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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Donnie Walsh Valuable, But Replaceable

Last Friday the Knicks made headlines by announcing that Donnie Walsh was stepping down as the team president. The decision shocked the league, and Walsh did his best to quell conspiracy theories that sprouted like wildfire. Knick fans came out en masse showering Walsh with love. But was it well deserved?

Despite the big name recognition and jersey sales, the Knicks are still in the middle tier of NBA teams. In his time as president, Donnie Walsh made some considerable mistakes. In the 2009 draft Walsh chose Jordan Hill, who saw his stock plummet on draft day, instead of grabbing the point guard (Jennings, Lawson) that the team still needs. Given how dependent D’Antoni’s offense is on having a capable distributor, this was an obvious blunder. Another questionable move was when the Knicks had to sweeten Jeffries contract with Hill and their 2012 1st round pick in order to free up cap space for the summer of 2010. Additionally Donnie Walsh’s “cool poker player” reputation took a hit in the controversial Carmelo Anthony trade, when he sent nearly every young player on the roster (Gallo, Chandler, Felton, Randolph, Mozgov) and their 2014 1st rounder in a midseason deadline deal.

Hence from a more unbiased perspective Walsh did merely an average job during his tenure. So why all the love from Big Apple residents? Part of it stems from a misunderstanding of the true nature of the league and its players. For months Knick fans were force fed a steady diet of “Carmelo Anthony is a top 10 NBA player” and “a team needs three stars to win a championship” from the mainstream media. This simplistic, and frankly dumbed-down, version of reality made it easy for the common man to buy into MSG narrative. The Knicks failed to make it to the second round of the playoffs because Carmelo Anthony replicated Amar’e Stoudemire’s skillset (volume scoring, poor defense) and Walsh gutted his team’s depth along the way. During his good-bye conference call Walsh mentioned how this upcoming year is just important as his first two, and that the team needed to fill in the blanks between his superstars. In a way it was an admittance of his past mistakes.

On the other hand Walsh brought respectability to the franchise. The Knick team he inherited was built on a decade of incompetence and was coming off a sex scandal that centered around previous president and the star point guard. Donnie Walsh went about his job in a competent fashion, but also added an air of respectability. In my dealings with him, he was straightforward and courteous. Even during his final farewell Walsh was calm and distinguished, despite the media storm around him trying to twist his words to fit their narrative. Much like the Dutch boy who saves the city by keeping his finger in the dike, Donnie Walsh’s removal meant a flood of negative press rained down on the team.

In a way, Walsh was more valuable to the team than either of their star players. Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, for all of their on the court talents, can’t protect the team from the onslaught of negative attention to the team. Luckily for Knick fans, Walsh is more replaceable than the pair of All Stars on the roster. It shouldn’t be too hard for James Dolan to find another president that run the organization with credibility to deflect the muckraking from the media. Of course hiring the wrong person will mean a return to darker times. New Yorkers are in a state of anxiety over Walsh’s departure because with one move Dolan can undo all of the good that Donnie did over the last 3 years, and hence why there is so much love for Donnie Walsh.

157 comments on “Donnie Walsh Valuable, But Replaceable

  1. adrenaline98

    Again, I don’t think Walsh made any terrible decisions, and honestly, I would point to that as a sign of a good GM. No GM makes good decisions all the time only. RC Buford practically gave away Scola. Pritchard took Oden over Durant. No one is perfect.

    But the sign of a good GM is never making that foolish gamble that looks like a solid move. Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway came to mind. 2 picks + players for Curry comes to mind. Cap killing, future limiting, huge risk moves that would have at best made you a middle of the pack team.

    Even if Eddy Curry panned out at the time, the Knicks still would have been beaten by: Orlando, Lakers, Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio, Dallas, Atlanta.

    This is why I liked Walsh – he doesn’t make Isiah mistakes. And sometimes, he may strike out, when swinging for the fences, but he never hits into the double play.

  2. morenonsense

    However, a major flaw with this analysis is that Walsh, without heavy-handed pressure from above, moved on the the ‘Melo trade by himself, which I don’t believe. Nothing in his history of careful, pragmatic deals suggests he would flip his entire roster for two guys, who, while are very good, play zero defense. I really think that had Dolan not have gotten involved, Walsh would not have been pressured into giving up so much.

    Yeah, he def. did wiff on the the Jordan Hill draft. No arguments there. But look at some of this other picks… he nailed the Gallo pick (is there one guy drafted after Gallo you’d rather have? Maybe Eric Gordon, but thats it, and I don’t even think that.), and the Landry pick was genius. I’d still rate his tenure as pretty damn amazing. His cleanup ability after the Layden/Isiah years was was akin to work on a Superfund site.

  3. DS

    I also like Walsh…

    I would have liked you to comment on the roster he had built before the ‘Melo trade, w/ future cap flexibility to boot. I thought it was evidence of a highly competent GM in a rebuilding situation.

    The ‘Melo deal was unfortunate but A) I suspect Dolan deserves a lot of the blame for it B) CP3, Deron, and Howard may be more inclined to come over to the Knicks if they buy into this “big 3″ business. Esp. if Miami wins it all.

  4. Nick C.

    Walsh brought competent professionalism to the position which after what just left was beyind words. Now that he is gone many fear that the next GM will be or bear the taint of Isaiah or be a lackey for Dolan. So yes Walsh was not perfect but it is highly unlikely any competent GM with a spine will seek or be sought for the position. The direction the franchise took with the panicked overpursuit of Melo leads me to fear that the direction of the franchise is looking for an assemblage of volume scorers rather than any sembalnce of a team.

  5. Frank

    @2 – in the Gallo draft I’d rather have:

    Eric Gordon
    DJ Augustin maybe
    Hibbert
    Javale McGee
    Deandre Jordan
    Ibaka
    Batum (maybe)
    Brook Lopez, for all his faults

    Look, we all love Gallo because he was our guy and his TS is 60 for his career, but to this point in his career, he is not a difference maker. He’s a 4th best player on a good team. He’s a glorified Ryan Anderson, a slightly better driving but much worse shooting version of the middle-aged Peja (not the zombie-slow Peja that plays for Dallas now). Now he IS young, so maybe he’ll get better, but he didn’t make much improvement in 2.5 seasons with us. And this is from a NYK fan that loved rooting for him and was very sad when he was traded.

    I agree completely with Mike’s article. Donnie did an acceptable-to-good job, but it’s not like he was Presti or RC Buford here. You can blame Dolan all you want, but part of the job of a GREAT GM is managing your owner as well as personnel, cap, etc. In any case, if Donnie hated being here that much because of the owner, then I don’t think he would’ve signed on to continue with the team going forward.

  6. Frank

    That said – the jury is out on Donnie until after the 2012 FA season. If CP3/D-Will/DH12 end up here, then he’s a genius. My thought was always that he threw all that stuff into the Denver pot because he had a good feeling that 1 of the big 3 2012 FAs was coming.

  7. adrenaline98

    Frank, I think ‘managing your owners’ is a key part of the job too. But we’re not talking Arison here. We’re talking Dolan, who attempts to manage everything into the ground, including media relations. I don’t think you will EVER find a GM in the past, present, or future that will ‘handle’ Dolan as an owner. The dude is a moron and until he lets his GMs do their jobs without him forcing stuff down their throats, we can just accept the fact that the team will not make good enough decisions to win it all, unless they hit a homerun by chance.

  8. adrenaline98

    Also, Marc Stein is reporting that Pistons may be interested in Isiah Thomas to be their next coach.

    Lord please send him back to Detroit.

  9. DS

    Frank: You can blame Dolan all you want, but part of the job of a GREAT GM is managing your owner as well as personnel, cap, etc.

    In general, that’s true, but which owner is as meddlesome and as misguided as Dolan? Which GM do you think has done a much better job managing his owner. And don’t give me anyone whose worked for Mark Cuban. He’s an ass but he’s 1000 times more knowledgeable than Dolan.

  10. Frank

    DS: In general, that’s true, but which owner is as meddlesome and as misguided as Dolan? Which GM do you think has done a much better job managing his owner.And don’t give me anyone whose worked for Mark Cuban.He’s an ass but he’s 1000 times more knowledgeable than Dolan.

    Hard to say – we only hear about the Sterlings, Sarvers, and Dolans of the world. For all we know the other 27 owners in the league are managed expertly by their GMs.

    (see, I present an answer that can’t be refuted!!!)

  11. d-mar

    adrenaline98:
    Also, Marc Stein is reporting that Pistons may be interested in Isiah Thomas to be their next coach.

    Lord please send him back to Detroit.

    Even better would be if he was named GM, then our new GM could make some lopsided deals with him. Payback time!

  12. Ted Nelson

    Good analysis.

    I would not be so harsh on the mistakes side, and view his tenure a little more favorably. I think you have to take the circumstances into account.

    Most here didn’t like the Hill pick even at the time, so I’m ok with calling it a mistake. I don’t think taking Brandon Jennings instead of Hill would have been much better, though. Lawson maybe, but I don’t know if any GM in the NBA would have taken Lawson that high… maybe one or two. Same for a Jrue Holiday or Darren Collison or Rodrigue Beaubois. Then again, maybe they would have. That PG very likely would be gone to Houston too, though, and the Knicks would be in the same spot there. Not sure PG is a need, though, with Billups.
    So far Hill hasn’t looked like a particularly bad pick compared to the next 8 picks… and for lack of perfect information I think that’s the best way to judge picks. Two years into his career he’s been slightly below average at a PER of 13.8 and WS/48 of 0.88. He doubled his minutes his second season. He’ll only be 24 next season.

    The T-Mac trade at the time cleared the way for two max players. I don’t know, but I don’t think it would be fair to expect Walsh to know that the Miami Thrice would collude to all play together. It turned out to be a fools errand, but at the time I certainly felt that even a small chance at LeBron (plus a Wade or other max guy) was worth the risk… just such an enormous return.

    Maybe not losing, but getting swept in the first also could be a result of Billups’ injury and some bad luck in those first couple of really close games. Win those two very winnable games and the series is 2-2 if you still get blown out the next two… which maybe doesn’t happen with Billups.

    “It shouldn’t be too hard for James Dolan to find another president that run the organization with credibility to deflect the muckraking from the media.”

    It shouldn’t be, but…

    Pritchard still seems like the best option based on the info I…

  13. Ted Nelson

    Frank: Eric Gordon
    DJ Augustin maybe
    Hibbert
    Javale McGee
    Deandre Jordan
    Ibaka
    Batum (maybe)
    Brook Lopez, for all his faults

    I don’t think there’s one guy on that list anyone can say is *clearly* better than Gallo. You can make an argument for Gallo over every guy on that list. You might rather have them personally, but it’s hard to say they are clearly better. It’s going to depend how you value various factors. PER and WS/48 disagree on some of their relative values, for example.

    I mean DeAndre Jordan and McGee???? Those guys have been “difference makers?”

    Frank: it’s not like he was Presti or RC Buford here

    It’s also not like he had the #1 pick when Tim Duncan was available or the #2 pick when Kevin Durant was available. It’s not like he inherited David Robinson or Ray Allen. It’s not like he had more than three seasons to work with. For all their success, a lot of it is circumstantial and it took them time. You can’t turn water into wine. Not that Walsh did a perfect job, but let’s judge him with some eye on the context.

    Frank: You can blame Dolan all you want, but part of the job of a GREAT GM is managing your owner

    It’s your job to manage your boss? That’s pretty tough when your boss is a certifiable lunatic. Guy turned to his right hand man in a cablevision meeting and told his #2 that what he had just said was the dumbest thing he’s heard, don’t talk for the rest of the meeting. He owns the team. He doesn’t need Walsh’s approval. He can pull off a move on his own without asking Walsh anything. Saying Walsh can control that is silly.

  14. Ted Nelson

    Frank: Hard to say – we only hear about the Sterlings, Sarvers, and Dolans of the world. For all we know the other 27 owners in the league are managed expertly by their GMs.

    And for all we know they’re not. What’s the point of speculating?

    We know that Dolan did get involved in the Melo deal… no need to speculate on whether he did. That can naturally lead to some speculation on how involved he was. I don’t think there’s any reason to draw conclusions on that speculation, but it’s worth throwing out there.

    Acting as if every owner is the same is just ridiculous. Some are bound to be more hands-on than others.

    There is very, very strong evidence that Dolan is both more meddling and more incompetent than most other owners. There is very, very strong evidence that Sterling is cheaper than most other owners. Why are we just ignoring that evidence because we don’t know the details of their relationships with multiple GMs/Presidents compared to the relationships of multiple GMs/Presidents with other owners. I mean some owners have 5 GMs over time and you never hear from them. Some have 5 and you always hear from them. You think that’s an accident? You think ever GM one group hired succeeded at managing them, while every single GM the other group hired failed?

  15. Ted Nelson

    Or for another example: say you have two pitchers face two batters 100 times to see who is a better pitcher. Roy Halladay faces Pujols 100 times, Joe Blanton faces Cesar Izturis 100 times… do you just hold the results constant or adjust for the quality of the hitter? Same goes for a GM and the owner you want them to “manage.” Or say Phil Jackson coaches the T-Wolves and Isiah coaches the Bulls… if the Bulls win more games does that make Isiah the better coach?

  16. Frank

    @13 – LOL fair enough esp on the boss angle.
    Re: Deandre and McGee – to me it is clear that they have a higher chance of being difference makers than Gallo. Maybe they’re not difference makers now, but neither is Gallo at this point in his career.

    I see what you’re saying though – I’m looking at this through the current state of things, meaning we need a center, not a 6’10″ forward who can’t really defend or rebound.

  17. CRJoe

    morenonsense: However, a major flaw with this analysis is that Walsh, without heavy-handed pressure from above, moved on the the ‘Melo trade by himself, which I don’t believe.

    This ^^^^

    Also I don’t think the Jared Jeffries deal was so bad… He sent a terrible player in Jordan Hill (I don’t agree with Ted in that Hill isn’t that bad) and a first rounder to clear what??? 15 millions or so??? Also Walsh was confident they could lock up at least one star to go with the young talent they had, enough power to go into the playoffs, making the pick that was supposed to be swapped irrelevant… Which is what happened… It wouldn’t had mattered if Houston had gone to the playoffs, picking 17 or 22 in such a weak draft makes no difference….

  18. Grymm

    The only GM I’d feel comfortable comparing Walsh too is Brian Cashman. Same media, similarly crazy owner, different operating limitations. If Cashman had to work in a restrictive salary system, he’d be screwed. However, if the Knicks were allowed to just throw money at players, they’d probably cope with Dolan better.

    Donnie made 3 huge moves: clearing cap to chase Lebron, signing Amare, and trading for Billups/Melo. On all 3, he paid full price. Given the pressure to bring in stars and the absolute garbage the team started with, I don’t think bargain hunting was in the cards. I think when there was less on the table and likely less ownership interference, the moves were pretty solid. Shawne Williams logged valuable productive time. Bill Walker was actually an upgrade over Nate Robinson as far as efficiency, cost, and defense. Mosgov came from nowhere and became a key in bringing in Melo (whether he turns out to ever be any good).

  19. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe: He sent a terrible player in Jordan Hill (I don’t agree with Ted in that Hill isn’t that bad)

    What are you basing your analysis on? I at least pointed to something.

    I also compared him the 8 guys drafted directly after him. How many of those guys are better?

  20. knickterp

    The notion that the knicks failed to make it out of the first round b/c Carmelo replicated Amar’e's skillset is, I assume, Mike’s sly attempt to close the book on any further possible justification of the Melo trade.

    Thank God Melo “replicated Amar’e's skillset” given that Amar’e was a shell of himself the second half of the season and was downed by a back injury before Game 2. Melo and the D-League all-stars almost pulled out a miracle in Boston.

    Dirk would love Melo right now, just as Rose would have loved to have him in the prior series.

  21. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I see that Ted’s hiatus did nothing for his confrontational nature.

    Are people actually arguing that Walsh did a good job? You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to understand that no advanced statistics support the assertion that Carmelo or Amar’e deserve max money. Besides, that Hill pick could have been flipped for a future pick plus Lawson, and buying a second-rounder to prevent the Spurs from yet another draft steal would have been something at least a dozen of us on the board would have suggested, and been correct in our judgment.

    There’s really no case for anything but and assertion of mediocrity. Saying that Walsh did a good job because he brought class back to the organization is like my employer giving me an award for not committing an egregiously unethical act. It should be a given. Let’s not praise a man for doing what anyone at the top level of sports management should be doing.

  22. BigBlueAL

    knickterp:
    The notion that the knicks failed to make it out of the first round b/c Carmelo replicated Amar’e’s skillset is, I assume, Mike’s sly attempt to close the book on any further possible justification of the Melo trade.

    Thank God Melo “replicated Amar’e’s skillset” given that Amar’e was a shell of himself the second half of the season and was downed by a back injury before Game 2.Melo and the D-League all-stars almost pulled out a miracle in Boston.

    Dirk would love Melo right now, just as Rose would have loved to have him in the prior series.

    Melo cant win with some people here. People who hated him talked about how the only way he can become a valuable player is if he miraculously improved his efficiency as a Knick and thats what he exactly did.

    Look he still takes his fair share of “hero” shots but guess what thats what all “superstar” wing players due. To be honest Melo takes no more bad shots than a Kobe, Lebron or Wade do. Melo was so trashed on this site that I expected to see a horrible player as a Knick and he surprised me alot by how good a player he actually is and can be.

  23. JK47

    Who do you want, player A or player B?

    Player A
    Age: 29
    .581 TS%, .523 eFG%, 10.2 TRB%, 23.5 AST%, 12.4 TOV%, 31.6 USG%

    Player B
    Age: 26
    .575 TS%, .510 eFG%, 10.6 TRB%, 15.3 AST%, 9.4 TOV%, 31.0 USG%

    It’s close, right? Player A is a tick better in a few categories, but is three years older. I think I’d want Player B, all things considered.

    Player A is Dwayne Wade. Player B is Carmelo Anthony as a Knick.

  24. nicos

    Nice breakdown Mike- I’d agree that he was okay but hardly irreplaceable. I think you could also make the argument that he traded both Randolph and Crawford too soon- they both had to go to clear space but even a couple more months in D’Antoni’s system could added enough value that the Knicks could have actually gotten some decent value in return.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: buying a second-rounder to prevent the Spurs from yet another draft steal would have been something at least a dozen of us on the board would have suggested, and been correct in our judgment

    While Blair is a solid second round pick it’s not like he was the steal of the century- he’s a terrific rebounder and gives little else- undersized man defender and not a great help guy either. His TS fell off to an uninspiring .524 this year and he turns it over at a pretty high rate as well. On a good team he’s a nice 20 minute a night guy, nothing more so I think it’s a little unfair to cite him as one of Donnie’s great failures.

  25. jon abbey

    Grymm:
    If Cashman had to work in a restrictive salary system, he’d be screwed.

    total sidetrack, but no one knows this because he’s never had to. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are good arguments to the contrary right now.

  26. Jim Cavan

    @21

    http://www.nba.com/draft2009/

    Obviously on draft night many on this board were already lambasting the Hill pick, and hindsight has vindicated those reactions. But considering how whacky that draft was to begin with, and given Hill’s college stats (which suggested nothing short of a high ceiling), I don’t see how you cruicify the guy for that the way we have.

    Yes, we needed a PG. But I don’t think it mattered who we picked — they were likely gone in the McGrady deal anyway. And that would have been a lot more painful. Sure you can fault him for not seeking out a second rounder or not having the foresight to target Lawson, but giving him this much flack for the Hill pick alone seems inconsequential given the tunnel-visioned effort of landing LeBron. Which is what Walsh was brought here to do.

    Turning around an NBA franchise mired in managerial and financial incompetence is in no way a “given”. And saying Walsh did a “good” job is not akin to your boss giving you an award for — to take the obvious example — not sexually harassing a coworker. Such a comparison trivializes the epic mess that Walsh walked into. He basically had to salvage an already sunken ship and make it seaworthy in less time than should have reasonably been expected — again for the sake of competing in the LeBron sweepstakes. I doubt there are many GMs out there who would have done a better job.

    As for the max money thing, that’s been beaten to death. If it puts CP3 in New York, it’s worth it. To the extent that nobody’s going to fault Walsh for clearing the cap space to go after LeBron, failing to land him means you have 1 of 2 options going forward: 1) take the 5-10 year plan and build slowly, further testing the patience of your fan base, or 2) sign a max player and hope to attract one or two more. Sure, the latter gives you less margin for error, but it could also pay off big. I’ll withhold judgment on which is the better approach for at least two more years.

  27. steveoh

    I think this has been stated before, but we’re all freaking out not based on what Donnie has done, but on what Dolan might do.

    Donnie wasn’t perfect, but he also wasn’t horrible. And since it had been a long time since we had anything resembling competency, his reign looked downright legendary in comparison.

    I just fear for what Dolan might do when left to his own devices. I really do. Dude’s a fool. Fact.

  28. Ted Nelson

    THCJ,

    I don’t think just saying “he was mediocre” or “he was good” really covers it. If all you have is good, mediocre, and bad… we’re talking pretty wide ranges.

    Certainly Walsh was not perfect. Judging his moves in hindsight against the perfect move to make isn’t really fair, though. And I think your standards are too high. Hill wasn’t a good pick, for example, but he also hasn’t been a bad pick. Walsh’s moves also aren’t done… Billups could be traded. TD, Fields, Walker, Jordan, Rautins should develop some more.

    I think you have to judge him in the context of the assignment he was given, what he was given to work with, and what opportunities presented themselves.

    His assignment was to bring “stars” to NYK. Motivations behind that are as much financial as basketball related. Winning brings in money, but I wouldn’t be surprised if winning with stars brings in more money than winning without them. Plus the stability of proven stars getting you to the playoffs might have been more attractive to a franchise coming off a decade of losing than being patient and possibly building the real deal but possibly continuing to stink. He did what he could on LeBron and Wade. You can’t hold Walsh responsible for their decisions. He did get Amare and Melo. They are not LeBron, but they are very good basketball players. Consensus max players, whether you think they deserve it or not.

    He wasn’t given too much to work with. A couple of high picks and a 23 win team. No #1 overall pick. No gimme trade for a superstar.

    A ton of opportunities didn’t present themselves as far as I know. It would have been nice to maybe get Lawson and Blair instead of Hill, but that doesn’t make the Knicks a contender.

  29. chrisk06811

    This isn’t enough info to choose. You have to tell me that player A has a ring, has carried a team, plays lockdown D, is an unquestioned leader, and is respected at both ends of the floor by virtually everyone in the nba. You gotta tell me player B begged out until he was dealt for a handful of promise. D Wade doesn’t beg for a trade or get traded.

    JK47: Who do you want, player A or player B?Player AAge: 29.581 TS%, .523 eFG%, 10.2 TRB%, 23.5 AST%, 12.4 TOV%, 31.6 USG%Player BAge: 26.575 TS%, .510 eFG%, 10.6 TRB%, 15.3 AST%, 9.4 TOV%, 31.0 USG%It’s close, right? Player A is a tick better in a few categories, but is three years older. I think I’d want Player B, all things considered.Player A is Dwayne Wade. Player B is Carmelo Anthony as a Knick.

  30. Ted Nelson

    Continuing with #28… Guys who are cited like Buford and Presti as the best GMs–and often rightly so–usually have more to work with and longer than 3 years to do it. David Robinson or Ray Allen inherited. If they inherited Curry/Crawford instead of a HOFer a piece, would their tenure be as successful? A top 2 pick to nab TD or KD. Drafting one pick later and Buford/Presti might still look good for some lower profile acquisitions, but their teams are probably not nearly as successful.

    I’m not trying to give Walsh an exact grade for his work, but just to put it in a little context instead of simply looking at the exact right move compared to what he did.

  31. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, excluding defense in a comparison of Wade and Melo when one is a three-time member of the All-Defensive second team and the other guy is terrible on defense was a weird decision.

  32. Ted Nelson

    JK47: Player A is Dwayne Wade. Player B is Carmelo Anthony as a Knick.

    Player A is a SG, player B is a SF. I’ll take A. It’s also a small sample for Melo. The assist #s are also not just a tick better. Add in that Wade is maybe the best “closer” in the game and Melo jacks up ridiculous ugly shots late in games…
    I see your point, though, that Melo is not hugely worse than Wade. He’s definitely a very good player.

    nicos: I think you could also make the argument that he traded both Randolph and Crawford too soon

    In hindsight, 100%. Both have gotten better after leaving. At the time, though, I don’t think it was obvious they would get better. Like some of his other moves: wrong, but defensible. Getting better trade value there and with Melo and with T-Mac definitely would have made for a better tenure.

    Jim Cavan: failing to land him means you have 1 of 2 options going forward

    Agreed. Speculation on my part, but Walsh may have been specifically told #1 was not an option. His assignment may have been put the team in the playoffs as soon as possible, not win a title. Given that both Layden and Isiah seemed to be brought in to “rebuild without rebuilding” it seems very plausible. Walsh outperformed Isiah and Layden by leaps and bounds, not that it’s a good baseline.

    chrisk06811: You have to tell me that player A has a ring, has carried a team

    I agree with some of your other points about defense, etc… but a ring means nothing. Derek Fisher has fists full of rings. That’s a team thing.

  33. latke

    it would have been nice though if Walsh had really liquidated the talent on NYK ASAP. Harrington should have been bought out, Q-rich — traded or bought out — anyone not on a rookie contract and making more than $2 million/year should have been bought out. This would have given the knicks a real chance to have the kind of player that you can build around. Instead, we ended up picking 8th in a draft that turned out to be 7 deep, all because we didn’t wholly commit to rebuilding. That’s my main criticism of the knicks for the last 10 years. They lose, but they refuse to ever lose enough to get a good draft pick. 10 straight losing seasons, and our highest pick in that time was gallo at number 6. That has to be some sort of record.

  34. adrenaline98

    chrisk06811: This isn’t enough info to choose. You have to tell me that player A has a ring, has carried a team, plays lockdown D, is an unquestioned leader, and is respected at both ends of the floor by virtually everyone in the nba. You gotta tell me player B begged out until he was dealt for a handful of promise. D Wade doesn’t beg for a trade or get traded.

    Yea, he begs people to go play with him instead. (yes, a small jab at the Heatles – dumbest name ever).

    Either way, it’s not like Melo begged to be traded to a good team. He wanted to come to NY, which was worse off than Denver. To me, this is the biggest reason why I love having Melo here. Maybe THCJ is right if you compare dollars to ability. He is no LeBron, and Wade is a more complete player. But the truth is, value is relative, and is based on the current system. He is a max player. He would be making way more than this if there were no salary cap restrictions. Sure, you can argue, but there is one! But that doesn’t matter. The reason he’s getting the max is because he deserves the max allowable, because he’d be paid more than that if there were no cap, on potential alone.

    I like Melo more than all of them, not just because he’s a NYK, but because he wanted to be a NYK, even though they are just a mediocre team. We know what Melo can be, that he can be that exceptional 2 way HoF caliber player if he put his mind to it. Unlike a lot of you though, I’m optimistic that he will here, because he wants to be here, and he wanted the challenge, him and Amare both.

    Yes, I too believe history tends to repeat itself, and I am probably living a pipedream, but I believe the Knicks will get better defensively next year, and we will see a better brand of basketball that isn’t just a first round team. LeBron plays more inspired D with 3 stars than he has ever done before…

  35. adrenaline98

    cont.

    with the Cavs. They feed off each other. And I think Melo or Amare will do the same. If they don’t, their legacy will never change. And we won’t be winning championships with them. But the truth is, that is OK. There’s a reason why there’s ‘best players.’ Miami has 2 of the current. It’s just the way it is. You can only hope your players want to be like the best.

  36. Brian Cronin

    Bill Simmons had a funny line – “It’s going to be so awkward when Dwyane Wade wins the Finals MVP.”

  37. BigBlueAL

    “Add in that Wade is maybe the best “closer” in the game and Melo jacks up ridiculous ugly shots late in games…”

    Stats say nobody comes close to Melo in terms of “clutch” shooting and his small sample with the Knicks was no exception. He hit game-winners vs Memphis and Indiana and also hit a game-tying shot vs Indiana right before Granger hit the game-winner. He also hit the shot that sealed the game vs Philly which was basically a game-winner.

    He missed at the end of the Orlando game (which they still won in OT) and of course in Game 1 vs Boston. Also he was called for a charge vs Cleveland which was a horrible call.

    So with the Knicks he was 3 for 5 in game winning/tying shots with 1 TO so he was basically 3 for 6 in clutch game ending shots. Since for his career his % was a bit below 50% which was again the best of any player (Kobe/Wade/Lebron are in the low 30′s) Melo has the edge on any player in the NBA in the “closer” category.

    Defense on the other hand I wont debate lol. Although he should get some credit for his ability to have some huge rebounding games which for a team as bad at rebounding as the Knicks was pretty important. Although in fairness to Melo how many times was he really scored on at will that we could say he his horrible on D?? Amar’e had plenty of moments like that as did Fields along with the PG’s getting constantly burned on pick’n'rolls but Melo as a man defender never had issues like that. Off the ball and on help D he was as bad as the rest of his teammates but I actually think Melo might actually be one of the better man-to-man defenders on the Knicks.

  38. adrenaline98

    Look at the way he blanketed James, arguably the most unstoppable player in the league at getting to the basket. How many other stars (and even specialists) can do it the way he did in that Miami game? He’s got the capability and talent, and I think he will surprise us more next year. If he doesn’t, well, more first and second round type of exits. He has GOT to know that by now, having played this long in the league, seeing LeBron play that kind of heady AND gritty defense.

  39. nicos

    Brian Cronin:
    Bill Simmons had a funny line –“It’s going to be so awkward when Dwyane Wade wins the Finals MVP.”

    It will certainly cause a lot of media chatter but it’s not like LBJ has struggled against Dallas the way Wade did against Chicago. And there’s no question who Spoelstra thinks is the better defender of the two. A week ago everyone was chirping that LBJ might be better than Jordan and now after 3 games he’s suddenly just DWade’s sidekick? It’s really crazy.

  40. JK47

    I think a CP3/Melo/STAT “Big Three” could hold their own against the Heat’s big three. LeBron is the best player on the planet, but Chris Paul would be the second best player out of the six. STAT and Bosh would sort of cancel each other out, and Wade may be a bit better than Melo, but he’s not magnitudes better.

    Plus, CP3/Melo/STAT would theoretically complement each other better– a pure PG, a wing and a frontcourt player rather than two wings and a frontcourt player. The Heat would be the better defensive team, but I think NYK would be better on offense. We’d give them a run for their money at the very least.

  41. ess-dog

    Maybe I’m crazy but I’m not so down on this team. I think we were a pretty even matchup with Boston before Stat/Billups got hurt. If you somehow add CP3 and a good role player to that, I think we can compete with the Heat despite our defensive deficiencies. Probably could never take a series, but could play them tough.

    Hopefully CP3 makes it to free agency (he doesn’t have to sign off on any trade extension like Melo did) and we nab him there.

    There are only so many things you can do in this league short of losing for 10 plus years in a row. There’s only one Howard, LBJ, Wade and CP3 to go around. They’re not going to be easy to get. Top picks are risky too. Kyrie Irving could be another CP3. Or he could be Baron Davis. It’s hard to know. At least we have a somewhat “destination” team to root for unlike Memphis, Minnesota or Utah. We can actually use free agency to a greater advantage than those teams, even if we have to overpay.

  42. Mike Kurylo Post author

    JK47:
    Who do you want, player A or player B?

    Player A
    Age: 29
    .581 TS%, .523 eFG%, 10.2 TRB%, 23.5 AST%, 12.4 TOV%, 31.6 USG%

    Player B
    Age: 26
    .575 TS%, .510 eFG%, 10.6 TRB%, 15.3 AST%, 9.4 TOV%, 31.0 USG%

    It’s close, right?Player A is a tick better in a few categories, but is three years older.I think I’d want Player B, all things considered.

    Player A is Dwayne Wade.Player B is Carmelo Anthony as a Knick.

    Player A has made the All-NBA Defensive Second Team thrice. Player B has applied himself on defense a couple of times. Player A has made it to the 1st or 2nd All NBA Team every year after his rookie season except for once. Player B was not honoured on an All NBA Team last year, and never made first team.

    I get what you’re saying, but Wade’s value is not just on the offensive end, so the comparison is skewed by those stats. (Also his assist percentage is much higher as well.)

  43. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Jim Cavan: Yes, we needed a PG. But I don’t think it mattered who we picked — they were likely gone in the McGrady deal anyway.

    Turning around an NBA franchise mired in managerial and financial incompetence is in no way a “given”. And saying Walsh did a “good” job is not akin to your boss giving you an award for — to take the obvious example — not sexually harassing a coworker. Such a comparison trivializes the epic mess that Walsh walked into. He basically had to salvage an already sunken ship and make it seaworthy in less time than should have reasonably been expected — again for the sake of competing in the LeBron sweepstakes. I doubt there are many GMs out there who would have done a better job.

    1. If he had Lawson or Jennings instead of Hill, the Knicks might have had more leverage and perhaps held onto their 2012 1st pick. Or just drew the line and gave the pick away and held Lawson. Or just kept Jeffries. We don’t know how it would have played out. I don’t see how having a more valuable player to work with would have hurt Walsh.

    2. If I’m going to be a GM in the NBA, give me the worst team over the best team anyday. There’s such a lower standard to live up to, that if I’m merely adequate I’ll look good in the former, but bad in the latter. Would you want to follow Phil Jackson in L.A.? They’ll crucify Mike Brown’s if he doesn’t win a title.

  44. SeeWhyDee77

    Before I speak my peace..I wanna say Congrats 2 Mark Jackson on landing a gig coaching a talented young team that just needs direction. That said, I sincerely hope that when he’s coachin defense that he doesn’t say hand down man down. Anyway..I am a lil distraught over Donnie “stepping down”. Not only was he doing a great job at improving the on court product, but he was also assembling a talented front office as well as restoring order in Knick leadership. I think he’s leaving the team in a good position moving forward..as long as Isaiah is not re-hired. Regardless of who’s coaching, we actually have something tangible 2 work with for the 1st time in years. As much as I like D’Antoni, I think he may be gone as well. Hopefully in favor of a more defensive coach. But if not, I can live with him as coach. Especially if he hires an assistant who is adept at defensive coaching. As far as Donnie’s replacement, I would love 2 add Pritchard. It would also be nice to have a scout of Isaiah’s caliber. Yes he has made some questionable decisions, but he is great at spotting talent. He just drafts them at the wrong spots lol. I’m not saying hire Isaiah as a scout. I’m saying hire someone with an eye for talent similar 2 his. Whoever the new GM is gonna be, he cannot bend 2 D’Antoni’s offensive whim. He has 2 add defense around Stat and Melo without sacrificing shooting as much. Pietrus, Reggie Jackson, and Dalembert should all be on the radar.

  45. SeeWhyDee77

    Holy crap!!! Whas up Ted!! I haven’t been here in a while 2 know when u got back, but hell- welcome back…this better not be a hoax lol

  46. Brian Cronin

    It is so funny that Mark Jackson is going to be coaching David Lee. Soooo funny.

  47. Jim Cavan

    @43

    I understand what you’re saying on the first point. But I think Houston knew what we were trying to achieve, and would’ve had us over a rail regardless of what that pick was. Given what he was expected to do — i.e. free up cap space — I don’t think Walsh had much of a choice.

    As for pont #2, I have to disagree. I’d much rather walk into Sam Presti’s job than I would Chris Grant’s. If you’re Sam Presti, you just don’t pull any stupid moves, hope for no serious injuries, and you’re looking pretty good for the next half a decade. Obviously you have to do something, but even if you add a FA that doesn’t quite pan out, it’s not the end of the world. But if you’re Chris Grant, what do you do? Who you take #1 this year is a huge decision, and one that could easily backfire or simply not pan out, further crippling an already crippled franchise. To use another industry, would you rather have the job of running Honda, or GM? There’s a reason why GM is on their third CEO in 4 years (something like that). And it’s not because it’s easier to look good taking over a bad situation.

    I understand what you’re getting at, but using coaches as examples misses the point. GMs have a much longer shelf life than coaches. If Mike Brown either loses in the first round or just misses the Playoffs three of the next four years, he may be fired. But Mitch Kupchak definitely keeps his job. If Mike Brown finishes significantly below .500 three of the next four years (unlikely)? Maybe they both get the axe.

    Yes, it’s easier to walk into a bad coaching situation, in that there might be more leeway. But if we’re talking about a front office gig, you’re much safer and will have much more leeway walking into a good situation than you are a bad one. There’s just a lot more room to fail and a lot more flak for others — including the coach — to take.

    Long story short, I give Donnie a B+.

  48. ess-dog

    Really, Golden State? Really?

    That move almost makes Dolan look crafty and calculating by comparison.

  49. Brian Cronin

    I mean, while I think it is a dumb move because it involves Mark Jackson being paid to be the coach of their team, at least it theoretically should maybe make Monta Ellis play a more restrained game. We know Lee can play well for all sorts of coaches, it’d be interesting if Ellis could play for a half court coach like Jackson certainly will be (a half court offense coach, a defense first coach and a bad coach – those are the three things Jackson is likely to be).

  50. jon abbey

    BigBlueAL:
    At least we dont have to worry about Mark Jackson ever coaching the Knicks.

    and we don’t have to listen to his idiocy on national telecasts anymore (after this week, although really Shaq should take over right away). free at last, free at last, thank god almighty…

  51. Owen

    To me Jackson going to Golden State is one of the best moves made recently in the NBA. Anything that takes him out of the lead color commentary slot is genius in my book.

    Fascinating to see the rumors about Westbrook and Paul swirling. I can’t think of a more perfect trade for both teams or a better running mate for Durant. And Westbrook clearly wants to be the star of his own team so it might even work out for him. That would be a powerhouse starting unit: Paul, Harden, Durant, Ibaka, Perkins. I wouldn’t want to bet against that team coming out of the West or maybe even to win the title….

  52. d-mar

    jon abbey: and we don’t have to listen to his idiocy on national telecasts anymore (after this week, although really Shaq should take over right away). free at last, free at last, thank god almighty…

    “What Jason Terry knows…” “What the Dallas Mavericks know…” What I know is I won’t be listening to Mark Jackson do NBA games any more, thank you GS.

  53. DS

    @53 – If there was a “like” button on this site I would have clicked it.

    I’ve been in and out of the site lately so pardon me if this point has already been talked to death… but could the Knicks pull off a Carmelo for Deron deal?? Seems like there would be logic in it for everyone.

    Deron is a bette player and a better fit for the Knicks. ‘Melo is a volume scorer and a bigger star. And the course of events at the trade dead line suggest that the Nets wanted ‘Melo more.

  54. Ted Nelson

    BigBlueAL: Stats say nobody comes close to Melo in terms of “clutch” shooting and his small sample with the Knicks was no exception.

    Which stats? His TS% is the clutch for the Knicks was 52.4%. In Denver it was 56%.

    I was really going with my eyes, though. Melo takes a lot of really awful shots late in games (and at all points of the game, really). In the playoffs against Boston in either game 1 or 2 he just took the most forced, awkward, worst… shot I’ve seen someone take in that high leverage a situation. Wade, on the other hand, always seems to make plays down the stretch. He plays on a team with the best player in the NBA right now and maybe ever, and he’s still the closer.

    When I say closer I also don’t mean literally the last shot. If you make some plays before the last shot, you don’t need to make the last shot. I’m not even referring to just clutch stats.

    BigBlueAL: Melo has the edge on any player in the NBA in the “closer” category.

    This is a joke, right?

    Listen, I’m not saying that I don’t think Melo is a very good basketball player. I’m saying that I think Wade is better. If the King of Saudi Arabia is richer than you, it doesn’t mean you’re poor.

  55. tastycakes

    I just came here to say THANK GOD Mark Jackson is out of the broadcast booth next year. As Marv Albert would say, YES!

    I hope he finds just enough success with Golden State that he sticks as a marginal NBA coach and we don’t get him back on the airwaves, ever.

  56. Ted Nelson

    Mike Kurylo: We don’t know how it would have played out. I don’t see how having a more valuable player to work with would have hurt Walsh.

    I’m not sure Jennings is actually a more valuable player. Totally my speculation, but I really, really doubt Morey would be interested in Jennings.

    As I pointed out with Lawson before, a lot of other guys past on him too. Not picking the absolute rihgt player means that you did not make the best pick, but it doesn’t mean you made a bad pick.

    I do agree that we don’t know what would have happened, but I think that also means we shouldn’t be overly critical of hypotheticals.

    Mike Kurylo: 2. If I’m going to be a GM in the NBA, give me the worst team over the best team anyday. There’s such a lower standard to live up to

    The precedent was low, but the pressure in NYC is not low.

    Would you really want the Knicks job if it came with Jerkoff Dolan and his insistence that you not rebuild but do everything to get LeBron? Walsh might have gone all-in on LeBron anyway (there’s a very good chance I would have), but in the end I think we have to judge him on the assignment he was given and the circumstances he had to deal with. He almost always got good trade value in Indy.
    Always getting poor trade value when every other GM in the NBA knew he had an ultimatum to add stars ASAP might not be a coincidence.

  57. tastycakes

    Rumor has it (see ESPN) that GS is considering swapping Monta for Igoudala, which seems to me like a smart trade for GS and another head-scratcher by Philly. Iggy’s overpaid, but I think he’d complement Curry and Lee better than Monta Ballhog.

  58. citizen

    Ted Nelson: Which stats? His TS% is the clutch for the Knicks was 52.4%. In Denver it was 56%.

    I was really going with my eyes, though. Melo takes a lot of really awful shots late in games (and at all points of the game, really). In the playoffs against Boston in either game 1 or 2 he just took the most forced, awkward, worst… shot I’ve seen someone take in that high leverage a situation. Wade, on the other hand, always seems to make plays down the stretch. He plays on a team with the best player in the NBA right now and maybe ever, and he’s still the closer.

    When I say closer I also don’t mean literally the last shot. If you make some plays before the last shot, you don’t need to make the last shot. I’m not even referring to just clutch stats.

    This is a joke, right?

    Listen, I’m not saying that I don’t think Melo is a very good basketball player. I’m saying that I think Wade is better. If the King of Saudi Arabia is richer than you, it doesn’t mean you’re poor.

    There is considerable statistical Wade has been a worse “crunch time” player than Anthony. Take a look at this post: http://www.backpicks.com/2011/01/10/the-nbas-best-players-in-the-clutch-since-2003/
    Anthony’s TS, EFG, and turnover rate don’t really support your observation that he makes terrible decisions down the stretch relative to other players, at least since 200. Narrowing it down to the “clutchest” of “clutch” situations, Anthony has actually been arguably the best player in the last decade: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24200/the-truth-about-kobe-bryant-in-crunch-time
    (See the table “trailing by one or two points, or tied, in the final 24 seconds of regular-season and playoff games…”).

    Now I think this whole argument is kind of pointless. Paraphrasing Mike Kurylo, it doesn’t really matter whether you do your damage in the 1st quarter or at…

  59. Ted Nelson

    Jim Cavan: And it’s not because it’s easier to look good taking over a bad situation.

    This is a key to me… the situation.

    I’m beating a deadhorse, but as good as I think Buford and Presti are as GMs it’s really easy to look good when you inherit David Robinson/Ray Allen and have a pick where TD/KD is the obvious choice. They’ve bad some very good moves independent of that and have done great jobs in their circumstances, but who knows what would have happened overall in difference circumstances?

    I don’t doubt Walsh could have done a better job, but considering the circumstances I think he did well overall.

  60. Ted Nelson

    citizen: Now I think this whole argument is kind of pointless. Paraphrasing Mike Kurylo, it doesn’t really matter whether you do your damage in the 1st quarter or at…

    My original point was that I think Wade is a better player than Melo. You should follow the conversation from the beginning. “Closing games” was just one sub-set of that. I am not talking about hitting last second shots. I am not talking about clutch shooting at all. I am talking about closing games. Defensively, offensively… overall. If I could put Wade or Melo on the court with 5 minutes left in a Finals game, I’d take Wade. Same would be true at tip-off. However, Wade just seems to have a knack for staying cool under pressure. I don’t want Horry on my team over a better player, but it certainly seemed reasonable to say that the guy had above average composure under pressure. Doesn’t mean he’s a better player than, say, C-Webb or Ron Artest, but it’s one part of the equation.

  61. Ted Nelson

    Basically, even if you want to say that Melo and Wade are equally cool under pressure… I’ll take Wade because I think he’s a better player. Melo’s tendency to rush god-awful shots that he has no business taking hurts his team at all points in the game, but it’s especially annoying late when the game is on the line.

  62. ess-dog

    Ted,
    I guarantee you that no one here (unless they are related to Anthony) thinks that Melo is better than or equal to Wade as a player. Let’s face it: Wade + James > Melo + Amare 8 days a week. But I do think CP3 could bring us close. Let’s just hope he refuses to agree to any extension offered him (except with us.)

    I know I’m going to get garbage thrown on me for this but I *might* be ok with Houston as the new GM.
    -You have to figure most of the power structure under Walsh will remain in tact.
    -Isaiah will not be back.
    -All of the scouts (and Donnie) should remain since they’ve been working with Houston.
    -Wark should stay on and he’s good. He might even move up to president of ops or vice versa with Houston.
    -Houston has the respect of the players.
    -Dolan loves him like a son.
    Basically Houston would work as a mediator between Dolan and the button-pushers and/or a mediator between the players and the old white guys (Dolan included.) He’s also a nice face to put out there on draft day etc. The camera loves him.

    Like I said before, it’s not ideal, but Dolan is SO not ideal that maybe it’s a good structure for the Knicks.

  63. citizen

    Ted Nelson: My original point was that I think Wade is a better player than Melo. You should follow the conversation from the beginning. “Closing games” was just one sub-set of that. I am not talking about hitting last second shots. I am not talking about clutch shooting at all. I am talking about closing games. Defensively, offensively… overall. If I could put Wade or Melo on the court with 5 minutes left in a Finals game, I’d take Wade. Same would be true at tip-off. However, Wade just seems to have a knack for staying cool under pressure. I don’t want Horry on my team over a better player, but it certainly seemed reasonable to say that the guy had above average composure under pressure. Doesn’t mean he’s a better player than, say, C-Webb or Ron Artest, but it’s one part of the equation.

    I was actually basically agreeing with your last statement that “if you make some plays before the last shot, you don’t need to make the last shot” but ran out of characters so couldn’t mention it at the end. I would 100% want Wade over Melo on my team. Now in the hypothetical case of picking a team for the last 5 min it would really depend on the other personnel on the roster. If I happen to have good/great distributing PG and wing defender then I would definitely want Melo over Wade. My point is that Point is that I wouldn’t want to rely on Wade as my main scorer down the stretch. But the whole question is moot in real life because when you build a team you build one with 48 minutes in mind not 5.

    A minor quibble is that statistically one can make an argument that Melo is cooler than Wade under pressure. Even if you don’t want to go that far, you can say with a high degree of confidence that Melo performs better in clutch situations than he does in non-clutch situations, and that, statistically, Wade performs WORSE in clutch situations than in non-clutch ones.

  64. citizen

    By the way sorry for my awkward phrasing and jumbled wording. I just pulled two straight all-nighters…

  65. citizen

    ess-dog:
    Ted,
    I guarantee you that no one here (unless they are related to Anthony) thinks that Melo is better than or equal to Wade as a player.Let’s face it:Wade + James > Melo + Amare 8 days a week.But I do think CP3 could bring us close.Let’s just hope he refuses to agree to any extension offered him (except with us.)

    I know I’m going to get garbage thrown on me for this but I *might* be ok with Houston as the new GM.
    -You have to figure most of the power structure under Walsh will remain in tact.
    -Isaiah will not be back.
    -All of the scouts (and Donnie) should remain since they’ve been working with Houston.
    -Wark should stay on and he’s good.He might even move up to president of ops or vice versa with Houston.
    -Houston has the respect of the players.
    -Dolan loves him like a son.
    Basically Houston would work as a mediator between Dolan and the button-pushers and/or a mediator between the players and the old white guys (Dolan included.)He’s also a nice face to put out there on draft day etc.The camera loves him.

    Like I said before, it’s not ideal, but Dolan is SO not ideal that maybe it’s a good structure for the Knicks.

    Can we move to a front office model where we have a president AND a GM? Then we can have Houston as a GM while having someone older with more experience but less Dolan-friendly as the pres

  66. Frank

    I think we can all agree with Dwyane Wade is just a flat-out better player than Melo. Melo might be a more talented isolation scorer and shooter than Wade, but Wade gets to the rack better than anyone in this league (better even than LBJ). And defense — that’s not even really a comparison. That doesn’t make Melo a bad player – just not as good as Wade, who is a top-5 guy. Bringing stats into the equation is irrelevant in the current state of stats, since no one knows how to measure defense, which is fully 50% of the game.

    Where Melo has an advantage is that he is younger, less reliant on his athleticism, and is less injury prone, meaning that he is likely to age better than Wade does. Wade is already 29 and probably only has 2-3 years of prime left, whereas Melo is nearly 2.5 years younger. Here’s to hoping that Melo at least becomes a consistently average defender with occasional spikes to “good” as opposed to consistently poor with occasional spikes to “average”.

    Re: Presti – check out this article: http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/SAM-PRESTI-GENERAL-MANAGER-OF-THE-OKLAHOMA-CITY-THUNDER-Thunder-manager-succeeds-in-attracting-right-kind-of-talent-69845646

    And then look at his cap management – the core of this team is signed through 12-13 and restricted through 13-14, and they project to be well under what the current cap would be (who knows what the new CBA will bring). Yes it’s nice to have early picks, but wasn’t he the guy who traded a 2nd round pick for Kurt Thomas and 2 1st rounders from Phoenix or some such thing? Dude is just awesome, doesn’t miss on picks, and doesn’t make stupid transactions that cripple the franchise going forward.

  67. JK47

    I was the guy originally comparing Wade and Melo. The point I was making is not that Melo is better than Wade. What I was trying to say is that Wade is not magnitudes better than Melo. Melo’s numbers for the Knicks– and small sample caveat applies– were not all that dissimilar to Wade’s numbers with the Heat. Wade’s the better defender, and has a ring and yadda yadda yadda, but Melo ain’t chopped liver. Plus Melo is three years younger so it’s not out of the question to think he has more good years ahead of him than Wade, or that the gap between them will close as Wade hits his thirties and Melo remains in his prime.

    Some people here would have you believe that Melo is an Al Harringon-caliber player. That’s just not the case.

  68. d-mar

    I’m not even sure where this whole Melo vs. Wade thing started; in my mind, Wade and LeBron are 2 of the top 5 players in the NBA today, which is why they’re in the finals and will probably be back there for years to come. Wade is also better right now than Durant, Rose or Kobe (IMO),so Melo is in very good company.

  69. Ted Nelson

    citizen,

    Didn’t mean “You should follow the conversation from the beginning” as a snipe, sorry it came across that way. I re-read it and saw that, but I just really meant that my original point was broader and we got into a subset.

    Thanks for clarifying your points as well. If I were coaching/GMing I’d really like to use Wade as my great distributing PG down the stretch, and often he basically plays that role. I’m pretty happy the Knicks got Melo overall… just resentful about the way it all went down and frustrated by his circus shots. Forget who did it, but there was an interesting study a year or two ago about how efficient Melo would be if he cut bad shots down… Not totally accurate since “bad shots” is hard to quantify, but jives with what I see.

    I’m sure I’m jaded by a small sample of poor clutch stats on the Knicks (52% TS% in 63 “clutch” regular season minutes)… I think he can be clutch and maybe is. I just thought he often forced the issue in an awkward way as a Knick.

    ess-dog,

    I’m fine with Houston as a candidate. I just have nothing to go on in the way of GM experience and have never talked to the guy or anything to know how he thinks. You make some good points, and if he can “manage” Dolan as Frank suggests a GM should do that would be a bonus (being serious not snippy… it’s not a given, but if your GM is a good GM and has the owner in his pocket… great). Not THE reason to hire him, but icing on the cake if he’s a strong candidate.

  70. Ted Nelson

    Frank: Re: Presti – check out this article

    I have said multiple times I think Presti and Buford are great execs. Among the best. Have made some great decisions. I’ve been saying that all along.

    My point is that their teams would be completely different without inheriting Robinson/Allen or having the picks to take TD/KD. We have no idea what would have happened. I think it’s fair to say they would have made other good moves, but would they have been able to get a HOF? (Or two in Buford’s case) Those guys just are very, very rare. If they hadn’t gotten those legit franchise players, what would they have done? I have no idea… they might not either. They might have been patient… that might have gone well or they might have been fired for losing before their patience paid off. They might have overpaid for a Melo-Amare level 2nd-string star since they didn’t have a first string star. They might have built a champion, a playoff team, a lottery team… who knows? Can’t say. My main point is that we can only judge them in the context we have.

    With Presti in particular… No Jeff Green (who wasn’t a great 5 pick, IMO anyway… and I’m a Hoyas fan) for Ray Allen would mean no Jeff Green and no Kendrick Perkins today. Getting the #4 pick in 2007 instead of #2… Jeff Green seems logical since he took him 5, and there really wouldn’t have been many better options in hindsight… Noah is the only one I see. Miami and Minni take Love and Westbrook… who does Presti take? Beasley? Mayo? Gallo? Lopez?

    These were circumstances beyond his control. They all broke his way in the end. Presti doesn’t take Westbrook, for example, and maybe he’s a Knick, same if Knicks win the #3 pick that year maybe. Those things didn’t break Walsh’s way.

    If Presti had inherited Jamal Crawford instead of Ray Allen, the #4 pick in the 2007 draft, and a draft board with…

  71. Ted Nelson

    …Love and Westbrook gone, what would his team look like? Ibaka, Thabo, Harden… probably makes some other good moves. Might have them in the playoffs. Hard to imagine he’d have found a player of Durant’s ilk, though. Hard to imagine he’s turn Crawford into a #5 pick.

    My point is really just that there’s some luck that goes into it. You do tend to make your own luck and I would agree Presti and Buford would be relatively successful in any situation. Just saying that the absolute success of inheriting a HOF player and picking when 99% of GMs would take TD or KD, is not comparable to the absolute success of not getting that luck.

  72. Tony Pena

    I’ll also give Donnie a B considering the extraordinary circumstances the job came with, heck maybe an A.

    Why all the hate for Mark Jackson? I definitely don’t feel ‘enlightened’ listening to him calling games (with Chris Collinsworth I do). But I’ve always felt being a coach is a lot about being the ultimate leader. He was a pretty good point guard in his heyday as far as I can remember. There has to be a difference between calling games on national TV and establishing a scheme and identity, etc. for a professional basketball team. I also don’t feel enlightened listening to Van Gundy, but obviously his resume says he’s a good basketball mind.

  73. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Carmelo plays SF almost exclusively, Wade’s a SG. Wade’s relative value for his rebounding is through the roof. Very much like Fields in that way. There’s no reason that more players shouldn’t be crashing the rim like those two do.

  74. Jake S.

    I’m with you, Tony Pena. Is Mark Jackson’s color commentary so much worse than Doc Rivers’ when he was between jobs? The latter seems to be working out OK in Boston.

    Returning to Donnie for another mo: I’m don’t think the question is whether or not he’s replaceable. As many have already noted on this board, most GM’s in the league can be replaced. Buford, Presti, Morey etc. seem to be the exceptions that prove the rule. The question is whether anyone can successfully operate under James Dolan. Whether the Knicks hire Kevin Pritchard, Rich Cho or a dunderhead like Chris Mullin, what’s to prevent their owner from meddling in the team’s next blockbuster move? I’m not sure how anyone can kill Donnie for giving away all the team’s assets in the Melo deal when it was obvious that Dolan had both of his fat thumbs pressed firmly on the panic button.

  75. adrenaline98

    citizen: There is considerable statistical Wade has been a worse “crunch time” player than Anthony. Take a look at this post: http://www.backpicks.com/2011/01/10/the-nbas-best-players-in-the-clutch-since-2003/Anthony’s TS, EFG, and turnover rate don’t really support your observation that he makes terrible decisions down the stretch relative to other players, at least since 200. Narrowing it down to the “clutchest” of “clutch” situations, Anthony has actually been arguably the best player in the last decade: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24200/the-truth-about-kobe-bryant-in-crunch-time(See the table “trailing by one or two points, or tied, in the final 24 seconds of regular-season and playoff games…”).Now I think this whole argument is kind of pointless. Paraphrasing Mike Kurylo, it doesn’t really matter whether you do your damage in the 1st quarter or at…

    This is another reason why I’m an Anthony fan. Dude LOVES the spotlight. If only he could get to the ‘spotlight part’ playing hard and playing smart. No one would question him then.

    I was incredibly shocked he didn’t take that shot in game 2. But we can tell he thrives when the game is on the line, he has that swagger that LeBron for most of this season didn’t have. Same way he knew he had to make a good defensive play on LeBron at the end of the Miami game.

  76. Tony Pena

    @76: Yeah I agree, Melo has great instincts for the game. I wouldn’t call those circuit shots he takes bad shots, since he makes a good deal of them, I think his form is not pretty and makes them look worse than they are. Now jacking up shots with 20 secs left on the clock is something different. But doesn’t D’Antoni encourage that? I did see him do that in Denver though. Regardless, an older, wiser, cerebral Melo should be even scarier.

  77. Jake S.

    Carmelo Anthony’s form isn’t pretty? The guy is basketball’s answer to Tom Emanski. Freedarko really said it best–when it comes to form and function, Melo is a giant basketball nerd.

  78. flossy

    No fans of a team that suffered through the Isiah years should EVER let the words “well he was a great PG, so maybe he’ll make a good coach…” escape their lips/fingers.

  79. Jim Cavan

    Jake S.:
    Carmelo Anthony’s form isn’t pretty? The guy is basketball’s answer to Tom Emanski. Freedarko really said it best–when it comes to form and function, Melo is a giant basketball nerd.

    Exactly. I mean, any bad or ill-advised shot you can argue is “bad form”, but if you’re looking at it from a mechanics perspective, Melo’s jumper is one of the sweetest in the game — and maybe the sweetest of any forward.

  80. nicos

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Carmelo plays SF almost exclusively, Wade’s a SG. Wade’s relative value for his rebounding is through the roof. Very much like Fields in that way. There’s no reason that more players shouldn’t be crashing the rim like those two do.

    Defensive boards yes, offensive boards not so much. Having your shooting guard crash the boards on every play often leads to very unbalanced transition defense. How often was Gallo left out on an island as the only guy back in transition? Fields grabbed 1.3 offensive rebounds a game but I’d argue that he gave back a good chunk- if not all- of that added value by letting his man get out in transition unguarded. Wade is a little different because not only does he have the foot speed to get back into the play but because he- and his defender as well- is often in the paint to begin with whereas Fields was often crashing from the three point line so if Fields doesn’t get the rebound you’re in trouble. That’s one of my issues with Berri re:Fields- those offensive rebounds looked great on paper but they did come at a cost.

  81. Mike Kurylo Post author

    JK47: Some people here would have you believe that Melo is an Al Harringon-caliber player. That’s just not the case.

    True Harrington is a good three point shooter.

    Jake S.: I’m with you, Tony Pena. Is Mark Jackson’s color commentary so much worse than Doc Rivers’ when he was between jobs? The latter seems to be working out OK in Boston.

    I would say so. Jackson is about as bad as they come (Bill Walton-worthy). That’s why I don’t understand why there is such an aura over his supposed coaching skills. If you think about successful coaches like Jackson, Popovich, and Brown, all of them seem to be pretty cerebral. Maybe Jax’ TV persona is much different that what he’ll bring on the sidelines. I’m dying to see what happens for him & the Warriors. I liked him as a player, but my spidey-sense is tingling on him as a coach.

  82. flossy

    The main problem with Mark Jackson as far as coaching is not the constant steam of dumb platitudes that spill from his mouth when he’s on TV. It’s that he has no coaching experience whatsoever. Not on the college level, not as an assistant in the pros, not church league, nothin’. So the stuff he says as a commentator is pretty much all you have to go on as far as evaluating his qualifications and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

  83. Frank

    Re: Mark Jackson – if he can impress Jerry West and Donnie Walsh with his x’s and o’s, I guess I have to believe it, even if he inspired zero confidence as an announcer.

    Chad Ford’s most recent insider blog is up – says that the Knicks are basically looking at 5 guys at the #17 spot: Jimmer, Selby, Marshon Brooks, Klay Thompson, and Faried. If mock drafts can be believed, it seems that Thompson and Jimmer will be gone by then. I guess I would be ok with any of those 5 though, although admittedly have seen very little of any of them.

  84. BigBlueAL

    Mike Kurylo: True Harrington is a good three point shooter.

    I know it was obviously a very small sample size but check out Melo’s 3pt shooting with the Knicks. I doubt he will shoot 42% while making 2 3pters per game for an entire season but thats what he did as a Knick for 27 games.

    He mentioned that he has never had the freedom to shoot many 3pters and never considered it a big part of his game until he became a Knick. I believe it was Hahn who mentioned that Melo would stay after practice shooting alot of extra 3pters once he became a Knick and has made a conscious effort to really become a good 3pt shooter.

  85. BigBlueAL

    Ted, I too like everyone else think that Wade is a better player than Melo.

    But I remember the big hoopla when the late game shooting percentages stats surfaced and Melo was the best as shown above by citizen which is what I was referring to. That was my main point. I too think that “clutch” stats are overrated but since you brought up the whole “closer” stuff I figured Id defend Melo some.

  86. Tony Pena

    As far as release, shoulder/elbow/arm action, ball rotation, Melo’s form is pretty sweet. He doesn’t look like he uses legs too much though. From the 3-point line he looks like he’s hurling the basketball. I didn’t know he was a nerd when it came to that. That maybe explains why all of a sudden he’s a legitimate threat from deep.

  87. Tony Pena

    And since he’s creating his own shot half the time and not fully using his legs, I guess that’s why they look bad sometimes.

  88. adrenaline98

    BigBlueAL: Ted, I too like everyone else think that Wade is a better player than Melo.But I remember the big hoopla when the late game shooting percentages stats surfaced and Melo was the best as shown above by citizen which is what I was referring to. That was my main point. I too think that “clutch” stats are overrated but since you brought up the whole “closer” stuff I figured Id defend Melo some.

    Clutch stats aren’t overrated. No game turns out the exact way expected. Teams get hot (bench/role players knock down 3s) and suddenly, the opponent is back into the game. Who expects that stuff to happen? It happens all the time. Miami gave up a 15 point lead late in the 4th. Bulls did it with 3 minutes to go. Someone that can step up and hit that last shot/stop a run/stop the bleeding is incredibly valuable in an unpredictable game.

    Stats are nice to look at, but the games need to ultimately be played, and no statistic will ever define the current game, nor will one game define a seasons worth of statistics.

    Melo may make bad decisions, but damn if he didn’t hit those big shots. That’s part of the reason he’s Carmelo Anthony, and not Wilson Chandler.

    How can anyone sit there and say clutch shots are overrated? I can tell you one thing, a person with a TS of 60% for 3 quarters and doesn’t do anything in the 4th quarter isn’t a superstar. A person hitting only clutch shots and doing nothing in the first 3 quarters is not a superstar. Every team has the formula for running an efficient/effective offense for 3.5 quarters, and letting their superstars carry them the rest of the way in whatever it is he’s doing.

  89. adrenaline98

    P.S. Melo’s shooting stroke is very sweet. In my opinion, his form is the smoothest I’ve seen since Jordan. Something about the way they shoot the ball really appeals to the eye. Mechanically, they may not be perfect, and instructors may teach differently, I don’t know. It just is eye-appealing.

  90. Robert Silverman

    Maybe Jax’ TV persona is much different that what he’ll bring on the sidelines. I’m dying to see what happens for him & the Warriors. I liked him as a player, but my spidey-sense is tingling on him as a coach.

    I dunno, Mike. JVG hardly sounds ‘cerebral’when he’s on TV. More like a hyperactive toddler who’s had one too many juice boxes and he clearly is/was a good (if not great) coach

  91. Tony Pena

    Oh I’m just nitpicking, trying to explain why there’s just not much to criticize about his offensive game. Obviously the guy has it down where, the ball meets dead center of rim, from about 20 different ways.

  92. ess-dog

    Frank:

    Chad Ford’s most recent insider blog is up – says that the Knicks are basically looking at 5 guys at the #17 spot:Jimmer, Selby, Marshon Brooks, Klay Thompson, and Faried.If mock drafts can be believed, it seems that Thompson and Jimmer will be gone by then.I guess I would be ok with any of those 5 though, although admittedly have seen very little of any of them.

    According to DX only Selby, Brooks and Faried will be left over of those but Ford has Klay being there. I know it’s BPA but are we really that pumped to try and replace Fields?
    That being said, I’d be ok with Klay. Brooks seems like a red flag – only having one good year, his senior year is not impressive to me. I guess his workouts have gone well but it’s better to look at a whole college career isn’t it? I think I’d actually prefer Selby to Brooks.
    Faried probably won’t start but he’ll log some great minutes for us, even if he doesn’t address outside shooting, pg or a traditional big.
    I can’t remember, was the selection of J. Hill hinted at before the draft? Fields was certainly out of the blue.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if we reached for Vucevic despite what Chad says now. I’m still a big fan of Tobias Harris too. We should also consider Motiejunas if he’s there.

  93. Robert Silverman

    ess-dog:
    I can’t remember, was the selection of J. Hill hinted at before the draft?

    If memory serves, prior to the draft, there were loads of articles about how much Walshtoni loved Steph Curry (and vice versa). Then I remember seeing one NY Post article the day before the draft about how many of the scouts were really high on Jordan Hill. Lemme go look it up…

    Found it: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/item_gLho9mY9Sg6T1FG9Q8P5TJ

  94. adrenaline98

    I’m not sure why we are even discussing the possibility of replacing Fields. He was productive as hell and hit the rookie wall, that every single rookie hits. He has a ton of potential and is the perfect fit on this team. With an offseason working on his spot up shooting, he is about as ideal as it gets.

    What’s not to like? He plays hard, he will be a better defender next year, he hustles on the boards, he was hitting his shots up until the allstar break and he’s a cerebral, quiet player, on a team that boasts stars that are vocal enough already.

    I feel like every time I read a Fields post on here, it puts him in a negative light based on his last 2 months of play.

    And again, I think we need to swing for the fences and draft a potential allstar in case he’s a useful chip in trading for Paul.

  95. Brian Cronin

    Jonah Jordan Hill was the consensus pick for the Golden State Warriors with the pick before the Knicks. That was why everyone was so excited when Curry was still on the board when Golden State was picking, as everyone presumed/hoped that they would be picking Hill. So yeah, while he had tons of red flags about him, Hill was a predictable pick for the Knicks at #8.

  96. Ted Nelson

    When you throw up an off-balance fade away with three hands in your face… it’s very hard to have good form. No matter how perfect his form may be on an open shot, he takes a lot of bad shots with poor form. He does not, in fact, make a high percentage of them. There have been studies showing that if he eliminated poor shots, his efficiency would increase to levels comparable to the best wing scorers in the league like LeBron and Durant. He needs to stop taking jack-ass shots… I really don’t think that’s negotiable.

    adrenaline98: Stats are nice to look at, but the games need to ultimately be played, and no statistic will ever define the current game, nor will one game define a seasons worth of statistics.

    That’s not at all what stats are intended to do… They quantify what’s already happened, and when used correctly can have some predictive power in terms of the likelihood of various outcomes in the future.

    adrenaline98: How can anyone sit there and say clutch shots are overrated?

    There are two reasons people say this:
    1. If you play better for the rest of the game you don’t get into a clutch situation in the first place… you’re already winning a blow-out.
    2. It is not clear to what extent “clutch” is a repeatable skill. Are there even some guys who step up in the clutch on a consistent basis? Which ones? Over a large enough sample clutch stats can often even out to look a lot like a player’s overall stats.

    First you argue that clutch is obviously really important, and then you argue that clutch stats are stupid. If some players consistently perform better in the clutch, it should show up in the stats. Do you really not see that contradiction?

  97. Z-man

    Mike Kurylo: True Harrington is a good three point shooter.<

    Although I understand it was toungue-in-cheek, there is zero validity to this cheap shot, Mike. In Melo’s last 4 seasons (age 23-26), he has shot .354, 371, 316, and .378. Since joining the Knicks, he has shot .424 in 27 games on a career high pace of 4.6 attempts. In the playoffs this year, he shot .346 from 3. Isn’t it reasonable at this point to call the .316 year an outlier?

    Al Harrington never shot above .333, and was below .285 every year until until he was 25, when he shot .346.

    Melo’s game has flaws, but 3-point shooting is not one of them at this point.

  98. Ted Nelson

    Why are people talking about “replacing” Fields? Every NBA team has multiple wings and multiple guards in their rotation… Bringing in a good SG or SF doesn’t “replace” Fields. There are minute for both. D’Antoni tends towards a wing heavy rotation as much as any coach not named Don Nelson.

  99. Tony Pena

    I firmly believe the Knicks public admiration for Curry cost us the chance to get him, the same for Westbrook. Very unWalsh-like actually. This year, I think the’ve kept a good lid on it. Unless it’s really Faried they want.

  100. BigBlueAL

    Hollinger today listed the 50 greatest playoff series since the NBA-ABA merger. He used a statistical formula plus some personal bias (in the intro he admitted the 1994 Finals he purposefully left out because the series was awful to watch).

    Knicks had 4 series listed:

    #9 Knicks vs Pacers 1995
    #22 Knicks vs Heat 2000
    #46 Knicks vs Pacers 1999
    #48 Knicks vs Bulls 1993

  101. Tony Pena

    I don’t know Ted I think I can live with a limited amount of those. As some have pointed out other volume scorers do that plenty. Wouldn’t hurt of course if he did become more efficient, but that’s going to come with age, hopefully next year.

  102. Frank

    This clutch performance thing is a pretty interesting topic to me. From a distance, it makes sense that, of course, the first 3.5 quarters count just as much in the final analysis as the last 0.5 quarters. But there should be some allowance made for these factors:

    - the less time there is in the game, the less time there is in the game. There are fewer possessions for opponents to make up for made “clutch” shots

    - i’m not sure that we should assume that players’ stats are equal in all 4 quarters. Defensive intensity definitely picks up near the end of the game, and so it wouldn’t surprise me if overall eFG% drops significantly during “clutch” time. Similarly, playoff defensive intensity is worlds away from regular season defensive intensity, so someone who has a history of even matching his reg season offensive stats during playoff games may actually be performing better than the average player.

    - i guess my point is – let’s say the average player has an eFG of 50% during the first 3.5 quarters, but then has an eFG of 44% during the last 0.5 quarters (“clutch” time). In that case, even an eFG of 48% would be considered “clutch” when compared to the average player.

  103. Robert Silverman

    Tony Pena:
    I firmly believe the Knicks public admiration for Curry cost us the chance to get him, the same for Westbrook. Very unWalsh-like actually. This year, I think the’ve kept a good lid on it. Unless it’s really Faried they want.

    I disagree. I can’t see the Warriors taking Curry just b/c the Knicks liked him. Nor did he rise up the draft charts on Walshtoni’s say so. He did well in workouts for a bunch of teams and was projected to go anywhere between 3 and 8.

  104. ess-dog

    Robert Silverman: I disagree. I can’t see the Warriors taking Curry just b/c the Knicks liked him. Nor did he rise up the draft charts on Walshtoni’s say so. He did well in workouts for a bunch of teams and was projected to go anywhere between 3 and 8.

    I wonder… is there anyone that has had a historically poor set of workouts that ended up being pretty good? Jrue Holiday comes to mind – he didn’t have the best workout with us, it was reported. And now I would love to have him.

    If I had to guess I’d say our draft order is:
    1. Jimmer
    2. Klay
    3. Selby
    4. Faried
    5. Brooks
    Hence I think we’ll end up with Selby.

  105. adrenaline98

    See, Ted, there’s idealistically and realistically. Idealistically, Carmelo does not take bad shots, as you said, and dramatically improves his effectiveness. Idealistically, the Bulls, the #1 defensive team, a 60 win team, doesn’t give up a 15 point lead with 3 minutes to go. Idealistically, Miami, the second best defensive team, doesn’t give up a 15 point lead with 5 minutes to go.

    The argument of “If you had played better for the rest of the game, then you wouldn’t have needed to be clutch in the first place” is thrown right out the window. If we define the last 5 minutes of a game to be ‘clutch time’ like that article did, then what happened? It looked like Miami/Chicago both played better for 3 quarters. Yet at the end of the game, they weren’t clutch.

    Idealistically, you would want to play the same efficient game that you’ve played all game (assuming a good game) but that doesn’t often happen for a whole game. At some point, you sputter, most notably, in the fourth quarter. I’m not trying to overrate clutchness or clutch statistics here. I am merely pointing out that it is just as important for a superstar player to play 3.5 quarters well AND the last 5 minutes well. That is part of the definition of being a star. And a player that can’t handle that last 5 minutes is simply not a true superstar. Clutch players play better when it’s less important to share the ball evenly, distribute and get teammates involved, and more important for him to get the bucket.

    I just think by saying “if you had played better for the other 43 minutes…” really underrates and drags ‘clutch statistics’ through the mud.

  106. Frank

    I can’t figure out why there isn’t more NYK buzz about Vucevic. Tall, good shooter, good rebounder, good NBA body. Maybe he’s not that fast, but he seems like a guy that D’Antoni would like.

  107. Tony Pena

    Robert Silverman: I disagree. I can’t see the Warriors taking Curry just b/c the Knicks liked him. Nor did he rise up the draft charts on Walshtoni’s say so. He did well in workouts for a bunch of teams and was projected to go anywhere between 3 and 8.

    I don’t know, with all the coverage that the knicks get, and being that Don Nelson ran another run’ and gun system, and Walsh’s reputation as a solid GM hmmm… Didn’t they already have Ellis and Baron Davis? I don’t know, with Westbrook and Curry, first I saw articles in NY papers, then it kinda snowballed nationally. Maybe it was coincidence.

  108. Robert Silverman

    Frank:
    I can’t figure out why there isn’t more NYK buzz about Vucevic.Tall, good shooter, good rebounder, good NBA body.Maybe he’s not that fast, but he seems like a guy that D’Antoni would like.

    Poor athlete, really slow, for all his size, not a shotblocker/defender.

    He’s a lot like Nenad Krstic at best and Primoz Brezec at worst. In the 2nd round, worth a flier, but I’d rather gamble on Keith Benson in that slot.

  109. BigBlueAL

    BigBlueAL:
    Hollinger today listed the 50 greatest playoff series since the NBA-ABA merger.He used a statistical formula plus some personal bias (in the intro he admitted the 1994 Finals he purposefully left out because the series was awful to watch).

    Knicks had 4 series listed:

    #9 Knicks vs Pacers 1995
    #22 Knicks vs Heat 2000
    #46 Knicks vs Pacers 1999
    #48 Knicks vs Bulls 1993

    Just to add, Hollinger tweeted his toughest cuts and mentioned the 1994 Knicks series vs the Bulls, Pacers and Rockets. Surprised no mention of the 1992 series vs the Bulls but point differential in those games I assume is the main reason not to mention the disparity in regular season win totals.

    The 1994 postseason for the Knicks with all those 7 game series and constant emotional swings is something I will never forget. If only Cassell didnt hit that 3pter at the end of Game 3 or if Olajuwon didnt get a piece of Starks’ 3pter at the end of Game 6.

    What if, what if…..

  110. Thomas B.

    Are people high on Jimmer to the Knicks because they think he is good, or is it that they think he will be the best player available at 17?

    I’m not sure I think either is the case. We have a back up guard that can score in bunches, plus ours plays some defense. We don’t have someone who can rebound at a high rate and play good interior defense.

    If Kimmer had shown me he could run an offense instead of be an offense, maybe I could get on board. But for now, pass.

  111. gbaked

    Tony Pena: I don’t know, with all the coverage that the knicks get, and being that Don Nelson ran another run’ and gun system, and Walsh’s reputation as a solid GM hmmm… Didn’t they already have Ellis and Baron Davis? I don’t know, with Westbrook and Curry, first I saw articles in NY papers, then it kinda snowballed nationally. Maybe it was coincidence.

    Its all about the media coveage. Its not so much that other teams listen to what walsh said and thought “I want that guy cause Donnie Basketball wants him!”. Its more that by the knicks talking alot about the player it leads to more articles and maybe more recognition by suits in other organizations which may lead to more love for a pick.

    By simply being the knicks and in NYC any press we give to anything gets blown up and the recognition gets pumped. Would OKC have drafted westbrook anyway? Prob… they seem to be good at drafting and he was a great pick… but the extra attention he was getting in the press due to being donnies fav def made the case easier for them.

  112. Ted Nelson

    Tony Pena: I don’t know Ted I think I can live with a limited amount of those.

    Yeah, I should have been more clear. It’s going to happen, the issue is that it happens too much with Melo.

    Tony Pena: I firmly believe the Knicks public admiration for Curry cost us the chance to get him, the same for Westbrook.

    I really doubt it.

    Frank: i’m not sure that we should assume that players’ stats are equal in all 4 quarters.

    This was kind of my point to adrenaline that it’s worth measuring these things and that’s what the stats do. He doesn’t seem to get it, though.

    adrenaline98: I just think by saying “if you had played better for the other 43 minutes…” really underrates and drags ‘clutch statistics’ through the mud.

    You don’t understand what I’m saying and you are still contradicting yourself.

  113. jon abbey

    Tony Pena:
    I firmly believe the Knicks public admiration for Curry cost us the chance to get him, the same for Westbrook. Very unWalsh-like actually.

    I don’t know about Curry, I think that Kahn messed up that draft for the group after him by taking 2 PGs in a row.

    but Westbrook I totally agree. if there is footage somewhere of the interview Walsh gave to TV at the start of that draft, he is so smug about what he seems to think is a lock that he’ll get Westbrook, I wanted to punch him right through my TV screen. I argued for months here that we should take Westbrook, even when he wasn’t considered a lottery pick, and even by draft day, no one thought he’d go higher than 6. ARGH.

  114. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: We have a back up guard that can score in bunches, plus ours plays some defense. We don’t have someone who can rebound at a high rate and play good interior defense.

    I am strongly, strongly against drafting for need.

    Thomas B.: If Kimmer had shown me he could run an offense instead of be an offense, maybe I could get on board.

    I’m not a Jimmer fan, but being by far the best player on him team isn’t really his fault. Hopefully the Knicks will get a better look at him than you and I. See him in some 3-on-3s with players of his own ability level. Maybe they’ve seen him playing against better comp in the summer or something.

  115. Ted Nelson

    jon abbey: but Westbrook I totally agree. if there is footage somewhere of the interview Walsh gave to TV at the start of that draft, he is so smug about what he seems to think is a lock that he’ll get Westbrook, I wanted to punch him right through my TV screen. I argued for months here that we should take Westbrook, even when he wasn’t considered a lottery pick, and even by draft day, no one thought he’d go higher than 6. ARGH.

    Your own personal frustration and experience with commenters on this blog has nothing to do with whether or not Sam Presti bases his draft decisions on Donnie Walsh’s press interviews.

    Walsh might have had zero interest in ever drafting Westbrook and been putting up a smoke screen fully intending to take Gallo if he were still there.

  116. Brian Cronin

    I said this the last time this topic came up, but if Sam Presti seriously based his #4 pick in the NBA Draft on Donnie Walsh interviews, then that speaks worse for Sam Presti than it does for Donnie Walsh.

  117. jon abbey

    Ted Nelson: Your own personal frustration and experience with commenters on this blog has nothing to do with whether or not Sam Presti bases his draft decisions on Donnie Walsh’s press interviews.

    wow, sure did miss your condescending, know-it-all, post 50 times a day presence here. I stand by my earlier post.

    “Walsh might have had zero interest in ever drafting Westbrook and been putting up a smoke screen fully intending to take Gallo if he were still there.”

    a scenario in which he looks even dumber.

  118. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:
    I said this the last time this topic came up, but if Sam Presti seriously based his #4 pick in the NBA Draft on Donnie Walsh interviews, then that speaks worse for Sam Presti than it does for Donnie Walsh.

    there are tons of factors that go into draft picks, as we all know. Presti could be the best GM in the world, but maybe he had a handful of candidates he felt were close, and Walsh’s comments made him rethink the pecking order just enough for Westbrook to beat out the others.

    basically I think Walsh has had way too big of a mouth during the process every year, and it’s not the best thing for the team. there’s just no reason to tip your hand like he does, except he wants the media to like him. well, mission accomplished there anyway.

  119. Brian Cronin

    But we’re not talking about the #28 pick here, where you’re pretty much doing a crap shoot. We’re talking about the #4 pick in the draft. I don’t see how Presti would ever let a GM, especially one whose last Top Ten pick at the time was Jonathan Bender at the #5, influence his decision enough for it to be even worth mentioning as a consideration.

    That isn’t to say that Donnie Walsh shouldn’t have kept his mouth shut, I’ll certainly agree that he should have. But I don’t think it is likely/probable/whatever that Donnie’s statements actually had any impact on Westbrook going #4.

  120. d-mar

    BigBlueAL: Just to add, Hollinger tweeted his toughest cuts and mentioned the1994 Knicks series vs the Bulls, Pacers and Rockets.Surprised no mention of the 1992 series vs the Bulls but point differential in those games I assume is the main reason not to mention the disparity in regular season win totals.

    The 1994 postseason for the Knicks with all those 7 game series and constant emotional swings is something I will never forget.If only Cassell didnt hit that 3pter at the end of Game 3 or if Olajuwon didnt get a piece of Starks’ 3pter at the end of Game 6.

    What if, what if…..

    One thing I’ll always remember about the 1994 Finals was being at game 5 at MSG, stepping out to buy a beer and seeing hordes of people crowding around the TV’s watching the OJ Bronco chase instead of the game. A surreal moment to say the least.

    (Oh and also leaving the Garden chanting “Knicks in 6! Knicks in 6!” Oh well….)

  121. jon abbey

    Brian Cronin:

    That isn’t to say that Donnie Walsh shouldn’t have kept his mouth shut, I’ll certainly agree that he should have. But I don’t think it is likely/probable/whatever that Donnie’s statements actually had any impact on Westbrook going #4.

    yeah, maybe, who knows. Presti would presumably never admit it at this point, but maybe someone in his war room could give an honest report on how that went down, if they were asked.

    but that smug smile on Walsh’s face that night, coupled with us not getting Westbrook, just made me so angry. I don’t claim to be entirely rational after 35+ years of rooting for this often shitty organization, I just know that Walsh needed to do a virtually perfect job in his time here and he did not. is that bar too high? possibly, but I don’t care.

  122. Brian Cronin

    I don’t claim to be entirely rational after 35+ years of rooting for this often shitty organization

    Fair enough, I certainly understand the feeling.

  123. iserp

    A comment on clutch stats: You can’t happily say “play better the first 3 quarters”, the 4th quarter matters… a lot. Why?

    - A team losing at the start of the 4th quarter will take more risks then. You don’t play with the same speed or the same players when you are losing. You take more 3s, you try to grab more steals, … Which means that a team that played worse in the first 3 quarters can even the match just by sheer chance (the 3s going in), it also leads to blowout wins. If the other team rallies you to a tie, you need to play clutch.

    - Teams in the 4th quarter are tired. Superstars are usually the most physically gifted players. They play good in the 4th quarter well, because they can. Other players won’t have the strength to run the court, dribble, and have the mental concentration to do the right decision.

    - Psychology matters. It is very possible that players lose confidence when trying something when there are 2 minutes remaining. Not only Melo can jack up shots when there are 2 minutes remaining, but the rest of the players know that if they are unable to get a good shot, they can pass it to Melo who will make a wild looking shot that at least will enter 30% of the time (as opposed to 0%)

    Melo has to improve his shot selection, and more than that, work in the flow of the offense; but he is a very good player, and i really believe he can improve his efficiency with D’Antoni. He is an average defender, and i would like he showed more desire. But 2 of the top 20 players in the league is not a bad place to be. If we have some luck (draft / veteran signing / opportunistic trade), we can be a contender without the need of a 3rd superstar.

  124. Z

    d-mar: One thing I’ll always remember about the 1994 Finals was being at game 5 at MSG, stepping out to buy a beer and seeing hordes of people crowding around the TV’s watching the OJ Bronco chase instead of the game. A surreal moment to say the least.

    O.J.’s car chase was during game 3 :)

  125. BigBlueAL

    Z: O.J.’s car chase was during game 3 :)

    Nope, it was during Game 5. ESPN 30 for 30 even did a documentary on that date, June 17 1994.

  126. Robert Silverman

    I was working in New Hampshire that summer, watching the game on TV. I remember being unfathomably pissed that they switched to the OJ chase so I ran around my place like a fiend with a boombox, trying to get the radio feed from NY that was broadcasting the game and finally twisting aluminum foil on to the end of the rabbit ears to strengthen the signal.

  127. Z

    Weird– I remember being in NY and the game being preempted on NBC. I had to listen on a tiny handheld radio to WFAN. I remember the Knicks losing the game. I’d have bet $1,000 it was during game 3. Funny how the brain works. (I also remember being at game 5… If that was the OJ game, then clearly I wasn’t. I know it was a win, though, so it must have been game 4. Yikes. Early onset dementia!)

  128. Brian Cronin

    For Game 6, I was out by a lake with a group of friends listening to the game on the radio. The ladies in the group volunteered that they would go skinny dipping if the Knicks won the game. So if you all thought that you were pissed that Hakeem blocked Starks’ shot….

  129. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    For Game 6, I was out by a lake with a group of friends listening to the game on the radio. The ladies in the group volunteered that they would go skinny dipping if the Knicks won the game.So if you all thought that you were pissed that Hakeem blocked Starks’ shot….

    Thanks for putting it into perspective :-)

  130. JK47

    Watching Dallas right now, it’s hard to believe they made it to the Finals. They look like a bunch of stiffs.

  131. Brian Cronin

    Agreed. Then again, they looked like utter crap in Game 2, as well, until they didn’t..

  132. Brian Cronin

    It all worked out in the end. Hey, Dallas, maybe try not falling behind big next game, k?

  133. JK47

    Sweet comeback by the Mavs. LeBron was doo-doo in this one. It would just be so sweet if the Heat were to lose this series.

  134. Brian Cronin

    I’d definitely prefer Dallas win, but I can live with Miami winning. That’s what makes the series especially fun for me – whoever wins I can live with it.

  135. Jake S.

    Brian Cronin
    June 8, 2011 at 12:09 am
    I’d definitely prefer Dallas win, but I can live with Miami winning. That’s what makes the series especially fun for me – whoever wins I can live with it.

    Spoken like a true Knicks fan! Whatever causes the least amount of pain.

  136. Brian Cronin

    Hehe, it was the same thing for me last year in the MLB World Series. I preferred the Giants, but I really didn’t care. Unlike past seasons when the team I specifically did not want to win kept winning (Phillies, Red Sox, Cardinals, White Sox, Red Sox, Marlins, Angels, Diamondbacks). Thank goodness for 2009!

  137. d-mar

    I have just an unbelievable amount of respect for Dallas and the way they don’t quit in the 4th quarter. And tonight they did it with a very sick Dirk. Just incredible toughness and grit, and their D in the last 3-4 minutes tonight was just ferocious.

    But where was LeBron???

  138. Count de Pennies

    d-mar: But where was LeBron???

    Maybe he’s decided to tank the series, figuring such an outcome would be preferable to a Heat win with Wade as the Finals MVP.

  139. JK47

    Oh man, if LeBron keeps sucking and the Heat lose… I might just have schadenfreude overload.

  140. Frank

    d-mar:

    But where was LeBron???

    Maybe he showed up to his mom’s house and James Jones opened the door in just a towel. =)

    Seriously though – this is the difference between Miami overwhelming a good but young/inexperienced Chicago team and playing the Mavs, who have so many guys who have been to the playoffs year after year. Most teams would pack it up after a few LBJ/DWade dunks in the 4th and blame collusion between the big 3, the refs, etc. etc.

    Regardless of my dislike of Miami, this has been one of the best finals in a long time. Even last year’s 7 game series didn’t seem this exciting. Or maybe it’s just because it’s faded in my mind – but still, I’m having trouble even going to sleep after these games!

  141. Ted Nelson

    So much for Wade the closer…

    jon abbey: wow, sure did miss your condescending, know-it-all, post 50 times a day presence here. I stand by my earlier post.

    “Walsh might have had zero interest in ever drafting Westbrook and been putting up a smoke screen fully intending to take Gallo if he were still there.”

    a scenario in which he looks even dumber.

    Just like I missed your always pessimistic, bitch about everything, hard-headed to the point of never discussing anything because you already “know” you are right comments….

    So you stand my Sam Presti being a crappy GM who relies on Donnie Walsh’s opinion because he can’t form his own? And Donnie Walsh is the one who looks dumb?

    No one can be 100% on drafting. As good as Westbrook has been, he had some serious red flags which have been weaknesses in the NBA. He can’t shoot worth a damn and he’s led the league in TOs 2 of his 3 seasons. Danilo and Westbrook both had strengths and limitations, that Westbrook has developed better to date doesn’t make someone dumb for taking one over the other before they had played an NBA minute.

  142. jon abbey

    Westbrook was second-team All-NBA as a 22 year old, Gallo will be lucky to ever sniff that in his whole career. given the decades-long black hole that NY has had at PG, it would in fact make Walsh dumb for preferring the latter over the former, if in fact he ever did (which I highly highly doubt).

    and it’s not “discussing” when you just keep posting and posting until the other person gets sick of the back and forth. I’m glad you’re back, but you’re like an attack dog and you can’t/you won’t/you don’t stop (with apologies to the Beastie Boys).

    and I don’t think there’s any such thing as pessimism when James Dolan owns your team. expect the worst to happen and it usually will.

  143. Tony Pena

    and I don’t think there’s any such thing as pessimism when James Dolan owns your team. expect the worst to happen and it usually will.

    Following the Knicks’ made me realize that good franchises start from the very top. This can be covered when owners stumble upon a good hire, the Detroit Lions look like they have. Can David Stern suggest ol’ Dog Dolan another GM?

  144. Ted Nelson

    jon abbey: Westbrook was second-team All-NBA as a 22 year old, Gallo will be lucky to ever sniff that in his whole career.

    You are looking at this in hindsight. There was no known fact at the time that Westbrook would develop into what he did and Gallo would develop into what he did. You are being beyond ridiculous to suggest any person should know exactly what a player is going to develop into when they are 19 years old.

    jon abbey: and it’s not “discussing” when you just keep posting and posting until the other person gets sick of the back and forth.

    That’s irrelevant. You don’t discuss things in general. You grump about this or that, and when someone challenges what you’ve said you don’t bother discussing it. Nothing to do with me. You stubbornly decide you’re right before you consider why you might be wrong.

  145. jon abbey

    Ted Nelson: You are looking at this in hindsight.

    no, I thought it that day and I still think it now. I’m not killing Isiah for taking Balkman over Rondo or Frye over Bynum, because those were not obvious to me on draft day. this one was, and time has proven me right thus far. by your logic here, no draft-day decision can ever be criticized. you may think that; I don’t and it’s phrases like “beyond ridiculous” that are unnecessary and inflammatory.

    That’s irrelevant. You don’t discuss things in general. You grump about this or that, and when someone challenges what you’ve said you don’t bother discussing it. Nothing to do with me. You stubbornly decide you’re right before you consider why you might be wrong.

    there’s a lot of truth to that, but the alternative is endless back and forths about niggling points and usually the specific topic rarely interests me that much. I state my opinion/position and unless there’s a good reason to answer, I go back to reading/lurking. I’m still not totally over NY not getting LeBron (last night helped a little, what the hell was that?), and I may never be. the bottom line is that if I spend too much time thinking/stressing about the Knicks, it always comes back to James Dolan owns them, and that is depressing and something I try to think about as little as possible.

  146. SeeWhyDee77

    I’m not gonna quote any particular comment..but I just wanna make one comment on Wade vs Melo. Well..not directly..but here go it. Both are great players. Wade is better mainly becuz he plays better, consistent defense. Offensively it’s a wash- there’s no stopping either player. Wade does take better shots. That said, maybe D’Antoni isn’t the right coach for this team. I like him..but Melo needs a coach who can rein him in and discipline his scoring. On paper, Stat and Melo should be the best scoring duo of perhaps all time. Unfortunately both tend to take bad shots..Melo more so than Stat. Honestly I think the only coach who can maximize the duo is Phil Jackson. But he’s not gonna coach NY anytime soon if ever. We pretty much have age/health and Dolan to blame for that. The last thing Melo needs is a coach who is gonna let him fire away anytime he wants. But, I will gladly take the good with the bad when it comes to Melo. We’ve seen what he can do when focused (42 and 17 anyone?). I really think that if our next GM can surround Melo and Amare with the right blend of shooters and defenders and hire a coach with some defensive chops (assistant or hc), then this debate becomes more about how many mvp’s can he win. Melo’s a better defender than we’ve seen, as is Amare..they’ve just never been in the right atmosphere conducive to bringing that out. Karl tried, but I don’t think Melo respected him at all.

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