Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Knicks 110, Lakers 103: COGNITIVE BIASES

Los Angeles Lakers 103 FinalRecap | Box Score 110 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 14-31 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 35 PTS | +8Half empty: 35? PFFT. WHATEVS. ON 31 SHOTS, MANG. BIG WHOOP. MY WRINKLY-ASS GRAMMA COULD SCORE THIRTY-FREAKING FIVE POINTS AGAINST THIS LAKERS TEAM. ANYONE TAKE A GANDER AT WHO WAS GUARDING HIM, THIS GUY? HAHAHAHAHAH

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AT LEAST HE GOT SOME FREAKING DIMES. LOOKIT THIS. 6.5 ASSIST OPPORTUNITIES PER GAME. BLAME IT ON THE REST OF HIS TEAMMATES SUDDENLY FORGETTING HOW TO KEEP THEIR HANDS IN THE COOKIE JAR (EXCEPT YOU, RAYMOND. FATTIE. HEHE), BUT THAT’S A JOKE. LEBRON’S LAUGHING. KOBE’S LAUGHING. HELL, BERNARD KING’S LAUGHING. M’DA’S LAUGHING AND GETTING TESTY AND SNIPY ABOUT HIS PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS “SYSTEM.”

 

 

…AND SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT COACH PRINGLES, IN THIS INSTANCE HE’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THEY GIVE A MAX DEAL AND THIS PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL FRANCHISE IS SCREWED FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. AT WHICH POINT THEY’LL THROW BUCKETS OF SWEET, SWEET CABLE MONEY AT THE NEXT OVERRATED ‘STAR’ AND WE’LL START THIS BLIGHTED MERRY-GO ROUND ALL OVER AGAIN. GREAT. KILL ME NOW.

Half full: 97 points over the last two! That’s (checks abacus) 48.5 ppg! And that jumper is still so wet…it…it…stopped being a solid, and is now a liquid! And hey, five assists! When Melo gets that many the ‘Bockers’ record is like a jillion and zero. Sure, he did force a couple of shots, and gummed up the offense at times, but seriously, he’s the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing. He should be as universally beloved and admired and worshipped as Patrick was when he…okay, scratch that. #MELO4EVR

 

Tyson Chandler, C 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +11Half empty: STATS ARE FOR NERDS AND KNICK APOLOGISTS. DID YOU SEE GASOL SCHOOL HIM. WOULD’VE BEEN NICE TO SEE HIM DETER A SINGLE LAYUP AFTER THE PERIMETER D WENT TO COMPLETE SHIT (“WENT.” HAH!) AND HOW ABOUT CONVERTING AROUND THE RIM, HUH BIG FELLA? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE GUY WHO SHOT .679?????

Half full: 13 points and 14 boards! That’s like, what he used to do before his neck resembled a slinky and his tibia was shattered like dry kindling and he started hanging around with those germy, human-petri-dish kids of his. Tip outs! Monster alley oop smashing via Felton. Sucking defenders into the paint! The T-1000’s back, baby!

Raymond Felton, PG 36 MIN | 8-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +11Half empty: SO WHAT, HE HIT A COUPLE OF FLOATERS TONIGHT. HERE’S TWO THINGS THAT ARE AS MUCH OF A UNIVERSAL TRUTH AS DEATH AND TAXES: THE PENGUIN’S GONNA FALL DOWN AT SOME POINT AND INJURE HIMSELF AND HE’LL GRIPE TO THE REFS LIKE THE FAT KID IN NURSERY SCHOOL THAT GOT CAUGHT EATING PASTE.

Half full: See how much more effective the offense is when Felt’s taking the ball to the hole! That’s what I’m talking about. Flightless waterfowl CAN fly! Yeah, his defense was still pretty bad, and he doesn’t fight through screens or move all that well laterally, but that’s just because he’s hurt. You gotta love a guy that’s willing to play through injuries and bulldog mentality and the eye of the jaguar or an ocelot or lynx or tigers…animals!

Pablo Prigioni, PG 22 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -3Half empty: LIKE TYSON, THIS GUY GOT OLD IN A HURRY. GOT LOST ON SCREENS, COULDN’T HIT A SHOT. ACTUALLY, “OLD IN A HURRY” IS PRETTY RIDICULOUS. HE STARTED OLD, HE STAYED OLD, AND HE’S ONLY GONNA GET OLDER. WHADDAYA EXPECT WHEN YOU RESIGN A 36 YEAR OLD ROOKIE TO A THREE-YEAR DEAL.

Half full: There was one nifty pocket pass to Aldrich and…I…I…got nothin’. Still <3 u, Prigs!

Iman Shumpert, SG 27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | +10Half empty: YOU CALL THIS GUY AN ‘ELITE’ DEFENSIVE PLAYER? HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SEE HIM OVERPURSUE AND THEN SCRAMBLE BACK TO HIS MAN? YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT WHY THIS TEAM’S HELP D HAS BEEN SO TERRIBLE THIS YEAR, TAKE A GANDER AT THE GUY WHO USED TO HAVE A FLAT TOP. AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE HE COULD DRIVE TO THE RIM WHEN THE DEFENDER CLOSES OUT WITHOUT TRAVELING OR GETTING TRAPPED ALONG THE BASELINE. SHOULDA DEALT HIM FOR LOWRY WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE. WHAT’S HIS TRADE VALUE NOW, HUH? HUH!

Half full: Okay, not a great Shump game, but hey, he hit a big three and he seems to be smiling more. When he’s happy, he plays better. Today was just the exception that proves the rule!

Jeremy Tyler, PF 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -2Half empty: DID YOU SEE HIM ON DEFENSE? THAT’S WHY HE WAS IN THE D-LEAGUE. Y’ALL WAITING FOR THE NEXT [insert unknown player x]-SANITY ARE DELUSIONAL.

Half full: Some nice work on the glass and he’s bouncy! This is certainly as much as one could expect from a second-year guy that just got called up from Erie.

Cole Aldrich, C 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -5Half empty: ARE THEY REMAKING HOOSIERS? IF NOT, STEVE MILLS MUST HAVE BEEN HANGING AROUND ROADHOUSES IN FLYOVER STATES THIS SUMMER. YOU HAPPY NOW, MIKE (AND EVERYONE ELSE BEGGING THAT HE GET MAJOR MINUTES)? THEY WERE PLAYING 4-5 WHEN HE WAS IN THE GAME IN THE 2ND. AND HE LOOKS LIKE A FREAKING INFLATABLE WACKY WAVING TUBE MASCOT FOR LIKE AN AUTO PARTS STORE RIGHT NEXT TO THE AFOREMENTIONED ROADHOUSE WHEN HE ATTEMPTS A SO-CALLED SHOT. [h/t netw3rk] ClolE AlolDRICH, AMIRITE? SHOULDA KEPT IKE DIOGU SMDH.

Half full: Well hey! Three blocked shots and some serviceable defense/rebounding! Never shoulda kept him in bubble wrap when Tyson was out. Toldya you don’t give up on lottery picks!

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 26 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -1Half empty: I DON’T CARE HOW MANY BIG BUCKETS HE CANNED, IF A GUY LETS MANNY HARRIS (WHO I SERIOUSLY THOUGHT WAS DARIOUS MORRIS FOR ABOUT TWO THIRDS OF THE GAME) TORCH YOU FOR NINE STRAIGHT ANGELENO POINTS IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER. IF YOU LOVE MICHIGAN SO MUCH, TIMMY, WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT? JUST WHAT THIS TEAM NEEDS: ANOTHER SHOT-HAPPY NO DEFENSE WING PLAYER. GREAT. NOT ENOUGH OF THOSE CATS LITTERING THE ROSTER.REGGIE BULLOCK’S STILL GONNA BE BETTER, WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE

Half empty: I’m thiiiiiis close to forgiving his Dad. Heck, if he keeps playing like this, I might be willing to slather my body in moisturizers and make bigoted homophobic comments! (EDITOR’S NOTE: No. I won’t.) For a 4:40 stretch from the end of the 3rd to the beginning of the 4th, he absolutely carried this team, scoring 14 points off deadly corner treys (I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to have a Novak-ian sense of shock and/or awe when his long-range bombs don’t splash the net.), grace and speed and the ability to finish when attacking off the dribble, and to top it all off, thunderous NBA JAM-style…er…jams in transition. What a steal at the end of the draft! How’s Reggie Bullock doing these days, huh haterz!

J.R. Smith, SG 38 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +6Half empty: OKAY, IF YOU DON’T THINK J.R. WAS UP TO HIS EYEBALLS IN DISCARDED BOTTLE-SERVICE LIBATIONS AND COMELY LASSES OF VIRTUE TRUE AT 1OAK APPROXIMATELY 12 HOURS AGO, I’VE GOT A FAIRLY LONG STRUCTURE CARRYING A ROAD ACROSS A RIVER IN KINGS COUNTY THAT’S PRICED TO MOVE. AND I’M GONNA HAVE A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH HIS MATERFAMILIAS ABOUT HIS RECENT EFFORTS AT THE CHARITY STRIPE.

Half full: Earl’s totally rounding into form, you guys! The last five games, he’s averaging 16.6 ppg on .433 shooting and a robust 47% from three-point range! Okay, he’s still addicted to those silly fadeaway shots, but (and this doesn’t even include the face-melting alley oop to Tyler the other night) he’s really making an effort to distribute the ball, both when sending the rock pinging around the perimeter or after breaking down the defense with dribble penetration. A functional J.R. makes a huge difference for this team. Getting there!

Four Things We Saw

  1. So, I think you’ve managed to glean what the theme/motif is for today’s ‘cap. What inspired it is the weird backlash to Melo’s record-setting night. It was a great evening by a great player. Yes, also a flawed player, but the immediate desire to pounce–to separate one’s self from the herd by being the first find a juicy nit to pick at–seems petty at best. And the torrent of articles speculating as to his future employment? After THAT performance? Why? What does it serve. I’m not validating the pie-in-the-sky, wide-eyed/deluded optimistic worldview either. Both of them, to me, seem to bsay far more about the person slinging the hyperbole the reality of what’s occurring on the court (and I say this as someone who, if anything, will err on the side of doom and gloom.) It was a great night at MSG. Isn’t that enough?.
  2. Anyway, back to today’s tilt. ANY win at this point is like manna from heaven, but how you view this game can certainly be torqued depending on your cognitive biases. There are a slew of things that one might be pleased about. The return to smallball has re-invigorated the offense (As all of us have been screaming until our vocal chords were as bloody and raw as undercooked roast beef). The marksmanship from deep is starting to return to levels that are still below, but at least somewhat commensurate with what we all expected, and Melo looks like he’s about to embark on one of his annual, “I really can’t be stopped so don’t even try” stretches. Hell, we finally saw the return of the dribble weave hand off from last season.That said, all of this occurred against a Body of Water team that’s amazingly even worse at defending than the Knicks are (and whose shot selection often leaves much to be desired. [See P, Swaggy])

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  3. The fact that Woodson purloined a huge chunk of his offensive playbook from his former boss means we got stretches where both sides would run identical sets (such as a high pick and roll/see if the defense collapses/swing to the weakside three point shooter) against each other, and, even though they’d just run that exact play, they’d both somehow be utterly befuddled as to what one might do to stop it. They still can’t keep anyone from beating them off the dribble, think a screen is some alien life form that needs to be gawked at treated with the utmost caution, and they are atrocious at closing out when the ball swings from side to side. They should have put a team like this, one at the tail end of a long, Grammy-enforced road trip away early and maybe kept Anthony from legging yet another in a series of 40+ minute outings. I mean, Darius Morris looked like Monta Ellis and Kendall Marshall was blowing by people. That’s the power of #FARTDOG. And the transition defense? I mean…

    KnicksDefenseRyanKellyDunk

  4. Half full: As of this writing, the Knicks are only a game out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference! 

    Half empty:As of this writing, the Knicks are still a game out of the playoffs. In the Eastern Conference.

    Two still counts as a streak, though. And in this dirge of a season, we should probably all enjoy it. I’m going to be Meryl Streep and 50 Cent and Kobe-level happy about this one.

    Be8wnLFCUAAzF3Z

    Celebrity is it’s own separate species that exists beyond cultural and ethnic boundaries. Also, they’re probably all happy the Knicks won! (Yes, even Kobe). The dastardly Celtics are up next. Go Knicks!

48 comments on “Knicks 110, Lakers 103: COGNITIVE BIASES

  1. RicanKnick

    Half Empty…..except for Melo and the next President of the United States of America aka Tim Hardaway Jr.

  2. Robtachi

    he’s the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing. He should be as universally beloved and admired and worshipped as Patrick was when he…

    Heeeyyyy…

    I think my words are getting a little twisted…

  3. SirJim

    I echoed those thoughts about THJ’s three point shooting. I’m actually not sure I remember the last time he missed one when he’s wide open.

    I guess *my* glass is 3/4 of the way full on this one. There was a lot to not like. A lot. But the Knicks are dealing with injuries, player turmoil, coaching woes, and high expectations after last season. When it came down to it, they got the W. And I suppose that’s what’s most important.

    What concerns me even more than Melo’s possible change of address is Tyson Chandler’s regression. He was clearly beat up after last season and caught an immediate injury this tour, but does not seem nearly as aggressive when confronting would-be drives to the rim. Nagging injuries? Concern about the team’s future? Just isn’t back from his time off yet?

    *anxious*

  4. daJudge

    Haven’t commented in awhile. Loved the write up Robert. Thanks for the smiles this AM. I do hope Cole plays a bit more because what he does is needed on this team. I young grinder who gets boards, sets picks. Did a decent pick and role too. I don’t mind 13-15 minutes a game at all. I think it would help Chandler as well.

  5. Frank O.

    Am I a bad fan?
    I didn’t watch yesterday’s game because it involved two terrible teams and comes on the heels of a most memorable performance. I just knew the comedown would be brutal.
    I like the .gif of the Laker drive by an obviously disinterested Hardaway, and then the late reaction from Tyson, who then turned on Hardaway as to say, ‘you didn’t even try?’, except that in his DPOY season, Tyson would have gone to the net regardless of what anyone else was doing.
    I think that is the problem with this team, they keep looking at each other like it’s always some one else’s responsibility, when it belongs to them all.
    It’s the same on offense: they all watch Melo with the ball, and no one is moving to get open, there are few screen away from the ball to free up a shooter, nobody is saying I’m an option too. (I mean, if there is movement by others while Melo is shattering floor boards, at least it complicates the D’s reaction…they can’t just collapse four players on Melo’s inevitable move into the paint!)
    This is a group of individuals loosely playing a pick up game with a new set of guys each night. They are not a unit.
    And there is enough talent on the team to occasionally have a good night because if you play pick up enough there are games when guys get together and as a group they feed off each other and run the night.
    But put them up against a true team, they eventually falter.
    This team fails because their coach is failing.
    I’m half empty. This is a poorly coached team that will go no where even if they make the playoffs.
    And the tragicomedy of it all is Melo is having a career year, which should simply reinforce to him that in the end he will never win being the only guy. That works in college; it can’t work for him in the NBA.
    So, for him, the Knicks are training wheels. He’s become a more complete player. He rebounds and has learned to pass better and more frequently. Now he can go somewhere and make teammates better. Good for…

  6. thenamestsam

    I think this is pretty much the perfect point for the half-full, half-empty post. Since we completed that 9-game losing streak on December 1 we’re playing .500 basketball and that’s exactly what we seem to be to me when we have Melo and Tyson healthy, a .500 team. On the plus side the offense does seem to be coming around ever so slightly and it was nice to see them getting Tyson a little involved yesterday (even if it was against Pau’s corpse – that guy got washed up in a hurry). On the down side, the defense is bad, and there are no signs that it’s getting any better.

    So yeah, we basically are what we are. Some good, some bad, mix it up in a pot and you get utter mediocrity. If we can keep Tyson and Melo on the floor from here on out I think we’ve got a pretty good shot of getting to around 38 wins, which should be good enough to make the playoffs in this woeful conference. Unfortunately for us, the middle section of the East is starting to clarify, which means getting up to the 6th seed to avoid the Miami/Indiana buzz seed is starting to actually look challenging. Probably need to get to 41ish for that 6th seed, which means going 24-14 the rest of the way. Unfortunately, I just can’t see it with how bad the defense is, so ultimately I’d say I’m half empy.

  7. Frank

    Love how the headline of the day for the Knicks is “Melo scores only 35 but Knicks win”. The dude just cannot win with the media, even if that headline is tongue-in-cheek.

    Agree with SirJim re: Tyson. He just looks a beat slow. Hopefully that’s just rust from his long layoff, but I think we saw some signs of this last season as well.

    Glass half full? I’m loving Jeremy Tyler. Averaging 15/11 and 1.7 blocks per 36 min (small sample of 63 minutes, but still), and he is a beast on the offensive boards with an outrageous 19.5 ORB% so far (would lead the league by a lot of he were able to keep that up, which he probably can’t.)

    My favorite play from yesterday’s game?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tY5sutHu4M

    starting from about :29 seconds in — the clip starts with Shump in the near corner swinging the ball around — what’s missed from that is that originally Melo was double-teamed, skip-passed to Shump in the corner, which then resulted in a ping-pong of passes back to Melo for the open 3. So Melo passed out of a double and then got the ball back 3 passes later for the open 3 which he nailed. That was awesome.

    Also loved the lefty drive at 1:16 past poor Ryan Kelly, who barely even moved as Melo went around him. People say Melo isn’t a great athlete, but he probably has one of the quickest 1st steps, one of the quickest pull-ups, and definitely one of the quickest 2nd jumps in the league.

    least favorite Melo plays yesterday? Any time he was guarded 1-on-1 by Jordan Hill and settled for a long jumper. Dude, take the ball to the hole. Hill can’t come close to guarding him off the bounce.

  8. DRed

    Instead of Bargnani providing a higher usage, more diverse replacement for Novak, we got Tim Hardaway Jr. He’s a bit less efficient, but he’s more diverse and he provides the same utter lack of rebounding, passing and defense that Steve brought to the table. I hated the pick, but so far I’ve been wrong about him.

  9. lavor postell

    Also loved the lefty drive at 1:16 past poor Ryan Kelly, who barely even moved as Melo went around him. People say Melo isn’t a great athlete, but he probably has one of the quickest 1st steps, one of the quickest pull-ups, and definitely one of the quickest 2nd jumps in the league.

    least favorite Melo plays yesterday? Any time he was guarded 1-on-1 by Jordan Hill and settled for a long jumper. Dude, take the ball to the hole. Hill can’t come close to guarding him off the bounce.

    That drive against Kelly I loved for a lot of reasons, but most because he finished with his left hand, something he doesn’t do nearly enough and often results in him getting his shit stuffed at the rim. He got blocked by Manny Harris yesterday because he tried some awkward right handed layup when if he went up with his left it was an automatic two.

    Melo falls in love with jumper and that to me is when he’s at his worst. Obviously when he has it going from the mid-range elbow area it’s money, but when he’s out a bit further closer to the arc, especially from the top of the key area it’s generally not his best option.

    Some of his passing yesterday was really great. The wrap around pass behind Gasol for the Tyson dunk was beautiful and I loved his cross court swing pass to Hardaway for the wide open three.

  10. JK47

    It seems like the stage is set for Melo to walk with the Knicks getting nothing in return. They’re just mediocre enough to be in the hunt for a low seed the playoffs, which means they’ll hold onto Melo. Is Melo willing to ride out another mediocre year in 2014-2015 with Stat, Bargnani and the rest of these misfit toys or is he going to bolt to what appears like a better situation in Chicago?

    The only way I see him staying is if the Knicks make some improbable playoff run and somehow make it to the ECF or something like that. If the end result is 37 wins, a #8 seed and a stomping by Indiana in the first round then he’s probably done here.

  11. lavor postell

    It seems like the stage is set for Melo to walk with the Knicks getting nothing in return. They’re just mediocre enough to be in the hunt for a low seed the playoffs, which means they’ll hold onto Melo. Is Melo willing to ride out another mediocre year in 2014-2015 with Stat, Bargnani and the rest of these misfit toys or is he going to bolt to what appears like a better situation in Chicago?

    The only way I see him staying is if the Knicks make some improbable playoff run and somehow make it to the ECF or something like that. If the end result is 37 wins, a #8 seed and a stomping by Indiana in the first round then he’s probably done here.

    Yeah he might be done here and that’s a legitimate possibility, but explain how he gets to Chicago other than a trade right now in season. If they amnesty Boozer they’d be around 12m under the cap and that’s not including cap holds for roster spots so it’d be more like 7m. To get in the ballpark for an offer for Melo they’d have to dump Gibson and Dunleavy for expirings this season, because once they get to the summer, there will be no way for them to simply dump that salary.

    Chicago’s front office has also been pretty open about wanting to bring over Nikola Mirotic this summer and in turn he has stated he would need more than the MLE to come over. Also right now is playing with Noah (young Chandler) and the possibility of Rose (STAT 2.o potentially at a different position) any different than staying with the Knicks. Really the only things Chicago has going for them is Thibodeau, Butler is what we all hoped Shumpert would be and Snell is a worse version of THJ currently. Other than that I don’t really view Chicago as a massive upgrade and not when you examine Reinsdorf’s penny pinching with the Bulls in order to throw cash at the White Sox.

  12. yellowboy90

    I would say playing with Noah would be different because of his high IQ and his understanding of passing from the high post. So those times that Melo is fronted in the post Noah would flash high to receive the pass and lob it to Melo. Earlier in the year we saw how well the offense looked when Kmart was passing dimes left and right but that’s something Noah does regularly.

    Also, re Chi: If I am the bulls I would seriously make a play for Thad Young and put him with Thibs. I know they couldn’t do that with Melo but I would trade Thad for Gibson.

  13. Frank

    Other than that I don’t really view Chicago as a massive upgrade and not when you examine Reinsdorf’s penny pinching with the Bulls in order to throw cash at the White Sox.

    yeah i think that would be the biggest anti-Chicago pitch the Knicks could make – that Reinsdorf won’t spend to keep a good team.

    I think Melo is staying and will be staying at a small but significant discount. My hope is that Bargnani is out for 6 weeks (~20 games probably) and that the Knicks go something like 13-7 without him, which I think is distinctly possible (especially if Amare and Kmart come back soon). Perhaps that will make Woodson see the error of his ways, that Melo at the 4 is really how this team should be playing. If they can do that and end up somewhere near .500 at the end of the year (which would entail going something like 26-15 over the 2nd half), that Melo would sign on to stay — and that he will have learned that he’ll need to make a little less so that he can get some more talent around him.

    Or…… we’ll suck like crazy and he’ll leave for nothing, which isn’t really the worst thing in the world (the worst thing being Melo for 5/129).

  14. johnno

    There’s one other scenario that is possible, though not likely — at the end of this year, the Knicks make a coaching change as part of their pitch to convince Melo that THIS time, we’re going to do things the right way. Melo wants to stay, but is not convinced enough to commit to staying five years. So, he decides to take a wait and see approach, not opt out this year and become a FA next year. I think that that is a best case scenario for the Knicks and not so bad for Melo (assuming that he is able to buy injury insurance for the guaranteed years/$$ that he will be putting off for a year).

  15. Frank

    From Twitter- Melo’s and JR’s private trainer Idan Ravin has been kicked off the island. Very interesting development since his hiring to the training staff was seen as a personal favor to Melo. I’m not sure how to read into this — does this mean that (finally) the inmates are no longer running the asylum? First Chris Smith gets the boot, now Ravin? One can only hope.

  16. DRed

    I’m not sure how to read into this — does this mean that (finally) the inmates are no longer running the asylum?

    You need to be a Kremlinologist to know what’s going on with this fucking team.

  17. ruruland

    Ravin might be the best trainer in the business (takes an advanced statistical approach to improving players’ games).
    It’s further confirmation that cavemen wander the Knicks sideline.

    If MDA hadn’t shown Woodson how to run 4-out, it’s hard to imagine how bad this team could be. Conversely, with a great coach like Thibs (who’s been rumored), it’s interesting to ponder how much better the Knicks might be.

    And yeah, Noah would be the ideal complement to Melo. Does everything Chandler does well — probably defends better by virtue of trying to defend rim — is the best passing big in the league and can make a jump shot (and he’s a better rebounder).

  18. ruruland

    As far as Melo taking less than the full max.

    Quote from yesterday: “”A -ship is the only thing that’s on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish.. & I’m going to do what I got to do to get that.”

    Is he full of shit and why?

  19. johnno

    “and can make a jump shot”
    only if you want to call that ugly looking two handed fling thing that Noah does a “jump shot”…

  20. Frank

    Ravin might be the best trainer in the business (takes an advanced statistical approach to improving players’ games). It’s further confirmation that cavemen wander the Knicks sideline.

    Yeah I was kind of worried that that might be the other side of this story — though honestly I can’t imagine that this wasn’t done without tacit approval by Melo. Even though JR is probably persona non grata with the Knicks, I’m sure that Melo still wields a ton of power in the organization.

    Re: the cavemen — the Bargnani signing has been widely depicted as Dolan making it happen over the objections of everyone — but Jim Todd and Dave Hopla were both assistant coaches with Toronto when Bargnani was there. It feels generally more likely to me that Todd, Hopla, and others told Grunwald to go get him because “The East is Big” and because he was on fire sale available.

    Funny how people always want to hire guys off Pop’s bench, or off the Van Gundy tree, etc… yet Woodson’s assistant coaches come from consistently losing teams — Jim Todd of the Sacramento/Milwaukee/(bad) LA Clippers/Woodson Hawks/Raptors vintage. Darrell Walker was a nice player but was 56-113 as a head coach in 3 different years. And of course, Herb.

  21. nyk8806

    Here’s the very next line:

    “That’s my motivating factor. Nothing else even motivates me anymore, just that. I mean, it’s hard to say at this very moment how it affects me (in the future), but for me, I gotta keep that motivation into the ‘now.’ And then when that time comes, you deal with that situation then. But right now, that’s still my motivation. That’s still my goal.”

    Notice that he doesn’t say anything about being with the Knicks when he achieves that goal. Thus, it’s probably just more evidence that he will bail unless we have a miraculous turnaround to finish the season as a #6 seed and not get embarrassed in the postseason.

    I don’t doubt his motivation, but if he’s for real, he should have CAA working overtime to land him in a better situation on a “win now” team with the right complementary pieces that can afford to give him a max or near-max deal (albeit less than the Knicks can offer) rather than wasting another season of his prime on a questionable roster and then taking a steep haircut in the hopes that Dolan can trick Love or whomever into joining this circus sideshow of a professional sports organization in 2015.

  22. ruruland

    And an honest question for people who dispute the honesty/intention of that quote (Robert Silverman).

    Do you think it’s possible that the long-term value of a championship has crossed the mind of someone worth hundreds of millions of dollars and surrounded by wealth advisers and financial consultants and other wealthy business people?

    If in fact Melo was lying, and is more concerned about money, then do you think he’ll have a chance to net more by taking the full max on a mediocre team, or taking less than full max on team with chance to win a championship?

  23. DRed

    As far as Melo taking less than the full max.

    Quote from yesterday: “”A -ship is the only thing that’s on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish.. & I’m going to do what I got to do to get that.”

    Well, the best place to get a championship would be a team with better players on it than the Knicks have.

  24. ruruland

    Right, nyk, and that’s why he made the fa comments. It’s also been reported by multiple people that his top choice is to stay in New York.

    It comes down to his priorities.

    If he JUST wanted to win a championship — that was the only priority — he’d have ALREADY asked for a trade.

    If winning a championship was the top priority, winning it in NY was the second priority, and getting up-front money was third, he’s doing it right.

    Committing himself to NY COULD preclude him from winning a championship, his top priority. But if he leaves the door open, he can explore the possibilities of winning one outside of NY while also examining the situation in NY from the outside without fully committing to it.

    Leaving NY is the last resort. He’ll leave if he considers the probability of winning a championship low and can join a team with a good chance of winning one.

    But of course, the idea of having to do this ANOTHER season isn’t going to be appealing to anyone, let alone a guy entering his prime.

  25. DRed

    and can make a jump shot

    From 8-16 feet out Joakim “I can make a jumpshot” Noah is 7-32 on the season. So while he occasionally can make jump shots, he probably shouldn’t be taking them.

  26. thenamestsam

    Ravin might be the best trainer in the business (takes an advanced statistical approach to improving players’ games).
    It’s further confirmation that cavemen wander the Knicks sideline.

    Ravin may be a wonderful trainer, but you’d be hard pressed to look at this Knicks team and conclude that the guy tabbed as the “Player Development Coach” was doing an especially good job. Obviously a lot of what that guy does is completely out of our sight, but the part that is in our sight doesn’t speak very loudly for him.

  27. Frank O.

    Ru:

    My fear is he is willing to take less, and even with another team with a better chance of winning a championship.
    I read what you have said about his willingness to take less than max to ensure a win as applying anywhere, whether it be the Knicks or someone else.
    Let’s face it, there are teams out there with a better supporting cast who could pay him less than full max and have a lesser distance toward a championship than the Knicks.
    I think the Knicks might be best served trading him. And I’m not sure the Knicks don’t get better, given the right trade, this year. Melo could be a piece that gets three solid pieces in return, and perhaps a draft pick, particularly the way he is playing right now.

    Again, I don’t think the Knicks are in a position to have Melo just walk. That is not an acceptable outcome.

  28. lavor postell

    Which is why standing pat and doing nothing right now is excruciating. Ruru maybe you can answer this, but is JR a Knick because Melo wants him here and they are really tight bros or is that Knicks management decision. JR is playing pretty well right now and Felton just played his best 2 game stretch of the season. If those two can put together a 3 week stretch here of solid ball I think we should try and move them immediately for either a) expiring deals and picks if possible or b) a starting caliber point guard.

    In addition if our goal as a franchise is to build a team around Melo that can compete than moving Chandler needs to be a serious discussion, because Melo-STAT-Chandler is not winning a ring this season or next. If there is anyway we can move Chandler for expirings and a pick as well as option A from above in regards to Felton and JR that would at least be a start to show Melo “hey we know we suck, but we aren’t sitting around with our thumbs up our asses and we are doing everything we can to build a winner.” Whether or not its healthy for an organization to commit all of its resources to one player and appease him at all costs is another conversation entirely….

  29. ruruland

    If you want to why the Knicks signed JR and KMart — Mark Warkentien.
    He’s also the best bet for having the best ideas/plan towards building a championship team in ’15, as he took Denver from a borderline playoff team to a legitimate championship contender in a few years without a ton of assets ( a run that ended prematurely, GK cancer and Melo wanting to play in NY). He did it through trades/free agency.

    JR and Melo are friends, yes, but JR is not the player he used to be in Denver. His 3-pt shooting used to complement Melo’s game well. If the Knicks had gotten that guy, and it was reasonable to expect JR to be that guy, they’d be in better shape.

    I think they’re both in Knicks uniforms because certain people in the FO were familiar with their strengths and weaknesses when the rest of the league seemed to be in the dark (K-Mart having an antagonistic relationship with coaches and being a distraction, for example).

    Both were good players who were available, but yeah, having played previously with Melo probably helped some, too.

  30. Frank

    Re: JR – he’s obviously a knucklehead but Robert was definitely right in his recap — lost in the Melo 62 point game, the Bargnani madness, etc. JR has quietly started to play a lot better. His TS trend over the last 3 months is 41.6–>48.2–>51.6. He has shot 38.8% on 3’s for the last 2 months (152 3PA). And it sure seems like he’s attacking the basket more recently.

    Shoelace and Chris Smith-related nonsense aside, I think it’s very likely that his horrible play to start off the year was related to residual knee issues and that trading him now would constitute trading him at his lowest value. I don’t really see any point in trading him at this point – first because we won’t be able to get anything for him, and second because even in the worst case scenario (he’s a total nightmare this year and next), they can still waive him via stretch provision after next season and recover $4+MM of cap space for the big FA binge.

    Felton, on the other hand? Hard to know what to do with him. I love Prigs but I think he’s miscast as a true starting PG. Toure Murry is not ready for starting PG duties, and Beno is an 8th man at best. I’d trade Felton in a deal for Kyle Lowry in a second, but just to dump him makes little sense unless it’s an upgrade somehow. I’d still be ok if they decide to move him, Shump, and the 2018 pick (heavily protected) to get Lowry (although my preference is to keep the pick).

  31. knickster

    It’s quite hard to believe that Melo will opt out to re-sign for less money. That’s pretty absurd, when you consider the alternatives (both scenarios assume Melo wants to stay in New York): he could just finish his contract and THEN sign a new one for less money.

    After all, what is the point of saving Dolan a few millions (next season) that can’t be used by the team to get better?

    It’s also hard to believe that Melo (and his advisors) would ignore the fact that there is a near-zero percent chance of Dolan assembling a championship-caliber team in the next few years. So if Melo stays in New York it will be for reasons other than wanting to win a championship. That much is clear. He came here because of the money (Denver offered a shorter path to contention, as Ruru admitted in his post above) and would stay here for the money – not that it’s wrong, just setting the record straight.

    But perhaps the biggest factor in Melo staying in New York will be that – when everything is said and done – he does not have many pleasant destinations. New York may be the lesser of a tiny handful of evils…

  32. Robert Silverman Post author

    And an honest question for people who dispute the honesty/intention of that quote (Robert Silverman).

    Ruru, I never questioned the honesty or intention of that quote. I think he’s telling the truth. I just think he doesn’t realize the full ramifications of that quote and how it’ll only spur all of the speculation that’s in this thread. Does he mean less in NY? Does it mean going to Chicago/wanting a trade?

    Like we were saying on Twitter, he hasn’t mastered the Jeter-ian art of saying absolutely nothing, yet still coming across like a saint. That’s been the case for the bulk of his career. If anything, he’s too forthcoming about his thoughts/feelings/desires and it’s led to numerous media shitstorms.

  33. DRed

    Not sure where you’re getting your numbers D-Red, but here’s Noah’s shot distance chart from the last 5 years.

    Looking at his shot charts on nba.com. Noah is better than when he came into the league, but he’s not a good jump shooter. Maybe he’s okay for a big, but the basic idea is you don’t want your big man shooting long distance shots because you have little guys on your team who shoot those shots more effectively. Obviously, having a better shooting big man can help when you’re out of other options, but if you look at Noah’s attempts and the rate at which he hits shots, it’s pretty clear that teams aren’t going to have to scheme to account for his awesome jump shooting.

    And for the record, I’d rather have Noah on the Knicks than Chandler. But Noah shouldn’t be shooting jump shots.

  34. Frank

    Well apparently LaLa says Melo will definitely re-sign with the Knicks. If his wife says so then I guess it’s probably happening. Hopefully she doesn’t mind him not taking the super max.

  35. knickster

    As far as Melo taking less than the full max.

    Quote from yesterday: “”A -ship is the only thing that’s on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish.. & I’m going to do what I got to do to get that.”

    Is he full of shit and why?

    Melo can take the max from Dolan, , fail to win a championship and later claim (as is being claimed today about Denver and New York) that “the support team was not there”

    Well apparently LaLa says Melo will definitely re-sign with the Knicks. If his wife says so then I guess it’s probably happening. Hopefully she doesn’t mind him not taking the super max.

    Melo will probably get the max from Dolan, anyway.

  36. knickster

    ”A -ship is the only thing that’s on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish.. & I’m going to do what I got to do to get that.”

    Was a championship in Melo’s mind when he played for Denver? Did he “do what I got to do to get” it?

    The answers clarify Ruru’s “confusion”.

  37. ruruland

    No, knickster, I’ve mentioned repeatedly that the priorities and the urgency with which Melo needs to have them met are different than they were prior to the trade.

    Clearly, the fact that he demanded a trade out of Denver to New York bolsters the idea of priority No. 2, which is winning a championship in NY.

    He could have gotten a pre-new-cba extension in Denver on a very good team. I think he probably regrets that decision a bit, and there’s plenty of comments where that can be inferred, but there’s also another side to that story that hasn’t been told yet (Melo’s said those exact words, and it in all likelihood has to do with Bret Bearup, Stan Kroenke and the long-term vision of the organization).

    But beside losing out an a chance at a championship if he signs a max, he also loses out on many of the ancillary and long-term benefits of playing New York, along with the intrinsic benefits of playing on a championship caliber team — which happens to define where Melo is at in his career. It defeats the ENTIRE purpose — on all levels– of signing in New York in the first place.

    It’s a no-brainer. Either Melo signs somewhere in the summer where he’ll have an immediate opportunity to win a championship, or he re-signs in NY in a manner that allows the organization to build a championship team around him in 2015.

    No matter how you slice, Melo will be making a sacrifice. By signing elsewhere, he sacrifices the opportunity at being a legend in the city he dreamed of playing in. If he he signs in NY at more modest amount, he sacrifices up-front money (speaking lifetime earning potential) and a YEAR of mediocrity.

  38. ruruland

    But there’s another option — resulting in the greatest sacrifices– that is basically a non-starter when you compare it to the other two options, in my opinion.

    Melo could take the absolute max in NY. What kind of sacrifice would he be making by signing that?

    He’d be resigning himself to another five years of mediocrity, watering down any on-court achievements during his prime, shouldering him with the same tiresome burden on the court, resulting in a p.r. disaster, and a knock-out blow to his legacy. If you think Melo is solely money motivated, it would also significantly damage his long-term earning potential.

    That’s by far the worst scenario.

    One might counter with the argument that Melo is too delusional to realize that he can’t have all of the money, and still play on a championship team in NY.

    I’ll share my arguments with anyone who thinks that. But the direction this is headed has been as clear as day to some, even prior to the season.

    Think through it for yourself.

  39. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    If he JUST wanted to win a championship — that was the only priority — he’d have ALREADY asked for a trade.

    I dunno. The last time he asked for a trade, he completely fucked his chances of contending for a championship in the process… Maybe he’s learned his lesson from 2011, and this time he’s simply going to walk to a team that’s already stocked for winter. (That’s what he would do if he just wants a championship, no?)

  40. knickster

    @ruru

    Carmelo making a “sacrifice” even if he takes the max from New York is the same type of “sacrifice” 26-year old whore Anna Nicole Smith made when she married the 89-year old millionaire.

    I agree with you, though, that odds are Carmelo will stay – but not for the reasons you mention. He will stay because he does not have as many options as people think. His tenure in New York has brought the little dirty secret to the forefront: Melo is just a gifted volume scorer and not much else – even when he tries.

    Melo has put his signature on the Knicks: the entire team is conditioned to stop playing when their leader takes the ball – that will be his legacy, no matter what he does.

  41. Frank

    Knickster – while I think you’re mostly right in that Melo will not have that many attractive free agency destinations, you need to remember that there only has to be ONE place that offers him the max and is near contender-status. There aren’t going to be 12 suitors, but just like with Jeremy Lin, all it takes is one GM to take a liking to you and be willing to take the leap.

    btw i’m probably not alone in asking you nicely to tone it down a little.

    re: Melo and the Denver–>NY trade — I think he completely played the situation wrong, but it’s easy to see why he thought the team would work even gutted of Gallo/Chandler etc. This was the year after the big 3 in Miami came together — basically 3 great players and a bunch of scrubs that were already dominating the league at the time (after a slow start). It’s easy to see how he might come to the conclusion that teams don’t need all the depth.

    Anyway, I agree with ruru – I think he’ll look around in FA and see if the perfect non-NY situation somehow falls into his lap. I don’t think he’ll find a situation that would feel any better to him than staying with the Knicks. Once he makes the mental leap of staying here, then he’ll decide how to balance all his priorities. He’s already made $135MM on the court, probably at least half that off the court so is probably into or near $200MM in total career earnings. I think he’ll end up taking a deal that will be very good for him and will also give the team some flexibility.

    It’s quite hard to believe that Melo will opt out to re-sign for less money. That’s pretty absurd, when you consider the alternatives (both scenarios assume Melo wants to stay in New York): he could just finish his contract and THEN sign a new one for less money.

    Knickster, I think you need review basic math again. Would you rather have a 1 year 23MM contract or a 5 year $100+MM contract at age 30? 100% of people should choose #2.

  42. knickster

    @43

    you need to remember that there only has to be ONE place that offers him the max and is near contender-status.

    You’re wrong – there is one more condition: Melo has to find the destination attractive. He left a better situation in Denver – remember?

    btw i’m probably not alone in asking you nicely to tone it down a little.

    What is this thing with some people on this board, who become all righteous when a person outside the “regulars” disagrees with them? I have done *nothing* wrong – other than bring a bit of common sense and my own perspective. If you are objecting to my use of the word “whore”, you need to show some integrity and go chastise others for their use of far worse language, including “fuck” and all its variants.

    You think you can bully me into not expressing my opinion? I will continue to do it with the same respect I have shown so far. No more, no less. If that’s not enough, you can use your “influence” to silence me with a ban. I don’t mind.

    Knickster, I think you need review basic math again. Would you rather have a 1 year 23MM contract or a 5 year $100+MM contract at age 30? 100% of people should choose #2.

    And you need to review your common sense: you’re saying the same thing I said, while pretending to refute my argument.
    I said: “It’s quite hard to believe that Melo will opt out to re-sign for less money.”
    You said: “Carmelo is going for the money, wouldn’t you do the same?”

  43. er

    rought the little dirty secret to the forefront: Melo is just a gifted volume scorer and not much else – even when he tries.

    Which is why he is on pace to be the first to avg 27 -9-3 for the first time since Shaq did it in 03.

  44. Frank

    And you need to review your common sense: you’re saying the same thing I said, while pretending to refute my argument.
    I said: “It’s quite hard to believe that Melo will opt out to re-sign for less money.”
    You said: “Carmelo is going for the money, wouldn’t you do the same?”

    I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you say that he should finish his contract (ie. not opt out) and then sign a contract next year, what you’re actually saying is that he should take a 1 year 23MM contract (which is what he has remaining on his current contract) rather than take a 5 year 100MM+ contract.

    What is this thing with some people on this board, who become all righteous when a person outside the “regulars” disagrees with them? I have done *nothing* wrong – other than bring a bit of common sense and my own perspective. If you are objecting to my use of the word “whore”, you need to show some integrity and go chastise others for their use of far worse language, including “fuck” and all its variants.

    You’re relatively new to this board, so you probably don’t know that we’ve gone through this cycle many times with other posters over the years. We all try to keep the conversation civil and out of the gutter and many people have objected to the tone of posts from other posters in the past. I’m not a moderator here so yes, it’s really not my job to do this, but I love this site and am, shall we say, saddened when people liken basketball players to “whores” while also stomping on the grave of a dead woman. Super classy.

    And by the way if you think “btw i’m probably not alone in asking you nicely to tone it down a little” constitutes bullying, then wow.

  45. lavor postell

    @ knickster

    I said: “It’s quite hard to believe that Melo will opt out to re-sign for less money.”

    It’s not hard to believe if you accept that the long-term security of a 5yr/100m contract when he’s 30 is a more secure future salary for him then risking playing for the 23m next season, suffering an injury and losing a lot more money than he would GIVE up by not taking the megamax contract. Is there a chance Melo is still motivated by maximizing dollars AND a championship versus maximizing dollars OR a championship, of course there is, but to my eye these past 3 seasons in New York have matured him a lot on and off the court.

    He’s more of a complete player now than he was in Denver or in his 1 1/2 years in New York. Since the 2012/13 season Melo has demonstrated a much stronger desire to do what it takes to win rather than simply looking out for his own numbers and long-term well-being. Our ancillary pieces around him this year have been terrible and are the major reason for our bottom third of the league offense. That’s what happens when JR, Felton, Shump and Bargnani all put up below league average numbers in major minutes. Prigioni and Chandler have also missed a ton of time due to injuries which has also had an effect as well.

    Now is when you’ll argue that none of those players are good, we got lucky last season and we all should have expected it which is beside the point. Melo has demonstrated you can build a highly functional and efficient offense around his considerable scoring talent, with an obvious need at the end of last year for another main scoring option to play alongside him. The Knicks gambled on Bargnani being that player which has been an epic fail.

    Melo banged against 4’s while rebounding effectively and was a top-10 post defender last season at, all while West and KG spent the year looking to hurt him. He’s been a better team defender this season and our defense rates 7 points better…

  46. knickster

    You’re relatively new to this board, so you probably don’t know that we’ve gone through this cycle many times with other posters over the years. We all try to keep the conversation civil and out of the gutter and many people have objected to the tone of posts from other posters in the past.

    Transparent lies.
    Go and say something to Hubert, who is going ape against Pierce and Garnett on today’s news thread. Show some integrity – treat EVERYONE the same way, hold EVERYONE to the same standards and then you will have a legitimate platform for your fake righteousness.

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