Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 24, 2014

D’Antoni’s Style Not To Blame

Recently Charles Barkley and Steven A. Smith have come out blaming D’Antoni for the Knicks mediocre performance. On national television Barkley said that D’Antoni is “just not stressing defense. He’s just being too damn stubborn, like he’s trying to win his way. … Looking at these Knicks, it’s like he is trying to prove a point that he can win with his system. And dammit, it ain’t working. And it ain’t gonna work.” Smith uses “statistics” to back his point:

Whether it was in the lockout-shortened season of 1999 with the Nuggets, his four-plus seasons in Phoenix where he averaged 58 wins, or the near three seasons in New York, D’Antoni has never stewarded a team that yielded less than 100 points per game.

Not once!

His first team in Phoenix (2004-05) was dead last in the NBA in points allowed at 103.3 per game. The next season the Suns were 28th in the league at 102.8. At no time did the Suns rank better than 23rd ranked in the league defensively, and, actually, that’s the good news.

Mike D’Antoni is most understood by those that use traditional statistics because he has fast paced teams. Since 2005, his teams have ranked 4th or better in pace in five of six seasons, and this year the Knicks are second in the NBA. And fast paced teams tend to “break” per game stats. Imagine a baseball manager that can change the rules of the game by giving each team 4 outs per inning instead of 3. Statistics like ERA and runs per game would get inflated for both offense & defense. However it doesn’t necessarily mean the manager’s pitchers and defense got worse. Rather it would simply mean that the opposing team has more opportunities to score.

In baseball we measure how a player or team performs by looking at their success divided by the number of opportunities they receive. No one cares about hits per game, when hits per at bat is a more descriptive stat. Pitchers aren’t judged by runs per game, because runs per inning is superior. However in basketball no adjustment by traditional stats are made. Much like baseball, advanced stats look at how teams score per chance allotted, or per possession. On the other hand, when Smith and Barkley look to describe D’Antoni’s teams, they are working from flawed assumptions.

There’s no question that D’Antoni’s team rely on offense to win, but how bad his defense has been is largely misunderstood. His Phoenix teams ranked 17th, 16th, 13th and 16th in defensive efficiency. Not great, but certainly better than the Barkleys and Smiths would have you believe.

The pair assert that D’Antoni doesn’t pay mind to his defense and the team’s woes are due to his inability to adjust his strategy. However I’m not sure that’s true. It’s obvious that the team is moving from D’Antoni’s preferred offensive style of pushing the ball up the floor and rapid ball movement to a move iso-friendly style. No Knick under D’Antoni’s reign has been able to hold the ball without action longer than Carmelo Anthony does. So he hasn’t been unbending with regards to his offense.

With regards to defense, D’Antoni seems to be doing the best he can with the players available. New York’s three biggest stars, Amar’e, ‘Melo, and Billups aren’t good defenders. Hence the Knicks have been playing more defensive minded players alongside them. Toney Douglas played nearly 30 minutes Tuesday night, including a good portion in the fourth quarter in lieu of Landry Fields and alongside Billups to give New York a better perimeter defense.

New York has also given considerable minutes to Jared Jeffries. Mind you, Jeffries is the antithetical D’Antoni player. He has no skill on the offensive end, save for rebounding. He’s incredible feeble inside the paint, and useless outside of it. For the Knicks, Jeffries is averaging a PER of 4.1, and a TS% of .212. Despite his offensive shortcomings, Jeffries played 25 minutes yesterday.

In Smith’s article he asserts that “we can’t blame Knicks president Donnie Walsh for assembling the ineptitude we’re witnessing at this moment.” However there isn’t much defensive talent on this team. Beyond Douglas and Jeffries, only Turiaf and Balkman are the Knicks other options to prevent other teams from scoring. However Turiaf has shown to be injury prone, while Balkman has seemingly alienated every coach he’s played for. The problem isn’t so much D’Antoni’s refusal to focus on defense, but rather the lack of defenders on the roster.

160 comments on “D’Antoni’s Style Not To Blame

  1. latke

    I agree that the Smith in particular now has to play the blame game since he was the one screaming about how you trade the whole team for Anthony.

    That said, the Knicks’ defense has been epically terrible these last 4 games, and that’s against teams that average out to be slightly below average offensively.

    They have allowed an average TS% of 62.2%. That is a full 5.5% worse than the worst defensive team in the league’s opponent TS% (cleveland — 56.7%). In other words, if the Knicks had only played defense like the those defensive Godzillas from Cleveland, they would have won both games against Indiana.

    This says to me that while the bad defensive players are a big part of the problem, coaching and player effort levels are playing a part in this as well.

  2. flossy

    I think it’s fair to say that while Chuck and Steven A. Smith may be wrong in their statistical analysis of *how* and *why* the Knicks are so terrible at defense, they’re right to point out that the Knicks are, well, terrible at defense.

    After such a pathetic showing as last night, there is more than enough blame to go around, but I do think some of it has to fall on the coach. Sure, you don’t have any all-NBA defenders on the team, or even many above-average defenders. Surely there must be some kind of scheme we could institute to at least try to mitigate that fact… perhaps that’s what the return of the zone look is about?

    At the end of the day, though, we have one “star” who only pays attention on defense when he’s guarding another “star” one-on-one, and another “star” who seems totally content to let guys like Tyler Hansborough repeatedly crap on him without putting up a fight. How much of that is really on the coach? It may be a truism, but if the defensive effort isn’t there, there really isn’t much that the guy standing on the sidelines can do to make up for it.

  3. Nick C.

    On point Mike. The wierd thing is many of the better shows from this club and the previous incarnation came from defense. Just recently they did well when the otherwise yucky Anthony Carter and TD pressured the ball and generated a lot of deflections. The previosu team IIRC had a stretch where the defense seemed to clamp down in the second half and fourth quarters. To me while Coach has some responsibility, mostly with playing time perhaps, this is more a personnel issue.

  4. JK47

    This team is neither fish nor fowl. We’re not really an offensive powerhouse, because we’re running one of the worst offensive players in the league out there about half of the time, and also giving scattered minutes to other players who are ostensibly in there for their defense. Yet the “defensive specialists” who get floor time aren’t really good enough on defense to make much of a dent.

    So the result is that we’re a good, but not great offense and a terrible defense. It doesn’t really work having certain players who are offense-only and certain players who are defense-only. If the Melo-Stat pairing is going to work, pretty much everybody else out there has to be a good two-way player.

    Right now this club is just incoherent. That’s what happens when a third of your roster is comprised of another team’s throwaway players. The Melo trade is certainly looking kind of bad at the moment. They’re going to have to do some major tinkering to get this product into shape for next season.

  5. Mike Kurylo Post author

    flossy: Surely there must be some kind of scheme we could institute to at least try to mitigate that fact… perhaps that’s what the return of the zone look is about?

    Just wanted to point out how much this line smacks of desperation. I guess if Thibodeau or Poppovich were the coach, perhaps New York would have a better defense. However the Knicks don’t have a Duncan, Bowen, or Noah to help anchor the D. On the other hand an increase in defense might come at the expense of offense, which would mean the same amount of wins/losses.

    D’Antoni seems to be willing to play a defensive minded center (see: Jeffries), perhaps he realizes this isn’t going to be a SSOL team given the three main players. It’ll be up to Walsh to get one, as well as better overall defenders to fill out the bench.

  6. Mike Kurylo Post author

    JK47: This team is neither fish nor fowl. We’re not really an offensive powerhouse, because we’re running one of the worst offensive players in the league out there about half of the time,

    Geez I’m not high on Carmelo, but I think this criticism is a bit harsh.

    Oh… wait you meant Jared Jeffries. Never mind. (jk!)

  7. Count Zero

    This was both predictable AND inevitable.

    For two months any number of smart people noted that the ‘Melo deal wasn’t a particularly good idea — not because ‘Melo isn’t a pretty damn good player, but because he didn’t do a thing to fix the Knicks’ most glaring weakness — interior defense. Naysayers willfully and erroneously focused on the fact that we were underestimating ‘Melo’s ability, that he was the most talented scorer in the NBA, etc. While I think we disagreed with those superlatives, I don’t think any of us ever denied that ‘Melo was a better player than Gallo or anyone else that got traded for him. What we were saying all along is that more offense wasn’t going to help the Knicks all that much — what they needed was a Marc Gasol or at least a Sideshow Bob to shore up their most glaring weakness.

    So now that we have ‘Melo and we aren’t winning any more games than we were before, revisionist analysis has to put the blame somewhere else — enter D’Antoni. “It wasn’t that we were wrong about ‘Melo — it’s that D’Antoni doesn’t know how to coach.”

    I like ‘Melo and on any given night, he and STAT can so dominate offensively that they can beat any team in the league. However, over the course of a full season and postseason, the Knicks remain hampered by the same lack of a post defender — in fact, they probably got even worse in that regard with the loss of Ill Will. And that was the point we were all making from jump with regard to ‘Melo — lot of activity, much chaos, very little real gain in terms of making the Knicks a long-term title contender.

    Go ahead and bring in [insert d-minded head coach name here] — it’s not going to turn the Knicks into a better defensive team unless you bring in a big-time post defender. And with the cap issues we now have, I just don’t see that happening.

  8. ess-dog

    We just lack players. I think it’s as simple as that. If one of our 4 consistently good players – Billups, Melo, Fields or Stat – is hurt or deeply slumping, we do not have a good shot at winning. I will chalk the last two up to Chauncey not being 100% (damn you Dwight Howard!) but really we need more legit players. Before the hip check, Chauncey was playing out of his mind. I hope he can get back to that.
    But next year, even if we can add a Kris Humphries, Jeff Green or Carl Landry just think how much that could help a team like ours? Combine that with another good rookie and maybe some more consistency from TD… then we’re talking #4 seed instead of #7 seed.
    And yes, for the 4,988,002nd time, I would love a bruiser in the middle to flatten people like Hansbrough, but I think while D’Antoni is here, the best bet is to just run his system the way it’s meant to be run and if that means Stat at center, so be it. I think it’s clear that Jeffrighteneds “amazing” defense isn’t helping anything. Better to have 5 guys that can score out there IMO so that people don’t get shy about passing and we return to iso ball.
    I mean we almost won that game shooting 44 percent and getting killed by the refs. Even though it’s embarrassing to get worked by psycho T, isn’t that kind of what we’re used to with this system? We just need some better players.

  9. njasdjdh

    Does anyone have a gif of the Jeffries 3? I felt a part of my soul die in that moment and I would like to commemorate it.

  10. hoolahoop

    Mike, I’m so glad it’s being said. I knew that most of the “experts” like Steven A. Smith that demanded the knicks trade whatever it takes to get melo, would get off the hook by blaming someone or something else. Accountability.

    Regarding your comment that “New York’s three biggest stars, Amar’e, ‘Melo, and Billups aren’t good defenders”, are you saying that they can’t play defense if they tried?
    Suppose, the NBA had a rule that an opposing team could select one player that was not allowed to shoot the ball, and every opponent the Knicks played chose Melo. I believe we’d soon be calling Melo a passing genius and defensive demon. He’s a gifted athlete with uber talent. If he put his effort into playing defense, he’d be good at it. Defense comes from the heart. That is what makes me dislike players like him. They play selfish, not smart.

  11. hoolahoop

    Count Zero: This was both predictable AND inevitable.For two months any number of smart people noted that the ‘Melo deal wasn’t a particularly good idea — not because ‘Melo isn’t a pretty damn good player, but because he didn’t do a thing to fix the Knicks’ most glaring weakness — interior defense. Naysayers willfully and erroneously focused on the fact that we were underestimating ‘Melo’s ability, that he was the most talented scorer in the NBA, etc. While I think we disagreed with those superlatives, I don’t think any of us ever denied that ‘Melo was a better player than Gallo or anyone else that got traded for him. What we were saying all along is that more offense wasn’t going to help the Knicks all that much — what they needed was a Marc Gasol or at least a Sideshow Bob to shore up their most glaring weakness.So now that we have ‘Melo and we aren’t winning any more games than we were before, revisionist analysis has to put the blame somewhere else — enter D’Antoni. “It wasn’t that we were wrong about ‘Melo — it’s that D’Antoni doesn’t know how to coach.”
    I like ‘Melo and on any given night, he and STAT can so dominate offensively that they can beat any team in the league. However, over the course of a full season and postseason, the Knicks remain hampered by the same lack of a post defender — in fact, they probably got even worse in that regard with the loss of Ill Will. And that was the point we were all making from jump with regard to ‘Melo — lot of activity, much chaos, very little real gain in terms of making the Knicks a long-term title contender.Go ahead and bring in [insert d-minded head coach name here] — it’s not going to turn the Knicks into a better defensive team unless you bring in a big-time post defender. And with the cap issues we now have, I just don’t see that happening.  

    Better than I could have ever said it. Amen.

  12. JK47

    All of this is why I’m salivating over Kenneth Faried. He’s like a combination of the best parts of Chuck Hayes and DeJuan Blair. He plays relentless, hounding, active D like Hayes but rebounds like Blair. Put Faried at the 4 and Stat at the 5 and we would be a lot better. I’m hoping Morehead St. gets bounced quickly in the tourney so nobody sees Faried play much.

  13. Frank

    njasdjdh: Does anyone have a gif of the Jeffries 3? I felt a part of my soul die in that moment and I would like to commemorate it.  

    Only thing that makes this worse is the quote that Berman got from D’Antoni re: Jefferies: “”We got to get him to be more aggressive [offensively],” D’Antoni said of Jeffries.

    A real interior defender would obviously be great, because a Dwight Howard type cleans up a lot of deficiencies in technique, desire, and scheme. But that doesn’t mean that the scheme doesn’t suck and that the coaching is inadequate. Time after time after time we see the Knicks allow players to go to their strong side without even trying to deny their right hand. We see Hansbrough get 6 feet of space to shoot even though he’s shot 99% from the field from 15 feet away against us. Clyde may be a good punch line to a lot of jokes, but even he sees this over and over and over again. Sure, if you had Bruce Bowen and Ben Wallace on this team, we’d be good defensively. But even Shawne Williams (who’s not that bad) should be told to not let Danny Granger go right if at all possible.

    And Shelden Williams needs some playing time. He’s not as bad offensively as Jefferies and would have done a much better job than JJ, Shawne, or Amare against Hibbert.

    And Anthony Carter needs some more burn too.

  14. flossy

    Mike Kurylo:
    Just wanted to point out how much this line smacks of desperation. I guess if Thibodeau or Poppovich were the coach, perhaps New York would have a better defense. However the Knicks don’t have a Duncan, Bowen, or Noah to help anchor the D. On the other hand an increase in defense might come at the expense of offense, which would mean the same amount of wins/losses.D’Antoni seems to be willing to play a defensive minded center (see: Jeffries), perhaps he realizes this isn’t going to be a SSOL team given the three main players. It’ll be up to Walsh to get one, as well as better overall defenders to fill out the bench.  

    I’m not sure what’s so desperate about what I wrote… I don’t think D’Antoni can snap his fingers and have this team playing lockdown defense, but it’s pretty pessimistic to assume that there is nothing the coach can do, from a strategy standpoint, to improve the team’s play on that side of the ball. Obviously a Bowen or Noah would help, but so would not switching on every damn pick, for starters.

  15. dsulz

    latke: I agree that the Smith in particular now has to play the blame game since he was the one screaming about how you trade the whole team for Anthony.

    No shit. What a fucking asshole. Not to say that I think D’Antoni is a great defensive coach. But Stephen A Smith is definitely a huge asshole.

  16. Nick C.

    dsulz: No shit. What a fucking asshole. Not to say that I think D’Antoni is a great defensive coach. But Stephen A Smith is definitely a huge asshole.  (Quote)

    Alogn those points I remember hearing the noted genius Michael Kay blowharding that if you get the star like Melo (pre-trade) its up to the coach to make the pieces fit. That’s what sucks is no matter low some people go they can always stoop lower. Is anyone pointing wither of the two valid points beign that it takes more time or what did you expect when you exchanged offense for defense in the trade (Billups/Felton and Melo/WC, Galo, Moz).

  17. ess-dog

    Btw, I don’t buy that Denver won the trade simply because they are 9-2 and we’re 6-6. Chandler has been worse since his arrival with a WS48 of .062 and Felton looks to be playing exactly the same which was about average. Gallo had exactly one good game. Mozgov has played well in his 26 minutes. But most of the winning is due to the pre-existing Nuggets.

  18. Jim Cavan

    I’d love to be convinced that defense is a matter of talent. Because then I wouldn’t have an aneurysm every time Amar’e stands straight up as Tyler Hansborough blows by him, or Melo makes up for getting beat on flat feet by handchecking his man out of bounds. But I don’t believe that. You can’t tell me that a guy like Stat, who even with two shaky knees can jump out of the gym and generally display a freakish offensive athleticism at will, somehow isn’t “talented” or athletic enough to get his feet low and MOVE them. This isn’t to say defense doesn’t require learning something. But to say Bruce Bowen was “born” a good defender is ludicrous. He worked at it.

    But the pace factor I think is misleading. Here’s why: this kind of indifference to defense almost necessarily means that — the more possessions between the two teams — our offensive efficiency will regress to the mean more quickly than that of our opponents. Because our opponent actually has a passing interest in playing D. To put it another way: the difference between our defense and that of our opponent is much larger than the offensive efficiency between the two.

    Unless you’re creating a lot of turnovers — we’re not — and thus creating more possessions, or have a group of super efficient scorers whose play renders each possession more valuable, the numbers game of a faster pace isn’t in our favor when the defense is this atrocious. When we’re only really trying on one side of the ball, it nulls any ostensible advantage we have vis-a-vis our offensive efficiency. Again, the statistics might have us near the middle in terms of defensive efficiency, but to the extent that that is itself related to our offense and the pace it produces, it’s misleading.

    If the reason we’re not playing D is simply a matter of conserving energy, fine. But then we at least need to admit that conserving energy means not exuding effort/i><, rather than lacking talent.

  19. latke

    On the upside, if this team continues to be only average, it looks like the MSM will blame MDA, which is better than them blaming Carmelo as it will make Anthony more movable than if people actually wake up and realize he’s really not that great a player. Too bad it would take an absolute calamity for Dolan to allow a Carmelo trade.

    BTW, while I don’t think this is a great team, I do believe it is better than it has shown itself to be these last few games (and worse than it appeared after Miami, NOH, Utah wins). If knicks v. 2010 was a 44 “?win team, I think this is a 48 win team and should win about 50 next year with some tinkering.

  20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The only thing Michael Kay’s ever been right about was his “sportscasters can’t jinx games” bit that got him suspended after his mom or whatever died.

    If you’re paying attention to sports radio, you’re doing it wrong.

    Also, Count Zero: post of the year.

  21. BahamaKnick

    I don’t think the coach or his system should be blamed entirely but he and the coaching staff should shoulder some of the blame for not holding the players accountable for poor decisions or lack of effort. In an earlier post someone mentioned Thibodeau and Poppovich, those guys let their players know when they are not pleased and do not hesitate to sit players who don’t perform. I see coach yelling at Douglas or Walker but as terrible as Amare can be on defense I have never once seen him direct any kind of displeasure towards STAT for example. I like coach D’Antoni but I believe he treats his “stars” too much better (I hope that made sense) than the role players. I just to add my two cents about the trade (I was all for getting Melo) I miss all the players because I had grown attached to them but from a basketball standpoint the only persons I really miss right now are Randolph & Mosgoz because I feel they fill specific needs, namely size and defense. Despite the poor play by the players and questionable decisions by the coach (he should have played Turiaf more last night in my opinion) I still like our chances in the playoffs this year. I think the higher the stakes the harder the players will play.

  22. dsulz

    latke: ). If knicks v. 2010 was a 44 “?win team, I think this is a 48 win team and should win about 50 next year with some tinkering.

    What latke said.

  23. Frank

    @Count Zero – I’m pretty sure most people here would agree with you that:

    1) we gave up way too much in the Melo trade given that we held most of the leverage
    2) our major emphasis should have been getting a low-post defender

    As much as I have hope for the Melo-Amare Knicks, I totally agree with those two points.

    That being said – to me it comes down to these things: we were never going to win a championship this year, regardless of trade or no trade. Assuming Donnie Walsh actually had the say-so on the trade that did happen, my presumption is that he wanted to get the major pieces in place (Amare/Melo) then find more role players to fit around them. Regardless of the actual value of high-volume scorers, it probably IS harder to get someone like Melo on your team than it is to find, say, Shane Battier, who was basically just given away at the trade deadline, or Tony Allen, who is only making $3M/year in what is looking like two pretty good Grizz acquisitions.

    I am of the mind that it IS a good thing to have two elite scorers on one team. The offense, while a little out of sync since Billups has been back, will be better than fine eventually. Melo has actually been quite good offensively with a TS of 55 and scoring nearly 26 pt/36. There just needs to be more attention to detail on defense. Elite low-post defenders do not grow on trees, and there are not so many of them around. But strong TEAM defense can make the lack of one less obvious.

    While in happy happy dreamland, is it too much to ask that we take a flyer on Sean Williams? I think he would be great on this team.

  24. massive

    This team definitely needs to put up a better effort on the defensive side. Teams like Indiana and Cleveland just don’t have the offensive ability to compete with us, but we let them score at will every time down the stretch. This is both on the coach, and the players. D’Antoni doesn’t stress defense enough, but I think Melo and Stat’s problem is that they don’t respect teams like Indiana. They don’t understand that in this league, any team can beat any team. To me, that’s the only reason the defense was so much better against Miami than it was against Cleveland and Indiana. Defense is definitely an effort thing. If we play defense like we’re playing the Heat every night, we would have had more Utah and New Orleans games than Cleveland and Indiana games (I think we still lose to Dallas though). These guys really need to get it together.

    Jared Jeffries honestly shouldn’t be getting more than 10-15 minutes a night. Anything more than that is ridiculous. IMO his only value is drawing charges, which is great because it creates a foul and a turnover. But everything else he does, I’m 100% positive somebody else on the roster does as well or better (see Balkman, Turiaf, and Shelden Williams).

  25. outoftowner

    I agree wholeheartedly that what this team needs is size and post defense, but players that provide that are extremely hard to get nowadays. There’s a reason why Portland gave Marcus Camby 2 yrs at 17 million, or why LA refuses to trade Bynum for Bosh, Carmelo, or anyone.

    In the Carmelo trade we gave up perimeter players to get perimeter players. I would’ve loved to get Gasol or Chandler this offseason, but what were the odds? Their teams would match any offer for them. Without the Carmelo trade the best we could have done is let Wilson Chandler walk for the chance to overpay DeAndre Jordan.

    Although maybe Boston would have preferred Wilson Chandler to Jeff Green, in exchange for Perk? Not a great prospect, coming off ACL reconstruction, but maybe the most realistic thing the Knicks could have pulled off.

  26. outoftowner

    Overall though I think big men who can rebound and defend the post are the left tackles of basketball. Fans may not pay them much mind but I think GM’s know exactly how valuable they are.

  27. art vandelay

    Anyone here know where to find FG% or shooting data by quarter (other than having to look at a shot chart or one by one count shots made and missed in the game logs of box scores)? I am looking at a quick way to compile the Knicks´ opp FG% by quarter as I have a hunch of first quarter opp FG% is insanely high (way above league avg.) and substantially higher than in any other quarter (and probably higher in home games).

  28. BigBlueAL

    That would be interesting to see. What site do people use to see FG% on specific type of shots?? Like when people talk about Amar’e is shooting 44% from 16-23 feet, what site has those stats?? Do they have those type of stats for every player in history or only goes back a few years??

    Im curious because I remember one person asking who is a better shooter, Amar’e or Ewing?? Dunno though if they would have those FG% for someone like Ewing but it would be cool to try to find out.

  29. xduckshoex

    I think it’s funny that the people who were yelling for Melo are not blaming D’Antoni for the Knicks defensive woes. The Knicks defensive efficiency has been much worse since the trade, they were around 17th when the trade was made and have been bad enough since then that they’ve already dropped 4 spots.

  30. BigBlueAL

    In today’s future Power Rankings on ESPN.com the Knicks are ranked 6th:

    What a difference a season and a half can make. In the November 2009 edition of the Future Power Rankings, we ranked the Knicks 21st. In December 2010, thanks to their strong play, a sleeper draft pick and the acquisition of free agent Amare Stoudemire, we moved the Knicks from 11th to seventh. Now, with a trade deadline deal bringing in Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, we have pushed the Knicks up the rankings once again, to sixth overall.

    New York is still a piece or two away from being a true contender, but they rate as above average in every category but Draft — in terms of Players, Management, Money and Market, the Knicks are relatively strong.

    In just 16 months, the Knicks’ roster has moved from 28th to eighth, and the front office gets high marks for its deft maneuvering to clear cap space and get two stars. And while New York City has always been a prime destination for free agents, with Stoudemire and Anthony on board, the Knicks now rival the Lakers, Heat and Bulls as the team to join.

    While the Knicks lost ground in the Money category because they used a lot of their salary-cap space in the Anthony acquisition, they should have significant room in 2012, when Chauncey Billups is scheduled to come off the books. While it’s unlikely the Knicks can add star point guard Chris Paul or Deron Williams, they should be able to keep adding pieces to the puzzle.

    The future in New York hasn’t seemed so bright in years. While it’s doubtful the Knicks will be able to compete with the likes of Miami and Chicago next season, they should, for the first time in a long time, finally be fielding a serious playoff threat for the next few years.

  31. BigBlueAL

    Thanks massive. Stats go back to the 06-07 season only but it is very detailed and interesting to read.

  32. Doc

    The defensive rotations are just horrible. The way they defend the pick and roll is lazy. And, as much as I like Amare, he acts like the only thing that constitutes defense is blocking shots as a help defender. He gives his man post position anywhere, anytime, doesn’t box out on rebounds, and doesn’t move his feet to stay in front of his man. He’s pathetic and the coaching staff keeps letting him get away with it! That’s what pisses me off. Amare has all the skills and smarts, but is “allowed” by the coaching staff to play lazy, unintelligent defense. Drives me nuts.

  33. flossy

    @32 82games.com also has eFG% breakdowns by distance from the goal. Not sure how far back it goes though

  34. hoolahoop

    ess-dog: Btw, I don’t buy that Denver won the trade simply because they are 9-2 and we’re 6-6.Chandler has been worse since his arrival with a WS48 of .062 and Felton looks to be playing exactly the same which was about average.Gallo had exactly one good game.Mozgov has played well in his 26 minutes.But most of the winning is due to the pre-existing Nuggets.  

    W’s & L’s are fairly important.

  35. ess-dog

    God, I really hope the Nuggets go 0-3 in Atlanta, Orlando and Miami so some of you can get on with your lives…

  36. Brian Cronin

    It really is amazing that Denver is playing so well with only two games from Gallo and mediocre production from WC and Felton. They’re even winning without Afflalo!

  37. KnickfaninNJ

    Jim (@21)

    I think some of defense is about talent, and not just talent in general, but specifically defensive talent. I know it will be hard to convince you, and I think it’s partially because there aren’t many good stats for defense. But let me make the following two points. Many people on this forum and in others will state that a players offensive results wont change much when he changes teams or coaches. That is, the true shooting percentage won’t change much, the free throw percentage won’t change much, etc. I think this isn’t entirely true, but it’s enough true to indicate that talent and the player matter at least as much as coaching does. Since some of these stats are defensive ones (blocks and steals for example) this general phenomenon would suggest that part of defense rests on the players, and not just on the coaching. The second point is that when the Nuggets suddenly got all their new players from the Knicks (all of whom were reasonable defensively) George Karl began saying that now the Nuggets could be more defensive minded and play better defense. He’s a very experienced coach. If he thinks the players particular talents matter a lot of defense, I would tend to trust his opinion.

    In defense of Mike D’Antoni, I would ask those posters who think he should be pushing harder on defense whether they really think that with the players the Knicks currently have they have a greater chance of out scoring an opposing team or of out defending them. And for those who wonder why Jeffries is starting, I would point out that the only alternatives are Turiaf, who probably can’t play enough minutes without injury to be a starter, and Shawne Williams.

  38. hoolahoop

    Frank: Assuming Donnie Walsh actually had the say-so on the trade that did happen, my presumption is that he wanted to get the major pieces in place (Amare/Melo) then find more role players to fit around them.

    That was the theory. Now, we may find out that a well thought out roster, great roles players, and team chemistry are more important and elusive as having a superstar. . . . and from a fan’s perspective, much more fun to root for.

  39. KnickfaninNJ

    hoolahoop:
    That was the theory. Now, we may find out that a well thought out roster, great roles players, and team chemistry are more important and elusive as having a superstar. . . . and from a fan’s perspective, much more fun to root for.  

    Hear, hear!

  40. hoolahoop

    outoftowner: Overall though I think big men who can rebound and defend the post are the left tackles of basketball.Fans may not pay them much mind but I think GM’s know exactly how valuable they are.  

    Donnie didn’t get the memo.

  41. BigBlueAL

    Donnie had the memo when he was at Indiana when all of his good teams were loaded with solid big men.

  42. hoolahoop

    BigBlueAL: The future in New York hasn’t seemed so bright in years. While it’s doubtful the Knicks will be able to compete with the likes of Miami and Chicago next season, they should, for the first time in a long time, finally be fielding a serious playoff threat for the next few years.

    Your optimism is appreciated, but I think what makes a lot of us angry is that the future seemed a lot brighter a few weeks ago, and now, unless something big and different happens, the knicks won’t be a serious playoff threat for the next few years.

  43. jon abbey

    hoolahoop:
    W’s & L’s are fairly important.  

    actually despite this being the blindingly obvious bottom line in the big picture, regular season wins and losses only matter when they change your position in the standings, and in case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been locked into the 6 spot for months now. Philly may push us to 7, but as has been discussed here earlier, there’s not much difference there.

  44. jon abbey

    hoolahoop:
    Your optimism is appreciated, but I think what makes a lot of us angry is that the future seemed a lot brighter a few weeks ago, and now, unless something big and different happens, the knicks won’t be a serious playoff threat for the next few years.  

    that was actually a quote from Hollinger/Ford that you were answering, not to mention that “the future seemed a lot brighter a few weeks ago” is IMO debatable at best and more likely wrong.

  45. BigBlueAL

    hoolahoop:
    Your optimism is appreciated, but I think what makes a lot of us angry is that the future seemed a lot brighter a few weeks ago, and now, unless something big and different happens, the knicks won’t be a serious playoff threat for the next few years.  

    Yeah what Jon said above, I quoted it from an ESPN article today since it was an Insider content linking to it wouldnt work for everybody if they werent ESPN Insiders.

  46. hoolahoop

    KnickfaninNJ:
    Donnie did sign Mozgov.I think it may be more that Dolan didn’t get the memo ;-)  

    That’s what I always thought. But, pretty much, the words you used above were almost verbatim out of Donnie’s mouth.
    If he didn’t agree, which may be the case (he said he didn’t want to gut the team), why wouldn’t he have the balls to say so?

  47. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Hoolahoop: I’m pretty confident Donnie knows the value of a good defending, rebounding big. I’d even bet D’Antoni knows too (even if his offensive principles claim otherwise). I believe true centers change the game for everyone and everything; I remember one of the Spurs championship years (post-Admiral) watching them work the inside-outside game to a T – absolutely lethal.

    hoolahoop:
    That was the theory. Now, we may find out that a well thought out roster, great roles players, and team chemistry are more important and elusive as having a superstar. . . . and from a fan’s perspective, much more fun to root for.  

    Apparently, now so does Bill Simmons:
    “…And that’s what this Miami season has been — a four-month-long comeuppance, a vindication that you can’t stack your team without thinking it through, that role players matter, that coaching matters, that even the most talented basketball teams need a pecking order. Miami tried to cheat the system. It didn’t work. Teams came roaring at them for four straight months — night after night, a bull’s-eye draped on their backs that never went away — and, eventually, Miami started to wear down. It’s possible to play playoff games for nine straight months, but only with a deep team. You can’t do it with three guys.”

    It might be too soon to tell, but Simmons may be right. I’m kinda waffling back and forth a bit: Miami does have two of the top 5 players in the league, but then again, Wade and LeBron’s skills are fairly redundant (I think Wade has a better J). Too bad LeBron doesn’t seem to want to fully embrace his inner Magic Johnson (but then again, if he doesn’t, there’s definitely hope for us if within the next year or two we put the right pieces around Amare/Melo).

  48. hoolahoop

    jon abbey:
    actually despite this being the blindingly obvious bottom line in the big picture, regular season wins and losses only matter when they change your position in the standings, and in case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been locked into the 6 spot for months now. Philly may push us to 7, but as has been discussed here earlier, there’s not much difference there.  

    After a preseason loss, Bill Parcels was asked a question by a reporter which inferred that the pre-season games didn’t matter. In typical Parcels fashion he got pissed and told the reporter he knew nothing. Coaches try to win EVERY game.
    Altough they played better against Miami and San Antonio, do you think the knicks are the type of team that can just turn it on and knock out a better seeded playoff team?

  49. hoolahoop

    BigBlueAL:
    Yeah what Jon said above, I quoted it from an ESPN article today since it was an Insider content linking to it wouldnt work for everybody if they werent ESPN Insiders.  

    Sorry for misquoting you.

  50. GHenman

    ess-dog: God, I really hope the Nuggets go 0-3 in Atlanta, Orlando and Miami so some of you can get on with your lives…  (Quote)

    The trade has been made. It is time to get over it. None of those guys are coming back. Until they become overpriced, aging superstars, then we will trade multiple picks and young players to reacquire them.

  51. BigBlueAL

    GHenman:
    The trade has been made.It is time to get over it.None of those guys are coming back.Until they become overpriced, aging superstars, then we will trade multiple picks and young players to reacquire them.  

    Didnt realize 26 yo is aging.

  52. GHenman

    BigBlueAL: Didnt realize 26 yo is aging.  (Quote)

    I didn’t say 26 was aging. I said we won’t get any of the ‘melo 6 back until they’re aging. Except maybe Curry.

  53. hoolahoop

    GHenman:
    The trade has been made.It is time to get over it.None of those guys are coming back.Until they become overpriced, aging superstars, then we will trade multiple picks and young players to reacquire them.  

    That’s funny.

  54. Robert Silverman

    Regarding MD’A and defense – his ’05-’06 Suns squad was an above average defensive unit (13th in PPP, if memory serves.

    Why? He had Kurt Thomas, Raja Bell and Shawn Marion (plus defenders) as starters around Boris Diaw & Nash (sub-par defenders). Defense isn’t just effort. It’s a skill, like shooting or passing or rebounding. Even w/o Stat, Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson, they were a serious contender until KT was lost for the season w/an injury (and was replaced, more or less, by Tim Thomas – ’nuff said).

    If you can get a KT in ’06-level center on this team and a shut-down wing (Landry’s not there yet) next year, just watch: their defense wil seriously improve.

  55. GHenman

    July 1, 2021

    ” Today Knicks acquire 32 year old Danilo Galinari, giving up three unprotected first round picks, and immediately signing Galinari to a 4 year $120 million extension despite him coming off his third major back surgery. Team president Isaiah Thomas remarked ‘it’s so crazy it just might work’.”

  56. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Brian Cronin: It really is amazing that Denver is playing so well with only two games from Gallo and mediocre production from WC and Felton. They’re even winning without Afflalo!  

    I’m shocked that no one has mentioned addition by subtraction yet. Or the Ewing theory. Where are the cliche-ers?

  57. Mike Kurylo Post author

    BigBlueAL: The future in New York hasn’t seemed so bright in years. While it’s doubtful the Knicks will be able to compete with the likes of Miami and Chicago next season, they should, for the first time in a long time, finally be fielding a serious playoff threat for the next few years.

    I just have to say, that for those that were against the Carmelo trade, this is just a killer line. Before the trade everyone was saying what a no-brainer the move was. Now they’re saying it has turned the Knicks into a team that is still 2 years from competing for a title. I see a disconnect there.

  58. Mike Kurylo Post author

    GHenman: July 1, 2021” Today Knicks acquire 32 year old Danilo Galinari, giving up three unprotected first round picks, and immediately signing Galinari to a 4 year $120 million extension despite him coming off his third major back surgery.Team president Isaiah Thomas remarked ‘it’s so crazy it just might work’.”  

    I don’t know if a 32 year old Gallinari would fit into Mark Jackson’s coaching style though.

  59. Brian Cronin

    I’m shocked that no one has mentioned addition by subtraction yet. Or the Ewing theory. Where are the cliche-ers?

    Simmons has mentioned the Ewing Theory, I believe. And yeah, this would seem to be a textbook example of the Ewing Theory.

  60. jon abbey

    hoolahoop:
    After a preseason loss, Bill Parcels was asked a question by a reporter which inferred that the pre-season games didn’t matter. In typical Parcels fashion he got pissed and told the reporter he knew nothing. Coaches try to win EVERY game.
    Altough they played better against Miami and San Antonio, do you think the knicks are the type of team that can just turn it on and knock out a better seeded playoff team?  

    football isn’t basketball, and Bill Parcells is certainly an outlier. even Popovich gave up on a possibly winnable game against us, the NBA season is way too long.

    but you’re missing my point, once you get this deep into the season, wins/losses solely matter if they affect your seed. obviously it’d be nicer to win games than lose them, but these games are much more important to Indiana or Charlotte or Milwaukee than they are for us.

    as for “turning it on”, I have no idea. what I do know is that the only guy on our team capable of guarding actual centers is Sheldon “DNP” Williams, so hopefully we don’t draw a team with a real center.

  61. latke

    Mike Kurylo:
    I just have to say, that for those that were against the Carmelo trade, this is just a killer line. Before the trade everyone was saying what a no-brainer the move was. Now they’re saying it has turned the Knicks into a team that is still 2 years from competing for a title. I see a disconnect there.  

    and that there’s a difference between “serious playoff threat” and “championship contender”.

  62. BigBlueAL

    I never understood the Ewing theory. The Knicks were better w/o him because in 1999 when he got injured vs the Pacers they won 3 out of 4 games to win the series when they had already split the first 2 games of the series in Indy with him?? How about getting hammered in the Finals w/o Ewing?? How about there 8-3 record in the playoffs with him that year??

    How about trading Ewing away in a stupid trade and not having won a playoff series since??

  63. hoolahoop

    GHenman: July 1, 2021” Today Knicks acquire 32 year old Danilo Galinari, giving up three unprotected first round picks, and immediately signing Galinari to a 4 year $120 million extension despite him coming off his third major back surgery.Team president Isaiah Thomas remarked ‘it’s so crazy it just might work’.”  

    Ha hhhaaahahahahaa. That’s great!

  64. hoolahoop

    Mike Kurylo: I’m shocked that no one has mentioned addition by subtraction yet.

    I typed it in my Leave a Reply box, but it was just too easy.

  65. hoolahoop

    Brian Cronin:
    Simmons has mentioned the Ewing Theory, I believe. And yeah, this would seem to be a textbook example of the Ewing Theory.  

    What’s Ewing theory?

  66. Brian Cronin

    I never understood the Ewing theory.

    The Ewing Theory actually pre-dated the 1999 playoffs (which is weird, I know). The first application was the 1994-95 UCONN basketball team (the “Ewing” in the situation was Donyell Marshall).

  67. Brian Cronin

    What’s Ewing theory?

    The Ewing Theory is something a friend of Bill Simmons coined that they developed together to state the following:

    1. A star athlete receives an inordinate amount of media attention and fan interest, and yet his teams never win anything substantial with him (other than maybe some early-round playoff series).

    2. That same athlete leaves his team (either by injury, trade, graduation, free agency or retirement) — and both the media and fans immediately write off the team for the following season.

    and then the team does well.

    Famous examples include the New York Giants after Tiki Barber retired and the Seattle Mariners after A-Rod signed with the Rangers.

  68. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    The Ewing Theory actually pre-dated the 1999 playoffs (which is weird, I know). The first application was the 1994-95 UCONN basketball team (the “Ewing” in the situation was Donyell Marshall).  

    Still think using Ewing and the 1999 Knicks as the premise and example for this “theory” is stupid.

  69. Brian Cronin

    Still think using Ewing and the 1999 Knicks as the premise and example for this “theory” is stupid.

    As I just pointed out that it pre-dated the 1999 Playoffs, it explicitly was not used as the premise for the theory.

  70. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    As I just pointed out that it pre-dated the 1999 Playoffs, it explicitly was not used as the premise for the theory.  

    Let me re-phrase it then, calling it the Ewing theory because of the 1999 playoffs being a good example of the theory is stupid :-)

  71. Brian Cronin

    Ha!

    No, what I mean is it was called the Ewing theory before the 1999 Playoffs. It originated during his Georgetown days.

  72. daJudge

    Mike, re: #63—Are you saying that the folks who advocated for Melo believed that we would be a title contender, w/o more, next year? I may be misunderstanding you, but if that is your contention, I think you misinterpreted most of those who were in favor of, or neutral, regarding the trade. I don’t think there is a disconnect to accept the premise that even with Melo, the Knicks are not a contender for the title now, or next year. Many fans believe that the acquisition may lead to the creation of a contender within the next couple of years. I think many fans also simply believe that the Knicks are better with Melo (at least marginally) and will be even better in the future as compared with what they fielded. I do not see any logical inconsistency. I also think that is why some of the criticism leveled, while valid at this moment, is also viewed as premature and somewhat irrelevant at this early juncture.

  73. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: Ha!No, what I mean is it was called the Ewing theory before the 1999 Playoffs. It originated during his Georgetown days.  

    Yeah I remember reading something about that but Ewing you know actually won a championship there and when he left they remained good obviously but never even returned to the F4. What were they supposed to not even reach the tourney w/o him or something??

    I have Simmons’ book around my room somewhere, I guess I need to re-read it again lol.

  74. Brian Cronin

    It started just to say that when Ewing was hurt, his team would often play better than expected without him (back in Georgetown and as a Knick). This was before Ewing actually missed substantial time in 1997-98. Simmons and his friend then just expanded it to a much different concept (making it be specifically when a team loses a major player then goes out and plays better than expected), just keeping the same name. It very easily could have been the Griffey Theory or the Tiki Theory, but since it originated as the Ewing Theory, they kept it.

    But I would agree with you that the 1999 Playoffs aren’t a great example, just one that Simmons mentions a lot because it actually involved Ewing, which I am sure he found hilarious.

  75. BigBlueAL

    When was Ewing hurt at Georgetown though?? Did he miss a tourney or something?? It obviously wasnt during his freshman year or his final 2 years. Was he hurt as a sophomore??

    I need to stop harping on this, just bored tonight I guess lol.

  76. SeeWhyDee77

    y’know..I’ve been really…down becuz of the 2 straight losses to the Pacers. but let’s not be overly critical here. The problem is- our best paint defender is chronically injured (Turiaf). Also, JJ is just not strong enough 2 guard 5’s. And if Stat guards them, he is easily worn down and frustrated. Also, Fields is a rookie who never really had to play defense until now..so he’s still learning. We have guys who play good D..Mason, JJ, Balkman, Douglas, Turiaf and Stat and Melo. Yes Stat and Melo. Personnel-wise, we just don’t have the best pieces to fit around the 2 alpha dogs that will allow them to do what they do best. They’ve shown that they can clamp down when needed. But we need Stat and Melo’s offense to survive more than we need their Defense. I’m not sure about Melo, but I’m pretty sure Stat harps on defense often. Best case scenario right now Mike D allows Stat and Melo’s offense to shine until we really need the stars to play defense. Let the role players focus on D and trust in their ability. I have no problem with JJ’s presence…I just don’t like him as a starting 5. Turi’s better there, he’s just hurt all the time. Now, I’m not sayin we sould have a dominant D, but even with the roster deficiencies, whe have a good enough D to clamp down in the 4th with some consistency. We just need a real defensive specialist asst coach to bring out the best in those guys’ abilities. It looks bad right now becuz we’re losin of course but the truth of the matter is Coach hasn’t found a way to fully integrate Melo into the flow of the system. Billups isn’t as much of a problem as I initially thought he would be. Nights we’re good..we’re SCARY good. It’s just unfortunate that the team won’t get the practice reps necessary to capitalize on having Stat and Melo. If we basically have the same rotation next season with training camp, the team will look exponentially better..

  77. SeeWhyDee77

    …come playoff time nobody’s gonna want to see the Knicks becuz 2 things shine thru when the game slows down..defense and dominant scorers. Our defense is passable and we have 2 pretty much unstoppable scorers. Patience yal..don’t expect too much this season. Just hope that Mike D comes to his senses an loses a coach in favor of a defensive specialist. Walsh will get the team what it needs- he’s a brilliant GM. Now the owner is something different lol

  78. SeeWhyDee77

    Side note..we could really use Sean Williams rite now since Turi’s health is always a question mark. Lose Azu and pick up Sean?

  79. d-mar

    Wow, Denver-Atlanta game’s been over for a few hours, and not a single post about how much better the Nuggets are without Melo and what an awful trade the Knicks made? I am shocked.

  80. SeeWhyDee77

    massive: @85, We released Azu and Brewer for Derrick Brown and Jared Jeffries.  

    o crap…lol..I forgot..so I guess we replace balkman with Williams? Rey’s not gettin any run anyway..cap be damned!!

  81. tenebrous

    @21 great explanation
    in general my view or hence IMO:
    1) we played better last night when melon and cb were on the bench in the 4th. We played like the pretrade team.
    — what does this mean?? It means that when all four players know that 1 player (stat) will take the shot the four can conserv energy for either a dishout to them for the shot or for defense. There is no worry of where to stand and what to do etc.
    2) when melo n cb r in the game and stat is resting we c the team like a Denver and r not sure of what to look for or expect both the fans and the other 3 players. (and today we don’t know which team we like better since we don’t watch denver on a daily basis.
    3) when both melo and stat r on the floor the other three r nervous as he’ll because no one knows what to expect, where to stand, to conserv or jump for a re.
    4) when melo stat and cb r on the court cb has the ball and most of the time the shot but the rest of the three don’t know etc etc etc.
    IMO when there is one star and everyone knows it is much more relaxed for the other 4 players and hence the energy is there as a team for when it counts. If melo (which I believe he can) play like a roll player (stat simply doesn’t know how aka he’s not a rebounder / keep u out of the paint player bc he needs that energy to score) aka like wc or what wc was doing than we may have a fun aggressive and everything goes through stat team. If stat decides to abandon the Knicks melo and company can say goodby to any victory over any laker team.
    5) md: ur first job (and ur probably late on it) is to give each player a video showing the resembles and timing etc of the others.

  82. Mike Kurylo Post author

    ess-dog: God, I really hope the Nuggets go 0-3 in Atlanta, Orlando and Miami so some of you can get on with your lives…  

    http://www.nba.com/games/20110316/DENATL/gameinfo.html?ls=gt2hp0021001003#nbaGIboxscore

    Funny thing is if they’re doing this without Gallo, you’d imagine they’d be better with the Rooster, right?

    Mozgov got in 33 seconds of action. I think they just wanted to him put the screws to us. That is, if you think Mozgov is an above average center.

  83. Mike Kurylo Post author

    d-mar: Wow, Denver-Atlanta game’s been over for a few hours, and not a single post about how much better the Nuggets are without Melo and what an awful trade the Knicks made? I am shocked.  

    Ahhh I should refresh my blog before commenting.

    Although I stand by what I said. :-)

  84. hoolahoop

    d-mar: Wow, Denver-Atlanta game’s been over for a few hours, and not a single post about how much better the Nuggets are without Melo and what an awful trade the Knicks made? I am shocked.  

    It’s become common knowledge.
    Painful, very painful. But, I’m happy for our old guys.

  85. hoolahoop

    I was in a restaurant watching the Mia-OKC game from a distance and thought it was Mia-Orl. I was thinking that Orlando is better than I thought – before I realized it was OKC. That team can really get up and down the floor.

  86. CapB

    I think you would be very hard pressed to find anyone, besides the media, who thought making the trade was going to make them a title contender this year. Any realistic hope of more than that was just silly. A foundation of Stat, Melo, and Fields is a very solid group to build off of. I dont think they are very far off from legit title contenders, but obviously need more pieces.

    I never thought that, and alot of the pro-trade people never thought that either.

    Noone seemed to be complaining about Melo in Denver when they were reaching Game 6 of the West Conf. Finals.

    Often times you will see teams perform beyond expectations after a big mid season drama has been lifted. I think this is the case with the Nuggets. They will fall back down to earth soon.

  87. Mike Kurylo Post author

    CapB: Noone seemed to be complaining about Melo in Denver when they were reaching Game 6 of the West Conf. Finals.

    I agree, not in 2009.

    But maybe in 2004 when they lost in the first round. Or 2005 when they lost in the first round. Or 2006 when they lost in the first round. Or 2007 when they lost in the first round. Or 2008 when they lost in the first round. Or 2010 when they lost in the first round.

    But not at the 6th game of the 2009 Western Conference Finals. Well, certainly not at the start of that game, although perhaps by the end.

  88. d-mar

    Mike Kurylo:
    I agree, not in 2009.
    But maybe in 2004 when they lost in the first round. Or 2005 when they lost in the first round. Or 2006 when they lost in the first round. Or 2007 when they lost in the first round. Or 2008 when they lost in the first round. Or 2010 when they lost in the first round.
    But not at the 6th game of the 2009 Western Conference Finals. Well, certainly not at the start of that game, although perhaps by the end.  

    Mike, that’s really not fair. Making the playoffs every one of those years in a stacked Western conference is an accomplishment in itself. In 2005 and 2007 they lost to the Spurs, who went to win the title in both those years. In 2008 they lost to the Lakers, who went to the finals against Boston. So getting knocked out in the first round in the west should not be a knock on Melo.

  89. Owen

    Mike – that’s cold. But i love it.

    How good is it to be a Nuggets fan right now? I wish I had the feeling. Been wishing for roughly 33 years now….

  90. Jake S.

    It also bears mentioning that with the exception of that Western Conference finals run, Melo’s teams have gotten bounced from the first round every single year of his NBA career. And none of those series were even that close.

  91. BigBlueAL

    Owen: Mike – that’s cold. But i love it.How good is it to be a Nuggets fan right now? I wish I had the feeling. Been wishing for roughly 33 years now….  

    No different than in the past, being a fan of the 5th seed in the West who will lose in the 1st round. Being a Knicks fan from 1992-2000 was alot better than being a Nuggets fan ever let alone these past 2 weeks.

  92. Brian Cronin

    No different than in the past, being a fan of the 5th seed in the West who will lose in the 1st round. Being a Knicks fan from 1992-2000 was alot better than being a Nuggets fan ever let alone these past 2 weeks.

    Definitely.

    Still, that’s the rub, isn’t it? It’s “no different than in the past,” even though they traded their “superstar” player.

  93. hoolahoop

    Mike Kurylo:
    I agree, not in 2009.
    But maybe in 2004 when they lost in the first round. Or 2005 when they lost in the first round. Or 2006 when they lost in the first round. Or 2007 when they lost in the first round. Or 2008 when they lost in the first round. Or 2010 when they lost in the first round.
    But not at the 6th game of the 2009 Western Conference Finals. Well, certainly not at the start of that game, although perhaps by the end.  

    That’s too funny!!!!!!
    At least he’ll keep his streak going this year, and probably next year, and . . .

  94. Ben R

    I can’t believe I am typing this because I don’t like Melo (never have probably never really will) but I think he is less of a problem than Amare. He is a bit of a lazy defender but I do think he can be good, Amare on the other hand is a huge liability. He floats away from his man if his man is on the perimeter, (giving up wide open jumpers) he struggles to stay in front of his man and he is surprisingly soft when bigger players post him up. Also Melo seems to be embracing the ball sharing much more than Amare, Melo is the better ISO player yet is doing it less than before the trade, while Amare seems to be forcing it a lot.

    I believe that Melo can be a real asset offensively and can be adaquate defensively but it is Amare who I am beginning to doubt. He is consistently the worst defender on the floor and is a ball stopper. He is beginning to remind me of Z-BO, with efficient scoring and poor rebounding.

    I think the Knicks are in real trouble moving forward. I really hope the NBA gets rid of the MLE in the next CBA (I think they will) and if they do the Knicks will have a hard time improving this team next summer. They will then have to wait until 2012 to make any big improvements but we will lose Billups and 12-14 million in cap space doesn’t go too far when the positions you need to fill are C and PG.

  95. hoolahoop

    Owen: Mike – that’s cold. But i love it.How good is it to be a Nuggets fan right now? I wish I had the feeling. Been wishing for roughly 33 years now….  

    In other words, if Denver GM and owner had any idea this would be the way it played out they would have been much easier to make a deal with. We’d, at least, still have Mosgov, and possibly Gallo.

  96. dmull

    LOL @ wanting to be a Nuggets fan. Really Owen? Even if you hated the trade for the Knicks you really think this Nuggets team is going anywhere? Sorry, not going to happen.

    Anyway, on the topic…and I didn’t read through all the comments, but has a middle of the road defense ever really won a championship? I don’t have the defensive efficiency ratings of the championship teams in front of me but I would think most are in the top 10, if not top 5. Maybe D’Antoni’s teams are misunderstood defensively a touch but Amare has come out and said he’s never learned about defensive rotations which might be an indication….and the real question is even viewing his defenses as better than guys like Barkley, Simmons, etc. might view them, are they (nearly?) good enough?

  97. hoolahoop

    To all the Melo supporters, you guys are taking a beating today, but you’ll have your shot back at us. Soon enough, the knicks will right the ship, win three in a row, beat Chicago or Boston, Melo will score back to back 40’s and we’ll begin all over again fantacizing about round two of the playoffs.

  98. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Definitely.
    Still, that’s the rub, isn’t it? It’s “no different than in the past,” even though they traded their “superstar” player.  

    What amazes me is before the trade there were people predicting when the Knicks dropped to 26-26 (or even during the 6 game losing streak in January) that they would actually miss the playoffs with that team. Now all of a sudden those players are making the Nuggets such a fun team to watch and making us Knicks fan wish we were Nuggets fans apparently.

    What a shocker that now when they are gone those old Knicks are such great players and that old Knicks team was so beautiful to watch and fun to root for. Gimme a break.

    BTW Im not talking about you Brian so this isnt intended as a diss on you or the people against the trade who argued rationally about the the minuses of the trade. Its just amazing how now people wish they were Nuggets fans and are so envious of that team. Lets see at the end of April whose fans will be happier. Better yet lets see at the end of April 2012 which team’s fans will be happier.

  99. BigBlueAL

    Also if you remember I always defended the old Knicks and said that they would finish over .500 and possible scare the Bulls in the 1st round. Difference is that now I think this team can not only scare the Bulls but the Heat too and possibly even beat them.

    I dont like ripping the old Knicks because I loved that team too but its amazing the amount of romanticizing going on with that old team now.

  100. Brian Cronin

    but has a middle of the road defense ever really won a championship?

    Yes. 2001 Lakers were 21st in Defense.

  101. BigBlueAL

    Was that the Lakers team who swept the West in the playoffs and only lost 1 game the entire postseason??

    I remember the last game they had lost prior to Game 1 of the Finals was at home to the Knicks on April Fools Day I think.

  102. Ben R

    BBA – Do you really think that in April 2012 the Knicks will be better than the Nuggets? I certainly don’t.

    I think comparing the teams though is a little unfair because I would say that the pre-trade Nuggets minus Billups/Melo is a much better team than the pre-trade Knicks minus Mozgov/Gallo/Chandler/Felton so the Knicks players were coming to a better team than Melo and Billups. So even if Melo/Billups are better than Mozgov/Gallo/Chandler/Felton the players around them are alot worse.

  103. BigBlueAL

    Ben R: BBA – Do you really think that in April 2012 the Knicks will be better than the Nuggets? I certainly don’t.
    I think comparing the teams though is a little unfair because I would say that the pre-trade Nuggets minus Billups/Melo is a much better team than the pre-trade Knicks minus Mozgov/Gallo/Chandler/Felton so the Knicks players were coming to a better team than Melo and Billups. So even if Melo/Billups are better than Mozgov/Gallo/Chandler/Felton the players around them are alot worse.  

    I dunno if they will be better. I obviously hope so and believe with some minor moves this off-season and a full training camp this current team will be 50X better and more dangerous than what they are now. I dont think its a foregone conclusion here like most apparently assume.

    I apologize for you know being an actual fan of the Knicks and actually hoping and rooting for them to be good. Didnt think that was such an outrageous outlook to have especially after the crap we have had to root for the past 10 years.

  104. Brian Cronin

    A few points…

    1. Obviously, I was against the trade. I thought that the Knicks were giving up too much for Melo. I didn’t think he was a good enough player to give up all of these good, young players and then pay $20 million. I was always against sending over more than half of the Knicks young assets, and they ended up sending 3 out of the 4, buuuuuuuut…..

    2. The trade might still net them Chris Paul or Deron Williams. That was the one thing that when the trade was made, I remember discussing with my brother (who was also against the trade – much more than me, actually). I said to him, “If this trade gets them Paul or D-Will, it’s a good trade, right?” And he had to agree, because it’s true – if this deal brings the Knicks Paul or Williams, it is a success. Because both of those guys are a lot better than Melo and both are probably better than Amar’e (look at what Nash, Amar’e and a bunch of role players did last year! Now imagine Paul/Amar’e or Williams/Amar’e! With Melo as well?!?! That’d be amazing). And I think the odds are good that it will happen. So I won’t really truly judge this deal until we see where Paul and D-Will end up.

    3. It’s fun to see the Nuggets confirm my personal theories about how they would play without Melo, but it’s not like I’m a Nuggets fan. It’s purely an intellectually interesting study. I could give a fig how they do on an emotional level. It’s not like I watch them when they’re on ESPN or TNT. Maybe when Gallo comes back, but I doubt it (The first couple of minutes and the last half of their first game has been the only Nuggets game I’ve actually watched).

    That’s about it.

  105. massive

    I don’t get the attacks on Carmelo today. The defense sucked, and Melo had a good game. But when you just signed a 65 million dollar extension, I guess people are going to blame you for everything (except for the media, they think its on D’Antoni).

    I just hope Melo and Stat figure out that they can’t take a night off on either side of the ball now that they’re worth about 170-180 million together. If the two best players on the team play hard on defense, then everybody else will.

  106. Brian Cronin

    Was that the Lakers team who swept the West in the playoffs and only lost 1 game the entire postseason??

    The very one.

  107. BigBlueAL

    Well then I guess they dont count since the year before they were 1st in defense rating and the year after 7th. They were just bored during the 2nd regular season of their 3 championships lol.

  108. Ben R

    massive: I just hope Melo and Stat figure out that they can’t take a night off on either side of the ball now that they’re worth about 170-180 million together. If the two best players on the team play hard on defense, then everybody else will. massive

    I think Amare plays hard on defense I just think he is a terrible defender. I used to think it was effort but it’s more than that. Even when he ups his defensive intensity he still struggles to defend his man. Melo’s effort can be questioned but I hope the added pressure of getting what he wished for and the brighter spotlight will motivate him.

  109. massive

    @118, if that’s true of Amar’e, then we better find a good post defender worthy of 30 minutes a game. I’m not too sure of Amar’e being a terrible man defender, though. Remember how everybody thought Bill Walker’s only NBA level skill was scoring? Then he had that Miami game when he had his best defensive game (possibly ever) against LeBron James.
    I think Amar’e just needs to maintain focus and work on his defensive rotations. Also, its rather easy to criticize his effort because of his 8-9 rebounds a game. A guy with that kind of freakish athleticism should be pulling down 12 rebounds a game.

  110. jon abbey

    Mike Kurylo:
    I agree, not in 2009.
    But maybe in 2004 when they lost in the first round. Or 2005 when they lost in the first round. Or 2006 when they lost in the first round. Or 2007 when they lost in the first round. Or 2008 when they lost in the first round. Or 2010 when they lost in the first round.
    But not at the 6th game of the 2009 Western Conference Finals. Well, certainly not at the start of that game, although perhaps by the end.  

    wait, an alleged superstar being eliminated in the first round almost every year on his original team? when did we start talking about Kevin Garnett?

    (no, I don’t think Melo is as good as Garnett was, but man, this site is getting stupid the last couple of weeks.)

  111. jon abbey

    I look at Melo like Chris Bosh, a flawed superstar who could never be a #1 guy on a title contender, who could maybe be a #2 guy with the right #1 (maybe Dwight Howard in Melo’s case, maybe Chris Paul in Bosh’s), but who is a fantastic #3 behind Amare’s #2.

    does he get paid too much for that role? probably, depending on his recruiting skills. could Gallo have grown into that role? possibly. are we still missing a #1 guy? most certainly. do we have the best pair of players that the franchise has suited up in the last 35 years? quite possibly.

    people act like this franchise is the Lakers or Celtics, when the only real chance we’ve had at a title in the last 35+ years is an overachieving team that came very close to winning one of the years that Jordan was suspended/playing baseball. that’s the part that confuses me.

  112. Brian Cronin

    wait, an alleged superstar being eliminated in the first round almost every year on his original team? when did we start talking about Kevin Garnett?

    I assure you that Mike would never judge Melo negatively for his team not making it past the first round, as obviously you can’t blame a player for anything beyond what he himself does. Mike only said what he did because another poster said, “Noone seemed to be complaining about Melo in Denver when they were reaching Game 6 of the West Conf. Finals.” Mike was merely pointing out the folly of saying, “Melo got them to Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals!” when the same idea applies – Melo didn’t get the Nuggets bounced from the playoffs in the first round all of those years and Melo didn’t get the Nuggets to Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, but if you really want to try to take credit for the latter you then have to take the blame for the former. That was all Mike was saying, and it was a perfectly logical point.

  113. Brian Cronin

    but who is a fantastic #3 behind Amare’s #2.

    Yeah, totally agreed. These two guys with a Paul or a D-Will? That would be an amazing team. The rest of the team could be made up entirely of Jared Jeffries clones and it would still be a title contender year in and year out.

  114. Robert Silverman

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, totally agreed. These two guys with a Paul or a D-Will? That would be an amazing team. The rest of the team could be made up entirely of Jared Jeffries clones and it would still be a title contender year in and year out.  

    You mean like this year’s Miami Heat?

  115. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey: I look at Melo like Chris Bosh, a flawed superstar who could never be a #1 guy on a title contender, who could maybe be a #2 guy with the right #1 (maybe Dwight Howard in Melo’s case, maybe Chris Paul in Bosh’s), but who is a fantastic #3 behind Amare’s #2.
    does he get paid too much for that role? probably, depending on his recruiting skills. could Gallo have grown into that role? possibly. are we still missing a #1 guy? most certainly. do we have the best pair of players that the franchise has suited up in the last 35 years? quite possibly.
    people act like this franchise is the Lakers or Celtics, when the only real chance we’ve had at a title in the last 35+ years is an overachieving team that came very close to winning one of the years that Jordan was suspended/playing baseball. that’s the part that confuses me.  

    While I think you give too little credit to some of the 90’s Knicks teams because a few of them were very, very good I totally agree with your point. People are acting like they are insulted to be rooting for such a shitty team lead by Amar’e and Melo because we are used to rooting for so much better.

    Im a Yankee fan and I get pissed when Yankee fans complain that 2010 was such a bad year as were all the years between 2002-2008. But at least as Yankee fans we have recent championship teams to compare those teams to. Knicks fans for the last 9 years havent rooted for a team who has even finished .500 let alone gotten out of the 1st round yet the current team and apparently the next few years is a team not worth rooting for?? Gimme a freaking break.

  116. Brian Cronin

    You mean like this year’s Miami Heat?

    A. I’d gladly take the Miami Heat’s roster.

    B. I think Paul/Amar’e/Melo is a better top three than Lebron/Wade/Bosh, if only because the former trio wouldn’t duplicate as many skills (the latter trio has the best player and maybe the second best player, but Lebron/Wade don’t compliment each other the way Paul/Amar’e do).

  117. hoolahoop

    Ben R:
    I think Amare plays hard on defense I just think he is a terrible defender. I used to think it was effort but it’s more than that. .  

    As aggressive as Amare is on offense, I get the feeling he doesn’t like taking physical hits on defense, especially from big, physical guys, bigger and heavier than him, who make a good living banging under the boards.
    That and he doesn’t know how to box out.

  118. hoolahoop

    jon abbey: people act like this franchise is the Lakers or Celtics, when the only real chance we’ve had at a title in the last 35+ years is an overachieving team that came very close to winning one of the years that Jordan was suspended/playing baseball. that’s the part that confuses me.

    During the prime Ewing years from the early to mid nineties I thought the knicks were consistently one of the better teams in the NBA. The reason they didn’t win two or three titles can be summed up in two words. Michael Jordan.

  119. jon abbey

    hoolahoop:
    The reason they didn’t win two or three titles can be summed up in two words. Michael Jordan.  

    well, that’s not true, the “two or three titles” thing is either bad memory or revisionist history, the Charles Smith series is the only year we were genuine contenders and Jordan knocked us out. I guess you could make a case for the 51-31 (tied for the seventh best record in the league) 1991-1992 version, but that’s a stretch IMO.

    but my point is that to hear people talk here, it’s like they feel like they’re entitled to a genuine contender by virtue of rooting for the team in the greatest city in the country (I fall into this myself sometimes), and I’d think that Knicks fans would have realized by now it doesn’t work like that.

    I get that people are frustrated because they think we closed our window by trading for an overrated, overpaid one-dimensional player, but IMO no real window ever existed. I have never been a fan of Melo, I don’t like his game, his on-court style, and I think he’s a bit dumb for a NBA superstar. but it’s still a big step up from rooting for Larry Hughes and Al Harrington.

  120. CRJoe

    Not really in topic, but seeing as in the last few posts the subject has been brought up… How exactly do we get CP3 or DWill??? We have 42+ Millions commited to ‘Melo & Stat for the summer of 2012, assuming that the CBA doesn’t change a whole lot AND that we keep Landry Fields and a couple of important role players (TD, Shawne and Balkman who will still be in the books), we are looking at less than 10 Millions in cap room to get a free agent…. If a guy signs a 10 Mill contract that increases every year, it would net him 64 to 68 Mill for 5 years, why would anyone (Paul, Williams, Dwight H) leave about 17 Mill to come to NY??? On the other hand, you honestly think that New Orleans would trade CP3 for Billups, Douglas & Fields (best package we can offer IMO) and NO picks???? Or you think the NETS, who are doing the best they can to steal our market, will trade Williams for said package???
    I’m sorry if I’m coming of a little bit heavy on the sarcasm… But I still don’t see the way to obtain the necessary pieces to turn this current roster in a championship contender in the next 5 years…

  121. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey:
    well, that’s not true, the “two or three titles” thing is either bad memory or revisionist history, the Charles Smith series is the only year we were genuine contenders and Jordan knocked us out. I guess you could make a case for the 51-31 (tied for the seventh best record in the league) 1991-1992 version, but that’s a stretch IMO.but my point is that to hear people talk here, it’s like they feel like they’re entitled to a genuine contender by virtue of rooting for the team in the greatest city in the country (I fall into this myself sometimes), and I’d think that Knicks fans would have realized by now it doesn’t work like that.
    I get that people are frustrated because they think we closed our window by trading for an overrated, overpaid one-dimensional player, but IMO no real window ever existed. I have never been a fan of Melo, I don’t like his game, his on-court style, and I think he’s a bit dumb for a NBA superstar. but it’s still a big step up from rooting for Larry Hughes and Al Harrington.  

    I was too young to remember Pitino’s 1989 Knicks but they did win 52 games, the Atlantic division and swept Barkley’s Knicks before being upset by MJ in the 2nd round. I assume though that team had no chance in hell in beating the Pistons in the Conference Finals though right??

    First season I kinda remember is the following season when they upset the Celtics in the 1st round but that was essentially the same team from 1989 but with Stu Jackson as head coach instead and they underachieved in the regular season. Also they traded for Maurice Cheeks and benched Mark Jackson for the rest of that season and the disastrous 1991 season.

    Any of you guys think how things wouldve turned out if Pitino never left after the 1989 season?? Was it a big shock at the time and an unpopular move??

  122. Jake S.

    I adored those mid-90’s Knicks as much as New York sports team in the past quarter century, but it’s revisionist history to say that Michael Jordan was all that stood in their way. They couldn’t pull out a championship when he left the league for two years and Ewing was still more or less at the height of his powers. The Heat drove them crazy, the Pacers drove them crazy and they most certainly drove themselves crazy. The number of series they managed to piss away in an eight year stretch is sort of staggering. The sad truth is that they were losers even when they were winning. But that’s also part of what makes them so imminently loveable; the Knicks are the “Fast Eddie” Felson of NBA sports franchises.

  123. Brian Cronin

    Not really in topic, but seeing as in the last few posts the subject has been brought up… How exactly do we get CP3 or DWill??? We have 42+ Millions commited to ‘Melo & Stat for the summer of 2012, assuming that the CBA doesn’t change a whole lot AND that we keep Landry Fields and a couple of important role players

    Why assume they keep anyone they don’t absolutely have to? Miami got rid of everyone but Chalmers. The Knicks could easily do the same (making it just Amar’e, Melo and Balkman). And if they do, they’ll have $13.5 million to offer Paul or Williams. That’s presuming the cap doesn’t go up. I could see it going up. The NBA is doing better this year than it did last year.

  124. Jake S.

    Brian, so you don’t buy the Simmons argument that you can’t go to war for 100 plus games including the post-season with three stars and a bunch of replacement players? Seems like a dangerous proposition with Paul and Stoudemire’s health concerns.

  125. hoolahoop

    jon abbey: but my point is that to hear people talk here, it’s like they feel like they’re entitled to a genuine contender by virtue of rooting for the team in the greatest city in the country (I fall into this myself sometimes), and I’d think that Knicks fans would have realized by now it doesn’t work like that.

    Amare – 100 million
    melo – 16 million, plus 65 million.
    billups – 14 million
    Dantoni – averaged close to 60 wins/season before he came here (getting close to 6 million/yr).
    The knicks play at MSG in midtown Manhattan, the mecca of basketball.

    Guess who pays those salaries. You and me and everyone else who watches MSG network and goes to MSG and pays for expensive tickets and five bucks for for 8oz of filtered water.

    Yes, fans have a right to expect a lot from this team.

  126. jon abbey

    “Guess who pays those salaries. You and me and everyone else who watches MSG network and goes to MSG and pays for expensive tickets and five bucks for for 8oz of filtered water.”

    yeah, speak for yourself. I haven’t paid for a Knicks ticket for probably 15 years and MSG is on basic cable last I checked, which I’d have whether or not I ever turned on MSG. those who are paying those obscene (soon to be 149% of obscene) prices deserve whatever they get for supporting a shitty shitty owner.

    I mean, I’ve been a Knicks fan since growing up in the Bernard King era, but if you don’t enjoy rooting for the team as currently reconstructed, then just don’t. that’s not saying “love it or leave it”, it’s saying that life is too short to live and die rooting for a team you dislike. take the money you’d spend at one night at MSG, buy League Pass, and root for Denver or Oklahoma City or the Clippers or whoever. we will welcome you back if and when NY ever becomes a genuine contender, don’t worry.

  127. Brian Cronin

    Brian, so you don’t buy the Simmons argument that you can’t go to war for 100 plus games including the post-season with three stars and a bunch of replacement players? Seems like a dangerous proposition with Paul and Stoudemire’s health concerns.

    Amar’e is locked in, no matter what. So if his knees go then the Knicks are screwed either way. But if you’d prefer to see them go after D-Will instead of Paul, I can see that. But beyond that, I think Miami’s plan has worked out pretty well so far. One year in and they have the fifth best offense and the fifth best defense. And I think that Paul (or D-Will)/Amar’e/Melo would be a better “Big Three” than Lebron/Wade/Bosh. Finding a cheap guy to sit out at the perimeter and hit threes at the 2 shouldn’t be hard. Finding a cheap guy to run your point? That’s hard, and that’s what the Knicks would avoid with having Paul or D-Will. Again, look at what Phoenix did last year with Nash, Amar’e and 65 small forwards! The Knicks would have something similar, only with Melo, too!! That’d be an awesome team.

  128. GHenman

    As good as Paul or Williams are, they wouldn’t put us over the top. They can’t rebound or play interior defense. More offensive weapons is not the answer. We need to spend whatever cap room we have on a center. If we do that, we can be contenders with Billups, Douglas, Fields and whoever else in the back court. When was the last time a team won and NBA title without a decent center?

  129. Brian Cronin

    When was the last time a team won and NBA title without a decent center?

    The Bulls won six titles with below-average centers each time around.

  130. Nick C.

    dmull: LOL @ wanting to be a Nuggets fan. Really Owen? Even if you hated the trade for the Knicks you really think this Nuggets team is going anywhere? Sorry, not going to happen.Anyway, on the topic…and I didn’t read through all the comments, but has a middle of the road defense ever really won a championship? I don’t have the defensive efficiency ratings of the championship teams in front of me but I would think most are in the top 10, if not top 5. Maybe D’Antoni’s teams are misunderstood defensively a touch but Amare has come out and said he’s never learned about defensive rotations which might be an indication….and the real question is even viewing his defenses as better than guys like Barkley, Simmons, etc. might view them, are they (nearly?) good enough?  (Quote)

    where was Amare expectign to lear them … the dude went to how many HSs? do they teach that at AAU? did he go to college??? So he is complaining because his professional employers didn’t teach him the concepts that theoretically people are supposed to learn “in school?” I still don’t get it … we’re not talking quantum physics here. Maybe they shoudl just come out and say I’m too dumb to get it and/or too lazy to learn or just STFU and maybe move their feet, pay attention, dive or bend or rach or jump when a loose ball is nearby. OK rant over.

  131. njasdjdh

    jon abbey: well, that’s not true, the “two or three titles” thing is either bad memory or revisionist history, the Charles Smith series is the only year we were genuine contenders and Jordan knocked us out.

    The ’89 Knicks were 6th in O, 10th in D with the 8th best Expected W-L. ’92 was 12th on O and 2nd on D with the 6th best Expected W-L. ’93 was 22nd on O 1st on D with the 2nd best Expected W-L. ’94 was 16th on O and 1st on D with the 2nd best Expected W-L. The early to mid 90s Knicks may not have been pretty to watch but they rolled out some of the best defenses ever and revisionist history would be your belief that there was only one year that they were a title contender. They were, in a different shape/form, this year’s Bulls team, which is 15th on O and 1st on D. For the 3 or 4 years following ’94 the defense stayed Top 3 or 4 as well though the point differential lessened.

  132. Mike Kurylo Post author

    d-mar: Mike, that’s really not fair. Making the playoffs every one of those years in a stacked Western conference is an accomplishment in itself. In 2005 and 2007 they lost to the Spurs, who went to win the title in both those years. In 2008 they lost to the Lakers, who went to the finals against Boston. So getting knocked out in the first round in the west should not be a knock on Melo.

    If it’s not fair to blame 6 losing playoff series on one player, then that one player probably shouldn’t get credit for the one season the team does well.

  133. jon abbey

    njasdjdh:
    The ’89 Knicks were 6th in O, 10th in D with the 8th best Expected W-L. ’92 was 12th on O and 2nd on D with the 6th best Expected W-L. ’93 was 22nd on O 1st on D with the 2nd best Expected W-L. ’94 was 16th on O and 1st on D with the 2nd best Expected W-L. The early to mid 90s Knicks may not have been pretty to watch but they rolled out some of the best defenses ever and revisionist history would be your belief that there was only one year that they were a title contender. They were, in a different shape/form, this year’s Bulls team, which is 15th on O and 1st on D. For the 3 or 4 years following ’94 the defense stayed Top 3 or 4 as well though the point differential lessened.  

    I didn’t say there was only one year they were a title contender, I said there was only one year that they were a genuine title contender that Jordan knocked them out (1993). maybe you could make an argument for 1992 as I said above, but it’s a stretch.

  134. Owen

    “dmull: LOL @ wanting to be a Nuggets fan. Really Owen? Even if you hated the trade for the Knicks you really think this Nuggets team is going anywhere? Sorry, not going to happen.”

    I am not becoming a Nuggets fan. Just admiring them from afar. They are a better team than the Knicks right now at 2/3rds the cost or less. I have basically spent five years making the argument that I’d rather collect the Aaron Aflallo’s of this world at 2 million then the Carmelo’s at 20 million while waiting to pay the max to a legit superstar. The Nuggets are actually executing that strategy. And that’s makes me a little jealous of their fans.

    “If it’s not fair to blame 6 losing playoff series on one player, then that one player probably shouldn’t get credit for the one season the team does well.”

    lol…

    Brian – I wish Paul/Amare/Melo sounded like as good as a trio than the Three Amigos. But it’s wishful thinking. Amare and Melo, especially when they are duplicating each other’s talents, aren’t much better than Bosh. Neither comes close to the impact of Wade imho.

  135. tenebrous

    Brian Cronin:
    The very one.  

    so how did they do it? were they just sleeping until the playoff and than played defense? Was somebody hurt and got back in to play defense? Or did they played just like them Knicks by opening the lane and just scoring more? Which model should we follow?

  136. thepalerider

    “but it’s still a big step up from rooting for Larry Hughes and Al Harrington”

    Great quote and it really sums it up for me. Pre-trade the knicks were 2 games over .500 and I think we’ll ended up 3-4 games over .500 so basically a wash in record and playoff seeding. The upside is Melo & Amare recruiting and the future.

  137. tenebrous

    Md: here is something to consider: sheldenW is the closest we have to a big man (sorry to say) so play jj shel amare melo n cb. Rotate shel with sw jj with tu or balk or amare melo with fields or mason and cb with Carter or td. Basically play shel jj amare melo cb for 30-35. shel for 24 sw for 12-14 n walker 12-14. See how they defend this way.

  138. Mike Kurylo Post author

    tenebrous – if you want anyone here (and most likely anywhere on the internet) to take what you say seriously, use proper grammar and spelling.

  139. dmull

    Nick C.: dmu

    Sorry, I forgot, coaches are irrelevant in the NBA and teaching only really happens to those players that play 4 years at college. And I suppose Thibodeau isn’t really to credit for this Bulls team defense? Just because they are professionals does not mean that the learning process ends.

    I can see saying that he’s making an excuse and hasn’t ever truly committed himself to the defensive end of the ball, but I think we’ve largely gotten way off topic here to a GREAT subject matter that Mike brought up. Obviously, I don’t quite agree with what he is saying, but I wish there was more discussion on that.

  140. gbaked

    I am sure I am over hyping what playing a full year with C&B will do to Toney, but I would rather the knicks find a way to get DHoward to play here and keep Toney at point.

    Defense will always be a big problem, and DH would fix that. If I could pluck anyone from the NBA and put them with Melo and STAT, it would be him. he seems like such a perfect compliment to STAT.

  141. Nick C.

    dmull: Sorry, I forgot, coaches are irrelevant in the NBA and teaching only really happens to those players that play 4 years at college. And I suppose Thibodeau isn’t really to credit for this Bulls team defense? Just because they are professionals does not mean that the learning process ends.I can see saying that he’s making an excuse and hasn’t ever truly committed himself to the defensive end of the ball, but I think we’ve largely gotten way off topic here to a GREAT subject matter that Mike brought up. Obviously, I don’t quite agree with what he is saying, but I wish there was more discussion on that.  (Quote)

    fair point … I guess the neglecting to mention the previous 10-years seems a bit silly on his part …

  142. chrisk06811

    Do you guys realize that for the last several months, there wasn’t a single time at tipoff that we didn’t think we could win that particular game? We’ve come a long way and we’re headed in the right direction.

    Next year is the big 4 plus TD, Shawne and two strategic, cheap short term singings. Think the Ray Felton gamble, but for 1 year.

  143. Brian Cronin

    Stat beats guys one-on-one facing up all the time.

    Yeah, Amar’e is one of the best one-on-one post players in the entire NBA. I’d take him with single coverage on him against pretty much anyone in the league (Dwight Howard is a notable exception – I guess Perkins, too…probably some others).

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