Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Knicks’ Week in Advance 12/8/08

I’m toying with the idea of theme music for this weekly feature.

To the original theme from “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids”

Hey, hey, hey…. it’s Thoooooomas B.
I’m gonna preview some games for you.
And Mike might add a word or two.
We’ll have some fun now, looking at these stats.
I’ll talk about what to watch for based on PERs and other facts.
Nah, nah, nah going to get some stats now.
Hey, hey, hey!
Hey it’s Thomas B. coming at you with four factors and fun.
And if you’re not careful, you might learn something before we’re done. Hey, hey, hey.
Nah, nah, nah going to get some stats now.

Now that I have that out my system, let’s get on with the fourth installment of Knicks’ Week in Advance. The Knicks start a five game road trip this week with games in Chicago, New Jersey, and Sacramento. While tough, road trips can be a good thing for a team. The team gets to pull together and that is just what the Knicks need as Harrington, Thomas, and Jeffries find their place in the rotation. Let hope the Knicks can improve on the 2-7 road record.

Tuesday, December 9 @ Chicago [First meeting of the teams this year.]

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 98 105.5 50.1 15.8 23.6 19.1
Rank
1
19
12
15
28
30
Chicago Bulls-Defense 94.8 106 48.4 16.5 29 25.6
Rank
5
15
8
12
26
23
New York Knicks-Defense 98 109.2 51.2 14.5 28.3 18.9
Rank
1
24
25
26
20
2
Chicago Bulls-Offense 94.8 103.4 47.1 16.5 27.6 24.1
Rank
5
23
24
20
9
16

Another Tuesday brings another tough game for the Knicks. The Knicks are 0-4 on Tuesdays so far this year. Let’s see if we can turn this thing around.

The Bulls come into this game with numbers very similar to those of the Knicks. Like the Knicks, the Bulls push the pace with 94.8 possessions per game (5th). The Bulls’ offensive efficiency (103.4, 22nd) trails the Knicks’ offensive efficiency (105.2, 19th). Furthermore, the Bulls’ eFG% of 47.1 (24th) is well behind the Knicks’ 49.8 (13th). One reason for this could be the Bulls’ lack of inside scoring.

The Bulls’ big men are not efficient scorers from close range. Aaron Gray leads the big men with an eFG% of 46.6 in 14 minutes per game. Behind Gray, the Bulls have Noah and Thomas with eFG% of 39.6 and 34.4 respectively. Compare that to David Lee’s 56.2 eFG%, and *gulp* Tim Thomas’ 51.8 (I know, but what other big man do we have?). The Bulls’ inside scoring troubles bode well for the Knicks as they struggle defending big men who can score inside.

What to watch for: Defense. The Knicks should focus on limiting penetration from Rose and open looks from Gordon (51.1 eFG%, 37.3 3p%) and Hughes (53.2 eFG%, 47.7 3p%).

What to watch for 2: Q. Richardson vs. Hughes/Gordon. Nate Robinson’s injury has moved Q to the shooting guard spot. What Q gives up in speed, he makes up for in strength. Q should take the same approach he took with Jamal Crawford defending him and take Hughes inside. When Thomas or Noah help, move the ball for a good shot.

What to watch for 3: More of the high pick & roll. Seven Seconds or Mess did a great job showing how the high pick & roll worked for the Knicks against the Blazers. New York should should employ the same approach in this game. Inexperienced players usually aren’t good at defending the pick & roll, so the Knicks should go at Rose and Noah/Gray/Thomas early with it.

What to watch for 4: Chi-town ties. Q and Chandler are from the area so they should be comfortable for this game. Meanwhile former Bulls Duhon and Thomas may feel they have scores to settle against their old team. You ever notice how nobody ever leaves the Bulls on good terms? When have you heard, “I really enjoyed my time with the Bulls organization and I look forward to returning some day.”

Wednesday, December 10 @ New Jersey [First meeting of the teams this year.]

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 98 105.5 50.1 15.8 23.6 19.1
Rank
1
19
12
15
28
30
New Jersey Nets-Defense 91 111.3 51.3 15.3 26 29
Rank
22
27
27
20
11
29
New York Knicks-Defense 98 109.2 51.2 14.5 28.3 18.9
Rank
1
24
25
26
20
2
New Jersey Nets-Offense 91 110.2 50 14.4 26.8 26.8
Rank
22
5
13
3
15
4

The Nets are a team of contrast. New Jersey is bad on defense, and their efficiency (111.3, 27th), and eFG% (51.3 %, 26th) are among the worst in the NBA. On the other hand, the Nets are strong on offense (110.2, 5th) and they take care of the ball (14.4 Turnovers, 2nd).

What to watch for: The Nets are over .500 due to the great play they are getting from Devin Harris. Harris leads all Eastern Conference PGs in PER (27.6), and scoring (24.5/36 min, 5th overall). He averages 0.8 3PM/36, which means he does most of his damage on the inside and at the free throw line (9.2 ftm/36). I have not seen him play this year, but those numbers indicate that Harris drives a lot. The Knicks need to give Harris room to take the jumper rather than let him get into his comfort zone of driving.

What to watch for 2: Defense. I have said this every week, but the Knicks need a strong defensive effort against teams that are efficient on offense. The Knicks’ defensive focus has to start with Harris. Duhon will need to play smart (stay out of foul trouble) as he may not have Nate to back him up.

Saturday, December 13 @ Sacramento [First meeting of the teams this year]

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 98 105.5 50.1 15.8 23.6 19.1
Rank
1
19
12
15
28
30
Sacramento Kings-Defense 92.7 112.9 52.8 15.9 29.5 25.8
Rank
10
29
29.5
13
29
25
New York Knicks-Defense 98 109.2 51.2 14.5 28.3 18.9
Rank
1
24
25
26
20
2
Sacramento Kings-Offense 92.7 103.7 49 17.2 26.7 21.7
Rank
10
21
16
25
16
21.5

The Kings are rebuilding around Kevin Martin, John Salmons, and uh…not much else. Sacramento is one of the worst defensive team in the NBA. They are 29th in defensive efficiency (112.9), tied for last in defensive eFG% with Golden State (52.8), and they don’t do well on the defensive glass giving up 29.5% of available defensive boards (29th). Only one team does it worse – you guessed it, the Warriors again. Their leading shot blocker is Hawes (1.8 per 36 minutes).

What to watch for: The Knicks should take the same approach they took against the Warriors with one exception – play better defense. The Kings are not strong on offense coming in 21st in offensive efficiency (103.7) and 15th in eFG% (15th). The Kings frequently turn over the ball (17.2, 24th), so added defensive pressure should bring those numbers up.

What to watch for 2: The Knicks should run the high pick & roll with Lee and Duhon against the Kings’ slow frontcourt players.

What to watch for 3: Push the pace. This game is the second of a back to back for the Kings. The Knicks come into this game on two days rest. The Knicks should push the pace and try to wear the Kings down. Hopefully, Nate, JJ, and Mobley (I’m still holding out hope) will be able to give us around 20-25 a night and help us keep the pressure on the Kings.

113 comments on “Knicks’ Week in Advance 12/8/08

  1. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    Everyone plays Harris to drive and still can’t stop him. He also has a stepback 16 footer off his drive fakes. I expect him to put up 30 and worry about foul trouble for our big guys. Hopefully they can stop Vince Carter, though. They also can’t forget about Bobby Simmons’ corner three.

  2. Ted Nelson

    I think this could be a big week for the Knicks season. Their playoff aspirations run through NJ and Chicago as much as anyone right now (with Philly and Toronto sure to heat up at some point as well). I think these are two teams the Knicks need to beat if they’re a playoff team, but a back-to-back on the road is tough. Splitting the first two and beating Sacto would be a great week.

    If the Knicks are clearly not on par with Chicago and NJ, as a fan I’m probably going to start thinking more about lottery position than the playoffs (Rationally I probably already should be, but I’m still holding out hope).

  3. Marc R

    It’s a stupid point, but I thought Chandler was from Michigan, not Chicago.

    Great analysis though.

  4. Thomas B. Post author

    It’s a stupid point, but I thought Chandler was from Michigan, not Chicago.

    Great analysis though.

    Chandler went to Depaul, Depaul is in Chicago. He was not raised in Chicago, but a tie to the town nonetheless.

    Thanks for the feedback, it is always welcome.

  5. TDM

    Minnesota fires Wittman – McHale to coach.

    The Knicks have to get some guard help. If Duhon goes down with an injury, I’m going to be soo pissed that Walsh didn’t pull a guard out of one of those trades. At a minimum, we could have gotten Marcus Williams from GS or Mike Taylor from LAC.

  6. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Minnesota fires Wittman – McHale to coach.

    The Knicks have to get some guard help. If Duhon goes down with an injury, I’m going to be soo pissed that Walsh didn’t pull a guard out of one of those trades. At a minimum, we could have gotten Marcus Williams from GS or Mike Taylor from LAC.

    Minnesota – the one team in the NBA that Knick fans can look down on in pity. Actually McHale is the one GM Isiah can look down upon and say “at least I was better than him.” He’s the NBA’s version of Matt Millen.

    What’s with 80s superstar players that make them god awful GMs? McHale, Bird, Thomas, Jordan, Mullin. I wouldn’t hire these guys to assemble an Ikea table, nevertheless a winning NBA franchise.

  7. Count Zero
    Minnesota fires Wittman – McHale to coach.
    The Knicks have to get some guard help. If Duhon goes down with an injury, I’m going to be soo pissed that Walsh didn’t pull a guard out of one of those trades. At a minimum, we could have gotten Marcus Williams from GS or Mike Taylor from LAC.

    Minnesota – the one team in the NBA that Knick fans can look down on in pity. Actually McHale is the one GM Isiah can look down upon and say “at least I was better than him.” He’s the NBA’s version of Matt Millen.
    What’s with 80s superstar players that make them god awful GMs? McHale, Bird, Thomas, Jordan, Mullin. I wouldn’t hire these guys to assemble an Ikea table, nevertheless a winning NBA franchise.

    Amen. I can’t believe the dumbass wants to take the next step by assuming bench duties as well. If he works on his harassment skills, maybe he can top Zeke in all GM categories.

  8. Italian Stallion
    Minnesota fires Wittman – McHale to coach.
    The Knicks have to get some guard help. If Duhon goes down with an injury, I’m going to be soo pissed that Walsh didn’t pull a guard out of one of those trades. At a minimum, we could have gotten Marcus Williams from GS or Mike Taylor from LAC.

    Minnesota – the one team in the NBA that Knick fans can look down on in pity. Actually McHale is the one GM Isiah can look down upon and say “at least I was better than him.” He’s the NBA’s version of Matt Millen.
    What’s with 80s superstar players that make them god awful GMs? McHale, Bird, Thomas, Jordan, Mullin. I wouldn’t hire these guys to assemble an Ikea table, nevertheless a winning NBA franchise.

    You do realize that the runmor is that Mullin is basically powerless in GS these days and on his way to NY. LOL

  9. Caleb

    Yeah, I saw the Mully rumor, too. He’s close to Walsh, so it doesn’t sound farfetched.

    Mullin made some Isiah-like signings early on (Foyle, Murphy) but eventually sobered up. He’s done a decent job since digging out of that hole. At this point, I’d say he’s about an average exec. But I still don’t understand why Walsh would hire a GM — what’s he [Walsh] going to do, then?

  10. jon abbey

    “Amen. I can’t believe the dumbass wants to take the next step by assuming bench duties as well. ”

    I don’t think he wants to, I think much like Isiah, it’s the last step before being fired totally. “maybe you can coach these bozos you assembled….”

  11. TDM

    Yeah, I saw the Mully rumor, too. He’s close to Walsh, so it doesn’t sound farfetched.
    Mullin made some Isiah-like signings early on (Foyle, Murphy) but eventually sobered up. He’s done a decent job since digging out of that hole. At this point, I’d say he’s about an average exec. But I still don’t understand why Walsh would hire a GM — what’s he [Walsh] going to do, then?

    Granted he’s overpaid, but I’ve never understood the bad mojo that Troy Murphy gets. Stats-wise, he’s fairly similar to D Lee:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=murphtr01&y1=2009&p2=leeda02&y2=2009

    Not to mention, a handful of stiff were taken before him in the 2001 draft. I don’t think he’s the reason the Pacers suck.

  12. Gian Casimiro (SSoM)

    If Iavaroni gets fired, any chance D’Antoni brings him back as an assistant?

    I’ve been wondering/hoping for the same thing. I want to know if he can improve this defense. I doubt he goes from head coach to assistant in the same year though.

  13. Ben R

    TDM – Troy Murphy is not a terrible PF but he is nowhere near David Lee. Lee’s TS% is almost 10% higher than Murphy’s.

    Murphy is a good rebounder but an average at best defender and an average at best offensive player. He is worth probably about 4-6 million a year tops. The reason he gets so much bad mojo is because he is a good backup or a mediocre starter and he is getting paid like a borderline all-star. If he was making 4 million a year and coming off the bench people would be singing his praises, instead with his contract he has been expected to be better than he actually is.

  14. Ted Nelson
    Yeah, I saw the Mully rumor, too. He’s close to Walsh, so it doesn’t sound farfetched.
    Mullin made some Isiah-like signings early on (Foyle, Murphy) but eventually sobered up. He’s done a decent job since digging out of that hole. At this point, I’d say he’s about an average exec. But I still don’t understand why Walsh would hire a GM — what’s he [Walsh] going to do, then?

    Granted he’s overpaid, but I’ve never understood the bad mojo that Troy Murphy gets. Stats-wise, he’s fairly similar to D Lee:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=murphtr01&y1=2009&p2=leeda02&y2=2009
    Not to mention, a handful of stiff were taken before him in the 2001 draft. I don’t think he’s the reason the Pacers suck.

    TS% .525 vs. .617, reb-rate 15.4 vs. 18.1…

    He’s not a bad player but at over 10 mill per I can see why Murphy takes some crap. He’s sort of a less expensive Zach Randolph, although at least he’s got a good jumper and won’t take over your offense completely… So maybe I shouldn’t have even made that comparison…

    Mullin made some Isiah-like signings early on (Foyle, Murphy) but eventually sobered up. He’s done a decent job since digging out of that hole. At this point, I’d say he’s about an average exec. But I still don’t understand why Walsh would hire a GM — what’s he [Walsh] going to do, then?

    I don’t think Mullin’s been calling the shots around GS for a season or two now. I got the impression Don Nelson got a lot of power over personnel when he signed up to coach the Warriors.

  15. jon abbey

    didn’t we have Von Wafer on our summer league team, and choose Roberson over him? he had 18 points in 22 minutes in Houston’s last game, and is starting for them tonight.

  16. cwod

    I’ve noticed his logging minutes but didn’t feel like saying anything. Anthony Roberson’s presence upsets me.

  17. Ray

    Although we are short at guard we could have really used Jr’s defensive presence and ability to run the floor. Hopefully he is staying in shape and is ready to go whenever we resign him. I hope matters get taken care of this week concerning Mobley and Marbury. I wanted to see Mobley play but his situation needs to be resolved. The Knicks will be a worn down burnt out team in a matter of weeks if we dont get a healthy roster on the court. If we can get these situations fixed we can free the roster up and get Jr back and maybe get a 2 guard. Im hearin g rumors of Sergio Rodriguez. Who knows?

  18. TDM

    Although we are short at guard we could have really used Jr’s defensive presence and ability to run the floor. Hopefully he is staying in shape and is ready to go whenever we resign him. I hope matters get taken care of this week concerning Mobley and Marbury. I wanted to see Mobley play but his situation needs to be resolved. The Knicks will be a worn down burnt out team in a matter of weeks if we dont get a healthy roster on the court. If we can get these situations fixed we can free the roster up and get Jr back and maybe get a 2 guard. Im hearin g rumors of Sergio Rodriguez. Who knows?

    LaFrentz and Sergio for Curry and the Balkman trade exception work financially. Don’t know if Portland would be willing to take Curry with his health issues. Too bad he’s out of shape, because his offense (coming off the bench for Aldridge) and Oden’s defense wouldn’t be a bad front court.

  19. Ben R

    I personally have little interest in Sergio. In three seasons he has never once posted a TS% of over 49.5% and has a career TS% of 46.4% which makes Zach and Jamal look like Lee in terms of efficiency. Also while his assist numbers are great; 8.5 per 36 in his career (two of three seasons over 9 per 36) his turnover numbers are poor averaging over 3 per 36 every season.

    I would rather take a flyer on a NBDL player like Williams, Conroy, Barrett, or Green. They might be unknown quantities but unknown is better than poor which is what Sergio seems to be. He might be flashy but has never really showed any consistancy which drives Portland fans crazy, I live in Portland so I hear alot of talk about Sergio, not much positive.

  20. Thomas B. Post author

    So I was the one kid that kept showing up in the ratings for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids?

  21. Ted Nelson

    I personally have little interest in Sergio. In three seasons he has never once posted a TS% of over 49.5% and has a career TS% of 46.4% which makes Zach and Jamal look like Lee in terms of efficiency. Also while his assist numbers are great; 8.5 per 36 in his career (two of three seasons over 9 per 36) his turnover numbers are poor averaging over 3 per 36 every season.
    I would rather take a flyer on a NBDL player like Williams, Conroy, Barrett, or Green. They might be unknown quantities but unknown is better than poor which is what Sergio seems to be. He might be flashy but has never really showed any consistancy which drives Portland fans crazy, I live in Portland so I hear alot of talk about Sergio, not much positive.

    Something to keep in mind is that Sergio’s only 22, plus his career numbers are heavily influenced by a sophmore slump that’s looking like a fluke. I don’t think he’d be anything more than Duhon’s backup at the moment, but I would jump on a deal of Curry’s contract (don’t think Portland would be interested when they have 3 or 4 Centers who are better, plus I don’t think you can combine trade exeptions with other contracts) or a trade exception (also don’t think Portland would be interested, he’s a rotation player for them). If it were possible I think I’d take him over those D-Leaguers. He’d give the Knicks a different look off their bench, and might grow under D’Antoni and/or by moving from the slowest team in the NBA to the fastest. I’d hesitate before dealing a future pick for him, though.

    His scoring and TOs are problems. One consideration is that players who pass as well as Sergio tend to also turn the ball over a lot:
    Player…Ast-rate…TO-rate
    Sergio…38.0…….22.6
    Kidd…..40.5…….18.5 (career)
    Kidd…..38.0…….19.3 (1st 3 seasons)
    Nash…..39.0…….18.4 (career)
    Nash…..26.7…….17.5 (1st 3 seasons)
    Magic….40.9…….19.4 (career)
    Magic….28.9…….19.3 (1st 3 seasons)

    Still a little TO prone, but these are MVP caliber players. Only Magic was 22 in his 3rd season, also (Kidd 23 and Nash 24).

    He’s definitely not a scorer, but has limited his FGAs this season compared to the past two seasons (on a low pace team every season) and is hitting his 3s so far this season (.353 or 12 for 34). He’s recovered a little as a jump shooter after a bigtime sophmore slump, but his inside eFG% is below his career average with 28% of his close shots being blocked compared to 15 and 16% his first two seasons. He doesn’t get to the line much, either.

    His plus minuses are hard to read: the Blazers are 9 points worse offensively with him on the court, but 9 points better defensively. I have to think it’s due largely to not being on the court much with Roy and/or Aldridge, but being on the court with Outlaw and Pryzbilla/Oden a lot (this is basically what his 5-man units show, not just speculation). Steve Blake is also shooting the lights out right now and doesn’t turn it over much, so it might just be that Sergio is a much worse offensive player than Blake (whose average playmaking is covered by playing with Roy) at this point in both of their careers or at least so far this season.

  22. njhoop

    “What’s with 80s superstar players that make them god awful GMs? McHale, Bird, Thomas, Jordan, Mullin. I wouldn’t hire these guys to assemble an Ikea table, nevertheless a winning NBA franchise.”

    The only exception to this would be Byron Scott (although I wouldn’t put him in the superstar category, he did play on a lot of championship teams) one of the most underrated coaches in sports.

  23. njhoop

    My mistake, I didn’t notice Mike K. was referring to GM’s not coaches. I still think Byron Scott doesn’t get enough recognition though.

  24. Ben R

    Ted – You are right about Sergio’s passing and his turnovers are not too bad when you consider his age. I guess I would probably take him over the D-League prospects but I would not give up anything of value for him.

    He might be worth taking a flyer on to see if D’Antoni’s system can improve his efficiency but the most I would give up is a 2nd rounder or maybe Rose for a one year longer contract. But as you said he is a rotation player for them so they are not letting him go for nothing.

  25. Caleb

    Sergio isn’t the prospect he was two years ago, but he IS only 22 and leading the league in assist percentage (% of his touches that go to an assist). He can’t shoot and D is iffy, but he’s a lot better than any 2nd round pick is likely to be.

    Speaking of trades, what about seeing if we could move Jeffries and Rose for Larry Hughes. Saves some money for the Bulls, and they could use another tall guy. Knicks get another $6 million in 2010 cap space… Hughes is probably better than Jeffries, and he can play both guard spots. Who knows, maybe we could even pull off a deal that includes Joakim Noah – they barely play him, for whatever reason.

    What’s with 80s superstar players that make them god awful GMs? McHale, Bird, Thomas, Jordan, Mullin. I wouldn’t hire these guys to assemble an Ikea table, nevertheless a winning NBA franchise.”

    Why the hate for Larry? I know there were others involved but he did ok running the show in Indy. And his last move was fleecing the boy wonder of Canada.

  26. Ted Nelson

    Ted – You are right about Sergio’s passing and his turnovers are not too bad when you consider his age. I guess I would probably take him over the D-League prospects but I would not give up anything of value for him.
    He might be worth taking a flyer on to see if D’Antoni’s system can improve his efficiency but the most I would give up is a 2nd rounder or maybe Rose for a one year longer contract. But as you said he is a rotation player for them so they are not letting him go for nothing.

    Yeah, I don’t see it happening. If for no other reason than a better offer (pick or Sergio + other(s) for better player vs. the Knicks exception only) probably being out there if the Blazers shop him. If Bayless had beaten him out for his rotation spot then maybe he’d be given away; although, they still might want to keep another Spaniard around for Rudy’s first season…

    He’s a restricted free agent in 2010, not exactly LeBron but maybe a bargain back-up PG if he doesn’t jet back to Europe. Especially if Bayless and/or someone else take(s) his minutes next season.

  27. TDM

    I just heard that Derrick Rose cut himself with a knife while eating an apple in bed. 10 stitches in his forearm.

  28. Owen

    ‘Sergio isn’t the prospect he was two years ago, but he IS only 22 and leading the league in assist percentage (% of his touches that go to an assist). He can’t shoot and D is iffy, but he’s a lot better than any 2nd round pick is likely to be.”

    Sergio is leading the league in assist percentage? Wouldn’t that be Chris Paul, at 56%? Or are you not talking about Assist rate?

    As for Larry Hughes, I think that trade proposal has some merit, but I hate him too. But hell, the Knicks have collected a lot of the players I don’t enjoy watching over the last few years, so why not add Larry to the mix.

  29. Ted Nelson

    Speaking of trades, what about seeing if we could move Jeffries and Rose for Larry Hughes. Saves some money for the Bulls, and they could use another tall guy. Knicks get another $6 million in 2010 cap space… Hughes is probably better than Jeffries, and he can play both guard spots. Who knows, maybe we could even pull off a deal that includes Joakim Noah – they barely play him, for whatever reason.

    Could definitely work, when does Hinrich get back? Anyone else looking for 2010 cap space who might offer more for Hughes’ contract?

    Unlikely to happen, but if the Knicks do a 2 for 1 like that and clear 3 roster spots they could offer some team Eddy Curry for 4 marginal 1-4 million per guys.

  30. Caleb

    Sergio isn’t the prospect he was two years ago, but he IS only 22 and leading the league in assist percentage (% of his touches that go to an assist). He can’t shoot and D is iffy, but he’s a lot better than any 2nd round pick is likely to be.”

    Sergio is leading the league in assist percentage? Wouldn’t that be Chris Paul, at 56%? Or are you not talking about Assist rate?

    I did mean to say assist rate, but the description was right. Sergio’s is higher than CP3 because he doesn’t shoot nearly as much.

    Assist Ratio is the percentage of a player’s possessions that ends in an assist. Assist Ratio = (Assists x 100) divided by [(FGA + (FTA x 0.44) + Assists + Turnovers]

    Assist Percentage (available since the 1964-65 season in the NBA); the formula is 100 * AST / (((MP / (Tm MP / 5)) * Tm FG) – FG). Assist percentage is an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals assisted while on the court

    re: Larry Hughes, I admit to having a soft spot for the guy, since his St. Louis days. He’s like a lot of players — if he made $4-5 million, you’d be glad to have him. At $14 million… yeccch. He’s a good defender, and fwiw, he’s having a career year, TS% of 57 and shooting 48% on 3s. I don’t expect that to last…

  31. Ted Nelson

    By clear 3 roster spots I mean with Marbury and Mobley potentially clearing 2 roster spots and the 2 for 1 clearing a 3rd, if that was confusing.

  32. Caleb

    Anyone else looking for 2010 cap space who might offer more for Hughes’ contract?

    I haven’t thought too hard about it, but Cleveland was dying to move the guy and never could… NYK can eat $14 million in salary like it’s nothing, but most teams can’t.

    I can think of other versions… include Al Harrington on our end, instead of Rose (a player sted a contract)… save Rose for another trade… or give up Chandler to get Noah.

    You’d almost think they’d take Curry, since they’re giving 15 minutes a game to Aaron Gray — but there’s gotta be too much bad blood.

  33. Z

    “Anyone else looking for 2010 cap space who might offer more for Hughes’ contract?”

    Yeah– the Bulls. As it stands they are under the cap in 2010. Why take on Jeffries? (hey don’t save money in the deal either: it’s $26 million either way).

    In fact, the Bulls are $20 million under the cap next year if they move Hughes for only expiring deals. A deal that would save money is Hughes and Ty Thomas for Marbury. Saves about $12 million for the Bulls, gets them well under the cap in 2009, and doesn’t cost them long term pieces (Del Negro seems not too interested in the young group of players he inherited).

    I think Jeffries would have to go to a team with no 2010 FA expectations (like DAL, SA, NO, BOS, etc…) Teams that would rather win the championship now than worry about 2010.

  34. Caleb

    That’s a fair point, Z – they probably wouldn’t bite on Jeffries. But they’re a mess – hard to say which way they’re going. Aside from Rose, the prospects are Thomas and Noah and they don’t play.

    I’ve sort of assumed they will extend Thomas & Gordon (or trade Gordon for someone else with a contract), which takes a big chunk of their potential cap room. Would they let Gordon walk for nothing?

    Also, it’s hard to see anyone taking Larry Hughes for just expiring contracts. Dallas? But Dallas comes up in every trade; they can’t take every single crappy contract in the league, can they?

    I dunno, given how he’s in the doghouse, maybe the Bulls would move Thomas just to clear 2009 cap space. It would be a great move for us. Even better, if they would sub Noah for Thomas.

    We could also offer Rose & Harrington or Rose & Q (for Hughes and Thomas/Noah)… doesn’t save the Bulls as much $$, but all the deals expire by 2010.

    re: your Jeffries locations, I don’t think he’d get on the court in Boston, and I predict San Antonio preserves their 2010 options — at least, unless they get someone better than Jeffries. Dallas – maybe. New Orleans, which is really hurting for depth and big guys, might be more likely. On the other hand, they can probably get better offers.

  35. Z

    “re: your Jeffries locations, I don’t think he’d get on the court in Boston, and I predict San Antonio preserves their 2010 options — at least, unless they get someone better than Jeffries. Dallas – maybe. New Orleans, which is really hurting for depth and big guys, might be more likely. On the other hand, they can probably get better offers.”

    I agree with all of this. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Jeffries is on contract until 2011, has only played in two games, and sucks shit, I really don’t see who would possibly take him off our hands THIS year. The only hope are teams like the aforementioned who feel they would rather compete this year than worry about Free Agents 2 years from now. (Dallas is always mentioned because the only way they can justify the Jason Kidd trade is to go all in this year. Unfortunately, JJ is not an all-in move…)

    Almost every team in the league that wants it can have enough cap space in 2010 to offer LeBron James max $$. (as it stands not the Lakers, Hornets, Sixers, Nuggets, Warriors, Bucks, and the Magic– but all these teams could make it work over the next 18 months to free the space). Jeffries will more likely be moved a year from now, after he plays and costs less, to a team that is officially out of FA sweeps (like say to the Lakers for Derek Fisher next year; or to the Magic for Evans or Battie).

    As for the Bulls– who knows what they are doing. I don’t follow them day-to-day, but their future is not bleak– they have cap space in their imminent future, they have desirable players to trade, they play in a large market, and they have a future star to build around. A few good moves between now and July 2, 2010 and they are back in the high-life again…

  36. cwod

    I’m not sure if anyone saw this, but this was in Chad Ford’s chat today:

    Adam (LA, CA): Chad, do you see David Lee on the Knicks next year?

    SportsNation Chad Ford: Tough question. On talent, there’s no question he’s been a great fit. But his agent, Mark Bartlestein, is going to want a TON of money. If the Knicks spend it on Lee, they may not have the cash to bring in LeBron and another All-Star in 2010. I think the only way he stays is: 1. The Knicks also find a way to move Eddy Curry for an expiring contract or 2. Lee signs the one year tender offer and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2010. Right now both seem unlikely.

  37. Caleb

    Chad Ford has always been down on the likelihood of the Knicks re-signing Lee… but I think he’s out of the loop. He also said the Knicks would be keeping Randolph and Curry, and never even mentioned the possibility that they would shop Crawford, which was obvious to everyone here.

    Even as things stand, the Knicks probably have enough cap room to max out one FA in 2010. And they still have other cost-cutting options, aside from letting Lee walk. They could let Nate go, or find a way to move Jeffries, or even Curry, in the next year and a half.

    I’m sure Lee’s agent will ask for a boatload of money (last season he floated a number of $12-13 million per), but other teams are in the same boat as the Knicks. Do they want to spend $13 million on Lee, or wait until 2010? If Josh Smith couldn’t find more than a $55 million offer last summer, will Lee? Even at that price, I suspect the Knicks would match – he’d still be tradeable.

    So I think the most likely scenario is he works out an extension, somewhere in the $40-50 million range. Plan B is he finds a way to sign the one-year tender, preserving everyone’s options until 2010. Plan C is a trade. Unless you think he wants to kick it in Greece for a year.

    IMO, it’s not a catastrophe if the Knicks only sign one big free agent in 2010, and wait until 2011 to sign another.

  38. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I’m not sure if anyone saw this, but this was in Chad Ford’s chat today:

    Adam (LA, CA): Chad, do you see David Lee on the Knicks next year?

    SportsNation Chad Ford: Tough question. On talent, there’s no question he’s been a great fit. But his agent, Mark Bartlestein, is going to want a TON of money. If the Knicks spend it on Lee, they may not have the cash to bring in LeBron and another All-Star in 2010. I think the only way he stays is: 1. The Knicks also find a way to move Eddy Curry for an expiring contract or 2. Lee signs the one year tender offer and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2010. Right now both seem unlikely.

    How ironic. Two years ago most people were talking about Eddy Curry’s ascension and that Lee was a nice role player who was product of garbage time matchups. Only if we had some way to tell that in just two short years, Lee would be the one that would be looking for a multiyear deal, and Knick fans would be hoping anyone would trade Curry for a bag of used sneakers that expire in 2 years.

    (If you want to think what some people thought of Curry two years ago… http://www.knickerblogger.net/?p=426

    “Put Curry in Yao’s situation, where it’s a clear one/two attack and he’s going to thrive as well.”)

  39. Italian Stallion

    I guess moving Randolph had one downside we didn’t really think much about. Giving Lee more minutes, touches, and opportunities to get rebounds (in addition to the faster pace than last year) might make it more difficult to resign him. His raw stats are starting to look much better even though IMHO, he’s only a marginally better player this year than last year. He may go from being underrated, to an even better player that is overrated by other teams considering signing him.

  40. Italian Stallion

    I wasn’t here two years ago, but I think two years ago Curry was actually playing decent ball for quites a stretch. IMO, if you want to win he’s going to have to be paired with the right kind of PF because of his defensive and rebounding limitations, but I’m not as down on his overall skill/ability as most people. I think the real problem is that doesn’t care about being a basketball player or reaching his potential. At this point everyone knows it too. So it’s hard to think between the injuries and his reputation that anyone is going to take a chance on him. I think it’s up to D’Antoni to light some kind of small fire under his ass and get his market value up enough to move him.

  41. TDM

    (If you want to think what some people thought of Curry two years ago… http://www.knickerblogger.net/?p=426
    “Put Curry in Yao’s situation, where it’s a clear one/two attack and he’s going to thrive as well.”)

    TDM – Nov 22nd, 2006 at 3:00 pm
    I agree that Ewing could help Curry contend with the other bigs in the league. Yao’s rep around the league was that he was a softy with no mean streak. Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t Ewing been working him the past couple of seasons? It looks like it has finally paid off, because Yao is finally realizing the promise that everyone saw when he first came into the league.

    I think Ewing could do the same for Curry if given the opportunity.

    I hate me. What was I thinking?

  42. blackriderx

    Basketball and its salary cap/roster situation is so freakin strange. Is there a reason for it to be so convoluted and indecipherable?

  43. Frank O.

    Eddy Curry is in his eighth season, I believe. Pretty much what you see is what you are going to get. Most players do not change radically seven years into a career.
    He’s slow to react on defense, lacks the will to be defensively physical, is unable to play consistently at either end of the floor, and generally lacks the drive to get better. Please remember that with a new coach and a clean slate this year he chose to come to camp fat and out of shape again. Again.
    No, Pat Ewing can’t teach heart and drive. No one ever questioned Yao’s heart. The guy played hard and did not back down from anyone.
    Curry will never be Yao. He probably will never be more than a very below average center, with a huge contract…

    My hope for Curry is that he comes back and puts up some numbers…enough to enable the Knicks to move him to a team that needs some bench points.

  44. nj hoop

    I don’t see a game thread so…I’m totally unimpressed with the Bulls, but the Knicks are playing putridly so far, with some incredibly dumb turnovers. This game has all the signs of an ugly road blowout.

  45. Z

    Whoa– I was watching the Wizards – Pistons game and saw ex-Knick GM Ed Tapscott coaching the Wiz! I had no idea he had taken over for Eddie Jordan. I thought he’d been exiled from the League for drafting Fred Weis.

    Just goes to show, you can’t screw up bad enough in the NBA. Isiah’ll probably have a job again if he’s patient…

  46. caleb

    Is Duhon going for the Cal Ripken award?

    Call me crazy, but nothing would help this team more than for Curry to get on the court. We need to move him and as long as he sits he’s not moving.

  47. cwod

    Considering how this game has gone, it’s amazing that it’s still close.

    Was it just me, or was Q-Rich actually playing the point for that stretch at the end of the third quarter?

  48. T-Mart

    Why is JJ taking 13 footers when we finally have a 2-point lead with 7 minutes left? WTF Can we please find a better shot then that?

  49. reyrey

    its the 7 man rotation… they cannot play 48 without closing the fourth strong, this is the 3rd game in a row.

  50. BigBlueAL

    This team will not win ONE freaking close game for the rest of the season because they dont have a go-to-guy down the stretch and they could very well be the dumbest team in basketball. Honestly the Basketball IQ on this team is close to retard level.

  51. beanmaxz

    Duhon can finish when he has options. He’s not Rose, but his ability to penetrate is a big part of his game. But when your inside options besides Lee are Jeffries, Harrington and Chandler, it’s not too pretty.

    This game really turned when Chandler went into permanent brainlock in the final minutes. All the guys look cooked. Even DLee is allowing Larry Hughes to outhustle him for a rebound…that’s when you know things are bad.

  52. DRed

    At least Chandler got to the line a few times tonight, right?

    Tim Thomas and his 1-6 night (with 1 rebound) didn’t help either. I still like getting rid of Z-bo and his contract, but I can’t stand watching Tim Thomas.

  53. BigBlueAL

    BTW, how much confidence does D’Antoni have left in Roberson when for the 2 minutes Duhon sat, he had NO guards on the floor!!!! You had Jeffries, Harrington and Tim Thomas bringing the ball up the floor. If Nate was playing, they most likely win this game….

  54. blackriderx

    BTW, how much confidence does D’Antoni have left in Roberson when for the 2 minutes Duhon sat, he had NO guards on the floor!!!!

    Get rid of Roberson, pick up a defense and pass first guard from D league, and don’t play Duhon to the ground.

    I can see the point of playing Duhon all the time if the season depended on it, but this is the 2008-9 Knicks. I’m not saying don’t be competitive, but solve the problem already.

  55. BigBlueAL

    BTW, how much confidence does D’Antoni have left in Roberson when for the 2 minutes Duhon sat, he had NO guards on the floor!!!!
    Get rid of Roberson, pick up a defense and pass first guard from D league, and don’t play Duhon to the ground.
    I can see the point of playing Duhon all the time if the season depended on it, but this is the 2008-9 Knicks. I’m not saying don’t be competitive, but solve the problem already.

    Well Nate coming back would help alot since he could “run” the point and give Duhon much needed rest.

  56. jon abbey

    This team will not win ONE freaking close game for the rest of the season because they dont have a go-to-guy down the stretch and they could very well be the dumbest team in basketball. Honestly the Basketball IQ on this team is close to retard level.

    I don’t really think it’s the basketball IQ, it’s the talent level without Nate and Mobley isn’t enough to win too often. when your starters play an average of 40 minutes, you’re pretty damn likely to run out of energy down the stretch.

  57. Z

    Why is Roberson on the team??

    He’s one of only two guards on the team and still can’t get in the game?! That is a devastating indictment of his ability and worth to the team.

    Meanwhile we are having a roster crisis caused by the exiled Marbury…

    Bizarre.

  58. knciks

    It’s getting hard watching duhon play so many minutes. So hard that I actually went on the d-league website to see who we could sign to play 10 minutes at the point if we cut Roberson. Leading the D-League in assists — former Knicks training camp player Walker Russell. Also, in a callback, playing in Italy, Frank Williams.

    ALso, do you think Allan Houston might suit up again?

  59. Ray

    I just came from the Garden and saw Stephen Curry light it up downt the stretch. The kid is really clutch. He makes some bad passes and he doesnt have many one on one move but he can really shoot the rock when it counts. That was a good game.

  60. Brendan

    Bizarre game that was, really choppy. Chandler and Duhon, Wilson especially, really looked nervous and seemed to be pressing out there. And I’m forced to echo what others have said about Roberson: if D’Antoni has so little confidence in him that he put the Harrington-Jefferies-Chandler-Thomas-Richardson lineup out there, there’s no real point to having him on the team. His small sample size career PER is 11ish, which is roughly replacement level, so you might as well do as the label says and replace him with someone D’Antoni is willing to use. In the kid’s defense he was still leading the cheers even after it became clear he was never going to see the court.

    And on the upside, the Knicks were close all the way and in it with a chance in a game where they went 6-28 from three. When you play a high-variability strategy sometimes you have games like this, but I’d say that’s an encouraging sign so far as it goes.

    Can’t wait for Knicks/Nets. I follow both teams, and always love these games.

  61. Ted Nelson

    7 FTAs for WC, not bad.

    I wonder what the market for Lee will be… given his low-volume scoring enough teams might see him as a defense and rebounding guy who doesn’t defend to keep his value down. Maybe I’m not giving NBA GMs enough credit, though.
    One positive for us Knicks fans is that PF is really the strength of the 2009 free agent crop with Boozer, Marion, and Sheed all out there: giving Lee 10+ mill per is likely to be a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th option for teams looking for help at the 4.

    whoever said duhon cant finish was wrong.

    It wasn’t me who said it, but I would hardly call that wrong. On the season Duhon’s shooting .433 on “close” shots and .441 on all “inside” shots (http://www.82games.com/0809/08NYK2.HTM). He’s not particularly bad finishing around the basket on his career, but also not particularly good.

  62. nj hoop

    Nets favored by 9 points tonight. I know the Knicks are playing back to back, the Nets are playing well, etc. but 9 points? Can’t wait to see the spread on the Lakers game on a back to back – do I hear 25?

    (Those bookies always seem to be right though.)

  63. Italian Stallion

    I didn’t see the whole game, but I saw enough.

    To me, Chandler looked like a deer in a headlight tonight. He’s not playing with the same level of confidence (or energy) he was late last year, in pre season, or in the first 10 or so games of the regular season this year. He has too many 2-13 nights mixed in with the good ones and seems to have lost his confidence/swagger because of it. Tonight was even worse in that he had 5 turnovers. I have no idea what the problem is, but it’s a problem. We have very few prospects to become a 3rd spoke in the wheel in 2010. He’s one of them. If he doesn’t doesn’t improve a bit as the season progresses, there aren’t any players here that might help attract a couple of the major free agents unless Gallinari is a hidden gem.

  64. Z

    So with the Hornets trading Mike James to Washington as part of the Antonio Daniels/Jarvis Crittenton there goes a pivotal piece to the Eddy Curry to New Orleans pipe-dream trade…

    The completely awesome Dee Brown is available now, though, should Cuttino retire today.

  65. Owen

    I only saw the game out of the corner of my eye at a bar. But I did notice Chandler having a tough night. And to me it looked like he took a bad shot in the last minute in the low right block. Would love get more color on that sequence. I think we were within 2 or 3 at that point.

    Right now, Ill-Will’sts% is down to 51.1%, his rebounding is barely better than gimpy old Q Richardson, and he isn’t having a huge impact defensively if his on court/off court is any indication. It looks like regression to his mean has set in.

    Meanwhile, Brook Lopez is looking pretty solid across the river.

  66. caleb

    I can’t believe I find myself in the position of defending Wilson Chandler to the res of this board, but here goes…

    Don’t jump overboard. Owen is right — this is just regression to the mean. And the mean isn’t bad, for a 21-year-old. Ugly as it was last night, IMO it’s just the typical ups and downs of a very young player. That TS% (51.1) is almost three points better than last year… his rebounding and other numbers are better, too, and his defense looks more solid to me. Forget the superstar fantasies, but he looks to be on the road to being a decent starter. If he has more nights where he gets to the free throw line 7 times, maybe more.

    Other teams have adjusted — they know he can’t go left, and isn’t a great 3-point shooter — so they force him left, and let him shoot. Now it’s his turn to adjust. That’s how young players get better. I don’t think he’s a future star, but he’s only 21, and any 21-year-old player is extremely likely to improve — especially if they’re a dedicated, hard worker, as Chandler (reportedly) is.

    I’m not freaking out about 2010. Here’s a wild guess at what’s in LeBron’s head — it’s important to him that he goes to a team with good long-term prospects. Solid management, a solid base and deep pockets. But it’s not critical that the team make a title run in 2010-2011. I would guess that most free agents think the same way. Aside from money, they want a team that will be good every year; they just don’t want to be stuck on the Grizzlies or the Bobcats.

    A team with Lee, Gallinari, Chandler, the 2009 pick, possibly Nate/Duhon… would be a decent start. Find a way to add another draft pick or two, and it looks better. Add a big star and you probably have a 50-win team. When Curry & Jeffries come off the books a year later, you can do more.

    Much as I’d love to move Curry and Jeffries sooner, IMO it’s just as important to stockpile assets. Q or Harrington could bring back picks. So could Rose’s contract. Maybe even Marbury, still (for example, Phoenix might be glad to dump Shaq a year early).

    p.s. Q has always been one of the best rebounding guards in the league — he IS pushing Chandler’s numbers, but that’s not a knock on Chandler — they’re both above average for a SF. I’m also glad to see Q posting up. That was his entire offensive game before he went to Phoenix, and it always seemed a waste to turn him into a spot-up 3-point shooter. I figured it was because of his back – but maybe he’s healthy enough now, miraculously.

  67. Ben R

    As Knick fans we have not seen alot of even semi-promising young players in the last 15 years. Because of that I think we have a tendancy to build up and then tear down young players too quickly.

    We annointed Frye as the franchise savior 40 games into his rookie season and then hated him during his sophmore slump, we gave up on Balkman and Ariza because of bad second seasons, we have built up and torn down just to build up again the hype around Lee how many times. We overreacted to Chandler’s promise and now we are overstating his demise.

    Chandler was a #23 pick, he is shooting with almost average efficiency, is a solid rebounder, a good defender and is just 21 years old. If we tamper down our enthusiasm and our desperation for a superstar we should see a promising, if still raw, young player who should have a long and solid career. He is and will never be our answer but we should just be thankful for what he is; another solid piece to add to our 2010 team or an asset to trade to make that team better. Long term he is a starter in this league, not a star but a starter.

  68. Italian Stallion

    It’s funny how roles reverse (I’m “short term” negative), but to me Chandler’s body language LOOKS different now. I don’t believe his stats reflect a mean reversion. I think he has lost his confidence and it’s inmpacting his performance. Perhaps teams have adjusted to his game a bit and that accounts for some of it, but that does change the fact that at times he appears to be in a semi-coma on the court when he was exuding the confidence of a “semi all star” just a few weeks ago. I think this as much a mental thing as it is adjustments by other teams. There were a couple of moments last night when he made a boneheaded play that had nothing to do with the defense. The camera focused in on him. He looked like Gallinari did on his first night. He was like a deer in a headlight overwhelmed by the circumstances (real rookie stuff). D’Antoni and another coach were actually lauhing at him. I fully expect his stats to improve when he comes out of this funk eventually, but IMO something is wrong inside his noggin right now.

  69. Italian Stallion

    On another note, someone brought up Frye.

    Does anyone have an explanation for why his game deteriorated after such a promising start other than perhaps the injury just prior to his 2nd season?

  70. Italian Stallion

    Frye was never very good. People were just desperate for hope.

    He was never really good, but he was young and seems to have gotten worse. That usually doesn’t happen unless there’s an injury or attitude issue. The latter never seemed like a problem. If anything it was the other way around.

  71. Caleb

    Frye was never very good. People were just desperate for hope.

    …and part of it was an illusion in that he played a lot of minutes, so his per-game numbers looked ok… and part of it was that he played all four years of college, so he was 22 his rookie year — closer to his peak… but he has had a weird career.

    TS%
    2005-2006 54.1
    2006-2007 46.4
    2007-2008 52.9
    2008-2009 46.6

    rebound rate
    2005-2006 14.5
    2006-2007 12.4
    2007-2008 15.5
    2008-2009 11.6

  72. Brendan

    Hollinger’s numbers also have his usage rate highest in his rookie year (21.7) and declining thereafter (19.2 this year, low of 17.9), while his assist ratio has increased over a third from his rookie year (6.0 to 9.2 this year, second consecutive year at that level). He seems to have changed the character of his game a little; the numbers suggest he may have gotten a bit less aggressive to fit in on a loaded team, which may in turn be hurting his effectiveness.

  73. Italian Stallion

    If I recall, he was injured at the beginning of his second year and got off to a poor start. That might partially account for the sub par year and/or lack of any improvement. I looked at some early season stats this season and he was absolutely horrible. Maybe he picked it a little since then.

  74. Italian Stallion

    If I recall, he was injured at the beginning of his second year and got off to a poor start. That might partially account for the sub par year and/or lack of any improvement. I looked at some early season stats this season and he was absolutely horrible. Maybe he picked it up a little since then.

  75. Owen

    Re Chandler – As I have said multiple times, no one will be happier than me if I am wrong about Ill-Will, but it doesn’t look good right now. It’s very difficult to be efficient with the kind of game Chandler has, as Ted frequently points out.

    Also, he has now played as many minutes as he did last year, and the numbers are startlingly similar, where they aren’t worse. A small uptick in assists is all you can point to right now. Players do improve, but a lot of times they don’t. I am still highly skeptical he can be a solid NBA starter. Right now, I think his upside is marginal starter and I would lay even odds on him being a solid bench player or replacement level.

    Re Frye – He showed some promise his rookie year but was still a below average player. He had a huge dropoff his second year, for whatever reason.I don’t know why. In Portland he has been just a little bit more effective than he was his rookie year. Frye doesn’t appear to be an impact player in the pros, but probably will always be overrated because he has a jumpshot.

  76. Brendan

    Late news if anyone’s interested- Bobby Simmons is available and starts for the Nets, which is probably a harder guard for Chandler. I doubt we’ll see too much zone tonight either from the Knicks- too many opposing shooters.

  77. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    we gave up on Balkman and Ariza because of bad second seasons, we have built up and torn down just to build up again the hype around Lee how many times. We overreacted to Chandler’s promise and now we are overstating his demise.

    Speak for yourself. I don’t think I ever gave up on Ariza or Balkman. And Lee pretty much has been the same guy since his second season. And I don’t think I’ve overreacted to Chandler’s promise.

  78. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I wasn’t here two years ago, but I think two years ago Curry was actually playing decent ball for quites a stretch.

    The only place Curry was playing good basketball was on his Xbox.

    Curry has been more or less the same player his entire Knicks career. That he cut down on his blocked shots to stay in the game for 10 extra minutes was never an improvement. His string of good scoring games was more a result of the extra minutes (and more turnovers), not some increase in skill.

  79. Italian Stallion

    For what it’s worth…

    I was furious when we gave up Ariza because he was very young and had a lot of obvious athletic ability. I though he was a mortal lock to improve and should be given enough time to demonstrate how good he could get.

    I was indifferent to the Balkman trade even though I liked him. I thought he was really more of an undersized PF and didn’t have enough outside shot/free throw shooting skill to be a starting SF. So while I’d like to still have him, I was not overly upset we lost a good off the bench role player that was likely to get buried here. There’s always a chance we can get a player of similar quality in the 2nd round. Even if we can’t maybe PEJ will turn out to be a better version of him.

    My view of Wilson Chandler is similar to that of Ariza when he was a Knick. He’s very young, hard working, and IMO athletic and raw enough to get better, but with more potential on offense. Based on where he is now, I think he can be the 3rd player on a very high level team eventually.

    I keep going back and forth on Lee. At times I think he’s going to be good enough to be the starting PF on a very high level team. At other times I think his defensive limitations, lack of shot blocking, and lack of an outside game, “in combination”, makes him more of 6th man of the year type player off the bench. I’m still hopeful he can improve further because IMO he’s a shade better this year than last.

  80. Italian Stallion
    I wasn’t here two years ago, but I think two years ago Curry was actually playing decent ball for quites a stretch.

    The only place Curry was playing good basketball was on his Xbox.
    Curry has been more or less the same player his entire Knicks career. That he cut down on his blocked shots to stay in the game for 10 extra minutes was never an improvement. His string of good scoring games was more a result of the extra minutes (and more turnovers), not some increase in skill.

    To a large extent I agree with you, but not totally.

    If you look at his seasonal stats, it certainly looks like that.

    But there was a mid season stretch in his high usage year where he was scoring 20 PPG at a very high efficiency DESPITE being double and triple teamed every night. His slow start in that season kind of hides what he was doing in the middle of that season until he got hurt late. Some if it was simply an increase in minutes and touches, but he had never put up those kinds of numbers despite being doubled and tripled every night.

    He had some difficulty passing out of the doubles/triples, but he also had a brick laying bunch of losers on the outside to pass to. That was why going into last season I thought the most critical piece to add was a sharp shooting SF. We added Randolph instead and the rest is an ugly history for all concerned.

  81. cwod

    Even if we can’t maybe PEJ will turn out to be a better version of him.

    If PEJ ever puts up the kind of steals/blocks/rebounding numbers Balkman had in 06-07, I’ll be beyond shocked.

  82. Owen

    “But there was a mid season stretch in his high usage year where he was scoring 20 PPG at a very high efficiency DESPITE being double and triple teamed every night. His slow start in that season kind of hides what he was doing in the middle of that season until he got hurt late. Some if it was simply an increase in minutes and touches, but he had never put up those kinds of numbers despite being doubled and tripled every night.”

    Lord….

    IS = Look. Curry has never ever ever been a good basketball player. Not in Chicago, not in New York, not for stretches, not for anything. This is the worst rebounding “starting” center in the NBA. This is arguably the worst defensive center in the NBA. This is the guy whose “best” season saw him become one of only two centers to ever play 25 minutes per game and average less than 10 rebounds and more than 5 turnovers per 48. (Darryl Dawkins was the other one). He has never had a positive offensive +/- for the knicks.

    Your theory of basketball is just totally bizarre to me. The only thing you seem to care about is the ability to draw a double or triple team and the ability to “stretch the floor” with a midrange jump shot.

    Look, stats aren’t perfect, but they tell you a great deal about a player. You should pay a little more attention to them.

  83. Italian Stallion

    Owen,

    Curry’s limitations have been obvious to everyone for a very long time. I don’t disagree with much of what you or others have said. I believe earlier in the thread I said it would only be possible to win with him if you combined him with a specific type of PF.

    IMO, you don’t have to be one of the all time great centers to be considered a good player. There are good centers that can’t score much. They play very good defense, block shots, rebound etc… There are also good centers that play efficient offense that can’t play very good defense. If you can do both you are a great center.

    IMO, if a center can only do one of the two very effectively, he needs to be paired with a player that compliments his skills to get better results. If you don’t, the results will be horrible for the indivdiual players and the team (like pairing Curry with Randolph or if you combined a defensive center like Dalembert with a defensive PF and SF).

    And to be clear, I already AM looking at the same stats you are. The difference is that they do not dictate any of my opinions. I use them as a tool to enhance my visual observations of the players, the game development, the team, etc…

    I also use a very subjective analysis to upgrade and downgrade a players stats if IMO there were specific circumstances that influenced the results for parts of the season that are not indicative of his real ability.

    So even though I might be looking at the same things as you, I will often have a very different opinion. That’s because my analysis contains a more comprehensive but very subjective element to it that some people might not agree with or even consider. That style is based on the type of analysis I use profitably in horseracing where raw stats aren’t profitable but subjective visual analysis is very helpful.

    Not asking that you agree with me. I have no desire to debate or argue with anyone. I have a desire to express an opinion, enjoy the Knicks, and eventually learn enough to win money betting on this game too. IMO, that will require more than just stats.

  84. Frank

    “But there was a mid season stretch in his high usage year where he was scoring 20 PPG at a very high efficiency DESPITE being double and triple teamed every night. His slow start in that season kind of hides what he was doing in the middle of that season until he got hurt late. Some if it was simply an increase in minutes and touches, but he had never put up those kinds of numbers despite being doubled and tripled every night.”
    Lord….
    IS = Look. Curry has never ever ever been a good basketball player. Not in Chicago, not in New York, not for stretches, not for anything. This is the worst rebounding “starting” center in the NBA. This is arguably the worst defensive center in the NBA. This is the guy whose “best” season saw him become one of only two centers to ever play 25 minutes per game and average less than 10 rebounds and more than 5 turnovers per 48. (Darryl Dawkins was the other one). He has never had a positive offensive +/- for the knicks.
    Your theory of basketball is just totally bizarre to me. The only thing you seem to care about is the ability to draw a double or triple team and the ability to “stretch the floor” with a midrange jump shot.
    Look, stats aren’t perfect, but they tell you a great deal about a player. You should pay a little more attention to them.

    To be fair, Owen, basketball does come down to more than stats. By your standards, every team should have pass first shoot second players high-efficiency, low-usage players at every position which would lead to a lot of passing, little shooting, and ultimately bad offense. All this talk about good ball movement within the offense will always lead to better shots than 1-on-1 is mostly true, but sometimes the defense is good enough to take you out of your offense, and then what? you’re stuck with 1-on-1 at the end of shot clock, and it IS valuable to have a guy like Crawford who can get a higher percentage shot at the end of the shot clock than can someone like Chris Duhon. of course layups are higher percentage. But it’s tough to shoot a layup surrounded by people packed into the lane, much easier to shoot a layup if you have floor spacing and threats form the outside that the other team must respect. As such, there IS value to drawing a double or triple team. There IS value to spacing the floor. It may not be evaluable in statistical form but anyone who has ever actually played the game will tell you that it’s a lot easier to shoot when there’s no one around you, either close to or away from the basket. And that happens with screens etc. but is made much easier by proper spacing (which allows for effective screens, pick-and-rolls etc.) and the ability to threaten the defense from anywhere on the floor, including from mid- and 3-point range.

    Stats are obviously important and advanced stats are useful tools to ferret out guys who may not be valued highly enough. But for every Jose Calderon that advanced stats finds, you get one Mike Sweetney. For every David Lee you find, you get one Stromile Swift.

    Now I can’t stand Eddy Curry as a player but I agree with IS — 2 years ago when he got on a roll in the middle of the season, he pressured defenses into collapsing on him because he was such a good scorer in the post. YES — he’s a crappy passer. YES — he’s a turnover machine. But NO — that does not make the ability to force the defense to change what it’s doing a bad thing — it’s still really good. And part of why his stats were not great overall is because when he would finally pass out to an open guy, Mardy Collins would brick it. Or Jefferies would shoot a 19 foot jumper and draw air. It’s like having a great running game in football but having a crappy QB that can’t capitalize on play-action passing. Does that mean that having a great running game is no good? of course not. But at the end of the day, the QB was 0-1 on that pass, so by stats, having a good running game does not actually improve your passing game, when common sense dictates otherwise. I don’t think Curry is any good, but I definitely think he would have been FAR better had he gotten any support from his teammates.

    Look, I really like statistical analysis and I think it’s really interesting and insightful (and Mike, I love the website and the discussion), but I honestly find it sort of annoying when the “Stats guys” here condescend to perfectly knowledgeable and reasonable basketball fans like IS with statements like “Look, stats aren’t perfect but they tell you a great deal about a player. You should pay a little more attention to them” and “Your theory of basketball is just totally bizarre to me” — especially when advanced stats is clearly an imperfect science and has probably as many misses as hits on the non-obvious players.

  85. Italian Stallion

    Frank,

    Thanks for expressing things better than I ever could.

    I learn a lot from the more hard core stats oriented people here and generally agree with most of what they have to say, but I think the complexity of the game makes it difficult to analyze everything in terms of numbers. So I try to incorporate more visual/subjective elements that have been useful to me elsewhere into my analysis of basketball players/teams. At times that can lead me astray because I’m not a great basketball coach, great scout etc…, but at times I think it puts me ahead of the curve. It’s certainly worth exploring without be trashed for not going along with the popular view on some things. ;-)

  86. Owen

    Guys, why has Curry made the Knicks worse on offense every year he has been here? Honestly. Solve that puzzle for me…

  87. Frank

    no problem at all — someone had to defend you.
    I really do like advanced stats and it’s opened up a new world of discussion for me, but when I think statistics and try to apply them to basketball, I see the player I’m trying to analyze and 9 confounding factors (otherwise known as other players on the court) swirling around him. That’s not even taking into account coaches and offensive/defensive systems. And to think that “advanced stats” can account for all the confounding factors just doesn’t seem realistic to me. For instance, Shawn Marion has posted essentially career lows in every important statistical category this year, just 12-18 months after he was just about the best player in fantasy basketball and toasted as one of the best all-around players in the NBA– is he really a different player than he was just 12-18 months ago? Or is the other 4 guys on the court and a crappy rookie coach that are different?

  88. Owen

    I have probably devoted upwards of ten thousand words to Eddy Curry in my Knickerblogger career. That’s probably enough. Just going to leave it there.

  89. Frank

    Guys, why has Curry made the Knicks worse on offense every year he has been here? Honestly. Solve that puzzle for me…

    OK – while I try and answer this puzzle for you, solve this puzzle for me: why isn’t Mike Sweetney a superstar? Advanced stats would have predicted that he would be.

    Most obvious reasons Curry made the offense worse– he’s just not that good, has no will to improve or to win.

    Other possible reasons:
    #1 – bad coaching of his skills (what a shocker in the Isiah regime!)
    #2 – bad teammates that don’t complement his game
    #3 – poor coaching adjustments when teams change defense to counteract Curry’s success (another shocker!)
    #4 – poor offensive sets to take advantage of his skills

    Most obvious reasons are most likely reasons as well.
    But you can’t tell me that Greg Popovich couldn’t have made him a better player. Or that Larry Brown, given a few years of no Marbury or other sideshows, couldn’t have made him a better player. or that he wouldn’t benefit from going to a real big man camp (like the one that Andrew Bynum went to 2 summers ago).

    And by the way, it doesn’t require advanced stats to see he has no effort, no heart, doesn’t care about basketball, and that a drop of a hat, fumbles the ball away.

  90. Ben R

    Speak for yourself. I don’t think I ever gave up on Ariza or Balkman. And Lee pretty much has been the same guy since his second season. And I don’t think I’ve overreacted to Chandler’s promise.

    Mike – I was generalising about the Knick fanbase as a whole which seems more prone to praise and then give up on young players, than many other fanbases. I also never gave up on Ariza and am still to this day depressed about the Balkman trade I was just stating what I have noticed, especially on less rational boards than this one. I have also been a staunch Lee defender for years.

    To add one last thought to the Curry discussion, I think he was and can still be a useful player, his strength is just very specific and he is in all other ways limited. I believe that his ability in the post, if exploited correctly, could be a great asset to the right team in the right system. We had neither and despite that with him as the focal point we had one of the best offenses in the NBA for about two and a half months before Lee, Q and Crawford all went down.

    I love advanced stats, and I think it is possible to defend Curry using them which I did in the past but I have also discussed Curry ad nauseum and I do not feel the need to begin again. With that said, at this point, I want him long gone especially after not showing up in shape.

Comments are closed.