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Sunday, November 23, 2014

ESPN 5-on-5: Knicks 2013-14 outlook

Hi! The boys and I had the pleasure of doing a 5-on-5 for ESPN’s NBA forecast. So here’s that:

1. What grade would you give the Knicks’ offseason?

Jim Cavan, KnickerBlogger: B. Yes, trading for Andrea Bargnani was risky. Yes, Masai Ujiri clowned them again. No, the Knicks’ small, mostly lateral moves might not be enough to keep pace in an improved East. But signing Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih, bringing back Pablo Prigioni — these are not insignificant moves. Former GM Glen Grunwald did a good job with barely a sliver of wiggle room.

Jared Dubin, Hardwood Paroxysm: B-. The Bargnani trade was questionable at best, but Grunwald had done an excellent job filling in the end of the bench on a limited budget with signings like Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak, Chris Copeland, Prigioni, Udrih and World Peace. Reassigning him to the role of adviser and re-hiring Steve Mills (who brought in Isiah Thomas last time he was around) is a puzzling decision.

Mike Kurylo, KnickerBlogger: C-. Good teams grab players like World Peace and Udrih, two guys who can complement a playoff team. Bad teams grab the rebounding-adverse Bargnani and the inconsistent Tim Hardaway Jr. And Congress is the only other body dysfunctional enough to do something like replace Grunwald days before training camp opens.

Israel Gutierrez, ESPN.com: C. As in Chaos. The Knicks didn’t have much flexibility to maneuver, so they did what they could. That translated to adding the inconsistent Bargnani and the volatile World Peace, creating a cluster of forwards who wouldn’t appear to complement their most important forward, Carmelo Anthony. It’ll be quite the challenge for Mike Woodson and his staff to get the best out of this group.

Robert Silverman, KnickerBlogger: C+, reflective of a mixed bag. While signing World Peace, Udrih and Prigioni to cheap deals was quite a coup, they also “reassigned” Grunwald five days before the start of camp for reasons that remain unknown. Equally mystifying is the slew of picks they surrendered to acquire Bargnani, offensive skills notwithstanding.

You can check the rest of the topics — which range from “most intriguing player” to “Have any of you ever actually asked to see Bob’s Clown College diploma?” — by clickin’ here.

78 comments on “ESPN 5-on-5: Knicks 2013-14 outlook

  1. Donnie Walsh

    Great preview Jim, Mike, and Robert!

    (Less of a great preview by Israel, for this bold (i.e. inane) prediction:

    “Before last season, Stoudemire hadn’t had two straight seasons in which he missed a large chunk of games. So odds are it won’t be three straight.”

    …yup, makes perfect sense).

  2. lavor postell

    I’m getting pretty sick of reading about Indiana and Brooklyn being on another tier to us. Brooklyn lost to a Bulls team playing without Rose, Deng and a hobbled Noah with homecourt advantage and lost in 7 games. They mortgaged everything on a 36 year old Pierce and a 37 year old Garnett having enough in the tank to compete in a top-heavy East for the duration of the season and then win 2 series most likely against some combination of the Knicks, Pacers, Bulls or Heat. I don’t like their odds for some reason. Also that’s exactly the kind of move that if the Knicks made they would constantly get ripped apart for.

    Were the Pacers really that much superior to the Knicks? We split the season series with them and scored the same amount of points over a 6 game series. Over the last 3 games of that series, the Pacers shot 60 more FT’s than the Knicks. That is a difference that rivals games 3-5 of the 2006 Mavs-Heat/Wade being untouchable Finals. It’s okay though because Hibbert jumped up straight. The Pacers also traded TWO first round picks for Luis Scola, which apparently was a stroke of genius.

    The Bulls if they are healthy and if Rose is going full guns are superior to us, but we’ve seen Thibodeau burn his guys out 3 years in a row now. Maybe he learns this year, but maybe not.

  3. Loathing

    Considering the Knicks pretty much found a way to make up for STAT’s health issues, aren’t the rest of the teams just one bad injury (and it usually happens to one or two teams every year) from the conference finals?

  4. Brian Cronin

    The Pacers also traded TWO first round picks for Luis Scola, which apparently was a stroke of genius.

    No, it was just one first rounder (lottery-protected, but I think it’s fair to say that the pick the Knicks are sending is effectively lottery-protected, as well, as both the Knicks and the Nuggets would need to miss the playoffs for the pick that the Knicks are dealing to be a lottery pick). It’s hard to frame the Scola deal as worse than the Bargs deal. They gave up fewer picks for a better player (in both cases, the player being sent out was someone the team wanted to dump, for Indiana it was Gerald Green for the Knicks it was Novak).

  5. lavor postell

    Brian Cronin: No, it was just one first rounder (lottery-protected, but I think it’s fair to say that the pick the Knicks are sending is effectively lottery-protected, as well, as both the Knicks and the Nuggets would need to miss the playoffs for the pick that the Knicks are dealing to be a lottery pick). It’s hard to frame the Scola deal as worse than the Bargs deal. They gave up fewer picks for a better player (in both cases, the player being sent out was someone the team wanted to dump, for Indiana it was Gerald Green for the Knicks it was Novak).

    My fault. Either way my point isn’t that the Knicks gave up less or the Pacers gave up more. My point is that if the Knicks gave up a first round pick for an old rotation player they would get excoriated for it, whereas other teams are constantly praised for adding “veteran experience” to their teams. Isn’t half the reason the Nets are going to take over New York because of Pierce and Garnett’s “championship pedigree”. Also just for shits and giggles World Peace and Chandler have contributed to the same amount of championships as Pierce and KG.

  6. Hubert

    I fail to see what value Israel Gutierrez added to the conversation.

    Say what you will about AB and MWP, but how they complement Anthony is plain as day. They space the floor for him (MWP much less so) and they both are capable of defending the tougher forward so Melo doesn’t have to.

    Not rocket science, Israel.

  7. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: No, it was just one first rounder (lottery-protected, but I think it’s fair to say that the pick the Knicks are sending is effectively lottery-protected, as well, as both the Knicks and the Nuggets would need to miss the playoffs for the pick that the Knicks are dealing to be a lottery pick). It’s hard to frame the Scola deal as worse than the Bargs deal. They gave up fewer picks for a better player (in both cases, the player being sent out was someone the team wanted to dump, for Indiana it was Gerald Green for the Knicks it was Novak).

    There was also Miles Plumlee, a 2012 first round pick. I would count that as half a first round pick.

  8. Brian Cronin

    My fault. Either way my point isn’t that the Knicks gave up less or the Pacers gave up more. My point is that if the Knicks gave up a first round pick for an old rotation player they would get excoriated for it, whereas other teams are constantly praised for adding “veteran experience” to their teams. Isn’t half the reason the Nets are going to take over New York because of Pierce and Garnett’s “championship pedigree”. Also just for shits and giggles World Peace and Chandler have contributed to the same amount of championships as Pierce and KG.

    I agree that there’s no way that the Scola move should be pointed to as some great move for Indiana (he is a better back-up four than what they had, but he really doesn’t change things much), but I think it is fair to argue that what the Nets added in KG and Pierce (especially KG) were pieces that matched what they needed. They needed improved defense in the post and they needed a 3 that could score. Plus, the Nets also added Kirilenko to make up for the downgrade in perimeter defense they made by trading for Pierce. The Nets definitely are getting overrated, but I think that their moves were still good moves. Just not “Oh my god!” moves. If the Knicks had made similar moves, I think they’d get credit for them. Heck, when the Knicks signed Chandler, everyone gave them props for it, right? Because he was addressing a glaring need (in retrospect, the Knicks just amnestied the wrong player).

  9. Brian Cronin

    There was also Miles Plumlee, a 2012 first round pick. I would count that as half a first round pick.

    I know it is something people often do rhetorically, but I don’t think it’s fair to count players as draft picks. In Plumlee’s case, also, I don’t know if it’s fair to even count him as an NBA player. ;)

  10. lavor postell

    Brian Cronin: I agree that there’s no way that the Scola move should be pointed to as some great move for Indiana (he is a better back-up four than what they had, but he really doesn’t change things much), but I think it is fair to argue that what the Nets added in KG and Pierce (especially KG) were pieces that matched what they needed. They needed improved defense in the post and they needed a 3 that could score. Plus, the Nets also added Kirilenko to make up for the downgrade in perimeter defense they made by trading for Pierce. The Nets definitely are getting overrated, but I think that their moves were still good moves. Just not “Oh my god!” moves. If the Knicks had made similar moves, I think they’d get credit for them. Heck, when the Knicks signed Chandler, everyone gave them props for it, right? Because he was addressing a glaring need (in retrospect, the Knicks just amnestied the wrong player).

    Maybe I’m just a paranoid Knicks fan but I can’t remember the last time the Knicks got praised for anything. In all fairness there’s also not a whole lot for them to have gotten praised for since 2001. More than anything I get why the Knicks have gotten criticism for acquiring Bargnani, I just don’t think the level to which they have been criticized makes sense given that it actually helped our goal of creating cap space for 2015.

  11. Hubert

    I don’t think it’s fair to count OKC’s 2014 2nd round pick as a draft pick, either (realistically, it has the same value as signing an undrafted free agent, i.e. zero value) but that hasn’t stopped everyone from saying the Knicks trade 3 picks for AB.

    I don’t think anyone gave up more or less in these two trades. We both gave up a 1st round pick that is unlikely to be in the lottery, something that is extremely unlikely to turn out to be valuable but maybe could have been used better (Plumlee, our 2017 2nd round pick) and everything else was filler.

  12. Hubert

    lavor postell: Maybe I’m just a paranoid Knicks fan but I can’t remember the last time the Knicks got praised for anything.

    I know the answer.

    It was the day we signed Chris Childs and Allan Houston, and completed the Mason for Larry Johnson trade.

  13. Hubert

    Hubert: I know the answer.

    It was the day we signed Chris Childs and Allan Houston, and completed the Mason for Larry Johnson trade.

    I was so pissed that day, actually. I wanted us to sign Kenny Anderson. I wasn’t very statistically inclined in those days. Now that I am I finally decided to check it out:

    Kenny posted .193 WS/48 in 96/97, Childs .091.

    Yep, that sucked.

  14. BigBlueAL

    Wasnt the trade for a Spree a pretty big deal?? I remember down here in Miami the media and fans (all 2 of them back then) were pissed the Knicks got Spree and not the Heat. Going into the 1999 season the Pacers and Knicks were predicted by everyone to meet in the conference finals but just not with the Knicks being the 8th seed lol.

  15. Nick C.

    Hubert: I know the answer.

    It was the day we signed Chris Childs and Allan Houston, and completed the Mason for Larry Johnson trade.

    Houston was a big deal because he was the first second offensive weapon behind Ewing that the Knicks got that wasn’t a year too late (see: Vandeweghe, Kiki; Blackman, Rolando; McDaniel, Xavier …) or just miscast (Charles Smith).

  16. DRed

    Hubert: I was so pissed that day, actually.I wanted us to sign Kenny Anderson.I wasn’t very statistically inclined in those days.Now that I am I finally decided to check it out:

    Kenny posted .193 WS/48 in 96/97, Childs .091.

    Yep, that sucked.

    Yeah, but if we hadn’t signed Chris Childs we wouldn’t have had anyone to break Kenny Anderson’s wrist.

  17. thenamestsam

    I think with regards to the Nets it’s also only fair to acknowledge that they have received plenty of criticism for that trade (or at least that was my feeling of the reaction at the time). There seems to be a perception by some that seeing them ranked above the Knicks for this season is the same as an endorsement of the trade which I don’t think is really accurate. You can be very critical of that trade and still think that for this year at least it has made them pretty formidable. They made a very short term move, and whether you love the trade for them or hate it, I think it’s impossible to argue that they haven’t taken a pretty significant step forward from last year’s team.

  18. BigBlueAL

    DRed: Yeah, but if we hadn’t signed Chris Childs we wouldn’t have had anyone to break Kenny Anderson’s wrist.

    Or punch Kobe Bryant in the face.

  19. Hubert

    BigBlueAL:
    Wasnt the trade for a Spree a pretty big deal??I remember down here in Miami the media and fans (all 2 of them back then) were pissed the Knicks got Spree and not the Heat.Going into the 1999 season the Pacers and Knicks were predicted by everyone to meet in the conference finals but just not with the Knicks being the 8th seed lol.

    It was a big deal, but we didn’t get praised for it.

    We were giving up the beloved John Starks for a guy who was pretty high up on the public enemy scale. That was a controversial move.

  20. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think it’s fair to count OKC’s 2014 2nd round pick as a draft pick, either (realistically, it has the same value as signing an undrafted free agent, i.e. zero value) but that hasn’t stopped everyone from saying the Knicks trade 3 picks for AB.

    I disagree. In one case, it is saying “A second round draft pick counts as a second round draft pick.” In the other, it is “A player who was drafted in the first round counts as a first round draft pick.” The former is undeniable. The latter is a rhetorical argument.

    I don’t think anyone gave up more or less in these two trades. We both gave up a 1st round pick that is unlikely to be in the lottery, something that is extremely unlikely to turn out to be valuable but maybe could have been used better (Plumlee, our 2017 2nd round pick) and everything else was filler.

    Sure, I will allow that the Pacers sent out roughly the same amount of value as the Knicks. Less value, but roughly the same amount. They just got a better player, so it was a better trade. It wasn’t some great trade, but a better one nonetheless.

  21. Hubert

    Nick C.: Houston was a big deal because he was the first second offensive weapon behind Ewing that the Knicks got that wasn’t a year too late (see: Vandeweghe, Kiki; Blackman, Rolando; McDaniel, Xavier …) or just miscast (Charles Smith).

    To this day, though, it’s fair to question whether we should have signed Reggie instead. (Of course, it’s also fair to question if Reggie was just using us for leverage; but I don’t think he was. I think he would have come here.)

    But as much as I loved Allan, that might have been our biggest blunder. Would we not have been a better team from 97-00 with Reggie over Allan?

  22. Brian Cronin

    The Spree deal got praise. Some Knick fans who loved Starks didn’t like it, but come on, it was a no-brainer. Every top contender in the East was fighting to get him (the Knicks, the Heat and the Pacers) and the Knicks won out.

    But for more recent deals, the Knicks were praised for the trade that got them David Lee (Nazr Mohammed for Malik Rose and a first round draft pick in 2005 and 2006. The 2005 pick was used on Lee. The 2006 pick was used on…ugh…Mardy COllins). They also got praise for the Keith Van Horn for Spree deal. Once they decided to sign STAT, they got praise for the David Lee trade with Golden State. They got a lot of praise for the Crawford and Z-Bo trades, praise that turned out to be sort of foolish since both players were then traded by the teams that acquired them.

  23. mokers

    The Nets have a lot of pieces that could work, but I would love to see the minutes projections/usg%/ts% they are expecting for each player. I would probably take the UNDER for all of the projected starters.

  24. BigBlueAL

    Hubert: To this day, though, it’s fair to question whether we should have signed Reggie instead.(Of course, it’s also fair to question if Reggie was just using us for leverage; but I don’t think he was.I think he would have come here.)

    But as much as I loved Allan, that might have been our biggest blunder.Would we not have been a better team from 97-00 with Reggie over Allan?

    Game 6 of the 1999 Conference Finals says no :-)

  25. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: I disagree. In one case, it is saying “A second round draft pick counts as a second round draft pick.” In the other, it is “A player who was drafted in the first round counts as a first round draft pick.” The former is undeniable. The latter is a rhetorical argument.

    Sure, I will allow that the Pacers sent out roughly the same amount of value as the Knicks. Less value, but roughly the same amount. They just got a better player, so it was a better trade. It wasn’t some great trade, but a better one nonetheless.

    Yes, it is undeniable that a second round draft pick is a second round draft pick. But is disingenuous to imply that all second round draft picks have value. When people say the Knicks gave up 3 picks, they are trying to trick you into believing the knicks gave up 3 assets. One of the picks, while undeniably a pick, is not an asset.

  26. Hubert

    BigBlueAL: Game 6 of the 1999 Conference Finals says no :-)

    I get what you’re saying, but when you factor in that it would probably have destroyed the Pacers, it’s possible to look at that as a blunder.

    In fairness, there was no way to foresee that our window would slam shut forever in 2000, thus rendering the additional years Houston was capable of having moot.

    In hindsight, we would have been better off signing Reggie, having 4 years of him running with Patrick, ending the Pacers, and not having Houston around to sign to a $100mm contract.

    But this is pure hindsight. It was the right move to go for the younger player. It just took him 3 regular seasons to develop into the 2nd option. And it just happened that those were the last 3 years Ewing had left. Knowing what we know now, Reggie was the better move.

  27. mokers

    Brian Cronin: I disagree. In one case, it is saying “A second round draft pick counts as a second round draft pick.” In the other, it is “A player who was drafted in the first round counts as a first round draft pick.” The former is undeniable. The latter is a rhetorical argument.

    Sure, I will allow that the Pacers sent out roughly the same amount of value as the Knicks. Less value, but roughly the same amount. They just got a better player, so it was a better trade. It wasn’t some great trade, but a better one nonetheless.

    Eh. Scola’s TS and eFG have gone down over the last few years even as he’s slightly reduced his usage and he is 33. The extra we paid is that a much younger Bargnani will have better performance in an environment with decreased usage. Now, Scola may benefit from being on a better team just like Bargs, but any difference in trade cost is probably because of Bargs age.

    In any case, I think our playoff success is still dependent on having a 100% Tyson Chandler. Decreasing his minutes is going to be important. We could theoretically hide Bargs on the bench if he is still terrible, go more small ball and have a good season. There is no way to sustain a long-term loss for Tyson.

  28. Donnie Walsh

    The Marbury trade was quite praised at the time. Even here at KB (check the early, early archives here:)

    At the time the Knicks had floundered under Layden and Isiah had ridden in on a white horse, saying all the right things. NY thirsted for a franchise player, a point guard, and a local hero. Marbury was all three…

    …until, of course, the Suns improved by 33 games the next year, becoming the most entertaining team since the 80’s Lakers, and the Knicks, well… kept being the Knicks (and the Knicks were still paying the debt on the deal long after Marbury was gone…)

    But the trade itself, at the time, was a welcome move. (That’s why we Knick fans are so guarded now!)

  29. Nick C.

    Hubert: To this day, though, it’s fair to question whether we should have signed Reggie instead.(Of course, it’s also fair to question if Reggie was just using us for leverage; but I don’t think he was.I think he would have come here.)

    But as much as I loved Allan, that might have been our biggest blunder.Would we not have been a better team from 97-00 with Reggie over Allan?

    better x 2. Reggie was better than Allan and the Pacers would not have him.

  30. Nick C.

    The Marbury trade was OK it was the fetish to move out every player that was on the roster for one (at best) dimensional shooters (but not makers) and the endless they need a training camp blah blah blah that killed them.

  31. Mike Kurylo

    Hubert: It was a big deal, but we didn’t get praised for it.

    We were giving up the beloved John Starks for a guy who was pretty high up on the public enemy scale. That was a controversial move.

    I don’t remember it that way. But of course my opinion was different from the scribes of the time. Starks was already just a 6th man, and the memory of Game 7 was still fresh in everyone’s head. Sprewell was seen as a younger, stronger, better version of Starks, with a mean(-er?) streak. And we were getting pennies on the dollar due to the PJ incident.

  32. alsep73

    Roster tidbits from Zwerling’s Twitter:

    * Jeremy Tyler progressing well in recovery, Knicks still like him a lot, aren’t in love with any of Aldrich, Diogu or Powell.

    * Knicks still like Tour’e Murry.

    * If Chris Smith hasn’t been cut before Oct. 29, his contract automatically gives him a roster spot and a guaranteed $490,000 salary. So if he’s still around by the end of the month, we’re stuck with Lil Pipe for a while, unfortunately.

    https://twitter.com/JaredZwerling/

  33. johnno

    Brian Cronin: I disagree. In one case, it is saying “A second round draft pick counts as a second round draft pick.”

    You missed his point. What is the 59th pick in the draft worth? Essentially nothing since you can sign the exact same level of talent 15 minutes later, after the draft is over. Who would the Knicks have drafted with the 59th pick this year? CJ Leslie.

  34. BigBlueAL

    In hindsight signing Reggie instead of Houston wouldve worked out better perhaps but the memories of seeing Houston/Spree/Camby running and making athletic plays throughout the 1999 playoffs was something I had never seen from a Knicks team. The memories of that playoff run for me will never get old.

  35. Donnie Walsh

    I know, 100%, that Miller was using the Knicks cap space as leverage, and that he was never, ever going to move to NY.

  36. Brian Cronin

    You missed his point. What is the 59th pick in the draft worth? Essentially nothing since you can sign the exact same level of talent 15 minutes later, after the draft is over. Who would the Knicks have drafted with the 59th pick this year? CJ Leslie.

    A second round draft pick has significantly more value than an undrafted player. For one, you can pick international players who you can control their rights without having them on your cap, something that you cannot do with an undrafted player. That is what happened with Omer Asik, for one. In addition, who the heck knows where the Thunder will be ranked this season? They sure don’t look like they’ll have the second-best record in the league right now.

    Late second round draft picks are not super valuable assets, but they are more valuable than failed actual NBA players. To wit, a late second round draft pick has more value than, say, Lazar Hayward (a failed first rounder).

    His point was that Miles Plumlee should be treated like a first round pick and the second round picks should be dismissed as assets. I disagree with both points.

    That said, sure, I don’t think the second rounders made a huge difference in the deal and that it is fair to say that the Knicks gave up roughly the same amount of value as Indiana did (more value, but roughly the same). Indiana just got the better player on top of giving up less value, hence they got a better deal. Neither deal were exactly one for the scrapbooks, of course.

  37. Hubert

    \

    Donnie Walsh:
    I know, 100%, that Miller was using the Knicks cap space as leverage, and that he was never, ever going to move to NY.

    Because you really are Donnie Walsh?

  38. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: A second round draft pick has significantly more value than an undrafted player.

    Not all of them.

    In fact, didn’t the NBA recently institute a rule, or discuss implementing one, that the minimum requirement in a trade is a top 55 pick? Anything below that is considered to have no value for trade purposes.

  39. Hubert

    Brian Cronin:

    Late second round draft picks are not super valuable assets, but they are more valuable than failed actual NBA players. To wit, a late second round draft pick has more value than, say, Lazar Hayward (a failed last first rounder).

    His point was that Miles Plumlee should be treated like a first round pick and the second round picks should be dismissed as assets. I disagree with both points.

    No, that wasn’t my point. I said 1/2 a first round pick. But my point was that 100% of his value hadn’t eroded after his rookie year.

    Your point is that he should be considered “a failed NBA player” and has no value 14 months after he was drafted in the first round?

  40. Brian Cronin

    No, that wasn’t my point. I said 1/2 a first round pick. But my point was that 100% of his value hadn’t eroded after his rookie year.

    Your point is that he should be considered “a failed NBA player” and has no value 14 months after he was drafted in the first round?

    My apologies for missing the 1/2 part. I still disagree, but I missed that part and that was my bad.

    I think Plumlee has value, of course, I just think I’d rather have a second round pick than Plumlee.

  41. Brian Cronin

    In fact, didn’t the NBA recently institute a rule, or discuss implementing one, that the minimum requirement in a trade is a top 55 pick? Anything below that is considered to have no value for trade purposes.

    I don’t believe so. The NBA does often do a thing where a team who likely won’t have pick #56-60 will offer a pick protected in the top 55 picks as a fake transaction piece, since they have to trade something, but this way they trade a pick that won’t actually exist.

    Where did you see discussion of the rule? I’ve never heard anything about that (and a quick check didn’t bring anything up, but again, it was a quick check).

  42. thenamestsam

    Having read Pelton’s explanation of the SCHOENE projection I guess I understand where he’s coming from somewhat:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/63321/explaining-the-knicks-schoene-projection

    His 3 biggest concerns (and I guess he is the model here) are really my 3 biggest concerns also. Can we be the same level of offense we were last year having lost a bug chunk of 3 point shooting, how will the shot distribution look with some shot-happy guys coming in, and can Chandler recapture his mojo and lead a defensive renaissance. It’s more a disagreement about the magnitude of those issues. I wish he would have shared more of the internal numbers (maybe they’re in the insider article, I don’t know) because things like SCHOENE projecting them to make 200 fewer 3-pointers are the kind of interesting tidbits that help you evaluate the reasonableness of its claims.

  43. Brian Cronin

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, obviously I understand why someone would be a bit wary about the Knicks. I totally get it. However, the SCHOENE projection is fully based on the following: The defense getting a little bit worse (likely more because other teams got better than the Knicks getting worse) and the offense going from the third best offense to the twentieth best offense in the league. I am sorry, but that is just flat out stupid. Sure, I’ll buy a drop in offense. Heck, I think there almost certainly will be a drop in offense. I think that there is almost an automatic lock that there will be a drop in offense (I think it is part of the trade-off for an improvement on defense with Shump playing the 2 instead of the 3 and Artest playing on the team period). But third to twentieth?! Because of Bargs, Artest and Udrih replacing Novak, Cope and Kidd? That’s just nonsense. And I think Cope was a very good offensive player and I think that the Knicks will most definitely miss his offense. But third to twentieth?!!? If your model is telling you that, then your model has problems.

  44. Robert Silverman

    Brian Cronin:
    I mean, don’t get me wrong, obviously I understand why someone would be a bit wary about the Knicks. I totally get it. However, the SCHOENE projection is fully based on the following: The defense getting a little bit worse (likely more because other teams got better than the Knicks getting worse) and the offense going from the third best offense to the twentieth best offense in the league. I am sorry, but that is just flat out stupid. Sure, I’ll buy a drop in offense. Heck, I think there almost certainly will be a drop in offense. I think that thereis almost an automatic lock that there will be a drop in offense (I think it is part of the trade-off for an improvement on defense with Shump playing the 2 instead of the 3 and Artest playing on the team period). But third to twentieth?! Because of Bargs, Artest and Udrih replacing Novak, Cope and Kidd? That’s just nonsense. And I think Cope was a very good offensive player and I think that the Knicks will most definitely miss his offense. But third to twentieth?!!? If your model is telling you that, then your model has problems.

    I agree w/you. 37 wins and a cratered offense is highly, HIGHLY unlikely, but the issues that the SCHOENE piece raises — drop off in 3-point shooting, rebounding, defense — are things people have been saying here for a while now.

  45. Mike Kurylo

    @46

    It’s not inconceivable. The defense went from 5th to 18th in a single season with largely the same people. Also remember that it’s an objective outlook, so it probably has Bargnani’s last 2 seasons rated more important than his first 5. Of course this necessarily isn’t “wrong” but it’s probably less likely than most of us feel. Also it sees last year’s three point barrage as part-fluke and part-degraded (Novak, Copeland, Kidd, gone). Again an objective pov…

  46. DRed

    Brian Cronin: Because of Bargs, Artest and Udrih replacing Novak, Cope and Kidd? That’s just nonsense. And I think Cope was a very good offensive player and I think that the Knicks will most definitely miss his offense. But third to twentieth?!!? If your model is telling you that, then your model has problems.

    All models have problems. I think there are a couple things going on with this projection. One, the Knicks shot a fuckton of 3’s last year, so the model is probably regressing both our attempts and makes more than it should (Carmelo, for example, took 160 more threes than his previous high mark while hitting a career high in 3pt%, so SCHOENE -probably incorrectly-thinks he’ll shoot a lot fewer next year). Novak and Cope both shot 3s much better than Bargs and Artest probably will. Everyone but Shump is on the wrong side of the age curve, etc. Add it all up and there’s a solid chance the offense is going to get significantly worse. Twentieth, no, I don’t see that. So the projection is probably too low. And if Chandler can stay healthy and Shump and Ron play, the defense should get significantly better.

  47. ruruland

    Puzzled at how the Knicks regress on defense with the addition of MWP, (likely) and significant increases in pt for Prigs and Shumpert, along with improved defensive depth (when you consider Camby and Wallace as non-players last season).

    Moreover, was there a worse defensive combination in the NBA last year than Novak and Copeland?

    Brian, you mentioned the absurdity of the offensive drop, how did the SCHOENE projection account for the loss of Ronnie Brewer TS .432 (700 minutes) and James White (.503 TS/12 to%/450 minutes).

    That’s 1150 minutes of playing time for two of the worst rotational guards in the league last season.

    The guys who replace their minutes: Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni, were two of the most efficient guards in the NBA in the second half of the season.

    Prigioni final 44 games: 672 TS, 123 ORTG
    Shumpert final 26 games (played 45 games): 588 TS, 115 ORTG

    So many things the SCHOENE model is unlikely to account for, including Shump’s recovery from injury and developed 3pt shot and Prigs adjustment to the speed of the NBA.

    Not sure how those two player’s full time immersion into the offense doesn’t count as significant improvement considering who they’re replacing (Kidd and his 2k minutes as well, who finished with a .532 TS, not to mention the hidden costs of his inability to move inside the 3-pt line. Kidd I think was still a net positive, but we all believe Prigs was better last year, right?)

    And MWP probably brings the Knicks down quite a bit as well.

    Consider that in 11 of of 13 full seasons MWP has posted a WS/48 below .122, falling short of the league average player mark 8 times!!!

    And yet, spanning five teams and hundreds of lineup combinations, MWP has consistently been among the league leaders in +/-, and currently has a higher career active +/- than Kobe Bryant.

    Plenty more issues conspicuously dubious to most of us I’d assume.

    What did Vegas have the Knicks at last year in the pre-season?

  48. ruruland

    Mike Kurylo:
    @46

    It’s not inconceivable. The defense went from 5th to 18th in a single season with largely the same people. Also remember that it’s an objective outlook, so it probably has Bargnani’s last 2 seasons rated more important than his first 5. Of course this necessarily isn’t “wrong” but it’s probably less likely than most of us feel. Also it sees last year’s three point barrage as part-fluke and part-degraded (Novak, Copeland, Kidd, gone). Again an objective pov…

    Why are we talking about the 3-pt shot in isolation when Kidd was pretty inefficient overall on offense and he and Novak often put teammates in tenable situations?

    Is that idea still just a working theory to some of you folks still?

  49. Unreason

    Does anyone know how/if SCHOENE accounts for passing. This year’s roster might be a step up from last year’s for getting the ball to an open guy whether for a 3 or a 2.

  50. Brian Cronin

    I agree w/you. 37 wins and a cratered offense is highly, HIGHLY unlikely, but the issues that the SCHOENE piece raises — drop off in 3-point shooting, rebounding, defense — are things people have been saying here for a while now.

    Oh yeah, totally agreed with that. It’s not that I don’t think that the model has some validity on some of those points. It’s the degree that just seems way off.

  51. DRed

    Unreason:
    Does anyone know how/if SCHOENE accounts for passing. This year’s roster might be a step up from last year’s for getting the ball to an open guy whether for a 3 or a 2.

    “On offense, SCHOENE adjusts teams based on their projected ratio of assists to field goals to attempt to account for the value of passing. There is also an adjustment based on whether players are projected to use more or fewer plays than average based on their past history to account for the trade-off between usage and efficiency.”

    Mike, if there’s some problem posting something from espn insider here, just give this a delete.

  52. ruruland

    Robert Silverman: I agree w/you. 37 wins and a cratered offense is highly, HIGHLY unlikely, but the issues that the SCHOENE piece raises — drop off in 3-point shooting, rebounding, defense — are things people have been saying here for a while now.

    A drop in defense from last year to this year?

  53. Robert Silverman

    ruruland: A drop in defense from last year to this year?

    SCHOENE doesn’t say they’ll drop defensively, that their offense will. I’m saying they’ve got issues on defense and that adding Metta, Shump being healthy, and ditching Novak/Kidd/Cope aren’t going to fix them, especially if Tyson continues to decline (and even before he went on the DL, he wasn’t the force he was two years ago). A healthy Chandler is one of the bigger reasons they were so much better in 11-12.

  54. Brian Cronin

    SCHOENE does say that they’ll drop in defense rank from #16 to #18, but it’s fair to note that they don’t think that they’ll change much in defense, but rather other teams will improve.

  55. Owen

    Kidd flatlined at the end of the season. But he was pretty good for most of the year. Not sure his replacements will do better this year.

  56. ruruland

    Owen:
    Kidd flatlined at the end of the season. But he was pretty good for most of the year.Not sure his replacements will do better this year.

    It’s fair to not be sure, but I guess from a trendline and eyeball perspective Shumpert appears to be headed for a breakout season.

    He’s starting Thursday, btw. Are Woodson and Dolan still conspiring against him?

  57. Brian Cronin

    A healthy Chandler is one of the bigger reasons they were so much better in 11-12.

    Chandler was definitely a reason, but I think the bigger reasons were the other changes in personnel, especially the move from Shump at the 2 to “No Shump period”/Shump at the 3, from Fields at the 3 to Shump at the 3 and from Jeffries as a major part of the defense to no Jeffries. Chandler, Shump, Fields and Jeffries were likely their four best defenders in 2011-12 and half of them were gone in 2012-13 and both of the remaining two spent a good chunk of the season injured (and when Shump returned, he was playing out of position).

  58. ruruland

    A question I haven’t seen asked: What is the Knicks best/end-of-game lineup?

    Chandler/Melo/MWP/Shump/Felton

    Chandler/Melo/JR/Prigs/Felton

    Chandler/Melo/Shump/Jr/Prigs

    ???

    Bargs, imo, is likely to turn into a starter in name only, a guy the Knicks can ride early in games, throwing a bit of change-up at defenses and hopefully altering their spacing even when he goes out.

  59. Robert Silverman

    Brian Cronin: Chandler was definitely a reason, but I think the bigger reasons were the other changes in personnel, especially the move from Shump at the 2 to “No Shump period”/Shump at the 3, from Fields at the 3 to Shump at the 3 and from Jeffries as a major part of the defense to no Jeffries. Chandler, Shump, Fields and Jeffries were likely their four best defenders in 2011-12 and half of them were gone in 2012-13 and both of the remaining two spent a good chunk of the season injured (and when Shump returned, he was playing out of position).

    All valid points.

  60. BigBlueAL

    I think using a statistical method to make predictions in basketball is too difficult because of the minutes allocation problem. Its not like baseball where you can project innings pitched and at-bats with much better accuracy. But even then its still not close to being a perfect science.

    Makes for fun discussions though.

  61. mokers

    BigBlueAL:
    I think using a statistical method to make predictions in basketball is too difficult because of the minutes allocation problem.Its not like baseball where you can project innings pitched and at-bats with much better accuracy.But even then its still not close to being a perfect science.

    Makes for fun discussions though.

    Does SCHOENE list the playing time projections? It would be interesting to see how they allocate minutes.

  62. yellowboy90

    Owen:
    Kidd flatlined at the end of the season. But he was pretty good for most of the year.Not sure his replacements will do better this year.

    Didn’t Kidd flatline start in January? That leaves a big part of the season where he was on the floor missing shots and playing hot potato at the top of the key. I wish he would have worked out better

  63. yellowboy90

    Brian Cronin: Chandler was definitely a reason, but I think the bigger reasons were the other changes in personnel, especially the move from Shump at the 2 to “No Shump period”/Shump at the 3, from Fields at the 3 to Shump at the 3 and from Jeffries as a major part of the defense to no Jeffries. Chandler, Shump, Fields and Jeffries were likely their four best defenders in 2011-12 and half of them were gone in 2012-13 and both of the remaining two spent a good chunk of the season injured (and when Shump returned, he was playing out of position).

    So my question is after reading this is can Artest and Kenyon recreate what Landry and Jeffries did?

  64. massive

    I don’t think there’s any replacing Jeffries because he was really good at drawing charges, which is the best outcome of a defensive possession (turnover + a foul). I’m really missing that guy. However, MWP is definitely an improvement on Landry I would say.

    This season relies on Shumpert’s ability to be a shorter Paul George. The polish he showed on the night he shot 7 for 7 was really encouraging, and I’m holding onto that. I’m hoping he can be one of the league’s best two way players this year. All-NBA 1st Team Defense and a .560 TS on a usage around 18% should be possible for him.

  65. Z-man

    massive: I don’t think there’s any replacing Jeffries because he was really good at drawing charges, which is the best outcome of a defensive possession (turnover + a foul).

    Well for starters, I’d rather have a steal that leads to an uncontested dunk, or a defensive rebound that draws a loose-ball foul in the penalty…

    I liked JJ but don’t miss him at all. He was a complete zero on the offensive end.

  66. flossy

    I’ll take K-Mart over Jeffries as a 15 mpg defensive back-up big all day, every day.

    Both are smart team defenders who can guard multiple positions, but K-Mart is the better rebounder and scorer (faint praise, I know), and moreover, his presence actually acts as a deterrent to other teams attacking the rim because he’ll block shots and give hard fouls in the paint. I see the value of a drawn charge, but ultimately trying to draw a charge is still an invitation for the opposing player to attack the basket. I’d rather have someone in the paint that makes other players think twice about even going in there.

  67. massive

    I don’t think I was saying I preferred Jeffries to K Mart. I was answering the “can K Mart and Metta recreate what JJ and Fields did.” Kenyon Martin doesn’t recreate that aspect of Jared Jeffries game. Kenyon Martin is also a better player than Jared Jeffries.

    On the turn of steal vs a charge, a steal leading to a fast break opp is a case specific thing. That probably is the best situation, but neither JJ or K Mart were going to provide that to any reliable measure. Maybe MWP will, so therefore the combination of MWP and K Mart will replace JJ and Fields, but I’ll still value a charge more than a steal considering we had the #3 offense in the league last year. Seeing the Knicks run set plays in the half court doesn’t scare me the way it used to when Duhon was running the show. Getting a player to foul leads to making him more tentative on both ends. I’d rather that to a fast break opportunity.

  68. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: I don’t believe so. The NBA does often do a thing where a team who likely won’t have pick #56-60 will offer a pick protected in the top 55 picks as a fake transaction piece, since they have to trade something, but this way they trade a pick that won’t actually exist.

    Where did you see discussion of the rule? I’ve never heard anything about that (and a quick check didn’t bring anything up, but again, it was a quick check).

    I was mistaken. I think I had seen what you alluded to in paragraph one but read it too quickly and misunderstood it.

  69. Hubert

    massive:
    This season relies on Shumpert’s ability to be a shorter Paul George. The polish he showed on the night he shot 7 for 7 was really encouraging, and I’m holding onto that. I’m hoping he can be one of the league’s best two way players this year. All-NBA 1st Team Defense and a .560 TS on a usage around 18% should be possible for him.

    I just don’t think Woodson is going to allow that to happen. He favors JR.

    I think the number 1 point of aggravation among us this year is going to be Woodson giving JR more PT than Shumpert. Remember Game 6 vs Indiana? I see that happening a lot.

    Also, JR plays golf with Dolan. Dolan thinks JR took less to play here even though he didn’t. JR is a Dolan guy, and Woodson is a company man.

    I can’t believe I even factor things like which 2 guard plays golf with the owner into who’s going to get more playing time, but Woodson and Dolan.

  70. Brian Cronin

    I just don’t think Woodson is going to allow that to happen. He favors JR.

    I think the number 1 point of aggravation among us this year is going to be Woodson giving JR more PT than Shumpert. Remember Game 6 vs Indiana? I see that happening a lot.

    Also, JR plays golf with Dolan. Dolan thinks JR took less to play here even though he didn’t. JR is a Dolan guy, and Woodson is a company man.

    I can’t believe I even factor things like which 2 guard plays golf with the owner into who’s going to get more playing time, but Woodson and Dolan.

    It is pretty hilarious (in a sad way).

  71. KnickfaninNJ

    If there’s one thing that’s struck me recently about Woodson’s approach to coaching it’s that his first instinct in picking players to start is to go with the one who’s better on offense rather than picking defense.

  72. Jack Bauer

    Brian Cronin: It is pretty hilarious (in a sad way).

    That is really depressing if true. Agree, aside from injuries, the #1 thing that could derail the Knicks this year is Woodson’s coaching and rotations. The pieces are there, they should be really good.

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