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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Knicks 2007 Report Card (A to Z): Jared Jeffries

KnickerBlogger: Normally when you begin to work at a new company, you want to start off well. Usually you’ll have a fresh haircut & choose something nicer from your wardrobe. You’ll act a little more polite and reserved than you would normally be. And you’ll do a lot of unnecessary smiling. That’s because first impressions are crucial in forging long lasting relationships. Give people the wrong impression off the bat, and you’re not likely to ever win them over. So a little note to Jared Jeffries: don’t expect to run for mayor of New York City anytime soon.

The Knicks signed Jeffries to a 5 year mid-level exception deal last summer, and it seemed to be a decent idea. It was no secret that the New York roster leaned heavily towards offense, and so getting a defensive minded player should have tipped the balance in the other direction. Jeffries started off the 2007 season on the injured list with a fractured wrist, and missed the first month and a half. When the swingman returned, he seemed uncomfortable on the court with his new teammates. Although he recorded his first double digit scoring output in his second game of the season, he would go another 18 games before repeating that feat. In fact Jeffries went the last 2 months of the season without scoring 10 or more points in a game, despite having logged 30 or more minutes in 11 of those games.

As far as I can tell Jeffries only has one method of scoring, a low post move where he uses his 6-11 height advantage on a baby hook shot. Sadly he doesn’t shoot well from outside, and doesn’t finish well around the basket. Give Jeffries the ball under the hoop with no defender in sight and he may not make the shot. Not since Charles Smith have I had so much anxiety watching someone attempt a layup. He does rebound well on the offensive end (3.4 OREB/40), but oddly enough that skill doesn’t translate on the defensive end (3.9 DREB/40).

Since New York basketball history is steeped in strong defensive teams, Knick fans are usually astute enough to overlook a player’s offensive deficiencies if they make up for it on the other end of the court. To the eye, Jeffries is not a lock down defender like Bruce Bowen, Ron Artest, or Raja Bell. Nor does he have superior shot blocking ability like Andrei Kirilenko or Josh Smith. He has a reputation as a solid but unspectacular defender. Unfortunately the statistics don’t back it up. 82games shows the Knicks to have been 3.1 points worse per 100 possessions on defense with Jeffries on the floor. When he’s on the floor, the opposing SF’s PER is an astounding 20.1. That is he makes Luke Walton look like Josh Howard. New York finished 24th in team defensive efficiency, up from 26th the year before, so obviously Jeffries didn’t make much of an impact.

KnickerBlogger’s Grade: F

2007-08 Outlook: New Yorkers can hope for 2 things next year with regards to Jared Jeffries. First is that Jeffries ups his game on both ends of the court. I’m at a loss in exactly what areas he could improve. I suppose being able to hit a layup and bringing more intensity on defense would be easy areas, but is this really attainable? Jeffries could benefit from becoming an unforgiving meaner player (Bruce Bowen), without being crazy (Ron Artest). But is it really likely for a player (or a human) to go through such a psychological change? Maybe a full preseason with the team will allow him to settle in more, but probably not enough to make a major difference.

The other thing that Knick fans can hope for is that Jeffries & Balkman switch minutes. Last year Jeffries averaged 24 minutes, while Balkman averaged only 16. Balkman is nearly a superior player in every aspect, save for the one post up move. So it would make sense for Renaldo to be ahead in the depth chart at small forward. Balkman had a fabulous summer league, some would say better than league MVP & teammate Nate Robinson, so it’s entirely possible that Renaldo could enter 2007 as the starting SF for the Knicks. Hopefully Isiah the coach won’t try to help Isiah the GM by trying to make Jeffries appealing to other teams by playing him more often than Balkman.

Brian Maniscalco: Unfortunately, I don’t think there is much reason to expect better things from Jeffries. Most of his per minute numbers in his first Knick season were on a par with what he did in Washington– shooting, rebounding, assisting, stealing, blocking. Only a couple of things changed appreciably, and on these stats we might expect Jeffries to return to previous levels. So look for his FT% to increase from his Chris Dudley-esque 46% in 07 to something closer to 60%, which is more at his career average. There is also some hope that his turnover rate might drop a bit. In his prior 3 seasons in Washington he averaged 14.2 turnovers per 100 possessions, but as a Knick that number ballooned up to 16.8, which is approaching Eddy Curry territory. The only thing keeping the rise in turnovers per possesion showing up in Jeffries’ turnovers per minute was, mercifully, a drop in usage rate. Nonetheless, for a player who brings nothing to the table offensively, it’s inexcusable to be turning it over on such a high fraction of his touches.

It’s also somewhat curious that Jeffries did not have a good defensive +/- since his numbers were consistently solid in Washington. Over the last 3 seasons the Wizards were 4.6, 4.4, and 4.0 points per 100 possessions better on defense with Jeffries. So why the sudden dip in his defensive +/- as a Knick? Given the consistency of his box score stats across both teams, I’m more inclined to believe that the change in defensive +/- is due to the change in context rather than a change in Jeffries’ qualities as an individual defender. For instance, it’s possible that playing with a strong interior defender like Brendan Haywood rather than a weak one like Eddy Curry helped out his defensive +/-. It’s also possible that the players logging SF minutes while Jeffries sat on the bench (principally Richardson and Balkman) were just much better defenders than the subs Jeffries had on Washington. Indeed, the Knicks were 9.2 points per 100 possessions better on defense with Balkman on the floor (which is comparable to Bowen’s defensive +/- for the Spurs in 07), which could have driven down Jeffries’ defensive +/- if he didn’t play a lot of minutes with Balkman. So it’s really hard to say if Jeffries was as ineffectual on D for the Knicks as his +/- makes him look.

But the bottom line is that Jeffries does not bring a whole lot to the table, and the negatives far outweigh the positives. The numbers suggest that Jeffries has been a good, solid defender but they are not consistent with him being a great defender. Unfortunately, no team has the luxury of giving a solid defender a prominent role when that player hurts them on offense as much as Jeffries does. Even a defensive juggernaut like Bruce Bowen chips in by keeping his turnovers low and providing a 3 point threat. Jeffries does rebound well offensively, but that’s it. He can’t shoot well from anywhere on the court, including the free throw line, and he commits turnovers at an absurdly high rate for a player whom no one– neither his teammates nor opposing defenses– considers an offensive threat. Every minute Jeffries spends on the floor in place of Balkman is a minute where the Knicks are shooting themselves in the foot. I give Jeffries’ 2006/07 effort a D because of his lapse in FT% and turnover rate relative to prior seasons. But the acquisition of Jeffries for the full MLE deserves an F-.

41 comments on “Knicks 2007 Report Card (A to Z): Jared Jeffries

  1. Timmayyy

    According to David Thorpe (EPSN), JJ has been shedding his jumper this off season and will be “unrecognizable” as a player this year.
    Here’s hoping…

  2. Dylan

    As a Wizards fan I offer my condolences. It sounds like JJ continued to be the same player he was for the Wiz. I cringed every time he put the ball on the floor and tried to be a playmaker.

    As for comparing his defensive impact to his time on the Wiz, remember the Wiz listed him as a SG and that really was his primary defensive responsibility. He was pretty effective using his length and lateral movement to bother smaller wing players. The Wiz would usually put Butler on a stronger SF.

    I always thought Jeffries best hope to contribute on offense was to develop his 3 point shot. He actually showed signs of this in Washington. If he was standing still and wide open he could make the shot. I know his percentage was terrible but the sample size is small enough that it could be heavily skewed by end of shot clock/quarter heaves. It seemed like when he picked his spots he could punish the other team for leaving him unguarded. He was thought to be a good shooter in college. Maybe he could pick one shot like Bruce Bowen and get good enough at it to be useful on offense.

  3. Gabe

    I think the meanness can be turned on and off. Look at Bruce Bowen the Celtic versus Bruce Bowen the Spur. It’s a huge difference.

  4. MattinDC

    As a primary Knicks and secondary Wizards fan, I agree with Dylan. Jeffries showed the capacity to make occasional long range shots when Arenas and Jamison drew opposing defenses into the paint. Maybe he will develop that occasional skill in NY as well…but how can a 6-11 wing player not be more effective on defense, with weak side blocks or steals? Jeffries is confounding.

    Bowen should be his role model, sans the dirty play…which arguably makes him a less effective Bowen.

  5. Ted Nelson

    What I find really interesting is that in terms of +/- the Knicks played better offense and worse defense with Jeffries on the court.

    My first thoughts are that he brings a little basketball intelligence to the court on offense. On D, maybe Balkman’s presence hurt him, maybe it has to do with Dylan’s point about Jeffries taking the other team’s 2 as a Wizard.

    I’d be interested to hear other peoples’ takes.

  6. Ted Nelson

    I guess what suprises me is the offense part, not so much the defense. Whether Jeffries is a strong defender or not it was pretty obvious that he struggled last year.

  7. Brian M

    Jeffries’ positive offensive +/- doesn’t by itself imply that he helped the Knicks on offense. That’s the problem with +/- of course. It could be that he tended to play with the better offensive players rather than the more limited bench players. It could also be a fluke– the figure might not be statistically significantly greater than zero. Given the weight of all the evidence I’m very inclined to think the positive offensive +/- arises for reasons other than Jeffries’ actual contributions on offense.

  8. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I would give Jeffries a D for the season, and definitely a big ol’ F for the pick-up by the Knicks.

  9. steve

    Its mind-boggling that Isiah has been so completely off on his 2 mid-level exception free agents. He’s had a few years to watch Jerome James and Jared Jeffries in the League, against NBA competition, and basicallly just a few games to watch all of his draft choices, and the contrast is startling. I think he used the “best free agent available” line of thinking to sign these guys to fill a need, like he would in a draft. I respect Isiah and think he really wants to win, but I’ve never seen 2 players make so much money that have NO useful skills. He may have to buy out both of their contracts.

  10. Z

    At the press conference introducing J.J. part II, Isiah said: “starting lineup: 6’10”, 6’10, 6’11.” (not a direct quote). I guess that thinking– that a tall starting front line– was the formula for winning the east. Jeffires then proceeded to play below the rim as a 6’10” body and absolutely nothing else.

    Jeffries could come back as a richly improved, defensive presence with a J and 25% higher FT shooting next year. Curry could also become the same; Crawford could become Manu Ginobili; and Mardy Collins could become Walt Frazier. If I was a bookmaker, I’d say the worst odds of the bunch is Jeffries improving.

    He was brought in for his D and delivered an F.

    To tell the truth, I’d never heard of Jeffries before he signed with the Knicks. Jerome James had been on the teams radar for a while, but Jeffries seemed to come out of nowhere. Who were we bidding against? Just the Wiz.? Just wondering…

    And Vin Baker was signed via the MLE, but I think it was a one year deal, which is definitely the way to go with the Mid-Level Isiah!

    Steve– good point. Isiah seems to be bi-polar at evaluating talent. Hard to explain.

  11. Ted Nelson

    Brian,

    I understand the shortcomings of +/-. I was just wondering if anyone had some opinions on why the Knicks offense was better last season when Jeffries was on the court than when he was not.
    As you say it might not have anything to do with Jeffries, and might be statistically insignificant.
    It was just that all season I heard people bashing Jeffries because he’s an offensive liability and I would look at the +/- and see that for whatever reason the Knicks offense was better with Jeffires out there, and the defense was worse.

    I think it could be that Jeffries is one of the few Knicks who actually understands basketball as a team game. He’s also a decent passer–his assist rate was pretty high at 18.4 although his TO rate was also very high at 16.8, both only slightly above his career averages–and I’ve long believed that the Knicks need at least one low usage, strong passer in the frontcourt to play Marbury and Crawford in the backcourt. Not that Jeffries is the ideal point forward, but just that a better point forward would be a great addition for the Knicks, in my opinion. ZBo probably has the passing skills to be that kind of a player, although I’m not inclined to say that he will.
    Jeffries is also 25, not that I think he’ll get significantly better, but with so many people defending Crawford (27) and Curry (24) because of their “youth” I just wanted to point that out.

    “Crawford could become Manu Ginobili”

    First, I would say that the probability of this is even lower than that of Mardy Collins becoming a Hall-of-Famer.
    Second, considering that Jared Jeffries career FT% is 26% higher than last year’s I would say that his FT% improving 25% is your safest bet.

  12. Sunil

    jj at the two would be spectacular.
    opposing guards would fear his outstretched arms for the 15 minutes he is on the court.

  13. Lonster

    It can be a daunting experience coming to the “Big City”. I think JJ suffered from that. I’m betting that his 2nd yr will be much better. He has tremendous skill but has not yet developed his “NBA confidence”. The original vision was for the Knicks to become “Phoenix- eastside”. JJ would have flourished in a style such as that. Obviously that didn’t happen. However, he is still a skilled player who will contribute significantly once he “finds” his confidence.

  14. jon abbey

    actually, the Phoenix system is very reliant on everyone except Stoudemire being able to hit deep jumpers, so he’d be a terrible fit in a system like that.

  15. Z

    “The original vision was for the Knicks to become ?Phoenix- eastside?. JJ would have flourished in a style such as that. Obviously that didn?t happen.”

    We brough Jeffries in to run? I thought it was to bolster the D. Either way (and now that I think back hard to training camp last year I do remember Isiah’s plan was to have a running game with no dribbling– that didn’t last into the regular season and evvaporated completely when he mandated the O go through Curry) it is interesting that Washington fancied themselves the Phoenix of the East upon the departure of Jeffries…

    I’ve admitted I knew nothing of JJ before last season. There must have been something there to justify the deal he got (stathounds?) But for about 5% of his time on the court he looked like he earned the money, 20% of the time he was a groan-inducing embarrassment, and the other 75% of the time he was pretty much invisible. Not sure if PER or WoW backs up those numbers.

    Basically, since he’s a Knick for 4 more years, ANY improvement over last season would be a BIG positive for the team, even if it’s just cutting down on his groan-inducing percentage (Gi%?).

  16. tastycakes

    I eagerly await a passing grade for a Knick player.

    Jeffries is a terrible basketball player.

  17. dan

    Questions:

    Who would you rather see on the court JJ, Wilson Chandler, Demetrious Nichols?

    Does JJ have any trade value? (Stupid question I guess)

    I assume Quentin is the starting 3, no?

    What do you think Isaiah does about playing time behind Quentin?

  18. jon abbey

    I’d say Balkman should be the starting 3, I’d start Q at 2 if he’s healthy. something like this:

    Curry-32
    Randolph-32
    Balkman-26
    Q-26
    Marbury-32

    Lee-32
    Crawford-30

    30 minutes for others depending on matchups, maybe try to play that top 7 a few more minutes. I’d rather see Chandler or Nichols over Jeffries in those fringe minutes, I already know he can’t play.

  19. Ben

    I completely agree that Balkman should start and also I believe that Crawford should start because he tends to play a little more in control when he starts.

    Also having Q come off the bench would allow Isiah to watch his minutes and keep him healthy plus if his back does act up it won’t hurt the team as much.

  20. jon abbey

    “I believe that Crawford should start because he tends to play a little more in control when he starts.”

    I don’t know what the numbers say, but the reason I like him off the bench is that Isiah seems incapable of removing him from the game once he’s in. so if he starts, he plays 42-44 minutes, if he comes off the bench, it’ll be more towards 34-36. plus I still really think he can thrive in a sixth man, Vinnie Johnson type role. also, Q is a better 3 point option early in the game when establishing The Twinkie Towers.

  21. Owen

    Back in action here. Thinking about something else to post on the Lee/Bryant thread, but thought I would throw something out here on JJ.

    If you look at JJ’s WOW stats, he was a .122 as a Wizard the year before he came here. This year with the Knicks he was a .082. So he went from being a bit above average to being a bit below average, but really, factoring in adjustment difficulties, he was basically the same player as he was in Washington. In fact, if he had matched his career ft% he would have been quite close I bet.

    JJ is a role player, and I think that his talents (if I dare call them that) were much easier to appreciate when he was surrounded by Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler. He is a great “complement in production” for quality high usage players. But if there aren’t any around, he is going to look a lot less valuable, even if his play doesn’t actually change that much. Specifically, paired with Curry, Crawford, and Marbury, on a losing team, he won’t look nearly as good.

    Also, the Knicks already have two role players, David Lee and Renaldo Balkman, who are much better in JJ’s role than he is. And the fact that he was taking time from them was an added negative factor, quite a large one in my mind. I know that I counted it against him that he was taking Balkman’s minutes in particular.

    tastycakes – I eagerly await a passing grade for a Knicks player also. Said another way, I eagerly await the review of David Lee, which is coming up next week. Should make for an interesting Monday.

    Jon – I like your vision here. Balkman at the 3, Q at the 2, is definitely our best bet.

    Ben – Crawford can be more productive I think in a role where he was forced to choose his shots more carefully. He was an above average player for a year under Brown, who kept him on a tight leash, before falling off a performance cliff last year. I agree with Jon again, (unbelievable, twice in one post) that he might be more productive off the bench. Q is definitely better than he is…

  22. Z

    Jon’s depth chart looks pretty reasonable, considering the roster.

    I have an unrelated question to any one with a better memory than I: did Isiah have the chance to trade for Vince Carter but refused to include Jamal Crawford in the deal? I seem to remember a deal like that that IT rejected. Is this right or is my early onset alzheimer’s setting in. Just wondering.

  23. Ben

    Owen – Don’t get me wrong I much prefer Q to Crawford in every way, but Isiah is not going to play Crawford less than starter minutes so I think if he is destined to play 30-35 minutes he would be best suited starting.

    Crawford is most productive with Curry and when he comes off the bench he seems to shoot alot to make up for all the shots he missed.

    Also Q is really fragile and if he comes off the bench the team can adjust to him missing long stretches of games without being as disrupted.

    But I agree the more minutes for Balkman the better he is far and away our best swingman.

  24. dave crockett

    I think Jon?s lineup works but Balkman is the key. According to 82games the Marbury-Richardson backcourt saw only 93 minutes together last season. As much as I love what Q brings to the table in toughness and IQ he brings no ballhandling help, which probably explains why Isiah played him mostly as an undersized 3. If you?re going to start Q and Balkman, understand that you?re asking Balkman to be the second ballhandler because the Marbury-Richardson backcourt begs teams to trap it. Fortunately, Balkman?s ballhandling looked to have improved a bit in the summer league but that seems like an awful lot of responsibility.

    I?ll be surprised if Crawford doesn?t start for that reason alone, without even having to resort to Thomas? uncritical adoration of him.

  25. dave crockett

    I?d also note that I?m clamoring for a bigger role for Nate Robinson. This kid is a very useful offensive player.

  26. Kevin

    Crockett –

    Why are you clamoring for more Nate? I got enough crazy shots, no defense and poor passing last year to last me for a while.

    When Nate played the Knicks lost. What do I mean:

  27. Bernard King

    I really see Nate getting traded. Knicks need to move some players and right now he is probably the most marketable of the non-“untouchables”.

    Although with the depth we have, I wouldnt mind seeing Balkman, Nate and someone else (would be great if he could move Jefferies) for Artest. Something like that. I love Balkman too, but we have too much depth right now and need to free up spots for Chandler and Nichols.

    Lets just humor me for a minute and assume we make some kind of deal (but here I will use Artest) that involves 3 players for 1.

    C – Curry
    PF- Randolph
    SF – Artest
    SG – Crawford
    PG – Marbury

    Bench: Lee, Q, Collins, Morris with active roster spots for Nichols, Chandler and Jefferies. Jeromse James I suspect will spend a great deal of time on the DL this year.

    I realize I am completely leaving out Dickau and Jones. I dont think Dickau will make the team as I dont think he is Isiah’s type of player and giving him a spot over Collins makes no sense at this point.

    Jones is useful though, so I guess Im just hoping against hope that Nichols makes the team but its obviously possible that Jones gets his spot in the active roster and Nichols is not on the active roster.

    Point of the exercise is that Balkman and Nate have value right now and we have other needs. Tons of depth at SF now with Chandler and Nichols so we can deal from strength and improve the team.

    I love Balkman and he has great upside (especially if he can develop any kind of open jumper). But Lee brings much of the same game as Balkman and we would be crazy not to trade one of them.

  28. Kevin

    Crockett –

    Why are you clamoring for more Nate? I got enough crazy shots, no defense and poor passing last year to last me for a while. I would think that Nate is the only player in the history of the Rucker league to be asked to take better shots.

    When Nate played the Knicks lost. What do I mean:

    Nov: Nate played 20+min per game – record 6-11
    Dec: early Nate played 20 + record 3-6
    late Nate didn’t play at all 4-3 (suspension)
    Jan early Nate played less than 10 min in games played and only 41 minutes total 5-4
    late Nate played ~25 min 2-4
    Feb Nate played 68 min total 6-5
    Mar early Nate played 30 min total 3-3
    late Nate played >25 mpg 2-6
    April Nate played > 30 MPG 2-7

    while not looking at individual games, but rather stretches of the season when he was in/out of rotation the total results are as follows:
    Nate played 20 Min plus 15-34
    Nate barely played 18-15

    Was the post brawl run 6 wins in 10 games including two road wins (Seattle & Portland) and Home wins against Chicago, Detroit, Utah and Charlotte (three being impressive wins) because Nate started the brawl or because Nate didn’t play.

    Okay the end of March and April reflects a demoralized team finishing the year – take that out and the with Nate record is then 11-21 – still not good. I am not saying that Nate is the only culprit here, but I am happier when he is not playing. I do agree with you on one point – that Nate is an offensive player – think I’m using offensive differently though.

  29. Caleb

    I’d say the Knicks’ worse record with Nate is largely attributable to circumstance – he played a lot more once Crawford went out, which mostly corresponded with David Lee’s absence. Losing Lee was the real killer.

    I’d like to see sort of an offense-defense platoon — Nate splitting minutes with Fred Jones or Mardy Collins. His liabilities are obvious but even with the wildness he’s a much more efficient player than Crawford… just stop thinking of him as a point guard and his decision-making won’t bother you so much. He’s a pure scorer, and a good one. (If he focuses on his defense he could be solid, too – play that Mugsy Bogues style).

    He’s also young enough to improve quite a bit. I could see him as a Ben Gordon level guy. Right now, though, I’d guess his trade value is low, due to reputation and limited playing time. I’d put him on the court this year and see what he can really do, instead of wasting minutes on Jamal.

  30. Caleb

    p.s. The only possible reason to trade any of our good young players would be to bring back a top-flight guard – a PG (moving Marbury to the 2) or a big-time shooting guard.

  31. Kevin

    Caleb –

    Lee missed the last few games of February and all of March. Crawford missed the last game of February and the rest of the year.

    Without Lee, Crawford and Nate – the knicks started March 3-3. Then Nate came in and they finished 4-13. Okay an eliminated and injured team ignore that part, that’s what I did (though didn’t mention the injuries). The record up to the end of February:

    Nate in rotation: 11-21
    Nate out of rotation 15-12 (not including March games.

    Maybe it is circumstance, but the circumstance is not end of year with Craw and Lee. Any other ideas.

  32. Z

    The win total isn’t too impressive with or without Nate.

    He certainly has his liabilities as a player, but so do the rest of the Knicks. I don’t think the Knicks would have made the playoffs had Nate not been on the team.

    I do think they would have been a less annoying team though.

  33. jon abbey

    how can they do that, doesn’t that leave them with 16 guys under contract? is it only opening day that they have to be down to 15 by, or did they buy out someone else?

  34. thefatkid

    Unless I missed something, Chandler got a standard rookie contract. That means 2 years guaranteed on the first round schedule and 2 more years of team options.

    The Knicks only need to have 15 for the opening day roster. Until then, they can have more players.

  35. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    KNICKS SIGN WILSON CHANDLER
    23rd Overall Pick in 2007 NBA Draft Inked To Contract

    NEW YORK, July 27, 2007 ? New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Isiah Thomas announced today that forward Wilson Chandler has been signed to a contract. Chandler was selected by New York with the 23rd overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft.

    Chandler, 6-8, 230-pounds, was an early entry candidate in the draft, having declared following his sophomore season at DePaul. The 20-year old, Benton Harbor, MI-native averaged 12.9 points and 7.1 rebounds during his two years for the Blue Demons and left school ranked 10th on the school?s all-time list for career blocked shots.

    As a member of the Knicks? entry in the 2007 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas earlier this month, Chandler averaged 13.4 points, on 50.9-percent shooting, and 5.2 rebounds in five games (all starts).

  36. dave crockett

    Kevin –

    Nate Robinson is a pretty efficient offensive player by every available measure. If you’re going to make the argument that he is in large part the cause for the team’s abysmal record then you have to do more than state the record in games he played. I’d expect to see at least some evidence of a relationship between Robinson’s *actual play* and the losses. +/- stats, for instance, at least try to get at such a relationship. If Robinson is the chief culprit in games lost when he played one would expect the Knicks to have been worse whenever he was on the floor.

    Nate’s +/- of +2.9 was actually 3rd best on the team. In fact, only six Knicks had a +/- above zero. I’d admit freely that like everyone on the roster not named Renaldo Balkman his defense needs a lot of work. But, the Knicks inarguably scored more than they gave up with Robinson on the floor.

    Robinson is immature and annoying to many, no doubt about it. He jaws at the officials too much. And, he’s a SG trapped in a cornerback’s body with little in the way of discernible PG skills. But this insinuation that somehow he’s a “loser” seems like an artifact of a team that stank, unless you have something more specific.

    I’m not saying Nate doesn’t have legitimate shortcomings or that I wouldn’t move him for something that could help us. Unfortunately, I see a cadre of Knicks fans uncritically swallowing the Mike Breen anti-hype on Robinson. A guy shoots 55% TS, really without any prolonged shooting slumps, yet every shot is a bad one. He turns the ball over less than anyone except Q, on a much higher usage rate, yet he’s always “out of control.”

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