Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Felton’s Decline

Just a few weeks ago I touted Raymond Felton as one of the keys to New York’s success this year.

After Amar’e the most obvious improvement is at the point guard position. Last year Chris Duhon gave New York 2072 putrid minutes last year. Duhon’s tenure was so bad I ripped Kelly Dwyer for describing the Magic signing him to a minor deal as ‘fine’. I didn’t even have to wait for Duhon to take up residence in Stan Van Gundy’s doghouse. Lost in the Amar’e Amore is the tremendous upgrade that Raymon Felton has been over Duhon. I’ve lined up the two in a comparison here, but if you want the 35 word explanation instead: Felton scores nearly twice the amount of points (16.4 to 8.6 pts/36) with a much higher efficiency (53.7% to 50.1% TS%) combined with more assists (8.3 to 6.6 ast/36) and steals (1.7 to 1.0 stl/36).

In my analysis I compared Felton to Duhon, and there’s no doubt that Raymond has been an upgrade to his predecessor. However it doesn’t mean that Felton has shored up the position for New York. Recently Felton has taken a sharp decline in his production. Below are two charts that show his cumulative game score and true shooting percentage.


Felton's Cumulative Game Score and True Shooting Percentage


Felton’s game scores start low then peak around game 24 before falling. Looking at his true shooting percentage, it peaks early at around the 14th game where he had an eye popping 60%, then steadily declines. At the time this article was written it stands at 52.9%, a serious drop from it’s earlier season average.

There could be a lot of theories on why Felton has gone cold. Could it be problems with the pick & roll? The toll of the heavy minutes? Lack of an adequate backup? Gallinari’s injury? Something like this doesn’t have to be over analyzed. The most simple solution is that he wasn’t that good to begin with. Look at Felton’s three point shooting over the same time period.

Felton's Decline Partially A Function Of His 3P%


In Charlotte Felton wasn’t a good three point shooter. Twice in five full seasons he averaged less than 30% from downtown. Additionally the Knick point guard hasn’t been an efficient scorer during his career. Felton’s best TS% prior to this season was 52.5%, and thrice he failed to score efficient enough to top 50%. In fact even though he’s currently at 52.9%, his career rate is only 49.8%. I’ve read fans tout Amar’e-Melo-Felton as a New York triumvirate, but no matter how low your opinion is of Carmelo, Felton is the odd man out.

When Felton was red hot, the Knicks were winning games at a high rate. So it’s no surprise that New York has struggled now that he’s dropping closer to his career averages. Prior to the start of this season, the concern with Raymond Felton was whether his final year with the Bobcats was a fluke. If that season was an outlier, and his true value is more in line with his seasons prior then Felton still has some way to go before he reaches those depths. The question is not will he recapture the play he had earlier this year, since that seems to be far above what he is capable of producing on a long term basis. Instead the more serious concern is how much lower will things get for Raymond Felton?

103 comments on “Felton’s Decline

  1. rama

    Mike – I completely agree. I think the bellwether of the team isn’t how Gallo or Wil go, it’s how Felton goes. Amare has been fairly consistent, especially after the opening 10 games or so. And he and Felton seemed to click, and then everything clicked for the team…and then Felton thought he was more than he is, or got hurt, or whatever, and declined rapidly, and we’ve struggled a bit. (Though that’s been compensated for by the emergence of role players like Extra E and Timo some nights.)

    One thing, though, Mike: he’s a point guard, and you analyzed only his shooting. Granted, he shoots too much, but you could have noted his assists are up, even adjusted for pace, over his career year last year, without a significant increase in TOs (again, adjusted for pace). That’s statistically significant.

    All to say, he’s still better than anyone expected; he’s maintained his overall numbers from last year while increasing his assists. And he’s been as advertized on D, showing a leadership and toughness beyond that which has no doubt helped a young team come together quickly. So while I fear further decline in his shooting, I’m pretty thrilled with the signing – especially since Donnie left an opening for the 2012 crew.

  2. Jimmy C

    rama: Granted, he shoots too much, but you could have noted his assists are up, even adjusted for pace, over his career year last year, without a significant increase in TOs (again, adjusted for pace). That’s statistically significant.

    Right. Felton isn’t — nor will he ever be — Steve Nash. One of the great things about Nash was that was very effective at getting a shot off, either for himself or a teammate, as the shot clock was winding down. That is, he was and is a terrific decision maker under duress. This is one area where Felton hasn’t quite figured it out yet. And maybe he never will.

    But we also have to keep in mind that Amare’s roll has changed significantly since his Phoenix days as well. Now, when it gets late in the shot clock, he very often has to ball in iso situations. In a sense, he’s being asked to be the decision maker more than Felton, and to a far greater degree than he ever was in PHX. And while he’s certainly had his share of cringe-worthy attempts to get to the rim, lately I’ve been seeing him make quicker decisions, which includes some really great passes — passes I never thought he was capable of making. So yes, Felton’s fall is a little disheartening, but I think it should be tempered by the under-the-radar progress Stat has made in deep-in-the-shot clock situations.

    So should we be worried about Felton’s precipitous decline in shooting? A little. Does it continue? I see it leveling out. But we have to keep in perspective what he brings to the table: very good D at a position which, for all intents and purposes, is the focal point of the league right now; outstanding leadership; and relatively low turnovers. Sure, it might hurt us if he can’t stay solidly above 33 or 34% from behind the arc, but I think a lot of those shots / misses come much earlier in the shot clock, and thus is a problem that can be tempered…

  3. Nick C.

    I’m not crazy about Felton’s shooting drop off either, though most of the board called it before it even began based on the minutes and/or reversion to the mean/fluky bounces falling out rather than in etc. I think he is still a positive and maybe (based on guesstimation) he is getting used to dealing with being a 2nd or 3rd option rather than the third or fourth or whatever he had been at Charlotte. You have to like that much of the time he does push the ball up the court and lazy/stupid plays are not particularly frequent.

  4. Caleb

    Felton is one of the most consistent players in the league – if you look at his non-shooting numbers, it’s pretty eerie.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/feltora01.html
    (scroll down to Advanced stats)

    On the shooting side, he’s even with his TS% of last year, and a few points worse on 3-pointers. I think his overall season is right what you’d expect.

    He’s also a good defender – definitely an upgrade over Duhon (although it goes to show, having a good defensive big man is a lot more important than a good defensive PG).

  5. chrisk06811

    I think the key is that a month or so ago, we needed Ray to shoot. Now, Williams, Walker, Gallo have stepped up, and we don’t need him to shoot as much. We need him to handle, dish and run the team. You can’t put a stat on running the team, but he’s doing a damn good job at it. It’s clear he’s in charge on the floor, and that’s the key to the position.

    He needs a talk from the coach saying we don’t need you to score as much. but, that’s not D’antoni’s style.

  6. Z

    Mike– great work. (all is right with the world again! :)

    Just wondering– a week or so ago someone posted that Duhon’s first half-season under D’Antoni was exceptional, and then he fell off a cliff and stayed there for the next 18 months.

    Does your data show a similar track for Felton? Were Felton’s and Duhon’s first six months truly similar, and if so, should we be worried that Felton could be Duhon bad by the end of the year?

  7. Caleb

    @8 I would say Duhon’s first few months here are a major outlier from the rest of his career… Felton’s, you couldn’t pick ‘em out of all his other months..

  8. gbaked

    man MikeK… First Moz then Felton. Someone been peeing in your cereal?

    But seriously… Based on nothing but observation, it appears the hardest thing to do in SSOL is learning when NOT to shoot. It is a problem Toney has been having for a while, and it appears to be someting that Felt needs to re-figure out. Maybe its as simple as the shots he was getting are not there anymore (the league figuring the knicks out a little) or its just that he got a bit greedy with the ball… But it seems that he is taking more “poor” shots then he was when he started the season.

    I think when comparing Duhon and Felton its important to remember they are of different pedigree. When Duhon excelled, it was such a revelation to his game. It came out of nowhere, so it made sense for it to fall. Felton is more or less catching up to his expectations. So, while nothing is guarenteed, one could have more hope that he will adjust.

    Plus, he is still racking up his assists and being a strong leader. As long as he keeps doing that, I will be happy.

  9. TDM

    I don’t think we should overanalyze the downturn in Felton’s shooting percentage. The guy is still having a career year – he is still shooting above his career averages in FG%, 3P% and FT%. In fact, his FT% is about 10% higher than his career average, which IMO, is quite substantial. Not to miss is the fact that he’s dishing out an extra 2 ast/36 compared to last year.

    Granted, Felton was playing much better at the start of the season and has tapered off, but the season is only half over. That said, his durability for the entire season is a concern considering he is on course to play almost 3600 minutes, which is 800+ over his average. Hopefully, Donnie can bring in someone to help spell Ray. I don’t have faith that DWTDD can carry that load unfortunately.

  10. ess-dog

    Re: Felton,
    Personally, I was hoping for a repeat of last year’s numbers with maybe a slight bump. Maybe a .540 TS and a .500 efg? Now I would just be happy with a carbon copy of his last season (minus the terrible playoffs.)
    His shooting has been hurt by long jumpers (bad) and by being defended at the rim (good.) He drives a good bit which is important for keeping the defense honest, so those misses I don’t mind. He just needs to cut down on the long contested shots. He also seems to be in a bit of a shooting slump (even for him) but I think ultimately, his stats will be better than they currently are.
    He’s a solid passer and a good defender. He was still the best option available, including Jennings (ok Lawson or Holiday would’ve been nice but let’s not go there.)
    But he’s definitely no part of any “big three” anywhere. The only way we keep Ray in 2012 is if we somehow end up with Stat/Melo/Howard as our big three.

  11. hungastryke

    I look at the Knicks and what I see is a team composed of 1st and 2nd year players who are learning how to play with cohesion on a consistent basis. Honestly, I think this team is still growing and that has to have an influence on the PG. Many of these players haven’t defined themselves and their roles in the offense yet. I feel that this puts a strain on the PG. Felton’s drop off in production is probably a symptom of this…

  12. ess-dog

    TDM: I don’t think we should overanalyze the downturn in Felton’s shooting percentage.The guy is still having a career year – he is still shooting above his career averages in FG%, 3P% and FT%.In fact, his FT% is about 10% higher than his career average, which IMO, is quite substantial.Not to miss is the fact that he’s dishing out an extra 2 ast/36 compared to last year.Granted, Felton was playing much better at the start of the season and has tapered off, but the season is only half over.That said, his durability for the entire season is a concern considering he is on course to play almost 3600 minutes, which is 800+ over his average.Hopefully, Donnie can bring in someone to help spell Ray.I don’t have faith that DWTDD can carry that load unfortunately.  

    Good point about his FT% TDM. Between him and Gallo, it’s nice having some fairly automatic players on the stripe. But the assist bump, just like his scoring bump, is due to the faster pace offense. Not particularly inspired by those #s.

    Speaking of Gallo, his last 5 games have been mighty nice. Averaging over 20 pts on .470 shooting and .470 from three. And he’s now 2nd amongst players who have the most free throws made per possession. It would be a shame to have to trade him now that he’s becoming a highly efficient offensive machine. He clearly needs to be 2nd in shot attempts every night (although his shot #s look smaller b/c he get’s to the line so much.)

  13. Owen

    “a week or so ago someone posted that Duhon’s first half-season under D’Antoni was exceptional, and then he fell off a cliff and stayed there for the next 18 months.”

    That was me. At the end of January 09, Duhon was averaging

    12.7 points per game (9.4 fga/g, 4.2 3pta/g, 3.3 fta/g)
    8 assist
    3.8 boards
    43% fg, 87% ft%, 42% 3pt%

    So, with a little rounding, 13-8-4 with a TS% of 58.5% and roughly a top 50 fantasy ranking.

    The rest of the year he averaged

    9-6-2 with a ts% of 54% and he was 215 in the fantasy rankings

    I would suspect something similar is going to happen with Felton

  14. KnickInSeattle

    @15, why do you suspect a similar decline for Felton?

    Surely he’s a better player and his first-half numbers are closer to his career numbers than Duhon’s were to his.

    I’m not challenging you, just hoping to understand your point.

  15. latke

    I honestly think a good part of the decline of Felton’s numbers has been his failure to adjust to the fact that defenses adjusted to him. Defenses decided: stop felton, stop STAT, the knicks will flounder, so they started sending an extra defender to help with the PNR, which caused felton to take more outside shots. In reality, he should have passed the ball. I think, yeah, he’s missed some more of those shots than he was early on, but I feel like that’s largely because many more of them have been forces.

  16. Caleb

    Duhon’s career has been all over the place… some good, some bad.. whereas Felton is amazingly consistent.

    If you don’t think volume is a factor at all (here’s looking at you, Owen!) then you could make a better case for their being similar – average TS, when you smooth out the highs and lows, is pretty close. But Duhon’s usage rate and scoring volume are about 2/3 of Felton’s.

    Felton is also a significantly better defender, IMO.

    I will “defend” Duhon and say he is ok as a backup – not worth the deal he got from Orlando, but not one of the worst NBA players in existence, the way you’d think from reading the comments here, where he traumatized fans for two years.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/players/hollinger?playerId=2377

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/players/hollinger?playerId=2753

  17. Owen

    My point wasn’t to compare Felton and Duhon. I think Felton is the better player.

    I just wonder if there is a pattern here with point guards wearing down in the 7SOL offense. Both Duhon and Felton came in and shot the lights out and generally played the best ball of their lives for two months. Then something happened: defenses adjusted, they wore down, regression to the mean, and suddenly the magic was gone.

    It’s not easy to play 38 minutes a game at the fastest pace in the league while trying to be a plus defender. There’s probably a reason Nash has never tried. While Felton played great for a pretty long stretch it’s pretty clear that Mike is on to something. And for all that people talk about systems and player interactions, the greatest predictor of what a player will do going forward is what he has done in the past. Playing next to Amare under the tutelage of D’Antoni isn’t alchemy…

  18. d-mar

    To me, Felton’s dropoff pretty much comes down to shots not falling that were a month ago. I don’t think he’s a great 3 point shooter, but he has to take them when he’s open. On the other hand, I don’t think he should take contested 3′s with 20 sec. left on the shot clock, which he tends to do. On the positive side, what I like about Ray is he always looks to push the ball, whether it’s off a rebound or a make, and he’s extremely fast end to end. The value of this doesn’t always show up in stats, as it can result in open shots or layups even though he won’t necessarily get an assist.

    I think his game will come around, and please stop bringing back the Duhon comparisons, the guy can’t even get off the Magic bench.

  19. DS

    That raises the question:

    Would you rather see Felton make the All-Star team and have his perceived value slightly raised? If the idea that a team has to “sell” a trade to its fans. A theoretical package for Deron Williams in 2012 would be more sellable if it contained “All-Star Point Guard Raymond Felton”

    Would you rather him not make the team and get some rest?

    Is the point moot because there’s no chance he’ll make the team?

  20. Caleb

    @19 I would agree with that… and, more generally, that the significant advantages of a short rotation (better continuity, more minutes to the best players) may be outweighed by the negatives (mainly fatigue, although you forego some matchup opportunities when the rotation is short)

  21. citizen

    nice post, and can be summed up thus: regression to the mean. Felton was mediocre, and is mediocre, until proven otherwise.

  22. Thomas B.

    Yesterday it was an objective view on Mozgov. Today a look at Felton’s decline. I agree it is about time to look at his struggles. But I find it kind of funny how yesterday a number of people were upset about seeing anything but glowing praise heaped on Mozgov but today when Felton’s struggles are highlighted, no one stumps for Felton.

    I wonder if it is because Felton’s decline has been tracked over a greater period of time. Whereas Mozgov had 1 solid game after weeks of not playing, so it was unfair to mention the areas that could be improved because it was only 1 game.

    Now earlier in the season Felton was playing really well and a number of posters talked about how he would “regress to the mean.” I’m not sure what that means, i assume it means he cant keep this production up too much longer. It seems that has come to pass. Kudos to those who predicted it.

    So why then is it a trollish thing to look at one Mozgov breakout game and have some objectivity? Check his game splits, his high eFG and high Ortg games are almost all against weak defensive front lines(Phx, GS, Was, Det, Tor). Yes, I know the sample siz is very small. But if it is too small to poo-poo then it is too small to praise.

    Felton offers a much greater sample size to compare. We have the many games this season plus the 4 years before this. So it is easier to wait for Felton to return to his past numbers. There are no past numbers for Mozgov so it is a bit easier to view him in a favorable if not fantasy light.

    Just a thought.

  23. Robert Silverman

    Sorry to hijack the Felton thread but SUPER IMPORTANT BREAKING NEWS! (Not Melo, calm down). The Knicks are getting new unis next season according to Paul Lukas. Scroll to the 2nd to last item on this page.

    http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2011/02/01/tampa-bay-lightning-unveil-new-uniforms/

    They’re ditching the black (yay) but according to PL, going to a simple, Cavs-like design. Ohmigod, Ohmigod, I need to see it now. I can’t wait until August or whenevver they unveil it.

    If Lukas’ sources are correct, I have a feeling it’ll look something like this: http://cdn1.iofferphoto.com/img/item/152/908/496/6QRS.jpg (but with the orange and blue reversed and white at home)

    But they could just go back to this:
    http://www.nyknicksstore.com/img/product/resized/609/00293201-517609_275.jpg?k=ac065479&pid=293201&s=catl

    which would be awesome. Ok, am I the only one dorking out about this?

  24. Thomas B.

    Ok, am I the only one dorking out about this?

    So far, yes. But we are happy that you found something that brings such joy to you. I don’t care what they wear so long as the right players are in them. Wait, that’s not quite true. If they put the Knicks in those horrid Cavs throwback classic McDonald’s french fry box looking summer clown suits I will not be happy.
    http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?id=n4zoneirggaf92t7p5hqqax9e

  25. Robert Silverman

    Less joy and more panic/nervous anticipation — i.e. how is Dolan/MSG going to screw this decision up.

  26. Frank O.

    I think this is really interesting.
    I think his assists are pretty good, but I have taken to saying “no” virtually every time he takes a shot.
    He simply should not be a one through three option. The Knicks have multiple better shooters and penetrators than he is. His shooting needs to be focused on just keeping the defense honest. No more. He cannot fall into thinking he’s a scorer.

    I also take issue with those who say his defense is good. Personally, I find him to be tough minded and physically strong.
    But the reason Amare and Turiaf have had foul trouble is the poor defense on the perimeter.
    Guards and small forwards are breaking down our defense, defenders away from the ball like Felton are not watching the ball and seeing cuts. When this happens, it falls to the last line of defense to try and block shots. That is placing too much pressure on Amare and Turiaf. Amare in particular, needs to be in the game, and so lately he has been backing off on defense. It becomes far more profound when he has 2 or 3 fouls.
    Now, great guards are going to break down defenders. But it appears that most guards appear able to break Felton down. I noticed in the video of D’Antoni breaking down defenses against the Spurs, there were several circumstances where Felton was the guy facing the wrong way, or getting beat off the dribble.
    So, I’m not prepared to accept that his defense is particularly good. Of course, we also are in a time when the point guard play in the NBA is having a renaissance. There are so many good, quick, explosive PGs these days, Felton is going to have a battle every night.
    I think for a time his PnR was improving from being absolutely terrible for a time. I think in the last 10 games or so, the PnR hasn’t been effective.
    Part of that probably is that he hasn’t been able hit anything. Part of it is he’s taken too many shots on his own.
    (continue)

  27. Frank O.

    I think he’s been a little to caught up in his own shooting problems. He is noticeably frustrated on the court, and he has become more whiny than usual about the calls.
    You don’t get respect from the refs when your shots are way off.

    But after beating him down, it is worth noting that he runs other aspects of the offense well.
    He moves the ball around, penetrates and dishes fairly well.

    I think if you take away that expectation that he is a scorer, he becomes a pretty decent field general.
    I also think it’s important to note that no one plays more minutes than him, that he played with a high sprained ankle, a busted up knuckle, and a bad, bad back.
    Yet, he’s managed to play tough minutes every night, and he has helped lead a turn around of the franchise. He deserve some credit for that.

  28. Thomas B.

    Robert Silverman:

    Less joy and more panic/nervous anticipation — i.e. how is Dolan/MSG going to screw this decision up.  

    (Quote)

    He could do a lot worst than to put the Knicks in those new shirts Mike designed. Those are way better than those Cavs unis.

  29. Frank O.

    As for Mike K.:

    Despite the hammering Mike took for a controversial write up on Mosgov, I think what he is doing is challenging perceptions.
    The Knicks are winning more than they have in many years. They’ve had some nice wins recently (and some terrible losses), that has got some of us feeling positively giddy.
    What he appears to be doing is some critical thinking, which I think is valuable. What this site has always been about was dispelling misperceptions, and elevating fan dialogue in such a way that we all become more informed about a team we love to follow. It is here to battle against ignorance (too bad there aren’t more sites like this regarding governance) and see performance in a measurable manner.
    I thought he was overly critical of Mosgov, and in defending that piece some folks seemed to embellish what folks who viewed Mosgov’s performance positively in order to make them seem unreasonable.
    But Mike, I think, probably was trying to temper the over the top feelings with a dose of reality: Mosgov still is a rookie; his road will be rocky and uneven; and once teams start pressuring him, we may see him take a step back for every two he takes forward.

    Which leads me back to Felton. I think the NBA also has adjusted to Felton, and now Felton needs to readjust his expectations.
    More important, however, is the Knicks have shown a resilience that I think few of us thought existed. I think despite Mike D. saying early in the season that there wasn’t a serious drop off in talent across the bench, we all thought beyond the core five, the Knicks were challenged.
    Yet, Walker and Williams surprised us all. Douglas has proven to be a tough competitor who has played through some nasty injuries. And now Mosgov steps in after more than two months of almost no action and gives the team, as well as fans, a jolt.
    It is rare that your 9th, 10th, or 11th man gets off the bench and gives you 24 and 14.

  30. Frank O.

    Thomas B.: Yes, I know the sample siz is very small. But if it is too small to poo-poo then it is too small to praise.Felton offers a much greater sample size to compare.We have the many games this season plus the 4 years before this.So it is easier to wait for Felton to return to his past numbers.There are no past numbers for Mozgov so it is a bit easier to view him in a favorable if not fantasy light.Just a thought.  

    It is about sample size.
    It is too small to poo-poo. Felton has played every game this year. Mosgov has hardly played since November, so it’s like a new season for him. Even if you count his very first seven games in an NBA uniform, it’s still too small a sample size.
    But it isn’t too small to praise because I think it is fair to say if Mosgov doesn’t step in and play admirably as the 10th player off the bench, the Knicks suffer a loss to a bad team.
    It is rare that your 10th man steps off the bench because of injuries and delivers 24-14, and he did it in a place where the tam as a whole has a weakness and a need.
    They need a mobile center who can defend the paint and clean the boards. Suddenly, Mosgov, for now, has a chance to answer that need.
    It would mean the Knicks do not need to shed assets to get someone, which I think is good.
    I have been calling for the Knicks to give Mosgov a chance. A few weeks ago I wrote something about how the Knicks have an answer on their bench and that I thought D’Antoni would roll out Mosgov in this second half after working with him for two months or so to clean up some of his weaknesses.

  31. kburt8

    Hahn has also commented on Mozgov’s improvement in practice and stated that he expected to see him get some burn. Looks like he’ll get that playing time, and we’ll find out soon enough if his improvement is for real.

    Back to Felton, who I think is just taking far too many shots. There is no need for him to dribble down the floor and immediately jack up a three as I have noticed him do several times over the last few games. He also needs to recognize options other than himself and Amare in crunch time.

    Other than that I have been pleased with his overall play and his ability to go through pain and fatigue. He’s not an all-star, but he’s a solid part of our team and a big reason for our improvement, both in his own play and in that he’s spared us large doses of TD at the PG spot.

  32. Robert Silverman

    Felton’s shot has been really off recently, but (warning: utterly subjective/serious sports cliches ahead) he’s got such heart & guts. You have to pull for the guy, what w/his little arms and tendency to waddle, even when going at full speed.

    I think this dip isn’t a full Duhon & his #’s will pick up, but that could just be the sentimentalist in me.

  33. Thomas B.

    Mike’s work is right on time. CNNSI’s power rankings also focus on Felton
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/britt_robson/02/01/power.rankings/index.html

    When the Knicks embarked on their highly entertaining 13-1 run in late November and early December, the buzz about point guard Raymond Felton’s making the All-Star team wasn’t so far-fetched. But now that Felton’s poor shot selection and bouts of inconsistency have brought the Knicks back to flirting with .500 as surely as he helped elevate them before, his credentials seem more specious.

    There is also a link to a side by side comparison to DJ Augustine. Not sure if it is fair considering pace but it there to read if you want.

  34. Jafa

    Robert Silverman: Felton’s shot has been really off recently, but (warning: utterly subjective/serious sports cliches ahead) he’s got such heart & guts. You have to pull for the guy, what w/his little arms and tendency to waddle, even when going at full speed.
    I think this dip isn’t a full Duhon & his #’s will pick up, but that could just be the sentimentalist in me.  

    Did “Duhon” just become a verb? LOL!

    Or is it an adjective? Must have missed that grammar class.

  35. ess-dog

    Jafa:
    Did “Duhon” just become a verb?LOL!Or is it an adjective?Must have missed that grammar class.  

    I’ve taken to calling him “Don’t”hon.

  36. Thomas B.

    Frank O.:

    It is about sample size.
    It is too small to poo-poo…But it isn’t too small to praise because I think it is fair to say if Mosgov doesn’t step in and play admirably as the 10th player off the bench, the Knicks suffer a loss to a bad team.

    So sample size works against me, but for you? Oh that’s really fair. Thanks. So basically you are confirming the notion that there is no room to do anything but praise Mozgov’s last outing. Well I disagree. I’m not going to ignore the fumbles and many missed 2 foot shots and chalk it up to rust, jitters, nerves, dropsy, the vapors, jungle rot, housemaid’s knee, the staggers, dum-dum fever, or poor man’s gout. You get to praise him for the stuff that went well while ignoring the missteps and the fact that it was done against one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA.

    And I really disagree that Mosgov rescued the team from a loss to the lowly Pistons. Nope. Not buying. Uh-uh. Now way. Sorry. No sale. I didnt see Mosgov display very much of any unique talent that was the proximate cause of the Knick victory. The Piston defense is awful and if not Mosgov, then AR, or Stat could have scored those buckets.

    You cant just lower the bar by calling him the 10th man off the bench. But then ignore the quality of the defense he is facing. You are refusing to acknowledge anything other than what supports your view.

    Wait, why are we even arguing about this? Lets just revist it after 35 more games when the sample size is bigger assuming MDA lets him play again. I hope he does.

  37. Frank O.

    Thomas B.:
    So sample size works against me, but for you? Oh that’s really fair. Thanks.So basically you are confirming the notion that there is no room do anything but praise Mozgov’s last outing. Well I disagree. I’m not going to ignore the fumbles and many missed 2 foot shots and chalk it up to rust, jitters, nerves, dropsy, the vapors, jungle rot, housemaid’s knee, the Staggers? Dum-Dum Fever, or poor man’s gout. While you get to praise him for the stuff that went well while ignoring the missteps and the fact that it was done against one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA.And I really disagree that Mosgov rescued the team from a loss to the lowly Pistons. Nope. Not buying. Uh-uh. Now way. Sorry. No sale.I didnt see Mosgov display very much of any unique talent that was the proximate cause of the Knick victory.The Piston defense is awful and if not Mosgov, then AR, or Stat could have scored those buckets.You cant just lower the bar by calling him the 10th man off the bench. But then ignore the quality of the defense he is facing.You are refusing to acknowledge anything other than what supports your view.Wait, why are we even arguing about this? Lets just revist it after 35 more games when the sample size is bigger assuming MDA lets him play again. I hope he does.  

    Glad you see it my way.
    See, that was better humor. I think your deadpan has been a little off lately. :)

  38. Doug

    Thomas B.:
    I’m not going to ignore the fumbles and many missed 2 foot shots and chalk it up to rust, jitters, nerves, dropsy, the vapors, jungle rot, housemaid’s knee, the staggers, dum-dum fever, or poor man’s gout.

    lol, dropsy.

    See, this is what we need. Less attempts at complete deadpan and more obscure 19th-century illnesses.

  39. Caleb

    BigBlueAL: This article is a few days old but just found it now, has some interesting stats on the Knicks defense:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703293204576106363525526774.html?mod=googlenews_wsj  

    @43 Interesting observation from Mr. Budinger.

    And it’s a good quote from Mr. D’Antoni: “They said we were awful and, well, we were in the top 15, so we weren’t awful. But they used terms to grab people’s attention, that ‘it’s a joke’ or ‘they [play it] as an afterthought’ or ‘we ‘don’t even try.’ Very honestly, I get disgusted with it. A couple announcers who make those remarks have no clue what they are talking about.”

  40. Robert Silverman

    Caleb:

    And it’s a good quote from Mr. D’Antoni: “They said we were awful and, well, we were in the top 15, so we weren’t awful. But they used terms to grab people’s attention, that ‘it’s a joke’ or ‘they [play it] as an afterthought’ or ‘we ‘don’t even try.’ Very honestly, I get disgusted with it. A couple announcers who make those remarks have no clue what they are talking about.”  

    If only he’d called out Jackson/JVG/Miller/Barkley/Kenny Smith by name

  41. Thomas B.

    I think your deadpan has been a little off lately. :)

    I’ve been on the bench for a while and I guess I was a little rusty. But adjust your expectations, I am 10th on the KB contributor depth chart you know.

  42. BigBlueAL

    Nah Robert not JVG, during the Spurs game he was actually saying the Knicks are playing better defense and was actually talking about how you cant just look at their ppg allowed because of pace and stuff. Mark Jackson was the one who totally dismissed that and mocked that notion.

  43. Frank O.

    Thomas B.:
    I’ve been on the bench for a while and I guess I was a little rusty.But adjust your expectations, I am 10th on the KB contributor depth chart you know.  

    nice.
    I think this is promising, although I don’t want to read too much into your performance today. One good day doesn’t a season make. :)

  44. Jimmy C

    Caleb: BigBlueAL: This article is a few days old but just found it now, has some interesting stats on the Knicks defense:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703293204576106363525526774.html?mod=googlenews_

    Really interesting. A lot of what we knew already vis-a-vis the D’Antoni philosophy, but with a unique twist. I think Dan D’Antoni’s observation that part of the goal is to “get more stops” than the other team was particularly interesting. Part of why we tend to play better in the fourth quarter — and something I think goes part and parcel with being “better conditioned”, which someone mentioned earlier and which I agree with — is that we tend to be able to get stops when we need them, and more regularly. That’s really been the hallmark of this team’s D.

    If we can use our superior conditioning to our advantage in the fourth quarter, and do it more reliably, I think that could be a unique formula going forward.

  45. BigBlueAL

    I just read David Thorpe’s chat today and was intrigued by this question:

    Ben (NY)

    ESPN’s Kevin Arnowitz tweeted today that Toney Douglas is the NBA leader in “Unadjusted Defensive +/-.” Can you please put that in layman’s terms?

    David Thorpe (12:24 PM)

    That’s the raw number of how his team does on defense when he’s in the game and when he’s not. Adjusted factors in many variables, including who else is in the game.

    So I guess this means TD really does have a pretty big influence defensively for the Knicks huh.

  46. jon abbey

    BigBlueAL: I just read David Thorpe’s chat today and was intrigued by this question:Ben (NY)ESPN’s Kevin Arnowitz tweeted today that Toney Douglas is the NBA leader in “Unadjusted Defensive +/-.” Can you please put that in layman’s terms?David Thorpe (12:24 PM)That’s the raw number of how his team does on defense when he’s in the game and when he’s not. Adjusted factors in many variables, including who else is in the game.So I guess this means TD really does have a pretty big influence defensively for the Knicks huh.  

    or that Felton has been that bad.

  47. BigBlueAL

    TD though plays roughly half his minutes if not more with Felton. I think it could mean how poor Fields has been defensively too.

  48. John Kenney

    On a different note: Breaking news on the Rookie-Sophomore game!
    “Assistant coaches for the Rookies are All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks and NBA TV/TNT analyst Kevin McHale. The assistant coaches for the Sophomores are All-Star Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets and TNT NBA basketball analyst Steve Kerr.”

    That’s it! This will be just like the Beijing Olympics, a bonding experience like no other! Instead of Wade, Bosh and Lebron, Amare, Carmelo, Kevin McHale and Steve Kerr will all be on the Knicks!

    Oh, you thought this post would be about Landry? I guess he made the game too.

  49. Jimmy C

    TD is a really good defender (except when he makes a habit of gambling). But I think this has more to do with the fact that, by virtue of his playing on the second unit, he is often paired against the other team’s second unit, which, on average, tends to equate to lower — or less efficient — production. Also, certain players on our own second unit — specifically TD and Extra E — are above average defenders playing on a unit which, while still the 2nd unit, probably scores at a higher clip than most 2nd units they play. Don’t have the stats to back that up, but it would be interesting to see.

    Still, that’s a positive statistic TD should be proud of.

  50. Owen

    Fields is currently 22nd in the league in adjusted and 30th in unadjusted +/-. So its probably not the contrast with Fields that is making Douglas look good. Also, the Knicks are only .5 points per 100 possessions worse with him on the floor.

    Fields has had a gigantic impact offensively. Very reminiscent of Lee’s second year. Pretty amazing in fact. Lee btw is up to his old tricks. He is currently tenth in the league in offensive +/-.

  51. Robert Silverman

    More importantly, homeland security just shut down ATDHE.net. I’m not kidding, HOMELAND EFFING SECURITY. I’m screwed. No more free games for me. Somewhere, Thomas B. is snickering…

    http://www.atdhe.net

  52. BigBlueAL

    Owen: Fields is currently 22nd in the league in adjusted and 30th in unadjusted +/-. So its probably not the contrast with Fields that is making Douglas look good. Also, the Knicks are only .5 points per 100 possessions worse with him on the floor.
    Fields has had a gigantic impact offensively. Very reminiscent of Lee’s second year. Pretty amazing in fact. Lee btw is up to his old tricks. He is currently tenth in the league in offensive +/-.  

    Considering David Lee is having the worst season of his career not sure what to make of that stat.

  53. massive

    From uniwatchblog.com:

    “A little birdie tells me the Wizards are going to a modern version of the old Bullets uniforms with the stripes on the chest next season, and the Knicks are ditching the black and going to a very simple design, à la the Cavaliers”

    Sounds like a change for the better.

  54. Doug

    massive: From uniwatchblog.com:“A little birdie tells me the Wizards are going to a modern version of the old Bullets uniforms with the stripes on the chest next season, and the Knicks are ditching the black and going to a very simple design, à la the Cavaliers”Sounds like a change for the better.  

    I can’t wait! I used to read Uni Watch a lot, and I’m totally on board with the “ditch the black” ethos. The Knicks are going to look GREAT.

  55. Thomas B.

    Robert Silverman: More importantly, homeland security just shut down ATDHE.net. I’m not kidding, HOMELAND EFFING SECURITY. I’m screwed. No more free games for me. Somewhere, Thomas B. is snickering…http://www.atdhe.net  

    That somewhere would be Washington DC. You say Homeland Security had a hand in this? Hmmm how interesting.

  56. Brian Cronin

    Considering David Lee is having the worst season of his career not sure what to make of that stat.

    Probably that the Warriors have terrible depth in the front court (which is why they got really screwed when Lee was out and why they rushed him back while he still had a freakin’ hole in his elbow).

    That said, Lee is really rounding into form this season. His WS/48 is almost back to league average (and it was waaaaaaaay low awhile back).

  57. BigBlueAL

    I just think in general though, dont individual +/- stats rely alot obviously on your teammates??

  58. Robert Silverman

    Robert Silverman: but according to PL, going to a simple, Cavs-like design. Ohmigod, Ohmigod, I need to see it now. I can’t wait until August or whenevver they unveil it.

    If Lukas’ sources are correct, I have a feeling it’ll look something like this: http://cdn1.iofferphoto.com/img/item/152/908/496/6QRS.jpg (but with the orange and blue reversed and white at home)

    But they could just go back to this:
    http://www.nyknicksstore.com/img/product/resized/609/00293201-517609_275.jpg?k=ac065479&pid=293201&s=catl

    which would be awesome. Ok, am I the only one dorking out about this? Robert Silverman

    (Quote)

    Massive – I already got giddy about this too

  59. Brian Cronin

    I just think in general though, dont individual +/- stats rely alot obviously on your teammates??

    True, which is why individual games are always a crap shoot. Over a season, though, it’s usually worthwhile to see how well you compare to your teammates. Are they better off with you or without you? And by how much?

  60. Z

    BigBlueAL: Mike’s new nickname should be Party Pooper :-)  

    Nah… Only if tomorrow’s piece is about how Landry Fields doesn’t deserve to be Rookie of the Month for January… :)

  61. Brian Cronin

    Good article.

    By the way, Pearlman makes it sound like it is odd for a Knick to live in a White Plains apartment, but actually a ton of them live in White Plains apartments. Pretty much all of the single guys. David Lee lived in a White Plains apartment, Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, pretty much all of them (my affirmative knowledge only goes back to 2008, when my brother moved out of the apartment Fields lives in now).

  62. Owen

    “Considering David Lee is having the worst season of his career not sure what to make of that stat. ”

    He misses the waffles I used to make for him in the morning. In White Plains.

    Honestly, don’t make anything of it. I just found it interesting he showed up anywhere on the positive side of the +/- ledger. His game has picked up a fair bit of late though.

  63. Owen

    “Almost every morning me and [fellow rookie] Andy Rautins(notes) hit up the Atlanta Bread Company for breakfast,” he said. “Then we shop at Nordstrom Rack — that place is awesome. Brand names at half the price. There’s also a Barnes & Noble, just in case we want to get our read on.”

    That was a good article…

  64. citizen

    @48:

    Mike, I don’t think we can make the same argument for Mozgov. One can make the case that our existing sample of Mozgov’s minutes a) too small, and b) more importantly, irrepresentative of how he’s going to be used in the future, while it’s much harder to make that case for Felton.

  65. TDM

    Any Knickerbloggers want tickets to tonight’s game: Knicks – Mavs.

    I purchased some tix a month ago, but just got some courtside seats from a client, so I won’t be using the ones I purchased.

    If you want them, make a reasonable offer and their yours. Just looking to recoup part of what I paid.

    Section 305, Row A, Seats 3 and 4. I paid $200 for both tickets.

    I work in lower Manhattan, so I could meet you here or by MSG before the game.

  66. ess-dog

    TDM: Any Knickerbloggers want tickets to tonight’s game: Knicks – Mavs.I purchased some tix a month ago, but just got some courtside seats from a client, so I won’t be using the ones I purchased.If you want them, make a reasonable offer and their yours.Just looking to recoup part of what I paid.Section 305, Row A, Seats 3 and 4.I paid $200 for both tickets.I work in lower Manhattan, so I could meet you here or by MSG before the game.  

    Damn wish I could TDM. Let me know if you want to sell the upcoming Philly game…

  67. massive

    Re: the jerseys, I like the new v-neck look a lot, and ditching the black is a good idea. Its seems to me like they’re changing the uniforms back to the old ones one year at a time, so its not some drastic change (like the Cavs and the Jazz made this year).

  68. latke

    Chandler’s supposed to play off the bench tonight, and Williams will be back, so…

    Mozgov tonight: over/under 18 MP?
    Randolph: over/under 5 non-garbage-time MP?

  69. Nick C.

    latke: Chandler’s supposed to play off the bench tonight, and Williams will be back, so…Mozgov tonight: over/under 18 MP?Randolph: over/under 5 non-garbage-time MP?  (Quote)

    under on both :-(

  70. TDM

    John Wall beat out Fields for the Eastern Conf T-Mobile Rookie of the Month with a 14 pt, 10.5 ast average. Blake Griffin won for the third month in a row in the West. As an aside, for those of you that haven’t seen him play, you don’t know what you are missing. The guy is amazing.

    Here are some of his more impressive stats for January:

    Blake Griffin, LA Clippers
    Jan. 5 vs. Denver: Scored 22 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and one block in a 106-93 victory over the Nuggets.
    Jan. 12 vs. Miami: Recorded 24 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, one block and one steal in a 111-105 win over the Heat.
    Jan. 17 vs. Indiana: Posted 47 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and one block in a 114-107 win over the Pacers.
    Jan. 22 vs. Golden State: Tallied 30 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists in a 113-109 victory over the Warriors.

  71. Caleb

    @87 I’ll take the under on both, although I won’t be surprised if Mozgov cracks 18 minutes in one of the Philly games.

    I’d go with 9:1 against Randolph playing at all.

  72. Ben R

    I really don’t want to lose Randolph before we get to really see him. I want coach to throw him into the fire at least once and see if he sinks or swims. Let him make a bunch of mistakes but stick with him, like we did with Mozgov, to see if he can contribute or not.

    I really don’t want to give him away for replacement level talent, either a mediore player or non lottery pick seems all we could expect get for him right now and thats not enough.

  73. ess-dog

    D’Antoni’s a stubborn fool for not utilizing his bigs thus far. It’s clear that both AR and Moz deserve some minutes. And we have guys that are playing tired, especially Chandler.
    Yes Detroit sucks, but after that game I’m convinced that these guys should’ve been playing – not right away but at least a few weeks earlier than now.
    Would they have affected any games? Who knows. But it’s ridiculous that we’re out looking for bigs like Dalembert who are just not as talented as they guys that we already have.

  74. Garson

    The underusage of AR and Moz is becoming a pattern for Dantoni… a bad one.

    Its reminding me on how he didnt play Darko , on a losing team, and watching him tear is up (for his standards) on the Wolves.

  75. Robert Silverman

    massive: Re: the jerseys, I like the new v-neck look a lot, and ditching the black is a good idea. Its seems to me like they’re changing the uniforms back to the old ones one year at a time, so its not some drastic change (like the Cavs and the Jazz made this year).  

    I dunno, Massive. Lukas seems to suggest that they’re going w/a very minimalist design, like the Cavs did. The throwbacks I posted are just for a couple of nights this season. Pared-down NBA unis are in vogue — look at the Sixers’ new duds and Nike’s whole “system of dress” thingy in the NCAA.

    My best guess is it’ll be a ‘modern’ take on this: http://www.watmisaka.com/photos/Springfield/carlBraun.jpg

    (W/o the belt, natch)

  76. adrenaline98

    I don’t think Felton’s numbers have dropped due to him ‘coming down to earth.’ Watching him play, I think he has improved since last year. Yes, he’s more of a leader, but his passing skills and the PnR judgments have shown marked improvements if you simply watch the Knicks game from the beginning of the season versus now. Of course, more familiarity and chemistry fixes the issue. I agreed that his TS at 60% isn’t the Felton we all know, but he’s certainly capable of hitting at 55%, considering how much of an improvement his free throw has been.

    I think it’s more or less the fact that he had a wrist injury. The minutes certainly will have a toll as well. Not only do you have less legs, but a higher chance of re-aggravating a wrist injury, due to tired legs (a la playing defense with your hands instead of moving your feet).

    I think if the Knicks can secure a legitimate back up POINT GUARD, and give Felton about 34-36 minutes a game for a few weeks, he will produce more efficiently.

  77. adrenaline98

    ess-dog: D’Antoni’s a stubborn fool for not utilizing his bigs thus far. It’s clear that both AR and Moz deserve some minutes. And we have guys that are playing tired, especially Chandler.Yes Detroit sucks, but after that game I’m convinced that these guys should’ve been playing – not right away but at least a few weeks earlier than now.Would they have affected any games? Who knows. But it’s ridiculous that we’re out looking for bigs like Dalembert who are just not as talented as they guys that we already have.  (Quote)

    I agree with everything but AR. I think we all had pretty high expectations of AR improving upon his excellent play last season (per 36). However, him coming into this situation, he was trying too hard and was overconfident in what he can really bring to the table. I think a player like AR needs to come into a situation like this with the intent of working himself into rhythm, rather than trying to create like the stars. In other words, he needs to come into games doing exactly what he did the other night in his limited minutes. He needs to play defense and rebound, and let the ball come to him like the way Mozgov did.

    I also believe that if D’Antoni had continued sticking with AR, the Knicks would have lost a lot more games, his confidence would be dashed, and his mindset would be different than what he showed coming in the other night.

  78. rama

    Garson: The underusage of AR and Moz is becoming a pattern for Dantoni… a bad one.Its reminding me on how he didnt play Darko , on a losing team, and watching him tear is up (for his standards) on the Wolves.  

    D’Antoni specifically said about a month ago that he had rushed Mozgov into the rotation too early and that he was looking to work him back in. I don’t think working him during the Laker game, for instance, would have been too helpful, and here was a perfect situation, and indeed, Mozgov was worked back in. I can’t speak on the AR matter, but D’Antoni has been really clear on Mozgov, so talking about it as a pattern is simply wrong.

    Besides which: is Darko tearing it up? He’s got a TS of 48% (for a big man!!) and a WS of .017 – both LOWER THAN LAST YEAR. He’s getting more playing time, but with those numbers (and a sad rebounding percentage), any coach who plays him more than D’Antoni is either a worse coach or has worse options. Basically, the guy gets a few blocks (which is good) and makes a few good passes (which is good). Otherwise, he has no game, and every minute D’Antoni played him was a minute a better player could have been on the floor doing more.

  79. ess-dog

    I think I came off a little too strongly anti-D’Antoni.
    Firstly, I don’t fault him for the Darko stuff at all.
    I agree with the early benching of Moz and agree that he was rushed in the beginning. I agree that extra e probably did deserve more burn than AR at first. I think a point had to be made with AR.
    But the fact that we haven’t outrebounded anyone since the Phoenix game probably warrants at least testing out a big in some spots. Particularly against teams like Phoenix and Sacto.
    And in the case of AR, it might just be a case of learning curve. As I always state, he’s only 21. I just wish it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that we would be better off trading him than letting him ripen. I guess I would’ve liked to hear more “he needs to work on his game a lot right now BUT we’re very high on him and think he has a great future here”, stuff like that.
    There has been more positive mention of both players lately which is good. And who knows? Maybe in 2 years a lineup of CP3, Fields, Gallo, AR and Stat will be killin’ it w/ Moz, extra e, TD and Chandler off the bench.

  80. Frank

    Not sure what to make of Felton’s decline either – I’m sure the Ghost of Ted Nelson would say he’s just coming back to his statistical baseline, which may be true. I’d love to believe that he has a bunch of nagging injuries that are throwing off his shot. As much as I’d love to see him make the All-Star team, I’d rather have him get a week off to rest up.

    Re: the last game — at one point late 1st or early 2nd I think we fielded a lineup of:

    PG Douglas
    SG Fields
    SF Gallo
    PF Randolph
    C Mozgov

    with Gallo looking like the point forward. Granted they were playing against the Pistons (and their 2nd unit) but there was lots of ball movement and continuity, and I found myself sort of sad when the regulars all piled back in a few minutes later.

    I think Gallo should play more point forward when Felton is off the floor, even as a pick-n-roll partner with Amare. He really seems to have a knack for finding the open man.

  81. NateRobinson

    We will get a steady dose of Extra E because of his D and most importantly because of Dirk. Barring any foul trouble (not even a blowout prompts The ‘Stache to throw in the towel. Another fact of his stubborn nature.

Comments are closed.