Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Knicks 120, Cavs 103

Cleveland Cavaliers 103 Final
Recap | Box Score
120 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 34 MIN | 9-16 FG | 3-5 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 22 PTS | +12

I wish I could just copy this stat line and use my internet time machine to paste it into every box score from now until the end of Melo’s Knick career in 2039 – maybe doctor it with a couple more ‘bounds, dimes, and steals, but that’s it. With a few, fairly minor exceptions (at this point, you figure it’s going to take minor neck paralysis for him to realize that dribbling with your head down into 60% of the team’s defense isn’t a strategy for success), Melo let his offense come to him. His most underrated play: Finding Steve Novak on the right wing early in the third for the first of five threes from the SAXON SNIPER… I’ll just go ahead and let myself out…

Amare Stoudemire, PF 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 6-7 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | -1

While answering recent questions about his crap-fest of a first semester and what it means for the home stretch, Stat told us all to “stay tuned.” To what, exactly? PBS documentaries on the life of the garden slug? Biographies on mayonnaise moguls? Static that doesn’t even really move?

Here’s the funny thing: After a putrid three quarters, Stat actually looked somewhat explosive towards the end. New rule: Before every game, Make Stat run six or seven miles wearing 13th century armor on a 45-degree treadmill. Cuz this doesn’t seem to be working.

Tyson Chandler, C 31 MIN | 4-7 FG | 5-10 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +5

After it was reported that the injury to Chandler’s left mase hinge – wrist? We’ll just call it a wrist — was in fact a deep bone bruise, there was talk of his sitting this one out and letting it recoup. That might’ve been bad. The Cavs asserted themselves in the paint early, but Chandler’s omnipresent help D — to say nothing of his monster stat line and otherworldly hustle at both ends of the floor — kept the tide stemmed. Right now, Chandler’s using Jerome Jordan to pick pieces of Semih Erden out of his molars.

Landry Fields, G 20 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -4

Having played a hearty dose of minutes during the Schick Rising Stars Rookie Squareoff Challenge or whatever, it looked like Fields was one of the few Knicks for whom rest wasn’t an emergency priority. Now? Knick Knation can probably count many in its midst looking at Fields — and then at J.R. Smith… and then at Iman Shumpert…. and then back at Fields — and wondering whether his days as the starting two are numbered. Whatever happens, though, he’ll still have this 4ever.

Jeremy Lin, PG 33 MIN | 6-12 FG | 7-9 FT | 5 REB | 13 AST | 19 PTS | +13

Kyrie Irving straight up punked him on a few first quarter possessions, and you could see Lin’s will hunker down as stoutly as his grimace thereafter. It took a while for him to build something of a head of downhill steam, but once he did, Lin looked as decisive and aggressively crisp as ever. Whether he secretly sees his veteran backup as a potential usurper, or merely a trusted mage, Davis’ enthusiasm and improved play is starting to rub off on Lin.

Baron Davis, PG 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 8 AST | 4 PTS | +4

For a guy whose spine had supposedly turned into sawdust, Davis looked awfully explosive, albeit in herky-jerky spurts. Absent were the step-back threes with 26 seconds on the shot clock, the freelance lobs and over-excited paint forays. Present — and welcome — were the pinpoint passes, vocal leadership, and controlled drives.

Jared Jeffries, PF 20 MIN | 3-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +14

Recalling JJ’s role last year for what it was — spackle in the Titanic‘s hull, basically — it’s hard to believe the Garden Boo Birds’ favorite poop target has come this far, in terms of confidence, production, leadership, all of it.

With a quick show of torches and pitchforks, how many of you would mutinee if Jeffries was starting over Amar’e for the rest of the season?…. Amar’e, take off the banana disguise — we know it’s you.

Steve Novak, SF 17 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +13

Someone needs to tell ol’ Steve that ever time he misses an open three, a baby puffin gets thrown in a blender. Clearly someone passed this message along at halftime, because Novakaine was straight up incendiary in the second, hitting from every conceivable spot along the arc. Anchoring the scoring load for a second unit fast becoming one of the league’s most effective, Novak was – during the game’s waning moments – lavished with chants for his return by a Garden Crowd run ragged through the emotional gamut.

That happened to me once, in a past life, in an arena – the name-chanting thing. I was eaten by a lion two minutes later.

J.R. Smith, SG 20 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-6 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +15

For the most part, Smith’s managed to stay in his lane. The range wasn’t there tonight, but I’m assuming that’s because his tattoos starting giving themselves tattoos and that really bothered him.

Iman Shumpert, G 22 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +14

Like fellow rookie Harrellson — a late scratch with nagging fart pains — Shumpert was something of a game time decision for this one. He had to knock off a few flakes of rust early, but once Shump got going, he terrorized the Cavs’ back court in a manner that’s become wonderfully custom. I’m also hearing reports that his third quarter, lane-driving tomahawk violated the Geneva Conventions.

Five Things We Saw

  1. What is it about the Knicks and sub-.500 teams on the tail end of a back-to-back? it’s like if Krypton was, like, I don’t know, Cleveland or something. I mean yeah, It all ended well enough I suppose. But to think that the Cavs and Bucks (currently 9th and 10th in the East) are going to just lie down and swing the lottery — to say nothing of the 8th place Celtics, whom you know would love nothing more than to watch us fall face-first onto shark teeth — is the kind of thinking that loses you a Playoff berth. We have to start crushing the bad teams.
  2. Boy, I thought I’d seen it all in the world of Color Commentators Whose Job Could Have Easily Gone to Hundreds of Other Former Players – the bad, the worse, the stroke-inducing – listening to Stacey King last night. But Austin Carr? Yikes. Whether he was chiding the Knicks with statements like “they aren’t good defensive-thinking people” or “getthatweakstuffoutaHEEEAH,” or simply gyrating between incoherent cackles, I find it hard to believe that no one — Craig Ehlo, Mike Sanders, Larry Nance, Albert Belle — was better qualified for this job.
  3. They’re not Caviar Throws. They’re not Monte Carlo Mansion Throws. They’re not Oberlin Tuition Throws. They’re not U.S. Senate Seat Throws. They’re not Whole Foods Throws. They’re FREE Throws. Shoot them accordingly.
  4. BEING #4, THIS BULLET — LIKE AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE’S SOUL, APPARENTLY — BELONGS TO ANTAWN JAMISON.
  5. This realistically could’ve been the entire writeup. If it weren’t for their bench, the Knicks could easily still be trying to dig themselves out of the Garden through their locker room using nothing but spoons, while Jorts barricades the doors and waits to unload buckshot on the raging mob. Fact: Tonight, the second unit looked hungrier and more energized than the first — at least until the tail end, the game all but in hand. Hopefully the three days of practice between now and Sunday’s matinee showdown with the Celtics will give the Knick starting five some time to tap into their backups’ infectiousness.

81 comments on “Knicks 120, Cavs 103

  1. d-mar

    Jim, another great writeup, right on the mark.

    I was thinking about Chandler, and how I’m starting to take it for granted that any time an opposing player gets the ball near the basket, his shot will be challenged or possibly blocked. There are just no easy baskets any more, and it’s all because we’ve got a ferocious defender protecting the paint. Can’t say enough about this guy.

  2. Brian Cronin

    What’s great is that the Knicks have three guys who are at the top of the NBA at a specific skill. Novak is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. Shump is one of the best defenders in the NBA. And Chandler? Well, he’s just plain ol’ one of the best centers in the NBA period.

  3. DRed

    The grades are a bit too high for Shump Shump and Melo, I thought, but otherwise another excellent write up.

  4. Jim Cavan Post author

    DRed: The grades are a bit too high for Shump Shump and Melo, I thought, but otherwise another excellent write up.

    Oops, yeah, Shumpert does not get an A+. My B. And his too AMIRITE!?!?

    God what a weird game….

  5. mikeplugh

    There’s no reason why the team shouldn’t do this every game against non-playoff teams. The difference between the 5 or 6 elite teams, the playoff filler, and the lottery caste is that the elite teams win at home against the tough clubs and smack the lottery clubs. The rest of the playoff field wins at home in general and beat the lottery clubs. The lottery teams lose at home and string together multi-game losing streaks that crush moral and kill the home fan atmosphere.

    Right now, the Knicks have moved out of the lottery-type character they displayed pre-Lin and are firmly in the 2nd class. To crack that elite class they need to make this next stretch of games in March count. If they can win a majority of the March schedule, talk will have to turn to the Knicks as a part of that upper caste.

  6. jaylamerique

    While i love our depth, i am a little concerned by the lin and davis dynamic. I just hope that davis can accept not starting or getting major mins in a playoff game

  7. formido

    Lin is tied for second in the league in steals per game, with Rubio (doesn’t have enough games to qualify officially). The Knicks will continue to average fewer points per 48 while Lin is on the court, and myopic analysts will continue to only notice when Lin gets beat off the dribble, as every other player does all the time, even Shumpert when Irving abused him. Help defense in basketball is more important than trying to be a ball stopper. I continue to watch Lin control the defense with his help while everyone else keeps their blinders on.

  8. Tony Pena

    Lin-colored glasses. He got roasted in the first half. MDA should’ve put Fields or Shump on Irving quicker, but still, Lin needs to fall back more with the quicker guards. As a “smart defender” I haven’t seen him try to do that. Easier said than done I know. He did clamp down in the 4th and had 0 turnovers.

    Cavs: I still would’ve done Derrick Williams 1, B. Knight 4… Irving does look better than all of them in flashes though.

  9. Juany8

    It’s not just about being a one on one stopper either, Lin gets creamed and pretty lost on pick and roll plays, which is a significant problem for a point guard to have. Considering Melo is roasted for being a unaware/lazy help defender, even though he’s above average one on one and in pick and rolls. In fact, Melo can easily hold his own against any other superstars one on one, partly because he gets called for a few less fouls than lesser known players would. Even Nash is a pretty smart help defender, but getting continuously beat off the dribble/pick and roll puts the defense in bad positions that a smart offense will easily exploit. There’s a reason absolutely every offense we face goes at Amar’e, Lin, and Fields instead of Melo and Tyson Chandler. In fact the only SF that had a particularly good game against the Knicks this season was Gallinari as far as I can remember

  10. Sovereign

    ” If it weren’t for their bench, the Knicks could easily still be trying to dig themselves out of the Garden through their locker room using nothing but spoons, while Jorts barricades the doors and waits to unload buckshot on the raging mob”

    I ROFL’ed, and I’m at work, so people were staring.

    New Knick fan here btw, was looking for a team to latch onto this season and following Chandler to NYC was apparently a logical choice. That guy is the friggin’ Terminator and I love his game.

    Of course, there’s this guy Lin who is kinda fun to follow :)

    If only the games weren’t in the middle of the night for me, but I’ve been waking up religiously to watch them live.

    Go Knicks (And A’mare…..wake the fuck up!)!

  11. Brian Cronin

    It’s not a big deal, of course, especially when they won going away, but they really ought to think about trying to get Novak some more minutes. I mean, come on, 17 points in 17 minutes on 6-9 shooting, 5-8 from three? And Novak has been shooting like this fairly consistently, so I’d like to see his great scoring rewarded with some more minutes.

    Meanwhile, while I get that it is a bit of a lose-lose proposition, I don’t like Irving’s attempts to avoid discussing Lin. I can see how it is a big of a shot to the ego to see an undrafted player play at a similar level to a #1 overall draft pick, but come on, dude, it doesn’t really matter. So this whole shunning Lin at All-Star Weekend and not wanting to talk about him now stuff is just silly.

  12. jon abbey

    jaylamerique:
    While i love our depth, i am a little concerned by the lin and davis dynamic. I just hope that davis can accept not starting or getting major mins in a playoff game

    Lin would be even better coming off the bench for 28 minutes or so a game if Baron keeps playing like that. the fewer minutes he plays, the higher his energy level can be when he is out there.

  13. JK47

    Great to see Lin bounce back and silence the haters with 19 points, 13 dimes and only 1 turnover. Our two PGs combined for 23 points, 21 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 turnover. The Knicks had 43 field goals and 30 of them were assisted.

    This team has the talent to make some serious noise for the rest of this season. If everyone plays up to his capabilities, it’s a really balanced, well-rounded team.

  14. Nick C.

    Great job. Caviar throws et. al. had me rollin’. A nit pick but yeah the FTs 28-42 was bad though Cleveland was no better 18-27 just had less of them. Driving in I heard someones interview sound bite (I forget who) saying they made adjustments at halftime. A little love for the coachign staff and for the crowd for not treating the game as if it is 3rd grade rec league game.

  15. Frank O.

    Jim:
    The spakle in the hull of the Titanic and baby puffin lines were memorable.
    And I realize the first half didn’t go too well, but the Knicks did end up crushing the Cavs. Some folks speak as if this game was close.
    So was the Knicks’ drubbing by the Heat any closer because they were only 4 down at the half? Nope, pretty much everyone saw it as a drubbing. The end result in fact showed it was even worse for the Cavs because it was a 30 point turnaround.
    I think Amare is thinking too much and trying to figure out his role, when all he needs to do is let the game come to him. He did that in the fourth and finally was just playing. His last dunk was astounding for its ferocity and explosiveness and the relative ease in which it happened among a couple defenders.

  16. Frank O.

    I think the fire Landry crowd is myopic. The kid plays very good basketball. He isn’t great at anything, but pretty darn good at most things. He had an off night, which happens to second year players. I love SHUMP’s game, but if people broke down what he does on a nightly basis, as they do Landry, what you find is the potential for consistent every day great D (he’s not there yet. He played one half of good D), but a spotty mid-range shot, no long range game, and a tendency to show flashes as a slasher, but inconsistent, as one would expect from a high 1st round draft rook.
    That Shump is better than Fields is a myth. By the numbers:
    Fields – TS% .531, eFG% .510, 5 boards per 36, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals
    Shump – TS% .450, eFG% .413, 4 boards, 3.8 assists, 2.4 steals.
    From 3, Fields is shooting 36% and Shump, 27%.
    Shump is a better defender, as anyone can see, but his offense is so putrid right now, there is no way he starts over Fields.
    If you ask me, his role is perfect right now.
    Next summer they both need to get out there and get their mid and long range games down.
    But I simply reject the argument, respectfully, that Shump is better. Statistically speaking it doesn’t hold up.

  17. CapB

    Fields is not shooting 36% from 3 this season. If you conveinantly lump in Fields 1st half of last year it looks like a good argument but how does just this season compare? I like Landry but your numbers look a little skewed.

  18. Juany8

    Frank O. really? Are we really still at the point that because a player has fancy efficiency stats he’s automatically better? Shump has the potential to be all team defense and is at least willing to take jump shots. Landry doesn’t hurt the offense by taking bad shots, he just hurts it by taking no shots and wasting time on shot clock. He’s marginally better offensively at best, mostly because he doesn’t make as many rookie mistakes. On the defensive end, the difference is about that between Carmelo and Chandler. Landry might be our worst defender, Shump is an All-Defense, Tony-Allen-with-a-jumpshot monster. (Tony Allen played backup pg for the Celtics in their 2010 Finals run by the way) Honestly if anyone should get kicked out of the rotation it should be Fields, he’s a shooting guard who can’t defend and shoot 3′s, which should be his main priority lol. JR won’t get as much PT as desired, unfortunately, since he’s probably leaving next year and Shump still makes enough rookie mistakes for D’Antoni to hesitate on starting him.

  19. jon abbey

    Shump is better and it isn’t even close, his offense is only going to improve as he gets consistent minutes and confidence. if Lin was a great defender, you’d have more of an argument to keep starting Fields, but as it is, starting guards lick their chops when they see Lin/Fields in there to start the game and it sets a terrible tone for the game.

    anyway, D’Antoni is already starting to see this, as we saw down the stretch last night. I’ll be surprised if Landry is still starting in a week.

  20. jon abbey

    and Fields is 4-24 from 3 point range in the last 14 games, 26% for the year and trending down. he’s only hit more than one three pointer in a game three times all season (!!!).

  21. danvt

    Great win in a classic trap game.

    Did Lin break his nose? His absence seemed to really effect the team in the first half. What a game from the kid, solidly outplaying the first pick in the draft.

    Also, on the CLE telecast they showed Melo all up in Lin about something toward the end of the game. Lin had just driven and been fouled, then a time out. Did he call an audible on a play designed for Melo (that’s what Austin Carr said)? Anyway, Lin talked to him for a second and then turned and walked to the bench and Anthony kept going at him with his back turned. Not a good sign in my opinion. Anybody have any perspective on this?

  22. flossy

    Fields, Shump and JR had roughly a 20/20/20 mins split last night, that seems to me to be about right going forward. Whoever is playing better or has a better match-up on any given night will get more burn. In an ideal world they’d all get more playing time than that, but you gotta make room for a shooter like Novak.

  23. Frank O.

    CapB:
    Fields is not shooting 36% from 3 this season.If you conveinantly lump in Fields 1st half of last year it looks like a good argument but how does just this season compare? I like Landry but your numbers look a little skewed.

    Dude, the numbers aren’t skewed. basketball-reference.com
    look it up.

  24. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    and Fields is 4-24 from 3 point range in the last 14 games, 26% for the year and trending down. he’s only hit more than one three pointer in a game three times all season (!!!).

    My bad on the threes. misread the number.
    His TS and eFG are accurate.
    Guys, they both aren’t good from three, but landry’s TS and eFG blow Shump out of the water.
    You find one error and focus on that, but conveniently ignore the TS and eFG.
    I think this is a matter of taste, frankly. Shump’s all around TS and eFG, 3pt and overall offensive play is fairly bad right now.

  25. Grymm

    Fields is 22 for 84 from behind the arc this season. He is only near 36% for his career numbers which include .393 on 219 attempts from last year.

    Still, Shumpert is shooting under 40% on the season and .356 over his last 5. He has a tendency to hold the ball and iso. I like him more as a situational defender and second team scorer. His penetration might be more difficult with Amare and Tyson standing under the rim.

  26. Frank O.

    Frank O.: Dude, the numbers aren’t skewed. basketball-reference.com
    look it up.

    apologies on the 3 pt shooting. But again, you focus on one thing and egnore Shump’s overall terrible TS and eFG.
    What’s worse about Shumpo is when he takes his shots, often they’re bad, and he has little conscience. Landry at least plays off of the offense.
    Like I said, I love Shump’s D, but his O is pretty terrible.
    That’s reality. He will get better, but there is no guarantee that he will be better than Fields, and no guarantee that Landry ion his second year can’t improve. Following his college and pro career, he’s improved pretty typically evey year. and his this year numbers for TS and eFG are climbing back to where it was last year.

  27. slovene knick

    danvt: Anyway, Lin talked to him for a second and then turned and walked to the bench and Anthony kept going at him with his back turned. Not a good sign in my opinion. Anybody have any perspective on this?

    They had a shoulder to shoulder sincere friends(married couple) hug after the game and looked all smiles…even-though Melo gave a tap on Lin’s head and put the arm in man’s position- around Lin’s neck(well he’s taller) and Lin put his under Melo’s arm…..We now know who is yin and who yang in that relationship:))
    And we all know who’ s the boss in a happy family.

  28. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Frank O.: apologies on the 3 pt shooting. But again, you focus on one thing and egnore Shump’s overall terrible TS and eFG.
    What’s worse about Shumpo is when he takes his shots, often they’re bad, and he has little conscience. Landry at least plays off of the offense.
    Like I said, I love Shump’s D, but his O is pretty terrible.
    That’s reality. He will get better, but there is no guarantee that he will be better than Fields, and no guarantee that Landry ion his second year can’t improve…

    Landry’s work-in-progress-long-distance shot hurts the team when he starts. On offense, you need your two to slash and/or hit the 3. Perhaps the advanced stats point to Fields, but I know what I’ve seen: Fields hesitates to shoot from the outside on that first unit and is maybe an OK slasher. Shumpert’s form looks more fluid on his J, and he’s a better slasher to the rack. That plus his D I believe makes him a better fit to start, at least most nights.

  29. Matt Smith

    Not sure where the Fields hate is coming from – I can’t pick out a game that we lost/almost lost and said “Fields blew it for us again.” I’ve said that two or three times now for Shump. Someone above said “he doesn’t make rookie mistakes” like that’s a small thing, but, since he’s our 5th guy in terms of importance on the court, that’s huge. Having a chucker as your 5th option is not good for the flow of the game.

    Fields is doing fine, let him be. I agree that Shumpert is a better defender, but he makes some awful mistakes, and I don’t trust him with the ball for an extended period. Fields, meanwhile, has great chemistry with the rest of the starters. We can put in Shump if an opposing guard is really giving us trouble, but I don’t think he should start yet.

    And can someone please give me some stats as to what makes Fields “one of our worst defenders”? He looks more than passable to me, and I can’t recall when his man has lit him up yet this season (like I can for Amare or Lin).

  30. Nick C.

    I think Fields is a better finisher than Shumpert. Read the game threads. Just sayin as far as the slashing goes.

    any of you Synergy guys have defense data on Landry, Lin and Shump?

  31. Frank O.

    The Infamous Cdiggy: Landry’s work-in-progress-long-distance shot hurts the team when he starts.On offense, you need your two to slash and/or hit the 3.Perhaps the advanced stats point to Fields, but I know what I’ve seen: Fields hesitates to shoot from the outside on that first unit and is maybe an OK slasher.Shumpert’s form looks more fluid on his J, and he’s a better slasher to the rack.That plus his D I believe makes him a better fit to start, at least most nights.

    there is no evidence to support your claim that shump is a better slasher. There is evidence to the contrary. Shump’s shot is a disaster, and he has never been a good shooter.
    Yes, Shump is shooting 41% over past 10 or so games. Fields over his last 10 or so games has shot about 47%. These are not little differences. A 2 guard shooting 47% is pretty damn good.
    There is evidence to believe, however, that Knicks’ coaches efforts to “fix” Fields’ shot actually hurt his shot.
    I disagree with folks who say Landry’s defense is terrible. It is good and at times has been very good. Fields did an excellent job keeping Kobe under wraps for most of the game, and indeed, when Kobe got hot, he hit ridiculous shots all with Landry draped all over him.
    I agree that Shump’s D is good.
    But any argument that says he’s a bigger offensive threat than Landry is specious is best. The data doesn’t show it; and my eyes clearly don’t see it.
    Both are young players, but Landry is significantly better on offense.
    They both aren’t good from three.
    Shump, IMHO, is good exactly where he is, a sixth man off the bench for defensive intensity and energy.

  32. jon abbey

    Frank O.: Fields did an excellent job keeping Kobe under wraps for most of the game, and indeed, when Kobe got hot, he hit ridiculous shots all with Landry draped all over him.

    Shumpert’s numbers stopping Kobe were much better than Fields’ that game, someone who has access to the specifics can maybe look those up.

    shooting percentage is a terrible stat in a vacuum, Fields has largely been in a situation where no one guards him for the first eight minutes because he’s by far the least threat on the floor. there’s a reason he puts up numbers early on and generally much less for the rest of the game, and that’s it. give Shumpert a couple of starts at SG alongside Chandler/Amare/Melo/Lin and let’s see what his shooting percentage is then.

  33. jon abbey

    Frank O.:
    Shump, IMHO, is good exactly where he is, a sixth man off the bench for defensive intensity and energy.

    except that’s JR Smith’s job now.

  34. Frank

    FYI:

    Shumpert – overall 0.76 PPP-against
    Fields – 0.94 PPP-against

    Shump is especially good in one-on-one defense – in iso settings he gives up just 0.66 PPP. In post-up settings he gives up 0.68 PPP. In those settings his opponent turns the ball over 26% of the time.

    Other than a very small sample in dribble-handoff settings, there isn’t a play type where Shumpert doesn’t outclass Landry by a significant amount.

    On offense – Landry is significantly better on the PNR and as a spot up shooter, although is not exactly great at it himself. Shump is much better in iso settings (actually ranks 23rd in the league at 0.92 PPP).

  35. Frank

    btw our very own Steve Novak has the highest personal PPP at 1.28 in the ENTIRE LEAGUE. Even more amazingly – he has been pretty reasonable on defense giving up 0.73 PPP ie. better than Shumpert!

    Makes you wonder about these #s but still – not obviously a sieve.

  36. jon abbey

    ah, here you go, Kobe against Fields/Shumpert:

    “Landry Fields drew the assignment of guarding Bryant for the majority of plays on Friday, but it was Shumpert that had the most success against him. Bryant shot 7-for-16 (18 points) against Fields, but was 3-for-11 (11 points) against Shumpert.

    Shumpert was at his best defensively in the fourth quarter, getting right up in Bryant’s grill and not letting him taking advantage with his patented shot faking and quick release. Shumpert’s size (6-5, 220) really played a factor in bodying up Bryant as he made his dribble moves to the basket. Bryant almost had to dribble on a 75-degree angle to get his shot up.

    Shumpert stayed right with him and prevented him from going 45 degrees to the basket. Only one time Bryant got a real clean look at the basket in the fourth quarter, when he spun between Shumpert and another Knicks’ defender in traffic. It was a very difficult move to pull off, and one that routinely establishes Bryant as arguably the best player in the game. Bryant didn’t finish the move at the rim, but in the entire final period, he made only one layup. ”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/11376/shumpert-sparks-knicks-and-stops-kobe

  37. villainx

    Fields’ defense is kinda like his offense, he does a bunch of things average to above average.

    Shump seems like instant defense to me.

    But I think Fields’ re-tooled shot (and Shump’s emergence) is going to make Fields’ future with the Knicks a question mark. He might be too expensive. But what’s the story with his re-worked shot? Is it to quicken his release or something? Or what was wrong with what he was doing last year?

  38. Frank O.

    jon abbey: Shumpert’s numbers stopping Kobe were much better than Fields’ that game, someone who has access to the specifics can maybe look those up.

    shooting percentage is a terrible stat in a vacuum, Fields has largely been in a situation where no one guards him for the first eight minutes because he’s by far the least threat on the floor. there’s a reason he puts up numbers early on and generally much less for the rest of the game, and that’s it. give Shumpert a couple of starts at SG alongside Chandler/Amare/Melo/Lin and let’s see what his shooting percentage is then.

    I wasn’t focused on simple shooting percentage. I was focused on TS and eFG. You may have meant that, but they are different.

  39. DRed

    Shumpert is clearly a better defender than Landry. Landry is also a much, much better offensive player. Shump can’t shoot and can’t finish when he gets to the rim. Landry is a much better rebounder. They’re both useful pieces, and how much they play should be determined on a game to game basis.

  40. Frank O.

    jon abbey: except that’s JR Smith’s job now.

    has that been established? Well, since Smith is a very good defender and a very good shooter, especially from three maybe he should be ahead of a poor shooting, defensive specialist, which is what Shump is at the moment.

  41. jon abbey

    Frank O.: I wasn’t focused on simple shooting percentage. I was focused on TS and eFG. You may have meant that, but they are different.

    also terrible stats in a vacuum, they lump all shots together as if they’re identical, which was my point.

  42. Frank O.

    Frank:
    FYI:

    Shumpert – overall 0.76 PPP-against
    Fields – 0.94 PPP-against

    Shump is especially good in one-on-one defense – in iso settings he gives up just 0.66 PPP. In post-up settings he gives up 0.68 PPP. In those settings his opponent turns the ball over 26% of the time.

    Other than a very small sample in dribble-handoff settings, there isn’t a play type where Shumpert doesn’t outclass Landry by a significant amount.

    On offense – Landry is significantly better on the PNR and as a spot up shooter, although is not exactly great at it himself.Shump is much better in iso settings (actually ranks 23rd in the league at 0.92PPP).

    No doubt Shump is a better defender. I just don’t agree that landry is terrible. Are Shump’s nice defensive stats impacted in part because he tends to play with a much more defensively-minded second unit? I’m curious about that. The defense when they went with the second unit was significantly better. Shump plays a strong role in that, but so too does Jeffries and Smith.
    I don’t dispute Shump is a better defender. But he is a far worse offensive player and the combination of the offense and defensive skills of the two players, IMHO, favors Landry.
    And with Landry beginning to climb back to what he was in the first 50 games of last year, he will be vastly better offensively than Shump, who, again, has never been an efficient scorer.

  43. jon abbey

    Frank O.: has that been established? Well, since Smith is a very good defender and a very good shooter, especially from three maybe he should be ahead of a poor shooting, defensive specialist, which is what Shump is at the moment.

    Smith should get more minutes than Shumpert, but the two of them should combine for all 48 of the SG minutes. if you want to give Fields a few at backup SF, I can live with that, but there are 10 guys on the team now who deserve minutes more.

  44. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    ah, here you go, Kobe against Fields/Shumpert:

    “Landry Fields drew the assignment of guarding Bryant for the majority of plays on Friday, but it was Shumpert that had the most success against him. Bryant shot 7-for-16 (18 points) against Fields, but was 3-for-11 (11 points) against Shumpert.

    Shumpert was at his best defensively in the fourth quarter, getting right up in Bryant’s grill and not letting him taking advantage with his patented shot faking and quick release. Shumpert’s size (6-5, 220) really played a factor in bodying up Bryant as he made his dribble moves to the basket. Bryant almost had to dribble on a 75-degree angle to get his shot up.

    Shumpert stayed right with him and prevented him from going 45 degrees to the basket. Only one time Bryant got a real clean look at the basket in the fourth quarter, when he spun between Shumpert and another Knicks’ defender in traffic. It was a very difficult move to pull off, and one that routinely establishes Bryant as arguably the best player in the game. Bryant didn’t finish the move at the rim, but in the entire final period, he made only one layup. ”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/11376/shumpert-sparks-knicks-and-stops-kobe

    This is weird. Kobe opened at 1-11 with Landry guarding him. Then Kobe hit some out of his ass Kobe shots that fell.
    That Shump did well against him in the fourth is fine. I never argued that Landry was a better defender than Shump. I simply said that Landry did a very good job defending Kobe. And he did do a good job.

  45. jon abbey

    Frank O.: Are Shump’s nice defensive stats impacted in part because he tends to play with a much more defensively-minded second unit? I’m curious about that. The defense when they went with the second unit was significantly better. Shump plays a strong role in that, but so too does Jeffries and Smith.

    Shumpert has started 17 of the 29 games he’s played this year, and he’s barely played with Smith at all so far (although it was nice to see them out there together last night).

  46. DRed

    jon abbey: Shumpert has started 17 of the 29 games he’s played this year, and he’s barely played with Smith at all so far (although it was nice to see them out there together last night).

    What does any of that have to do with him being a terrible offensive player? The only thing he’s good at on offense is shooting free throws.

  47. Frank O.

    jon abbey: Smith should get more minutes than Shumpert, but the two of them should combine for all 48 of the SG minutes. if you want to give Fields a few at backup SF, I can live with that, but there are 10 guys on the team now who deserve minutes more.

    lol
    we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.
    I know you love Shump, as I do. The guy is a defensive juggernaut. By I wanted to challenge what has become a common thread that I believe misrepresents facts. Shump is simply not as complete a player. He, right now, is a defensive specialist with poor offensive skills that must be improved. He plays a hugely important role for this team. As does Fields.
    Time will tell whether your high opinion of Shump’s offensive potential is justified. If past is prologue, as it relates to Shump, you may want to be conservative in your bets, IMHO.

  48. jon abbey

    DRed: What does any of that have to do with him being a terrible offensive player?The only thing he’s good at on offense is shooting free throws.

    this is why we quote things, look at what I was responding to.

  49. Frank O.

    jon abbey: Shumpert has started 17 of the 29 games he’s played this year, and he’s barely played with Smith at all so far (although it was nice to see them out there together last night).

    They were a strong combo last night.
    The fact taht both Landry and Shump can play both the 2 and the 3 is a fantastic gift.

  50. jon abbey

    Frank O.: lol
    we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.
    I know you love Shump, as I do. The guy is a defensive juggernaut. By I wanted to challenge what has become a common thread that I believe misrepresents facts. Shump is simply not as complete a player. He, right now, is a defensive specialist with poor offensive skills that must be improved. He plays a hugely important role for this team. As does Fields.
    Time will tell whether your high opinion of Shump’s offensive potential is justified. If past is prologue, as it relates to Shump, you may want to be conservative in your bets, IMHO.

    honestly even if his offense doesn’t improve at all (really unlikely), he’s still way better than Fields, unless Fields starts hitting 3s again, which he is showing absolutely no signs of.

    the shooting percentages a few people seems to be so hung up on are a difference of maybe 1-3 plays a game tops, and Shumpert impacts way way more possessions than that on the other end. I don’t know how anyone watching the Knicks this year doesn’t get that yet.

  51. jon abbey

    at the very least, no one will argue that in our first game with a full complement of players (except Jorts), Landry was the worst of the 10 Knicks who played, right? just one game, obviously.

  52. Frank O.

    jon abbey: also terrible stats in a vacuum, they lump all shots together as if they’re identical, which was my point.

    I think they try to provide an overall assessment of scoring efficiency. challenging the premise of established assessment tools, as you know, is a classic argumentative tool for those in a weak arguing position, btw. :)
    although you have been consistent in this argument over the years.
    But they are useful tools, in my opinion, in assessing scoring efficiency, and they favor Fields over Shump significantly.
    Again, that could change. But Fields also could see improvement.

  53. jon abbey

    the argument shouldn’t be Shumpert or Fields, any coach who doesn’t give Shumpert 20+ minutes at this point is crazy.

    the argument should be Fields or Jorts, which again is pretty clear-cut to me (Jorts is the best post defender not named Chandler and seems to be way more dangerous from 3 right now), but at least that’s the right argument.

  54. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    at the very least, no one will argue that in our first game with a full complement of players (except Jorts), Landry was the worst of the 10 Knicks who played, right? just one game, obviously.

    Landry has a horrible night, no doubt.
    It was amazing how often he got to the glass, but the ball just wouldn’t drop. Personally, I believe on 8 out of 10 nights, more than 50 percent of those balls that rolled off the rim last night would drop.
    Conversely Shumpert had one of his best nights defensively and offensively, going five of 10 from the field. The second team outplayed the first team, and according to D’Antoni last night, has been outplaying the first team in practices as well.
    That bears watching.

  55. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    the argument shouldn’t be Shumpert or Fields, any coach who doesn’t give Shumpert 20+ minutes at this point is crazy.

    the argument should be Fields or Jorts, which again is pretty clear-cut to me (Jorts is the best post defender not named Chandler and seems to be way more dangerous from 3 right now), but at least that’s the right argument.

    I agree shump has earned at least 20 minutes.
    His defense alone is necessary.
    Again, I think his upside is huge. He’s just not there now and a lot will need to improve for him to eclipse Landry offensively.
    Again, time will tell. And if landry’s starts to hit his 3s, all bets are off.

  56. Nick C.

    Can someone re-explain to me why they were retooling Fields’ shot to begin with since he shot 39 (or whatever) % from three last year.

  57. chrisk06811

    Here’s what I just dont’ get. STAT is 6′ 11” tall. He played 28 minutes last night and got 2, that’s right, 2 defensive rebounds. Cleveland missed 9 free throws; he was standing directly under the basket for most of those. I just don’t get it. 2 rebounds fall into your hands.

  58. Bruno Almeida

    Novak definitely needs around 20 mpg per game right now, I wouldn’t mind going through extended stretches with Lin / Shumpert / Novak / Melo / Chandler… this way Shump and TC will play their usual insane defense, and Lin + TC pick and rolls with Melo will open up open shots for Novak.

    I’m sorry for Amare but he’s clearly the weakest link on this team right now, together with Landry (which is not a big issue with J.R and Iman on the team)

  59. Gideon Zaga

    I think they were just bored because of the lockout. Such a terrible decision. If it aint broke…

    Nick C.:
    Can someone re-explain to me why they were retooling Fields’ shot to begin with since he shot 39 (or whatever) % from three last year.

  60. Juany8

    Don’t worry Jon, I thought Shumpert was better than Fields the first time I saw him lol. I don’t think people realize how incredible “Tony Allen with a jumper” is, we’re not talking a about a pretty solid defender, Shumpert is a total monster. And while he’s worse at making the actual shots, he’s much less of an offensive liability than Landry is. Passing up wide open 3′s is actually worse than missing them, if you took that into account Landry would look like a terrible player, but of course the stats don’t take into account bad plays caused through omission. Shumpert can also drive and has some (raw) playmaking skill. Landry can just drive at the basket when no one is within 10 feet of him and isn’t punished for passing up shots the way other people are for missing them. Considering Landry is also a horrendous defender, there is absolutely no reason Shumpert and Smith shouldn’t be taking all of the shooting guard minutes, with Smith taking most until Shumpert become more consistent offensively.

  61. Frank

    They retooled it because it would literally take him 2 seconds to get the shot off. As I remember it, they were trying to improve his release time because against good defensive teams (ie. Miami), his airspace for shooting will be small enough even WITH a quicker release.

  62. Juany8

    Frank O.: I think they try to provide an overall assessment of scoring efficiency. challenging the premise of established assessment tools, as you know, is a classic argumentative tool for those in a weak arguing position, btw. :)
    although you have been consistent in this argument over the years.
    But they are useful tools, in my opinion, in assessing scoring efficiency, and they favor Fields over Shump significantly.
    Again, that could change. But Fields also could see improvement.

    I disagree with this even more than Jon probably will, considering TS% doesn’t take into account:

    1. How much time is on the shot clock when the shot was taken

    2. Was the shot contested or uncontested

    3. If contested, how many defenders were near, how near where they, and how good are the defenders

    4. Where on the court was the shot taken

    There’s more obviously, but any statistic that ignores half of what went on in the play isn’t telling you much about the player’s offensive efficiency or capabilities. Maybe if it was adjusted for a few of those factors it could be taken more seriously, but as of right now it’s deceptive if anything. I wonder what kind of TS% Dwight Howard would have if he never had to post up and deal with double teams….

  63. Nick C.

    @ 67 Ok but he still gets the ball outside pauses then more often than not moves the ball along. Wasn’t there something about flat trajectory as well?

  64. kronicfatigue

    No need to decide on the SG rotation right this very minute. They all bring something different to the table, and we need to spread minutes w/ the crazy schedule. Who cares who starts? Let the in game performance and matchups decide who finishes.

    When the rotation tightens for the playoff run, we can revist this.

  65. jon abbey

    Juany8:
    Don’t worry Jon, I thought Shumpert was better than Fields the first time I saw him lol. I don’t think people realize how incredible “Tony Allen with a jumper” is, we’re not talking a about a pretty solid defender, Shumpert is a total monster. And while he’s worse at making the actual shots, he’s much less of an offensive liability than Landry is. Passing up wide open 3?s is actually worse than missing them, if you took that into account Landry would look like a terrible player, but of course the stats don’t take into account bad plays caused through omission. Shumpert can also drive and has some (raw) playmaking skill. Landry can just drive at the basket when no one is within 10 feet of him and isn’t punished for passing up shots the way other people are for missing them. Considering Landry is also a horrendous defender, there is absolutely no reason Shumpert and Smith shouldn’t be taking all of the shooting guard minutes, with Smith taking most until Shumpert become more consistent offensively.

    god, thank you. I love this place but sometimes it badly needs a dose of reality, which you and a few others have been dishing up big scoops of lately.

  66. kronicfatigue

    “passing up wide open 3′s is actually worse than missing them”

    - can someone explain this? I’m not familiar yet w/ advanced metrics, but that doesn’t pass the smell test. Attempting the shot might keep the defense honest, but missing it just reaffirms that you don’t have to cover.

    - is there a higher chance of an offensive rebound on an open 3? seems like being open means the defender is sagging, and thus more likely to pull in the rebound himself.

    - Does it apply to non shooting guards too? If chandler is open at the 3 point line, should he throw it up instead of passing it?

  67. nicos

    Fields is a poor defender and I’m talking Amar’e level bad- mostly because he’s a three trying to play two. The most important thing you want from a two on D is a guy who can maintain contact with his man, anticipate the screen and cut his man off before he gets to the screen, and failing that, a guy who can get over the screen quickly. Fields does none of these- he gives guys too much space, reacts slowly to every change of direction so he’s trailing his man by a step or two before he even hits the screen, and he’s slow getting through screens. Is he hurt by poor help from Amar’e and Melo? Of course but when you let your guy run as free as Fields does, you’re every bit as much of a problem as a poor helper. I think he’d be okay- just okay- at the three but he’s completely miscast defensively at the two. His one positive is he does have fairly quick hands so he can pick up some steals but his overall defense is pretty bad.
    On the plus side- he has become a much better passer and can run the high screen and roll very effectively when the ball gets swung to him on the weak side. And, last night not withstanding, he’s very good finishing around the basket. Should he play over Shumpert? If Shumpert could limit his usage down to say 12-14 then I’d prefer Shump- the way the game is played now having a great on the ball defender is really, really valuable but that value gets negated when your TS% is .450 and your usage is 20. If Shumpert could get his TS% up to even .50, I’d say his defensive value would make him an easy pick over Fields but at his current numbers I’d say you’d have to take it game by game and go with matchups.

  68. Will the Thrill

    Yeah, it doesn’t seem like defenders worry too much about Shumpert on the outside shooting and missing threes. I’d say shooting and missing and not taking them is just about the same, the defense doesn’t bother to guard you out there and can crowd up the paint.

    kronicfatigue:
    No need to decide on the SG rotation right this very minute.They all bring something different to the table, and we need to spread minutes w/ the crazy schedule. Who cares who starts? Let the in game performance and matchups decide who finishes.

    When the rotation tightens for the playoff run, we can revist this.

  69. Juany8

    Will that’s kind of my point, Shumpert isn’t a good offensive player right now, but neither is Landry, and the fact that Landry’s TS% is much higher does not imply he’s a better or even more efficient offensive player than Shumpert is. This team has serious spacing issues when Landry is in with Amar’e and Chandler, and yes it is also an issue that Chandler can’t take shots outside 2 ft, he can’t make them so he shouldn’t take them, but it’s an issue that his defender can just leave him open if he steps outside 10ft. You can get away with 1 or 2 non shooters, you can’t have 3. Again Shumpert actually takes the shots and drives and passes better than Landry, so he has to be guarded. Landry doesn’t, even when he decides to take a 3 he takes forever to shoot it and he isn’t fast or athletic so he takes a while to get to the rim. It takes no defensive effort to guard him

  70. Frank O.

    Juany8:
    Will that’s kind of my point, Shumpert isn’t a good offensive player right now, but neither is Landry, and the fact that Landry’s TS% is much higher does not imply he’s a better or even more efficient offensive player than Shumpert is.

    Wait. So the logic is a sucky offensive guy who can’t finish at the hoop needs to be guarded more than a guy who scores at a far more efficient rate because he doesn’t take shots he can’t make?
    Landry’s higher TS and eFG, which are measures of scoring efficiency, do not imply greater efficiency?
    Are you Rod Sterling?
    I mean, come on folks. This is ass backward logic.
    A guy that can’t score inside or out efficiently is clearly a lesser concern than a player who gets into the paint and scores efficiently from there.
    Landry is a slashing threat. He plays off the ball, is effective going to the glass and creates when he is able to get in the paint, whether for himself or for another player.
    Advanced stats are useful in determining whether a player is more or less likely to be productive. We have seen that time and time again.
    Shump is a physical freak, but actually Landry is taller. Shump isn’t more effective going to the glass. If he were, he’d be scoring more and more efficiently. If He shot better from outside,his statistics would show that. He simply isn’t a better offensive player.
    His defense is better. His offense is not, by a lot.
    Again, I like Shump and think he is invaluable. But to imply that somehow this player who doesn’t finish as well as Fields, or shoot as well as Landry, period, is somehow a greater offensive threat. That’s just bunk, and there is nothing I have seen to prove that otherwise.
    You can like the guy. But you can’t say, “Just because” and expect that to stand.

  71. jon abbey

    again, give Shumpert a few games starting at SG, a role he hasn’t had a shot at all year, and I think it would very quickly become clear that he’s a better offensive player than Fields. there’s “nothing you’ve seen to prove that otherwise” because D’Antoni hasn’t yet given him that opportunity.

  72. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    again, give Shumpert a few games starting at SG, a role he hasn’t had a shot at all year, and I think it would very quickly become clear that he’s a better offensive player than Fields. there’s “nothing you’ve seen to prove that otherwise” because D’Antoni hasn’t yet given him that opportunity.

    The most positive thing I saw from Shump was how he fits in to the “slot position” (AS MDA calls it) in the angled/middle pick and roll.

    The Knicks spacing is so much better than it was earlier in the year.

    That’s incredibly important for a slasher like Shump.

    Much of the improved spacing is a result of the additional talent, some of it is guys moving back to their more comfortable position (or “natural”) in the MDA offense, and some of it is more time meshing and getting mentally adjusted — all that practice bullshit.

    Just like Melo is going to be lethal as a slasher either in the corner or in the slot, the improved spacing is going to open up Shumpert’s driving lanes…. We saw that last night.

    I think he can be SO much better offensively when he’s not initiating. That is so much like Spreewell.

    The second thing I’m really excited about is Shumpert’s pairing with runners. Baron, JR, JJ, all of these guys that turn defense into running, something we’ve seem little of to this point because of the pg issues.

    Two areas Shump will thrive in that we’ve yet to see to date. Fields is solid there, Shump will excel.

    To me, the best lineups are going to be Novak or Melo at the 4, JR at the 3, Shump at the 2, doesn’t matter which pg, and you can play offense and defense with Amar’e/Chandler/JJ at 5.

    Melo has no problem with guarding 4′s. He needs to block them out, however, which he can do. Novak will need to be paired with a defensive center.

  73. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    again, give Shumpert a few games starting at SG, a role he hasn’t had a shot at all year, and I think it would very quickly become clear that he’s a better offensive player than Fields. there’s “nothing you’ve seen to prove that otherwise” because D’Antoni hasn’t yet given him that opportunity.

    I appreciate that. It’s a fair point.

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