Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Knicks 114, Bucks 108

I take it you’re here to read about Toney Douglas?

Tonight, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups made their Knicks debuts. Both shot poorly from the field (10/25 and 4/12 respectively), but each made key contributions in the fourth quarter as the Knicks held on for a 114-108 win over a Bucks team that is just 8-22 on the road. On most nights this wouldn’t have been good enough, but the Bucks missed enough open looks and made enough telegraphed passes for the Knicks to keep their noses out in front. And Toney Douglas, who…wait this sentence needs it’s own paragraph:

Ahem. And Toney Douglas, who, all of 20 months since the day he was drafted, is now THE LONGEST TENURED NEW YORK KNICK, took care of the rest.

Douglas made all 7 of his two point attempts and 3 of his 5 three point attempts en route to 23 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in his 29 minutes. Bigger perhaps than any of Douglas’ makes, though, was a full-speed, sprinting, leaping offensive rebound in the final minute that allowed the Knicks to burn an initial 24 seconds off the clock and, ultimately, allowed Carmelo Anthony to knock down an 8-foot jumper and play the role of hero on his first night as a Knick.

But we’re not here to talk much more about Douglas. As soon as news broke that he would be making his debut tonight, the game became about Carmelo Anthony and, to a lesser extent, fellow newbie Chauncey Billups. To the extent that we focused on the incumbent Knicks, we did so with an eye towards how they looked alongside their newer teammates.

‘Melo put up numbers — 27 and 11 in the end — and did well to limit his turnovers (he had two), but his shot was off all night and it was well into the second half before he knocked down a jumper. Once he did he looked far more comfortable, putting up 11 fourth quarter points — the two most important of which came on the tail end of the play detailed above. Melo’s first step and dribble penetration were there — even spectacular on a couple of occasions — and he was able to create plenty of space for himself. But whether it was jetlag, unfamiliar surroundings, or nerves, he just didn’t have his aim. He’ll never be a hugely efficient scorer, but he’s not gonna shoot 40% every night either. He’ll be fine on offense.

Defensively…ouch. It was as bad as advertised. ‘Melo was completely indifferent in switching on even the most straightforward Bucks ball movement, and he consistently floated off of his man to rim-hang and look for rebounds. Let’s hope he was tired and conserving his energy, but it was not an encouraging performance (despite a couple of steals).

Billups was more impressive, though he suffered from the same shooting maladies (4/12) that afflicted his fellow debutante. Chauncey made up for it with a well-rounded game — 21 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and only 2 turnovers — and a barrage of late game free throws (12/12) that helped secure the victory. Defensively, he frustrated Brandon Jennings with physicality and got a couple of steals — nothing spectacular but he more or less held his own. He was beaten a couple times by the much quicker Jennings, who would have had a better-looking stat line if not for a few bad misses at the rim.

Amare Stoudemire had a night to forget, seemingly as a result of his determination to make it a night to remember. He looked overenthusiastic all game, consistently shooting too strong, committing needless fouls to the point of disqualification, and ultimately registering his 15th technical of the season. He was, at least, 7 for 7 from the line — the sole highlight in an otherwise uninspiring stat line. He and Chauncey played reasonably well together; hopefully they’ll click much faster than did STAT and Felton, who needed a couple of weeks to get in rhythm back in November. He drew a foul off of one really great entry pass from Anthony as well — the ability of these two to coexist and enhance each other is obviously the rock upon which the Knicks have built their Church and we saw flashes of it tonight, although it will need to get much more consistent.

I don’t want to draw a bunch of conclusions from one game. Instead, I’d like to focus on what I expect from the new-look Knicks and comment on where tonight’s game matched those expectations.

OFFENSE:

1) Overall: Concerns over the efficacy of the Knicks’ “new” offense are premature and, at least in my opinion, pretty unconvincing. Essentially, the trade combined key pieces of the league’s 1st-rated (Denver) and 7th-rated (Knicks) offenses, while eschewing several of the more defensively competent members of each team (Nene, Afflalo, Anderson, Felton, Chandler). Does every single piece fit perfectly? No. Do I expect this group to make beautiful music from the get-go? Not really. But this will pretty immediately be a well-above-average offense with elite potential depending on how the personnel clicks and whether any additions are made. There’s just too much talent for that not to happen.

Tonight, the Knicks scored 114 points on — by my count — 99 possessions. That’s 115 per 100 possessions. Pre-trade, the Knicks averaged 109.8 per 100. Milwaukee, a strong defensive team, allows just 102.6 points per 100 possessions (5th best in the league). This all happened despite bad nights from the field by the Knicks 3 best players. The offense will be fine.

2) Field Goal Shooting efficiency: The knock against ‘Melo, as even a cursory review of our comment boards will reveal, is that he’s a volume scorer who doesn’t score efficiently. And his eFG% (.474) is not good — it’s actually slightly worse than Raymond Felton’s. Luckily for the Knicks, they’ve added Chauncey Billups, whose .536 eFG% is 34th in the league and 4th among point guards. And they still have the super-efficient Landry Fields, whose .590 mark has him 7th in the NBA and should only increase with better looks. Stoudemire is no slouch, with a .511 eFG% that is comfortably above league average. The trade also means more minutes (and, hopefully, more open looks) for Shawne Williams and Toney Douglas, each of whom has the potential to score with very high efficiency as a spot up shooter. Basically, the Knicks were 9th in the league in this category pre-trade and I would be surprised if they didn’t take a small step forward, although this relies somewhat on the Knicks bench players taking on bigger roles as floor-spacers.

Tonight, the Knicks put up a .550 eFG%, unsustainably high for a full team but certainly a nice first data point.

3) Free Throws: And this is where it could be awesome. There are 71 players in the NBA who play 30+ minutes per game and have usage rates above 20%. Of these 71, only 20 have free throw rates above 35 (i.e., they have 35 FTM for every 100 FGA). Of those 20, three are now Knicks. Billups, ‘Melo, and Amare will all spend tons of time with the ball in their hands, will use many of those possessions to get to the free throw line, and will convert the vast majority of these free throw attempts. As great as Gallo was at getting to the line, his usage rate was low enough that it didn’t have as big of an impact on the Knicks overall offense as it might have. That won’t be a problem here, and the Knicks may trail only the Thunder in terms of creating points at the line the rest of the year. It may seem unsexy, but this is likely to be the biggest immediate positive impact of this week’s trade.

Tonight was a promising start in this regard – the Knicks were 26 for 28 from the stripe, including a 12 for 12 showing from Billups, who didn’t even appear to have his legs under him yet.

DEFENSE:

It’s the flip-side of the point I made regarding offense — we’ve taken two already bad defenses (Knicks 21st in the league, Nuggets 23rd), largely shed the best defensive players from each side, and put them in the charge of the most offensively minded coach of his generation. The results will not be good, to be sure. But I’ve been kind of amazed at how heavily everyone has harped on this point. The Knicks defense was already pretty bad and it’s not like the guys we just gave away were dynamos. Billups is slower than Felton and ‘Melo has a rep for being a bit lazy on that end. But I also think the level to which Melo and Amare are invested in this monster of their own making will give them at least some extra motivation to work on that end. I see regression on defense, but not a ton. They couldn’t defend in the post before and they still can’t, they committed too many fouls before and they still will, they gave up too many second chances before and that will continue also. I think their switching will get a little bit worse, and their on-ball perimeter D will also take a step back unless Corey Brewer can carve out a spot on the rotation. But this isn’t life-altering stuff — It’s a C- turning into a D+.

Tonight they gave up 108 points on 99 possessions, which is right at their season average. Unfortunately, they did this at home against the worst offense in the league (Milwaukee typically scores 101 per 100). It was a bad night defensively, but both Billups and Melo looked exhausted and the group had no time to jell. Furthermore, the Knicks were opportunistic, creating 20 points off of 15 turnovers, including two steals each by the new arrivals. The one thing the Knicks have done well on defense all season is force turnovers — they did it again tonight, and they’ll continue to do it all season.

Overall, the method will change (more iso, less threes, shorter bench) but this team’s output shouldn’t change a ton on a per possession basis. They’ll be better once ‘Melo is in the flow of things, but even when their stars are clicking, the Knicks will still need big nights from role players to measure up to the league’s elite. When the stars are off, those same role players will have to save them. Tonight, Toney Douglas obliged.

201 comments on “Knicks 114, Bucks 108

  1. Ben R

    Just watched the game, I wasn’t going to but I did. I hated the trade and don’t care much for Melo but I’m going to try and set that aside and mention some things good and bad that I noticed.

    First off I agree with everyone Billups is just a fantastic player, so poised and when he is paired with Douglas it is great.

    Douglas was amazing and part of that was just having a good game but I think part of it was the all-star rest. He’s been really banged up and people need to remember that last year and the beginning of this year he was super efficient. If he can shoot like he did last year he is going to be a huge lift.

    Relating to Douglas one of the best aspects of Melo is he takes pressure off of Toney when Billups sits. With Melo out there Toney doesn’t have to “run” the offense so much and can just DWTDD. I think Billups can still average 32-33 minutes a game and we will be fine because of this.

    Melo’s rebounding was strong and with Fields and Billups we are very good rebounding the ball 1-3, Amare is close to average so if we can get a center who can actually rebound well we could become a good rebounding team, as is we’re about the same.

    Melo looked tight and forced things a bit, not too worried about that he will hit his jumpers, but his fade away 22 footer is a bad shot even when he’s shooting well. (I counted 4 or 5 attempts) He really needs to eliminate the long 2 pointer from his arsenal. One of the strengths of SSOL is how few 16-23 footers we take. (We’ve shot the 4th fewest in the NBA so far) If Melo can do that I could see him flourishing in this offense.

    Finally defensively I am worried. Our rotations were really bad, I mean really bad, part of it was fatigue and a lack of cohesiveness, but Fields is not great and both Melo and Amare are prone to losing focus. We need to find a defensive identity.

    Overall I would say a decent start. I really hope Donnie’s shaking the bushes for a big before the deadline. Go Knicks

  2. Brian Cronin

    One game is way too soon to make any judgments about Melo as a Knick. With such little time to practice, he clearly just played the same way he normally does (including the inordinate amount of long twos). As time goes by, we will see how he adapts to SSOL. It will be interesting to say the least.

    This one game sure was a fun win, though!

  3. gregory arkadin

    I mostly agree with everything Ben R said. I expected most of the bad, and was only delighted with the good.

    One thing that bugs me is the idea, as i’ve seen written on a number of websites, that D’Antoni will adapt his offense to allow for more ISO. I really, really hope that we see Carmelo holding the ball less–pass, shoot, or move with the ball, please. It’s the kind of thing that has killed the momentum of the Knick defense this year. Melo has skill in this area, and so perhaps, in certain instances when he’s hot, it’s excusable…but Amar’e does not–watching him trying to play one-on-one tonight, as always, kills me, as he is just terrible at it and often turns the ball over. I’d like to think it’s a part of his game that simply never had to develop in Phoenix.

    If D’Antoni were to allow for more iso in the offense, i’m worried that STAT, and perhaps other players, that best ought not to, would make it a habit.

  4. SeeWhyDee77

    The one thing that worried me- and this might be jumping to conclusions- but it looked like Amare was pressing out there..kinda like he was tryin 2 show that he was the alpha dog, y’kno? All season long he has never came close to foulin out, until last night. As a matter of fact it looked like both Stat and Melo were pressing a bit. My guess is that was a 1 game aberration. Fields also had a pretty “indecent” game by his standards last nite. On a good note, MAN does it feel awesome 2 have someone who can take over and make the role players more dangerous when our big guy goes out. I think the way this thing should work is Stat works a little more in the paint and remains option #1. If he refuses to work the low block then D’Antoni can just put Melo there more often- thus makin him the 1st option. But defenses are gonna catch hell tryina guard those 2 as evidenced by Stat’s wide open dunk in the halfcourt set. So what’s the over/under on how long it takes the staff and Stat and Melo themselves to figure out the pairing, 5 games?

  5. Z-man

    What Stat needs to understand is that while he can give us 30 a night, the pounding he was taking is unsustainable. He recently referred to himself as a “walking wounded.” He and Melo need to develop a chemistry based on unselfishness; they’ll both get their’s on given night, but they can’t force things. One of the announcers alluded to the Celts’ big 3 and how they don’t care who scores. We need to develop that mentality and that job falls to Billups even more than D’Antoni.

    One thing that I’ve noticed is that D’Antoni is the polar opposite of what Riley was in his years here. With Riley, he didn’t care how good you were on O, if you couldn’t play D, you didn’t play.

  6. taggart4800

    Yeah I really don’t mind Melo stopping the ball a bit. Its lazy offense which allows other guys to take a little breather before getting back on D. Perfect when STAT and Billups are sat and the bench are in.
    We did see glimpses of space appearing in the middle when both STAT and Melo were on the floor and Turiaf got a few nice looks at the rim as a result.
    Billups just flat out knows how to play the game and knows his own game incredibly well.
    Room for improvement on offense would be Melo passing. I can think of two occasions at least where Melo drove, drew double coverage and missed a very simple pass to STAT who was in both instances only5-8 feet from the rim.
    We definately need size and maybe I am being overly sentimental but Mozgov would have been perfect on this team. A mobile 7 footer who was willing to play and take a back seat but was always looking for the ball but never demanding it.

  7. Frank

    Not overly worried about the team defense (I mean, not more worried than I was before). This is one game and basically 24 hours after what might be the biggest trade in franchise history, no practice, no chemistry etc etc. Once MDA gets some practice time with these guys, the offense will be much better, we will run more, and the small ball lineup will give bigger teams fits even though we will continue to get pounded on the glass. Like others have noted though – we outrebounded the Bucks last night, who are a league-average rebounding team. So that is promising, if only for one night.

    One thing I was impressed with last night was the overall defense on Brandon Jennings. Thank God even the mainstream media has stopped their lovefest with his one 50 point game. Billups certainly didn’t look particularly overmatched speed-wise against him, and Douglas really hounded him.

    And Billups is just a great player. Plays so under control, knows how to draw fouls, and made a bunch of great passes. 21/8/6/2stls with 2 TOs on just 12 shots — that’s just good play.

    I’m cautiously optimistic. Let’s sign the Barron and take a flyer on Sean Williams, and we might have a little something here.

  8. Frank

    Meanwhile – I didn’t actually listen to Francesa basically eviscerate the other media for all the Isiah innuendo pieces, saying that the NY media has a vendetta against him because of all the rules etc. that Dolan put up – but I DID watch Dolan’s statement yesterday, and did not think it merited negative press it got from the likes of Howard Beck, who I usually find very even-handed. He wasn’t mean, he wasn’t particularly harsh – he just said that DW/MDA/JD were in this together from the start and that any speculation about Isiah was just wrong.

    Makes me wonder — certainly Dolan DOES merit some negative press given the whole Isiah history in general — but certainly our view of Dolan is completely colored by writers who really don’t like him and are probably more than willing to believe sources who feed into whatever storyline they think will get printed.

  9. taggart4800

    Sean Williams sure would be a good pickup especially we are more of a veteran team and he may well have the responsibility of being a starter.
    It would be interesting to see both Barron and Williams get signed because Turiaf, Barron and Williams would almost be a perfect trio of complementary big men for this team, Williams especially. He doesn’t need to shoot but if he can effectively use his athleticism on both ends then he will likely have a good impact.

  10. Jim Cavan

    Outstanding writeup, Kevin. Great stuff.

    SeeWhyDee77: The one thing that worried me- and this might be jumping to conclusions- but it looked like Amare was pressing out there..kinda like he was tryin 2 show that he was the alpha dog, y’kno?

    I didn’t get that sense at all. If anything, Stat — while off a bit — looked far more comfortable than Melo. He only took 13 shots, remember, and although he had a late flurry of inexplicable turnovers and bonehead plays, I thought he was for the most part even-keeled and simply making sure the new guys got involved (particularly in the first half).

    I know it’s not wise to use the first game as a reliable compass, but I really do think these guys have a chance to tap into a pretty special chemistry down the stretch. A lot of us I’m sure were expecting a far uglier first outing, but there were stretches where the ball was moving quickly and guys were getting open looks. I agree: hopefully Donnie can go out and snag a 12th hour big. If this wacky trade deadline has taught us anything, it’s that oftentimes teams are looking to move guys and no one really has any idea. We saw it with Williams, and now Baron Davis. So let’s hope Donnie’s got the inside track on something.

  11. d-mar

    I know it’s WAY too early to be talking about this, but I can’t wait to see the Knicks play the Heat Sun. night (and yes, we have to take care of business in Cleveland, but there’s a big “revenge” factor there for being the one team they beat in about a 3 month stretch) And not because I think we have to beat Miami to prove anything, but the matchups will be fascinating, and it will be interesting to see how our offense fares against one of the top 1 or 2 defenses in the NBA.

    (Of course, if we get our butts kicked, the media will immediately jump off the Melo/Knicks bandwagon en masse, with some saying I told you so )

  12. Frank O.

    One other note. With the other Knicks, these kinds of games were often statement losses.
    This team knows better how to win.
    A small point, but a point.

    And BTW, Billups has been important to me in this trade from the outset. But he is by far, now, my favorite Knick.

  13. Nick C.

    Frank O.: One other note. With the other Knicks, these kinds of games were often statement losses.This team knows better how to win.A small point, but a point.And BTW, Billups has been important to me in this trade from the outset. But he is by far, now, my favorite Knick.  (Quote)

    How could you say that after one game??? Especially after it was the “other” Knick, Toney Douglas, who kept this from becoming a statement loss in the 2-3rd quarters when everyone else was phumphering around.

  14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    d-mar:
    (Of course, if we get our butts kicked, the media will immediately jump off the Melo/Knicks bandwagon en masse, with some saying I told you so )  

    That’s the way it works. You could be a 20% shooter for your career, but if you knock down one big shot at the end of the game, you’re clutch. That’s why we use stats to sort the bad interpretations from the good.

  15. Frank

    Frank O.: One other note. With the other Knicks, these kinds of games were often statement losses.
    This team knows better how to win.
    A small point, but a point.And BTW, Billups has been important to me in this trade from the outset. But he is by far, now, my favorite Knick.  

    Even though I still think we gave up too much overall, the Billups acquisition is just HUGE. I loved Felton when he was here, but Billups is on another level completely. 21 points on 12 shots, and he shot horribly to boot, probably from nerves, fatigue, etc. 8 assists, 2 turnovers. And the dude is money from the line at the end of games.

    And re: Toney Douglas – a DWTDD + Billups backcourt is far superior to a TD + Felton backcourt just from a size perspective. Billups is very comfortable guarding most 2′s and is such a superior shooter to Felton that he can easily play off the ball too.

    I feel pretty optimistic now – Bucks are a good defense, we’ve had zero practices, and our offense was still very potent. That being said, I think we are going to get just killed down in Miami. Spoelstra’s a good coach and their defense will not get beaten by playground offensive basketball.

  16. DS

    @13 – I love Ray Felton’s toughness, but man, is Billlups (even at 34) a better player.

    How long do you give it until someone says during an NBA broadcast:

    “Everyone is wondering if Chris Paul or Deron Williams will come to NY and form a new ‘Big Three.’ Chancey’s saying ‘Hey. I’ve been in two All-Star Games. I’m a Finals MVP. We’re already a Big Three’” ?

    I am guessing it will be Kenny Smith tonight.

  17. Matt Smith

    K-Mac, good to see you writing for KB. Chris told me that you wrote here as well… good to see we’ve got some Chaminade representation.

    I was lucky enough to be at the game last night. Just some notes from the Garden’s end -

    I’ve been to ~25 games so far this year (one preseason) and the atmosphere at last nights game was by far the most electric. This includes the home opener and other big games (Heat, Spurs, etc). Obviously we won’t keep that up every game, but I think one thing Melo does improve is our 6th man.

    Chauncey went at it a lot harder than I expected. He played much more energy than I thought he would have. I’ve heard he’ll wear down by the end of the season, but I was surprised by how quick he is still.

    One funny thing about seeing Melo in person is that he makes it seem so easy. Seeing his playstyle live, it looks like 90% talent and 10% effort. He just looked lazy on both ends of the floor, but he can definitely score.

    One intangible of this trade is the experience veterans like Chauncey bring to the table. Amare was the leader of the team before, but I still don’t think he’s been in the league long enough to be a mentor to our young guys. Chauncey’s won a championship and has a great attitude and personality. I think our guys can really learn from him.

  18. Frank O.

    Nick C.:
    How could you say that after one game??? Especially after it was the “other” Knick, Toney Douglas, who kept this from becoming a statement loss in the 2-3rd quarters when everyone else was phumphering around.  

    It goes way beyond one game.
    First, Carmelo and Billups are veteran players, who simply don’t get rattled. Billups has won two championships, and was the MVP in one of them. There simply aren’t situations he hasn’t seen. There simply was no doubt down the stretch with Billups at the helm. I can’t even imagine the shots Douglas might have tried down the stretch if we had to rely on him to deliver that game. And Felton probably would have taken several threes down the stretch with either Amare or Carmelo standing there watching. *shivver*
    Douglas played an important role. Still it’s one thing to hit shots in the 2nd and 3rd. It’s quite another to hit them with minutes remaining with the opposition breathing down your neck. He did not lead that team to a win.

    I hope you are not suggesting that TD would have been able to carry that team down the stretch. We have seen him in these situations before.

    Billups and Melo made most of the big plays in crunch time. It was Carmelo’s shooting in the fourth and Billups FTs down the stretch, as well as solid ball handling, the nailed down this game.
    TD played a great game, but he would not be able to deliver that game.

    Frankly, I have little doubt that this team will be extremely dangerous in the playoffs. They have a lot to overcome this late in the season, so I expect them to lose a fair number of games. The players don’t know each other, which will especially hurt them defensively. Switching on defense will need some help. Talk will need to improve. And Turiaf and Amare will carry a heavy load on defense. Both guys need to play smart and stay on the court.

  19. Frank O.

    Z-man: Did anyone see this? What a pair of cohones ujiri has!http://nba.fanhouse.com/2011/02/23/nuggets-masai-ujiri-we-got-killed-on-carmelo-deal/  

    Kind of dumb too because it’s another slap in the face to guys like Felton, Gallo, WC and Mosgov, who now play for Denver.
    Even if you lose in the trade, you can’t shit on the team you have.
    Dumb comment from Ujiri. You make that comment privately, but not openly. Felton’s confidence is already pretty perishable.

  20. Caleb

    off-topic, ESPN reporting the Clippers just traded Baron Davis AND their lottery pick to Cleveland, for Mo Williams.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6153550

    I get that they want to save money but this summer there’s no one to spend it on – that’s pretty lame by the Clips.

    Can you imagine what Baron Davis thinks about going to Cleveland? Guessing he’s available for nothing, if someone would take him by tomorrow. Will anyone be willing to take him on? A team trying to sneak in the playoffs? Indy? Memphis? He’s gonna hate this..

  21. Frank O.

    On the learning front, there were several circumstances when Billups was coaching TD on the bench and Carmelo was talking to Fields.
    I think having three veteran stars on the team helps the young guys.
    There something about having a group of guys giving weight to an approach rather than one guy, who in a way gets isolated.
    I think Amare will have an adjustment to make in that he has been on the stage alone and he likes being on the stage. Now he needs to share the stage. I’m curious to see how it feels.
    Afterall, while he is a more complete player than I thought, his dimensions are somewhat limited.
    Billups plays a complete game. I would not be surprised that Carmelo and Amare are the stars of this team, but Billups will be the leader.
    He’s been a field general his entire career. Amare and Carmelo have been been players.
    This team will quickly become Chauncey’s team, IMHO.

  22. Frank

    Caleb: off-topic, ESPN reporting the Clippers just traded Baron Davis AND their lottery pick to Cleveland, for Mo Williams.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6153550I get that they want to save money but this summer there’s no one to spend it on – that’s pretty lame by the Clips.

    They’ll have huge cap space in 2012. Guessing they’re going to take a run at Deron Williams. D-Williams, Gordon, Aminu, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan. yowza. That team could be good for a LOOONG time. Or they could be the Clippers.

  23. Caleb

    Frank:
    They’ll have huge cap space in 2012. Guessing they’re going to take a run at Deron Williams. D-Williams, Gordon, Aminu, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan. yowza. That team could be good for a LOOONG time. Or they could be the Clippers.  

    Yeah, they could be scary in 2012 – but they’re giving away a lottery pick more than a year before they spend the big money… I’m guessing they could have moved Davis next year in a similar deal, packaged with a worse pick. This way, they just look cheap.

  24. Nick C.

    Frank – I’m not trying to suggest TD would have been able to deliver the win, but for a dude that got 23 points with 12 FGA and 0 FTA (as opposed to a certain 21 – 12 FGA – 12-12 FT – 4 after the outcome was pretty much moot) he might deserve a little nod since the game would not have been there for Melo and Billups to save for the hacks. Just sayin’ that’s all. Otherwise its just an overrreaction on my part to how quickly the traded dudes got dimissed. I think it was a mintue in before the “Felton never could have done that” comments started dribbling in…and then to listen to all the gushing on the drive in as if the previous club was the Nets or some sub .400 team. To me it seems like a disconnect from reality.

  25. Ben R

    Caleb – It was a high price for LA to pay to move Davis but they still have Minnesota’s unprotected pick and they are playing well so I would be surprised if their pick is worse then 8 or 9 in a weak draft so unless they win the lottery it is worth it. Even after resigning Jordan this year and paying for their draft picks and Gordon’s qualifing offer next summer they will be $30-35 million under the cap (more if they move Gomes) in 2012. They could potentially sign two max free agents while still keeping Griffin, Gordon, Aminu, Jordan, Bledsoe, the lottery talent they get from minnesota’s pick and whoever they draft in 2012. They could make their own big three (four) if Paul and Howard went there to team with Griffin and Gordon. I would put them as a darkhorse to make a huge splash in 2012 and with the Lakers getting old they could become the LA team that matters pretty soon.

    I have a question for everyone, why are people so eager to sign Earl Barron? He wasn’t that good last season for us (50.8% TS%) and was horrible for Pheonix this year. He was a good rebounder last year but I think there are better d-leaguers to take flyers on than Earl Barron, plus while Sheldon Williams isn’t very good he is a better player than Barron and much better rebounder for his career. I would much rather role the dice with Sean Williams or a different d-leaguer than sign a proven mediocre piece like Barron.

  26. latke

    One thing that was evident last night was that with all that offense on the floor, we can completely afford to play a defensive specialist big minutes. Reggie Evans would definitely be a nice pickup and might not cost too much. He’s one of the toughest guys in the league. Like Turiaf though he fouls all the goddamn time.

    It also might be good to keep corey brewer around. There will be games where the perimeter defense needs more help than the interior defense, and Brewer can be that wing defender.

  27. DS

    Ben R: Caleb – It was a high price for LA to pay to move Davis but they still have Minnesota’s unprotected pick and they are playing well so I would be surprised if their pick is worse then 8 or 9 in a weak draft so unless they win the lottery it is worth it. Even after resigning Jordan this year and paying for their draft picks and Gordon’s qualifing offer next summer they will be $30-35 million under the cap (more if they move Gomes) in 2012. They could potentially sign two max free agents while still keeping Griffin, Gordon, Aminu, Jordan, Bledsoe, the lottery talent they get from minnesota’s pick and whoever they draft in 2012. They could make their own big three (four) if Paul and Howard went there to team with Griffin and Gordon. I would put them as a darkhorse to make a huge splash in 2012 and with the Lakers getting old they could become the LA team that matters pretty soon.

    I read that the Clippers are pretty bear-ish on this year’s draft. It’s also worth adding that they could probably get a nice piece to add to their nucleus in exchange for Kaman.

  28. Caleb

    @32 Reggie Evans is an unbelievable rebounder but he is no kind of defender… he’s undersized and his teams have always been brutal on defense.

    Brewer and Balkman are good to excellent wing defenders but I don’t know how much time they’re gonna get. Maybe none!

    I’m all for taking a shot at a big man and it should be someone with upside, like Sean Williams. 90 percent it doesn’t work out, but if it does you have a real player.

    Without taking a risk like that, it’s very unlikely we get someone better than Turiaf – all we can offer is about $3 million worth of expiring contracts. We can only get someone that another team pays $3 million and is willing to let walk for nothing. In other words, we’re not getting Marcus Camby.

    I’d say we’ll be seeing a Turiaf/Stoudemire holding down the middle, with the firm of Williams & Williams filling in. Shelden only in case of emergency.

  29. latke

    and TBH, if we end up trading Brewer to hep our frontcourt depth (doesn’t seem likely with only a few hours to go till the deadline), and Jared Jeffries is bought out, we really should pick him up. His best years were on that washington team that, like NY, had 3 legitimate scoring threats (arenas, butler, jamison).

  30. Caleb

    Ben R: Caleb – It was a high price for LA to pay to move Davis but they still have Minnesota’s unprotected pick and they are playing well so I would be surprised if their pick is worse then 8 or 9 in a weak draft so unless they win the lottery it is worth it. Even after resigning Jordan this year and paying for their draft picks and Gordon’s qualifing offer next summer they will be $30-35 million under the cap (more if they move Gomes) in 2012. They could potentially sign two max free agents while still keeping Griffin, Gordon, Aminu, Jordan, Bledsoe, the lottery talent they get from minnesota’s pick and whoever they draft in 2012. They could make their own big three (four) if Paul and Howard went there to team with Griffin and Gordon. I would put them as a darkhorse to make a huge splash in 2012 and with the Lakers getting old they could become the LA team that matters pretty soon.I have a question for everyone, why are people so eager to sign Earl Barron? He wasn’t that good last season for us (50.8% TS%) and was horrible for Pheonix this year. He was a good rebounder last year but I think there are better d-leaguers to take flyers on than Earl Barron, plus while Sheldon Williams isn’t very good he is a better player than Barron and much better rebounder for his career. I would much rather role the dice with Sean Williams or a different d-leaguer than sign a proven mediocre piece like Barron.  

    All this is true, it’s not like the wrecked the franchise with the trade, but they could have done the exact same thing next year. I guess if you think next year’s #13-20 pick is just as good as this year’s #7-10 pick, it’s a wash. But I think they gave up a bunch of draft slots just to save $. I guess it’s not wildly unreasonable.

  31. Caleb

    p.s. Wonder if the pick is protected? With Minny’s pick and their own that’s a lot of lottery balls… and they could have combined them, to move up.

  32. latke

    Brewer is an expiring too. We have about 8.4 million in expirings, enough to match camby, but i don’t know what else we could offer to get marcus.

  33. Caleb

    @35 I have a feeling we WILL see Jeffries, and at the vet minimum you can’t complain too much, but I hope he never sees the floor – he doesn’t do anything Shawne Williams can’t do, and Williams can hit a shot.

  34. Garson

    Just throwing this out there…

    At the end of 2012 when billups expires, Would it better to have him and use the money that we would have left on a center and spread around the rest to the bench… OR go all in with Paul and leave the remaining roster spots min sal guys (of course is Paul takes less)

    At that time, billups will be turning 36 (nash is currently 37) and he might be able to sustain a comparable level of play.

  35. Caleb

    @38 Yeah, forgot about Brewer in that scenario. But Portland will want more. Off-hand I really can’t think of anyone better than Turiaf that a team is just giving away. Sam Dalembert, but we don’t have enough salary to match up. Unless they want Balkman…

  36. Owen

    Maybe Sam Dalembert will become available at a reasonable price. There are any number of defensive minded players that we could pick up relatively cheap that D’Antoni would never insert into his rotation.

    I also read that the Clippers are very down on this year’s draft. And I think the savings are actually pretty substantial. I’d be disappointed if I were a Clippers fan though because Baron has played a lot better in the last six weeks or so. That said, he can’t stay healthy, as anyone who has ever owned him in a fantasy league knows.

  37. Caleb

    @40 Billups will be almost 37… love the guy but at that point he’s a real Plan B or C. Depending who’s available, and what the cap rules are, and what the cap is, you could think about splitting the $14 million between, say, Ray Felton and a center. Of course spending the max – whatever it is – probably means giving away Landry Fields, which we won’t want to do unless it IS for a Paul, Williams, Howard.

    Whether the CBA still allows for cap exceptions – like the mid-level – will be a pretty big factor in our future. I get the feeling that owners hate the mid-level more than anything. It effectively makes the cap $5-10 million higher than the “official” number.

    I’d also look for teams to eliminate or majorly change the trade exception.

  38. Frank

    I’d be happy with picking up JJ again — anyone who is at least interested in defense is a good pickup at this point. In addition (and this goes for Barron too) – anyone who is already familiar with the system will definitely have a much higher chance of making a real difference.

    I actually thought JJ played reasonably well last year for us pre-trade. Probably gambled/over-helped too much on D a la Toney but wasn’t totally embarrassing on offense. If he can actually shoot the corner 3 at 33% like he did for us, and maintain his D/Reb per-40 numbers, he could be a reasonable pickup.

    per hoopdata – last year with us – per 40 he average 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.8 blocks, and 1.2 charges. If you consider steals and charges as TOs caused, that’s a healthy 2.7 extra possessions per 40. not sure how to calculate blocks into that.

    Re: the other guys- I have trouble believing that the non-Melo/Billups new crowd will see much court time – not in the middle of a playoff race with 2 teams nipping at our heels. Maybe Shelden Williams as a 4th big against big lineups where Extra E is getting abused.

  39. latke

    Garson: Just throwing this out there…At the end of 2012 when billups expires, Would it better to have him and use the money that we would have left on a center and spread around the rest to the bench… OR go all in with Paul and leave the remaining roster spots min sal guys (of course is Paul takes less)
    At that time, billups will be turning 36 (nash is currently 37) and he might be able to sustain a comparable level of play.  

    2012 will define the knicks future through the 2014/15 season and perhaps beyond. If Paul or Williams somehow end up here, then we have a set team that can swap in and out spare parts to try to get over the top.

    If not, we will have a very hard time replacing Billups’ productivity and may end up in a situation like the Hawks are now, except older. Amare will turn 31 at the beginning of 2012/13 season. How much more will he have in the tank? And remember, Carmelo and Amare’s contract sizes grow each year, to the point that we will have $4 million less to offer a free agent in 2013 (despite the fact that we could potentially have no other guys on the books) than we could have in 2012. It will be a huge temptation to bring in overrated guys with bad contracts via trade, which could make the post-amare rebuilding process much more difficult.

  40. ess-dog

    NEWS ALERT (1:45PM EST):

    Sources confirm that Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry are indeed dressing up as the number 10 this year for Halloween. More information as it becomes available…

  41. Brian Cronin

    One reason why Barron might be a better pick-up than, say, Sean Williams, is that we know that D’Antoni would actually play Barron. That’s what a lot of these pick-ups have to be about – guys who D’Antoni will actually play. It’s not much use getting a player if he’s just going to get the Balkman treatment. So Barron works in that respect, and I believe that is a big reason Walsh is interested. The same thing goes for Jared Jeffries.

    Thinking of Jeffries, I was reminded of his three-point shooting (or lack thereof), which then reminded me of that game last season when the Knicks were down a point (maybe two) at the end of the game and they ran a set play for Jeffries to take a straight-on three from about four feet beyond the arc. That was a brutal, brutal loss.

  42. Nick C.

    Brian Cronin: One reason why Barron might be a better pick-up than, say, Sean Williams, is that we know that D’Antoni would actually play Barron. That’s what a lot of these pick-ups have to be about – guys who D’Antoni will actually play. It’s not much use getting a player if he’s just going to get the Balkman treatment. So Barron works in that respect, and I believe that is a big reason Walsh is interested. The same thing goes for Jared Jeffries.Thinking of Jeffries, I was reminded of his three-point shooting (or lack thereof), which then reminded me of that game last season when the Knicks were down a point (maybe two) at the end of the game and they ran a set play for Jeffries to take a straight-on three from about four feet beyond the arc. That was a brutal, brutal loss.  (Quote)

    Hahahaha that’s one I must have blacked out.

    Did Fields seem out of sorts to anyone else?

  43. Ben R

    Nick C.: Did Fields seem out of sorts to anyone else? Nick C.

    I’m sure the trade was pretty shocking to him too. He might not have gotten traded but over half of both the starting lineup and the rotation left so I’m sure it will take a little while for him to adjust as well.

  44. njasdjdh

    Nick C.:
    Hahahaha that’s one I must have blacked out.Did Fields seem out of sorts to anyone else?  

    He seemed terrible on defense. Melo also didn’t give him the ball in a couple spots where he usually would have gotten it with the pre-Melo squad.

  45. Nick C.

    Give it a week or two and all the kinks will start smoothing out. I am actually curious to see how this plays out schematically, who does what, how they run things, the sets and stuff like that.

  46. njasdjdh

    Soooo…Larry Coon just tweeted that we also gave the Nuggets the right to swap 1st round picks with us in 2016. That actually might be kind of a big deal.

  47. Ben R

    I just heard a rumor that we are thinking of buying out Balkman if we cannot move him. That makes no sense, 1st off he is not an expiring contract so it would be cementing his salary onto the cap for the next 2 years, 2nd he is a better player than anyone on our team short of Amare, Melo, Fields, Billups, Douglas, Azubuike (if he ever plays) and Turiaf. I’d put him about even with Walker and Williams but much better than Mason, Brewer, Carter, Sheldon, or Rautins.

    Balkman is a solid player, whenever he’s gotten on the court he’s been productive. He was the only pleasant surprise in a trade that got worse and worse as we got closer to doing it. Don’t be stupid NY give him a shot. He is a productive defensive specialist off the bench.

  48. Jim Cavan

    There were a couple points late in the game when Fields gave up the baseline, only to have his man score because Stat didn’t want to help and get his 6th foul. Maybe Landry didn’t realize Stat already had 5, but Fields got in his face after one easy dunk. Which I guess is good in the sense that he’s growing up and asserting himself more. But on those two plays, Fields all but built a make shift conveyor belt to the basket, practically standing parallel to the baseline. Not sure what the hell that was, but it certainly was an odd little sequence.

  49. Frank O.

    Jim Cavan: There were a couple points late in the game when Fields gave up the baseline, only to have his man score because Stat didn’t want to help and get his 6th foul. Maybe Landry didn’t realize Stat already had 5, but Fields got in his face after one easy dunk. Which I guess is good in the sense that he’s growing up and asserting himself more. But on those two plays, Fields all but built a make shift conveyor belt to the basket, practically standing parallel to the baseline. Not sure what the hell that was, but it certainly was an odd little sequence.  

    The Knicks defense is designed to force the opponent to the baseline where shotblockers are able to challenge. I think Amare was already in trouble….:)

  50. Caleb

    njasdjdh: Soooo…Larry Coon just tweeted that we also gave the Nuggets the right to swap 1st round picks with us in 2016. That actually might be kind of a big deal.  

    Guess we’re not rebuilding from scratch when Amare and Carmelo expire. I’m not too worried but it’s a little deja vu to the Marbury trade that came back to bite us in last year’s draft.

  51. Brian Cronin

    Soooo…Larry Coon just tweeted that we also gave the Nuggets the right to swap 1st round picks with us in 2016. That actually might be kind of a big deal.

    Ah…the trade that just keeps on giving.

  52. Caleb

    re: Balkman – I agree on his value. Although I’ve been disappointed in him – he doesn’t look like he’s been willing to put in the time and effort – for a guy who’s only going to make a living as an energy defender and rebounder, that’s not good. But even as is, he’s useful.

    Unfortunately, I’ll be shocked if MDA ever plays him. But as you point out, releasing him won’t save any cap space, and costs you the “break glass in case of emergency” option.

  53. Frank

    has anyone heard anything about how Jerome Jordan looks over in Europe? it’s been crickets on draftexpress for him. He was billed as having amazing physical gifts but needing development. Sort of like how Deandre Jordan was billed.

    If he can give us anything next year that would be huge. Their stats show him averaging 20 and 9 per 40 over there with a TS of 70, but also averaging 7+ fouls per 40.

    And meanwhile while I was writing this, Boston is sending Kendrick Perkins to OKC? Are they just gifting OKC a championship?

  54. Caleb

    If I wanted to snipe the trade, I could say the Knicks probably could have traded AR+Mozgov, or AR + the 2-second rounders, for Marcus Camby. With salary filler. Or Gallo for Camby and a 2nd rounder, etc. That would be a different story for interlopers attacking our rim. I promise, no more hindsight after this…

  55. DS

    Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green!

    Interesting! Thunder get some size. Celts get a young, decent wing… I guess they figured they were doing fine w/ their other 3 bigs.

  56. Caleb

    Nate to OKC, too… and Krstic to Boston, I hear.

    the funny thing is – I wonder if Boston will just try to sign Perkins back this summer… they might have just figured he isn’t healthy enough to help them the next few months, and they could use Green’s scoring…

  57. Jim Cavan

    Frank O.: The Knicks defense is designed to force the opponent to the baseline where shotblockers are able to challenge. I think Amare was already in trouble….:)

    I realize that, but Fields’ positioning was just so extreme. There’s a difference between giving baseline and GIVING baseline. Either way it wasn’t a game-changer.

    DS: Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green!

    That’s a good deal for both sides. I think Green could be a hell of a player, but playing with two certified Alpha Dogs has cut into his use and production. Will be interesting to see how Rivers utilizes him. Certainly provides good depth at the 3 and 4 for the two aging stars.

  58. Ben R

    That’s a great trade for the Thunder. Green is a pretty average player, sort of a poor man’s Wilson Chandler and is looking for a payday. A front line of Perkins, Collison, Ibaka gives the Thunder great defense up front. Wow love that trade for them, they just got alot better.

  59. Brian Cronin

    Man, the Thunder can really roll out a defensive lockdown line-up now of Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Ibaka and Perkins.

  60. Owen

    I also was confused by Fields defense at the end of the game. He surrendered the baseline so easily a couple of times it looked like it had to be intentional. My friend who went to the game said he looked totally gassed at the end from covering for Carmelo.

    Not a huge fan of Green, never have been. So I like that trade a lot for OKC. Don’t love what it does for Ibaka’s fantasy value though.

  61. nicos

    @58, 59

    There is a huge difference between “forcing” a guy baseline and just giving him a wide open run at the basket. This has been a problem all year- the scheme is obviously to push guys to the baseline where hopefully there’ll be help. In general this is fine- it’s an easy rotation and gives the dribbler fewer pass options than if you funneled him to the middle. But… when you let a guy just whip right by you nobody (esp. Stat) is going to rotate quick enough to challenge the shot without picking up a foul. Fields has to try to keep his body on Salmons while pushing him towards the baseline to slow him down- those plays were more Fields fault than Amar’e's. This has happened all season with both Fields and Gallo (though I thought Gallo made a much better effort the last month or so) and with the PGs as well and plugging this hole would go a long way towards fixing the defense.

  62. Ben R

    Perkins must have lived right in a previous life because while he is a good player he lucked into playing in Boston when the big three showed up and was a major part of their championship and now as the Celts get old and ready to fade into the sunset he gets traded to the Thunder, the best young team in the NBA, to play a major role in their championship aspirations. It keeps getting better and better for Perkins. The thought of him going back to Boston is kinda funny but I think he would be crazy to leave a promising team like the thunder and he’s from Texas so he’s actually much closer to home playing in OKC.

  63. Jim Cavan

    Ben R: Perkins must have lived right in a previous life

    When I look at Perkins I see someone who’s killed multiple people in a previous life.

  64. BigBlueAL

    Bobcats trade Gerald Wallace to Portland for Przybilla. There goes the Bobcats playoff chances. Top 8 in the East looks set now.

  65. Jim Cavan

    BigBlueAL: Bobcats trade Gerald Wallace to Portland for Przybilla.

    Wow, love that move for Portland. I’ve always been a Wallace fan, and though he’s not going to a championship contender per se, I think he fits in well with what they do. And you know the Portland fans will love him.

  66. BigBlueAL

    I love people trying to make it seem like Amar’e is going to have problems with Melo taking more shots. They are almost best freaking friends!!!! Amar’e was at Melo’s wedding!!!! In the 1st quarter it was obvious Amar’e was looking for Melo to get him going.

    If they struggle its not going to be because Amar’e is now jealous of Melo for crying out loud. Amar’e looked happier than anybody when talking about the trade.

    Sorry I went off a bit right now, just saw Ric Bucher using this as a reason the trade might not work out lol.

  67. ess-dog

    Jim Cavan:
    Wow, love that move for Portland. I’ve always been a Wallace fan, and though he’s not going to a championship contender per se, I think he fits in well with what they do. And you know the Portland fans will love him.  

    Devastating injury within two weeks. Book it.

  68. BigBlueAL

    Everyone is saying the Celtics will be signing Troy Murphy. Still defensively no comparison between he and Perkins.

  69. Brian Cronin

    Everyone is saying the Celtics will be signing Troy Murphy. Still defensively no comparison between he and Perkins.

    None at all. And I don’t get it – is Barkley their back-up point guard now? Are they signing TJ Ford? What’s up there?

  70. BigBlueAL

    Reports are now that the Mayo trade might not happen because they didnt report it to the NBA before the 3 pm deadline. That would be a major fail lol.

  71. hoolahoop

    The GOOD
    With Milwaukee lingering too close in the second half it felt different now. Pre-Melo, I would be at the edge of my seat, hoping, praying the Knicks would be scrappy enough to out hustle the Bucks and counting on Amare to step up.. Now its different. I had a calm confidence. The knicks had Amare Melo and Billups, star power that would not succumb to a lesser opponent.
    The BAD
    Where was Gallo? Every time a knick penetrated into congestion, I looked for Gallo on the arc to get outlast pass for a three, but, he wasn’t there. It’s like when you’re dog dies. Every time you open the door you expect him to run up to greet you, but he’s gone. Gone forever.
    The UGLY
    Last night I felt it. The knicks are a better team than two days ago. But, this is it. No cap space to fill in the cavernous holes – a big rebounding, defensive enforcer, a long term top tier point guard, and a back-up point guard.

  72. Jim Cavan

    Obviously how it all ends is important, but: might this not end up being the best NBA season ever? From “The Decision” to the absurd level of talent to the crazy trade deadline and beyond, I can’t remember one as compelling as this.

  73. Nick C.

    Holy mackeral I stay off line for a few hours and all hell breaks loose. What is the logic behind Charlotte trading Wallace, who i their best player, for Pryzbilla? Pryzbilla is for teams looking to fine tune for the playoffs not tread water. And speaking of past lives, what did Baron Davis do, first he signs with LAC just when they got a little mojo to play with Brand and Brand up and leaves and now he gets some good pub for having Blake Griffin’s back etc. and out to the land of the misfit toys in Cleveland.

  74. Frank

    wow that Portland/Charlotte trade is crazy. Charlotte did well there getting an expiring and 2 1sts. That team is going nowhere anyway.

    BUT — I feel a Przybilla buyout coming on — he would be great with this team.

  75. Nick C.

    What about Balkman, since he gets inactive anyway, for Pryzbilla. Balkman is sort of Gerald Wallace lite so …

  76. BigBlueAL

    Have you guys seen the ratings for MSG for last night’s game?? Highest rated game on MSG since MJ’s 55 pt “return” to MSG in 1995.

    First topic on Sportsnation is a debate on whose team is it, Amar’e or Melo’s. ESPN = unbelievable.

  77. Ben R

    So no deal at the deadline for us. That is a shame, it really limits what little chance we had to make noise in the playoffs this year. I was hoping to possibly be a spoiler but with Turiaf and Extra E as our Centers I don’t see us even getting out of the first round.

    Turiaf is a great backup 5 but when he is only person on the entire team, short of d-league level players (Sheldon, Barron, etc.) that can defend bigmen that is a bad sign. Our lack of size is almost comical.

    I am upset because we need to take advantage of the time we have with Billups and without making a move for a big man I don’t see how that happens. Now we have a one year window, next year, to try and do something with this team before Billups retires and we have Douglas as our starting PG. Expiring contracts at the deadline is the best way for capped out teams to bolster themselves. We don’t have cap room this summer so I question how we’ll even get a starting center then. A real misssed opportunity.

  78. Mulligan

    Heard a rumor that Prezbo might retire if traded.. but yeah, he could be a good piece here. Always struck me as a pretty tough guy, which is exactly what we need next to Amar’e.

  79. Mulligan

    @96, I think the deal we make comes with signing somebody after they get waived. There are quite a few dudes who are going to get waived now that the deadline is over.

  80. tastycakes

    My emotional response to last night’s game:

    - Always loved Billups and am super happy to see him on our team. He may be up there in years, but he has aged pretty gracefully and will give us some great moments, I think.

    - Especially happy to see Chauncey out there actively coaching Toney and working with Mike D. You can see that he has some natural leadership gifts and I think his presence will help the team come together much more quickly.

    - Have always been kind of “meh” on Melo. He doesn’t exactly exude intelligence and he’s definitely got that ego / entitlement thing that selectively turns me off. But I have always liked that he plays with a smile on his face, and I think I will grow to appreciate him — not sure I will ever think he’s not overrated, but we’ll see.

    - The picture of the 4 Knicks in Denver in street clothes had me feeling blue. You do get attached to guys in this league, especially when they seem to give a shit and win a few ballgames. Even a guy like Chandler, who has driven me crazy over the past few years. I’ll be rooting hard for them in the Denver game tonight. Looking forward to that. Funny, part of why I had trouble rooting for Denver was Melo’s presence, but now I think they’re gonna be one of my favorite non-Knick teams.

  81. Caleb

    Frank: wow that Portland/Charlotte trade is crazy.Charlotte did well there getting an expiring and 2 1sts. That team is going nowhere anyway.BUT — I feel a Przybilla buyout coming on — he would be great with this team.  

    My first thought was – crazy!

    my second thought was – why not? The Bobcats are cheap enough they might just rather save the $1 million or so by cutting him loose. Although, lot of teams would use him and if he’s taking a 3-month job I bet he’d do it in Miami.

    But most likely the Bobcats will keep him, give it the ol’ college try to make the playoffs. Technically they’re not too far from the #8 seed..

  82. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I think Charlotte will keep Przybilla and just have him be their 5 down the stretch.

    I am fine with the Knicks picking up Jeffries, but it better not be for Balkman. You don’t just cut a guy when you owe him salary for the next three seasons.

  83. DS

    There are 3 playoff spots for (in current standings order): Denver, Portland, Memphis, Utah, and Phoenix.

    I wonder who gets them? Keep in mind the Suns nabbed Aaron Brooks and Memphis Shane Battier today.

    I was hoping to get to watch the 4 former Knicks in the playoffs (5 if you include Al Buckets).

  84. latke

    Frank: has anyone heard anything about how Jerome Jordan looks over in Europe? it’s been crickets on draftexpress for him. He was billed as having amazing physical gifts but needing development. Sort of like how Deandre Jordan was billed.

    http://www.eurobasket.com/player.asp?Cntry=SRB&PlayerID=105287

    He’s only playing 15mpg, but per 36 mins he’s averaging about 20 pts, 11 rebounds and a block (and 7.5 fouls). Also, 75% fgs — tops in the Adriatic League!!

  85. Jim Cavan

    I guess the Celtics also shipped out Harengody and Semih Erden to Cleveland in exchange for a 2nd round pick. You have to think maybe Erden ends up getting waived. Living in N’England and having a Celtic fan for a fiance (WHOAAARRRRRRFFF!), I’ve watched enough games to know he’s more than serviceable. Not the greatest on the defensive end, but he’s got some low post pressence on the block and is a pretty intelligent player. And he’s making less than $500k. Might make for a good get.

  86. DS

    The real losers at the trade deadline are the Heat. If they had decided to get a package of 2 – 3 good players for Bosh (while the price for All-Stars is at its all-time peak) the league would be screwed for the next decade.

  87. DS

    latke: http://www.eurobasket.com/player.asp?Cntry=SRB&PlayerID=105287

    He’s only playing 15mpg, but per 36 mins he’s averaging about 20 pts, 11 rebounds and a block (and 7.5 fouls). Also, 75% fgs — tops in the Adriatic League!!  

    It also seems like he’s got a decent mid range game for a big man. Other than Landry and Toney, he’s our last flicker of hope in terms of upside these days. I’d def. like to see us add Sean Williams and cut loose one of our geriatric point guards.

  88. Ben R

    I would not mind us picking up Jeffries but he is not a bigman so he does not really fill a need and between Brewer and Balkman we have the offensively challenged defensive wing job kinda filled.

    Also if we buyout Balkman it locks in his salary for the next two and a half years so for those hoping to get as far under the cap as possible in 2012 it locks a 1.4 million dollar salary onto our 2012 cap. Why buy out Balkman when you have Mason and Carter.

    Murphy would be a decent pickup but still doesn’t give us a starting quality center. I don’t see any other realistic options other than d-league fodder which can be okay as a stop gap to cover injuries or fill out the end of the bench but hoping to find a major contributor off of Waivers or the d-league is a pretty tall task.

    If we’re going to go the Barron route I would rather go with Sheldon, he is a better rebounder, shot blocker and defender and while terrible at offense no worse than Barron, arguably better even.

  89. DS

    Ben R: Can we bring over Jerome Jordan midseason or are we just thinking for next year?

    Next year. I don’t know the rules re: signing a Serbian contract and coming back to the States but he must be wayyy too raw for MDA anyway.

  90. Jim Cavan

    Apparently Murphy didn’t say yes outright to the Celtics and is shopping around for a home…. but considering his ACTUAL home is still in New Jersey, you think that gives us some semblance of an inside track?

  91. Ben R

    DS: In fact, can someone put up a thread for tonights Nuggets/Celts game on ESPN?  (Quote)

    I am pretty excited to see how that team comes together. It will be interesting to see. No real ball stoppers on the offensive end. It should be a pleasure to watch. Their starting 5 has all players that score within the offense, so it could possibly be a clinic in ball movement and unselfish play. At least until Smith and Harrington come out and feel the need to “carry” the team. It should be fun, I hope Mozgov gets to play a major role. I personally think they should slide Nene down to PF, their only weak position, and let Andersen and Mozgov man the C position. Then use either Martin or Harrington as their back up PF. Their depth is kinda silly.

    Lawson Felton
    Afflalo Smith
    Gallo Chandler
    Nene Martin/Harrington
    Andersen Mozgov

  92. gbaked

    Ben R: and he’s from Texas so he’s actually much closer to home playing in OKC.

    My understanding is Texans hate Oaklahomies

  93. hoolahoop

    So, we all know Carmelo’s an elite scorer, but . . .
    Would the Knicks have been better off getting Deron Williams or Kendrick Perkins, at a cheaper cost, assuming a deal could have been made???????????????????????????

  94. Frank

    @119 – we need to remember that we got not only Carmelo but Chauncey Billups too – we got a major upgrade at 2 positions, one of which is the brains of the D’Antoni offense. He may be 34 but he sure looked pretty good last night. Perhaps we could have traded guys to get Williams but my sense is that Utah loved Favors and wanted the 2 lottery picks. We’ll never know.

    ANd i highly doubt that Boston would have traded Perkins within the division.

    In any case – I’m going to suggest we stop with the hindsight and spend our energies looking forward. What’s done is done for better or for worse.

    I’d love to see us pick up any of the following:
    Troy Murphy
    Joel Przybilla
    Earl Barron
    Sean williams
    JJ

  95. JK47

    Troy Murphy… maybe. At his best he is D’Antoni’s kind of big man, so maybe he’d actually be able to crack the rotation. He does rebound, so you gotta give him that, and he had put up some very nice WS/48 numbers for three straight years before crashing and burning this season. I would rather have a more stout defender in the paint but those are hard to come by.

    Joel Pryzbilla… pass. I’ve always loved Przybilla’s game, but he just simply isn’t healthy anymore.

    Earl Barron… pass. Barron is not as great a rebounder as people think and he stinks at everything else. I would WAY rather see minutes go to Shelden Williams.

    Sean Williams… yes. Monster shot blocker, good defender, good rebounder. This seems like a no-brainer to me. Could be the type of player we hoped Anthony Randolph would become.

    Jared Jeffries… pass. Doesn’t do enough to solve our rebounding problems, and is similar to two guys who are already on the roster, Balkman and Brewer.

    Another name I’ll throw out there is Joe Alexander, who has been burning up the D-League. He leads the league in rebounding and has been ridiculously efficient. He’s only 6’8″ so he wouldn’t give us the size we’re looking for, but his rebounding has been a revelation and he has displayed a much improved inside/outside offensive game.

    I’m all about bringing in D-League guys with upside… Reminds me of plucking Starks and Mason from the CBA back in the day. I say we dump Mason and Anthony Carter and bring in both Williams and Alexander.

  96. Z

    Troy Murphy seems like a good fit, but why is it that he couldn’t get playing time on a terrible team? Was he hurt? If so, he’s probably still hurt. Was he unmotivated? Probably not, since he’s a Jersey Boy and seemed pretty happy with the trade from Indiana last summer.

    Just wondering what makes people think he can contribute meaningful minutes in the NBA anymore?

  97. Brian Cronin

    So, we all know Carmelo’s an elite scorer, but . . .
    Would the Knicks have been better off getting Deron Williams or Kendrick Perkins, at a cheaper cost, assuming a deal could have been made???????????????????????????

    Utah would not have traded Deron to the Knicks for what they gave up to get Carmelo (less, I guess, Chandler or Gallo, since they wouldn’t be bringing back two players). But if they somehow could have done that, then yes, he would have been a better pick-up, but it’s a moot point since he wasn’t available for what the Knicks gave up to get Carmelo.

  98. d-mar

    Did anyone listen to the D-Will press conference today? Can’t make you feel real good if you’re a Nets fan. I didn’t expect him to say it was a dream come true, or that he would definitely extend in 2012, but he sure didn’t sound real excited about as he put it “joining a team that’s 17-40″. I just don’t see them as a playoff team next year – subtract Favors and Harris and add D-Wlll – how many more wins does that equate to? I also don’t see many scenarios where he would stay, and I guess Prokhorov will be lobbying hard for a franchise tag in the upcoming CBA. We may actually have a replay of the Melo fiasco, where the Nets desperately try to get some value for a player who is halfway out the door. (insert Dolan comment here)

  99. latke

    d-mar: (insert Dolan comment here)  

    Fortunately, I’d be cool with Jimmy trading the whole team outside of ‘Melo and Amare if it meant getting Deron.

    I REALLY doubt there will be a franchise tag. NFL players hate it, and since NBA players have a lot more leverage (smaller teams, more star-centric), I can’t see it happening. What I CAN see happening is more restricted rules about sign and trades, and/or a bigger difference between the size and length of contracts teams can offer their own players vs. those they can offer other free agents. If NJ can pay Deron 100 million over 5 years, and the most any other team can offer him is $80 million, would he leave? Players have gotten around this before via sign and trades, but if the new CBA bans sign and trades, that rules out that possibility. Another problem this brings though is that teams like NJ wouldn’t be able to bring in premiere FAs. In a way, it rewards poor management, since players would have a lot less leverage in terms of pressuring their management to add players. But I don’t think owners would mind that.

  100. tastycakes

    Tastycakes’ CBA Solution:

    Scale back (but keep) max guaranteed contract length, max salaries, the current soft cap, the MLE, and make the luxury tax progressive (so it gets more significant the higher you go over).

    Franchise tag would be terrible in a league with too few elite players, and too little parity. As a fan, the rules are good, but owners clearly need a bit more protection from themselves — and from the crippling effect of bad contracts from which they can not escape (see: Eddy Curry, Gilbert Arenas, etc).

  101. tastycakes

    Also, the whole “Utah wouldn’t take what we gave Denver for Melo” argument is a bit thin when we also got Billups in that deal. It’s not like the dude is chopped liver.

  102. Brian Cronin

    Also, the whole “Utah wouldn’t take what we gave Denver for Melo” argument is a bit thin when we also got Billups in that deal. It’s not like the dude is chopped liver.

    Denver wanted to include Billups. It was Denver, not the Knicks, who put him into the deal. He is not a Knick because they said, “At least give us Billups, too!” He is there because the Nuggets said, “You have to take Billups if you want Carmelo.”

  103. d-mar

    Watching the Bulls-Heat game. A few things:

    1) Bosh is 1-17. Yes, 1-17 that’s not a typo. And the Heat are still ahead by 1

    2) It seems like every trip down the floor, Rose goes one on one without looking at anyone else and ends up attempting some kind of circus shot.

    3) On 2 separate occasions, LeBron and Rose thought they got fouled and literally screamed in the ref’s face. No tech. Amare can’t even look at a ref without getting t’d up.

    I know the Bulls will be favored against us, but offensively, they are really limited. I give us a shot.

  104. tastycakes

    Brian Cronin:
    Denver wanted to include Billups. It was Denver, not the Knicks, who put him into the deal. He is not a Knick because they said, “At least give us Billups, too!” He is there because the Nuggets said, “You have to take Billups if you want Carmelo.”  

    I didn’t read that anywhere. Why, just to dump salary?

    If we had gotten *only* D-Will for that package, we’d feel a bit more gutted than we do today, don’t you think?

  105. Owen

    Lol, that’s funny.

    Great game between the Heat and the Bulls. Shows the value of a good bench, which the Heat doesn’t have right now.

    Also, this Omer Asik guy played a really nice game, I can see why Houston wanted him…

  106. BigBlueAL

    I thought before the trade the Knicks could upset the Bulls in the 1st round. Now with Melo and Billups dare I say I almost expect for it to happen.

    The Bulls will kill the Knicks on the glass but their offense is so mediocre and is just plain old Iso’s for Rose all the time its a type of offense the Knicks can probably defend decently. They are a great defense but sorry no team in the NBA is going to beat the Knicks with their defense, the Knicks will get beat because obviously they wont be able to cover the other team.

    Celtics and Heat can play some decent defense vs the Knicks but obviously the bigger problem is they can for the most part score at will vs the Knicks. The Bulls in a 7 game series vs the Knicks will probably throw up a couple of offensive clunkers like they did on Christmas vs them.

    As I type this Rose actually gave it up and hit an open Deng for a 3pter and what seems like the game winner lol.

  107. marxster

    Jeffries on his way back to NYC. I’ve read that the Knicks don’t know if they can arrange for a reasonable buyout for Jerome Jordan to get him to New York.

    I’m ok with Jeffries. I remember him playing some solid D at times. We know he can’t shoot to save his life, but he I don’t think we need to worry about offense.

  108. itztiz

    There needs to be a Knuggets thread. Im absolutely sure this game is being watched by more Knicks than Nuggets fans.

  109. BigBlueAL

    Felton must be pissed at hell that he is not starting. There were reports his agent was meeting the Nuggets GM last night about whether or not he would be starting or not.

    Of course its just the 1st game he could eventually become the starter at PG in the future.

  110. daJudge

    I have always loved Deron Williams, as a player. I’m going out on a limb a bit here and speculating….I think he chased Jerry Sloan out of Utah. Again, I’m just guessing. But if true, Sloan is an icon and a very tough guy. Very hard to imagine the scenario that led to such alienation and the short sale to the nets. Must have been really bad. My view, Deron was exiled to the nets. Good luck on all levels. Funny thing though. Now, he’s already set up in the metro area next door to a playoff team and the nets are what they are. As such, we have two awesome RFA point guards, one on a team that is insolvent and another on a team that is historically awful.
    As far as a Big—I would opt for D League and take a shot. I would however be OK with JJ.
    On the franchise issue—never going to happen in this league. You can take that to the bank. There would be a strike first.

  111. itztiz

    I’m not ok with signing JJ when Corey Brewer and Renaldo Balkman play excellent defense can actually make a layup or two and are getting no PT.

  112. d-mar

    Heat are 0-5 against Bulls and Celtics. Not a good sign for the playoffs, I think getting Haslem back will be critical for them.

    Seeing Gallo in a Nuggets uniform is really sad.

  113. bbbb00123

    As much as I love seeing the heat lose games, Chicago lucked out with Bosh’s game. 1-18 is absolutely horrendous. The lowest scoring output he’s put out all year. Although the Heat bench is really turning out to be a major weakpoint. 1-8, scoring only 2 points? Very poor.

  114. BigBlueAL

    Old Knicks shoot 1 for 8 in the 1st quarter of their Denver debuts (1 makes was a Chandler 3pter). Dont think Mozgov will get any playing time tonight. Gallo was 0 for 4 but looked real good and active.

  115. hoolahoop

    daJudge: I have always loved Deron Williams, as a player.I’m going out on a limb a bit here and speculating….I think he chased Jerry Sloan out of Utah.Again, I’m just guessing.But if true, Sloan is an icon and a very tough guy.Very hard to imagine the scenario that led to such alienation and the short sale to the nets.Must have been really bad.My view, Deron was exiled to the nets.Good luck on all levels.Funny thing though.Now, he’s already set up in the metro area next door to a playoff team and the nets are what they are.As such, we have two awesome RFA point guards, one on a team that is insolvent and another on a team that is historically awful.As far as a Big—I would opt for D League and take a shot.I would however be OK with JJ.On the franchise issue—never going to happen in this league.You can take that to the bank.There would be a strike first.  

    They traded him because they didn’t think he would re-sign with them so figured they would get the most value now with more than a season left on his contract.

  116. jon abbey

    itztiz: I’m not ok with signing JJ when Corey Brewer and Renaldo Balkman play excellent defense can actually make a layup or two and are getting no PT.  

    if Jeffries plays, he’ll presumably be guarding the post, since Shawne Williams was the second-string center last night.

  117. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, if I had to choose between the two, I’d rather have Jeffries guarding the post than Extra E.

  118. Brian Cronin

    The way I see it, Williams’ minutes won’t be affected by Jeffries being here, his minutes will just come more at the 3 and 4, as opposed to the 4 and the 5. It would be Walker that would lose minutes to Jeffries. I think Jeffries at the 4/5 and Williams at the 3/4 (with Fields at the 2) is better than Walker at the 2, Fields at the 3 and Williams at the 4/5.

  119. Z

    Why on earth would we ever want Jeffries back?!?

    Is Isiah really trying to rebuild the 2007 Knicks? First Balkman, then Jeffries. Who’ll be next? Stephon Marbury? (I’m sure Mo Taylor is sitting by the phone somewhere, waiting for it to ring…)

  120. Ben R

    Brian Cronin: Yeah, if I had to choose between the two, I’d rather have Jeffries guarding the post than Extra E.  (Quote)

    The thing is if we’re going to go with an offensive zero both Balkman and Sheldon are better defending the post and rebounding than JJ and are about a wash offensively.

    About the CBA:
    I think the best solution to limit stars teaming up and help smaller markets is to get rid of max salaries and s&ts. (While it might be nice to play in NY or LA or Miami if they are offering 15 mil and Utah or Memphis is offering 30 mil it’s an easy choice) Since teams can go over the cap to sign their own players it would give the home team an advantage because most likely they could offer more than anyone else.

    Combine that with much shorter contracts (3 year max, 4 for rookies) and a tiered cap (same soft cap as before but then a hard cap say 25% higher than the soft one) Get rid of exemptions and RFA’s. Also get rid of raises, just average the contract over the life of the deal and raise minimum contracts, but have it the same regardless of years in the league. By getting rid of raises and creating one minimum contract (rather than a tiered one) a team would never be able to go over the cap for any reason besides resigning their own free agents. (Capholds would insure teams could always fill their roster without raising their salary) That would be my solution, good for owners, good for small markets, fair, and good for players

  121. Brian Cronin

    I agree that it would be best to let Balkman play – but he won’t ever play for D’Antoni, while Jeffries obviously will, so it is only a choice between Jeffries and Extra E playing the 4/5.

    If Sheldon could get some burn, then yeah, that’d be fine, too. I doubt that would happen, either, though.

    Getting Murphy, though, would be the best. You’d think that he would want to come here – the Knicks would be able to offer him a ton of minutes.

  122. Brian Cronin

    Banning sign and trades would be meaningless. The only reason sign and trades ever get into the picture (in a way that the team trading the player is unhappy about, as opposed to when the team is glad to sign and trade the player, like the Knicks with David Lee) is when players make it clear that they would sign with the other team no matter what, so the team might as well do a sign and trade. If there were no sign and trades, Lebron and Bosh would have still signed with the Heat. Getting rid of sign and trades would do nothing. To wit, the Suns signed and traded Amar’e, but he was totally prepared to sign with the Knicks right up until the last second when the Suns decided to do it.

  123. Brian Cronin

    Felton and Lawson closing the game out in the backcourt together.

    Gallo benched for most of the third and all of the fourth. Weird.

  124. itztiz

    Brian Cronin: Felton and Lawson closing the game out in the backcourt together.Gallo benched for most of the third and all of the fourth. Weird.  

    You Gallo fans kill me. HES 1 FOR 6!

  125. Brian Cronin

    16-0 run to close the game out. That’s nuts. That reminds me of that one game against the Hornets last year, when the Knicks went on, like, an 18-0 run or something like that.

  126. Richmond County

    Mozgov was the hold up for the Melo trade just so he could log a DNP Coach’s Decision? Hmmm…

  127. Brian Cronin

    Mozgov was the hold up for the Melo trade just so he could log a DNP Coach’s Decision? Hmmm…

    Weird, right? I guess they are thinking more of the future with him (Martin is a free agent after this year).

  128. latke

    Brian Cronin: Banning sign and trades would be meaningless.

    The marginal differences between the salaries, contract length, and raise percentages are what make it likely though that a player would be willing to leave (or at least make their bluffs more believable). If there was a more significant difference between the max salary/years/raises when resigning your player and the max salary/years/raise for signing another team’s free agent, that would give owners more leverage. NJ, for example, could say to Deron next summer, “Go ahead, I dare you to sacrifice $20 million. We’re not going to facilitate a sign and trade.” A lot fewer players would take the sacrifice.

    That said, I think ownership recognizes the value of free agency in terms of drawing attention to the league and giving fans of bad teams hope. If you can just trade your long term contracts, you can have a shot at a big name. I think overall they recognize that the structure of the CBA has been good to the league; they just want to make a little more cash. In order to preserve what works, they’ll just nip and tuck here and there — lowering the cap and tax threshold, reducing/eliminating MLEs. There next priority would be shortening contracts, but I imagine they’d be willing to take that off the table for the right price.

    As far as eliminating a max salary, it’s an interesting idea but would seem to give advantages to rich teams. It also could lead to some seriously bad contracts, which is bad for the NBA — you don’t want teams saddled with contracts that are unmovable.

  129. BigBlueAL

    Mozgov wont be getting any time at all with Denver, not when they have 2 centers in Nene and Birdman plus Martin and Chandler at PF. Not sure how much playing time Gallo will be getting too. Chandler might get more minutes than Gallo despite coming off the bench. Glad to see Chandler play well tonight.

  130. itztiz

    I’m loving the Knuggets. Its great Chandler, Gallo and Felton have found a new home and new opportunity to prove themselves. Mozgov will have his shot too. I was surprised at how clutch J.R. Smith looked out there.

  131. BigBlueAL

    Reading through Twitter looks like Melo heard what Karl said about him tonight. A more determined/pissed/motivated Melo could benefit the Knicks lol.

  132. Z

    I can’t grasp why D’Antoni likes Jeffries but not Balkman. Jeffries he only played because Walsh was trying to trade him, right?!? You mean, he actually LIKED what Jeffries was doing on the court?! Yikes!

    Balk man he never gave a chance to, which irritated me. Balkman was a great rebounder for us, and thrived in the open court. He had a good handle and could lead the break as his own outlet pass. He was twice the offensive threat of Jeffries because he could get offensive rebounds and score putbacks, something Jeffries routinely bricked.

    Considering what we know about D’Antoni, namely that he only plays guys who can shoot, why the he’ll would he want to play Jared Jeffries?? (this is a recurring nightmare, isn’t it…)

  133. itztiz

    latke:
    You Chris Bosh fans kill me! He was 1 for 18!  

    Haha I’ve never seen a big third so soft. I really hope our big three hold up.

  134. BigBlueAL

    Um, Balkman was traded before D’Antoni ever got to coach him. Also George Karl never played him much either.

    Jeffries infuriated us with his offense but he was BY FAR the best team defender when he was with the Knicks. He is a much, much better fit with this current team than with the Knicks teams he played for. He was having his best season of his career offensively (TS% wise) at the time he was traded.

  135. Brian Cronin

    The marginal differences between the salaries, contract length, and raise percentages are what make it likely though that a player would be willing to leave (or at least make their bluffs more believable). If there was a more significant difference between the max salary/years/raises when resigning your player and the max salary/years/raise for signing another team’s free agent, that would give owners more leverage. NJ, for example, could say to Deron next summer, “Go ahead, I dare you to sacrifice $20 million. We’re not going to facilitate a sign and trade.” A lot fewer players would take the sacrifice.

    Agreed. That would have an actual effect on free agency. And since the league has constantly introduced new disincentives to leave one’s current team, I would not be surprised if they did add even more disincentives with the new CBA.

    One thing they won’t be adding is a franchise tag, and what’s maddening to me is that sources close to the owners have noted that franchise tags are, like, the 15th thing they want. It’s nowhere near a priority, not when they have the mid-level killing them, for instance. That’s a much bigger priority for owners. The mid-level exception is the biggest waste of money in the NBA. Look at the players who get mid-levels. Look how many of them make their team regret the contract almost instantaneously (Harrington is a good example). The part that makes it maddening to me is that media guys keep bringing up the franchise tag, because it sounds interesting – but they know it does not even have a chance of happening!

  136. Brian Cronin

    Um, Balkman was traded before D’Antoni ever got to coach him.

    Because D’Antoni did not want to coach him. I remember at the time, he made it clear he did not want him. So once D’Antoni made it clear he did not want him the Knicks dumped him on Denver. And yeah, I don’t get what Karl didn’t play him, either. They extended the guy after one year! Not kept him on the team, they extended him!!! Why do that for a guy you don’t plan on playing?!

  137. BigBlueAL

    BTW I could care less if Jeffries is signed or not. If he is I assume he will just come off the bench for 15-20 minutes. I also wouldnt mind seeing Balkman or Brewer get some time too. Even Sheldon Williams since he has some size and can rebound.

    But really its splitting hairs because except for TD nobody else on the bench really deserves automatic minutes although obviously Extra E will get them and deservedly so with the way he has played this season.

  138. Brian Cronin

    I can’t grasp why D’Antoni likes Jeffries but not Balkman. Jeffries he only played because Walsh was trying to trade him, right?!? You mean, he actually LIKED what Jeffries was doing on the court?! Yikes!

    Balk man he never gave a chance to, which irritated me. Balkman was a great rebounder for us, and thrived in the open court. He had a good handle and could lead the break as his own outlet pass. He was twice the offensive threat of Jeffries because he could get offensive rebounds and score putbacks, something Jeffries routinely bricked.

    Considering what we know about D’Antoni, namely that he only plays guys who can shoot, why the he’ll would he want to play Jared Jeffries?? (this is a recurring nightmare, isn’t it…)

    D’Antoni is quite often a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a nice tortilla shell.

    He never plays guys like Turiaf – but he plays Turiaf.

    He wants Jeffries, but hates Balkman.

    He’s a good enough coach that I’m generally willing to say, “Eh, let him do what he wants,” but yeah, there are more than a few head scratchers in D’Antoni’s repertoire.

  139. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Because D’Antoni did not want to coach him. I remember at the time, he made it clear he did not want him. So once D’Antoni made it clear he did not want him the Knicks dumped him on Denver. And yeah, I don’t get what Karl didn’t play him, either. They extended the guy after one year! Not kept him on the team, they extended him!!! Why do that for a guy you don’t plan on playing?!  

    He was traded on July 28, 2008. I doubt D’Antoni had ever even seen him play. Hey maybe he can impress him in practice and eventually earn playing time. Doubt it though know D’Antoni :-)

  140. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think 15-20 minutes is splitting hairs. That’s significant minutes.

    And I think Extra E deserves automatic minutes. I’d just prefer they come at the 3 and 4 rather than the 4 and the 5.

  141. BigBlueAL

    Knicks only 3 games back of Atlanta in the loss column. Doubt they can catch them but I believe from what Ive read that they have one of the hardest schedules remaining in the NBA.

  142. Brian Cronin

    D’Antoni on Balkman when he was traded, “Renaldo really had no role after we drafted Gallinari, and with the emergence of Wilson Chandler his minutes would be nonexistent, so it really wasn’t fair to him to keep him in a spot that he wouldn’t play and also gives us an opportunity to clear up a roster spot and move on.”

  143. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: I don’t think 15-20 minutes is splitting hairs. That’s significant minutes.
    And I think Extra E deserves automatic minutes. I’d just prefer they come at the 3 and 4 rather than the 4 and the 5.  

    Agreed but problem is there is no backup 5 now lol.

    Yeah probably shouldve said 10-15 minutes for Jeffries. I think its safe to say there are 7 Knicks who will play every game with TD and Extra E being 6th and 7th in rotation. Will be interesting to see who becomes the 8th and maybe 9th guys in the rotation.

  144. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: D’Antoni on Balkman when he was traded, “Renaldo really had no role after we drafted Gallinari, and with the emergence of Wilson Chandler his minutes would be nonexistent, so it really wasn’t fair to him to keep him in a spot that he wouldn’t play and also gives us an opportunity to clear up a roster spot and move on.”  

    Makes sense to me!! lol

  145. Brian Cronin

    Agreed but problem is there is no backup 5 now lol.

    That’s what I mean, though. I would prefer Jeffries as the backup 5 over Extra E (with Extra E taking the 3/4 minutes, Fields getting more 2 minutes and Walker getting more bench minutes).

    Now Murphy is who I would really prefer, but I doubt that happens.

  146. Z

    Brian Cronin: D’Antoni on Balkman when he was traded, “Renaldo really had no role after we drafted Gallinari, and with the emergence of Wilson Chandler his minutes would be nonexistent, so it really wasn’t fair to him to keep him in a spot that he wouldn’t play and also gives us an opportunity to clear up a roster spot and move on.”  

    Thanks Brian– I was about to spend an hour looking for that quote. Exactly as I remember it… Inane as ever.

  147. Ben R

    Since we failed to get a legitimate bigman I think we have no choice but give Sheldon some real burn backing up Turiaf. Maybe he can repeat what he did last year for Boston.

    As for other people off the bench I think the big x-factor and probably the only way we make noise this year is Azubuike. If he can return he would give us a huge lift off the bench and between him and Douglas provide great depth at the 1, 2 and 3. If he’s not able to I would give that time to Walker. Combine that with Sheldon and a combo of Shawne and (i hope) Balkman at the 4 and 5 and I think we might be passable against anything but really big teams.

    I personally think JJ would be a mistake, a step down from Sheldon, Shawne and Balkman. Maybe if we don’t sign JJ, D’Antoni will be forced to give Balkman burn and he will shine. (We all know Turiaf is going to miss some time and maybe Balkman will have an opportunity)

    I know alot of people on this board like extra e but I think he is a step down from Walker at the 2 and 3. Walker is a much better offensive player and extra e’s three point shooting has been on a steady decline since his hot start: Dec – 63.3%, Jan – 44.0%, FEB – 31.8%. I hear people raving about extra e’s defense but I don’t see it, the effort is usually there but overall I think he is still below average and only marginally better than Walker.

  148. latke

    BigBlueAL: Knicks only 3 games back of Atlanta in the loss column.Doubt they can catch them but I believe from what Ive read that they have one of the hardest schedules remaining in the NBA.

    Do we want to pass Atlanta? I’d honestly rather play the Bulls than the Magic. Orlando’s main problem is their laziness. You have to figure they try a little harder come the playoffs. If Atlanta passes Orlando though and we pass Orlando, then I’m all for playing the Hawks, but that would take quite a streak on our part (and continued mediocrity in Disney World).

  149. Ben R

    latke: As far as eliminating a max salary, it’s an interesting idea but would seem to give advantages to rich teams. It also could lead to some seriously bad contracts, which is bad for the NBA — you don’t want teams saddled with contracts that are unmovable. latke

    You counteract the no max contract with a very short max contract length. I personally think three years is perfect. Also maybe do something like the final year is only half guaranteed if the player is waived before the trade deadline the year before. This way you are never more than a couple years from cap freedom.

    The main reason you get rid of s&ts is not to force players to stay put but to make it harder for already capped out teams to make moves. This way a player can’t hold his team hostage, I’ll go to A unless you trade me to B.

    I agree about the MLE that needs to go. Being over the cap needs to have serious consquences. That’s also why I think you need a tiered cap, for example soft cap at 60 mil and then hard at 80 mil. You can go over 60 to resign players but cannot go over 80 for any reason ever.

    This way if your at 80 mil all you can do is stay put or reduce payroll. Which means lose FAs, lose draft picks, etc.

  150. Brian Cronin

    I agree that Extra E is overrated as a defender, but he at least tries on defense, unlike Walker. Walker does not do anything but shoot. Extra E will at least try other things.

  151. Brian Cronin

    The main reason you get rid of s&ts is not to force players to stay put but to make it harder for already capped out teams to make moves. This way a player can’t hold his team hostage, I’ll go to A unless you trade me to B.

    I don’t see how sign and trades affect this situation. Can you give me an example of a past situation where sign and trades played a role in something like that? In the case of Melo, for instance, his threats only worked because the Knicks did have the room to sign him outright.

  152. Nick C.

    I saw Leon Powe was waived by Cleveland. Ideally he would be a perfect fit. I’m assuming he never recovered since his numbers were not what they were in Boston, he barely played and was waived by an awful Cavs team. Unless the knees are beyond redemption wouldn’t it be worth it to take a shot on a guy that was once not only pretty good in the NBA but good enough to be a key part of the rotation on a championship team (I know so was Roger Mason).

  153. d-mar

    I agree with most, Murphy would be a much better addition than Jeff-rightened. D’Antoni’s offense is all about spreading the floor, and when ever Jeffries would be in the game, it would be 4 on 5 on offense, and Amare’s game would suffer the most with teams sending extra defenders at him. Getting a defensive specialist always sounds great in concept, but he’s gotta be able to hit an open shot a la Bowen.

  154. Z-man

    Z: I can’t grasp why D’Antoni likes Jeffries but not Balkman. Jeffries he only played because Walsh was trying to trade him, right?!? You mean, he actually LIKED what Jeffries was doing on the court?! Yikes!Balk man he never gave a chance to, which irritated me. Balkman was a great rebounder for us, and thrived in the open court. He had a good handle and could lead the break as his own outlet pass. He was twice the offensive threat of Jeffries because he could get offensive rebounds and score putbacks, something Jeffries routinely bricked.Considering what we know about D’Antoni, namely that he only plays guys who can shoot, why the he’ll would he want to play Jared Jeffries?? (this is a recurring nightmare, isn’t it…)  

    Balkman, like AR, has a very low b-ball IQ, especially on offense but on D as well. Considering Karl’s parting shot at Melo’s D, isn’t it telling that he didn’t play Balkman either?

    Jeffries and Turiaf, on the other hand, are much smarter players with limited skills. My gripe on JJ was what we were paying him, and what he cost us even when we got rid of him.

    d-mar: I agree with most, Murphy would be a much better addition than Jeff-rightened. D’Antoni’s offense is all about spreading the floor, and when ever Jeffries would be in the game, it would be 4 on 5 on offense, and Amare’s game would suffer the most with teams sending extra defenders at him. Getting a defensive specialist always sounds great in concept, but he’s gotta be able to hit an open shot a la Bowen.  

    4 on 5 is different when 3 of those 4 are Melo, Stat and Billups.

    The bottom line is that we desperately need some defense. JJ is not ideal, but he blocks shots and defends, knows the system and comes on the cheap.

  155. Z-man

    Powe is redundant.
    Murphy is good, but we are not on his list of teams.
    Barron flopped earlier this year and played well for us but in completely meaningless games.

    Hey, the guy the Celts picked up from the D-league was not horrible for 5-10 minute guy, maybe we should take a flyer on Sean Williams.

  156. Dan Panorama

    I can’t believe I’m saying this after all the misery he represented, but losing Jeffries was a serious blow last year the second half of the season. As long as he’s on a reasonable contract he’s a major asset. The Knicks have a ton of offense now which masks his horrifying game there and he really opens up a lot of possibilities on defense. Knicks will have to overachieve on team defense with their roster and Jeffries has proven very valuable in this role because he can be used in so many ways. There was a stretch last year that I loved in which D’antoni kept using him to guard the opposing teams PGs (!), much to their surprise and frustration. How many other players could play center and also pull off something like that? When you consider how often we’re going to screw up our rotations on picks, having someone like Jeffries who can guard whatever position he gets stuck with at the moment is a real plus.

  157. ASyrett19

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Gq7Ik9ywU

    Instead of bringing back Jeffries, I think we should take a chance with Sean Williams. I got to see him play at BC and he is a good defender and shot-blocker. He’s not useless on offense and can score on occasional dunks and jumpers. Off the court issues and mindset were the only thing holding him back, and I think he’d be more focused the second time around after riding the bus in the minors. I could see him becoming a similar player to the Birdman (wish we could have gotten him in the trade).

    I haven’t heard anything about teams looking at TJ Ford. Him and Williams would fill the Knicks two big needs.

  158. Nick C.

    Sean Williams seems like a good idea and he had flashes with the Nets, but I can’t help but think of him as Anthony Randolph part 2 if he gets signed. Though it doesn’t matter if the chatter is accurate Jefferies will be back to annoy us all once more. I don’t get it. He has a career high of the 8.0 R/36 6.8 career, and career 0.8 blk/36. Why not play the other guy I can’t stand, Balkman, who at least can do both of those and dribble a rebound up court without turning it over more often than not.

  159. endyendy

    I don’t really consider Ford an upgrade from Douglas, but I agree on Williams especially if Balkman is going to receive no playing time. Do we really need Roger Mason on the bench?

    I’m also hoping that, good defense being 99% effort, STAT and Melo decide to step it up and set the tone for this team. Our offense should be fine, so if we can just put in the time on the other side of the court this team can be a tough out in the playoffs. I also wonder if STAT will be more willing to take chances and challenge at the rim with the belief that Melo and Billups can help carry the offense if he gets into foul trouble.

  160. Frank

    I am actually for the JJ re-signing. He may be bad on offense but what he brings on defense more than makes up for it IMHO. Knicks were 6 points better on defense with him on the floor last year and were basically a wash with or without him on offense:

    http://www.82games.com/0910/09NYK16.HTM#onoff

    This is one situation in which I think +/- numbers may actually be representative — because whoever JJ came in for is probably just as bad a defender as whoever he comes in for this year.

    Another benefit of JJ is that he can do a credible job of guarding the quick PGs that Billups may have trouble with. And between the steals and charges he takes, he does create extra possessions for us.

    Like someone wrote above – there are no perfect pickups at this point, and though I would love to take a flyer on Sean Williams, I highly doubt that D’Antoni would or should play a guy who doesn’t know the system at all over a guy who knows it very well.

  161. d-mar

    OK, I’m starting to come around on the JJ idea. It would be great to have someone you could throw out there to try and lock down on an opposing PG like Rose or even an LBJ. And JJ always seemed to bother Rondo, which can’t hurt. I do worry about opposing defenses not having to guard him, but agree that defense is where we are lacking, so maybe not a bad idea.

  162. d-mar

    BTW, go to the ESPN.com NBA home page, and check out the mug shots of 6 guys who got traded. 5 of them have smiles on their faces, while Kendrick Perkins looks like he wants to kill somebody. Pretty funny.

  163. SeeWhyDee77

    Jim Cavan:.I didn’t get that sense at all. If anything, Stat — while off a bit — looked far more comfortable than Melo.  

    I apologize…I shoulda been more clear. I was speaking of his defense. And maybe I shouldn’t have said it like that becuz it’s great that Stat was tryin 2 focus more defensively becuz he knows we need it and Melo’s presence allows him to not hafta go so hard offensively. But it looked like he was trying too hard on defense to prove a point instead of jus..i don’t know..playing defense? Add that to his late game offensive farts and I guess maybe I read too much into it.

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