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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.01.29)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks Insider: La La says KG-Melo Cheerios story is nutty (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:46:14 GMT)
    La La Anthony said Monday that she “definitely” believes her husband, Carmelo, will stay with the Knicks beyond this season. And the Knicks’ leading scorer and pending free agent doesn’t have a problem with his better half going public.    

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Love La La, but don’t buy hype (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:54:07 GMT)
    It was Carmelo Anthony’s better half who skillfully hijacked Super Bowl week in New York by declaring on Monday, “I definitely think” her famous husband will re-sign with the Knicks.    

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks rout Celtics in front of NFL stars, but lose Iman (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 06:57:10 GMT)
    Even when the Knicks take a couple of steps forward this season, it still has to hurt. The injuries continued to mount as starting guard Iman Shumpert left in the first quarter on Tuesday with a sprained shoulder, while returning big man Kenyon Martin remains unable to completely shake his recurring ankle problems.    

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Opening Tip: Melo to the Bulls? (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 06:00:59 EDT)
    Melo Drama has hit the Midwest. Chicago’s been abuzz with rumors that Carmelo Anthony may sign with the Bulls as a free agent this summer. Someone asked Melo on Tuesday if he’s thought about the possibility of playing for the Bulls. “Not at all,” he said. What about his relationship with Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau?“I don’t have one with Thibs,” he said. For the most part, Anthony’s been reluctant to discuss his free agency.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] 'Bockers better without Bargnani? (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 01:04:03 EDT)
    NEW YORK — The Knicks have won three straight. Andrea Bargnani has missed three straight games. Is there a correlation here?Of course, no one in the Knicks locker room is going to come out and say they’ve been better without Bargnani. So we’ll let you be the judge. When Bargnani was healthy, the Knicks scored 100.8 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. Since Bargnani went down with an elbow injury, they’ve averaged 126.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Melo: 'I support' what La La said (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:09:23 EDT)
    NEW YORK — La La Anthony made headlines earlier this week when she said that her husband, Carmelo Anthony, would “definitely” re-sign with the Knicks. So what was Carmelo’s reaction?”That’s my wife. I support her. I support what she said. I don’t think she said anything wrong,” Anthony said. “It’s a good thing for her to say that. Go get the book, though.”La La Anthony said in an interview with Bravo TV’s “Watch What Happens Live” to promote her book, “The Playbook,” that she thinks Anthony, a free agent to-be, will end up back in New York.

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Notebook: K-Mart OK after ankle scare (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:00:32 EDT)
    NEW YORK — Kenyon Martin returned from a five-game absence to rest his troublesome left ankle only to roll it on Tuesday night in his return against the Celtics. Martin played nine minutes and looked like he was feeling good with six points, one rebound, one block and one rim-shaking dunk before rolling his left ankle. He did not play after the injury but said he sat out for precautionary reasons and will be play Thursday against the Cavaliers.

  • [New York Times] Randolph Leads Grizzlies Past Blazers 98-81 (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 08:03:02 GMT)
    Zach Randolph scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds and Mike Conley added 19 points and seven assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 98-81 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] League-Leading Pacers Hold Off Lakers 104-92 (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 06:47:57 GMT)
    Paul George missed 17 of his 21 shots, including everything he tried in the fourth quarter. The rest of the Indiana Pacers were similarly tired and erratic on the last stop on their five-game road trip.    

  • [New York Times] Beal, Wall Lead Wizards Past Warriors 88-85 (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 06:12:30 GMT)
    Bradley Beal scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, and John Wall had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead the Washington Wizards past the Golden State Warriors 88-85 on Tuesday night.    

  • [New York Times] Rockets Rally for Win Over Spurs (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 05:53:17 GMT)
    Dwight Howard scored 23 points, and the host Houston Rockets held on for a 97-90 win over the San Antonio Spurs.    

  • [New York Times] Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Expected to Miss All-Star Game (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 05:20:56 GMT)
    Kobe Bryant is expected to miss the NBA All-Star game due to continued pain and swelling in his injured left knee.    

  • [New York Times] Knicks 114, Celtics 88: Knicks Are Tough to Figure Out, and on This Night, Tough to Stop (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 03:55:23 GMT)
    The Knicks led by as many as 35 points and shot 53.7 percent in their third straight victory after a five-game losing streak.    

  • [New York Times] Knicks Avenge Blowout Loss to Celtics With a Rout (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 03:15:11 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds in just 28 minutes, and the New York Knicks avenged an embarrassing home loss with a rout of their own, beating the Boston Celtics 114-88 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory.    

  • [New York Times] Pistons Stop Skid With Win Over Magic (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 03:11:56 GMT)
    Andre Drummond had 13 points and 17 rebounds, and the host Detroit Pistons snapped a four-game losing streak with a 103-87 win over the Orlando Magic.    

  • [New York Times] Davis Dominates as Pelicans Beat Cavaliers (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 02:45:02 GMT)
    Anthony Davis scored 30 points and had eight blocks and seven rebounds to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 100-89 win over the host Cleveland Cavaliers.    

  • [New York Post] Shumpert lost to sprained right shoulder (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 05:40:57 -0500)
    Iman Shumpert was the lone Knick who had played in all 45 games this season. That streak will end. Shumpert sprained his right shoulder late in the first quarter of…

  • [New York Post] Melo appears to second wife’s staying in NY comments (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 01:20:57 -0500)
    In perhaps his strongest comment since early November regarding his free-agent future, Carmelo Anthony appeared Tuesday night to second his wife La La's remarks from the previous day. In promoting…

  • [New York Post] Tanking is not an option for these Knicks (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 01:16:47 -0500)
    A lifetime of habit invites happiness whenever those uniforms are getting tire tracks driven across them, right? You look down on the floor and you see those road green vestments,…

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ Kenyon Martin sprains ankle – again (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 01:10:50 -0500)
    Maybe, just maybe, the Knicks' health fortunes were changing. Kenyon Martin, who sprained his left ankle in Indiana in the same game as did Amar'e Stoudemire, was back and ready…

  • [New York Newsday] Carmelo Anthony supports wife saying she thinks he will stay (Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:10:56 EST)
    Carmelo Anthony wasn't going to go against something his wife said.

  • 73 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.01.29)

    1. lavor postell

      If Shump misses some time I’d like to see us start THJ and then use Udrih to stagger minutes among the PG’s so that there’s always 2 of them out there. The small ball lineups have worked effectively at least offensively. Also can somebody figure out the team’s shooting splits with Melo at the 3 and at the 4?

    2. thenamestsam

      I know he’s just coming back from a year off but I still can’t really believe that Rondo is the guy some people are pining for as our next franchise savior. A PG who can’t shoot is such a liability in the current NBA. I don’t think it’s exactly a coincidence that we had a much easier time defending them last night than we did when he was out even though the guy he replaced is not even a PG. I really don’t understand the infatuation with him.

    3. johnno

      Disclaimer — I am not about to argue that Melo is as good as LeBron. However, I think that Melo is having a much better season than he has been given credit for. Check out these numbers — his 3 point percentage is 12% better than LBJ’s, his foul shooting percentage is 13% better than LBJ’s (of the top 25 guys in foul shots per game, only 3 have a higher ft% than Melo), he’s getting 30% more rebounds per game, more than twice as many blocks per game and almost exactly the same number of steals. In addition, LeBron is averaging more than 50% more turnovers per game. The only two “traditional” statistical categories in which LeBron has been much better than Melo this year are 2 point fg% and assists per game (no surprise there).

    4. Frank

      @3 – Lebron is also leading the league in TS% (66) which is ridiculous for a guy who takes 79% of his shots inside the arc and has a usage of 30. The dude is a beast and Melo just isn’t in the same class.

      That said, I totally agree with you about Melo. The scoring has been relatively typical for him (TS of 55.3 is basically right at his career average (54.6)), but he’s also doing all the peripheral things that his detractors say he doesn’t do. His ORB% is well above his career average, and his DRB% is literally 50% higher than his career average (21 vs. 14.4). His TOV% is career low at a minuscule 8.5%. He has a career high block rate and a near-career high steal rate. And just by the eye test, he really seems to be playing a lot harder on defense, with more deflections/blocks/steals than I remember him getting in the past.

      Also the side benefit of Melo playing the 4 is that he’s just a much better defender there – he doesn’t have to chase SF’s around screens or play jump shooters as much in general where his tendency to ball-watch hurts us. And opposing teams seem to feel the need to pound him inside to wear him out, which leads to a whole bunch of Brandon Bass/Jordan Hill post-ups. I think we’d all sign up for that. I actually think he expends way more energy on defense guarding 3s on the perimeter than getting “pounded” inside, although I really have no proof of that other than that he never seemed to tire in the 4th quarter last year and has looked completely gassed in the 4th for most of this year when playing the 3.

      Meanwhile, Boston and the Lakers have horrible defenses but how nice does the offense look now (without Bargnani)? And even the defense (AND rebounding) look better going small, just like pretty much everyone here and everywhere outside Mike Woodson’s brain thought it would.

    5. Owen

      Johnno – Lebron has a ts% of 66%. Carmelo has a ts% of 55%. When it comes to the offensive difference between them that’s most of what matters. Also, you have to pace and time adjust those rebounding totals. Carmelo is playing power forward, mostly, and grabbing 13.4% of available rebounds. Lebron is at 11.7%. So the disparity isn’t that big and Melo, for a guy playing power forward, isn’t rebounding that amazingly. To be clear, he’s been good but he isn’t a top 50 rebounder in the league on a per minute basis.

      Melo is playing great and Lebron is actually having a down season. Durant is the legitimate runaway MVP at this point. But our man still comes not all that close….

    6. thenamestsam

      I think this sort of analysis is similar to the synergy comparisons Ruru has posted in the past which show that in any individual area the gap between Melo and the true cream of the crop players is fairly thin. What really sets those players apart is their ability to get more of the things they’re best at and fewer of the things they’re worst at. Kirk Goldsberry’s shot charts highlight that the best of anything I think. From the linked piece “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.” Nobody can even come close to him in terms of a combination of generating the easiest shots in the game and finishing those shots. So even though for almost every shot on a basketball court Melo is at least James’ near equal, overall he can’t measure up because Lebron is just so much better at generating the type of attempt he is best at.

      That said, I don’t want to take anything away from Melo who has had a phenomenal year in pretty much every way and deserves much better than what this thoroughly mediocre supporting cast has given him so far.

    7. flossy

      I don’t think it’s exactly a coincidence that we had a much easier time defending them last night than we did when he was out even though the guy he replaced is not even a PG.

      I don’t exactly think it’s a coincidence that the Celtics are bad when Rajon Rondo puts up a PER of 4.9 or a WS/48 of -0.175. I don’t know why anyone would base their assessment of his game or his possible value for the Knicks on the way he played last night. The people who want Rondo (and I, for the record, am ambivalent) are assuming that he goes back to being an elite defender and playmaker who can drop 40 on Miami in the playoffs.

    8. Frank

      Carmelo is playing power forward, mostly, and grabbing 13.4% of available rebounds. Lebron is at 11.7%. So the disparity isn’t that big and Melo, for a guy playing power forward, isn’t rebounding that amazingly. To be clear, he’s been good but he isn’t a top 50 rebounder in the league on a per minute basis.

      To be fair, according to 82games, Melo and Lebron have a pretty similar % of their minutes at the PF position (Melo 41% of total team minutes, Lebron 36%, and they both play SF 36% of the time). If you characterize him as a 3 he would be the 4th best defensive rebounding SF in the league (actually of the guys ahead of him, Tobias Harris and Michael Beasley both play about 2/3 of their minutes as PF so the only guy ahead of him who’s really a SF would be Aminu). And even as a PF his DRB% of 21 would be top 20 in the league among PFs – basically the exact same DRB as Anthony Davis (WOW did you see his line from last night), Kenneth Faried, David Lee, Paul Millsap, and Serge Ibaka etc.

      I think given how much he shoots from the outside (and the fact that he’s the guy doing the shooting most of the time), it’s hard to blame him for a relatively low (for a PF) ORB%. But even then, he’s a top 8 offensive rebounder as a SF.

    9. DRed

      Lebron also plays PF a lot. Melo’s done a very nice job on the glass this year. But let’s not get carried away. Melo doesn’t touch Lebron when it comes to scoring. Lebron is scoring at a Chandler-like efficiency at a very high usage rate. Melo is starting in the all-star game. How much more credit would you like him to be given?

      Meanwhile, Boston and the Lakers have horrible defenses but how nice does the offense look now (without Bargnani)? And even the defense (AND rebounding) look better going small, just like pretty much everyone here and everywhere outside Mike Woodson’s brain thought it would.

      Everything looks better because Bargs is the worst. I’m happy to see Cole Tyler playing well. Why coach kept Cole nailed to the bench while Tyson was out hurt is just inexplicable. And best of all, Tim Novak Jr. is still lighting it up. The schedule is about to get a bit tougher, but it’s much more enjoyable to watch the team now.

    10. JK47

      The problem with acquiring Rajon Rondo is the same problem with most big splash free agent signings: you’re getting him after he has already had the best seasons of his career, and paying for his past performance while almost certainly watching his current performance decline.

      Rajon Rondo in his twenties? Sign me up for that any time. Rajon Rondo in his thirties? There’s probably a better use of a max contract.

    11. Frank

      btw I have no interest in bringing Rondo to the Knicks. On a team that had Paul Pierce, KG, and Ray Allen with him in the starting lineup, he hasn’t led a top 10 offense since 2008, and the last 2 years had a bottom-10 offense. IMHO you can only really have one non-shooter in the lineup at any given time or else the team becomes way too easy to guard. If your PG is that guy, it’s really hard to score effectively. And while he looks like Gary Payton compared with our guards, I think his D is overrated as well at this point in his career. And that’s not even taking into account his ACL injury. He looked just awful last night.
      I’d take Lowry over Rondo in a heartbeat.

    12. mokers

      I think the season will turn out OK, but the Knicks are going to make it as far as the PG play takes us, which is a bit scary. I still think there are too many times Felton bails on the initial PnR and takes a midrange shot with 15 seconds left on the clock. The Knicks offense is pretty good when the action is moving towards the basket. More free throws, more opportunities for put backs, more rotations allowing for open shots. Good to see JR starting to play at least average again. And the most surprising thing of all, giving minutes to Cole and Tyler when Chandler and Martin are not playing didn’t cause civilization to collapse on itself.

    13. d-mar

      @13 totally agree, the last 3 point guards we went up against were Sessions (subbing for injured Knick-killer Kemba Walker) Kendall Marshall and the player formerly known as Rajon Rondo.

      Sadly, any top 10-15 PG in the NBA will continue to have a field day against us.

    14. thenamestsam

      I don’t know why anyone would base their assessment of his game or his possible value for the Knicks on the way he played last night.

      Certainly wasn’t doing that and I apologize if my comment came across that way. Last night was merely what prompted me to make the comment. I’ve been (relatively) down on Rondo for years. His performance against Miami always gets brought up, but that 40-point explosion was, just like last night, a single game. Despite his reputation as a big game player his playoff numbers (13.6 pts, 8.6 asts, and 5.6 rebs per 36 on .487 TS%) aren’t really any better than his career numbers (12.1, 9.1, 5.0, .511). And as Frank points out those offensive numbers have done exactly zilch to help his team be even a marginal offensive team. I’m not saying he’s horrible, but even if he gets fully healthy again is he a top-10 pg in the league? I think it’s marginal at best. Throw in the health issues and the fact that he’s not so young any more and I just don’t see him as the most desirable asset.

    15. DRed

      From the lamestream media, here’s this gem from David Thorpe, in an article where he declares MCW the best ‘pure scorer’ in the rookie class:

      “Think about this: MCW is not a good finisher at the rim (below 50 percent). He is not much of a midrange threat, nor can he shoot the 3 (below 30 percent). He is not very strong. He is not yet able to post up smaller guards, which is most of his competition. And he makes less than 70 percent of his free throws. Yet he leads this class in points per game and points per 48 minutes.”

    16. JK47

      MCW is a nice player who is totally miscast as a #1 scoring option in Philly. He has great court vision, high basketball IQ and plays great in transition, and he can play really good harassing defense as a 6’6″ poing guard. Scoring is the weakest part of his game– he’s quite good at everything else.

    17. Frank

      btw someone was asking whether or not Tyler has a 2nd year on his contract. FWIW Spotrac (which is generally reliable with these things) says he has a 2 year 1.5MM contract with 2nd year non-guaranteed. So that’s good.
      http://www.spotrac.com/nba/new-york-knicks/jeremy-tyler/

      btw Jeremy up to 18 points/10.5rebs/2.1blocks per 36 on a TS of 62.7 and TOV% of 10. It’s obviously a ridiculously small sample of 86 minutes, but the only players to reach 18 points/36, 2 blocks/36, TS>60, and TOV%<11 for a season are Shaq, Amare, and Larry Nance. The only player to reach those levels in any of his first 5 seasons is Shaq in 1993.

    18. lavor postell

      Hahaha I can’t believe any serious analyst would describe MCW as a pure scorer. It’s almost like you’d have to willfully ignore his time at Syracuse and not read anything into his terrible shooting numbers this season as the primary scoring option.

      Going back to the Melo-Lebron discussion (not a debate because nobody is saying Melo is on the same level), but one advantage Melo gives you over Lebron is his willingness and ability to defend traditional 4’s. Melo has proven that he is a pretty stout post defender and to my knowledge while he wants to be recognized as a 3 he hasn’t really asked to be relieve of his defensive duties at the 4, maybe because at Frank alluded too earlier, he is able to conserve more energy and his defensive duties are easier for him to perform.

      Much of Battier’s value on the Heat is in that he allows Lebron to not have to bang in the post, something that Lebron has been hesitant to do for longer than stretches within a game. Durant can play the 4 when OKC is going small and looking for extra offense, but defensively he would have no chance against somebody like David West (obviously same can be said for West). Melo essentially gives us the benefit of spreading the floor offensively at the 4 position, while being able to matchup fairly well against traditional 4’s. I think that has a lot of value and something that I don’t think Melo ever gets credit for.

    19. massive

      One thing you have to give the Knicks credit for is their ability to find young talent. Tim Hardaway Jr and Jeremy Tyler looked great last night. We may not know who to give the big money to, but we sure do know how to find complementary players for those overrated players.

      I’d like to see the Knicks develop Jeremy Tyler into a starting center. He averages 18 and 10 per 36 and he has a WS/48 of .187. I don’t think he can really average that if he were given 36 minutes over 82 games, but he can definitely be a cheap and valuable asset when placed next to the max contract palooza we already seem to be setting ourselves up for yet again.

    20. TDM

      Anyone know why the Knicks assigned Aldrich, Toure’ and Tyler to the Erie BayHawks today? Steve Mills just announced it on Twitter.

    21. TDM

      They are also saying that they intend to recall all 3 tomorrow. Are they saving money somehow by doing this?

    22. lavor postell

      A lot of teams do that to give their younger guys PT and call them back up the next day. The Celtics just did this with Faverani and then he played the next day in an NBA game.

    23. DRed

      One thing you have to give the Knicks credit for is their ability to find young talent. Tim Hardaway Jr and Jeremy Tyler looked great last night. We may not know who to give the big money to, but we sure do know how to find complementary players for those overrated players.

      I both agree and am completely puzzled by this. Even Cole looks like a competent backup big. We managed to correctly identify a good choice from the players available on the scrap heap, but we utterly failed to use him. It’s just odd.

      Still early days with Tyler, but given his age and his productivity in limited minutes, you can’t help but be encouraged. Productive 22 year old big men aren’t easy to find for 750k.

    24. d-mar

      @27 easy, Ruru, Owen gives Melo all the credit in the world, putting him as high as 25-30 on the list of best players in the NBA

    25. Hubert

      Carmelo is playing power forward, mostly

      I don’t want to step in the middle of this but what season have you been watching, Owen?

      I’ve been watching the one where our idiot coach has consistently refused to play him in the power forward position in favor of “going big”.

      Don’t disagree with your overall argument, but to say Melo is playing PF mostly this year is bending things a bit.

    26. ruruland

      D-Red, you’ve got Andre Iguodola as a better player than Melo?

      Is that simply by WP/48, because he’s got a lower WS/48 and has had much lower WS/48 than Melo the last 6 years?

      I wouldn’t exactly be touting Iguodala if I were an extreme WP advocate. It just so happens his scoring efficiency has exploded (up to .600 after six years around .535) while his usage has dropped considerably (down to 13.3 after being between 17 and 22 for most of his career).

      Being surrounded by all of the Warriors offensive talent has allowed Iguodala to fundamentally change his shot distribution, as the percentage of total shots has shifted sharply towards 3-pointers, which account for close to 45 percent of is attempts.

      He’s shooting a career high in both 2-point and 3-point shots. I’m sure if I turned on the old Synergy machine it would tell us that he’s taking a higher proportion of spot-up 3s, transition baskets and off-ball shots.

      He’s basically been relieved of his duties as an on-ball shot-taker.

      Now, the questions I’ve never seen a WP advocate honestly attempt to answer are, why has that occurred, and why is there one scoring efficiency metric when the issue of shots is pretty complex.

      Sure, adjusting a players scoring efficiency for position takes into account a bit of the normal roles a player has, but to not take into account usage is absolutely foolish.

      Put Iguodala back onto a team where he has to increase his usage by 50 percent — the only way to do that is with less efficient shots — and you’re telling me he’s going to turn into a significantly worse player?

      The logic is completely absurd.

    27. ruruland

      And d-mar, I’m just looking for a bit of consistency in Owen and Dred’s arguments.

      From what I can gather, the players they have ahead of Melo are those who have higher WPs.

      If that’s what’s informing their opinions — and we have little reason to think otherwise — then why won’t they admit that Ronnie Brewer was a much more important player to the Knicks than Melo was last year?

    28. DRed

      Being surrounded by all of the Warriors offensive talent has allowed Iguodala to fundamentally change his shot distribution, as the percentage of total shots has shifted sharply towards 3-pointers, which account for close to 45 percent of is attempts.

      Is that like when Bargnani moved to the Knicks and became a deadly stretch big with his elite pick and pop skills because he was playing with superstar Carmelo Anthony and getting tons of open looks? Or how Melo has become so much worse this year as the talent surrounding him declined? Players generally are what they are. Iggy is having a great year. He’s been better than Carmelo this year. I don’t know if that would mean he would be better on the Knicks, or that Carmelo would be better on the Warriors.

    29. DRed

      Christ Owen, you didn’t know Lebron plays more minutes at power forward than Just-a-guy?

      Not according to 82games he doesn’t. But I have no idea how accurate those numbers are. Lebron’s much better than Carmelo no matter where they play, though, so the whole argument is pretty irrelevant.

    30. ruruland

      No, you’re wrong.

      Again, another oversimplification we’ve gone over.

      Players that can make open jump shots generally thrive around Melo because he allows them to take a greater proportion of those shots.

      Bargnani has not made open 3-pt shots in New York (he’s shooting a career low). He didn’t his last two seasons in Toronto. Some thought that was attributable to his wrist injuries. It appears those people, which includes me, were wrong.

      He’s still a very good pick and pop player, and he’s been one of the best in the league the last 4 years. But he’s poor in the spot-up game, which is the primary way Melo helps teammates (spot-ups are the most efficient half-court shots).

      AB has not stretched the floor w/Melo because he hasn’t been able to make 3-pt shots here — and he turns down a lot of open 3-pt shots (he’s taking fewer than he has before because he has no confidence, and looks to pump fake and drive at every opportunity).

      If AB was making those open shots as he did earlier in his career, he’d have been a pretty decent fit.

    31. DRed

      Here’s what my argument about Carmelo boils down to: If he can become a more efficient scorer by shooting less then he should stop shooting so fucking much. If he dropped 6 inefficient shots a night, I think the rest of the team could make up the difference without suffering a massive offensive collapse.

    32. ruruland

      “Lebron’s much better than Carmelo no matter where they play, though, so the whole argument is pretty irrelevant.”

      Every time someone contextualizes what Melo is doing this year by showing he has better numbers than Lebron in some areas does not mean that person is saying he’s better than Lebron.

      We’ve seen the same kind of response by Owen, knickster and the like.

    33. johnno

      I would love to have Iguodala on the Knicks — if he were playing with Melo, not instead of Melo. Iguodala as a first option is a bad option because he has no one great offensive skill. However, Iguodala as a complementary player is terrific because he does everything very well. By the way, there are always a couple shots a game that I wish that Melo didn’t take. However, he is who he is at this point and it’s not likely that he will stop occasionally taking bad shots. I’m willing to live with that since he does most everything else so well (and since, very often, when I cringe when he takes a shot, it happens to hit nothing but net).

    34. lavor postell

      @ DRed

      I think that’s a pretty fair assessment of what Melo should do. I don’t know about 6 shots, but at least 3-4 a night. There are usually a couple of times a night where he’ll drive and 3 defenders converge where it’s obvious he should kick it out for a perimeter shot, but he chooses to go ahead and get his shit blocked. There’s usually a contested mid-range jumper or two also a night that he could eliminate from his repertoire.

      I still think Iguodala is a pretty good defender, but not the colossus he once was on that side of the ball and with his declining athleticism I worry about that. His offensive game is also not very impressive and I chalk up his improved shooting numbers to a drastic drop in overall responsibility on that end. He’s also a surprisingly average at best free throw shooter which I never realized before.

    35. ruruland

      “If he can become a more efficient scorer by shooting less then he should stop shooting so fucking much. If he dropped 6 inefficient shots a night, I think the rest of the team could make up the difference without suffering a massive offensive collapse.”

      I think he can cut back some. But without consistent quality shot creation around him, taking some inefficient shots sets up other efficient shots in the offense.

      Would you rather those shots be taken by Felton, Smith, etc?

      Should the Knicks stay away from Melo in the post/iso when it’s what leads to spot-ups when teams are going under Felton pnr?

    36. ruruland

      Last night, for example, Melo posts a .670 TS. He was primarily working out of pnr with great Chandler screens. He also had a fair amount of spot-ups.

      His post-up/isolations were a much smaller proportion of his shots last night. Why? Could it be that so many other elements of the Knicks offense were working?

    37. Nick C.

      D-Red, you’ve got Andre Iguodola as a better player than Melo?

      Is that simply by WP/48, because he’s got a lower WS/48 and has had much lower WS/48 than Melo the last 6 years?

      I wouldn’t exactly be touting Iguodala if I were an extreme WP advocate. It just so happens his scoring efficiency has exploded (up to .600 after six years around .535) while his usage has dropped considerably (down to 13.3 after being between 17 and 22 for most of his career).

      Being surrounded by all of the Warriors offensive talent has allowed Iguodala to fundamentally change his shot distribution, as the percentage of total shots has shifted sharply towards 3-pointers, which account for close to 45 percent of is attempts.

      He’s shooting a career high in both 2-point and 3-point shots. I’m sure if I turned on the old Synergy machine it would tell us that he’s taking a higher proportion of spot-up 3s, transition baskets and off-ball shots.

      He’s basically been relieved of his duties as an on-ball shot-taker.

      Now, the questions I’ve never seen a WP advocate honestly attempt to answer are, why has that occurred, and why is there one scoring efficiency metric when the issue of shots is pretty complex.

      Sure, adjusting a players scoring efficiency for position takes into account a bit of the normal roles a player has, but to not take into account usage is absolutely foolish.

      Put Iguodala back onto a team where he has to increase his usage by 50 percent — the only way to do that is with less efficient shots — and you’re telling me he’s going to turn into a significantly worse player?

      The logic is completely absurd.

      How do we explain Aaron Afflalo with his usage in Orlando 22-24 v 14 in Denver and this season posting second best of his career shooting percentages from 3 and TS? Fluke?

    38. DRed

      Would you rather those shots be taken by Felton, Smith, etc?

      Absolutely. If we don’t have anyone on the Knicks who can score more efficiently than Melo on his 4-6 worst shot attempts of the night than we’d have like 5 wins on the season.

    39. ruruland

      Afflalo’s game has developed a ton. He came into the league as a bad shooter, turned that around in two years. If you look at his numbers in Denver, his 3pA % was extremely high, allowing him to post .585/.620/.584 TS. His TS dropped considerably after the Melo trade, and it’s gone up this year as he’s gotten better at drawing fouls (his 3pA is up from last season, but way down from his time in Denver)

      He’s now combined a crafty dribble penetration game with his great 3-pt shooting, which he’s extended beyond the the corners (he was primarily a corner 3-pt guy in Denver), and is effective without having to catch.

      His 2pt % has remained the same. But he’s getting to the basket more frequently and his 3-t percentage is back to his Denver days, despite fewer catch-and-shoots.

    40. ruruland

      “Absolutely. If we don’t have anyone on the Knicks who can score more efficiently than Melo on his 4-6 worst shot attempts of the night than we’d have like 5 wins on the season.”

      Knicks with higher TS than Melo:

      Hardaway
      Prigs
      Chandler
      Tyler
      Stoudemire

      Hardaway is not a guy you want trying to create his own shot, it’s one of the biggest reasons the Knicks had a chance to draft him.

      Prigs’ shooting efficiency is a byproduct of shooting a great shot as a last resort.

      We know the story with Chandler and Tyler.

      The Knicks go to Amar’e to create when he’s in, but he has a much lower ppp than Melo (passes much less, too) and his TS is as high as it is because he’s taking 65 percent of his shots at the rim.

      Again, if a team slows down Felton screen and roll (by going under screen and hugging shooters), the only other good half-court offense is Melo iso/post. Sometimes Melo takes bad shots out of the post/iso, but him being there is what creates other good shots in the offense.

    41. flossy

      Random thought–it seems like the Pistons are having major buyer’s remorse with Josh Smith.

      Would you trade Bargnani straight up for Smith?

    42. JK47

      Would you trade Bargnani straight up for Smith?

      No no no no no no no no no. A billion times no. Hell to the no.

      Josh Smith’s contract runs through 2017; it is a contract of unspeakable awfulness. You do not take on a contract like that under any circumstances. The Knicks must absolutely avoid trading their bad but short-term contracts like Bargs and Stat for bad and long-term contracts like Josh Smith.

    43. DRed

      Ruru, you’re misunderstanding my argument. I’m not saying Carmelo’s not a good offensive player, or the focal point of the Knicks offense. I’m saying he shoots too fucking much. The Knicks average 1.031PPS with Melo off the floor this year. That probably sucks. Felton, JR, Bargs et al have been awful on offense, with or without Melo. But what I’m saying is that 1.031PPS is almost certainly higher than Carmelo’s worst shots. (He’s averaging 1.09PPS overall) And that’s the Knicks with Carmelo not on the floor to attract defensive attention.

    44. Nick C.

      No to Josh Smith. Apparently that one season of limited 3s based on a request from Woodson was tuned out. He can do a lot of things but seems to enjoy doing those he sucks at.

      Thanks Ruru. Afflalo shows one can improve and can maintain efficiency with increased usage. Admittedly there are probably a handful of guys that do.

    45. knickster

      Watching all these silly arguments about players and their different skills explains why a lot of people very knowledgeable about the game would make disastrous GM’s. They judge players in a vacuum – just like we see daily on this blog.

      A player has to be evaluated by much more than his stats. Salary, age, injury history, personal behavior, contract length, contractual clauses, etc., are factors just as important as the actual on-court production.

      For example: Andre Iguodala, at around 11M is a much better player to have on the Knicks than Carmelo at twice the amount, even though Carmelo is objectively better. JR at 6M is not a bargain at all.

    46. Owen

      Please, not another flame war…..

      I am skeptical about the floor time statistics. It doesn’t really matter though, the point is the same. Melo isn’t all that much better of a rebounder than Lebron.

      Iggy is an excellent defender. So is Bogut. While difficult to quantify it certainly counts. And the fact the Warriors are third in the league in defense with Curry, Thompson, and Lee (natch) playing major minutes is a major mark in favor of the new arrivals.

      One guy I like a lot on their team is Draymond Green. Watching him play he is pure MSU out there and just what they needed off the bench. Shows you there is value to be found in the second round if you get lucky, though the ts% isn’t pretty….

    47. DRed

      Draymond Green looks like an old man playing at the Y. He’s fun to watch on a team that is so go go go.

    48. DRed

      Pretty confident the Knickster era on this board has ended…

      Go drink bleach and DIE!

      j/k

      You’re all right with me. That was just a little old school knickerblogger humor. I suppose it’s for the best we’ve become more civilized.

    49. Frank

      So…

      Anyone excited to see LBJ vs. Durant tonight? I wonder whether Spoelstra will let Lebron defend Durant. That’d be a young Kobe/MJ moment.

    50. johnlocke

      Btw – is there anything stopping someone that is “banned” from just signing up with a different username / email address?

    51. thenamestsam

      People who can’t disagree about basketball without thinking that someone’s feelings about basketball say something about their value or character as a person are the absolute worst. Everyone be friendly and talk about basketball, please?

      As for basketball, I think Iguodala and Melo make for an interesting comparison because while their nominal positions are basically the same they are almost total opposites as players. Iggy is absolutely amazing as long as you don’t ask him to be the primary scoring threat. Outside of that he can fill in whatever role you need. Great secondary ball handler, great passer, great defender, great cutter off the ball, has improved his shooting – whatever the gap is on your team he can fill it. While this has been arguably Melo’s best season in terms of his secondary attributes – rebounding, defending, etc. – he’s still fundamentally extremely strong in the one area Iggy is relatively weak, and slightly weaker in most other areas. On Golden State, I think I’d rather have Iggy. On the Knicks, and for most teams I’d rather have Melo (salary not included).

      I guess that means I think Melo is better, but I also think it’s pretty much the wrong question. Until the next expansion draft the question “Who would you rather have in a vacuum?” is pretty much guaranteed to be irrelevant.

    52. Owen

      Draymond Green is the old man at the rec game, perfect analogy….

      I am EXTREMELY excited about Durant v. Lebron. That’s the kind of game any NBA fan should get up for….

    53. Mike Kurylo Post author

      BTW this asshole keeps using different names/aliases to get back. Funny thing is he’s pretty easy to dig up information on.

      Hey I.G. (aka Knickster)- cut the shit out. Don’t come back.

    54. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

      I think that Melo is having a much better season than he has been given credit for.

      What is with this “Melo is underrated” narrative?? He’s a max player, on his gazillionth all-star team, nd he’s about to be handed a $129 million contract extension by James Dolan. For a guy on a team 10 games below .500, what more credit does he need?

      I wouldn’t exactly be touting Iguodala if I were an extreme WP advocate. It just so happens his scoring efficiency has exploded (up to .600 after six years around .535) while his usage has dropped considerably (down to 13.3 after being between 17 and 22 for most of his career).

      I wish Caleb was still around to debate this. For years he was a big fan of Iguodala, and Iggy has been everything Caleb said he’d be. I think he’s more valuable than Anthony, all things considered, but he’d explain it better than I could.

      “…And he makes less than 70 percent of his free throws. Yet he leads this class in points per game and points per 48 minutes.”

      Hahaha. (Isn’t there another term for points per 48 minutes?)

    55. DRed

      I really like Slim Reaper as a nickname for Durant. Kudos to whoever came up with that one. It’s a lot more creative than KD.

    56. lavor postell

      Congrats to Tim Jr. on being invited to the Rising Stars Challenge. He’s carving out a niche for himself and while he has flaws he’s been a really nice surprise for somebody I don’t think many of us expected to produce much this season if at all.

    57. Donnie Walsh

      Brings back memories of the Italian Stallion….

      …Dogrufus, Vinnie, Clyde Police, The Fat Kid, Iyamwutian, jon abbey…

      (The sorry thing is that I actually agreed with knickser on a lot of his posts :(

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