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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Knicks 2007 Report Card (A to Z): Mardy Collins

KnickerBlogger: Mardy Collins’ first season was almost a disaster. As late as mid-February it seemed as if Collins would be remembered as a seldom used rookie that triggered the fight with the Nuggets. However injuries down the stretch ravaged the Knicks backcourt, and Collins was thrown into the fire. He was the starting point guard for the Knicks last 9 games, averaging 44 minutes per game in that stint. The 6-6 guard earns his keep on defense, where his size allows him to defend both point guards and shooting guards. Collins was second on the team with 1.6 steals per 40 minutes, and was the best rebounding guard, grabbing 5.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. According to 82games, the Knicks were 2.5 points per 100 possessions better on defense with Collins on the floor.

Unfortunately that’s where the positives end. Mardy Collins is a poor shooter. His shooting percentages (41% eFG, 44.5% TS%, 27.7% 3P%, and 58% FT%) were dreadful for a guard. Collins is able to run the offense, but the problem is when the ball comes back to a wide open Mardy who is unable to connect from outside. Additionally he was a bit careless with the ball, as Collins turned the ball over 2.9 times per 40 minutes, which is too high for a player that scores only 12.1 points per 40 minutes. Turnover rates are usually higher for rookie point guards trying to adjust to NBA offenses, so it’s something that’s likely to improve as he matures.

KnickerBlogger’s Grade: C

2008 Outlook: Like Collins’ draftmate Renaldo Balkman, Collins is a strong defender who struggles in the half court set. His three point percentage is almost passable, but he wasn’t a strong bombardier in college (29%), so it’s unclear if he can actually develop that shot in the NBA. Collins’ poor free throw shooting doesn’t bode well for his potential to develop a midrange shot. Like Balkman, if Collins can’t find a way to contribute on offense he’ll be nothing more than a bench player for the remainder of his career. Being the Knicks’ best defensive guard, he does have value in that capacity. Unless Isiah makes a big shake-up at either guard position, Collins will likely find time as a part time defender and injury substitute.

Michael Zannettis: The hope of developing a jump shot seems to me to be the holy grail of basketball player development. Off the top of my head I’m hard pressed to think of one productive professional athlete who entered the league incompetent at shooting, then developed a reliable game. As such, I’m fairly down on Collins. It’s not like his athleticism shoots through the roof. That being said, can anyone think of a poor shooter when they entered the NBA that then developed their shooting skills?

Brian Cronin: If you want to know why we won’t love him so – it’s there in his misses!

(Is it in his D?)
Oh no! You need to see!
(Is it in his size?)
Oh no! You make believe!
If you wanna know
Why we won’t love him so
Its in his misses
(That’s where it is!)

Seriously, Collins’ problem is just extremely straightforward. The guy doesn’t have an outside shot. Imagine if he DID, though? How awesome would he be? Good defender, nice size for a guard, if he could shoot, he’d have the total package.

As it is, Collins had a month of counting stats convince a lot of sportswriters that he was actually a good player. At the moment, he is not. And since, as Michael mentions, it is unlikely that he will suddenly become a good shooter, Collins is probably never going to be more than a good defensive back-up guard. That, to me, is worth a C, so I agree with KB’s grade.

97 comments on “Knicks 2007 Report Card (A to Z): Mardy Collins

  1. Sean

    Last I check Ron Artest couldn’t Shoot when he came in ths league and now you don’t want to leave him open. Raja bell was terrible also.So it can be done besides Mardy real probably is that horrible shooting stroke if he fixed that I honestly believe his percentages will increase

  2. Nick

    Tony Parker just learned to shoot a few summers ago with the help of a shooting coach, and his midrange jumper is now automatic.

    Marcus Camby when he was on the Knicks, was strictly a dunker when he was on the Knicks, and is now a pretty good midrange shooter.

    Even Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley. Towards the end of their careers with the Knicks, they were both very good jump shooters, and you can make an argument that Ewing might’ve been one of the best perimeter shooting centers in the league, when he was in his prime.

    Mardy Collins showed major improvement in his shot during the last month of the season. The reason why his percentages might not reflect that, is because due to all the injuries, he had to force the isssue more often than not.

    As far as his turnovers go, I think last season was an aberration. He didn’t turn the ball over much at temple, in fact that may have been one of the reasons Isiah took him.

    His stroke at the line seemed to have improved, as well as his athleticism.

    I think Mardy’s gonna be a solid player for us. He compliments all of our scoring PGs well. He seemed to play really well with Stephon.

    There was a stretch of games where Mardy flirted with a triple double, usually coming within a few assists or rebounds, and he even had multiple games of 3+ steals.

    I read in the NY Post that none other than Clyde Frazier wants to tutor Collins this summer.

    I’m a big Mardy Collins fan. He’s very low maintenance and has a tough, blue collar, team first mentality that all of John Chaney’s players seem to have.

    Personally I’d love to see Isiah draft a guy like Javaris Crittenton and put him in the backcourt with Mardy in the second unit. They’d compliment each other extremely well. Both are big, strong, and versatile, and can take turns running the point the way Duhon and Hinrich do in Chicago.

    If Isiah does that, he’d have to get rid of Nate and Francis, but our backcourt would be set for the next ten years.

  3. MaxS

    Mr. Zannettis’ statement was quite suprising to me. I did not expect such a comment from a knowledgable basketball person. Off the top of my head I can think of at least five of the “50 Greatest NBA Players” who entered the league not being known for their jump shooting skils. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone & Dominique Wilkins did not enter the NBA for their shooting skills. A few of them (magic, Malone, Wilkins) never developed into good shooters, but still had successful offensive careers. I am not predicting where Collins will end up, but it is not improbable that he can become a better shooter once he starts shooting with more confidence, as he showed near the end of the season. It’s also been reported that Collins was a scorer in high school, but when he entered Temple, Chaney told him that Temple already has scoring guards and is in need of a distributor and defender.

  4. Henry

    I like Marty,

    He plays like he’s been in the league for awhile. He doesn’t get rattle much, long arms which creates deflections, steals, and rebounds. Solid, solid back up for NOW. He also makes Nate expendable.

    He kind of in reminds me of Charlie Ward, Eric Snow or Aaron McKee type of guy. Low profile guys that just get the job done.

    As the others have pointed out he can develop an outside shot. And include Mickey Moore as a guy that has improved his mid-range jumper over the years. Hopefully D Lee, M Balkman, J Jefferies can do the same.

  5. sam

    Anytime you base anything on 82games.com you are in trouble. That is one of the most inaccurate, misleading and outdated information on the web often.

  6. mase

    Mardy Collins ruggedness on defense, poise and ability to get to the basket and absorb contact was one of the few bright spots of the season.
    I’d give him a grade of B.

  7. Michael Zannettis

    Thanks for the leads on the shooters. I took the time to look up a couple of names, and believe me this seems like a future article.

    Until then, I’d have to disagree with a couple of the names.

    Bowen–is still a terrible shooter. He can hit exactly that one shot from the corner. Can’t hit anything else. Can’t even hit a free throw. Is that what you want out of a starting guard?

    Tony Parker–is the same awkward shooter he’s always been. That’s why teams still dare him to hit the open jumper.

    Jordan–absolutely entered the league as an excellent shooter. Never developed a three pointer, which is what made his finals outburst against Portland so surprising.

    Ewing–not exactly a good example either. Spent most of his seasons shooting under 50%, which for a center of his quality shouldn’t have happened. Shot basically the same FT% every year of his career.

    Anyone else?

  8. Brian Cronin

    By the by, I think Eric Snow IS a good comparison to Mardy Collins.

    Except I think the current version of Eric Snow is the apt comparison – very good defender who can’t shoot a lick.

    That being said, I am only going with “unlikely” that Collins will become a good shooter, and grading him accordingly. If he ever DID develop a shot, then certainly he’d be higher than a C.

    But Balkman was very good for the Knicks WITHOUT being able to shoot well, so it’s not that not being able to shoot is the death knell for a player. Just for a player who needs to be a good shooter to be effective. Collins is not a player who can get to the basket with ease/play above the rim to offset his poor shooting.

  9. Conor

    “(Ewing)Spent most of his seasons shooting under 50%, which for a center of his quality shouldn?t have happened.”

    Where did this come from? He shot 47.4% as a rookie. Hw then shot over 50% for each of the next 7 years, before shooting 49.6% (he needed to make 2 more shots to be over 50% that year) before shooting 50% the next year. He spent most, in fact nearly all of his career, at least as a star, shooting over 50%, and his career % is 50.4.

    Also, and this is purely subjective, but I think as he developed as a player he began to expand his game and began shooting more and more jumpers, so keeping a high FG% while trading layups and dunks for jumpers says he probably became an even better shooter.

  10. Owen

    “so keeping a high FG% while trading layups and dunks for jumpers says he probably became an even better shooter.”

    Nhat’s the logic here? Shouldn’t we be indifferent to how a fg % is achieved? Is there something better about shooting jumpshots than layups that makes 50% from the perimeter better than 50% from the paint?

    I am with Michael. There is nothing that great about Ewing as a shooter. His career ts% wouldn’t put him in the top 75 NBA players this year, and he only topped 60% once in his career. Those aren’t great numbers.

    And MaxS, Magic Johnson averaged 61% ts% for his career. Was he less of a “shooter” since most of those buckets didnt come on outside shots? If he wasn’t a good shooter, who is/was?

    I think the grade you guys gave Collins is fair, given that he was a rookie, but it would have been very generous for a veteran player. His TS% was less than 45% as you said. That’s unbelievably bad. And he averaged 4 turnovers per game in his stint as a starter.

    He is very much a work in progress. I am rooting for him definitely. I like his character, defense, and potential. But he has a ways to go just to prove he can play in this league.

  11. dave crockett

    I suppose part of the difficulty in answering Michael’s question is in deciding what constitutes “developed a reliable game” (or jump shot). Because hoops is such a compensatory sport “reliability” often comes down to hitting enough jump shots to be able to play to the other parts of your game.

    Tony Parker, an objectively poor jump shooter, then becomes a prime example of a player who improved his jump shot enough to become less reliant on it. Parker has shot above 50% eFG since his 3rd season, and well above 50% TS since his 2nd season. 82games.com data (which only go back to the 02-03 season) seems to suggest that he’s become a better jump shooter while also becoming generally less reliant on it over time. His eFG% on jump shots from 02-06 (along with the % of FGAs on jumpers):

    02 – 42.8/67
    03 – 39.8/68
    04 – 40.5/58
    05 – 41.5/51
    06 – 44.2/59

    What you can see is fairly steady improvement, from wretched to passable at least, with generally less reliance on the jump shot, all allowing him to become a pretty good offensive player overall.

    Although Parker is just a single case, one I chose only because someone else mentioned him, there’s nothing particularly special about his case. He improved his jump shooting through dedication, and is even still a nothing special jump shooter. But, he hits enough to allow him to play to his strengths.

    Collins and Balkman can likewise improve, but even the most optimistic Knicks fan must acknowledge that both are starting as such bad shooters that anything short of miraculous improvement may not be enough to allow them to play to their strengths.

    One thing that would benefit the entire team, for the umpteenth time, is upping the pace to above league average. It would allow the team to take advantage of Collins passing ability without being as hurt by his inability to shoot. Even Curry would benefit from a faster pace that gets him 2-3 layups a night, especially now that he’s in decent shape. The only real center he probably cannot outright beat down the floor in the East is Dwight Howard. The players who most likely suffer by increasing are Marbury and Francis because of the increased wear on knees.

  12. Nick

    The only reason I’m sure the Knicks don’t run more is because they turn the ball too much. I remember Larry Brown trying to let them run and it was a disaster. That and the fact that steals, defensive stops, and blocked shots are vital to a good running game, and I’m sure the Knicks are near the bottom third of the league in all 3 categories.

    On the other hand, the Knicks don’t have enough good shooters to succeed in the halfcourt game.

    This is why the Knicks are where they are now.

  13. Z

    Geez– Collins’ rookie season showed way more promise than anything most people projected. He wasn’t supposed to get minutes this season at all, and when he did, he played well.

    That said, his weaknesses are clear. He needs a shot. Obviously, professional basketball players with a great work ethic can develope an effective J. He won’t be Reggie Miller, but Charlie Ward became a guy opponents needed to defend on the arc.

    Is any one here suggesting we give up on David Lee because he has no outside shot? Lee was a poor free throw shooter in college and in his rookie year. Last season he shot 80%. I guarentee you in a few years D. Lee will knock down 15-20 footers the way Oak did as he got older.

  14. Brian Cronin

    Geez? Collins? rookie season showed way more promise than anything most people projected. He wasn?t supposed to get minutes this season at all, and when he did, he played well.

    I don’t think a C is really all that bad of a grade. Like Owen mentioned, the same performance for a veteran guard would most likely result in a worse grade.

    In any event, as seen from those shooting numbers, Collins didn’t really play “well.” He may have played a lot better than anyone expected, though, but I don’t think anyone was expecting ANYthing from him this year, so to get a C would be a GOOD sign, I think, of what we expected from him entering the season.

    That said, his weaknesses are clear. He needs a shot. Obviously, professional basketball players with a great work ethic can develope an effective J. He won?t be Reggie Miller, but Charlie Ward became a guy opponents needed to defend on the arc.

    That would be cool, yeah.

    Is any one here suggesting we give up on David Lee because he has no outside shot? Lee was a poor free throw shooter in college and in his rookie year. Last season he shot 80%. I guarentee you in a few years D. Lee will knock down 15-20 footers the way Oak did as he got older.

    But, like Balkman, Lee had a lot of other great skills.

    Collins’ game really needs the outside shooting. Lee doesn’t NEED to be an outside shooter to be good, it would just help him be GREAT.

  15. Hudson River

    David Lee is taking 1,000 jumpers a day. At that rate he will become a very good shooter, ideally he will become able to play a Kurt Thomas-like role, but better. I think Mardy Collins can be successful if he can develop a post game, it sounds outrageous but to be able to post up one’s defender can be quite useful (see Gary Payton), especially if you are quick enough to blow by bigger guys who can guard you in the post like Mardy. If he can get that 18 footer to fall he could be very very good, he reminds me of a player from the 90s, maybe an Avery Johnson-type player (he developed a decent jumper). I hate the Spurs past and present.

  16. Michael Zannettis

    The more I think about it, the more shooting development needs to be studied in a more quantitative matter, if nothing else then for good drafting.

    Let’s say you have the option between drafting two rookies. One of them is super-athletic, but lacks an outside shot. The other isn’t athletic, but is a great shooter. Do you draft the bad shooter with the expectation that they can learn to shoot, or do you take the bad athlete, since they’ll never forget how to shoot?

    What I meant by “holy grail” wasn’t that it’s impossible to develop a reliable outside shot. It’s that it’s rare, but yet, we’re always holding out hope for it. He’s good, but IF he ever learns to shoot, he’ll be great.

    The examples of this happening to players after they reach the NBA are–even if we take as credibly examples those players we’ve already mentioned–extremely rare. I don’t think “extremely rare” is the right way to make personnel decisions, and that’s why I’m down on Collins.

    Individuals buck trends, but where is the evidence that Collins will be one of those individuals? There’s hope. But I’m not sure that’s enough.

  17. Matt

    I want Mardy Collins to become the Lakers version (post-knee injury) of Ron Harper. That’s probably a little more apt a comparison than Bruce Bowen. If Mardy can learn how to hit a stand-still 3 from a couple spots on the floor when the ball rotates to him, then that’s a gold mine with a couple of real scorers on the floor (when one is a post player) because of rotating defenses.

  18. Z

    It seems like we are holding out hope that Collins will be a Mark Jackson type player– able to post up, rebound his position, run an efficient offense, play D, and hit the open shot as the 5th option (despite natural deficiencies…).

    Jackson, of course, is likely a Hall-of-Famer. The problem with projecting Collins out along Jackson’s path is that Jackson was rookie of the year on a Knick team that was better than the one Collins played 9 (starring) games for. (And the next year he was an All-Star). At this point Jackson would have gotten an A while Collins gets a deserved C.

    If Collins is going realize his potential as a Mark Jackson-esque player, he will likely not do it with the Knicks. The Knicks are not officially rebuilding, so he will be buried next year in favor of the expensive franchise players again. (The only reason Collins gets a C and not an Incomplete is because the team fell apart during the last month and we got to see him in action). He needs to play more than the 10-15 he’ll get next year as the 4th guard if he’s going to exhibit the improvement people are looking for.

    It could be that Collins has made himself desirable to other teams in the league because of the minutes he got this year, and if he is able to be packaged for a player who is an established shooter (or better), then his performance will have been much greater to the team than his game stats show, and his grade will have to be higher (pending the traded for player…).

  19. Kevin Pelton

    I watched Eric Snow as a rookie and he could not shoot to save his life. He was never good, of course, but he was passable enough to take advantage of his other skills. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable hope for Collins.

  20. jon abbey

    (rant)
    Mardy Collins is an above average defensive player already. Mark Jackson was one of the worst defensive PGs I’ve ever seen, and thus a remarkably overrated player. I’ve also never seen a professional PG get the ball taken away from him one on one bringing it upcourt as much as he used to when he was in NY. man, I hated that guy. he’s a terrible announcer too, god knows how he got the Finals job (not that most other announcers are much better). (/end rant)

  21. BrandonM

    “Mark Jackson was one of the worst defensive PGs I?ve ever seen”
    Definitely…Seriously man, who said he was a good defender? Anyway, I think everyone is being way too harsh on the guy. Remember, not only was he a rookie this year, but he got next to no playing time till the end! Of course the guy is going to turn the ball over and make mistakes! We should be having this discussion next year to see what parts of his game has improved. Hopefully he can add elements to his game like we saw with DLee over the summer(FT% increase) because he seems to be a very humble guy and he is going to need more skills in order to survive in the NBA. But, personally, I was impressed with what he accomplished towards the end of the year and I think he can blossom into a Ward/Harper-esque PG.

  22. Greene

    Completely incorrect on shooting being tough to develop. Any basketball teacher will tell you it is the easiest part of your game to improve. Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley come to mind quickly. I would bet that David Lee becomes a solid mid range shooter in his career

  23. Rahsaan

    Owen: “Shouldn?t we be indifferent to how a fg % is achieved? Is there something better about shooting jumpshots than layups that makes 50% from the perimeter better than 50% from the paint?”

    I believe the answer to both questions is “no” – because of free throws. Free throws are by far the most efficient way to score and a player who takes most of his shots near the basket will get to the line much more frequently that a jump shooter.

    Assuming that the two players take (and make) the same number of two-point shots, you’d definitely want to go with the one who shoots 50% from near the basket.

    This is why players who only take jump shots have to have three-point range. Otherwise, the pay-off is not high enough to justify the risk of not getting to the line often.

  24. Rahsaan

    Hey, what’s with the Mark Jackson criticism all of a sudden? Sure, he got sloppy and slow in his last few seasons, but the guy is one of the best passers in the history of the game!

    I like Collins, but is there any indication at all that he has that kind of court vision? It’s like expecting Ron Artest to turn into John Stockton.

  25. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    To those that said it, Eric Snow is probably the best comparison so far. I have another one no one mentioned: Derek Fisher.

    I’ve been playing around with similarity scores, and here is what I have for Collins:

    Boris Diaw
    Brian Oliver
    Jimmy King
    Derek Fisher
    Darrell Elston
    Jim Paxson
    Daniel Ewing
    Carlos Delfino
    Corey Benjamin
    Mike Flynn

    Not an impressive list by any standards, so unless he can make a Diaw-esque jump in productivity, he’ll be lucky to eek out a career like Paxson or Fisher.

    NOTE: I’m not saying that Collins can turn himself into a 4 position player like Diaw. I’m just saying that of the guys on that list, only Diaw has become a substantial player.

  26. Julian

    Is it true the D Lee is takin 1000+ ju mpers daily in the summer???!? This was my single prayer for the knicks in the summer, that he would practice maniacally on his J. I think if this is true i’m going to celebrate.

  27. caleb

    With player development, by far the best predictor is age – regardless of specific skills. Eighteen- and 19-year-olds tend to get a lot better. 22-year-olds get better. By 25, most players are as effective as they ever will be, although their skills may change a bit as they age. So, while Mardy Collins may yet have an NBA career (I may have been overly harsh in the past) it’s a longshot to think he’ll become an above-average player.

    The shooting issue has been well-covered… but you can’t stress enough that he shows no sign of being able to run a team, except in emergency situations. Not only does he turn it over a lot but he is neither quick nor creative enough to create shots for other people.

    Mike, how does he compare to Lindsey Hunter? There’s a guy who plays PG because of his size, but doesn’t really have any offensive skills. He ended up as a rotation player on some very good teams because a) he is, at least was, an excellent defender; b) he developed enough of a shot to not totally embarrass himself; and c) as a vet he stopped making crazy turnovers.

    Isn’t that the best hope for Mardy Collins?

  28. jon abbey

    “Hey, what?s with the Mark Jackson criticism all of a sudden? Sure, he got sloppy and slow in his last few seasons, but the guy is one of the best passers in the history of the game!”

    he got slower, he was slow even as a rookie. he piled up a lot of assists on one end, and killed his team on the other end. if you’re going to mention one, you should mention the other too.

  29. jon abbey

    “I?m just saying that of the guys on that list, only Diaw has become a substantial player.”

    Derek Fisher was the third best player on at least one title team with the Lakers.

  30. KD

    Fisher’s fundamentals were sound from his first year, though. Whenever he put arc on his shot, it was money. When he line-drived it (with those long arms, think Lamar Odom at the free throw line), it was way off. This is why he was so good when he came back from injury late in 2000-01 — it forced him to not jump as much and put arc on the ball.

  31. Owen

    Rahsaan – You are right. That was really the point of my comment actually, somehow omitted. That’s why I mentioned Magic. My attitude definitely is, whatever is the way to achieve the highest TS%, thats how a player should play, really how teams should play. Within reason, shots have to be taken.

    Read a piece on AOL on Isiah liking a trade of Sheed for D Lee. I would rather lose a testicle than Lee but if it has to happen, I suppose its an interesting proposition. Not exactly a character guy though. Marion- Wallace seems much more likely, its all over the news today. Has the Wallace possibility been discussed here?

    http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/06/05/isiah-thomas-thinks-rasheed-wallace-is-the-missing-piece/

  32. Nick

    “Although Parker is just a single case, one I chose only because someone else mentioned him, there?s nothing particularly special about his case. He improved his jump shooting through dedication, and is even still a nothing special jump shooter. But, he hits enough to allow him to play to his strengths.”

    Are you kidding me?

    Tony Parker shot 41% FG, 32% 3pt FG, and 65% FT his rookie season. Check out his 06-06 numbers.

    52% FG, 39% 3pt FG, and 78% FT. Like I said, there’s hope for Mardy Collins.

  33. Nick

    “Although Parker is just a single case, one I chose only because someone else mentioned him, there?s nothing particularly special about his case. He improved his jump shooting through dedication, and is even still a nothing special jump shooter. But, he hits enough to allow him to play to his strengths.”

    Are you kidding me?

    Tony Parker shot 41% FG, 32% 3pt FG, and 65% FT his rookie season. Check out his 06-07 numbers.

    52% FG, 39% 3pt FG, and 78% FT.

    Like I said, there’s hope for Mardy Collins.

  34. Knickerblogger

    Being the third best on that Laker team is like being the third best Beatle. The top 2 are otherworldly, so its no shame being worse than them. But on the other hand being better than the rest isn’t a great accomplishment either.

    But point taken, Fisher is of enough quality that Collins would be lucky to develop that much.

    And now I’m going to have the video of “I got my mind set on you” in my head for the rest of the day.

  35. caleb

    The Rasheed rumors sound like pure speculation, probably coming from his agent. They seem to come up every time Sheed is on the move – I guess he’d really like to be in NYK. Would Detroit give him up? Depends on how sick of him they are. They’ve got plenty of frontcourt depth, and would like to get younger, but in the news conference this week Dumars said ‘Sheed was their best player (in the playoffs).

    I don’t think he’s a bad “character” guy, whatever that is. He has a bad temper and probably spends the offseason smoking pot, but he doesn’t go around assaulting people and his teammates always love him. He’s a perfect complementary player – terrific on defense and doesn’t need or want a lot of plays called for him. In other words, ideal for the Knicks.

    His contract isn’t a problem, either. Semi-decent value, and runs out the same year as Marbury & Francis.

    But at what price? Frye and Crawford would be a bargain for us — Detroit would never bite. Maybe if we threw in Nate or Collins or the #23. I’d trade Curry straight up, but no one else would.

    Keep in mind that we’re not just one piece away, the way Detroit was the year they brought him in. By the time we might hypotethetically make a serious playoff run – 2 or 3 years from now – ‘Sheed will be 34 years old. So I wouldn’t trade anyone I expect to be a key player when our team reaches that contending status. That would put David Lee and probably Balkman off limits. Anyone else – why not?

  36. John

    “if Isiah trades Lee for Wallace, I?m done with the Knicks until he or Dolan or both are gone.”

    me too

  37. John

    But Abbey, were is the confidence in Isiah the GM, who you staunchly supported not too long ago?

  38. BrandonM

    ?if Isiah trades Lee for Wallace, I?m done with the Knicks until he or Dolan or both are gone.?

    If IT makes that happen, I will look forward to rooting for the BK Nets from now on. Lee could possibly be the reincarnation of Oak. God help IT if trades him away!

  39. jon abbey

    “But Abbey, where is the confidence in Isiah the GM, who you staunchly supported not too long ago?”

    I never said I had anything resembling confidence in him going forward, and we’re talking about a hypothetical move anyway. what I’ve defended in the past is the bulk of his past moves, but we don’t need to go down that road again.

    as I have said before, we’re at the point now where we’re likely going to bundle a few assets for one marquee player, whether it’s this offseason or next. the key to Isiah’s whole tenure here is that deal, and Rasheed isn’t the answer. I have full respect for his game, but he needs to be on a title contender or he’s a cancer, and we’re far from a title contender. I don’t think I want him on NY regardless of the price, I’d go after Artest before Sheed, and I don’t really want him either (but I can at least see the argument there).

  40. Michael Zannettis

    Let me be the first one to point out that Hollinger just posted an article on Tony Parker’s jump shot, including details on how he improved. Fascinating stuff.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2007/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&id=2902920

    That being said, let me reiterate that my original point wasn’t that it’s impossible to develop a good jumper, it’s just that it’s rare. There are many more players who couldn’t do it, than those who can.

    So if you’re waiting on someone to develop a jumper to be a reliable player, you’re probably setting yourself up for a disappointment.

  41. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    That article by Sheridan is awful. First off Miami isn’t a possibility for Kobe because he might not want to play with their center.

    Secondly he says that Detroit isn’t a good match for Kobe. They definately have enough talent to pull a deal off. If Kobe wants to win, one of the East’s premiere team is a good way to go deep in the playoffs. Oh and their GM is the kind of guy to get the deal done.

    For the Knicks, he talks about trading Lee, Frye, Balkman, Crawford, Robinson. Which would leave the Knicks something like: Marbury, Kobe, Richardson, Malik Rose, and Curry. Does anyone else think that the 5 they traded would be beat the other 5?

    As for his take on the Knick players: “Crawford can score 20 points a night, and he’ll go prolific for you at least twice a month. Lee is a double-double man, and the most popular player on the Knicks, an energy guy who will easily play in the league for 10 more years if he stays healthy. He’s far from a bum, and the same goes for Frye, who could start for the Lakers for the next seven seasons.”

    Does anyone else think Chris Sheridan doesn’t know the Knicks at all?

  42. starburyfan

    “Michael Zannettis: The hope of developing a jump shot seems to me to be the holy grail of basketball player development. Off the top of my head I?m hard pressed to think of one productive professional athlete who entered the league incompetent at shooting, then developed a reliable game. As such, I?m fairly down on Collins. It?s not like his athleticism shoots through the roof. That being said, can anyone think of a poor shooter when they entered the NBA that then developed their shooting skills?”

    Jason Kidd?
    Charles Oakley?
    There are many above who have chimed in on this obviously bad point.

    And for that matter what a bad review of Mardy Collins. One of the few knicks this year that showed some grit, some of that old fire and desire that Clyde alludes to so often. I’ve never heard of Clyde wanting to work with a knick in the offseason, yet that’s exactly what Clyde said about Mardy, and to me that speaks boat loads about his potential.

    Forget potential, just look at what he did average over the last month of the season, the only real minutes he got all season:
    16points 6rebounds 6assists 3steals 3.5turnovers

    that is, mind you the “poor shooting” mardy collins that we’re talking about here.

    God does anyone have any vision of this team in the future? Or is everyone on the I hate Isiah boat with no hope in sight. Granted they didn’t make the playoffs this year, and because of that I think Isiah should have been fired, there is still some light at the end of the tunnel, and Mardy is a young talent, a big guard on a team full of short stalky guards (stephon, Francis, Nate) or tall, scrawny guards (crawford). dont know where q fits in there but he is defintely short at the 3 position, and collins gives you a bigger guard that can more easily get curry the ball than Stephon or nate (though perhaps not crawford).

  43. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Can we stop with the per game averages over the last month? Or at least if you’re going to do that, throw in these numbers: 41% (eFG%), 27% 3p%, 62%FT. Or how about the Knicks record in that stretch, a whopping 3-11.

    His per game numbers look decent because he played about 40 minutes a game. Granted I like Collins, especially his defense, but he’s got to give them better production on offense to be anything more than a middle to end of bench guy. The Knicks haven’t had a good defensive point guard that can’t shoot, shows toughness on the court, and had a good month his rookie year since… Frank Williams. How did that turn out?

  44. Owen

    StarburyFan –

    I love Oak as much as the next guy, but the fact he could hit a jump shot doesnt make him a great shooter or a testament to the ability of players to improve through their career. His TS% numbers went steadily down actually as he relied on the jumper more and more. He never topped 56% after the 90-91 season. It was nice that he could hit a jumpshot, but I am not sure it really made him a better player.

    Jason Kidd is a terrible shooter. Fantastic, once in a generation basketball player, who collected more rebounds than Eddy Curry this year, but a god awful 50 career TS% shooter. Certainly not a role model for Mardy Collins in that respect (though definitely in every other respect.)

    We shall see about Mardy. Its hard to ignore that 44.5 ts%. That’s piss poor. As I said a while back, the best thing might be if he could shoot less and cut back on the turnovers. With everything else he does, the net result might be a pretty useful player. Maybe Clyde can help too. We shall see.

  45. starburyfan

    Right on Owen, we shall see about these young players this upcoming season, and as always I’ll be watching the summer league games to check for signs of improvement in Balkman, Collins, Randolph Morris and whoever we end up drafting (should we keep the 23rd pick, Isiah was talking about moving it in the papers today).

    You know, I never liked per 40 minute stats, that is a hollingeresque thing to rate, but players like Lee for example, proved that these otherwise meaningless statistics can sometimes be relevant.

    In Mardy Collins’ case, you can ONLY judge him for the last month, I beg to differ Mike K., because that was the ONLY month he GOT ANY MINUTES all season long. Prior to that you’d see him for the last 3 minutes of a blowout, if at all.

    As a current Knicks fan (can’t speak for some of you) I was relieved when Mardy showed signs in the last month that he could play at this level (something Frank Williams NEVER did, I might add). I didn’t want the kid’s NBA legacy to be that he got bitch slapped by Carmelo in the brawl, when I knew Isiah drafted him for some greater reason. Just as some of the knicks fan base started to hate nate after the brawl, I started to cheer for Mardy. Not because he started a fight, mind you, but because he put up a fight, something that hadn’t happened much until that moment last season. Are Mardy’s numbers inflated because of the heavy minutes in the last month? Maybe. Was Isiah trying to see if Mardy could play at this level after Isiah realized he wasn’t going to make the playoffs? Probably. They only won two games that last month, you’re not enlightening me there either, because I was there for most of them.

    But how many home games did you go to last season? I went to over 20. I was there in the first two months when NOBODY was there, entire sections of the garden were empty, because people stopped believing in this team, brainwashed by the NY media all trying to run Isiah out of town. People were protesting the powers that be in Isiah and Dolan by not showing up for the games. And then something happened. The brawl. Isiah issued the command to give a hard foul against any Denver player that comes near the basket, and Mardy was the soldier who committed the foul. Let me reiterate that, Mardy was the soldier who committed the foul. Everyone is talking about Lee hopefully becoming the next Oak, or trying to find the next sharpshooter like Starks or Houston, I believe Mardy Collins could become a Derek Harper kind of player. In addition to his intuitive level of defense, he already is pretty adept at dribble penetration, and though Jason Kidd isn’t going to win any 3-point contests any time soon, Kidd’s game was greatly elevated once he learned how to ON OCCASION hit the outside shot to keep the opposing defense honest. I see no reason why Collins can’t learn the same thing.

    In the NBA, you can’t teach height, athleticism or the desire to compete, and I argue that a jump shot isn’t any of those. For those who want to put in the hard work in the offseason, much can be gained.

    You know I don’t get the bitterness some of you display about a man who has barely played in this league. Hall of famers like Clyde and Isiah think the kid’s got some talent, why not try to develop it instead of comparing him to softies like a Frank Layden pick? Are you that earnest to make Isiah look bad?

    So there you have it, some people think he’s Frank Williams, others won’t say, and I think with hard work, he can be a Derek Harper type player. Like Owen said, time will tell when it comes to the draft picks: Frye, Nate, Lee, Balkman, Collins, Morris, and the pick to come at the end of the month.

    Along with Mardy’s defense, I like the fact that he has more passing lanes available to him because he is 6’6″, as opposed to Stephon’s listed 6’2″ height. I think a big guard is what this team needs, albeit a big guard who can shoot.

    >>>

    I think it is BS by the way that Isiah won’t hire Ewing. The man was at almost every home game last season, and Isiah is so threatened by his significance in NY that he won’t go near the big Fella. That to me is more insubordinate than giving Chicago unprotected lottery picks or trading for Francis when you’ve already got Marbury and Crawford. Dolan has zero knowledge of Knick history, but Isiah should know better because he played against the knicks when Ewing was the man in NY. I can’t believe Isiah thinks shitty Mark Aguirre would do a better job with Curry’s game than Ewing.

    Sometimes it seems Isiah is more loyal to Detroit and Chicago than to New York. Sometimes.

  46. Nick

    I need to thank John Hollinger for the assist in proving my point about Tony Parker, after so many of you were so quick to shoot it down.

  47. Stephen

    I didn’t read the Hollinger article–don’t you need an insider subscription?–but comparing Collins’ rookie shooting percentages to Parkers’ as a reason for having optimism isn’t completely appropriate. Collins is 22 and when Parker was a rookie, he was 19. Those three years of developmental time are huge.

    Collins played four full years of college ball and his shooting numbers didn’t improve one bit in shooting free throws or three-pointers. That’s a little disconcerting. Some guys just can’t shoot. He may be one of them.

    That said, he’s a very good defender and knows his limitations and what his role is. He’s a hard player to peg: What is he? Can he be a Raja Bell or Bruce Bowen type player but what if he can’t shoot? At the same time, he can play point guard in a pinch, but when was a defensive stopper ever a distributer, not that this is a bad thing. Still, despite some indeterminacy with him, I feel like he’s one of those guys who can contribute to a winning team. He’s got a good basketball IQ and winning teams always seem loaded with those types of players.

  48. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “You know, I never liked per 40 minute stats, that is a hollingeresque thing to rate, but players like Lee for example, proved that these otherwise meaningless statistics can sometimes be relevant.”

    Per 40 minute stats aren’t meaningless by any means, they’re just highly misunderstood. Basically year to year a player’s per-minute numbers are more stable than their per-game numbers AND you can easily identify players that deserve more minutes by looking at their per-minute numbers.

    There are a host of players that were “discovered” by those that use per-minute numbers instead of per-game stats. David Lee, Jermaine O’Neal (when he was still in Portland), Michael Redd, Tracy McGrady, etc.

    Check out these two articles, which talk about per-minute stats.

    http://www.courtsidetimes.net/articles/21/
    http://www.courtsidetimes.net/articles/23/

    “I think a big guard is what this team needs, albeit a big guard who can shoot.”

    Amen – and I think this is what every Knick fans thinks about Mardy Collins.

  49. John

    Abbey,
    Fair enough. You have alot more patience in assessing the Knicks’ front office than I do though.

  50. starburyfan

    Anyone read this article by Hollinger when it came out around this time last year?

    http://www.nysun.com/article/36501

    It basically blasts Isiah for not spending the extra cash to resign Jackie Butler, who according to Hollinger, is going to be the next young Shawn Kemp, Chris Webber or some other former all=star power forward before they started their decline.

    The whole article was based on the 40-minute stats, and yet when I read it I knew Hollinger was wrong and Isiah was right–we were over the luxury tax, as usual, and Dolan’s spare no expense attitude had rescinded with the Francis trade gone awry.

    I blasted Hollinger for that article recently- actually any time Hollinger writes about the Knicks-usually its the typical negative slant the media is so inclined to present. I’m quick to point that article out because, lets face it, Butler was mostly Larry Brown hype (Butler’s agent was somehow a friend to the Larry Brown underground fraternity). Yes he was good for 15 minutes a game on the knicks, but I didn’t miss him one bit this season, as hollinger thought we would, and the roster spot that Butler had taken up later turned into the shrewd ‘undraft’ pick in the similarly-sized Randolph Morris. Spurs haven’t used Butler very much at all since he’s arrived. Last time I saw him on tv in the playoffs, he was in street clothes. Perhaps we’ll see more Butler once Tim Duncan retires. How can people criticize Isiah for letting Butler walk when Isiah discovered Butler in the first place?

    With the Knicks struggling to finish last season, I was wondering why Isiah didn’t sign a veteran guard to help the Knicks get into the playoffs. It turns out it was because he wanted to get a two-for-one with his single draft pick this year, something no one in the league was even thinking about doing at that time.

    Now Isiah is saying there are no good shooters in this draft like Allan Houston. Well, I find that hard to believe, but everyone knows Isiah doesn’t like to consider drafting Euros, so perhaps he’s not looking in the right direction for once going into a draft.

    Anyone else hoping for Kobe to join the Knicks? I’ve been a Kobe hater for years, admittedly, but when I heard about his trade request I hoped Isiah was listening because I think it would be a good fit. I think Kobe has a lot to prove because Shaq left and won a title, I think Kobe wants to prove to himself and to critics that he can do the same. I can remember many Knick interviews with Kobe where he says things like “they’ll be good in a few years, they’re going in the right direction,” things like that. Not every player speaks that way about the Knicks during interview, just ask Jason “the Knicks are just another bad team” Kidd.

    I know it is a long shot to land Kobe with the players we can offer, but either him or KG would be my greatest hopes for an off-season acquisition this summer to help the knicks finally get back into the playoffs. And for God’s sake if Isiah doesn’t make the playoffs this year someone please fire him. He should have been fired this year for not making the playoffs. Furthermore someone-I’m talking to you David Stern-please take the Knicks franchise away from Dolan.

    And to bring up the non-shooting Knick players again, can you imagine a Knick lineup with Balkman, Lee, Jeffries and Collins on the floor together? Terrific on the fast breaks, a nightmare in the half court.

    What are the chances D Lee will ever be a starter under Isiah? The man was MVP of the all-star rookie sophomore game, played a PERFECT game! If that wasn’t a statment game for Lee I don’t know what is. He would have been top 10 in rebounding, top 5 in field goal percentage had he not got injued, and all off the bench! C’mon Isiah.

    Isiah better start starting Lee or we’ll loose him come free-agency.

  51. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I think it’s ironic that you’re blasting Hollinger for comparing a young player (Butler) to NBA players that were much better than him based on a small amount of games played, when you’re doing the same with Collins (Derek Harper).

    FWIW after last year’s stats, here is my most comparable list for Butler:

    Al Jefferson
    Tyson Chandler
    Gerald Wallace
    Eddy Curry
    Chris Wilcox
    Alton Ford
    Amare Stoudemire
    Samaki Walker
    Robert Swift

    Butler’s stats last year in games that he received 24+ minutes were pretty good (11pts, 9.5reb, 50%). Taking their comps, their age, their per-minute stats, and my gut, I’d bet even money that Butler’s NBA career will be better than Collins’.

  52. David Crockett

    I don’t think Isiah was just itching to let Butler walk seeing as how he was the guy who unearthed Butler in the first place.

    In retrospect it seems clearer that this was a case of Dolan closing up the checkbook. The FO went out and got Jared Jeffries but that was it.

  53. KD

    I’m always kicking myself for not bookmarking threads from Real GM that saw me get into arguments with Raptor and Knick fans about the relative worth and potential of their players from the 2001-05 era, maybe I should start with this one.

  54. Owen

    Knicks Media check. I dont know if any of you have seen “Stars on Stars” with Stephon, just noticed it myself. Brilliant, just brilliant.

    Also, Page Six reported Lee and Balkman attending the Zab Judah fight together. Good to know the cornerstones are bonding.

  55. starburyfan

    You’ve got a point, Mike K. Jackie is young and unproven as is Mardy. But that should be where the comparison ends. One has been in the league for two years, not to mention a stint in the developmental league, the other was a rookie who showed some pro-level skill when he finally got some minutes at the end of the season.

    Stats aside, I actually remember Butler’s game, the 13 minutes he gave the Knicks on average, here is what I remember. A solid jump hook, that he possibly relies on too often. Subpar defender, but does get a block on occasion. Good offensive rebounder (we already have that in spades with D Lee and Balkman). Long wingspan. Very limited lateral quickness. Does that sound like the same Jackie Butler you saw on the Knicks? Or was Hollinger imagining a different player when he crunched those numbers without actually watching Butler play?

    Mardy Collins: Crappy shooter, that’s the consensus here–I won’t argue. Good ball handler (despite what the statistics indicate about turnovers, Marbury was passing the ball to Collins for stability down the stretch). Good dribble penetrator. Surprisingly deceptive once he gets into the paint. Unselfish guard. Good at reading the passing lanes for steals or just plain stripping the ball from opponents. Good in transition–can get rebounds at the pro level and push it up the floor. Not an amazing athlete, but knows fundamental basketball.

    I’m not certain the Spurs’ interest in Butler won’t wane as it did in Nazr Mohammad’s case. After all, the way Pop is playing it, they’ve got Oberto for now, and Elson off the bench to play ahead of Butler, so who knows what will happen to Jackie, maybe he’ll find more minutes on the Pistons or some place else. The league always has a shortage of big players.

    Do read the article I referenced earlier. Hollinger said Butler would be more productive than Curry THIS SEASON. In that respect, Hollinger was objectively wrong. I think Hollinger is truly a bean-counting Knick hater, but maybe that’s just me.

    I wish no ill will toward Jackie (can’t say the same about the NY media in general) but unfortunately, I tend not to give a rat’s ass about players who are no longer on the Knicks, hence I do not hold Mr. Butler in the same light as I once did. I can’t blame him for trying to get paid, and Isiah did like him, just not for that much money (yeah Dolan did had some influence in that decision). Once we got Curry I forgot about Jackie until Hollinger had the nerve to write that article.

    During the time Butler played for the Knicks, I didn’t understand why Butler was getting that much praise, I saw his upside as extremely limited, despite his young age and good size.

    Who knows about Mardy. You’ve all said he can’t shoot, maybe he’ll learn, maybe he won’t. He’s already proved to be a true knick in my eyes, but for many of you apparently the jury is still out on him. He can play at this level, and Clyde will hopefully get to work with him to improve upon his weaknesses.

    By the way, I’ll put another, more realistically fair bet out there (I don’t think it is as difficult to be a sufficient center in this league as it is a guard). Randolph Morris will have as successful a career as Jackie Butler. After all, that is a more fair comparison, since they’re close to the same age, height, weight, and position. Jackie has had a head start in the NBA, and gets to learn from Duncan, but I think Morris has a similar chance to be something. Don’t believe the Larry Brown hype like Hollinger did, we didn’t miss Butler at all last season, and for that matter, I certainly won’t ever miss Larry Brown.

  56. birchnbrook

    Regarding Butler – think about this for a minute. Butler cost 6 million over 3 years. Jeffries, who took his roster spot, was and is a complete bust, and cost 33 million over 5 years. With Butler, you have unknown but potential upside. With Jeffries, you pretty much knew exactly what you had, including duplication on the roster. Just one more example of Isiah completely blowing a free agent signing. Isiah continues to believe that compiling mediocre players and competing for the 8th playoff spot somehow equals “significant progress.” What a joke.

  57. starburyfan

    I try not to worry about the outlandish contracts of all the NBA players, some worse than others. I let the owners do that. Believe me, Dolan can afford it, he’s got daddy’s money to burn and every year that the Knicks don’t make the playoffs, his own rule is that ticket prices will not increase if they don’t make it the previous season.

    Its been 2000 seasons since the knicks made the playoffs. well, it feels that way at least.

    Unlike Nate I think Jeffries needs a second chance. It sure looked like he was uncomfortable playing at the Garden, but I give him props for leaving washington to come to the Knicks.

    And yet I know balkman is already better than Jared Jeffries.

    God knows how healthy Quentin Richardson will be next season after having major back surgery. Remember Larry Johnson on the knicks?

  58. caleb

    Money aside, the problem with Jackie Butler is that he had more or less the same strengths as Curry – all offense, no defense. (Although a much better rebounder). Hollinger overrated him (as he did with Mike Sweetney) by ignoring what a hole he put in the defense.

    That doesn’t cut it in San Antonio – although I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn into a decent player, if he loses a little wait, and might get some PT if he can outplay Elson in practice.

    It’s ludicrous that we didn’t re-sign him bc of $$ and then turned around to sign Jeffries, but I’m not breaking any news there.

    Morris is a totally different player – if he contributes anything, it will be on the defensive end.

  59. Peter H.

    jason kidd and gary payton didn’t have jumpers coming in but they developed enough of one to become at least passable.

    i think shooting is one of the basketball skills, that greatly improves through time and practice.

  60. caleb

    Jason Kidd is still a horrendous shooter, although at least he can make his free throws. He’s a great player not because he developed a shot but because the rest of his game is awesome.

    Unlike a lot of the names that have been thrown out here, Collins doesn’t do ANYTHING well on the offensive end. Guys like Jamaal Tinsley or Kenny Anderson or Rod Strickland, none of them could shoot a lick but they were true point guards – creating plays, not turning it over. Collins has the assist and turnover ratios of an average shooting guard – not a guy allegedly running the point. His lack of any offensive game at all puts a ceiling on his potential.

  61. BrandonM

    Think about this one: would you rather have JJ20 or Shandon Anderson back? Personally, At least Shandon had some O and played slightly above average D. IT ran him out of town as if he were nothing more than a piece of dog shit. JJ20 does nothing. Plain and simple. But, IT backs him up. Does this have anything to do with JJ20 being a Indiana alum? With the 48 minute Holinger rate thing (if that is what it is called), he most be near the bottom in the NBA.

  62. caleb

    Per-40 stats are useful (and not usually shocking, unless they’re for a player you rarely see)… but the biggest problem with Hollinger and other stats gurus is that no one has a way to measure defense, aside from the stat categories (blocks, steals, defensive rebounds). So, they end up heavily weighted to favor players whose biggest contribution is offense. For example, Bruce Bowen ranks as one of the worst players in the NBA – to Hollinger, to Dave Berri, to everyone else who does numerical rankings.THere is a similar effect with Jeffries, who does rank at the very bottom. But unlike Bowen, his rep was way ahead of his impact. JJ might be above-average on defense, but not a real difference-maker.

    Isaiah, not knowing what Balkman would deliver, panicked and felt he had to grab a small forward who wouldn’t need the ball and could play some D. Unfortunately, he forgot that Jeffries-level guys are a dime-a-dozen. They don’t cost $33 million.
    Hey, Washington replaced JJ perfectly well with DeShawn Stevenson at the minimum (NBA) wage. Just another example of his not understanding value.

    But I gotta say – if anyone signs Shanden Anderson to another contract he WILL be one of the 10 worst players in the NBA.

  63. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    As a brief palette-cleanser from the spirited debate going on here, I’d like to send a big bouquet of props out to Knickerblogger for coming up with the “Weekly Report Card” format, rather than a grade given to each player all at once. It’s definitely spurred some exciting chatter and is a great way to pass the time over the summer ‘twixt mock drafts and the occasional Kobe rumor…

    Nice work, Mike

  64. starburyfan

    Caleb

    I’m sure you’ll disagree, but I’m finding it very hard to believe you actually watched Mardy Collins play last season. Zero offense? Please don’t go by stats, Hollinger is bean-counting bag of wind. If you didn’t watch the man play in April, you simply have no idea what he can do at this level. He gets to the basket, gets in the paint and can draw the foul. He might not be a scoring guard like the other 4 we have on the Knicks, but who says we need another one of those? He has the tools to be a fundamental point guard, and if he can learn to shoot, I think he can succeed in that respect.

    I know what Jackie Butler can do, because I saw him play for the Knicks, and quite frankly, Eddy Curry just plain does it better than Butler. Period.

    I wouldn’t rather have Butler than Jeffries either, because one man can start at four positions, one can play a single position off the bench for 15 minutes.

    Although everyone one this blog seems to be able to express themselves pretty well, I’m starting to see this site as some kind of shrine to Hollinger and his BS stat formulas. In my case, statistics and fantasy basketball don’t interest me half as much as actually watching the Knicks play.

    Jason Kidd is still a horrible shooter? Statistical BS yet again. Everytime I watch the Nets I see him knock shots down when he needs to. Would you say Tony Parker is still a horrible shooter too? Oh wait, he’s got good stats, and recently won finals MVP, so hollinger will be crunching the numbers to reflect that pretty soon.

    Morris is a totally different player than Butler? He hasn’t played a single game in the pros, so I’m not sure where that is coming from. Some players are known to be defensive stoppers in college, then go to the pros and focus on developing their offense. In college, Morris this season rebounded the ball, defended the post and scored on the post, so I’m not sure who you think he is with respect to Jackie Butler. He only needs a jump hook to be as good if not better than ol’ Jackie.

    Shandon Anderson and Charles Smith are two of the worst Knicks of all time, and in the former case I’m glad Isiah ran him out of town, the softie.

    By the way:

    http://www.nbadraft.net/profiles/randolphmorris.asp

    http://www.nbadraft.net/profiles/jackiebutler.asp

  65. caleb

    We just aren’t speaking the same language.

    I wrote that Hollinger and other stat-heads overrate guys like Butler and Mike Sweetney who put up solid per-minute numbers in points and rebounds, while playing no defense.

    I didn’t compare Butler to Eddie Curry – for the record, I agree that Curry is better, but he’s only an average center. With room for improvement, given his age.

    I wrote exactly what you said yourself – that Morris is more likely to contribute on defense, than offense. True, no one really knows how his game will translate to the pros, but I saw a lot of Kentucky games and his style is nothing like Butler. A totally different body, too – long and lean versus thick and fat. Jackie fyi was very productive on offense in his limited minutes – he just gave it all back on the other end.

    Jason Kidd shot 40.6 percent this year, up from his career average of 40.2 percent. There’s no way to make the case that he is even a decent shooter. (Though, as I said, he is a great player)

    There’s been more than enough said about Mardy Collins. He’s likable, he plays hard, he plays good defense, we’re rooting for him. In the games where he played big minutes, the Knicks were awful. Feel free to like him.

  66. Blue and Orange

    This grade is bull.

    If shooting mattered so much, then Why is Kidd getting so much money? He has been terrible shooter for most of his career and even now he isn’t exactly sharpshooter.

    Just because Mardy doesn’t have reliable shooting he gets C grade despite the fact he played pretty much best defense for the team, was only player that resembles a PG, does every little thing that helps a team to win, and plays unselfish basketball with tough and gritty plays. This is what he gets? What Mardy provided in short month while averaging about 40 mpg showed much more than Balkman has. I like Balkman, but he is more instinctive player with full of energy but Mardy is a player with high basketball IQ with great understanding of the game and is floor general. Something every team needs and Mardy right now is the only player on the roster that is capable of providing that for the Knicks.

    As for improving shooting. Does the ones reviewed Mardy know anything about basketball? Can’t think of a single player that improved shooting after he joined the league?

    Here is quick list.

    Tracy Mcgrady
    Scottie Pippen
    Larry Johnson
    Jason Kidd
    Bruce Bowen
    Raja Bell
    Rip Hamilton
    Shawn Marion
    Baron Davis
    and so many more players.

  67. caleb

    If Mardy is so good, why were the Knicks so much worse when he was playing, as opposed to when he was glued to the bench?

    Jason Kidd is a great player, even though he is, really, a terrible shooter. (though better than Mardy). The similarities pretty much end there.

  68. Brian M

    Caleb– I would take the +/- with a few bowls of salt. Even ignoring all the usual caveats that come with interpreting +/-, in Mardy’s case things are a little weird. He got the bulk of his playing time at the end of the season when the team was injury racked (Lee, Crawford, Q, etc.). Conversely, the bulk of the time he sat the team was relatively healthy. So Mardy’s poor +/- is likely strongly picking up on the fact that a heavily injured Knicks squad is much worse than a healthy Knicks squad.

  69. Blue and Orange

    Similarities with Kidd ends there?

    Let’s see. Unselfish player, player with composure, excellent rebounder, knows how to run a team, has good ball handling skills to get to the paint, etc etc etc.

    I’m not saying Mardy is at Kidd’s level but their playing skills and quality is very similar. Kidd just do everything better than Mardy but what they do is nearly identical.

    As for worse record at the end of the season. Team without David Lee to get all the rebounds and Malik Rose playing large minutes and having Francis as 2 guard, I think it is unfair to say Mardy was the reason why Knicks finished not so well. Without Mardy we wouldn’t even keep the scores close.

    Mardy is the ONLY PG in this roster and only guard worth keeping. He plays at both ends of the court, plays smart basketball, and knows how to share the ball AND he doesn’t need the ball in his hand to be effective. Mardy is a keeper.

    I’d rather see Q-Rich and Mardy start at 1 and 2 position than to see Marbury and Crawford start at 1 and 2.

  70. caleb

    Brian, I know what you’re saying – this wouldn’t be my first line of argument. It is a very small sample size, less than a quarter of the season, and yes, there were other factors in the bad record. But poster after poster here argues that he was a highly effective player. I know that stats don’t always tell the whole story, especially a small sample size – but his stats are not just bad, they’re terrible. If he was helping the team win, you’d look deeper, maybe think that his defense wasn’t just good, but game-changing spectacular. But looking at the whole picture – there’s just no evidence that he made a positive impact.

    I know the Knicks were badly hurt by injuries – but what does that mean? It means the minutes that used to be played by Lee, Richardson and Marbury, went to much worse players – including Mardy Collins.

    I don’t mean to single him out for abuse. I can imagine that on a healthy team, he would play much better, playing to his strengths – he was forced into shooting so much and running the point, only because all the other guards were in street clothes.

    If anyone wants to disagree, and say that Collins was actually an above-average player last year, I would be interested to hear who they think was responsible for the terrible play in that final stretch. The Knicks finished 3-11, 2-7 in April. So they were awful. During that stretch, the rotation was basically:

    Marbury or Francis
    Collins
    Frye
    Curry
    Jeffries
    Robinson
    (Rose played some, too)

    Whose play made it an awful team? Who was furthest below average at his position?

  71. caleb

    “I?m not saying Mardy is at Kidd?s level but their playing skills and quality is very similar. Kidd just do everything better than Mardy but what they do is nearly identical.”

    I will grant you they are similar in some departments – size, defense, rebounding (sort of). But to say Kidd is better is like saying that he’s taller than Nate Robinson.

    JK is great at a lot of things, but what is his signature strength? He’s the best playmaker ever, at least the best not named Magic Johnson. Is Mardy even adequate in that department?

  72. Duff Soviet Union

    Comparing Mardy to Kidd is like comparing Billy Owens to Magic Johnson. Some superficial similarities but a massive, massive gap in actual production.

  73. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Let’s just end this Jason Kidd=Mardy Collins idea right here. Kidd has nearly double the rebounds per minute, and more than double the assists. It’s generally agreed that Kidd isn’t a good shooter, but Kidd’s shooting percentages of 47.5% eFG & 51.6% TS% are head and shoulders above Collins’ 41.0% and 44.5%. In other words the difference between Kidd and Mardy Collins shooting is about the same difference as Mardy Collins and Jason Collins.

  74. Larry A

    I would give him a grade of “incomplete”.
    Point guard is probably the hardest position for a guy just entering the league and Mardy only got a few weeks to play. Only a select few ready made stars could shine in the spot he was put in.

    The stark debate here has been pretty interesting. I think it shows that he has some significant strengths and some major weaknesses. Since he is not the one piece holding this team back from a championship (far from it), I for one would like to see him play some more next year and hold off critisism fro now.

  75. DS

    I hope no one minds me changing the subject back to Kobe but the LA Times is reporting today that he has now reiterated his desire to be traded.

    Are the Knicks’ chances of landing Kobe really that poor? Remember what Toronto got for Carter and Philly for AI – can this be a reason to believe that we can put SOMETHING together? A package with Lee and some other talent might trump Chicago’s. Shaq basically seemed to be able to determine which teams he was willing to go to – can Kobe do the same?

    If ESPN’s Chris Sheridan has me thinking a little delusional, I’m sorry

  76. Blue and Orange

    Mardy is adequate in play-making department.

    And, why are people so quick to shot down the idea of Kidd comparison to Mardy? Let’s just go over their rookie year.

    Kidd averaged 11.7 ppg, 7.7 apg, 5.4 rpg, 38% FG, and 27% 3pt FG.

    It’s big unfair to compare with Mardy’s rookie number because he didn’t get enough minutes and unfair for Kidd if we just blow it up the stats for 40 mpg as well. So let’s use Mardy’s stats when he had some quality minutes, namly his final month of the season.

    14.8 ppg, 5.8 apg, 6.7 rpg, 39% FG, and 31% 3pt FG.

    Now, Mardy doesn’t look too bad now does he? At very least, his production is much better than our own Marbury, if he gets some consistent minutes.

  77. caleb

    The no-trade clause makes it more interesting, since Im sure Kobe has a short list of places he would go, and NYK is on it.

    The big problem with Sheridan’s thinking is that Kobe has no leverage. What’s he going to do, sit out two seasons? The Lakers don’t have to do anything. They can try to bring in a Jermaine O’Neal or someone else, and just wait. Two years is a long time and everything could change by then. Why trade him?

    (Although under Sheridan’s ridiculous trade proposal I actually think the Lakers would get the better of it – we’d be like LA is now, and they’d have a core of Bynum, Odom and Lee, plus a boatload of young talent and draft picks.)

  78. Z

    We are probably spending too much time talking about a guy who is going to be packaged for some other guy before he comes close to becoming the next Bruce Bowen or Derek Fisher or Jason Kidd or even Eric Snow.

  79. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Blue & Orange:

    You can go to basketball-reference and compare one player’s year to another’s. I took the liberty and yes you’re right, per minute Mardy Collins looks exactly like Jason Kidd. Well there is one exception. Kidd averaged more than double the amount of assists.

    In other words, Mardy Collins is like a young Jason Kidd without the passing ability. And I’m just like Jackson Pollock, minus the artistic ability.

  80. Blue and Orange

    I’ve never said Mardy is or will be great as Jason Kidd. However 5.8 apg is not little thing. He has shown he can be solid PG in very short amount of time he was on the court.

    Mardy can be very solid PG who can guard 1 2 and maybe 3 position who makes things happen on offense. The review made it sound like Mardy has 0 offensive ability, which I think is very far from the truth.

    As for Pollock, he doesn’t have artistic ability. A monkey can get a can of paint and spray all over the canvas.

  81. transcend

    collins was a favorite of mine early last season, in large part b/c of the scouting reports i read about him. they were soooooooooo negative. on both he and zeke… for that reason alone i was rooting for him.

    he says all the right things and acted like he knew his place. he acts like he has a clue, unlike most other rookies, chosen well ahead of him.

    his defense was better than adequate and his demeanor is extremely positive. i love blue-collar guys that don’t prop themselves up after making a shot. he’s older than most rookies, but i think he can develop very well nonetheless.

    for a second round pick, isiah gets a A or even an A+ with Collins. Mardy himself gets a C+ to B- in my book–as the holes in his game are still pretty gaping.

  82. DS

    From David Thorpe’s ESPN Chat:

    Peter (NY): i heard Renaldo Balkman is at IMG working on his game, how is he coming along?? is that jumpshot getting any better??? THANKS!

    SportsNation David Thorpe: He was here a bit with his NY coaches. His shot looks a little better, but I’ve seen him very little on my court thus far. Jeffries, however, looks like a different player.

  83. DS

    Cont’d:
    Jon (North Haven, CT): Jeffries a different player? Is that a good thing I hope?

    SportsNation David Thorpe: Yes indeed. The Knicks were down here with him too. Seems to be finding his way again.

  84. MattinDC

    I can only hope that Jeffries learns how to hit a layup or put-back consistently…that will elevate him from “putrid and a waste of space” to “Shandon Anderson with longer arms.”

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