Before the 11/6/09 Cleveland game I was able to ask Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh a few questions.
Mike Kurylo It seems like the team is struggling from three, except for Gallinari. In the preseason you had a few guys like Joe Crawford and Morris Almond who could knock down the three…
Mike D’Antoni Morris Almond was never in the preseason… He was in the summer league.
Mike Kurylo I’m sorry you’re right summer league. Are there any thought of bringing in another shooting guard?
Mike D’Antoni No.
Mike Kurylo Do you …
Donnie Walsh Where are you from?
Mike Kurylo KnickerBlogger.Net. It seems that there are a lot of guys that are free agents at the end of the year on your own team. So just by chance you may have a lot of roster spots open.
Donnie Walsh You’re wrong.
Mike Kurylo OK. I’m sorry for assuming.
Donnie Walsh That’s what’s happening. You’re writing what you think. I like the players on my own team.
Mike Kurylo But it seems that by chance some guys will just sign with another team. For instance if you have 7 free agents, it’s possible that you may only be able to resign 3 or 4. So I was wondering if you were looking at other avenues of signing players.
Donnie Walsh Of course.
Mike Kurylo Where are you looking? Are you looking in the D-League or in Europe?
Donnie Walsh All of the above.
Mike Kurylo How do stats fit into the picture with your scouting? Do you use them half and half or do you rely mostly on scouting?
Donnie Walsh I umm… [to Larry Johnson] Hey Larry how are you? It’s good to have you here.
LJ: Look at you always working.
Mike Kurylo So my question is: How do stats fit into the picture?
Donnie Walsh I don’t know quite what you mean. Am I impressed at how many point a guy scores per game? No.
Mike Kurylo How about other stats like …
Donnie Walsh If a guy is averaging 30 points per game and a scout calls me up and says this guy is the real deal, then I’ll go watch him.
Mike Kurylo What stats are you looking at? Are you looking at true shooting percentage and any of the newer stats?
Donnie Walsh Of course we’ve got all of that.
Mike Kurylo Are you familiar with John Hollinger or Dave Berri…
Donnie Walsh I’m not overly impressed if his true shooting percentage [is X] and that means something. It’s part of the picture.
Mike Kurylo I’m a big stat guy and I feel like in baseball that 80-90 percent of a player’s value is captured in stats, in my opinion. But in basketball it doesn’t seem to be as reliable.
Donnie Walsh Because basketball is a 5-man game that has to be played together. You’re not just getting [up to the plate] to hit a baseball.
Mike Kurylo Basketball is not a one-on-one game. And the defensive stats in basketball, blocks and steals, just don’t cover what happens on that end. Someone like Bruce Bowen…
Donnie Walsh You know it’s very difficult to [quantify this]. Coaches try to do it. They come up with deflections and challenges and different stats to determine who is doing a good job defensively. But you can see that by watching. You’re right. A guy that blocks shots may be good or bad [defensively].
[Inaudible due to loud music - but Donnie and I talked about a defensive scoresheet.]
Donnie Walsh Look I don’t think gut instinct is foolproof and I don’t think stats are foolproof. I think a combination of different things [are best.] We do a lot of checking and try to get as good picture we can of the guy.