Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Knicks 115, Cavs 107: Knickerblogger Steps into the Wayback Machine

New York Knicks 94 Final
Recap | Box Score
109 Cleveland Cavaliers
Patrick Ewing, C 32 MIN | 5-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -22

Another beastly effort for the Big Fella tonight. 44 points on 24 shots? That’s better than the Wonderbra! Patrick’s step-back jumper was falling like manna from heaven (And yes, he probably does travel whenever he takes those huge, loping steps into the paint for a hook shot). He provided yeoman defense on both Brad Daugherty and John “Hot Rod” Williams and Ewing’s slam-the-rock-with-such-earth-shattering-intensity-it-soars-into-the-blue-seats-and-resembles-nothing-so-much-a-used-prophylactic-when-it-finally-does-land block of Mark Price’s breakaway layup attempt was a key turning point in the game.

Charles Oakley, PF 20 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -9

I’m scared of Oak. (Tyrone Hill nods vigorously). Now, I love Oak, don’t get me wrong, but they should pay the photographers under the bucket hazard pay. I don’t care if your job is merely to visually document the team’s efforts, unless you’re wearing orange and blue, you are the enemy in Charles’ Armand Assante-type seethingly intense eyes. How can a cat snaggle 22 rebounds whilst being unable to jump over the NYC yellow pages? Because, like Rudy Ray Moore said, if you see the Chairman of the Boards coming, “Man, move over and let me pass ‘fore they have be to pullin’ these Hush Puppies out your motherfuckin’ ass!” Dear Hollywood honchos, please remake Dolemite. Oak’s ready to put in work, mang.

Charles Smith, SF 39 MIN | 12-19 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 29 PTS | -18

I’m still smarting over what happened in game five last year v. Jordan and his gang of shoe-shilling Hessians, so I may not be entirely objective with regards to our long-limbed, not-at-all-Small Forward. I cringe whenever he launches even an uncontested fifteen footer and the team just looks much, much better when Mase takes his slot. There’s no way that Danny Effing Ferry should be able to go off for 21 points on 9-14 shooting, especially since he looks like the world’s tallest IRS GS-9 examiner.

John Starks, SG 19 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -10

Another brickfest from our favorite gunner, who was shut down by former-friend-of the-program Gerald Wilkins. I don’t know about y’all, but I really think Riley’s refusal to take Starks out when his shot is still stuck in a grocery bag somewhere in Tulsa is gonna come back to haunt this team. Mark my words. You marked them? Sweet. Mark it an eight, Donnie. But all of that was redeemed by the gorgeous bomb with 1.7 seconds left on the clock that sent the game to overtime. He’s at the exact polar opposite of Emily Dickinson on the self confidence/esteem-o’-meter. She remembers all, all John knows is the moment. Luckily, tonight the result was still pure poetry.

Doc Rivers, PG 21 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -6

Doc Rivers really is the perfect point guard for this team. Though it’s never flashy, he always makes the right pass and knows exactly how long to feed a hot hand. Tonight, when every shot looks as smooth as Dolores O’Riordan’s plaintively-voiced crooning…

…you’ll get 11 dimes. Call me an Altacocker, but I dig the old school short-shorts too.

Anthony Mason, PF 27 MIN | 7-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -1

8 points, 4 boards, 6 assists is a nice filling of the box score (I wonder if there are more stats that we could possibly learn? Ones that might tell us more about this noble game of basketball. Nah, I’m thinking crazy thoughts. Hold on. I have to go check my answering machine. I might have missed an important call watching the game!) Where were we? Still, this wasn’t Mase’s finest effort on D (a team-wide problem for the bulk of the first half, really). Might want to shave “Terrell Brandon is really good at beating people off the dribble such that it’s okay to leave Chris Mills open,” into your menacing dome. Hopefully, you have a barber that can make it work, hairstyle-wise, because it’s a more important lesson than lookin’ good.

Hubert Davis, SG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +1

The Hube had some key minutes (and buckets) down the stretch. Is the Armani Suited One cobbling from Donnie Walsh’s playbook? Nah. That’s more crazy talk. Can’t win in the NBA without size. Size matters. Is this getting into a disturbing area? Let’s move on…

Tony Campbell, SF 27 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -6

And here’s another newcomer that hasn’t entirely earned the aforementioned coach’s trust yet. A couple of errant heaves and out comes the designer hook. Note to Ernie Grunfeld. Don’t trade away a first round draft pick for Tony Campbell unless you’re absolutely, 100%, positively sure that a shoot-first, no-defense small forward even vaguely fits into the rotation

Greg Anthony, PG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +1

When Price and Brandon were running amok, Greg’s timely steals were the only thing that managed to stem the tide, but for the Love of Courtney, can someone (Doc?) please teach him how to make a half-decent entry pass into the post? If he can’t master that, he’s a Clear and Present Danger to the offensive game plan. See what I did there? I’ll show myself out.

Herb Williams, C 22 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +4

HERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRB!

Rolando Blackman, SG 29 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | -9

Hi Rolando! Boy you got old fast! Bye Rolando!

Anthony Bonner, SF DNP SORE LEFT ANKLE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

Every time Anthony Bonner checks in, it takes a few minutes before I realize that it isn’t Anthony Mason. Having the same first name doesn’t help.

Five Things We Saw

  1. 2-0! Though they looked sloppy as h-e-double hockey sticks for vast stretches of the contest, even trailing by as many as 14 points just before halftime, once the defense decided to show up and they started dominating the offensive and defensive glass, they looked like the Knick team that everyone expects to be there at the end without a certain baseball-playing (Cough, Suspended for gambling! cough, cough, sputter, hack, wheeze, stop smoking now, cough) demigod. And yes, one might put an asterisk after any title (and I’m definitely getting ahead of myself here) but eff THAT. It’s been 21 painful, tortuous years since Clyde and Willis and Dollar Bill and Pearl reigned supreme. I don’t care if the rest of the league gets wiped out by an Ebola-type plague—a chip’s a chip.
  2. So yes, tonight, as was the case in the season opener v. the dreaded (and kinda dreadful) Bostonians, they surrendered wide-open shots and didn’t come close to pressuring the ball the way they needed to. But the ability to come back, especially against a solid Cleveland squad that slows it down to a Fratello-an pace, is a good thing even if Slick Patrick shares some of my worries:

    “I think we’re getting a little bit lulled by winning eight out of nine games, thinking we can win playing poorly,” Riley said at the morning shoot-around. “If we come with any kind of attitude like that tonight, we’re going to get our butts kicked. Our big guys are not playing the kind of post defense, or blocking out, or putting the kind of ball pressure on that we’re noted for that makes us successful. We’re headed toward danger.”

    I heed these dire warnings, of fearless leader. On to Philly y’all!

  3. Alas, it isn’t 1994. Rudy isn’t the Mayor (Okay, maybe that’s a good thing) and now is not a fun time. In the world beyond my fantasy of blogging in the mid-20th Century, we root for a bad, passionless team, coached by a witless imbecile or a pathological liar. Read these quotes. You’re not taking crazy pills, FYI. This is real.

  4. And of course, when the game rolls around, they got sliced into equidistant strands by Kyrie Irving, because of course. Felton was injured, and save for one clever block, couldn’t guard him if the NBA took the broadest interpretation of the 1st Amendment possible and allowed Ray to point some military-grade hardware at Irving’s person. JR put forth what could kindly be described as a fecal fajita and wasn’t taken out of the game. Bargs missed easy looks galore and (save for the solid one-on-one harassment of Bynum) was his usual atrocious self in space, and wasn’t taken out of the game. They resorted to ISO-ball most of the time, especially to start the game when the Lake Erie Knights built a 27-9 lead. There were spurts of ball movement and pesky D, like when Prigs was in the game (GO FIGURE), and Melo/STAT carried what tattered remnants remained of the so-called offense. Didn’t matter. This is a bad, bad basketball team. Instead of engaging in the silly above fantasy, I could easily have written an Onion-ish headline ten-word recap: “Bad basketball team plays bad game of basketball and loses,” and pretty much summed up everything we witnessed tonight. It’s the same as it ever was.
  5. Post-game, it got worse (because of course it did). Here’s a bad idea:

    And here’s another bad idea:

    And they take on Chicago tomorrow, because the Universe has a sick, sadistic, gallows sense of humor. I’m not looking forward to it by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll be there. So will you. We go on

116 comments on “Knicks 115, Cavs 107: Knickerblogger Steps into the Wayback Machine

  1. BigBlueAL

    Still remember Danny Ferry missing a WIDE OPEN 3pter at the buzzer of Game 3 in the 1st round of the 1995 playoffs that wouldve won the game for the Cavs and put them up 2-1 in the series. Instead the Knicks went up 2-1 and whooped the Cavs in Game 4 thanks to Derek Harper going nuts from 3pt range.

    Good times.

  2. BigBlueAL

    You guys should just recap the entire 1993-94 season. Actually the 1999 season would be even better with all the craziness that went on during that regular season.

  3. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    Dude, I’m pretty sure that Rolando Blackman never shot 5-14 in a game. Not once. Not ever.

    Putting his name next to JR smith’s stat line is just wrong.

  4. Jack Bauer

    This team has become Unwatchable . They treat opposing point guards like they are radioactive -don’t touch & stay away, far far away. Funny recap, love the way back machine references.

  5. SirJim

    Damn it. I will be there tomorrow, won’t I?

    Btw I’m getting myself a Prigioni jersey. Home white or Away Blue? First person to say orange gets Latrell’d.

  6. max fisher-cohen

    Nice writeup Robert. Makes for a crazy contrast to today’s team and also is a kinda mind bending to have a pre-internet experience brought to life in my post-internet life.

    BTW, was just reading about Rasheed Wallace as a Detroit AC. I would love to hire him as our new coach. Even if nothing changed as far as team success, the entertainment value of watching Rasheed in huddles and talking to refs and the press would be priceless. “You wanna coach, Rasheed? You wanna coach some?”

  7. AvonBarksdale

    Not playing Murray on Irving instead of Felton is a fireable offense at this point, at least someone with some fresh legs these guys are pathetic and weak and tired and stale how come we gotta watch Injured guys hobble around and bargs has been god awful the past two games of all the fucking times
    To start sucking he waited until we
    Almost got tolerable. I hate this coach melo and stat showed up and Pablo was doing okay he is not as poised as last year but I guess having to deal with this shit has fucked him up to, this team is in a daze and the post game remarks after Sunday were shocking seriously. Shump wants to see Woodson get fired or he hates the entire team he fucking sucks now I can blame him he has to want to show the league he can ball in any circumstances I know he got skewered by the coach and owners and media but he has to play better in the minutes oh my god I sound like Woodson fuck my life! Hating this team is a big part of what we’re trying to do as a ballcub

  8. Brian Cronin

    The bad news is that the Knicks have now matched the worst start to their season in franchise history over the first twenty games (how insane is that?).

    The good news is that they almost certainly cannot keep up that record as the 1986-87 Knicks (who also started the season 5-15) lost their next six/b> games to make them 5-21.

  9. Brian Cronin

    Here’s another thing that will make you feel a little bit better. As stupid as the current Knicks are with their picks, the 1987 Knicks traded their #5 pick in the 1987 draft for Gerald Henderson and a late 1987 first round pick. The late pick did turn out to be Mark Jackson, so that was good. But the #5 pick? Scottie fucking Pippen.

  10. Nick C.

    I still can’t get over the Woodson comment about Bargs “can’t tell him to stop shooting.” It was obtuse when I heard it last night, still was when I read it up above and is maddeningly stupid as I type. The problem with Bargs is that he can do some things pretty good for a 7 footer like dribble and shoot, but he does them poorly for an NBA player, yet this is what teams want him to do. In Woody’s case have as plan B to Melo on offense. Then the tings a 7 footer should do like rebound and contest the paint he is atrocious at. The one things he does very well is one on one post defense. But as I noticed on a pick and roll with Varejao and Irving: Prigs went around and with Irving, Bargs just stood rooted to the floor taking no one, Varejao went past his right side caught the pass and dunked. I think he has an inability to think more than three seconds or one move into the future. and on and on and on I could go.

  11. Brian Cronin

    Well, remember, the E stands for “Estimated.” And the estimated wins are based on what the Knicks record would be based on points scored and points allowed. Due to a few close losses, the Knicks’ estimated wins are likely 7 or 8 right now instead of their actual 5.

  12. er

    Thanks Brian. Im just amazed that we have the worst guard rotation in the NBA. Not even hyperbole, this is the worst in the League. The only team close is Milwalkee with Knight Mayo and Walters. But id still take them over Smith Shumpert Felton and Pablo

  13. bobyank7

    There is good news from last nights Knicks…..I guess you can call it a game. The good news is that we’re one day closer to Spring Training. I’m giving up the NBA once again. NCAA Basketball is a great way to remember how to play the game.

  14. knickster

    You know the team is really bad when a lot of fans demand to see more of a journeyman 37-year old argentinian point guard.

  15. Hubert

    I missed the game last night for a holiday party (something I’d like to do more of this month). I vaguely recall getting a ESPN scorecenter notice saying the Knicks lost, shrugging my shoulders, and not giving a shit while continuing to get drunk. Then when I logged on to KB and saw the header, for a split second I thought all was right in the world. Kinda cruel.

  16. Frank

    You know what I love about Woodson’s insistence on playing “big” lineups (Rather than the one with Felton and Prigs that went 15-1 to close last year)? The ridiculous switching that leads to Felton guarding a center.

    Seriously though – what a freaking mess. One thing of note — did anyone else notice we did a LOT less switching last night?

    Oh and btw Mike Woodson – have you EVER heard of a double team on a guy who is so scorching hot it wouldn’t matter if Gary Payton in his prime was guarding him? Have you ever heard of trapping a PNR so he has to give it up? There literally is no one else on the Cavs that can handle the ball other than Irving, and we’re just letting him dictate play by going 1-on-1 against Pablo or weaving around picks with impunity.

    I know people say there are roster problems and there certainly are. But step #1 (other than somehow getting Dolan to sell the team) is getting rid of the coach. Even a mediocre coach could get more than 5 wins in 20 games out of this crew.

    btw, I’m pretty sure this is not what Steve Mills signed up for. All things being equal though — Grunwald deserves a big hit for this start. He’s the guy who put this particular team together, and this team sucks.

  17. Frank

    and I’m sorry – I really hope the Knicks get blown out in the next 3 games (the rest of the 4 games in 5 nights). It’s a small price to pay if it either gets rid of this coach and/or starts the real tear-down. But my unfortunate feeling is that even if we go 0-for the rest of December until Tyson comes back, and nothing will happen because the FO will want to see what happens when he gets back.

    Trouble is, who do you hire after Woody? There are no HC candidates on the bench right now. There’s no hot young assistant like Frank Vogel or Erik Spoelstra. All we have are Woody’s has-been coaches and Herb. I’m not buying Allan Houston as a possibility at all, and if I were him, why would I ever take that job?

    4 days from now is Dec 15 when a bunch of players become available in trade. If we haven’t won by then, then maybe the floodgates will open and we can really begin the teardown. I can see an actual good coach coming in if a teardown is in process and there are some draft picks coming back.

  18. cgreene

    He’s is JDs ultimate yes man. He wants to be GM. There are no other options really. I’d bet the house on that. Knicks lose tonight. Houston coaches them on Fri.

  19. Brian Cronin

    I thought Herb had a chance, but yeah, the rumblings sure do seem like it is Houston’s job for sure if Woody gets fired. It makes a certain amount of sense, in the sense that Dolan is such a controlling moron that no good coach will be willing to work for him, so they instead get a company man like Houston. Houston’s a sweet enough guy, but boy, is there any chance he’ll be a good coach? Like, any chance at all?

  20. Brian Cronin

    And yeah, I also think that a good deal of Dolan’s obsession with Houston is that he was the first star Knick Dolan had, so he’ll always be special in Dolan’s heart (and Houston knew well enough to play up that association – it has certainly helped his bank account over the years).

  21. Hubert

    Man, Tony Campbell would have been a real divisive guy to talk about if KB (and advanced stats) had been around back then. I remember being excited to get this slick small forward who scored 21.8 ppg for the T’Wolves and thinking he would slot right in and score for us. If we’re doing this go back in time thing (and frankly, this season, why not?) I would love to imagine Mike K’s article warning us that the fact that he needed 28.1 USG% to get that figure and had a .494 TS% does not bode well for his prospects. Owen could cite his ridiculous WS/48 (“it was .062 last year, and it’s never been above .08, which is great if you’re a drunk driver but no so good for a basketball player.”). And of course THCJ could predict that if this guy plays 2,500 mintues this team won’t win 45 games. Then we would need some Ohio State grad whose been following Tony since he was drafted by the Pistons to vigorously defend him with highly coherent arguments.

    Man, can we just do that instead of talking about this current team? It will be like Renn Faire for Knicks fans.

  22. Brian Cronin

    Man, it is crazy how much advanced stats could have helped those old Knicks squads. It makes me kind of mad to think about it.

    The interesting thing would be what would we think about the Camby trade? Oak was an advanced stats king, while Camby was coming off a .022 WS/48 season. However, age and the fact that Camby had a .095 rookie season would likely have suggested that the Knicks still should have done that deal, right?

  23. Hubert

    Back to the real world, I love the questions Chris Herring asks Woodson, but sometimes I wish he would press him a little more (though I completely understand how insane it is being a media member covering this team and how pressing him could get him completely banned by Dolan). But all of Woody’s answers that Rob Silverman posted above beg more questions.

    For instance:

    “The East is big, man.” would seem to demand “is it significantly bigger than last year when you ran these same lineups to great effect?”

    And “Woodson said he might opt to go back to Prigioni at some point. But was in clear in saying he doesn’t see it as ideal to start 2 smaller PGs” would lead to: “so why not play Prigioni instead of the PG that is shitting the bed?”

    Then again, the fact that he can here those answers and not hit him over the head with a brick is commendable.

  24. KnickfaninNJ

    I’m not sure Grunwald put together this crappy a team. Almost all the posters here thought the talent level was similar to last year, and I think this is still true. But changing GMs and supposedly bringing in a new stats oriented philosophy may have spooked the players into worrying about their own performance instead of the team’s. Since Woodson is clearly not an advanced stats type of guy, they may also have sensed he’s on the way out because of the new GM. So good team play is almost gone and we have a team disaster.

  25. Hubert

    BTW, was just reading about Rasheed Wallace as a Detroit AC. I would love to hire him as our new coach. Even if nothing changed as far as team success, the entertainment value of watching Rasheed in huddles and talking to refs and the press would be priceless. “You wanna coach, Rasheed? You wanna coach some?”

    YES!!! PLEASE!!!

  26. d-mar

    Another Knicks loss, another post game full of terms like “unacceptable” and “embarrassing” and “I can’t explain it”

    We really are the worst team in the NBA right now, I would like the Bucks or the Jazz chances against us, especially if we were at home

    And don’t look now, but I’m afraid our friends over in Brooklyn might be ready to leave us in the rear view mirror now that D-Will is back

    Being a Knick fan…..it’s fan-tastic!!!

  27. Zanzibar

    Wow, 30 posts already and not a single mention of our merry ole soul Cole’s 2 minutes last night. Let me postulate a theory: Dolan decided he had to keep C Smith on the roster for an extended period of time. There’s probably a wink agreement that Tyler would be signed when ready (cutting Cole). What if Woodson were to play Cole and he was actually good? Our woes are a sort of divine payback for CAA crap. We have to trade Shump because we have to play JR? Huh? In a way I’m happy that this sh!t hitting the fan is blown back in Dolan’s face. Looks like Nets are poised to improve making it all the more sweeter. Putting his band’s gigs above the success of the team is beyond the pale. I hope Knicks miss the playoffs and Nets soar the rest of the season. Maybe that will effect a fundamental change in this guy.

  28. DRed

    Cole had 3 boards in 2 minutes last night. Now, we have established per minute production tends to stay consistent as minutes increase. By my math, Cole should pull down approximately 60 rebounds per 40 minutes, making it absolutely unacceptable that Woodson keeps him glued to the pine while giving Andrea (mamma mia, I got 3 rebounds last night) Bargnani the second most minutes on the team.

  29. Zanzibar

    On a more positive note, I have a feeling the Lakers won’t want Melo, making a S&T more likely where we receive some value. Lakers signed Kobe to a 2-year instead of a 3-year deal(15m/year). They could have just cut Kobe in year 3 and he still would have got his money. In the meantime they could have added better pieces around him for the next 2 years. Why? Lebron/Durant/Love all are free agents at the end of those 2 years. Lakers probably feel they’ll be contenders for 1,2, or all 3 of those players. We’ll know if I’m right by their summer signings (e.g., Gasol, Blake on 2 year deals).

  30. DRed

    As for Woodson’s ridiculous ‘The East is big, man’ quote, it seems that we learned the wrong lesson from our loss to Indiana in the playoffs. We didn’t lose to Indiana because they were bigger than us. We lost to Indiana because we weren’t healthy. (and possibly because Woodson fucked up the rotations) A healthy smaller Knicks team probably beats Indy. Or even a beat up one where the coach maybe goes with the lineup that had just gone 12-1.

  31. d-mar

    You know what’s really mind boggling? The last 2 games the Knicks turned the ball over 14 and 13 times, which are really pretty acceptable numbers, yet still got their asses kicked. So you can’t even blame the other teams’ offensive explosions on sloppy play and transition baskets. They gave up 114 and 109 points to two teams with mediocre offenses (at best) simply by being unable to stop anyone in the half court.

    Just horrible.

  32. DRed

    They gave up 114 and 109 points to two teams with mediocre offenses (at best) simply by being unable to stop anyone in the half court.

    Our defense is turrible. Like worst team in the NBA bad. Perhaps coincidentally, Andrea Bargnani has played more minutes than any Knick not named Carmelo Anthony.

  33. knickster

    The sensible strategy is to rebuild around Melo at 17 millions per on a 3-year contract. That’s the best thing for the team right now. I know there is a 99.99% chance that won’t be offered and it would not be accepted if offered.

    It’s a pity Dolan & Co. don’t understand a simple truth: Melo won’t have too many good options when/if he opts out.

  34. Zanzibar

    @34 DRed Pacers were still on their learning curve and we might have been able to knock them off with better tactical decisions from Woodson. There’s only one way we have a chance against them this season and that’s through deploying stretch lineups coupled with Shump defending George. Remember Vogel called Woody a moron for not even trying them against Indy? Bargs is not a 35mpg center but play him 20mpg in stretch lineups and he could be devastating. He’ll guard Hibbert just fine and Pacers only really run Pnr with Paul/Hibbert (Hill is not a PnR guard). Melo is too strong for George 1-on-1 and without Hibbert help Melo should be taking reasonably efficient shots.

  35. flossy

    btw, I’m pretty sure this is not what Steve Mills signed up for. All things being equal though — Grunwald deserves a big hit for this start. He’s the guy who put this particular team together, and this team sucks.

    On the other hand, I get the sense that Grunny got the boot because Dolan had to twist his arm into acquiring Bargnani.

  36. Hubert

    As for Woodson’s ridiculous ‘The East is big, man’ quote, it seems that we learned the wrong lesson from our loss to Indiana in the playoffs. We didn’t lose to Indiana because they were bigger than us. We lost to Indiana because we weren’t healthy. (and possibly because Woodson fucked up the rotations) A healthy smaller Knicks team probably beats Indy. Or even a beat up one where the coach maybe goes with the lineup that had just gone 12-1.

    That Game 3 win they had in Indiana, one that could have easily just been brushed off, shook Woodson and this organization to its very core. Never has one playoff victory been so decisive. We started chasing rebounds the next day, with Martin and Chandler, and sacrificed everything for it. We still haven’t gone back to being the team we were before that.

    And the frustrating thing is the team we were before that was fucking great to watch. We had a 30-2 run the previous game. THIRTY to TWO! With a small lineup against Indiana. And we just walked away from it all.

    I still think we would have won that series in 7 games, even with our health issues, if our coach didn’t panic, or if he simply knew what to attribute our success too.

  37. EB

    @40

    btw, I’m pretty sure this is not what Steve Mills signed up for. All things being equal though — Grunwald deserves a big hit for this start. He’s the guy who put this particular team together, and this team sucks.

    On the other hand, I get the sense that Grunny got the boot because Dolan had to twist his arm into acquiring Bargnani.

    Yeah I believe this Knicks team has enough talent on the roster to, if not compete at least play mediocre. Mike Woodson just needs to stop playing Bargnani at center or just stop playing him period. Bargs now has a below average TS% and quite frankly can’t do anything else worth a damn.

    If we played Cole at center or Martin and went small we have a winning team, especially this year, but instead we play Bargs and so have the 3rd worst defense in the league. For the love of God though, I can’t figure out who could possibly play worse.

  38. flossy

    The Allan Houston rumors are mind-boggling by the way. Who in their right mind (so, Dolan excluded, obviously) could think that the solution to our problems would be to install someone with no NBA coaching experience at all?

    And aside from pure careerism and sycophancy, why the hell would Allan Houston want this job? There’s an old saying in the stock market, “never try to catch a falling knife.” The Knicks are a falling knife smeared with radioactive puke.

  39. JK47

    Bargnani’s TS% is now .520 on 23.0 usage, he is averaging 6.0 rebounds per 36 minutes, he’s shooting .323 from 3PT and is the worst help defending big man I’ve ever seen. The guy is an atrocity of a basketball player.

    I’m a Mets fan (I know) and the recent Met that reminds me most of Bargnani is Jeff Francouer. I always hated Frenchy as a player and thought he sucked, and I would often remind myself to be thankful that at least Frenchy was not a Met. Then one day NYM traded for him, and I was stuck watching him flail away at sliders in the dirt for two seasons, putting up an OPS+ of something like 75 while hoovering up all of the at bats in right field. It was the nightmare that wouldn’t end. Bargs is the Jeff Francouer of NBA centers.

  40. Hubert

    I hope Houston doesn’t take the job simply because I like liking Allan Houston.

    This would be like when we fired Layden and hired Isiah.

  41. Donnie Walsh

    why the hell would Allan Houston want this job?

    It’s actually a very attractive job for a rookie coach on an interim basis. The Knicks are almost certain to improve, especially if Chandler returns and is even the slightest bit more effective at C than bargnani. Like Woodson built longevity on an improved record following the D’Antoni divorce, it will look pretty good on a resume to show 62 games at a significantly higher winning% than the one inherited, and possibly a division title and a decent playoff seeding (and maybe more than 4 games of playoff experience, too).

  42. flossy

    This would be like when we fired Layden and hired Isiah.

    I can at least say with some confidence that Houston will not preside over anything as gross as l’affaire Anucha Browne Sanders. So that’s… something.

  43. Zanzibar

    @44 JK47 You’re judging Bargs in a role for which he was never intended. Nobody envisioned him as our regular center for 35mpg. But look at up-to-date stats for our 2 most frequently used lineups:

    Bargs/Melo/JR/Shump/Felton +30 in 111 minutes
    Bargs/Melo/Kmart/Shump/Felton +16 in 74 minutes

    Now Tyson returns. Give Bargs 20-25 mpg in those lineups and wouldn’t you have to say he’s a net plus for the team? Same goes for JR. He’s never been a good half-court player except for that period when Chandler was out. Put him in those spacier lineups and have him attack the rim. Neither Bargs or JR are very good players but they do have some unique talents; playing them in the right situations is the key. I don’t understand why you, DRed, Owen, Jowles, Mike K won’t admit that; that wouldn’t mean you are conceding that he is a good basketball player.

  44. flossy

    It’s actually a very attractive job for a rookie coach on an interim basis. The Knicks are almost certain to improve, especially if Chandler returns and is even the slightest bit more effective at C than bargnani. Like Woodson built longevity on an improved record following the D’Antoni divorce, it will look pretty good on a resume to show 62 games at a significantly higher winning% than the one inherited, and possibly a division title and a decent playoff seeding (and maybe more than 4 games of playoff experience, too).

    But what makes you think he has any clue how to coach? Has he ever coached a basketball team at any level? Jason Kidd, an actual basketball savant commonly described as a “coach on the floor” during his playing years is helplessly floundering. What exactly about Allan Houston the basketball player suggests he can coach a team on the verge of collapse (if not already collapsed) to the .580 win % that we’d need just to get to .500 on the season? And if you can’t be the knight in shining armor, why the hell would you want to inherit this disaster as your first foray into coaching?

  45. flossy

    Nobody envisioned him as our regular center for 35mpg.

    No, the Knicks brain trust envisioned him as our starting power forward, for some reason (“the East is big, man”).

    If you really think Bargs will go to the bench and play 20 mpg once Chandler comes back, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  46. Frank

    Yeah, I was cautiously optimistic after the Bargnani trade but I feel pretty sure that that was a horrible move now. It’s not Andrea’s fault – he is what he is. But the idea that we would trade a 1st round pick (AND all those 2nd round picks!!!!) for him is just ridiculous.

    Re: Allan Houston – he’s obviously not someone you would choose if you had your pick of the litter. But no established legit coach will take this job at this point in the season — anyone good, like the Van Gundys (pleasepleasepleaseplease) will want to take the team over with a training camp to install their system. He’d be a placeholder – someone like Herb who will mind the store without complaining and not complain when giving the keys to the next guy.

    btw Van Gundy was supposed to do the game tonight against Chicago and ESPN changed it to Jon Barry. Classy of Van Gundy since JEFF VAN GUN-DY would definitely be the chant right after FIRE WOOD-SON.

  47. domiknick

    You’re judging Bargs in a role for which he was never intended. Nobody envisioned him as our regular center for 35mpg. But look at up-to-date stats for our 2 most frequently used lineups:

    Bargs/Melo/JR/Shump/Felton +30 in 111 minutes
    Bargs/Melo/Kmart/Shump/Felton +16 in 74 minutes

    Now Tyson returns. Give Bargs 20-25 mpg in those lineups and wouldn’t you have to say he’s a net plus for the team?

    No, the Knicks brain trust envisioned him as our starting power forward, for some reason (“the East is big, man”).

    You hit it, flossy. IF this is how the team intended to use Bargs, as a backup C to Tyson who can stretch the floor IN PLACE OF Tyson, I would agree with you Zanzibar. However, as flossy notes and as evidence from the lineups before Tyson got hurt, Woodson intends to use Bargs as the starting PF next to Melo and Tyson, because, ya know, the East is big, man…

  48. Zanzibar

    @50 flossy About Wo0dson’s comment, he’s referring to the fact that Johnson, Butler, Lance will just post up Prigs or Felton if he uses the 2pg lineup. As for Bargs’ role, I think GG envisioned him as someone who could stretch the floor and thereby help against teams which pack the paint like Pacers/Bulls/Nets. He’s played best in certain stretch 5 configurations and also ones with KMart so yes I do believe a new Knick coach (and even Woodson) would use him in those situations.

  49. flossy

    About Wo0dson’s comment, he’s referring to the fact that Johnson, Butler, Lance will just post up Prigs or Felton if he uses the 2pg lineup.

    You wish. Woodson has been on record since training camp as saying he felt the team needed more size in general to match up with other teams in the East, hence the need to play a “real” power forward (who gets 4 DRBs per 36…). “The East is big, man” may have been an answer to a question about 2 PG line-ups, but it’s just an expression of the utterly misguided philosophy that had Andrea Bargnani in the starting five from day one and has made the (very effective) 2 PG line-ups a thing of the past.

  50. domiknick

    Here’s how I would do the lineups when Tyson comes back:

    PG – Felton, Prigs
    SG – Shump, JR
    SF – Metta, Hardaway
    PF – Melo, Amar’yon (based on the current health of either one)
    C – Tyson, Bargs

    IMO, (and in theory) those lineups give us a good balance of shooters and defense to start and off the bench. My personal opinion is that Prigs should start over Felton, but that’s not even in the realm of possibility with Woodson, so I tried to base my lineups in reality, even though the reality is, Woodson won’t play this starting lineup either. SMH.

    And, this could be all out the window anyway if Felton does really have to be shutdown, in which case, maybe Prigs will start if Woodson’s hand is forced. Or, Beno. SMHx2.

  51. JK47

    Man, I’m sick of these micro-situational players who can only succeed in 5-out lineups, or if Steve Nash is feeding them the ball, or have to play with a certain kind of stretch center next to them. Sure, if the Knicks had the luxury of ONLY using Bargnani in a way that papers over his deficiencies, sure, he’d be less terrible. But sooner or later (sooner in this case) you have to step up and do other things. The Knicks have several one dimensional players; you can’t make every single one of them a guy who only shoots certain kinds of spot-ups or only plays in certain kind of lineup configurations. You’ll get beat by teams that have guys who are good, well-rounded, two-way players.

    It’s like having a team in baseball that is made up of all platoon players; it doesn’t really work because you can’t carry two guys at every single position. Some of those guys are going to have to be everyday players.

  52. Donnie Walsh

    But what makes you think he has any clue how to coach?

    Frankly, who cares? Woodson has proved incompetent this year. That didn’t stop him from winning 76 games at a .700% clip during his first 106 games in NY.

    A new coach can achieve two things immediately: play the best players and ask them to play their hardest. Allan Houston can do that as well as Herb Williams or anybody else can, and anybody seems to be able to do it better than Woodson can at this point.

  53. DRed

    @44 JK47 You’re judging Bargs in a role for which he was never intended. Nobody envisioned him as our regular center for 35mpg. But look at up-to-date stats for our 2 most frequently used lineups:

    Bargs/Melo/JR/Shump/Felton +30 in 111 minutes
    Bargs/Melo/Kmart/Shump/Felton +16 in 74 minutes

    One-we don’t know what role Bargs was intended to play. Two-it doesn’t matter. What matters is how he has played in the role he was given, and the answer so far is ‘terribly’. Given his career, that is not surprising. The easiest way to improve the Knicks right now is to play Bargs and JR a lot less.

  54. ephus

    Lakers signed Kobe to a 2-year instead of a 3-year deal(15m/year). They could have just cut Kobe in year 3 and he still would have got his money. In the meantime they could have added better pieces around him for the next 2 years. Why?

    @Zanzibar – I would not read anything about Carmelo into the Lakers giving Kobe a two year deal. It is basically compelled by the Over-36 rule. If the Lakers had given Kobe a third year, 50% of the salary would have been attributed to each of the first two years.

  55. Hubert

    About Wo0dson’s comment, he’s referring to the fact that Johnson, Butler, Lance will just post up Prigs or Felton if he uses the 2pg lineup.

    So?

    Aside from the fact that our idiot coach would send double teams all day in this scenario, this would actually be advantageous for us. If Chicago and Indiana wanted to run their offenses through Jimmy Butler and Lance Stephenson post ups, let them do it all day.

  56. JK47

    If you look at the top 10 Knicks in terms of minutes played, 6 of them are terrible defenders– Bargs, JR, Felton, Hardaway, Stoudemire, Udrih. There is no debating that any one of those guys is anything other than a piss poor defender. The leader in minutes is Melo, and I think I’m being completely fair when I say he is a mediocre defender. He’s good at times, indifferent at times. So that’s 7 out of the 10 leaders in minutes who play mediocre or worse defense. Coaching is a problem, but the more serious problem is roster construction. There are too many flat-out lousy defensive players on this team; there’s no way to hide them all.

  57. Hubert

    About Wo0dson’s comment, he’s referring to the fact that Johnson, Butler, Lance will just post up Prigs or Felton if he uses the 2pg lineup.

    Also, did the fact that Shump could have blown by David West ever prevent Frank Vogel from playing his best lineup?

    Only imbeciles think this way. I hate insulting Woodson because I like him and wish he could do better, but he’s just a dinosaur now.

  58. Zanzibar

    You wish. Woodson has been on record since training camp as saying he felt the team needed more size in general to match up with other teams in the East, hence the need to play a “real” power forward (who gets 4 DRBs per 36…).

    But Woodson has also been on record as favoring using Melo at the 4 so how do you square those 2 philosophies?

  59. johnlocke

    Going to Knicks Bulls game tonight. This is the first time I can recall going to a game and not being excited about it…

  60. domiknick

    This might be a dumb observation, and I could be forgetting something completely obvious but, do the Miami Heat not “play small” every time they step onto the basketball court?

    Granted, I understand they have the greatest current 2-way player alive on their team, but my point is, are they not trotting out their best lineup with their best players, “size” be damned?

    You don’t hear Spoelstra saying, “Yeah, I understand we won 2 championships with Bosh and LeBron as our frontcourt but, the East is big, man…”

  61. Owen

    “@44 JK47 You’re judging Bargs in a role for which he was never intended. Nobody envisioned him as our regular center for 35mpg. But look at up-to-date stats for our 2 most frequently used lineups:

    Bargs/Melo/JR/Shump/Felton +30 in 111 minutes
    Bargs/Melo/Kmart/Shump/Felton +16 in 74 minutes”

    Zanzibar – Lifted straight from the Ruru Book of Cherry Picking.

    I am all for lineup optimization. But Andrea is a bad player in any lineup. He isn’t an NBA level athlete. He is close to the worst help defender I have ever seen. And he misses more open shots than any player in the NBA.

    It was a bad idea to trade for him. It was a worse idea to give up assets to do it. It was classic subtraction by addition.

    The Change of Scenery crowd has another cautionary tale to consider in Bargnani. Sometimes players just are what they are and no amount of Magic Melo Elixir can fix them.

  62. flossy

    But Woodson has also been on record as favoring using Melo at the 4 so how do you square those 2 philosophies?

    By noting that he ran away from Melo-at-the-4 as fast as he could to start the season, for no apparent reason?

  63. Owen

    “It’s like having a team in baseball that is made up of all platoon players; it doesn’t really work because you can’t carry two guys at every single position. Some of those guys are going to have to be everyday players.”

    That’s a great analogy. Fangraphs reader?

    I will say, a finely honed appreciation for what people are doing with Sabermetrics only makes MSG look worse and worse….

  64. Frank

    The Change of Scenery crowd has another cautionary tale to consider in Bargnani. Sometimes players just are what they are and no amount of Magic Melo Elixir can fix them.

    There’s no “Change of Scenery crowd” — there’s only the crowd that believes that some players have the potential to get better (or worse) with a change of scenery. No one was SURE that he’d be better here than in Toronto – only that there was a possibility that he might. Everyone knows that most players don’t change. Only the “players are always responsible for their own stats regardless of teammates, system, happiness etc.” think that no one can ever change. And there are plenty of cautionary tales for those people too.

  65. JK47

    I will say, a finely honed appreciation for what people are doing with Sabermetrics only makes MSG look worse and worse….

    It’s interesting being a Mets fan, because the Mets have now gone into full sabermetric mode, and have done the slow and patient rebuild that was so long overdue. Most Met fans just kill Sandy Alderson for it though, and want the team to give $200M to Robinson Cano and $100M to Jacoby Ellsbury. There is some truth to the old saw that “In New York you always have to be in win now” mode.

    I personally love what they’re doing. If Harvey can come back from that injury and just a few of their many excellent pitching prospects pan out, they’ll have the foundation of something that could be long-lasting and be more than a team that makes one playoff run per decade and spends the rest of the time digging out from bad contracts. Sound familiar?

  66. ephus

    Some imponderable Knick questions:

    1. Is Ray Felton out of shape because he is always hurt, or is he always hurt because he is out of shape?

    2. Was Grunwald fired for putting together this roster, or was he fired because he resisted putting together this roster?

    3. Would Iman Shumpert have thrived if Woodson had coddled him like JR Smith?

    4. Would JR Smith improve if Woodson held him accountable like Iman Shumpert?

    5. If Carmelo Anthony plays a controlled efficient game like he did last night and his teammates are horrific, does that vindicate his attempts at hero ball in other games?

    6. If the Knicks do not make the Bargnani trade, is their record any better today with Novak?

  67. DRed

    there’s only the crowd that believes that some players have the potential to get better (or worse) with a change of scenery.

    I’m pretty sure everyone believes that. Bargs was a bad idea because we gave up valuable assets to acquire him and looked to play him big minutes right off the bat, and on a team where it was likely that some of the Bargs alternatives would get injured. We’re pretty much using Bargs the way Toronto did (minutes in line with career average, in a position he played a lot in Toronto, at a usage rate comparable with what he put up in Canada) and he’s been awful his entire career, so how likely did you think it was that he was going to get substantially better?

  68. DRed

    Here you go, ephus:

    1. We don’t know
    2. We don’t know
    3. We don’t know
    4. We don’t know
    5. No
    6. Probably, but even if it’s not we have more draft picks, so we’re better off going forward.

  69. Owen

    “I personally love what they’re doing. If Harvey can come back from that injury and just a few of their many excellent pitching prospects pan out, they’ll have the foundation of something that could be long-lasting and be more than a team that makes one playoff run per decade and spends the rest of the time digging out from bad contracts. Sound familiar?”

    +1

    I love what the Mets are doing. Alderson has done an amazing job and my biggest fear is that he ends up becoming commissioner and gets replaced by a knucklehead.

    The Knicks were right there. Then Amare and Melo put them back in the spin cycle for another 6 years.

    Honestly, we so easily could have a team of Lawson, Lee, Gallo, Faried, Chandler with cap space to spare. Just drives me insane…..

  70. Frank

    1. Is Ray Felton out of shape because he is always hurt, or is he always hurt because he is out of shape?
    I think both. This year I think he just got hurt. Looked to be in great shape in training camp and preseason. Even the best athletes pull a hammy.

    2. Was Grunwald fired for putting together this roster, or was he fired because he resisted putting together this roster?
    Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever know. I wish Grunwald or Donnie Walsh were the type to write a tell-all. Every single Knick fan in the world would buy that book.

    3. Would Iman Shumpert have thrived if Woodson had coddled him like JR Smith?
    No – I’m slowly sliding off the Shump bandwagon. He’s feeling like a very poor man’s Tony Allen to me right now. Better jumper but way worse on D.

    4. Would JR Smith improve if Woodson held him accountable like Iman Shumpert?
    I sort of feel like Woody did a better job holding JR accountable last year, at least into the playoffs. This year he’s been really horrible. You get the feeling that Woody is like a gambler now — you know that if JR gets red-hot like he has in the past, he can win you games on his own. He’s like the guy at the roulette table who keeps betting on red even though he should just walk away.

    5. If Carmelo Anthony plays a controlled efficient game like he did last night and his teammates are horrific, does that vindicate his attempts at hero ball in other games?
    I have a feeling that if the losing goes on much longer, there will be more hero-ball on the horizon. I actually think Melo is playing great.

    6. If the Knicks do not make the Bargnani trade, is their record any better today with Novak?
    Yes – if only because Camby would still be on the team providing some leadership, and because they probably would’ve actually gotten a real center as a backup to Tyson.

  71. Hubert

    By noting that he ran away from Melo-at-the-4 as fast as he could to start the season, for no apparent reason?

    And he abandoned it when Amar’e came back from his injury last year. He started Kurt Thomas. Hell he started Camby and Chandler together for 4 straight games. He’s never been a believer in what we do well even though every time he gets away from it we suffer.

  72. Frank

    “I personally love what they’re doing. If Harvey can come back from that injury and just a few of their many excellent pitching prospects pan out, they’ll have the foundation of something that could be long-lasting and be more than a team that makes one playoff run per decade and spends the rest of the time digging out from bad contracts. Sound familiar?”

    +1

    lol – how many teams can you say that about? If their seriously injured pitching prospect bounces back. If their other pitching prospects pan out. What if Michael Pineda didn’t get injured and turned into the pitcher he was supposed to be when the Yankees traded Montero for him? What if Bellances and Banuelos were as awesome as they were supposed to be? What if Phil Hughes lived up to his #1 prospect in all of minor league baseball billing? What if Joba kept putting up his ERA+ of 1221 and WHIP of 0.75 from 2007?

    There is a huge amount of luck involved in any of this stuff. The Yankees missed the playoffs in 08 and went and bought Teixeira, CC, and Burnett and won a championship in 09 and went to ALCS in 2010 – literally without any new young prospects making a huge contribution.

  73. Zanzibar

    The Change of Scenery crowd has another cautionary tale to consider in Bargnani.

    We’re pretty much using Bargs the way Toronto did (minutes in line with career average, in a position he played a lot in Toronto, at a usage rate comparable with what he put up in Canada) and he’s been awful his entire career, so how likely did you think it was that he was going to get substantially better?

    Yes, but it’s doesn’t have to be just a change of scenery but a complete role change. All Bargs as a Stretch 5 has to do is knock down 3s, box out, and play good man defense to be valuable. Opening up the floor for Melo/JR/Felton is enough. Who cares if his help defense is terrible so long as that unit(s) score more than their opponents? Didn’t that work well for Nash/Amare, two of the worst defenders in the league?

  74. DRed

    Yes – if only because Camby would still be on the team providing some leadership, and because they probably would’ve actually gotten a real center been forced to play the real center they have rotting on their bench as a backup to Tyson.

  75. Hubert

    What if Phil Hughes lived up to his #1 prospect in all of minor league baseball billing

    I still can’t believe someone paid him 3 years, $24 million. When I heard he signed with the Twins, I just assumed it was for one year at low cost.

    The best part about them signing him – and holy shit Knickerbloggers are going to love this quote from Minnesota if they haven’t seen it already – was that they thought the fact that he has pitched like shit for years means they’re lucky to get a guy they normally wouldn’t be able to afford:

    “He probably wouldn’t be sitting here if he had an average year. So maybe this is a good omen for us,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan said, adding: “We’ve got hopes that with a change of scenery that we’re going to get him going in the right direction.”

    That’s some amazing logic, right?

  76. JK47

    lol – how many teams can you say that about? If their seriously injured pitching prospect bounces back. If their other pitching prospects pan out.

    Well, you couldn’t say that about the Mets a few years ago, because they didn’t have any pitching prospects with any likelihood of panning out, nor did they have an legit #1 ace coming back from Tommy John surgery. They did have Luis Castillo and Jason Bay and K-Rod though.

  77. DRed

    Who cares if his help defense is terrible so long as that unit(s) score more than their opponents?

    Right, that’s the goal of any unit. Score more than the other guys on the floor. You have, what, 200 minutes of data that suggests Bargs is good in a certain role? That’s not enough.

  78. Zanzibar

    By noting that he ran away from Melo-at-the-4 as fast as he could to start the season, for no apparent reason?

    But what makes you think that was all about size? The logic at the time was that Bargs would space the floor like Novak but also be able to attack closeouts. Spacing was still more important than size though that was an element. Look at it this way: after that Pacer series where Melo would drive by George and then meet Hibbert, how could anyone possibly believe that using Bargs as a stretch 5 was not also an option in GG’s mind? Why do you presume that because Knicks started with a certain lineup that there would be no flexibility in the future?

  79. hoolahoop

    Things have got so bad that no move is going to make things much better. Fire Woodson, reshuffle the rotations, trade Shump, it’s not going to change the big picture. The knicks have zero chance of making a real run in the playoffs. It’s too late to fix this team by tweaking. It’s not a missing piece or two that will get them over the top. And what free agent would want to come here? Management has destroyed the roster. Very frustrating.
    So, here we are again looking at a long term rebuild. It’s going to be three of four years, if the knicks do everything perfect, before the knicks could be considered a real contender.
    Painful as it may be, the knicks should trading their assets. Melo is going to leave anyway, so they might as well start stockpiling draft picks and young players with potential.
    This is a deep hole.

  80. Owen

    Zanzibar – Any unit with Bargnani at the 5 is unlikely to outscore it’s opponents. He isn’t a good scorer relative to other centers. Guys at the five generally supply higher efficiency scoring. Bargnani generally doesn’t.

    Hubert – I think it was a decently savvy buy low by the Twins. 8 million per is nothing for a pitcher right now. Colon will get 8 figures easy. Here is Fangraphs on Hughes….

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-farewell-to-phil-hughes-home-field-nightmare/

  81. Zanzibar

    Right, that’s the goal of any unit. Score more than the other guys on the floor. You have, what, 200 minutes of data that suggests Bargs is good in a certain role? That’s not enough.

    But somehow it’s enough for you and others to categorically declare the Bargs experiment a failure?

  82. yellowboy90

    [blockquote]
    About Wo0dson’s comment, he’s referring to the fact that Johnson, Butler, Lance will just post up Prigs or Felton if he uses the 2pg lineup.
    Also, did the fact that Shump could have blown by David West ever prevent Frank Vogel from playing his best lineup?
    Only imbeciles think this way. I hate insulting Woodson because I like him and wish he could do better, but he’s just a dinosaur now. [blockquote]

    I agree with you overall but I think there is huge difference Johnson,Butler, and Lance would actually post prigs up while Shump isn't blowing by West and if he did would he finish the play with score or assist?

  83. DRed

    But somehow it’s enough for you and others to categorically declare the Bargs experiment a failure?

    No. I’ve got over 13 thousand minutes of NBA basketball that say Bargnani is not a productive player. You’ve got 200 minutes. Which sample size would you think more accurately reflects Bargnani’s effectiveness as an NBA player?

  84. Zanzibar

    Any unit with Bargnani at the 5 is unlikely to outscore it’s opponents. He isn’t a good scorer relative to other centers. Guys at the five generally supply higher efficiency scoring. Bargnani generally doesn’t.

    Change “any” to “most” and I would agree. He has much higher efficiency in stretch lineups because he is taking open 3s, driving off closeouts, and shooting off PnPops. Similarly, JR’s efficiency should improve if he attacks more in space. The whole idea of the stretch unit is to make Melo/JR/Felton better scorers/shot creators and have Shump/Bargs take more efficient shots as a byproduct.

  85. Hubert

    8 million per is nothing for a pitcher right now.

    That’s the part I’m not up on. I read the other day that a win is worth $6 million/year now? Jesus.

    Even if Phil Hughes gets a bump, he’s still far from good.

  86. Owen

    I think it’s a decent buy low move. Hughes strikes guys out and has been average-ish outside of the Bronx. And average is worth something as Bargnani is proving by not being it.

    But yeah, player valuations are insane in baseball. Just keep moving up. Baseball is really back in a big way. It’s primed to reclaim some fans as the NFL finally crests in popularity.

    (betting against the NFL’s popularity growing, my boldest prediction ever)

  87. flossy

    Yes, but it’s doesn’t have to be just a change of scenery but a complete role change. All Bargs as a Stretch 5 has to do is knock down 3s, box out, and play good man defense to be valuable. Opening up the floor for Melo/JR/Felton is enough. Who cares if his help defense is terrible so long as that unit(s) score more than their opponents? Didn’t that work well for Nash/Amare, two of the worst defenders in the league?

    LOL! You are really delusional, man. Sorry. Steve Nash is one of the best offensive point guards of all time, and in-his-prime Amar’e Stoudemire one of the best scoring big men from a usage/efficiency standpoint of the past 20 years. What the hell do they have to do with Andrea Bargnani? Yeah, sure, if Bargs can carry a usage of 28% and a TS% north of .600 then maybe his defense and rebounding become less of an issue, but spoiler alert: he can’t.

  88. BigBlueAL

    Speaking about baseball’s popularity, its weird because their national TV ratings arent improving at all and their main demographics that watch the games grow older and older yet baseball when you look at attendance, merchandize, online revenue and local tv contracts is at an all-time high and I believe I read actually is the most profitable sport even more so than the NFL.

    I feel sorry for you Mets fans though, all excited for a long rebuild that might not ultimately lead to anything successful. Makes me appreciate being a Yankee fan even more lol.

  89. Robtachi

    I will say, a finely honed appreciation for what people are doing with Sabermetrics only makes MSG look worse and worse….

    That’s what really perplexes me; SportVu is viewed as the creme de la creme of basketball analytic tools and yet every indication from the Knicks is that they are getting, or using, nothing from it. If there’s one thing I’m confident Dolan WOULDN’T do, it’s not even try using something he shelled out a ton of money for. I really don’t get it.

    Honestly, we so easily could have a team of Lawson, Lee, Gallo, Faried, Chandler with cap space to spare. Just drives me insane…..

    I like what you’re getting at, but that defensive starting 5 is even worse than what the Knicks currently trot out there. Just saying.

    Hubert – I think it was a decently savvy buy low by the Twins. 8 million per is nothing for a pitcher right now. Colon will get 8 figures easy. Here is Fangraphs on Hughes….

    Yeah, I really didn’t hate the move for the Twins. Hughes has always been a fly-ball pitcher who struggles with a low swing and miss % and very high HR/FB ratio at Yankee Stadium. Target Field suppresses that stuff quite a bit, so he will even out into a respectable #3 or 4.

  90. Zanzibar

    You are really delusional, man. Sorry. Steve Nash is one of the best offensive point guards of all time, and in-his-prime Amar’e Stoudemire one of the best scoring big men from a usage/efficiency standpoint of the past 20 years. What the hell do they have to do with Andrea Bargnani? Yeah, sure, if Bargs can carry a usage of 28% and a TS% north of .600 then maybe his defense and rebounding become less of an issue, but spoiler alert: he can’t.

    The gist of my post was that you can have really lousy defenders in a spread offense because the focus is maximizing the offense and being just good enough on defense. Bargs is a piece of that offense because he can spread the floor and shut down Hibbert/Howard/Lopez/Bynum. We’ve already witnessed Melo becoming more efficient in the last few games (FG% >.600 in 3 of last 4 games). The only game in which he struggled was against Boston and that was because he faced the rare man defender who is strong and fast enough to guard him 1-on-1 and Woody/Melo did not adapt. Felton has been hobbled so expect him to drive-and-kick more once he recovers. And JR (maybe because of knee injury) should start to attack more further improving the offense. Will the ORtg be as good as those Sun teams? No, but it doesn’t have to be in this pathetic EC. BTW A simple change to our PnR defense based on a Synergy study would dramatically improve our D.

    No. I’ve got over 13 thousand minutes of NBA basketball that say Bargnani is not a productive player. You’ve got 200 minutes. Which sample size would you think more accurately reflects Bargnani’s effectiveness as an NBA player?

    The one that samples the relevant population. Bargs has never really been used as a stretch 5 in 5-out lineups before.

  91. EB

    Baseball is more profitable than football because there’s ten times as many games. Just gonna throw that out there.

  92. Robtachi

    Wow, I guess I hadn’t checked on it in a while, but Hughes’ HR/FB rate on the road is 7% (very good), compared to 13% (awful) at home, and last year those splits were 6.7% away, 15% home. Man, poor guy. Since he posts just average K% and mediocre swinging strike rates, he definitely gets by on creating contact that’s somewhat sub-optimal (illustrated by his completely league average LD% – not like the guy is getting hammered). Yankee Stadium is not the hitter’s paradise it was originally made out to be, but it does turn a lot of would-be medium-deep to deep flyouts into very short HRs, which are really Hughes’ bugaboo.

    Dude was just never destined for greatness at the new YS.

    Oh. Knicks. Right.

  93. DRed

    The one that samples the relevant population. Bargs has never really been used as a stretch 5 in 5-out lineups before.

    But based on a 200 minute sample you feel confident saying Bargs will, for the first time in his career, become a productive basketball player by playing a stretch 5 in a 5-out lineup? How do you know Toronto never used him that way? I get that being really good on offense can make up for being really terrible on defense and rebounding like a 40 year old point guard, but we’re talking about a center whose strength is taking bad shots (long range 2s). He’s got a lot of work to do.

  94. nicos

    Honestly, we so easily could have a team of Lawson, Lee, Gallo, Faried, Chandler with cap space to spare. Just drives me insane…..

    I like what you’re getting at, but that defensive starting 5 is even worse than what the Knicks currently trot out there. Just saying.

    Not to mention that you’re already over 50m with just those 5 so you can add one more decent player and the rest will be vet’s minimum guys. Certainly better than where the Knicks

  95. Robtachi

    That stadium is a disgraceful bandbox.

    NYS Park Factor NYS has a park factor of 119 which is at the higher end of MLB parks, but mainly propped up by a very high 128 HR factor (128 HRs hit in NYS for every 100 hit in an average MLB park) which can be attributed mostly to the RF wall being moved in slightly, turning deep fly ball outs into short homeruns.

  96. nicos

    odd- it wouldn’t let me edit that last comment. To finish …are now but hardly a championship contender.

  97. DRed

    So if Noah misses the game tonight the Bulls will be without their three best non-Rose players. Losing is really not an option tonight, fellas.

  98. Owen

    In my fantasy world, I would have signed Lee to a low cost deal after 2008, 4 years, 32 M. Wouldn’t have let D’Antoni inflate his value. All those other guys are worth the money. Defense would be mediocre. But they would be fun to watch.

    Probably would have drafted a little more effectively…..

    I don’t know, the most fun I have watching this team since the 90’s was right before the Melo trade, we were decent and fun to watch.

    Except for Linsanity of course….

  99. Shad0wF0x

    btw Van Gundy was supposed to do the game tonight against Chicago and ESPN changed it to Jon Barry. Classy of Van Gundy since JEFF VAN GUN-DY would definitely be the chant right after FIRE WOOD-SON.

    Ugh. As if I needed another reason not to watch this game.

  100. er

    The most fun since the 90s was last year. Having a legit shot at ECF and multiple 10 game winning streaks….

  101. Owen

    The first 24 games were fun. I enjoyed watching Kidd and Chandler. But I don’t like watching Melo. His style of play does nothing for me…..

  102. ruruland

    “Er Stat geek stat of the day Melo has an EWA of 5.1 LMAO Hows that even possible when the team has 5 wins?”

    Melo already has as many WP as he did last season in a 1/4 of the minutes. Absolutely hilarious. I actually think Melo had greater defensive rebounding impact last season, moved the ball more frequently (had more trust and created more doubles).

    Such a fucking joke.

  103. ruruland

    “But I don’t like watching Melo. His style of play does nothing for me.”

    Is there a certain quota you’re trying to met with this statement?

  104. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Melo already has as many WP as he did last season in a 1/4 of the minutes. Absolutely hilarious.

    Agreed. Do they even watch the games!?!?!?!?!

    …called it, lol

  105. DRed

    Carmelo Anthony SF

    But. . .but. . .I was told they were conspiring against Carmelo Anthony (like the officials, and the scorekeepers, all under the direction of the pentaverate) by maliciously labeling him a power forward in an effort to depress his WP numbers to keep their narrative alive.

  106. DRed

    Nobody envisioned him as our regular center for 35mpg.

    This may be true, but some handsome prophet (spoiler alert: it was me) said back in July that
    “if you starting hearing things like “now starting at power forward, Andrea Bargnani” we could be in for a very disappointing year.”

    Starting at center was a horror that I was not, at the time, prepared to even contemplate. But it’s worked out pretty much like I feared it could.

  107. Zanzibar

    But based on a 200 minute sample you feel confident saying Bargs will, for the first time in his career, become a productive basketball player by playing a stretch 5 in a 5-out lineup?

    Fairly confident for 4 main reasons:
    (1) That 111 minute lineup would be 4th (only 16 minutes below #3) in terms of minutes when compared to all lineups for all of last season.
    (2) Bargnani is not being asked to do very much except knock down 3s at his career average, hit mid-range shots off PnP at his career average, box out, and play excellent man defense.
    (3) There’s some logic to the lineups. Melo/JR/Felton all play better when they can attack in space. Spread PnRs are generally more effective. Given Felton and JR’s injuries, I expect the data would only improve. Also most of those 111 minutes were in the stronger part of the schedule.
    (4) Hard to imagine Bargs’ and the team’s help defense getting any worse. A new coach would surely implement a new and more effective system.

    The most important thing is that this type of lineup is different from Chandler-at-the-5 ones. That enables us to adjust better to different types of teams/defenses. Last season we could only play one way which hurt us in the playoffs.

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