Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Interview With HoopsAnalyst’s Ed Weiland

Maybe the web’s worst kept secret is the fantastic NBA analysis done at HoopsAnalyst.com. Recently Ed Weiland and Harlan Schreiber did a 7 part series statistically inspecting this year’s draft crop. (The links to each section: PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C). Since they did such a wonderful job pre-draft, I decided to ask Ed some questions post-draft.

KB: You had Rose as the top prospect in the draft while both Hollinger and Doerr had Beasley over Rose. What did you see in Rose that gave him the edge over Beasley?

EW: Rose was a more complete player. There were really no weaknesses when I compared his stats with great PGs of the past. With Beasley and Love the defensive numbers were a little low when compared to great PFs. My rating system looks first at whether a player performs at a high enough level in certain statistics that are important for his position. For a PG that would be points/40, assists/40, fg%, and the sum of rebounds, steals and blocks per 40 minutes. Also important for a PG is an ability to get to the line and keeping his A/TO above 1.5 or so. If a player falls short of levels successful prospects have historically hit, I will penalize them regardless of how well their other numbers look.

There was nothing in Rose’s numbers that were eye-popping, as there were with Beasley and Love. He comfortably hit all the levels successful PGs needed to hit in every important statistic. Additionally I was also impressed with how well Rose cut down on his TOs late in the year. From what I’ve seen, the ability to play an all-around game is more important for a prospect than the ability to pile up great numbers in a couple of categories.

Beasley and Love were both penalized for substandard defensive numbers. Combine that with Rose’s obvious speed, strength and athleticism and the fact that a good PG is rarer than a good PF and the decision to put Rose at the top was pretty easy. Nothing against Beasley or Love. Both are great prospects who should become great NBA players. I would have been happy to get any one of the 3. If the Hornets, Celtics or any other team that appears set with a good, young PG had been choosing first, obviously they should go for Beasley.

KB: Just about all statistical analysts had Marreese Speights ranked pretty high, but he wasn’t drafted until 16th (the 6th big man taken). Why do you think there was such a disparity in his value?

EW: Us stat guys look at his per minute stats and see a player who has performed at a level comparable to all-time greats. But we’re not the ones whose jobs are on the line if we take him with the 5th pick and Marreese can’t keep himself in good enough shape to play hard for 35 minutes a game.
My logic on ranking Speights high is this: I’d rather bring in a player like him who might be great, as opposed to someone like Jason Thompson or Robin Lopez who I’m certain won’t be. Teams can usually find a adequate fill-in for the exception. Any chance a team has to land a great or all-star caliber player should not be blown. Speights has that potential.

KB: Roy Hibbert was another player who did well by statistical standards. Do you think his glacieresque crosscourt speed will be a bigger hindrance in the NBA than it was on the college level?

EW: Yes, just about any weakness will be magnified in the NBA. I still feel Hibbert can be an effective role player. He’s tall enough to make the transition and he’s always been a very effective defender in college.

There are some matchups where he’ll need some help, but he can be an effective grinder for 20-25 minutes per game and as a center that makes him a valuable player.

KB: The biggest post day draft news was the Love-Mayo swap. Who do you think got the better of the deal?

EW: Minnesota and this one isn’t even close. Love was a better prospect than Mayo to start with. That they were able to get a player as good as Mike Miller thrown in is amazing. Chris Wallace has clearly filled the void left by Isiah Thomas as the go-to GM when a lopsided trade is needed to boost a team to the next level. I can’t see Mayo replacing Miller’s numbers for at least a few seasons, if ever. The most puzzling thing about the trade was that Love seemed like a perfect fit in Memphis.

KB: There are concerns that Mayo and Westbrook might be too short to become the great defenders at shooting guard that they were in college. What position do you see them playing and how do you see their defense translating in the pros?

EW: Westbrook is a 1 and Mayo is a 2. Westbrook doesn’t score often enough to think he could play the 2, Mayo doesn’t pass well enough to think he could play the 1. Neither is so short, like say Mario Chalmers, that I’d worry about their defensive numbers not carrying over. I think both will be OK there.

Mayo impressed me with his hustle on defense whenever I watched him play. He’s raw and that probably means he’s going to occasionally get beat and look bad from time to time as a rookie, but long term he should be fine. Westbrook also looks like a strong defender. He’s the hard working type who will do what it takes to get the job done defensively at the next level. I worry more about his offense and ability to run the point than his defense.

KB: Between yourself, Doerr, and Hollinger, only Doerr included a statistical analysis of international players. What is the biggest hurdle from analyzing them?

EW: I just don’t have enough data on foreign players where I can compare a player like Gallinari with previous successful and unsuccessful prospects. What I do with foreign players is try to get stats for as many years as a I can and try to make the best call I can using that information. The big guys are fairly simple, just see that they’re good rebounders, shotblockers and high pct. shooters. The biggest difference that I’ve seen between the NCAA stats and international are the scorers don’t hand out as many assists in Europe and the younger players who are pro prospects often aren’t big time scorers.

KB: Danilo Gallinari: great pick, or the greatest pick of all time?

EW: The greater a pick he becomes, the bigger a threat he is to America. I don’t think he’s in the class of Nowitzki or Gasol, but he could be pretty good. In general I would say put your trust in Walsh and D’Antoni. These guys have a good track record of success and given a year to sort through this mess, figure out what of the remaining roster is salvageable and bring their players and system in I think things will start to look pretty promising.

KB: Which team(s) did the best with regards to pick/talent?

EW: Using the theory that one superstar is worth a roster of mediocrities, Chicago, Miami and Minnesota made the biggest scores. The best bargains for when they were drafted would be Speights, Chalmers, Chris Douglas-Roberts, DeAndre Jordan and Richard Hendrix. Best players not drafted were Mark Tyndale and Shawn James.

KB: The worst?

EW: There were 4 players I felt were taken way too high: Eric Gordon, Joe Alexander, Jason Thompson and Robin Lopez. Lopez at 15 was the most ridiculous pick of the day.

KB: Five years from now, we’ll look back on this draft and say…

EW: Damn that Weiland guy nailed it. Seriously the thing that strikes me most about this draft is how even the pool of players were after the top 3 of Rose, Beasley and Love. After that group there were 20-25 players who were closer to each other in ability and potential than any of them were to the top 3. Because of that we’ll see more first round busts and 2nd round and free agent successes than usual.


Danilo Gallinari, threat to America.

58 comments on “Interview With HoopsAnalyst’s Ed Weiland

  1. Erich

    HoopsAnalyst is an excellent resource and well worth reading.

    To be fair, Hollinger did produce some Euro evaluations and revealed some interesting translation guidelines, though I share Weiland’s concerns against drawing strong conclusions based on the limited data.

    The link to Hollinger’s Euro analysis should be available by clicking on my name.

  2. Ted Nelson

    I’ve been reading through the comments about the Knicks’ PG situation from teh NY media on Hoopshype… apparently Monta Ellis is the Knicks best option at PG — although he’s not a PG — and Daivd Lee is expendable because he can’t shoot 3-pointers?
    I mean clearly it’s more important for your PF to have an outside shot than your PG, and the Spurs should start rebuilding ASAP because neither their PG nor their PF shoots 3-pointers very well. (That was sarcasm for anyone who was confused.)

  3. Ted Nelson

    Really interseting stuff from both KB and EW. A pretty intersting draft overall…

  4. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    From Erich’s link:

    This is a “Year 1″ projection, as opposed to the “Year 3″ projections I used for the college prospects, and once you factor in his age and growth potential you’d have to presume he’d be up around 15 or 16 by Year 3. If so, it would make Gallinari one of the top prospects in this year’s draft, and his status as a likely selection between six and 10 seems reasonable. If I had to slot him into my board, I’d rate him sixth…

  5. Caleb

    Hollinger also projected good numbers for Gallinari — would have ranked #6 in the draft, strictly on his numbers. Interestingly, Hollingers numbers put Nikola Pekovic, picked #31 by the Wolves, as the third-best prospect in the entire draft.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3460365&name=hollinger_john

    btw, here’s a decent roundup of available free agents (not that I think we should sign any):
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=FreeAgents-080629

  6. ess-dog

    I think we can all feel good about Danilo because there really were no other options at #6 that were better. And 2 of the only 3 top-notch prospects were PF’s, so really it was probably our best choice.
    I think it will be hard to swing a trade this year. Maybe at the trade deadline, but right now, Randolph is going to be tough to move. And it might be too early to give up D. Lee, unless someone offers a “pg of the future.” It might be interesting to see what we can get at the deadline for Marbury and/or Malik Rose. Some teams will way underperform and have a fire sale of players for expiring contracts…

  7. Thomas B.

    Nice interview. I clearly need to learn more about statistical analysis. I think I could enjoy more of what MK and BC post if I ever got around to reading that layman’s guide.
    —–
    For those concerned about the International prospects…

    http://blogs.hoopshype.com/blogs/may/2008/06/28/the-dwindling-international-star/

    ——

    As much as I like Lee, I think we will need to move him and an expiring contract for a PG. But who are the best available points?
    ——

    I saw an article in which a “veteran Knick” basically called Steph all talk when in comes to the summer training regiment. The veteran Knick said that Steph talks about running but then cant get through one drill (the ankle may have caused that last year, or the knee the year before-why am I defending this guy?). I wonder who said that? I think it has to be Q-Rich. They clearly do not like each other. And Q is the most in your face guy of the current crop of Knicks. Malik could have done it but, he seems more of a “No comment” sort of guy. James may have said it between bites, but he really has no room to talk.

  8. Thomas B.

    I think we can all feel good about Danilo because there really were no other options at #6 that were better. And 2 of the only 3 top-notch prospects were PF’s, so really it was probably our best choice.I think it will be hard to swing a trade this year. Maybe at the trade deadline, but right now, Randolph is going to be tough to move. And it might be too early to give up D. Lee, unless someone offers a “pg of the future.” It might be interesting to see what we can get at the deadline for Marbury and/or Malik Rose. Some teams will way underperform and have a fire sale of players for expiring contracts…

    Agreed. I think he was the best player available. I did like Bayless but we already have a high volume shooter in Crawford. I dont like Mayo enough to trade up to get him-unless we could dump Randolph in the trade-so I think we took the right guy. Lets face it the team is a joke and a rebuilding project has to start somewhere. Why not get things started with a versitile high upside player that can conform the the coaches style? We got burned on Weiss and Lampje but this time I think we are due for a winner. What if this guy become Drazen Petrovich? To borrow from Chris Farley, “That would be AWSOME.”

  9. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Nice interview. I clearly need to learn more about statistical analysis. I think I could enjoy more of what MK and BC post if I ever got around to reading that layman’s guide.

    It’s a long offseason … :-)

  10. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    With Gallinari – I know people are saying he’s likely to be a PF, but he’s officially listed at 6-8. Unless he really grows another 2 inches AND bulks up he’s going to be a SF. From the clips I saw he’s a typical SF – gets the ball on the perimeter & sets himself up for a jumpshot or drive to the basket.

    Since he’s more likely to play SF why aren’t the Knicks looking to move their SFs? The Knicks depth chart at SF is something like: Richardson, Jeffries, Balkman, Chandler. Richardson might be tough to move considering the awful season he had (please tell me it was the elbow) and his back injuries. But someone might bite on Jeffries (esp. a team that likes to trap on defense).

    And Balkman and Chandler, if nothing else, are young enough to warrant interest. No matter what Wilson Chandler did on the court, he just turned old enough to legally drink. Balkman can defend & rebound without a doubt.

    There has to be a team out there willing to grab one of these guys in return for a PG (or C, or SG).

  11. Thomas B.

    True. An added benefit would be that I might finally post something that makes sense. Then jon abbey would’nt need to remind me that I attended Rutgers.

  12. Denny

    Love your website.

    Been reading that Knicks want to trade D. Lee ’cause they don’t want to pay him big $ for an extension; would like to save the cap space for a run at Lebron in 2010. Also ’cause: (1) D. Lee can’t shoot (not a good fit for the new offensive system), (2) Galinari projects down the road as a PF, (3) they can’t get rid of Zach Randolph and get value in return (i.e. no bad long term contracts), and (4) D. Lee has alot of trade value right now.

    What do you think of offering D. Lee to Memphis for PG Mike Connelly? (not sure of the spelling) He was the 4th pick of the 2007 draft at age 19 and is the kind of fast/push it up the court PG that would fit the new offensive system. Memphis might go for it ’cause: (1) Mike’s game isn’t established yet, (2) they already have Kyle Lowrey and Jarvis Critenton, (3) they have a need for a PF especially after trading Love for O.J. Mayo, (4) their GM is under pressure to start making things happen and (5) judging by the job hes done, the Memphis GM doesn’t seem too smart.

    What do you think? Good or bad? Do-able or no-chance? Or, maybe the Knicks should just go after Chris Paul instead?

  13. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Denny – we discussed Lee for Conley rumors previously. I think people were split on that kind of trade, and I’d hate to revisit the whole trading Lee threads. But considering the point guards that have been thrown about in Lee deals (Felton) I wouldn’t mind having Conley. He’s 3 years younger than Felton & has better potential.

    Anyone think we’d have a chance for Conley with Chandler or Balkman?

  14. Caleb

    “Anyone think we’d have a chance for Conley with Chandler or Balkman?”

    No, but I’d give it a shot.

    I count about 10 young PGs around the league, who would be worth a David Lee trade, IMO. But almost all of them are unattainable (Paul, Williams, Parker, etc.) The only players where I see a potential meeting of the minds would be Conley, Devin Harris and Monta Ellis.

    Fwiw, I think it’s worth it to take back a PG even if the value is not quite equal (though of course it should be close, not Javaris Crittenden for cripes sakes). I say this because a) we have a backlog at PF and no serious candidate for starting PG, and b) saving money/cap space would be nice (with Conley; the others don’t help in that regard)

  15. Caleb

    I should say — Ellis and Harris are probably real longshots. That’s why, I think, we’ve spent so much time talking about Conley.

    If we’re gonna deal with the Nets, does anyone think we’d have a real shot at Sean Williams, as some Nets fan suggested here the other day? They do have about 5 bigs (Lopez, Krstic, Williams, Boone & Anderson) — and not enough playing time to go around.

  16. retropkid

    There are no greater Starbury haters on this board than me, but I don’t see us fussing around for a point guard right now. We aren’t going to content next year anyway….let Starbury play the point with Robinson backing him up…I don’t see Conley or Monta Ellis or Felton or the like as top-notch talent that really fixes us. I’m ready to run Starbury out there for one more year, see if he is motivated given his status.

    The fix can come next year, or mid-year. We don’t need to pull the trigger asap.

    Dumping contracts is more important than finding a point guard. And if they do manage to dump Randolph, we need scoring badly…

    Also, as to Original Posted Topic — nice Q and A interview here, thanks Mike.

  17. GB

    You guys love our ex-players, don’t you?

    Word is that, when the NBA free-agent season opens tomorrow morning, the Knicks will reveal their top target: Bulls point guard Chris Duhon, an unrestricted free agent. New York GM Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni are expected to meet with Duhon early on Tuesday, when NBA teams are free to contact and woo available players.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=429408

  18. Caleb

    Duhon might be worth a very low-rent deal. Suggests we’re not really shopping for a PG in a trade.

    Also, since we have 15 players on the roster, someone would have go — this would mean that Mardy Collins is outta there, unless we’re buying out Jerome James.

  19. Z

    “since we have 15 players on the roster, someone would have go”

    I count 14, including the Italian guy. Jones and Morris’ contracts expired.

  20. Thomas B.

    I know we want to dump contracts, but if we cant get shorter deals should we then try to get deals that simply reduce salary each year even though the contract is longer?

    For example: Sending Randolph and Rose to Chicago for Hughes and Hinrich. Hinrich has a longer contract than Randolph but in 2010/11 he will make 8.333 million less than Randolph. If you cant get rid of Randolph, is a move like this the next best thing towards creating cap room?

    That deal put our estimated salary at 50 million-11 million under the estimated salary cap (not including unsigned draft picks)-in 2010/11. That still isnt enough to make a run at LBJ or Wade or Bosh…

    It’s not just Randolph that has to go. Either Curry or Bosh have to go as well. Why didnt IT make the last year of Curry’s deal at the team’s option?

  21. Thomas B.

    The Knicks currently have 13 guaranteed contracts for 2008/09. In addition, they hold the draft rights to Danny G.

  22. Caleb

    Unless we renounce all the free agents and sell the draft pick, our cap situation is a lot worse than that…I’ll be posting the details shortly.

  23. Caleb

    If we’re open to taking back a longer but smaller contract in exchange for Randolph, Mo Williams is another option. Or Nene.

  24. Ben R

    I would prefer to wait at least one more season to see how Chandler and Balkman develop. I think Balkman should recover from a poor 2nd season and I would like to see if Chandler’s great finish last season was for real. I think both players will have more value next season after getting some consistant playing time.

    With that said I would easily trade either one for Conley but their value is no where near that high.

    By the way that article was great. Really makes me sad we could not buy our way into the end of the 1st round and get Chalmers.

    I think the best solution next year at PG is either Marbury (I hope not) or a veteran stop gap like Watson, Ridnour, Lue, etc. Young promising point guards rarely make they way onto the market so most likely we will have to be patient and draft our future PG.

    I heard Mo Cheeks in Philly is a huge Randolph fan so maybe we could do a Randolph for Miller swap. I would be willing to throw in Robinson or even one of our SF’s to get that done.

  25. Caleb

    In Chad Ford’s FA article he said that Philly might make a run at Calderon — if something like that were to happen, Miller could be available via trade. He’s too old for us to keep, but would have great value in a 3-way, if we have someone the Sixers want.

  26. Ben R

    Caleb – I think Miller could possibly be a good solution for 2-3 years, he is turning 32 this season but has been very very durable and does not rely on athleticism.

    I would love it if they got Clderon because talk about screwing over Toronto, after trading Ford they lose Calderon, that would be great.

  27. Caleb

    Ben,

    I agree that Miller is aging well and will be a good player for a few years, but he won’t be willing to sign a 1-year deal — we’d have to offer something longer (bad), lose him for nothing — except $$ savings (ok) or flip him in a trade for a draft pick (good).

    Also, I’m not excited about adding any players who will make us better in the short-term, hurting our draft position, unless they’re going to add value in the long-term.

  28. Ted Nelson

    ” Interestingly, Hollingers numbers put Nikola Pekovic, picked #31 by the Wolves, as the third-best prospect in the entire draft.”

    He was killing it last season, I was suprised to see that he didn’t get more hype. I think it will be one of those things where now that GMs have given up on Europe Danilo, Nikola, Ante Tomic, and one of the Turks all exceed expectations. Then we’re right back to teams drafting Skita’s and Darko’s in the top 5 in a few years…

    “Anyone think we’d have a chance for Conley with Chandler or Balkman?”

    I think Lowry or Crittenton would be more likely. I really have no idea what Chris Wallace might do next though.

    “I would love it if they got Clderon because talk about screwing over Toronto, after trading Ford they lose Calderon, that would be great.”

    I think Calderon’s a restricted free agent…

    ———————————

    Duhon… interesting. Dave will be thrilled. I think he’s one of the best/ most realistic short-term solutions. Just didn’t think he’d be a “D’Antoni guy”.

  29. Italian Stallion

    “With Gallinari – I know people are saying he’s likely to be a PF, but he’s officially listed at 6-8. Unless he really grows another 2 inches AND bulks up he’s going to be a SF. From the clips I saw he’s a typical SF – gets the ball on the perimeter & sets himself up for a jumpshot or drive to the basket.”

    I believe the 6-8 height is not correct. I read a quote from either DAntoni or Walsh saying he was 6-10 in sneakers and that doctors had told the Knicks he would grow another inch or so. I’m not sure how “official” measurements are typically done, but they seem confident he is a future PF even if he plays some SF this year.

    Personally, I think they would willing to move Balkman, but I doubt there are many takers. Chandler is a much tougher call. He showed a lot of athletic ability and potential very late in the season. I think it would be foolish to trade him unless they are confident his top is limited.

    One thing is 100% certain. We need someone that can start at SF instead of QRICH because he is DONE and was never all that good to begin with.

  30. Thomas B.

    Caleb,

    Thanks for volunteering to clarify the cap issue. I know the CBA includes language about the impact a team’s unsighed free agent has on the salary cap but i dont fully understand its implications. Furthermore, the 45 million cap number I cited earlier only considers 5 contracts (Randolph, Curry, Chandler, Crawford, and JJ). The 45 million does not include our 2008 or 2009 draft picks, whom I assume will still be on the books by 2010/11. I also assumed that Robinson, Lee, Balkman, and Collins will not be retained.

    I’m not a capologist. I am a draft junkie and part time comedian. So your help is welcome.

  31. TDM

    KB:

    I love the proposed deal, however, who would Philly have to play pg. Nate wasn’t a starter at pg for the Knicks, so I can’t see him fairing much better for the sixers. That would give Philly a starting 5 of:

    PG: Nate or Louis Williams
    SG: Willie Green
    SF: Iguodala
    PF: Zach
    C: Dalembert

    That’s actually not too bad with the exception of the point.

  32. Ess-dog

    You’re not insane MK, but I think we’ll have to wait and see what happens with Philly in free agency. Let’s see if they get Calderon first and/or re-sign AI2. I would think after the O’Neal trade, Calderon would want to stay, but if the Sixers get him, they could use another scorer behind Iggy, if Mo likes him as much as he says he does. Then Evans can back up Lee and Miller can start and Steph can slide to SG and Craw can come off the bench.
    It’s too good to be true for sure. We’ll probably just grab Duhon first thing and that will be the end of it. I would also look at Louis Williams though. If the Sixers do get Calderon, they won’t be able to resign Williams and we could maybe get him for the midlevel.
    I also like Crittendon but not sure if he’s worth the price of Lee…

  33. TDM

    KB: you’re right, I missed that. The justification of the website has been a little out of what on my screen since the update.

    As far as a backup to Marbs, I’m totally on-board with giving a 2 yr deal to a guy like Duhon or even Arroyo.

  34. Z

    “Also, I’m not excited about adding any players who will make us better in the short-term, hurting our draft position.”

    So you’d like to see a line up of:

    C; Curry
    PF: Randolph
    SF: Q
    SG: Crawford
    PG: Marbury

    That is our absolute worst lineup and will get us the best draft position. Unfortunately, it’s also the exact same lineup as last year, and after the most miserable, wretched, unwatchable season ever, we only managed the 6th pick.

    If we are really looking to draft position in 2009, why fire Isiah at all? He’s the only one that could actually have brought us even lower than we are right now.

    Sadly, the last three years have been our chances to get top talent through the draft. Unfortunately we gave away two of our picks, and could only manage the 6th position this year. We squandered our rebuilding opportunity, and now we are on the road to respectability again, but not on the road to contention…

  35. caleb

    “the CBA includes language about the impact a team’s unsighed free agent has on the salary cap but i dont fully understand its implications.”

    I think you’re talking about cap holds… basically, your own free agent takes up some cap space, unless you renounce him (thereby giving up your right to re-sign him). For example, there is a cap hold of $2,682,049 for David Lee next summer. If we haven’t signed him to an extension before then, that cap space is taken — until he signs with another team, or us. It doesn’t limit the amount we can offer to Lee, after we sign other FAs. (actually, I’m only 95% sure about that last part…)

    The amount of the cap hold varies, depending on a player’s experience. It’s complicated.
    http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#30

  36. retropkid

    where do you think Hinrich ends up? I have to say the current batch of available PGs isn’t that inspiring. Not a fan of Hinrich, but assume he moves somewhere…or do you think Rose doesn’t see major minutes right away?

    Not a fan of Andre Miller either. Never been a clutch performer…but if there is a contractual benefit from taking him on (ie moving Zach) then bring him on…. Who scores for us if Zach is gone and Starbury doesn’t play 30+ MPG?

    The more names that get thrown around, the better Starbury starts to look….how sad is that?!

  37. Thomas B.

    In a Miller-Randolph deal, we’d have to take Evans back. His deal is as long as Zach’s, but only makes $5 in 2011. That means we’d save $12M.
    <A href=”http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=1017~2782~1828~557&teams=20~20~18~18&te=&cash=”>Miller+Evans for Randolph+Nate works. Am I insane thinking Philly would take this?

    Insane? No, you are not insane. You just think the glass is half full, and that the glass was placed here by aliens that came to Earth to visit Elvis, who faked his death in order to found a company that places nanotech tracking devices in toothpaste so that the government can track everyone from space. What’s insane about that? :-)

  38. caleb

    “So you’d like to see a line up of… … If we are really looking to draft position in 2009, why fire Isiah at all?”

    Fair question — to me there’s a fine line between tanking and building for the future. I’m not suggesting that we actually throw games (like, by playing Curry and Rose constantly) — but my priority would be to roll out the players who might be parts of a good team in a few years. IMO, that includes Lee, Balkman, Chandler, Robinson and Gallinari. Everyone else — fit ‘em in as needed.

    I guess the lineup I’d like to see would be:
    Nate, Crawford, Balkman, Lee & Randolph… with Marbury, Chandler, Curry & Gallinari in the rotation.

    I could accept giving more minutes to Randolph, Curry & Jeffries for a while, just to build up their trade value.

    It wouldn’t kill me to see a competent PG running the team, but I would rather trade the guy for a draft pick who could really help in a year or two.

  39. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Not a fan of Andre Miller either. Never been a clutch performer…but if there is a contractual benefit from taking him on (ie moving Zach) then bring him on…. Who scores for us if Zach is gone and Starbury doesn’t play 30+ MPG?

    Miller’s lack of “clutch” won’t hurt us. I don’t think we’re going to need a clutch performer for a few more years.

    And who scores for us if Zach & Marbury are gone? Well maybe the other Knicks might be able to touch the round orange thing those two are always holding onto. Seriously though – what are Eddy Curry & Jamal Crawford doing on the court if they’re not scoring?

  40. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Insane? No, you are not insane. You just think the glass is half full, and that the glass was placed here by aliens that came to Earth to visit Elvis, who faked his death in order to found a company that places nanotech tracking devices in toothpaste so that the government can track everyone from space. What’s insane about that? :-)

    Wow being called an optimist twice in one month. Things must be looking brighter.

  41. TDM

    Milwaukee is still trying to get rid of Villanueva. How about dealing Zach and N8 for Charlie V, Gadzuric and Desmond Mason. Gadzuric has a similar deal to Evans ($5 mill in 2010)however the other two only have a year left. Clear some cap and get rid of Z.

  42. retropkid

    “So you’d like to see a line up of:

    C; Curry
    PF: Randolph
    SF: Q
    SG: Crawford
    PG: Marbury

    That is our absolute worst lineup and will get us the best draft position. Unfortunately, it’s also the exact same lineup as last year”

    If we’re going to be a running club, how about starting:

    PG: Marbury
    SG: Crawford
    C: Randolph
    PF: Lee
    SF: Balkman

    Lee and Randolph are under-sized in this scenario, but both are decent rebounders and it leaves the middle open for Randolph to work in a half-court set. Balkman, Crawford and Marbury should be decent in the open floor offense. On D, you’d have to play a lot of zone.

    Nate and the Italian Stallion would be our first two guys off the bench….Curry can sit and eat hot dogs for all I care….Q? Dump him on the open market…he’s worthless.

    When you look it this way, the overwhelming need is for a center to get some height (not a PG)– NOT a Curry plodder, but somebody with wingspan D and the ability to hit the D boards hard. Not alot of those types out there either, though Krstic intrigues if healthy and may be available…yeah, I know, he doesn’t have wingspan D or hit the boards that hard either…but what else is out there…

  43. Z

    “we are on the road to respectability again”

    I don’t see why there’s any reason to believe even this as of now.”

    Well, as far as I know Donnie Walsh hasn’t called any co-workers “black bitch” yet, so I’m optimistic…

  44. Frank

    I would rather see a lineup like this:

    PG: Marbury
    SG: Crawford
    SF: Chandler
    PF: Lee
    C: Curry
    1st 3 off the bench are Randolph, N8, and Balkman, with Gallinari hopefully seeing about 10-12 minutes/game. I guess Q will probably see a few minutes too but I definitely don’t need to see JJ1 or JJ2 ever on the floor.

    I think we’ll lose Curry completely if he doesn’t start, and I somehow just don’t see D’Antoni wanting both Lee and Balkman on the court at the same time.

    And who knows, maybe D’Antoni can light a fire under Curry. His two other coaches have been Skiles who probably insulted him every other word, and Isiah, who was just an idiot. When Curry wants to play he can be a *gulp* force on both ends. Unfortunately that happens only about 30-40 seconds/game.

  45. retropkid

    “Well, as far as I know Donnie Walsh hasn’t called any co-workers “black bitch” yet, so I’m optimistic…”

    LOL Z….I have to agree…frankly, I found myself rooting against the Knicks regularly because of Zeke and the freak show he created this year.

    It was an odd year for me — always hated the Celtics and rooted for Knicks and Lakers against them since (yeah, I’m old) the late 60s……but don’t like Zeke or Kobe, and really do like KG’s work ethic, so found myself rooting for the Celts! The self-discovery was that individual character mattered more to me than the uniform…but it was awfully strange rooting for the Green in the Finals…

    I think D’Antoni and Walsh are high character guys — at least I hope so — and can’t do anything about Dolan, the creep…so at least the creep brought in some guys we can root for…so, yes, they will be “respectable” in terms of their character, but the W/L record may leave alot to be desired next year.

  46. Ben R

    I am just thinking out loud but do you think Miami could be tempted to give up Chalmers if we took Blount off their hands?

    Rose for Blount + Chalmers. It gets them 8 mil more under the cap next off season when they supposedly want to make a run at Boozer or Brand. In theory with the cap room they would have they could resign Marion and still be under enough to offer a max deal to someone.

    I have always liked Chalmers because he is from Anchorage, I am too, and I like his game and now with this article I have stats to back up my interest. We could groom him behind Miller (if we can get him) or Marbury (if we cannot) and then give him the reigns next year.

    As for the Philly trade we would take Evans if they forced us but they are actually well under the cap so they could trade Miller straight up for Randolph and Nate, which of course would be much better.

    Even if they cannot get Calderon I doubt they think Miller is their future and with Louis Williams and Nate they might be okay at the position. Also I heard Washington does not want to offer Arenas a max deal so Philly could. That would at least on paper solve their PG problems.

    Arenas/Calderon
    Igoudala
    Young
    Zach
    Dalembert

    With Willaims or Nate, Green and Speights as backups.

    That seems like a team that could win 50+ games, at least on paper and I do not think Philly has the greatest management.

    Then I really hope that the sign and trade rumors are true and we target either JR Smith or Josh Childress for Crawford. Both are good for us (Smith is better) and Crawford should help Atlanta and Denver more than Smith or Childress because of his ability to handle PG duties.

  47. TDM

    “When Curry wants to play he can be a *gulp* force on both ends”

    You meant as in “Big Gulp”, right? Eddy “Big Gulp” Curry . . . I kind of like that.

    Either way, I agree with you at least with regard to being an offensive threat. In 2006, with Craw feeding him in the post, he was unstoppable.

  48. cwod

    Chris Wallace seems incompetent enough that we might be able to get one of the Memphis guards without giving up too much.

  49. Caleb

    I’d say McHale’s down to 4th place or even lower in the Bad GM rankings… Wallace, Kerr and the true king, Michael Jordan are setting the new standard, with Isiah gone.

  50. cwod

    I used to think Bird was a bad GM, but I’ve liked his moves this offseason. If nothing else, he has totally reinvented that team around Granger and Dunleavy Jr.

  51. TDM

    Anyone see the rumor floating around that the Knicks were working a deal to trade Zebo to Chicago for Gooden and Hinrich, but that it fell through when Donnie requested Ben Gorden instead of Hinrich.

    http://thehoopdoctors.com/online/?p=88

    I’d do backflips for either Hinrich or Gorden, with Gooden. Hopefully, this rumor is more than just speculation.

  52. Italian Stallion

    I like this lineup. It has some flaws, but it should be a lot of fun to watch until we get some more quality pieces.

    C – Lee
    PF – Gallinari
    SF – Chandler
    SG – Crawford
    PG – Anyone other than Marbury as long as he’s a pass first PG and plays good defense

    Lee will have to really concentrate on the the boards, start the fast break, and finish.

    Assuming Gallinari is not ready to start in the beginning of the year, then put Curry at Center and Lee at PF for awhile.

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