Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2013.11.02)

  • [New York Daily News] Chandler is on way to personal rebound (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 04:32:17 GMT)
    Two games in October will not erase the sting of Tyson Chandler’s shortcomings last spring, when the All-Star center admittedly got his “ass kicked” by Indiana counterpart Roy Hibbert throughout the Knicks’ second-round playoff loss to the Pacers.    

  • [New York Times] Parker, Spurs Hold Off Lakers 91-85 Without Duncan (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 06:26:03 GMT)
    Although the Spurs and the Lakers hadn’t played a game without Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant on the court in 17 years, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili haven’t gone anywhere.    

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Celtics Squander Big Lead in Home Opener (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 05:46:22 GMT)
    The Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 22-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Boston Celtics.    

  • [New York Times] Aldridge Helps Blazers Past Nuggets, 113-98 (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 05:08:40 GMT)
    Nicolas Batum got hot early, Wesley Matthews hit a critical shot when Denver was making a late charge and LaMarcus Aldridge added the finishing touches.    

  • [New York Times] Clippers Hold Off Kings After Blowing Big Lead (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 05:08:36 GMT)
    Chris Paul had 26 points and 10 assists for his third straight double-double, and the Los Angeles Clippers came back after blowing a 15-point lead in the second half to beat the Sacramento Kings 110-101 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Bledsoe’s 3-Pointer Gives Suns 87-84 Win Over Jazz (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 05:02:00 GMT)
    Eric Bledsoe sank a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds to play to give the Phoenix Suns an 87-84 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Nets Hand Heat First 2-Game Skid Since January (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 04:32:04 GMT)
    Before they can think about beating Miami in the playoffs, the Brooklyn Nets had to show they could do it in a game.    

  • [New York Times] Nets Show Heat That Rivalry Has Two Sides (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 04:12:14 GMT)
    The Nets gained their first win over the Miami Heat after a 13-game losing streak against the team, and it improved their record to 1-1.    

  • [New York Times] After Long Careers, Hill and Kidd Are on Different Paths This Season (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 03:29:48 GMT)
    Grant Hill and Jason Kidd, longtime N.B.A. stars, have moved on this year: one to coaching and one to broadcasting.    

  • [New York Times] Grizzlies Beat Pistons 111-108 in OT (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 03:14:04 GMT)
    Mike Conley scored 22 points, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen added 16 each and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Detroit Pistons 111-108 in overtime Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Harden Leads Houston Over Dallas 113-105 (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 02:59:22 GMT)
    James Harden scored 34 points and Dwight Howard had 13 points and 16 rebounds in the Houston Rockets’ 113-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Timberwolves Roll Thunder, 100-81 (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 02:35:08 GMT)
    Kevin Love had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 14 points, 10 assists and five steals to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 100-81 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Hawks Beat Raptors 102-95; Budenholzer’s 1st Win (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 02:29:05 GMT)
    Al Horford had 22 points and 16 rebounds, three other Atlanta starters scored in double figures and the Hawks defeated the Toronto Raptors 102-95 on Friday night to give Mike Budenholzer his first head coaching victory.    

  • [New York Times] Bucks Rally for 105-98 Win in Celtics Home Opener (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 02:26:10 GMT)
    Zaza Pachulia had 20 points and nine rebounds, making two free throws with 44 seconds left to give Milwaukee its first lead since the opening basket, and the Bucks rallied from a 22-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 105-98 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Magic Beat Pelicans 110-90 (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 02:05:30 GMT)
    Arron Afflalo had 30 points and Maurice Harkless added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Orlando Magic got their first win of the season, hammering the New Orleans Pelicans 110-90 on Friday night.    

  • [New York Times] Kemba Walker Helps Bobcats Beat Cavs 90-84 (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 01:59:19 GMT)
    Kemba Walker outdueled Kyrie Irving and the Charlotte Bobcats earned their first win of the season.    

  • [New York Times] Keeping Score: James’s Future May Rest on Wade’s Knees (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 01:51:52 GMT)
    If Dwyane Wade is unable to return to his dominant ways, there is a question of whether LeBron James, who can opt out of his contract, will be interested in staying in Miami.    

  • [New York Times] 76ers Improve to 2-0 With 109-102 Win Over Wizards (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 01:44:12 GMT)
    Thaddeus Young scored 29 points, rookie Michael Carter-Williams started cold and finished hot while John Wall did just the opposite in scoring 26 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers are a surprising 2-0 after pulling away in the fourth quarter Friday night for a 109-102 victory over the Washington Wizards.    

  • [New York Times] In Pursuit of Early-Season Chemistry, Knicks and Other Teams Are Experimenting (Sat, 02 Nov 2013 00:22:24 GMT)
    Like many other teams early in the season, the Knicks are seeking chemistry and trying to figure out their most effective rotations.    

  • 39 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2013.11.02)

    1. d-mar

      When the Nets win – championship contenders

      When the Nets lose – work in progress

      Nice win for them last night, though, as the Heat really wanted that game after the stinker in Philly. The Nets do have a lot of options on offense, but don’t have anyone who requires a double team, so you can play them pretty much straight up.

    2. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      A few thoughts on the young season:

      Josh Smith still hasn’t figured out that he’s not a 3PT shooter. Drummond had 8 ORB (!!!) and Monroe had a great game on the offensive end, yet Josh Smith missed about 9% of his team’s total FGA — from 3PT land alone. Let’s remember that Josh Smith is paid nearly a max salary. The Pistons could have been a 50-win team this year had they kept Calderon and not paid out stupid money to overrated scorers.

      Looks like the whole two-big spacing thing is working out for the Rockets. Turns out that having dominant interior defense and rebounding creates a healthy winning margin on its own. If only Howard or Asik could shoot from 18 feet, right?

      Bargnani is a laughably bad basketball player. When he got that offensive board early last game, my eyes actually widened in disbelief. Let’s remember this when the team is .500 at the All-Star break. Had I not had to rely on internet betting for Vegas odds, I would have gladly put $1000 on the Knicks’ under. That bet is a strange one. Unlike the Rockets or Heat, who could easily fail to meet the over if either lost one of their stars (James, Wade, Harden or Howard), the Knicks’ ceiling could, in my estimation, actually improve if they were to lose Bargnani for the remainder of the season. Either way, the chances of them hitting 50 wins with him having any playing time outside of garbage time are slim, slim, slim.

    3. KnickfaninNJ

      Well they are at .500 so far and given that they almost dominated the Bucks at home and then lost to Chicago by one point on the road they look like a .500 team or better. Over a season that’s 46 wins or more and Bargnani has been playing significant non garbage time minutes. So if they just get a little better, you’re prediction could be in trouble.

    4. Kevin Udwary

      I really don’t understand the emphasis this year on delay of game fouls. They say it’s to speed up the game but now there are half a dozen more whistles a game because someone touched the ball after a basket. And then at the end of the Bulls Heat game they don’t even call a blatant delay against Ray Allen. If you’re not going to enforce the rule at the end of the game then just forget it all together.

    5. ephus

      I believe the idea for emphasizing the “no touch after made basket” rule is to allow teams to counter off of made baskets. We already saw the Knicks get beaten down the court by the Bucks after a make. In fact someone commented at the time the Knicks should have taken the delay (two Knicks were below the baseline) to avoid the fast break coming back.

      The rule is that if you redirect the ball, it is a technical. Merely being passively hit by the ball is not a T. I thought the Ray Allen play was close, not “blatant.”

    6. flossy

      From what I saw of that game, the Pistons are encouraging Josh Smith to shoot 3s because there’s no room for him, Monroe and Drummond to all be in the paint. Better 3-11 from downtown than from 21′, I guess. I still think a guy who can give you 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots from the SF spot is going to be pretty damn valuable. Moreover, the Pistons were on the road and almost stole one from a team that made the WCFs last year. They might have even had it if Drummond hadn’t committed the offensive goaltending toward the end of regulation.

    7. Robert Silverman

      So Woodson’s sticking with the so-called ‘big’ lineup v. big teams. This is…what’s the word I’m looking for? Stoopid. It will fail.

    8. massive

      The Knicks will be over .500. They lost by one point when everyone had a bad shooting night to a team that’s projected to win 50-60 games this season. I’m really down on Bargnani so far, but Melo won’t be shooting this badly for a whole season. I also don’t think Bargs will shoot this badly for a season because he quite frankly won’t be given the opportunity. That’s clear; either Bargs becomes serviceable or loses all of his minutes to MWP, TH2, and Pablo Prigioni.

    9. massive

      It is stupid to adjust to your opponent, though. Make them go small against you, especially when Bargs isn’t going to give you anything that a second point guard will. Like when we played the Grizzlies last year, they placed Z Bo on Shump and never recovered from it. That’s what you want. Place your best players on the court and roll the dice.

    10. Owen

      Play your best players and roll the dice.

      Silly that there should be any question about doing that.

      But the NBA is matchup crazy. I really don’t get it.

    11. max fisher-cohen

      @Massive, I agree that Bargnani will almost definitely get better (unless he gets hurt, which might be the best case scenario), and Melo should get better as long as this is a cold streak and not a shoulder problem, but also doubt that Tyson stays as beastly as he has been these two games, especially not at the highest MPG average he’s had in the last six seasons. He just played 68 minutes on a back to back — not a good sign in terms of Woodson’s willingness to protect a guy who is right there with Melo in terms of his criticalness to the Knicks’ success. Drop him down to either 27 MPG or to the 12/13 Chandler and the Knicks probably are 0-2.

      This is not an argument that the Knicks will be .500, but I would say 41 wins would be about as surprising to me as 56. My biggest concern is depth/health at the 1 and 5 as Udrih (-37.9/100 possessions), Stoudemire (-13.5) and Bargnani (-24.3) all look bad, which will pressure Woodson into playing Martin, Prigioni and Chandler too many minutes.

    12. massive

      Yeah, I also doubt that Tyson Chandler can keep this up for 82 games. His production will likely take a drop, but I don’t think he’ll fall off a cliff. I just see more things getting better over the course of the year that outweigh the negatives of Tyson Chandler’s eventual slip in production.

      And yeah, two games of Bargnani is enough. His not seeing the floor would likely be the best thing for this team. I just don’t see how he does anything positive to benefit the team. He can’t even grab 6 rebounds or shoot 35% from 3. That’s all he has to do to be useful, and that seems to be too hard for him. His only plus ability is one on one defense in the post, but that gets negated by his putrid defense in space. I just hope he gets better at everything or sees the bench.

    13. ruruland

      Jowles, it appears you’ve just been glancing at box scores again. That’s your bag, right, box scores? Maybe spend a little more time with them before you post.

      The Rockets have been staggering Asik and Howard’s minutes. They only play together at the start of each half. And the early returns on their pairing refute that the “whole two big spacing thing is working.”

      The Rockets are a -5 in the 17 minutes Asik and Howard share the floor. The Rockets are a +26 in the 79 minutes when just one of them is on the floor.

    14. ruruland

      Jowles, would you be interested in wagering $1,000 on the Knicks finishing .500 this year? We can open an escrow account.

      If we’re reading into the first two games of the year, the Knicks have the No.1 rated defense in the NBA, two points per 100 possessions better than Indiana. They’ve done that with Andrea Bargnani, the worst defender in the history of basketball, playing 42 of the team’s 96 minutes.

      And your copy and pasted projection of the Knicks downfall this year was largely based on a significant decline in defensive rebound rate (Jason Kidd’s retirement).

      Currently, the Knicks are rebounding on the defensive end at a higher rate than last year (76% through two games, 74.6 % last year).

      I predicted the Knicks would only suffer slightly on the defensive glass with Kidd’s departure because the majority of Kidd’s rebounds last year were of the uncontested variety. It was to the Knicks benefit to allow Kidd to grab the rebound among teammates, as he get them into transition more quickly and is far more adept at outlet passing to capable teammates.

      I think with Melo playing more three this year, playing minutes alongside a 4 like AB who boxes out pretty well but does not find the ball, he’d be able to get his DRR to 12 % this year. So far, so good.

      Shump is also capable of picking up the slack on the defensive glass.

    15. Z-man

      Wow, lots of negativity considering that we were a crazy teardrop from Rose away from being 2-0.

      Even if it is conceded that trading for Bargnani was stupid, the fact is that we gave up a significant haul to get him. So at this point, thinking that there is any possibility that the team will give up on him after 2 games is about as stupid as thinking that the Knicks are going to trade Melo at the first opportunity. He is going to play, so any Knicks fan that won’t be happy until he is completely benched is in for a rude awakening.

      I agree that Bargnani has played poorly overall, but have seen some things I like, including that offensive rebound that THCJ alluded to and that little flurry he put together in the 2nd half vs. the Bulls. I see a guy that is trying hard to do whatever is asked of him. It’s pretty sad that he got booed at the Garden after missing his first 2 shots, and that he’s getting crucified here on a daily basis. It’s also sad that his coach and teammates are essentially being called stupid for believing that he can improve but that it may take some time. I can’t remember that happening to any previous Knicks player, not Pat Cummings, not Juwan Oldham, not Jerome James, not even Eddy Curry.

    16. ruruland

      MFC, assuming STAT, AB and Udrih are all “bad”, JR returns in a few games, and we assume he’s “not bad,” right?

      I don’t foresee JR getting less than 20 mpg, which unless THJ is taken out of the rotation entirely, would mean that the aforementioned bad three would see a decline in minutes.

      Now, I don’t think those first three players will be bad, but that’s a dead horse right now.

    17. ruruland

      And Robert are you more comfortable starting and extending a 36 year old Prigs (say 30 mpg) every game, or playing AB/MWP 10-20 more minutes every few games?

      Pablo is not out of the rotation against bigger teams. And while I don’t agree with the philosophy of trying to match the opposing team’s strengths, I don’t necessarily think bringing AB/MWP into the starting lineup is an attempt at that approach.

      AB is a small forward on offense that CAN block out post players on defense, as is MWP, which is why they would start over another shooting guard.

    18. Robert Silverman

      And Robert are you more comfortable starting and extending a 36 year old Prigs (say 30 mpg) every game, or playing AB/MWP 10-20 more minutes every few games? Pablo is not out of the rotation against bigger teams. And while I don’t agree with the philosophy of trying to match the opposing team’s strengths, I don’t necessarily think bringing AB/MWP into the starting lineup is an attempt at that approach.

      I don’t think Prigs should be playing 30 MPG. 25MPG should about be his limit. 11 minutes total and zero 2 PG units? That’s a mistake, even on the 2nd night of a back to back. Even w/o the double points, 3 shooters around Melo/Tyson has been the most effective groupings this season. I would start with that, not match up in an ill-conceived attempt to go “big.” Bargs can be a valuable asset, but he’s not a big. I would be fine with starting Metta at one forward slot or giving more PT to Hardaway.

      It’s pretty sad that he got booed at the Garden after missing his first 2 shots, and that he’s getting crucified here on a daily basis. It’s also sad that his coach and teammates are essentially being called stupid for believing that he can improve but that it may take some time. I can’t remember that happening to any previous Knicks player, not Pat Cummings, not Juwan Oldham, not Jerome James, not even Eddy Curry.

      I agree. The booing after two shots was pretty much unprecedented. That said, I wouldn’t start Bargs. It’s not because I hate him; I don’t. I like him. It’s because he’s been pretty unilaterally awful, save for a couple of bright spots in the 2nd half v. Chi. I do think it’s a bad decision to start a player who isn’t performing, especially at home, where the possibility exists (unjustly) that he’ll brick a shot or two and the boos will only get worse. I hope Bargs does improve. I think this is a poor means to that end.

      Z-man, ruru – do either of you think Bargs should start tomorrow v. Minnesota?

    19. Z-man

      I agree. The booing after two shots was pretty much unprecedented. That said, I wouldn’t start Bargs. It’s not because I hate him; I don’t. I like him. It’s because he’s been pretty unilaterally awful, save for a couple of bright spots in the 2nd half v. Chi. I do think it’s a bad decision to start a player who isn’t performing, especially at home, where the possibility exists (unjustly) that he’ll brick a shot or two and the boos will only get worse.

      This is fair, and normally I might agree. However, I think the current circumstances are conducive to reasonably limited experimentation. Amare and K-Mart are both being worked back in (and are health concerns going forward) and JR is out. I don’t fault Woodson for trying to get an early handle on whether Bargnani can develop into either a stretch 4, a backup center, or both. I don’t think he will stick with it if it becomes apparent that Bargnani is costing him games (he was no more responsible for the Chi loss than Prigs or Metta, the guys you want to replace him with.) I also think that if Melo or Chandler start hinting that they don’t think he should be out there, Woody will bench him. It’s also not like Woodson has committed to playing him big minutes, or even starting him every game.

      I also think that your characterization, “pretty unilaterally awful, save for a couple of bright spots in the 2nd half v. Chi” is over the top. He’s play a total of 41 minutes thus far, and his last 10 were his best. His turnovers were offensive fouls on screens, not really something to worry about. He certainly wasn’t shying away from contact.

      Tomorrow’s game is big for him. It’s a game we should win if he holds his own and eats some minutes at the 4/5. If Love and Pecovic abuse him and we lose because of it, the leash might tighten.

      On another note, I noticed that Melo’s usage is down to 30 so far and his FGA/36 is down to 18. Wonder if that is by design or just a blip

    20. Z-man

      Rob, re starting tomorrow, yes, but as I said, with a very short leash. Honestly, I don’t get too wrapped up in starting vs. coming off the bench. To me, its about who he shares the floor with, how many minutes he gets, and whether he plays in crunch time or not.

      In fact, I would rather not start Melo on Love, and I like Metta off the bench.

    21. nicos

      The issue with playing two points against Chicago isn’t so much their front line but the fact that Butler is just way too big for either Prigs or Felton to handle defensively and he’s also good enough defensively that neither can really take advantage of him on the offensive end to make up for it. I suspect that against most teams we’ll see plenty of two point line ups.

    22. max fisher-cohen

      @ruru

      If the rotation looks like this, then I could see the Knicks staying healthy and effective enough to go for something like 48-53 wins:

      C: Chandler – 28 mins, Aldrich – 10 mins, Martin – 10 mins
      PF: Anthony – 35 mins, World Peace – 13 mins
      SF: Shumpert – 33 mins, THJ – 15 mins
      SG: Smith – 33 mins, Felton – 10 mins, THJ – 5 mins
      PG: Prigioni 25 mins, Felton – 23 mins

      I expect something different to happen though. I expect politics to force Woodson to overuse Bargnani and Stoudemire, and I expect his preference for vets to cause him to choose Udrih and World Peace over Shumpert, reducing his minutes, and Hardaway Jr., removing him from the rotation entirely even when it screws up the system and the spacing.

      I expect him to compensate for these losses by overplaying Prigioni, Martin and Chandler. He’ll value job security over long term prospects like all coaches do, and the result will first be a hot streak and then later in injuries/struggles, leading to 4-8 weeks of bad basketball in the mid to late season. It will cost the Knicks a number of wins and most importantly will leave them tired and battered come playoff time, but it won’t be Woodson’s fault according to the media because “injuries”.

    23. ruruland

      And Z-Man, isolations have gone down DRAMATICALLY through two games save for that last stretch against Chicago.
      Despite their (way over the top) ill-repute, isolations have benefits, even against good iso defenses.
      I do think the Knicks are smart to reduce their isolations some from last year, but I wouldn’t get too far away from them, either.

      It’s no coincidence that spot-up threes are way down, and turnovers are up.

      With all due respect, you won’t hear that w/in the smart Knicks blogger/reporter/tweeter (whom the respect is due) echo chamber.

    24. Robert Silverman

      Rob, re starting tomorrow, yes, but as I said, with a very short leash. Honestly, I don’t get too wrapped up in starting vs. coming off the bench. To me, its about who he shares the floor with, how many minutes he gets, and whether he plays in crunch time or not.

      For what it’s worth, inclusive of both his good stretches and bad, in the last game v. Chicago, the Knicks had a 86.7 O-Eff/106.7 D-Eff with Bargnani on the court, 95.5 O-Eff/77.3 D-Eff with him off the court. So when I say ‘uniformly terrible,’ that’s what I’m referring to.

      That’s basically beginning to get off on the wrong foot v. Minnesota. That does matter when considering whether or not he should start. And it’s not just his defense or his lack of rebounding. It’s the way he wanders down from the three point line and allows teams to pack the lane, cutting off driving lanes for Melo, Felton, etc. Even when he’s hitting shots, he’s torquing the offense in a direction that I think isn’t the best way for this team to play. When he hit three straight to start the 2nd half, for example, Chicago still extended the lead.

    25. ruruland

      Melo actually did a really good job on Love on Team USA, and it’s historically the kind of match-up (with two days rest) he’ll be up for on both ends. Remember when Faried came to NY last year there was a lot of concern about him dominating Melo on the offensive glass. Faried did not get a single offensive rebound in 30 minutes, and it was largely because Melo was focused on blocking him out.

      I’d start him against Love because I actually think he can slow him down on the glass and torch him on offense, maybe getting him in foul trouble.

      Brewer is not a real defensive option against Melo in the post. Derrick Williams is their best shot at slowing him down Sunday. I think Melo’s going to have a huge game either way.

    26. Z-man

      That’s basically beginning to get off on the wrong foot v. Minnesota. That does matter when considering whether or not he should start. And it’s not just his defense or his lack of rebounding. It’s the way he wanders down from the three point line and allows teams to pack the lane, cutting off driving lanes for Melo, Felton, etc. Even when he’s hitting shots, he’s torquing the offense in a direction that I think isn’t the best way for this team to play. When he hit three straight to start the 2nd half, for example, Chicago still extended the lead.

      But Rob, let’s be honest. By that logic, you would rather him not play at all, ever. So given he is going to play around 20 minutes, when do you prefer that he plays?

      If he starts and plays poorly, you get off to a bad start but have the whole game to adjust.

      If you start someone else and get off to a good start (and there’s no guarantee that they do) and then you bring him in and they lose that lead, is that much better?

      Is it better to have Chandler in there barking at him and having his back, and Melo to defer to on offense, or to have him come off the bench and feel he needs to do it all?

      Regarding the “drifting” you refer to on offense, is that a terminal condition or is it on the coaches to correct it, or are they actually telling him to do it? I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve disagreed with a coaching tactic. :-)

    27. Robert Silverman

      But Rob, let’s be honest. By that logic, you would rather him not play at all, ever. So given he is going to play around 20 minutes, when do you prefer that he plays?

      10-15 minutes a game, backing up Melo w/the 2nd unit, with either Chandler or Martin at C. But no, he shouldn’t get 20 MPG, not w/how he’s played so far. I can’t believe that Woodson isn’t aware of this, and my suspicion is that he’s being ordered to start him by a chubby-fingered fake-bluesman/overgrown spoiled rich kid.

      If he starts and plays poorly, you get off to a bad start but have the whole game to adjust. If you start someone else and get off to a good start (and there’s no guarantee that they do) and then you bring him in and they lose that lead, is that much better?

      Yes, because I want the Knicks’ best players in the optimal configuration playing as much as possible. This isn’t a James White starter-in-name-only thing. When Bargs started, he got 25 mins. When he came off the bench, he got 17 (yes, small sample). I think it should be less, but the former is preferable.

      Is it better to have Chandler in there barking at him and having his back, and Melo to defer to on offense, or to have him come off the bench and feel he needs to do it all?

      I don’t want him on the floor with Melo. I haven’t seen a game yet, with our w/o Melo where Bargs has ‘looked to do it all’ on offense. If anything, he’s too hesitant/tentative.

      Regarding the “drifting” you refer to on offense, is that a terminal condition or is it on the coaches to correct it, or are they actually telling him to do it? I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve disagreed with a coaching tactic. :-)

      From talking w/some Toronto bloggers, the drifting’s been a thing in his career. Partially it was the fact that previous Toronto coaches wanted to take fewer threes. See here. Media drips and drabs have suggested that Woodson et al are trying to correct it, but like you said, it’s going to take time. I just don’t think that force-feeding him into the starting lineup is the best way to fix his problems.

    28. JK47

      So far Bargnani has shot the three miserably badly, just as he did in the preseason and just as he did last season, and the season before that. If he doesn’t get that 3PT% up he’s going to be glued to the bench soon enough. He has probably about 10 to 15 games to turn his career around. If he’s still shooting sub-.300 from 3 a month from now he’s done.

    29. ephus

      Ruru – I already have a bet with THCJ, but there is no money involved. If the Knicks win 46 or more games, he has to “+1″ all of my comments in the first round playoff post game threads and make no other comments. If the Knicks win 45 or less, I have to do the same.

      If the Knicks stay healthy and JR Smith does not go off the rails, I see them as a 51 win team. There will be less iso-Melo this year. The downside of that is more turnovers. The upside is more ball movement and more easy baskets.

      My big concern about Bargnani is on the defensive end. He is too slow afoot to chase on the perimeter. He is also too slow in his rotations, and not good in protecting the rim. So, unless he is called to provide post-up defense with no rotations, he is a defensive sieve. And there are very few opportunities for pure post-up defenders. If there were, Jason Collins would already have a job.

    30. Kahnzy

      76ers 2013-14 Atlantic Division Champions.

      This Michael Carter-Williams kid is having himself one helluva debut. He’ll be fun to watch on League Pass all year if he keeps up this level of play.

    31. BigBlueAL

      I drafted both MCW and Hawes on my fantasy team. Safe to say I feel like a genius right now lol.

    32. flossy

      I cannot believe we’re making arguments using +/-, ORtg, DRtg, whatever, for any player or combination of players, after two games.

    33. Z-man

      I don’t want him on the floor with Melo. I haven’t seen a game yet, with our w/o Melo where Bargs has ‘looked to do it all’ on offense. If anything, he’s too hesitant/tentative.

      As a starter, his usage was 18; as a reserve, it was 33.

      Yes, because I want the Knicks’ best players in the optimal configuration playing as much as possible. This isn’t a James White starter-in-name-only thing. When Bargs started, he got 25 mins. When he came off the bench, he got 17 (yes, small sample). I think it should be less, but the former is preferable.

      This is reasonable, and if Andrea doesn’t improve after a reasonable trial period, he should be benched. I just think that Woodson sees long-term/deep-into-the-playoffs upside with Bargnani that he doesn’t see with the other options, and wants to give that a chance. I don’t have a problem with him feeling that he needs to build him up and show confidence in him. Frankly, I don’t have a lot of confidence that we can get past the Pacers, and probably the Nets or Bulls, without a better stretch-4 option than we had last year, or than we potentially have on the current roster beyond Bargnani. I’m not a big believer in getting hooked on the small lineup, especially with Prigioni and Felton starting. It’s a gimmick and will be exposed by top teams. I’m not convinced that Bargnani can’t be taught to play at least a little bit bigger and smarter than he did in best years in Toronto.

      I remember being gaga over Anthony Randolph, but after seeing him play a few games, it was a clear that he was fatally flawed bust. I haven’t yet gotten the same impression regarding Bargnani, and I don’t think Woodson or Chandler or Melo have either. Beyond that, I would fully expect that a team that just traded significant assets for a guy who they have to pay $11 mill per is not gonna throw in the towel and bench him after 2 games, admitting to the world that the trade was a failure.

    34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Why would I bet $1000 on an under line of 41? That would be a foolish bet, even if you think, as I do, that the Knicks could go sub-.500. If you want to take the Vegas line’s over, I’d be happy to set up an escrow account and take your money.

      I predict 43-39 and you ask me if I’ll bet four figures on a sub-.500 with an even payout. Hilarious.

    35. danvt

      If everybody plays to their bubble gum card this team will not win a championship. We need things to happen that haven’t happened before. Like last year, when a 35 year old rookie lead us on a 13-1 streak at the end of the season. That’s why I watch. My suggestion to the AB haters is to skip the games where he starts or plays backup 5, if you’re so sure it means a loss. Or just get league pass and become the pan NBA sophisticate you profess to be. I mean, why suffer? Just click away. I’m going to hope that AB plays better or that the coach figures out a rotation that excludes him, but, I’m going to be patient with the process and hope things happen that I never would have expected. That’s why I’m fascinated with this game and this team. Realistic expectations of success? No. Hoping for the best, and looking for interesting plot points along the way? Sure.

    36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Why is it unreasonable to disagree (vehemently) with bad decisions made by your favorite team’s GM? I’m not going to stop following the Knicks just because they signed the worst starter over the last five years. If anything, I should stop watching because it puts money in Dolan’s pockets, and Dolan is the worst.

      Blind optimism cast toward a corporate uniform doesn’t sit well with me. The Knicks made a bad decision — no, a number of bad decisions — and that’s something that will come up on a board like this.

      You’ll never see me say, “Bargnani is just bad. Deal with it.” He’s demonstrably bad. Half of the posters on this board want to speculate glass-half-full with the guy — and some of them want to talk about how he’s so good at boxing out, which is so fully conjecture that it makes me want to barf — but that doesn’t mean that we all have to. When the Curry deal went down, we had this board to shit all over it. When the Amar’e deal went down, many of us cried desperation (and it was, and still is). When Carmelo used his leverage to fuck the Knicks’ future assets for no discernible reason, we had this board to bemoan it. And now that the Knicks gave up more future assets for a terrible player, we’ll do the same. You can be the optimist. I’ll be your counterpart. Welcome to the board.

    37. Z-man

      Why is it unreasonable to disagree (vehemently) with bad decisions made by your favorite team’s GM? I’m not going to stop following the Knicks just because they signed the worst starter over the last five years. If anything, I should stop watching because it puts money in Dolan’s pockets, and Dolan is the worst.

      Blind optimism cast toward a corporate uniform doesn’t sit well with me. The Knicks made a bad decision — no, a number of bad decisions — and that’s something that will come up on a board like this.

      You’ll never see me say, “Bargnani is just bad. Deal with it.” He’s demonstrably bad. Half of the posters on this board want to speculate glass-half-full with the guy — and some of them want to talk about how he’s so good at boxing out, which is so fully conjecture that it makes me want to barf — but that doesn’t mean that we all have to. When the Curry deal went down, we had this board to shit all over it. When the Amar’e deal went down, many of us cried desperation (and it was, and still is). When Carmelo used his leverage to fuck the Knicks’ future assets for no discernible reason, we had this board to bemoan it. And now that the Knicks gave up more future assets for a terrible player, we’ll do the same. You can be the optimist. I’ll be your counterpart. Welcome to the board.

      I’ll respond on the latest thread…

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