Sheed

    Does that mean “Ball don’t lie” redux?

    I see MWP’s brand of muscular defense helping against LBJ, Pierce and Paul George. It should allow ‘Melo to cross-match against the opponent’s weaker offensive forward, so he can exert more energy on offense.

  4. ruruland

    It should be noted that MWP scored at a clip of 1.06 PPP last year in large part because of his 9.8 tov rate.

    Howard scored 1.01 PPP with a .573 TS and a lower assist rate. Nash scored 1.05 PPP with a .605 TS.

    Now sure why people regularly fail to cite turnovers when discussing individual ‘efficiency”.

    MWP was actually more efficient than the average NBA player last season.

    MWP ranked 33rd in the NBA in post-up efficiency and 11th in the league in pick and roill ballhandler efficiency. He functioned quite well in his first year in a 4-out system.

    I think if the Knicks can ensure his assisted basket rate stays around 70 through consistent guard play, he’ll be efficient.

  5. ruruland

    Another thing, if we simply think of MWP as the guy replacing Kidd in the starting lineup (which isn’t much of a stretch given the kinds of players JK guarded last season) note that MWP scored more efficiently at higher usage (less assist obviously) and did basically everything basically at the same level (more offensive rebounds, fewer defensive boards).

    Ovbiously think MWP is a much better defender, even if Kidd’s rotations were great most of the time.

    How much bettwer would the Knicks have performed in the playoffs had they had MWP’s rate of 7 made fields goals to 3 turnovers in place of JKidd’s 3 made field goals to 13 turnovers (over 247 minutes !!!!!!!!)

    That’s right Jowles, the 10th best player in the NBA last year made three field goals and turned the ball over 13 times in 247 playoff minutes.

  6. flossy

    ruruland: It should be noted that MWP scored at a clip of 1.06 PPP last year in large part because of his 9.8 tov rate.

    Howard scored 1.01 PPP with a .573 TS and a lower assist rate. Nash scored 1.05 PPP with a .605 TS.

    Now sure why people regularly fail to cite turnovers when discussing individual ‘efficiency”.

    Is there a way to get these numbers without paying for a Synergy account?

  7. DRed

    ruruland:
    It should be noted that MWP scored at a clip of 1.06 PPP last year in large part because of his 9.8 tov rate.

    Howard scored 1.01 PPP with a .573 TS and a lower assist rate.Nash scored 1.05 PPP with a .605 TS.

    Now sure why people regularly fail to cite turnovers when discussing individual ‘efficiency”.

    MWP was actually more efficient than the average NBA player last season.

    MWP ranked 33rd in the NBA in post-up efficiency and 11th in the league in pick and roill ballhandler efficiency. He functioned quite well in his first year in a 4-out system.

    I think if the Knicks can ensure his assisted basket rate stays around 70 through consistent guard play, he’ll be efficient.

    Morey is an idiot. He just should have signed MWP instead of wasting his money on Howard. I mean, he had a lower assist rate than Ron Ron. Imagine that! A center with a lower assist rate than a small forward.

  8. ruruland

    DRed: Morey is an idiot.He just should have signed MWP instead of wasting his money on Howard.I mean, he had a lower assist rate than Ron Ron.Imagine that!A center with a lower assist rate than a small forward.

    Yeah, that’s what I was trying to get at hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. DRed

    ruruland: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to get at hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Serioulsy, though, what was your point? Why would you even mention that Metta had a higher assist rate than Dwight Howard?

  10. flossy

    DRed: Serioulsy, though, what was your point?Why would you even mention that Metta had a higher assist rate than Dwight Howard?

    It seemed pretty obvious that the point was that TS% is not the be-all, end-all of efficiency since it doesn’t factor in things like, for example, how often a player turns the ball over. Artest isn’t a particularly efficient scorer, but that’s mitigated by low turnovers.

  11. DRed

    flossy: It seemed pretty obvious that the point was that TS% is not the be-all, end-all of efficiency since it doesn’t factor in things like, for example, how often a player turns the ball over.Artest isn’t a particularly efficient scorer, but that’s mitigated by low turnovers.

    Great. I agree that TS% is not the be all and end all of offensive efficiency. It’s got fuckall to do with Dwight Howard’s assist rate.

  12. ruruland

    DRed: Serioulsy, though, what was your point?Why would you even mention that Metta had a higher assist rate than Dwight Howard?

    The conventional argument (in fact you recently made it) is that turnover % should not be used as a metric to measure scoring efficiency, but rather as an explanatory variable of assists and passing.

    People will say, oh yeah, he had a low turnover rate, but his assist rate wasn’t that high.

    Well, I don’t even want to get into that right now, but I’m surprised my point was lost on folks.

    To repeat: You cannot discount MWP’s possession scoring efficiency over Dwight’s because of turnovers.

    Why? Because he also passed more than Dwight.

    MWP had a significantly lower TO% and a higher assist percentage, all while creating a higher percentage of his own shots.

    From that perspective, he was a more efficient player than Howard last season. Of course he’s nowhere near the offensive force Howard is. Not sure why that’s the reflexive strawman you WPers keeping tossing out there.

  13. ruruland

    DRed: Great.I agree that TS% is not the be all and end all of offensive efficiency.It’s got fuckall to do with Dwight Howard’s assist rate.

    Is there any doubt that PPP is a better measurement of scoring efficiency than TS%?

  14. Unreason

    Very funny and enjoyable as usual Rab and Jim.

    I don’t expect much from him other than energy, bullish strength and fearlessness. I think those will be valuable though I doubt valuable enough to make up for his other contributions. Character aside, his usual style of play is certainly easy to enjoy and root for. I’m hoping for the best.

  15. DRed

    ruruland: Is there any doubt that PPP is a better measurement of scoring efficiency than TS%?

    I dunno. How is it calculated? How does it compare to ORTG? I ask because Dwight and the Mettaman had the same ORTG last season.

  16. DRed

    ruruland: The conventional argument (in fact you recently made it) is that turnover % should not be used as a metric to measure scoring efficiency, but rather as an explanatory variable of assists and passing.

    People will say, oh yeah, he had a low turnover rate, but his assist rate wasn’t that high.

    Well, I don’t even want to get into that right now, but I’m surprised my point was lost on folks.

    To repeat: You cannot discount MWP’s possession scoring efficiency over Dwight’s because of turnovers.

    Why? Because he also passed more than Dwight.

    MWP had a significantly lower TO% and a higher assist percentage, all while creating a higher percentage of his own shots.

    From that perspective, he was a more efficient player than Howard last season. Of course he’s nowhere near the offensive force Howard is. Not sure why that’s the reflexive strawman you WPers keeping tossing out there.

    Come on, Metta doesn’t create his own shots. He played on a team with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. They command the double teams, Kobe takes all the tough shots, and Metta gets the easy stuff. I thought that was how it worked. Floor spacing and shot creation and so forth.

  17. EB

    DRed: Come on, Metta doesn’t create his own shots.He played on a team with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant.They command the double teams, Kobe takes all the tough shots, and Metta gets the easy stuff.I thought that was how it worked.Floor spacing and shot creation and so forth.

    Don’t forget Nash!!

  18. Z-man

    I would take a flyer on Austin Daye, young, long, pretty good 3-pt shooter, might develop in the right situation…

    Miller or Gooden for the minimum would bo OK too!

  19. massive

    Ausin Daye showed signs of life as a Memphis Grizzlie with a .127 WS/48. I’m starting to believe in an idea that talented-but-unproductive players on terrible teams tend to play better on rosters where they can find a niche and not overextend themselves. WP/48 also likes him as he was a .125 in Memphis and a .124 in Detroit. That would be a decent signing for some young, bench depth. You could certainly do worse than him.

  20. ruruland

    DRed: I dunno.How is it calculated?How does it compare to ORTG?I ask because Dwight and the Mettaman had the same ORTG last season.

    MEASURE OF SCORING EFFICIENCY, NOT MEASURE OF OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY/PRODUCTIVITY.

  21. ruruland

    DRed: Come on, Metta doesn’t create his own shots.He played on a team with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant.They command the double teams, Kobe takes all the tough shots, and Metta gets the easy stuff.I thought that was how it worked.Floor spacing and shot creation and so forth.

    64% assisted basket rate is pretty high for a wing. Dwight had a career high in assisted basket rate % last season.

    You’re boring me.

  22. JK47

    I watched a lot of Laker games last year, and I’ll just say this: you guys will like MWP. He busts his ass out there and for a guy with a thuggish rep, he’s actually a pretty high IQ player. He plays great straight-up D without committing stupid fouls, and he’ll fit in with the Knicks’ low-turnover style on offense.

  23. DRed

    JK47:
    I watched a lot of Laker games last year, and I’ll just say this: you guys will like MWP. He busts his ass out there and for a guy with a thuggish rep, he’s actually a pretty high IQ player. He plays great straight-up D without committing stupid fouls, and he’ll fit in with the Knicks’ low-turnover style on offense.

    It is remarkable how few stupid fouls he commits given his rep. Metta is a nut, but he’s a hypercompetive nut who gives his all. Sure would have been nice to draft him.

  24. Brian Cronin

    I would take a flyer on Austin Daye, young, long, pretty good 3-pt shooter, might develop in the right situation…

    Miller or Gooden for the minimum would bo OK too!

    Agreed on all three!

  25. DRed

    ruruland: MEASURE OF SCORING EFFICIENCY, NOT MEASURE OF OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY/PRODUCTIVITY.

    That doesn’t really answer my questions. I’ll look it up myself.

  26. DRed

    Brian Cronin: Agreed on all three!

    Daye seems like he’d be worth a punt. Miller is still a terrific player when he’s healthy, but with our medical staff and our roster, I’m not sure I’d take him. I mean, someone actually has to play during the regular season. Gooden has been decent enough in his career, and lord knows we need another big man, but he was really awful last year-was he hurt?

  27. DRed

    Is Cole Aldrich still available? He can rebound and foul people while Tyson catches a rest.

  28. massive

    The Knicks are in talks with Bobby Brown about a contract. I have a great feeling about him.

  29. DRed

    massive:
    The Knicks are in talks with Bobby Brown about a contract. I have a great feeling about him.

    If nothing else, think of the jokes!

  30. ruruland

    DRed:
    Is Cole Aldrich still available? He can rebound and foul people while Tyson catches a rest.

    Kenyon Martin is way better than Aldrich. with Dalambert signed I have no idea why Knicks haven’t signed him. He recently liked this photo on his instagram: http://instagram.com/p/b5CpiNBBzz/

  31. DRed

    I like Kenyon, but I have serious doubts about him holding up for 82 games. Assuming we can get to the playoffs again, it would be nice to get there with a relatively healthy team, because last year sucked.

  32. Zanzibar

    Maybe it’s the sweltering heat affecting my thinking but I wouldn’t re-sign KMart and would use 3 roster spots on young bigs who can knock down an outside shot – players like Tyler and Harrellson. Regarding Chandler, we don’t know if Popeye or Olive Oyl shows up. KMart’s health and attitude over an entire season are suspect and he didn’t make much of an impact against the Pacers. So long as Hibbert/Noah treat Tyson/KMart like potted plants on offense I don’t envision how we advance in the playoffs. Mavs won a chip with Tyson in part because only 27% of Dirk’s shots that season were inside of 10ft compared to 60% of Amare’s in that same season. Melo’s seems to be most efficient when he drives or operates in the low post. I want active young bigs who can provide some spacing. Odds are reasonable one of the 3 breaks through if Woodson gives them minutes.

  33. ruruland

    DRed:
    I like Kenyon, but I have serious doubts about him holding up for 82 games.Assuming we can get to the playoffs again, it would be nice to get there with a relatively healthy team, because last year sucked.

    I think a 60 game plan for all the bigs is the way to go. Knicks should have enough wing depth where that isn’t much of a problem. Saving Ty is the big issue, imo.

  34. ruruland

    Zanzibar:
    Maybe it’s the sweltering heat affecting my thinking but I wouldn’t re-sign KMart and would use 3 roster spots on young bigs who can knock down an outside shot – players like Tyler and Harrellson.Regarding Chandler, we don’t know if Popeye or Olive Oyl shows up. KMart’s health and attitude over an entire season are suspect and he didn’t make much of an impact against the Pacers. So long as Hibbert/Noah treat Tyson/KMart like potted plants on offense I don’t envision how we advance in the playoffs. Mavs won a chip with Tyson in part because only 27% of Dirk’s shots that season were inside of 10ft compared to 60% of Amare’s in that same season. Melo’s seems to be most efficient when he drives or operates in the low post. I want active young bigs who can provide some spacing. Odds are reasonable one of the 3 breaks through if Woodson gives them minutes.

    Melo was the third most efficient pnr ballhandler scorer in the league last year. More efficient than James Harden, and the sample was quite large.

    And the more he runs it over the course of a game, the better he sees the floor, the more he passes and dictates the defense.

    Unfortunately, throughout the season the Knicks saved this offense until the 4th quarter.

    They really waited until game 6 against Indy to start the game with Melo handling the ball in pnr.

    Melo again had ridiculous shot distribution last season. Even though he was in the 75th percentile or better in almost all shot categories, 48 percent of his shots were iso or post-ups. Crazy.

    Again, the Knicks have better chance of keeping Melo healthy if they can reduce those, I’d say 10-15 percent at least. That shoulder was fucked up, obviously.

    That also alleviates some of the spacing issues.

  35. JK47

    I don’t think anyone really knows what to make of Aldrich since he never really got a legit shot to play. On a per-minute basis he’s been quite a fine shotblocker and rebounder. He’s also 11 years younger than K-Mart. I think Aldrich would be able to hold his own as a backup center.

    I would still prefer K-Mart though, because K-Mart is just one of those guys who knows the right spots to go to on the defensive end. You don’t have to speculate with K-Mart… you know exactly what he brings to the table.

  36. Igno-Bot 3000

    DRed:
    I like Kenyon, but I have serious doubts about him holding up for 82 games.Assuming we can get to the playoffs again, it would be nice to get there with a relatively healthy team, because last year sucked.

    This is really what scares me about him. He played 30 games total last season

  37. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Igno-Bot 3000: This is really what scares me about him.He played 30 games total last season

    It scares me too. I’m all for Kenyon, at least, in a vacuum, but he relies so heavily on athleticism that I can imagine him being a net negative if he’s banged up or worn down come home stretch/playoffs. I think Ruru had a post late in the season about how Kenyon, in Denver, would wear down when given too many minutes. ruru…am i remembering your post correctly?

  38. BigBlueAL

    DRed:
    I like Kenyon, but I have serious doubts about him holding up for 82 games.Assuming we can get to the playoffs again, it would be nice to get there with a relatively healthy team, because last year sucked.

    Assuming we can get to the playoffs again?? Seriously?? You really think this team could miss the playoffs?? You gotta be freaking kidding me.

  39. Brian Cronin

    What I like about Bobby Brown is that he has the upside to possibly be a steal. He’ll likely not be that good, but I’d rather them take a flyer on a guy like Brown who could surprise everyone than sign someone like Telfair who A. is currently mediocre at best and B. will almost certainly be mediocre at best next season or Brooks, who A. is currently mediocre at best, B. will almost certainly be mediocre at best next season and C. won’t be happy about being the third-string point guard.

  40. Brian Cronin

    I really don’t get what K-Mart is waiting for. Just re-sign, already, you big goofball! Unless perhaps it is the Knicks who are dragging their feet? K-Mart did like that Instagram photo saying that the Knicks should hurry up and sign him, so maybe it is the Knicks who are trying to weigh other options (like Gooden, maybe?).

  41. JK47

    I’m pretty skeptical of Bobby Brown. People may not realize it, but he has played 1500 NBA minutes and played terribly in that time. Negative WS48, horrendous .463 TS%, fugly .311 3PT%. Those are some stinky numbers. I mean, that’s practically Mardy Collins-level ineptitude.

    He’s about the same age as Aaron Brooks, and quite frankly Brooks has blown his doors off as a pro. It’s enticing to think Brown might be a steal because he had a nice year in Europe, but Aaron Brooks is a career .364 shooter from 3 in the actual NBA, and has a career .531 TS%.

  42. Brian Cronin

    I’m skeptical of him, as well. If there was a legitimately good point guard out there, I’d prefer him to Brown, but since there doesn’t seem to be one (at least not for the vet minimum), I’d prefer a player like Brown, who I am skeptical about, to a guy like Brooks, who I am confident about (that he will be bad). Yes, Brown was a poor player when he played in the NBA, but that was years ago and before he put up an awesome Euroleague season. Leading the Euroleague in scoring is no joke. I think he was just a raw player that needed some time learning to play the game. I imagine his second stint in the NBA will be much more impressive (whether it is impressive enough for him to be a worthwhile addition, that I cannot say).

  43. Brian Cronin

    Man, being an Indiana fan must kind of suck:

    “My heart is still in Indiana … I’m still a Pacer, and hopefully I remain a Pacer,” [Paul] George said when asked about his upcoming free agency. “I’m happy where I’m at.”

    A native of California, George was born in Palmdale and grew up cheering for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

    “Of course it would be tough (to say no to Kobe),” said George. “You’re talking about playing (at) home.”

    Mike Miller is telling people he wants to sign with OKC. That’s a good fit if he is healthy.

  44. max fisher-cohen

    The thing about Paul George though and Kyrie Irving, about whom people have been circulating rumors, is that they’re going to be freakin’ RFAs. Unless they hate the midwest so bad they’re willing to take their Q.O.s, they’ll be on their current teams probably until like 2018 if not longer.

  45. Nick C.

    ruruland:
    Melo again had ridiculous shot distribution last season. Even though he was in the 75th percentile or better in almost all shot categories, 48 percent of his shots were iso or post-ups. Crazy.

    Really? So why was everyone shouted down who complained about lack of ball movement or “iso Melo”? I thought they were silly during the season myself but seeing those numbers, unless every scorer has splits like that, I may have been mistaken.

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