Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Knicks Beat Miami (Did I Just Say That?)

New York defeated the Miami Heat in South Beach, 91-86. Of course D’Antoni’s Knicks did it with defense. I can’t believe I just wrote those two sentences.

The Heat were held to only 47.3% eFG, and had 20 team turnovers which gave New York the victory. The Knicks gave up the shooting edge (NYK: 43.8% eFG), but took three of the other four factors, including turnovers (16 to 20), rebounding (8 of 44 to 6 of 41 offensive rebounds), and free throws (21 to 16 free throws made).

Carmelo Anthony led the team in scoring with 29 points on 22 shots (ts% 55.9%) while Amar’e Stoudemire was held to only 16 points on 14 shots and zero free throw attempts. Miami’s defense’s scheme was clear – keep Amar’e out of the paint. The Heat packed the middle daring New York to beat them from the outside. On the other hand the Knicks shut down Dwayne Wade, holding him to a mere 12 points on 15(!) shots. Have to give credit to Anthony Carter who played really well on defense against Wade.

Some notes:

* Did you miss the game? Check out KnicksNow’s video recap of the game.

* ESPN goes over the Knicks win:

Anthony finished with a game-high 29 points and 9 rebounds. Eleven of Anthony’s 29 points came on isolation plays. He trails only Kobe Bryant for the most points off isolation plays this season…

While Anthony’s offense certainly kept the Knicks in the game, it was his defensive presence that may have put the game away. Anthony was asked to guard LeBron James in the fourth quarter, and the defensive switch paid off for the Knicks. James was 1-for-4 when Anthony was the on-ball defender during the final five minutes of the game, including on Miami’s final two field goal attempts.

Anthony wasn’t the only Knick to lock down on defense. New York held Miami under 40 percent shooting in the half court over the final three quarters. For some perspective, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks shot a combined 46 percent in the half court during the Knicks previous two games.

* Could Azubuike finally see some court time?

* Posting & Toasting on Bill Walker’s (+22 last night!) game:

In a game in which the long-haired bruhs (Ronny Turiaf and Renaldo Balkman*) had very little effect, Bill Walker was king of the bench. That bank job just before halftime was one of two big threes he hit, the other being an equally deep one to mess with the Miami momentum in the fourth quarter. Bully also had some nice sequences defending LeBron (and Wade as well), and pulled down 7 boards in 25 minutes.

* Buried in Alan Hahn’s “Denver forced Chauncey Billups on New York” article are these juicy tidbits:

This early success – save for the embarrassing loss in Cleveland – might help the Knicks become a more attractive destination for some of this year’s buyout class. Troy Murphy, who is expected to have a buyout agreement done with Golden State, would be a terrific fit as a stretch 5 because of his ability to shoot the three, plus he is an excellent rebounder. Murphy may be leaning more to the Celtics for a better shot at a ring, but the Knicks are on his list. Another big the Knicks have under consideration is Leon Powe, who could give them some hustle and muscle in the paint, though not much size. One seven-footer, Joel Przybilla, appears to be off the potential market as the Bobcats appear to be keeping him for the rest of the season as they battle for a playoff spot.

The Knicks could use another three-point shooter and Rasual Butler will be available once he clears waivers. In limited minutes with the Clippers this season, Butler was shooting 32.6 percent from downtown. He is a career 36.1 percent shooter from three-point range.

One addition we know the Knicks will make for their next game is 6-11 Jared Jeffries, who will sign on Tuesday once he clears waivers. He’ll be eligible to play against the Magic on Tuesday night in Orlando.

* Someone could use a basic course in statistics. Ugh!

154 comments on “Knicks Beat Miami (Did I Just Say That?)

  1. Thomas B.

    I remarked to my lovely wife during the second quarter that Miami looked like they were more interested in entertaining than playing good half-court ball on offense. “It’s all alley-oops and three pointers. If they keep playing sloppy and we just play neat, we could sneak back in this one.” Sure enough, the Heat half court offense looked very bad while the Knicks just slowly chipped away. The one thing that did work was ball movement that ended with a Bosh jumper. Other than that they seemed to only take advantage on the fast breaks.

    I’m not sure if it was good defense by NYC or just bad offense from Miami, but I am rather pleased to have out rebound that team by 1. We got meaningful play from the bench and that was by far the most important factor–other then Billups–in the win. Everyone did something to help.

    Observations:
    Where did Landry Fields go in the fourth?
    Anthony “Pick up game” Carter is getting more burn than RMJ, can we just cut him already?
    Gotta love any player who uses “I was just laying in the cut” in the post game interview. I understand why my friends who like the Pistons really hated trading Billups away.
    Thank God Miami has so little post scoring.
    I just bet Billy Walker called “Glass.”

  2. Kevin McElroy

    Thomas B.:
    Where did Landry Fields go in the fourth?
      

    Where did Landry Fields go all week? He got so many high percentage looks off of 1) extended ball movement ending in a catch and shoot 3 or 2) hard cuts to the basket where felton or Gallo found him for a layup. Slightly concerned that this makes him a terrible match with ‘Melo. But it’s a crazy small sample and I’m not to worried yet.

  3. Nick C.

    Didn’t Miami lose to us last time, in part, because of an ugly offense of failed ISOs particularly by LeBrick? I don’t watch them enough but is that their usual M.O.?

  4. DS

    Thomas B.: I’m not sure if it was good defense by NYC or just bad offense from Miami, but I am rather pleased to have out rebound that team by 1. We got meaningful play from the bench and that was by far the most important factor–other then Billups–in the win. Everyone did something to help.

    Tweets Howard Beck: “Knicks have won 4 games in D’Antoni era where they shot less than 40 %. 2 of the 4 have come against MIA this season.”
    http://twitter.com/HowardBeckNYT/statuses/42077392629538816

    That doesn’t answer your question, it’s just surprising. I think the Heat’s problem is that they haven’t found a way to punish defenses for collapsing on LeBron and Wade. Chalmers, Miller, and Bosh are certainly capable of that but it hasn’t clicked yet against the Knicks for whatever reason.

  5. Caleb

    I think my house is right in Anthony Carter’s old stomping grounds – the neighborhood is a little nicer now. Actually I’ve heard his home court was Kirkwood Park, and I’ve also heard it was East Lake Park, across from the old East Lake Homes (now part of a famous golf course redevelopment).

    Any Atlantans know the real deal?

  6. Eazy B

    Of course it’s early to draw many conclusions, but Melo and especially Amare appear so willing to put the necessary effort to emphasize certain aspects of their game in order to better complement each other. The two-man game between them will be so deadly with shooters on the perimeter…Melo’s shot off the screen is so deadly, even with it being so predictable at this juncture. If he puts in the effort into taking what the defense gives him, the sky’s the limit.

    I also would like to point out that having Melo employs us to have a lineup that includes Carter, Douglas, Balkman, Turiaf. It makes me queasy to see it written out and I can’t imagine D’Antoni running that much, but an interesting experiment nonetheless. Didn’t look as horrible as you might think.

  7. latke

    HoyaSaxa33: When is HoolaHoop gonna get on and start talking about how terrible Melo’s defense is?  (Quote)

    I make a practice of asking my dog mathematical questions when she is barking, hoping that ishe will bark the right number of times to get the answer right. Once, I asked her what three plus seven was, and she barked exactly ten more times. Does that prove that she understands arithmetic?

    In other words, ‘Melo hasn’t proven jack.

  8. Kevin McElroy

    Regarding Melo’s D (which looked atrocious in game 1, uneven in game 2, above average last night), let’s just agree that the whole sample matters and not change our minds on whether he’s awesome or terrible based simply on how he looked in the last game. Defense is about getting consistent stops over long periods of time and one game doesn’t make you great at it. But one game can’t make you terrible either.

  9. rohank

    I want to point out something interesting I realized recently. An article I read that talked about the “best teams in the NBA being the celts, lakers, and spurs bc they have NBA Finals MVPs”

    Well, of all the Finals MVPs the league has had, seven are currently active, and I’ll list the teams here:

    Spurs (2): Duncan, Parker
    Celtics (2): Pierce, Oneal
    Lakers (1): Bryant
    Heat (1): Wade
    Knicks (1): Billups

    Just sayin’…

  10. Frank O.

    I kind of think I-told-you-sos are a bit superfluous three games into an experiment.
    One thing is clear: Both Amare and Melo came to NY and all its challenges to prove something. Last night they seemed the mentally tougher for it.
    I admire Melo for taking this on and trying to deliver. He’s spoken a lot about defense since arriving. We’ll see if he delivers. Last night was a first great step, volunteering to take on the most dominant players in the NBA in a generation.
    One thing is clear: this team won’t lack for confident play down the stretch of tough games. Amare, Carmelo and Billups are some of the most confident players I have seen assembled on one team. Now they need to continue feeling confidence in each other and the important role players on the Knicks, the latter being key.

    On Fields, it appears to me right now he’s trying to do a bit too much on his own, trying to assert a place among the stars. Some of his drives, while he was effective getting to the hoop, were very tough to finish. He needs to get back to doing what he has always done: hitting the boards, letting opportunities come to him, and, honestly, spotting up for 3s. He’s been uncannily effective from that range.
    With this team more than the last, he will need to live off the land.
    And this probably is an opportunity for him to work on his defensive game.

  11. Frank O.

    TheRant: If you look at the body language in this video, it says it all:http://www.sun-sentinel.com/videobeta/f5ee5954-9c76-493b-a7a7-413e241c3db5/Sports/LeBron-James-Dwyane-Wade-talk-about-the-loss-to-the-KnicksIf, like me, you are a lifelong Knicks fan and think Miami to be the bastion of all evil in the modern universe, you can just turn the sound off and relish this one again and again.  

    Seriously…what was Lebron doing their smoothing his hair like that over and over? If he had a blanket, he might have pulled it over his head.
    On another note, what absolute physical freaks. I mean, both those guys have muscularity that is crazy…These are basketball players built like linebackers or runningbacks in the NFL.
    I remember Karl Malone and Anthony Mason being freakish like that, but they simply weren’t as fast or as athletic.

  12. DS

    Murphy was finally cut loose and I’m hearing nothing about the Knicks going after him. I can’t believe that considering he’s a former Pacer (which usually draws Donnie), a big, and a shooter.

  13. endyendy

    I think Melo has shown he can play defense, both last night and in the past in Denver. Great defensive players have instinctual advantages, for lack of a better term, but any athletic NBA player can play good defense. It comes down to effort, moving your feet, and staying in front of your man and there’s no reason Melo cannot be a part of a good team defense (same with Stoudemire). With their offensive prowess, and under the assumption D’Antoni will work his magic and keep the ball moving, a defense that is closer to average than below average would be sufficient to get this team somewhere, I imagine. They aren’t going to become the Celtics on that end, but they don’t need to.

    It was only one game, and we don’t know if they’ll be as pumped as they were last night on a regular basis, but if the team is committed to good defense it can be done.

    Also, were Lebron and Wade looking at a prompter or what? Both were very interested in the center of that table.

  14. JK47

    Is it possible that the Cavs game and the Heat game represent watershed moments for this team? The lessons learned therein are simple: play bad defense and even the worst team in the league can embarrass you, but play good defense and you can beat anybody.

    You have to figure D’Antoni had a chat with Melo and Amar’e and said something along the lines of “I’m sick of hearing that I don’t coach defense and that you guys don’t play defense. Let’s grab these MFers by the throat and get some stops.”

    Really, with Melo, his defense is a question of priorities and attitude. He has good size for a wing, lateral quickness, good reflexes… He has all the physical qualities you need to be a good position defender, and he rebounds well for a wing. He guarded LeBron a lot last night and it’s not like LeBron was blowing past him.

    Another note: The Heat are not a very good rebounding team– they’re 23rd in offensive boards and 11th in defensive boards. The Knicks routinely get murdered by opposition offensive rebounds but we held them to only 6 last night. They better hope they don’t draw the Bulls in the playoffs, because the fully healthy Bulls team will decimate Miami on the boards.

    I think Miami is a cautionary example of the folly of the “three stars” concept. I think the Knicks should forget about the Chris Paul and Deron Williams business and concentrate on building a team that is deep and well rounded. The Heat have a gaping hole at center and their bench is pretty pathetic. Joel Anthony is terrible, the triumvirate of Jones, House and Miller are redundant and their mummified, over-35 vets give them nada. Maybe the Heat put it together and win some titles, but maybe they’d have been better off spending the Bosh money on better role players.

  15. dsulz

    latke: In other words, ‘Melo hasn’t proven jack.

    Definitely true. But I liked Anothony’s hustle down the stretch on D (even if he did foul Lebron on that Amare block and get faked on the 3pt miss at the end). I liked that he ASKED to guard Lebron. If Anthony fails, I don’t think it will b because he’s hardheaded. The guy seems to really be trying to lead on both ends of the court. We can only hope that continues.

  16. jon abbey

    what Melo has proven is that he’s one of the very few SFs in the league who has any chance of matching up with LeBron in any way, and that’s huge with Miami looming as a title contender for the foreseeable future.

  17. Caleb

    Frank O.:
    Seriously…what was Lebron doing their smoothing his hair like that over and over? If he had a blanket, he might have pulled it over his head.
    On another note, what absolute physical freaks. I mean, both those guys have muscularity that is crazy…These are basketball players built like linebackers or runningbacks in the NFL.
    I remember Karl Malone and Anthony Mason being freakish like that, but they simply weren’t as fast or as athletic.  

    wtf is LeBron wearing?

  18. Caleb

    Can I point out – the knicks beat Miami in a similar game not long ago, with the old roster?

    And lost to Cleveland with the old roster, too?

    Not sure I buy that these last two are real “statement” games one way or the other.

  19. Kevin McElroy

    Caleb,

    Been thinking the same thing. We played 3 very similar close games against them (going 2-1) and got hammered in a 4th. 2 of the first 3 with the old roster. Last night was a great night but (like the Cavs game) proved nothing one way or the other.

  20. Caleb

    @20 You know, this is something.. Wilson Chandler is a better defender than Carmelo, and Anthony Randolph will probably end up a lot better (on D), but the refs aren’t going to let them brutalize LeBron in the playoffs, like they will with Carmelo.

    it’s ridiculous that ref favoritism to superstars is such an open secret that we take this stuff for granted.

  21. Kevin McElroy

    I know everyone loves to rag on LeBron but he had a not-terribly-inefficient 27-7-5 last night. Wade was awful and doesn’t seem to be getting a ton of blame in the national media.

    It always strikes me as funny when writers say that a certain player is “overrated” or “an attention hog”…and then those same writers pay all of THEIR attention to that player.

  22. jon abbey

    Caleb: Can I point out – the knicks beat Miami in a similar game not long ago, with the old roster?
    And lost to Cleveland with the old roster, too?
    Not sure I buy that these last two are real “statement” games one way or the other.  

    Bosh missed the prior game, and Wade was hurting also, plus it was in NY. I don’t know if it’s a statement game or not, but Melo is obviously one of the few guys in the league who can get into LeBron’s head a bit.

  23. jaylamerique

    Kevin McElroy: I know everyone loves to rag on LeBron but he had a not-terribly-inefficient 27-7-5 last night.Wade was awful and doesn’t seem to be getting a ton of blame in the national media.It always strikes me as funny when writers say that a certain player is “overrated” or “an attention hog”…and then those same writers pay all of THEIR attention to that player.  

    I know it sounds weird to say but i really hope Lebron wins a championship. I just want all the kobe vs Lebron debates to end. The guy is really one of the top ten players ever. The media gets on him for not working hard on his game sometimes but i remember when he wasn’t a good defender but now when you see him play its a different story.

  24. JK47

    @22

    The Heat didn’t have Bosh in that January 27 game, and the game was at MSG, not in Miami where the Heat were 22-5 before last night’s game. Last night’s win was a more impressive win.

    Still, it’s only one game. Let’s see if these dudes can stay motivated and build on this excellent performance. Orlando brutalized us on the glass last time we played and we have three more games remaining against them, so we’re going to need to figure out a way to neutralize their superior rebounding.

  25. JK47

    @27

    I really hope LeBron never wins a championship ever. Am I bitter that he didn’t come here? Yes. Yes I am. He didn’t want the pressure and he wanted to go somewhere where he thought it’d be easier to win. If he ends up never winning a ring because he took what he thought was the easiest route possible, that would be poetic and fitting.

  26. Count de Pennies

    Caleb: @20 You know, this is something.. Wilson Chandler is a better defender than Carmelo, and Anthony Randolph will probably end up a lot better (on D), but the refs aren’t going to let them brutalize LeBron in the playoffs, like they will with Carmelo.
    it’s ridiculous that ref favoritism to superstars is such an open secret that we take this stuff for granted.  

    100% correct.

    Conversely, the refs also figure to send Melo to the line on foul calls that Gallo or Chandler would never get in a million years.

    Along similar lines, it also appeared last night as if LeBron & Co. now regard the Knicks with a new-found respect. In Miami’s earlier games this season against the likes of Gallo, Chandler and Felton (even in the game they lost) the Heat stars oozed contempt for the young upstarts. There was no fear whatsoever; psychologically, they believed they could rise up and beat down those punks at any time. But last night, in the game’s waning moments, with Chauncey raining down 3s and Melo taking it to LeBron on D, I did not detect that same swagger from the Heat. No, for the first time I saw a real sense of concern. They now understand that the guys in the other jerseys are also superstars who may not only come up big in crunch time but may also get the same kinda love from the officials that the Heat stars usually enjoy.

    Maybe someday the NBA’s marketing people, the refs, and the league’s other stars will get hip to the advanced statistics that conclusively demonstrate that Melo is not a superstar. But until that day arrives, we Knick fans may as well enjoy the benefits that the league now exclusively reserves for its superstar talent.

  27. TDM

    @27 – “I know it sounds weird to say but i really hope Lebron wins a championship. I just want all the kobe vs Lebron debates to end.”

    First, in order for LBJ to be in the conversation, he needs to win rings, not A ring. Second, the last two Heat games that I watched featured last second threes by LeBoner than went KLANK. Kobe don’t Klank.

    Third, I agree with JK47. I’d gladly have Boston win the next 10 years in a row than have the Heat win one.

  28. Ben R

    That was a great win. If Melo and Amare can fully commit to defense like they did for stretches in the 2nd half last night the Knicks could be dangerous. The problem is defense is a discipline and you cannot simply turn it off and on. If you truly want to be an effective defender you have to bring it every night, whether your playing the Heat or the Cavs, whether your tired or rested, etc. Otherwise it won’t be there when you really need it, hustle has to be instinctive.

    I’ve been thinking about this team and I think we need to take a page out of the Iverson Philly teams. If we try to go all ball movement and beautiful offense with 5 offensive threats to score from anywhere on the court we might as well have Gallo back instead of Melo and Lee instead of Amare.

    Like or not what seperates Melo from Gallo and Chandler is not his ability to score within an offense but to score from outside that offense. So I say let’s forget about offense and just surround our “superstars” with gritty defensive minded players. Balkman, Douglas, Sheldon Williams, Brewer, etc.

    Let Melo, Billups and Amare play offense and have every other player in the rotation be there for defense. If they can bring something offensively like Douglas or Azu that’s just gravy.

    I would rather have a beautiul team oriented offense with ball movement and getting good shots being the focus but with Amare and Melo making 20 mil+ it is a waste. There are a lot of SFs that can score, more effectively than Melo on open shots, but no one short of LeBron can score when double or triple teamed as well. So let’s use their skills for all their worth and just let Melo and Amare do their thing, while everyone else defendes and rebounds

  29. jon abbey

    Ben R: So I say let’s forget about offense and just surround our “superstars” with gritty defensive minded players. Balkman, Douglas, Sheldon Williams, Brewer, etc.Let Melo, Billups and Amare play offense and have every other player in the rotation be there for defense. If they can bring something offensively like Douglas or Azu that’s just gravy.  

    I was thinking this also last night, and it seems like D’Antoni is too, hence Balkman actually getting in there two games in a row.

  30. Caleb

    @33 That has to basically be the strategy, because when those guys dont have the ball they are average at best.

    In the meantime – I am not drawing conclusions after 3 games but MDA and Billups have to figure out how to get more shots for Stoudemire.

  31. jaylamerique

    TDM: @27 – “I know it sounds weird to say but i really hope Lebron wins a championship. I just want all the kobe vs Lebron debates to end.”First, in order for LBJ to be in the conversation, he needs to win rings, not A ring.Second, the last two Heat games that I watched featured last second threes by LeBoner than went KLANK.Kobe don’t Klank.Third, I agree with JK47.I’d gladly have Boston win the next 10 years in a row than have the Heat win one.  

    Kobe’s went klank yesterday against OKC and there was just a piece on espn about this very subject. I am sure if Lebron played with a player of Gasol’s or Oneal’s talents, he’d have rings by now. i mean to be honest, he’s probably the best sf to ever play the game already and he hasn’t even won anything yet

  32. Matt Smith

    I wouldn’t use this game as a prime example of Melo’s defensive mindset for his future tenure on the Knicks. A buddy of mine who is a lifelong Nuggets fan said he really only cares in big games (ie: against marquee player like LBJ or in the playoffs). He’s got the ability but not necessarily the attitude, apparently.

    I’m hopeful just being on the Knicks will change that, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

  33. Frank

    Caleb: @33 That has to basically be the strategy, because when those guys dont have the ball they are average at best.
    In the meantime – I am not drawing conclusions after 3 games but MDA and Billups have to figure out how to get more shots for Stoudemire.  

    True – but if Amare average 16 and 12 with 2-3 blocks/game and plays tough D like he did last night, I’d definitely take that over 26 and 8 and no D.

    Some of us thought this might happen, but it definitely looks like Amare is playing with more aggression on D since Melo and Billups came – he knows that if he has to sit with foul trouble, the offense won’t fall apart.

    @37 – seems true – naturally we’d all want someone who gives 110% at the defensive end 82 games + playoffs every year, but I’d rather have a guy who CAN turn it on in big games than a guy who sucks on D despite going all out every game.

    And while Melo may not have a great defensive basketball IQ, he is an absolute handful for a defender — not many guys can score one-on-one against Lebron with relative ease. In addition – so much of Miami’s defense is based on Wade and Lebron’s ability to help AND get back to their man — when we have 3 guys who are superior offensive players, I think it is harder to do that.

  34. Jim Cavan

    Caleb: In the meantime – I am not drawing conclusions after 3 games but MDA and Billups have to figure out how to get more shots for Stoudemire.

    I feel like the shot distribution we’ve seen thus far might be the M.O. going forward. As great as Amare is, Melo has a much more well-rounded offensive game, and can score from basically anywhere on anyone (albeit less efficiently). I see Stat solidifying the the spiritual / emotional / vocal leadership roll, while Melo will more often than not be the go-to guy / gunner / crunch time weapon. And I honestly don’t think Stat will pitch a fit. He’ll obviously have his games where he’s putting up 20-25 shots, but I think it will largely depend on the matchup and, if all else is a wash, it’s gonna be Melo handling more of the load going forward.

  35. Kevin McElroy

    Jim C,

    The players in question are (stylistically) quite different but in terms of usage on offense I think the closest recent comparison could be the McGrady/Yao pairing.

  36. Caleb

    @38-39 If Stoudemire EVER averages 10 rebounds a game I will eat my Anthony Mason jersey.

    He’s a fine vocal leader, and an ok help defender, but if he’s not getting the ball and shooting a LOT you’re wasting his talents.

    Stoudemire is up there with Charles Barkley as the best offensive power forward ever. Even as a very high-volume scorer, he’s been in the 61-65 TS% range, up to this year. It is a mistake to reduce his touches (at least, to reduce them more than a little) to get more shots for Carmelo.

    Unfortunately that’s what’s happened in the first 3 games.

  37. Caleb

    I’ll add, you don’t want to be scoring “from anywhere.” You want to be scoring inside (where Stoudemire is almost unstoppable, and Anthony awfully good) or from outside the 3-point line. It’s all those “from anywhere” shots that drive people insane about Anthony. Who even so is a terrific offensive player, but not as good as the other guy.

  38. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Amar’e is the much better offensive player. Anthony’s one advantage is that he can get a shot off at the end of the game, but they’re never high percentage shots (although Anthony hits the low percentage shots at the end of the game better than anybody else – which still means less than 50%).

    Amar’e should be option 1 on the team. But understandably, it will take some time for Melo to adjust to that fact. He is going to take a decent chunk of time before he gets that while they should both roughly be shooting about the same amount of shots (like KG and Pierce), Amar’e should be the first option.

  39. Frank O.

    JK47: .Maybe the Heat put it together and win some titles, but maybe they’d have been better off spending the Bosh money on better role players.  

    Don’t be surprised if the Heat don’t dangle Bosh in a trade for a point guard. Right now, they look like a whole bunch of indians, big, talented indians, but with no chief.
    Say what you will about Walsh, but he sure knows how to construct a roster, or maybe he just got lucky, since Billups appears to be have been forced on him. He’s got some good defensive players on the bench, some strong to decent role players and a point guard with a portfolio that the stars must respect.
    I’ll keep saying this: Billups may be the difference maker when the Knicks play teams like the Bulls, Magic, Atlanta, the Heat and the Celts.
    He knows how to run a team.

  40. latke

    Ben R: Let Melo, Billups and Amare play offense and have every other player in the rotation be there for defense. If they can bring something offensively like Douglas or Azu that’s just gravy.

    I agree that this is the way to go, and if you think about it, the good suns teams weren’t that unlike what you’re talking about. You had Raja Bell and Q-Rich along with Marion. These guys are not really skilled offensive players and really thrived because of all the attention Nash and Stoudemire drew. They were efficient scorers, but again, only as 3rd/4th/5th options. Then you had guys like Kurt Thomas and Steven Hunter, whose minutes varied based on need (ala Turiaf this year).

    Caleb: In the meantime – I am not drawing conclusions after 3 games but MDA and Billups have to figure out how to get more shots for Stoudemire.  

    I agree, but I think this is not only a small sample but a bad sample. Amare needs the PnR to be effective. The bucks and Miami are really quick and strong defensive teams, good enough to take away that first offensive option, and we mailed it in vs. the Cavs. Bottom line though is Billups definitely seems more comfortable playing the two man game with Carmelo than with Amare. I am looking forward to seeing how Chauncey adjusts against the defensively inferior wings on Orlando.

  41. Frank O.

    Caleb: Can I point out – the knicks beat Miami in a similar game not long ago, with the old roster?
    And lost to Cleveland with the old roster, too?
    Not sure I buy that these last two are real “statement” games one way or the other.  

    dissimilar in that the Heat were at home this time. This was a hyped game on national TV and they were facing what they believe will be their chief rivals in the coming five years.
    I think this game was probably significant for them

  42. Frank O.

    jon abbey:
    I was thinking this also last night, and it seems like D’Antoni is too, hence Balkman actually getting in there two games in a row.  

    Frankly, on the old team you needed all five guys scoring. This team, not so much. This is a more traditional structure. Big man, wing, man, PG, role players.
    Jabbar, Worthy, Magic
    McHale, Bird, Johnson
    Duncan, Ginobili, Parker
    Gasol, Kobe, Fisher
    KG, Allen, Rondo
    The other pieces on those teams weren’t (aren’t) insignificant, but that combination of inside, wing and point pretty much is alway great.

  43. John Kenney

    @31

    Game 6, OKC versus LAL, 2010 playoffs, Kobe misses (KLANK) shot, Pau Gasol lays in with less than a second left to win

    Game 5, PHX versus LAL, 2010 Playoffs, Kobe airballs (WHOOOSH) shot, Ron Artest plucks out of air and lays in at buzzer

    I just don’t believe this BS about Kobe not klanking shots. Kobe is at his most clutch when he dominates entire fourth quarters (as he did at the end of some of those PHX games. ) Maybe he is clutch in that sense. But he came up very small and was helped by teammates twice in last years playoffs in pivotal games in each series.

  44. Frank O.

    Caleb: @38-39 If Stoudemire EVER averages 10 rebounds a game I will eat my Anthony Mason jersey.
    He’s a fine vocal leader, and an ok help defender, but if he’s not getting the ball and shooting a LOT you’re wasting his talents.Stoudemire is up there with Charles Barkley as the best offensive power forward ever. Even as a very high-volume scorer, he’s been in the 61-65 TS% range, up to this year. It is a mistake to reduce his touches (at least, to reduce them more than a little) to get more shots for Carmelo.
    Unfortunately that’s what’s happened in the first 3 games.
      

    The Knicks right now benefit from adapting to Melo, since he doesn’t know the offense yet.
    They have to let Melo be Melo.
    Amare can adapt more easily to that type of play right now.
    But I believe that in 10 games, the shot distribution will begin to be more equal, and you’ll actually see Carmelo getting better shots and improving his efficiency.
    Like I said, if Lee and WC can be very efficient in D’Antoni’s offense, I have no doubt that Carmelo, who simply is a better offensive threat, will become more efficient in this system.
    But right now they need to win using energy and some one on one. That situation favors Carmelo.

  45. Caleb

    Frank O.:
    The Knicks right now benefit from adapting to Melo, since he doesn’t know the offense yet.
    They have to let Melo be Melo.
    Amare can adapt more easily to that type of play right now.
    But I believe that in 10 games, the shot distribution will begin to be more equal, and you’ll actually see Carmelo getting better shots and improving his efficiency.
    Like I said, if Lee and WC can be very efficient in D’Antoni’s offense, I have no doubt that Carmelo, who simply is a better offensive threat, will become more efficient in this system.
    But right now they need to win using energy and some one on one. That situation favors Carmelo.  

    I agree with you, although I have to point out, WC was never very efficient, and Lee was more efficient under Isiah Thomas (and even under Larry Brown, as a rookie) than he was under D’Antoni.

    Lee’s efficiency dropoff was predictable, as his usage rate shot up, but I’m just sayin’!

  46. Brian Cronin

    Like I said, if Lee and WC can be very efficient in D’Antoni’s offense, I have no doubt that Carmelo, who simply is a better offensive threat, will become more efficient in this system.

    I am certainly not saying that Melo won’t increase his efficiency as a Knick, but I don’t think comparing him to Lee and WC is a good comparison for Melo. Both players thrived by being dependent on ball movement to get good looks on offense. If Melo does the same, then of course he is going to improve his efficiency as well, but unlike Lee and WC, he has seven seasons in the NBA of playing basketball 180% from that style. If he adapts, then yes, he certainly will become a more efficient player (and I would agree that the odds are that he will), but we don’t know for sure yet, so I don’t think comparing him to Lee and WC works. To wit, note how T-Mac couldn’t adapt to this system last season.

  47. Jim Cavan

    Brian Cronin: Amar’e should be option 1 on the team. But understandably, it will take some time for Melo to adjust to that fact. He is going to take a decent chunk of time before he gets that while they should both roughly be shooting about the same amount of shots (like KG and Pierce), Amar’e should be the first option.

    Frank O.: But I believe that in 10 games, the shot distribution will begin to be more equal, and you’ll actually see Carmelo getting better shots and improving his efficiency.

    I’d love if that ended up happening, but I just see Melo having a much harder time scaling back his usage than Amar’e, at least for the time being. I get that Stat’s career TS% is higher than Melo’s by a pretty wide margin. But I also know it’s down this year, which I think we all agree has more to do with not having — until now — an elite PG at his side. I just wouldn’t be surprised if both their TS%s start leveling out of the course of the next couple years. As good as Billups is, I don’t see him dishing the kind of buckets-on-a-silver-platter that Nash routinely dished out to Stat, although their chemistry will no doubt improve.

    But speaking to Caleb’s point, Melo absolutely needs to be reigned in from those 20-22 foot jumpers. As the group begins to gel, I think you’ll see both Stat and Amare getting easy buckets on backdoor cuts and putbacks from the other drawing so much attention on the strong side.

    I guess I’d just say that, despite the difference in TS%, Melo’s advantage comes from the fact that, unlike Stat, he rarely turns the ball over bulling recklessly into traffic. When I say he’s the “better” offensive player, I mean more in terms of the repetoir of moves and getting to the line than in TS% which, again, I expect…

  48. Caleb

    adding to my last point – I think Stoudemire’s dropoff is partly (or largely) due to his usage rate going up, from high in Phoenix to sky-high in New York. (Phoenix it ranged from 21-24; here it’s been 28).

    This is the flip side of what you were suggesting – which I agree with – that if Carmelo took fewer shots/had a lower usage rate, his efficiency would go up. And if Amare’s usage rate went back to Phoenix levels, I think his TS% might top 60 again.

  49. dmull

    I think it’s natural to want to look at shot attempts/rotations/offensive rhythm, etc. as some sort of telling thing after pulling such a big win over the mighty Heat. However, it’s ultimately one game removed from the loss from the Cavs. Three games in and Amare isn’t getting as many shots, but you also have a PG who played with Melo and both of the guys controlling the ball for the most part have not…so I don’t think we can draw any type of conclusions on shot distribution going forward, but I do hope that Amare starts to get more touches, I think he will. This thing is far from a finished product just because of one big win though.

    Definitely agree that MDA would be well suited to try and play defensive players more, at least when Turiaf is off the floor. Balkman seems like a perfect fit in particular when we go small. Pairing him and Douglas could be a pesky defensive unit that hopefully would get out and run. Interesting to see how the rotation develops though, I don’t think even MDA is sure as of now, and then when Jeffries and maybe even another are added it just adds to the uncertainty.

  50. Caleb

    @56 Agree, too early to draw conclusions. Jeffries? What can you say. It would be a mistake to play him ahead of Balkman, but it’s probably inevitable.

    So far in his career, Corey Brewer is actually a worse offensive player than Jeffries – hard to imagine, but that’s what the numbers say. I’ve barely seen him play since Florida days, so no idea if he’s a real lockdown defender or just ok.

  51. hoolahoop

    I’ve been thinking about Gallo and friends. Must feel like looking out a restaurant window to see you’re old girlfriend laughing it up with her new bo in his fancy convertible. “Mam, I’ll get this to go”

  52. Caleb

    Bibs would be interesting pickup. Have to think someone will give him a real contract though, not just the minimum.

  53. hoolahoop

    HoyaSaxa33: When is HoolaHoop gonna get on and start talking about how terrible Melo’s defense is?  

    I enjoyed that win more than any game in ten years. I’ve been a fan for a long long time and no one’s gonna take this one away from me. Don’t be a buzzkill. I loved melo’s game last night.
    . . . I hope I see a lot more of it. I love hard working players, even superstars. But, just like Cleveland, it’s one game. Let’s hope they can ride the momentum and confidence into Orlando.

  54. hoolahoop

    HoyaSaxa33: When is HoolaHoop gonna get on and start talking about how terrible Melo’s defense is?  

    ps – any player can play defense if they want to. It comes from the heart. That why Eddy Curry sucks.

  55. DS

    Caleb: Bibs would be interesting pickup. Have to think someone will give him a real contract though, not just the minimum.  

    He’s 32. I’d be happy to keep him for the duration of Billups’s anticipated tenure.

    Obviously I can’t see him picking NY over Miami though. Wonder why the Lakers reportedly have no interest and why Denver would need 3 quality point guards.

  56. Frank

    Caleb: Bibs would be interesting pickup. Have to think someone will give him a real contract though, not just the minimum.  

    Blech. Bibby may be the worst defensive PG in the whole league. I seriously can’t think of a single PG who is worse. I’d play TD over him in a second, leaving zero minutes for Bibs.

    I actually hope the Heat pick him up – he’s really just horrible, and not an upgrade from House and Chalmers IMO.

  57. hoolahoop

    Frank O.:
    On another note, what absolute physical freaks. I mean, both those guys have muscularity that is crazy…These are basketball players built like linebackers or runningbacks in the NFL.
    I remember Karl Malone and Anthony Mason being freakish like that, but they simply weren’t as fast or as athletic.  

    lebron is a friggin monster…and wade never looked like this before. Sure looks like roids. They couldn’t be that stupid, could they?

    HoyaSaxa33: When is HoolaHoop gonna get on and start talking about how terrible Melo’s defense is?  

    ps – any player can play defense if they want to. It comes from the heart. That why Eddy Curry sucks.

  58. Caleb

    @64 The combo would be Douglas alongside Bibby. Bibby can’t defend anyone, but he can shoot. A no-question upgrade over Eddie House, totally different player from Chalmers. If you have other defenders on the floor you can afford it.

  59. Frank O.

    Caleb:
    I agree with you, although I have to point out, WC was never very efficient, and Lee was more efficient under Isiah Thomas (and even under Larry Brown, as a rookie) than he was under D’Antoni.
    Lee’s efficiency dropoff was predictable, as his usage rate shot up, but I’m just sayin’!  

    Actually, you made the point about Lee before. I forgot. This reminded me.
    Nonetheless, Lee was still pretty damn efficient for a 20-10 guy.
    WC’s efficiency was pretty damn good before he tweaked his calf and the trade rumors. His last 20 games have been pretty rough. But his past two games with Denver he’s sporting a TS% of .662 and eFG% of .640.
    So, perhaps the thinner air appeals to him. ;)

  60. Frank O.

    Brian Cronin:
    I am certainly not saying that Melo won’t increase his efficiency as a Knick, but I don’t think comparing him to Lee and WC is a good comparison for Melo. Both players thrived by being dependent on ball movement to get good looks on offense. If Melo does the same, then of course he is going to improve his efficiency as well, but unlike Lee and WC, he has seven seasons in the NBA of playing basketball 180% from that style. If he adapts, then yes, he certainly will become a more efficient player (and I would agree that the odds are that he will), but we don’t know for sure yet, so I don’t think comparing him to Lee and WC works. To wit, note how T-Mac couldn’t adapt to this system last season.  

    T-Mac last year couldn’t adapt to any system. :)

  61. JK47

    Bibby can still shoot the 3-ball but that’s about it. He’d be pretty redundant on the Heat, who have lots of guys who can stand at the 3-point line waiting for the ball while defenses collapse on LBJ/Wade/Bosh.

  62. Caleb

    @67, Yeah, I don’t think Lee got worse or anything – he expanded his abilities. It happened little by little, but over 4 years he almost doubled his usage rate. His efficiency was still very high.

    For similar reasons, I don’t think gallo would rack up a 60+ TS% if he was getting 20 shots a game (and neither would Bill Walker). But I also think it works in reverse – to a point.

  63. hoolahoop

    DS: @Chris_Broussard Wiz just completed buyout with Mike Bibby, sources say.

    So, L.A. or Miami? And why not us? His dad was a Knick, it should be his lifelong dream.  

    Bibby did not get along with his father. I think they were estranged.

  64. nicos

    As well as the Knicks played on D, the Heat make it so much easier on opponents by only running two plays or really one play with either LBJ or Wade running it. If you can stay in front of them (as the Knicks did a pretty good job of last night) they’re going to struggle. They run nothing off of the ball, don’t set great screens, and are way too predictable. I don’t think a better point guard is the answer as both Wade and LBJ are better with the ball in their hands- they just need to try to run some actual sets.

    No real interest in Bibby- terrific three point shooter but can’t run the P & R at all and as mentioned he’s abysmal on D.

  65. Jim Cavan

    I’m hearing rumors that they’re thinking of releasing Azubuike. I thought D’Antoni said he’s getting close? Granted they’ve been saying that since November, but I would think an Azubuike at 80 percent would be more valuable than Roger Mason at 2000%. I know we need to release someone to make room for Jeffries et. al, but I’m really surprised that Azu is ahead of Mason in the axe line. Maybe we’re planning to bring on 2 bigs?

  66. Jim Cavan

    BTW: Hollinger’s new “rankings” have Philly in 8th, one notch below the Mavs and ahead of the likes of OKC, Memphis, Atlanta, and NOL.

    Needless to say, we’re not in the top 15.

  67. Garson

    Jim Cavan: BTW: Hollinger’s new “rankings” have Philly in 8th, one notch below the Mavs and ahead of the likes of OKC, Memphis, Atlanta, and NOL. Needless to say, we’re not in the top 15.  (Quote)

    A loss to the cavs will do that to you.

  68. Jim Cavan

    It’s not so much our not being in the top 15 as it is Philly being ranked so high. I know they’re decent, but…. 8th?

  69. Brian Cronin

    Hollinger’s rankings are weighted towards what teams are doing recently (to give a better idea of how the teams compare to each other right this second), and Philly is in the midst of a very impressive streak, so it would make sense that they would look good.

  70. Doug

    Frank O.:
    Seriously…what was Lebron doing their smoothing his hair like that over and over? If he had a blanket, he might have pulled it over his head.
    On another note, what absolute physical freaks. I mean, both those guys have muscularity that is crazy…These are basketball players built like linebackers or runningbacks in the NFL.
    I remember Karl Malone and Anthony Mason being freakish like that, but they simply weren’t as fast or as athletic.  

    I’ll never look that good in a cardigan.

  71. Brian Cronin

    Wait, how can Bibby give up next year’s salary? It wasn’t a player option. How does that work?

  72. John Kenney

    So of course we release…. brewer. So frustrated right now. If we’re giving up a player almost every title contender is interested in (BOS, MIA, OKC, CHI) Shouldn’t that be a sign we’re making a mistake? argh.

  73. Jim Cavan

    @84. Really curious to hear the brain trust’s explanation for this one. I hope it means they’re confident enough that Azu will come back healthy enough to be serviceable. I just don’t see how they can cut two players — which it seems like they’re aiming to do — and not have one of them be Mason.

  74. John Kenney

    Young 3pt shooter- throw in some trade eventually? donnie did an interview literally this morning where he said brewer will get his shot. he had to have known then he meant “with the celtics as they win the title” wow.
    Same interview he defended mason as a good “locker room presence”

  75. ww007

    I think Melo is definitely a more refined offensive player than Amare. You can tell Melo has a move for just about any situation, plus he’s a good low post player. He’s also a much better ball-handler.

    Amare, as good as he is, looks a little clumsy sometimes. A lot of times he just barrels into the defensive player, often drawing a charge. And he’s not very good with his back to the basket; most of the time he’s facing up against the defender and uses his quickness (hence the aforementioned barreling part). Plus he never head fakes, which causes him to get blocked a lot more than he should! He does have a sweet mid-range jumper though.

    I think it’s a big mistake to claim Melo is not a true superstar by pointing to his advanced stats. The guy is an elite scorer; his shooting percentage is not great but not terrible either. Considering the number of shots he puts up and the fact that he’s been the focal point of the offense in Denver, I think that’s not bad at all.

    So I don’t mind too much that he’s been getting more shots than Amare in the 3 games that he’s played here. He handles the ball much more than Amare. I think it’s too small of a sample size to set a trend.

    With that said, I wouldn’t mind him taking fewer 22-footers with a hand in his face. I think that’s what he was used to in Denver but I think D’Antoni is really gonna stress to him that he can get much better shots in this system. I think we need a lot more time before we make any judgments on this.

  76. Jim Cavan

    jon abbey: not just Mason, what is the purpose of holding onto Rautins?  

    I just think it’s a numbers game. He might never develop into a serviceable NBA player, but he’s also a rookie, learning to play in a system 180 degrees the opposite of what he played for 4 years at the ‘Cuse. His contract ends after next year anyway — might as well see how he develops, if at all.

    I just really hope they’re not cutting Brewer for Jeffries and that’s it. At this point, if they’re planning on bringing on another big, I have no idea who goes. It could be Rautins I guess.

  77. Brian Cronin

    It’s interesting. Brewer’s only real skill is as a defender, true, but I think that is only as a 3, and the Knicks need no help at the 3, so I guess it makes some sense to get rid of him, especially as he was not going to be a Knick next year, and no one wanted him enough to offer anything for him this year.

  78. Ben R

    ww007 – Melo is not a true “superstar” because he is not a two way player. The truly elite in the NBA are great both offensively and defensively. Look at LeBron, Kobe, Howard, Wade, Duncan, Jordan, Bird, Hakeem, etc, they are all great defenders.

    Melo belongs more with the Dominique’s, Carter’s, Martin’s, Mullin’s of the world. Great offensive players who were average at defense.

  79. Brian Cronin

    Good stuff from Mahoney. One interesting thing he mentioned, though, was James Jones as a standout perimeter defender. Is that true? I never thought he did anything but hit open threes.

  80. BigBlueAL

    Brewer has no spot on this team. Jeffries can at least play the 4/5 which is a need on this team. Knicks would rather keep guys who have been on the roster the entire season in Mason and Buke, nothing really too shocking there.

    Brewer is offensively as bad if not worse than Jeffries and Carter. Granted I would rather have Brewer than Carter but obviously Carter is now the 3rd string PG which makes him a bit more valuable than Brewer.

    Please dont everyone now start going crazy over this minor/meaningless mover.

  81. Brian Cronin

    As for Melo being an “elite scorer,” we will find out at the end of this season and next year if that’s true. If his efficiency goes up, it will be evident that his efficiency in Denver was a result of the system and that he actually is an “elite scorer.” If it doesn’t, well, then he isn’t. I sure hope he is!

  82. Brian Cronin

    True, John, I guess…

    A. They might cut him, too

    and

    B. He is the greatest locker room presence ever. He is the anti-AR.

  83. dubisaweapon

    @95 I have no clue as to James Jones’ defensive abilities. But I think what Rob is suggesting is that players like Jones are so useful because they play well within their game, only shooting when left wide open in their preferred position.

  84. hoolahoop

    Brian Cronin: Wait, how can Bibby give up next year’s salary? It wasn’t a player option. How does that work?  

    That’s a good question.
    Bibby didn’t want to play for Washington – he wants to be on a winner. He approached management and said he wanted a buyout. Grunfeld told him he’s not going to give him dollar for dollar. Bibby replies, “just give me this year’s salary. Don’t pay me anything for next year”. The second year was for $6.2million! Bibby knows he’s not going to get that much with anyone else. He left the the bulk of that money on the table to play for a contender (miami’s interested). You don’t see many athletes walking away from money these days. It’s great to see character like that.

  85. hoolahoop

    Jim Cavan: BTW: Hollinger’s new “rankings” have Philly in 8th, one notch below the Mavs and ahead of the likes of OKC, Memphis, Atlanta, and NOL.
    Needless to say, we’re not in the top 15.  

    Why would anyone care what that guy thinks? Does he decide the playoff seeds?

  86. BigBlueAL

    Also Earl Barron apparently has signed a 10-day contract with the Bucks. Jeffries might be the only player the Knicks sign for rest of this season.

  87. hoolahoop

    John Kenney: So of course we release…. brewer. So frustrated right now. If we’re giving up a player almost every title contender is interested in (BOS, MIA, OKC, CHI) Shouldn’t that be a sign we’re making a mistake? argh.  

    YES

  88. Brian Cronin

    @95 I have no clue as to James Jones’ defensive abilities. But I think what Rob is suggesting is that players like Jones are so useful because they play well within their game, only shooting when left wide open in their preferred position.

    I dunno, he specifically said “That’s not the case with Brewer, who has posted a significantly higher usage rate than Shane Battier, James Jones, or many of his other perimeter defending contemporaries.” That sure sounds like he is saying James Jones is a perimeter defender similar to Shane Battier, right?

  89. Brian Cronin

    That’s a good question.
    Bibby didn’t want to play for Washington – he wants to be on a winner. He approached management and said he wanted a buyout. Grunfeld told him he’s not going to give him dollar for dollar. Bibby replies, “just give me this year’s salary. Don’t pay me anything for next year”. The second year was for $6.2million! Bibby knows he’s not going to get that much with anyone else. He left the the bulk of that money on the table to play for a contender (miami’s interested). You don’t see many athletes walking away from money these days. It’s great to see character like that.

    Agreed on the character part, but what I mean is how can the NBA let a player do that? I didn’t know players could agree to cut their salaries. Heck, I thought they specifically could not do so. If they can do that, could Carmelo and Amar’e agree to void their contracts for 2012 and re-sign for less money to allow the Knicks more room for Chris Paul? When you let players void their contracts, you create situations like that, don’t you?

  90. hoolahoop

    Ben R: ww007 – Melo is not a true “superstar” because he is not a two way player. The truly elite in the NBA are great both offensively and defensively. Look at LeBron, Kobe, Howard, Wade, Duncan, Jordan, Bird, Hakeem, etc, they are all great defenders.
    Melo belongs more with the Dominique’s, Carter’s, Martin’s, Mullin’s of the world. Great offensive players who were average at defense.  

    Good comparison. Someone should email that post to melo.

  91. Brian Cronin

    Would the Knicks be interested in any of the big men the Heat would waive to make room for Bibby? Magloire? Pittman? Howard?

  92. hoolahoop

    Brian Cronin:
    Agreed on the character part, but what I mean is how can the NBA let a player do that? I didn’t know players could agree to cut their salaries. Heck, I thought they specifically could not do so. If they can do that, could Carmelo and Amar’e agree to void their contracts for 2012 and re-sign for less money to allow the Knicks more room for Chris Paul? When you let players void their contracts, you create situations like that, don’t you?  

    He agreed to a contract buyout. That happens often. That’s different than negating a contract and re-signing the player on the same team (which is essentially renegotiating a contract).

  93. Frank O.

    Jim Cavan: BTW: Hollinger’s new “rankings” have Philly in 8th, one notch below the Mavs and ahead of the likes of OKC, Memphis, Atlanta, and NOL.
    Needless to say, we’re not in the top 15.  

    Nothing against you, BTW, but I could give a shit what Hollinger thinks. :)

  94. Brian Cronin

    He agreed to a contract buyout. That happens often. That’s different than negating a contract and re-signing the player on the same team (which is essentially renegotiating a contract).

    Players take buyouts for the rest of their last season of their contract all the time, but they don’t give up an entire following year’s salary. Players aren’t allowed to re-negotiate their contracts to make them smaller for cap purposes, but they’re allowed to take their salary off of the cap entirely? Seems inconsistent.

  95. hoolahoop

    On a side note, can anyone tell me why Bosh has to yell and pump his fist every time he makes a basket?

  96. Jim Cavan

    Frank O.:
    Nothing against you, BTW, but I could give a shit what Hollinger thinks. :)  

    No umbrance taken, believe me. And I really don’t give a shit either. It’s just frustrating to see a guy parlay the creation of some good statistical metrics into a team-based one that is so often batshit crazy. Or maybe it’s his goofy grin. Either way, I have to learn to ignore him.

  97. totti

    On 51 to 36 2nd quarter, eddie house missed a three on the angle, heat playing show time for fun. From there on the games changed.
    The knicks’ season too.

  98. nicos

    @112
    We were actively trying to buy Curry out last year- as I recall you can buy a player out with less than two years remaining on their deal and only a percentage of that second years salary- half I think- will count towards the cap. I could be wrong but I think that part of Bibby’s salary will still count towards the Wizard’s cap next year.

  99. jon abbey

    Hollinger’s rankings are purely mathematical, how many times do we have to go over this?

    I didn’t see this mentioned anywhere, but NY somehow held the Heat to 35 points over the final 28 minutes of the game, that’s a 60 point pace for the whole game. if I was a betting man, I might have given 1000 to 1 odds yesterday afternoon that that wouldn’t be possible.

  100. nicos

    Who is Brewer’s agent? I wouldn’t be surprised if he also represents someone the Knicks may be interested in down the line (or someone on the team who may need to be resigned). Brewer is in a contract year and didn’t figure to see much playing time so it might have been a favor to an agent to try to get him somewhere where he might get some burn and earn a better contract for next season.

  101. totti

    Compared to lbj and wade, melo has been an example of unselfish play and i say everything. heat offense is awful.

    Jon,
    last time billups&melo-less knicks beated bosh-less heat 93 to 88. We held them to 15pt in 4th quarter and 40 in 2nd half.

  102. xduckshoex

    nicos: @112
    We were actively trying to buy Curry out last year- as I recall you can buy a player out with less than two years remaining on their deal and only a percentage of that second years salary- half I think- will count towards the cap.I could be wrong but I think that part of Bibby’s salary will still count towards the Wizard’s cap next year.  

    The way it works for cap purposes is the buyout amount is spread out over however many years are left on the contract. So if you have 3 years and $9 million left on your contract and we agree to a $6 million buy out, your cap hold for me becomes $2 million in each of the next three seasons. You can buy a player out any point in time, it’s not really financially viable until they get to that last year in most cases.

  103. xduckshoex

    I’m not sweating the loss of Corey Brewer, he was one of the worst players on one of the worst teams in the NBA. He has no offensive skills and he’s not a better defender than Balkman. The amount they save by buying him out will probably pay for Jeffries for the rest of the season, and I’d rather have Jeffries.

  104. daJudge

    Maybe Melo’s and Amare’s greatness will and should be defined and measured by how they play with their teammates on this team, instead of looking at their individual performances on other teams to date. It’s like measuring musicians to some extent—is it their individual riff/talent or the product of their band’s music? Some musicians have great chops, but don’t play great music. I’m pretty optimistic and I think Melo, Stat, their agents and the rest of this team gets this concept much more than me. Melo and STAT have achieved so many individual goals. They care and know that their legacy will be based on the Knick’s progress, not their own stats. But, of course, we need time to blend. This is what Earl was saying the other night. He was Black Jesus before he paired with Clyde. Some claimed he was a chucker and played no D. I remember. Son of God then became a NY God. Go Knicks.

  105. John Kenney

    @ xduckshoex- even if you don’t think he’s better than balkman, can you explain why the Celts, Bulls, Thunder etc are all interested in “one of the worst players on one of the worst teams in the nba” i mean, i know we criticize stuff, but at some point if all these front offices of top teams are interested then the guy is not bottom bottom barrel.

  106. ess-dog

    Brian Cronin: Would the Knicks be interested in any of the big men the Heat would waive to make room for Bibby? Magloire? Pittman? Howard?  

    No thanks times 3. At this point, it makes more sense to play small ball the rest of the year than bring in yet another guy that has to learn the system who will likely just be a big stiff a la Magloire anyway. The main reason I think we’re going with Jeffries is that he can jump right back into the system.
    Bummer about Brewer, but he really is a terrible offensive player. And with Fields, Melo, TD, Shawne, Walker, and maybe Azu, we’re pretty set at the wing. Sad to say that Brewer is not as good as any of those guys and it doesn’t make sense to sit him the rest of the year. Wasn’t Brewer a #5 pick or something? Crazy stuff.
    That being said, we could use a standard big stiff to sit the bench with Rautins and Co. In case of injury or massive foul trouble or even to give stat extra rest right before the playoffs. Barron would’ve been ideal but he’s gone. I’m sure the brain trust has some other ideas.

  107. Resounding Rebounding

    ess-dog: No thanks times 3. At this point, it makes more sense to play small ball the rest of the year than bring in yet another guy that has to learn the system who will likely just be a big stiff a la Magloire anyway. The main reason I think we’re going with Jeffries is that he can jump right back into the system.Bummer about Brewer, but he really is a terrible offensive player. And with Fields, Melo, TD, Shawne, Walker, and maybe Azu, we’re pretty set at the wing. Sad to say that Brewer is not as good as any of those guys and it doesn’t make sense to sit him the rest of the year. Wasn’t Brewer a #5 pick or something? Crazy stuff.That being said, we could use a standard big stiff to sit the bench with Rautins and Co. In case of injury or massive foul trouble or even to give stat extra rest right before the playoffs. Barron would’ve been ideal but he’s gone. I’m sure the brain trust has some other ideas.  (Quote)

    These teams have been linked to virtually every player that has been bought out.

  108. xduckshoex

    John Kenney: @ xduckshoex- even if you don’t think he’s better than balkman, can you explain why the Celts, Bulls, Thunder etc are all interested in “one of the worst players on one of the worst teams in the nba” i mean, i know we criticize stuff, but at some point if all these front offices of top teams are interested then the guy is not bottom bottom barrel.  

    Because it’s a zero risk maneuver. Worst case scenario: he gets paid peanuts to sit the bench for 4 months. There were multiple teams, including contenders, interested in Gerald Green at one point were there not?

  109. latke

    I like Gadzuric. High energy guy mobile big man who will contribute without touching the ball (and, it should be noted, should not be touching the ball). He’s definitely a known entity though. A guy like Sean Williams has the potential to be a better player than Gadzuric ever was.

    I am, however, sad that Azubuike is gone. He was a very good player before the injury, but you have to figure they must think he won’t be able to play at an NBA level this season.

  110. dsulz

    I’ve never seen/don’t remember seeing Gadzuric play, but looking at his stats–for pretty much his whole career, save one season–I have to think we can do better. Obviously we need him for D, but given his lack of minutes for pretty much his whole career, what are the chances he gives us that?

  111. Spree8nyk8

    dsulz:
    What in that article makes you think it’s Gadzuric?The Knicks aren’t mentioned at all.  

    Sheridan said it on twitter, the link as what he posted on twitter after saying it. I didn’t read the article i just copied it from his twitter

  112. BigBlueAL

    Looking at Gadzuric’s career stats, he is alot better than I thought he was.

    Gallo out tonight with a toe injury. Makes this Nuggets game alot less fun to watch.

  113. Caleb

    Gadzuric actually had some good years… think he’s been hurt a bunch since then.

    I guess we’ll find out this summer if Azu likes the NYC life. If he did and Walsh still likes him, we can bring him back.

  114. Brian Cronin

    I’m sure Sheridan is just guessing with Gadzuric since the news about Gadzuric came out right before the Knicks announced Azu’s waiving.

    I believe Barron might actually still be eligible so long as he doesn’t officially sign with Milwaukee until tomorrow (all players not on anyone’s roster on March 1st are eligible to be picked up by other teams and still be eligible for the playoffs).

  115. Caleb

    I for one am happy to see Brewer cut – nothing against the guy, but it’s a good sign that the brass values Balkman more. It would be easy to keep Brewer on the grounds that he “looks” like a really good player – shoots 3s and jump shots. And of course he has that pedigree of being a national champion and a #7 pick. Balk is seen as a malcontent and his game is unconventional but much more effective… of course it’s a thin reed to grasp, but a real one..

  116. Brian Cronin

    I’ve never seen/don’t remember seeing Gadzuric play, but looking at his stats–for pretty much his whole career, save one season–I have to think we can do better. Obviously we need him for D, but given his lack of minutes for pretty much his whole career, what are the chances he gives us that?

    Years ago, I really wanted the Knicks to pick up Gadzuric. I remember actually discussing him here. But that did not happen and he proceeded to suck from then on, so yeah, I’ve forgotten about him ever since, too.

  117. BigBlueAL

    Hahn said that last week Azu said he was at 80%. So yeah, no way he was going to see the court if he wasnt even that close to 100%. Wish him all the best.

  118. Brian Cronin

    I for one am happy to see Brewer cut – nothing against the guy, but it’s a good sign that the brass values Balkman more. It would be easy to keep Brewer on the grounds that he “looks” like a really good player – shoots 3s and jump shots. And of course he has that pedigree of being a national champion and a #7 pick. Balk is seen as a malcontent and his game is unconventional but much more effective… of course it’s a thin reed to grasp, but a real one..

    Brewer has got to be the perfect example of Dave Berri’s theories about which players are over-valued in the draft. Simmons actually linked to a mock draft he did for Brewer’s draft, and it was pretty much the epitome of what Berri mocks. Simmons goes on about how Brewer was a proven winner in college, so how could he go wrong in the NBA?

  119. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, one thing that makes sense for me is if the Knicks just do not believe Azu will play this year at all. If he is not going to play this year at all, there is no benefit to keeping him on the roster, since the Knicks were not going to give him any more than a one year deal next year. It’s too bad – he seemed like such a good fit for the team, but it he’s not going to play, whaddayagonnado?

  120. Caleb

    @143 True – the cherry on top is that he was a brutal 3-point shooter even in college, but hit 4 or 5 in the championship game. That alone probably moved him up 10 spots.

    Anyone know that Mozgov got married in Vegas over the All-Star break? He was wearing his track suit and blogged that he felt like he was at the McDonald’s drive-thru.

    He’s never gonna make us think of Patrick Ewing but I can’t help but miss the guy.

  121. d-mar

    I remember Gadzuric having a few good games against the Knicks simply by out hustling and out working us, but then again, he’s just one of a very long list of below average players to do that to the Knicks over the past few years.

  122. Owen

    Z – His Wins Produced was higher but I crushed him in adjusted +/-.

    He had 36 and 19 and dunked about 12 times before I succeeded in fouling him out. His team won pretty easily. I am just happy that our rebound differential was smaller than our height differential.

    When people talk about how bad X or Y player is I often think of him. The guy is a ridiculous specimen of a human being. He is literally a two legged pterodactyl. Never underestimate how freakishly talented and unusual you have to be to make the NBA.

  123. Brian Cronin

    You know who I think about when I think about that same point? Joe Borowski, the baseball player. He stuck around in the Majors for a long time and even led the Majors in saves one year (which is a sign that having a lot of saves is really not that big of a deal), but I remember when he was younger and he was a dominant pitcher. The guy that local sportswriters would spend columns on and people would go out of their way to see. And he was his team’s best hitter, too!

    If you play professional sports, you are one of the most gifted athletes in the world. It’s really an amazing thing.

  124. massive

    I’m wondering, could the Knicks be looking to bring back Patrick Ewing Jr? I don’t see who else they would bring back with the open roster spot.

  125. ASyrett19

    I’m probably irrationally excited as to who the Knicks will sign with the second roster opening. Assuming JJ fills the need for a “big”, and they’re willing to play Anthony Carter at pg, it looks like the Knicks positions of need are taken care of. Of course, you can never have too much size. I’ve mentioned it before, and I still think that Sean Williams would be pretty ideal for this situation. A defensive specialist who doesn’t demand shots and is looking to prove that he can still be an NBA player. I feel that he could grow into a valuable future trade chip. I have faith that Donnie will bring in someone with potential to help the team out.

  126. jon abbey

    Owen: He is literally a two legged pterodactyl.   

    OK, this made me laugh a lot, especially because I know you’re smart enough to not use the word “literally” casually.

  127. Ben R

    Buying out Azu I think will prove to be a mistake. Even if he never plays this year by keeping him you hold onto his bird rights. Next summer we are going to be right at or over the cap so we won’t be able to bring him back especially if the NBA gets rid of the MLE. Coming off his injury he’s not going to command a lot of money but all a team has to do is offer him a little more than the minimum and we are out of luck.

    Long term the chance of him contributing anything to the Knicks is much greater than Rautins, Mason or Carter so cutting him is a bad move.

  128. Caleb

    Bird rights will only come into a play if a guy is commanding more $ than one of the exceptions. Another team could outbid us, regardless. If they exist, I’m not guessing Azu will get that kind of offer (until he plays a season or so).

Comments are closed.