Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Knicks 102, Pacers 88

EDITOR’S NOTE: Apologies for the delay in getting this up. I was at choir practice. Like, all night.

New York Knicks 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
88 Indiana Pacers
Carmelo Anthony, SF 30 MIN | 6-13 FG | 3-7 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 16 PTS | +9

Three games into the Woodsonian era, still no imminent signs of Melo suddenly reverting to a 30-shot-a-game chucker in the Mamba mold. Like a dutiful, guilt-ridden Catholic, Melo continues to share the wealth on offense, playing within himself, looking for the open teammate, and generally making nice with everyone. Which I suppose is a pretty decent M.O. when you’re still trying to figure out how to wipe the blood off the dagger…. Too soon?

His defense on Danny Granger was equally fervent, with Anthony forcing the Pacer Captain into settling all night for perimeter jumpers….. I’ve just been told hat’s basically what Danny Granger does anyway.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 32 MIN | 4-8 FG | 8-8 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | -3

Stat stormed out the gate en route to perhaps his finest first quarter of the season, scoring 10 while not allowing a clearly atrophying David West to have his way inside or out. We’ll see whether Stoudemire can effectively connect with a coach who is inevitably going to ask far more of him on the defensive end than any skipper ever has. But if tonight’s hustle and focus are any indication, maybe Woodson is starting to get through to the traditionally cheesecloth Stat.

Tyson Chandler, C 32 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +1

A night after channeling his All-Star snubbing into an astonishing beat-down of Roy Hibbert, Chandler was largely bested in the second round. That doesn’t mean his interior presence wasn’t crucial — his three blocks and shot-altering prowess were huge — But when the former Georgetown cornerstone is locked in, it’s hard to stop him. Doesn’t matter though; after last night’s drubbing, there’s a 600000% chance Hibbert never accepts another at-large All-Star invite again, so long as he and Chandler are playing in the same conference.

Landry Fields, G 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -4

Regardless of where on the floor it’s coming from, Landry’s shot is broker than a Dublin wharf drunk — it’s too slow, his feet are never truly set, and his wrist constantly finds new geometry-defying angles at which to flail. If you’re a shooting guard who can’t manage to hit 60% from the free throw line, you have a confidence issue. As such, methinks the time is nigh for Woodson to literally chain Fields to Novak 24-7. Before we know it, Landry will be putting the hand in the cookie jar right proper.

The good news is Landry’s tin-charging prowess has never been higher. As long as he continue to attack, defenders will start to sag off. Which is why fixing his shot will be of the utmost importance going forward.

Jeremy Lin, PG 33 MIN | 6-10 FG | 7-8 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 19 PTS | +3

The most important stat: 2, as in the number of cough-ups surrendered by our pugnacious point. Lin did a masterful job of handling the Pacers’ uber-physical, trap-prone defense, choosing the right pass over the flashy one, while hitting a number of improbable fade-away and mid-range jumpers. Mike Woodson might be known for fitting his point guards with razor-studded choke collars, but as long as Lin can play like this, there’s no reason to believe Woody can’t devise sets that take full advantage of his lane-probing prowess. With Baron Davis suffering from ham problems…. Hamstring? Whatever…. Lin’s minutes will probably see an uptick over the next week or so.

Mike Bibby, PG 10 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +6

Coupled with Boom Dizzle’s ouchie, Lin’s early foul trouble made an extended cameo from Bibby as necessary as it was terrifying. All in all, it turned out to be a shockingly solid outing from the 79-year veteran. Although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t alarmed by whatever it was Bibby was wearing on his shoulder / forearm — some kind of light green substance. I’m just going to assume it’s flesh rot.

Jared Jeffries, PF 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +9

I thought about turning JJ’s playing time into a drinking game — the prompts being throwing his body in front of 200-plus pound men running at full speed — but worried I might end up driving my house into a tree. Jeffries probably should’ve been credited with four charge-takes, all of which ended up going the other way. He once again had his share of bunny misses, but he was absolutely huge on the windows, with four of his five ‘bounds coming on the offensive end.

Steve Novak, SF 16 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +10

He wasn’t quite Friday gangbusters, but his off-the-dribble pull-up from the right wing in the second quarter was a thing of beauty. Dude still can’t defend a lamp post, but banking on him to do so is a like expecting a really good lawn mower to wash dishes.

J.R. Smith, SG 30 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +20

This was quintessential Smith: A torrid start, followed by inexplicably bad shots that left rubber streaks on the rim, followed by a couple inexplicably bad shots that managed to tickle the twine. After the win, J.R. may or may not have been found celebrating St. Fatty’s Day at a local gentleman’s club.

Iman Shumpert, G 22 MIN | 1-6 FG | 4-7 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | +19

Look, I love the kid, but Shumpert shows less vision on his drives a 90-year-old woman with cataracts. Thus far, it doesn’t seem as though Shump truly understands who his new coach is, and how quickly said coach reacts to boneheaded plays with a very sharp stage hook. But Woodson also knows he has in Shumpert a dynamo defender that could be devastating in certain, strategic trapping situations, so he’s probably liable to give the youngster a few more inches on the leash, for now.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The ‘Bocker bench was once again the key catalyst in New York’s scoring surges, spearheading a pair of 17-4 runs — one in each half — while outscoring Indiana’s pine riders 34-17 on the night. Sooner or later Woodson’s platoon strategy will run aground, but right now it’s looking like a pretty sound strategy.
  2. On paper the Pacers committed 15 turnovers, but it felt like 15,000. With the exception of a laisez faire first stanza, the Knicks were aggressive and active on the defensive end, deflecting dishes, disrupting passing lanes, forcing the Pacers middle before quickly collapsing. Meanwhile, the orange and blue — who still ranked near the bottom in turnovers committed heading into Saturday’s showdown — managed to only cough it up 11 times. Which by my count is three less times than my buddy, who is still whispering sweet nothings to the toilet bowl.
  3. The Knicks did a pretty good job of keeping the Pacers — ranked fifth in the league in total rebounding — off the glass. In fact, since being bludgeoned on the boards by the Bulls, the Knicks have out-bounded their opponent in each of the last three games. Like Cromwell driving my people West of the River Shannon, it looks like we’re finally figuring out how to box out.
  4. While Lin — and to a deader extent, Bibby — was duly tasked with running the show for most of the game, down the stretch, the outcome mostly but by no means completely decided, Woodson put the ball in Melo’s hands. Anthony responded with a pair of deft dishes, and very little in the way of “getting his.” It’s too early to tell whether this will develop into any kind of long-term strategy, but the idea of “Melo-as-closer” certainly jives with Woodson’s decidedly more half-court, conservative offensive philosophy.
  5. It might’ve technically been a day before the Ides, but there was certainly enough in D’Antoni’s sudden departure to invite a Shakespearean comparison or twelve. But as with that most masterful of word weavers, sports are rife with as many tales of redemption as tragedy, and as many ironies as tears. The manner in which D’Antoni high-tailed it ex-Gotham, combined with the way in which the team has responded — some might say miraculously — to new leadership, covers pretty much all of these bases. It’s that kind of drama that makes sports such a strange diversionary endeavor, and why you can never be too sure how certain tragedies will ultimately play out.

159 comments on “Knicks 102, Pacers 88

  1. Doug

    It’s ok Jim, we all know how those all-night choir practices are.

    The Mike Bibby > undead comparisons will never get old.

  2. Z-man

    Re: Landry’s shot, it looks to me like he doesn’t flex his arm enough. He only takes his forearm back to slightly past vertical (it should be at a less than 45 degree angle with his upper arm). Because of this, he has no room to extend his arm prior to hitting vertical and must release the ball on a flatter angle, or else the shot will come up short. Watch him from the FT line, he has very little forearm movement and most of it is past the vertical point.

    Not that fixing this will cure the problem (Shump shoots properly and misses anyway!) But at least he wouldn’t be denting the front of the rim as much.

  3. Frank O.

    I still think the porcelain glove gets short-changed by fans for his defensive effort.
    Clearly, we have some talented, but young and flawed 2s. It will be interesting to see who comes out of the off-season with a consistent mid-range. As it stands, Shump has a longer way to come offensively, but Fields has to come further to equal Shump’s D. And JR…is a perfect off the bench player. I see no reason to change his role.
    If Stat doesn’t need to carry the load offensively, there is more energy for D, and I hope he uses it.Same goes for Melo. The balanced offensive attack makes for better D, and a more sound D feeds the offense.
    Does everything have to lead to Yin and Yang?

  4. ROUGH

    David Stern should issue an executive order according to which Landry Fields and Imam Shumpert will be banned from playing in any team next season unless they work to improve their shooting so that it is not an embarrassment for the NBA. This includes jumpers, three-pointers, layups (!), and, in the case of Fields, even free throws.

    I love the effort and hassle by both of those guys, and I know they are young and can vastly improve. At this point, however, I don’t know if there is any other team in the NBA that has worse shooters playing the shooting (!) guard position.

    Frank O.:
    I still think the porcelain glove gets short-changed by fans for his defensive effort.
    Clearly, we have some talented, but young and flawed 2s. It will be interesting to see who comes out of the off-season with a consistent mid-range. As it stands, Shump has a longer way to come offensively, but Fields has to come further to equal Shump’s D. And JR…is a perfect off the bench player. I see no reason to change his role.
    If Stat doesn’t need to carry the load offensively, there is more energy for D, and I hope he uses it.Same goes for Melo. The balanced offensive attack makes for better D, and a more sound D feeds the offense.
    Does everything have to lead to Yin and Yang?

  5. Z-man

    Two things, Brian. One, Fields has a lot more NBA games and minutes under his belt, under the most accomodating of circumstances, yet he has regressed with time rather than improved. Shump’s FG% has improved every month so far this season and is 4-10 from 3pt range this month. In March, Shump has scored 48 points on 58 shots, Fields has scored 75 points on 67 shots.

    I was just watching the replay of yesterdays game on MSG. Indiana was leaving Fields wide open on the perimeter. That affects everyone else’s ability to get into open space.

    I agree with you about roles, though. Fields is best as a starter right now, and JR is best suited for a 6th man role. Shump is an x-factor defensive weapon with some offensive skills that need to develop, so I can see his minutes and role varying from game to game. For this year, Fields has the most limited skillset and upside and his minutes should be adjusted accordingly unless he improves his shooting. Otherwise, I see another playoffr disaster in the making.

  6. Z-man

    BTW, I thought Indiana looked pretty bad. I am going out on a limb and am predicting that they wind up as the 9th seed and miss the playoffs.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Two things, Brian. One, Fields has a lot more NBA games and minutes under his belt, under the most accomodating of circumstances, yet he has regressed with time rather than improved.

    He has regressed since Linsanity, but he improved a lot during Linsanity (and the weeks right before Linsanity). His WS/48 was reeeeeeeally low the first 20 games or so of the season. Something like 0.58.

    But yeah, otherwise, I think you and I are mostly in agreement. I’m certainly not saying they should play him at all costs, ya know?

  8. jon abbey

    Shumpert was the reason that game turned in the second quarter. do you guys know NY is 2-8 when Shumpert either doesn’t play or plays less than 19 minutes? 19-16 when he plays 19 minutes or more.

    for the second straight game as the backup PG, he was consistently finding guys for open, good looks, they were just missing most of them. how sweet was the way he split that double? once he starts finishing consistently, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with, maybe Darrell Walker can help him with that (although he was similarly offensively challenged as a player).

  9. Gorky

    Shumpsanity?

    jon abbey:
    Shumpert was the reason that game turned in the second quarter. do you guys know NY is 2-8 when Shumpert either doesn’t play or plays less than 19 minutes? 19-16 when he plays 19 minutes or more.

    for the second straight game as the backup PG, he was consistently finding guys for open, good looks, they were just missing most of them. how sweet was the way he split that double? once he starts finishing consistently, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with, maybe Darrell Walker can help him with that (although he was similarly offensively challenged as a player).

  10. Z-man

    My bad, Shump has 58 pts on 48 shots in March.

    Come on, Brian, it is what it is. The dude can’t shoot and hasn’t been able to all year. Look at his month-to-month splits for 3pt% (all in the .200’s) and FT% (all below 70% and worse each month), which are basically wide-open perimeter shots. So, if he only takes layups and dunks, he would be a better shooter? On that basis, maybe we should playTyson Chandler at shooting guard.

  11. jock cowles

    Ha! Loved the “79-year veteran.” Only beef with KB mobile is I can’t read the grades!

  12. JK47

    Amar’e is really starting to pull it together. Over his last 8 games he is averaging a robust .629 TS%. This is the best run of games he has had in quite some time.

  13. daJudge

    Loved your recap Jim. I cracked up over the Bibby stuff. Then I sadly realized that I just got done playing in my over 50 league.

  14. JLam

    Read the article on comparing Melo with Starbury. I really hoping history doesnt repeat itself, otherwise I be rooting for Melo to exile to China where the chinese fans might love him more than Lin.

  15. Tony Pena

    JLam:
    Read the article on comparing Melo with Starbury. I really hoping history doesnt repeat itself, otherwise I be rooting for Melo to exile to China where the chinese fans might love him more than Lin.

    Dude don’t just read anything that says “Knicks” on it.

  16. ess-dog

    I’m going to don my cock-jowles hat today and point out that Faried had 18 and 16 last night against the Celts. I like Shump and all but C’MON!

  17. alsep73

    Here’s the one thing I’ll say on Faried vs. Shump: given the composition of this roster (especially pre-Linsanity & pre-JR Smith signing), who was going to have more value to the team: a lockdown defender at shooting guard or a high-energy power forward? Faried is absolutely a player, but we have Amar’e and Tyson consuming a lot of the big man minutes, Jeffries proving incredibly valuable with his defense off the bench (and the major knock on Faried, apparently, is his defense), Melo occasionally sliding to the 4, Novak needing time, etc., and even Jorts in case of emergency. Shump fills a much bigger need for us.

  18. Mulligan

    “Apologies for the delay in getting this up. I was at choir practice. Like, all night.”

    I assume you guys were probably working on this, in honor of D’Antoni’s demise? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-kJVmEWWV8&feature=related

    Or maybe this, as an attempt to depict the epic struggle between Melo and D’Antoni : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhk96KX6I6I

    “I waited patiently for the Lord: and He inclined unto me, and heard my calling.
    He brought me also out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay.”

    Mire and clay – obviously referring to our stagnating offense when it was caught in the power struggle between Melo and D’Antoni. Of course, in this interpretation “the Lord” = Dolan.

    “And He hath put a new song in my mouth: even a thanksgiving unto our God.
    Many shall see it and fear: and shall put their trust in the Lord”

    New song – Woodson
    Many shall see it and fear – Knicks winning streak!

  19. Mulligan

    ess-dog:
    I’m going to don my cock-jowles hat today and point out that Faried had 18 and 16 last night against the Celts.I like Shump and all but C’MON!

    Proper cock jowles imitation probably involves more snark and citing of win scores and the like..

  20. Bruno Almeida

    ess-dog:
    I’m going to don my cock-jowles hat today and point out that Faried had 18 and 16 last night against the Celts.I like Shump and all but C’MON!

    the guy is insane, he’s averaging a 16/13 per 36…

    take a look at this:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/farieke01/gamelog/2012/

    notice a trend on the last 13-15 games?

    on most of these games, Denver has won the ones when Faried played a lot of minutes, and mostly they have lost when he plays less minutes… (and against Memphis, a L, he was terrific).

    and he’s, like a fellow poster said, Reggie Evans 2.0? haha come on.

  21. flossy

    Yeah I was a Faried doubter but it’s looking like there’s no denying that he’s a monster. Luckily we managed to snag someone who looks like a future All-NBA defensive team candidate (with potential to turn into a dangerous two-way player) to shore up our backcourt, which was the definite area of need. Outside of that Bulls game, I’m struggling to think of another loss where the takeaway was “grrr if only we could rebound!!”

  22. Bruno Almeida

    @27

    just to make a comparison, that’s what Kevin Love averaged per 36 when he was a rookie too, with much lower shooting percentages (except free throws).

    and we all know how this turned out…

    not saying Faried will turn into the next Kevin Love, but if he plays like he’s playing for the rest of his career he’s already a pretty good rotation NBA player.

  23. JK47

    I too wanted Faried really badly in the draft, but he has been incredible beyond my wildest fantasies.

  24. Gideon Zaga

    Damn Faried, but if his ceiling is Tyson Chandler/Amare then I think Shumpert’s ceiling is D rose, also a two foot leaper btw. Faried’s vertical explosion is amazing almost Amare/Griffin-esque. I still don’t think Donnie made the wrong choice. How about Faried’s defensive numbers against Shump?

  25. Bruno Almeida

    Gideon Zaga:
    Damn Faried, but if his ceiling is Tyson Chandler/Amare then I think Shumpert’s ceiling is D rose, also a two foot leaper btw. Faried’s vertical explosion is amazing almost Amare/Griffin-esque. I still don’t think Donnie made the wrong choice. How about Faried’s defensive numbers against Shump?

    Shumpert’s ceiling is DERRICK ROSE, really?

    dude, I’d really love to try some of that stuff you might be using to get high…

  26. Gideon Zaga

    what’s wrong with saying Shumps ceiling is Rose, both have superior athleticism, maybe Rose is a little faster and it it took 3 years for Rose to develop his craft. So yeah we’ll see.

    Bruno Almeida: Shumpert’s ceiling is DERRICK ROSE, really?

    dude, I’d really love to try some of that stuff you might be using to get high…

  27. Cousyfan

    I am here to learn.
    Today, I read all of the 458 comments made during the game, and thoroughly enjoyed them all.
    How can you watch TV and type at the same time??? I cannot concentrate on more than one thing at a time.
    Thanks for giving me a good education.
    Cheers

  28. JK47

    The Knicks’ defensive rebounding, by the way, is sliding back towards mediocrity, as they now rank 12th in the league in that category after spending much of the season near the top 5. On a more positive note, the team’s eFG% allowed has been steadily improving, now ranking 14th overall, so the Knicks remain a top 10 defense, checking in at #8.

  29. SJK

    Not sure how he would fit or that we even need him, but the if the knicks have any second rounders this year we should really take a look at Draymond Green. Watching the tournament, he is just so skilled and has such a high basketball IQ. It’s tough to see him not being a solid role player in the NBA.

  30. Bruno Almeida

    Gideon Zaga:
    what’s wrong with saying Shumps ceiling is Rose, both have superior athleticism, maybe Rose is a little faster and it it took 3 years for Rose to develop his craft. So yeah we’ll see.

    this:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=rosede01&y1=2009&p2=shumpim01&y2=2012

    Rose was a much more polished player than Shumpert when he was a rookie, Shump has never given any indications that he can eventually turn into the offensive juggernaut Rose is.

    also, they’re not even similar in play style, Shumpert is a defender first, 2-guard, while Rose is a high-usage scoring Point Guard who carries the offense all by himself most of the times.

  31. Bruno Almeida

    JK47:
    You might as well say Shump’s ceiling is Michael Jordan.

    yeah, if we want to start throwing up random possibilities, Jorts might as well be the next Larry Bird.

  32. max fisher-cohen

    Shumpert is an amazing man defender with some good handling skills. His defensive style is very similar to prime Metta Artest’s in how he gets up in you and uses his strength to create problems. He is quicker than Artest, but when he’s guarding 1s or 2s, he has the same strength advantage that Artest had at the 3 and has the same intensity and focus, which allows him to get a ton of steals without taking too man risks in the passing lanes. He is elite there and is already one of the best wing defenders in the league. If Shumpert can get his three point shooting up, that will open up his game to more penetration, something he’s already solid at, and he could be an all-star.

  33. jon abbey

    not sure what a good comparison for Shumpert’s ceiling is, maybe Sprewell? I don’t really like that, possibly similar athleticism but I don’t think Shumpie’s offensive potential is that high. maybe Tony Allen on defense mixed with a worse Sprewell on offense?

  34. Nick C.

    Love the don’t expect a really good lawnmower to wash dishes line.
    Shump I think is best used as the beast in the cage. Save him for when he is most needed. Plenty of teams have nominal starters with the better player coming off the bench. Got some reason I always think of Marc Iavaroni with Philly and Utah.

  35. JK47

    Shump is a pretty decent FT shooter (79% as of right now) so that’s an encouraging sign, but he’s going to need to tack on about 100 points of TS% to become an all-star.

  36. jon abbey

    Nick C.:
    Love the don’t expect a really good lawnmower to wash dishes line.
    Shump I think is best used as the beast in the cage. Save him for when he is most needed. Plenty of teams have nominal starters with the better player coming off the bench. Got some reason I always think of Marc Iavaroni with Philly and Utah.

    Iavaroni could at least board OK, and you can get away with that if you’re playing alongside Moses Malone/Dr J/Andrew Toney/Maurice Cheeks.

    my worry is games where Lin has trouble with the opposing PG matchup, so we’re overmatched to begin with at both guards (like against Boston or Miami).

  37. JK47

    Spree was actually not that great an offensive player. High usage, low efficiency. Career TS% of .516.

  38. Bruno Almeida

    JK47:
    Spree was actually not that great an offensive player.High usage, low efficiency.Career TS% of .516.

    yeah, but Shumpert has been abysmal, .461 TS% while being a good ft shooter is amazingly bad.

  39. MSA

    JK47:
    Spree was actually not that great an offensive player.High usage, low efficiency.Career TS% of .516.

    Yeah, Spree was able to “create his own shot” but he was never a great offensive player…

    I think he is a very adequate comparison

  40. Z

    jon abbey:
    not sure what a good comparison for Shumpert’s ceiling is, maybe Sprewell? I don’t really like that, possibly similar athleticism but I don’t think Shumpie’s offensive potential is that high. maybe Tony Allen on defense mixed with a worse Sprewell on offense?

    If he gets his offense together, possibly Eddie Jones (similar body)?

    If he doesn’t, possibly Nate McMillan?

    Other all defensive team guards to comp him with:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=jonesed02&y1=2008&p2=mcmilna01&y2=1998&p3=shumpim01&y3=2012&p4=majerda01&y4=2002&p5=leverfa01&y5=1994&p6=presspa01&y6=1993

    And here are some more defensive comps with varying offensive spectrums (Bobby Phils, Eric Snow, Larry Hughes, Raja Bell, Doug Christie)

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=iguodan01&y1=2012&p2=bellra01&y2=2012&p3=chrisdo01&y3=2007&p4=snower01&y4=2008&p5=phillbo01&y5=2000&p6=hughela01&y6=2012

  41. Bruno Almeida

    McMillan might be a good one too, and he became a pretty decent 3pt shooter by the end of his career.

    I have higher hopes for Shumpert, I think he can be a dynamic player on offense too, but I’d be pretty ok with “worst case scenario = Nate McMillan”.

  42. Cousyfan

    When I was teaching at the University of Nebraska 30 years ago, I told my students that they must have had an IQ of at least 110 in order to go to college; they must have had at least an IQ of 120 in order to graduate; and an IQ of at least 130 to get a PhD.
    Harvard is a tougher school than Nebraska; so, I would guess Jeremy Lin must have an IQ of at least 130. Jeremy is still learning.
    With that said, when we play the Bulls and the Heat, Jeremy will not be the Jeremy they saw the last time they saw him. We WILL blow out the Bulls and Heats.
    Cheers!

  43. jon abbey

    Cousyfan:
    We WILL blow out the Bulls and Heat.

    I have been as optimistic as anyone about this current version of the Knicks, but no.

  44. Frank

    I think Sprewell will end up being a good comp for Shumpert — Shump’s a little bigger (body-wise, not necessarily height) but both came into the league as erratic offensive players and excellent definers. Sprewell sort of turned into an offensive guy first (for better or worse) as his career went on — hopefully Shump does not forget what got him in this league in the first place. Shump also seems to be a different kind of guy (ie. non-choking type).

    btw I think Shump is starting to figure it out a little on the offensive end. It’ll be a long time before he becomes a bonafide efficient player, but his TS has crept up each month. Since the ASB he has scored 70 points on 58 shots and 24 FTA = TS of 51%. If my back-of-envelope math is right, he is averaging just about 1 PPP since the ASB as well (70 points scored, 58 shots, 24 FTA, 9 TOs, 6 O-reb), which is pretty darn good for a rook. The other thing is that he has really cut down his turnovers, going basically from 3 TOs per 36 to 1.5 TOs per 36.

    we should remember that he had no offseason program, no summer league, an abbreviated training camp, and then missed a few weeks due to injury. Even though the Manimal looks awesome now, I don’t think we will be sorry going forward that we drafted Shump.

  45. Brian Cronin

    I too wanted Faried really badly in the draft, but he has been incredible beyond my wildest fantasies.

    Yeah, I thought he’d do something like this on a rate basis, but I never thought he’d be so good that even George Karl had to play him this many minutes! I mean, seriously, who in the world would have ever guessed Faried would have been so good that they’d basically dump Nene in favor of Faried…in year one?!?

  46. Z

    Brian Cronin: Yeah, I thought he’d do something like this on a rate basis, but I never thought he’d be so good that even George Karl had to play him this many minutes! I mean, seriously, who in the world would have ever guessed Faried would have been so good that they’d basically dump Nene in favor of Faried…in year one?!?

    And, cue The Honorable Cock Jowles in 5… 4… 3…

  47. daJudge

    How about another Razorback—Sidney Moncrief as an upside for Shump or perhaps Sugar Ray Richardson?? Also, I loved Faried at the draft and still pull for him. His story line was special and significant IMO. If I were to do it over, I would pick Faried, but love the Shump. Faried would really fit in to this mix at this point, but so does the Shump. It’s just that Stat doesn’t really play power forward. Wish he did. Nevertheless, I certainly do not rue the decision. Speaking of Ru…Quite a bloodline dude….Jeff Ruland was awesome and played Center like the great Dave Cowens. The closest my family ever got to the NBA was roller hockey in the Bronx.

  48. Gideon Zaga

    Spree is a very good comparison but I still think Rose is his ceiling, although he might never get the chance to be the man in any situation. And how can you say Rose was polished coming out of college, the guy was basically Rondo until he learned how to shoot recently. Just like I keep saying, dont be prisoner of the moment. Rose used to be second option to Ben Gordon remember? He just improved by miles in the off season that Gordon got traded to Detroit and now people act like he’s been great since buttet bread. Shump will improve his dribble and get ajumpshot

  49. Gideon Zaga

    I pressed publish by accident… yeah so shump will install some sick handles and when that happens look out, his good athleticism is on par with lebron, amare, rose and westbrook. Its only a matter of time and after it happens remember you heard it here first.

  50. daJudge

    BTW, Turiaf was waived. If we had some room, boy he could sure play some D and the beard….

  51. Mulligan

    Jeez. Glad our guys get some rest, but i can’t wait til Tuesday! The compressed season has definitely spoiled me in terms of constantly have lots of basketball to watch..

  52. Frank

    The thing I wish Shumpert would do is to really go strong to the basket. If he gets a step, he has the athleticism and strength to flush it on just about anyone – instead, he often throws up a left handed layup or other kind of prayer. A few weeks ago he started to go for the dunks, but the last few games I haven’t seen the same aggressiveness all the way to the finish. He’s got that same explosive leap that Wade has, and a lot of the layups that have rolled off the rim this season Wade would’ve thrown down.

  53. Brian Cronin

    And, cue The Honorable Cock Jowles in 5… 4… 3…

    Ha! I don’t think even THCJ could have guessed that George Karl would have played him this much. After all, as we’ve seen on many different teams over the years, being good and your coach playing you have not always gone hand in hand.

  54. JK47

    Sidney Moncrief was a hellacious player:

    Career TS%: .591 (30th all time)
    Career WS/48: .187 (30th all time)
    All-NBA 1st team: 1983
    All-NBA 2nd team: 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986
    All-Defensive 1st team: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
    All-Defensive 2nd team: 1982
    All-Star team: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986

    No way in holy hell Iman Shumpert ever becomes another Sidney Moncrief. Moncrief was one of the very best players in the NBA before injuries started to slow him down in the late 80’s.

  55. BigBlueAL

    The funny thing is Karl isnt even playing him that much. Last night Faried put up those crazy numbers in only 24 minutes.

  56. Mulligan

    Of course, as awesome as Faried is, I do have to say I like me some Jorts. Faried’s offensive rebound rate is twice that of Jorts, but Jorts has that 3point range that suits us so well. Also, I love watching Jorts defend. Not sure what his secret is, but it seems like he just holds his ground so well against opposing players.. He just sort of shuts them down by being semi-immobile.

    Not that I wouldn’t be thrilled to have Faried, just had to throw some love to our smelly, dirt strong rookie.

  57. Brian Cronin

    The funny thing is Karl isnt even playing him that much. Last night Faried put up those crazy numbers in only 24 minutes.

    True, didn’t Karl sit him while the Celtics were on their big run and he stubbornly wouldn’t put him back in and when he did, the run stopped?

  58. JK47

    Shump and Jorts were both solid picks. Jorts has completely lived up to his billing as a good, hard-nosed reserve big.

  59. Mulligan

    Just curious, since it’s March Madness. Any prospects that folks think we should go after with our 2nd round pick? Thoughts on the likelihood we could move up to the first round by trading _____ and cash or the 2nd rounder?

  60. daJudge

    JK–I remember his play well and thanks for the stats about Moncrief! I’m just using him as a ceiling. Also, I’m kind of a dopey Knick fan. Just can’t be like The Honorable Camus Jowles. I’m not saying he is wrong, but what’s the point ultimately? Maybe their new assistant, DW, is more realistic as a bonafide comp. BTW, I do not remember Alvin Robertson being so hot on D and I thought he was a bit of a chucker. Jon, no? I honestly believe Shump’s D really has no ceiling. It is breathtaking at times. Unfortunately, his offensive game is awkward, but the form on his J looks pretty good. To me, that’s a big positive. He is really young and kind of immature, but I think his offensive game will undoubtedly improve. Huge potential and also a good story.

  61. jon abbey

    yeah, Moncrief was one of the best players of his era, not far off of say a Clyde Drexler.

    stop with the Shump/Rose silliness, Rose is only 20 months older and was MVP last year (deserved or not, pretty sure Shump’s not near that track), and while Rose is a scoring PG, it seems pretty clear that Shumpert is best off at SG (although with some very good nascent PG instincts).

    again not a perfect fit, but what about Joe Dumars? picked 18th overall (Shumpert was 17th), his O lagged his D for a while, with only 18 made 3s total in his first three years. not sure Shump has his work ethic, though, but maybe as a ceiling?

  62. Gideon Zaga

    I definitely agree, I think he has to work on his handles, he has the quickness and the explosive first step to get by the defense, he just needs good handles to get the defense leaning one way. I never understood why he never attacked the pnr like Lin does. Anyway another shortcoming of Dantoni.

    Frank:
    The thing I wish Shumpert would do is to really go strong to the basket. If he gets a step, he has the athleticism and strength to flush it on just about anyone – instead, he often throws up a left handed layup or other kind of prayer. A few weeks ago he started to go for the dunks, but the last few games I haven’t seen the same aggressiveness all the way to the finish. He’s got that same explosive leap that Wade has, and a lot of the layups that have rolled off the rim this season Wade would’ve thrown down.

  63. jon abbey

    daJudge:
    I do not remember Alvin Robertson being so hot on D and I thought he was a bit of a chucker.Jon, no?I

    check out his steal totals, especially early on. he led the league three times and is ninth career, despite having a relatively short career (only 779 games played).

    four All-Star games in his first seven years in the league, pretty sure we’d all take that from our boy Shump.

  64. Gideon Zaga

    Yeah work ethic might be his downfall but I think he’s a smart kid.

    jon abbey:
    yeah, Moncrief was one of the best players of his era, not far off of say a Clyde Drexler.

    stop with the Shump/Rose silliness, Rose is only 20 months older and was MVP last year (deserved or not, pretty sure Shump’s not near that track), and while Rose is a scoring PG, it seems pretty clear that Shumpert is best off at SG (although with some very good nascent PG instincts).

    again not a perfect fit, but what about Joe Dumars? picked 18th overall (Shumpert was 17th), his O lagged his D for a while, with only 18 made 3s total in his first three years. not sure Shump has his work ethic, though, but maybe as a ceiling?

  65. Gideon Zaga

    And what’s up with Chicago producing these athletic freaks though, Rose, Wade, Shumpert. I wander what their feeding those kids.

  66. Owen

    “WOW. Did not catch this Gallo dish in the first half of the denver game last night.”

    That was insane for anyone who hasn’t seen it….

    I thought the Kate Upton commercial couldn’t be topped but Gallo definitely pulled it off….

    Comparing Shumpert to Rose is just ridiculous. I think Shumpert’s upside is Tony Allan, best perimeter defensive specialist in the NBA with solid offense….

    Nice wrap up….

  67. Z-man

    Spree was more of a greyhound while Shump is more Doberman. Shump is more physical than he is quick or fast. Tony Allen is a good comp.

    Moncrief was a trememdous player on a really good team. Much more polished than Shump will ever be. A guy from that team that Shump compares more to is Paul Pressey.

    Another comparison on D only from a physical standpoint is Dwyane Wade. I still don’t think that Shump’s knees are right, so it will be interesting to see how he looks next year.

    Another good comp is Dennis Johnson during his Seattle yearsoffensively . Big, physical, PG skills but more of a combo guard.

  68. Z-man

    Re: work ethic, shump seemed to be working his butt off during the lockout, so I’m optimistic. He’s not Derrick Rose though, just a totally different kind of player.

  69. cgreene

    Where are the question marks about Shump’s work ethic coming from? Seems very dedicated. I like the fact that he hangs with Stat also. Good role model from a workout perspective.

    Ruru, why does Melo let himself get out of shape? Would lead one to believe that he doesn’t have that competitive edge that you claim he does.

  70. Gideon Zaga

    Melo is just like Pierce, they are both fat ass killers.

    cgreene:
    Where are the question marks about Shump’s work ethic coming from?Seems very dedicated.I like the fact that he hangs with Stat also.Good role model from a workout perspective.

    Ruru, why does Melo let himself get out of shape?Would lead one to believe that he doesn’t have that competitive edge that you claim he does.

  71. ruruland

    cgreene: Where are the question marks about Shump’s work ethic coming from? Seems very dedicated. I like the fact that he hangs with Stat also. Good role model from a workout perspective.Ruru, why does Melo let himself get out of shape? Would lead one to believe that he doesn’t have that competitive edge that you claim he does.

    He’s not as lucky genetically, for one., in terms of how and what he can eat. I think that leads to the weight which leads to the inability to go full speed for 36 minutes. Something, btw, not many guys in the league can do. Also, he paces himself for the end of the season. He’s historically played his best around March. The years on Team USA, where he came out blazing in November and December, he slowed down in the middle of the year.

    I think he has a great competitive edge. This is not Darius Miles. The work Melo’s put in to become Melo exceeds 90 percent of the guys in the league. He’s just not Kobe.

    Melo’s going to be a full-time two way player going down the stretch, that’s pretty clear.

  72. bockadoo

    Nice, fair contract for our old pal W Chandler. That GM plays chess instead of checkers. My second favorite team. I think they have a damn good shot at winning it all, if not this year then next. Enough with the Faried vs Shump talk. Let it go. Shump was the better pick then and now. I would LOVE to have Faried, but Shump is more versatile and has just as much upside. We can get a tough guy to get some more boards next year.

  73. Brian Cronin

    Nice, fair contract for our old pal W Chandler. That GM plays chess instead of checkers. My second favorite team. I think they have a damn good shot at winning it all, if not this year then next. Enough with the Faried vs Shump talk. Let it go. Shump was the better pick then and now. I would LOVE to have Faried, but Shump is more versatile and has just as much upside. We can get a tough guy to get some more boards next year.

    Yeah, that is a fair contract for Chandler. Good move by Denver. They probably have a few too many good players, though. They really ought to make a trade. As for the Faried/Shump talk, you can’t say “let is go” and then say “Shump was the better pick then and now.”

  74. Mulligan

    Man, Howard must be really good because he’s playing with some crappy players. Seriously, besides Anderson who else do they have? Turkoglu, Duhon, QRich, Nelson, Big Baby? Ugh.

  75. Nick C.

    If you want to throw out Shump comps why not Michael Cooper and, for Ruru, as a floor TR Dunno.

  76. art vandelay

    psssst…hey fellas! I have it on good authority from an unnamed source that Andrea Bargnani was talking smack today at Raptors practice telling his teammates he expects their game next Tuesday against New York to be “very winnable”….please pass it on to Amar’e and Melo by Tuesday night.

    Thanks!

  77. daJudge

    I’d take DJ in a heartbeat. Great player and not a bad comp as a ceiling. Jon, I didn’t say I wouldn’t be happy if Shump turned into Alvin Robertson, I just don’t think the comp is accurate. Despite the steals, I don’t think Alvin Robertson was really a D guy at all, certainly not a lock down guy in the Payton/Moncrief mold, and I think he was kind of out of shape. Perhaps it’s just my faulty recollection of the dude. Anyway, Shump seems to have been a pretty decent pick.

  78. Z

    daJudge:
    Despite the steals, I don’t think Alvin Robertson was really a D guy at all, certainly not a lock down guy in the Payton/Moncrief mold, and I think he was kind of out of shape. Perhaps it’s just my faulty recollection of the dude.

    All defensive 1st team once, 2nd team 4 times.

  79. JK47

    ruruland: He’s not as lucky genetically, for one., in terms of how and what he can eat. I think that leads to the weight which leads to the inability to go full speed for 36 minutes. Something, btw, not many guys in the league can do. Also, he paces himself for the end of the season. He’s historically played his best around March. The years on Team USA, where he came out blazing in November and December, he slowed down in the middle of the year.

    I think he has a great competitive edge. This is not Darius Miles. The work Melo’s put in to become Melo exceeds 90 percent of the guys in the league. He’s just not Kobe.

    Melo’s going to be a full-time two way player going down the stretch, that’s pretty clear.

    FWIW, I know a guy who is friends with Baron Davis way back from Dizzle’s UCLA days, and he says that Baron just cannot get rid of the spare tire no matter how much exercise he does. Supposedly when he was younger Baron would do countless sit-ups and cardio, and still had the paunch.

  80. Gideon Zaga

    Hahahahaha I’m listening to the friday edition of the Knicks Podcast and one of the hosts just said something really interesting. He said the knicks were in worst shape than Cleveland because Lebron went to Miami. Hahaha We keep blaming Lebron. So basically because Lebron chose Miami, Dolan and Walsh were left with all this cap space and nothing to do with it. That is bad management that they didnt have a plan B but hey at least they didnt sign Joe Johnson to a $100 million contract. Give them credit for not screwing up that bad.

  81. Frank

    bockadoo:
    Nice, fair contract for our old pal W Chandler.That GM plays chess instead of checkers.My second favorite team.I think they have a damn good shot at winning it all, if not this year then next.

    Call me crazy but does $9M/year seem a little much for WC especially considering the new CBA? Sure he’s versatile, young, and talented, but his peak PER was only 15.7 in a half season with the KNicks last year and then he regressed back to 11.6 when he went to the Nuggets. He’s not a great shooter, doesn’t ever get to the FT line, and is only probably an average to above average defender. He’s like a bigger version of Aaron Afflalo who parlayed an efficient few years into a big contract and an abrupt decrease in efficiency and increase in usage.- except that Chandler has never been an especially efficient player. And everyone seems to be congratulating Ujiri on the contract on Twitter.

    Paying guys like Chandler 8-10M per year just seems like the kind of contract that got so many teams in trouble during the last CBA. And the cap is going to drop in 1+ years which will make it worse.

    I dunno- WC as much as I have fond memories of him, just seems like an MLE sort of guy to me.

  82. Frank

    Sorry just one more thing on Chandler- Not only what I wrote above but assuming they resign McGee and play Faried most of the minutes at 4 going forward, they already have Harrington and Gallo signed to long term deals. So WC will be the 5th front court guy making $9M per year?

  83. Bruno Almeida

    Frank: Call me crazy but does $9M/year seem a little much for WC especially considering the new CBA?Sure he’s versatile, young, and talented, but his peak PER was only 15.7 in a half season with the KNicks last year and then he regressed back to 11.6 when he went to the Nuggets. He’s not a great shooter, doesn’t ever get to the FT line, and is only probably an average to above average defender.He’s like a bigger version of Aaron Afflalo who parlayed an efficient few years into a big contract and an abrupt decrease in efficiency and increase in usage.- except that Chandler has never been an especially efficient player.And everyone seems to be congratulating Ujiri on the contract on Twitter.

    Paying guys like Chandler 8-10M per year just seems like the kind of contract that got so many teams in trouble during the last CBA. And the cap is going to drop in 1+ years which will make it worse.

    I dunno- WC as much as I have fond memories of him, just seems like an MLE sort of guy to me.

    yeah, it’s way too much, as much as I like him.

    he’ll be good for them (if he takes Harrington’s minutes, not Faried’s, which is more likely to happen), but Denver is comitting themselves to mediocrity right now.

    this core was really nice because it gave them a lot of flexibility to move forward… but just signing up everybody for 7-10 million and 4, 5 years kills that flexibility and freezes you with a roster that isn’t winning anything anytime soon unless some really huge leaps happen with some of the players.

  84. Owen

    I think they think of him as more of a big shooting guard….

    I think it’s a generous contract but I love all the moves the Nuggets have made. That’s one front office whose opinion I value above mine. Also, Chandler played some great basketball last year…

    Re Shump it’s totally totally ridiculous to compare him to Rose. You might as well compare him to Tutankahmen.

    The guy he reminds me of a little is Derek Harper. Don’t really know why but that is who jumped into my mind.

    And actually I think Ronnie Brewer, who Draft Express comped him to, is a pretty fair comp. .

  85. Gideon Zaga

    Hahahaha Denver stays winning, WC, Gallo and Mcgee, Affalo and Lawson. Thats a top 4 seed in the West man. Plus Faried emergence of the bench and Harrington. Btw wtf is wrong with the wizards, they did a worse trade than the Knicks did. Nene?? Come on. Plus they gave Nick Young away to the Clippers for free. I’m glad some owner is a lot more stupid than Dolan. Sheesh.

  86. Z

    Frank: Call me crazy but does $9M/year seem a little much for WC…

    Report was that it was 5/$37 mil, an average of a little over $7 million per year. Not sure how it breaks down with raises, but it probably starts at not too much above average salary, no?

  87. Brian Cronin

    I wish there was someone that the Knicks could cut to sign Turiaf, just for his coolness, but I’d rather they hold on to Jordan. And Woodson loves him his Bibby (and with ____ missing and Davis hurt, I guess they need him).

  88. Owen

    Yeah, that’s right. That’s more reasonable Slight overpay but pretty fair to both sides, especially since they need him for the playoffs.

  89. Owen

    Got to say, I have nothing but admiration for the Nuggets front office. No surprise they employ Dean Oliver and are known to be one of the leading utilizer’s of advanced statistics…

  90. Frank

    Owen:
    I think they think of him as more of a big shooting guard….

    But even as a 2 he’s their backup since they already committed 8.5M/year to Afflalo.

    Don’t know- I get the concept of having a bunch of interchangeable parts on interchangeable contracts, but of the cap is 58M and coming down and the luxury tax is 70M and coming down, how many 8-10M contracts can you have? McGee will get $10M plus, Lawson will be worth somewhere around 8-10 at least.

    Anyway WC’s contract is really the rest of this year plus 4 years for 37M so I guess it’s in the neighborhood of 8.5 per year.

  91. Mulligan

    Owen:
    Got to say, I have nothing but admiration for the Nuggets front office. No surprise they employ Dean Oliver and are known to be one of the leading utilizer’s of advanced statistics…

    No wonder Melo wanted to get out of there! (Sorry! Couldn’t resist)

  92. Gideon Zaga

    hey whatever happened to exta E , thats what you get for not staying loyal to the Knick brass

  93. Z

    Brian Cronin:
    I wish there was someone that the Knicks could cut to sign Turiaf, just for his coolness, but I’d rather they hold on to Jordan. And Woodson loves him his Bibby (and with ____ missing and Davis hurt, I guess they need him).

    If Turiaf came back to the Knicks, I’d permanently end my boycott and wouldn’t mention Jim Dolan or Carmelo Anthony in a negative way for the rest of the season. Maybe my favorite sports personality ever.

    (Can’t they cut ______ to make room? (Are the Knicks actually going to pick up his option this summer, to ensure 2 more years of TDFOH?))

  94. Gideon Zaga

    So the Nuggets are basically building an advanced stats team Nuggetblogger.net anyone???

    Mulligan: No wonder Melo wanted to get out of there! (Sorry! Couldn’t resist)

  95. Owen

    I don’t know that people will be lining up to give Mcgee anywhere close to that kind of money.

    And the Nuggets will have a ton of leverage with Mcgee. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with Mozgov, Koufos, and Anderson. You are punting center with those three and Faried, but pretty cheaply….
    I also wonder if injury issues will suppress Lawson’s value.

    I do think the Afflalo contract was a little puzzling. Seemed like a big overpay.

    But I think there are approach is pretty smart. Good contracts and good players with max flexibility. They can always move some of these guys. Also, they aren’t getting a legit max guy in Denver anytime soon. And they aren’t drafting one either. So this seems like a pretty sound strategy.

  96. massive

    I think some of you are mistaking ceiling for where he’ll realistically wind up. Shumpert’s ceiling is a perennial All-NBA 1st Team defender who can get you a good TS (I’d say somewhere around .560 once he stops taking those long two pointers), and be a good secondary/tertiary ball-handler for this team. He’s a SG who will be guarding the opponent’s best guard. I see a lower-usage, poor-man’s early 2000s Kobe Bryant as Iman’s ceiling. Stats wise, not skill-set or competitive fire.

  97. Spree8nyk8

    art vandelay: I would have preferred that Atlanta lost that game, actually….we need to get up to 6th seed!!!

    Considering that Atlanta has a better record than Philly I’d say we need to get up to that 4 seed!

  98. Gideon Zaga

    Ok guys you know some of us on this blog are nothing but old farts with time on our hands waiting for the Knicks to win another championship so we can die. You have to warn us with these videos, I almost induced an asthma attack from laughing uncontrollably watching Amares defense. Oh Lord.

    Mulligan:
    Okay guys, who on this board is responsible for this? http://youtube.com/user/AtBallsDeep?ajax=True&client=mv-google

    The maniacal laughter + obsession with Amare’s bad defense makes it kind of creepy…

  99. Brian Cronin

    (Can’t they cut ______ to make room? (Are the Knicks actually going to pick up his option this summer, to ensure 2 more years of TDFOH?))

    They already picked up his option for next season, so he’d be a pretty expensive cut. So I imagine they’ll keep him and hope they can fix his shot. Especially when we don’t know if Davis will even return next year.

  100. jon abbey

    my vote is that it’s time to dump the ____ thing and go back to calling him Toney Douglas. I don’t know what his deal is this year, personal issues, shoulder problems, but I do know I’d much rather have him in the Mike Bibby emergency guard role if he’s at all salvageable, and since he just turned 26 last week, you’d think that would be the case (again, depending on the health of his shoulder).

  101. art vandelay

    Gideon Zaga:
    Hahahahaha I’m listening tothefriday edition of the Knicks Podcast and one of the hosts just said something really interesting. He said the knicks were in worst shape than Cleveland because Lebron went to Miami. Hahaha We keep blaming Lebron. So basically because Lebron chose Miami, Dolan and Walsh were left with all this cap space and nothing to do with it. That is bad management that they didnt have a plan B but hey at least they didnt sign Joe Johnson to a $100 million contract. Give them credit for not screwing up that bad.

    They actually wanted to sign Joe Johnson to team him with STAT (to create Phoenix east) and were disappointed when he turned them down, so I wouldn’t give them any credit whatsoever for “passing” on him. Another far-fetched scenario they had was to team Joe Johnson with both STAT and LBJ somehow (not sure how this would have worked under the cap, though).

  102. Owen

    Worse contract

    JJ for the max
    Melo for the max
    Stoudemire for the ………………Max

    I would have said it was a dead heat between Stat and JJ going into the year. But right now he is looking like a winner, comparatively….

  103. Z

    art vandelay: They actually wanted to sign Joe Johnson to team him with STAT (to create Phoenix east) and were disappointed when he turned them down, so I wouldn’t give them any credit whatsoever for “passing” on him. Another far-fetched scenario they had was to team Joe Johnson with both STAT and LBJ somehow (not sure how this would have worked under the cap, though).

    Yup. The first meeting they had was with Johnson, hoping he’d be their first coup (plan A was to sign Johnson to entice LeBron… they resorted to Amar’e when Johnson, SHOCKINGLY, took the extra $24 million Atlanta was able to give him)

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5334060

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5334060

  104. massive

    art vandelay: They actually wanted to sign Joe Johnson to team him with STAT (to create Phoenix east) and were disappointed when he turned them down, so I wouldn’t give them any credit whatsoever for “passing” on him. Another far-fetched scenario they had was to team Joe Johnson with both STAT and LBJ somehow (not sure how this would have worked under the cap, though).

    They were offering a 3 year deal with an opt-out to all of them, so they could extend them for max money.

  105. max fisher-cohen

    @mulligan

    The Magic are like a poor man’s version of the Lebron Cavs. They aren’t stars, but they’re great shooters who help create space for their star and feed off of the opportunities he creates for them. If they were just a little better on the defensive end, like the Cavs’ role players were, they’d be contenders.

  106. Z

    Owen:
    Worse contract

    JJ for the max
    Melo for the max
    Stoudemire for the ………………Max

    I would have said it was a dead heat between Stat and JJ going into the year. But right now he is looking like a winner, comparatively….

    I’ll wager that in 2 years Kobe will make Amar’e and Joe Johnson look like bargains. He’s due $30.5 million(!), and the decline has already begun. (of course, the Lakers were able to dump Luke Walton without losing their amnesty card…)

  107. JC Knickfan

    Gideon Zaga:
    Ok guys you know some of us on this blog are nothing but old farts with time on our hands waiting for the Knicks to win another championship so we can die. You have to warn us with these videos, I almost induced an asthma attack from laughing uncontrollably watching Amares defense. Oh Lord.

    I think Amare biggest weakest defensive link of starting 5. His shooting is better since all-star break, but hops and lateral movement is terrible. Did you see in Saturday game he stuff himself on reserves dunk? He wasn’t even close to making it over the rim. His lack of hops is killing his rebounding. He has madator defense from Phoenix so I think hard for him to change that now.

    I’ve already seen difference with Lin under Woodson. He actually got foul boxing out Granger last game. Lin better have tight defense vs calderon Tuesday or my guess he getting bench early.

    Fields has already got trouble for incorrect rotation but I think he will learn.

  108. JK47

    Wilson Chandler for $9M seems like a questionable move to me. He’s been in the league for 4 years and hasn’t played like a $9M player in any of them. He’s young and will probably improve a bit, but I think you could find his level of production for a whole lot less money.

  109. Coachjpark

    It seems to me that D’Antoni’s resignation was planned so as to maximize the potential benefits of the team. It seems to me to be too much of a coincidence for D’Antoni to resign after losing to Chicago, considering that Portland was slated next on the schedule and most likely a win for the Knicks.

    A selfish D’Antoni would have quit before the Chicago game or hung on until at least after the Portland victory. He resigned knowing that that was exactly the spark his team needed in order to rout Portland and then Indiana in back-to-back games.

    D’Antoni is the mastermind of this 3 game turnaround!

    Am I giving D’Antoni a little too much credit here?

  110. BigBlueAL

    I believe Berman mentioned in a tweet that D’Antoni told management that he thought the team would be better off the rest of this season with Woodson as head coach.

  111. BigBlueAL

    It wasnt just Ewing who hated Nelson, it was the entire team except I assume Mason since Nelson had a boner for Mason. Hubert Davis too I guess since Nelson liked him alot more than Starks.

    OK so maybe it was just Ewing and Starks who hated Nelson lol

  112. ruruland

    Owen:
    It’s amazing how quickly they’ve unloaded that WCF team.

    Denver isn’t getting a legit max guy meaning they won’t be in the running for Deron Williams (is he a legit max guy) or Howard?

    I would agree with that. But Denver isn’t Utah or Minnesota, either. The framework is in place for the Nuggs to make that big move, likely by trade. They’re perfectly positioned to unload 4-5 guys and picks for the RIGHT GUY. I’m not sure who that is right now, but the key will be staying patient. With Nene, they’ve shown they can recognize a mistake quickly enough to recover from it.

    Aflallo’s impact doesn’t show up in a lot of the advanced stats, but he’s much better playing in a less balanced offense where more gets created for him — really an excellent role player, probably not ideal in a purely democratic offense where he’s expected to create more.

    Maybe it’s Paul Pierce. Maybe it’s Gasol in 1-2 years. Aldridge in a year or two. Who knows what some teams will look like down the road.

    They were damn close to signing Ginobli in 2003 (how good could that team have been?) So, it’s not as though they can’t attract the right guy, or keep him once they trade for him.

    But they’ve been really smart, and the previous regime was pretty damn good, too –Bearup, Warkentien (who has a major influence with NY) and later Chapman (Lawson draft, AAA signing, JR Smith for peanuts, Andersen off trash heap, Iverson trade, Billups trade)

    Also, you mentioned Dean Oliver. That’s a progressive, stats-oriented FO that wanted to re-sign Melo pretty badly. Daryl Morey wanted to sign or trade for Melo. A lot of people on this board look smart now re: #7, but I wonder if there are thing that their spreadsheets are quantifying that WOWs can’t.

    You do admit that’s quite possible, don’t you? I wonder if it has anything to do with the things I’ve talked about re:hidden value w/in defensive attention.

    I’ve really enjoyed watching Denver with…

  113. ruruland

    BigBlueAL:
    It wasnt just Ewing who hated Nelson, it was the entire team except I assume Mason since Nelson had a boner for Mason.Hubert Davis too I guess since Nelson liked him alot more than Starks.

    OK so maybe it was just Ewing and Starks who hated Nelson lol

    And they were in a pretty good place that year, right, something like 10 games over 500? Nellie wanted to run the offense through Mason, right, which torqued off Ewing? Sounds familiar.

    Also interesting to note some of the personality and philosophical similarities between Nellie and MDA, not perfectly analogous but quite similar.

    Pretty clear from afar that that was a team that wanted to embrace a defensive culture, one that Nellie was never known to provide. NBA players that have been around, have gone up against championship-caliber teams in the playoffs, or are friends with guys on championship-caliber teams, or have played on those kinds of teams– they know what’s up. Don’t think they’re stupid. Melo, Amar’e and Chandler knows what works in this league and what doesn’t. While subtle, many of their comments post-MDA reflect that.

    It’s no coincidence that Rick Carlisle (and Avery Johnson) took Dallas places Nelson couldn’t ( on a much less talented teams). Remember, under Nelson, those Dallas teams were some of the worst in the league (13th, 25th, 26th). Yeah, they still won 50+ games every year because they were ridiculously talented on offense.

    When they changed their culture with Carlisle and Johnson they moved into the top 10 defensively. Carlisle did the same thing in Indiana after Isiah( and to a lesser extent Detroit), Lakers did with Phil after Del Harris etc al.

  114. ruruland

    I was just going to add that Faried and Lawson, together, will be a joy to watch for a long time. Gallo’s a nice player, but I really don’t like guys who pass up shot after shot, and chances to create offense. It sure makes his efficiency look nice, but often it hurts their half-court game.

    They’re really quite average in the half-court. Their pick and roll game is pretty meh, they now have no one who can go inside-out, and their two best shot creators down the stretch are Miller and Harrington still. It can be a real struggle to get a good shot, anyone who’s watched that team knows what I’m talking about (what you saw in the Boston game they’ve had trouble with all year)…

    Luckily, they play the fastest pace in the league and are completely devastating in transition and semi-transition with both point guards (completely different styles of uptempo).

    If they make the playoffs, which is questionable, they’re going to have a tough go of it– their defense is worse than it ever was in the Melo era, and they’ll need that to create their offense in the playoffs.

    That’s why they’ll need to go after a max guy at some point — Either a big-time rim protector or a two-way offensive usage guy they can run through in the half court.

  115. ruruland

    But they have one championship ingredient — rebounding. They’re fourth this year in rebounding, which is a huge up-tick from years past, that’s because they’re getting better big man play than they’ve ever gotten. Faried might turn out to be the most dominating rebound guy in basketball for a long time, but Mosgov and K2 have been excellent there as well. That’s been a major saving grace for what’s turned out to be a poor defensive team and an average at best half-court offensive team.

    It’s the one missing ingredient from the Chauncey/Melo teams, too, as Kenyon and Nene were subpar rebounders for their position, allowing teams like Utah and LA to devour them.

  116. BigBlueAL

    Knicks were 34-25 when they fired Nelson. They got off to a great start, they were 10-2 after 12 games and peaked at 14 games over .500 at 30-16 between they started really hating Nellie I guess lol

  117. JK47

    The Nuggets are 26th in the league in eFG% allowed, which is a pretty damning statistic. They are getting absolutely lit up from the perimeter. They’ve allowed more 3-pointers than any team in the league, some of which is a function of pace, but they’re also 27th in the league in 3PT% allowed. Not a pretty combination. The end result is a .505 eFG% allowed, easily the worst out of any team contending for the playoffs.

    I’ve watched Gallo and Al Buckets enough to know their defense is mediocre at best and they don’t close out on shooters very well, and those two guys have played a combined 2200 minutes.

  118. ruruland

    Just going to add that right now Melo’s played in 35 games with a dreadful .502 TS%. Last year through 40 games he had a TS% of .514.

    In the final 37 games he had a TS% of .576. Just saying.

    21 games left….

    Final 22 games of ’07/08 he had a TS% .583.

    Outside of 09/10 when he was worn down, he’s always had excellent finishes similar to those 2.

  119. ruruland

    JK47:
    The Nuggets are 26th in the league in eFG% allowed, which is a pretty damning statistic.They are getting absolutely lit up from the perimeter.They’ve allowed more 3-pointers than any team in the league, some of which is a function of pace, but they’re also 27th in the league in 3PT% allowed.Not a pretty combination.The end result is a .505 eFG% allowed, easily the worst out of any team contending for the playoffs.

    I’ve watched Gallo and Al Buckets enough to know their defense is mediocre at best and they don’t close out on shooters very well, and those two guys have played a combined 2200 minutes.

    It makes you wonder how they were the eight best defensive team in ’09 when they were a much worse rebounding team (23rd in defensive rebounding and they’re third this year), and had what many consider inferior defenders at PG (Billups) and, falsely a worse defensive SF in Melo.

    Sure, some of it is Kenyon Martin. Interesting to note, this will be the 6th top 9 defensive team Carmelo Anthony has played on (finishing 9th twice, 6th twice, and 8th twice) and he’ll have played alongside sieves like Amar’e Stoudemire and Allen Iverson.

  120. limpidgimp

    This is that play in which Woodson is upset about the defensive rotation and yells at Landry. It’s at around 1:08:45.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDKQrDUIg2I

    Collison brings the ball up with Lin defending him. Hibbert sets a screen for Collison. Chandler then leaves his man Hibbert to go trap Collison with Lin. Collison is able to get it easily to Hibbert since Amare is slow in coming up. Hibbert passes it to the PF David West who is about 3 ft beyond the elbow. Landry goes up on West, who then dishes to SG Paul George who is open in the corner.

    I’m not entirely sure what Woodson wanted Landry to do. Is the problem that he should not have committed to West to leave the SG open in the corner?

  121. Spree8

    D’Antoni made his decision when he suggested the “Melo for Deron” trade..he knows it was either Deron or his job after that.

  122. Frank

    Spree8:
    D’Antoni made his decision when he suggested the “Melo for Deron” trade..he knows it was either Deron or his job after that.

    The interesting thing about that part of the story is this — didn’t D’Antoni already find his PG of the future in Lin? If he wanted to trade Melo for players that fit his system, wouldn’t it have been better to trade Melo for floor-spacing shooters and defenders, like Batum or other such players?

  123. jon abbey

    limpidgimp:
    This is that play in which Woodson is upset about the defensive rotation and yells at Landry. It’s at around 1:08:45.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDKQrDUIg2I

    Collison brings the ball up with Lin defending him. Hibbert sets a screen for Collison. Chandler then leaves his man Hibbert to go trap Collison with Lin. Collison is able to get it easily to Hibbert since Amare is slow in coming up. Hibbert passes it to the PF David West who is about 3 ft beyond the elbow. Landry goes up on West, who then dishes to SG Paul George who is open in the corner.

    I’m not entirely sure what Woodson wanted Landry to do. Is the problem that he should not have committed to West to leave the SG open in the corner?

    the same David West who barely showed up for the game? I’m guessing yes, let West take the long 2 and don’t leave the 3 wide open.

  124. Spree8

    Frank: The interesting thing about that part of the story is this — didn’t D’Antoni already find his PG of the future in Lin?If he wanted to trade Melo for players that fit his system, wouldn’t it have been better to trade Melo for floor-spacing shooters and defenders, like Batum or other such players?

    Not sure why but I do know it was what got him canned. Deron over Lin? You know Dolan isn’t going to let that happen.

  125. massive

    D-Will could have realistically played the SG position, or we could have ran a two-PG system like Denver is running. Lin/D-Will/Fields/STAT/Chandler could have been our starting unit if that trade went through. I’m guessing he suggested Melo for D-Will because there was no way Dolan would sign off on a Melo trade for something other than equal or greater star power.

  126. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, it is a similar thing to the trades we propose. We know they’re not, like, dumping Melo, but a trade for a legit star would be feasible and all D’Antoni wanted was a feasible way to get rid of Melo.

  127. Z

    ruruland:

    Also, you mentioned Dean Oliver. That’s a progressive, stats-oriented FO thatwanted to re-sign Melo pretty badly. Daryl Morey wanted to sign or trade for Melo. A lot of people on this board look smart now re: #7, but I wonder if there are thing that their spreadsheets are quantifying that WOWs can’t.

    Unlike GMs, the people on this board don’t have to worry about ticket sales, merchandising, or appeasing an ignorant ownership. #7 has more value to a franchise because of his perceived value being greater than his actual value (in terms of basketball production). Therefore, owners interested in protecting their financial investments covet him, and by extension so do their “basketball people”.

    As fans, we have no control over this, except to do our part to try to change the misperception of what makes a basketball player truly valuable, so that more wins can be had.

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