Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Knicks 105, Pacers 79

Indiana Pacers 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
104 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 35 MIN | 13-26 FG | 4-4 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 32 PTS | +20

First, the bad: the shoulder’s clearly still bothering him—the noticeable wince after a 1st half dunk being exhibit A. Also, maybe it’s just me, but his shot seems like it’s flatter than it was during his April showers (see what I did there?). And now, a sack of good: More than the flurry of soup-tastic buckets in the 2nd half, even when he was striking enough iron to compose his own xylophonic opera, he was quick and decisive with his shots, hunting out space on the floor mainly via a few nifty screens and looking to dish out of isolations to weak side shooters. That’s how you cobble together your first better than 50% shooting night since April 12th; precisely the Melo this team desperately needs if they want to win this scrum. I’m sure you caught the kerfluffle yesterday regarding Bernard King’s supposedly hacked Twitter account. If you didn’t, someone hath twat, “Carmelo’s shoulder is hurting that bad — work the paint — drive and dish — become a facilitator — it’s a TEAM game,” and, “I was always taught — Take High Percentage shots — don’t force it — don’t be a one man show — don’t over dribble — ball movement.” I’d add the links, but I can’t because the account’s been deleted (assumedly by the powers that be in the bowels of Cablevision)and King claimed he never wrote them, that it was an “associate” of his. Well, Anthony Weiner was right. Melo followed the mysterious stranger’s advice to a T and it worked like a charm. That’s it. Tomorrow I’m hacking into Walt Frazier’s account and ripping J.R. a new orifice. Couldn’t hurt, amirite?

Iman Shumpert, SF 29 MIN | 7-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +5

Watching Shump get all growded up right before our eyes is pure, unadulterated funz. It’s not just that he’s rediscovering the rudimentary pick and roll pocket passes that we saw back in January ’12 (Is it just me, or does that feel like a lifetime ago in Knicktime?), it’s not just the Twitter-smashing, orgasmic putback dunk in the 2nd that sent the Garden crowd into a fizzy-lifting drink-level tizzy,or the deft crossover that flatfooted Hibbert in the 1st quarter, it’s the sense that, just as was the case for Marcus Camby in ’99, this spate of stellar play and his transformation into a serious threes-athleticism-and defense guy, is the start of something bigger and better. Granted, he wasn’t at his Shumptastic best on D, but rather his knack for coming up with a rebound or a steal gets the Garden fired up like…well…Camby back in the 20th Century. Let us give thanks to whatever Deity or Deities or Inscrutable Forces we supplicate ourselves to, that WE DID NOT DEAL SHUMP FOR J.J. REDICK OR JARED DUDLEY. That woulda been real bad.

Oh what they, let’s peep the dunk again. Only stop and return to your regularly scheduled recap when you can unclench the rictus of a grin that I assume is plastered on your face.

SHUMP SHUMP BOOM

Tyson Chandler, C 31 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +21

Speaking of large gentlemen who hoop for a living in NYC and are still at less than 100%, something’s still clearly bothering Tyson. Save for a stretch towards the end of the Boston grindhouse, he just hasn’t looked remotely like the player we’ve seen this season, let alone 2012’s DPOY form. He did a better job keeping Hibbert from imposing his will on the glass but those wide-open dunks where he paused to gather himself before jamming it home? Ick sandwich. It was as disconcerting as a fundamental flaw in the laws of Physics suddenly revealing itself and as clear a sign as any that his neck really hasn’t fully reattached itself to his spine.

Raymond Felton, PG 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -2

Oh for Flying Spaghetti Monster’s sake. Of course, now that Felt’s putting together the best stretch of play since he was QB’ing D’Antoni’s 8th Avenue knockoff of Seven Seconds or Less, he twisted a flipper during the 3rd/4th quarter face-melting run. Karmically, maybe that’s what you get for throwing up a showoff-y off-the-backboard pass on a breakaway at the end of the 3rd to KMart. Even though he was seen hobbling/waddling around the locker room, the beat guys were slinging the usual pabulum about Felton being “fine” and “vowing to be ready for the next practice/play in the next game.” Our collective skepticism/fear/paranoia with regards to the Knicks and their debridled/mangled body parts must certainly once again (gah) be invoked here. Prigs’ heroics notwithstanding, anything less than a fully soaring, scampering, pick and roll managing, yeoman-defending flightless waterfowl would be a serious setback. Stick him in a sealed hyperbaric chamber ‘till Saturday, Kay?.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 21 MIN | 4-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +23

For those of us who’ve been clamoring for more playing time for our fave Argentine expat, tonight was sweet, creamery vindication. I mean, hearing the MSG faithful drone, “Pablo…Pablo…Pablo,” in a manner reserved for athletes in the Strawberry-ian pantheon? Bliss, motherscratchers. Straight bliss, no chaser. Two early fouls (and Woodson’s decision to keep him on the court) seemed to indicate yet another wholly effective yet brutishly short outing, but with the Penguin flapping his wings on the bench, our man in the Pampas plumb took over the game. I tells ya, they might still have won, but the ‘Bockers certainly wouldn’t be walking home with bits of blood-soaked Pacer flesh still hanging from their sharpened canines without Prigioni’s performance. His pest-y defense (on Indianans big n’ small) was ratcheted up a few notches to a pestilence akin to the plague of Cicadas currently besieging Gotham. He banged home treys without the usual Hamlet-like pondering/hesitation. He dished, swiped and boarded like an over-caffeinated fiend. He lofted a gorgeous floater and fed Tyson for a monstrous alley-oop. He even managed to block a Paul George heave (Paul George is one of those guys who you’d never call “Paul” or “George” or a clever nickname. It’s always, “Paul George.” We all have friends w/names like that. It’s just odd when a star basketball player defies shorthand nomenclature.). Why Woodson refuses to play him when it’s patently obvious to any human with a functioning cerebral cortex that good things happen whenever he’s on the court is God’s own perfect mystery.

Kenyon Martin, PF 18 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +16

I love Kenyon Martin. There, I said it. Like a hackneyed sitcom plot where the two leads fight and bicker and scuffle and verbally joust for eons (think Ted Danson and Shelly Long, Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd, or even Kate and Petruchio/Beatrice and Benedict for all you pointy-headed elitist swine) before realizing that all of that hate is actually a cover for the true lust that lies simmering beneath, I must state categorically that I wish nothing more than be betrothed to one Kenyon Martin. It’s not just that, right now, he is a better, more effective player than Tyson Chandler (Still gobsmacking to write that sentence. Nope, not having a particularly disturbing Ketamine flashback. This is real), it’s the little things that he does day in and day out. F’rinstance, he’s really mastered the art of allowing a penetrator to think there’s a lane to the rim before pouncing for a testosterone-deflating block. That 15-18 footer may look powerful fugly, but because of his willingness to hoist one (Are you listening, Tyson?) when the defense sags in the lane, he’s creating space for future dives and pick and roll finishes. I love you, man. When this is all over, we should totally get an apartment together.

Chris Copeland, SF 10 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0

This may seem like an inflated grade for an oh-fer outing, but I dug Cope’s decisiveness with his treys and he scrapped decently on defense. Speaking of which, after the game, he remarked that there was a lot of scratching going on in the painted area. Anyone who has a little sister knows just how evil that is. Stoopid Corn People are totally provoking Chris, Mom! It’s so not fairrrrrr!.

Jason Kidd, PG 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | +20

He still hasn’t scored since William of Orange won the Battle of Hastings in the last six games, but this was Kidd’s most effective, disruptive, hands-y outing in the postseason thus far. His on-ball defense against the faster, taller, Paul George-ier Paul George and the faster, taller, scarier Lance Stephenson was durned pleasing to see. And that tipped rebound to Chander under the hoop as the 3rd quarter buzzer was sounding, that’s some 12th level Lawful Good Magic User ish right there. .

J.R. Smith, SG 30 MIN | 3-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | +27

Melo may have managed to resurrect his dormant game but his partner in crime still reeks of bottle service and Axe cologne and pneumatic women of questionable social morays and whatever other unseemly odors that cling to the body in the midst of a horrific slump. He’s now 7-30 over the first two games of this series and tonight, a slew of the shots he missed were wide open heaves off spot ups—exactly the kind of chuckery that’s been the hallmark of many a Good J.R. outing. For the most part, I get Woodson keeping him in (Okay, I really don’t. The fans even went into a, “We want Shump,” chant at a point when the lead hadn’t ballooned to ridonkulous levels in the 4th. +27 notwithstanding, he’s rilly hurting the ball club.). I can’t imagine that he isn’t going to reignite at some point in this series. It always seems like he’s a bad step back or a ferocious drive away from going berserk (in the best sense of the word, not the “Elbowing an impish, smarmy gnat like Jason Terry” way). I’m speculating like a mofo, but I assume Son of Wood feels that his unassailable confidence in Earl, even at his absolute nadir, will help bring him back to full flower, and that sticking his tuckus on the pine will only make things worse (if that’s possible). I’m sure something’s going to end this evil hex that someone (Jason Terry?) hath put on noble Earl. Perhaps an evening out with the ladies at one of the city’s finer establishments might clear his…STOP. FORGET I SAID THAT. UNRING BELL. TOOTHPASTE BACK IN TUBE

Six Things We Saw

  1. Great win. I don’t know about y’all, but it was hard to relish this one because it went from what looked like absolute doom to rapture in the blink of an eye. The first quarter was practically a carbon copy (Ok, no one uses carbon paper any more.) of game one. Melo still couldn’t buy a hoop, but pick and roll penetration and deft ball moving was leading to great open looks, especially for Ray Felton, the Knicks’ most consistent weapon and future Prime Minister of Estonia, if this level of improbable events continues. They changed up their defense on the perimeter, trapping more frequently and forcing the Pacers to cough up the rock six times in the 1st quarter, leading to 14 points, while for the most part avoiding the Lucy/Charlie Brown/football-type futility of ramming full speed into the paint where Hibbert et al. greedily awaited them. That said, the Midwesterners were still scoring pretty much at will as long as they could get a shot off. The switches and the quick rotations, while gaffe-inducing, were also allowing for a ton of open looks on backdoor cuts or the perimeter.
  2. You know how Gladwell talks about it taking 10,000 hours to become an expert at something? We’ll I’m not there yet, but I’m definitely in the high four digits as far as watching the Knicks goes. That hardly makes me an expert with regards to the game of basketball, but it does, I think, give me a certain degree of perverse insight into our favorite basketball team. So when the Men In Yellow ran off an 8-0 run to trim it to a mere five at intermission, chills went up my spine. You and I have seen this scenario many, many times before. The Pacers were flat outplaying the Knickerbockers and it was just a matter of time before they snatched the lead. Like Harry Dean Stanton looking for that blasted cat in Alien, you’re gripping the edges of your seat, begging him to stop, run away, do something, anything, even if you know your desperate plaintive cries have absolutely no ability to halt the inevitable, acid-drooling doom that’s right around the corner, crouched in the darkness, ready to rip you to shreds.
  3. And after a couple Stephenson/Hill three pointers splashed the net, I was penning an obituary for the 2012-13 season in my head/girding my loins with adamantium and rationalizing like a mofo: “Well, it’s been a good year. Maybe they can come back in Indy. There are far more important things in life to get worried/depressed/enraged over/ like [fill in impending, disastrous-level political event here]. But then, 3rd quarter clock struck 3:04 and it was as if the magnetic poles of the world suddenly flipped. Black was white. Up was down. Dogs and cats were living together in peace and harmony.
  4. Amazingly, the monster chose to self-immolate. The Pacers had the ball, were up by two, , seemed to be heading towards ending (yet another) quarter on a soul-crushing run, and were bringing the ball up the court, brimming with the confidence of a fighter that just knows he’s/she’s got his/her opponent on the ropes, when Vogel called timeout, presumably to take out Hibbert, who, in the 3rd had returned to performing his Great Wall of Indianapolis shtick, to insert one Jeff Pendergraph, he of zero minutes played so far in the series, into the fray. Wait, what? Granted, Mahinmi had looked fairly wretched thus far, but at least he’s going to do Hibbert-esque things. Without a reasonable facsimile of an oh-so-imposing interior defender, Anthony drove by West for what felt like his first relatively easy interior bucket of the series, followed hard upon by a momentum-regaining furious flush for an and-one in the overmatched Pendergraph’s (Note to Jim Cavan: Feel free to add “The Overmatched Pendergraphs” to your list of potential Indie Rock Band names) grill and a possibly sketchy moving pick on – guess who – Jeff Pendergraph.
  5. From that point on, the Knicks went on an unreal 36-4 run, with the Nap City folk going a mind-altering full 12 minutes without registering a made field goal. The ball movement, that had oh-so mysteriously vanished after the Knickerbockers went up 47-34, returned with aplomb. The Pacers continued to stumble and get slippery-fingered with the ball. The Knicks’ frantic, scrambling defense kept the ball out of West’s oversize mitts in the post. Everything and everything about the deadly Knick attack we’d grown to adore during the final weeks of the season came back into the room, sat down on the couch with a big bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates and said, “Honey, I’m home!” Well, except for J.R. He still went 0-5. J.R.’s gone, kids. He went out for cigarettes and ain’t ever comin’ back. He don’t love us no mo’.
  6. So instead of three days of hateful, gut-wrenching articles that morbidly pick apart the Knicks’ corpse piece by piece, we have a honest-to-goodness series on our hands. Hooray! Better yet, that snaggle-toothed, lying, pernicious Ferengi going under the nom-de-guerre of Reggie Miller was there to witness the horrific collapse by his former team. Didja hear the chants in the 4th, buddy? I know you did. Just like you know you shoved Greg Anthony in ’95. Here’s spike with some swell trolling. For once, I approve.

    Oh Spike.

    Game on. Go Knicks!

127 comments on “Knicks 105, Pacers 79

  1. Zanzibar

    Good News… Our odds of re-signing JR have gone up!
    Bad News….. Our odds of re-signing JR have gone up?

    Out of 519 players who’ve logged 1,000+ minutes in the playoffs, JR ranks 462 in Playoff WS/48. Are we sure we really want to re-sign this guy for more than 2 years? Or even re-sign him at all? Yeah 3 years/5m sounds about right – I’m an incurable optimist where JR’s concerned. But I won’t lose any sleep if he leaves.

    PABLO! PABLO! There’s a guy I’d hate to lose. Maybe he’s always planned this to be one-and-done year in NBA, but just in case he’s wavering, CHANT on MSG crowd. Ray’s had his second best shooting season but can he keep it up next season? Even if can, Ray and Pablo work well together on the court at the same time. I’ve watched Pablo catch and shoot a 3 in one motion. Last night I saw him pull up for a jumper in the paint, shoot a runner and shoot a 3 off a pick. He plays tenacious pestering D. Only thing left is for him to drive and finish when the nearest defender is 5 Sweetneys away. Initially, I had the feeling he might have been a bit scared and overwhelmed playing in the NBA but now I think it’s more that he’s like an impeccably mannered foreign exchange student staying at our house who is simply being deferential. Go ahead Pablo – raid the refrigerator, leave a few beer bottles lying around, bring home a floozie. A month or 2 ago I called him our Barea-in-waiting who hadn’t played to his potential and was promptly scolded by Abbey. But turns out he’s waaay better statistically than Barea in that chip year.

  2. Keniman Shumpwalker

    During the first quarter, and, obviously, during the late third-early fourth explosion, it was so nice to see us not reverting to iso sets early in the shot clock. We actually, you know, ran plays and stuff, something that had been conspicuously absent over these last couple of weeks. I noticed a few of those stagger-screen actions around the top of the key, a few pindown screens to free up Melo, and even when the play did break down, it wasn’t simply “give it to Melo and watch”; there were ball screens and cuts and all of that stuff that typically separates NBA basketball from my rec league. Encouraging. Especially coming from the “league’s worst offense”, according to dogrufus. Let’s hope they don’t abandon that entirely in Indy and revert back into the predictable stagnation that we saw for most of the first 7 playoff games.

  3. ephus

    First, this is a great time to be a Knick fan. Before the series, I predicted Knicks in 5. I see no reason to change that prediction.

    Second, as bad as JR Smith has been, I see a monster game coming. I still expect the ball to go in every time he releases an open jump shot. He did not suddenly forget how to shoot after 15+ years of taking thousands of jump shots. He is clearly frustrated by no whistle when he takes the ball to the rim, but I saw him learning. He tried a Felton-esque floater from 8 feet instead of running into Hibbert one more time. The good news is that there is nothing JR Smith cannot do on a basketball court. The bad news is that there is nothing JR Smith will not do on a basketball court.

    Third, I am tremendously excited about STAT coming back. If he can give 12 minutes of slashing and operating on the (slipped) PnR, he will get West into foul trouble. West and STAT are matter and anti-matter. West is strong, stolid and slow. STAT is lithe, quick and finishes amazingly well around the rim for a big man. If STAT can get two extra fouls on West, the Knicks get to spend more time attacking Hansbrough.

    Fourth, welcome back Mr. Novak. There are clearly going to be open looks for a spot-up three point shooter. If Novak is on, he is going to get six shots in seven minutes.

    Fifth, Melo deserves big credit for the things he did yesterday other than score. He is playing great team defense. Not just bodying up his assignment, but slipping off to pick off entry passes to others. Making effort plays to save balls from going out of bounds. And, he is clearly hurt. Plus, as everyone has been wishing for, he did not complain at all about lack of calls when he took the ball to the hoop. Remember, he did not get a foul called when he grimaced after the dunk, because it is apparently legal for Hibbert to grab people as they fly by.

  4. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Zanzibar:
    Good News… Our odds of re-signing JR have gone up!
    Bad News….. Our odds of re-signing JR have gone up?

    Out of 519 players who’ve logged 1,000+ minutes in the playoffs, JR ranks 462 in Playoff WS/48.Are we sure we really want to re-sign this guy for more than 2 years? Or even re-sign him at all? Yeah 3 years/5m sounds about right – I’m an incurable optimist where JR’s concerned. But I won’t lose any sleep if he leaves.

    PABLO! PABLO! There’s a guy I’d hate to lose. Maybe he’s always planned this to be one-and-done year in NBA, but just in case he’s wavering, CHANT on MSG crowd. Ray’s had his second best shooting season but can he keep it up next season? Even if can, Ray and Pablo work well together on the court at the same time. I’ve watched Pablo catch and shoot a 3 in one motion. Last night I saw him pull up for a jumper in the paint, shoot a runner and shoot a 3 off a pick. He plays tenacious pestering D. Only thing left is for him to drive and finish when the nearest defender is 5 Sweetneys away. Initially, I had the feeling he might have been a bit scared and overwhelmed playing in the NBA but now I think it’s more that he’s like an impeccably mannered foreign exchange student staying at our house who is simply being deferential. Go ahead Pablo – raid the refrigerator, leave a few beer bottles lying around, bring home a floozie. A month or 2 ago I called him our Barea-in-waiting who hadn’t played to his potential and was promptly scolded by Abbey. But turns out he’s waaay better statistically than Barea in that chip year.

    I really hope for two things re: our PG rotation next year:
    1) Jason Kidd retires
    2) Pablo decides he liked his semester abroad so much that he decides to extend it a bit. He can totally stay at my place. I’ll have the wife make him Argentine empanadas. All good.

  5. Keniman Shumpwalker

    ephus:
    Fifth, Melo deserves big credit for the things he did yesterday other than score.He is playing great team defense.Not just bodying up his assignment, but slipping off to pick off entry passes to others.Making effort plays to save balls from going out of bounds.And, he is clearly hurt.Plus, as everyone has been wishing for, he did not complain at all about lack of calls when he took the ball to the hoop.Remember, he did not get a foul called when he grimaced after the dunk, because it is apparently legal for Hibbert to grab people as they fly by.

    Hear, hear. I have been generally impressed by his poise throughout his rough shooting stretch. He’s had a few moments of selfish, easily rattled Melo, but he hasn’t sulked, hasn’t spent too much time bitching to the refs, and has generally been strong on the boards and responsible on D. I like.

  6. Hubert Davis

    From last night’s thread…I don’t think this is crazy at all:

    Juany8: I’m gonna be totally odd ball here and say that the Knicks win the next 2… followed by losing game 5 and 6 for a ridiculously stressful game 7. I think the Knicks, like the Heat, Cetlics, and former Lakers teams, play pretty much the same on the road as at home in the playoffs. Indiana will play better of course, but it’s a really good sign that they only had a big run this series when Melo was sitting on the bench.

    The extra days off between games would seem to benefit us as much as them having home court advantage.

    I definitely like us winning game 3 on 4 days rest. But I can see us playing really well in game 4 on 2 days rest and then watching JR blow it for us while Woodson stands idly by and lets him take the ship down with him.

  7. Matt Smith

    Kidd’s grade is pretty absurd. He had two good plays (one clever assist, one diving defensive play) to make up for the other 15 minutes of terrible play. He looked lost on defense and was continually beat by his man – the only reason it wasn’t really noticeable is because the Pacers failed to capitalized (either with a missed three or something else). He’s looked awful this entire playoffs.

  8. Keniman Shumpwalker

    “When I’m on the bench, I try to support the guys and I have nothing to complain about that. Today, I have the chance to play that important minutes, I’m really happy. Maybe the next game, no. But I’m ready to play one minute or 25 minutes.”

    PAAAAA-BLO.

  9. stratomatic

    IMO the result of this game has about as much significance to who is better as first one. That is, not very much.

    In this game the Knicks did less dribbling and played less ISO ball. They passed instead. So they got plenty of assists and the players other than JR/Melo got some good looks that resulted in very efficient scoring. Melo also had a better individual game. That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that the Knicks have shown no inclination to play this way every night or get consistent high level games out of Melo.

    On the other side, the Pacers on a net basis have a mediocre offense but we got the brick throwing turnover version of the team last night. (especially late in the game) They won’t play that bad every night.

    The Knicks remain the slightly better team but the Pacers now have home court. At 1-0, the Pacers were the favorite, but IMO this series is now close to a pick’m.

  10. ephus

    stratomatic: The bad news is that the Knicks have shown no inclination to play this way every night or get consistent high level games out of Melo.

    When the Knicks were rattling off all of those wins in March, just after I pushed the panic button, they were playing exactly this way, plus JR Smith was making his shots.

    For the rest of the series, I expect JR Smith to have at least two games where he hits his shots. I also expect STAT to be able to draw fouls on West/Hibbert. My “Knicks in 5″ prediction rests upon the expectation that the Knicks will not play as badly as they did from mid-2nd quarter to the end of the 3rd quarter of Game 1 (when ‘Melo was stapled to the bench in foul trouble). I also do not expect any other group of referees to allow the Pacers to get away with the manhandling they did in Game 1. If Danny Crawford is assigned to another Knicks/Pacers game, all bets are off.

  11. Hubert Davis

    And guys, as The Wolf would say when Pulp Fiction is on TNT: “Let’s not suck each other’s lollipop’s just yet.”

    The game 2 win at home after the road team has won game 1 is traditionally among the easiest games to win in a series where two teams are fairly matched.

  12. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Hubert Davis:
    And guys, as The Wolf would say when Pulp Fiction is on TNT: “Let’s not suck each other’s lollipop’s just yet.”

    The game 2 win at home after the road team has won game 1 is traditionally among the easiest games to win in a series where two teams are fairly matched.

    HA. It’s so frustrating watching certain movies on Network TV.

    Totally agree with this. Just like there was no reason to write us off after a game one loss, there’s no reason to declare everything is all good, bring on Miami, after a resounding game 2 win. That being said, the manner in which we won, the style we played, is as significant to me as the fact that we’re not down 2-0. If we had eked out a win in a poorly played game, I’d be a lot less encouraged this morning than I am.

  13. chrisk06811

    Bob…..the problem hacking Clyde’s account clearly would be deciphering his password. I can only imagine what it is.

  14. Keniman Shumpwalker

    SecuringandDemurring?

    chrisk06811:
    Bob…..the problem hacking Clyde’s account clearly would be deciphering his password.I can only imagine what it is.

  15. Zanzibar

    Keniman Shumpwalker: I really hope for two things re: our PG rotation next year:
    1) Jason Kidd retires

    The only person Kidd wants to sub for next season is Wally Szczerbiak. In a recent post-game interview, I noticed something very unusual. The reporter who asked the questions was standing at his side but when Jason responded he spoke directly into the camera, only occasionally looking at the reporter. He’s gotta be more insightful than Wally, but not sure how his alien-like visage will play on TV (might give the kids nightmares). But he’ll save Dolan some luxury tax so he’ll be a bench coach or part of TV crew.

    ephus:

    Third, I am tremendously excited about STAT coming back.

    I never figured I’d be saying this but we may need Amare as much for his rebounding given the way Tyson’s playing.

  16. Juany8

    Keniman Shumpwalker: HA. It’s so frustrating watching certain movies on Network TV.

    Totally agree with this. Just like there was no reason to write us off after a game one loss, there’s no reason to declare everything is all good, bring on Miami, after a resounding game 2 win. That being said, the manner in which we won, the style we played, is as significant to me as the fact that we’re not down 2-0. If we had eked out a win in a poorly played game, I’d be a lot less encouraged this morning than I am.

    Agree with this, I don’t think you can overstate the fact that we held the Pacers to zero field goals for a 12 minute stretch when the game was still competitive. After holding Boston to several historically low stretches, it is completely asinine to suggest it is all on the other team being bad at offense. The Knicks clearly have a monster defense, and Tyson chandler cannot stay this bad so it might be getting even better.

  17. chrisk06811

    I only have two words for “The Dunk”. The first is SHUMP. Lets please say the second word together, in unison.

  18. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Zanzibar: The only person Kidd wants to sub for next season is Wally Szczerbiak. In a recent post-game interview, I noticed something very unusual. The reporter who asked the questions was standing at his side but when Jason responded he spoke directly into the camera, only occasionally looking at the reporter. He’s gotta be more insightful than Wally, but not sure how his alien-like visage will play on TV (might give the kids nightmares). But he’ll save Dolan some luxury tax so he’ll be a bench coach or part of TV crew.

    I never figured I’d be saying this but we may need Amare as much for his rebounding given the way Tyson’s playing.

    THIS. First off, I think Kidd will be infinitely more cogent and interesting than Wally. Second, I don’t think the alien-like visage will work against him at all, especially considering that Wally looks like he’s wearing a plastic Wally Szczerbiak mask at all times. It’s actually somewhat disturbing. He reminds me of Mads Mikkelson.

  19. PC

    The Pacers bench blows. Pendigraf and Young are huge helps to the Knicks when they’re in the game. If the Knicks can keep Augustine from making/taking open 3s, the Knicks should keep the Pacers from ever breaking 90 points.

  20. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Juany8: Agree with this, I don’t think you can overstate the fact that we held the Pacers to zero field goals for a 12 minute stretch when the game was still competitive. After holding Boston to several historically low stretches, it is completely asinine to suggest it is all on the other team being bad at offense. The Knicks clearly have a monster defense, and Tyson chandler cannot stay this bad so it might be getting even better.

    The Knicks are clearly CAPABLE of having a monster defense. They accomplished this for a few stretches during the regular season, but it obviously wasn’t consistent enough to call them an elite defense by any statistical measure. What we all hoped for was that there was a level of coasting going on during the regular season, and that we would ratchet the D up to elite levels once the second season started. Fortunately, it seems that this is exactly what is happening. Have we been helped out by playing against two sub-par offensive teams? Sure. But these are still NBA basketball teams filled with, you know, competent NBA basketball players, and we’re holding them to under 91 pts per game. I recognize that this is a simplistic stat that doesn’t factor in pace, but use any metric you want and it will still show excellent overall defensive production. And, like you said, the guy who’s supposed to anchor this D hasn’t looked like himself for months.

  21. PC

    Does everyone else say SHUMP SHUMP in a horrible Matthew McConaughey southern attorney accent?

    I love saying it and hate myself at the same time.

  22. d-mar

    There were a lot of chants at the end of that game, can anyone who was there tell us what they were? I swear I heard a loud “Reggie sucks!” chant, which if true would be hysterical.

    Going to game 5, have a feeling it will be the defining game of the series. Can’t wait!

  23. ephus

    Yes, there was a “Reggie Sucks” chant from around 2:00 minutes left until :30 seconds.

    D-Mar, I think you are going to be there to watch the Knicks secure their place in the Eastern Conference Finals. That certainly would be “defining” but I don’t think that is what you meant.

  24. johnlocke

    You are a bold, bold man sir. You and dogfrus operate on opposite sides of the pendulum — good and evil. I’m sticking with Knicks in 6, probably 7, but game 3 is critical. If we win that game I’ll feel really good about our chances, if we lose it, we put a ton of pressure on ourselves. While we blew out Indiana, remember that going into the 4th quarter it was anyone’s game…this wasn’t the kind of end to end domination that would warrant me saying, oh yeh the Knicks are clearly the better team and it’s not close. I hope you’re right, but all my nails were chewed by the end of the 3rd quarter. If we can get the triumvirate of Melo, Shump and Felton playing well, with non-putrid performances from JR, we have a good shot of beating this team down, but until JR shows me something (that he can step up when the bright lights are on), not gonna bank on us winning the next 2, much less 3 games

    ephus:
    First, this is a great time to be a Knick fan.Before the series, I predicted Knicks in 5.I see no reason to change that prediction.

  25. JK47

    Juany8: Agree with this, I don’t think you can overstate the fact that we held the Pacers to zero field goals for a 12 minute stretch when the game was still competitive. After holding Boston to several historically low stretches, it is completely asinine to suggest it is all on the other team being bad at offense. The Knicks clearly have a monster defense, and Tyson chandler cannot stay this bad so it might be getting even better.

    Some of that was the Pacers regressing to the mean.

    Indiana still shot for a .515 eFG% in that game, even including the 4th quarter collapse. For most of the game they were well above .600. I know this because I am the kind of obsessive-compulsive guy who calculates eFG% during games. In game one the Pacers shot for a .539 eFG%.

    For the season the Pacers shot for a .479 eFG%, a below-average number. For the first 1.75 games of this series they were way outperforming that. Some of it was because the Knicks were allowing easy looks, and some of it was because the Pacers were on a hot streak. Luckily for us it all came crashing down at once and the regression to the mean happened very quickly.

    The Knicks are probably not going to have too many games where they have a 21-6 advantage in turnovers, so they’re going to have to play better overall defense to keep that Pacer eFG% to a manageable number.

  26. Frank O.

    JK47: Some of that was the Pacers regressing to the mean.

    Indiana still shot for a .515 eFG% in that game, even including the 4th quarter collapse.For most of the game they were well above .600.I know this because I am the kind of obsessive-compulsive guy who calculates eFG% during games.In game one the Pacers shot for a .539 eFG%.

    For the season the Pacers shot for a .479 eFG%, a below-average number.For the first 1.75 games of this series they were way outperforming that.Some of it was because the Knicks were allowing easy looks, and some of it was because the Pacers were on a hot streak.Luckily for us it all came crashing down at once and the regression to the mean happened very quickly.

    The Knicks are probably not going to have too many games where they have a 21-6 advantage in turnovers, so they’re going to have to play better overall defense to keep that Pacer eFG% to a manageable number.

    yeah, the first game was not indicative of what the Pacers are. Way over their heads.
    part of that was Augustine going 4-5 from three or something like that.
    But Hibbert was ridiculously solid as well.
    It felt like to a young team, last night was one of those games that their progeny will be feeling. A young team getting destroyed like that in a playoff game could affect their confidence through the rest of the series.
    Maybe not, but it has the potential to do so.

  27. bocker84

    Just read this on ESPN –
    [...on a night when it appeared the Knicks were playing for Anthony, not just with him, much the way the Mavericks appeared to be playing for Nowitzki in 2011. Two Knicks who were on that Dallas team, Chandler and Jason Kidd, were asked by ESPNNewYork.com whether they felt inspired to win the ring for Anthony that they'd won for Dirk.]

    I noticed the same thing last night. Each shot he would make would count 10x as much to the team as if anyone else wearing a Knicks jersey had scored. Just funny team dynamics… and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

  28. flossy

    It’s obviously not possible to predict with any certainty how spry Amar’e will be when he comes back, but I would be much more concerned about his imminent return were it not for a few things:

    1. JR Smith has been horribad
    2. Tyson Chandler has been mostly a non-factor on both sides of the court
    3. Steve Novak has given us literally nothing
    4. Copeland, in a small sample size in the playoffs, has sucked

    When the only bigs who have been making an impact are K-Mart and Melo (if you count him as big) and our 6th Man of the Year/no. 1 bench scorer is nursing the mother of all hangovers, there is pretty clearly room for Amar’e to come in and contribute. Really the only question is his health and conditioning, but then again, who is fully healthy on our team?

    Speaking of #2 above, it’s interesting that Chandler is having a great playoffs from a WS/48 standpoint (.179) and a bad playoffs from a PER standpoint (12.9). Obviously these metrics value different styles of play, but usually there is at least some broad agreement, or if one metric loves a player the other will at least rate him league-average. I guess with a larger sample those numbers would even out a bit, but in any case, my eyes show a player who is clearly not playing at a high level–or at least not up to his standards.

  29. Frank

    I actually think Tyson played well yesterday. He contested more than he usually does at the rim, played pretty much mistake free at the defensive end. Sure he only had 4 rebounds, but who really cares when we dominate on the boards as a team? We had an ORB% of 31.7 and DRB% of 77.4 against the #1 rebounding team from this regular season (last night Indy was 22.6 and 68.3 in comparison). I’m sure many of the rebounds that Tyson DIDN’T get were gotten because he was effectively boxing out his man. So I’m cool with that. I’m not cool with Tyson when he is a sieve at the rim — but he certainly wasn’t last night.

    Re: the offense last night — pretty much in all 4 quarters it sure felt like the ball moved a lot more. Would be interesting to see the play-type numbers from last night. Felt like a lot less iso, a lot less ball-holding.

    btw did anyone catch Prigioni’s interview with Tina Cervasio last night? Robin Lundberg talked about it a lot last night on ESPN radio. I can’t find the transcript, but right in front of Melo Prigs basically said that when the team stands around and watches Melo “do everything”, it’s not good for the team — but if the ball moves, then Melo will still get all his shots. Great interview.

    Prigioni needs to play 25 minutes and J-Kidd needs to play 10. Prigioni is giving us a lot of what Kidd does in terms of overall basketball IQ, but actually is an offensive threat.

  30. flossy

    Frank: Prigioni needs to play 25 minutes and J-Kidd needs to play 10. Prigioni is giving us a lot of what Kidd does in terms of overall basketball IQ, but actually is an offensive threat.

    Agreed. Sorry, Jason. Love your wisdom and everything, but you need to score more than once a fortnight to stay on the floor in the playoffs.

  31. Keniman Shumpwalker

    flossy: )

    Especially when Pablo is supplying a healthy does of those “intangibles” that have made Kidd so valuable at times this season, while also providing that ever-necessary skill of putting basketballs through the appropriate hoop when the moment calls for it. I love J Kidd and understand the value he’s brought to this club, but I’m more comfortable with Coach Kidd than I am with back-up PG Kidd at the moment.

  32. DRed

    I’m still annoyed that Pablo got absolutely no ROY recognition. It’s not like he played for a crap team in a media backwater.

  33. Keniman Shumpwalker

    DRed:
    I’m still annoyed that Pablo got absolutely no ROY recognition.It’s not like he played for a crap team in a media backwater.

    Given the pervasive Knick-hate circulating the nation, he might have gotten more consideration if he DID play for a crap team in a media backwater.

  34. Hubert Davis

    Here’s one thing I think:

    If we make the right decisions more often than not (i.e. If Woodson plays the correct lineups, Melo passes as much as he should, JR drives more than shoots, etc etc etc) we’d win this series in 4 or 5 games nearly every time.

    The best thing Indiana has going for them is our tendency to implode. And that, I think, is what makes us all so frustrated after losses.

  35. Hubert Davis

    More kinds of stupid decisions we tend to make wrong that can be easily avoided include:

    – double off shooters
    – whine to the officials

  36. Zanzibar

    JR’s FG% has been below 40% for 4 straight games since the suspension. I ran a query to determine how many times in his career during only the regular season he’s shot <=40% for 5 or more games. Here's the breakdown (I've provided the current state of 4 straight games):

    4 straight games (9 times)
    5 straight games (6 times)
    6 straight games (1 time)
    7 straight games (1 time)
    8 straight games (2 times)
    10 straight games (1 time)

    Then I ran it for the playoffs only and he's had 4 straight games of <=40% a total of 5 times. The good news is he's never had a streak like that longer than 4 games in the playoffs.

    So 11 times in his career he's shot below 40% for 5 or more straight games but never in the playoffs. Still kinda scary. He's the 3rd best rebounding SG in the league so that may be an overlooked reason to stay with him against the Pacers.

  37. Hubert Davis

    So if you’re Ephus and think we’re going to win this in 5, you’re not crazy. All we have to do is not be stupid.

    I, however, have supreme faith that we will keep on being stupid.

    The Pacers already won one game on the strength of us being stupid. I’m confident they will win another. And there’s a good chance they win one strictly on merit. So I still see this going 7.

  38. chrisk06811

    hey…..where is that dude who posted like 20 times yesterday, saying we were doomed?

  39. chrisk06811

    PC:
    Does everyone else say SHUMP SHUMP in a horrible Matthew McConaughey southern attorney accent?

    I love saying it and hate myself at the same time.

    I just say it loud….with the 2nd shump louder than the first.

  40. Hubert Davis

    chrisk06811:
    hey…..where is that dude who posted like 20 times yesterday, saying we were doomed?

    He thinks his pessimism reverse-jinx won us the game last night, so he’s probably icing down after all his hard work. Might even be smoking a victory cigar.

  41. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Hubert Davis:

    The best thing Indiana has going for them is our tendency to implode.And that, I think, is what makes us all so frustrated after losses.

    It is absolutely what makes me so frustrated after losses. When you have a team (and a star player, for that matter) that you know is capable of greatness when they (he) simply plays basketball the right way, it’s infuriating to watch them (him) not do it on any given night, especially in the playoffs. A lot of it falls on Woody. It has to. He has to bend this team to his will when he senses us falling back into the iso-patterns. That’s what time-outs and clipboards are four. It’s maddeningly simple: when we take the time to run our offense, cycle through multiple actions, execute set plays, then we are a potent offensive force. When we stagnate, we are fodder for good defenses to feast on.

  42. Hubert Davis

    Keniman Shumpwalker: A lot of it falls on Woody. It has to. He has to bend this team to his will when he senses us falling back into the iso-patterns. That’s what time-outs and clipboards are four.

    Last night proved it to me:

    When our offense stagnates and JR is shooting under 30%, Prigioni needs to come in for JR. Period. End of story.

  43. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Hubert Davis: Last night proved it to me:

    When our offense stagnates and JR is shooting under 30%, Prigioni needs to come in for JR.Period.End of story.

    It seems so obvious. I just fear that Woody’s father-son thing with JR and man crush with J Kidd obscure his vision when it comes to this. The on/off splits with Prigioni make it blatantly obvious that we are a better team, on both sides of the ball, when he’s on the court.

  44. Hubert Davis

    The narrative I keep reading today is that the jump-shooting Knicks suddenly started hitting their 3’s in the 4Q (this was apparently the story on TNT last night, from what people who watch that crap told me). Yet, from 62-64, here’s what actually happened:

    Melo layup (64)
    Melo dunk +1 (67)
    Martin dunk (69)
    JR FT (70)
    Chandler dunk (72)
    Pablo 3 pointer (75)
    Pablo from 8 feet (77)
    Melo from 16 feet (79)
    Melo 3 pointer (82)
    Chandler dunk (84)
    Melo from 5 feet +1 (87)
    Melo 3 pointer (90)
    Chandler dunk (92)

    And then the subs came in.

  45. johnno

    Has anyone else noticed that the Knicks and Pacers have played six games this year and that the Pacers’ point totals in four of them have been 76, 79, 80 and 81? Maybe the Pacers’ offensive “explosion” in game one was the outlier? (I am, of course, ignoring that pukefest right after the All-Star break.)

  46. appenb

    >Hubert Davis: Last night proved it to me:

    >When our offense stagnates and JR is shooting under 30%, Prigioni >needs to come in for JR.Period.End of story.

    >It seems so obvious. I just fear that Woody’s father-son thing with >JR and man crush with J Kidd obscure his vision when it comes to >this.

    This seems super wrong. The thing that separates Woodson as a coach seems to be that he gets the best out of his people. JR and Melo found another gear this year. They didn’t get perfect, but the Knicks are where they are because of what Woody achieved with them.

    Do the Woodson-doubters think somehow he gets to keep that motivation impact without showing loyalty to players? Do you want to go back to the relationship between players and coach that the Knicks had before? How confident are you that you understand motivation dynamics better than the coach does?

  47. KnickfaninNJ

    George Karl is coach of the year!?

    Honestly I think there were better candidates, among others Mark Jackson who just beat him in a playoff series, and I am not even a big fan of Jackson’s.

  48. KnickfaninNJ

    Further details, quoted from espn.com below: He was first by a significant margin.

    “He received 62 first-place votes, followed by Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat with 24 votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. New York’s Mike Woodson finished third and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, who won the award last season, was fourth”

  49. flossy

    Give me a break, George Karl absolutely deserves Coach of the Year. You could make arguments for other coaches, but he is absolutely up there in the small handful of candidates with a legitimate claim to the crown.

    The Nuggets won a franchise record 57 games in an incredibly tough Western Conference, without a traditional offensive centerpiece or anyone who could even sniff an All-Star or All-NBA selection (no offense to all of the B/B+ players on Denver’s roster).

    Karl designed an incredibly balanced attack that took advantage of his team’s strengths and disguised its weaknesses–so balanced that it didn’t feature a single rotation player with a usage above 23%! I wonder if any 57+ win team has ever done that?

    The Knicks have only won 57 or more games three times since their last championship, and all of those teams featured Ewing, a top-50 all time player, dominating the offense with at least one other player, who made the All-Star team or was not far removed, sometimes more.

  50. Juany8

    DRed:
    Does George Karl coach another sport? maybe its not NBA coach of the year.

    Considering the recent history of coach of the year winners, he might not be coaching in the NBA very much longer lol.

  51. Keniman Shumpwalker

    appenb:
    This seems super wrong.The thing that separates Woodson as a coach seems to be that he gets the best out of his people.JR and Melo found another gear this year.They didn’t get perfect, but the Knicks are where they are because of what Woody achieved with them.

    Do the Woodson-doubters think somehow he gets to keep that motivation impact without showing loyalty to players?Do you want to go back to the relationship between players and coach that the Knicks had before?How confident are you that you understand motivation dynamics better than the coach does?

    First off, let’s not pretend that JR has been perfect. He’s had some great stretches, no doubt, but he’s also had his fair share of “Bad JR” . That’s not what’s important though. Unquestionably, Woody hasn’t gotten more out of JR than any coach has. But these are the NBA playoffs. “Motivation Dynamics” be damned. This is not about nurturing the long term psychological health of our players, it’s about putting the most effective 5-man units on the floor. Neither of us, I think, are advocating for the burying of JR at the end of the bench. We’re simply suggesting that Woody has to understand when something is not working, and make the requisite adjustments. If that means shaving 5-7 minutes each off of JR’s and Kidd’s court time in favor of Pablo, so be it. I know Kidd has the mental fortitude to deal with that and I’m hoping JR does as well. By all means, if JR comes out hot next game, ride him. But if he’s still throwing up bricks, scale it back and give Priggie Smalls some more run. He’s earned it.

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy:
    Give me a break, George Karl absolutely deserves Coach of the Year.You could make arguments for other coaches, but he is absolutely up there in the small handful of candidates with a legitimate claim to the crown.

    The Nuggets won a franchise record 57 games in an incredibly tough Western Conference, without a traditional offensive centerpiece or anyone who could even sniff an All-Star or All-NBA selection (no offense to all of the B/B+ players on Denver’s roster).

    The statistical models that said the Nuggets would be awesome do not give a fuck who’s coaching the team. There were high expectations even when coaching was not a factor at all. This is a true statement.

    So to say that Karl is responsible for the success of the team? Seems like confirmation bias to me.

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    DRed:
    I’m still annoyed that Pablo got absolutely no ROY recognition.It’s not like he played for a crap team in a media backwater.

    I’m annoyed that Andre Drummond put up maybe the best season for a rookie center in league history and the voters gave it to a guy who played a lot of minutes and took a lot of shots. Who cares?

  54. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Also, this idea that Woody needs to keep that motivation impact in tact by showing loyalty is bogus to me. These are grown men, professionals, and you’d hope they understand what’s at stake here and wouldn’t lose their motivation to play hard if the coach gives them a few less minutes a game in favor of someone who is clearly providing more to the winning cause at the moment. There’s a big difference between showing loyalty and coddling and there’s no room for coddling in the playoffs.

  55. thenamestsam

    flossy:
    Give me a break, George Karl absolutely deserves Coach of the Year.You could make arguments for other coaches, but he is absolutely up there in the small handful of candidates with a legitimate claim to the crown.

    The Nuggets won a franchise record 57 games in an incredibly tough Western Conference, without a traditional offensive centerpiece or anyone who could even sniff an All-Star or All-NBA selection (no offense to all of the B/B+ players on Denver’s roster).

    Karl designed an incredibly balanced attack that took advantage of his team’s strengths and disguised its weaknesses–so balanced that it didn’t feature a single rotation player with a usage above 23%!I wonder if any 57+ win team has ever done that?

    The Knicks have only won 57 or more games three times since their last championship, and all of those teams featured Ewing, a top-50 all time player, dominating the offense with at least one other player, who made the All-Star team or was not far removed, sometimes more.

    With you on this and I’m not even a big Karl guy. He has significant flaws as a coach. He’s not the guy I’d want leading my team if I were an owner because his struggles to get along with star players is a serious liability as an NBA head coach and because his playoff record is fairly poor. I think in some senses he would rather lose playing the way he wants to than win playing some other way.

    But the award isn’t for best coach in a macro sense, otherwise Pop would get it every year. The award is for coaching during just this regular season with just the team each coach actually had, and by that standard Karl is extremely deserving. This was a team that exemplified his strengths and hid his weaknesses as a coach, and the achievements of the team speak for themselves.

  56. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: The statistical models that said the Nuggets would be awesome do not give a fuck who’s coaching the team. There were high expectations even when coaching was not a factor at all. This is a true statement.

    So to say that Karl is responsible for the success of the team? Seems like confirmation bias to me.

    Would those be the same statistical models that think JaValee McGee is a good basketball player?

  57. ephus

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m annoyed that Andre Drummond put up maybe the best season for a rookie center in league history and the voters gave it to a guy who played a lot of minutes and took a lot of shots. Who cares?

    Andre Drummond, meet Bill Russell:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/russebi01.html

    And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/abdulka01.html

    And Wilt

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html

    I keep reacting to THCJ’s stuff as if it is meant to be taken at face value. Maybe it all is performance art?

  58. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m annoyed that Andre Drummond put up maybe the best season for a rookie center in league history and the voters gave it to a guy who played a lot of minutes and took a lot of shots. Who cares?

    I know, right? How could the voters overlook a backup center who played 20 mpg, led his team in zero statistical categories and shot 37% from the line in favor of a rookie who led the entire NBA in minutes played and led his team in points and assists?

  59. KnickfaninNJ

    I think if the Knicks had the only mile high arena and every one ran out of breath when they played here, the Knicks would have a better home record and have won 57 games more often.

    Don’t get me wrong, Karl did a good job, but he has a deep bench and can run everyone off the floor with it, especially in Denver. I cited Mark Jackson as a deserving candidate, because he did a lot better than I expected (THCJ, if you could comment on whether he out performed statistical models, that would be interesting). But the guy I probably would have put number 1 is Thibideau. He clearly out performed expectations, and I bet not just the expectations of those of us who watch motivation and injuries and such but also the statistics THCJ just quoted.

  60. KnickfaninNJ

    But then again, I thought Doug Collins should have been a candidate last year, and I don’t think he got any votes.

  61. flossy

    KnickfaninNJ: I think if the Knicks had the only mile high arena and every one ran out of breath when they played here, the Knicks would have a better home record and have won 57 games more often.

    Sorry, but that’s bogus reasoning. The altitude in Denver hasn’t changed, and they’ve never won 57 games before despite often playing extremely fast. The Nuggets were the fastest paced team in the NBA EVERY YEAR in the 1980s and were no slower than 6th in the league in pace during the Melo era (usually 1st or 2nd).

    Playing at altitude and playing fast aren’t things that George Karl invented this year to make it seem like he did a great job. He actually did just do a great job.

    Utah also plays at a high altitude–why don’t they have a home record like Denver?

  62. thenamestsam

    ephus: Andre Drummond, meet Bill Russell:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/russebi01.html

    And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/abdulka01.html

    And Wilt

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html

    I keep reacting to THCJ’s stuff as if it is meant to be taken at face value.Maybe it all is performance art?

    I don’t know man. Do you really think Kareem’s 29, 15, and 4 can stand up to Drummond’s 8 and 8? I don’t know. We’re going to have to go to the advanced metrics. This one is too close to call.

  63. flossy

    Frank:
    Re: Karl, this is what Denver’s version of KB, Roundball Mining Company, thinks of him. Let’s just say they don’t think he is a good coach regardless of his regular season performance:

    http://www.roundballminingcompany.com/2013/05/07/death-taxes-and-first-round-losses/

    Those criticisms are largely about his postseason performance, which is certainly a valid avenue of critique, except that Coach of the Year is a reward for regular season coaching during a single season, by which standard Karl absolutely deserves the award this year.

  64. ephus

    thenamestsam: I don’t know man. Do you really think Kareem’s 29, 15, and 4 can stand up to Drummond’s 8 and 8? I don’t know. We’re going to have to go to the advanced metrics. This one is too close to call.

    I am literally laughing out loud. Drop the mic, you win.

  65. KnickfaninNJ

    flossy: Sorry, but that’s bogus reasoning.The altitude in Denver hasn’t changed, and they’ve never won 57 games before despite often playing extremely fast.The Nuggets were the fastest paced team in the NBA EVERY YEAR in the 1980s and were no slower than 6th in the league in pace during the Melo era (usually 1st or 2nd).

    Playing at altitude and playing fast aren’t things that George Karl invented this year to make it seem like he did a great job.He actually did just do a great job.

    Utah also plays at a high altitude–why don’t they have a home record like Denver?

    Karl has better personnel than Utah, so they have a better record. But Utah’s record at home was still 30 and 11, which is better than that of half the teams that made the playoffs this year. And 57 games is a very good number too and I clearly agree he didn’t do a bad job. But I remember pre season projections in the press for this season and, as I recall, they predicted Denver would do well. I don’t think that’s because people expected wizardry from Georg Karl, I think it’s because people were impressed with his personnel and thought that Karl would be good. Meeting expectations like that makes him a good coach but not a great coach in my mind.

    Chicago, on the other hand, was picked by some not to make the playoffs. But they did so comfortably, and stopped long Miami and NY winning streaks along the way. Of course their recent playoff performance may have biased me a little, like it does the writer Frank quoted, but I remember I thought they were going to be trouble before the playoffs started too and said so here, and part of that is clearly Thibideau.

  66. flossy

    I’m not going to go back and look, but I’m preeeetty sure nobody predicted the Nuggets would set a franchise records for wins this year.

  67. appenb

    Keniman Shumpwalker: Neither of us, I think, are advocating for the burying of JR at the end of the bench. We’re simply suggesting that Woody has to understand when something is not working, and make the requisite adjustments. If that means shaving 5-7 minutes each off of JR’s and Kidd’s court time in favor of Pablo, so be it.

    Yeah, we’re not far apart on what we think should happen.

    I think the biggest difference is that I’m super skeptical that I can out-coach the coach. Anyone who thinks that motivating and managing “grown men” is easy probably doesn’t do it much. And anyone who thinks last five shots tell you a lot about next five shots probably hasn’t worked with statistics much.

    But it’s a message board. 55/45 isn’t much fun.

  68. jon abbey

    flossy: I know, right?How could the voters overlook a backup center who played 20 mpg, led his team in zero statistical categories and shot 37% from the line in favor of a rookie who led the entire NBA in minutes played and led his team in points and assists?

    not to pile on (although it is very deserved) since you guys covered it pretty nicely, but Drummond also only played 60 games.

  69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: I know, right?How could the voters overlook a backup center who played 20 mpg, led his team in zero statistical categories and shot 37% from the line in favor of a rookie who led the entire NBA in minutes played and led his team in points and assists?

    So much bullshit in this post.

    1) Who gives a fuck how many minutes per game he played? He’s obviously an NBA starter, yet because he’s a rookie, he doesn’t get burn. (Lawrence Frank is an idiot.) Why is that a reflection on his playing ability? Do you really subscribe to the idea that if he were talented/skilled/ready enough to play, he would have played 35 MPG from day one? You have a whole fuckload of faith in NBA decision makers, huh?

    2) So because he had Calderon on his team, we should overlook .610 eFG by a 19-year-old rookie C? What kind of horseshit is that?

    3) You need to lead your team in a statistical category to be a great player? Since when?

    3b) He led the Pistons in ORB%, DRB%, TRB%, BLK%, STL%, Drtg, PER, WS48, and WP48. Now you can shut the fuck up, bro.

    4) WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT LEADING A TEAM IN POINTS SCORED? ARE WE SERIOUSLY STILL TALKING ABOUT SHOOTING VOLUME WITHOUT REGARD TO EFFICIENCY? COME ON. THINK.

  70. Keniman Shumpwalker

    appenb: Yeah, we’re not far apart on what we think should happen.

    I think the biggest difference is that I’m super skeptical that I can out-coach the coach.Anyone who thinks that motivating and managing “grown men” is easy probably doesn’t do it much.And anyone who thinks last five shots tell you a lot about next five shots probably hasn’t worked with statistics much.

    But it’s a message board.55/45 isn’t much fun.

    Fair enough. And you’re right, I don’t know as much about managing grown men in this setting as any NBA head coach does, but that doesn’t mean coaches are infallible, or that we, as fans, can’t sometimes see the forest through the trees when they can’t. Further, while I don’t think the last 5 shots tell you a lot about the next five, I do believe that, in the condensed season that is the playoffs, you can’t just let someone chuck their way out of a slump if it comes at the expense of a more effective 5-man grouping.

  71. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy:
    I’m not going to go back and look, but I’m preeeetty sure nobody predicted the Nuggets would set a franchise records for wins this year.

    Hollinger: 59-23, 1st in Northwest, 2nd in Western Conference
    Wages of Wins: 56-26 (55.6) (OMG BUT NOT A RECERD!)

    So I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    thenamestsam: I don’t know man. Do you really think Kareem’s 29, 15, and 4 can stand up to Drummond’s 8 and 8? I don’t know. We’re going to have to go to the advanced metrics. This one is too close to call.

    I think that if we’re talking about per game numbers on this board and trying to compare numbers from the 1960s to 2013, Mike K. has failed everyone very badly. Where the fuck is Mike K. to tell you to shut the fuck up about per game numbers?

  73. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think that if we’re talking about per game numbers on this board and trying to compare numbers from the 1960s to 2013, Mike K. has failed everyone very badly. Where the fuck is Mike K. to tell you to shut the fuck up about per game numbers?

    Where the fuck is your common sense to tell you not to compare Andre Drummond to KAREEM ABDUL JABBAR?!

  74. KnickfaninNJ

    flossy:
    I’m not going to go back and look, but I’m preeeetty sure nobody predicted the Nuggets would set a franchise records for wins this year.

    Looking on the Web, Chicago was picked to finish sixth to eighth in the East and actually finished 5th. The nuggets were picked fourth or fifth in the West and actually finished 3rd. I admit Denver is somewhat over expectations, but Chicago is too. If you look at ESPN preseason power rankings, Denver is ranked much higher than Chicago. for example:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/30/pbts-preseason-predictions-yes-expect-heat-vs-lakers-final/

    and

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1520722-preseason-predictions-br-nba-experts-got-wrong, where it says “The Chicago Bulls looked like they’d be a broken-down, 45-win team without Derrick Rose and after shipping out the majority of their “bench mob.”

  75. Juany8

    ephus: Andre Drummond, meet Bill Russell:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/russebi01.html

    And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/abdulka01.html

    And Wilt

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html

    I keep reacting to THCJ’s stuff as if it is meant to be taken at face value.Maybe it all is performance art?

    The only way WP makes sense is an experiment to prove how easily people can be duped into believing a number. It’s easier to believe that it’s all a massive troll attempt than it is to believe someone actually thinks Drummond had one of the best seasons for a rookie center of all time. And I was one of the very few people who would have even considered taking Drummond over Anthony Davis.

  76. ephus

    At the risk of playing into THCJ’s Andy Kaufman-like games, here are the Rookie WS/48 for the four centers under consideration:

    Wilt – . 245 (led league)
    Kareem – .187
    Bill – .176
    Andre – .172

    There literally is NO way to defend the merits of THCJ’s claim that Andre Drummond had “maybe the best season in league history for a rookie center.”

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Where the fuck is your common sense to tell you not to compare Andre Drummond to KAREEM ABDUL JABBAR?!

    Man, if only I didn’t have twenty years of post-retirement hagiography so I could actually try to think about basketball without “common sense” getting in the way. Gee whiz! You’re right. I used my sense! There’s no way that Drummond’s ridiculously awesome rookie season, shortened by injury and Lawrence Frank being quasi-handicapped, could be compared to a player who had his rookie season in 1970, when the NBA was nearly identical to the one we have now.

  78. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: So much bullshit in this post.

    1) Who cares about minutes played? Umm, everyone? Damien Lillard played three times as much as Drummond. This isn’t the “best rookie on a per-minute basis” award. Maybe Drummond sat on the bench because he couldn’t hit a FT if his life depended on it? Maybe because he has no other offensive skills outside of catching the ball and dunking it, and is therefore not fit to play 35 mpg right off the bat? There are innumerable reasons, so who knows.

    2) Did anyone say his eFG% was not up to par? This isn’t the “best eFG% by a rookie” award.

    3-5) Yeah, points scored matters. I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but NBA games are won on the basis of who scored more points. Playing 3,000+ minutes and leading your team in points scored is actually pretty significant, more so than playing 20 mpg for 60 games and Tyson Chandlering your way to a gaudy eFG%.

    Again, nobody is denying that Drummond looks like he’ll be a great player. But Rookie of the Year is not an award that goes to players who come off the bench to play less than 1,300 minutes over a full season.

  79. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ephus:
    At the risk of playing into THCJ’s Andy Kaufman-like games, here are the Rookie WS/48 for the four centers under consideration:

    Wilt – . 245 (led league)
    Kareem – .187
    Bill – .176
    Andre – .172

    There literally is NO way to defend the merits of THCJ’s claim that Andre Drummond had “maybe the best season in league history for a rookie center.”

    You just did it for me. And you failed to mention how different box scorekeeping was in 1959. Did you go on B-R and see how many blank boxes there are?

  80. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think that if we’re talking about per game numbers on this board and trying to compare numbers from the 1960s to 2013, Mike K. has failed everyone very badly. Where the fuck is Mike K. to tell you to shut the fuck up about per game numbers?

    Why would Mike K come on the board to back up laughable positions? Maybe it’s not Drummond’s fault that he didnt play a lot of minutes, but nobody gives out pity awards for bad coaching. You can maybe argue he put up hall of fame per minute numbers, but that’s very different from actually having one of the best rookie seasons of all time.

  81. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: The only way WP makes sense is an experiment to prove how easily people can be duped into believing a number. It’s easier to believe that it’s all a massive troll attempt than it is to believe someone actually thinks Drummond had one of the best seasons for a rookie center of all time. And I was one of the very few people who would have even considered taking Drummond over Anthony Davis.

    More of this “if you think Player X is good, you’re wrong” bullshit. I love this site. Where’s Mike K.?

  82. iserp

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: 1) Who gives a fuck how many minutes per game he played? He’s obviously an NBA starter, yet because he’s a rookie, he doesn’t get burn. (Lawrence Frank is an idiot.) Why is that a reflection on his playing ability? Do you really subscribe to the idea that if he were talented/skilled/ready enough to play, he would have played 35 MPG from day one? You have a whole fuckload of faith in NBA decision makers, huh?

    I do care. Perhaps it is not Andre Drummond’s fault that he plays very few minutes, and that he has a very low usage. But it is something i care about. If you don’t add value to your team, that means that you are out of the awards. This is not about the hypothetically better player (if it were ever possible to define “better” in basketball terms), but about the rookie who contributed the most.

    If i had to keep one of Lillard and Drummond for the future i would take Drummond without blinking. ROY? Lillard!

  83. Frank

    Drummond is certainly a promising player considering he’s only 19 years old — and he did put up pretty amazing numbers. Basically no one in NBA history regardless of rookie or not has shown his combination of rebounding and efficient (if low-volume) scoring — if you put in his eFG, ORB, and DRB into player season finder on B-R, you basically come up empty.

    One thing though – if you look at his on/off court numbers just in terms of rebounding, a funny pattern comes out–

    Drummond on-court DET rebounding: ORB 31.6, DRB 70.4
    Drummond off-court DET rebounding: ORB 26.7, DRB 74.2

    These numbers are from nbawowy. 82games actually has him basically neutral in terms of rebounding – +4.5% on offensive boards, -4.4% on defensive boards for a net rebounding edge of just 0.1%.

    So the O-rebounds got much better, but nearly all of the extra possessions gotten on the O-reb end were given away on the defensive boards. And this is despite the fact that the guy who Drummond replaced the most (according to 82games) is Jason Maxiell – who is not a good rebounder.

    overall Drummond was a net positive (net +3.5 points/100 poss on offense while a net -0.7 points/100 poss on defense) so obviously that’s good. But his rebounding numbers remind me of David Lee and some others — even though they are putting up huge rebounding numbers personally, their teams don’t necessarily rebound that much better because of it. presumably that’s because of things like boxing out opposing players even if you don’t get the rebound, etc. that are not recorded in box scores.

    Anyway. just my 2 cents. THCJ will now commence flaming me in all caps.

  84. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: More of this “if you think Player X is good, you’re wrong” bullshit. I love this site. Where’s Mike K.?

    It baffles me that after over a year of these arguments you think Mike K is going to come in and save you this time.

  85. ptmilo

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think that if we’re talking about per game numbers on this board and trying to compare numbers from the 1960s to 2013, Mike K. has failed everyone very badly. Where the fuck is Mike K. to tell you to shut the fuck up about per game numbers?

    The cult of L. Ron Berri produces some admirable sanctimony in the pursuit of defending absurdity. In that great Mad Men year of 89-90, David Robinson put up 24.3 ppg, 60% TS, 12 rpg, 1.7 spg and 3.9 bpg. Shaq went 23.4, 58.3%, 13.9, 0.7, 3.5 a couple of years before we landed on moon. Hakeem went…

    Oh, right. The extrapolation gods laugh in the face of our pedestrian views of distended space and time. But even there the Great Drummond 1200 of 2012-2013 gets hoisted by its own [p]etard. Plainly the all time best rookie center performance was from our very own J-J-Jackie Butler, he of the gaudy 72 points per 36 at merely a 102.5% (!) TS%. Admittedly, he would have gone the entire season without amassing a single rebound, which would have rendered him an illegal alien under the original WP48 formula. But now that proper adjustment have been made Jackie is available to accept your apology at scionofbrianquinnett@gmail.com.

  86. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: More of this “if you think Player X is good, you’re wrong” bullshit. I love this site. Where’s Mike K.?

    Wait… Isn’t this the ENTIRE argument WP makes? That if some formula says player x is good, you’re wrong if you disagree?

  87. Juany8

    ptmilo: The cult of L. Ron Berri produces some admirable sanctimony in the pursuit of defending absurdity.In that great Mad Men year of 89-90, David Robinson put up 24.3 ppg, 60% TS, 12 rpg, 1.7 spg and 3.9 bpg.Shaq went 23.4, 58.3%, 13.9, 0.7, 3.5 a couple of years before we landed on moon.Hakeem went…

    Oh, right.The extrapolation gods laugh in the face of our pedestrian views of distended space and time.But even there the Great Drummond 1200 of 2012-2013 gets hoisted by its own [p]etard.Plainly the all time best rookie center performance was from our very own J-J-Jackie Butler, he of the gaudy 72 points per 36 at merely a 102.5% (!) TS%.Admittedly, he would have gone the entire season without amassing a single rebound, which would have rendered him an illegal alien under the original WP48 formula.But now that proper adjustment have been made Jackie is available to accept your apology at scionofbrianquinnett@gmail.com.

    This is my favorite post ever on this site. Well played sir

  88. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Man, if only I didn’t have twenty years of post-retirement hagiography so I could actually try to think about basketball without “common sense” getting in the way. Gee whiz! You’re right. I used my sense! There’s no way that Drummond’s ridiculously awesome rookie season, shortened by injury and Lawrence Frank being quasi-handicapped, could be compared to a player who had his rookie season in 1970, when the NBA was nearly identical to the one we have now.

    Right. Everyone’s just fondly nostalgic about Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s career, but you happen to know that only the shocking incompetence of Lawrence Frank prevented Andre Drummond from assuming his rightful place among the all-time greats. Okay.

  89. nicos

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think that if we’re talking about per game numbers on this board and trying to compare numbers from the 1960s to 2013, Mike K. has failed everyone very badly. Where the fuck is Mike K. to tell you to shut the fuck up about per game numbers?

    How about David Robinson? http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/robinda01.html
    He was 24 but also coming off of a two year stint in the Navy. If you want to say Drummond had the best rookie year of any 19 year old who only played 20 minutes a night, fine. But Shaq put up similar numbers and played 2.5 times as many minutes- who had a better season? That said, the fact that we’re looking at numbers put up by hall of famers tells you that Drummond had a great season.

  90. jon abbey

    Juany8: This is my favorite post ever on this site. Well played sir

    yes, amazing work, keep ‘em coming!

  91. flossy

    Maybe they should make an award called “Best 19 year-old rookie who played 20 minutes per game and had a better chance at winning a spin at roulette than hitting a free throw.”

    Drummond would win in a landslide and FINALLY justice would be servced!

  92. flossy

    Juany8: This is my favorite post ever on this site. Well played sir

    Agreed, though he did mention “points per game” so I expect Mike K. will need to ban him with all due haste.

  93. ephus

    Here is why THCJ is such a great performance artist. He starts by making an inflammatory, ridiculous statement, “Andre Drummond put up maybe the best season for a rookie center in league history.” When people quote stats he does not like, he attacks them for using the wrong stats. When I quote stats he does like (WP/48), he argues that it is impossible to compare players across historical eras. Which may be true, but cannot exist in the same universe where he asserts that Drummond had “maybe the best season for a rookie center in league history

    Slow clap, THCJ. You got me to get up and adjust the vertical hold on the TV for the Andy Kaufman special.

  94. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I think that if we’re talking about per game numbers on this board and trying to compare numbers from the 1960s to 2013, Mike K. has failed everyone very badly. Where the fuck is Mike K. to tell you to shut the fuck up about per game numbers?

    I know it doesn’t fit with your orthodoxy, but I’m actually of the opinion that the amount you play and the amount of shots you take are actually things that matter. This opinion is a rather common one. If Mike K. came and told me to shut the fuck up for mentioning that it seems questionable to compare a player who put up 29, 15, and 4 as the undisputed best player on a team that went 56-26 (after going 27-55 the year before without him) to one who put up 8 and 8 as a bench player for a 29 win team, I’d think he was a fool the same way I think you’re a fool.

    Which is to say I’d think he was a very big fool.

  95. DRed

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=onealsh01&y1=1993&p2=abdulka01&y2=1970&p3=drumman01&y3=2013

    Drummond compares favorably to both Shaq and Kareem on a rate basis and bt PER and WS/48. if Shaq and Kareem had been rookies this year, would any of you be arguing for Lillard? Unless Drummond was too out of shape to play more than 20 minutes a night there was no basketball reason for Frank to limit his minutes that much. Not even his hillariously inept FT shooting. To me, the only way to think Lillard was better than Drummond is to argue that his minutes played is why he’s more deserving. Drummond was a much more productive player by PER, WS, WP.

    And Flossy, points scored obviosly matter, but so does how you score though points, and a host of other things. “he lead his team in points scored” isnt really a great argument for roy.

  96. chrisk06811

    Here’s all the stats you need on these arguments. Saturday night, May 11, 2013:
    Andre Drummond: Sitting on his couch
    George Karl: sitting on his couch
    Our NY Knicks: Playing PLAYOFF BBALL, baby, round 2
    Us: Watching our NY Knicks play PLAYOFF BBALL, baby, round 2

    I could give a shit about Andre Drummond. Just stop it. a hearty SHUMP SHUMP to you all and lets focus! We can talk about ‘Dre in July.

  97. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: Right.Everyone’s just fondly nostalgic about Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s career, but you happen to know that only the shocking incompetence of Lawrence Frank prevented Andre Drummond from assuming his rightful place among the all-time greats.Okay.

    Everyone’s fondly nostalgic about Michael Jordan’s indomitable claim to greatness, yet I’ve seen about 15,000 compelling words that make me think that Jordan might not have won six trophies without a certain totalitarian-dictator-sympathizing, wedding-dress clad, dyed-hair 6’6″ PF freak giving his team a huge possession advantage pretty much every night he played. BUT HE’S KAREEM! doesn’t exactly make for a compelling argument.

  98. Juany8

    DRed:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=onealsh01&y1=1993&p2=abdulka01&y2=1970&p3=drumman01&y3=2013

    Drummond compares favorably to both Shaq and Kareem on a rate basis and bt PER and WS/48. if Shaq and Kareem had been rookies this year, would any of you be arguing for Lillard?Unless Drummond was too out of shape to play more than 20 minutes a night there was no basketball reason for Frank to limit his minutes that much.Not even his hillariously inept FT shooting.To me, the only way to think Lillard was better than Drummond is to argue that his minutes played is why he’s more deserving. Drummond was a much more productive player by PER, WS, WP.

    And Flossy, points scored obviosly matter, but so does how you score though points, and a host of other things. “he lead his team in points scored” isnt really a great argument for roy.

    I don’t disagree that Drummond is better than Lilliard, but you cant just ignore that he got little playing time. It’s not his fault, but it’s also not Michael Jordan’s fault that he got old. He only played 20 minutes per game, you can give Lawrence Frank shit all you want but it won’t change that fact. When Drummond does start playing serious minutes, he’ll be called an all star if he keeps the per minute numbers up. You can’t just assume that’s going to happen though, if nothing else he might have a hard time playing big minutes at his size while staying healthy.

  99. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    DRed:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=onealsh01&y1=1993&p2=abdulka01&y2=1970&p3=drumman01&y3=2013

    Drummond compares favorably to both Shaq and Kareem on a rate basis and bt PER and WS/48. if Shaq and Kareem had been rookies this year, would any of you be arguing for Lillard?Unless Drummond was too out of shape to play more than 20 minutes a night there was no basketball reason for Frank to limit his minutes that much.Not even his hillariously inept FT shooting.To me, the only way to think Lillard was better than Drummond is to argue that his minutes played is why he’s more deserving. Drummond was a much more productive player by PER, WS, WP.

    And Flossy, points scored obviosly matter, but so does how you score though points, and a host of other things. “he lead his team in points scored” isnt really a great argument for roy.

    Thank you!

    Considering his age, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with putting him in the argument for best center rookie season of all-time. Barring injury, he’s on track to be the next Dwight Howard. He’s 19 years old. Players that efficient just do not come around that often, and almost never at that age.

    You have to make the argument that Drummond was put in the game ONLY during the periods in which he was afforded the opportunity to be that productive (and outmatch his opponents by a considerable degree). That somehow, had Frank played him more, his numbers would have dropped considerably. Like, really, really bad numbers to pull his efficiency down. That kind of speculation is silly.

  100. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: I don’t disagree that Drummond is better than Lilliard, but you cant just ignore that he got little playing time. It’s not his fault, but it’s also not Michael Jordan’s fault that he got old. He only played 20 minutes per game, you can give Lawrence Frank shit all you want but it won’t change that fact. When Drummond does start playing serious minutes, he’ll be called an all star if he keeps the per minute numbers up. You can’t just assume that’s going to happen though, if nothing else he might have a hard time playing big minutes at his size while staying healthy.

    Again, you’re assuming that Frank optimized his playing time. That’s a totally baseless argument. Supported by nothing.

  101. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Everyone’s fondly nostalgic about Michael Jordan’s indomitable claim to greatness, yet I’ve seen about 15,000 compelling words that make me think that Jordan might not have won six trophies without a certain totalitarian-dictator-sympathizing, wedding-dress clad, dyed-hair 6’6? PF freak giving his team a huge possession advantage pretty much every night he played. BUT HE’S KAREEM! doesn’t exactly make for a compelling argument.

    You’re really going to bring up that WP says Rodman was better than Jordan? I absolutely love Rodman and think he’s a hall of famer, but that’s the kind of shit that makes people laugh and look for better stats.

  102. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Again, you’re assuming that Frank optimized his playing time. That’s a totally baseless argument. Supported by nothing.

    No I’m assuming nothing. I don’t care why he played 20 minutes a game, I care that he did play 20 minutes a game. It’s called empiricism silly, I don’t make the baseless assumption that Drummond would have played exactly the same had he played more minutes because he didn’t play more minutes. But you know, I guess I just like paying attention to concrete evidence instead of baseless conjecture that NBA players play exactly the same regardless of minutes played or opponents played against

  103. Juany8

    Chicago going with the interesting strategy of being happy to go home with a tie while trying to even out the injury count for both teams. As a fan of one of the teams at the other side of the Eastern conference bracket, I heartily commend any team that tries to injure Miami while playing a backup small forward (awesome as Butler is) 48 minutes a game. Actually Butler did sit for like 2 minutes in this game, so you know Thibs is taking this game lightly.

  104. Juany8

    Right, the website I posted several months ago, specifically for that piece, is going to convince everyone that WP is correct.

    His argument is that Rodman was the best “third” best player of all time, and that when you compound the fact that he got paid very little, it makes him enormously valuable. Basically, say you are picking a super fantasy team from all the players in the league to play in a super fantasy league with other players from across history. You have to follow the salary cap, however, using the salary from that player’s best season (no bullshit all rookie hall of famer team). You might go ahead and think “oh hey, I’ll pick Michael Jordan, he’s the best player ever”… but that’s a bad strategy. You can have Lebron for the same salary and scorer role, or you can get Kareem to be your leading scorer, or even Kobe, or whoever. Michael Jordan is awesome but he’s not absurdly more awesome than everyone else in the top 10 of all time. Rodman, on the other hand, is the best rebounder of all time. He’s getting paid a tiny salary, he won’t feel he deserves a bunch of touches on offense in order to play hard (Dwight Howard comes to mind… and yes even Melo) he’s going to be giving you incredible value in that role.

    You still need a shot creator and a shot blocker and 3 point shooters, but there are many, many players that can fill those roles in spectacular fashion, to the point where it’s hard to distinguish where the exact rankings lie (who’s the better 3 point specialist, Korver, Novak, or Steve Kerr? You can’t say for sure right?). Furthermore, everyone else is going with the strategy of just picking the awesome players as quickly as possible, ignoring that you don’t need Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan on the same team because only one of them can have the ball at any time. At that point, one of them is going to be forced to be mostly a role player, and Rodman is way better in that role than anyone else ever

  105. Juany8

    Notice the difference between how Morris makes a point and how THCJ/Berri make a point:

    “Though the evidence is entirely circumstantial, I find the hypothesis very plausible, which in itself should be shocking. While I may not be ready to conclude that, yes, in fact, Rodman would actually be a more valuable asset to a potential championship contender than Michael freaking Jordan, I don’t think the opposite view is any stronger: That is, when you call that position crazy, conjectural, speculative, or naïve—as some of you inevitably will—I am fairly confident that, in light of the evidence, the default position is really no less so.

    In fact, even if this hypothesis isn’t exactly true, I don’t think the next-most-likely explanation is that it’s completely false, and these outlandish outcomes were just some freakishly bizarre coincidence—it would be more likely that there is some alternate explanation that may be even more meaningful. Indeed, on some level, some of the freakish statistical results associated with Rodman are so extreme that it actually makes me doubt that the best explanation could actually stem from his athletic abilities. That is, he’s just a guy, how could he be so unusually good in such an unusual way? Maybe it actually IS more likely that the groupthink mentality of NBA coaches and execs accidentally DID leave a giant exploitable loophole in conventional NBA strategy; a loophole that Rodman fortuitously stumbled upon by having such a strong aversion to doing any of the things that he wasn’t the best at. If that is the case, however, the implications of this series could be even more severe than I intended.”

    That’s the conclusion to the Rodman piece.

    Also want to point out that Rodman was not playing 20 minutes a game off the bench for Jordan’s Bulls. The original argument was that it doesn’t matter how well you played in 20 minutes, it doesn’t change the fact that you played 20 minutes.

  106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: Also want to point out that Rodman was not playing 20 minutes a game off the bench for Jordan’s Bulls. The original argument was that it doesn’t matter how well you played in 20 minutes, it doesn’t change the fact that you played 20 minutes.

    And it is entirely possible that Drummond is more productive at 20 MPG than Lillard at 40 MPG.

  107. flossy

    DRed:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=onealsh01&y1=1993&p2=abdulka01&y2=1970&p3=drumman01&y3=2013

    And Flossy, points scored obviosly matter, but so does how you score though points, and a host of other things. “he lead his team in points scored” isnt really a great argument for roy.

    How efficient might Damien Lillard have been if he was only asked to play 20 mpg off the bench and take the 5 easiest shots he saw? For a rookie to be able to play 38 minutes per game, every single game of the season, use 24 percent of his team’s possessions and maintain league average scoring efficiency while also assisting 3/10 of his team’s baskets, is a really remarkable feat. PG is the toughest position to master in the NBA and there is incredible competition at PG in the West, and rookies are notoriously ill-equipped to handle a whole season, let alone lead the entire league in minutes played. That is more than enough to win Rookie of the Year over Andre Drummond, who had a relatively much smaller role for an even worse team, even though he played well–better than Lillard, even, in limited minutes. I would not be at all surprised to if Drummond has a better career, but the better rookie season was clearly had by Lillard.

  108. Juany8

    Well it turns out the Knicks aren’t the only team that freaks out when they are the recipients of shitty officiating. Chicago’s players are all systematically getting themselves ejected.

  109. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: And it is entirely possible that Drummond is more productive at 20 MPG than Lillard at 40 MPG.

    Maybe, I don’t like Dillard much personally so I’d take Drummond 100 times out of 10 and laugh for about a month straight, but you argued that Drummond had one of the best rookie seasons for a center OF ALL TIME. That was a ridiculous statement and what I was arguing against.

  110. Juany8

    Drummond was not more valuable in 20 minutes than Shaq was in 35+ lol. Or Duncan, Robinson, Hakeem, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, even freaking Wes Unseld (won the MVP as a rookie lol)

  111. BigBlueAL

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Everyone’s fondly nostalgic about Michael Jordan’s indomitable claim to greatness, yet I’ve seen about 15,000 compelling words that make me think that Jordan might not have won six trophies without a certain totalitarian-dictator-sympathizing, wedding-dress clad, dyed-hair 6’6? PF freak giving his team a huge possession advantage pretty much every night he played. BUT HE’S KAREEM! doesn’t exactly make for a compelling argument.

    Well we know he wouldve won at least 3 trophies since he won those before Rodman joined the team.

  112. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: How efficient might Damien Lillard have been if he was only asked to play 20 mpg off the bench and take the 5 easiest shots he saw? For a rookie to be able to play 38 minutes per game, every single game of the season, use 24 percent of his team’s possessions and maintain league average scoring efficiency while also assisting 3/10 of his team’s baskets, is a really remarkable feat. PG is the toughest position to master in the NBA and there is incredible competition at PG in the West, and rookies are notoriously ill-equipped to handle a whole season, let alone lead the entire league in minutes played. That is more than enough to win Rookie of the Year over Andre Drummond, who had a relatively much smaller role for an even worse team, even though he played well–better than Lillard, even, in limited minutes. I would not be at all surprised to if Drummond has a better career, but the better rookie season was clearly had by Lillard.

    AGAIN.

    The assumption is that Drummond was optimized and Lillard was not. This is total horseshit. See, for Drummond, those put-back lay-ups are easy. For Lillard, they are not. Does Lillard have to work hard to score points in the NBA? Yes, he does. Does it mean he’s more rare or efficient or productive than Drummond because his shots are, in a vacuum, “more difficult?” Fuck no.

    PG is the hardest position to master? What the fuck? Whose anecdotes do you have in your pocket, there? Are you saying that playing center is easy? Who are you kidding with this speculation? Basketball is not phenomenally difficult, conceptually. It’s an intuitive game. The same pick-and-roll play you see in high school games is executed in the pros, with a very different degree of success and athleticism and speed.

  113. DRed

    lillard getting tons of minutes at PG could tell you that he’s really good, or it could tell you that the other point guards on the team were really bad. And that happens to be true in this case. Being able to play a lot of minutes so that your team doesnt have to play your awful backups is valuable, but being the best of a bad bunch doesnt necessarily scream best rookie in the league to me.

  114. nicos

    But you’re assuming Frank was just a fool for not playing him more. That might be the case but 1. Drummond did have back issues which limited his time and more importantly 2. A ton of things happen on the basketball court that don’t make it into the box score. Maybe Frank didn’t play him much because he was habitually out of position on both sides of the ball, set poor screens, couldn’t defend high screen and rolls, etc… a la Javale McGee. And maybe not but assuming there’s no reason besides Frank’s stupidity for him not playing without viewing a ton of game tape seems shortsighted. And on Lillard, I know there are a ton of caveats with +/- but Portland was -11.2 when he was on the bench (-.9 when he played, a better +/- than both Aldridge and Batum), they were utterly reliant on him for any semblance of point guard play. That doesn’t make him a better player than Drummond but I do think that kind of thing counts when choosing a rookie of the year.

  115. flossy

    @125

    Do you seriously think that taking on the heaviest minutes load of any player in the league as a rookie in any way constitutes “optimized?” This isn’t an award for “best optimized rookie.” Players who only get 20 mpg for whatever reason don’t really qualify. Go ahead an nominate him for the “Future Star Who Was Unfairly Victimized By His Stupid Coach And Would Have Been Like A Hall Of Famer Already If He’d Played More of the Year” award. He could well become a star! Doesn’t really mean anything in this context.

    Are lay-ups and dunks as easy for Lillard as for Drummond? Uh, no. Is hitting 37% of 6 3FGA per 36 easier for Lillard than it would be for Drummond? Yes! And yes, Drummond’s role was OBVIOUSLY easier than Lillard. You don’t have to have played basketball to know that PG–being the primary shot creator not only for yourself but for your entire team–is a more difficult role to master as a rookie than Drummond’s which was basically pure “finisher.”

    Would Lillard have been, like, shockingly efficient if he played 20 mpg and took nothing but 5 wide-open spot up 3s per game? Would that constitute “optimized?” Who knows?! You sure as hell don’t, any more than you know Drummond would have been a 1st ballot Hall-of-Famer if his minutes were doubled and he was asked to be the high-usage offensive centerpiece of his team the way players like David Robinson or Shaq, etc. were as rookies.

    Then again, I don’t know why I’m bothering to explain all of this to someone who apparently thinks Dennis Rodman helped Jordan win 3 rings before ever joining the Bulls.

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