Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

84 comments on “Eddy Curry earns an NBA Championship ring

  1. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Curry really showed what he was made of during this series. He stood up, clapped, and cheered for his teammates when it was appropriate, and did not when it was not. His suits looked well-tailored, but not overly colorful, and one can only assume that he ceded precious room in the Miami Heat organization’s sauna/hot tub/massage therapy facilities to teammates who asked him politely. Also he did not show his dick to any live-in chefs, so that’s gotta count for something.

    Rings

    Eddy Curry: 1
    Jerome James: 0

    Who will finish his professional career with more?

  2. Bison

    Looks like the iso game loses.

    The Thunder forgot everything they learned about teamwork while beating the Spurs, and reverted to playing dumb basketball. The Heat, on the other hand, really moved the ball — and won the championship. Let that be a lesson.

    Michael Jordan was right: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

  3. Brian Cronin

    It is funny how many varied guys got their first ring tonight.

    Lebron, Bosh, Beardy, Curry, Battier, Miller and Howard. It is nuts. I wonder what was the last team with this many players with 10 years in the league just getting their first ring together (Curry, Battier, Miller and Howard).

  4. d-mar

    Bison:
    Looks like the iso game loses.

    The Thunder forgot everything they learned about teamwork while beating the Spurs, and reverted to playing dumb basketball.The Heat, on the other hand, really moved the ball — and won the championship.Let that be a lesson.

    Michael Jordan was right: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

    When LeBron gets the ball in the post, that’s iso ball too. Except that OKC is forced to double him, resulting in an open 3 for Miller, Chalmers or Battier. Ball movement is a whole lot easier when you have an unstoppable force on the low block, who also happens to be a tremendous passer as well.

  5. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Brian Cronin:
    It is good to see a small forward led team win the title. It gives the Knicks hope with their small forward led team.

    LeBron James is somehow both a PF and a PG in the body of a really, really jacked, tall, long, fast, and strong SF. Lady Jowles, tonight: “It’s not fair, ______, that I’m like .01 times as powerful as LeBron James.”

  6. Bison

    d-mar: When LeBron gets the ball in the post, that’s iso ball too. Except that OKC is forced to double him, resulting in an open 3 for Miller, Chalmers or Battier. Ball movement is a whole lot easier when you have an unstoppable force on the low block, who also happens to be a tremendous passer as well.

    It’s not iso in my book if a guy holds the ball for only a second or two and then passes. Call me when Melo learns to do that even half as consistently as Lebron.

  7. 2FOR18

    Now that LeBron has finally realized he should play in the post more often, it could be a long 4 or 5 years for the rest of the league. I hate to keep quoting Simmons, but I agree with his takes a lot – LeBron did play like a rich man’s Bird for the past 7 games or so.
    Some players I can see them looking at for next year are Ray Allen, Billups, Kenyon Martin, M Speights, Novak and Camby. They can use another shooter and a big who can play D.

  8. Bison

    Brian Cronin:
    It is good to see a small forward led team win the title. It gives the Knicks hope with their small forward led team.

    Believe it or not, I have always thought Lebron was a potential member of the elite group of SFs who could lead their teams to championships. See this post:

    http://KnickerBlogger.Net/knicks-96-magic-80/#comment-381302

    Swingmen who pass really well can lead their teams to glory. At the moment, Melo hasn’t demonstrated that he can do this.

  9. Robtachi

    I tried. I tried being emotionally invested in rooting one way or the other in this Finals. I tried hating the idea of LeBron winning a title. I just couldn’t do it. Couldn’t care enough. Couldn’t begrudge a guy who is so clearly lightyears ahead of his peers in sheer talent and athleticism and clearly took it upon himself to silence every person who said he couldn’t dominate in a big moment like everyone knows he should.

    I don’t really care for LeBron. I don’t care for the egocentric way in which he glorified himself and the supposed Earth-shattering importance of his “decision”. I don’t care for where that decision took him, in that it deprived my beloved team of his rapturous abilities and brought him to a franchise where he would not have to shoulder the burden of being “the one” who brought them to a championship – what could be construed as the path of least resistance, if ever there is such a thing in the highest level of a sport – and whose “fans” are more concerned with getting to the clubs before 11 than sticking around to bask in the glory of the last few minutes of a playoff series-clinching win. His dominance and ultimate exultation in victory this season throws into sharp relief the prevailing mental asterisk that, had he chosen to, he could have done this, or at least tried to, with an organization and roster less ready-made for league supremacy. I have felt this way, and still do even now, ever since “The Decision”…

    …but man, LeBron James is a flat-out baller. He is some sort of extraterrestrial, metahuman archangel of basketballing prowess, and all I can do is shake my head and hope that our own star Carmelo Anthony sees this and, instead of kicking back on his $10,000 7-piece sectional smiling and nodding at his friend’s crowning glory, punctures the fine Italian leather with his fingernails, jealousy and determination smoldering in his eyes as dunk after thunderous dunk flash on the screen before them.

  10. Webjai

    I hated seeing the Heat win. I hated it worse that they won by playing good team basketball… like, they all figured it out and now it’ll be years of dominant basketball. But it will be even more exciting to route every year for someone to beat the juggernaut. That’s what happened in the golden ages of basketball – the 8 year Celtics run, the two Jordan era 3-peats, the Lakers 3-peats, San Antonio’s 4 in 8 years… At least it’ll be fun.

    I also hate it… that LeBron earned it. Full on earned it. That mutant cyborg “Magic Johnson in Shawn Kemp’s body” freak earned it. At least he earned enough respect from me that I won’t feel bad routing for him on team USA in the Olympics.

    So place that donut on Eddy’s finger. His 30 point season total is worthy of this. Dude scored 30 points! In a season!

    Cavan… I agree with a previous commenter. You are cruel.

  11. ruruland

    Nice post, Rob. While I’m dishing compliments, enjoyed the Frazier piece, Cavan.

    Rob, I can assure you Melo is motivated more than he’s ever been in his career, which is quite something, not just by Lebron, Wade and BOSH getting a ring, but Durant playing in a Finals before him. There’s a considerable rivalry there, at least in Melo’s head, from what I understand (though it’s self-evident if you’ve followed Melo’s career)

    Their success has always been a catalyst for his off-season growth and development.

    The summer of ’05. The summer of ’07. I don’t think many people appreciate the growth in Melo’s game over his career. He was not born with the same physical gifts Lebron was, obviously. He cannot dominate a game purely with his athleticism or length, like Lebron and Durant can.

    In part that’s why I think Melo’s often so much more appealing to root for, at least for some. Yes, he’s quite gifted, both with his first step, his quick jumps, his quick release, just above average in terms of standing vertical, speed — but he’s blue collar in a lot of respects.

    He has arguably the most complete offensive toolbox in the NBA , outside of Kobe. That didn’t come over night. His superior strength, again, so much work to get to that point.

    And ’08. The Olympic teams. He significantly improved his defensive fundamentals, proved he can be an invaluable role player on Team USA by doing the small things (he was a great scorer on the ’06 team, but not when they moved him to power forward)

    I think he did a lot of work last off-season preparing for MDA’s offense as a ballhandler, but I think he’s having another transformational off-season.

    He’s working on scoring as the roll man. He’s expanding his 3pt hot spots, and he’s getting back to the screen game he had early in his career (under Bzdelik when he started out as a more traditional 3). See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzhr8SoNPPU&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLB05A16AD8FCDBD9A

  12. jon abbey

    Bison:
    Looks like the iso game loses.

    The Thunder forgot everything they learned about teamwork while beating the Spurs, and reverted to playing dumb basketball.The Heat, on the other hand, really moved the ball — and won the championship.Let that be a lesson.

    Michael Jordan was right: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

    haha, no. once again: “teamwork may win games, but almost invariably talent wins titles”-Jon Abbey

  13. jon abbey

    and at least Curry didn’t get on the floor, I still don’t understand why they signed him and kept him around all year.

  14. jon abbey

    ruru, you know you’re my boy, but almost no one likes to root for Melo as compared to other top players, sorry.

  15. Brian Cronin

    I dunno, Jon, I mean, compared to the top guys, no, but I mean, the dude did just get voted to the All-Star team last season while in the midst of a really bad stretch, right?

    I think if you are voted to the All-Star Game it is a good sign that people are rooting for you. Just not as much as, say, Lebron, Durant, Kobe, Wade, Howard, Griffin, Rose and Paul (and maybe some others I am forgetting).

  16. Brian Cronin

    By the by, one thing i felt bad for Melo last year is how quickly the fans adopted Lin as the most popular player on the team. In that regard (and only that regard, as it sucked for everybody in every other possible way), it was a big boost to Melo that Lin got hurt and Melo began playing out of his mind, because otherwise, it would have been pretty awkward to hear Lin get bigger cheers than the top player of the team.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a player get more support at MSG than Lin does. It is nuts. The fans are, like, cheering him during warm-ups!!!

  17. ruruland

    Rob: To continue from the last post, Melo is smarter than he’s given credit for, and he has a really good team around him that not just works to improve him physically in the off-season, but hones his game for whatever role they anticipate him playing.

    I can give examples of how that plan has changed as the team’s changed around him. But take last year for example. I just got a Synergy package and looking back at those early games, Melo actually played the point forward quit well.

    He put a lot of work into pick and roll ballhandling and decision making, and that’s evident if you compare him from last year to the previous years.

    Yes, he was among the game’s top scorers as a pick and roll ballhandler, but his passing was extremely under-appreciated. The problem was no one could make shots.

    I’m going to have the numbers on the fg% of Knicks players on either spot-ups or shots at the rim off Melo pick and roll.

    But on the season, Douglas, Fields, Shumpert, Jeffries, Stoudemire,Bibby, Walker — Melo’s teammates early in the year, shot around 30 % on spot-ups, one of if not the worst number in the NBA.

    Obviously that makes a difference in assists and efficiency just on those plays. But more importantly, it fundamentally alters how you play the game of basketball.

    Melo’s trust in his teammates greatly deteriorated early in the year, when game after game they failed to convert their open looks.

    Yes, the dip in scoring efficiency was partly attributable to injury. But as I watch each of these games again, it’s evident that shot selection played a large role.

    And if you blame Melo for taking shots when teammates couldn’t make theirs, you’re a fool.

    It’s truly shocking to me that MDA would not play Novak….. In the sparse minutes he had earlier in the year, Melo was finding him and he was shooting roughly the same percentage.

    The fact that he refused to run Amar’e/ Melo pnrs… so few adjustments. Woodson is keeping…

  18. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    ruru, you know you’re my boy, but almost no one likes to root for Melo as compared to other top players, sorry.

    Well, that’s probably true. He hasn’t been as successful.

  19. BigBlueAL

    Yeah, Melo is pretty unpopular on this site but for the most part he is very, very popular in general. Being married to LaLa has probably helped in that regard too with their reality show lol

  20. BigBlueAL

    Also for those worried about LeBron winning a bunch of rings now, Im not so sure because his supporting cast isnt exactly stellar and they did look pretty vulnerable this postseason for the most part. Also for as much as we praised the Thunder they were a much, much better matchup for the Heat than the Spurs wouldve been. Their lack of any semblance of an inside game killed them.

    The health of Wade is the x-factor. He is only 30 yo but looks like he is already breaking down and his game is definitely not suited to age well. Of course Im probably grasping at straws to help convince myself this isnt a dynasty in the making lol

  21. Robtachi

    A little change in topic, but I just wanted to throw my two pennies in that the idea of letting Lin go in favor of signing Nash is ludicrous. You try to “win now” with a still-great but aging future HoFer, and if it doesn’t work, what are you left with when he’s done and your other stars are at the end of their contracts and leaving their primes? In Lin, you have a 23-year-old who is closer to realizing his potential as a star PG in this league than most others at his age, and as ideal as it would be to also have Nash in the fold tutoring him, there’s another future HoF PG out there who the Knicks can actually afford and entice in Jason Kidd, who is the only other true 1 in the league right now that has the kind of sublime passing instincts and skills as Steve Nash.

  22. ruruland

    BigBlueAL: Also for those worried about LeBron winning a bunch of rings now, Im not so sure because his supporting cast isnt exactly stellar and they did look pretty vulnerable this postseason for the most part. Also for as much as we praised the Thunder they were a much, much better matchup for the Heat than the Spurs wouldve been. Their lack of any semblance of an inside game killed them.The health of Wade is the x-factor. He is only 30 yo but looks like he is already breaking down and his game is definitely not suited to age well. Of course Im probably grasping at straws to help convince myself this isnt a dynasty in the making lol

    Wade is slowing down and is always an injury concern.

    The Knicks can build a team that in the next couple of years that CAN beat them in a 7 game series.

    The Heat don’t have a dominant shot blocking prescence still. Bosh is a marginal returns issue.

    The biggest thing that seperates them from a Lin/Shumpert/Melo/Amar’e/Chandler core is the shooting they’re surrounded with.

    Do you really think Miami wins a title if Toney Douglas, Landry Fields and Mike Bibby are taking those spot up shots as opposed to Battier, Chalmers and Miller (Norris was solid, too, and Haslem/Bosh are good mid range shooters)

    Spot up shooting is far and away the biggest reason the Knicks fell into such a gigantic hole earlier in the year — I would argue that they played a part in Amar’e and Melo’s early struggles as well.

  23. ruruland

    Robtachi: A little change in topic, but I just wanted to throw my two pennies in that the idea of letting Lin go in favor of signing Nash is ludicrous. You try to “win now” with a still-great but aging future HoFer, and if it doesn’t work, what are you left with when he’s done and your other stars are at the end of their contracts and leaving their primes? In Lin, you have a 23-year-old who is closer to realizing his potential as a star PG in this league than most others at his age, and as ideal as it would be to also have Nash in the fold tutoring him, there’s another future HoF PG out there who the Knicks can actually afford and entice in Jason Kidd, who is the only other true 1 in the league right now that has the kind of sublime passing instincts and skills as Steve Nash.

    Kidd would be a better fit than Nash…perfect in every way.

    Much better defender, doesn’t need to dominate the ball to add value, fantastic spot up shooter, and yet he’s an extreme pass first player like Nash– something Lin needs to pick up on.

    Kidd is not as good a pick and roll player, but he’s still one of the better ones and he still plays baseline probe to find shooters like Nash.

  24. Bison

    jon abbey: haha, no. once again: “teamwork may win games, but almost invariably talent wins titles”-Jon Abbey

    For some really low value of “almost”. :)

    Do you remember that list of swingmen I posted, the good passers who lead their teams to championships? They were the only dominant swingmen to win it all, at least since the start of the shot clock era. They were all at least twice as good at passing as Melo, if you can judge by assists per playoff game. And now Lebron joins that select group — and hey, he’s a great passer too, what a coincidence!

  25. yellowboy90

    ruruland:

    Spot up shooting is far and away the biggest reason the Knicks fell into such a gigantic hole earlier in the year — I would argue that they played a part in Amar’e and Melo’searly struggles as well.

    Which is why I wonder that with all the prospects they have brought in they have not taken a look at John Jenkins or Lamb(UK). With Jenkins length he could be a more athletic Reddick and Lamb could maybe be a secondary ball handler while being able to knock down the three. Those guys will maybe never be stars but I think they could help a team.

  26. yellowboy90

    Van Pelt or the other guy on sportscenter said they out toughed OKC which is true I guess, but how does any team play Miami tough when regular fouls are called flagrant 2s or a flagrant. Then on top of that their players get to play physical and get the benefit of the doubt when playing defense. Also, when their star players make an obvious flagrant foul(Wade/Collinson) its a two shot foul.

    The refs set the tone for the playoffs when they tried to toss Chandler on a moving pick. Also, I do not want to hear analyst give Durant grief saying he would get more calls if he would have attacked more because it does not matter you still will not get the calls.

  27. jon abbey

    Bison: For some really low value of “almost”.:)

    Do you remember that list of swingmen I posted, the good passers who lead their teams to championships?They were the only dominant swingmen to win it all, at least since the start of the shot clock era.They were all at least twice as good at passing as Melo, if you can judge by assists per playoff game.And now Lebron joins that select group — and hey, he’s a great passer too, what a coincidence!

    you keep jumping between talking about Melo and talking about the Finals, make up your mind.

    there is no lesson to be learned for the Knicks from these playoffs, except that a top-heavy talent team can (and usually does) win if the top few guys are good enough. Melo isn’t good enough to lead his team to a title without a huge amount of talent around him, whether he plays like the most selfish player in the league or the most unselfish. if he’s the third best player on the team, a la Bosh or Harden, then I like NY’s chances but only then.

  28. jon abbey

    and yeah, Lin and Kidd would be an ideal PG combo in terms of what we maybe possibly could realistically dream about ending up with. that is what I’m hoping for, along with JR Smith sticking around.

  29. Bison

    ruruland: Kidd would be a better fit than Nash…perfect in every way.

    Much better defender, doesn’t need to dominate the ball to add value, fantastic spot up shooter, and yet he’s an extreme pass first player like Nash– something Lin needs to pick up on.

    Kidd is not as good a pick and roll player, but he’s still one of the better ones and he still plays baseline probe to find shooters like Nash.

    I think I was the first to see similarities in Lin’s and Kidd’s games, so I agree with you. Especially that Lin should be more of a passer, both for the sake of his health and for what the Knicks need.

  30. Robtachi

    yellowboy90: Which is why I wonder that with all the prospects they have brought in they have not taken a look at John Jenkins or Lamb(UK). With Jenkins length he could be a more athletic Reddick and Lamb could maybe be a secondary ball handler while being able to knock down the three. Those guys will maybe never be stars but I think they could help a team.

    Haven’t they worked out guys like Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Darius Johnson-Odom? Those are three truly superior spot-up shooters right there from which at least one will most certainly be available when the Knicks finally have a pick. I think they recognize that’s what they need to target and I’d be ecstatic with any of the three, especially because in today’s NBA, dominated by superhuman freaks of nature like LBJ and Kevin Durant, skilled players who lack elite athleticism and measureables are pretty undervalued and their potential underestimated by NBA execs., which means the Knicks could really end up with yet another steal in the draft.

  31. ruruland

    Bison: I think I was the first to see similarities in Lin’s and Kidd’s games, so I agree with you. Especially that Lin should be more of a passer, both for the sake of his health and for what the Knicks need.

    Bison, get a Synergy subscription and we can start to talk about passing.

    And Abbey, Denver nearly made the Finals with Melo as their best player (Chauncey was of course its most efficient, but the offense ran through Melo). Lin, Stoudemire and Chandler could all be as good if not better than any of the second best players Melo’s ever played with.

    I have little doubt that if Lin turns out to be a high quality pg that he looks like he’ll become, he’ll blend the talents of Amar’e… You get shooting around that and it’s good enough to beat any team in a 7 game series. You just have to win those close games. And I don’t care what the Berri folks argue, Melo is the guy you want in your corner in close games late in the fourth quarter.

  32. Bison

    jon abbey: you keep jumping between talking about Melo and talking about the Finals, make up your mind.

    No need to choose. Both topics are necessarily intertwined: I’m hoping Melo learns from this year’s Finals.

    there is no lesson to be learned for the Knicks from these playoffs, except that a top-heavy talent team can (and usually does) win if the top few guys are good enough. Melo isn’t good enough to lead his team to a title without a huge amount of talent around him, whether he plays like the most selfish player in the league or the most unselfish. if he’s the third best player on the team, a la Bosh or Harden, then I like NY’s chances but only then.

    If Melo is only the 3rd best player, we’ll have one hell of a team!

  33. yellowboy90

    Ok I know Durant is not a Defensive beast but I did not know he was so bad. How could he not guard Chalmers but yet want the task of guarding Lebron? His length should have shut down Mario but yet he disrespected every other player not named James in a Miami Heat Jersey. Hopefully he will learn that it is not just about guarding the stars so you get the glory but also about putting in the effort on everyone you are guarding. Which is something Melo needs to learn too.

  34. Robtachi

    jon abbey: you keep jumping between talking about Melo and talking about the Finals, make up your mind.

    there is no lesson to be learned for the Knicks from these playoffs, except that a top-heavy talent team can (and usually does) win if the top few guys are good enough. Melo isn’t good enough to lead his team to a title without a huge amount of talent around him, whether he plays like the most selfish player in the league or the most unselfish. if he’s the third best player on the team, a la Bosh or Harden, then I like NY’s chances but only then.

    Come on jon, I know Melo has earned his fair share of criticism, but he is FAR more talented and his game multi-faceted than Bosh or Harden. Sure, I don’t think he’s at LeBron or Durant level, but to compare him to a true third (or even fourth, depending on how you value Ibaka/Chalmers) wheel is equally if not more unrealistic.

  35. ruruland

    Robtachi: Come on jon, I know Melo has earned his fair share of criticism, but he is FAR more talented and his game multi-faceted than Bosh or Harden. Sure, I don’t think he’s at LeBron or Durant level, but to compare him to a true third (or even fourth, depending on how you value Ibaka/Chalmers) wheel is equally if not more unrealistic.

    Rob, Harden is technically OKC’s best player according to you know who.

  36. Robtachi

    yellowboy90: Which is why I wonder that with all the prospects they have brought in they have not taken a look at John Jenkins or Lamb(UK). With Jenkins length he could be a more athletic Reddick and Lamb could maybe be a secondary ball handler while being able to knock down the three. Those guys will maybe never be stars but I think they could help a team.

    I also think it’s highly unlikely any of Kentucky’s starting 5 last past the beginning of the 2nd round, so the Knicks aren’t getting Lamb without a trade.

  37. Robtachi

    ruruland: Rob, Harden is technically OKC’s best player according to you know who.

    Even conceding that, nobody will ever convince me that Chris Bosh has even a laughable approximation of the talent Carmelo Anthony has, whether Melo shows it on a nightly basis or not.

  38. yellowboy90

    Robtachi: Haven’t they worked out guys like Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Darius Johnson-Odom?Those are three truly superior spot-up shooters right there from which at least one will most certainly be available when the Knicks finally have a pick.I think they recognize that’s what they need to target and I’d be ecstatic with any of the three, especially because in today’s NBA, dominated by superhuman freaks of nature like LBJ and Kevin Durant, skilled players who lack elite athleticism and measureables are pretty undervalued and their potential underestimated by NBA execs., which means the Knicks could really end up with yet another steal in the draft.

    Superior to Lamb and Jenkins or to what the knicks already have? I get that those two might not be there but they can make a move into the late first possibly. Hopefully? Maybe?

  39. jon abbey

    Robtachi: Come on jon, I know Melo has earned his fair share of criticism, but he is FAR more talented and his game multi-faceted than Bosh or Harden. Sure, I don’t think he’s at LeBron or Durant level, but to compare him to a true third (or even fourth, depending on how you value Ibaka/Chalmers) wheel is equally if not more unrealistic.

    exactly, that’s why I’d like our chances. if he’s our best player, not so much.

  40. ruruland

    For example, Bison, as I’m charting this, through two games, the Knicks have shot 3/12 on shots directly from Melo passes.

    All of them are spot up shots, seven would be considered uncontested by coaches.

    Of the 16 total passes that directly led to an offensive play, there have also been 3 turnoves. One where Fields turned down a wide open shot and threw the ball out of bounds, one where Harrelson dropped the ball, and one where Chandler was called for a charge on a pick and roll.

    Melo also found Fields on backdoor cut for 2 free throws.

    Through two games: 3/12, 3 turnovers, 2 fta.

  41. ruruland

    jon abbey: exactly, that’s why I’d like our chances. if he’s our best player, not so much.

    What if you have 4 all-star caliber players beside him, in which he’s still the best player.

    I could easily see Lin,Shumpert (a little bit of a stretch), Chandler and Amar’e all playing at an all star lever beside Melo.

  42. Robtachi

    yellowboy90: Superior to Lamb and Jenkins or to what the knicks already have? I get that those two might not be there but they can make a move into the late first possibly. Hopefully? Maybe?

    I meant superior in just a general sense, that they’re among the best in pro prospects in that facet of the game, though if the Knicks had to let Smith and Novak walk as it appears they might, they would also be superior options to any of the remaining bench flotsam on their roster.

  43. ruruland

    Robtachi: Even conceding that, nobody will ever convince me that Chris Bosh has even a laughable approximation of the talent Carmelo Anthony has, whether Melo shows it on a nightly basis or not.

    No doubt. though Bosh was pretty good when featured more frequently, he’s certainly not as talented nor does he impact the game to the same degree.

  44. Bison

    ruruland: Bison, get a Synergy subscription and we can start to talk about passing.

    Synergy doesn’t seem to have helped you much. You’re still mostly wrong about Melo. :)

  45. ruruland

    Bison: Synergy doesn’t seem to have helped you much. You’re still mostly wrong about Melo. :)

    I’m challenging you to look at your own biases.

    It’s not as time consuming as you think.

  46. jon abbey

    ruruland: What if you have 4 all-star caliber players beside him, in which he’s still the best player.

    I could easily see Lin,Shumpert (a little bit of a stretch), Chandler and Amar’e all playing at an all star level beside Melo.

    maybe, if you throw in some solid bench players too (Smith and Kidd would be a good start), but you have to think Miami will keep bringing in better supplemental players like they did Battier this year and OKC will only get better if they can keep their big 4 together.

  47. ruruland

    jon abbey: maybe, if you throw in some solid bench players too (Smith and Kidd would be a good start), but you have to think Miami will keep bringing in better supplemental players like they did Battier this year and OKC will only get better if they can keep their big 4 together.

    So do you blow it up and wait another 6 or 7 years, or try to beat them?

  48. jon abbey

    I don’t think it matters, honestly. neither way will work, the road to a title was via convincing LeBron that NY was the place for him (if I had time and energy, I would write an alternate universe piece where Isiah drafted Rondo instead of Balkman, LeBron joined up, and our heroes started piling up titles).

    but given NY’s specific circumstances, you keep trying to build on what you have and hope for a bunch of key injuries on other teams. it’s almost certainly going to end in failure, though.

  49. Robtachi

    jon abbey: maybe, if you throw in some solid bench players too (Smith and Kidd would be a good start), but you have to think Miami will keep bringing in better supplemental players like they did Battier this year and OKC will only get better if they can keep their big 4 together.

    Miami did a good enough job this season of reconciling their cap limitations with value they were able to extract from supplemental players. That doesn’t mean they’ll be able to replicate that next year. Different crop of players, different market values, different expectations in performance and return on those expectations. That’s what an NBA Championship season is; a confluence of sheer talent and will supplemented by a bunch of other factors that need to go right. It’s not as easy as the Heat just going into the off-season and saying “okay, we were this good this year, let’s just get better players for next year”. I know I’m oversimplifying and I’m sure you understand the implications of their salary burdens and what it means for their depth, but you sounded a bit as if you expected they’d be able to find better players than what they had this year for the same money with no difficulty.

  50. 2FOR18

    Wait a minute. Why is melo better than Bosh? I figured I’d check out the numbers and they’re even more in favor of Bosh than I thought they would be.
    I’m no Bosh fan, but by just about every metric, Bosh is equal or better. Even with melo’s biggest strength, scoring, Bosh does it more efficiently, scoring 5 pts less a game on 5 less shots. Notably, he actually put up better metrics before joining up with LeBron and Wade.

  51. stratomatic

    d-mar: When LeBron gets the ball in the post, that’s iso ball too. Except that OKC is forced to double him, resulting in an open 3 for Miller, Chalmers or Battier. Ball movement is a whole lot easier when you have an unstoppable force on the low block, who also happens to be a tremendous passer as well.

    I don’t think anyone cares about the technical definition of ISO ball.

    They care about whether the the player with the ball takes a tough/poor shot, turns the ball over, holds it until it late in the shot clock etc… when isolated or passes to the appropriate player so the team gets a wide open look.

  52. stratomatic

    Robtachi: Even conceding that, nobody will ever convince me that Chris Bosh has even a laughable approximation of the talent Carmelo Anthony has, whether Melo shows it on a nightly basis or not.

    Just to be clear, there is a monstrous difference between talent/skill and actual production on the court. One is almost entirely physical and the other is combination of the physical + playing style/decision making/basketball IQ/shot selection etc…

    Even most of Melo’s sharpest critics concede he is one of the most talented and diversely skilled players in the NBA. They just also think he gets way less actual production for the team out of those talents and skills than MANY players not nearly as gifted because of the way he plays. Production for the TEAM is the botom line.

  53. stratomatic

    just to continue a little….

    The ability to create shots for yourself (Melo and JR Smith at one extreme and Novak at the other) is both a blessing and a curse depending on the player.

    When a player has the skill set to create off the dribble and score from anywhere on the court he is OBVIOUSLY superior in many ways to a player that can only hit wide open spot up shots.

    However, if the latter sticks with what he is efficient at and becomes a lower usage highly efficient player and the former is incapable or unwilling to recognize what he is very efficient at and takes loads of shots he he just average at (or even below average at), then the lower usage player can actually add more value despite the having significantly less skill and talent.

    The idea is for players to take above average efficiency shots within their own skill set when they have them and pass when one is not available until such time in the shot clock that the probability of getting a superior look with the pass starts falling below the probability of making what you already have even when it’s not so great.

    When a player starts taking lower efficiency shots when superior options were still likely to become available via pass, he is hurting the team no matter how many points he scores and no matter how skilled and talented he is .

  54. stratomatic

    That is the crux of the problem with Melo.

    1. He takes too many foolish shots (long 2s, 3s, when defended well or even double teamed etc..) when passing would have been the superior option because there was still plenty of time on the lock.

    2. He often holds the ball so long, it actually changes the probabilities of creating a superior shot with a pass relative to the garbage shot he winds up having to put up late in the clock.

    So his efficiency falls relative to what it could have been and the team’s efficiency falls relative to what it could have been because other players are not getting as many really easy looks as they would have had he moved the ball quickly and instead of holding it, surveying the landscape, dribbling for awhile etc…

  55. TelegraphedPass

    @68

    I’m not sure I agree that’s the issue with Melo.

    1. I feel like we need to re-evaluate our idea of bad shots. Long 2s are only regarded as inefficient because most players are bad at shooting them. Melo’s shot chart from any point in his career shows that he’s among the best at hitting them, often more often than the true midrange (10-15 feet). Since both shots are worth 2 points, he’s technically taking more efficient shots than he gets credit for.

    I’m not sure you were on the thread, but I had a stretch of posts about a month ago analyzing Melo’s shot selection and his shot locations align almost perfectly with his hotspots. More so than almost any other superstar.

    In my opinion, his big problem is he’s a maddeningly inconsistent 3 point shooter and it drags his percentages down, especially since he’s so prone to heat checks when his team starts to fall behind. He’s also not a great free throw shooter. This season, he was awful at scoring in the paint. Part of it was a lack of lift, but I remember talking for much of the first half of the year that he just doesn’t get calls inside like other stars. He isn’t getting rewarded for his forays into the paint. I suspect it has to do with his size. Bigger players have to deal with more contact than thinner guys, and Melo just doesn’t sell contact that well (other than the always pleasant AW SHIT at the rim).

    2. It’s kind of overstated how long he holds the ball. The ball definitely sticks to his hand for longer than I’d like, but a bigger problem was the inability of our PGs to initiate the offense quickly. Often, the action started with 11 or 12 seconds on the shot clock. Which limit’s Melo’s actions, and makes him into a snap decision-maker. He’s not a great playmaker for others, so that often ends in him creating what he believes is the best look he can create. Not a recipe for success.

  56. TelegraphedPass

    His Denver teams had fantastic offenses with him as the focal point, so it clearly isn’t Melo’s presence in and of itself that kills offenses. He’s become a more complete player since his younger years. He’s a better shooter and a more willing passer. He was one of the more prolific passers for his position this season, despite the criticism he receives. There just was no consistent offensive system in place. Melo, depite being a good pick-and-roll ball handler, hasn’t established chemistry with Amar’e. Both he and STAT were woeful spot up shooters this season, which was probably an anomaly.

    He’s not the most trusting teammate sometimes, and I think he lost trust with Landry to the point that he willingly passed up open Landry threes to take fadeaway jumpers. I hope he works on that.

  57. ephus

    TelegraphedPass: He’s also not a great free throw shooter

    I am not a ‘Melo apologist, but this is just inaccurate. ‘Melo is a career 80% at the stripe, and was almost exactly on his average during this regular season. There was a stretch mid-season when he was not shooting free throws well and Lin was, where I thought Lin should take over shooting Ts, but ‘Melo regressed to mean over the last six weeks of the season.

    I agree that the Knicks need to initiate the offense more quickly. Two simple thoughts. 1) Run more off of misses. 2) And after makes, have the PG wait to touch the ball until it is near full court and the offense is set. During the playoffs, the Heat, Celtics and Thunder all routinely got 4 extra seconds to run the offense because the PG waited to touch the ball.

  58. TelegraphedPass

    ephus: I am not a ‘Melo apologist, but this is just inaccurate. ‘Melo is a career 80% at the stripe, and was almost exactly on his average during this regular season.

    80% isn’t great in my opinion. Just good. Great, to me, is around 84% and up. I wish he was closer to the mid-80′s, considering how good he is at drawing fouls.

  59. Kurt

    Ruruland–
    A few questions:
    1. You seemed to suggest that it was D’Antoni who was the reason the Melo-Stat pick and roll wasn’t used more. Is that what you’re saying? I had assumed that Melo didn’t want to run pick and roll even though, as Gian Carassimo (sp?) pointed out he was good at it.

    2. Why would Melo practice as the screener when there wasn’t even enough screening opportunities for Amar’e?

    3. A comment: I think practicing shooting off screens would be a great addition. I think Chandler handing off/screening for Melo could be lethal, with Amar’e driving weak side. If Chandler’s defender helps to Melo, Chandler can cut to basket. Help off Amar’e to Chandler and it’s a easy bucket for STAT.

  60. yellowboy90

    TelegraphedPass:

    He’s not the most trusting teammate sometimes, and I think he lost trust with Landry to the point that he willingly passed up open Landry threes to take fadeaway jumpers. I hope he works on that.

    He also overlooked Landry most times when he cut through the lane. Hopefully an off season of practice will improve that trust.

  61. TelegraphedPass

    yellowboy90: He also overlooked Landry most times when he cut through the lane. Hopefully an off season of practice will improve that trust.

    On the contrary, he usually had at least one impressive find on a Landry cut per game, I thought. Maybe I missed a couple, but I had more instances where I was surprised Melo completed that needle pass into the paint than rage at him missing the opportunity.

  62. yellowboy90

    Kurt:
    Ruruland–

    2. Why would Melo practice as the screener when there wasn’t even enough screening opportunities for Amar’e?

    Not Ruru but I would think that he is practicing being the screener because of how well he and Lin worked the PnR together. Without stats based on memory the PnR with Lin and Melo worked extremely well and usually resulted in a open shot for Melo or open lane for Lin.

  63. Kurt

    Thanks yellowboy. I agree that it would make a great play and that Melo could be a very effective screener just like the Lebron/Wade pick and roll. My only issue is what you’d do with STAT and/or Chandler if either/both are also in at the same time. If it’s just one of them, the big could cut to the basket on the weak side. But if it’s both of them in together one of them will end up being ineffective on such a play.

  64. ruruland

    Kurt:
    Ruruland–
    A few questions:
    1. You seemed to suggest that it was D’Antoni who was the reason the Melo-Stat pick and roll wasn’t used more. Is that what you’re saying? I had assumed that Melo didn’t want to run pick and roll even though, as Gian Carassimo (sp?) pointed out he was good at it.

    2. Why would Melo practice as the screener when there wasn’t even enough screening opportunities for Amar’e?

    3. A comment: I think practicing shooting off screens would be a great addition. I think Chandler handing off/screening for Melo could be lethal, with Amar’e driving weak side. If Chandler’s defender helps to Melo, Chandler can cut to basket. Help off Amar’e to Chandler and it’s a easy bucket for STAT.

    1) No, one of the issues with the Melo/Amar’e pnr was that Amar’e did not set good screens and Melo wasn’t comfortable without them. However, the design of the offense was not intended to put these two together very often (Amar’e was only featured in side pnr). I think they need reps because Amar’e runs pnr very similar to how Nene ran it. And Melo/Nene was a good pnr duo. Melo/Amar’e can be very good as well.

    2)I think you’re going to see a lot of 1/3, 1/4 and 1/5 pnr with Lin and whatever backup pg the Knicks get. You’re going to see mutliple pnr sets as well, just as Woodson ran with Lin post MDA. Melo was really good as a pnr roll man last year… You have to understand, he’s never played with a pnr pg.. This is an aspect of his game he’s never developed.

    3) Melo used to be a pretty good off-screen player. His efficiency has plummeted the last few years. When he was the focal point of the offense it was not something that maximized the benefits of what he could do. WHy?

    Because Melo created more defensive attention without the need for screens or clogging up his area of the floor with another offensive player.

  65. ruruland

    ephus: I am not a ‘Melo apologist, but this is just inaccurate.‘Melo is a career 80% at the stripe, and was almost exactly on his average during this regular season.There was a stretch mid-season when he was not shooting free throws well and Lin was, where I thought Lin should take over shooting Ts, but ‘Melo regressed to mean over the last six weeks of the season.

    I agree that the Knicks need to initiate the offense more quickly.Two simple thoughts.1) Run more off of misses.2) And after makes, have the PG wait to touch the ball until it is near full court and the offense is set.During the playoffs, the Heat, Celtics and Thunder all routinely got 4 extra seconds to run the offense because the PG waited to touch the ball.

    The Knicks were a very good running team with Lin.

  66. ruruland

    As far as Melo’s efficiency is concerned.

    First, isolations/post-ups are typically middling efficiency plays overall for Melo (They are typically low efficiency plays for most NBA players). When you combine his isos and post-ups it’s above 1ppp in the 1.05-1.10 area the last 3 years — which is elite.

    He’s one of the best in the NBA on those. And that’s facing the opponent’s best defender, playing a ton of isos (the most in the league), and facing a team defense prepared to stop those plays every time he touches the ball. (A lot players who use the play much less frequently don’t fce what Melo faces)….

    Melo’s ability to score in those circumstances is quite special and only matched by perhaps Lebron and Kobe. (Durant uses them much more sparingly, and for a reason)

    However, compared to other shot types, post-ups/isolations are not as efficient as spot-ups (league average), cuts, transition shots, pick and roll..

    Melo redesigned his game to focus on the Iso/post-up because that’s been the best thing for his team.

    The play has an extremely low turnover ratio, it creates tons of defensive attention, and leads to great shots for shooters (even if the first or second pass doesn’t get the open shot).

    Moreover, the play initiators Melo played alongside were often primarily shot creators in the half-court — Billups, Iverson and Miller.

    Lin is different. Lin should allow Melo to get back to the cuts and transition scoring he had with Andre Miller.

    He will get more spot-ups. And it looks like he’ll be a very good roll man, which should help him when he eventually transitions to the 4 spot (where he’ll be just as if not more dominant).

    I would expect to see his isolations drop 5-10%. I’d expect a heavy increase in transition, cuts, pick and roll ballhandler and roll man and spot-ups. Prior to this year, he’s been a very good spot-up player (not quite elite, but very good)

  67. ruruland

    For all of those reasons, I expect Melo to have his career highs in efficiency alongside Lin.

    Melo will be playing more of a Durant role next year. I doubt he’ll be quite as efficient as Durant is on spot-ups, but Melo’s transition and cut efficiency has always been great. Melo will have a lot more pick and roll, and isolation plays than Durant, however.

    I expect his shot distribution to look similar to what he had at the end of ’05/’06, and the beginning of ’06-’07,when he was averaging around 30ppg on 50% from the field for a 90 game stretch (pre-Iverson) trade.

    The difference will be 2-3 more 3pt shots (and he’s a much better 3pt shooter), and more pick and rolls.

    But I would expect fewer long twos and more shots at the basket—

    Just based on his ppp, not accounting for ft %, I think Melo has a chance to be in the 580+ TS% range moving forward in this kind of role.

  68. Kurt

    ruruland: 1) No, one of the issues with the Melo/Amar’e pnr was that Amar’e did not set good screens and Melo wasn’t comfortable without them. However, the design of the offense was not intended to put these two together very often (Amar’e was only featured in side pnr). I think they need reps because Amar’e runs pnr very similar to how Nene ran it. And Melo/Nene was a good pnr duo. Melo/Amar’e can be very good as well.

    2)I think you’re going to see a lot of 1/3, 1/4 and 1/5 pnr with Lin and whatever backup pg the Knicks get. You’re going to see mutliple pnr sets as well, just as Woodson ran with Lin post MDA. Melo was really good as a pnr roll man last year… You have to understand, he’s never played with a pnr pg.. This is an aspect of his game he’s never developed.

    3) Melo used to be a pretty good off-screen player. His efficiency has plummeted the last few years. When he was the focal point of the offense it was not something that maximized the benefits of what he could do. WHy?

    Because Melo created more defensive attention without the need for screens or clogging up his area of the floor with another offensive player.

    I think Amar’e's screening style was a function of D’Antoni, who likes screens minimal/slipped. I also think that to make all of Chandler/Melo/STAT effective when playing at same time, you need to play at least two of them off each other a bunch of times. Making one of them screen for the other creates more of a problem for the defense (do you cover Melo or screener, etc.) similar to LBJ/Wade playing off each other.

    I’m totally in favor of Melo being roll man, as long as it doesn’t keep Chandler/STAT from being offensive threat, which ruin offense.

    As I mentioned previously, I think playing Melo off screens and/or week side wing will make offense much more efficient.

  69. esquire415

    Adam Morrisson called and congratulated Eddie Curry to finally getting a ring without even playing for most of his entire career. Morrisson advised Curry to retire.

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