Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.01.08)

  • [New York Daily News] Shoe-Gate II: Knicks’ Smith tries lace trick… AGAIN! (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 06:59:46 GMT)
    It’s no secret that J.R. Smith and Knicks coach Mike Woodson enjoy a special relationship that borders on the unusual. You might even say that Smith and Woodson are connected like laces on a shoe.    

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks thaw out, prepare for Heat with win over Pistons (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 06:56:16 GMT)
    The arrival of the Heat – weather-related pun, wholly intended – on Thursday night will serve as a much better barometer on whatever improvements the Knicks finally have shown over the past week.    

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Knicks not ready to weather Miami (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 06:54:08 GMT)
    What a time for the Knicks to have to play the Miami Heat. “Is that who we play next?” Carmelo Anthony asked after the Knicks were almost overtaken by the feeble Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at the Garden. “Honest, I did not know.”    

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: Felton’s back, with cold and all (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 05:57:02 GMT)
    Raymond Felton swiveled around in a chair in the Knicks locker room and immediately started to cough. “Don’t get too close,” he said with a smile.    

  • [New York Daily News] Not shoe-ting straight: Knicks’ J.R. goes for Marion’s laces (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 02:59:07 GMT)
    J.R. Smith’s perplexing second full season with the Knicks continues. Smith admitted to making a “bad basketball IQ” play when he launched an ill-advised 3-pointer at the end of the Knicks’ loss in Houston Saturday. But the stunt he pulled Sunday night in a 92-80 win over Dallas could be classified as just plain old low IQ.    

  • [New York Post] In return, Felton sparks Knicks rally (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:41:10 -0500)
    The Knicks had to play Tuesday night without their center; but they finally got back their injured point guard. Raymond Felton was back in the lineup against Detroit after a…

  • [New York Post] An ugly win, but the Knicks will take it (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:36:13 -0500)
    The shot was off, you could see that, and at the same time you could see and you could feel a thousand other things, too: Visions of past losses, past…

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ World Peace: Knee procedure went well (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:30:35 -0500)
    Metta World Peace said he's already feeling the good effects from the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) blood-spinning procedure he underwent on his knees Monday. World Peace, who has played just two…

  • [New York Times] Rodman Appears to Blame U.S. Missionary for North Korean Captivity (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 09:51:09 GMT)
    Dennis Rodman, in a television interview on Tuesday, appeared to suggest that Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae was to blame for his captivity in North Korea, the latest in a series of controversial comments by the former U.S. basketball star.    

  • [New York Times] Cousins, Gay Lead Kings Past Blazers 123-119 (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 06:10:08 GMT)
    DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points and 13 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 32 points and the Sacramento Kings held off a furious rally to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 123-119 on Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Hayward’s 37 Lift Jazz Past Thunder 112-101 (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 06:00:35 GMT)
    Facing the league’s top scorer, Gordon Hayward did his best Kevin Durant impersonation.    

  • [New York Times] Mavs End Home Skid, 110-97 Over Lakers (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 05:06:37 GMT)
    Monta Ellis struggled with his shot for most of the game. His big 2-minute outburst in the fourth quarter Tuesday night is all that really mattered for the Dallas Mavericks.    

  • [New York Times] Knicks 89, Pistons 85: Felton Returns, and Suddenly Surging Knicks Win Again (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 05:05:00 GMT)
    Raymond Felton played in his first game since Dec. 20 and Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points as the Knicks held off a late rally by the Pistons to pick up their third victory in four games.    

  • [New York Times] Foye’s 23 Points Leads Nuggets Past Celtics (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 04:50:59 GMT)
    Randy Foye scored a season-high 23 points, connecting on seven 3-pointers, and the Denver Nuggets routed the Boston Celtics 129-98 on Tuesday night for their third straight win after an eight-game losing streak.    

  • [New York Times] On-Court Levity Puts J. R. Smith Back on the Defensive (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 04:33:20 GMT)
    J. R. Smith of the Knicks has again drawn attention from N.B.A. officials after an apparently unsportsmanlike act against a Mavericks player on Sunday.    

  • [New York Times] Beal Leads Wizards to 97-83 Win Over Bobcats (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 04:27:04 GMT)
    After a listless first half, the Washington Wizards used a big third quarter run to beat the Charlotte Bobcats    

  • [New York Times] Ginobli Lifts Spurs Past Grizzlies 110-108 in OT (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 04:11:58 GMT)
    Manu Ginobili scored on a driving layup with 1.8 seconds left in overtime to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 110-108 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Lee Leads Warriors to 101-80 Win Over Bucks (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:54:19 GMT)
    David Lee had 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors to their 10th straight win, a 101-80 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Bulls Beat Suns 92-87 After Trading Deng (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:48:08 GMT)
    Taj Gibson had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 92-87 on Tuesday night in their first game after parting with Luol Deng in a trade.    

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Cavs Send Bynum and Picks to Bulls for Deng (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:33:30 GMT)
    Chicago immediately waived the center, who suffers from bad knees and has played only 24 games during the past two seasons.    

  • [New York Times] Bothersome Ankles Sideline Nets’ Deron Williams (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:22:18 GMT)
    The star guard will miss Wednesday’s game against the Warriors after receiving cortisone and platelet-rich plasma injections around his ankles.    

  • [New York Times] Anthony Scores 34, Knicks Hold Off Pistons, 89-85 (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:18:23 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony scored 13 of his 34 points in the third quarter, then made the clinching free throws with 2.9 seconds left as the New York Knicks handed the Detroit Pistons a season-high fifth straight loss with an 89-85 victory on Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] James Scores 32, Heat Run Past Pelicans 107-88 (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 03:05:59 GMT)
    LeBron James scored 32 points, Dwyane Wade scored 22 and the Miami Heat turned things around in the second half to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-88 Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Pacers Win 3rd in Row, Beating Raptors 86-79 (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 02:54:22 GMT)
    Roy Hibbert scored 22 points and Danny Granger matched his season high with 13 to help Indiana hold off Toronto 86-79 Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Miles Makes 10 3s as Cavaliers Beat 76ers 111-93 (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 02:36:20 GMT)
    C.J. Miles set a team record with 10 3-pointers and scored a season-high 34 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 111-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Keeping Score: When Good Things Like the Playoffs Happen to Bad Teams Like the Knicks (Wed, 08 Jan 2014 01:12:39 GMT)
    The Knicks can take solace in the fact that several N.B.A. teams have recovered from an 11-22 record, or worse, to make the playoffs. But they didn’t get far.    

  • 79 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.01.08)

    1. johnno

      A lot of people on this site criticize PER and argue that it is not a good indicator of how good a player is. Here is the list, in order, of the top 21 guys in PER rank this season — Durant, LeBron, Love, Paul, Cousins, A Davis, B Lopez, Brandan Wright, Melo, Dirk, Wade, Isiah Thomas, George, Horford, Curry, Aldridge, Drummond, Howard, Griffin, Westbrook and Harden. It seems to me that, with a few exceptions (like Wright and Thomas) and a few glaring omissions (Tony Parker jumps to mind), and maybe some quibbling with the order (like Paul George should be a little higher and Cousins quite a bit lower) that is pretty much a list of the best players in the NBA.

    2. er

      I actually think we have gotten to the Point where Melo is underrated in “nba circles” Its quite a phenomenon.

    3. iserp

      PER is limited in its scope but it is simple and i find it useful.

      1) Get everything positive and negative in a box score and sum it with some reasonable weights
      2) Then average it by the minutes you play and the pace of your team.
      3) Make it so the average player in a given season has 15 PER

      It is not very ambitious, and it goes with the common view that volume scoring is valuable in itself. But i find that a plus. It doesnt try to capture aspects of the game that are outside the realm of traditional box statistics. It doesnt make assumptions that havent been proven / only work in certain situations, like: “volume scoring is just shoot more while keeping your %TS”, or “rebounds are just a player responsibility, not a team one”.

      Overall, it just takes the box statistics and corrects them for minutes and pace. Therefore it is simple to use, you just have to use it well:
      -Acknowledge it mostly takes into account offensive stats
      -Don’t try to compare two players that are way too different

      Surprisingly, this simple metric has the very nice property of being really stable:
      -Year to year
      -Role to role
      -Big to little minutes (although this was expected since it is a per minute and pace statistic)
      Which is a real advantage to compare players (while other metrics just vary too much, like WP48). Not a surprise that it is widely used.

    4. iserp

      Would anybody other than me make this trade if we decided to do a full rebuild?
      http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lhgdzal

      I don’t like the Bobcats busts… I’d rather play out this season (well, perhaps i am too optimistic, but i think we have a puncher’s chance against anyone if we reach the playoffs), and then let Melo expire. And when i say expire, i mean offer Melo a lowball offer and let’s see if he finds better some place else.

    5. Owen

      Johnno – The problem with PER is that you can increase your rating simply by taking shots, as long as you hit 33% of them, which basically any NBA player can do.

      Also, most of the linear metrics will throw up generally similar results. But as a quick and dirty look at player value it’s far from the best.

      I think Melo is closer to properly rated these days. No one talks about him as one of the 10 best players in the league. But he will still be in the starting lineup for the East at the All Star game….

    6. johnno

      There may be problems with how PER is calculated and what it does and doesn’t take into account, and you can argue that a guy with a 22 is better than a guy with a 23 but, overall, doesn’t it pretty much give you a list of the best players in the league? Put it another way — if you took the top 20 list and picked one guy at each position from that list and made those five your starting lineup, wouldn’t you have the best starting five in the league by far? In other words, wouldn’t you have the Olympic team? Or, if you took the top 20 PER guys and divided them into 4 starting lineups, wouldn’t they be the best four starting lineups in the league? By the way, my opinion is that if no one is talking about Melo being a top 10 player, he is very underrated.

    7. Totes McGoats

      iserp-
      That actually sounds like it would work, offering Melo a lowball deal. Just because we can offer up 30 mil a season, it doesn’t mean we have to. Hopefully it won’t offend Melo too much, but if another team offers 20 mil a year the Knicks can theoretically say “well ur best offer was 20 so we’ll give u 22″, right? I guess it wouldn’t help the cap because we have his Bird rights, but when STAT, Tyson and Bargnani come off the cap we won’t be paying an aging Melo 30 mil. Good stuff iserp

    8. KnickfaninNJ

      Watching Bargnani play last night I was struck by how differently he’s playing now than when he first joined the Knicks. He has more energy around the boards and his shots are more in the flow of the game. I hope this is a permanent change, but am wondering about the cause. It could be he’s just in better shape because he wasn’t in game shape early because of his pneumonia, but this seems unlikely to me, because a) he didn’t look like this in Toronto and b) if it was just lack of fitness I would have expected spurts of activity like this followed by a fall off as he got tired and I don’t remember that happening. I have two hypotheses. One, he’s figured out his role better and he and his team mates are more used to each other. Two, Herb Williams is good at his job.

      Does anyone else see this change in him? If so, any idea why?

    9. johnno

      Totes — According to the trade machine, your proposed trade results in -14 wins for the Knicks. I didn’t think that it was possible for a 12 win team to lose 14 of their wins but what do I know…

    10. Garson

      any thought of Melo taking less then max went down the drain the day Kobe signed his 25 Mil extension this season. From what i read, Melo is tight with Kobe and looks up to him.

      Kobe was in the perfect scenerio to take less … He already banked over 200 Mil in career earnings ( not including endorsments), is at a point where his main goal is to win his 6th ring and still refused to help the team by taking less and using the surplus to build around him.

      I do not blame him for accepting the ridiculous offer , however if Kobe is in Melos ear in the slightest, melo will not be taking a dime less then max.

    11. iserp

      Johnno – The problem with PER is that you can increase your rating simply by taking shots, as long as you hit 33% of them, which basically any NBA player can do.

      You don’t increase too much your PER this way. Besides, it is not a 33% overall, it is a 33% for the extra shots, which usually means the tough ones; and i don’t think most NBA players can get a 33% shot anytime they want, the average midrange shot (which is the one that defenses usually give you, the one you can take extras easily) is shot under 40% (via Kirk Goldsberry), and that includes the assisted, uncontested ones. Can Drummond (which has a high PER, by the way) hit 33% in extra shots (not ones in which he is assisted or at least set up in a deep position by the PG) if he can’t hit 38% of his free throws?

    12. lavor postell

      Carmelo is definitely being severely underrated at this point. He’s absolutely a top-10 player in the league. If we had any production from our guards and competent coaching we would at least be a .500 team right now and more likely 2-3 games over. This would be for the majority without Tyson “sniffles” Chandler. None of this means I think we should give Melo 5/129m, but the fact that Melo has still been an efficient, low turnover volume scorer while giving a much better effort on the defensive end at least shows that a decline in his athleticism may not affect his game as adversely as some other players. If he were to agree to a 5/100m deal I’d be comfortable giving him that given what we’ve seen from him. Even if we sign him and we continue to suck miserably, there will always be a team willing to take on the rest of his contract and give us assets in order to do so.

    13. johnno

      “any thought of Melo taking less then max went down the drain the day Kobe signed his 25 Mil extension this season. From what i read, Melo is tight with Kobe and looks up to him.”
      I for one hope that Melo does follow Kobe’s lead because Kobe’s extension is far less than the Lakers could have paid him. Kobe is making $30.5 million this year, so the Lakers could have signed him to an extension starting at about $32 million. Kobe “sacrificed” $7 million/year (tough “sacrifice” to take, no?).

    14. DRed

      Surprisingly, this simple metric has the very nice property of being really stable:
      -Year to year
      -Role to role
      -Big to little minutes

      This holds true for pretty much any box score derived statistic. The underlying numbers are pretty stable year to year, role to role, and minute to minute.

    15. DRed

      Carmelo is definitely being severely underrated at this point. He’s absolutely a top-10 player in the league.

      And you know this how?

    16. DRed

      A couple interesting comments from the game thread last night that I missed:

      Durant took 34 of his team’s 85 shots tonight in an 11 pt. loss to Utah (and made 14) If Melo had a game like that, he’d be condemned as a ball stopping hog.

      But as Owen has pointed out, if Melo continues his solid play, he’s a “borderline All Star”

      What a joke

      Durant had 48 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks and 0 turnovers. Melo is more than welcome to hoggishly ballstop his way to line like that every night.

      You know who isolates more than Melo? James Harden.

      From what I understand, the issue with Melo isn’t that he goes iso too much. It’s that he doesn’t score efficiently when he goes iso. If he was scoring efficiently of isos, then by all means, keep doing them. There’s nothing wrong with an iso in isolation-it’s only a bad use of a possession if there are better alternatives.

    17. Totes McGoats

      This question of do we keep Melo or not is kinda ironically funny and frustrating at the same time. On one hand, we can get young assets/picks in return but on the other hand the EC only has 3 TEAMS(!!!) playing .500 ball or better so not running on all cylinders is not so much of a bad thing. As long as we don’t end up with the 8 seed. Or 7 to a lesser extent. If we can pick up steam and get healthy at the right time, then I would think we have more than a puncher’s chance in the playoffs. Having to account for Melo, Bargnani, STAT, JR, and a Felton/Tyson p&r is quite the task. Not to mention TH2’s upside and Shump’s flashes of brilliance. If Aldrich and Tyler can garner more minutes then I think we have a good mix with role players in MWP-Kmart-Prigioni-Aldrich-Tyler-Shump. The only real question is if Woodson can put them in the best position to succeed

    18. ruruland

      This is the second best NBA era for top tier NBA talent.

      Paul, Lebron and Durant are all clearly better than Melo.

      Love is probably better than Melo, even if he’s atrocious defensively ( Melo isn’t), inflates his scoring and efficiency on a team that gets a ton of cherry-pick points, and only 35 percent of his rebounds are contested.

      But outside of that, one can argue for Melo being anywhere from the 5th best player in the NBA to the 15th.

      Personally, Melo is in my top 10, but he’s also behind Curry.

      Owen and friends don’t think Melo even compares to Tyson Chandler.

      Let’s get a few things straight about Tyson, who I like of course.

      Two straight seasons the Knicks have a better winning percentage when he doesn’t play. Two straight seasons the Knicks are better defensively when he’s on the bench. Two straight seasons he grades out very poorly in Tim protection metrics. This year, opponents are shooting over 50 percent when Chandler guards them in front of the rim, which is one of the worst marks for a starting big in the NBA.

      His scoring efficiency is way down this year. Why? He’s taking mid-range shots.

      If you actually examined Chandlers efficiency in-depth, as I have on more than one occasion on this board, the only reason Chandler has had extremely high scoring efficiency in the past is because of shot selection.

      Chandler finishes well, but there are quite a few bigs who finish better. All of them take a couple jump-shots, which Chandler is finally doing, and why he looks so pedestrian by WS and WP.

      Third, Chandler is not a great defensive rebounder. I’m not even sure you can call him good for a defensive rebounder.

      Melo is clearly the better player. Chandler was better two seasons ago because of his defense, but it hasn’t been much of a comparison the last two years.

    19. DRed

      Tyson has always sucked at Tim protection.

      How do you know any of these players are better or worse than Melo? I think he’s the 17th best player in the NBA. Why am I wrong?

    20. lavor postell

      And you know this how?

      It’s funny, but there’s these things called opinions.

      I think most people that have watched the Knicks over the course of this season would recognize Melo has been the one guy pulling his weight and then some on this team. Melo basically was the only person capable of initiating offense consistently for the majority of the season until this last stretch of 4 games in which Shumpert stepped up and actually became a viable offensive option.

      There’s a reason his attempted threes percentage has gone down from 27.8% of his total shots last year to 19.8% this year and that’s because he doesn’t have the luxury this year on most possessions of camping out beyond the arc. Anthony is shooting 40.2% from three this year however which is better than the 37.9% career high mark he put up last year.

      Last night with Felton sporadically able to penetrate and create clean open looks, it was a clear vision of what we’ve been missing this season. More impressive is that even though he’s handling a much higher proportion of ball handling duties this year Melo is posting the lowest TOV% of his career of 8.4.

      Melo is also posting a TRB% of 13, his previous career high being 11.8. He’s also posting a 20.1 DRB%, which would shatter his previous best mark of 18.3. On a totally subjective perspective, his defense seems to be much better this year and it appears he is knocking balls loose and disrupting opponents offensive flow more effectively.

      Courtesy of Frank

      Melo is a net +16 per 100 possessions this year (+7 on O, -9 on D surprisingly) – that is outrageously good. To give you an idea how good, Lebron was a net +18/100 poss last year after having one of the best years by any player ever basically.

      That’s my argument for why I think he’s solidly in the debate for being a top-10 player

    21. JK47

      Melo has been fine as a Knick– they’ve gotten good value out of him. The problem is, the team is almost certainly going to invest its entire future on the gamble that Melo is not going to decline too much on his next contract, which strikes me as a very bad gamble. He has an awful lot of wear and tear on his body for a 29-year old.

    22. coyle022

      whoa,

      IanBegley Ian Begley
      JR Smith has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct, the league announced.

    23. Garson

      “IanBegley Ian Begley
      JR Smith has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct, the league announced.”

      No Lobster for Chris Smith this week!

    24. DRed

      Love is probably better than Melo, even if he’s atrocious defensively ( Melo isn’t), inflates his scoring and efficiency on a team that gets a ton of cherry-pick points, and only 35 percent of his rebounds are contested.

      Only 31% of Carmelo’s rebounds are contested. Also, what’s the significance of contested rebound % Do some players demonstrate a skill at generating more uncontested rebounds?

    25. d-mar

      @18 D Red, give me a break. Melo has had plenty of games where he’s filled the stat sheet and shot poorly, and no one would cut him any slack. The Thunder lost to an awful Jazz team, and Durant was 14-34, including 0-8 in the 4th quarter. If that was Melo, all you’d be talking about was volume shooting and not being clutch when it matters.

    26. Frank O.

      JR is such a doofus.
      He lost what some folks would consider a decent annual salary because he ignores Woodson and tries to untie someone else’s sneaker.
      Pretty stupid.

    27. Frank O.

      I’m beginning to wonder if JR might have some real mental defect. Maybe being too close to MWP has sent him over the edge…

    28. Frank O.

      I think this year Melo is a top 10 guy.
      I think Cousins has become a top 10 player as well. The man has put it all together.

    29. Frank

      Do some players demonstrate a skill at generating more uncontested rebounds?

      Yes – I think it’s been well documented that players often “steal” rebounds from their teammates to pad their own stats ie. Reggie Evans, David Lee, etc. So if that’s a “skill” then I guess they demonstrate a “skill”. And sometimes it’s not even stealing — Dylan Murphy wrote a post last year about the rebounding skills of Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez and found that basically the Nets allow Evans to get all the uncontested rebounds by design. And it could actually be a good thing for a specific player to get uncontested rebounds – in Love’s case, maybe they let him get all the uncontested rebounds because he’s such a ridiculously good outlet passer. In Jason Kidd’s case, there were reports that teammates let him get uncontested rebounds because he was so good at pushing it up the floor immediately. etc. etc. there are all sorts of potential subtleties that are just not captured by even Sportvu, much less a box score.

      Re: JR — someone should honestly look into whether he has ADHD. JR Smith on Adderall would be a basketball force. I’m actually serious about this.

      Re: last night’s game – there IS a tangible difference in the offense when Felton is playing and playing well. I thought he was pretty good last night on both ends of the floor, late turnovers notwithstanding. What’s so frustrating is to watch them go to the Felton/KMart or Felton/Melo PNR again and again in the 3rd quarter, blow the game wide-open, then basically abandon it in the 4th for whatever plays that end up in Melo getting the ball in iso on the wing. Why not just bludgeon them with what works? It’s like Woodson feels the need to go away from success – like his quote about knowing that going small works, but let’s see what the big lineup does.

    30. Keniman Shumpwalker

      @#4
      I wouldn’t do that trade unless it include multiple 1st rounders, at least one of which would have to be not-lottery protected. Gordon’s expiring is nice, I like Henderson as a bench piece, but no thanks on Bismack and I’m skeptical that MKG will ever develop enough offense to make him more than a pure wing-D specialist who can finish on the break.

      I’d rather cook up Tyson/Shump trade scenarios since I find it hard to believe that Dolan would consent to even exploring Melo trades unless he had some strong indications from Cartel CAA that he was bolting.

      Let me preface the rest of this by saying that I love Tyson. After his first couple of months here, I was convinced he was going to be my favorite Knick since Patty…but the injury/illness concerns are legit and are not likely to improve as he ages, obviously. The rest of the league seems to value Tyson very highly (maybe too much, even, given the aforementioned concerns and offensive limitations–though if he continues to develop that mid-range jumper then he’ll have an easier time maintaining value as his athleticism wanes) so I think he could net quite a haul from the right team.

      So, having said all that, the following trade works and I would do it in a heartbeat if it included a 1st rounder and maybe a 2nd as well.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ljquy7c

      Thoughts?

    31. DRed

      Do some players demonstrate a skill at generating more uncontested rebounds?

      Yes – I think it’s been well documented that players often “steal” rebounds from their teammates to pad their own stats ie. Reggie Evans, David Lee, etc.

      That’s not what I’m asking-let me try to explain myself better. I’m wondering if there are some players who are able to get more uncontested attempts than average because of their skill at rebounding. Say I was so big and strong and good at anticipating rebound location that there were 2 rebounds a game that I would get more than the average player that the other team wouldn’t even bother contesting. This would make my contested rebound percentage go down, which according to ruru (I guess) would make me a worse rebounder. But it would help my team, right?

    32. Unreason

      On Nov 26, 2013 I wrote:

      Not that I think he’s being overused, but I am taking bets on the exact date that the disorganized pile of inflamed ganglia, cartilage and lymph formerly known as Carmelo Anthony pivots and suddenly loses all cohesion, spreading out across midcourt like a spilled pot of stew. I’m guessing Jan 15th.

      As the WAG date I threw out there approaches he does seem to be wearing down, though managing to remain effective with diminished resources.

      Is Woodson profligate in his use of Anthony? Will he respond to warning signs before it’s too late? Or is he Ahab, red eyes fixed on a ruinous course? Or, as I hope, am I overcautious because Anthony has sinews of spun steel and will be just fine?

    33. Frank

      btw for those who think Melo is a “finished product” and can’t change how he plays – it’s just totally untrue. Even if you look at his possession-type distribution, it’s changed markedly over the last few years.

      2009-10 DEN 2010-11 NYK 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
      Isolation 36.5% 37.0% 35.4 27.1 23.5
      PNR BH 7.7% 7.9% 9.7 10.6 8.5
      Post-up 17.5% 11.4% 13 20.8 23.8
      PNR RM 0.8% 2.0% 1.5 2 1.4
      Spot-up 9.6% 12.6% 11.7 14.6 12.4
      Off-Screen 1.2% 3.3% 4.3 4.4 5.3
      Hand-off 1.4% 2.2% 1.8 1.4 1.2
      Cut 4.2% 3.8% 4.3 3 3.9
      O-reb 5.6% 4.9% 5.1 5.1 7.9
      Transition 9.6% 9.5% 8.6 7.3 6.9

      Sorry if the formatting comes out all wrong.

      Anyway you can see he iso’s WAY less than he used to – yes, less iso this year than James Harden (24.2%). In fact, even with all the flopping that Harden does, Melo’s better at scoring in every way than Harden other than as a PNR BH (0.77 vs 0.87) and in transition (1.29 for Harden, 1.0 for Melo). Even as a spot-up shooter Melo is faaar superior to Harden (1.15 PPP vs. 1.02). The end result of that and all the turnovers that Harden commits (TO-R 15.9 vs. 8.4) is that they actually have the same overall efficiency = 0.99 PPP. How Harden makes up for it is that 22.7% of his possessions are in transition vs. only 6.9% for Melo. And that is mostly a system-thing — Houston runs on every miss, and the Knicks are turtles.

    34. Frank

      blah, sorry the formatting didn’t come out. Anyway the point is Melo has gone from a 35-37% iso guy to a 24% iso guy over the last few years. He’s spotting up more, coming off screens more, and posting up way more here than in Denver. Where he really shines (ie. not just in relation to the rest of the league, but also in efficiency), though, is as a spot-up shooter. We need to get him more of those. And the PG play has been so atrocious this year that it’s obvious why he hasn’t gotten quite as many this year. Hopefully when we get healthy Melo’s spot-up attempts will be more like 15-16% of his possessions as opposed to 12. And we need to get out in transition WAY more.

    35. DRed

      Where he really shines (ie. not just in relation to the rest of the league, but also in efficiency), though, is as a spot-up shooter.

      This has been true for a few years, at least. Melo is an amazingly good shooter when he’s open. Which is one of the reasons I’ve spent so much digital ink bitching about his iso-attempts. That’s not Melo’s strength. What were his spot up attempt numbers like last year?

      Edit: NM, saw it’s in that chart in your previous post.

    36. johnno

      @30 You are JUST NOW starting to wonder whether JR has a mental defect of some sort? Wow.
      Re: Melo’s spot up shooting. Has anyone else noticed that, over his last 20 games or so, Melo is shooting over 50% from 3?

    37. er

      Melos numbers in DEC and JAN
      G Min FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3PT% FTM FTA FT% Off Def Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
      Dec 12 38:16 9.2 19.1 48.0 1.9 4.3 45.1 5.7 6.3 89.5 1.9 5.4 7.3 3.2 1.7 1.0 0.9 2.4 25.9
      Jan 4 38:00 9.8 20.8 47.0 2.8 4.5 61.1 4.0 5.0 80.0 1.3 6.5 7.8 3.3 2.0 2.0 0.8 3.5 26.3

      EDIT: Sorry the format got all screwed up but the numbers are

      in Dec 25.9ppg on 48% fg 45% 3p
      in Jan 26.3 ppg on 47% fg 61% 3p

    38. lavor postell

      This has been true for a few years, at least. Melo is an amazingly good shooter when he’s open. Which is one of the reasons I’ve spent so much digital ink bitching about his iso-attempts. That’s not Melo’s strength.

      How is he supposed to get open spot up looks when none of our guards have the ability to penetrate force the defense to rotate and kick out and the one guy that can showed up fat and has been hurt? I 1000% agree Melo should get more spot up looks, but nobody on this team has demonstrated the ability to generate open shots for their teammates other than him.

      JR helped alleviate that load last year, as did Felton with his ability to drive and kick, but both of their games have fallen off a cliff. Shumpert was the player we all hoped would make that next step up his offensive game, but other than the past few games we haven’t seen much of that. If JR, Shump and Felton can come good then I think we’ll see Melo hoisting way more spot up attempts than he is currently.

    39. Keniman Shumpwalker

      @42…
      Exactly this. Which is precisely the reason that I salivate at the thought of pairing Melo with a legit young PG. A lot of people seem fixated on the idea of Love being an ideal running mate for Melo but I don’t see that at all. The only way to maximize Melo’s talent and minimize the reliance on, and negative impact of, Iso-ball, is to pair him with a PG who can consistently break down defenses and force the rotations needed to get Melo those spot-ups.

      I’m not saying that Melo and Love couldn’t be an effective 3-4 combo, but they’d have to be surrounded by a perfect mix of ancillary talent to be an demonstrably better team than we are right now.

      I feel like I’ll always play the “if only” game with the Melo-CP3 dream.

    40. nicos

      Frank
      January 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Anyway you can see he iso’s WAY less than he used to – yes, less iso this year than James Harden (24.2%). In fact, even with all the flopping that Harden does, Melo’s better at scoring in every way than Harden other than as a PNR BH (0.77 vs 0.87) and in transition (1.29 for Harden, 1.0 for Melo). Even as a spot-up shooter Melo is faaar superior to Harden (1.15 PPP vs. 1.02). The end result of that and all the turnovers that Harden commits (TO-R 15.9 vs. 8.4) is that they actually have the same overall efficiency = 0.99 PPP. How Harden makes up for it is that 22.7% of his possessions are in transition vs. only 6.9% for Melo. And that is mostly a system-thing — Houston runs on every miss, and the Knicks are turtles.

      To be fair, Melo doesn’t exactly look to get out on the wing in transition- his deliberate style is one of the reasons the Knicks play at the pace they do. And while Harden does turn it over more, he also generates more assists so it’s not quite fair just to look at their ppp numbers. That said, I’d take Melo over Harden right now (though I’d also trade Melo for Harden without question due to age and lower cap number) because I think Harden’s flopping will hopefully catch up to him and he’ll get fewer calls and he’s an awful, awful defender.

    41. Keniman Shumpwalker

      This guy, James Southerland, can play, and the Knicks should take a look at him. He’s a stretch 4 who can actually shoot 3?s, would be a great fit here.

      I’m on board with this. I liked him at ‘Cuse and agree that he’d be worthy of a flier. Since Woody obviously will never un-stick Cole’s ass from the end of the bench, he’d be the obvious cut to me (even though I would actually like to see what Cole has, if anything).

    42. BigBlueAL

      Woodson with some real strong quotes about JR today after his fine. Funny part is he is saying this has got to stop and they have to find a way to put an end to this stuff. HELLO, you are the freaking head coach, bench his ass or at the very least severely cut back his minutes!!!!!!!!!

    43. Keniman Shumpwalker

      HELLO, you are the freaking head coach

      It’s amazing the disconnect with this guy. He does less actual “coaching” than Pringles did, and that’s saying a lot. Listening to Pringles mic’d up during TOs was like listening to my Synagogue League coach from when I was 13.

    44. Frank

      Now that Woody apparently has some job security, the best thing he could do for JR and for the team is to bench him for the entire nationally televised Miami game. He has to take a stand on this ridiculousness, and just showing him up on the radio will not cut it.

      Re: Melo – that’s why it’s so frustrating to watch them go away from the PNR. I have no idea how to get stats on this, but I wonder what his shot distribution and TS% are when he’s passed the ball out of the PNR (ie. not as the roll man but as a weak side outlet). My guess is that it’s a lot of drives off of closeouts and spot-up 3’s, and that his TS is well north of 60 on those possessions.

      Now it’s true that there have been injury issues. In fact, Felton/Tyson/Melo have only played 108 minutes together this season (out of a total of >1600 minutes this year). At this time last season (even including about 5 games missed by Felton due to the hand thing) they had already played about 700 minutes together.

      Well, one can only hope that at some point soon, the team gets healthy and we can actually put our best team out there.

    45. thenamestsam

      Woodson embarrasses himself every time he opens his mouth. I honestly want a reporter to ask him:

      “Can you think of anyone who would be in a good position to discipline JR? You know someone who might be able to say give him a reward when he performs well and punish him when he plays poorly? Does anyone with those sort of powers immediately come to mind for you?”

      I imagine him scratching that bald head with a blank look on his face.

      As for Melo I think he has been damn good this year. Top 10? That’s a really hard question because as Ruru said, this is a seriously elite era for talent. To me, there are 4 guys who are slam dunk, no doubt about it, preferable to Melo – Bron, Durant, CP3 and George. After that there’s a big cluster of guys who all have their attributes. I’m pretty sure most people if their hands were forced could find a way to make a case for guys like Harden, Aldridge, Love, Westbrook, Parker, Wade etc. over Melo if they wanted to argue he wasn’t a top-10 guy, and for the most part could make the opposite case if they wanted to as well.

    46. DRed

      The Greek Freak has an older, shorter brother in the D-league. We should give him a roster spot until his brother’s rookie deal comes to an end. That’s how you do long term planning outside the box.

    47. thenamestsam

      This is related to nothing (except I guess to the discussion of the game’s best players) but it absolutely blew my mind, so I’m posting it anyway. From Kirk Goldsberry’s piece today:

      This season, 39 players have attempted at least 200 field goals inside of eight feet. Only one of these players has made more than 66 percent of his shots; that would be James, who has made almost 77 percent of those shots. That’s insane.

      Insane is right.

    48. flossy

      To be fair, Melo doesn’t exactly look to get out on the wing in transition- his deliberate style is one of the reasons the Knicks play at the pace they do.

      I think this is 100% wrong, sorry, and I’ve said this before. Here’s how Melo’s Denver teams ranked in terms of pace of play:

      1st, 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 6th, 5th, 2nd.

      Now here’s the pace for Mike Woodson-coached teams (excluding the 24 games he inherited from MDA):

      13th, 17th, 24th, 18th, 24th, 27th, 26th, 29th.

      The Knicks are slow because Mike Woodson likes it that way. It’s probably the only way he can tell his boss he has a top-whatever defense.

    49. DRed

      “I’m not happy about this, because he was warned, he comes back and he makes the same mistake, and it’s not right,” Woodson said. “It’s just got to stop. I keep saying this every time something pops up, but it’s got to stop.”

      Maybe, just maybe, it’s because JR has learned that there are no consequences to disobeying you?

    50. ptmilo

      Ha. We are allegedly ‘gauging interest’ in JR Smith around the league.

      Right about now Steve Mills is desperately trying to figure out how to put Team Rodman into the ESPN trade machine.

    51. johnlocke

      so maybe the reason they played him all those minutes was to try to boost his trade value? Yeh that makes no sense….

      JR + Felton for Lowry? Any takers?

    52. iserp

      This holds true for pretty much any box score derived statistic. The underlying numbers are pretty stable year to year, role to role, and minute to minute.

      MMmmm… no?

      2002-03 Nash had in Dallas 35 %Ast, 57 %TS, 13 %TOV, 22.6 PER,
      2004-05 Nash had in Phoenix 50 %Ast, 60 %TS, 20 %TOV, 22.0 PER

      Box score numbers are not stable but PER is. And WP48 of Melo has fluctuated quite a lot if i recall correctly (sometimes below average player, sometimes borderline all star), i can’t find W48 numbers right now on the web to illustrate it.

    53. Garson

      I dont know about you but im pretty excited to see what “on the trading block” JR Smith looks like.

      We have seen ” making a statement by shooting 1 shot” JR which i didnt mind

      and “shooting 17 3’s” JR which was not so much fun

      This can go anyway and i cant wait!

    54. flossy

      JR + Felton for Lowry? Any takers?

      How many whip-its would Masai have to do before that trade went down?

    55. thenamestsam

      Man two months ago we felt like we owed JR so much that we gave his entirely unqualified brother a spot on the team solely because paying him more than any other team was willing to wasn’t enough reward for his sterling service apparently. Now he’s on the trade block? Nobody knows how to burn those bridges like JR.

    56. d-mar

      Man, talk about selling low. To determine JR’s trade value right now, you would have to dig a hole 100 feet in the ground, and then once you hit the bottom, go another 100 feet to make sure you generate even the slightest bit of interest among NBA GM’s.

    57. DRed

      So, we’ve got a player who is coming off major knee surgery and playing the worst basketball of his career. He was suspended 5 games this season because he can’t stop smoking weed. Oh, and he just got fined. For trying to untie another players shoe during a game. For the second time in two games. Right after the league warned him not to do it again. Any takers?

    58. mokers

      Whip-it is a brand name for a home-made whip cream canister. Some people have taken advantage of the relatively easy to purchase nitrous oxide containers used to make the whip cream in these canisters to get high instead. Not as many chemicals involved as compared to, say, huffing spray paint cans, which is what Masai would have to be doing to go for JR+Felton for Lowry.

    59. thenamestsam

      In terms of taking this seriously I think it’s pretty obvious that the Knicks should not be trading JR at this point. As everyone points out, his trade value is nil at this point, and while I think we’re all sick of the JR we’ve seen this year he really was a valuable contributor last year, and there’s enough mitigating factors here with the knee surgery, missing camp, the constantly shifting state of the lineup, that I think it’s reasonable to expect he’s not going to continue playing as bad as he is now. So it’s not the right moment to trade him even if you do want him gone.

      The good thing from the Knicks’ perspective as I see it is that it’s not like they’ve tried everything, exhausted every method open to them, and now are left with no choice but to just get rid of the guy. In fact they haven’t really tried anything to exercise any control over the guy. Simply putting him on the bench when he plays poorly would represent a pretty significant step in the right direction. It’s at least conceivable that a little usage of the stick to go along with the carrot the Knicks have done nothing but feed JR since he got here, plus a natural improvement in JR’s game as the lineups stabilize and he gets further from surgery could still turn this situation around.

    60. JK47

      JR’s contract runs through 2016. If you literally wanted to give him away and get nothing in return, nobody would go near him.

      There is a simple solution to the problem: put him on the bench, and give his minutes to THJ. Either JR learns a lesson and works his way back into the rotation, or he rots at the end of the bench. Win-win scenario.

    61. ephus

      In Denver, JR Smith reacted badly every time that George Karl tried to crack the whip. I am all for discipline for JR, but I do not believe that it is even 50% likely to bring JR to heel.

      Here are my rules for JR:

      1. You must know time and situation at all times. Prepare for Bunny Colvin quizzes.
      2. So long as the time and situation do not demand holding the ball, you have the green light for (a) shots at the rim and (b) open catch and shoots from 3.
      3. No step back jumpers unless there are less than five seconds on the clock.
      4. You should be awake for only one o’clock on any game day.
      5. Make your shot chart look like Jose Calderon.
      6. Play defense with your feet. See the ball and see your man.
      7. Party like a Mormon/Jehovah’s Witness.
      8. The only shoes you should touch are your own.
      9. Tweeting – Just say no.
      10. Never pout on the bench during a victory.

    62. yellowboy90

      What are Melo’s efficiency numbers out of post ups. I think novice’s include Melo’s post ups with Iso’s. So while he may be down in isolation he is up in post ups so aesthetically it looks the same.

    63. cgreene

      They should do now what they should have done all along. If he’s playing well in a particular game then play him. If not sit him. Rarely use him at the end of close games unless he shows he knows what’s going on. That’s what a bench player is. It’s not really that hard.

    64. nyk8806

      +1 ephus (except that’s like 9 rules too many for JR to remember). From what’s out there about JR, he’s not a guy who responds well to discipline or criticism. Tell me that my shot selection sucks? I’ll take 1 “shit” next game and make you lose. Tell me not to untie someone’s shoelaces? I’ll ignore it the very next game. I wouldn’t be surprised if half the antics attributed to JR in Silverman’s post Saturday Night Hotel Curfew recap were true (and certainly that he caused it). The dude’s got psychological/behavioral issues that nobody can fix.

      I don’t think that Woody benching JR for bad behavior/play will “bring him around”, but at least it will enable his minutes to be transferred to someone who has more consistency/upside. To some (small) degree, I sympathize with Woodson – JR’s a sunk cost at this point and had a great season last year, so why not try to give him some rope replicate that? Woodson’s like a guy who thought he tamed a giant snake, shocked that it’s starting to strangle him.

    65. DRed

      To some (small) degree, I sympathize with Woodson – JR’s a sunk cost at this point and had a great season last year, so why not try to give him some rope replicate that?

      That makes sense, but Woody gave him the whole damn coil.

    66. yellowboy90

      I think JR needs to be out of the big city but I would bench him first and see how he responds.

    67. BigBlueAL

      The Nets after winning their 4th game in a row tonight vs Golden St are currently the 8th seed in the East.

    68. maxwell_3g

      i often think about how my son will one day ask me about weird sports items before he has understanding of things, to confirm if they are true….. i had to ask my dad things such as, did 2 baseball players really switch wives, did a yankee player really get in trouble for playing a harmonica on a bus, did the white sox really wear shorts during baseball games, etc?? i fully anticipate having to explain that ron artest and metta world peace are really the same person, what the hell linsanity was, who BO was an why he was so awesome, what happened to aaron hernandez, etc.. Well lets just add, how an NBA player got in big trouble for repeatedly untying other players laces on the court. that should be an interesting discussion in the history of the Knicks.
      It is AMAZING how JR Smith has been so stupid for soo long, but the thing that might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back could be stupid and meaningless. I could care less about JR untying shoes, and shawn marion and greg monroe could care less as well. what has happened is that the media made a big deal of this stupid issue to woodson who, instead of calling it stupid to worry about, called JR out on it. I dont think JR reacts well to being called out, so he does it again, and now we have an issue. for woodson to call JR out on this issue, or all things, was insanity, without the L

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