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Friday, August 1, 2014

Knicks 107, Wizards 85 – Duhon Sits

Chris Duhon sat for the second half of the Knicks 107-85 win last night against the Wizards. I went back & checked all the games where Duhon played less than 24 minutes, and couldn’t find any where the Knicks point guard failed to appear in the second half. In other words, for the first time in the D’Antoni era, he benched Duhon.

The move is something I’ve advocated here for some time. Duhon has been under performing for the entire season, with a harmful/feeble combo of 8.7 pts/36 and 48.2% TS%. The Knicks coach went with Robinson, Hughes, and the seldom used Marcus Landry in the guard position.

What’s is most interesting to watch is how D’Antoni handles this going forward. As I mentioned previously, there’s little space between being in the Knicks rotation and racking up DNP-CDs. For the last year and a half, the point guard spot has been dominated by Chris Duhon. Obviously this is going to change how the lineup looks going forward. I guess the big question is who will emerge as the Knicks point guard? Can the diminutive Robinson pull a 180 on his 2010 season, and end up in D’Antoni’s favor? Will Larry Hughes, the Ghandi of NBA-bench related facial hair, revive his descending career? Can Toney Douglas emerge as the PG of the future? Or will Duhon take this benching to heart and solve what’s been vexing him?

55 comments on “Knicks 107, Wizards 85 – Duhon Sits

  1. Thomas B.

    I guess the big question is who will emerge as the Knicks point guard?

    Under advise of counsel, I plead the fifth.

    Can the diminutive Robinson pull a 180 on his 2010 season, and end up in D’Antoni’s favor?

    Yes, but that would be more of a D’Antoni 180 than a Nate 180.

    Will Larry Hughes, the Ghandi of NBA-bench related facial hair, revive his descending career?

    Revive? Hasnt he always shot this poorly?

    Can Toney Douglas emerge as the PG of the future?

    Define “PG” and “future.”

    Or will Duhon take this benching to heart and solve what’s been vexing him?

    Duhon will take it to heart but he can no more fix this than JJ can hit a turn around jumper.

    I love when you end an article with several questions. It makes me feel like I watched an episode of the 60′s Batman right before a commercial break. POW! CRUNCH!! KER-BAM!!

  2. BigBlueAL

    This isnt about Duhon, lets face it everyone here basically hates him and knows he sucks, but check out Gallo’s rebounding the last 4 games: 7, 10, 10, 9. He has shot like crap lately (except tonight but again only 8 shots in 38 mins while Hughes and Harrington each took more shots and they combined for 41 minutes) but his rebounding has picked up alot recently.

  3. ess-dog

    God that was cathartic. The most enjoyable half of basketball I’ve watched in a while. Nate is still going to make the “stupid idea” plays every once and a while, but isn’t it preferable to what Duhon brings to the table? I’m practically giddy!

  4. nicos

    Is it just me, or does it seem that Gallo is moving really, really slow out there? He’s not the quickest guy in the world anyway but he’s not closing out on perimeter shooters at all and his moves into the lane (and those ungodly scoop shots he’s been putting up lately) have been pretty tough to watch. He did do a pretty nice nice job staying in front of Foye when he was guarding him (and hitting the boards) but overall he seems to be stiff and not moving well. Maybe it’s just the proverbial rookie wall but you have to wonder if his back is still bothering him which would not be a good thing at all.

    Also:

    “Can the diminutive Robinson pull a 180 on his 2010 season, and end up in D’Antoni’s favor?

    Yes, but that would be more of a D’Antoni 180 than a Nate 180.”

    I think it’s more a matter of them both making a 90 degree turn- Nate’s been a lot better (if not always successful) at making an effort to run set plays and hopefully D’Antoni has come to the realization that what he loses with Nate running the pick and roll is more than made up for by Nate’s superior shooting. Also, Nate is definitely fighting harder to get over screens and making fewer (though there are still one or two a game) bad gambles on defense which means we have a point guard who can actually guard a point guard (unlike Duhon) which allows Jeffries more freedom to roam off the ball. Unfortunately, Nate seems to allow his whole game to suffer when he’s not shooting well- his energy level drops by half etc… so I’m not sure he’s ever going to the answer as a starting point guard. He was also helped tonight by being guarded by the one guy in the league smaller than he is for about 10-15 minutes. (though he played well with Foye in as well and would have had double figures in assists if Jeffries could have finished around the basket.) Still, I could see him playing his way back into the team’s plan for next year- it was pretty clear this off-season that there wasn’t a ton of interest in Nate (Unlike Lee, teams knew the Knicks probably wouldn’t have matched any decent offer and he still didn’t get any takers) and he hasn’t done much to this point to raise his asking price so he could wind up being a pretty reasonably priced guy to bring off of the bench. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s moved before the deadline.

  5. BigBlueAL

    Gallo is not quick but he is fast if that makes any sense. He looks slow when driving because thats the way he moves while dribbling and he looks funny when he is just jogging but tonight his 2 FT’s came when Chandler was at mid-court with a semi-fastbreak when all of a sudden Gallo came sprinting past both defenders and Chandler passed him the ball and the only reason Gallo was fouled and didnt make a layup/dunk was cause the pass was a bit behind him and he bobbled the ball a bit.

    There are a few times a game where you see Gallo sprinting pretty fast by people on a fastbreak or to get back on D. Just look at the way he has rebounded lately, he gets pretty high up there for some of his rebounds so I dont think his back is a problem at all. Fatigue might be a problem lately since this is basically his rookie season so he might be hitting the “rookie wall” but tonight he shot and rebounded well again so I am not worried about him physically.

  6. d-mar

    The problem with Duhon (sorry, one of the many problems with Duhon) is he NEVER pushes the ball up the floor in transition. And when a team is as lethargic like the Knicks were last night, one thing that can wake a team (and the crowd) up is a fast break and slam. I’ve never been a big Nate fan and Duhon seems to be the only guard that can run the pick and roll. but I’m all for giving the keys to Nate at this point. Interesting that D’Antoni brought up Douglas without being prompted, I have a hunch Duhon may be filling Hughes’ spot on the bench.

    4 1/2 back of the 8 seed, playoffs here we come!

  7. Droidz1979

    Knics win BABY!!!

    Am savoring this one as it sure has been a while. Besides, the Wizards is supposed to be the stronger team on paper with Jamison, Haywood, Miller, and a decent PG in Foye. Guess it helped a bit that they are definitely the dysfunctional team of the present or shall we say the Knicks has passed the torched to them this year. Heck, they offered an expensive and long contract to Arenas and drafted a 7-footer who is officially a bust. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that we beat the Bucks and the Kings coz it seems that we’ll surely be clobbered by the Cavs…

  8. TDM

    Hopefully, we’ll get to see a bit more of Toney now – assuming Duhon’s demotion lasts more than one game. Also I read that Charlotte is bent on trading dj Augustine before the deadline for a big. Apparently the brass wanted to draft brook lopez but larry brown talked them into dj. Any chance of a JJ for DJ trade?

  9. Jafa

    Don’t know if someone posted this already, but Berman is reporting that Mike D is pulling the plug on Duhon and starting Nate at PG. And he may be considering removing Duhon from the rotation altogether, replacing him with TD.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/an_plan_duhon_out_nate_in_at_pg_qHDWXuPI5nHpFGEa9qHRfN

    I like this move, but have one question – who is going to be our scorer off the bench when we are off to a slow start in a game (other than Harrington)?

  10. Jafa

    Hahn is also reporting that “With two weeks before the Feb. 18 trading deadline, it does not appear the Knicks will be very active. It’s almost assured they won’t get involved in talks for some of the biggest names on the rumor mill, such as Amar’e Stoudemire and Ray Allen, mainly because the team’s intention is to maintain as much salary-cap space as possible to rebuild the team through free agency and trades this summer.”

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/hughes-gets-off-bench-and-boosts-knicks-over-wizards-1.1741255

    If true, can we really afford to wait until the summer to make trades?

  11. ess-dog

    Trading Jeffries for expiring garbage could be construed as a minor trade – hopefully that’s all we do, even though it’s not very sexy.

  12. mase

    its not who starts but who finishes, right?

    nate, wilson
    gallo, lee, jj
    …hughes, harrington, duhon

    lets 3 of the next 4!

  13. ess-dog

    My question is what if:

    We whiff on Bron, Wade and Bosh? Let’s say all 3 of those sign with their own teams (all other free agents will wait for their signings.) What is our next step in your opinion? Weigh in Ted…

  14. Jafa

    LOL @ Garson

    If we missed out on the big 3 FAs, we can purse Joe Johnson to fill our SG need, Kyle Kover to give us another shooting threat (as our team is currently forward heavy) and call it a day. We would at least be a playoffs team in 2010-11, and purse the FAs available in 2011 with the cap space we have when JJ and Curry come off the books.

  15. mase

    just a thought but why dont we play Gallo as point-forward and start TD to defend opposing PG’s?
    makes sense to me.

  16. ess-dog

    I think a lot of us are wondering that mase, and my only guess is that D’Antoni thinks that Gallo and TD are still too young and raw for that. I read somewhere that after the move to Nate as pg, D. Lee will act more as a point-center at the top of the arc. What a weird team.

  17. Brian Cronin

    if we wiff, we re-sign lee to a 5-yr deal for $40M

    I don’t think you could even get Lee for 5/$50 million if you whiff on Lebron and Wade. Only way Lee takes $10 million is if you convince him it makes sense to take less money because of the need to sign Lebron (or Wade). Otherwise, Lee would likely not take $10 million per, let alone under $10 million per (remember, Ben freakin’ Gordon just got 5/$55 million last year!).

  18. Brian Cronin

    And I agree that it sounds like what Hahn is just saying is that the Knicks aren’t going to go out and get a big name. They simply must still be working the phones looking for someone to dump Jeffries on. But I suppose they might know by now that that is not happening (it doesn’t help when you got guys like Hollinger saying the only way Jeffries can be traded is if the Knicks include Gallo). Hopefully not and they’re still plugging away…

  19. TDM

    “We whiff on Bron, Wade and Bosh?”
    “if we wiff, we re-sign lee to a 5-yr deal for $40M”

    If the big 3 FAs all re-sign with their respective teams, Lee may be in high demand and get more than $8m per. If you really want to envision what screwing the pooch would look like, imagine the Knicks without LBJ, Wade, Bosh, Lee or Nate next season. Oh, and no first round pick.

    At that point, the Knicks would have to look to Joe Johnson, and some other aging fill-ins like Camby, Jermaine O’Neal, Steve Blake, Brendon Haywood. . .

  20. BK

    >>just a thought but why dont we play Gallo as point-forward and start TD to defend opposing PG’s?<<

    Gallo is still learning how to judge spacing in a half-court set for shots outside of his usual 3 pointers, and it's an awkward process. He's not close to being a playmaker and needs a lot of work to become a point forward. I think he'll get there, but it won't be this season.

    TD guarding opposing PGs would be fine if he could rein in his tendency to overplay everything — he's like the opposite of Nate, playing guys out to the halfcourt line even when it's not necessary, and opening himself up to getting burned backdoor or being leveled by high post screens. I like the idea of giving him more time anyway.

    Still baffled at this idea that Nate guards opposing PGs "better" than Duhon — Duhon isn't on opposing PGs often because he's versatile enough to guard other players, which suits several of the Knicks' defensive schemes, and D'Antoni likes to use Jeffries' length on opposing PGs. With Nate on the floor, it's much harder to do that because putting him on a taller wing is much more of a mismatch.

  21. mase

    “remember, Ben freakin’ Gordon just got 5/$55 million last year!)”

    that’s nothing!
    … just look at all the players under isiah’s reign of terror and the salraies they had coming onto the knicks, ie. jalen rose, tim thomas, marbury, steve francis, curry, etc., all max guys who wound up being paid not to play.

  22. ess-dog

    I still think there’s a lot of good opportunity out there if Donnie keeps his head up. The Clips must want to move Camby’s contract for some more talent. They have 3 great pieces and could use an upgrade over Thorton and Baron. Maybe they bite on Chandler/Jeffries for Camby? I hate to see Chandler go though.

  23. Z

    “Hahn is also reporting that ‘With two weeks before the Feb. 18 trading deadline, it does not appear the Knicks will be very active. It’s almost assured they won’t get involved in talks for some of the biggest names on the rumor mill, such as Amar’e Stoudemire and Ray Allen, mainly because the team’s intention is to maintain as much salary-cap space as possible to rebuild the team through free agency and trades this summer.’”

    I think some trades tend to materialize quite quickly. Even if a suddent buyer for Jeffries doesn’t suddenly surface, a major trade somewhere in the league could have a ripple-effect that could trigger other trades. Like say if the Lakers traded Bynum for Bosh, the Spurs may feel they need a more athletic defender in their front court, or if the Cavs deal for Jamison the Lakers may feel compelled to add a second versatile defensive forward. Stuff like that.

    Plus, with Jeffries, there may be teams willing to take him on, but there’s no rush. He’ll be available up until the deadline and teams may hold out as long as they can hoping they can get a better player instead.

    It’s interesting to hear that Walsh doesn’t seem too interested in trading for Amare. Are we safe to assume that means he wouldn’t be too interested in signing him as a FA either?

  24. mase

    on a side note,… i can take believe the Celtics would move Allen, but if reports are true i have a great trade for the Celtics:
    harrington, nate and JJ for Allen

    we do it for the JJ salray dump

    they do it to balance out the roster; Jj to QB their defense in the post season ( defend Lebron and Wade and Kobe)… Harrington and nate would fit perfectly as a third scorers and complimentary pieces to pierce/garnett dynamic duo…
    rondo
    house
    pierce
    garnett
    perkins
    …bench=jj/harrington/wallace/tony allen/nate

  25. Ted Nelson

    “What is our next step in your opinion? Weigh in Ted…”

    It’s an interesting question, ess-dog, and certainly the Knicks need a contingency plan since there’s a good-to-great chance (depending on your opinion) that they wiff on the Big 3.

    The options I see are:

    A. Throw money at the other 2010 max or near-max FAs: Amare, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Boozer, David Lee…
    The common wisdom in the NBA seems to be that when you have cap space you spend it as quickly as possible, unless you’re the Clippers or some other cheap/dysfunctional organization. As much as I like Walsh, he’s pretty old school and part of the crowd that wrote the current conventional wisdom. On the bright side, maybe the Knicks keep Lee.
    Really, it’s probably not the worst move in the world. While we can debate whether Amare and Joe Johnson are max players, they aren’t Larry Hughes (Rudy Gay is if you give him more than maybe $8mm per). If the Knicks managed to add Johnson and keep Lee and a few other of their FAs… they’re maybe a playoff team. Then again, Atlanta might re-sign Johnson. If they sign Amare they probably trade Jordan Hill and maybe get something for him.
    I would prefer not to see them overpay a 2nd rate player or two, personally. I’d rather keep the cap flexibility than become a low playoff seed for the next 5 years.

    B. Throw money at 2010 bargain FAs.
    Similar to A, but with all the hoopla surrounding the max guys the vets with their best days behind them and the young guys who have better days ahead and role players might have a hard time finding contracts. Maybe you also get these guys on short deals and maintain flexibility going forward. A lot of the vets typically take less money to play on contenders, but maybe the Knicks can offer them a bit more money and the chance to play a bigger role for D’Antoni. Could combine it with re-signing Lee. This isn’t a sexy strategy, but may be preferable to throwing money at a weaker max guy and lead to the same result: low playoff seed.
    (Josh Childress, Ray Allen, Tony Allen, Shelden Williams, Brad Miller, Z/Shaq, Gooden, Tim Thomas, Ben Wallace, Kelenna Azubuike, Raja Bell, T-Mac, Luther Head, Marcus Camby, Udonis Haslem, Jermaine O’Neal, Bobby Simmons, Harrington/Duhon/Nate, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, Sergio Rodriguez, Keith Bogans, Matt Bonner, Michael Finley, Ian Mahinmi, Amir Johnson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Brendan Haywood, Mike Miller.)
    Manu Ginobili might be a good example; although, he’s on the decline and it depends how badly he and the Spurs want to stay together.
    Between the rest of the list the Knicks might be able to piece together a team. I think it’s easier to do that by focusing on defense, personally. The Magic pre-Hill/T-Mac and the Pistons were able to do it. Knicks would probably look for offense first, and I think that’s an uphill value since offense tends to be valued higher than defense in the first place. One good thing is that between the two of them Walshtoni have links to a some of those guys (both O’Neals, Brad Miller, TT, Bell). A number of the others might be great fits for D’Antoniball (Ray Allen, Sergio, Mike Miller, Korver, Finley, Azubuike, Head, Bonner, maybe Haslem at the 5).

    You pull this off right and you’re in the playoffs, develop the young guys, and maintain cap flexibility going forward.

    C. Tank.
    Pretty self explanatory. Really doubt Walshtoni sign off on this strategy.

    D. Maintain cap space.
    Sort of a combo/version of B and/or C and/or even A. You’ve got to fill out the roster with cheap players in the short-term. There’s a good chance you’ll stink unless there’s a great intersection of skill and luck. You’re in a position to trade immediate cap space for whoever you want on the trade market, which might result in picking up a max or near-max player (Arenas, Redd, Martin, Hinrich, Deng, Ellis, Biedrins, Igoudala, Dalembert, Brand, etc., etc.).
    2011 is a weak UFA class compared to 2010 (could be a strong RFA class…), but there is talent out there. Melo and Duncan are the only real legitimate franchise players (unless guys don’t opt out), but there are some good players who might be bargains (or overpaid) depending on what the market is for them (Kirilenko, Tony Parker, Perkins, Diaw, Nene, Tayshaun, Turiaf, Battier, Dunleavy Jr., Murphy, Pietrus, Dalembert, Barbosa, J-Rich, Caron Butler).

    Jafa,

    If the Knicks add Johnson and Korver and lose Lee, Nate, Harrington, Duhon, Hughes, etc…. I don’t know that they’re a playoff teams.

    Mase,

    If Lee will take that deal, sure, but as others are saying the market for him may be/should be higher.

    Gallo is 10th on the team in ast/36 and 11th in ast% (behind Harrington, Jeffries, Douglas, and others)… Maybe he could adapt to the new role, but there’s little to suggest it’s a good idea in the short-term. In the long-term maybe it helps him develop his game, but it might just serve to reinforce his limitations.

  26. ess-dog

    Well the only max guys that i think would be good for the system would be joe and amare (maybe gay.)
    But frankly, amare’s been the better player over his career and is a year younger. Johnson’s pretty good, but at the same age, his stats were actually worse than Chandler’s. If we don’t get LeBron, I think you have to stick with Chandler unless you’ve already traded him for cap space. Amare’s been less impressive the last two years, but he could be rejuvinated in New York. I think he would be more of an upgrade over Hill than Johnson over Chandler in the long run.
    Even if we could just get Amare and Lee, that would be pretty exciting. Especially if we can trade Hill for a point guard. I also think you could get Lee and Amare locked up w/o trading Jeffries if the cap is at a reasonable number. Chandler, Gallo, Lee and Amare make a nice core (too bad you can’t throw Lawson or Jennings in there too.)
    Maybe you also have money for a Steve Blake or a Rodriguez as another pg. And of course there’s Douglas.
    Now is this a championship team? Probably not unless Gallo and Chandler grow up fast. We become more like the Hawks.

  27. Ted Nelson

    Z,

    Good points about trades materializing quickly and teams waiting until the deadline to see if anything else emerges. Wishful thinking, but Walsh also might have a deal for Jeffries on the table already but be biding his time hoping that a better one emerges. Maybe the current one includes sending out a young piece, pick, or Nate and he’s hoping it doesn’t come to that. He feels no rush to make the move on the table until the deadline, so he’s waiting. That’s really optimistic, but possible.

    Trading for Amare involves giving up talent now plus a shot at one of the Big 3 this offseason (either eliminating the possibility entirely or making it so that Amare is the Robin you dangle. Amare’s not going to put the Knicks over the top into title contention (understatement of the century, I know) and will likely be available this offseason. Walsh might not want him now, but still see him as a Plan B this offseason. Then again, rumors are out there that Amare won’t opt-out.

    Mase,

    If they actively want to move Allen that package may be the best they can do talent wise, but it has some definite downsides.

    Fit:
    Jeffries-
    -JJ is not going to “QB” a defense with KG and Rondo already on it. If you want to be pessimistic you could say he’s maybe the 7th or 8th best defender on that team.
    -Playing him and Rondo on the court hurts Rondo’s game. Even though Allen’s shot is off this season, he spaces the floor. If you try to counter-act it with Sheed, well, you have Sheed taking even more 3-pters… not a good thing.

    Nate-
    -If House is your starter and Nate is coming off your bench… that’s a bit redundant. I don’t think House would start anyway. In which case having them both on the bench is still redundant.
    -It again hurts Rondo, this time on defense. He’s got to guard SGs now, moving the best defensive PG in the league out of position.

    Harrington-
    -Can he play the 3? If not he’s their 4th bigman and basically lost in the shuffle. If he can play the 3 defensively then he’s maybe the centerpiece of this deal for Boston. Pierce slides down to the 2 and Al is their 3. Both can hit the 3 and work with Rondo. Maybe they see Nate as an upgrade over House and JJ as an upgrade over Scalabrine and pull the deal that largely exchanges Allen for Harrington. I think the popular opinion will be that Al can’t play the 3.

    On paper it looks nice to add that depth, but in the playoffs you’re going with a 7 or even 6 man rotation. Depth isn’t as important as having a unit that works well together. By losing a spot-up traditional 2-guard for a mini combo-guard, a combo-forward, and an offensive liability you may gain some match-up advantages but may lose more. It would be a solid talent haul for them that would solidify their bench. It would be a different story if they had a 2-guard waiting in the wings to replace Allen, but they guys they have who aren’t tiny can’t shoot (Daniels and Tony Allen). Or if they see Harrington as a 3.

    A deal I could see making some sense for Boston would be Igoudala AND Dalembert/Brand for Allen and Scalabrine and future pick(s). Or AI2 and Kapono for Allen and pick(s). It only works if Philly is prioritizing cap space/rebuilding and Boston is really looking to move Allen.
    Philly: All about cap space. They, of course, would rather get rid of Brand with AI2. They might be able to get something more in return, but moving Brand and AI2 would mean $33mm in savings in 2012/13… A 2010 top 5 pick to complement Speights, Thaddeus, Lou, Smith… a nice start to rebuilding.
    Boston: An opportunity to make a move that could help in the short- and long-terms. Igoudala’s having a bad year, but he’s a good player who might snap-to with a change in scenery. Big disadvantage is that he’s not an outside shooter, which puts pressure on Rondo. Option 2 with Kapono alleviates this a bit. Dalembert/Brand is an expensive 4th big, but gives them another big body when matching up with Cleveland and/or Orlando in the East and hopefully (for them) LAL in the finals. Their defense probably gets better and they might be better off in a few years.

    I was thinking Ben Gordon or Rip Hamilton plus salaries could make some sense for Boston, but apparently Detroit is not interested in expiring contracts.

  28. Jafa

    “Jafa, If the Knicks add Johnson and Korver and lose Lee, Nate, Harrington, Duhon, Hughes, etc…. I don’t know that they’re a playoff teams.”

    Ted,

    I would gladly part ways with Duhon, Hughes and Nate if we get Johnson and Korver. But Lee we have to have and Harrington is replaceable.

    So that’s Toney Douglas (or a Steve Blake) at PG, Johnson at SG, Chandler at SF, Gallo at PF, Lee at C with Korver, Hill and Harrington (or replacement) off the bench.

    Still don’t thinks that line up is good enough to compete for the playoffs in the East.

  29. Ted Nelson

    “(maybe gay.)”

    No… I included him because he’s a candidate to get overpaid, but he’s not very good. He’s a medium-low efficiency/ high-volume scorer who does nothing but shoot. At any price I might keep Wilson Chandler over Gay (and everyone here knows I am not WC’s biggest fan), but especially if WC is still on a rookie deal and Gay is making 8 figures a year. I might give Gay $7mm per or maybe 8, 9 if I had a good defensive team and needed a wing scorer.

    I like Johnson and think he’s an upgrade over Chandler. I don’t know that it’s Johnson v. Chandler, though, since I see Johnson as a 2-guard and Chandler as a 3. I’m not a huge fan of signing Johnson because of how much he will make… but I would get on board if that’s what ended up happening. He’s the centerpiece of the 4th best offense in the NBA right now. He alleviates the need to find a true PG. Chandler may prove to be as good a scorer, but he’s not going to be the best passer on the team. Johnson would be. Maybe I can get a little more on board with Jafa that adding Johnson makes the Knicks a playoff team, but I would stipulate that either they have to re-sign Lee or Hill has to emerge big-time.

    One big question is whether Amare is an upgrade over David Lee… Hill also. Knicks have Hill locked in for 3 more years on his rookie deal, so even if he’s worse than Amare he costs a fraction what Amare does. Lee might be a better player than Amare straight up.

    Amare and Lee might be a bit too redundant, especially playing for D’Antoni. Your defense is probably weak, and there may or may not be diminishing returns offensively.

    I think I would side with Johnson over Amare… Douglas, Johnson, Chandler/Gallo, Gallo/Hill, Lee/Hill with Hill, Chandler/Gallo and a few mystery players off the bench (Landry, 2 2nd rounders this season, FAs…). If the youth develops well I like that squad.
    I would take it over Douglas/PG Hill is traded for, Chandler, Gallo, Lee, Amare. Too much redundancy and guys out of position for me. Really depends what you can get for Hill, I guess. If it’s a stud PG, then ok, but if not Lee’s the best/only playmaker on the squad.

  30. Ted Nelson

    Jafa,

    Yeah, if you keep Lee I’m more on board (see #35).

    Without Lee I don’t know if that’s a playoff team. A lot of question marks. Can Chandler sustain and build on his recent play? Can Gallo be more than a spot-up shooter offensively? (If not Korver becomes redundant and pretty useless.) How good is Hill? How good is Douglas?

  31. ess-dog

    Well, a play-making point is the key to having Amare I believe. He’s better in transition and not 1 on 1 on the block like a Boozer. I think between this mystery point, Lee and Gallo’s ability, we will have enough passing in the lineup. Chandler has built on last season and should have the ability to improve his outside shot (I think he actually complements Gallo well, they just need to grow.) I see your point about Lee and Amare being redundant, but if they both focus on defense as a means to igniting the fast break, it could be a potent lineup. There are no great shotblockers, but D’Antoni’s Suns didn’t have that either. Gallo’s length at the 3 actually helps with that. TD slides into the 6th man role. JJ’s still around for defense. Bender and Landry and some picks. Maybe we even get Nate back depending on how he works out as a starter.
    I guess I’m still not convinced that Hill has what it takes. I mean, an Anthony Randolph would be nice for the 4, but I think they wanted Gallo for him? I did just read something saying that Amare wants a max contract so that would probably take him off our table anyway. He’s not worth Wade or Bosh money.

  32. Ted Nelson

    Gay and Chandler are actually quite comparable this season: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=gayru01&y1=2010&p2=chandwi01&y2=2010

    ess-dog,

    Who is the mystery point, though? It does seem like Amare is better with a stud PG since he’s flourished that way, but would be nice for him to get traded now and finish the season somewhere we can find out. If we assume you need a strong playmaker with Amare then the mystery PG is a key to your plan.
    I think it’s relatively easy to get someone to fill in at point, but not necessarily a great playmaker. Can that great playmaker shoot? Can he defend? Guys who do all 3 are pretty much HOFers or at least All-Stars.
    Lee’s passing has been a real revelation, but Gallo’s playmaking is 100% theoretical. He wasn’t a playmaker for others in Europe and hasn’t been in the NBA. If you want to play Chandler at the 2 your PG is going to have a lot of ball-handling/distribution pressure. It limits the guy you can play there, and you might end up going for need over talent.

    Defensively, I think that’s a weak line-up. No interior presence. A slow 3. A 3 at the 2. A mystery 1. I don’t think you crack the top 10 defensively, maybe not top 15. Jared Jeffries is not a bad defender, but he’s also not that good. Where Gallo fits defensively–3 or 4–is also important to consider.

    So, you’re an offensive team. Lee and Amare do a lot of the same things–they both play the same position in offenses built by the same coach–and I don’t know if there would be diminishing returns for both. Lee’s jumper has improved, but it’s still average. Maybe they can work together, but your two highest volume scorers play the same position and occupy the same space on the floor and are weak defenders. Usually it’s nice to have a high-volume and low-volume frontcourt combo or a stretch-4 if you’re got two high-volume frontcourt players. Lee can be a valuable low-volume player, but sticking him next to Amare is a bit like sticking him next to Zach Randolph: there are guys he could better compliment and guys who could better complement Randolph/Amare.
    Again, who the PG is makes a huge difference on offense. You’re relying on turning a pick you deem a flop into a stud PG based on one year on the fringe of a lottery team’s rotation. If you don’t think Hill has what it takes (and there’s little indication that he does), what makes you think NBA GMs do? Your best chance is probably a draft pick (where the risk is higher, but the ceiling is higher), and this is a really weak PG draft after Wall. I think Sherron Collins is the 2nd best PG in the draft. There’s Avery Bradley, Willie Warren, and Armon Johnson but all 3 are more scorers trying to figure out how to be playmakers.

    Personally, I like getting a scorer/creator in the backcourt instead of adding to an overcrowded front-court. It gives you a team with the pieces in place to be a strong offensive team. Douglas- efficient scoring guard hopefully playmaking improves at least a little, Joe Johnson- high-volume/medium-efficiency and strong playmaker, Chandler- medium efficiency slasher, Gallo- high efficiency “stretch-4,” Lee- high efficiency scorer and good passer. Add a bench and you’re good to go.
    If you were adding a strong defender to the frontcourt or an overall upgrade like Bosh… then it might be different.

  33. BigBlueAL

    If no Lebron/Wade I wouldnt mind at all keeping Lee and signing Joe Johnson. One thing we always talk about are what FA’s to sign but one thing that is often overlooked is having huge cap space also makes it alot easier to make trades.

    Ira Winderman, the Heat beat writer for the Sun-Sentinel down here who has covered the team forever and to me is a great reporter, always talks about how the cap space the Heat will have not only obviously helps to sign FA’s but what it really helps is in making trades so who knows what the Knicks could do in the trade market with all the cap space they will have.

  34. BigBlueAL

    Agree 100% with Ted, no to Amare. If they do sign a big man to pair with Lee it better be either Bosh or a cheaper alternative like Camby or someone like that who would be a true Center but not be their max FA signing.

  35. Ted Nelson

    Camby is a guy I would love to see added. He’ll probably have all the contenders after him, so the Knicks have to offer him more money and/or a larger role and/or he’s dying to get back to NY. He could complement Lee with defense, passing, and low-volume scoring or also replace him on the cheap (not the scoring, of course, but same playmaking/rebounding and improved defense) if Lee walks. Hopefully he gets lost in the shuffle and mad-dash for LeBron and Co.

  36. TDM

    Camby would be a great get for the Knicks. My only concern is that he’s 35. But he’s still performing at the top of his game. And changes are happening in Clipper land – Dunleavy fired as coach, but retained gm duties.

  37. Brian Cronin

    I wouldn’t mind Acie Law for the Richardson trade exception. And he’s only signed through this season, so if he sucks, it won’t hurt too bad. Now, if they want anything real for him, then yeah, forget it.

  38. Brian Cronin

    Oh right, I forgot that they were still holding on to Mobley in the hopes of trading him (for the insurance money – wow, doesn’t that sound like something out of Double Indemnity?).

  39. kaine

    I don’t think that bosh would be an upgrade over Lee.

    both are weak defender. efficient scorers. good rebounders.Lee is a better passer. Bosh gains more Fts but that’s it.

    Bosh was named “rupaul” by shaq…he usually backs off from the garnett and the shaq of this world.

    He’s having a great year, mostly because Bargnani is playing well offensively and that creates a hell of a space and as a defense you got to pick your poison.

    He is a second fiddle (really good one) and really makes sense if you got a great slasher\passer.

    We can obtain the same results with a cheaper Lee.

    The main target should be a great pg type: someone that can really create for others, and capable to make wise decision. A leader.

    and right now the available one are not forward or centers.

  40. d-mar

    If there’s such a thing as a must win, tonight is it. The Bulls are playing at Atlanta, so assuming they lose and we win, we’d be 3 1/2 behind them and the Heat, which is a lot better than the 6 games we were back earlier this week. Jennings will be fired up to torch the team that passed on him, but hopefully that will spur him to keep firing up bricks and maintain his torrid 38% shooting.

    Oh, and also because you can pencil in tomorrow at Cavs as a loss, it makes winning tonight even more critical.

  41. DS

    Camby would be a GREAT addition but he turns 36 next month and is a free agent this summer. The Knicks would have to be careful to not give up any invaluable long term assets for him.

  42. Ted Nelson

    “My only concern is that he’s 35.”
    True. Not going to be a long-term investment.

    “but he turns 36 next month and is a free agent this summer.”
    I meant in the offseason as a free agent, following-up on the Plan B question posed by ess-dog.

    “so if he sucks”
    Acie Law sucks as an NBA player, I have little doubt.

    “I don’t think that bosh would be an upgrade over Lee.
    both are weak defender. efficient scorers. good rebounders.Lee is a better passer. Bosh gains more Fts but that’s it.”

    I think Bosh is a clear upgrade over Lee. By “gaining more FTs” he scores 5 more points than Lee per 36 more efficiently. He’s just a better scorer. A truly elite scorer. He gets 1 less assist per 36, but he’s a good passing big.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=boshch01&y1=2010&p2=leeda02&y2=2010
    Hard to judge them on one season, but they are both having career (to date) years.

    If I went into all the things Shaq has said you’d find some really questionable and outlandish statements.

    Bargnani is not playing appreciably better offensively than last season. Toronto has a well built offense overall, but crediting Bargnani for Bosh’s production is the tail wagging the dog.

    Not all “weak defenders” are the same. Bosh is a much better shot blocker. He’s longer and more athletic. Bosh nor Lee is a defensive 5, but I’d take Bosh’s defense ahead of Lee’s. Not far ahead, though, and I’m not 100% confident saying it in the first place.

    “He is a second fiddle (really good one) and really makes sense if you got a great slasher\passer.”

    He is the best offensive player on the SECOND BEST OFFENSE IN THE ENTIRE NBA. I guess there is only 1 first fiddle in the entire league: Steve Nash.
    And what slasher/passer does Toronto have? Hedo, a good one but not exactly a great one.

    “We can obtain the same results with a cheaper Lee.”

    It’s possible. Depends where the market for Lee is. If the difference isn’t that great the price becomes irrelevant. You can spend $6 million a year in free agency even when you are capped out (through the MLE), so $6mm or less could be irrelevant.

    “The main target should be a great pg type” “and right now the available one are not forward or centers.”

    Yeah, forget LeBron… let’s wait for a PG. Who needs LeBron anyway? The guy is just a second fiddle…

  43. kaine

    I follow a lot Toronto (I’m italian) and believe me, the box score doesn’t tell all the story.

    on D, bosh is like a traffic light forever green: he let pass everyone in. he’s scared to fouling out. he need a strong hustling guy (noah-type). he gets some blocks from the weak side, has moment of hustle, but most of all he rests. don’t expect garnett.

    on Offense, he has the bad habit to take too many jumpers, clogs the ball and doens’t have a good handle, and that leads to many turnovers.

    hedo and bargnani gives him lot of spaces, and when bosh goes to the basket he is really remarkable, and in that aspect he’s better than Lee.

    But to me is better to obtain someone than can really create for the others.

  44. Ted Nelson

    I think you’re right that the difference is not that great and Lee might be a much bigger bargain depending on the market for both, but I just think that all else equal Bosh is an upgrade.

    I don’t disagree that Bosh is not a great or probably even good defender. He’s long (combine height of 6’10.25″ wingspan of 7’3.5″ and reach of 9’1″ vs. Lee’s of 6’7.75″, 7’0″, and 8″10.5″) and athletic, though, attributes that Lee doesn’t have to the same extent and cannot no matter how hard he works. Bosh is an ok shot blocker. I agree that it’s best to play him at the 4 and pair him with an interior defender. All I’m saying is that Lee is a pretty bad defensive anchor at the 5 himself. You also want to pair him with a defensively strong 5.

    His TO% is lower than Lee’s. Very low for a bigman. Anyone who has the ball a lot is going to turn it over occasionally.

    So far this season Bosh is taking 53% jumpers and Lee 48%. Not too far apart. I suppose Hedo might be having an impact on Bosh this season since they haven’t played together, but he’s played with Bargnani for a while and Bargnani is only a bit better this season than last and his rookie season wasn’t far behind last season.

    “But to me is better to obtain someone than can really create for the others.”

    I don’t necessarily disagree, but it depends who that person is. Bosh would be at best my third option of 2010 free agents behind LeBron and Wade. I guess you could argue whether he or Joe Johnson is a better third option. Manu and Dirk, too, but they may be on the decline. I think you take Bosh over Amare. Lee is an interesting one because it really depends on the money. You may be 100% right that Lee provides about the same thing for a lot less money, but maybe some team that loses out on the other FAs gives Lee $12 mill per or more (maybe even Toronto in an effort to replace Bosh should be leave).

  45. eric8476

    I think the knicks need players that can play in D’antoni’s system. I seems like there is a short on players of that caliber now and getting more of them should be a priority. Walsh has a good idea on what players fit that role, i hope at least.

  46. Robert Silverman

    Am I the only one who thinks the Nix should really push to get Chris Douglas-Roberts? He’s on the outs in Jersey, and is supposedly on the block.

    A CDR + Simmons (Bobby, not Bill) for Hughes + a future 2nd rounder works.

    Granted, the last Nix-Nyets trade of significance was Maurice Lucas for Ray Williams back in ’81, so it’s doubtful.

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