Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Four off the floor: Key decisions for the summer Decision#2 — Which free agents should the Knicks target this summer?

What the Knicks are able or not able to do in the off-season depends on two things: the makeup of the next CBA, and the fate of nearly half their roster. Anthony Carter, Roger Mason, Shelden Williams, Shawne Williams, Jared Jeffries, and Derek Brown are all unrestricted free agents. Most believe Mason has seen his last days in the orange and blue, while it’s thought that both Ronnie Turiaf’s $4.5 million player option, along with Bill Walker’s $916K team option, will both be exercised.

After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Anthony Carter’s playoff grit may be enough to convince D’Antoni to keep him as the last point guard. The brothers Williams, meanwhile, may be content to seek more money than the Knicks will likely be able to offer. There’s also the issue of Andy Rautins’ near $800,000 salary for next year, which many believe will eventually be bought out to free up more cap room.

With what little money they’ll have), the Knicks have two principal holes to plug: a natural point guard to back up Chauncey Billups, and a big who can rebound, defend the paint, and take pressure off of Stoudemire on both ends of the floor.

 

Mike Kurylo: There are only two roads that lead the Knicks to the Finals in the next few years. The first is to secure a third star that will mesh with Amar’e and ‘Melo. In theory this star would add something the team needs (rebounding, defense, point guard) and not overlap what New York already has (volume scoring). The second path to the NBA elite is to get some great parts to complement the Knicks current All Star duo. In other words the rest of the roster should be guys that can defend, rebound, pass, and knock down the three at a high level.

Since the Knicks don’t have the cap space to get such a player this year (and Billups + Fields + 17th pick isn’t enough to trade for a disgruntled star), it seems as if the latter route is the one the Nix will have to traverse for now. While assembling their cast, New York can’t afford to acquire uni-dimensional players that only address one of the three areas I mentioned above. Looking through the free agents of 2011, I was only able to find two players that would fill multiple needs. Although the Knicks don’t primarily need a shooting guard, Mickael Pietrus plays solid defense and can knock down the three. At $5M per year, he’s a reasonable pick-up. The other is Louis Amundson, who should be cheaper and could provide defense and rebounding.

Even though neither of these players are franchise changing NBA starters, they both should be reasonably cheap & provide some of the production the Knicks sorely lack. Additionally they’re the type of player that won’t lose their value and could be added in a multi-player deal. However neither really addresses New York’s most critical needs at point guard and center.

 

Jim Cavan: Obviously a lot depends on who the Knicks draft, as well as what comes of the summer’s hoped-for collective bargaining agreement. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume two things: that the Knicks take a point guard in the draft (Jimmer Fredette, Darius Morris, and Boston College’s Reggie Jackson are all distinct possibilities); and Jerome Jordan — the 7-foot center the Knicks acquired in last year’s draft and who spent the past season in the Adriatic League – doesn’t come to camp ready for heavy rotation minutes. What players out there on this summer’s free agent market might be worth a short-term deal? Let’s take a look:

Nenad Kristic (Unrestricted): A throw in to the Kendrick Perkins / Jeff Green trade, it’s not clear how Krstic fits into the Celtics’ plans going forward. If Boston decides to go after a defensive-minded center in the off-season, Krstic might be had for around last year’s salary of $5.8 million. If the MLE remains, Krstic might be worth the risk. He’s not the greatest defender, but he’s a solid rebounder, good passer, and is fairly deft on the block, with a decent 15-18 foot jumper that can draw his man out far enough to leave Stoudemire open to exploit the open seams.

Nazr Mohammed (Unrestricted): Another flawed but still serviceable center, Mohammed’s $6.8 million salary comes off OKC’s books this year. While his offensive game leaves much to be desired, he did average 14 and 10 per 36 minutes this year, on top of being a decent low post defender and shot blocker. During his career Mohammed has played for nine different teams, so taking one more detour to Manhattan – he wore the orange blue for parts of the ’03-’04 and ’04-’05 seasons –  would be par for the course for the journeyman center.

Kurt Thomas (Unrestricted): At 39, Thomas will likely be the oldest player in the NBA next season. A Knick fan favorite during his seven year tenure here, Thomas could probably be convinced to give one more year to the city he called home the longest. Playing for the Bulls this year, Thomas averaged seven points and nine rebounds per 36. While modest numbers on the surface, it can’t be denied that his defensive presence, leadership, and workaday demeanor could serve the Bockers well, particularly on a cheap, one year deal.

Jamaal Magloire (Unrestricted): Playing for a Heat team whose one glaring weakness was the total lack of offensive reliability down low, the fact that Magloire averaged just nine minutes a game within a center quartet featuring Zydrunas Ilgauskus, a 38-year-old Juwan Howard, and Joel Anthony, is more than a little disconcerting. Still, his 13.9 rebounds per 36 marked a career high. Magloire will be 33 at the start of training camp next year, still young enough to contribute good minutes, and is another possible short term and relatively cheap (he made $1.2 million last year) option for the Knicks.

Hamed Haddadi (Restricted, $2 million qualifying offer): Despite limited minutes, the third year center from Iran put up an impressive 16 points and 15 rebounds per 36, along with a PER of just under 20. The pride of the Iranian national team, the 7’2” Haddadi could probably come cheap (he made $1.6 million last year). I’ll admit I haven’t seen too much in the way of highlight reels aside from this gem, but from what I saw at last year’s FIBA World Championships, he has a fairly polished offensive game, good basketball IQ, and is aggressive on the boards. Obviously there’s the issue of the $2 million qualifying offer the Grizzlies have put on the table, but depending on how far up Marc Gasol’s price tag gets driven, Memphis might be content to let Haddadi walk.

Now let’s consider another scenario. Let’s say the Knicks draft a Kenneth Faried, Lucas Nogueira, one of the Morris twins, etc. Or let’s say Jerome Jordan proves to be NBA-ready. At that point, the Knicks could find themselves shopping for a cheap backup point guard. Unfortunately, here the options are much more limited:

Sebastian Telfair (Unrestricted): Sure, he’s been a bust. Sure, even at last year’s $2.7 million sallary, the case can be made that he’s overpaid and overvalued. However, during a stretch of games where both Luke Ridnour and Jonny Flynn were out with injuries, Telfair played surprisingly well. He’ll never be a reliable shooter, and his decision making can be suspect. But he’s still only 25, and might not be a bad option for a third point guard, assuming Anthony Carter isn’t invited back. And who knows, maybe Telfair’s coming home story turns out to be a little more feel-good than his Vaseline-eating cousin’s.

Goran Dragic (Restricted, $2.1 million team option): Depending on where the Rockets end up in the lottery, they may very well find themselves in a position to draft a point guard. If the Rockets decide to drop his option, Dragic might be a nice pickup as a backup for the Knicks. Despite struggling after being traded from Phoenix to Houston in February, he’s still a good ball-handler, solid three point shooter, and could be a nice fit in SSOL. He doesn’t have the greatest court vision, but his off-the-bench spark could provide for a nice one-two punch alongside Toney Douglas.

 

Max Fisher-Cohen: In regard to big men, we should be looking at guys with legitimate size and athleticism. But we should not be dedicating any kind of substantial resources to whomever we get. Minimum contracts. That means players like DJ Mbenga, Sean Williams, or Mozgov in the case that Denver just wants to dump his salary (ah, would I love the irony of that). And when I say athleticism, that means athleticism. I don’t want to see an earthbound player like Nazr Mohamed on this team, nor do I care to give up the substantial assets that a player like Tyson Chandler might demand.

Why, you might ask? Because the Knicks need to play fast, and they need to save their paltry assets in the hopes that Howard, Williams, or Paul becomes available. This center, in conjunction with Ronny Turiaf, will come off the bench. He will only play when we need a big to defend one of the very few offensively dangerous big men that exist in this league: Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Zach Randolph (welcome aboard, old friend), and Nené. Look around the league: I challenge you to find another big whose interior play you find legitimately threatening on offense. In regard to the lumbering centers like Marc Gasol, and Roy Hibbert, I look forward to seeing them on the floor because our Knicks are going to be moving so fast that they may just forget which basket they are supposed to be defending.

The Suns under D’Antoni had a history of embarrassing slow centers with their speed, forcing them to the bench. We can do it to. The key to this strategy though is playing a frontline that opposing big men just have no chance against. We had this with Chandler at power forward and Stoudemire at center, which not by coincidence was by far our best lineup this season.

So, here’s my advice to you, Donnie Walsh, or you, Isiah Thomas, if you are our new GM:

Option 1 — Josh Smith: I fully expect Atlanta to be swept in embarrassing fashion by the Bulls, and it’s a player on their roster that I think the Knicks need to target: Josh Smith. Smith took a big step backwards this year after a banner year in 09/10; his shooting efficiency, blocks and steals all dropped.  Atlanta has been floundering in mediocrity for several years now, and after peaking last year with 53 wins, they dropped down to 44 this year and were lucky to escape with the fifth seed. I believe it’s this summer that they recognize that their current core is just not going to get it done, and as you’d likely have to bribe a team to take Joe Johnson, and Al Horford is really damn good, Smith might be the guy who ends up on the block. I think he could have great success in New York for a number of reasons. First of all, he plays on the team with the fourth slowest pace in the league. His abilities to run the floor, dribble, and finish at the rim are all made less valuable by the Hawks’ slow pace. Furthermore, Smith is an excellent rebounder; his rebound percentage this year (15%), is higher than that of any other Knick (yes, even better than our rebounding specialist, Shelden Williams).

Look at it as a contingency plan in the scenario that Paul/Williams/Howard fall through, in which case Billups plus whomever we draft might be enough to land Smith. His contract isn’t such a great deal, so I don’t see teams lining up for him (maybe I’m being a homer).

Option 2 — Joe Johnson: A second possibility is taking on Joe Johnson’s contract (Billups, Turiaf, and an MLE player allow us to match), which might be worth it, not because I think Johnson is good — he’s wildly overpaid and his contract will only look worse as the years pile up — but because it would allow us to retain Fields and our pick for a second deal. Because let’s face it, we’re going to have to commit to a team through 2016 (when Amaré and Carmelo expire) by the summer of 2012 at the latest, and even waiting for the summer costs us big time in that we would have to renounce Douglas and Fields, and trade our pick in order to have maximum cap room. That means Johnson’s deal is unlikely to make a difference in terms of FA acquisitions. Johnson is a good defender, holding SGs to a PER of 11.6 and SFs to a PER of 12.9 this season, he knows and has had success with D’Antoni, and he can even play point guard in a bind. I also imagine that as a third option rather than a first option, his shooting efficiency will improve.

Option 3 — Wilson Chandler: Chandler has struggled for Denver and is due for a paycheck. The Nuggets are also very deep at his position. If they are willing to not rip us off on a sign and trade (i.e. our 1st rounder and expiring contracts) he would be worth bringing back. He is not nearly the rebounder that Smith is, but has had good success guarding bigger players and has the speed and perimeter shooting to make those big slow-footed guys wish for a breather.

Option 4 — Andrei Kirilenko: Kirilenko is one of those guys whose talents have been overshadowed by his immense contract. In the early 2000s, he was a dominating defensive force and was truly deserving of the big bucks, but injuries have slowed him down. However, he is still a very solid all around player. He is one of only nine players this season to average over one block and one steal per game. He is also a good passer, and a similar perimeter shooter and rebounder to Chandler. Due to his age (29), injury problems (he’s missed about 14 games per season on his career), and the fact that he’s been so overpaid, it’s likely that many teams will look past him, driving down his market price. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is available at the mid-level exception (if it still exists) or even less.

Last thing: Many people are in favor of avoiding long term contracts in the hopes of landing a big name in 2012. The new CBA will shed a lot of light on how much cash we could have available, but right now it seems nearly impossible that we have the dollars for a maximum contract. Because of that, I just don’t think it’s worth avoiding longer term contracts. If you sign fair deals, you can move guys later.

184 comments on “Four off the floor: Key decisions for the summer Decision#2 — Which free agents should the Knicks target this summer?

  1. ess-dog

    Wow, these are all surprisingly good ideas. I love Pietrus’ game and Dragic could be plugged right in.

    Max’s take is particularly interesting because it let’s the coach play to his strengths. Is this feasible? Probably not. Who plays pg once we’ve traded Billups? Kirilenko at the midlevel would be nice, but wouldn’t he rather take that from Miami/Boston/LA in order to win a title?

    Yet the possibility of drafting a run and gun 4 is very high. Thompson, Faried, Mirotic, Singleton all fit the profile. Then maybe we could use Dragic as the back up 1 and use Jordan/Turiaf against true scoring 5s. I’m sure we can find someone as good as Chandler to man the 4 if we look hard.

  2. nicos

    I’d at least ask about Kenyon Martin- he’d basically do everything JJ does but better and he has a decent offensive game. I think he’s probably gettable at the MLE (esp. if Denver resigns WC) but would probably want 2-3 years.

  3. latke

    ess-dog:
    Wow, these are all surprisingly good ideas.I love Pietrus’ game and Dragic could be plugged right in.

    Max’s take is particularly interesting because it let’s the coach play to his strengths.Is this feasible?Probably not.Who plays pg once we’ve traded Billups?Kirilenko at the midlevel would be nice, but wouldn’t he rather take that from Miami/Boston/LA in order to win a title?

    Yet the possibility of drafting a run and gun 4 is very high.Thompson, Faried, Mirotic, Singleton all fit the profile.Then maybe we could use Dragic as the back up 1 and use Jordan/Turiaf against true scoring 5s.I’m sure we can find someone as good as Chandler to man the 4 if we look hard.

    yeah, it’s gonna depend on our approach to the draft. Do we trade the pick? If not, we’ll either end up with a stretch 4 or a 5. There aren’t likely to be any quality point guards available there. I just don’t think we can win with Mike D’Antoni OR Amare if we make a meaningful financial and PT commitment to a slower center. Heck, even Fields has struggled mightily since we switched to a Carmelo-centric offense.

    Regarding the point guard, I don’t know if Toney can man it, but I feel like at least he has a shot to be that guy, and if we’re gonna contend, we have to have that sort of luck. Also, Nash might join up for the MLE in 2012.

  4. flossy

    I have been lusting after Josh Smith for a long time. He’s kind of a dumbass but he’s the defensive/rebounding beast we need, and he’d allow us to run and gun with Amar’e at center. It’s a real longshot though.

    If Dalembert would take the MLE I’d be all for it. Problem is, he probably will take the MLE… to play for Miami.

  5. flossy

    The only reason Dalembert is appealing is because he is really quite lithe and mobile and should be athletic enough to keep up for the next few years. Lumbering centers are definitely not what the doctor ordered.

  6. Z

    flossy:

    If Dalembert would take the MLE I’d be all for it.Problem is, he probably will take the MLE… to play for Miami.

    Yes, it could be a slight problem going forward– the Miami Heat have the exact same holes to plug, the exact same resources as the Knicks, but can offer free agents twice the chance of competing for a title.

    Curse you, Pat the Rat.

  7. SJK

    I think Wilson Chandler is a great option if we could some how get him without giving up too much. He’s a great fit to come in off the bench as out 6th man in this system. Of course, if it’s between him and a defensive center… DeAndre Jordan? Dalembert? I think we have to go with the center.

  8. massive

    Two players we could potentially nab on the trade market are Josh Smith and Jameer Nelson. I wonder what both teams would want for either player, and if we could luck ourselves into both players.

  9. Shad0wF0x

    @9

    Not gonna happen but still

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=3n5spmg

    So if this happens. and Michael Redd, Kwame Brown, Sean Williams, Nazr Mohammed sign for veteran minimum (I don’t understand how it works but just please bear with me)

    PG: Jameer Nelson
    SG: Michael Redd (I don’t even know if he’s healthy, but just throwing it out there)
    SF: Carmelo Anthony
    PF: Josh Smith
    C: Amar’e Stoudemire

    6: Toney Douglas
    7: Landry Fields
    8: Shawne Williams (for 3pt shooting)
    9-11: Mohammed/Brown/Williams – 18 hard (hopefully) fouls worth of big bodies.

  10. latke

    I’m sure people will dog on me for this, but in my opinion Jameer Nelson is a very average player. He can get hot on offense, but he’s bad defensively (Orlando defense is a full 5 points better with him on the bench — most of those minutes go to defensive sieves like Gilbert Arenas and JJ Redick). He also gets hurt all the time. Unless Dwight Howard is coming with him to protect the paint when Nelson’s man drives by him, I don’t see him as a good answer for us at the 1.

  11. d-mar

    I have a lot of respect for Doc Rivers, but hearing him call the Heat “chippy” after game 1 is almost laughable when he has the king of all chippies, Kevin Garnett, on his side. I guess it just doesn’t feel right to him to not get every single call like in the Knicks series.

  12. New Guy

    Wow I was really enjoying this article until Max through in the part about Isiah Thomas being our next GM.

  13. TDM

    Aside from Dragic, Haddadi and maybe Dalembert or Nazr, I’m not thrilled with any of these potential targets.

    Gasol, DeAndre Jordan and even Nene would obviously be great pickups but will likely be costly. Dalembert or Nazr would be ok IMO if the price is right. If we cannot get a solid free agent center, I’d like to see the Knicks try to trade for someone like JaVale McGee from the Wiz. He’s young, rebounds and blocks. Maybe Robin Lopez who has fallen out of favor in PHX.

    If the Knicks want to make a splash, I’d even consider trading Billups to the Clips for Kaman and Bledsoe.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=42wkqfn

  14. New Guy

    Jason Collins is unrestricted and inexpensive (make around $1.5mm last year). If we can offer close to what Atlanta can, I would think we’d be more attractive. And if bird rights are gone after the CBA, Atlanta will most likely be capped out anyway.

  15. stratomatic

    I’ve recently been promoting the idea of fully embracing the “small ball” philosphy of the Suns in NY as the only way this team has a chance to contend for a title (elsewhere). That’s a complete reversal for me because before the Melo deal I wanted to use the cap space and assets for a quality C.

    Unfortunately, I see no quality C available that the Knicks have a legitimate chace of signing that can fit under the cap.

    On the flip side, we might be able to find a bruiser type PF that can rebound, defend, and hit the mid range jumper to both help Amare inside and not take up space and hurt the P&R.

    IMO, the Knicks played some of their best ball when Chandler was at PF and Amare at C because we had the team’s most productive players on the court. I think that’s the direction we need to head now that we don’t have the space for a legitimate high quality C (even if one was available).

    The problem is going to be convincing Amare to spend most of his time at the 5 (where he is most effective offensively anyway). I heard that he said something about being at a defensive disadvantage when he plays the 5, but stats indicate he’s not much better at defending PFs and on a net basis he’s WAY better at the 5.

  16. stratomatic

    I should add one more thing. Adding the correct type of PF to fit with Amare at C does not mean we can’t draft a big man, bring in our pick from last year etc… to try to add some size off the bench or against specific matchups.

  17. stratomatic

    I’d be in favor of adding Josh Smith, but someone is going to have to explain to me how we could fit him.

  18. flossy

    Kaman has missed an average of 33 games over the past 4 seasons and has never even posted a league average TS%.

  19. massive

    Atlanta has been in rumors that stated the only way they would move Smith would be for an all-star caliber PG. I’m pretty sure they meant Chris Paul or Deron Williams, but I think they could potentially settle for Chauncey if they were shopping Smith around. Also, I think the switch would work well for both teams. Chauncey goes back to a slow paced half-court offense that he won a championship with, and Josh Smith comes to a fast paced system in which he could really excel using his athletic talent. Of course this is all one giant pipe dream, but there is some sort of logic behind it.

  20. Frank

    stratomatic:
    I’ve recently been promoting the idea of fully embracing the “small ball” philosphy of the Suns in NY as the only way this team has a chance to contend for a title (elsewhere). That’s a complete reversal for me because before the Melo deal I wanted to use the cap space and assets for a quality C.

    Unfortunately, I see no quality C available that the Knicks have a legitimate chace of signing that can fit under the cap.

    On the flip side, we might be able to find a bruiser type PF that can rebound, defend, and hit the mid range jumper to both help Amare inside and not take up space and hurt the P&R.

    IMO, the Knicks played some of their best ball when Chandler was at PF and Amare at C because we had the team’s most productive players on the court.I think that’s the direction we need to head now that we don’t have the space for a legitimate high quality C (even if one was available).

    The problem is going to be convincing Amare to spend most of his time at the 5 (where he is most effective offensively anyway). I heard that he said something about being at a defensive disadvantage when he plays the 5, but stats indicate he’s not much better at defending PFs and on a net basis he’s WAY better at the 5.

    I agree – guys like Marcus and Markieff Morris might be available to us in the draft and might fall into this category. Don’t know what the FO will think of project guys like Nogueira, Keith Benson, Jeremy Tyler, etc., but if they consider those guys too big a project, then a stretch 4 type (like the Morris bros. or that Justin Harper from Richmond) might be ok.

  21. Thomas B.

    No to Joe Johnson. We dodge a bullet with him last year, now you want to go and pick him up after he has aged a year? Jamaal Magloire wouldnt be so bad. Ditto Kurt Thomas. Platooning him at center with Turiaf would be interesting. It might not be good, but it should be interesting.

    What do ESPN 1050 and Carmelo Anthony have in common? They both go the Jared when they don’t need to.
    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/player?rd=1#/podcenter/?callsign=ESPNRADIO&autoplay=1&id=6465288

  22. latke

    Thomas,

    The major rationale behind not signing JJ though was that he wasn’t worth the max. Unless we strip our roster bare, we won’t have significant cap room in 2012. A more reasonable estimate is that we have around $8 million, so the real cost of Johnson would be around $8 million. There’s also the possibility that Atlanta bribes us with Josh Smith if we agree to take on Johnson’s contract. If they truly want to rebuild, they will have to get out from under his contract, and it would give them the about $33 million in cap space for the 2012 free agent bonanza. If they found a taker for Marvin Williams, they could start fantasizing about signing both Paul and Howard to max deals.

  23. Frank

    I guess the rationale would be — if we’re going to cap out, we may as well cap out HUGE!

    Actually sounds reasonable. Josh Smith would be great playing next to Stoudemire, and Joe Johnson is a good, if totally overpaid, player. Then we sign Nash to an exception-type deal, and run run run!!!

  24. flossy

    latke:
    Thomas,

    The major rationale behind not signing JJ though was that he wasn’t worth the max. Unless we strip our roster bare, we won’t have significant cap room in 2012. A more reasonable estimate is that we have around $8 million, so the real cost of Johnson would be around $8 million. There’s also the possibility that Atlanta bribes us with Josh Smith if we agree to take on Johnson’s contract. If they truly want to rebuild, they will have to get out from under his contract, and it would give them the about $33 million in cap space for the 2012 free agent bonanza. If they found a taker for Marvin Williams, they could start fantasizing about signing both Paul and Howard to max deals.

    Has ATL given any indication that they want to blow it all up and start over? I really, really don’t see them dismantling a perennial second-round playoff team so that they can start “fantasizing” about signing Paul and Howard (which is as far as it would go… can you imagine two Top 5 players signing with the Hawks?)…

  25. Brian Cronin

    I guess the rationale would be — if we’re going to cap out, we may as well cap out HUGE!

    Actually sounds reasonable. Josh Smith would be great playing next to Stoudemire, and Joe Johnson is a good, if totally overpaid, player. Then we sign Nash to an exception-type deal, and run run run!!!

    Really, it makes you wonder if getting Johnson last year wouldn’t have been as much of a disaster as we would think, since getting him would allow the Knicks to re-sign Chandler, trade Curry’s contract and use the MLE now, while still maintaining Gallo and Fields for trade bait. Of course, in that scenario, Toney Douglas would be your starting point guard and I don’t know who your back-up would be…

  26. Thomas B.

    latke:

    Thomas,

    The major rationale behind not signing JJ though was that he wasn’t worth the max. Unless we strip our roster bare, we won’t have significant cap room in 2012. A more reasonable estimate is that we have around $8 million, so the real cost of Johnson would be around $8 million. .

    Um no. The real cost of Joe Johnson is $18,038,573 and nobody to play point in 2011/2012; $19,752,645 and nobody to play point in 2012/2013; $21,466,718 and nobody to play point or Shooting guard for the 35 games he’ll sit with injury in 2013/2014; $23,180,790 and nobody to play point or shooting guard when he misses the entire season with a ruptured knee tendon in 2014/2015; and then $24,894,053 and nobody to play point, small forward, or power forward when STAT, follows Anthony by requesting trades to a contender. Donnie Walsh will complete the trade then take media questions via ouija board.

    I kid, I kid with you.

  27. Brian Cronin

    I wouldn’t go for him now, I agree, but with the way things shaked out, he likely would not have been such a disaster if he was signed last year.

  28. Ben R

    I am a firm believer that we are out of the Paul/Deron/Howard sweepstakes and we need to maximize talent around Melo and Amare before Amare becomes a huge contract on bad knees.

    I think at this point we need to start getting creative. Pheonix is a team with a cheap owner, a limited future and solid role players on really long contracts. Contracts they would likely pay us to take. How about Billups + our pick + money for Nash + Childress. Or Billups + money for Childress + Lopez + Frye + their pick. Or Billpus + money for Childress + Frye + Gortat. If we can save them lots of long term money we could possibly get Nash, Lopez or their pick and honestly their bad contracts are attached to pretty solid players like Frye, Childress and Gortat.

    I still think a trade of our pick + money for denver’s pick + Mozgov might be enough to get him back.

    If we can get a solid center like Mozgov, Robin Lopez, or Gortat to pair with Turiaf and Jordan we could have a nice trio of big bodies to throw out there. Add that to Amare, a hopefully resigned Sheldon Williams, and some big rookie PF (Faried, Thompson, etc) and we could have alot of big bodies to throw out there.

  29. BigBlueAL

    That roster Berman put together by keeping Jamal and Zach defensively makes the current Knicks look like the 1994 Knicks.

  30. Brian Cronin

    I call BS on any Z-Bo hindsight. The guy was a total bust here, and he was so bad that the team the Knicks dumped him on also dumped him! I am happy for him that he seems to have suddenly become a great player. In all honesty, I’m happy that the guy apparently figured it all out. But to second guess the Knicks dumping him is foolhardy (same with Crawford).

  31. Brian Cronin

    I can’t believe Stern seriously said today that “the state of the league is very good.” Dude, your owners are a month or so away from locking out the players!!! The state of the league can’t be that good if that’s going to happen!

  32. Jafa

    Um, why are we all forgetting that this was a contract year for ZBo and that contract extension didn’t come until the end of the season? He seemed to had made a quantum leap in his game (as one analyst put it) coupled with the fact that he was doing his 20/10 number in the playoffs now where the spotlight is brighter. How come nobody is discussing this angle?

    Also, for Crawford, he also got traded after we dumped him and has only excelled in a 6th man role (like Jason Terry, Lamar Odom and other elite 6th men). And, unless I’m mistaken, isn’t it Crawford’s contract year as well?

  33. Jafa

    @31,

    I’ve been praying for Nash to finally wake up and say “That’s it, I want out of Phoenix, and I want to go somewhere where I know I will go out with a bang, and what better place than with the guy that let me shine and win 2 MVPs”. He then calls Savier, asks for a trade to New York, and our PG problems are all solved.

    As a bonus, Grant Hill says he doesn’t what to be the last old guy standing in the desert, and asks to be included in the trade. We give them Chauncey, TD, Walker, money and a promise to give them a lopsided trade in return in the future.

  34. iserp

    Not trying to work on hindsight here… But Marbury and Zach Randolph were the 2 good signings of the Isiah Thomas era; the bad decisions were the rest, getting more scorers (Jamal Crawford, Steve Francis, Eddy Curry, and the last, while mortgaging our future), and overpaying mindlessly for role players, Jerome James, Jared Jeffries instead of investing our MLE more wisely.

    It’s not so surprising that former knicks flourish in a more balanced team that has had the time to build chemistry. We have the building blocks of a great team already; DW still has a lot of work to do, and one of the most important tasks is going to keep people calm. If we freak out and turn our roster around if next season by the allstar game we are barely at .500, we’re not gonna do anything. Look at OKC or the grizzlies, they barely changed their team from a losing season to a winning one. Chemistry is hard to get, specially with young players.

  35. rooster_douglas

    Are you kidding me?? 2 draft picks and ‘dyss (who was apparently valued at one Nene and one Camby at that time) for the right to pay an average PG the most money in the league before he would eventually be bought out, 0 playoff wins later? Agreed that we didn’t give up much to get Z-Bo (which is about it gets for a NYK trade) but he was still overpaid and eventually had to get shipped out for nothing.

  36. latke

    loving the fact that through 13 minutes derrick rose is 0-7 with zero points. It’s not that I dislike Rose. I just am sick of the media worshipping him.

  37. massive

    latke:
    loving the fact that through 13 minutes derrick rose is 0-7 with zero points. It’s not that I dislike Rose. I just am sick of the media worshipping him.

    I find this very amusing. I don’t think he’s any better than Russel Westbrook, and people calling him the best PG in the league after seeing what Chris Paul can do with “a bunch of guys” is utterly ridiculous. Besides, I hate the Bulls.

  38. TheRant

    As long as we are focusing on Marc Berman’s deep wisdom regarding a Knicks team built around Zach Randolph, am I the only one coming forward with this gem from just two-and-a-half (men) years ago, where Berman begs us to dump Zach Randolph and build around Darko? It can’t just be me, can it?

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/knicksblog/item_KmowcqVThSjL639TWz9SIO

    I quote:

    Trading Randolph’s contract for a still-blooming prospect in Darko Milicic is a no-brainer if it does indeed save $10 million off the salary cap in 2010. – Marc Berman (9/2008)

    Winning.

  39. d-mar

    So the team with the best record in the NBA, the coach of the year and the media’s lock for MVP is losing by 12 to the Hawks at home. Interesting.

  40. BigBlueAL

    d-mar:
    So the team with the best record in the NBA, the coach of the year and the media’s lock for MVP is losing by 12 to the Hawks at home. Interesting.

    The real Eastern Conference Finals is being played right now between the Heat and Celtics.

  41. Jim Cavan Post author

    …. And THAT’S why you don’t let your star player chase the ball down 8 with 5 seconds left. If Thibadeau’s psycho act doesn’t kill him, it’s gonna kill one of his players.

  42. BigBlueAL

    About the Joe Johnson thing mentioned above. It would be interesting to speculate IF the Knicks wouldve signed him with Amar’e like they tried to do. They would still have Gallo and Chandler. They wouldnt have been able to sign Felton or get the players from Golden St though.

  43. WC23

    Center is the only postiion we need to fill the starting spot of. Everything else is perfect for setting up Melo and STAT as it is, we just need the boards to get more chances at both ends.

    I think the priority BEFORE we resign any of our players is getting a “franchise” center, someone who is young and can devote years with the Knicks. Tyson Chandler, Nene, and Marc Gasol would get NY where they need to be, but money is a big problem now, so affordable talent is the best option. Top options are:

    1.) Deandre Jordan- he is sitting ona bench for more than 30 minutes when he can become a starting favorite in NY.

    2.)Sam Dalambert- Defensive center and good on offense as well.

    3.) Hilton Armstrong- Why he gets 6 MPG, i dont know, but would make a great backup and not a bad option for starter.

    4.) Aaron Gray- Disgruntled in NO, would get more time and respect in NY, good backup option but would still improve our current postion at the center spot.

    Forwards: Sign Wilson Chandler back to get hose boards and defense we need. Resign Shawne Williams. This allows the Knicks constant production even when Melo or STAT are benched. Move Turiaf at backup forward and center.

    Guards: Keep Fields as starter; though he was criticized for lower production after the trade, he knew how to move the ball around. He is essential to the starting lineup; he isnt there to get high statistical value. Keep Douglas at backup PG, he has potential and Billups will teach him the ropes. Walker is not bad at backup either.

  44. Shad0wF0x

    massive: I find this very amusing. I don’t think he’s any better than Russel Westbrook, and people calling him the best PG in the league after seeing what Chris Paul can do with “a bunch of guys” is utterly ridiculous. Besides, I hate the Bulls.

    It was more fun the last couple of years when they were the scrappy underdog team. Now media just loves them and that really irritates me for some reason.

  45. d-mar

    Jim Cavan:
    …. And THAT’S why you don’t let your star player chase the ball down 8 with 5 seconds left. If Thibadeau’s psycho act doesn’t kill him, it’s gonna kill one of his players.

    Also makes you think about how hard he put the pedal to the metal at the end of the season to pass the Spurs, who aren’t even playing now.

    This series obviously has a long way to go, but I am starting to buy into the Lebron-Cavs vs. Rose-Bulls comparison – kick ass regular season, one true star, playoff flameout.

  46. massive

    Since Chicago’s epic 7 game series against Boston two years ago, the media has been in love with the Bulls. They have never said one bad thing about those guys. It’s sickening.

  47. Jim Cavan Post author

    @52

    I think the Bulls have a stronger supporting cast than LeBron could have dreamed of playing in Cleveland. The real difference is in the coaching. Mike Brown was decidedly hands-off, while Thibs is hands-on-throat. Which explains their illogical drive to get the best record when maybe the should have been resting guys.

    Someone in a thread a few weeks back brought up the Skiles comparison: they’ll squeeze every ounce of effort out of their guys, but inevitably the players grow tired of the Norman Dale Hoosiers act and rebel.

  48. d-mar

    @55 I get that the Bulls have a much better supporting group, but then again, Rose is not LeBron, either (despite the media slobbering over him)

  49. BigBlueAL

    Jim Cavan:
    @52

    I think the Bulls have a stronger supporting cast than LeBron could have dreamed of playing in Cleveland. The real difference is in the coaching. Mike Brown was decidedly hands-off, while Thibs is hands-on-throat. Which explains their illogical drive to get the best record when maybe the should have been resting guys.

    Someone in a thread a few weeks back brought up the Skiles comparison: they’ll squeeze every ounce of effort out of their guys, but inevitably the players grow tired of the Norman Dale Hoosiers act and rebel.

    Difference could be though that it looks like the players dont like Skiles while that may not be the same way with Thibs. JVG was considered like that a bit yet all his players loved him and never spoke a bad word about him, including guys like Camby and Spree who didnt get along with him that great at the beginning. Thibs did learn alot from JVG and Doc so maybe he knows that he has to relate to the players a bit unlike Skiles who just looks/sounds like a prick lol.

  50. Jim Cavan Post author

    Not even close. I mean, the kid is likeable, don’t get me wrong. He’s a tremendous player. I just feel like point guards like that don’t win multiple titles. The Bulls have enough of those anyway, so I for one would be more than happy to watch them perennially strike out.

  51. massive

    Derrick Rose has a much better supporting cast the LeBron did with the Cavs. But, the Cavs had a much better franchise player in LeBron than the Bulls do with Rose. So I would agree that Rose’s Bulls = LeBron’s Cavs. I just hope the Bulls don’t sign Jason Richardson in the offseason.

  52. rooster_douglas

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Bulls lost one game. ONE! Let’s not count them out just yet. And how can anyone say the Bulls have only one star? Both Boozer and Noah are All-Star caliber players, certainly more so than either Mo Williams or Antawn Jamison.

    I too hate the Bulls, just not as much as I hate the Heat or the Celtics, so I’m not sure who to root for in the ATL series. Glad to see Jamal playing well though.

  53. Jafa

    Oh oh! Could the Hawks really beat the Bulls in 6? Could the Grizzlies really upset the Thunder? These playoffs just keep getting better. Would have been even better if the Knicks were still playing.

  54. BigBlueAL

    massive:
    Derrick Rose has a much better supporting cast the LeBron did with the Cavs. But, the Cavs had a much better franchise player in LeBron than the Bulls do with Rose. So I would agree that Rose’s Bulls = LeBron’s Cavs. I just hope the Bulls don’t sign Jason Richardson in the offseason.

    Bulls arent gonna be able to sign anybody aside from the mid-level for a long, long time unless the new CBA is drastically different. You got Noah/Deng/Boozer all making 8 figures til 2014 and that doesnt include Rose who will be making that much money soon enough too.

  55. massive

    I can see Jason Richardson signing on for the MLE to play with the Bulls, though. They’re a contender with a hole at the 2-spot, which means more playing time for him than would be pretty much anywhere else.

  56. Jafa

    How bad of a signing does Boozer look like right now? Injured a lot during the season, and when he’s finally health, is not even a good #2 offensive option, something he did well in Utah. Deng puts up more points for Chicago’s offense than Boozer, and he seems to not know what to do on offense unless he has a p&r PG.

    So, for the 2010 FA Power Forwards, we have:
    1. STAT
    2. Bosh
    3. Lee
    4. Boozer

    Bulls got the worst option of the 4 at roughly the same price.

  57. Jafa

    @63:

    You are assuming J-Rich would sign for that cheap MLE just to get a ring. Something tells me he’ll go where the most $ is. If Chicago wants him, they can always trade with Orlando, and you know they like to wheel and deal.

  58. Owen

    I like the idea of Dalembert.

    If it’s going to Joe Johnson, Amare, and Melo I will fold up my tent and head for another territory….

    Crazy stuff happening in the playoff, I must agree….

  59. hoolahoop

    I hate to rain on everyone’s parade, but short of a miracle, there is no path that will make the knicks a relevant competitor for title in the foreseeable future.
    The knicks future was forsaken at the all-star break. Melo got all his money and enabled Denver to gut our team and financial flexibility in the process.

  60. massive

    I’m wondering what it would take for us to land Nash and Gortat. I think that’s a good, realistic way (seeing that we’d be helping a rebuilding and cheap Phoenix cut salary) to man the paint, get Amar’e back to being the “best finisher at the basket in the league” Amar’e, and get Fields back to being the super awesome Landry Fields we remembered before the Nuggicks got here and froze him out of the offense. Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat would make things a lot better in New York now that I think about it. Would/could it be done, though? I know we’re saving money for Chris Paul, but I think the CBA will feature a hard, and therefore larger, cap without the MLE allowing us room to sign Paul when Nash and Turiaf expire.

  61. Robert Silverman

    I don’t think Phoenix wants to deal Gortat — he’s the first legit center they’ve had since Alvan Adams.

    But…a Nash/Lopez for Billups/Douglas (more likely, they’d demand Fields) deal they might do. Not sure I’d do it, but that’s one they’d consider

  62. massive

    @69,

    Well that sucks. I just hope we can get Nash in New York to solve our offensive problems and score 130 a night on teams (even if we give up 120).

  63. massive

    BigBlueAL:
    Melo wouldve made the shot Kobe missed for the win :-)

    Melo wouldn’t have taken it off-balance, either. Kobe was wide open, and still took it off balance. I guess Kobe needs a defender in his face at all times in order for him to score?

  64. BigBlueAL

    massive:
    @69,

    Well that sucks. I just hope we can get Nash in New York to solve our offensive problems and score 130 a night on teams (even if we give up 120).

    Knicks finished 5th in Offensive Efficiency according to Hollinger. 7th in Offensive Efficiency according to basketballreference.com. Their rankings moved up after the Melo trade from 8th to 5th and 9th to 7th on those sites. Offense is not a problem for the current Knicks.

  65. Brian Cronin

    We’ve had this discussion before, but to reiterate, I disagree. The Knicks went up in offense basically the same amount they went down in defense. That is not good. They needed to improve in offense more to offset their defensive liabilities (which are going to persist with pretty much any lineup they have next year).

    I personally hope that Billups learns SSOL, as that should generate that extra improvement.

  66. latke

    yes, with two guys on maximum contracts who make their living solely due to their offense, the Knicks should be better offensively (not to mention Billups, who makes $14 million mostly due to his offense). Not only that, but the most concerning stat has to be the fact that the Knicks were a -2 (i believe) on the season with both Amare and Carmelo on the floor.

  67. BigBlueAL

    I still think they have to improve their defense. Sure if they improve their offense to #1 overall and still play bad defense they will improve be a better team but since everyone here is talking about how to become a championship contender they have to become a league average defense at worst like D’Antoni’s best teams in Phoenix were.

    They dont have to become a Top 10 defense. If they get into the Top 15 range that would be great. I guess the question is what will it be easier to do, go from being a Top 5 offense to the best offense or go from being the 22nd best defense to a Top 15 defense.

    Screw it, I say become the #1 offense and a Top 15 defense so your right they have to improve both lol.

  68. BigBlueAL

    Also I guess Im just assuming they will improve offensively so thats why Im focusing on the defense. They could bring back the exact same team next season and Im pretty sure they will be a Top 5 offense if not even Top 2 or 3 as long as obviously their Big 3 are healthy all season long.

    Its just that when I read people say they have to improve their offense I take it as them saying they were bad on offense or at least not as good on offense after the trade which wasnt true.

  69. ess-dog

    re: Haddadi, he should get a contract just based on his per minute stats. Not sure why he hasn’t been playing more. I would look into him multi year if we can get him for around 2 mil. Then we can trade Balkman for cash and basically keep our cap space for 2012. Would D’Antoni play him though?

  70. latke

    BBA, I feel like we need both things. I just worry about STAT. A lot. While Carmelo has played on both good and bad defensive teams and has the kind of diverse offensive skill that will allow him to be at least a decent volume scorer no matter what system he’s in, Stoudemire has never played on a team that wasn’t centered around spreading the floor and running the high pick and roll. Furthermore, while Carmelo is not a great defender, he is at least average when he cares to be. Stoudemire has shown almost no aptitude for man defense and for most of his career has been a subpar rebounder.

    The Stoudemire we saw post-trade could be a sneak preview of what we’ll get if we put too much attention on defense, and that Stoudemire is not a very good player. Basically, in every single statistical category he showed a decline, the most concerning of which being his scoring efficiency. He was still a good offensive player, but with his piss-poor defense, it often felt like it was a liability to have him out there. If he’s going to stay on this team, I just can’t see us having success without him being the dominant offensive force he was for us before the trade and throughout his career in Phoenix.

  71. Nick C.

    Brian Cronin: I can’t believe Stern seriously said today that “the state of the league is very good.” Dude, your owners are a month or so away from locking out the players!!! The state of the league can’t be that good if that’s going to happen!

    I know this is twelve hours late but…I find that type of stuff almost hysterical. I thought he was crying that many teams are losing money. It is amazing that he gets a free pass.

  72. Frank

    I don’t think we can underestimate how much some continuity might help us in terms of team defense. D’Antoni’s had to coach 60+ players with guys on and off the team every few weeks over the past few years. The best team defenses have played together for years AND/OR have amazing individual defenders that can make up for their newness in a system with pure instinct and athleticism. Since we don’t really have the latter, we need to have the former.

    That said, someone needs to work every day this offseason with Amare on individual and team defense concepts. He is clearly the worst on-ball and PnR defender on this team, and given he plays near the basket all the time, just kills our overall defense when he is in.

    Look at this link from the celtics blog — they’re just laughing at us:

    http://celticshub.com/2011/04/26/picks-fix-knicks-how-the-cs-turned-the-series-around/

    If I were the Knicks coaches, I’d make Amare watch this on loop and read the commentary from the website over and over.

    “Finally, at last, when they went on the road, the Celtics discovered that picks are the key to beating the Knicks, in particular Amare Stoudemire. Amare loses his mind every time a pick goes down. Much like a butterfly flapping its wings in South America can affect the weather in Central Park, a pick being set anywhere in the world will confuse Amare Stoudemire. After the jump, enjoy video of Amare Stoudemire being totally dismantled by basketball’s most basic play.”

    Until he realizes that his defensive awareness is the problem (and not playing center, mismatches, etc etc), this team will never reach the next step.

  73. Owen

    I can’t believe I went to sleep last night and didn’t watch the end of that game. Kills me. With all the NBA basketball I watch, to pass on one of the best endings of the year because I figured Kobe would “close” it out with the Lakers having a 16 point lead. ;-)

    The lakers will win though….

  74. d-mar

    This is why I can’t stand 90% of the basketball writers in this town, from Harvey Araton in today’s NY Times regarding Z-bo:

    “Could Randolph have been a building block in NY at a much lower cost than Stoudemire? We’ll never know, but be sure of one thing: Had it been him catching the pass from Melo at the end of game 2 in Boston and not Jeffries, the Knicks would have had their first playoff victory in 10 years”

    Um, STAT sat out the whole 2nd half of that game, Harvey, if you’re dealing in hypotheticals, maybe he would have caught that pass? Just dumb.

  75. massive

    That article and those videos embarrassing Stat need to be shown to him immediately. It’s depressing to see the team you absolutely hate poke fun at your franchise player. What hurts even more is Amar’e’s complete ineptitude to defend the pick and roll. Somebody bring in a defensive coordinator so we can fix this problem immediately. We could have came back in Game 4 if it wasn’t for Stat’s defensive IQ.

  76. Doug

    The Grantland piece by Katie Baker is amazing. Everyone should read it.

    Highlights: Amare is referred to as a “walking rectangle”; learning that 5 year old Amare Jr. wears a Knicks jersey with the number 1/2 to games

  77. New Guy

    With all this talk off free agency, does anyone actually think our existing salaries are going to remain after the next CBA?

    For example, Amar’e and Melo make the max now, which is $19 mil.

    The max is likely to decrease. Let’s say it goes down 25% for arguments sake.

    If the owners get their way, Amar’e and Melo’s salary will be cut by 25%.

    If the players hold the line, though, here’s where it gets interesting. You can have Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard making a maximum salary that is 25% lower than the maximum salary Melo and Amar’e, LeBron and Wade, etc are making, thus giving their teams a TREMENDOUS competitive advantage.

    Why in god’s name would that be allowed? My feeling is if Stern can’t get salary rollbacks, at the very least common sense suggests that grandfathered salaries will count proportionately less against the cap. So Amar’e and Melo get paid $19 mil, but count for only $14.5, or something like that.

    Isn’t that the only way this would work? Any other way seems absurd to me.

  78. ess-dog

    I don’t know if that Amare pnr was the best example ever. It looked like Melo should’ve been on Pierce there.

    Which brings me to something and maybe I’m just ignorant, but why don’t the Knicks play more zone??? Especially since we’re a running team and zones are usually favored by smaller teams – this is something I remember even from junior high.

    Plus, if they want to go small can’t Amare just sit back as goaltender while a smaller, faster group fronts the zone? Maybe the shooters are too good in the league? But it seems to make sense with our group. I know Dallas is playing a lot of zone now to good effect.

  79. d-mar

    I’ve gotta give Amare a little bit of a pass for his D in Game 4. I was there and watched him after plays, and he walked around like a 75 year old man. I know his D has never been anything to write home about, but he was not even close to 100% for that game.

  80. BigBlueAL

    Best part from that excellent article linked above:

    After the final home game of the season, a Knicks spokesman idly mentioned to Melo in the locker room that Steve Francis had been at the game. “Steve Francis,” Melo repeated with a smirk. “He still on the payroll?”

  81. rooster_douglas

    A bit off topic but does anyone have an idea if we picked up Billy Buckets’/Billy Bunnies’/Billy “Sky” Walker’s extension? It was my understanding that we had to decide on it by Sunday but I haven’t heard anything from anyone one way or another, not even from the normally loquacious Hahn.

  82. Brian Cronin

    My latest Sports Legend Revealed at the LA Times is a basketball-related one. Did Manute Bol coin the phrase “my bad”? Check it out here.

  83. Brian Cronin

    To wit, last year they signed Amar’e before picking up Walker’s option.

  84. Z

    I don’t think Walker has an option. Weren’t the last two years of his contract picked up last year?

  85. Brian Cronin

    HoopsHype says the Knicks have a team option for $916,100 and that jibes with what I was thinking (to wit, why would they have picked up his team option for 2011-12 in 2010 if they didn’t have to?).

  86. Z

    I think that by exercising the option last year the final two years kicked in. I vaguely remember reading something like that at the time. Sham Sports has no mention of an option.

  87. d-mar

    What team is gonna stop Miami at this point from winning a championship? It ain’t the Bulls, so can any team out West beat them? The only possibility I see is if the Lakers get their mojo back and are healthy for the Finals. Otherwise, we may see the heartwarming sight of LeBron raising the trophy and shedding fake tears (ugh)

  88. Brian Cronin

    My brother was trying to argue with me that Lebron winning with Wade as the Finals MVP would hurt Lebron’s legacy, so there’s that to hope for, at least. I don’t buy it, but it is an interesting theory, at least.

  89. latke

    The old vet teams are showing their age: LA, San Antonio, and Boston are all a good deal worse this year. IMO, Lebron would have won a championship in Cleveland in the next couple of years. The only team that could have given them trouble is Oklahoma City, and as good as they are, you can already see the tension between Westbrook and Durant developing. Reminds me a bit of how Marbury couldn’t stand being in Garnett’s shadow, and it’s never a good sign when you get compared psychologically to Stephon Marbury.

  90. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Bill Simmons did an extended riff in his NBA column today comparing Westbrook to Marbury. It really is an apt comparison (as is the Marbury/Rose comp).

  91. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Brian Cronin:
    My brother was trying to argue with me that Lebron winning with Wade as the Finals MVP would hurt Lebron’s legacy, so there’s that to hope for, at least. I don’t buy it, but it is an interesting theory, at least.

    (I know you know all of this, Brian, so take this more as a post to the uninitiated who may have stumbled in from ESPN.com)

    Shaq couldn’t win it all without another great player; neither could Duncan; neither could David Robinson; neither could Olajuwon; neither could Kobe; neither could Jordan; neither could Wade; neither could LeBron; and the list goes on and on.

    The Detroit Pistons are the only superstar-less team in the last twenty years to win a title. If this “hurts” LeBron’s legacy it is due to sheer stupidity (surprise) on the part of the sports media. They’ve been mouth-breathing morons since they formed way back when, and they’re taking the public along for the brainless, substance-less ride.

    At the end of the day, who really cares about legacy (aside from LeBron’s business manager)? We have the numbers, and they tell us that LeBron’s been the best player in the NBA since what, ’06?. There’s really no debate. You replace Ginobili (a great, underrated, top-5 all-time SG) with LeBron and the Spurs still win in ’07. Pierce with LeBron in ’08, Celts still win. LeBron with Kobe? Three-time champions.

    Legacy is as real as you make it. No one with the faculty of reason actually believes that Jeter is a good shortstop. The media saying it’s so does not make it so.

  92. rooster_douglas

    Ginobili: top 5 all time SG? Is that what I just read? Thats some tenebrous level craziness. Dude is always banged up. Not even on my radar for top-10 all-time.

  93. BigBlueAL

    rooster_douglas:
    Ginobili: top 5 all time SG? Is that what I just read? Thats some tenebrous level craziness. Dude is always banged up. Not even on my radar for top-10 all-time.

    His advanced stats are through the roof for his entire career but to me he has played way too few games and minutes to be considered an all-time NBA great.

    This year was the first time he played in at least 80 games and for his career he averages only 28 mins/g. He has also started barely half of his games played which really isnt that big a deal but still.

    He is definitely underrated most likely by many but calling him a Top 5 all-time SG is a typical Cock Jowles exaggeration just like saying Landry Fields is/was the best player on the Knicks.

  94. rooster_douglas

    I know this is a weird time (such is the life of a college student) for a random comment, but I find myself jonesin for a season finale of the Andy and Landry Show, though I doubt it could ever happen… Unless it was made entirely by the stars themselves?

    Anyways, I was also pretty curious to see how KnickerBlogger nation felt about the Heat-C’s series, specifically who people are rooting for. I find myself rooting for the Heat; my rationale being I don’t really care when Miami loses so long as they don’t win it all but every C’s loss feels like a victory to me…. I’m still trying to forgive myself for rooting for them last year (against the Cavs).

  95. daJudge

    Berman is reporting that Knicks are interested in Dalembert. This is nothing new really. If the MLE stays the same and the Knicks sign Dalembert, I have two (three) questions. (1) What do people think about adding him as compared to other (maybe cheaper) possibilities? How good will he be with Melo and Stat? (2) If the CBA remains similar and MLE remains about the same, would his signing end any hope of signing another high end FA in 2012 w/o trading Melo/Stat? If we have some potential to sign CP3 in 2012 (a big ‘if’ I guess), then I do not think Dalembert is worth it. If the CP3 thing is just a pipe dream, Dalembert may be our best bet. It seems like DW may be thinking that the CP3 strategy is not the way to go because it is risky, depletes the team even further and will prevent the acquisition of a quality big. I’m a huge CP3 fan and would love to see him on the Knicks, but the pursuit strategy may backfire like the LeBron debacle.

  96. GHenman

    I don’t care who wins the Heat-Celtics series. I just want to see a long bruising battle that leaves the winner too battered to compete in the next round. I would rather sign Dalembert, draft a guard and get on with our lives, than wait and pray for a CP3 miracle. I’m tired of waiting for Godot.

  97. New Guy

    d-mar:
    What team is gonna stop Miami at this point from winning a championship? It ain’t the Bulls, so can any team out West beat them? The only possibility I see is if the Lakers get their mojo back and are healthy for the Finals. Otherwise, we may see the heartwarming sight of LeBron raising the trophy and shedding fake tears (ugh)

    Dallas, if they get by the Lakers.

  98. New Guy

    If you are anti-Heat (as most of us Knicks fans are), you should definitely be rooting for the Mavs.

    They blew out Miami twice this year, and they were robbed in 2006 by the same team.

  99. jon abbey

    rooster_douglas:
    Ginobili: top 5 all time SG? Is that what I just read? Thats some tenebrous level craziness. Dude is always banged up. Not even on my radar for top-10 all-time.

    hey, some common sense, always nice to see here.

    Westbrook is still only 22, I wouldn’t saddle him with Marbury comparisons quite yet.

  100. jon abbey

    I actually think Knicks fans should be rooting for Miami, solely out of self-interest. if Miami’s 2 superstars/1 overrated superstar/scrubs model works in year 1, that should boost the perceived value of guys like Amare and Melo even more, if we want to trade one of them.

  101. Shad0wF0x

    @114

    My problem with WS/48 is that imagine if Ginobili was a Clipper instead of a Spur all these years. I think that would put a serious dent on his stat.

  102. domiknick

    Jim Cavan: Big ups to Simmons for having one of his first two preview stories for his new affiliate site, Grantland.com, be about the Knicks. What’s more amazing than that is how well it’s written. Awesome. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=110502/preview/katie-baker-on-the-new-york-knicks

    One of my favorite parts from said article:

    “D’Antoni’s adherence to his offensive doctrine these days is not as fanatical as it is often portrayed. (Knicks beat writers can spot press room newbies by their use of the phrase “seven seconds or less offense” in a question; the coach will nearly always point out that it was never a phrase, it was a book title, and not his idea.) A fair amount of his style rests upon letting players make on-the-fly decisions themselves. One of the funniest scenes in the actual “:07 Seconds or Less” book, by Jack McCallum, occurs when the Orlando Magic leave behind a scouting report about the Phoenix Suns, whom D’Antoni was coaching at the time. Describing the offense it says: “Literally nothing is frowned upon.””

  103. Frank

    I watched just a little bit of the MIA-BOS game, and it didn’t take long to realize that guys like Dwyane Wade and Lebron are officiated totally differently from anyone else. Lebron x 2 and Wade x 1 absolutely just ran over a stationary defender (Pierce twice and Rondo once I think) — two were no calls and 1 was a foul called on Rondo. Without a doubt, STAT would have had an offensive foul called —

    I just think the refs get it in their heads that certain guys are prone to offensive fouls, and are much more likely to call them on those guys. It happens on defense too – Mozgov (just one example) came in with a reputation for being foul-prone, and he couldn’t tap someone on the shoulder without being called for a foul.

  104. Nick C.

    Frank: I watched just a little bit of the MIA-BOS game, and it didn’t take long to realize that guys like Dwyane Wade and Lebron are officiated totally differently from anyone else. Lebron x 2 and Wade x 1 absolutely just ran over a stationary defender (Pierce twice and Rondo once I think) — two were no calls and 1 was a foul called on Rondo. Without a doubt, STAT would have had an offensive foul called — I just think the refs get it in their heads that certain guys are prone to offensive fouls, and are much more likely to call them on those guys. It happens on defense too – Mozgov (just one example) came in with a reputation for being foul-prone, and he couldn’t tap someone on the shoulder without being called for a foul.

    I didn’t want to say it but sinc you brought it up from 80-80 the next minute Miami put the game nearly out of reach thanks to the refs giving touch, if anything, calls for and ones to Miami while Boston was busy missing after far more contact on the other end. Just like that it was 88-80. Not quite as sour a taste in my mouth as the Miami Dallas finals but if this is how they will roll it becomes a little too much like pro wrestling for me. Rant over.

  105. Jim Cavan Post author

    Frank: I just think the refs get it in their heads that certain guys are prone to offensive fouls, and are much more likely to call them on those guys. It happens on defense too – Mozgov (just one example) came in with a reputation for being foul-prone, and he couldn’t tap someone on the shoulder without being called for a foul.

    Watching Mozgov those first few games was really, really frustrating for that very reason. I don’t think you could chalk it up to giving the rookie a hard time either. I really believe that certain attitudes about players and their propensity for fouls ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy for a lot of these refs. The question is how you stop / change this or make it better. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a way to do this without completely changing the nature of refs and calling fouls.

    A few weeks back Robert made the point that the horrible, inconsistent refereeing is part of the game’s charm, in that the mighty and powerful getting the benefit of the doubt only mimmicks the dynamics within greater society. Which I guess is comforting, on the poetic-narrative level. Sort of. I guess.

  106. domiknick

    Frank: I watched just a little bit of the MIA-BOS game, and it didn’t take long to realize that guys like Dwyane Wade and Lebron are officiated totally differently from anyone else. Lebron x 2 and Wade x 1 absolutely just ran over a stationary defender (Pierce twice and Rondo once I think) — two were no calls and 1 was a foul called on Rondo. Without a doubt, STAT would have had an offensive foul called — I just think the refs get it in their heads that certain guys are prone to offensive fouls, and are much more likely to call them on those guys. It happens on defense too – Mozgov (just one example) came in with a reputation for being foul-prone, and he couldn’t tap someone on the shoulder without being called for a foul.

    I totally agree. And I think it could be even more pronounced if say, you had someone who had a propensity to draw offensive fouls (say a Derek Fisher) and someone who was prone to being called for offensive fouls (Amare) collide on a play similar to what happened with Lebron/Rondo on that one break you’re referring to. It appeared that Rondo had position (albeit a little late, although Fisher gets this call ALL the time) and Lebron just literally ran him over. If it’s Lebron/Fisher, maybe their “tendencies” cancel each other out. If it’s Amare/Rondo, maybe their “tendencies” cancel each other out. But unfortunately, in the real life situation, Lebron (who doesn’t have a tendency to get called for offensive fouls) runs over Rondo (who doesn’t have a tendency to draw offensive fouls) and you see the result.

  107. Frank

    Re: the Dalembert thing – no way does he sign with us for the MLE x 1 year. If we want to sign him it’ll have to be the full MLE with max years even to get the conversation started since Miami will probably offer him the same. It’s all moot without a CBA in place, but I would not be opposed. He’s been quite durable, has a career rebound rate around 19, blocks shots, and isn’t a total zero on offense.

    Assuming the CP3 or DH12 dream is just that – a dream – a very reasonable way to go might be to sign Dalembert for the max MLE (assuming it exists) – then either trade Billups for another PG, draft picks, or whatever in-season next year or just let him fall off the cap when his contract expires. That should leave us with some cap space, maybe 5-6M? in 2012. We can throw that at Nash who will be a stopgap for a year or two — then we can concentrate our draft picks towards finding a permanent solution at PG. Or we sign Ramon Sessions for that same 5-6M.

    These are all probably lower-risk with medium-high reward as compared with throwing all our baskets into the max FA thing again.

  108. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: What’s more likely: that Charles Barkley is the best PF of all time and Chauncey Billups is a top 40 all-time great?Or that WS/48 alone is in no way a valid means by which to objectively rank players?

    You’re right. WP/48 is a much better stat, and it still says “Manu is an all-timer.”

    And Charles Barkley, I’m not sure if you know — he was really ****ing good. You pick two names from the list and that’s supposed to discredit the statistic? That makes no sense.

    @119

    Just because he (would have) played on a bad team doesn’t make him a bad player. Was Kevin Garnett’s value overblown because his T’wolves teams were awful? No. Was LeBron overrated because most of the Cavs were borderline NBA players at best? No. The whole “But He Plays on a Bad Team” argument is fallacious.

    Like I’ve said before, if you put LeBron on a team with 4 sixth-graders, he’s still the best player in the league. 2001-2004 Barry Bonds with 8 paraplegics, still the best hitter in the league. The overall success of a team does nothing to detract from a player’s value. Hence why so many of us wanted to trade for Kevin Love before he, as many called, turned into an elite version of David Lee.

  109. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: You’re right. WP/48 is a much better stat, and it still says “Manu is an all-timer.”

    And Charles Barkley, I’m not sure if you know — he was really ****ing good. You pick two names from the list and that’s supposed to discredit the statistic? That makes no sense.

    @119

    Just because he (would have) played on a bad team doesn’t make him a bad player. Was Kevin Garnett’s value overblown because his T’wolves teams were awful? No. Was LeBron overrated because most of the Cavs were borderline NBA players at best? No. The whole “But He Plays on a Bad Team” argument is fallacious.

    Like I’ve said before, if you put LeBron on a team with 4 sixth-graders, he’s still the best player in the league. 2001-2004 Barry Bonds with 8 paraplegics, still the best hitter in the league. The overall success of a team does nothing to detract from a player’s value. Hence why so many of us wanted to trade for Kevin Love before he, as many called, turned into an elite version of David Lee.

    Of course Barkley was a very good player. Do you think he was the best power forward of all time? Or a top-10 all around player? Did you watch him (not) play defense?

    If you’re just going to link to a list of players ranked according to a certain metric and say “QED, all-time great” you have to be prepared to defend the bizarre outliers. Either the stat tells the tale or it doesn’t.

  110. ess-dog

    I think you have to wait for Howard/CP3 b/c that’s the only way you possibly win a championship. Unless both Stat and Melo go nuts out of nowhere a la Z-bo, we are not going to win a title picking up Dalembert, a #17 pick, or other bit players. It’s possible we can field 5 excellent but not amazing starters the way Detroit did in 2004 but it’s probably less likely than us getting Paul/Howard in 2012.

    So you’re sort of forfeiting next year (although maybe not wasting a midlevel on Dalembert is actually smarter in the long run) and just solidifying until your next “star” gets here. It sucks to just wait but it’s no fun being the Phoenix Suns of 2004-2010 either.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Why defend an outlier? Isn’t it possible that the subjective “consensus” (which also, wouldn’t you know, seems to posit that Derrick Rose is somehow better than Howard, LeBron, AND Chris Paul) is wrong?

  112. Jim Cavan Post author

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The overall success of a team does nothing to detract from a player’s value.

    Umm…. Aren’t we talking about win shares here? It’s one or the other: if Manu’s on the Clippers, his win shares go down, and he most likely barely cracks the top 100 on that list.

    You argued that Manu is a top 5 all time SG. You then backed it up with the only statistic where that’s the case. But then you argue players like KG, who actually is top 5 at his position all time, should have their greatness recognized despite their relatively low WSs. Of course, it’s probably safe to say a majority of the guys with the highest WSs are also “eye-test” all time greats. Because teams that win a lot tend to have the best players. But Manu should not be counted in that group, and he is in no way a top 5 all time SG in any way other than this stat and this stat alone.

  113. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Why defend an outlier? Isn’t it possible that the subjective “consensus” (which also, wouldn’t you know, seems to posit that Derrick Rose is somehow better than Howard, LeBron, AND Chris Paul) is wrong?

    Are you suggesting I think that Derrick Rose is better than those three?

  114. flossy

    flossy: Are you suggesting I think that Derrick Rose is better than those three?

    Sorry, hit submit too fast.

    Don’t discredit my WS/48 skepticism by attributing other’s opinions to me… if you’re using one statistic to “prove” that a player is top-5 all time or whatever, it should be incumbent upon you to justify how that metric can rank Manu ahead of, just to pull a random, obvious example, Oscar Robertson.

  115. flossy

    Jim Cavan: Umm…. Aren’t we talking about win shares here? It’s one or the other: if Manu’s on the Clippers, his win shares go down, and he most likely barely cracks the top 100 on that list.

    You argued that Manu is a top 5 all time SG. You then backed it up with the only statistic where that’s the case. But then you argue players like KG, who actually is top 5 at his position all time, should have their greatness recognized despite their relatively low WSs. Of course, it’s probably safe to say a majority of the guys with the highest WSs are also “eye-test” all time greats. Because teams that win a lot tend to have the best players. But Manu should not be counted in that group, and he is in no way a top 5 all time SG in any way other than this stat and this stat alone.

    What you said.

  116. Frank

    While we’re talking about the “All-in-one” metrics out there and their relative utility — here’s my problem with so many of these.

    Why do we not like who the “mainstream media” or other “non-advanced” fans consider the best players? Because we can show with some level of confidence that some players that they consider great players are in fact high volume chuckers etc. We’re not disagreeing with them that LBJ, Durant, Wade etc. are all great players. We’re saying that there are some outliers in their “rankings” that we can use our random statistics to prove that they’re really not all that great.

    The problem with that is that no matter what “advanced” statistical measure you use to rank players, there are ALWAYS outliers. So what makes their outliers worse than WS/48 outliers? Nothing. If you tell me that the mainstream people are stupid because they think Carmelo Anthony is a top 15 player and you think he’s an overvalued selfish chucker because his WS/48 is <0.2, then the mainstream people should feel equally justified saying that Dave Berri and all his disciples are stupid because his metrics say that Troy Murphy was a top 20 player a few years back, and that Landry Fields is the best rookie since Michael Jordan.

    The all-in-one metrics are interesting because occasionally you pick out some players that maybe regular stats miss – like a David Lee, who showed up as very good on advanced stats well before the rest of the world caught up to him. But supporters of Win Shares or Wins produced or whatever just subconsciously ignore the players that are obviously overvalued in their system – but then kill the “mainstream” people because of players they overvalue.

    No one knows how to measure defense. No one knows how to measure the pass that leads to the easy assist. No one knows how to measure boxing out the opponent so someone on your team can get the ball. IMO – this team game is too complicated to boil down to any one…

  117. Shad0wF0x

    @ THJC

    I never implied that if Manu played for the Clippers would be a bad player. I was just trying to say that his WS/48 would go way down if he went from the 57.5 average wins per season 2003-2011 Spurs to the 31.3 average wins per season 2003-2011 Clippers.

    You even stated in post 107 that all these players won because they had great players around them.

  118. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Like I’ve said before, if you put LeBron on a team with 4 sixth-graders, he’s still the best player in the league. 2001-2004 Barry Bonds with 8 paraplegics, still the best hitter in the league. The overall success of a team does nothing to detract from a player’s value. Hence why so many of us wanted to trade for Kevin Love before he, as many called, turned into an elite version of David Lee.

    This is only if you feel comfortable absolving the player in question from the awfulness of the team. In baseball that’s pretty easy since it’s mostly an individual sport in team setting. Basketball is clearly different. In the case of Kevin Love (and David Lee for that matter), he has been criticized for emphasizing rebounding over playing defense – ie. forget contesting your man’s shot and getting yourself out of rebounding position – if I get 15 rebounds/game I’ll be on Sportscenter every night!

    If Berri is to be believed and individual rebounding is so important, you would think that the TWolves’ defense would be much better WITH the best rebounder on the planet on the floor – but the last 2 years the TWolves have been basically net even or worse with Love on the floor, even though the other frontcourt guys are Al Jefferson, Gomes etc.

  119. JK47

    Never mind outliers, WP/48 had Kevin Love as the single best player in the NBA last year, better than Dwight Howard, better than LBJ. It’s pretty freaking obvious that WP/48 does an incredibly shitty job of quantifying defense. Kevin Love is a goddamned sieve on defense. Best player in the league my ass.

  120. Brian Cronin

    It sucks to just wait but it’s no fun being the Phoenix Suns of 2004-2010 either.

    I’m totally down with them waiting one more year to see what happens with Paul/D-Will, but I think it would be very fun being the Phoenix Suns of 2004-2010. They made, what, three Western Conference Finals in that stretch? They won 60 games twice in that stretch. More or less, they were the early 90s Knicks, results-wise, and I had no real problem with those Knicks teams in retrospect.

    These Knicks would be extremely lucky to be as good as those Suns teams.

  121. Frank

    btw before you come after me for hating on Kevin Love, I think he’s a really good player. My only point is that you can’t really separate how awful a team is from its best player. Can you EVER imagine Dwyane Wade, Lebron, Kobe, etc. on teams that averaged 16 wins the last two years? That HAS to reflect on Love’s supposed greatness, despite how awesome he looks on paper.

  122. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Shad0wF0x:
    @ THJC

    I never implied that if Manu played for the Clippers would be a bad player. I was just trying to say that his WS/48 would go way down if he went from the 57.5 average wins per season 2003-2011 Spurs to the 31.3 average wins per season 2003-2011 Clippers.

    You even stated in post 107 that all these players won because they had great players around them.

    That’s wrong. The Clippers would have won more games with him on the floor. He is partly responsible for that average win total. This is perhaps the simplest assertion I can make about “win” stats.

    They won championships because they had great players around other great players. Manu Ginobili can win some games for his team. He would not be able to win a championship without Duncan, et al.

  123. Brian Cronin

    I personally eschew WP/48. WS/48 takes the good principles of WP/48 and tones down the “bad” ones.

    Take this list of the top WS/48 players in the league this past season:

    1. LeBron James-MIA 0.244
    2. Dwight Howard-ORL 0.236
    3. Pau Gasol-LAL 0.232
    4. Chris Paul-NOH 0.232
    5. Tyson Chandler-DAL 0.218
    6. Dwyane Wade-MIA 0.218
    7. Dirk Nowitzki-DAL 0.213
    8. Kevin Love-MIN 0.210
    9. Derrick Rose-CHI 0.208
    10. Nene Hilario-DEN 0.201
    11. Paul Pierce-BOS 0.201
    12. Manu Ginobili-SAS 0.195
    13. Kevin Garnett-BOS 0.194
    14. Kevin Durant-OKC 0.189
    15. Zach Randolph-MEM 0.185
    16. Lamar Odom-LAL 0.184
    17. Al Horford-ATL 0.179
    18. Kobe Bryant-LAL 0.179
    19. Chris Bosh-MIA 0.177
    20. Kevin Martin-HOU 0.175

    That’s a pretty darn solid list of players. The only real outlier is Chandler, who I think everyone did acknowledge had an amazing season this year, but this was probably fluky for him, as he’s never done this well before. In addition, you could make the argument that he was a product of relatively small minutes played (he played less than 30 a game) – that his specific body type would not hold up over longer stretches of playing time.

    But yes, of course even though I think Win Shares are great, they certainly are not the end all/be all. It is not like “oh, his WS/48 is .165 and his is .160, clearly the first guy is better.” They’re just an excellent guideline (CliffsNotes, if you would).

  124. Frank

    The other thing that is interesting in this whole discussion is that by essentially EVERY advanced stat, Chauncey Billups is an awesome player. Yet there was even a thread suggesting there was a possibility we shouldn’t resign him, even though it’s just a 1 year deal and there are no other viable options at PG! It’s amazing how watching a guy chuck up pull-up 3’s, wander/flop his way into ticky tack foul calls, and pad his FT/scoring/TS stats by being the guy that gets fouled at the end of games can make you reconsider his stats.

    Disclaimer – I think Chauncey is great and that we didn’t see the best of him at all this year. I was 1000% for resigning him. It’s just funny that in this whole discussion about advanced stats that we actually had a thread on whether it was a good idea to pick up the option on a guy who has a career ws/48 of 0.179, career TS of 58.2 (and has been 60+ 5 out of the last 7 years), and career offensive rating of 118.

  125. Ben R

    Looking only at SGs in the modern era, 1980 and on, I think you can make a pretty solid case for Manu as a top 5 SG. Not because he is that amazing but because the caliber of SGs is pretty low over the last 30 years. The injuries and late start to his career are strong arguments against but after Jordan, Kobe, Wade (also injury prone) and Drexler I think you can make an rgument at least for Manu being in the same class as Miller, Iverson, Allen, etc.

  126. Mike N

    Sign me up for Dalembert. He is big and legitimately athletic and can really rebound when he concentrates (which, admittedly, is not all the time). He doesn’t have great hands which limits him as a post scorer, but we don’t need him to do that. A center rotation of Dalembert/Turiaf/Jordan would be solid, at least for those times when Amare isn’t playing the 5.

    In general, I agree with those who say it’s time to build a complete team and not wait another year for another star who may or may not come.

  127. BigBlueAL

    Mike N:
    Sign me up for Dalembert. He is big and legitimately athletic and can really rebound when he concentrates (which, admittedly, is not all the time). He doesn’t have great hands which limits him as a post scorer, but we don’t need him to do that. A center rotation of Dalembert/Turiaf/Jordan would be solid, at least for those times when Amare isn’t playing the 5.

    In general, I agree with those who say it’s time to build a complete team and not wait another year for another star who may or may not come.

    His rebounding and shot-blocking numbers for his career are pretty good. Also he has become a 70+ % FT shooter and from what Ive seen has become a decent mid-range shooter (dunno the numbers though). He is coming off a poor shooting season but for his career his TS% is 55% and since we were talking about WS/48 before his career WS/48 is .111 which isnt bad.

    It will come down to size and length of contract of course. Although apparently he would like to play for the Knicks which is good I guess.

  128. KnickfaninNJ

    I agree with Mike N, ess-dog and others. I like Dalembert. Maybe it would make it impossible to get get CP3 or someone of his caliber, but on the other hand the Knicks would have reasonable people at all positions and we might regularly be watching good team basketball. That would be very nice

  129. BigBlueAL

    Whoa, apparently TD had successful right shoulder arthroscopic surgery today to repair a torn labrum. Recovery time is expected to be 12-16 weeks.

    Could help explain his horrible series vs Boston??

  130. Frank O.

    In my view, Rose winning the MVP is a joke.

    He is a good guard, no doubt, but he isn’t even the best point guard in the NBA. He may be the most athletic point guard in the NBA.

    And don’t give me the Bulls turnaround crap. The guy had Noah and Boozer, and a solid supporting case.

    Indeed, when comparing to Nash, it’s not clear he’s better. Indeed, in categories most important to point guards, Nash is a lot better. Just that Nash didn’t have the supporting cast.

    Rose/Nash (leader in bold)
    PER 23/20.8, WS/48 .208/.153, TS% .550/.601, eFG% .485/.542, AST% 38.7/53.1, asp36 7.4/12.3, FT% .858/.912, USG% 32.2/21.4.

    It appears to me that Rose wins mostly because he scores a lot of points (on a lot of shots), although he’s far less efficient, and he’s very athletic.
    You could pull Paul’s numbers and Williams’ numbers and probably do the same thing.
    I just don’t get it.

  131. Frank O.

    I’m not suggesting Nash should have gotten the MVP. I only wanted to show that in efficiency and production, Nash is a far better player.

  132. Frank O.

    I think it’s crazy that Dwight Howard didn’t win MVP.
    The guy single-handedly made that team into a playoff team.
    Truly, if there is a player close to being unstoppable in the NBA, it is Howard.

  133. Frank

    Frank O.:
    I think it’s crazy that Dwight Howard didn’t win MVP.
    The guy single-handedly made that team into a playoff team.
    Truly, if there is a player close to being unstoppable in the NBA, it is Howard.

    Totally agree, although I think in most cases you could make a case for multiple players – it’s just a media love-fest/popularity contest. I mean seriously, Shaq should have won about 10 of those things but I guess no one voted for him because it’s just unfair that he’s so big and athletic?

  134. Frank

    Meanwhile I take back everything bad I ever said about Toney Douglas. I’ve had a frayed/torn labrum and at times it is hard to even lift your arm much less play professional basketball. Probably doesn’t explain why he was so horrible on D against Rondo, but chronic shooting pain any time you move your arm is probably grounds for a pass in my book.

  135. John Kenney

    Uh… so everyone within the organization just kept quiet about Toney having torn labrum?!?!?!?!? Seriously??? I’m kind of shocked right now. How would it not help them-image wise- to say he was hurt? Definitely removes some heat in that playoff series if you say ,”Well Chauncey’s out, toney needs surgery..”

  136. BigBlueAL

    Frank:
    Meanwhile I take back everything bad I ever said about Toney Douglas. I’ve had a frayed/torn labrum and at times it is hard to even lift your arm much less play professional basketball. Probably doesn’t explain why he was so horrible on D against Rondo, but chronic shooting pain any time you move your arm is probably grounds for a pass in my book.

    Yeah, it has been reported all season long that TD had a bad shoulder. After the week off from the All-Star break he played really well for rest of the season and it was said the rest really helped him but apparently it started bothering him alot again during the playoffs.

  137. Shad0wF0x

    To put the Ginobili discussion to rest (for me anyway), I will say that out of memory I can’t really name that many people over the last couple of years I’d rather have at SG. I’m not familiar with Drexler, Richmond, or Dumars so I can’t really comment on their games. In terms of longevity (despite his injuries) he’s still very effective at age 33.

    If Dalembert comes, I think I’d be completely fine by it. It’d be interesting if we can sign both Dalembert and Wilson Chandler. For a larger defensive lineup, Dalembert will play center and for a run and gun setup, we’ll run with STAT and Chandler at C and PF respectively.

  138. BigBlueAL

    Plus it was his right shoulder which is his shooting arm. Hell its his everything arm (dribbling/passing).

  139. nicos

    You have to wonder if the Knicks knew how serious the injury was- if he was playing on a partial tear for a good part of the season it probably would have made sense to shut him down and let it heal. Hopefully it’ll be ready to go by training camp but you have to figure (as with pitchers) that he’ll be dealing with scar tissue for a while even after he’s cleared to resume basketball activity- not great for a guy whose greatest strength is his long distance shooting.

    Also on Manu- Top 5 all time? No way. Top 5 since 1980? Probably not- Along with MJ, Kobe, Wade, and Drexler, I’d take Reggie Miller over him as well (he had 12 years with WS’s of over 10, Manu just 3- those extra minutes and games played per season really add up). Top 10 since 1980 for sure- really, really good no matter how you slice it.

  140. flossy

    Frank O.:
    In my view, Rose winning the MVP is a joke.

    He is a good guard, no doubt, but he isn’t even the best point guard in the NBA. He may be the most athletic point guard in the NBA.

    And don’t give me the Bulls turnaround crap. The guy had Noah and Boozer, and a solid supporting case.

    Indeed, when comparing to Nash, it’s not clear he’s better. Indeed, in categories most important to point guards, Nash is a lot better. Just that Nash didn’t have the supporting cast.

    Rose/Nash (leader in bold)
    PER 23/20.8, WS/48 .208/.153, TS% .550/.601, eFG% .485/.542, AST% 38.7/53.1, asp36 7.4/12.3, FT% .858/.912, USG% 32.2/21.4.

    It appears to me that Rose wins mostly because he scores a lot of points (on a lot of shots), although he’s far less efficient, and he’s very athletic.
    You could pull Paul’s numbers and Williams’ numbers and probably do the same thing.
    I just don’t get it.

    Here’s another thought experiment: replace Rose with Russell Westbrook and the Bulls are probably still a top 3 seed in the East. Replace Dwight Howard with anyone else and the Magic are a tragedy.

  141. KnickfaninNJ

    Orlando is already a tragedy. Arenas is making Vince Carter look great and no one else on the team is making him look bad

  142. SeeWhyDee77

    U kno..i’m a lil slow but I was just thinkin..Nobody is gonna offer Dalembert the full MLE most likely, rite. I would have no problem with Walsh throwin it at him. If he focuses on interior D and rebounding for us, it would allow Stat and Melo to do what they do best. However, we’ve all seen how those 2 can perform defensively when focused so I don’t wanna lose that. But adding a paint defender of Dalembert’s ilk would allow our guns to spend more energy on offense until we need lockdown D in the 4th. Dalembert’s averages may not show how he has improved over his career, but I see it. He’s not quite a Camby type on defense, but his shooting averages proves that he won’t be a Jeffries type liability in late game situations. I love the idea of goin after him.

  143. daJudge

    I really like TD, but his shoulder injury probably did not impair his poor passing and poor decision making at the point. I’m sure his shot suffered however. If we have a shot at a top tier FA, restricted or otherwise, I do not think Dalembert warrants the signing, from a risk/reward perspective, as one of you framed the issue. I don’t think he is that good and his recent beasting occurred during a contract period. We can get by with a cheaper option and retain the ability to sign a FA. I don’t think winning 3/4 more games is that important overall. I understand the reticence to go through another melodrama, but CP3 is worth the wait if his signing is a legitimate possibility. The difference between signing Dalembert with another decent player pales compared to signing CP3, IMO. I think the difference is 10-15 games with CP3. Therefore the risk in passing on Dalembert or his ilk is justified by the potential reward. I also do not think that the risk of passing him up is so great in and of itself. My analysis would differ if he Knicks would consider trading Stat or Melo in the whole equation to possibly obtain a Big and CP3. Sorry for the rambling.

  144. Shad0wF0x

    BigBlueAL:
    So, are we headed to a 2006 Finals rematch??

    If so it’ll be awful to watch. It’ll just be LeBron and Wade shooting 20 free throws each.

  145. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Shad0wF0x: If so it’ll be awful to watch. It’ll just be LeBron and Wade shooting 20 free throws each.

    “We here at the league office have decided to implement a ‘one-referee’ policy for this year’s Finals; Dan Crawford will be the sole official for all scheduled games.” -David Stern

    [Mark Cuban commits seppuku]

  146. mr front row

    I dont usually chime in on the threads ( mostly because my sentiment is usually posted by someone prior to me getting to the reply box) however today i must post. The issue at hand is to do 2 things !. continue to mature n make progress towards winning a title 2. add pieces around what you have. since scoring wont be an issue in the foreseeable future its the lil odds n ends that need be filled, and that should b slightly tricky but buy no means impossible. Center , and point guard with depth are the biggest needs.. Lets keep something in mind depth is a waste of time if your coach doesnt utilize it. And d’antoni doesnt. here’s my humble thoughts.
    center: a platoon of jerome jordan, rony turiaf and a sam dalembert would be more than serviceable, considering amare gets minutes at the 5 atleast we have a facade of depth and some respectable production
    2; IF JJ REDDICK CAN BE PRODUCTIVE IN ORLANDO FORCING TEAMS TO BE HONEST, Y THE HELL ISNT ANDY RAUTINS GETTING ANY TIME..

    3. A wether by draft or by another type acquisition a point guard who is a pass first , play his man straight up. being the understudy of billups has its benefits.

    4. A change of system , all due respect but time for a new coach.. how bout a chuck daly esq motion offense like the nets ran ,when kenny anderson derrick coleman and the late drazen p played. everybdy gt touches .. just my thoughts!!!

  147. Spree8nyk8

    Idk how far fetched this is but I wondered what users here thought of the notion…

    I read an article somewhere saying because of the Melo situation this past season that if Dwight Howard would not resign that Orlando would look into possibly trading him before the start of next season. What would you think about trading Amar’e for Howard? I don’t really see Orlando finding a bigger name to trade for (although the lakers would probably offer a Bynum package that would be a better basketball more). And I think putting fans in the seats has to be a major factor for them. Doing something like this would allow us to still pursue Chris Paul and could address some of our weaknesses much faster. Do you think something like this will be broached?

  148. massive

    I think trading Amar’e would be a good basketball move, but a terrible move in terms of public relations and “franchise karma” if you believe in that stuff. This is the guy who proclaimed the Knicks were back, and we’re gonna trade him less than two years afterwards? It wouldn’t look good to the public. Besides, I think Chris Paul and Amar’e Stoudemire under D’Antoni is a match made in offensive heaven.

  149. Brian Cronin

    It is interesting – Howard actually makes less money than Amar’e, right? So couldn’t the Knicks trade Amar’e for Howard and then get Howard to re-sign for a little bit less and sign Paul for roughly a max salary? How insane would that be?

    Of course, the funny thing would be if the Knicks had Paul and Howard, Melo would sort of be the odd man out, wouldn’t he? He’d be, like, the third option on the team!

  150. Brian Cronin

    By the way, for a team like the Magic that is sort of locked into “win now” mode, Amar’e might actually be a logical return for the Magic.

  151. outoftowner

    I don’t think Amare is tradeable, with his knees and his contract. Him breaking down the second half of the season makes him even less attractive of an asset.

    I honestly just feel bad for Orlando fans. I can’t think of any realistic trade where Orlando would get equal value since Dwight would only resign in a glamour city. Knicks and Nets cupboards are bare now. Lakers could offer Bynum. Clips could maybe do Deandre Jordan, Eric Gordon, and Minny 2012 pick – that might be their best option.

  152. ess-dog

    Jesus, a Howard-Griffin frontcourt would be scary. I would literally be scared to watch that.

    I dont think Howard wants to come here and CP3 is unlikely to demand a trade in my opinion. Hopefully he just waits until free agency and comes over. He’s been positive in discussing the NOLA front office but he needs to say that.

    I would just try and build without messing with 2012, and even if we don’t get Paul/Howard, there are other good free agents that year – Sessions, Felton, Gallo, Augustin, Chauncey, Jameer Nelson, Nash, Rudy, Gerald Wallace, JaVale and we can still make trades.

    Nash/Melo/Stat would be nice. Or just adding a Augustin/McGee combo.

  153. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, having flexibility in 2012 is helpful no matter what, so I’m definitely down with no long term contracts to anyone.

  154. ess-dog

    I think a big key for 2011 (if there is a 2011) is will Stat play center or pf?

    D’Antoni has said that he’s convinced that Stat playing the opposing center is a mismatch in our favor 9 out of 10 times. But both Chauncey and Stat have mentioned getting a big to play next to Stat is a priority for next year, and rumors state that Walsh is looking for a true big.

    So which is it?

    I’m in favor of getting the 5 best guys out there, so if that means that Stat is a center, then so be it. His #s were actually better at c than pf this year. So if you have, hypothetically, the choice between Kris Humphries and Dalembert (or Faried), I think it’s smarter to go with the better player this year (Humphries or potentially Faried) and play Stat at center.

    That’s just my opinion.

  155. flossy

    ess-dog:

    I’m in favor of getting the 5 best guys out there, so if that means that Stat is a center, then so be it.His #s were actually better at c than pf this year.So if you have, hypothetically, the choice between Kris Humphries and Dalembert (or Faried), I think it’s smarter to go with the better player this year (Humphries or potentially Faried) and play Stat at center.

    That’s just my opinion.

    The problem with playing Amar’e at center is that offensively, you need a real stretch 4 to make it work. If your PF can camp out in the corner and can threes, then the defense loses its ability to safely collapse on Amar’e, and there is no center short of Howard who can stay in front of Amar’e one-on-one. Defensively, that stretch 4 needs to be a competent post defender and at least an enthusiastic rebounder, because Amar’e is neither of those things.

    If you play an offensive zero like Humphries (or probably Faried) at the 4 with Amar’e at Center, they will just get in his way on offense, and they won’t be able to improve the team’s defense enough to make up for a) our overall defensive ineptitude, especially with Amar’e at center and b) the reduced efficacy of our offense with them on the floor.

    Basically, a team with Amar’e at the 5 needs to embrace/accept its defensive deficiencies and wholeheartedly commit to being a lethal scoring machine. That’s why Wilson Chandler was actually the perfect PF for a Knicks team with Amar’e at center. A good enough post defender to do a passable job on opposing 4s, a good enough rebounder to (sort of) get the job done, and a good enough shooter to keep defenders out of the paint or make them pay for doubling Amar’e.

    A Melo/Humphries/Stoudemire frontcourt would be a disaster, IMO.

  156. ess-dog

    flossy: The problem with playing Amar’e at center is that offensively, you need a real stretch 4 to make it work.

    I disagree with your premise. Was Shawn Marion a stretch 4? He shot .333 from three in 04-05 and that team won 60 games.

    I don’t think we need to be so confined in our thinking about the “D’Antoni system”. I think we need to get the best players available and then tinker with the system. A team with Humphries/Faried would resemble a Kurt Thomas Suns team with Shawne coming off the bench to stretch the floor at times.

    I hardly think it would be a disaster. All I’m really saying is that Dalembert isn’t a great fit because he’s just not that good.

  157. flossy

    ess-dog: I disagree with your premise.Was Shawn Marion a stretch 4?He shot .333 from three in 04-05 and that team won 60 games.

    I don’t think we need to be so confined in our thinking about the “D’Antoni system”.I think we need to get the best players available and then tinker with the system.A team with Humphries/Faried would resemble a Kurt Thomas Suns team with Shawne coming off the bench to stretch the floor at times.

    I hardly think it would be a disaster.All I’m really saying is that Dalembert isn’t a great fit because he’s just not that good.

    I dare say .333 is a better 3 PT% than one could reasonably expect from Kris Humphries or Kenneth Faried. They don’t have to be a perfect marksman, just decent enough to keep teams honest.

    It’s less about the “D’Antoni system” and more about Stoudemire’s limitation’s as a center.

  158. flossy

    And FWIW, Dalembert is not great but he’s probably an above-average starting center, or at least average. He’s no worse than Deandre Jordan, for example, but people love Jordan because he’s young, associated with Griffin and has been incredibly cheap whereas Dalembert is just not as sexy and was grossly overpaid in his previous contract.

  159. ess-dog

    Re: Dalembert, it depends how much you believe advanced statistics I guess. A .072 WS48 just isn’t good. And with a 14.1 PER. His per36 rebounds and blocks are attractive but he’s a liability on offense (well, he’s no Jeffries at least. Seriously, Jared’s TS%s are just god-awful.)

    Statistically he’s not that different than what Kendrick Perkins has been, although not quite as efficient, and most Knick fans would kill to have a “tough” guy like Perkins.

    I suppose this is all hypothetical anyway since it’s doubtful we can afford either Dalembert or Humphries, but if you can get a better than average player instead of an average player, shouldn’t you do it?

  160. SeeWhyDee77

    I was figuring that givin Dalembert the MLE, keepin both Williamses(or keepin extra E and bringin Jerome Jordan in), JJ and Mason; as well as draftin this Jackson kid from BC and seein if OKC would accept a Walker/Balkman for Sefalosha deal would make us a much more complete and better team. Also if we have a 2nd rounder this year (do we?), we could add Hollis Thompson from Gtown. If that were to happen we would have a versatile roster with the right type of role players.
    Dalembert(interior D and rebounding), Stat(scoring, occasional rebounding and shot blocking), Melo(scoring , underrated defense), Fields (glue guy, outside shooting, High BBall IQ), Billups (vet leadership, scoring/shooting), Jeffries(defense, BBall IQ), Turiaf(energy, shot blocking, BBall IQ, passing), Brown(athleticism, underrated defense, scoring off bench, stretch 4), Extra E(shooting, improving defense), Mason (defense, vet leadership, shooting/ball handling), Douglas (defense, shooting/scoring), Jordan/Williams (physicality around the basket), Sefalosha (perimeter D, BBall IQ and “Bowen Potential”), Jackson (versatility on D b/c of his 7’1″ wingspan, PG skills, shooting), Thompson (perimeter offense at the 2/3, Defense), Rautins (shooting, combo guard with high BBall IQ). I think D’Antoni could work with that roster-especially if he hires a defensive coach. I also think Sefalosha would improve his 3 pt shot like Melo did when he arrived. That’s a nice lookin team if everybody can stay healthy an accept their roles.

  161. SeeWhyDee77

    Or..if no one approves of keepin Mason, Daequan Cook will be a FA this year. He can shoot it, but I don’t think he fits in as well as Mason would on that second unit. But he would bring more scoring punch off the bench.

Comments are closed.