Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Knicks 99 Bucks 98 (Knicks Win With Defense?)

Tell me if you heard this before. The Knick starters begin the game and the opponent takes the lead. The bench comes in and the game is close again by halftime. The third quarter begins with the starters on the floor again, and the opponent takes a huge lead. The reserves come in and again make the game close. With about 6 minutes left in the game, Isiah puts the starters back in and the Knicks lose the game.

Last night that looked to be the case. The Knicks began the game down by 6, until the reserves came in to give New York the lead. At halftime the Knicks were only down by 2. But the 3rd quarter was the Knicks worst, by the time Eddy Curry leaves the game for the last time, the Knicks are down by 13. Curry’s departure would lock in his +/- at a team low -12. He’s followed closely by his frontcourt starters Quentin Richardson (-10) and Zach Randolph (-6). None of the three would see any more time down the stretch.

As usual the reserves battle back. Last night it was a lineup of Crawford, Jones, Balkman, Lee, and Rose. New York was within 7 at the end of the fourth quarter, sparked by rebounding, good ball movement, and improved defense. At 8:36 jump shots from Jamal Crawford and David Lee on four straight possessions bring the Knicks within one point of the Bucks. But at 6:14, Michael Redd hit a three that give Milwaukee a 7 point lead.

The NBA coaching manual clearly states: “If you had a big third quarter deficit, and your bench has made the game close, about midway through the fourth you should bring in your starters to finish the game off. Especially when the other team makes a shot a the momentum seems to slip away.” And Isiah usually follows the coaching manual very closely, but last night he must have misplaced it. Without it Isiah panicked and left in his reserves. New York tied the game twice in the third minute, and made their last bucket with 1:53 left to give them a slender 3 point lead. Isiah stayed with the players that saved the team from a 13 point deficit, and the Knicks hold the other team to only one basket for the remaining time to take the victory.

Yesterday I asked publicly when people shut their tvs off during Knick games. I have to say, I nearly turned mine off when the Buck lead swelled to 17. But since I had it taped I decided to watch it anyway, and was pleasantly surprised when the Knicks won. There were so many things to like about the last quarter and a half of this game. Obviously one is the fine play of Lee and Balkman, which if the consensus here had their say both would be starting. But more importantly was that the Knicks won with their defense. That just felt weird to type, because I can’t remember the last time I typed that sentence. But it made me nostalgic of the Ewing era, when the Knicks frequently relied on stopping their opponent down the stretch to close out games.

One final tidbit I’d like to share. While watching the game there were a few moments of banter where Clyde Frazier stated many of the things KB readers frequently say here. I took the time to transcribe them word for word, for your enjoyment.

First quarter, with about 6:02 on the clock. Michael Redd blew past Fred Jones for a layup and not a single Knick came to Jones’ aid. Clyde said “This is really why Curry & Randolph can’t play together. It’s not their offense. It’s their lack of intensity on the defense. As you saw that time a guy just walking right to the basket uncontested.”

The Knicks ended the third quarter with a 10-0 run. At the start of the fourth Clyde stated “That run by the Knicks was very noteworthy with Curry on the bench and Randolph and Q-Rich — and the Knicks were able to cut the gap.”

Again in the fourth quarter with the lineup being Crawford, Jones, Balkman, Lee, and Rose, Al Trautwig asked “You wonder, Clyde, where the points are going to come from with this unit other than Crawford on a runner or somehow a motion creating layups for David Lee or Malik Rose.” Clyde responded with “Second opportunities Al. On rebounds, missed shots.” On queue Malik Rose gets offensive rebound, and passes to Fred Jones who nails an open 3. I found this one to be particularly interesting, because the night before Knicks announcer Kenny Smith stated that the Knicks can’t have Lee or Balkman on the floor for large stretches because the offense is playing “5 on 4″. And while Kenny Smith is saying those words, Lee and Balkman grab a few rebounds for easy scores.

Shortly after Al asked “What did the Knicks do to slow the Milwaukee momentum there?” Clyde replied “Well they started to score, then deny them uncontested shots.”

111 comments on “Knicks 99 Bucks 98 (Knicks Win With Defense?)

  1. big baby

    there is a lot of thinly veiled criticism that comes from clyde. he really can’t stand the shitty defense the knicks play. any telecast is filled with at least 2 or 3 shots at the soft play of the knicks and the pusillanimous defense they play.

  2. nj hoop

    Good win to at least break this horrible losing streak.

    On another topic, Artest last night vs. GS: 23 pts., 13 reb., 3 steals, 2 blocks. Could the Knicks use this kind of production from the SF position? I know he’s a big risk from a behavior standpoint, but he would change the defensive mentality of our team immediately, sort of like what KG did for Boston. I say roll the dice, get him this summer and see what happens.

  3. KenB

    it would have been a great end-of-game to watch if, “Knicks in 60″ would actually begin and end on the hour so my Tivo could catch the whole thing.

    oh well, just another sign of how badly Dolan’s organizations are run.

    Go Knicks?

  4. Ess-dog

    What about this Wallace trade? It would be nice to get rid of Q, but I think we really need to get rid of Randolph more. He’s just awful on d. Curry we can always sit for 3 years, but Randolph won’t come off the bench. Just think about how much better we’d be right now if it wasn’t for Zeke getting Zach. Lee would be starting, Frye and Curry could split time at center… I guess our draft pick would be worse though. We’re so screwed.

  5. Caleb

    “Getting rid of Q” doesn’t do anything for us, unless we get something back in return. Cap-wise it makes no difference whatsoever.

    Like I said yesterday, the Wallace trade makes no sense unless we’re getting rid of a longer contract (Curry or Randolph) or picking up a younger asset (Duhon, a draft pick or even Noah or Thomas)

    Ben would be a slight improvement in the short-term but that just hurts our draft position, and he’s basically done for – it’s not like he makes us some kind of contender.

  6. jon abbey

    ““Getting rid of Q” doesn’t do anything for us, unless we get something back in return. ”

    well, if we had a real coach, it would push Balkman and maybe even Chandler into more minutes.

  7. Z

    “if we had a real coach, it would push Balkman and maybe even Chandler into more minutes.”

    But we don’t have a real coach, so it would probably just slide Randolph into the SF position with Wallace at the 4 and Curry at the 5…

    (Then Isiah can say that the “6’11″, 6’11″, 6’10″” front line of Curry, Jeffires, and Frye (the projected starting lineup of 2006) was a failure because he was measuring size in terms of height and not in terms of width…)

  8. caleb

    Q isn’t keeping balkman and chandler from getting minutes… It’s our “coach.” You guys know that.

    Q isn’t my problem with the trade anyway.. It’s giving away assets that might othwerwise be used to obtain a draft pick or prospect, or to sweeten an offer involving one of the twinkies.

    I could see houston, phoenix, portland, maybe others making a play for jones right now… And next year, I could imagine a deal like rose for darius miles and a 1st rounder (we would waive miles, of course).

  9. Z

    “the Wallace trade makes no sense unless we’re getting rid of a longer contract (Curry or Randolph) or picking up a younger asset (Duhon, a draft pick or even Noah or Thomas)”

    The Tribune had this to say today:

    “Some of the motivation to move Wallace now is that Joakim Noah clearly is the team’s future center.”

    The Sun Times added this:

    “The Bulls have no interest in trading Thomas, the fourth pick in the 2006 draft, who has shown signs of developing into a rotation regular.”

    Not sure if either is credible, but it’s hard to know what other teams are shopping without being in their media markets. I certainly hadn’t assumed Noah was the Bulls’ “future center”.

    Stan Van Gundy has made it clear that he has a gaping hole at PF and would like it fixed by the 21st., but Otis Smith seems reticent to make a trade that hurts the future (i.e. Randolph).

  10. caleb

    Noah has been great this year… Throwing out his name is just wishful thinking. But I have to believe that either he or thomas is available for the right price. Which we don’t have, unless we include lee or balkman, and that’s just a lateral move.

    Would you do Q, balkman, rose and jones for wallace and noah… ?

    More realistic is either randolph for wallace straight up, or curry and jones for wallace, or Q/Rose/Jones for wallace and duhon, or wallace and a pick.

  11. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Zach Randolph trades I’d make if Dolan hires me to be GM tomorrow:

    Randolph for Wallace and a 2nd rounder.
    Randolph to Orlando for any combo of their expiring deals (Arroyo/Dooling/Garrity)
    Randolph to Sacramento for Artest and Thomas
    Randolph to Miami for Williams and Davis
    Randolph to Cleveland for Marshall, Snow and a 1st rounder

    Eddy Curry
    trades I’d make if Dolan hires me to be GM tomorrow:

    Curry to Denver for Najera and Hunter
    Curry to Miami for Jason Williams
    Curry to Cleveland for Snow, Newble and a 1st Rounder
    Curry to San Antonio for Elson and Barry
    Curry to Atlanta for Shelden Williams, Pachulia and Wright

  12. Ess-dog

    The only ones that sound remotely realistic are the Chicago, Orlando, deals for Randolph and the Curry deal to Atlanta.
    I think Orlando is our best shot because they need another piece to go somewhere in the playoffs. Maybe they would take Randolph and Jamal…

  13. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Meanwhile, Miami is looking very good w/Marion, playing uptempo and defending. Hubie Brown is kvelling (in the 2nd person, natch).

    I feel the need to channel Hubes:

    “Ok, You’re the Miami Heat. You’re two years removed from a championship and your team is aging and you’ve lost your best role players so you deal Shaquille O’Neal and get an all-star in Marion who is a tremendous individual and if he leaves, you have major cap space and if he stays, you have a dynamite pairing with Wade, who is only going to get better coming back from multiple surgeries and when healthy is one of the best players in the game today.”

  14. Z

    Caleb– from the Denver Post: Maybe Fred Jones or Malik Rose?

    “It makes sense for the Nuggets to trade their 2008 first-round pick for a player who can help them right now. The high-priced, star-studded team paying that pesky luxury tax is gunning to make a playoff run this season. If they keep the pick, the player they draft probably won’t help Denver for a couple of seasons. Denver can likely trade the pick for a backup point guard or a sturdy defender off the bench — in other words, a player who can help them this spring, not spring 2010.”

  15. Brian Cronin

    picking Balkman/Collins instead of Rondo/Balkman continues to move up the list of Isiah’s long long long long list of blunders.

    I only think it’s a blunder if you like Rondo better than Balkman, because Isiah’s intel was telling him that Balkman would be taken by his next pick (Phoenix worked him out and he would have worked quite well in their system, but they deny that they would have picked him ), and he liked Balkman better, and I think I agree with him on that.

    But if you think Rondo is better, then sure, that’s a bad job by Thomas.

  16. Ess-dog

    What about Nene? Would anyone take a chance on him now? What about Nene and a 1st round pick for Z-bo and Jones?

  17. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    I wouldn’t even if he was healthy. Nene adds salary – his contract is longer than Randolph’s.

  18. dave crockett

    I am preparing myself mentally for the fact that there probably won’t be any move of significance. Maybe Isiah does a deal for another PG, but I doubt we see anything bigger than that.

  19. Ess-dog

    Oh right. Well I guess we’re stuck. If I were Zeke (or a smarter version of Zeke) I would just dump as much useless money as I could for expiring contracts and maybe draft picks before the all-star break. That means Curry, Crawford, Q, Randolph, James, Jeffries, anyone who’s contract outweighs their performance. Then just play out the year and stink it up and get Rose or Gordon. We’ll just rotate Lee and Zach at PF, Curry and Rose at center and see what happens. Boring, but better than a stupid IT trade…

  20. Latke

    you can trade fred jones and 2nd rounder for jr smith, diawara and 1st rounder. both denver players expire after this year. Honestly though, as much as denver needs a wing defender, they are also weak up front, with k-mart playing on two microfracture knees, and nene likely out for the year. They may be better off just accepting that this isn’t their year.

    Orlando is a better place to look. How about jones (exp), randolph, collins for garrity (exp), battie, reddick, gortat and arroyo (exp). Basically a money saving trade – saves the knicks about 6 million in salary next year. And redick may have some kind of value.

  21. caleb

    Agree.. Denver and orlando, maybe chicago, are decent partners… Maybe phoenix or houston for jones…

    You might get cleveland to bite on crawford and jones (for larry hughes and pick)… Randolph, curry, crawford and jeffries are the guys to try and move… They have deals running thru 2011 (assuming they pick up their options).

    Rose will have more value next year, so I’d try to keep him unless needed to balance a big deal.

  22. jon abbey

    “Isiah’s intel was telling him that Balkman would be taken by his next pick (Phoenix worked him out and he would have worked quite well in their system, but they deny that they would have picked him )”

    did Phoenix even work him out? I thought that ended up being just Isiah lying again. the D’Antoni quote from then:

    “That’s funny,” Mike D’Antoni, the Suns’ president and coach, told a Phoenix radio station. “He wasn’t even on our radar.”

    also, pretty much everyone needs to hit threes in Phoenix’s system, so no way Balkman would have been a good fit there.

    hahaha, you said “Isiah’s intel”. I’m just so bitter about this whole situation these days, maybe it’s time to forget that the Knicks exist for a while…

  23. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “maybe it’s time to forget that the Knicks exist for a while…”

    I’m hoping to remember every moment, so the good days will be so much sweeter. Hopefully the Knicks turn it around before I get senile.

  24. Ben R

    Rather than worrying about the cap I think we need to move players that are hurting our team. I think the first is Randolph and the second is Richardson, because they are preventing our two best players, Lee and Balkman, from starting.

    After that we can worry about Curry and Crawford. I would want more than just expirings for them though because while they are overpaid they still have some usefullness.

    It was great to see some solid defense. The rumor I liked was the Zach for Jermaine deal. It makes alot of sense from both sides. Jermaine does not want to be in Indiana anymore and is injury prone and his offense is starting to suffer. But in New York we could limit his minutes because of Lee and despite slowing down he is still a great defender.

    For Indiana they get a much younger player who is a better offensive player and rebounder than O’Neal was even in his prime. They lose alot in defense but O’Neal is unhappy and they need to move him. I do not think they can do any better than Randolph in an O’Neal trade. Hopefully we could throw in Richardson as well but I would be willing to throw in Rose to offset the extra year of salary they would be taking on.

  25. jon abbey

    if we trade for Jermaine, we’re going to also get Tinsley and his ridiculous contract. that seems like an Isiah kind of move, I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

  26. Ess-dog

    Larry Bird already had a Zach Randolph: Al Harrington. I don’t see him going for Zach, who’s even worse on defense than Al. And I am so ready to trade away the Curry/Crawford show, but Ben, you make a good point about freeing up the 3 and 4 spots. If only Zeke agreed with you!

  27. Caleb

    Don’t forget Portland as a trade partner… they have a serious numbers crunch… by the end of this year’s draft, they’ll have 22 players:

    (Jarrett Jack, Sergio Rodriguez, Steve Blake, Taurean Green, the Finnish kid Koppenen, Brandon Roy, Martell Webster, Rudy Fernandez, Travis Outlaw, Darius Miles, James Jones, Josh McRoberts, LaMarcus Aldridge, Channing Frye, Raef LaFrentz, Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden… plus their first round-pick this year, and three second-rounders – including picks from us and Memphis, which figure to be pretty good.)

    In other words, if they don’t start doing a bunch of 2 for 1 and 3 for 1 deals, they’ll be letting a lot of good players walk for nothing. They’ll probably swap a draft pick or two for future picks, but they basically have to also trade one or more of the point guards, and they probably have to trade Webster — Fernandez is supposed to be hot stuff, and Webster won’t be on a rookie contract any more…

    We could nab one of those guys, or use our ability to pay luxury tax — grab multipleyoung guys, plus maybe this year’s pick, in exchange for taking on Miles or LaFrentz…

  28. Caleb

    Not taking Rondo counts as a bad move, but 20 other teams did the same thing… I’d say Balkman and Rondo are both among the top 7 or 8 guys in that draft, maybe top 5. (Aldridge, Roy, Gay, maybe Tyrus Thomas… seriously – anyone else?)

  29. Caleb

    Does Tinsley expire in 2011? Just a straight-up swap for Curry or Crawford wouldn’t be a bad move. But I would definitely NOT trade any shorter contract for him, tho.

    Didn’t Isiah supposedly hate him, tho?

  30. Z

    “Don’t forget Portland as a trade partner… they have a serious numbers crunch…”

    Marbury for LaFrenz, Miles, and however many picks/unsigned players/youngsters Portland wants to throw in would help us diversify our assets (but it would leave us with a similar numbers crunch of our own…)

  31. Ess-dog

    Probably the best we could do with Portland is Malik Rose and Jeffries for Fernandez, Steve Blake and Darius Miles… don’t know if it’s worth it…

  32. jon abbey

    interesting about the Portland numbers crunch, your list there is 21, not 22, but still a very good point.

    Z, it’s only a numbers crunch if you have more than 15 guys that can actually play… :)

  33. Latke

    if we trade for jermaine o’neal he will be the next antonio mcdyess. Quality player with chronic injury problems who may get his career in order in a few years and evolve into a quality role player. Remember, O’Neal came out of high school into the nba. While he hasn’t had a major surgery like mcdyess, he is 29, has played 11 NBA seasons, and has missed, on average, 27 games PER SEASON over the last 3 seasons. It doesn’t look like he will break that trend this year, as he has already missed 18 games this year (and played limited minutes in several others). Why would you bring in a guy like that, who is a big risk to continue his decline, and even if he pays off will undoubtedly require a great deal of patience, onto a team that historically has no patience, has no need for an aging vet, and is currently in an incredibly chaotic state?

    Honestly, I think Thomas was on the right track with Jared Jeffries. He was looking for a player who “plays the right way”. The problem is that, despite the fact that Jeffries plays hard, he is both emotionally frail – the initial pressure of NY totally screwed with his head, and it wasn’t until he became a forgotten man that he started playing like his average old self – and really doesn’t “play the right way”. He plays hard, but despite having zero offensive ability, and thus having very limited decision making responsibilities, he still manages to muck things up on offense, turn the ball over, and take stupid shots. He has shored some of that up of late, and I do believe that he can be a contributor on this team if they are able to build a team that is decent over the next four years. He doesn’t make a crippling amount, and he is only 26, meaning he should, if anything, get a little better over the course of his contract.

  34. Caleb

    “He doesn’t make a crippling amount.”

    In fact, he does. His $6m+ coud easily be the difference in our having cap flexibility in 2010 summer, or not.

    Washington replaced him with a better player, DeShawn Stevenson, at the league minimum. Stevenson had a great year and resigned at 3 years, for less than half of Jeffries’ salary.

    As far as Portland goes… the most valuable pieces they see as expendable are Webster, Jack (or maybe Rodriguez) and possibly this year’s draft pick, depending who’s available. I predict at least two of those get traded, at least by summer. If not to us, to someone. Obviously, our “trump card” would be a willingness to take on Darius Miles, which no one else in the league would do. In our case, it wouldn’t really matter — we COULD trade Marbury for Miles & LaFrentz without hurting our cap flexibililty (just costing us $40 million). In that case, we would literally be saving Portland $40 million (I think they’re over the luxury tax). For that… there seems like a good chance they’d be willing to give us their better assets, among the ones they were planning to give away in the first place.

    Unfortunately, IT doesn’t know how to drive a bargain. In that hypothetical trade, we completely clear Portland’s cap space just a year from now — giving them great flexibility withOUT giving up Oden, Aldridge, Roy OR Outlaw, or their starting point guard. We’re handing them the keys to the city on a silver platter. That shoudl be worth a lot. IT would probably settle for taking back Channing Frye.

  35. Latke

    Isn’t there some kind of chance that Miles takes a medical retirement — meaning his contract gets paid by insurance and is removed from their books for cap purposes? And if Miles is healthy, he was a beast. ANother headcase, but he was physically like renaldo balkman on steroids – couldn’t shoot for beans, but uber-athletic, long arms, lots of steals and blocks. I imagine that, at 26, if he has healed, he could still be a player. Or maybe those are my “Isiah – He’s troubled but he has potential – Eyes” talking.

    To put details to your trade, Caleb, we trade, say, jones and marbury for LaFrentz, Miles, Rodriguez and a 1st rounder. Miles, even if he never plays a game, comes off the books the same year as curry and Q, and we get a point guard who, though I’ve never watched him, puts up amazing assists #s in limited minutes.

    Then it makes perfect sense to move randolph so that all our big contracts end at the end of ’09-’10.

  36. Caleb

    Latke, I think your trade makes sense for both sides — at least, it’s a reasonable offer. Would give us two very nice assets.

    Our cap situation, though, is worse than you think… Randolph runs through 2011, but so do Curry, Crawford and Jeffries (assuming they exercise their options which they will since no other team would pay them half as much in free agency).

  37. ray

    Ok lets say Balk and Lee were starters. They dont really add much to the offense. Especially if Zeke doesnt start Nate. Sure we have Craw,Z-Bo, Curry. But 2 of 3 of those dont play D. Balk can block shots with minutes and grab rebounds but hes not able to create his own shot ,post people up or shoot the ball. Lee has some post moves a baby jumper thats coming along(Thank GOD!!!)and his rebounding ability. Theres got to be a place in the league where we can send Curry and maybe just start Jeffries at center with Morris to back him up. Starters would be Nate, CRaw,Balk,Z-Bo, Jeffries.Until seasons end. Then we trade Z-Bo and Q at the end of the season and take our high pick and start from there. I can see Mayo or Rose electrifying ther Garden. Then theres always the big young kid out of Texas A&M…theres option but hopefully the descisions made from here on out will help instead of hurt. This coming draft is one where we need to draft for our needs instead of the best player on the board. If theres not room for that player he wont play.

  38. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Why does anyone think Jared Jeffries can play center? The guy is a SF, and can play PF in a small lineup. But starting center for the rest of the year? There’s more to being an NBA center than just height.

  39. Ess-dog

    ok, so we’re going to take Miles now after picking up Randolph? Why don’t we just trade for Mike Tyson? Seriously though, Portland would only trade for Marbury if he were to retire or something- they don’t need that distraction.
    I don’t think we can trade Randolph now because his value is at it’s lowest. I would still do the Crawford/Q to Cleveland for Hughes and a pick deal. Then we finish the year w/ Nate/Hughes/Balkman/Zach/Jeffries. Give Lee 30 min. off the bench. Trade Curry for a box of tape and work Zach into a position to get something for him. Is that aiming too low? I’m just trying to be realistic.

  40. Ben R

    Latke – O’Neal is injury prone but fortunatly we have a very good player backing him up in Lee and other capable backups in Jeffries and Balkman. If O’Neal comes here and gives us a good 40-50 games a season it is still preferable to Randolph giving us a a terrible 82 games a season.

    I think Lee/Curry/Jeffries is better than Lee/Randolph/Curry so by adding O’Neal even if he never suits up it is still better for the Knicks. If he actually does play which I am guessing he will because of his relationship with Isiah then we will really be better off.

    The great thing is since we have Lee we can afford to limit O’Neal’s minutes and hopefully keep him healthy.

    As for Miles I would take him because if we got a first and a young player but he will never be the player he was before his injury. His game was totally predacated on his athleticism and he will never get it completely back. His microfracture surjury was a serious one and no one has come completely back not even Amare who was able to change his game to make up for his loss of athleticism.

  41. jon abbey

    thinking about it more, by far our best chance to get a young guy from Portland was in the Randolph deal. if it didn’t happen then, I don’t see it happening going forward.

  42. Ben R

    Mike K. – I think Jared can play PF off the bench. He is a little undersized but I actually think PF is his natural position. It is what he played in college and despite being put at SF he has never developed any perimeter skills. I think Washington played him out of position from the get go and limited his growth.

    For 20 minutes off the bench I think he can be a solid PF if we need him. Of course he should never step foot on the court before Lee or Balkman.

  43. Ess-dog

    ok- this sounds crazy, but maybe…

    Randolph and Crawford to the Nets for Vince Carter, Magloire, and Kristc.
    Yes, Carter has a gross 5 year contract, but both Crawford and Randolph have 4 year contracts. Magloire and Kristic will take 6 mil off the books after this season. We could limit our bad percentage shooters to 1 player – Carter.
    NJ might like a lineup of Kidd, Crawford, Jefferson, Randolph and Williams – this might appease Kidd for a while.
    Meanwhile, the Knicks would be Nate/Carter/Balkman/Lee/and Curry I guess with Magloire helping or whoever we can find with a pulse.

  44. Ben R

    It seems that Isiah wants to move Randolph. If he is still trying then I would say there is a better than 2% chance he is moved, and quite frankly there are very few Randolph trades that are not upgrades at this point.

  45. jon abbey

    that’s reasonable, although I’d be more optimistic there if Isiah hadn’t just traded for him last offseason. also, no one but us wanted him then, and he certainly hasn’t added to his rep with his play so far this year.

  46. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I think Jared can play PF off the bench.”

    I agree. But I think there’s a big difference playing PF off the bench based on need/circumstance to being the starting center. Hey Balkman plays PF sometimes, and I’ve even see Q-Rich play it. But I don’t think I’d want either to be the starting center. If pressed I could see Jeffries or Balkman play PF, but you’d need a team concept that supported that (see: Matt Barnes as the starting center for Nellie for a few games). Unfortunately I don’t see Isiah being savvy enough to pull it off.

  47. Ess-dog

    Yeah, who are we kidding. Zach’s here at least the rest of the season- probably until the 2009 trade deadline.

  48. Ess-dog

    On an unrelated note, who do you think has the best Uniforms? I like the Nuggets (remember the 80′s Nuggets uni’s that looked like Mrs. Pac Man?) Worst has got to be Orlando…

  49. Ben R

    I agree about Jeffries not being a starting center. I may be the only person on earth to believe this but I think we have a starting center amd that if we actually surrounded Curry with complementary players he is a good enough starting center for 20-25 minutes a game.

    Eddie Johnson had an article about the Shaq trade and he said that one of the main reasons Shaq was struggling so hard in Miami was becasue they surrounded him with bad outside shooters and people who could not feed the post very well.

    We have done the same thing with Curry. If we got a good point guard and one very good outside shooter with Balkman providing defense and rebounding and Lee providing rebounding and all around smart play I think we would see Curry put up extremely good offensive numbers. I know he is a terrible defender but I think that is okay as long as we limit his minutes. If you watch our offense we have terrible spacing and lots of redundant skills.

    The main focus we need is getting at least an average starting pg, a pure shooter at SG and a good defensive big man. In the process we need to rid ourselves of Randolph, Q and maybe even Crawford. If we do that I believe that Curry could have a very important, though limited role as our starting center.

  50. Brian Cronin

    did Phoenix even work him out? I thought that ended up being just Isiah lying again. the D’Antoni quote from then:

    They did work him out.

    As to whether they were going to actually pick him, like I said, Phoenix said they weren’t going to pick him, but that says little about the truth of the circumstances.

    Even considering Thomas’ relative insanity, I do not think even he would pick Balkman that high if he did not think he was going to another team in between his picks, so I can’t blame him for that.

    If you want to talk Rondo over Balkman, that’s fair enough.

  51. Brian Cronin

    As for the trade deadline, I think the Knicks could pull some stuff off, and I believe Thomas certainly appears to be inclined to do so (and really, if the Knicks are not going to be bad enough to pick in the Top 3 or so, which appears to be the case, then tanking doesn’t make sense, in my opinion) – whether it will be any good remains to be said.

    Really, the best trade the Knicks could make would be Coach Thomas for almost any other coach out there.

  52. Z

    “Miles takes a medical retirement — meaning his contract gets paid by insurance and is removed from their books for cap purposes?”

    Possibly, but it isn’t that simple. In Miles’ case, I’m not sure when he last played, and I’m not sure if the “medical retirement” can be retroactive to the original injury, but per CBA rules, the retired player’s salary doesn’t come off the salary cap for 1 year after a league physician deems the injury too severe to recover from.

    The injury retirement in Miles’ case probably is a low risk financial investment because if he does have to retire, insurance companies will pay the remainder of the contract. Portland will have been paying the premiums on it for the past few years and not the Knicks, but this doesn’t effect the team or its fans. It only serves to save Dolan money (something he seems to suddenly care about, since he refuses to pay Isiah to get the fuck out of NY)

    “Portland would only trade for Marbury if he were to retire or something- they don’t need that distraction.”

    They would buy him out of his last year, just as they did with Francis. I can think of no reason why they wouldn’t want to trade spare parts for him. I think Caleb (who really should be made GM before the 21st) is onto something with Portland.

    “As for the trade deadline, I think the Knicks could pull some stuff off, and I believe Thomas certainly appears to be inclined to do so…”

    Unless Dolan has taken away Isiah’s license to trade, I think something will absolutely happen, if nothing more than Randolph Morris being relocated. Why we would keep him past the 21st I have no idea. Why would he resign? Even if he played, wouldn’t a young guy like him run as far away from the world’s most infamous arena first chance he could?

  53. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Ben R. – how would putting a good shooter out on the floor with Curry aid him? Curry does not pass out of the double team, and it’s not for a lack of shooters. Imagine Ray Allen knocking down a couple of threes, and the other team might be unwilling to leave him open no matter who has the ball. The shooter would create space for Eddy, not the other way around.

    I think with Curry you need to keep the ball out of his hands for as long as possible. You let your offense run through guys that can penetrate and create their own shot. Let the guards feed Curry when they are doubled and he is open, not the other way around.

  54. Ess-dog

    I do think it’s true that Curry’s at his best when he’s the focal point and constantly involved on the offensive end. That being said, he’s still pretty bad at the outlet pass, gets stripped a lot and can’t control his offensive fouls. Not to mention the defense. I wonder what a game with 35 minutes of Curry would even look like anymore. He looks finished to me, but maybe if we get rid of Randolph, we could try to reestablish his post game again. What a horrifying setback this half of the season was!

  55. Caleb

    Thanks, Z… if I get the call, what do you want to do? Chief scout? Starting point guard? Head of the firing squad?

    Curry isn’t playing much worse than last year, just fewer minutes. His shooting and rebounding are down very slightly, his defense seems about the same and he’s actually cut way down on turnovers. (Betcha didn’t think his rebounding COULD go down any more).

    I agree with Ben that as a part-time center he’s not all bad. But there are two big problems. One, you basically have to give him the ball every time down the court or he is wasted space. I know Ben has said this, too.

    Worse, you don’t want to be paying a 20-25 minute center, $9 or $10 million a year, for three more years. Given the dollars, Randolph is probably an even bigger drag on rebiulding, but he’s a better player than fast Eddy.

    The idea that Curry (and the team) would look better if we surrounded him with pure shooters — I hope some serious stat-geek would do a real analysis of this. You’d have to do a more intense version of +/-. You’d have to look at a team’s performance with a certain types of player combos (post monster & good shooters, post monster & bad shooters, 5 fast-break guys & no post monster)… and that’s a huge challenge: a) coming up with a definition for the “type” of player; b) getting a big enough sample size (of minutes) to get a meaningful result.

    Ben’s theory is definitely conventional wisdom; it makes intuitive sense, and until pretty recently I would have agreed. But now, I don’t think it matters. The variety of other players on the floor essentially creates too much “noise” to impact one player’s level of performance — meaning I suspect Curry plays as well (or badly) no matter who else is on the court.

    In my untested hypotethesis, there is only one factor that really matters, in figuring out the best player combinations. That’s usage rate. You can divide players into two very rough categories: 1) players whose main value involves scoring in volume (at a relatively high efficiency), and 2) players whose main value lies in other things – defense, rebounding, passing and making a small number of high-percentage shots.
    Since there’s only one ball to go around — you basically need 2 high-volume scorers (or 3 pretty high-volume guys) with everyone else contributing in other areas. (or it could be spread more evenly, like Detroit).

    None of this is rocket science, or brand new, but if true you could ignore the “type” of scorer, and just focus on volume & efficiency. In other words, Curry (and the Knicks) would play just as well with Dwyane Wade (great slasher, mediocre jumper) as with Michael Redd (fantastic pure shooter).

    If Shaq is healthy, Phoenix will be a modest test of my hypothesis. If I’m right, their offense will be fantastic — they’re adding a high volume, high percentage scorer, and it doesn’t matter that he plays a different style. If everyone else’s game suffers (Nash, Stoudemire, Hill) — then it’s a strike against my idea.

    Of course their defense is antother thing…

  56. Caleb

    p.s. I agree, those Nuggets uniforms were probably the worst ever — rivaling the Houston Astros with a similar look plus the clear plastic star so you could see the guy’s rib cage.

    Toronto has also had some godawful uniforms.

    Does Indy still wear the pinstripes? Those are nice. I like the classic look, like the Lakers, or Cleveland’s whites.. and I like the look the Sonics or Hawks used to have – team name and player name on a banner going across the chest/back.

  57. Ess-dog

    The 80′s Hawks logo was rad- a classic. I like the Blazer logo too. I guess I prefer the flat graphic symbols…
    What about Crawford and Z-bo for Redd and Gadzuric?
    Alright, I’ve gotta stop.

  58. Ess-dog

    also,
    there’s no guarantee that the Grizzlies, Sonics, and Heat won’t pass us in the standings. If we focus on our sloppy play and get a little luck, we could get a top 3 pick.

  59. Caleb

    Luck has a lot to do with it — even the worst team only has a 1/4 chance at the #1 pick. Blazers only had the 6th worst record last year. I figure we could end up anywhere 1-8, realistically.

    That’s one reason I would never tank – it only changes your odds a little bit, it rubs off on players and their effort and most of all it’s just bad karma!

  60. Z

    “Thanks, Z… if I get the call, what do you want to do? Chief scout? Starting point guard? Head of the firing squad?”

    Just comp me some playoff tickets when the day finally comes…

  61. Caleb

    “I would like a job as “Head of Intern Relations” if it is available…”

    In the interest of full disclosure, unless we can trade Zach or Curry by the 21st, we might not be able to afford gas for the motor pool.

  62. ray

    Nobody was talking bad about Curry when he was scoring all those points last year. His defense has always been suspect. With Z-Bo coming to New York it has wrecked his confidence and rhythm. He not getting the ball like he used to. Its not like he still cant post people up he still can but he cant get into a good rhythm the way the Knicks are structured. I believe that Miami will begin to win now that Wade and Marion are together and this should help the Knicks with draft position. I say take Mayo. He will get better. We definitely need a true PG…enough of this Crawford running the point crap…it takes him too much time to figure out what he wants to do and then theres goes another 24. My worst fear is that Zeke trades Zach and we dont get quality in return. Expiring contracts or a quality pick or two. It all remains to be seen.

  63. John

    If you have to choose between Zach and Curry, you gotta take Zach. At least Zach can score from the inside and outside. You figure if you have to keep one, it’s Zach…and you get some people around him to play defense. So, I say Curry out….get a center who’s a shot blocking, rebounding fool. Then you bring in a PG to get him the ball along with a SF who can score and make up on the defensive end too (ARTEST).

    come on, we gotta get ARTEST.

  64. Ess-dog

    John, you’re like the anti-Jon Abbey… completely opposite approach.
    The question is: Which path will Isaiah take? Will he go for expiring contracts and draft picks, or more big-name-player trades?

  65. cwod

    “Nobody was talking bad about Curry when he was scoring all those points last year.”

    On this site, I remember people saying Curry was one of the worst starters in all of the NBA. His rebounding, defense, and turnovers were all atrocious, and his offense efficiency was basically the same as it had always been — he just stayed on the floor longer than in the past.

  66. Z

    “On this site, I remember people saying Curry was one of the worst starters in all of the NBA.”

    Go back through the archives. This time last year posters were blasting the whole “Curry should be an All Star” campaign.

    “If you have to choose between Zach and Curry, you gotta take Zach.”

    Why? We have no one else to play center, and there is no chance of getting someone who can play center on the near horizon. We already have a good PF backing up Randolph who is younger and better and 1/10 the price.

    “My worst fear is that Zeke trades Zach and we dont get quality in return.”

    You must sleep well at night.

  67. Z

    I haven’t been to MSG this year. For those who have dared step foot inside on game night, I am wondering: are there a lot of Zach Randolph jersey’s in the crowd? Would the marketing department even notice if he was gone next week?

    Just wondering if the city is as cool to him as I am. Whose jersey is worn to the game seems to be as good a benchmark as any by which to gauge popularity…

  68. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Randolph is definitely not that popular in MSG, Z.

    It’s all about Nate and Lee (plus leftover Marbury fans). I’m surprised at how few Balkman jerseys I see.

    Anyhow, I would like to trade Randolph before Curry, but either or is fine by me.

  69. John

    the problem with curry is that he’s regressed since he was scoring points last year. Instead, he looks uninspired and dazed on the court if he isn’t getting the ball. To compound that, he doesn’t play defense which makes him look worse!

    I think it’s a matter of attitude with him. Is he really a center? He doesn’t block shots, he doesn’t rebound and he doesn’t play defense….But he scores……..so my point is, he’s a one dimensional player on a team that features mostly (not all) one dimensional players….with an attitude that obviously isn’t winning over his team.

    The Knicks are screwed no matter what. Everyone in the league still thinks Zach is a criminal with a big contract therefore makes him almost untradeable. At least curry’s deal is slightly cheaper and on the right team and coach, he can thrive.

    Fire Isiah and then we’ll reconsider Curry.

  70. John

    the problem with curry is that he’s regressed since he was scoring points last year. Instead, he looks uninspired and dazed on the court if he isn’t getting the ball. To compound that, he doesn’t play defense which makes him look worse!

    I think it’s a matter of attitude with him. Is he really a center? He doesn’t block shots, he doesn’t rebound and he doesn’t play defense….But he scores……..so my point is, he’s a one dimensional player on a team that features mostly (not all) one dimensional players….with an attitude that obviously isn’t winning over his team.

    The Knicks are screwed no matter what. Everyone in the league still thinks Zach is a criminal with a big contract therefore makes him almost untradeable. At least curry’s deal is slightly cheaper and on the right team and coach, he can thrive.

    Fire Isiah and then we’ll reconsider Curry.

  71. Owen

    Curry’s numbers are remarkably bad right now. At least, his on court off court net is terrifyingly poor. Last year, he made the team worse both on offense and defense, 7.9 points worse net. This year, his defense differential alone gobbles that up, at 8.2, and his offensive number is -5.3.

    I never put too much stock in that raw number, but -13.6?

    The Knicks are actually net positive with him off the court, at +8 total points.

    I would be happy to see either of Zach or Curry gone, and I am completely sympathetic to anyone who prefers to keep Curry of the two. Zach is the better player, but we do need a center. That said, Muffins has been unbelievably bad this year. A look at his 82games page I think tells the story quite accurately. His impact on his own teams Efg is outweighed slightly by the increase in efg allowed. So his defense negates his offensive contribution. And he makes the team much worse in net turnovers (-6) and rebounding (-3.7%).

  72. jon abbey

    I do still think a real PG and a SF who was an actual shooting thread would help Curry get back to being the dominant force he can be on offense, but we don’t have either of those. I’d prefer to move Randolph also, such a poorly thought out move bringing him on, and not even getting one of the Portland kids to sweeten the deal.

  73. Caleb

    Interesting look at the numbers, Owen.

    A raw number that big seems meaningful, for sure. To get a sense of that scale, the Celtics are 9.9 points BETTER with Kevin Garnett on the floor. The Magic are 9.2 points better with Dwight Howard.

    But check this out… the Suns are 17.9 (!) points better with Steve Nash on the floor. With Stevie on the bench, they get outscored by more than 6 points per 100 possessions. (Marion was +11.1, btw).

    One thing about plus/minus: the quality of your backup makes a big difference, i.e. Marcus Banks sucks. Considering Curry’s backup, or lack of one, and his number is even more spectacularly bad.

    You also have to look at the player combos — adjusted plus/minus is supposed to do this, but in practice it’s limited because the sample sizes of particular combinations are so small.

    Here’s raw +/- for the Knicks (per 100 posessions) — swiped from 82games:
    Renaldo Balkman +9.7
    Jared Jeffries 8.8
    David Lee 6.9
    Nate Robinson 3.9
    Jamal Crawford 2.6
    Zach Randolph -2.0
    Fred Jones 2.1
    Q Richardson 4.0
    Stephon Marbury 5.7
    Eddy Curry 13.6

    http://www.82games.com/0708/0708NYK.HTM
    (click on the player name for more details)

    The Knicks actually outscore opponents when Balkman is on the court, and (as Owen points out) when Curry is off it.

    Two possibilities jump out. Is Curry’s number bad because Balkman (and Jeffries) tend to play when he’s on the bench? Or are their numbers good, for the same reason? Which is cause, and which effect?

    Balkman had great numbers last year, too… but the fact that Jeffries’ +/- is so spectacular, makes me think that Curry is the main factor here, that he really has been terrible, almost beyond comprehension.

    His offense really hasn’t suffered much compared to last year — TS down two points (to 58%), slight decrease in assists, but he’s also cut turnovers 20%. His rebounding is down about 10%… but the lack of another clear explanation suggests that his defense, always bad, has gone to new depths.

    But make no mistake, he was bad last year, too. Here’s raw +/- for last year’s Knicks:
    Lee +11.1
    Balkman 7.5
    Q 1.5
    Robinson 1.1
    Crawford -0.7
    Marbury 1.1
    Jeffries 1.4
    (Frye) 2.7
    Curry 7.9

    Based strictly on plus/minus, Curry and Q have been dramatically worse this season (and Marbury, while he was here). Lee has declined substantially, too, though still very good. Crawford and Nate have been better; Jeffries has shown a huge improvement. I may need to reevaluate my opinion – I still don’t think he’s a good player, but maybe he’s not truly awful.

    These are comparative numbers; the pluses balance the minuses. A plus doesn’t suggest the guy is a great player; just suggests that he’s better than the others on his team.

  74. Caleb

    Me, stealing material from ESPN’s Chris Sheridan:

    “Another source told ESPN.com that the New York Knicks made overtures recently indicating they were willing to trade centers Eddy Curry and Jerome James for Artest and Thomas, but the Kings were balking at taking on the remaining two years and $12.8 million owed to James.

    “The whole point of trying to package Artest with Thomas (due $7.9 million next season and $8.6 million in 2009-10) is to clear cap space. The Kings don’t want another guy (James) clogging their cap for two more years,” the source said.”

    If true, at least this shows that IT’s heart is in the right place…

  75. Caleb

    From that same article:
    “Memphis also is fielding offers for Mike Miller but is trying to include little-used, heavily compensated forward Brian Cardinal (two years remaining at $6.3M and $6.75M) in any deal.”

    Would you trade Rose for Lowry & Cardinal? Would Memphis take that deal? Would you throw in Wilson Chandler, if it came down to it?

  76. John

    We haven’t seen enough of chandler and morris to consider them in a trade.

    All we need to do with Artest is wait for the offseason. It is impossible to make a trade now with IT running the table. Let’s just wait for his replacement to come in and do the right thing (we hope).

    Any trade that comes across Dolan’s desk should only be for freeing up cap space. But does Dolan think the Knicks are still in it and let’s IT do something that damages our future more?

  77. Caleb

    I dunno, we haven’t seen any less of Chandler than we did a year ago when we picked him. I’d rather have Lowry. I like him – probably would be the instant starter

    That said… I don’t know that I’d include Chandler. Memphis is desperate to dump salary, so paying Cardinal for a year might be enough. I’m sure they’ll wait to see if anyone offers better for Lowry. (We could offer a little more, like the 2009 2nd rounder).

    And Curry for an essentially expiring contract (Artest)? What’s not to like?

  78. Nick

    Do you guys really think the Knicks should be targeting anyone over the age of 28 or realistically 25, cap issues aside? I cannot believe anyone would seriously consider ben Wallace or Ron-Ron. 2 years ago years, now, no chance in the world. We’ve had five years, and some would argue more, of taking in other teams mistakes, malcontents and misanthropes. If we are going to be a “young team” and see Balkman, Lee and Nate as the future then stick with it.

  79. Caleb

    Nick, I don’t know that I would keep Artest when his deal runs out this year or next, but we get to dump Curry’s long-term deal.
    we get to dump Curry’s long-term deal.
    we get to dump Curry’s long-term deal.
    we get to dump Curry’s long-term deal.
    we get to dump Curry’s long-term deal.

  80. Caleb

    Same idea with Wallace – the only reason to take him is either a) for Curry or Randolph, whose contracts are longer – it would be a step towards cap flexibility in 2010 rather than 2011…. or b) it’s the price you pay to get a young asset in the deal. (and not a crippling price, because he still comes off the books in 2010)

  81. Caleb

    If we do nothing at all (not necessarily at this trade deadline, but before the 2010 trade deadline) then we are toast, at least until the summer of 2011.

  82. Nick

    I can agree with that. We are disposing of our ounpalatable garbage for “garbage” that we won’t be stuck with as long and that may be of some short term use, which the current crop is most assuredly not.

  83. Thomas B.

    I’m new to the site so I don’t know what people siad about Curry last year, but I know I was not happy with his 7 rebounds per game and horrid interior defense. It’s not like he lead the team to a 55 win season last year. The team won 33 games, missed the “playoofs”, and was one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. Curry could not make the all-star team in a conference with only two centers, himself included.

    I seriously doubt that regulars on this site were singing the praises of Eddy Curry as his defense and rebounding (our main gripes) were just as lacking last year as they are this year.

  84. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I do still think a real PG and a SF who was an actual shooting thread would help Curry get back to being the dominant force he can be on offense”

    I don’t think Eddy Curry was ever a “dominant force” on offense. A dominant force is someone like Bulls-era Michael Jordan. pre-Miami Shaq. MVP Steve Nash. With Eddy Curry, the game plan is simple: flop a few times because he’s going to run you over and double (and triple) team him because he’s not going to pass. They don’t work every time, but if you had to beat Eddy Curry in a 7 game series, that’ll do.

    Sure every player has their weakness, but Curry’s is so crippling to him, so damaging to his team, and so easy to do. For Eddy to become a force on offense, he’s gotta learn to pass out of those double teams. And I think that’s something that comes from within, not by surrounding him with different teammates.

  85. Thomas B.

    ESPNsider (free preview) reports:

    “Another source told ESPN.com that the New York Knicks made overtures recently indicating they were willing to trade centers Eddy Curry and Jerome James for Artest and Thomas, but the Kings were balking at taking on the remaining two years and $12.8 million owed to James.”

    Of course they don’t want James, who would? But that trade should still work if put Rose there in place of James. I don’t know much about Kenny Thomas. Is he any good?

  86. jon abbey

    ” don’t think Eddy Curry was ever a “dominant force” on offense. A dominant force is someone like Bulls-era Michael Jordan. pre-Miami Shaq. MVP Steve Nash. With Eddy Curry, the game plan is simple: flop a few times because he’s going to run you over and double (and triple) team him because he’s not going to pass. They don’t work every time, but if you had to beat Eddy Curry in a 7 game series, that’ll do.”

    he led the league in points in the paint last year by a pretty good margin, and almost no one could stop him one on one. at different times, he abused Ben Wallace, Dalembert, Howard, Okafor, etc, for full games. the flopping on D thing didn’t work last year against him almost at all, he got more respect from the refs. I really really really don’t want to go back to defending him, but these are facts.

  87. ess-dog

    “I don’t know much about Kenny Thomas. Is he any good?”

    Good enough to sit at the end of our bench! The only problem is, Rose is our best center. Maybe they would want Jeffries? I would take Artest for the sole fact that you could drop him at the end of the year. And you could get rid of Curry and Jeffries contracts? Sign me up.

  88. Thomas B.

    Eddy Curry has routinely been stopped one on one by the smallest and oldest people on the court, the refs.

    “Traveling number 34.”

    “Offensive foul number 34.”

    “Out of bounds off number 34.”

    Eddy had a good offensive year in 2006/07 but I would not call him dominant. I call what he did last season a hot streak. The kind of play that you often see from a person during his contract year. He has not done it before and he sure aint doing it this year. Sure, he abused Ben Wallace and that isn’t something that you see to often, assuming you have not watched Wallace play in the last 18 months.

  89. Thomas B.

    Oh, and 19.6 ppg isnt exactly and indicator of offensive dominance. Last year was the first time Shaq, a truly dominant player, scored fewer than 20 ppg. In Shaq’s prime, you could count on 27-30 ppg. That is dominating the paint.

    I’m not saying Eddy was a bum on offense last year. He had a nice season scoring the ball. But he would need to drop at least 25 per game (something he might have done if he could hit 75% of his fts) to make up for the poor rebounding and defense.

  90. jon abbey

    I’m not defending any aspect of his play this season. I’m not defending his overall play last season, he’s obviously a dreadful defender/rebounder/passer and always has been. I’m merely defending his scoring ability last season, in which he led the league in points in the paint (I can’t find the leader list online), and saying that I’d be curious to see him with a real PG (something he’s never had in NY) and a good shooting SF (something he’s never had in NY).

    I hate him now and really don’t want to defend him, but he does have one skill he’s superb at, in the top handful in the league, which is scoring against one on one defense in the post.

  91. dave crockett

    Yeah, I gotta back Jon on this one. I think it’s hair-splitting a bit to deny Curry’s “dominance” in the way Jon used it. Curry’s career TS% (.582) is 3rd among actives, according to basketball-reference.com, and he’s finished in the top 10 three times. If the essence of offense is efficient scoring then the list of guys better at it than Curry is pretty short.

    I don’t think “dominant” is the problem word here. I might change “dominant force” to “dominant scorer” though. Curry can score on anyone, notwithstanding offensive fouls, poor conditioning, etc. What makes Curry so vexing is that the deficiencies in the non-shooting areas of his offense alone can completely offset his efficient scoring (and then some). That does make him a totally different animal than other players we routinely think of as dominant. (But I don’t think any regular on this blog would deny that, especially not Jon.)

  92. dave crockett

    As an aside, I always felt like the team that could use Curry to greatest effect is Dallas. Cuban would never acquire Curry because Avery Johnson might just kill him right there on the court for his incessant loafing–not to mention he’d be pretty pricey for a sixth man. Still, the one thing Curry does well is precisely what Dallas lacks–low post scoring. In so many matchups the opposing center doesn’t even have to defend Dampier and Diop.

    He’d be a nice matchup card for them to be able to play given that they don’t need him to be good.

  93. Caleb

    I’ve had that thought about Dallas, too… for Randolph, even.

    I don’t think there’s a way to make the salaries work, though, unless we take back Dampier… and that contract runs through 2012, I think, by which time Damp will be about 50.

  94. Owen

    With Curry last year, you can’t ignore the fact that he averaged 4 turnovers per game. That is a big number for someone who didn’t average an assist a game. Yes, Dwight Howard have even more, but he averaged 4-5 rebounds a game more.

    If you ignore turnovers, Curry is a good scorer, but when you consider that he is going to cost you a 2 possessions more than the average center, it really reduces his impact. How dominant can you be as an offensive force if you don’t even have a positive offensive +/-, as Curry failed to achieve last year?

    Jon, sorry about the Cristal, I was hoping we could pop it together….

  95. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Dave – good distinction.

    I would agree with Jon that a good penetrating/distributing PG would help Curry immensely. The way to beat Curry (double teaming) means you can’t give him the ball and center the offense around him. After a few attempts, defenses just collapse around him, and the jig is up.

    A PG that can control the ball, break down the defense, draw a double team, and get the ball to Eddy would be ideal for Curry. But also when working on the post Eddy might be willing to give the ball immediately back (the one passing skill he does have) for a reset which would help his post game and keep defenses honest.

    I guess my problem with what Jon said is about the SF. I’m not sure what a SF would do since typically a good shooting SF would help defenses pay for their double team. But Eddy doesn’t have this skill, and I don’t think it’s due to a lack of personnel. He’s like a wind-up doll. Give him the ball, turn the key, and watch him shoot. The ball just isn’t coming back out. It’s a skill I wish he had, because he sees so many double teams.

  96. jon abbey

    I agree about that, I guess I just think maybe he wouldn’t see so many double teams in the first place.

    but clearly the PG is paramount, that’s one thing I’ve been consistent on here since at least this preseason.

    yep, too bad, Owen, but it was a kind offer…

  97. jon abbey

    again, not to defend Curry and not to rehash last year’s stats too much, but I think stats like turnovers are very flawed. I think with better personnel around him, Curry’s turnovers would magically go down (at least somewhat) also.

    on a related note, with all of the people studying and analyzing NBA stats, does anyone ever look at both the games and the official play by plays and try to figure out just how much is wrong? last night, I was posting elsewhere about GS’s miraculous comeback which was pretty much a one man Stephen Jackson show, when I noticed that the crucial steal he made at halfcourt with a minute to go (he tipped it away to Baron) was credited to Baron. with something like turnovers that quite often involves multiple players, I’m sure this happens all the time (I also think turnovers should be allowed to be split up between multiple players, like sacks.) anyway, pretty much my only exposure to the sabermetric hoops world is here, so I wonder if this has been investigated at all.

  98. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    jon, I just read your comment and I’m shocked you’re posting elsewhere. I feel a little jilted. :-D

    Yes steals have been studied. Kevin Broom who writes in many places, specializes in studiying the Wizards’ defensively. He’s shown that scorekeepers don’t accurately track steals properly. I don’t think I have a link to any of his articles on it, but I’ll try to find one.

  99. Frank O.

    The Bricks would have to make the curry/artest trade.
    Take smith back, and give up malik.

    In the end, the bricks could let artest walk and then they are down three contracts: artest, curry and malik.

    That is win-win

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