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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Knicks 2011 Season Preview – Small Forwards

With the Knicks 2011 season almost upon us, it’s time to analyze the roster. Usually teams have some stability from one year to the next, but New York has only a third of the players returning. How New York is going to perform is more of a mystery than previous years. This year’s I’ll look at each position and attempt to address the critical question for those players.

Small Forwards: What and when is the upside?

I’d argue that a player’s upside represents the best & worst of the fan experience. Often, team followers are told that there’s a chance that one of their young players will become an All Star. Comparisons are made to marble gods, present and past, and expectations are set high. Unfortunately the path to stardom for most players doesn’t occur as quickly as most would hope, and for the rest the road is littered with many failures. It’s akin to watching a kettle boil, without knowing if the stove is on.

Often the problem of unrealized potential stems from faulty analysis of the player, who was never meant for stardom. Players like Eddy Curry and Jamal Crawford had some of the same skills of stars, but neither had the production of one. The difference between let’s say Curry and Jermaine O’Neal is that the latter had statistically significant numbers at an early age that pointed to a higher ceiling.

Hence why I’m a bit optimistic on both Danilo Gallinari & Anthony Randolph. As I’ve said before, one of Gallo’s most comparable players is Dirk Nowitzki, while Randolph has Vlade Divac, Amar’e Stoudemire, Antonio McDyess, Shawn Kemp, and Elton Brand in his top 10. Even though this doesn’t mean both are destined for greatness (Gallo has Chase Budinger as a top comp, and Randolph’s two closest are Mike Gminski and Cliff Robinson), it shows that the two are productive enough to indicate they still could reach another level.

For Gallo to reach his potential, he needs to increase his scoring volume, without damaging his TS% (career: 58.0%). Last year he averaged 16.0 pts/36, which was a nice improvement from his first year. Nowitzki improved his pts/36 by three points in his third season, and over the next two seasons added almost another three. For Gallinari to show he’s a viable option for the 2013 All Star Game, you’d like to see him upwards of 18 pts/36, even perhaps closer to 19 or 20. But points alone aren’t enough, as Dirk also saw his rebounds and assists increase. A more rounded game would be a good sign for Gallo as well.

On the other hand Randolph might be the anti-Gallinari. He’s already a good rebounder and shot blocker, but struggles mightily with his efficiency. His shot judgement is so bad, it’s like he’s a kid that just played NBA Live and is not trying out all the cool moves he’s just seen. Luckily offensive efficiency usually improves with age, but he needs a good coaching staff that will dissect his offensive game and rebuild it one piece at a time.

Just because both players have a good foundation in which to build a strong NBA career, it doesn’t mean that either will reach it this year, if ever. Gallinari is a year older than Randolph, and right at the age where you expect most players to start taking big steps forward. If he fails to improve this year, it doesn’t mean that he’ll never get there. However it does make it a harder climb. Randolph probably has another year or two before he’d start to mature. So although the Knicks youth will help them in the future, at SF, it’s not likely to make a big dent this year. Of course if the Knicks deal one or both to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, then potential won’t be an issue in 2011.

Player PTS PER TS% eFG% FGA 3PA 3P% FTA FT%
Danilo Gallinari 15.9 14.6 0.58 0.529 12 6.4 0.389 3.8 0.829
Anthony Randolph 16.9 17.6 0.512 0.455 14.2 0.2 0.111 5.3 0.758
Player MP ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF
Danilo Gallinari 3159 0.9 4.3 5.2 1.7 1 0.7 1.4 2.7
Anthony Randolph 1878 3.9 7.2 11.1 1.7 1.3 2.4 2.5 4.5


Yes I ignored Patrick Ewing, Jr., who might make the team. He’s a good rebounder, which is what the team could use. However he’s 26 and barely on the team, nevertheless in the rotation. So I’m not sure what kind of contribution he can make either this year, or in the future.

37 comments on “Knicks 2011 Season Preview – Small Forwards

  1. Papa

    I have always been a fan of Ewing because of his hustle and defence, something the Knicks are sorely lacking. He also hits the boards. What are his chances of making the team this year? If he does, any chance of minutes beyond garbage time?

  2. TDM

    That said, while the numbers are similar, I’m not sure their respective playing styles are that much alike the more I think about it. Kemp probably had 10 – 15 pounds on AR even at that early age. Also, Kemp was a MUCH more aggressive player. He had a mean streak – you didn’t ever want to meet him in a dark alley at night. Or during the day for that matter. That aggressive mentality is something AR lacks, and likely will never develop.

  3. Jafa

    ESPN just released its Expert Predictions:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/preview2010/news/story?page=Predictions1011-Heat

    First thing that pops at you is that Tim Legler picks the Heat to have the 4th best record in the Eastern conference. Yes, I had to do a double take. 4th best record? LBJ by himself had the best record in the East for the last 2 years, and then he teams up with star teammates and his team is going to be worse in the regular season?

    So who does Mr. Legler think is going to be better? ORL, BOS and CHI. I’ll give him Orlando, but Old Boston and Over hyped Chicago in the regular season? In particular Chicago? Whose drinking this Koolaid? Who thinks a team with Boozer, Rose and Noah is better than a team with LBJ, Wade and Bosh?

    And this whole Boozer in CHI makes them a contender is more over hyped than any other thing ESPN does. This guy was on a better team with a better PG and a better coach in Utah and that team never made it past the Conference Finals. I’d bet that Chicago couldn’t beat Utah right now in a 7 game series, and they will be lucky to win one of their 2 match ups with Utah this season.

    I’m sure there are other anomalies, but I couldn’t get past this one.

  4. ess-dog

    Via Hahn today:

    -Gallo and DWTDD sitting out tonight w/ mild injuries
    -The starting 2 is still up for grabs
    -Mike “intrigued” with the idea of starting DWTDD at the 2
    -Walker & Fields (sounds like a whiskey or shirt company) are also both in the mix at the 2
    -Mike “inclined” to use Chandler as a backup 4
    -Who will get the last roster spot? PEJ or Shawne?

  5. Jafa

    Other observations:

    Legler & Mike Wallace (who?) pick the Nets to finish better than the Knicks (only people to leave the Knicks out of the playoffs). Broussard picks the Wolves to finish better than the Warriors. Several of them have the Wiz & Nets making the playoffs and the Nuggets missing the playoffs.

    Where can I take the other side of the bet against these guys?

  6. Frank O.

    I’ve been struck by how poorly the Rooster is playing in preseason. I have to believe all the trade chatter is messing with his head.
    We’ve always had a sense with him that it was the mental part of the game that he struggles with. I think his play this preseason shows further a certain lack of mental discipline.
    As we know, the NBA is rife with gifted athletes, gifted skill players, and players gifted both athletically and skillfully.
    But the great players are able to overcome the mental challenges.
    I think Gallo’s leap will come if and when he can get his head straight. This is where he’s still a young guy.

    as for AR, your description of him, which I have seen to write before is pretty accurate. He just seems to be winging it, playing pick up and trying stuff.
    What bothers me a bit is that in the games I have watched, which is not all of them, his rebounding was only okay.

    Melo would be a pretty potent SF if the Knicks could get him.

  7. Ted Nelson

    Jafa: LBJ by himself had the best record in the East for the last 2 years

    I’m pretty sure that never happened…

    Also, I don’t agree with a lot of predictions either but when you talk about Utah/Chicago and Nets&Wiz/Nuggets you have to consider that they’re in different conferences. You also can’t say that a team that made the Conference Finals and been winning about 50 games a year (Utah) was not a contender (though I don’t think Chicago is a legit one either).

  8. nicos

    It would have been nice if one of these two had shown some real signs of making a big leap this year during the pre-season but the fact that they haven’t certainly doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

    Gallo has made a more concerted effort to hit the boards which is a good sign but that’s about the only good sign from him. He’s still not strong enough to post up too often and he’s just not quick enough or a good enough ball-handler to consistently take guys off of the dribble so he’s still going to have to set up his offense with his 3 pointer which is fine- I just don’t want to see a repeat of last year where he just stood passively at the 3 point line for long stretches- I think with more consistent activity off of the ball he’ll get to that 18+p/36 that Mike mentions.

    AR is a mess- right now there are 2 bad plays for every good one. Unfortunately, he really reminds me of Tyrus Thomas- a guy with all of the physical tools with very little idea of how to play the game. Still, it’s obvious he’s trying way too hard and over-thinking everything whereas I don’t think you could ever accuse Tyrus Thomas of trying too hard or of over-thinking anything so I guess that’s good? The fact that he still looks so raw in his 3rd year is scary but the fact that he’s been as productive as he’s been while so obviously raw is scary in a good way. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re having the exact same conversation about AR next October- let’s hope not.

    The other question is does Fields sneak in and earn 10-15 minutes a game at the 3? My guess is that AR plays at least some of his minutes at the 4 so maybe there’s a little room for Fields here- he’s looked pretty much like the guy we saw in summer league just with much lower usage numbers- he’s going to need to get better from 3 but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s getting those 15 mpg by the end of the season.

  9. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: I’ve been struck by how poorly the Rooster is playing in preseason.

    He’s not playing well, but also not terribly. His shots aren’t falling, but that’s the one thing I don’t think we have to worry about with Gallo. He’s proven he can shoot.

    He’s averaging 16.5 pts/36, 7.8 reb/36 (SEVEN POINT EIGHT REBOUNDS… compared to 5.2 last season), .95 ast/36, 1.7 stl/36, .5 blk/36… He’s had 3 of 6 games with at least 5 FTAs, in limited minutes in 2 of them. His TS% is only .502, but this is a small sample. He’s only hit 31% of his 3s. If he’d hit his career average of 39%, he’d have an extra 2 pts/36 to 18.3 pts/36 and his TS% would be .556. 3 for 8 from 3 against Minni instead of 1-8 and bam… he’s having a strong preseason.

    Frank O.: I have to believe all the trade chatter is messing with his head.

    That seems like a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE leap. How do you connect those dots? Sounds like 100% speculation to me. That’s one of about 50 possibly explanations. His worst games came right before a wrist injury… perhaps a usual dead-eye FT shooter went 1-4 across 2 games and attempting hardly any 3s because his wrist was hurt? Or maybe he was so pre-occupied with trade rumors that he missed the FTs and forgot to shoot 3s. Both are total speculation, but which seems more plausible?

    I don’t really see how you can make that analysis based on watching him play. He wasn’t the team leader at 21 years old and has missed a few shots at 22… must be weak mentally and preoccupied by trade rumors… If he’s making mental errors all over the place like AR, ok. We’ve seen him hit big shots before, though, and take on tough defensive assignments with vigor. Calling him weak mentally sounds like a big stretch to me, and pretty insulting.

    Frank O.: As we know, the NBA is rife with gifted athletes, gifted skill players, and players gifted both athletically and skillfully.
    But the great players are able to overcome the mental challenges.

    The great players are often the most gifted and skilled… Someone like Derek Fisher or Bruce Bowen can’t be accused of not overcoming mental obstacles, but they’re not great players. Fisher is maybe the worst starting PG in the NBA, in fact. They’re just not as gifted and skilled as some guys.

    Frank O.: What bothers me a bit is that in the games I have watched, which is not all of them, his rebounding was only okay.

    96 NBA games in which he’s averaged 11.1 reb/36 for a reb% of 17 and you’re worried about his rebounding based on a few preseason games?

  10. Ted Nelson

    Take away the last two games Danilo played before missing two games with injury, by the way, and he’s averaging 20.7 pts/36, 7.3 reb/36, and has a TS% of .575 while only hitting 31% from 3. He’s averaging 6 FTA/36 instead of 4 last season. It’s only 4 meaningless games and it’s a huge stretch on my part to assume he was hurt for 2 games before missing the last 2 (though his 3PAs fell from almost 10 per36 to 2.5 per 36 and his FT% fell from 94% to 25%… so it does seem very possible). ***If*** the injury was impacting him in those 2 games, he definitely looks poised to improve on last season through 4 preseason games.

  11. eyeke

    TDM: That said, while the numbers are similar, I’m not sure their respective playing styles are that much alike the more I think about it. Kemp probably had 10 – 15 pounds on AR even at that early age. Also, Kemp was a MUCH more aggressive player. He had a mean streak – you didn’t ever want to meet him in a dark alley at night. Or during the day for that matter. That aggressive mentality is something AR lacks, and likely will never develop.  (Quote)

    If nothing else.. my excitement for AR is similar to how I felt watching Sonics games as a kid.

    Can we undo our trade with Golden State, and send Lee to Denver for Melo? :(

  12. Ted Nelson

    “(Gallo has Chase Budinger as a top comp, and Randolph’s two closest are Mike Gminski and Cliff Robinson)”

    Greatness would be nice, but I like Budinger (he’s only had his rookie season and he was NBA average… points to a solid career) and I’d take Cliff Robinson on my team. Larger point being that Gallo and AR don’t have to be Dirk and KG to be valuable to the Knicks. Without getting into specific examples, they can get to a more medium-case development scenario and I’d still rather have 2 of them than 1 Melo.

    It’s preseason, but I mention above that Gallo’s rebound numbers are up significantly through 6 games. His scoring volume was also up significantly (to 20.6 pts/36 through 4 games) before he stopped shooting 3s, missed 3 of 4 FTAs, and missed at least 2 games with an injury.

    AR has looked a bit worse this preseason than I expected, but have seen some of the positives.

    “So although the Knicks youth will help them in the future, at SF, it’s not likely to make a big dent this year.”

    AR’s impact is pretty variable, but I think Gallo’s impact will be huge. I think Gallo will be the #2 scorer on the Knicks overall and very possibly in terms of usage too. AR might be the best rebounder and shot blocker, though his minutes may be a bit limited.

  13. ess-dog

    “I just don’t want to see a repeat of last year where he just stood passively at the 3 point line for long stretches”

    The three will always be a big part of his game. I hope he was watching the way Kapono moved without the ball in the Sixers game. He needs to be doing more of THAT in order to get open threes.

    Gallo’s never going to “take people off the dribble.” More likely he’ll 1. be a catch and shoot guy 2. become more of a mid-range penetrator. By that I mean taking his man into the lane and getting a short jumper or up and under hopefully with the foul. He’s never going to out quick his man on the box like Bosh or muscle you into the paint like Carmelo, BUT he can handle well enough and be just fast enough to get the ball into the lane and get a fairly high percentage shot over a usually smaller sf. I really think he should develop a baby hook for this reason.
    Right now, he’s more Hedo or Peja (if we’re lucky) than Dirk, but in a few years when he matures and gets bigger and stronger, especially in the legs, he could become a more Dirk-like player. But this is far from a given.

  14. Frank O.

    Ted:
    I understand what you’re saying. I didn’t say dump the dude.
    Assuming – and I had every reason to assume this – that he was healthy in the games he played, 31 percent is a pretty significant drop off from 39 percent. I also know it is preseason and a small sampling.
    And I can’t take away the two games before missing games. You’re not speculating there, you’re willfully slanting the outcome.
    The point with Gallo has always been excellent skills guy, great potential, but inconsistent, which most people who know anything about basketball largely attribute to his age and will be overcome with time.
    I recognize I can’t definitively KNOW that it’s all in his head, but I can say inconsistency in a professional player of his caliber is widely associated with the mental part of the game.
    Add to that the ratcheted up rhetoric surrounding the trade for Melo, and the fact that Gallo’s name is a prominent part of the chatter, and I’m not overboard in suggesting that perhaps he’s having some mental issues. And after a quick google search on the mental issue, I’m not alone in wondering about it. Gallo has denied he’s bothered by it. So maybe he isn’t.

    And if in fact he’s hiding an injury, or he’s just keeping it to himself, it’s just as plausible that he may be bothered by the trade rumors but not admitting yet. Although, I have found he has been quoted by Eurosport saying he was not happy about the trade rumors…a story he later played down. Here’s the link: http://es.eurosport.yahoo.com/18102010/47/nba-gallinari-quiero.html
    and here is the translation as per Google translate:
    - Q: Danilo, your name has come out for a possible move, frankly, what makes you feel.

    - DG: “No good. Look, I’m very happy here and I want to move anywhere else, no other city. I love New York, I love playing on this team, I love the coach and his system, and I also want the people here. I’m in the perfect place where I want to stay long. I do not want to go from here. ”

    I somehow doubt that the Eurosport report was a total creation. I mean, in reality who would be happy about being traded at a time when the Knicks look like they’re actually improving?
    So, I’m still speculating, but I think this informs that speculation just a little, no?
    I also know other teams, such as the Nets started to tone down their rhetoric regarding Melo because it was affecting players on their roster who were openly upset about that chatter.
    What I’m suggesting is that what I have said is not as outrageous as youmay believe.

    Anyway, I recognize his past year performance, given the size of the data set, is a good predicter for future performance, and it is rare that a good player at this age would suddenly get worse.

    On gifted or skilled players…
    You and I can name a fair number of NBA stars who were not gifted athletes (by NBA standards…they’re all gifted athletes compared to you and me), but who had tremendous skill and that made them great.
    I don’t see John Stockton as a freakishly athletic guard, but highly skilled. Same goes for Reggie Miller. Patrick Ewing wasn’t the athlete that Hakeem was, but his skills made him comparable, although not as good, in my view. And on and on.

    So we’re having one of those barroom sports debates…:)

    On the subject of mental mistakes, let me ask you a question:
    If Gallo sometimes (which is to say a fair amount during a season) tends to disappear, is that not a mental breakdown? If the goal is for him to be more assertive, is that not a mental hurdle he is struggling to overcome? I mean, I said for a kid that age, you will see these kinds of mental issues. Consistency is a mental thing, too.
    I assume we’re both professionals. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m in my mid-40s, and I know early in my career I struggled with bringing my A game to work every day. It is a discipline that one develops over time, and it is rare to find a kid in his early 20s who is able to do that.

    Lastly, please don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say he was weak mentally. I said he struggles. And his coaches have said he struggles, and he says he struggles with playing his best day in and day out.
    He’s a very good young basketball player playing in the greatest basketball league in the world. I would hesistate to call any guy that starts at the NBA level weak mentally who isn’t named Eddy Curry or Jerome James.:) Perhaps I’m splitting hairs, but I think the way you characterized my commentary was far further than what I actually wrote, IMHO.

    But I also concede that if you move a few data points here and a few data points there, his numbers would be very good this preseason…except that he hasn’t been very good this preseason and he and his coaches acknoweldge that.
    I said, “I think Gallo’s leap will come if and when he can get his head straight. This is where he’s still a young guy.”

    I feel comfortable with that.
    I also hope he does it, this year.

  15. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: 31 percent is a pretty significant drop off from 39 percent

    Like you said, it’s a small sample. He’s made 10-32 for 31%. 1 more make and he would be at 34%. 2 makes and he’s at 38%. My point is that his shooting is the least of my concerns. I am pretty confident his shooting will come around. Sure, his TS% and 3P% is going to vary season-to-season whether he’s a HOFer or never gets any better, but I’m pretty confident he’s going to score efficiently. It’s other areas I want to see improvement. Again small sample, but his reboudning is much improved. He was getting to the line a lot more till the 2 lousy games. He hasn’t improved 100% over the off-season, but he may have taken some steps forward.

    One reason I didn’t agree with your initial comment is because I don’t find his preseason to be a cause for alarm. I find it to be very promising. FTAs and rebounds… what else could we have asked for going into the preseason? A little playmaking maybe… I think the shots will fall, though.

    The other is because you made a leap from a couple of bad games before effectively going on the DL to “the trade is bothering him and he’s struggling mentally.” It’s possible, but a big leap without proof. If it is mental maybe his girlfriend slept with Coach D’Antoni and it has nothing to do with Melo. There are just too many possibilities for me to agree it’s the trade speculation.

    Frank O.: And I can’t take away the two games before missing games. You’re not speculating there, you’re willfully slanting the outcome.

    My point is that he ****may**** have been injured already in those games (as an example of how it might have zero to do with Melo). So, if it’s not a lingering/long-term injury, his numbers this season are more likely to resemble his (*potentially*) healthy numbers than his injury numbers. Sure, he may have to play through injuries down the line. 2 of 6 games really makes up a big portion of the sample, though. I am not slanting anything, I am looking at a smaller sample. Can you really not look at 2.5 3PA/36 and 1-4 FTAs and not say something was different about those games than the other 4 games this very same preseason? His game completely changed.

    Frank O.: Add to that the ratcheted up rhetoric surrounding the trade for Melo, and the fact that Gallo’s name is a prominent part of the chatter, and I’m not overboard in suggesting that perhaps he’s having some mental issues

    I think it is overboard, or I wouldn’t have said anything. I don’t think he’s playing particularly worse. I think a few shots aren’t going down and for whatever reason he was awful for 2 games right before missing 2 games with an injury. So, I’m not looking for an explanation about his mental make-up.

    Frank O.: And if in fact he’s hiding an injury, or he’s just keeping it to himself, it’s just as plausible that he may be bothered by the trade rumors but not admitting yet.

    No one said he was hiding anything. He might have walked right up to D’Antoni and told him his wrist was bothering him, but that he still thought he could play. He might have seen the medical staff about it. Or he might have thought it was nothing and would go away with a night’s sleep.

    He literally HAS missed 2 games with this injury right after 2 games in which he completely changed his game. Again, 10 3PA/36 for 4 games, then suddenly 2.5. 17/18 on FTAs for 4 games, then suddenly 1/4. Then his wrist is hurt… It’s 100% speculation on my part, but not at all hard to connect the dots between a wrist injury and shooting problems. It’s something concrete that he and the Knicks probably know whether it’s the case or not. Being bothered by trade talk is completely intangible. Was he bothered by trade talks the nights he dropped 20 and 24 points? Less bothered? Most bothered when he only scored 1 point?

    Frank O.: I somehow doubt that the Eurosport report was a total creation.

    No one said it was. He might prefer to stay a Knick, but what I don’t like is how you jump from that to trade speculation is impacting his play.

    Frank O.: it is rare that a good player at this age would suddenly get worse.

    Again, he hasn’t gotten worse… he’s gotten better. Through 4 games he was killing it. I am confident he will be better this season than last, though it’s speculation.

    Frank O.: You and I can name a fair number of NBA stars who were not gifted athletes (by NBA standards…they’re all gifted athletes compared to you and me), but who had tremendous skill and that made them great.

    Basketball skill is physical. I’m not saying that mental factors don’t play a huge part. You made a point that mental separates stars more than physical, and I don’t think that’s substantiated. Both are very important, unless there’s some evidence either way let’s just leave it at that.

    Patrick Ewing WAS a physical freak until his knees gave out, by the way. And he was not as good as Hakeem.

    Frank O.: Lastly, please don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say he was weak mentally. I said he struggles.

    I don’t see a huge difference. AR struggle with his physical strength. AR is physically weak. Same thing, just semantics.

  16. Z

    Mike– great work. Your opening paragraph is one of the best pieces of sports writing I’ve read in a while. Perfectly put.

  17. Z

    @19– I’m surprised Real GM would link up anything citing Bleacher Report as a source. The author of that piece is “Hardcourt Mayhem”. Bleacher Report is basically the Onion, only without any jokes.

  18. SeeWhyDee77

    Anybody watching the game? I love the fact that Fields started. Energy on defense is nice tonite, especially by Mosgov and Felton. I’m not, however, enjoying Turiaf’s fear on offense tonite..aside from his reluctance to make an offensive move-he looks good so far as well

  19. JK47

    Randolph is playing unbelievably horribly in this game. 0 for 5 with 3 turnovers, +/- of -16. Just killing us out there.

    If this is the guy we’re worried about trading for Melo, I don’t get it. It’s going to be a while until this guy is going to be a key contributor.

  20. Ted Nelson

    JK47: Randolph is playing unbelievably horribly in this game. 0 for 5 with 3 turnovers, +/- of -16.

    As much as he is playing poorly and making a lot of mistakes, he’s also possibly the Knicks best passer and has made a few brilliant passes, has made some defensive stops, and has 3 reb is 12 minutes (9 per 36). The Knicks had a 3rdish “unit” out there the whole 2nd quarter.

    I would like to see AR out there with Amare and Gallo and the best guys more. He’s the last guy off the bench and I feel like he’s been spending a lot more time out there with the scrubs. He’s getting more pressure both from his team and the defense. Get him out there as the 4th or 5th scoring option and have him create/think less. Get the ball, do something if open and pass to better options if not. It’s tough cause you lose some of his playmaking, but I think it’s his best role when the games actually count.

  21. BigBlueAL

    Well since the Yankees season is 1 inning away from ending I guess its time to devote my full 100% attention to the Knicks. Cant wait til Wed!!!!

  22. ess-dog

    I can’t believe that either Toney or Landry will be starting for the Knicks this year! Those guys have got to be excited. But you have to figure that he’ll go with Toney. He’s got the extra year in the system and he’s a great shooter.
    What a strange lineup – almost Kahn-ian. Two point guards and three long, active bigs who can run. We’ll definitely be creating mis-matches, I’m just not sure if they will work for or against us. For instance, Douglas or Felton will have to guard Stephen Jackson, Joe Johnson and Ray Allen? But of course, they will have to stay in front of Felton and Toney. I guess Landry could see more time against bigger guards?
    It should be interesting to watch.
    You also have to wonder if Chandler backs up Amare, where does that leave Randolph? Backing up Gallo? Even though we’re all down on Randolph right now, I do think he needs real minutes in order to work on his game.

  23. ess-dog

    Also, for you D’Antoni haters, great line from Darko last night: 6-9 for 12 points, 10 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks against Bogut.

  24. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Z: Mike– great work. Your opening paragraph is one of the best pieces of sports writing I’ve read in a while. Perfectly put.  

    Thanks.

    Z: @19– I’m surprised Real GM would link up anything citing Bleacher Report as a source. The author of that piece is “Hardcourt Mayhem”. Bleacher Report is basically the Onion, only without any jokes.  

    If given the option between the two, I would more likely trust the Onion as a source.

  25. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: I can’t believe that either Toney or Landry will be starting for the Knicks this year!

    Has D’Antoni said that? What I’ve read is that it’s still up in the air, but not that WC WILL NOT be starting. Wilson Chandler has started every game he’s played in this preseason, and been treated like a starter/big minute guy. I guess it depends on how Anthony Randolph does–overall, in the frontcourt, and on perimeter D–and also how Fields does but I still figure WC is their wing stopper when they really need one.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/knicksblog/no_guarantee_chandler_starts_for_AFqx6kmj0Zg2Q72jOoudEO

  26. ess-dog

    This Post blog came out after something else I read saying that it was either Douglas or Fields, but yeah, you have to figure that Chandler is at least still in the mix since he played the position all of last year. I guess it really depends on the tempo that D’Antoni wants to start the game.

  27. Doug Chu

    Thomas B.: MLB fan minus the Skankees.  

    Skankees! Now that one was a doozy! The MLB.com discussion boards would have also accepted “Stankees”, “Yank-mees,” or “Bankees.”

    Does that mean you root for games to go into extra innings, like in those Buffalo Wild Wings commercials? :)

  28. Brian Cronin

    The Blazers traded Bayless to the Hornets for a first rounder in 2011 (protected 1-7, then 1-8 for the next few years).

    What do you think this means in regards to Rudy Fernandez? Does this make it less likely for him to be dealt?

  29. iserp

    I am surprised NO gave a 1st that may go quite high (10-18 by most predictions) for Bayless. It seems they’re trying too hard to get a team ready now for CP3, and it is going to hurt them in the long term. I mean, they still have two years till CP3 leaves, and that pick gave them flexibility for trades involving Peja’s expiring, or they might draft a talented player.

  30. Thomas B.

    Doug Chu: Skankees! Now that one was a doozy! The MLB.com discussion boards would have also accepted “Stankees”, “Yank-mees,” or “Bankees.” Does that mean you root for games to go into extra innings, like in those Buffalo Wild Wings commercials? :)  (Quote)

    Not here to impress you. Just hate the Yankers so much it spill over into just about everything else I do.

  31. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin: What do you think this means in regards to Rudy Fernandez? Does this make it less likely for him to be dealt?  

    I don’t know… It seems a little dubious whether they deal him this season at this point (at least straight up, maybe in a package), but they still have good backcourt depth even if they do deal him. Hard to get a good return on a guy who has publicly stated he wants out of the NBA immediately…

    iserp: I am surprised NO gave a 1st that may go quite high (10-18 by most predictions) for Bayless. It seems they’re trying too hard to get a team ready now for CP3, and it is going to hurt them in the long term. I mean, they still have two years till CP3 leaves, and that pick gave them flexibility for trades involving Peja’s expiring, or they might draft a talented player.  

    Monty Williams coached Bayless in Portland, so it’s not like they were taking a shot in the dark. It was a risky move for NO, but Bayless is only 22 and might be as good as whoever they were going to draft anyway (not only because he’s solid with more potential, but this should be a freshman heavy draft and getting a 19 year old might mean waiting a few years NO doesn’t have… like Portland has with Bayless). Even when CP3 missed the season they only had the 11 pick, so projecting anything lower than that is pessimistic. Bayless himself was an 11 pick.
    He means that they won’t have to rely on Willie Green and Mustafa Shakur, though he replicates a lot of what Marcus Thornton does. He might also allow CP3 to rest more. Bayless is likely to blossom into a strong rotation player and could help a team one year (and one injured future HOFer) removed from back-to-back 50 win seasons get back to the playoffs. So while it’s a risky move, I can see why NO is optimistic (both about their chances and about Bayless) enough to make this move and bump Willie Green out of their rotation… because Willie Green probably costs you a few wins.

    Great deal for Portland, though, considering they weren’t going to play the guy anyway.

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